The University of Massachusetts will rise again!!!
The third and final race of Silly Season was the Marathon Sports 5 Miler. Formerly known as the Nike Race, the race was hosted in the greatest town in the union, Holliston. I remember watching the Nike Race as a kid and watching Greg Myer, Bruce Bickford, and Bob Hodge all hammer away on the 5.0 mile course. At the time my father would tell me how talented they are and how lucky we are to see them race. I didn’t really think much about it until I ran the course myself as a freshman at Holliston High. We had a time trial on the route we would call “Nike” (surprise surprise) at the start of each season to see where our fitness was and to see who trained over the summer. Enough of the walk down memory lane . . . As I was saying, Umass dominated the race. Matt Ely, class of 99’ took the win convincingly in 25:08. Right behind him, Jeffrey Hill, a young incoming freshman, ran a smoking second in 25:16 (which I wish I could run when I was 18). Yours truly came in sixth after going out too fast in 4:57, over correcting too much the second mile for a 5:24, over correcting again for a 5:04, then settling in at about 5:20 for the last two. What saved me was the last section being on grass. Daniel Mackay and Joshua Gordon (another Umass product who was good for 8th) were breathing down my neck about 1 - 2 seconds behind me when we stepped off the pavement to run 3/5’s of a mile on grass then the last 300 on a track. I was able to really pull away by about 9 seconds on the last section because I was just praying for the grass to get there. I felt very uncomfortable on the road section. Maybe my lack of tempo work and all my runs being on the trails. Once I got to the grass, I just took off. Must be the cross country in me, but I felt stronger on the grass. Joshua Gordon, who moves remarkably fast for a man of his size, was the 4th scorer for the Umass team. Then rounding out the scoring 5 was Thomas Szumita who is bouncing between road racing and Tri’s right now. It is great to see the Umass crew still out there running in competitions.
Last night was a great workout at Bentley track in Waltham with R.F.
4 x 1200m @ 3:36 with 3:00 rest
4 x 300m @ 0:49 with 1:30 rest
I was nervous before hand that I would be straining too hard at that pace for 1200m and Kevin mentioned, “it may be a bit much at this point but let’s see how it plays out.” After the first one, I felt very comfortable. It helped a lot that Ryan kept the pace even the whole time as we switched off. We didn’t miss one split by more than +/- a second. I am starting to get excited about running again and am glad there will be few people working out me as we approach the Beach to Beacon in Maine.
On the cross training front, Sunday was a nice little spin through Acton, Bolton, Stow, and Hudson on the road bike with Christy Mae, D.G., and Sharon C. I just got new tires for it because on a ride home from work last week I ended up blowing a tube out through the side wall. I told my brother that the tires he gave me were crap. He shot back “they were three years old and that’s what you get for being cheap.” He’s right, can’t complain about free stuff. You get what you get. For all the runners who also ride bikes out there, buy new tires every year because the side walls dry out and crack over the winter. I guess anyone who has every ridden a road bike knows that. When you blow through the sidewall you can’t fix it on the road. What you can do though is stash your bike and biking shoes in the woods, and run home barefoot in just your socks.
73.4 miles last week. Shooting for about 70 again this week.
That’s all I got.