I've never been a big fan of track work outs. Primarily because I always seem to be running them alone. Yesterdays plan was to run a track workout at lunch. When lunch time came around, I looked at my gym bag and shook my head and then proceeded to grab my lunch and bag the workout. I knew I was doing the wrong thing so I made a new plan. I got on cool running and located a race so I could get my speed work in. The race I choose was the Goodtimes series in Lowell.
The race is a 5K that runs along the banks of the Merrimack river through the Lowell Mill Area. You'd never know you were in Lowell when running this race. I arrived at the race a little late for my likings but was able to quickly sign. They seem to have a theme for every race in this series. Tonight's theme was old t-shirt night. Seeing that I have 1000's of t-shirts I figured I was sure to secure one of the prizes. I have t-shirts dating back to the 70's, but there was one special shirt that I figured would win a prize. More on that latter.
The race had quite a few runners at it for a night time race. I think I heard them say there were 240 runners. We lined up right at 7 PM and were off within a few seconds of lining up. The start was fast. This is because you start on the road and within 200 yards you're on a path way that runs along the river. The start of this path also make you take a couple of hair pin turns so getting out quickly is mandatory.
The first mile went by quickly, for me at least, in a blazing 5:53. I knew I couldn't keep that going so I pulled back a little for mile 2 and ran a 6:22. Mile three I was joined by Keith O'Brien who is forever the cheerleader and encouraged me to tuck in behind him and we'd work together. We managed a 6:13 3rd mile and then I looked up and could see the finish line clock. The two of us pushed each other to the finish to get almost identical times of 19:18. The race officials gave me the edge but I think Keith could have kicked my back side if he really wanted to.
The results were quickly released and I ended up 13th over all and 1st in the 50 - 59 category. For my efforts I received a Shirt Frame. I guess it's for displaying your favorite shirts. Just what my wife wants!! Me hanging one of my shirts on the wall. I guess some people call it ART!!
After the awards, it was time to give out prizes for t-shirts. They had all kinds of categories and the shirt I choose won the category for oldest shirt for a race Dave Camire organized but they didn't give me the award for that because they decided the shirt fit a better category. That category would be Oddest Shirt.
The t-shirt I am wearing was called the "Shade Shirt" I received it back in the 1980's for a race called the "Grab Bag Race". The race was held at the Knicker Baucker Club in Lowell. The idea for the shirt was Dave Camire's. The shirt has this thing that looks like the brim of a baseball cap attached to the back and when the sun is out you flip it up to shade your neck. I don't know if it works or not because this was the first time in 25+ years of owning the shirt that I had put it on. Once again I won another shirt frame. My wife is really going to love me hanging shirts all over the walls of "Her house"...NOT!!
So, now I have done one race this week. The plan for the rest of the week is to race Thursday night in Westford and for the 4th race up in Center Harbor, NH in a 5 mile race. I've done this race a couple of times over the years. In fact, my fastest mile I ever ran was at this race. You see the course climbs for 4 miles then you fall down off the edge of a cliff for the last mile to the finish. So by Saturday I'll have done 3 races in 5 days. If that doesn't get me into race shape, nothing will.