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Downtown Temple,NH

Sunday, January 2, 2011

33rd Peanut Butter Chip Chase 5k

Temple Town Hall
This race is the definition of a small town race (results) . It is in Temple, NH after all. Everything about it is low-key (which I like). It also happens to be the race I've run the most (8 times). I'd say running this race is the closet thing I have to a tradition, and by now it's an automatic. If I'm not injured, I'll run this race.

I was thankful to have my family in tow this year. They don't see too many of my races but I appreciate it when they do. At least the weather was nice this year (mid 50's, mostly sunny). Seems like it's icy cold or snowing most years. The nice weather also brought out a good size crowd (~200) which was nice to see. If you've come for a 5k PR you've come to the wrong race. The first 1 1/2 miles generally climbs, the next mile is mostly downhill and the final stretch punishes you with a deceiving difficult uphill finish. I don't know if it qualifies as a tough 5k or not but it definitely is a slow 5k. Very few folks run under 18 minutes at this one. Heck, in 8 tries I've never run under 19 minutes.

I lined up in the front row and checked out this years competition. Fellow GCS teammate Joe Rogers was running for the first time. I gave him an overview of the course and thought he had a chance for the win. My plan was to go out fairly easy (since it's mostly uphill the first 1 1/2 miles) and just fall into position and then hammer the downhill. As expected, Joe was with 2 other guys up front and I was a ways back in 5th for most of the 1st mile. I eventually gave up a spot in the first mile, and another spot in the 2nd mile before gaining one back in the final mile. The mile markers ALWAYS seem to be off each year so I don't put a lot of value into my splits. I ran the uphill a little slow but really picked up the pace on the downhill and the short section of dirt road. The last 1/2 mile is always hard as it gradually climbs back up before finishing just below the town hall. It has to be the longest last 1/10th of a mile anywhere. This year it took me 1:15 to run that last '1/10th' of a mile. That comes out to something like a 12 min/mile pace (not bloody likely). Like I said, the mile markers ALWAYS seem to be off. Oh well, at least it's the same every year so I don't mind so much.
Finishing up
I really wanted to break 19 minutes and once again I just missed it, finishing 6th overall in 19:05 (my 2nd fastest time ever at this race). At least it was faster than last year (by 2 whole seconds!). Joe was in the mix right to the end, even leading around the 3 mile mark, before getting passed right before the finish. The top 3 all finished within 8 seconds of each other, good racing indeed. Thankfully Joe finished in the top 3, allowing me to take home the cookie medal for 1st master (40-49). Thanks Joe!

Deb was kind enough to take a bunch of pictures throughout the race. All pics can be found here.
Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Tami said...

the weather has been crazy lately. I ran most of the Big Lake course in Alton yesterday and it was beautiful. Happy New Year