Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Baystate Marathon

October 17, 2010

Early on around mile 5,
Mike Tarratino leading, myself, John Chesto. George Adams in back
For the third year, Lowell, Mass played host for the New England Track and Field Association's Grand Prix finale. Like the previous two years, New England weather was promising to wreak havoc on marathon hopefuls. I witnessed some of the worse conditions I ever had the displeasure to run in last year. Low 40s to start. A wet mixture of rain and snow, in the mid 30's to finish. Those that stuck around for some post race festivities had a couple inches of white stuff to clear off the car before the drive home. I swore then and there to never return.

The Weather Channel has been tracking a classic Nor'Easter slowly crawling it's way up the East Coast. Mid-week forecasts are looking dire, and more dire, as Sunday draws near. I refuse to hold any hope of better fortune this year. Halloween is only two weeks away, after all. Perhaps this race is cursed. Or maybe I was just focused on running the best I could, without regard to a specific goal time or PR to best. But for whatever the reason I'm fine with any crappy weather we may get. Besides everyone will race under the same conditions. My only goal is to place as high as I can in the Masters age group and help our team scoring which looks promising with Matt Helm, Mike Broulliette and myself. Hopefully I can do my part and we will crack the top 3 in the open team division.

This summer has been a mixed bag of results. I nearly PR at Beach 2 Beacon 10k in 34:53 when I wasn't expecting much of a result. The next week was a total flop at Falmouth. I was not able to hold 6 min pace for more than 3 miles. Overall training hasn't gone that bad. I've pretty much accepted the summer is too busy a time to log the 80+ mile weeks needed to nail a marathon PR. So this year the plan was to get in plenty of races and a decent number long slow runs with some track and tempo work when I can. Final track workouts were very, very disappointing but the tempo/races felt good for the level of effort I was laying out.

For this Baystate the goal was to shoot for a top 5, maybe top 3 spot in the masters group. I knew that would be a tall order considering the competition but I was feeling good enough about my fitness to at least give it a shot. I figure it would take just under 6 minute pace to break into the top 5.

Unlike last year when I didn't give myself enough time to get there and the stress of all that left my stomach in knots, this year I arrived in plenty o' time. I got in all the stretching, bathroom and pre race rituals I needed to give myself a fair chance of running well today.

8am draws near and the weather is looking superb for running. Mid 40s'. Some wind but a near homerun as weather goes. The start line is unreasonably packed tight upfront. The usual pre-race announcement before something unusual. The National Anthem cancelled due to technical difficulties? A couple brave souls ring out the opening verses and everyone joins in. Pretty cool.

I line up only about 3 deep - exactly where I should be for my starting pace. Of course, just in front of me, someone that had no business being lined near the front is camped out. I usually take note of the people I line up behind just for that reason. Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. A 5 year-old kid, a 70 year-old women, or some chick with about 3 gallons of lord knows what kinda of fluids strapped onto a fuel belt are good warning signs. This guy looks to be somewhat normal but as the gun goes off he literally walks out the first couple steps before throwing up his hands in protest like "Hey!, Hey!, Hey! What's going on!!! Why everyone's in such a rush?"

Any whose and any how's, an amusing start to the day. I find a decent groove right out the gate - lay out a perfect six point zero first mile. I'm just trying to assess where other Master group runners are. Titus Mutinda and Joseph Koech (the later I learned after the race had switched over to the half) were two I considered no chance of beating. I can only hold out hope that they race themselves out the top 5 going out too fast with the top young guns. It happens. As usual the early pace of those top guys is beyond me and I can't even calculate precisely how many 40+ guys may have escaped. But immediataly up ahead, within my vision, I spy very few possible 40+ guys. Dan Verrington with his trademark goatee is a easy ID. He is only seconds up ahead in a small group.

As it should be, not much happens for the first couple miles. Once the half marathon and full marathon split up things start to take shape. I find myself in a well forming pack of about six clicking off just a hair under 6 minute pace. We were picking up a few, dropping a few, and passing a couple holding together tightly in a group of maybe six.

At about four miles we are joined by Brian Ruhm, I believe. Brian (at least I hope I got the name right) says Hi. He mentions he checked out my race report on last year Baystate and asked what today's goal was. Funny because last year at this almost exact point in the race, Brian pulled up along me and asked that very exact question. Deja'vu all over again.

I get a little lift from Brian's words. Not because someone actually recognized me as a possible age group contender, but because someone might actually be reading this freaking blog! Never the one for much conversing during a race, I retort a quick "Thanks" and respond to his 2:40 pace inquiry with a "Nope. I hope a bit faster! It's time to close down the next group"

With that I get to the front and start moving our group up to Verrington's.
I was holding steady and even with a core set of now 4 or 5 runners. One I recognize from other races is George Adams. George more resembles a rugby player than your typical rail thin runner. But race him just once and you won't be fooled again by his rugged maybe 180 lb. frame. This guy can flat out run - and not just the short fast stuff. Runs about 74 minutes for the half up in Swanzey, NH - and that's no pancake flat course. The group is headed up by George is two other runners, that I don't know. They are intent on keeping this group clicking off at sub 2:36 pace. I do my best to take some turns up front breaking the wind keeping the pace up.
Tim Cataggio leading early around mile 10,
myself, then Mike Tarratino
Photo: Krisky / Smug Mug

The wind is not terrible but it does seem a factor. As each of us pulls off the front and tucks behind, the effort put forth is subtle but apparent to the watchful eye. We all seem to be mutually benefiting from our collective effort. We are not mowing down runners in front of us but we are making steady progress. It's also very early in the race. Many miles to go.

We go thru 5 miles in about 29:45 and then ten miles in 59:35. It was at this point last year where I had to pull off and take care off business behind a tree. And with that, last year's race was over. I make sure to take note of that point and draw some motivation knowing there won't be a repeat performance of that this year. Right around 10 miles I see Mike Brouillette in a shuffle. Actually more like slow hobbling gimp. I shout out some encouragement for my teammate but it's apparent my words will be strictly consolatory. An injured hip has left Mike with no choice but to DNF. With Mike gone and Carlos Rivera, who I have not heard close behind since the start, our shot at a top 3 in the open team has gone up in smoke.

The group has strung out like a single file - about 6 deep clicking off nice even splits with one or two runners swapping up and back in the front keeping the pace. We hit the half in 1:18:15. I'm feeling good and up in the front of the pack as we cross the bridge. As we make our way to close out the second bridged loop, the pack is changing somewhat in composition. John Chesto, who I seen in races before and get his due share of mentions in New England Runner, has joined us and is adding words of encouragement to keep the pace going strong.

The group has whittled down to just George, John and myself by 17 miles but  I'm starting to fade. The wind wasn't too bad, much better than prior years, but it was enough to make a difference for me. Fatigue was setting in. I couldn't make my way to the front to pace anymore and was just hanging on behind George and John.

I work to stay on them thru 20 miles in just under 2 hours but then a gap grows and from there I slip into 6:15, then 6:30 pace when we merge with the 1/2 marathon jog/walkers. George and John break free and are out of sight.

Around mile 21, starting to fall off pace from Chesto
I didn't totally blow up but I couldn't keep a full stride going anymore. I got re-passed by about 4 guys, including Brian - all in the last 4 miles. Physically I was close to spent but I'm pretty sure I could have pressed just a bit more and squeezed out a 2:39. A bit more mentally beaten down, than physical.

Still, overall, I'm very happy with the result. A step in the right direction. Think I got another 2:36 in me next year.

Feel decent enough now - some blisters and Achilles are a bit sore, but normal for running that long in racing flats.

Photos: krissyk / smugmug

My Splits:
5:59  5:54    11:56 5:55    5 miles 29:44
12:01     5:56     11:54   10 miles 59:35
5:58 6:02 6:01 6:03 6:01   15 miles 1:29:40, 1:18:15 Half
6:02 6:01 6:01 6:02 6:07   20 miles 1:59:54
6:15 6:25 6:30 6:38 6:33   25 miles 2:32:14
6:39 1:37                           2:40:19

Place Div/Tot Name No. Ag Club City St Time Net Time Pace
===== ======== ==================== ===== == ====================
1 1/183 PATRICK MOULTON 2260 28 BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO PROVIDENCE RI 2:24:41 2:24:38.2* 5:32
2 1/285 TERRY SHEA JR 21 36 BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO CAMBRIDGE MA 2:24:44 2:24:42.6* 5:32
3 2/183 BRANDON NEWBOULD 2240 29 WHIRLAWAY DOVER NH 2:25:05 2:25:03.1* 5:33
4 3/183 MATT HELM 219 24 GREATER SPRINGFIELD LONGMEADOW MA 2:26:17 2:26:13.9* 5:35
5 2/285 RYAN CARRARA 284 34 NEW BALANCE BOSTON HUDSON MA 2:27:11 2:27:07.7* 5:37
6 4/183 ANDY MCCARRON 71 27 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER KEENE NH 2:27:26 2:27:22.9* 5:38
7 3/285 JIM JOHNSON 66 33 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER SALEM NH 2:27:36 2:27:33.7* 5:38
8 4/285 JEFF SCOVILL 1898 36 MINNEAPOLIS MN 2:28:02 2:27:58.1* 5:39
9 5/183 SCOTT LESLIE 68 29 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER RUTLAND MA 2:28:16 2:28:13.4* 5:40
10 5/285 DANIEL MCCUE 1521 33 CAMBRIDGE MA 2:28:34 2:28:30.6* 5:41
11 6/183 DAVID NASH 1625 29 JERSEY CITY NJ 2:29:50 2:29:46.4* 5:43
12 7/183 TOM DEEG 2242 29 WHIRLAWAY EASTHAM MA 2:30:10 2:30:08.2* 5:44
13 8/183 TIMOTHY CATOGGIO 357 25 TEAM RUN SOUTH_BOSTON MA 2:32:54 2:32:51.6* 5:51
14 1/310 JASON PORTER 2246 40 WHIRLAWAY BEDFORD NH 2:33:44 2:33:41.5* 5:52
15 2/310 TITUS MUTINDA 358 45 TEAM RUN LOWELL MA 2:34:07 2:34:05.6* 5:53
16 6/285 MARK HUDSON 2239 33 WHIRLAWAY READING MA 2:34:19 2:34:17.3* 5:54
17 7/285 GREG HAMMETT 62 33 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER CHESTERFIELD NH 2:34:34 2:34:31.4* 5:54
18 8/285 JEFF EDMONDS 896 33 NASHVILLE TN 2:35:58 2:35:54.2* 5:58
19 3/310 MARK GIBSON 2243 43 WHIRLAWAY DURHAM NH 2:36:19 2:36:16.6* 5:58
20 4/310 GEORGE ADAMS 49 40 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER GILSUM NH 2:37:24 2:37:20.2* 6:01
21 9/285 RICK BRANDT 14 35 BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSO SALEM MA 2:37:58 2:37:54.4* 6:02
22 5/310 JOE DONNELLY 113 42 GCS - TRIAD RACING T DRACUT MA 2:37:59 2:37:56.3* 6:02
23 10/285 JON CHESTO 167 39 GREATER BOSTON TRACK SOUTH_BOSTON MA 2:38:24 2:38:21.5* 6:03
24 11/285 MATTIJS VAN MAASAKKE 34 30 CAMBRIDGE RUNNING CL BOSTON MA 2:39:38 2:39:28.0* 6:06
25 6/310 JOE NOONAN 230 42 GREEN MOUNTAIN ATHLE BURLINGTON VT 2:39:57 2:39:52.8* 6:07
26 12/285 JIM PAWLICKI 75 36 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER BEVERLY MA 2:40:04 2:40:01.1* 6:07
27 1/153 MARTIN TIGHE 366 52 TUESDAY NIGHT TURTLE PROVIDENCE RI 2:40:11 2:40:07.3* 6:07
28 7/310 BRIAN RUHM 144 45 GCS - TRIAD RACING T NASHUA NH 2:40:18 2:40:15.0* 6:07
29 8/310 ROBERT LANDRY 221 42 GREATER SPRINGFIELD LUDLOW MA 2:40:21 2:40:19.1* 6:08
30 9/310 KEN TRIPP 79 40 CENTRAL MASS STRIDER AMESBURY MA 2:40:28 2:40:25.0* 6:08
56 4/153 CHARLIE MUSE 223 54 GREATER SPRINGFIELD WILBRHAM MA 2:52:12 2:52:07.5* 6:35
71 26/285 CARLOS RIVERA 225 36 GREATER SPRINGFIELD SPRINGFIELD MA 2:56:31 2:56:27.3* 6:45
185 65/285 MIKE LESCARBEAU 222 39 GREATER SPRINGFIELD AGAWAM MA 3:10:11 3:10:04.0* 7:16
207 73/285 BRIAN WALSH 227 35 GREATER SPRINGFIELD LUDLOW MA 3:12:08 3:11:25.5* 7:19
234 84/285 SANJAY ARWADE 212 36 GREATER SPRINGFIELD AMHERST MA 3:15:26 3:15:16.7* 7:28
408 33/153 NORM FULLER 217 50 GREATER SPRINGFIELD LUDLOW MA 3:27:41 3:26:40.9* 7:54
484 146/285 MIKE GAUVIN 218 35 GREATER SPRINGFIELD LUDLOW MA 3:32:53 3:32:10.5 8:06
994 104/153 DOUG BIELEFELD 214 51 GREATER SPRINGFIELD EAST LONGMEADOW MA 4:02:21 4:01:20.0 9:13
1545 36/36 MIKE PASSMORE 224 62 GREATER SPRINGFIELD SPRINGFIELD MA 5:49:36 5:47:33.2 13:16

2:27:23 2:27:34 2:28:14 (2:34:32) (2:37:21) = 7:23:11

2:24:39 2:24:43 2:37:55 (2:41:41) (2:47:04) = 7:27:17

2:25:04 2:30:09 2:33:42 (2:34:18) (2:36:17) = 7:28:55

2:26:14 2:40:20 2:52:08 (2:56:28) (3:10:04) = 7:58:42

2:33:42 2:36:17 2:40:56 (2:47:53) (3:03:08) = 7:50:55

2:37:21 2:40:25 2:43:04 (2:58:03) (3:07:06) = 8:00:50

2:37:57 2:40:15 2:44:37 (3:10:44) (3:14:26) = 8:02:49

2:40:20 2:52:08 3:26:41 (4:01:20) (5:47:34) = 8:59:09