Kimi, Marc, Anthony, Me, Mauricio and Sara after the race
Race: Winter Classic 5K
Location: Cambridge, MA
Goal Time: 20:00
Actual Time: 19:46
After Mill Cities last week, the running world really opened up. Maybe it’s the loss of weight; maybe it’s the 15 months since I quit smoking; maybe it’s the training; maybe it’s a bit of all three.
I set my goal for the 5k to be nothing less that break 20. While Tim doesn’t think 20 is any more important a number than 19, I’ll have to differ. By the accident of the Sumerian Duodecimal system that split the day and night each into 12 hours, the Babylonian base 60 numerical system that split the hour into 60 parts, Mechain and Delambre measurements of the arc that created the meter and the Hindu base 10 numeric system – 20 minutes for 5 kilometers is a HUGE.
At the start there was a huge mass of Black and Gold from SRR. Not only is this a race run by a friend of SRR, but it had special meaning this year. This was the first race of the new (brainchild of Kate O’Malley) SRR Winter Grand Prix. For the next 5 months, there will be one race a month where members of SRR can run against each other for prizes, etc. On top of that, there is a fantasy league (brainchild of Marc MacDonald) where we have picked members of SRR as our “teams” to race against each other.
Anthony had set his goal at 20 minutes also; but, I didn’t like his plan. I decided to do 6:30 miles for the first two and then see how I felt for mile 3. At the gun I saw Anthony and Dan run out with Jason and others laying down a fast first mile. I had decided not to go with him.
The first mile is very flat. From the Ashgard it wraps around University Park and then up Mass Ave into central.
As Mass Ave starts to climb from Central up to the People’s Republic, I saw I was slowly pulling both Anthony and Dan back. Once we started to run through Harvard Square, the two of them were almost within my grasp. At the turn around onto Mt. Auburn right before the two mile mark, Anthony was shocked to hear me so close as I thanked the cops who were directing traffic.
At the mile 2 mark I was under 13 minutes! (I’m pretty certain that’s the first time I broke 13 since I was in the Army). As we continued up the little hill back toward Central Square, another of the over 100 SRR runners passed me to take a point away – damn it! Back at the People’s Republic where Mass Ave dips back into Central, I set myself up for a charge.
By the time I had made it to around a quarter mile left I could literally reach out and touch Anthony and Dan. Anthony yelled: “Go for it Dan!”; Dan responded my nonchalantly blowing the two of us away by 7 seconds in the last quarter.
At the turn back onto Sydney for the home stretch, Anthony egged me on to gun it. Of course this through me into a quandary. Beating Anthony would help my personal SRR Grand Prix points; but it would harm my Flying Otters fantasy team. What do I do? Well, the competitive nature of real sport won out over my desire to win fantasy sport. I sprinted to the finish: 19:46!!! First time under 20 and a PR by 1:33 and 91st out of 1115!! (When the final times came out, it turned out Anthony beat me in chip time anyway!)
In other personal achievements, it was the first time I ever beat Scott Abrams and only the second time I beat Bill Hees in real races.
The Flying Otters saw: Joe O’Leary, 7th overall (probably 2nd SRR); Anthony White, 90th Overall; and Jennifer Rapaport 153rd Overall.
Special congrats to Tom Breider who went out to break 20 (and did so by 56 seconds); and the trio of Korynn, Sara SoRad and Paul V who went out to break 7 minute miles and all three achieved. (And I forgot about Ann's PR on a white wine hangover!)