Browsed by
Tag: masters

Land of bourbon, horses, and harriers

Land of bourbon, horses, and harriers

Got on a plane and flew to Kentucky with Derrick Jones. While sitting at the gate in Chicago I started texting with Derrick trying to figure out if he was in the same terminal as me. He texts his gate number, I look up and there he is sitting 10 feet away from me. It was a pretty funny moment, kinda like something out of a cheesy sitcom. We crammed ourselves into the back of the regional jet and headed off for the little hop down to Louisville KY. From there it was an hour drive to our hotel in Lexington. The hostess was so brimming with Midwestern hospitality I wanted to tear my ears off. I felt like she was just taunting me with her niceness. I realize this is a character flaw in me, and only a little bit her fault.

 

 

We dumped our stuff and headed over to the course for a look and run around. I was imagining some nice manicured path lazily wrapping around a lush Kentucky Bluegrass infield. This is not what we found at. The park was a frozen wasteland of hills and turns and broken clods of turf. A North wind was whipping down from the hilltop prison on the horizon. It was only to get worse by race time.After a nice dinner and beers with some of the team, it was back to the friendliest place on earth to try and get some rest.

 

Saturday morning dawned grey and cold and windy. I loaded up and coffee and headed to the race. USATF had setup a large heated tent. The air in it was so think with BENGAY, IceyHot, and Vick’s Vapor Rub, I was sure the gas heaters was going to ignite the fumes and blow us all to hell.

The race started like all cross country races start, with everyone forgetting all about any ideas of rational pacing and sprinting across the field, slowing forming and arrowhead and shaft. I like to think I kept my calm and settled in quickly to a reasonable sustainable pace, but my opening 5:35 doesn’t exactly back that up, especially when it was immediately followed up by a 5:50. I manage to settle into a nice rhythm after mile 2 and started grinding out 5:40’s and slowly working my way up.

It’s impossible to tell from the photos how uneven the ground was. Several runners, including Derrick fell during the race as the landed badly on the frozen clumps of earth. I managed to stay on my feet, but was thankful for my flexible ankles which rolled more than a few times.

I finished further back than I would have liked. I was hoping for top 50 (I was 51st in 2014 in 34:32 but that course was 200 meters short so more like 35:12) but finished 66th in 35:22. At the 4k split I was in 77th place, it was a ton of work to pick up those 11 spots and with the benefit of hindsight I feel like I could have been much further up at that point. But it is just as likely I would have then faded and lost places, ending up in the same final spot or worse. 35:22 is about what I’ve been racing for 10K on the roads, so overall this was a solid time. My team, the Central Mass Striders, finished 4th. I thought we had outside shot at the podium, but we finished nearly 100 points behind the 3rd place team. So while our placement was close to top 3, we got whooped pretty good by West Valley Track Club, Boston Athletic Association, and Bowerman Track Club.

Team Photo
Right to Left: David, Derrick, Joe, Josh, Dave, Chris

Individual Results

Team Results

I had a great time racing this year. Being part of a group of dedicated old guys, who show up in heat and cold, who hop in their cars or on planes to race, has helped keep me motivated to be the best runner I can be. While my times may be gradually but inexorably slowing, I still find joy in racing and trying to squeeze every last second out of these legs.

Next up is some shorter races starting with a downhill road mile to mark the new year, and then some indoor track races. Also keep your eye out for a possible Star Wars The Last Jedi review in the next few days. You can also look back at these past Star Wars related posts.

Millennium Falcon and Disney Star Wars Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

2017 Team Accomplishments

1st place USATF New England Masters Grand Prix

2nd place USATF National Masters Grand Prix

4th USATF National Masters 10K Championship

1st place USATF National Masters 5K Championship

2nd place USATF National Masters 5K XC Championship

4th place USATF National Club Cross Country Championships

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.

A Long Road to Utica Boilermaker 15k… 

A Long Road to Utica Boilermaker 15k… 

By Derrick Jones

I’ve run the Boilermaker on plentiful occasions and my motivation has always been to it run hard and fast.  My race results have ranged from a sub 50:00 all the way to 60:00 where something had gone wrong. Over time I began to develop a love-hate relationship for this hot, humid and hilly 9.3 mile race, with very little desire to run it.

Then in 2008 while finishing training for the Boilermaker during the week of the race my older brother passed away. For the next seven years that would become my motivation to return to Utica and honor him while towing the line in this race.

Then in 2012 I had my first appearance as a masters runner and knocked out a 53:30 that was good enough for 71st OA and a 1st place in my age group. This made me realize that if I maintained my fitness and kept the injury bug at bay for at least the next 5 years I would have a legitimate chance to walk across that stage not as an age group winner but an overall winner. Then for the next two years I would find myself just missing 5th place OA in the Masters.

Then on July 12th 2015 it finally happened!!! Running nearly a minute and a half faster than the previous year I took my place on the stage and honored my brother. I was so overjoyed to hear the crowd cheer for me as my name was announced, however to this day I am not sure if they were cheering for Derrick Jones or the fact that I was from Henrietta, NY, USA.

derrick01

derrick02a

derrick02
derrick03