Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Run, The Plunge and the Glasses: Hangover Classic 10K and Ocean Plunge (1/1/12)

Robert, me and St. Anthony plunging into the Atlantic

Race: Hangover Classic 10K
Location: Salisbury, MA
Goal Time: 40:00
Real Time : 39:29 (6th in my age group)

Many years ago I had a conversation with a dude. He told me that he had seen God while he was throwing up peyote and off on some drug induced vision quest. Normally I take random people talking about random drugs at random parties with a little more than a grain of salt. This guy I treated with the same grain of salt.

That was until mile 5 and a quarter of New Year's Day's Hangover Classic in Salisbury. As I turned the hairpin at 5.25 I heard SRRers who had run the 5k cheering me on. Unfortunately, I also felt like I needed to vomit! I was forced to come to a complete stop and dry heave - TWICE. While I did not see God directly, St Anthony of Padua (or maybe Jersey) interceded for him and like Gabriel to Muhammad said: "our Lord knows you best; He will have mercy on you if He pleases."

Well he didn't really say that. What St. Anthony of Jersey said was: "Take this water; you need it more than I do."

I took the bottle of water, took a big swig and was ready to continue the race.


The Winners' Circle Running Club's Hangover Classic was the second leg of the SRR Winter Grand Prix. Because of this yellow and black bees appeared to be buzzing about the starting line jumping from delicious nectar filled flower to delicious nectar filled flower.

Two weeks ago, the plan had been for Jim, Jason and I to go for 40 minutes together. Two weeks can be a long time.

At the gun I spent my time fighting to catch Officer McGinty. The usual people jogging 9 minute miles but lining up at the start forced me to bound around and through people. I finally caught Dan, ran his pace for a minute or two and then pushed on.

My next jump was to Jim and then forward to Jason. Neither of them felt as good as they had earlier in the month.

By the 1.5 mark and the 5k/10k break I was by myself. I did get to yell to St. Anthony of Jersey as he continued to his steaming toward adult PR in the 5k.

I had latched on to Stephen around mile 3 on the back portion of this generally out and back course. I knew I was doing surprisingly well when every person I knew that we passed coming the other way said something along the lines of: "Holy crap! Go Jesse." This started to scare me. Are the wheels going to come off this run?

The wheels came off three quarters of the way through the 5th mile. I told Stephen I was done (at least for now) and that he should go kick ass. From 4.75 until 5.2, it was a real fight for me. Fortunately two things happened that probably would not have if I was NOT in a running club.

1. At the hairpin right on the beach is when the dry heave / St. Anthony intercession happened.
2. Three people passed me in the last mile. The first two were somewhat disappointing. The third however was Matt Noyes.

The water intercession saved me until the passing happened. When Matt passed me, however, I was rejuvenated. At least I could hang onto somebody for a minute. Not only did I hang onto him, with a quarter mile left I was able to shift into fifth gear and pass him. Of course, with a tenth of a mile left Matt shifted into a sixth gear I didn't have and blew me away.

I finished at 39:29 and sixth in my age group - 34th male (which earned me a pint glass for being in the top 40 men!)

And, unfairly if you ask me, my chip time was faster than Matt's so I officially beat him. Anyone who actually saw the last 1/10th of a mile would realize that if we started even he would have merely sprinted in 6th gear earlier. If this keeps Matt from winning something in the SRR Grand Prix - I will file an official protest with the powers that be.

I finished and Robert was all about doing the plunge. I gave my watch to Chris and we went to the beach. To Robert's chagrin, I spent time taking off my socks and shoes. But this allowed Anthony (St. Anthony of Jersey, that is) and SoRad to catch up with us. With Bradley the four of us just ran in.

This is one of those: "Don't think, just GO" times. The more one thinks about diving into the Northern Atlantic Ocean on January 1st, the dumber it sounds. In fact even as I write it sounds ludicrous!

Fortunately (I guess?), I had no such time to think how unreasonable of an idea this was. When the ocean got about knee high, i determined I had reached event horizon. I was now - in for a penny, in for a pound. (of course penny/pound logic often makes you lose a lot of money at the poker table.) Robert, St Anthony, Bradley and SoRad all dove into the ocean with me.

In case you thought since it has been unseasonably warm out thus the ocean might be warm, let me dispel any such hypotheses immediately.

But I did it and got another glass - making it a DOUBLE GLASSWARE RACE!


Flying Otters update:
Joe O'Leary - 7th overall in 10k
Anthony White - 16th overall in 5k
Jennifer Rapaport - 93rd overall in 10k


Other SRRers:

PRs were numerous and I apologize if I forgot. Aaron Beer had a BEAST MODE 3 minute PR. Erin Morin had a PR but doesn't want to recognize it due to possible short course (by 0.1 miles or so). Bradley, Korynn, Kimi and SoRad all had great PRs.

I don't know if it was a PR for Bill Hees but he definitely dominated with a 21:19 on the 5k.

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