Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cup-o-Hell: Mayor's Cup (10/27/13)

SRR after the Mayor's Cup
All photos courtesy of Anthony White

Race: Mayor's Cup Franklin Park 5k
Location: Franklin Park, Boston
Goal Time: 20:00
Actual Time: 21:02

At Doyle's, Sara Saba sat down with us: "How was the race?"

- Jesse: "Terrible"
- Urvi: "Awful"
- Tim: "Horrible"
- Deb: "I missed the start"

Saba paused, "Well, I guess I'm glad I didn't run it."


Indeed, the night before was my 40th birthday.  Many of us were not really in shape to take on the challenge of a cross country 5k.

Urvi left the house around 10:00 or 10:15 to jog down to Franklin Park.  I laid on the couch as long as humanly possible.  So, at 11:15 I got dressed and out of the house.  I rode pretty hard down the Orange Line all the way to Franklin Park (About 6 miles).  Sweaty and groggy (and refusing to take off my sunglasses), I found my way to the registration desk; got my shirt and number and spoke with Deb - who needed to get back to her car. (turned out that was a mistake)

I made my way back across Playstead Park to the starting line.  By now most of the race was lined up along the edge of the field.  I made the SRR group - which was next to Greater Lowell also - high fives (better achieved than this one..) and "happy birthday"s and "I can't believe you're here"s were the order of the minute.

As the air horn went off to start the race, I dropped into the back of the pack to not get caught up in a 4:30 mile or anything.  (Deb heard the air horn go off but was not near the starting line).  As we ran over the bump of the cricket pitch and across my High School football practice field, I was happy I wasn't with the front runners jockeying for position.

Deb Running across Playstead Park - Three Minutes after the start

Loop 1 - Overlook and White Stadium

In the first loop I was trying to gain my traction.  I found what appeared to be a good pace. As we lapped the outside of White Stadium, I started gaining on people who had gotten themselves into the mayhem of the 4:30 mile to start.

Loop 2 - White Stadium and The Bear Cage Hill

The start of the second loop is right at Mile 1.  I passed that at 6:12, which would be great for a 5k under normal conditions.  I wasn't under normal conditions and knew that would be my fastest of the day.

The second lap around White Stadium leads to the left turn up the Bear Cage Hill.  This is the hardest part of the course.  A brief steep climb up to the old bear cage and then a bit steeper past it.  However, in a 5k it's only at mile 1.5 and any lost ground (such as the 6 people who passed me going up) can quickly be recovered.  (The 8k and the 6k go up it twice and the second time is with about a third of a mile left - so that's where you make your move).

Loop 3 - The Wilderness

Despite my ability to gain back the time lost on the Bear Cage Hill, I was unable to gain back the time lost from Saturday Night.  I hit the second mile and the clock read 13:08 - 6:56 for mile two - umph....

Off we went with the left turn into "The Wilderness" -about as "wild" as you can get two miles from Forest Hills and JP Center.  Soon I completely ran out of energy.  Just all of it sapped from me like some sort of Sci-Fi movie sucking it out.  The winding kilometer through "The Wilderness" felt like 10 kilometers.  Several people passed me here; I passed one injured person.

We came out of the winding trails and atop the chill overlooking Playstead Park.  Under normal circumstances, this is where I start to pick up speed.  My high school days of track, football, cross-country and softball all coming together as the heart to drive me to finish strong.

I merely ran the same speed.

I did manage to sprint the last hundred or so yards - the stretch Jason Manhart and I used to race each other at the end of football practice.  I wanted to break 20 minutes; I tried to break 21 minutes; I finished with a "Masters PR..."

Finishing - Masters' PR


Larissa ran a 18:31 in the Women's 5k
Jenn was the third woman in the Open 5k

Teams -
me, Joe and Scot Dedeoe[sic] were the 7th place men's team
Jenn, Florentien and Urvi were the 6th place women's team

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