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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eastern States 20 Miler

A fine day for a 20 mile race from Kittery, Me to Salisbury, Ma on Sunday....except for the 38 degree temps, constant rain and 10-15 mph winds. At least the winds were mostly at our backs.
Roughly 600 folks lined up in Kittery for this unique 3-state, 7-town race, mostly along New Hampshire's vast 18 mile coastline. It was a cold one out there for sure, but the push of a tailwind was a welcomed relief and kept us moving south.

I met up with Jim Johnson prior to the race to coordinate rides, leaving my car about 100yds from the finish and riding with Jim to the start. We hung out in the gym at Traip Academy for a bit, fueling up and debating what to wear and of course Jim went through his pre-race routine of what injury would knock him out of the race (barking hammy, cramped calf, hang nail). He decided to dress down the part of elite racer and go with a good old cotton t-shirt, hoping to blend in with the regular folk, not fooling a soul since it was still a CMS shirt. About 1/2hr before the start we headed out for a 2+ mile warm up run, not because we needed it but because it would put Jim over 70 miles for the week and me over 50. All about priorities! We cut it a little close, getting back with about 2 minutes before the start.

At 11am we were off. I settled into what seemed like a comfortable pace and was pleased to have a few folks to run with by the time we hit 2 miles. I ended up running miles 2-17 with Jonathan May, (the eventual 2nd place masters in 2:07:15). We both were hoping to run in the 6:20 to 6:30 range but held it closer to 6:20's for a good part of the race. Without his help pulling me along I would not have held this pace as long as I did.

Our 5 mile split was 31:34 and our 10 mile split was 1:03:22, exactly 6:20 pace. Paul Young (the masters winner in 2:04:55) ran with us early on but eventually picked up the pace around 6 miles and took off, never to be seen again. I was feeling pretty good up to mile 13, and hit the 1/2 marathon mark right around 1:23:00, which would be my 2nd fastest half time ever. Neither of us thought we could hold this pace for 20 so we decided to scale it back a little, running closer to 6:24 pace for the next few miles.
Right after passing the 15 mile mark at 1:35:20, Keith Schmitt (eventual 3rd place masters in 2:07:30) passed us and held a 10yd lead for the next few miles. By the time we hit Hampton Beach at the 17 mile mark I was hurting. I had totally run out of gas. I tried to stay with Jonathan and Keith but I just couldn't do it as they kept up the pace and I slowed to 6:30's. As we crossed over the drawbridge heading into Seabrook at mile 18 I was passed yet again by another masters runner and the 1st female runner. This race couldn't end soon enough at this point. I at least held my position for the last mile and finished 16th overall and 5th masters in 2:07:52 (6:24 avg.) Although initially a little disappointed I couldn't hang on at the end, I really am very pleased with my time. This distance was definitely outside my comfort zone but I'm glad I ran this weekend.
After what was a rough month for Jim Johnson due to injuries and sickness, in the end he recovered nicely and placed 6th overall with a time of 1:56:31 (5:50 pace). See Jim, all that training didn't go to waste afterall! Congrat's to Casey Moulton as well, breaking his own course record with a time of 1:45:40 (5:17 pace). Nicely done.

Complete results can be found here.

Splits for the day:

Mile 1 6:14
Mile 2 6:00
Mile 3 6:38
Mile 4 6:22
Mile 5 6:20 (31:34)
Mile 6 6:19
Mile 7 6:20
Mile 8 6:23
Mile 9 6:23
Mile 10 6:23 (1:03:22)
Mile 11 6:18
Mile 12 6:22
Mile 13 6:25
Mile 14 6:21
Mile 15 6:32 (1:35:20)
Mile 16 6:24
Mile 17 6:30
Mile 18 6:50
Mile 19 6:09
Mile 20 6:39 (2:07:52)