You can hear how cold it is in this video. Thanks to all the race volunteers, police, photographers and videographers who stood out in that freezing cold for well over an hour. You’re all the best.
Ever since I PR’d in the 5k back in early November I’ve had a tough of it on the roads. My turkey trot race was terrible which I blamed on the 10k xc race in the snow a few days before, December was a total no go because of the snipping and my 2 January Freezeroo races were both subpar which I blamed on walking pneumonia/tuberculosis. Aside from the weather which was less than idea (10 degrees and 10+ mph winds), there was no reason I could run a good race at Freezeroo #5.
Freezeroo #5 an 8 miler in Greece in memory of Tom Brannon. Because I had been racing so poorly the last few months, and doing pretty much no speedwork either I didn’t know how fast to race. I decided I would go out with Kenny for the first mile and worry about the other 7 miles later. This actually worked out pretty well. The first mile was mostly downhill and with the wind so I had a very easy time going through the mile in 5:18, just a few steps behind Kenny. Once we turned and lost our downhill and tailwind I quickly dropped off to around 5:30 pace and Kenny pulled away. A runner named Brian Barker from UofR was running with me and we came through the 5k together in 17:05.
I made a move away from Brian just past the 5k mark and open up a bit of gap during miles 4 and 5. As we turned onto Long Pond Road for the long stretch back into the wind my pace fell of dramatically. I’ve always felt a bit like a big sail running into the wind, and I went from running a fairly comfortable 5:35 pace at mile 5 to 6-6:10 pace the last 3 miles. It was just about mile 6 when Brian passed me and opened up a 10 second gap which he held onto for the rest of the race. I tried many times in those last 2 miles to surge and catch him but I only managed to close the gap by a few seconds each time before fading again.
Overall I’m very happy with my 46:15 finish, and I’m looking forward to the final Freezeroo which is a 10k out in Ontario on February 22nd.
The last Freezeroo is setting up to be a great competition. Kenny and Dave are only few seconds apart in the stands, and if I can put together a good race I have a shot (all be it a long one) of catching Brian for 3rd.
I don’t expect the Freezeroo races to take place under pleasant running conditions. After all they take place during the winter in Western New York, and despite global climate change, we do still tend to get some rather nasty winter weather around here. It seemed last winter the only time the weather dipped below freezing was on the weekends of the 4 final Freezeroo races. A quick look back on www.wunderground.com showed the following conditions at race time for those races.
Don Curran Memorial 5k: 18 degrees windy and snowing
Hearnish 10kish: 29 degrees and freezing drizzle
Valentines Run: 22 degrees and windy
Churchville 10K: 30 degrees… blizzard
This years Hearnish 10Kish had them all beat with a race time starting temperature of 13 degrees and that is Fahrenheit for all our international readers (-11 Celsius).
Despite the bitter cold Kenny thought it was perfect weather for shorts and a singlet, a decision he was regretting by the time he jogged over to the starting line.
The 2 most important things to know about the Hearnish 10k are 1. it isn’t a 10k (it is really 6.44 miles) 2. is has some very steep and long hills. Just how hilly you ask? This hilly…
I’m not going to give you my usual riveting account of every twist and turn of the race. In this case I feel there really is no need to go into such detail. I think it is enough simply say, it was a painful experience. During the last part of the last big hill I gave serious consideration to walking, it might have been faster than whatever shuffle I was attempting to do. Sucking in vast quantities of freezing air while shuffling up a 7% grade for half a mile 4 miles into a 10K that is really not a 10k isn’t a whole lot of fun. When you are doing on the tail end of having a chest cold and needing to catch the person in front of you because they are beating you in the freezeroo standing it is just plain awful.
The picture above is from a little before the last big hill. Jeff ended up running away with the victory by 35 seconds, I did manage to close to gap a bit on Kenny and finished about 8 seconds behind him. Extra long warm ups must agree with Matt because he started the day with 3 miles at home 6 miles on the course worth of warm up and was able to break away from Dave Bradshaw to finish in 4th place.
Joe managed his best finish of the series coming in 12th place. I’ve never met anyone more excite to run a race no matter the conditions or situation than Joe. I think we need to elect him Roadkill’s spiritual advisor.
In spite of all my negativity toward this race, it turned out to be another great showing for Roadkill Racing. We finished 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 12th. If it was cross country scoring, us against the field we would have won 22 to 35… not too shabby. Full Results Here.
It was a perfect day for Freezeroo #3, the “Edge of the World 10K.” Temps were in the mid 40’s and aside from a bit of wind out of the south it was a wonderful day to run. Five Roadkill Racer’s made the trip out to the edge of the world or as Matt calls it, next door. You can see our smiling faces at the start of the race in this video taken by Steve Hedges (thanks Steve!)
OK those weren’t really smiling faces, but these are smiling faces.
Ahhh the joys of starting a race. The endless possibilities, the thrill of competition, the wind gently tussling you hair.
Ohhh the pain of finishing the race. The gut wrenching agony of every step, the failure of second place, the wind blasting your frozen cheeks.
OK so maybe it wasn’t that bad. 2nd place isn’t exactly failure, and I did manage a 40 second PR (on a course that was probably 100 meters long), and if I had to lose at least it was to a teammate. And I take no small solice in the fact that Kenny appears to be hurting nearly as much as me. This is probably because we ran the first mile in 5:08!
All in all it was a very good day for Roadkill Racing. We took 4 of the top 5 spots and everyone finished in the top 20.
1. Kenny 34:17
2. Josh 34:32
3. Jeff 35:18
5. Matt 35:54
20. Joe 39:44