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Calling it a season.

Calling it a season.

It has been a busy 6 months of racing. I’ve done 8 races, 7 of which have been USATF New England or National team races starting with the USATF 10K National Masters Championship in April. Sunday was my final team race of the season, the USATF National 5k Masters Cross Country Championships at Franklin Park.

Syracuse Festival of Races Winning Team Picture
Greg Putnam, Joe Shairs, Joshua Perks, Derrick Jones

Before the start of the XC championships we took a minute to celebrate our win at the road championship (somehow I got left with the plaque which is now hanging up in my office). We knew we had a steep hill to climb if we wanted to win today’s race, but with some added depth and were ready to give it our best shot. BAA was the odds on favorite. Even with one of their top runners down we knew we would all have to have great races if we wanted to take them down.

Derrick took the team lead early, and showed again that he isn’t afraid to get out there and mix it up with the leaders.

I spent a good deal of the race trying to find some rhythm, I have not had much luck lately settling into a steady pace and I’m guessing my yo-yoing in and out of packs isn’t the most efficient race strategy.

By the final mile I found myself a bit behind Joe, which I was hoping was a sign of him running well and not me having a bad day. Joe and I are usually pretty close unless one of us is off, so being the optimist that, I am assumed we were both running well not poorly. With about 600 meters to go I was trailing a pack of 8 or 9 runners including 2 from BAA. I thought I might have a shot at running them all down but I waited too long to pull the trigger.

Instead of going as soon as we got on the field with about 400 meters to go I waited for the final 150 straight away. I swung wide and tried to drop the hammer, but I came up short. I managed to pick up a few spots but not the 2 important ones pictured above running with Joe. You can see me in the background clearly out of range with 75 meters to go. I’m not sure why I thought I could make up some much ground in 150 meters, I’m going to blame it on lack of blood flow to the brain.

I take some solace in the fact that I even if I had passed those 2 or even if I won the race, BAA still would have beaten us. Still it would have been nice to have beaten their 4th and 5th place runners.

It has been a great season of team racing for the CMS masters men. The team won the USATF 5k Road Championship, finished 2nd in the USATF 5k XC Championship and won the USATF New England 5 mile, 5K and 10K championships. Many of the guys will be finishing out the season by traveling to Lexington, KY in December for USATF Club Nats where they will compete with some of the top West Coast teams who don’t usually make it out this way even for national championship races. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to make that trip, so I’ll have to cheer them on from a far. Run Tuff guys!

USATF 5k XC Overall Results

There and back again (a runner’s tale)

There and back again (a runner’s tale)

I’m sure a great many of you have been holding your breath in eager anticipation. Desperate for news about your departed leader. Your long wait is finally over.

I’ve been watching the kids, running and occasionally racing since I left Rochester back in July. This is shocking news I know. Who would have guessed that is how I would spend my retirement. The kid watching is going great but the running and racing have been… uneven.

IMG_20150825_092102
The children have grown a bit wild in my care.

Since I last updated the blog I’ve raced three xc 5k’s, one road 5k and one road half marathon. In order they went: ok, good, terrible, worse, good. I won the 5k road race by about a minute but didn’t break 17 minutes. The first xc 5k I won and felt good doing it. The half marathon was the worst race I’ve run in 10 years. The second xc race wasn’t much better, although, I did get to race with the Roadkill masters team and we won beer & glory which made it worth the 7 hour drive. Finally I raced the USATF National 5k XC Championships with my new team the Central Mass Striders.

Here is me winning the Greater Boston Track Club XC Festival masters race in my new gear.

Racing with a new team is strange. I’m not used to just being another cog in the wheel. I’m the 3rd or 4th fastest masters runner on the team. In many ways it is nice to just show up and race without the pressures of being in charge. After years of stressing over rosters and recruiting, worrying only about myself should be freeing, but in many ways I miss rallying the troops and leading them into battle.

CMS Masters Team
CMS Masters Team

The CMS team is 2 for 2 this fall winning the GBTC Masters Championship and the USATF Masters National Championship. Next up for us is the New England Masters Championship.

Next up for Roadkill Racing is the 4th race in the Upstate XC Series and a chance for the masters men to pull ahead in the series scoring. Run Tuff you crusty sea dogs.

Back to Back Scarecrow Attack

Back to Back Scarecrow Attack

I’ve raced lots of doubles and even triples at track meets, but somehow in all my years of racing I’ve never raced back to back days. Going into this weekend I had no plans on changing that.

Sunday was the 3rd meet in the PGXC series and Lisa was supposed to take some time to herself  (well herself and some of the other lady racers) while I stayed home with the kids. Even though we have had some very generous babysitting help from people connected to the team, it is nice to go to race without having your attention pulled in many directions. Having no cross country racing responsibilities I figured I would jump into the Safe Journey Scarecrow 5k on Saturday morning. It is a mile away from my house and they had $100 prize money for 1st masters runner.

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I shuffled down to the race and put in a pretty solid effort finishing 2nd overall and 1st masters running in 16:26. As an interesting aside I ran 16:28 in 2012 and 16:27 in 2013, if I keep this up I’ll break 16 on the Scarecrow course when I am 67 years old. I got my butt kicked by Kenny Goodfellow who ran a 16:02 only 6 days removed from his 2:33 marathon performance (seriously wtf Kenny). Also in the race were Joe Williams and Joe Haungs (dressed as a Scarecrow). Joe Williams was hoping for a PR but came up just a bit short. He said he wasn’t looking forward to Sunday but thought he could drag himself out to Akron Falls… better him than me.

Later that evening as I was about to sit down for dinner I get an email alert on my phone. Normally I would have waited until after dinner, but I get a little paranoid the day before xc races so I checked it. And as the song goes, just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you (Yes I am aware Joseph Heller put that in a book first). The toll of working several overnight shifts in a row had finally caught up to Joe W and he wasn’t going to be able to race. We only had 5 masters runners including Joe scheduled to run. I’d already scramble to pull in 2 new masters runners for this race Rick Ostrander (pictured below) and Daniel Sackett (who also ran the Wineglass Marathon last weekend).  If the Masters team was to have any chance of winning the series we couldn’t take a 0 for this race, which meant back to back races it would have to be for me.

Rick Saves the Day!
Rick Saves the Day!

We had a 6 man open team and a 7 woman open team also racing, but sorry kids this particular post is all about the masters team. I will give a quick tip of the cap to Dave Rappleyea who seems to be very close to his old racing form and to Lauryn Recchia who ran a 5k PR at Scarecrow and came back to race this meet as well. You can see the results for all the teams at the end of the post.

Now for a quick history lesson. The Pete Glavin XC series is in its 25th season. In 14 of the last 16 seasons and for the past 9 seasons in a row the Genesee Valley Harriers have won the Male Masters Division. GVH has had a stranglehold on the Masters competition in Western NY for a generation, and nothing would make me happier than to break that grip.

Going into the race my hope for the team was to place no worse than 3rd. I had no idea what I had left in my legs, Derrick was fighting a cold, Dan had just race a marathon and Rick was a totally unknown commodity. The only person I knew was going to run well was Josh Williams and he didn’t disappoint, blasting past a GVH master runner in the final meters. No one else disappointed either. Derrick dragged me through the first 5k of the 6k course and held on as the 2nd masters finisher after I moved past him on the final uphill. Daniel edged out GVH’s 5th runner by 4 seconds, and Rick finished with what can only be called a ferocious kick.  After finishing 2nd by 3 points to GVH at the McQuaid race, we were revenged in Akron Falls beating them by 1 point!

More Beer. More Glory. And apples?
More Beer. More Glory. And apples?

We have put ourselves in a good position for the last 2 races. We have a 4 point lead and should have our full complement of masters runners for those final 2 races. I hear GVH is putting out an all points bulletin for wayward masters members for the USATF-Niagara Masters 8K Championship on November 2nd which is also the 4th race in the series. I would be shocked if that race doesn’t come down to a point here or there.  Despite what the GVH coach may be telling people, all we do is not sit around and drink beer.

Men’s Master

Road Kill – 1 16 6,4,6
GVH – 1 12 2,6,4
High Noon AC – 1 7 4,3
Syracuse TC – 1 5 3,2

Men’s Open

Syracuse TC – 1 16 6,6,4
GVH – 1 14 4,4,6
Road Kill – 1 9 3,3,3
Checkers AC – 1 3 1,2
Cornell Running Club – 1 2 2
Syracuse TC – 2 0 0

Women’s Open

GVH – 1 16 4,6,6
Checkers AC – 1 14 6,4,4
Syracuse TC – 1 9 3,3,3
Road Kill – 1 6 2,2,2
Checkers AC – 2 1 1

 

Overall Women Results Meet #3
Overall Men Results Meet #3
Team Women Results Meet #3
Team Open Men Meet #3
Team Masters Men Meet #3

YEAR MASTERS MEN CHAMPION
2013 Genesee Valley Harriers
2012 Genesee Valley Harriers
2011 Genesee Valley Harriers
2010 Genesee Valley Harriers
2009 Genesee Valley Harriers
2008 Genesee Valley Harriers
2007 Genesee Valley Harriers
2006 Genesee Valley Harriers
2005 Genesee Valley Harriers
2004 Checkers AC/Buffalo
2003 Genesee Valley Harriers
2002 Genesee Valley Harriers
2001 Genesee Valley Harriers
2000 Genesee Valley Harriers
1999 High Noon AC/Ithaca
1998 Genesee Valley Harriers
1997 Blade Runners/Batavia
1996 High Noon AC/Ithaca
1995 High Noon AC/Ithaca
1994 Blade Runners-Batavia
1993 Blade Runners/Batavia *
1992 Cats AC/Rochester *
1991 Syracuse Track Club *
1990 Cats AC/Rochester *
* denotes 3 person team