JFK 50 Miler

Feb 13th, 2010 - Race/Race - Tewksbury/Bradford - 7.3

Day 44 - I should have written this post before I got hit by the beer truck at the New Year's/Anniversary/Valentine's Day party.

Legal Disclaimer: My memory is a little fuzzy right now, so please forgive me for any inaccurate, inconsistent, or insane information found in this post.

The fun filled festive Faturday farted off farly with the Fudgicle Five-K in Fewskbury. The weather was near perfect (20's, sunny, no wind) for an early morning, winter run. I had three plans going into the Fudge 5K this morning:

- Plan A: If the speedsters from prior weeks showed up, i.e. Dan V., then I would concede 1st place, and take it real easy and save something for the Bradford 6K later in the morning.

- Plan B: If NO speedsters showed up, then I would do my best to capture my first 1st place finish at the series, and save something for the Bradford 6K later in the morning.

- Plan 9: From Outer Space

Plan B was put into action thanks to Mark C., Cullen, and Cullen's brother, Logan. The four of us left the starting gate with a smooth 6:30 pace for about a mile (Fil also snuck in there for his 2 seconds of fame, but I quickly put him back in his place in the back of the pack). I thought Mark was going to hang with me for the entire race, but he dropped back around mile 1. Same with Cullen and his brother.

Then there was silence. It was just myself out in front for about a half mile, still going comfortably at a 6:30 pace. The peaceful silence was suddenly interrupted by unfamiliar footsteps and heavy breathing. What now?

It was Keith O. quickly coming up on my 6 and turning a nice, friendly group tempo run into a god damn race! Nothing comes easy at the Fudge! I was ready to abandon Plan B, and execute Plan A, as I let Keith pass me before the two mile mark.

My competitive side wouldn't have any of it though, so I drafted close behind Keith for about half a mile, allowing him to lead  in order to wear him down a little. With time and distance quickly running out, to make a final move, I took over the lead and brought the pace down to 6:15 before I was able to drop Keith around mile 3. I crossed the finish line in 20:04 (second slowest time at this series) to capture 1st place!  (Best time last week and I finished 4th!) Go figure!

Fudge 5K Results: I believe my time should say 20:04, but the finish order is correct. Yay me.

One down, one to go...

Bartman (Fil) and I were off and running right after the Fudge 5K, as we had a V-Day double-date with the Bradford 6K up in Haverhill/Bradford at 10AM...but not before a quick stop at Wally-World to find me a pair of Valentine's Day appropriate running "shorts":

The temps hovered around the mid's 30's (running shorts/boxer weather!) as the 5 milers and 6 k'ers took to the starting line at Bradford.

Road races are like a box of chocolates...

We were now on Verrington/Dunham territory, and with the snowshoe season on hold, I had a feeling that one or both of them would be at this race. I was right. Both were here (gulp).

Dan was opting for the longer distance, while Dave was going to test out his ailing foot at my distance. Side note, an injured Double D is faster than most runners at their peak...myself included.

My legs felt a little sluggish heading into the section of the course where the two races temporarily separated from each other (insert life/love comparison here).

I crossed the 1 mile mark in 5:48, about 20 seconds behind the 3-person lead pack. I knew that as long as I could hold onto fourth place, then I would have a good shot at placing 1st in my Age Group (since there's no double dipping awards for the top 3 overall. Besides, they get double-dipped chocolates! No fair!).

The two race courses kissed and made up (re-insert life/love comparison here) at some point during mile 2, but because my pace was still ahead of the 5 milers, I did not come across anyone else. Thankfully. I don't think I could have handled trying to figure out who was a 5 miler or a 6 k'er.

I managed to complete the mostly uphill second mile in 6:13, and a mixed third mile in 6:14, giving me about a 6:04 overall pace with .7 miles to go, most of it down hill.

I felt great, after battling the hills and headwind of the middle portion, and was looking forward to the very fast quarter mile finish. I was about 50 seconds behind Dave, and the lead pack, at this point, so my focus now was to just hang onto fourth place overall in order to garner any post-race hardware.

Rarely do I do this, but the final turn on the course allowed me to take a peak over my right shoulder, and I didn't see anyone behind me. This also allowed me relax a bit and I told myself to just enjoy the final stretch of a great day of racing.

Strangely, my biggest fear, while free-falling into the finish chute, was falling flat on my face as the road surface here was quite uneven. Fortunately, I managed to finish in fourth (1st in Age Group) safe and sound with a time of 21:53 (5:55 pace). I was pleasantly surprised at how much time the downhill portion had shaved off of my overall pace (about 8 seconds per mile!).

A familiar face greeted me shortly after I crossed the finish line. Glenn S. was there tagging cars for the re-birth of the Irish Feet Are Running 5 Miler. We both waited at the finish for Fil to cross. We waited...and waited...and waited. There he is, Fil being Fil. He was once again busy encouraging other runners to finish as he trailed closely behind to finish 14th overall with a time of 25:03 (6:46 pace).

The Dynamic Duo's double day of dunning was dinally domplete!

Now to get hit by that beer truck...

Bradford 6K Results

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