Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Back in the Yak: Glen Dougherty Cup (6/4/17)

Somerville Road Runners - fastest team

Part 1 - 0.75 mile Kayak: 8:29
Part 2 - 5 km Run: 19:49


This is the third year I’ve done the Glenn Dougherty Cup – ¾ mile Kayak and 5k running.

In 2015, I took third in the Kayak portion but won the overall with a 18:31 5k.  Last year I had a blazing kayak but the kid who came in second beat me by 3 minutes in the 5k.  (Three Minutes – that’s half a mile).

This year I was hoping for better results in the 5k.

I got myself to the front of the kayak race, on the horn I hit it hard.  Getting from Zero to 5mph probably took 10-15 really hard pulls.  I thought I’d get to ease up and coast once I got to speed.  But it’s not like a bike; instead each paddle quickly dies.  

I made the big left out of the Broad Canal and out into the Charles.  Positioning seems pretty important at this point.  I looked up to see two major obstacles.  First is the floating dock that’s tied to the river’s wall, for (I don’t know what it’s for exactly); then is the Charlesgate Yacht Club.  The area is speckled with moored boats that belong to the CYC and accessed by dingy.  But at the Yacht Club itself is a dock with a building that is accessed by a bridge about 10 feet in the air.  

Your choices are pretty clear:
1) get to the right and avoid the whole thing, but this will add maybe 10-15% distance to the race;
2) get to the right of the floating dock, steer back left between two of the yachts so that you can get back next to the wall to go under the CYC’s bridge; or,
3) attempt the navigate the moored boats and yachts like they are an asteroid field. But, the chances of navigating that are 3,720 to 1.*

I went with option 2.  As the leader you have more choices.  I definitely heard people who took the inside on the turn needing to work to get back to the right as they approached the floating dock.

Finishing the Kayak Race
Photo by Urvi

I got through the bridge at the CYC pretty unscathed.  My normal spotters – Joe and Andy – weren’t there this year since they had a wedding to go to.  But it sounded as if second place was not terribly close – but I couldn’t tell.

I just told myself two mantras:
1) Borrowed from Leroy “Satchel” Paige: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you”; and,
2) Borrowed from last year: “Just Keep Paddling”

I made the tighter left turn into the Lechmere Canal.  Don’t look back, just keep paddling… oh and yell several times.  I came under the rope in first place and could barely move, much less paddle any more.

Spent after the paddle
photo by Urvi

45 minutes later…

I was still pretty exhausted and it was time for the 5k race.  I knew there were two guys from the kayak race to look out for.  And I knew there were 3 masters in the race to look out for. (2 years ago when I won the Glen Dougherty Cup, I also was masters’ winner.)  

If I wanted to double again, I’d have real problems with Rory in the field and Thor on his way back to speed.

I also had problems with my general fitness level – such as I didn’t have any.  The first 2 ½ miles of the race went to plan as I flirted with but didn’t go under 6 minutes in the first mile and then the next one was a 6:30.  And, I kept Rory in sight (if not exactly in “striking distance.”) But as you cross the railroad tracks at 2 ½ the “hill” starts.  Its not really that bad, but if you’ve pushed your upper body for 8 minutes and then your lower body for 15 minutes, it might as well be Alpe d’Huez.

At Sixth Street, Jason went by me; at Fifth Street it was Zach and at Fourth Sciarappa, it was Thor. This now put me at least 5th in the masters’ and that’s if there was nobody I didn’t know between me and Rory.  By the time we crested the hill at the Courthouse, I was spent.

I coasted and busted for 7th master and 2nd in the Glen Dougherty Cup.

SRR Shoutouts –
Deb and Rory won the masters F & M
Wendy was third master
Patrick and Roni were 4th & 6th overall
Somerville was the fastest Team
Spice was the fastest dog.


Spice tuckered out by her run
photo by Toledo Steve



* - Never tell me the odds.

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