Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Doyle's Emerald Necklace 5 Miler

One of my favorite races of the year, the Doyle's Emerald Necklace 5 Miler.  It is one of my favorite races mostly because of the after party.  The race itself is OK.  The course is fair, not super fast, but not super difficult.  The easy parts come near the end, which is nice.

I have run this race three times before.  2011, I ran horrible, but was in good shape.  2012, I just ran it for the fun of it and ran just under 7 min pace.  Last year, I had run 58+ miles on the North South Trail the day before the race.  So, I was looking forward to giving the race in honest effort.  I felt I was in pretty good shape, but haven't raced on the roads in a while.  When you are racing on the trails and snowshoes, it is a whole different animal.  You are changing pace constantly working through obstacles and trying not to kill yourself with a major fall.

A road race on the other hand, is all about getting in a good rhythm and holding on to a pace that is just a little too fast and hoping things don't blow up, especially when I certainly do not focus on the shorter race, it makes me feel even more like a fish out of water.  The positive note leading up to Doyle's this year was that I had raced a lot, although on the trails/snowshoes, at least I had that race mentality fresh on the brain.

So, how did the race go?  Pretty well.  I had set a goal of sub 28 mins.  I planned on going out conservative, which works well on this course, as the first part is more up hill than the second half.  If you have some legs left through 3 miles, you can make up some time and come home strong.

I ended up passing a few fast starters in the first mile or so and found myself in pretty much the same position I would finish. I was passed late in the race by one runner, but also passed another guy when I was passed.

I felt like I just held onto a solid pace the whole time, but knew going into the last mile that I was over the pace I need for sub 28....fortunately for me, that's where the fast mile is and also being passed got me moving again.

5:23 - 27:51 Official Time, 11th place out of 1667 Finishers

Check out Scott Mason's Photos!

A runner finishes and cheers on his friends with beer(s) in hand!

Now, Doyle's is all bout the after party.  A fun outside block party with free beer and good read more of the particulars of that, head over to The Sweaty Beer Tent!

Next races for a while.  I guess the next time I toe the line will be in The Quahog will be the first time I actually run in one of my races!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Strava Segment Hunting

The trails in Rhode Island are finally clear, other than some mud and standing water here and there.  So what does that mean?  That Strava segment records in trails all over the state are starting to change hands.  Whether it be because the runner happened upon a segment and found out about it when they uploaded a run or they were on a full out attack of a particular segment...either way the runner that had their segment stolen will probably go out there and try to get it back.  And so it starts, a war on is a domino effect really.

Last year this happened in Big River.  It was pretty much some of the TNT guys versus some of the WTAC guys.  All in good fun of course and we don't just attack other club members, our own club members are fair game as well.

I recall one night attacking a particular segment, knowing I hammered it good, going home, seeing that I got the record, only to get an email less than a half an hour later stating it was taken from me!

This theme seems to have started this year already.

Chris Garvin took down Jonny Hammett's Ryan Park, Ryan Rail Trail Segment by 21 seconds on 4/7/14.  Jonny had held that record since May of 2013.

Over the last two days I have taken down three segments in Big River.  Two of these just happened and the last one was near the end of my run and I felt good, so I attacked it.  I did not remember what the time on it was and had no clue if it was mine until I got home.  The previous owner Chris Garvin commented on my run later that night.   I think I accidentally declared war.

My new Segment Records...

  • 4/9/14 - Hopkins Hill Road Climb (actually a trail) held previously by Scott Mason who ran 2:55 in October, I ran 2:46.
  • 4/10/14 - Reverse Lollipop Loop held previously by Scott Mason who ran 8:35 in October, I ran 8:20
  • 4/10/14 - Old Lot to New Finish (I attacked this one) held previously by Chris Garvin who ran 2:25 in September, I ran 2:09.

I am sure as the Spring and Summer months go on segment records will come and go, they are everywhere, not just on the trails.  There are some specific segments that I have on my "wish list" how about you?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 South County 4th Season Trail Series

Well, the 2014 South County 4th Season Trail Series has come to a close.  This is the second year that I completed the series and my 2nd series victory.  Both years I was certainly not the fastest guy out there, but I haven't missed a race and I am pretty consistent.  So I have been pretty lucky to get these wins.

Here are my finishing places for all of my races over the 2 Garvin Format.

And a brief recap of what sticks out for each of these races.

Race #1 - Old Mountain Field 5k Trail Race - 1/4/14 (Scott Mason Photos)
  • Ran the Boston Marathon Course three days before this race
  • Snow and cold...single digits.
  • Felt oddly relaxed and made a big move at 2 miles to beat much faster competition.
  • Won a mixed pack of Samuel Adams Winter Beer
Right after taking the lead.

Race #2 - Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race - 1/12/14 (Scott Mason Photos)
  • was everywhere.
  • Fast start, Ryan Wooley took off quick..he has run 30+ seconds than me in a road 5k as of late so it was a good plan.  I was content to take second about a mile in.
  • Great day down at the beach
  • Won some BBC bombers
Group shot post-race.

Race #3 - Belleville Pond 10k Trail Race - 2/9/14 (Scott Mason Photos)
  • SNOW!! Lots and lots...
  • Horrible Trail Conditions
  • Strip tease and overheating
  • I miss that glove
  • Long cooldown across the pond
  • Another bomber from BBC won
Trail recon the day before the race!

Race #4 - Brrr-lingame 10 Miler - 3/22/14 (Scott Mason Photos)
  • DIRT!!
  • Beautiful day
  • Fast start did me in
  • Feeling like hell and looking at my watch to see we had only run 2.5 miles...
  • Fun day overall
A small leap for know the rest.

Race #6 - Big River 1/2 Marathon - 4/5/14  (Scott Mason Photos)

  • Flag Thief!
  • Water crossings!
  • I saw Greg Hammett FALL! I didn't know that could happen! Well...I should say heard him fall.
  • Ran faster than last year...goal accomplished!
  • Great to get back on the Big River Trails.
There was a little mud...unless you tip-toed around it.

Now that the series is over, I turn my focus to getting ready for the Vermont 100 with a stop at the Pineland Farm 50 Miler before that.

In the meantime I will be preparing for the 1st Annual? Quahog Mile.  Please share this event with all your friends!  Post about it, link to it etc!  It would be much appreciated.  Pre-entry is ONLY $10 and there will be $1250 in prize money!  I hope to see some of you there!

Print and share!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 Big River Trail Races

The 5th and final race in the South County 4th Season Trail Races is this weekend and is at my favorite location to run trails in Rhode Island, Big River Management Area.

This is a great trail race and there is a 1/2 Marathon and 10k option.  The trails are awesome.  The terrain varies throughout the race from some rocky technical trails with some decent short climbs and then there are twisty smooth single-track sections that you can run forever and ever!

Also, the 1/2 marathon will count in the RI Triple Crown of Trail Racing scoring!

Some people may have gone off course last year, but I assure you that the RD will be making every possible effort so that does not happen again.  But it is a trail race, you need to look out for those flags and make sure you are going the correct way!

Check out last year's 1/2 Marathon Results and 10k Results

Check out some of the stories from last year's race and SIGN UP today!

Some sights...