Monday, August 6, 2012

A Good Clip: Yankee 10 Miler (7/30/2012)

Clipper Dreadnought, at Full Tea Rig

Race:   Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler
Location: Newburyport, MA
Goal Time: 1:07:00
Actual Time: 1:08:38

In 1860, the Clipper ship Dreadnought sailed from New York to Liverpool in 9 days, 17 hours.  This was the record and has never been broken by any sailing ship.  Within 9 years, as the last great merchant clipper – the Cutty Sark – was completed, the Suez Canal was opened and the Clipper Age was coming to a close and oceans “watched the men who sailed [them] switch from sail to steam.”

But the Clipper Age (1843 – 1869) was part of the internationalization of American Capitalism.  Combined with later the railroad and the telegraph, the Clipper helped to globalize the world.  During the Clipper Age, Newburyport stood right in the middle of it.  Shipyards along the Merrimack built clippers – including the aforementioned Dreadnought – for the burgeoning China trade and the gold rushes of California and Australia. 

The beauty of the clipper was the sleek lines that made it easier to carry high value items (such as tea, silk and opium) at incredible speed.

152 years after the Dreadnought I was hoping to use          the clipper speed in the annual Tuesday night tradition – Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler.  Like the square sails of a clipper I was ready to fly.

Course Sail: Miles 1-2.5

As the race started, I saw Mariah running off to the right.  Knowing the two of us run similar race paces, I decided I would catch up with her – slowly.

It took a good three quarters of a mile, but I was able to catch her and run with her.  We dropped into what Jim calls “comfortable hard” for the 10 mile race pace and chatting.  I believe it was first about Artificial Intelligence and the seeming every five years that somebody says: “Soon computers will be smarter than people.”

Top Sail (which oddly isn’t on the TOP really): Miles 2.5 – 5

So the next few miles the conversation was more dedicated to training and our upcoming marathon (in ICELAND!!!).  In doing so we kept thumping out our 6:45 – 7 minute miles. 

Top Galant (which is on top of the Top Sail): Miles 5-7.5

This is probably the hardest part of the course.  Mariah and I’s conversation turned to her talking and me making grunts of recognition.

Konigssegel: Miles 7.5 – 9.85

The course had one last hiccup (so I thought) as we ran on the overpass over I-95.  I fought up this bit ready to start really running.  Mariah started really running.  At Mile 8 she had pulled away from me.  While I picked up the last two miles she still peeled away from me.

I still felt good as I ran in the last mile and then made the last turn.  But it wasn’t the last turn!

Wreck!:  Miles 9.85 – 10

The Dreadnought wrecked just four months before the Suez Canal opened.  The crew watched as it crashed into the rocks at Cape San Diego in Tierra del Fuego. 

The last turn of the race led into the Newburyport High School parking lot.  It was a steep climb and while I passed one person two guys sprinting each other for the line split me like I was road furniture.  I still finished with a 16 Minute PR in the 10 Miler.

At the end of the race no less than THREE people commented that Mariah and I did well but could have done much better if we didn’t spend the whole race talking.

Shoutouts –

Anthony continued his fantastic summer with a 1:04
Diona and Chris Smith both took 3rd in their age groups
Mariah “Morah” Tinger – 2nd in her age group

The SRR Women took 2nd Overall!

SRR Men took 7th (with no help from your truly)

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