results) in Merrimack, NH. Not only was this my hometown course, RD Michael Amarello allowed me to design a new course this year, taking advantage of a few new trails. The roughly 4.5 mile course would be about 75% single track with a few wider sections sprinkled in for passing and such. Over the past month I've run the course about 7 times so I was a wee bit familiar with it. After marking it in the morning with Michael, I also knew it would be very fast. I lined up as conservative as I could (I have limits you know) and immediately tucked in behind Amber Ferierra and Chris Dunn, with Michael Wade on my tail. I was in no hurry early on and almost fell off the pace near the summit of Blodgett Hill. I made up any loss on the downhill single track and got back in line behind Chris and Amber for the next 1 1/2 miles or so. We had a good pace going and we seemed to be pulling in a couple of runners up front so I was content with my place...at the moment. As we headed down towards the powerline I actually felt like Amber had slowed just a bit so instead of running up Chris' back, I made an unconventional pass on the right, mostly because Amber was running on the left. If I recall, Chris followed suit and also squeaked by Amber.
|Feeling good! (photo credit - Gianina Lindsey)|
results), put on by Chris' daughter Madison. The roughly 3.7 mile course would have just about everything: tough sugary, loose snow, lightening fast single track, nicely packed snowmobile trails and even a descent hill to boot. It seemed just about everyone here had raced the previous day so there was no sense complaining about tired legs (although I may have mentioned them). Chris refused to line up in front of me so I took a spot behind teammate Ryan Welts instead. Both the start and finish were on a loop around the baseball field on the toughest snow on the course. Not exactly the way I would prefer to start or finish a race but oh well. After a few minutes of racing it was clear Chris and and I would be racing alone. The fast guys were gone up front and we didn't think there was anyone challenging us from behind. For the first half of the race I lead and Chris followed. We asked each other a few times why we were running so hard since it was clear we weren't going to catch anyone in front and we were fairly certain we would not be run down from behind. It was mostly talk though. Let up in a race? Are you serious? Ha!
|This is how most of the race looked, except the finish|