Race: Boston Prep 16
Distance: 16 Miles
Location: Derry, NH
Goal Time: 1:57:14 (1 second faster than Matt Noyes’ 2010 PR at this race)
Actual Time: 1:52:54 (60th Overall)
9 Miles to go before I sleep
What to do now I think I know
Help my teammate up to the show
She will hopefully see me here
And a place or two I will forego.
Three things in my athletic background put me in an odd situation:
- I was a lineman in football;
- My recent love of cycling;
- My constant desire to win.
As a lineman, I was immediately able to both understand and respect the role of the domestique on a cycling team. Like a lineman, he does grunt work that allows the “skill players” to score points and win bike races.
Well, at around mile 7 I was running near my teammate Megan, who I had calculated in third place among women. Another woman came running up behind us and began to pass the two of us. Immediately, numbers 1, 2, 3 clicked me into cycling domestique mode.
Unfortunately, going into domestique mode in NO WAY means I knew what a running domestique would do at this second. I started by trying to stay with the woman who passed us. Then I slowed down a bit to put myself equidistant from Megan and the woman who had passed us. Maybe, Megan could use me a rabbit, catch up to me and then I could drag her to the other woman? Maybe…. Maybe I have no idea how the help her what-so-ever. So I just stayed around in between the two hoping if Megan wanted me to do something to help she would tell me what to do.
Within two miles this dilemma was over as we got the hills and Megan was on her own anyway as I was just a regular domestique – not a super-domestique.
“I think this is where you lose me.”
“No, you’re still running strong.”
Yeah, within a quarter mile I couldn’t even see her anymore as she charged up the hill and my Clydesdale’s belly pulled me in the reverse slowing me down.
The Boston Prep 16 (or in the parlance of area runners “Derry”) is a 16 mile race through a nice neighborhood in Derry, NH – home of America’s second greatest and second best poet, Robert Frost. (Whitman is “greater”; Sandburg is “better”). Derry is also hilly. So the logo of the race is based on its profile. And, its motto: “Moderately Challenging” is supposed to be humor through understatement. Yet, I found that it was not really as bad as most people claimed. It was not near as bad as the Great Bay Half and my training runs on Eastern Ave in Arlington trained me for the hill at the end of the race.
16 Miles to go before I Sleep
Down the road to the start posthaste
At 5k speed away I raced
From the school and to “O, Canada”
As often happens – I was late
I dashed away from the school toward the starting line – which was not nearly as close to the school as you might think. I ran to the street and then a left onto the starting line street. As I made my way to the start they were fortunately still playing the Canadien national anthem. (I guess since New Hampshire touches Canada they have to pretend it’s a hockey game.)
I made it to the start and tried to fight my way to where Matt Noyes was starting – so that we wouldn’t have an unfortunate repeat of losing to him but beating him on chip time like the 10k. I didn’t quite get there, but I got close. When the start went off I tried to calm my legs (that had just virtually sprinted to the start) and ran past Megan and Matt (who apparently didn’t see me) to catch up with Erin
Wyner Morin. As usual I was running faster than I “should” have been. When I caught up with Erin, I felt I could go faster and she told me to catch up with her husband – Coach Tim.
About half way through the second mile, Megan caught up with me. She said some encouraging words as she ran by. I then came up with the 90% brilliant / 10% idiotic plan of keeping up with Megan (maybe it was actually 90% idiotic / 10% brilliant). At first it was hard to keep up with her, but soon it was like my legs “learned” her pace and I was comfortable running sub 7 minute miles with her.
So comfortable, in fact, that going up one of the hills, I ended up passing Megan. While my legs were comfortable, my mind was extremely uncomfortable with this turn of events. I kept checking out of my peripheral vision that I was not running too fast.
5 and a half miles to go before I sleep
Ah alas here comes that hill
That everyone says my death it will
Bring and leave me dead on the road
Forsaking my body with a buzzard’s shrill.
The hill at nine and a half, where I lost Megan, is NOT the BIG hill. The BIG hill starts around ten and a half. It is steep and long. Many people told me it was harder than Eastern Ave. I think they are wrong. (of course, I rarely run Eastern Ave 10 miles into my run – so that probably makes them think this hill is harder.)
I slowed from my blistering sub-7s to take this hill. Yet, this did not deter me from destroying the paces I had been doing on Eastern Ave (largely, because this hill is EASIER that Eastern Ave). I managed to not race the people who were passing me. To paraphrase the basketball cliché: I didn’t fall into the trap of playing their race, instead I ran my race.
By mile 13 the bad hills were over, I had grabbed my last water and attempted to eat a Mandarin Orange GU (disgusting!). The last in race split was at Half Marathon. I ran through that split at 1:32:48 which was the fastest Half Marathon I’ve ever run.
At 14 Erin had come back and ran by me. I jokingly tried to box out the women on her tail – but they cleverly got by that.
Half a mile to go before I sleep
Only a sprint left before I slow
A quick right away from the road
Onward by the announcer I am goad
As I finish, yell out: “BEAST MODE!!”
I sprinted into the finish to the cheers from Megan and Erin at 1:52:54, got my finisher coffee mug and looked for water.
Thank you so much Erin for getting water since that was a half mile almost from the finish line and I could barely breathe.
SRR Shoutouts –
Tim Morin took 9th overall and 2nd in his age group
Diona Fulton took 1st overall for women
Megan Hyland won her age group
Erin Morin took 2nd in her age group
Anthony White ran a 1:55:31 in his first Derry
Matt Noyes broke 2 hours for 96th place
Korynn Stoyanoff continued racing in Beast Mode with a 13 minute PR!!