Due to poor weather conditions the St Patty’s 10K and 5K road race was postponed. This allowed us to extend our Saint Patty’s Day celebrations just a wee bit longer!
St Patty’s 10K Road Race
I signed up for the St Patty’s 10K so long ago that I forgot that I had! I was reminded by an email from the race director with race details!
I signed up for the race around Christmas time when registration was $10 or something like that. The deal was so good I posted it to the Melrose Running Club Facebook page and a bunch of other people signed up also.
Don Keren drove and Diarmuid Cahill and I went along for the ride. It’s a pretty quick and easy drive to Salisbury and parking was plentiful in the State Reservation.
When we got out of the car to go pick up our bibs, we realized just how cold 35° is. Seems okay when you’re home looking at a number on your cell phone. But in running clothes you get to fully experience 35°.
The crowd was still small and we quickly got our bibs and shirts. On the way back to the car I wasn’t paying attention and stepped into a big puddle. Laughs all around! Even strangers standing around got a good laugh out of that one. My feet were going to get wet anyway, right?
After we got back into the car we saw Mike Sikkema parked in front of us and down a car or two. Mike was prepping like a pro. We finally got his attention and had a few laughs. It’s too bad he couldn’t have caught a ride with us, but he had to pick up his son after the race.
Around 9:50AM we ambled over to the start area and saw another Melrose runner, Matt Sazama. We managed to get someone to take out photo and everyone was wearing MRC shirts! Matt had a classic white singlet with our old logo on it. I’ve never seen a white MRC singlet before.
Mike headed off to the start line so he could get a good start. The rest of us hung out near the back of the pack.
Running the St Patty’s 10K
Don and Matt were running the Saint Patty’s 5K and Durm and I were running the 10K. The start was on time but a little slow due to our position at the end of the pack.
After about a quarter mile it was me and Durm weaving through the walkers and casual runners. That’s what you get for starting in the back.
I had my Garmin and the goal was to run 9 minute miles. All of us are running The Eastern States 20 on Sunday, so we didn’t want to run this one too hard. At mile one our pace was 8:50. Not too bad but this included time stuck behind walkers and people out for a jog.
The first turn was around 1.25 miles. As we approached the turn we could see the leaders and Mike Sikkema was in 3rd place! The fourth place runner was way behind. We gave Mike some encouragement as he ran by.
Durm and I had settled into a good pace and kept passing people. Mile two came in at 8:40. Again, not too bad.
At about 2.25 miles we took a right into a camp ground area. They have utility hook-ups for campers which are painted white and look like tomb stones. It really looked like we were running around a cemetery!
Painted on the road was a 5 MPH sign. I joked that we were over the speed limit!
As the loop through the camping area ended, we approached the 5K finish line. I told Durm to hold back. Many of the people around us were 5K runners who were kicking it for their last quarter mile. We still had another 3.1 miles to run.
When everyone around you is picking up the pace, it’s easy to get swept along. As we approached the finish line they had the 10K runners go around the finish line. I was hoping we would get an official 5K split.
As we passed the clock, I saw that our 5K split was around 26 minutes which was about an 8:40 pace. Faster than I wanted, but still pretty good.
Running the 10K
The crowd thinned out some, but we still had company. We were now headed back out to the turn on State Reservation Road. Mile three came in at 8:30 so we were progressively getting faster.
We hit mile 4 about a quarter mile before the turn and it was 8:41. We had managed to dial it back a bit.
As we approached the turn we could see the 5K stragglers. I then recognized the 10K leaders and sure enough, Mike was still in 3rd place. He had dropped back a bit, but the 4th place runner was now way behind.
It was nice to make the turn and know we were headed home.
Mile 5 chimed in at 8:26 and just about on top of the Mile 5 sign. We both felt pretty good and were still having a conversation as we ran.
Normally at this point in a 10K we would start to pick up the pace. With 1.2 miles to go you see what you can do. But with a 20 miler the next day, you have to hold back.
Some people that we passed earlier now passed us. We still had to hold back.
We took the loop through the campground and the Mile 6 sign came into view. Just about on top of the mile marker my watch chimed 8:26 again.
With 0.2 miles to go, Durm and I kicked it in. We held back for most of the race so our legs still had a lot of juice.
For the last 0.08 of the race we ran a 6:34 pace! That’s one hell of a kick!
As we approached the finish line I could see Don off to the right. Durm and I kicked in just a bit more for the finish and I was about two steps in front of him as we crossed the line.
St Patty’s 10K Finish
As we ran through the finish and walked to the end of the finish area, I was out of breath. I could hear Don behind me, but I couldn’t really speak.
I chugged down a 500ml of water and headed for the vendor tents to pick up a few treats. Not a lot of food, but enough. Instead of making a few rounds we headed for the car.
Mike was at his car changing up. I congratulated him on his run and we talked about the race for a bit. He wasn’t sure if he would get 3rd over all, 2nd place male or first in his age group. But he was going to win something!
The three of us weren’t going to win anything and weren’t interested in bar hopping. We had a 20 mile race to get ready for!
We had an easy ride home and a good, far-ranging conversation.
Run well my friends and see you in Hampton Beach!