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December 10, 2007

2007 Club Cross Country Nationals

Total Mudfest!!!

Here is the merry band of New Balance Boston after marauding Voice of America Park

Merry%20Band.jpg

The course was a disaster. Two inches of snow on wed. was melted by about .5 inches of rain on Friday and the course was just saturated. The open mens race didn't start until 1:30 there were 3 race before it that really tore up the track. Where it wasn't mud it was extremely soft grass that just tore up under foot. I went with the rarely used but often talked about 3/4" frog killers. They were a huge advantage because the mud actually cleared the spike pattern on every stride so I had a lot more traction than some. I saw some people just spinning in 5/16" and 1/4" spikes. I knew they would be almost useless in that crap.

These are the weapons I selected for my assault on the Ohio Mud.

dirty%20spikes.JPG

I had some pre-race operational intelligence from Ned and Shauneen about the course. If it was going to be the crap conditions everyone thought it was going to be, taking out the pace to fast was going to be suicide. Therefore, I started out a little conservative and then worked my way through the pack. I went out in 5:25 still having a lot in the tank but didn't try to pick it up at all because I figured it would be all attrition the last two miles and using it now would be a disaster. Pretty much stayed put through two in about 10:50. I don't even know any other splits but people were right next to me with a watch through 1 and 2 and just shouted out the times. After two I really started to pick up some luggage. I was rolling past people left and right. I don't think I picked it up at all but the people who went out too quickly paid dearly for their miscalculation. If you were not driving strong on this course you were going backwards. There was no coasting at all. The only uniforms I recognized were Indiana invaders and BAA so I tried to key on those guys up ahead of me and gun for them. The last mile was pure hell trying to maintain pace. You noticed how much worse the course was on the third lap compared to the 1st. After cutting into the finish I started to drive because the turf was in much better shape and I thought I was only 1/4 mile away but turns out I was a 1/2 mile away. Good thing I drove anyway because the finish was nuts. We were hauling in there in bunches and I ended up with a 34:20. Tried like hell to catch Ben S. but couldn't do it. There were 420 people in the race and I would say 375 were true racers. I have never been in a cross race this talented and deep. One thing for certain, everyone came to race. Time didn't mean crap, just race the guy next to you and try to beat him. Once you go by him, go by the next guy, on and on and until your guts fall out or you sprint to the finish line.

Another Club nationals in the books and I think we ran very well considering our second guy wasn't in the race. 13th out of 50 teams is pretty good.

Here is a visual time line of how things went.

Before
before.jpg

During
during.jpg

After
after.jpg

That's my story and I am sticking to it. I am not going to into the whole party at the conference center and who was tasered, who was arrested, and who cracked their head open while the police used it to open a door. I am not going to bring up who was looking mighty ridiculous dancing with a skinny red head from michigan who looks like he lost his razor to a funk band in an irish pub. This is not the venue to talk about the after party in the host hotel where a few more drinks could have been taken out of the mini fridge. I don't want to go into who may or may not have had one too many Guniness and went on a walk to another hotel for an after after party when they should or should not have just gone to bed and called it a night.

Lessons learned on this trip:
1. Bring maps
2. Running in mud requires long spikes
3. Listen to the cops, right or wrong, they have the tasers and like to use them.
4. When the sun comes up, the party is over.

That's all I got.

December 9, 2007

10k of Fight

Just flew in from club nationals in west chester Ohio and boy are my arms tired.
My brain and body certainly is anyway.

New Balance Boston men came in a respectable 13th of 50 and the women kicked some ass and took some names with a 2nd place over all team finish with two women in the top 10. The results in full are here.

13. New Balance Boston
25 Jeffrey Caron, 24, Medford, MA 32:47.2
38 Justin Lutz, 27, Framingham, MA 33:20.3
85 Ryan Carrara, 31, Hudson, MA 34:20.7
96 Erik Nedeau, 36, Belchertown, MA 34:28.2
129 Mario Fraioli, 25, Auburn, MA 34:59.2
150 Justin Maloney, 29, Somerville, MA 35:24.2
183 Bradford Klinedinst, 31, Medway, MA 36:00.0
Total Time = 2:49:55.5 Total Places = 373

2. New Balance Boston
2 Erin Dromgoole, 28, Brighton, MA 20:48.5
3 Jessica Minty, 23, Boston, MA 20:57.5
32 Shauneen Garrahan, 22, Hadley, MA 21:51.6
35 Kristen Coon, 23, Chestnut Hill, MA 21:53.4
87 Laura Kennedy, 25, Charlestown, MA 22:43.4
104 Karina Johnson, 24, Wayland, MA 22:57.7
137 Yvonne Mok, 25, Watertown, MA 23:52.5
Total Time = 1:48:14.1 Total Places = 159

Conditions were ideal if you were a lugworm, fiddler crab, or any other creature who is more at home in a submerged mudflat rather than solid ground. I was actually hoping for some crummy conditions because Mud is my best surface and it brings a lot of people who are faster and stronger back a bit and turns it into race of focus, tactics, and concentration. I was able to stay small and keep my feet in the mud a lot by not over striding. The big striders had a real tough time today because all that strength and power went into moving the mud a round instead of propelling them forward. I will do a whole race rundown tomorrow.

Here is the only picture I could find so far of the race.

muddy.JPG

I should get my uniform back from decontamination in about two weeks. Lets hope they don't use solvents that are too destructive and some of the material survives the process.

That's all I got.