This title reminds me of an old joke that I learned when I was in grammer school. It goes something like this, Question: What is faster hot or cold? Answer: Hot is faster because you can catch a cold!!!
Thursday night I ran race # 7 in the Westford Academy Summer Series. It was HOT! When I left my house the temp was hitting 90 with no wind or clouds. The race would be a game of attrition. The theme of the race was "Ladies Night". Which means that the ladies got a 7 minute head start over the men.
As I scanned the ladies there was at least one who could beat me outright. This lady was my training partner for Boston this year, Jill Trotter. This was her race to win outright. In addition to the ladies there seemed to be a lot of young kids in attendance. From what I found out, there were 10+ kids from Fitchburg High School. In addition there were a bunch of the WA runners in the race.
The women's race started right on time at 6:30 and 7 minutes later the guys took to the course. A guy with a ipod on took the lead. I just let him go because he looked like a 400 yard wonder. And I was right. The pack went by him and shat him out the back side before we hit the quarter mile mark. At this point a 20 something year old kid took the lead and looked strong. I was in the middle of 5 high school kids. One of which was at my house on Wednesday night for a party my daughter was having. I got next to this kid and said, "I play dirty" then faked an elbow in his face. He looked over at me and if the look he threw me had words, it would have said "I'm going to kick your arse, old man". And then he quickly put 10 yards on me.
I hit the mile at 5:53. Which is the fastest I've run this first mile all year. The group of high schooler's were now pulling away. I decided to try and settle into a pace that I knew I could hold and just relax and run on my toes with a straight back and my head held high. It was working and my breathing became more relaxed and I was reeling in my daughters friend. By 1.5 miles I passed him and listened to him gurgle as I passed and knew I had him beat. A few yards later Ken Cain came blazing past me. I mean he was looking to break me and he just about accomplished it. He didn't even seem to be breathing hard. I let him go because I knew I usually had a little more strength on the up hill at mile 2. Sure enough I reeled Ken back in going up the hill. I hit the 3 mile mark at 19:23, my fastest time this year and was feeling good. As I turned into the school I peeked over my shoulder and there was nobody in sight. In front of me was one kid about 30 yards a head. I wasn't going to catch him but I had a chance of running my fastest time of the year. I finished in 22:46 and PR'd by 6 seconds on the hottest night of the year.
I ended up in 5th place over all and I think if you add up the ages of the 3 kids in places 2nd, 3rd and 4th I'd still be older. It's good to see more younger kids getting involved in this sport.
Jill won the race and also PR'd with at 23:07. She really wants to break 23 minutes and I'm sure she can do it given a cooler night.
Next race is on Saturday in Laconia, NH. It's a 100% cross country race to benefit the HS XC team. It should be a lot of fun