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Downtown Temple,NH

Friday, January 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5K

I like to start of the new year on a positive note and for me, a positive note means I'm healthy enough to run a race. So for the 7th time in 9 years I headed over to Temple NH to run in the 32nd PBCC 5k (results) on New Years Day.

Temple Town Hall
If you've come here for a 5k PR, you'll most likely leave disappointed. It's a pretty tough 5k, due to the course and the conditions. It seems most years the roads in Temple tend to be snow covered making the footing a bit tough. Except for the dirt road section in mile 3, most of the course was in good shape, maybe a bit slushy at most.
Two things worth noting this year: the weather was great and DoubleJ was in town.This small town race doesn't usually attract the big guns so it was good to see Jim at registration. We headed out for a warm up run on the course to check out the conditions. Of course Jim's warm up pace is close to my race pace but I managed. I was pretty confident Jim was the guy to beat today (not by me of course). I just couldn't recall a runner of his caliber in previous years. We lined up just prior to noon, scouted out the competition and got ready for the whistle to send us off.

Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k Course Profile
The first 1 1/2 miles is mostly uphill and climbs pretty steady. They put out mile markers but I've never been convinced they're accurate. The first mile seems a little fast for all uphill and the second mile seems a little slow for mostly all downhill. As predicted, Jim was out in front early and built a sizable lead by mile 1. After that I never saw him again until the finish line.
I hit the first mile in 5:55 but it felt much slower. There were two runners about 30yds in front of me but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to close the gap unless they tripped and fell. I was in 5th and would hold this position until the finish. As we reached the high point of the course I could not hear anyone behind me but I never checked...better not to know for sure. The down hill section should be fast but it just never turns out that way. I hit the second mile in 6:04 but felt ok. Shortly after the the mile marker the course turns onto a snow covered dirt road for about 1/2 mile +/-. The footing was ok, and I only slipped a bit during this up and down section. Finally, the course jumps back onto pavement for the final painful uphill push to the finish. This last uphill section is really tough. It doesn't look that steep but it always feels like you're shuffling along just a bit faster than a walk as you finish up. I hit the 3rd mile in 6:05. Now the 3rd mile is DEFINITELY not correct. For starters you can see the finish line waaaaay off in the distance, a distance much greater than 0.1 miles I might add. Even running uphill it shouldn't take me a minute to run one tenth of a mile. I'm fairly confident the course is 3.1 miles so its just the mile markers that are off. After 7yrs of running this race it really doesn't bother me since they seem to be consistently off every year :-)
In the end I finished in 19:07, 5th overall. In 7yrs I've never been able to break 19 minutes in this race. Maybe next year!
As an added bonus Jim managed to convince me to run the course in reverse for a cool down. It should be noted that he asked while I was still in the finishing shoot. Yikes. 3 times in one day is enough.