JFK 50 Miler

Dec 5th, 2010 - Running Party - Nashua ---> Lawrence - 27.1

Day 339 - I can't think of a better way to end the road racing season then to assemble a relay team and have that team represent your club at Mill Cities.

The Mill Cities Relay is a chance for the clubs of the Mill Cities Alliance to claim final bragging rights before the winter hibernation.

I figured that the coed open division was the best shot for GLRR to place in this year's race, so that's what I set my sights on when GLRR started assembling teams. Unfortunately, 42 other team captains had the same idea and the coed division was stacked from top-to-bottom this year.

The average times for the top 3 coed teams over the past few years have been in the range of 2:40 to 2:50, so that was my target range when I assembled my team.

By the start of race morning our team consisted of Katy A., Jill T., Mike S., Fil, and myself. All of whom I knew would be very capable of hitting the target range as a team. I actually had us projected to finish around 2:47.

I picked up the always busy Katy (thanks!) on race morning and drove up to TA1 in Hudson. Katy would be waiting here for me to finish Leg 1 around 8:33AM, give or take a few seconds. Jill, Mike, and Fil were given their assignments and would be in position at their respective TA's (hopefully).

We changed our plan so many times in the days leading up to MCR that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we weren't all waiting at the start to run leg 1. In the end though, this rotation was exactly what we needed to hit or beat our projected time, and have a shot at picking up a Brick.

Leg 1 - 5.6 - Jason

Leg 1 starts at the Nashua YMCA 5.6 miles away from TA1, so I hitched a ride with Scotty G's team to get there by 7:30AM.

I warmed up with my ex-best frenemy EJ a few minutes before the start of the race and we eventually stumbled across every other runner that we knew. I also had a chance to chat it up with JJ, a member of the team favored to win the whole thing. Actually, the men's open race was JJ's team's to lose, so it was just a matter of how many minutes they would shatter the course record by.

My projected pace for this leg was 6 flat, which would get me to the finish in 33 minutes. The leg profile is rolling with only a slight climb a mile into it, and then a gentle down hill to the finish chute at the Sears warehouse.

The weather was definitely on the cold side, but it was perfect once you got moving. There was hardly any wind and if there was any it was a tail wind.

The lead pack bolted out of the start with the drop of the brick a little before 8AM. I quickly settled into a 5:48 pace through the first mile-and-a-half, but I felt like I was going slower than I really was mainly due to the fact that everyone else in front of me was going really fast!

My pace crept up to 5:53 by the time I got over the bumps in the course through three miles. I was still steadily passing other teams at this point, and would pass only one more team before mile 4. I figured that we were now within the top 15 teams overall and still in contention for a top three showing in the coed division.

Little did I know that we were already out of the running by the time I completed my leg in exactly 33 minutes.

Upon further review of the Zapruder films taken during the race, I discovered that we were actually in our final finish order in the coed division about halfway through my leg! Not to get ahead of myself, but to make my point, we were already in 4th place before the rest of my team even had a chance to run!

Please bear with me as I go over this in Oliver Stone fashion.

(Don't blink)

In the following frame taken at Mile 3.45, you can see the winners of the coed division (170):

(Brendan slept through this race and his team still won)

In frame two, taken at the same exact location less than a minute later is the second place coed team (136):

(Back, and to the left... back, and to the left... back, and to the left. You can clearly see the crazy looking shooter behind him.)

I wasn't able to find conclusive evidence of the 3rd place team in front of us at this point, but like Oliver Stone, just take my word for it. It really did happen. We were in 4th and I take full responsibility.

(Good going, Fil) 

Leg 2 - 4.75 - Katy

The part human, part running machine was ready to roll when it was "its" turn. I had Katy projected for a 6 minute mile on arguably the toughest leg not named leg 4. Leg 2 has two good size climbs before it reaches the end at the vocational school.

Katy ended up running this leg in sub 6's (~28 minutes), so we were at least one minute ahead of projected time. She handed it off to our other fembot (Jill) for her 2.5 mile leg 3 track workout to the boathouse.


The only other blunder on the nearly perfect day was once again my own doing. Katy and I went for a cool down after she finished her leg. We ran on the course with the plan to meet Jill during her own cool down.

Katy and I went for about a mile before deciding to turn back and wait for Jill at the school. Somewhere between the start of the cool down and the school I managed to pull a Jason and lose my keys. Idiot.

Katy waited in the car (see Fil, that's why I never lock my doors!) while I retraced my steps.

About 20 minutes later, and right before I was about to go re-run the cool down route, Jill came bounding back into the school parking lot with her usual bright smile. I told her that I was heading out to look for my keys.

To my amazement and against all odds (seriously, what were the odds), Jill produced a set of keys that looked amazingly like the pair I had just lost! She had found and picked them up on the course during her cool down, not realizing that they were my keys! She was just going to drop them off at the local police station on her way home, never to be seen by me ever again! Thanks for finding them, Jill!

Leg 3 - 2.5 - Jill

Oh, not only was she being a good samaritan, she also ran sub 6:30's on her leg, overtaking a couple of teams! Thanks for crushing them, Jill!

Katy and Jill had more important things to do (like catch a plane and take care of the kids) than get drunk with the boys at the Claddagh. Katy and Jill took off together from the school in the opposite direction of Lawrence. I took off in search of Mike and Fil somewhere down river.

Leg 4 - 9.5 - Mike

I first heard of Mike's name when we ran on the same MCR team last year, but I definitely learned more about him and his abilities this year.

Mike and I have had a couple of great runs together over the past year. He kicked my butt at New Bedford and I returned the favor at Bridge of Flowers. He was a no brainer when I needed a long distance guy with some speed.

He projected himself to run between 6:20 and 6:25 for this leg, but I knew better and told him he'd be closer to 6:15 (this was actually based on his performance at New Bedford where he ran a 6:18 pace overall).

(don't make me say I told ya so!)

He had the right strategy though. Treating this leg as a progression run was the perfect way to tackle it, as evidenced by the end result:

(I told ya so!)

My only mistake was that I should have predicted 5:50's. He would have easily matched that too!

We were now at least a full minute ahead of schedule, with only the anchor leg remaining.

Leg 5 - 4.75 - Fil

Most of the readers of this blog know that I've been pretty harsh on Fil all year. I call it comedic relief.

There was no one else I would have picked to run the anchor leg on my team other than my 365 Day Race partner in crime. "That's why they call it the anchor leg".

Actually, there was no one else that wanted to run the final leg on my team, so I had to settle with Fil.

I ran this leg last year and knew that it could be tough with the hill in the middle and the chronic head wind down the final stretch, so I projected Fil to run this leg at a 6:30 clip.

Deric and I did manage to catch a glimpse of the galloping gent about two miles in and gave him some encouraging words like, move your fast ass, Fil!

There's only a few words that could properly describe the performance that Fil put in today: drunk, angry, dwarf, running, like, a, mad, man, trying, to, prove, me, wrong, after, forgetting, to, provide, me, support, at, JFK.

And wrong did he prove me.

Fil came down the final long stretch with the clock reading 2:43 and change. It would be another two minutes before he came flying into the finish with an official time of 2 hrs 45 minutes and 49 seconds!

(Now we're even for JFK)

Fil averaged a whopping 6:10 per mile on his run! Way to stick it to me, Fil! Thanks!

Our run was good for 16th team overall (205 finished), and like I proved previously, a disheartening 4th place finish in the coed division, one position and 75 seconds short of garnering a brick for our efforts.

Wait, did we just kill ourselves for a ****ing brick?

Oh well, time to start assembling next year's team. Now where to find a five pack of HGH online?

Congrats to all of the GLRR teams that ran at MCR! Let's re-group and give it another GO next year! 

As expected, I had a blast seeing all of the runners and clubs at the Claddagh. See most of you guys in a few months at Boston!

This 67th race of the season for me is also most likely my last race of the season. Now to take a few days off from running and begin to ramp up for some serious Boston 2011 training...aw, ****!


  1. This was a pretty tough division. You guys had a pretty good team and just missed second. Getting first would have been hard...you almost need an elite athlete to do it. I imagine Alex Taylor ran 5:00 pace for the long leg for SRR...and that puts 10 minutes on someone who can do 6:00 pace right there. I think he is trying to qualify for the marathon trials.

    I think it comes out to 27.1 miles by the way. Mill Cities never updated the website when they altered the course a few years ago.

  2. Yeah. I knew we weren't catching the SRR team, but who the hell is GCS? :)

    I will adjust the mileage accordingly. Thanks!

  3. I heard someone say he ran 5:18 for his leg. Must have been an off day.

  4. Hey, i could have used a drink when you saw me...lol

  5. EX best frenemy? You dumped me too? Thanks for that bud, any more rejection and this jackwagon will have to chug on over to mamby pamby land and see if they have any self-confidence left for me.

  6. Fil will give you some bro love on my behalf the next time he sees you. The same Fil that now fulfills that role that you once occupied.

  7. GCS - third place coed open team - Leg 1 - BJ Bottomley


    You can try to catch us. But, you will fail. :)

  8. OK then, chugging on over... :(

  9. Thanks for the link, Mike. No thanks for opening up fresh wounds. Got any salt?

  10. Fil should still have the salt he didn't give to you at JFK50 if you really want some.