|Walkers to the front, please!|
My day started early. Technically the previous day ended late. I was so looking forward to this race that I stayed awake as long as possible, giddy with excitement. Seriously, does anyone really need more than 2hrs sleep? There's so much to enjoy out there! My alarm went off at 4am and I was out the door by 4:05. I wanted to make sure I saw the sunrise over the Ossipee Mountains. Thankfully most Dunkin Donuts don't open until 5am so I was able to drive the first hour North without coffee, which as you know only distracts you first thing in the morning. Who wants to struggle with the cup holder so early in the morning, especially when it's dark out?
As I came through Meredith I wondered where all the bikers were? Isn't this motorcycle weekend? Who knew bikers weren't morning people? They're missing a fantastic sunrise! Looking back I should have beeped my horn and squealed my tires in front of their motels, just in case their alarms didn't wake them. I feel kind of bad I let them all over sleep. Sorry bikers.
I arrived at the base of Mt Washington around 6:40am. and got a sweet front row parking spot. Within seconds of arriving I was giving instructions on how to park cars in the beautiful, shadeless fields. I needed to stretch out my legs anyways after all that driving. Plus, I could work on my tan for a couple of hours before the start of the race. And who could complain about this weather? 75-80 degrees by 7am? How great is that?? Things were falling into place for the perfect pre-race preparation! Oh, as a bonus I met up with a couple of ticks. One I had to return to the fields prior to the race, the other sneaky guy managed to hook a ride to the summit of Mt Washington and made it all the way back to Merrimack! You can say we bonded.
I met up with Chris Dunn at the start and lined up about 2/3 back in the pack. I thought we were a bit too far back so we moved up a few rows. The plan was to stick with Chris as much as possible in his quest for Dunn family bragging rights. Our initial goal was 1:30 but the nice weather made me rethink this plan. We may want to spend more time on the mountain than planned and enjoy the great day, not to mention get our moneys worth out of this race!
With the whisper of a cannon blast we were off..sort of. I was determined to start of easy so I decided to take 25 seconds just to reach the starting line. It gave me time to gather my thoughts about the upcoming challenge. It seems some people took more time than I to gather their thoughts, choosing to walk a little right from the starting line. I know, at most races they ask you to seed yourself appropriately and put the walkers in the back. But not at the 50th Mt Washington Road Race. No sir. You can start where ever you feel like it. Heck, it gave some of us an opportunity to work on our bob and weave moves, a little lateral motion never hurt anybody!
|Such a nice day...memories.|
|The wall doesn't look so steep?|
With less than a half mile to go I chugged along, doing my part up front for a change. Chris had done the work up front for way too long. It was only fair that I take over the duties up front, especially since we were so close to the finish. He looked really tired so I figured he could catch my draft and maybe even stay in my shadow to stay out of the hot sun (he is fairly light skinned, you know). Somehow he dropped out of my draft. (I swear I didn't know it). As I made my way up the final 22% grade (some referred to this as the wall for some reason), I smiled and waved to the Trail Monsters and then made my way to the finish (1:31:50). With all my hard work I easily pulled Chris to the finish in 1:32:00, just 10 seconds back but more importantly shattering the Dunn Family record for the Rock Pile. You're welcome Chris, the pleasure was all mine.
Gee, that was fun....thanks!