The Chamberas Race was run last Sunday and I wanted to write a report on it right away but things have been busy. This is one of my new favorite races so I was looking forward to running in beautiful Great Brook state farm in Carlisle again. This place is right out of a postcard of New England Farms. We had a picture perfect day with temps right about 80, air a perfect humidity and not a cloud could be seen.
The course last year was a long 5k and this year the course was short 6k without actually changing the course. Weird right? I think the course is certainly closer to 6k than 5k but who gives crap because everyone knows where the start and the finish are and who ever gets there first wins. I like the simplicity of the event. Unfortunately this year would be more complex because the field that signed up was much deeper and more experienced than last year.
Dave Hannon once again ran a great race and the bonus this year was tech tees and a free boston marathon jacket to all finishers. Pretty sweet SWAG. Dave also wins the award for best pre-race speech. It was a week ago so even though I am quoting him I may be screwing up some of the exact wording.
“Thanks to everyone for coming. We have a pretty good day and a pretty course out there. It is marked very well with red flags, ribbons, and chalk. If you don’t see any ribbons you are off the course and you may want to go back. Be careful of the footing because there is some single track. There are no mile markers out there so you are on your own with that, I don’t know what you do with those splits anyways. I am going to say on your mark, go. When I say “Go” you go.”
So he said go or blew a horn or something and I got off to the worst start in my cross country career. It was so bad I even commented to the guy next to me “How did I get here?” Still not sure how I got shuffled so far back but I did and had to work a little harder then I would have liked to get into fourth place before the single track.
Nice start there guy. Not even in the picture.
Ben Strain of CMS was the first guy to the single track while I was in fourth behind Mario F and Mathiew Haringa. It was wild looking back down the switch backs and seeing the line of runners coming up the trail. I was quite comfortable for the first part of the racing and was just waiting for someone to go. That happened as soon as we got out of the single track section and headed into what I have been calling the woods loop. This part of the race is a double wide trail full of twists and turns for about 2k. This is my favorite section where you can carry speed through rollers quite easy if you focus. Right after the single track as you swing down a steep hill Mario let his legs roll heading past Ben and the race was on. Right there I think the lead changed hands about 4 times in 200 m. It was a lot of fun. Mario, then Jim, then me, then Aaron (I think that’s what happened).
Then I passed Aaron, then Aaron passed me, then I passed him, then he passed me, and somewhere in all that passing we got a gap to the other runners. I also decided enough silliness and just sat behind Aaron as we climbed out of the woods loop up the hill and back into the corn fields. I tried to make a move in the first field but Aaron picked it up so I just decided that side by side for a while would be fine. I wanted to be in the lead the last 1000m because the plan was to gradually increase the pace making the kick an 800m drive so there wouldn’t be a big kick-off in the final 100m that I couldn’t win. My legs were severely deadened by weekly increases in mileage and the lengths of my workouts. Strength was all I had that day. It worked very well as I took the lead exiting the first cornfield, took a quick line through the woods, and pushed the pace hard through the 2nd cornfield onto the road.
This is Aaron and I exiting the 2nd cornfield onto the road.
Hearing the click clack of his spikes on the road made me really push the road section heading into the rollers on the third and final corn field. I didn’t want to be in a kick on grass against a guy wearing spikes. It worked pretty well because I had a second on him exiting the road and grabbed another two going through the rolling hills, which were a huge pain, in the 3rd cornfield. Turned for home and kicked it in.
Very satisfying race all around. 20 seconds faster than last year and I felt better doing it. After a five minute break Mario and I did the loop again in 19:33 for 12k (give or take) worth of work.
The results can be reviewed here
That’s all I got.