Monday, December 16, 2013

Run for Hope 10k

This Sunday, 12/15/13, was the 30th Run for Hope 10k in Newport.  The race has changed names and courses over the years, but to me, it will always be called the Run for Hope.

I have a love/hate relationship with this race.  Most of that stems from the fact that the race organizer refuses to get the race accurately measured.  The course is pretty close to 10k now-a-days, but still short, in my opinion.

This year the "hate" part of the relationship came out a bit more...I was tipped off that somewhere in the deep depths of the Internet there was a blurb that the Run for Hope 10k, would be delayed 1 hour, because of the possible storm affecting RI, Saturday into Sunday.  While I applaud the organizers for making a quick decision and deciding to delay the race, they failed in actually TELLING ANYONE!

The timing company, Spitler Race Systems, had a short post on their Facebook page about this delay.  I asked them if the race organizers would be sending out an email to those that pre-registered, they said "NO" and they used a capital N-O.

I thought this was insane, sending a mass email out through an online registration website is as easy as 1-2-3...actually it is easier than that!

So, I started sharing this craziness with everyone I knew, hoping to get the word out.  And it is a good thing I did, because not a single person that I told was aware that the race was delayed!

After dealing with all that bull shit Saturday afternoon, I then had bigger fish to fry, I had the Tuesday Night Turtles Christmas party that night...I needed to somehow get through the night without sabotaging my race.  I pretty much accomplished this...I limited my beer consumption, BUT the 12 espresso shots and being awake until 2:30 am and waking up still wired from said espresso shots, put my confidence level pretty low!  Man, I am glad they delayed the race an hour! But man, if I didn't find out the day before I would have REALLY been pissed!  :)

Have you ever dropped an espresso shot into a Guinness....its pretty good!

The weather was looking good, as I had expected, and I arrived at Rogers High School with dry roads and minimal wind.  The parking lot was looking a bit scarce, this race usually attracts over 400 runners, but the lot was basically empty.

I was feeling a bit better after a short warm-up and was ready to get to business.  Prior to race day I had some goals laid out before me to run under 35 mins and to place somewhere in the top-5.  I knew the WTAC folks would be out in force and was looking forward to racing against them again.  Last year we had a great battle for the team title, this year there were not many Turtles in Newport and the WTAC would surely run away with the title.  So that left me to my own race.

The race course in Newport is pretty straight forward.  A slightly downhill first mile, twisty Ocean Road, some minor bumps and more twisting after 3 miles, a slight uphill from 5-5.5 then a short steep down and an uphill last two-tenths.

Standing on the line it was clear it was going to be me racing against the WTAC, there was no one else there that looked to be competing for the win and surprisingly no crazy kids went out at sub 5 min pace to only die 400 meters in.  The horn blew and as expected Mike Galoob went to the front with Chris Garvin.  I settled into 3rd place and tried to get into a groove.  I felt myself catching up to Chris and finally made an effort to bridge the gap at 2 miles or so.  Once I did that, I committed myself to a duel that would last the rest of the race. 

The Start! Photo by Jana Walker

I got in front of Chris shortly after catching him and started pushing the pace.  Any little downhill or uphill I would push.  If I felt Chris "too close" I would push.  This kept me going and I know that Chris is a bit faster than I am and did not want to be near him late in the race.  To be honest I didn't think I would be anywhere near him in the race at all, so this was a bit of a surprise and I was going to do everything I could to beat him.

A bit after the 4 mile mark Chris was beside me and for the first time since I passed him, I let myself fall in behind him.  I didn't let this last long though, because I felt better when I was pushing the pace, so I went back to doing that.  We passed 5 miles pretty much stride for stride but in the next 200 meters, Chris somehow got the slightest of gaps, it was enough that when we made the left hand turn onto Carroll Avenue I felt like I lost contact.  For mere seconds I gave up on 2nd place.  I was content that I had run as well as I had and didn't care about Chris anymore.  Well, that feeling went away quick and I got my head out of my ass and started chasing again.  With only one more left hand turn and the steep downhill/uphill combo ahead of us, I was running out of time.  I tried to run the downhill as quick as possible but I wasn't gaining any ground.  I had to yell at Chris near the bottom of the hill as a cop almost sent him the wrong way.  This got me a tad closer, but Chris ran the final uphill better than I did, so I had to settle for third.

The WTAC guys all ran great, taking 6 out of the top 7 spots.  I felt like the outsider that happen to show up to their group workout!

Of course I was very pleased with my effort, but disappointed that I couldn't match Chris's final move.  I am especially happy to finally feel like I am back to being able to race well after having an injury full summer and look forward to racing well in the upcoming 4th Season Trail Series starting on 1/4/14!

Here is my history at the Run for Hope...

2013 - 3rd place - 34:13
2012 - 4th place - 33:49
2011 - 2nd place - 35:02
2010 - 3rd place - 35:29
2009 - 3rd place - 34:04
2008 - 4th place - 33:56
2007 - 5th place - 33:36
2006 - 7th place - 35:11
2005 - 5th place - 34:09
2004 - 7th place - 33:50
2003 - Didn't Run
2002 - Didn't Run
2001 - 18th place - 38:17
2000 - 8th place - 36:24

Check out the Full Results!

Friday, November 22, 2013

2013 RI 6 Hour Ultra & Relay and Li'l Rhody Runaround

The 5th Annual RI 6 Hour was on 11/10/13 and was a great success.  It was the first year that I had over 100 runners enter the ultra and I had a record number (93) toe the line on race day!  With a near record amount of relay teams, at 23, it was by far the largest the race has been.

You can check out a story about the race on Level Renner....

You can even check out a short video that was created...

The week after the 6 hour, I toed the line at the Li'l Rhody Runaround 8 Mile Trail Race.  This was the first race in the RI Triple Crown of Trail Racing.  It was also the first race since March that I was healthy enough to actually RACE.  I was excited about being able to try and actually compete after being injured in the Spring and spending all Summer getting healthy and now finally getting into shape.  I knew that I was not in tip top shape, but I knew that I would give it a go and hope for the best!

In the end, I went out too fast, struggled a little bit to get into a groove, but then was able to focus on racing and trying to catch Jonny Hammett for the last 4 miles.  I failed at catching him, but was happy enough with the outcome.  I have run this race 5 times and this was my 2nd fastest that is encouraging.

2002-1:02:52 - 84th
2008-50:39 - 6th
2009-49:30 - 9th
2010-49:03 - 5th
2013-49:29 - 8th
Next up....the Newport Christmas Run for Hope Almost 10k on December 15th.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pisgah Mountain 23k Trail Race

I haven't written a blog post in a long time and I have not raced in a long time.  I have been IN some races since "breaking myself" back in March, but for the most part they were all medium efforts...get though the race without hurting myself etc. 

The last two years I have run the 50k at the Pisgah Mountain Trail Races and I have enjoyed the race, so this year I found myself finally getting back into shape and thought I would head up to Chesterfield, NH and give the shorter 23k race a go. 

When I first thought about this, I was thinking of going there and just running very conservative and enjoy the trails...but as the race got closer and I finally got in one run over 10 miles, I thought what the hell, I will go out there and give it a go.

So on my 30 mile or so weeks and one long run...I took Jonny Hammett's bait at the start of the race as he flew down Old Chesterfield Road at sub 6 min pace, however as soon as we hit the first climb I knew I would not be able to run side by side with Jonny on this day and that was OK.

When we finally reached the trail, I found myself in third place in the 23k and ran there, alone, for most of the race.

I pushed hard throughout...getting up the grueling ups as well as I could and taking advantage of the flat sections and the downs that weren't too wet and slippery.  There was a pretty good amount of water and mud out on the course, we were told that the area received about 5" of rain on Thursday.  There were even some bees on course to give us a little sting if we didn't move quickly enough.

I thought before the race that I could run around 1:45 and in the end I finished with a 1:45:38, pretty good guess considering I have never run that course before!

I ended up finishing in 4th place, getting passed with about 3 miles to go for the 3rd position.  I picked up some Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies with pecans and cranberries for my effort.

Turtle teammate Patrick Quinn took his first shot at Pisgah and finished well in 2:00:27 and another Turtle, John Peabody ran the 50k again and finished 3 mins faster than 2012 in 6:55:20.  See FULL RESULTS!

Post race TNT fun was had at the Gardner Ale House in Gardner, MA

Belgian Triple

Now that Pisgah is over, I look forward to being able to get in some higher mileage weeks so I can start racing at the level I was in the Winter and up is the 5th race in the NE Runner Pub Series, a 5k in Cambridge, I don't have a clue what to expect in a road 5k right now...but I guess we will soon find out!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rhode Island "Sea to Summit" Training Run

On 3/3/13 I joined 6 other runners for the 1st Annual? running of the Rhode Island Sea to Summit Run.  Mike Galoob had mentioned this concept to me a couple of months ago, but when his much anticipated Big River 1/2 Marathon was postponed because of snow, this group run was quickly assembled.  Maps were emailed back and forth until finally Mike came up with the "perfect route" well...the shortest I guess. 

I have always been a big fan of point to point adventure type runs, I have recently run from the Connecticut Border to the Narragansett Beach and have pieced together the NST with multiple 20-30 mile runs.  When you throw in a fun group of runners the run is that much more fun, like last year's Epic Trail Run that Dave Dunham put together.

I got to the meeting spot a bit early and added on about 2.5 miles as I was looking at getting about 50 miles for the weekend, running 20 the day before.  This was my first "big weekend" building up to a summer 100 miler and it went pretty well other then being a bit tired on the last couple of climbs of what would be just over 29 miles of running.  To get a greater feel for the run, check out the below write-ups.  It is a lot easier to post links than to write my own long story.  There are even a few pictures in there!  Enjoy!

Run organizer Mike Galoob's take on the run.

Jonny Hammet's story

Muddy's story

Jeff Walker's story

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Post-Blizzard Run

Got out to Goddard Park to get some sort of run in despite the almost 2 feet of snow that fell from "Blizzard Nemo"!

The park seemed to be the best bet, because I knew they plowed and I knew there would be minimal to no traffic...both pluses.

I took a bunch of pics to share the experience with you...yes YOU.

Panorama of road in Goddard

Panorama of beach

The pics below are in the park and the road to the park...

The pics below here are downtown East Greenwich...Fat Belly's was open and PACKED!

I know you are here...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pre-Blizzard Post

Snow is coming...and lots of it.  Looks like we should be getting 10-20++ inches of snow here in Warwick.  Should be a blast...or not.

Stuff that has happened since my last post...I ran the Sidehiller Snowshoe Race and the Belleville Pond 10k Trail Race, you can see DJ Principe's Race Summary at the TNT page.  Both races went pretty well, although I was zapped of energy at the trail race after running Sidehiller the day before.

Sidehiller Start - Joe Viger Photo

I also went up to Canada and ran on the Sulphur Springs course, as I am scheduled to run that race in May...although, I am just not into doing that race right now, so it is pending at best.  I may choose another race closer to home.

This weekend is the Brrr-lingmae 10 Mile Trail Race...which will end up being a crazy run through some deep snow.  I have no urge on running right I hope this race will bring me out of this funk, although it is going to take a lot more then a race to do that.  I was able to get out and get 8 miles in last night without being too blah about it, so that is a step in the right direction!

After this race, we have a longish run planned on the North South Trail and then?  The final race in the South County 4th Season Trail Race Series conflicts with another race that I wanted to do, so I will have to see how that all plays out.

I am hoping to get in a descent run today before the storm is in full force, but running alone right now will be a tall order...

I have been working on the RI 6 Hour plans and also the Run with the Beavers Trail Race plans, so news on those races should come out soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A snowy run and another race.

Since Rhode Island received a bit of snow just before the New Year, I was able to get a few good snowy run shots on some runs and even got in a snowshoe run on New Year's Day.  See the some of the photos below.

Also this past weekend the Turtles were out in force at the Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race, which is part of the South County 4th Season Trail Series.  I wrote a story and put it up on the Tuesday Night Turtle Blog.

These photos are from Warwick City Park, home of the Rhode Island 6 Hour Ultramarathon & Relay

Warwick City Park Beach

RI 6 Hour loop

View from the loop

Strapped on the snowshoes for a bit

View from my car