, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

And the Ocean Roared…

Smuttynose Palooza 5K Race

This weekend my buddy Jeff and I ran two 5Ks. The first 5K was the Smuttynose Palooza in Salisbury, MA on Saturday. The race was run out of “The Pavilion” on 4 Ocean Front North. This very nice and large club is built right on the beach with great views of The Atlantic. The tables to pick up our numbers were up against the large windows overlooking the ocean. What a sight.

And the Ocean Roared…

The waves must have been 30 feet high and they looked more like an avalanche rolling in than surf. I’d never seen waves like that before. As we stood there waiting to pick up our numbers the waves crashed into the beach and up against the building. Not only could we hear them, we could feel them hit the building! With homes tumbling into the ocean just up the coast on Plum Island it made me think each time I felt the building move. But, no one looked excited so I relaxed and enjoyed the thrill of the experience.

Earlier, as we pulled into town, we saw water streaming down the side of the road. I knew there had been some rough weather the night before and thought it was just some left over flooding. As we walked up Driftway Street to go pick up our numbers the stream of water grew larger. When we tried to cross the street we had to navigate both a snow bank and flowing water at least two feet across. No one wanted to get wet shoes before the race even began.

As we walked into the parking lot for The Pavilion we could hear the roar of the ocean. As we got closer to the building we could see water flowing through openings in the sea wall and into the parking lot. For a few moments I wondered if this race was actually going to The Ocean Roars

happen. It looked like the sea was going to cover our roads. There were many looks of amusement, delight and joy on people’s faces as we watched the water move through the parking lot. It looked like this race might have an exciting twist to it.

Smuttynoze Palooza 5K 2013

The start had us running towards the ocean which had taken over even more of the road and was running against us. I was told later that they had to take the timing sensors out of the mats because the ocean water would short them out.

Almost immediately we took a quick right onto Ocean Front South. At this corner the street was piled high with beach sand on the right and rest was covered by the ocean. There were lots of whoops and excited yelling. I think everyone just loved it.

From there we ran down Broadway and turned left onto State Beach Road which runs through Salisbury Beach Reservation. This road cuts through the marsh and we were totally exposed to the wind whipping off of The Atlantic. I could hear bibs straining against safety pins and rippling in the wind like a hundred little flags taught on their poles in the brisk Atlantic breeze.

After a mile it became more difficult for me to keep up with Jeff. Neither one of us felt great or particularly prepared to throw it all in for this race. But we were running full throttle all the way. At about a mile and a half we turned around on State Beach Road and headed towards the finish. Jeff kept moving further ahead and I kept fighting the urge to stop or let up. I was all in and my body felt like it. I could not get any more oxygen into my lungs and I wondered if I had fueled up properly.

As mile 2 came up I knew I could keep pushing 100% and give my best effort. It was cold and windy, my mouth was dry and I had doubt. But I crushed that little fucker and kept pushing harder. It seemed to take forever to turn back onto Broadway towards the ocean. I kept pushing and passed a few people.

Broadway has a bit of an incline but I knew the maximum elevation on this course was only 7 feet above sea level. That’s not a real hill. Get a grip and pump those tired legs lazy ass, I told myself.

At this point in the race the runners were all sorted. Those of us who could run this pace and could run this little hill were all together. No one was going to mow anyone down here. We all dug deep for the last half-mile or so. As we approached the sea wall and turned left off of Broadway onto Ocean Front Street we had to get over the torrent of ocean flowing down the street. All of us went a little outside of the cones that marked the turn so that we could get to the pile of sand that would give us a footing to jump over the water.

I finished at 23:55 net time for a pace of 7:43. It wasn’t a PR but I felt I gave it my all and was happy to be under the 8:00 mile pace. Out of 101 guys in my age group I finished 20th and 90 out of 848 finishers, including walkers. Jeff finished 70th overall, 16 out of 101 guys with a 7:30 pace.

Dan Vassallo and his fiancée Katrina Gravel were the top male and female finishers with a time of 16:14 and 18:36 respectively. The oldest woman to finish was Wendy Burbank (70) at 29:15. Don Clukies (70) was the oldest man to finish with a time of 30:14.

Smuttynose Palooza 5K Race

Smuttynose served up several kegs of their finest and some people got up and sang Karaoke. We hung out for a while and enjoyed the atmosphere and the cold beer. It was a great day.

Smuttynose Palooza 5K
Enjoying a cold Smuttynose and some good company

Run well my friends,

Andy, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0