I was running the 5th leg of a great Coed Masters team (The WereWolfes of Lawrence) so I had a chance to drive along the course and take a few pictures. You can check them out here.
Kevin McIntyre, Leg 1, 5.6 miles
Karen Pattelena, Leg 2, 4.75 miles
Tammy Gaffey, Leg 3, 2.5 miles
photo credit - Michael Wade
Jeff Hunt handing off to me at the final transition
The recent snow and cold weather only played a minor role this year (unlike last year), with just a few icy spots to deal with (pretty much on every leg). Other than that it was a great day for racing.
Our club (Gate City Striders) were the defending champions and we were looking to repeat. With 127 runners on 27 teams (covering all 13 categories), we were ready for the challenge. Thanks to Michael Wade for spending untold hours contacting runners and setting up the teams to give our club the best chance at winning. In the end his magic formula did just that, giving the Gate City Striders the Club Championship for the 2nd year in a row!
Total Points for Each Club Gate City Striders 106 Winners Circle Running Club 99 North Medford Club 80 Somerville Road Runners 76 Greater Derry Track Club 63 Whirlaway Racing Team 43 Greater Lowell Road Runners 41 Shamrock Running Club 41 New Hampshire Athletic Alliance 30 Merrimack Valley Striders 30 North Shore Striders 26 Wicked Running Club 24 Squannacook River Runners 19 Mystic Runners 14 Gil's Athletic Club 11 Andover Striders 10 Melrose Running Club 9 Sandown Rogue Runners 5 SISU 0
Check out how we did in each of the 13 categories. Pretty strong & balanced showing across the board. Congrats to all teams.
Male Open - 2nd
Male Masters - 2nd
Male Seniors - 3rd
Male Veterans - 3rd
Male Ancients - 1st
Female Open - 2nd
Female Masters - 1st
Female Seniors - 3rd
Female Veterans - 1st
Coed Open - 1st
Coed Masters - 1st
Coed Seniors - 4th
Coed Veterans - 3rd
Everything worked out just fine and no real issues to speak of (other than a minor baton problem in leg 1). This is a tough race to really know what your position is during the race. So unless you recognize other runners, your finishing position tends to be a mystery until they post the results. For me, none of this changes the way I run my leg. Everyone is an equal opportunity competitor. If I can pass you, I will. If I can hold you off, I will. If you pass me, I get mad (but I won't hold it against you). In the case of my leg, I was able to do all three, passing 2 runners, getting smoked by Paul Doe and holding off a charging Goon Squad Coed team.
I never felt great during my run but I'm not complaining (much). After hitting the first mile in 5:51 and getting passed by Paul Doe at the same time, I settled into a more manageable pace for me as we climbed a modest hill between miles 2 and 3. I missed the next couple of mile markers so pace was a mystery from 2 miles on.
In the end we finished 14th overall in 2:47:55 (6:12 pace), 1st in the Coed Masters Division. For our efforts we get a brick! Congrats to my teammates!!
As for my 4.75 mile leg, I finished with a time of 28:30, 6:00 pace even. Of course my car was still at the previous transition area so as soon as I finished my leg I turned around and ran the leg in reverse back to my car (and yes, I got more than my share of "you're going the wrong way" comments). Once I got my car I started heading back to Lawrence for the post race party. As I was waiting for the light to change I spotted a familiar face standing in the cold...teammate Jeff Hunt. After running 9.5 miles he discovered a snafu with his transportation. His car was supposed to be at the end of his run. It wasn't. So he's been standing in the cold for over an hour, freezing his arse off. I picked him up, cranked up the heat (and heated seats!) and went looking for his car. We found it, making its way back to the transition area...finally. He survived and lived to run another day :-)