Spooky Sprint 5K

Melrose YMCA hosts Spooky Sprint 5K

All the ghouls, goblins, assorted monsters and terrifying runners showed up in Melrose Halloween morning to run the 2015 Spooky Sprint 5K.

At 8:30 on a brisk 41° fall morning, 631 hearty souls toed the line to run through the streets of Melrose causing mayhem and terror with every turn. The race started on a slight incline up East Foster Street and took a right onto Lebanon Street about a quarter-mile into the race.

spooky sprint, #1st5k, 5k raceBefore the race the announcer warned us that we would be running through road construction on Lebanon Street. As we approached the turn onto Lebanon I moved to the right side of the road and noticed a lady standing in the road holding a balloon.

Standing in the road during a road race is generally not a good idea. Then I noticed several more people standing in the middle of Lebanon Street also holding balloons and realized what they were doing. They were marking the raised man-hole covers! Brilliant I thought! It’s hard to miss someone standing in the street holding a balloon.

All the way up Foster Street runners kept passing me. At the top of the hill I could already feel the burn in my thighs. Had I gone out too fast?

I know Lebanon Street well as it is part of the Melrose Running Club’s summer route. We quickly ran through the construction area and onto smooth pavement. There are two small hills on Lebanon and I did my best to push up and then run down those hills.

Spooky Sprint 5k, 5k raceAbout three-quarters of a mile into the race we were running down the hill to the intersection of Lebanon and Sylvan Street. I picked up some speed, pushed up the hill by the cemetery and clocked mile one at 7:17. That number told me I was in my groove.

As we arrived at Pine Banks we took a left into the gravel parking lot and headed for the wet grass. As we approached the parking area near the baseball infield we took a left onto the road around the back of the hill behind the baseball field.

There was a hill behind the hill and I could feel the burn again. Even with my lack of preparation, I managed to run the hill and pass a few people. I skipped the water stop and wondered if that decision would come back to haunt me.

We took Pine Banks Road out to Main Street. We were running on the side walk as we approached the intersection of Main and Sylvan Street. At mile two a volunteer was calling out times and said 14:38 as I passed. I quickly calculated my average pace and my mile two pace.

As we crossed Sylvan Street I moved into the street. The sidewalks on Main Street are uneven and narrow. I needed room to work my strategy.

I started at the head of the pack but many people had passed me. I used the hills to pass a few, but others continued to pass me.

I’ve run well over 100 5K’s so I know how this works. Many runners start out too fast and cannot sustain their pace. We’ve all done it before.

By running a steady, sustainable pace, I knew I could outlast these runners. As we ran down Main Street I slowly began to real them in. Over the summer I learned to stay patient, maintain my pace and savor the subtle closure of distance.

It doesn’t show well on the map, but before the intersection of Main and Wyoming Streets there is a small hill. It’s not much of a hill but like Heart Break Hill it is late in the race. The Main Street hill is just enough to let you know you have quads.

By Lynde Street, across from Dunkin Donuts, I got back on the side-walk. Main Street was getting busy. In front of Marathon Sports we took a right onto Grove Street. I looked at my watch and it read 2.7 miles or so. We had almost half a mile to go.

My legs and lungs were burning by now. We were close to the finish and despite the burn, I decided to kick it in. I passed a few people before our left onto Dell Ave and kept on pushing. I could see the turn onto Foster and knew I was running out of time and distance. I passed a few people on Dell Ave and at least one guy passed me.

When my watch chimed for mile three, I could see the clock down East Foster Street and it said 22 minutes and change! I could finish under 23 minutes if I kept this up just a little bit longer.

With about 200 feet to the finish I maintained my kick and passed two more people.

My official time was 22:52 which was good enough for 41st over all and second place in the Male 50-59 group.

My kick for the last 0.07 miles was a 6:13 pace which is just crazy fast for me. My overall pace was 7:22 which is more than I deserve on my training program.

Spooky Sprint 5K Results

spooky sprint 5k, my first 5k medal, #first5kThe top male finisher was Sean Kay, age 13, with a time of 17:36! Equally amazing was 8 year-old Caleb Barnes finishing in 16th place with a time of 19:19!

The top female finisher was Michelle Kurkul, 29 of Lynn, at 20:25. Alexandra Kay was the top teen female finisher at 20:23. The Kay family had three finishers in the top thee of their age group including Aidan Kay who placed second in his age group with a time of 18:27.

The kids put up some great finish times, many of which were better than the adult finish times.

The oldest woman to finish was Ann Kashatus at age 69 with a finish time of 52:41. The oldest man to finish was Joe Larcamo age 76 with a finish time of 55:01.

See Coolrunning for complete Spooky Sprint 5K results.

Well run my friends!


© 2015 andrew nagelin