Monday, May 18, 2009

Did a sweet trail run on Sunday

Trail running is not my thing. I tend to turn ankles, fall or just get tuckered out. The plan was to hook up with 4 other ROAGites in Groton at the end of Cow Pond Road to run the trails. I had planned on racing Sunday but family commitments prevented me from doing so.

The trails we were to run I've run before but only in snowshoes. In fact it the same set of trails that my wife and I got lost on and I had to ditch the SS and run back on the roads to get the car. For some reason my wife has not gone snowshoeing since. Go figure!

The 5 of us headed out and quickly got ourselves up onto an ester that was a lot of fun. After doing a loop and retracing some steps we were heading across the street for some trails that were new to me. These trails were made by mtn bikers and it showed. They were very technical and were constantly turning. This trail also featured many rock formation climbs and descents. I was very nervous on the rocks because rock, moss and rain make for some very poor footing.

I managed to stay upright the entire run but one person wasn't so lucky. David K. went crashing to the ground right in front of me. He popped up quickly and was uninjured. We finished up with 5.6 miles of trail running in 54 minutes. Not fast but it was nice to be out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm a sore loser!!

Photo by Kristin Wainwright

That's right, I hate to lose and who doesn't? I believe that running is all about putting it all on the line and when the gun goes off it's about how much pain you are willing to endure to beat the guys near you. Yeah there will always be people much better then you, but they are also running their own race against people near them. So it's all about the group your running against.

I think that Chip timing is a good idea when it comes to qualifying for Boston but other wise it has no place in racing. For years runners have been self seeding themselves at races without much direction from race organizers. Of course you will always get the weekend warrior who will try and get up front and go out hard for the first 100 yards of a race but is soon shat out the back side. Other wise self seeding has worked.

Last weekend I ran the Big Lake Half. I've run this race every year since it's inception 8 years ago. It's a "Scenic Race" these are code words for NH races meaning, hilly with the possibility of mountains. So I knew the course was tough and I would be challenged. The race was chip timed, which I know makes it easier for the race officials to post the results but I was unaware that chip times were going to be used to give out awards. To me this makes no sense.

As you can see from the picture above I was clearly ahead of the 2 other guys in the photo as we approached the finish line. However in the results it shows that both of these guys beat me. The guy just behind me #734 challenged me in the last 50 yards. I kicked with everything I had left and just beat him by a second or two. Yet the results show that he beat me by 9 seconds. WRONG!!! I out kicked him. The guy further back in the photo I beat by about 7 seconds yet in the results it shows that he beat me by 4 seconds. WRONG AGAIN!! I beat him to the finish line fair and square. What I really think is funny is on race day he was listed as 50 years old. Yesterday he was listed as 49 years old. As of 10 minutes ago he was listed as 50 years old again. WTF!!!!

My question would be what if the winner (first across the finish line) of the race beat the 2nd place guy by 1 second but the guy in 2nd place crossed the starting line 2 seconds after the gun. Would they give the win the the 2nd place guy? I don't think so!!! So why would they use chip timing for awards in the age categories? It just doesn't make sense.

So if you want to race me, line up next to me and don't rely on chip timing to stealth in for the win. I want a chance to beat you man to man.

I'll get off my soap box now. I feel much better.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What's in a name?

Photos by Kristin Wainwright

On Saturday I raced the Big Lake Half Marathon up in Alton, Bay NH. If you recall a couple of weeks ago there was a big fire up in Alton. It wiped out a ton of small places right by the finish line. Any way it seemed to be a good day for racing. It was a little warm, around 60 with partly cloudy skies.

As I was thinking about writing this blog on my way home from Alton Bay on Saturday, I realized there were just to many Title's I could use so I decided to write this blog using the titles that I came up with.

1. "I beat JJ today" OK, I always show up early to races. How early well that all depends on the distance. At a 1/2 marathon, at least 2 hours early. Chris Dunn is of the same mind set and I hooked up with Chris and his wife Karen at registration. We then were hanging out by Chris's car when a bright yellow Xterra drove up with Jim and Kristin. So Chris and I beat JJ today!

2. "acidotic RACING is STYLE'N" That's right, Chris brought with him our new team shirts. They are really nice, read and black colors, so they must be fast! In addition I ordered a white and blue tanktop for summer racing and also got the team shirt for the Reach The Beach relay. Add to that the shirt from the race and I walked away with 4 shirts. My wife is going to kill me.

3. "That's going to leave a Mark" Mile one was fast, how fast you ask? Well for me it was the fastest mile I've run in the past couple of years. 5:57.03. Now I've heard that this is a short mile but I was feeling really loose and it didn't' really surprise me. How ever I knew that I was in trouble.

4. "Myles pass by" At mile 2 Myles Chase pulled up along side of me. Myles is my "EXPERT" bike mechanic and owner of MC Cycles of Laconia. Myles is very fit and is a strong biker. He was shooting to run sub 1:25. I thought I had an out sided chance of running with him but once he passed me it was for good.

5. "Cannon ball in my gut" At mile 3 my stomach was starting to bother me. It felt like I had a heavy weight in my stomach. I was starting to slow down.

6. "I'm Dunn" During mile 4 Chris Dunn ran past me like I was standing still. He then slowed down and said that he was going to pace with me. That only lasted about 50 yards and he started pulling away. At the half way point he had 50 seconds on me and was still running strong.

7. "Major Slow Down" Miles 5 and 6 are up a long steady hill. When you reach the top you are at the entrance of the Mt Major parking lot. I was slowing down and needed to get it going again.

8. "I'm getting double Chicked" The first woman passed me around 1.5 miles into the race. Now the 2nd woman passed me at 6.5. She was young and flying and there was no way I was going to be able to catch her.

9. "Chuck and Run" At around mile 8 I noticed a young kid around 19 years old had pulled over and had his hands on his knees. He was blowing chow, it looked like Gatoraide had taken it's toll on him. I figured this was my chance to pass him. But much to my surprise, this kid finished up with his technicolor yawning and jumped right back in running 6:30's. I knew that I was not going to be able to beat this kid. Anyone who can loose their lunch and then start running full speed seconds later is to tough for me.

10. "Game ON" At mile 11 there was a kid about 50 yards a head of me. I figured that if I pushed it I could catch him with in a mile and then would have to work hard during mile 13 to put some distance between us so he wouldn't be able to beat me with his kick. At least that was the plan. At the 12 mile mark I caught the kid. As I passed him he started to break and slow down. I shouted to him, "tuck in behind me and we'll work together, DON'T GIVE UP". For the next mile that's just what he did. With a tenth of a mile to go, he came around me and started his kick. I don't have a kick so I watched him pull away. Then I heard foot steps behind me. No way I was going to let another person pass me so close to the finish. I gave it everything I had and ended up beating the guy by about 2 seconds. Note to self: "If you want to beat someone towards the end of a race don't give him the plan on how to beat you".

11. "I got CHIPPED" At the finish I figured I ran well enough to place 2nd in my age category. I knew that there was one guy a head of me who looked my age so I was content to take 2nd. When the results came out it showed that another 50 year old guy beat me by 1 place and 6 seconds. Hold on the kid in front of me was only around 18 and the next guy in front of him was a couple hundred yards a head of him. Where did this 50 year old guy come from? At the awards I spoke with him and he said that he got a slow start across the chip timing mat. In fact he crossed the timing mat 15 seconds after the gun was fired. Off the gun he finished behind me but because they were using chip timing he finished a head of me. The awards for 2nd and 3rd were exactly the same so it really didn't matter. Maybe I'm old school but, this kind if ticked me off. Awards should be based on gun time, not on chip time. How do you race against someone if you don't know they are there? This guy should have seeded himself up towards the front with the rest of us. To top it all off I just checked the results this morning and now it shows his age as 49....AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

12. "Last Myles to slow" I told you about Myles Chase trying to break 1:25. Well he came as close as you can get but failed. 1:25:01. Talk about close.

13. "Dunn Right" Chris Dunn ran a fantastic race placing 20th with a time of 1:27:01. He was 2nd in the 40 - 44 age category. It must me the Shirt!!!

13.1 Liz Hall ended up wining her age category with a time of 1:32:27 and Karen Dunn set a PR for herself. Way to go LADIES!!

Photos by Kristin Wainwright

Below are my splits

1 5:57
2 6:37
3 6:43
4 6:55
5 6:56
6 7:05
7 6:36
8 6:45
9 7:22
10 6:19
11 7:18
12 6:54
13 6:54
13.1 42

Total 1:29:08 Pace 6:48