Hampton Half Marathon and 5K 2019

Heading for The Hamptons

There was snow in the Greater Boston Area Saturday with about six inches of accumulation. Fortunately New Hampshire only received about an inch of snow.

The race organizer, Loco Running, was concerned that the storm may slow down and continue into Sunday. They issued an advisory that the race would be postponed for safety if this happened.

Fortunately the storm blew through, the highway was clear and the roads were in good shape for running.

When we got to Hampton Beach there was plenty of parking and we pulled right in. We headed to The Ashworth Hotel to pick up our bibs and shirts. While there wasn’t much snow on the ground, it was still cold at 8:30 AM.

Hampton Half, Winter Running As we left The Ashworth Ballroom and headed towards the car my buddy Durm Cahill saw that the hotel had a restaurant.

We looked through the door and they weren’t very busy so we decided to go in for breakfast. I ate there once before and the food is good. We both got a double stack of blueberry pancakes and coffee.

Previously I had the triple stack and it was way more than I could eat before a race. We both polished of the pancakes in short order and Durm had a side of ham with his.

Fueled up for the race, we checked out the beach and headed back to Durm’s car for our final race prep.

Hampton Half Marathon Start

I sat in the warm car and sorted my gear while Durm stretched his legs. Around 9:45 we headed for the start.

The roads were busier and there were runners everywhere heading towards the start.

There was snow and ice on the ground in some spots. As we approached the start area we saw them shoveling out the start area! It was only an inch or so of snow but there was a layer of icy stuff left behind.

I was a little concerned about slipping at the start. There can be incidental pushing and bumping in the rush to get across the timing mats. And in the rushed crowd it’s difficult to see the road beneath your feet.

No one was closer than 25 feet from the start and I decided to stand at that point. Durm thought that was too aggressive for him so he headed back into the crowd.

I told him that my plan was to stay put when the race director called everyone to the line. We would be behind 500 people. It was still too far up for Durm.

As I stood there waiting two ladies next to me were talking about the 70° difference between yesterday and today. I thought they must have been from northern Maine. Turns out they were from South Dakota!

They flew in Saturday, were running the race and heading back home. Their goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states. I was shocked that anyone would fly to New Hampshire in March to run a half marathon, but it made sense.

They also wanted to see a lighthouse and asked if Portsmouth was up the highway. I told them it was and they figured they had time to see the lighthouse and make their flight.

Just before the start they played The National Anthem and we all stood silently with hats over our hearts.

With a “Go,go,go!” we gingerly made our way across the starting line.

The First Half of The Half

Hampton Half Marathon The race started just down the street from The Ashworth on Ocean Blvd/Rt. 1A. As soon as we crossed the start we all headed across the street for the first sharp left turn onto Island Path.

Where we turn is a bit of neglected pavement that hadn’t been plowed. The crew had done their best to clear it for us, but there was still ice and snow to contend with. In 2018 they had to shovel this for us also.

The first two and a half miles of the race were through a side neighborhood in Hampton Beach. Most visitors never go there and I’d only been through there a few times for races.

There were lots of turns but I managed not to get bunched up.

We hit mile three just north of where Rt 101 joins Rt. 1A. The road was clear and we were on our way.

The feel of the run

I don’t know if it was the pancakes or all of the clothes I had on, but I just didn’t feel right right from the start.

Hampton Half Marathon I felt weighed down by the clothes and my body. I’m a little over my goal weight for Boston and had way more for breakfast than normal.

I wasn’t tired or sore but it was a real effort to move. I had fueled and hydrated properly. For a bit I worried I was having a cardiac event. I have no idea what that feels like but obviously my engine was having a hard time getting started.

I was having a hard time finding my stride. My pace was fairly consistent throughout the race and on target, but early on I felt like a bag of bricks.

At 5K I took my first supplement and that seemed to help a bit.

By the time we got to our turn off of Rt. 1 at mile 5 I was hitting my stride.

Miles six through ten were through the neighborhoods of Hampton and had most of the race’s hills.

Deep in the Middle

Just before mile six I took a gel. As I worked on it, out of the corner of my eye I saw my old running buddy Jeff Rushton. I’ve run so many runs and races with Jeff I can tell it’s him without even seeing his face or all of him. Some people I can ID with just their silhouette.

So I called out to Jeff and we chatted for a quarter mile or so. He said he couldn’t tell it was me but had been thinking that that guy must be hot in that jacket.

I was. I had anticipated winds off of the ocean and had dressed accordingly. Instead we had a 35° day with virtually no wind! I kept hydrating but could only take off my gloves and hat.

A few times I even wrong sweat out of my hat.

Jeff moved ahead and slowly out of view.

We were not quite half way and I knew better than to try and run someone else’s pace. We were deep in the middle of this race with lots of miles yet to run.

I’ve run this course probably six times, maybe more. I know the hills, turns and the roads.

I used this knowledge to run strait lines on curving roads and to push up the small hills. After a 69ft climb on mile seven, we were done with hills.

I continued to skip the water stops and drink the mix I brought with me and to take my supplements at the right times.

By the time we got to mile ten and back onto Rt. 1A, I was ready to kick it in.

On to The Finish

For the next three miles I locked into my pace between 8:33 and 8:45. My legs felt light and nothing hurt. I didn’t feel as good as I did last fall at the Hampton Rock ‘N Roll Half, but I was running a faster pace.

I passed a lot of people those last three miles. It became almost automatic and out of my control that I would run down who ever was in front of me.

Sometimes a runner would try to keep me from passing, then I would and then I’d put some space between us. Most people who were faster than me were already further down the road. I was the spider, I was the one who knocks.

I was running at my capacity and if someone challenged me I’m not sure I could have held them off.

Looking down Rt 1A from about two miles out there is a long curve in the road. You can see the buildings along the beach in Hampton Beach where the finish line is.

It’s probably worse than Boylston Street because you can see the finish area for two miles, not a few city blocks. You run and run and it feels like you’re on a treadmill.

As we got closer to The Ashworth the crowd built. Then we made the last turn and there was the finish! About 200 yards away.

For the last 0.13 miles I managed a 7:29 pace. It took everything to do that!

My finish time was 1:56 at an 8:52 pace. My goal was anything under 9 minutes, so goal accomplished! My buddy Jeff finished a few minutes before me and was still in the finish area.

We swapped stories and walked around a bit. I wasn’t sure where Durm was so I headed for the hotel, our agreed upon meeting spot. Jeff headed for home.

Apre Hampton Half Marathon

After I caught my breath, had something to drink and walked around a bit, I felt okay. The only thing that hurt was where the cuff of my tights rubbed on my ankles. It’s an elastic band designed to keep them tight against my leg which is good. They’re just too tight.

When I got to The Ashworth I was able to walk up the stairs, no problem.

I got a bowl of soup and headed for the beer table. No tickets for this event, just take a beer or two. I took one Smuttynose pilsner and looked for a place to sit.

The soup was hot, salty and good. I took one sip of my beer while I ate my soup. The guy next to me ran a 1:32 and placed in his division about the same spot as me.

After a few minutes I saw Durm walk in and get his food and beer. I caught his attention and he joined me at the table.

He had a pretty good race and ran about what he expected, 2:06.

At one point I looked up and saw Dave McGillivray walking by. No one seemed to recognize him and he was just walking through the crowd like any other runner. He doesn’t know me from Adam, but I always say hello when I see him.

I called out his name and stood up. He came over, shook my hand and we talked about the race.

Hampton Half Marathon This was his first half since open-heart surgery last year! He ran a 10:17 pace and walked twice. For a guy who just had major surgery that is very impressive.

I told him my finish time and he asked if I was running Boston. I told him that I was and he asked if I was going to do it in 4:17. That’s a little faster than I was planning, but Dave knows running.

He headed off into the crowd and Durm and I finished our food. Thuy Dang dropped by and sat with us and I had a few more beers. I wasn’t driving.

Thuy is running Boston also and finished the Hampton Half in 2:31. We had a quick group photo and headed for home.

No awards or PRs at this race as far as I know. Just a good run.

Run well my Friends,

Andy

Running Towards Boston

Running Towards Boston and Other Goals has been going well. Somehow I’m still injury free and enjoying the run. Winter running can be brutal, but it’s what we do!

Training for Boston and Other Goals

It’s hard to believe that February is finally over. It may be the shortest month on the calendar, but it is also the coldest and usually the snowiest.

I’m counting down the days of March all ready and waiting for Spring!

I’m also counting down the days to The Boston Marathon on April 15th. We are basically down to six weeks to Boston.

My training has been going well. I’m not putting in crazy miles, but I am being more diligent with my running.

I run every Sunday morning and Tuesday night. Several times I’ve run twice on Tuesdays. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m also running more from my house.

Last week I ran in an area of my town that I’ve only driven by before. It was cool to see the parks, a church and many old homes I’ve never taken much note of before. I even discovered a street with original brick paving!

Over the holiday months of November and December I managed to keep my base miles above 60 miles per month. That’s a rather pathetic 15+ miles per week! I ran 18 miles last Sunday.

But having that base to build on allowed me to bump my miles more than 30% in January and another 22% above January in February.

I should be able to get more than 100 miles in March. Then two weeks of taper time insanity!

Boston Marathon Training, Winter Running, Running Towards Boston The 2019 Grand Goal

Besides the joy of running races at will, feeling good and remaining injury free, I have a grand goal for 2019.

It’s a simple yet challenging goal that I’ve mentioned before.

My 2019 Grand Goal is to average 3 running miles per day all year. If I do that I’ll get to 1,095 miles for 2019.

Mathematically it’s a simple goal. 3 is an easy number to remember.

Falling Behind and coming Back

January is a long month and not just because it’s the dead of winter! I only managed to run 79.99 miles and that comes out to only 2.58 miles per day.

Most people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by the second week of January. I managed to stick to my pursuit throughout the month, but I came up short.

Increasing my miles by 30% is pretty good, but not good enough.

February is a short month but it still has four Sundays. I managed to run three of the Sunday Long Runs. I missed one Sunday for the Super Sunday 5 Miler. I’ll count that as a speed work out. It was.

Then I spent a week in Orlando for the HIMSS19 conference. I managed a 16.2 mile Sunday Long Run on February 10th and hopped on a plane to Florida.

During the conference I managed one four-mile treadmill run one evening. It wasn’t much but I felt great afterwards. It’s so hard to get in any exercise while travelling for work.

Throughout February I was behind my 3 mile per day goal. Each Sunday Long run got me closer, but I was still behind.

Running Towards Boston , Marathon Training

Tuesday night I ran 6.25 miles and was within 3 miles of my goal. I didn’t get in a run on Wednesday but I did manage to run 3.44 miles on the treadmill today, February 28th.

That brought my miles for the year to 177.73. Adding January (31 Days) and February (28 Days) my denominator was 59. 177.73/59 = 3.0123 miles per day!

I’m just so slightly ahead of the curve! 0.73 miles to be exact.

March has 31 brightening days so I need to run at least 93 miles to stay on target.

With any luck I’ll get on the treadmill March 1st and bang out four or five miles to get March off to a good start.

How are your 2019 goals going? Are you training for a major spring race?

Run Well my Friends and don’t give up!

Andy

A Real River Run

An afternoon run looks like a run on the river!

river run, marathon training
Running down the River?

I went out for a Friday afternoon run at work. We were having another unseasonably warm day and I couldn’t resist. This was my second River Run for the week. When I ran across the Longfellow bridge on Tuesday there was a huge crowd on the bridge returning from The Patriots Victory Parade.

Today the crowd was light but my first mile pace was sluggish. Not sure why, but I ended up running an 8:23 pace over 5.03 miles.

When I got home and loaded my run into Garmin Connect I saw this interesting graphic. The green circle is supposed to be where I started my run. In the middle of The Charles River!

There is ice on the river, but barely enough for a duck to walk on. It’s mostly open water again.

Every once in a while I get a crazy result like this. I’m never sure why.

My watch locked onto satellites quickly and nothing seemed unusual. It was just another fun run along the river.

Do you ever get crazy results like this with your watch?

Run well my Friends and stay off the ice!

Andy

Super Sunday 2019

The Melrose Running Club had a great time at Super Sunday 2019. Here are some photos, link to results and my recap.

The 12th Annual Super Sunday Run took place on Super Bowl Sunday.

It goes without saying that this was a cold day. The temperature was in the 30’s with a nice breeze off of The Charles River.

You can almost see the river from Race Central. This neighborhood of Cambridge is home to The Broad Canal which runs right beside Race Central. The Broad Canal is one of the last remnants of a once extensive canal system that Cambridge was known for.

In the summer the canal is a popular gathering area. People like to get lunch and hang out near the water. There is also a Super Sunday Race Central, Broad Canal kayak and canoe rental business that has become very popular.

In the winter the wind off of The Charles whips strait up the canal.

Fortunately, Race HQ was in a tent with sides. All of the people packed inside built up enough body heat to keep it warmer than the ambient temperature.

Bib and swag pickup was in here. After the race, awards and the band and a DJ were in the tent.

The Melrose Running Club had 31 runners and three volunteers at this race. The races were part of our Melrose Racing Series for the first time this year. We always have a few runners at this event, but this year the turn out was unbelievable.

The races raise money for cancer research and we had two cancer survivors on our team, including team captain Judy Dolan. Judy did an awesome job promoting the race to our club and got a huge crowd to show up.

The Super Sunday 2019 Races

You may have noticed that I keep saying races. That is because this event incorporates a 5K and a 5 mile race. Our club had 8 people run the 5K and 23 run the 5 Miler. Over all about 1400 people ran the races.

In 2015 I ran the 5K and I’ve run the 5 Miler each year since. 5 Mile races are rare so I like to run one when I can. It’s 1.9 miles longer than a 5K and a good way to push the 5K pace a little longer.

Since we had a VIP tent, we had a place to gather and stow our gear. Judy brought a coffee cake and a nice card and chocolate for everyone. Someone else brought banana bread and the race gave us 2 cases of Body Armour sports drink.

I picked up most of the numbers on Wednesday after work and Zelia Magliozzi picked up the rest on Saturday. It was a team effort. As people showed up I made sure they got the right bib and any raffle tickets or t-shirts they purchased.

Just like the bib pick up, it was a bit chaotic but we managed. I only ended up with one extra shirt that no one has claimed so far.

Then each runner had to pick up their race swag in the Race Central tent. Before I did the bib pick-up I thought swag was just hat or gloves. Turns out there were several different hats, a neck gator and bottle opener in addition to three sizes of gloves!

I took a few photos before the race but they didn’t come out very well.

Around 9:45 we headed for the starting line.

Running the 2019 Super Sunday 5 Miler

As we headed over the crowd seemed light. I thought maybe people were hanging out in the warm tent or parking garage lobby.

Walking down Athaneum Street I could see about 100 runners lined up behind the start. There were another hundred or so milling about looking a bit lost. I knew which side of the start line to head to and lead the gang down the street.

It was so cold that I kept my Cambridge Marathon jacket on! I didn’t see anyone else from The MRC at the start line, so I stepped up to the front.

I was standing there next to twenty-something year old guys in shorts and singlets. Some of them gave me the impression they didn’t like the old dude muscling in on their start line. I chatted up everyone around me.

About 5 of, Alain came to the start with his mic and told everyone which direction the race was going in and that we had a 5 Miler to get started.

I was determined to have a purple Melrose Running Club singlet in the start line photo, so I unzipped my jacket. It was cold, but I had to take one for the team, or club.

I heard some commotion behind me and turned to see a wheel chair racer making his way through the crowd. Alain said he was the first wheel chair racer ever to do a Super Sunday race. To give him time to get down the street Alain was going to start him on a verbal command one minute before the 5 milers.

And their off!

I’ve only started one other race this close to the front. In that race I kept up for about 100 yards and it was all over from there!

This time I was one person from the line and before I even crossed the line I was further back in the crowd! I was running with the big dogs!

Before we made our first left onto 3rd Street a hundred people had passed me. I knew this was going to happen but the idea was to make a good showing for the club.

I kept the after-burners on for as long as I could and mile one came in at 7:28. I knew that was unsustainable so I consciously backed off a bit.

The road was nice and flat, but the first mile of energy was gone. I was in real running mode now.

So many people were properly dressed and here I was in a heavy running jacket. I even forgot to double tie my laces. What a mess I thought.

Mile two clicked in just before Harvard Yard and our turn around. I grabbed a water at the water stop because I felt like I was going to need it. I managed a marathon gulp and didn’t loose much time. Mile two was 7:38.

Not bad. Had I managed to only loose 10 seconds or had I managed to hold my self back by 10 seconds?

And what the hell was I thinking? Over dressed, over weight and out of shape. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!

It was a bit of a relief to be turned around, but we had only run two of five miles. Not even half way, wise guy. I knew I had to save a bit of juice so I wouldn’t flame out.

We were now running east on Cambridge Street. I was amazed at how many bars, restaurants and shops of every variety I saw. It was block after block of interesting places. I may have seen one or two vacant store fronts.

The Last Half

Super Sunday 2019, Cambridge 5K We hit half way mark near The Cambridge Hospital and I still felt okay.

I’ve become pretty obsessed with my watch this past year or so. I’ve always paid attention to it, but now I check it much more often.

When I ran Honolulu in 2017 the habit locked in. I was under-trained for that race and my strategy was to run even splits at my goal pace. It kind of worked, but that’s another blog post.

For the Super Sunday 5 Miler my goal was to run as fast as I could, just not under 7:30! That was working out pretty well as mile three came in at 7:44.

My goal was under 40 minutes so I had built in some cushion over the first three miles.

We were now at the 5K mark and I think they had a timing mat. I know I saw a timing mat out there somewhere. I think I did. It could be interesting.

Mile four chimed in at 8:05 just after we turned right onto 1st Street. One mile to go!

I certainly didn’t have any kick left for the end. The 5K runners had joined up with us around 3.5 miles. They were running a bit slower and some had young children with them.

I saw a few people walking, but most of them seemed to be with children.

Everyone around me seemed to be running comfortably. The caliber of runner in the 5 Miler seemed quite high. There were some super fast runners who I started with and there were solid 7:30 runners hanging with me now.

There wasn’t a lot of passing going on anymore. A few hot shots would shoot by us, but where the hell had they been all this time?

The Finish is out there Somewhere

First Street runs behind the Cambridge Gallaria Mall and Lechmere Canal. It was still early Sunday morning, but we had a few drivers backed up.

I knew we were close because I knew the neighborhood and was checking my watch. Part of me hoped the race was marked short! How many turns were we going to make in order to get to five miles?

We took a right onto Rogers Street for two blocks and then took a left onto 3rd Street and crossed Binney. Then we took a left onto Linskey Way. As we crossed 2nd Street I could see runners headed down Athaneum Street to the finish line.

At the end of Linskey we took a right back onto 1st Street and passed The Athaneum building and immediately took a right onto Athaneum Street.

Now I could see the finish. I really didn’t have any juice left for a kick so I just kept on pushing anyway.

The finish area was pretty clear. There was only a small crowd and I didn’t see anyone I knew. As I approached the finish line I could see that the clock still had 38 on it.

As I passed the clock it still had 38 on it! I had beaten my goal by more than a minute. I jogged down the street a bit and saw Mike Sikkema. I later found out that he had finished in 29:54 at a 5:58 pace! Smokin! And I don’t think it was even a PR for him.

As we talked and walked back towards Race Central we saw Dorota Bulik cross the line. She didn’t hear us call to her and we were getting cold so we kept heading towards the tent.

Dorota finished in 38:18 and was Team MRC’s 2nd place finisher. Mike was first. To her surprise, Dorota won her age group!

Super Sunday Apre Party

The great thing about having a VIP tent is that it gives everyone a gathering spot. Slowly everyone came to our tent and the fun began. Everyone had a good run and a good time.

The course is on good roads and is has plenty of police details to keep things safe.

The beer tents were on the other side of the plaza so Durm Cahill and I headed over. Mighty Squirrel and Sam Adams were pouring. The line for Mighty Squirrel was very long and the line for Sam Adams was not. I got a Sam Adams Lager and a Sam 76. Both were cold and tasted great.

When we got back to the tent Thuy Dang took one of my beers and headed for the beer tent. I thought she just wanted to try it, but really wanted a beer to drink while she was in line. She came back with two beers and gave me one.

After a while they came around with three pizzas for each tent from Za. They were hot and tasted great. We opened one pizza at a time to try and keep them hot or at least warm. I think everyone got a few slices.

We had a lot of fun comparing notes and enjoying each other’s company. Slowly people trickled away to other obligations. Mike Sikkema actually ran 10 miles back to his home in Melrose! He had to get those miles in.

I made a few trips to the beer tents and eventually made it to The Mighty Squirrel, but I don’t recall which beer I had. It was good though.

I also managed to get some buffalo wings from Miller’s Ale House. They were hot and spicy, just the way I like them!

Here are the Super Sunday Full Results

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Great Stew Chase 2019

Great Stew Chase 2019 was the 45th running of this classic 15K. The 3rd oldest 15K in the USA. Great weather for a great run in Lynn, MA.

The Great Stew Chase 2019 15K was run on January 27th in Lynn, MA. 2019 marks the 45th running of this classic race.

Billed as the 3rd oldest 15K in America, the race has seen better years.

In 2017 there were 262 finishers, 2018 there were 198 finishers. For 2019 there were 172 finishers.

This race has traditionally been a running club oriented race. There are usually about six local clubs who make up the bulk of the runners. This year I would say that 90% of the runners were with a local club.

To keep the tradition alive it is important for the local running clubs to encourage their members to participate. The race director mentioned the declining numbers and the need to increase them to keep the race viable.

Great Stew Chase 2019

This year The Melrose Running Club had 22 runners, which is down from 29 runners in 2017, but about the same as last year. This late in January you never know what conditions you may end up running in. In 2015 the race was postponed to March due to snow.

Great Stew Chase 2019, 15K Race, Melrose Running Club

We had some new faces this year, which is always great to see. Dave Bryson and Marty Hergert are Marty Hergert, Great Stew Chase 2019 two of our newer members who decided to brave the cold for a January 15K!

I ran with Durm Cahill like I did last year. In 2018 I had knee problems and took it pretty slow. Durm stayed with me even though I’m sure he could have run much faster.

This year I had been feeling pretty good until about a week ago. My right foot has been bothering me. I think it’s a combination of too much treadmill running and wearing old shoes. I’ll be making some changes.

The first two miles we ran too fast, 8:06 and 7:53. My goal was 9 minute miles so I tried to slow us down. Shortly after mile two Durm had to stop running due to a calf cramp. I asked if he was okay and and he told me to go on and he would catch up.

Running The Great Stew Chase 15K

Running on my own didn’t make pacing any easier. Each time someone passed me I had to resist the urge to speed up. I kept telling myself that a 9 minute pace would give me a PR. All I wanted was to finish with a PR. They are rare these days and I didn’t have a single PR in 2018.

The course is mostly rolling hills. Nothing too aggressive. Then at Mile four we approach the I-95 overpass. For mile four we gained 42 feet in elevation and my mile came in at 8:20. Not bad.

Mile five goes over the I-95 bridge and ends after our hill climb up to our turn around point. After the turn the hills are pretty much over. Mile five came in at 8:47. My slowest mile but also the hilliest mile.

I slowed down to get a cup of water off of the table and handed my cup to a volunteer. As I ran back out to the main road I saw several MRC runners. A few people called out my name but my glasses were so dark I couldn’t tell who they were!

Back on the main road we ran mostly downhill until we reached the I-95 overpass. Going up this hill was a bit more challenging now that my legs were tired.

We were now more than half way. Mile six chimed in at almost the exact spot where we hit mile 4. Mile six had 60 feet of decline and Garmin didn’t register any elevation gain. But I know we ran up some hills!

My watch was hitting the miles before the mile markers. Just after the mile six sign, I glanced at my watch and saw that we were at the 10K mark. I was running at an average pace of about 8:20.

We had 5K to go and I hoped I could keep my 10K pace going to the end.

Finishing The Chase

At this point in the race my legs were tired and my right foot hurt. I contemplated walking and tried to calculate my finish time based on my time so far and how fast I thought I could walk. Neither the math nor my guess were very good. I decided to keep running.

The only thing that hurt was my foot. I’ve run in much more pain and with much less juice left. Why would I give up?

Most people who run this race are competitive. The race seems to draw the die-hard runners. At this point in the race we were very well sorted. No one was passing anyone.

Mile seven had us running back through Centennial Park. I used to work in this area and there isn’t much to see. Mile seven chimed in at 8:32. Only two and a half miles or so to go.

How many miles is 15K? It turns out it’s 9.3 miles. But I was hitting the miles before the markers and I wasn’t sure if it was 9.3 or 9.5. But I was pretty sure I was going to run long.

Mile eight chimed in at 8:41 with only 26 feet of elevation gain. I was fading.

I decided to push as hard as I could for the last mile or so. I knew that I was close to a PR and didn’t want to miss it by 15 seconds. I didn’t want to miss it period.

That last 1.3 miles winds back through the neighborhood off of Rt. 129. There were some hills, pot holes and sloped road. If I ran at a bad angle it put too much pressure on my right foot. At this point in the race it was really sore.

I managed to avoid branches and pot holes and kept on pushing.

When we got out onto Rt. 129 I knew we were close and didn’t want anyone to pass me in the last few hundred yards.

I pushed through and mile nine came in at 8:40. My last 0.53 mile came in at an 8:01 pace. As I approached the finish area I saw John Mulroy and Katherine Kulig walking off their race.

Approaching the finish I saw the clock was close to 1:19. I didn’t have anything to kick in so I just tried to maintain my pace.

My finish time was 1:19:37 for an 8:33 pace. I was 90th overall and 12 out of 16 in my age group. It’s a tough crowd!

Garmin had my distance at 9.53 miles and a pace of 8:22.

Mary O’Connell and I scored course PRs for the day. This was Mary’s second PR for 2019 and it’s only January! Lot’s of other MRC runners achieved a course PR but I think it was because it was their first time running the race. I’ll update this if I hear differently.

Apre Chase

Due to the smaller crowd, there was plenty of room. The MRC was seated at two table on either side of the hall. Going over to say hi was a good excuse to mingle a bit.

I thought the soup was pretty good and enjoyed the roll and cookie. I could have eaten several of those cookies!

When the awards came around, The MRC did pretty well.

Katherine Kulig came in 3rd in her age group. She had a baby last year and this was her longest run in a year.

Michael Sikkema came in second in his age group and Audie Bridges placed third in his. They received a Great Stew Chase blanket. Definitely preferable to a trophy! Audie had already left and I’m not sure if they will mail the blanket to him.

As soon as the awards were over we all headed for home and hot showers.

Great Stew Chase 2019 FULL RESULTS

2018 Great Stew Chase Recap

Run well my Friends,

Andy