Li'l Rhody Runaround 8mi trail race - 47:32 (5:56) 3rd place - 2nd place officially
It's been a long time since I've updated the old blog so here goes. I haven't been running much lately and I certainly wouldn't call what I'm doing training. I averaged 20.5 mpw for the month of September and 37.5 mpw for the month of October. Even though I'm not in great shape, I'm always excited to race here on the Burlingame trails.
Jonny took the race out hard and had a gap of 5 seconds or so down the dirt road in the first mile. I lead the chase group and I made contact with him as we entered the trail in the Kimball Bird Sanctuary. I ran just behind him on the sandy trails. We exited the trails and dumped out onto the field by the campground and Eric Blake shot to the lead. I let him go for a second and then decided that I could match his pace and sped up to get behind him. Eric lead but seemed confused by the roads and the median section with the flags on it, so I took the lead. I was in first as we entered back into the woods on the long straight trail section. He passed me again near the long bridge and got a 2 second gap. I glanced back on the "s" turn and could see a bunch of followers closing in on us. I caught back up to Eric on a very slight downhill before the stonewall and crazy bridge section before Vin Gormley Bridge. Eric was running slow on these bridges so I jumped down off the bridge onto some rocks and then jumped in front of him into the lead. I lead once again through Vin Gormley and down the long bridge and by Klondike Rd. I kept the lead running up the hill and could feel 2 runners a second behind me. I figured it was Blake and maybe Bob Jackman, I didn't dare look back. I was working hard to keep my lead but still felt fairly controlled. I grabbed a cup of water at the water stop and managed to drink an ounce or two and then dumped out onto Buckeye Brook Rd. My time was in the mid 25's I think, which is way off my usual 24 flat at this point.
Two runners pulled up on my outside shoulder on the road and I glanced back expecting to see Eric, but it was Bronson and another guy I didn't recognize. I held my lead going back into the woods and up the Rhody ledges. I was feeling pretty gassed on the biggest climb on the course but I was still leading with Bronson and the other guy hot on my tail. I saw the Ornstein crew cheering like crazy on the rocky section. On the straight away with the exposed cement culvert the guy (from URI) blasted to the lead. I hung onto him as we passed Scott Mason snapping pictures near the School House Pond trail. Bronson went by me right after that. I tried to keep those guys in contact but I was starting to suffer and they were moving well. I would reel them in a little bit on technical spots and little downhills, but I knew they were too strong. Finally, I reached Kings Factory Rd and they were really flying putting a lot of distance on me. I glanced back and didn't see anyone close by. My calves and left hip were killing me on the road and I felt like I was just slapping and pounding and it was quite painful. I glanced back again as I started to head downhill past Gagnon's old house and saw Matthew Walker a good distance back. I gritted my teeth and dug down to finish the race in what I thought was 3rd place. I hit the line in 47:30 but SNERRO gave me the 2 sec bonus they are so famous for in the final results. Officially I got 2nd because the URI kid didn't register.
I am fairly pleased with the result. I came into the race with lot's of doubts in my fitness. I was able to race to the best of my ability today and that's pretty satisfying. I won my age group, Jonny was top master and Pard was top 70+ runner. That's a Hammett sweep even if I didn't get the win. I would really like to win this race again some day. It might have to wait until I turn 40. I'm planning to try and pull a Galoob then and train hard when I become a master. We'll see, 2 years is a long way off. By then Matthew Walker will be a senior in high school and will be an absolute beast and there'll be countless other young bucks ready to race fast. It will be a tough challenge.