Stonyfield 5K 2017 was the 7th running of this New Hampshire 5K. Taking place at the Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Works in Londonderry, NH this was quite a drive from the Greater Boston Area (GBA).
Driving to Stonyfield 5K
I needed this race so that I could fit five races into my schedule from the Club LOCO “Will Run for Beer” series. The series has eleven events on the schedule including three half marathons. If you finish five races you get a “Will Run for Beer” series wind breaker.
I’m not in half marathon condition so I had to weave five 5K races into my complex and shifting schedule this year.
Focusing more on my schedule than where this race was, I didn’t notice that the race was right next to the Manchester Airport! That’s about a 50 mile drive, one-way, from my house. 100 miles RT to run a 5K and I didn’t even have anyone with me!
I guess that is why I’ve never run the Stonyfield 5K before, it’s just too far away. It is an easy drive up Rt 93, but it’s one hell of a drive. Even with no traffic it took me about 45 minutes.
Arriving around 8:30, all of the parking lots were full. I was directed to park on the road, closer to the event than most people.
Running Stonyfield 5K
As I approached the race area it was easy to spot the bib pickup tents. Most people already had their numbers, so the lines were short. I picked up my bib and shirt in no time.
I guess sometimes it pays to be late!
I saw my friends Brian Sarro and Derek and Lisa Hentschel. It’s been about a month since we ran and hung out in Newmarket, NH. That was a wild party!
It was a little on the cool side, so everyone decided to head back to their cars to get ready and stay warm.
As I was walking through the parking lot I saw the Charmingfare Farm Petting Zoo for the kids. As I walked by I could see and hear how excited the kids were to touch the chickens and rabbits in the cages.
I sat in my car, pinned on my number and had part of a Clif Protein bar and something to drink. The temperature was in the low 50s and there was a light breeze, but I decided to go with just the singlet.
Lately I’ve been over dressing for races and it hasn’t helped my performance.
Around 9:30 I headed back to the race area and stood in line for the porta-potties. I was lucky to find a short line which was also close to the starting area.
I couldn’t get near the front and so started about 300 runners back. Someone sang the National Anthem and then we started. It took about a minute to cross the start line.
It was very crowded as we headed down Burton Road. About 400 yards into the race I ran into four people walking arm in arm! I was pissed. Nothing against walkers, but what the f@#% are they doing at the front of the race? That is just inconsiderate, stupid and even dangerous.
After the race a friend said he thought about tackling them. I saw many walkers at the head of the pack. Maybe they don’t know any better or maybe they just don’t care. All of the stroller runners started near the back.
We crossed Harvey Road and ran down Aviation Park. The pack began to spread out and I started moving up. This was our first cul-de-sac turnaround and gave us a chance to see the leaders as they headed back out to Harvey Road.
From Aviation Park we took a right onto Harvey Road. We had one side of the road to run on and plenty of police.
As we came down the Harvey Road hill, a large runway came into view! Did I mention the race was next to the Manchester Airport? I wondered out loud which airport this was and wouldn’t it be cool to have a jet take off and fly over us.It also donned on me just how far I had driven.
As I said this, the guy next to me said a jet just taxied onto the runway. He took out his phone and started taking pictures. Sure enough, just after we made the turn onto Delta Drive and were under the flight path, the jet flew over us. Amazingly, the jet was quieter than when they fly over my house!
Delta Drive was our second turn around on a cul-de-sac. Just as we turned they had the water stop. The road is wide and I tried to make a tight turn. As I did so I had to look out for runners spinning off the turn to get a drink.
We hit mile two shortly after the turn. My first mile was 7:52 and mile two was 7:55. Not bad, but I wasn’t going to be close to 24 minutes.
On the way back we ran up the hills we had just run down. My knees had tweaked a few times, but felt pretty good. I had some juice in the tank and my temperature was perfect, so I kicked it in and ran those hills.
Lots of people were toast at this point. Many who were still racing began to drop back as I charged up the first hill. As I came down Delta Drive hill, just before the turn I caught up to Lisa Hentschel. We chatted for a few moments and I pushed ahead.
After the turn was the last hill. It was probably about 30 feet over half a mile. Not a big hill but enough to feel it.
My legs still felt good. I hadn’t really trained for this race, but I did run intentionally for it. My Tuesday night run was 7.24 miles and my Thursday run was 4.15. I felt good on both runs and knew I needed them for my legs and to build my cardio a bit. Not much you can do in two runs, but they felt good.
It seemed to be paying off. I would spot the next runner in front of me and head for them. Some were younger and some were older, but I passed them all. A few younger runners also passed me and there was nothing I could do about that.
Finishing the Stonyfield 5K
As the Harvey Road hill crested, I could see police cars in the road ahead. This was our turn onto Burton Way and to the finish.
I began to recognize the area and saw the group of cheering children that we saw on the way out. Just after the turn my watch hit the three mile mark and my pace was 8:12. Those hills definitely slowed me down. My average pace was now 7:58.
I kicked in for the last tenth of a mile or so and ran a 7:00 pace. My watch gave me a 25:20 finish and my official time was 25:18. The only difference was that my distance was 3.18 which gave me a pace of 7:58, they had me at 8:09.
I was a little winded after the finish but recovered quickly. I grabbed a water and walked around a bit, then headed back to my car.
It was too cold to stand around in a wet singlet. I stripped it off, toweled off and put on my Stonyfield 5K t-shirt. I put the singlet back on for some extra warmth.
As I approached the biergarten I could see Brian with a beer all ready! The bouncer let me in with just the gray beard on my face as proof of age. I said hi to Brian, Lisa, Derek and the gang and went to get a beer. No line!
I went back to the gang and saw some people had hot dogs. Brian held my beer so I could leave the biergarten and get a dog. There wasn’t a line but a dad in front of me was holding two young children and the three of them couldn’t seem to make up their minds what to do.
With dog in hand I headed back to the gang to enjoy good company and good beer. It turned out that my dog was cold, but I ate it anyway! As usual, we had fun talking and catching up.
It was still a little cool and I had decided to only have a beer or two. They were changing over kegs and the line was long so I decided one was enough. I parted company with my friends, walked around a bit and headed for home.
Run well my Friends!