JFK 50 Miler

April 11th, 2010 - Race - Nashua, NH - 6.2

Day 101 - Nashua Soup Kitchen 10K is this year's Boston tune-up race. Fil ran this NH Grand Prix race last year and spoke highly of it, and it's for a good cause. It's been about three weeks since my last race, so I wanted to see if the time off from racing has made a difference.

Unfortunately, it was another 1PM race (not my favorite time to run a race, kills the day), but it did allow for me to sleep in for the first time, in a long time. Got out of bed and started my morning at 9:30AM. My body felt great, but I wasn't feeling hungry. Like I've mentioned before, it's always tricky to eat properly for an afternoon race. You want to eat enough to get you through the morning and the race, but not too much to make it prohibitive to have a good race.

Had a light breakfast with some eggs and toast, and spent the rest of the morning reading and playing with the boys.

Rachel, the boys, and myself got up to the race site at the Nashua YMCA a little after 12. There was plenty of parking and the weather was near ideal, although there was a stiff wind in the air. The expected temps at race time was going to be about the mid 60's, which is fine with me. The hotter, the better.

I did feel a little dehydrated, so I downed a small bottle of water as I got dressed for the race.

I met up with Fil about thirty minutes before race time and we did a short warm-up, running out to the start and back to the Y. Fil expressed that he wasn't feeling well after reffing earlier in the morning, and eating chinese food the night before. Definitely the reffing.

I must admit, I was also starting to feel a little Uta Pippigish, with my stomach rumbling every few minutes. It was getting too close to race time to stand in the bathroom line, so I was going to have to deal with it out on the course, one way or another.

The gun went off on time around 1PM and the surge of racing adrenaline came right back like an old friend. I went out with the lead pack for about a mile (5:55), and then purposedly backed off from that pace. April 19th was definitely on my mind.

I fell back behind a group of about five other runners as we came up on the first hill on the course close to mile 2. I wanted to stay with this group, but I also love tackling hills with as much effort as possible.

The group slowed considerably and I surged up this portion, passing them and mile 2 with a 5:58 split. The first female overall was about 20 yards in front of me, and she was passing one other runner. I made a surge to catch up to her (it didn't hurt that she had a cute butt), and stayed with her for about half a mile. I was probably more of a nussiance to her concentration, so I once again continued on alone.

Mile 3 included the steepest hill on the course, so I got through the 3rd mile in 6:25, and the 5K mark, in about 18:40. I also lost my favorite running cap on this portion, thanks to a big gust of wind. Amazingly, Fil saw it later on when he came by and picked it up for me! I think he just thought he had a free cap.

Not having the hat made a huge difference for me. The heat of the afternoon sun was directly over head and I could feel its effects on my bare and balding head. Oh well, it's all part of racing and I had to struggle on.

From studying the course's evelation profile, I knew that the rest of the course was a complete free fall after the 4 mile mark, which interestingly enough, went through a tree-covered park for about half a mile. There was a slight climb getting to that point, so I did that mile in 6:18.

Right on cue, the course began its descent a little after the 4 mile sign and it couldn't have come sooner. I was having trouble catching my breath throughout the race, so the downhill respite was nice. I was at least 30 seconds behind the next runner at this point, and he was out of sight on the curvy course. I just started to focus on my form and downhill turnover.

As expected, mile 5 came and went in 6:03.

The final mile on this course is top notch and the highlight of the race. With a mile to go, the course for the 5K and 10K race merges together, and runs through a bustling downtown Nashua.

I always get a nice surge of energy when I get to pass other "runners", even if they are running a different race. I also enjoy running past cars sitting in traffic, and boy did this race create a lot of traffic. I was hitting a 5 minute pace on some parts of this last stretch, with only the final turn slowing me down slightly.

The final .20 is a nice and fast downhill that takes you right into the finish chute. I crossed the finish line in 37:54 with a 5:47 final mile. The finish time crushed my 10K PR from 101 days ago at the 1st Run 10K by over 2 minutes!

I finished 10th overall, and 1st & 3rd in my age group, depending on where you look and who you ask. More about this later.

Overall, I was quite happy with the results of this Boston tune-up, but not so happy with the post-race results/awards ceremony. To put it bluntly, the organizers had no idea what they were doing, and this race does not deserve to be a grand prix race. I don't know if it's due to the scorers (Granite State) or the organizers, but it was a mess.

I do race scoring/timing too, so I understand the behind-the-scenes crap that happens, but today was just inexcusable. I hung around for over an hour for the awards only to get the wrong award, and to find out that the results have changed once they posted it online.

I overreacted in my opinion of the post-race ceremony. It's an excellent race for an excellent cause, put on by an even more excellent group of people. I definitely plan on coming back next year to see all of the improvements! I want to thank Lisa for taking the time to drop the constructive comment below. As for those who feel they need to post criticisms anonymously...get over yourself! :P

Fil and I have agreed to stay away from any race, going forward, that feel that they need to attach different race distances to the main race in order to get more runners. It's just not worth it when results are FUBAR.

Enough about that, it's time to really taper and relax for one more week.

Thanks to EJ, I finally have a card of another GLRR legend, Peter Lagoy:


  1. Now you've got an entire week to play with the boys, but don't forget to spend some time with your dogs too. Well earned rest, nice race J.

  2. Get over yourself. . . .

  3. Anonymous, are you the race director or someone from Granite State timing?

  4. Ha. Looks like I pissed someone off from the race. Good. Maybe they'll fix it for next year.

  5. hey jason.. we are very sorry you didn't have a great time and felt we were not organized...that is completely different feedback than we received from most participants... there was a glitch with the timing co, but mostly with the kids' times...but we will send you your medal..it is the 3rd palce medal you picked up and then returned to us... and in case you didn't realize these events were a fundraiser for the nashua soup kitchen & shelter so most folks felt great that they could run and help out others at the same time.. hope you will give us another shot next year..lisa christie, executive director, NSK&S

  6. Lisa, thanks for the note. I overreacted up above in my posting and will make some edits to my original post It was a great race, but there's always room for improvement. I will definitely be back next year.

  7. thanks jason... your medal will go in the mail tomorrow.. and good running this year.. you are a great runner by your time