JFK 50 Miler

May 22nd, 2010 - Race - Bedford, NH - 7.45645431

("We're not dead!")

Day 142 - The official Facebook meetup took place today at the Bedford 12K GP race.

Very cool to finally talk to some of the running friends that I've made on Facebook, such as Reno and Dave Q.

Woke up feeling kind of sore this morning with most of the soreness in my left achilles and calf muscles. Hopefully, this is just the final remnants of Sugarloaf.

I carpooled with Fil from his place in Hudson, NH up to the race site at Tax Payer High School. The school grounds, and the surrounding area, is pretty upscale, and the track (finish area) is also just as impressive. I got all giddy when I found out that the finish was about 300 meters on the track. I love track finishes!

The green of Greater Lowell was well-represented today with everybody on the team now decked out in the new uni's. We even got interviewed by the local cable station because our green was so distracting to the home viewers (see pic above)!

This was a GP race at the 12K distance, so the majority of the top runners from the surrounding running clubs were here to score for their respective teams. The distance was new to most of us, so it was a nice opportunity to set a new PR, unless you're Glenn and don't count the "odd" ones as a new PR. I'll take whatever I can get.

I lined up about four rows from the front, knowing that the front guys were going to run sub 5:30 minute miles. Too fast for me.

My pace goal for today was to run 6's or a little below depending on how I felt after the 5K mark, but I wasn't expecting anything earth-shattering. I was hoping to hang with Mike S., but he had 5:40's in mind for his run. My other goal was to score for GLRR, which I was unable to do at the previous GP race in New Bedford (We need a GP race in an "Old Bedford" to complete the tri-fecta).

I hit the fast downhill Mile 1 in 6:03.

I was consciously holding back at this point in order to let the legs get use to the pounding again. I could see a number of running packs in front of me, included in those packs were runners that I've raced against in other races this year. With my racing experience growing, I've been able to use that experience to gauge how well I'm racing by using other runners as a reference point during a race.

For example, I could see that Bob Strout was ahead of me by about 30 seconds, and unless he has improved in the past month or so, I knew that I could eventually catch him like I've done in a number of other races this year. Even though the distance between him and I grew by a few seconds over the first 2 miles, I just took my time, ran my race, and started reeling in the miles and runners.

The even faster Mile 2 came and went in 5:56.

The end of Mile 2 was the start of a series of climbs on the course. I was feeling good and right on my target pace of 6's. I love hills and this was where I made up a lot of ground on a couple of packs today.

I noticed that the water that I had taken at the first water stop was sloshing around in my stomach. During, and ever since Sugarloaf, I've been having trouble taking fluids while running. I'll need to focus on proper hydration before and during a race going forward. Hopefully, this doesn't become a recurring issue.

The top of the first hill ended at the 5K mark (about 18:25 split) and, unlike Sugarloaf, each climb was followed by a nice downhill. I was running alongside the 5th place female at this point. Since she wasn't wearing a GPS she asked me if we had crossed the 5K mark yet. I told her yes, gave her the current pace, and also the elapsed time. I asked her for her number and she fell back a little bit...

I was only able to pick off individual runners for the rest of the race, but this kept me going without feeling that bad. A surge of energy followed each time I caught and moved on past another runner.

The temps were steadily climbing all morning and it was probably in the low 60's by this point, and I could definitely feel it. Fortunately, relief was provided by a lot of tree-cover for most of the race course. Since I could only take a small sip of water at each water stop, and there were plenty of them on this well organized course, I began to dump most of the water on myself to cool off.

Before the start of the final major climb at the bottom of Mile 4 (6:01), Matt S's. friend Denis, who lived in the area, came trotting up next to me and introduced himself. He knew about my sub-3 marathon from 5 days prior and jokingly said that the marathon was probably catching up to me. This was partly true, but I was ready to stretch it out a little bit more to see if this was totally true. Since he was familiar with the area, Denis told me that it would be rolling hills for the next mile or so. I thanked him and took off.


I kicked it into another gear to pound out the final climb, and at the top of the climb was...Reno? He was off to my left, standing there, cheering on the runners. I quickly shot him a look and asked if he was out of the race. He said that his head wasn't in it today and called it a day.

I crossed Mile 5 in 6:05. Not too bad considering that the biggest climb in the race was part of that mile.

Another surprise greeted me at this point. It was Mike S. and I was reeling him in way too easily. Something was wrong. I passed him doing about 6:20's, and was hoping that we could help each other out for the rest of the race, but he was falling behind even further. I later discovered that he received a side stitch a couple of miles into the race and had to walk it off. He wasn't the same after that and had to gut out the rest of the run. We'll get them next time, Mike.

Mile 6 ended up being my fastest mile, completing it in 5:54. I also managed an unofficial 10K PR of 37:10. So much for tired legs.

Newly minted GLRR member, Cody F., was the only other member that I was still aware of that I had not caught or seen since the start of the race. I had overtaken him around the two mile mark at the Westford 5K, so I was expecting to eventually catch him during this race.

It wasn't until about 6.5 that I finally saw Cody (not that hard given that he's well over 6 ft tall). I slowly reeled him in and gave him a word of encouragement as I passed by. I don't think he heard me though, since he was wearing his Ipod. My only advice to him going forward is to try to run races without the music. Getting rid of the music has made a huge difference for me on my training runs. Helps you focus mentally, but to each his own I guess.

I began a mini-duel with another runner at around the same point that I passed Cody. I had caught up to this other runner and I tried to make a move to pass him. He responded by picking up his pace. He was the first runner today to challenge me! Let's get it on!

We ran stride-for-stride for about a quarter of a mile. I finally decided to give him back his lead as there was still plenty of running left to do, including the fast track finish where I knew I could kick pass him if I needed to. I always find it harder to lead than to follow, so I obliged his dominance over me...for now.

The final water stop appeared a little before the Mile 7 mark, and I quickly debated whether to grab something from the table. I didn't want to fall further behind this other runner, and the water table was also on the opposite side of a substantial tangent in the road. I decided to go for it in and grabbed a cup full of water and dumped it on myself. The shock of the cool water gave me a much needed jolt, and the surge helped me finally pass the other runner, and Mile 7 (6;03), for good.

With a little less than a half-mile to go, I saw that I had a chance at picking off one more runner! I noticed that the runner was struggling to get up the final hill before the last left hand turn that led onto the track (he also looked back at me, a no-no in racing). Being the opportunistic "bastid" that I am, I had no choice, but to kick it into my final gear and burn some rubber on the back stretch of the track.

I easily passed him and finished the final 200 meters with a nice kick (but knew it wasn't my best). I ran the final half mile at about a 5:42 pace.

The finish was without comic relief though. I have now officially joined EJ as a member of the "First Female Finisher" club. For whatever reason, when I came around the final turn on the track, the race officials thought I was the first female (first female finished about 10 seconds behind me, and behind three other males). They brought out the finisher's tape and was trying to get me to cross in front of it. I signaled them to move out of the way, and they quickly rolled up the tape.

Maybe I should have flashed them.

(Two Thumbs Up!)


Awesome to see all of the green out there today! Keep it going! Next GP is Rhody 5K on June 6th!

Also great to chat it up with the Facebook gang!

Time to rest up and begin a fresh assault on a sub-17 at the Good Times series.

(The Interweb is a wonderful thing)

Place Time Pace Name Age

56 42:10 5:40 John Barbour 56

90 45:13 6:04 Jason Bui 29

97 45:38 6:08 Andrew Bianchen 41

102 46:01 6:11 Cody Freihofer 22

129 47:36 6:23 Michael Shanahan 22

137 48:10 6:28 Ken Jacobson 54

142 48:31 6:31 Andre Chandonnet 54

162 49:40 6:40 Fil Faria 45

168 50:10 6:44 Mark Coddaire 49

169 50:16 6:45 Chip Mann 58

185 50:43 6:49 Matthew Story 36

192 51:03 6:51 Glenn Stewart 59

222 52:43 7:05 Jim Stronach 53

235 53:27 7:11 David Pecchia 47

246 54:06 7:16 Tom Amiro 60

274 55:54 7:30 Michael Brodeur 49

275 55:57 7:31 Liane Pancoast 52

277 56:13 7:33 Melanie Hire 48

305 57:48 7:46 John Christensen 47

306 57:51 7:46 Steve Kanaracus 65

336 59:37 8:00 Paul Kelly 47

356 1:00:55 8:11 Gary See 63

390 1:03:42 8:33 Jim Scotti 48

424 1:06:27 8:55 Nancy Dorn 51

443 1:08:49 9:14 Jonathan MacKenzie 71

527 1:28:46 11:55 James Shelton 55


  1. Great Blog man, We'll get em next time (Mike S) :-)

  2. Good to see you on here. Let me know if you want to join the 365 Day Race :)