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Downtown Temple,NH

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Great Gobbler 5k Trail Race

I've been nursing a sore foot/ankle this week (one too many ankle turns on the trails), so I went into rest mode...mostly. By Thanksgiving Day I only had 5 miles for the week. Until this year I've never run on Thanksgiving Day. No particular reason why, I'm not against it or anything, it just never really interested me.

I'm not a very good rester. Running takes up a lot of my time so when I don't do it I get antsy. On Thanksgiving morning I got up early and headed down to Nashua to run in my very first Turkey Day race. Whoohoo! Lots of things made this attractive:
  • 8am start
  • $10 entry fee
  • trail race
  • run mostly in Mine Falls in Nashua
I've never seen so many folks at a Mine Falls race (results), and this one had nearly 600 finishers. There were a few familiar faces from GCS, bunches of high school xc runners and a ton of regular joes.The start was one of the strangest I've seen in a while, starting on the track for the first 250m or so. I was one of the tallest on the line (if you can believe that), mostly because there were a boatload of little kids all crammed up front. As far as I could tell, no gun went off, people (kids) just started running. I followed suit and immediately got jammed in behind a herd of  little kids and they were moving, at least for about 200m. It was a pain, it was dangerous (for them and us tall folks) and the RD should have said something at the start. 200m in and they were spent and most settled in somewhere back in the pack.
I had seen the Nashua xc coach out marking the course before the race and he had one of those wheel measurement thingies so I assumed the mile markers were correct.  At the first mile (5:31) it was Bill Newsham, Steve Pickett and myself (all masters) running pretty close together. I was probably in the top 15 at this point. We stayed in this order all the way through mile 2 (5:41), but as we headed up the slight hill near the power lines Steve passed Bill. We may have picked off a few high school runners as well. As we ran along the canal in the final mile we passed Kevin McIntrye (out for a training run), who yelled out my position (11th), egging me to get a top 10 finish. Of course I'd have to pass Bill (which doesn't happen often)  to do it. Right before the bridge I passed Bill, trying to separate from him as much as possible. As we headed back onto the track for the last 300m I thought for sure Bill was going to catch me. I didn't look back and focused on trying to stay with Steve in front of me. In the end Steve finished in 18:48, I was 5 seconds back in 18:53 and Bill 1 second behind in 18:54.
Oh, and it wasn't really a 5k. The published distance in the results was actually 5.25k so I averaged 5:47's for the race. I managed to finish 10th overall, 3rd masters. Brian Ruhm (2:43 at Baystate) was the first masters in 18:31, followed by Steve Pickett and myself. It felt good and I didn't hurt my foot or ankle. Not a bad way to start the day!

Place Div/Tot  Name                 Ag S No.  City            St Time    Pace  
===== ======== ==================== == = ==== =============== == ======= ===== 
    1   1/54   JOHN SCHROEDER       22 M    1 NASHUA          NH   17:00  5:14 
    2   1/32   JOHN CONLIN          16 M  313 MERRIMACK       NH   18:07  5:35 
    3   2/54   RYAN MCCARTY         21 M  167 NASHUA          NH   18:15  5:37 
    4   3/54   SETH TUCKER          23 M  354 NASHUA          NH   18:22  5:39 
    5   2/32   CHRISTOPHER BUSBY    15 M   31 MERRIMACK       NH   18:24  5:40 
    6   1/70   BRIAN RUHM           44 M  397 NASHUA          NH   18:31  5:42 
    7   4/54   JOSHUA GRANT         19 M  549 NASHUA          NH   18:35  5:43 
    8   5/54   SETH HAFFERCAMP      20 M  109 MERRIMACK       NH   18:41  5:45 
    9   2/70   STEPHEN PICKETT      45 M  208 MERRIMACK       NH   18:48  5:48 
   10   3/70   STEVE WOLFE          45 M  350 MERRIMACK       NH   18:53  5:49 
   11   4/70   BILL NEWSHAM         44 M  513 BROOKLINE       NH   18:54  5:49 
   12   3/32   RYAN HAGGERTY        18 M  111 MERRIMACK       NH   18:55  5:50 
   13   6/54   ADRIAN WONG          21 M  531 MERRIMACK       NH   18:58  5:51 
   14   5/70   RANDY MACNEILL       48 M  501 EPPING          NH   19:06  5:53 
   15   7/54   BRANDYN NARO         22 M  558 MERRIMACK       NH   19:09  5:54 

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