Lynnfield Athletic Association 48th Annual 4th of July Road Race
On the Fourth of July my family was heading to New Hampshire for the day. I really didn’t think I’d be able to get in a race for The Fourth.
Everything was either too far away or started too late in the morning for me to run the race and get home. With Holiday traffic, I was concerned about getting stuck on the highway and ruining everyone’s plans.
Friday afternoon I started looking at the Lynnfield 5K. Many people I know have run the race and had good things to say. It really wasn’t that far, and in normal traffic I could get there and back for the 9AM race.
I managed to find Town Hall without a single wrong turn. When I pulled into the empty parking lot I was worried I had the wrong place. Then I saw some orange cones set up and figured I was in the right place.
When the race director and her husband showed up, I helped them set up tables. When we were done, I paid my $25. I was pleasantly surprised that race day registration was the same as on-line and they gave me a t-shirt on top of that!
I went back to my car had some snacks and watched people show up. I went for a short warm up run and my legs did not feel great. As the season progresses I seem to have more and stronger aches.
I did some stretching and rubbed my sore muscles. I saw my friend Emily McDivitt show up and we chatted a bit before the race. I thought a few more people from the MRC were showing up, but I didn’t see anyone.
Running on the 4th of July
They had us line up on Summer Street in front of Town Hall and someone sang the National Anthem. I could see a flag through the trees in front of Town Hall, but there was another in clear site in front of the Post Office across the street.
I didn’t hear them say “Go!”, but everyone started running!
The race started on an uphill that I did not crest on my warm up run. Fortunately, it was within a quarter-mile. The temperature and humidity were comfortable and my legs felt much better than I had expected.
Running along I heard someone call out my name and turned to see Mark Rosenblum from the club. It was great to see a familiar face, though I knew we wouldn’t be running the race together. We talked for a bit and then Mark pulled ahead.
By the time we made our first turn the leaders were out of site. We were running through neighborhoods with some fantastic houses both old and new. The road was in good shape so I didn’t have to worry too much about a mis-step.
Mile one chimed in at a 7:02 pace. Considering the hill and how I felt, that pace was surprising to me. What else could I do out here? I had set out for a 24 minute race but decided right there that under 23 was possible.
The first water stop was after mile one. I didn’t stop but I noticed they were using clear plastic cups. Those are virtually impossible to drink out of on the run.
At about One and a half miles we turned left onto Thomas Road. More rolling hills and nice neighborhoods.
Mile two was the loop down Walnut Street to Thomas Road which took us back out to Summer Street. There was some downhill which most people didn’t seem to be using to their advantage.
As we approached mile two I opened up as much as I could and mile two chimed in at 7:15. I was slowing down, but still not bad.
With one mile to go I did a systems check. Nothing that bothered me during warm up was bothering me now. I skipped both water stops so my mouth was dry. I was running hard but was pretty sure I wasn’t going to die.
At this point in the race all I wanted to do was maintain my pace. I tried to run the curves smartly and use the hills to my advantage.
I knew that everyone else was tired at this point in the race also. And I recalled that I had not been training hard all year and didn’t really have any hill climbing advantage. I still ran the hills like I did though.
As we headed back down the hill towards Town Hall I was trying to keep up with a few people in front of me. Then some guy blew past me like I was standing still. As we approached the finish I managed to peak at a 5:17 pace.
I knew that I had given it my all and run a strong race. I was so focused as I came to the finish that I didn’t even see the clock! After I had cooled off and had some refreshments I walked back to the finish and noticed the clock!
Garmin had me timed at 22:43 and my official time was 22:26. Good enough for 3rd place in my age group and 50th overall. Mark Rosenblum came in 2nd in our age group, 36th overall and Emily McDivitt came in 1st in her age group and 26th overall.
Caroline King of Brighton was the first place woman and set a new course record at 17:18. Beating the previous record of 18:16 held by Maureen Forsyth since 2007. Not only was Caroline the first woman to cross, she was 3rd over all.
James Bailey of Danvers was the first place man at a time of 16:07. The top seven runners were all under the six-minute mark and the top 37 were all seven-minutes and under.
A total of 276 runners completed the course including a number of young children. It was a real family race. Full results on Cool Running.
Run well my friends,