Monday, January 28, 2008

Boston Prep x2 = Ouch


Sunday, January 27, 2008
Start time: 7am
Where: Derry, NH
Attendance: Sherpa John, Jeff Waldron, Nate Sanel, Thor Kerleis and Lee Dennis
Miles: 32+ (16 Mile Loop x2)
Race Website: http://www.coolrunning.com/major/08/bostonprep/
Course Map: http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=98829
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Saturday night was our friend Bekah's 28th Birthday Party. After a great time roller skating we decided to do some quality bar hopping around Portsmouth, NH. My original plan was to be good and drink one beer with dinner followed by water the rest of the evenning. one beer and three greatful dead's later, I knew my Sunday run would be interesting. After a sleepness night next to the better half who NEVER gets drunk herself but ended up rocking herself to sleep (ah, college life), I woke up to get ready for the days run. I peered out the front window to see snow falling. I remembered the forecast saying we could get some flurries if anything at all. I checked again and that was still indeed the forecast. However, this is New England and a surprise 4" had all ready fallen thanks to the Atlantic Ocean.

After typical hangover pleasantries and dusting off the car, I arrive in Derry a bit late but ready to run today's challenge. Our run today was in part of the Yours Truly 50K. This is an honour system fun run. You don't know who you are running against untill you read the results. You can run (or walk) anywhere as long as you use a pre-measured course and start and complete your run on one of the dates given. If you choose to run on both dates, both runs will be mentioned in the final results. Today being one of the two dates, we decided to make a go at it. Our course? The Boston Prep 16 Miler which is arguably the toughest road race in New England.

Just before we left the lot on our run the Race Director showed up and told us how "crazy" we were, yet also how much he admired us. Dave is a great guy. He took all of our names and promised to have our race packets ready for us upon our return to the start/finish. We thanked him kindly and started our watches as we took off on our journey. The course is a 16 Mile loop that consist's of many rolling/steep hills. It is indeed a tough course, but after running 50 and 100 mile races.. the hills seem much smaller now. We crusied up and down, walking if we felt the effort was wasting valuable energy for the actual race. It was STILL snowing on the day that was "supposed" to be Partly Cloudy and 38 degrees. Frigid winds and a temp of 28 kept us all pretty frosty. The course in Derry during our first loop was VERY slick and covered with about an inch of fresh powder. A few plows passed us during our run, all with the blades UP and throwing salt in the back.

We finished the first loop in 2:39 and change. We all made our way into the building to get our race packets. With our watches stopped, we answered natures call, refueled with gels and clif shots. Re-filled the water bottles. Those of us with dry clothes changed, those of us without (myself included) suffered chillingly. While inside I heard the 10am race start was now postponed until 10:15, which has become kind of the normal here at The BP given the amount of runners they shuttle in from area wide parking lots. We all headed back to the race start, shivvering the entire way. This was my third year running this race, and NEVER had I ever thought about running it twice. As we made our way to the start I reiterated how "this is stupid."

The race started before we even reached the starting line. We walked down the road it was on watching the see of some 600+ runners bobbing through the snow ahead. OPPS! We decided to start the watches and get moving. The cold air had made us rather stiff as we tried to get moving. Its now 10:15am and it is STILL SNOWING. Jeff gets a kick out of how much I hate winter, but for some reason today, as cold and wet as I was, as snowy as it was.. it made for a real challenge and it was pretty neat. Trying to grip the road with snow on it make ANY run tougher, nevermind 32 Miles of it. But on the second loop, the hundreds of runners ahead of us and the morning salt application, made the roads turns to a cold slush. Our feet were soaked from the get go. A few miles into the second loop, it appeared as though everyone was making it easy, running in a straight line and creating a lane of singletrack to follow in the snow. It look, just like an ultra!
Photo Courtesy Of RTravers

We were having WAY too much fun for being cold and wet on a snowy tough course. We laughed almost the entire way from start to finish. Jokes, songs, stories, thoughts, you name it. Up to race mile 12, our mile 20, we stayed together and enjoyed each others company pushing each other up each agnozing steep slope. And it was STILL SNOWING. Nate pulled away from Jeff and I for a time while Thor really took off. I'm nto sure where Lee ended up but I think we had passed him early. Each time we passed a mile marker, Nate would yell out our mileage and the time so that we knew. We were feeling tired, getting stiff, but awesome. Some of the "road runners" seemed to be a bit pissed off that we were enjoying our run so much. I guess they are choosing to miss out on how much FUN it supposed to be. I felt bad, for them, but I REALLY enjoyed those who laughed AT us and WITH us. We spotted a few more ultra-types on the course and sucked them into our foolishness for a few. It was great fun.

About a mile and a half from the finish, Jeff an I caught Nate off guard and caught up to him. We ran together as Nate started pushing the pace. Jeff was tired and started to fall back, while Nate and I were running 7:55 miles at one point, at our mile 31! I kept asking Nate to ease off but he didn't. So we pushed and pushed. Up ahead we saw a runner we had flustered a bit earlier with our "fooling around." Apparently, running today was VERY serious for her and we weren't allowed to laugh. We spotted her and chased her down, caught up, passed her and kicked in even harder to ensure she did not pass. God we're such morons. Nate really kicked it in during the last 100yards. I yelled, "Go Nate, Beat the young guy.. you got it! Go GO GO!" Nate kicked it in and as I fell silent, I sprinted as hard as I could in my attempt to beat the old guy. I stepped on the mat at the same time as him and we finished the 2nd 16 Miles in a time of 2:31 and change. We laughed as Nate's name is listed in the results 1st. Loser Oh.. and it was STILL SNOWING.

What an enjoyable day. We really miss the trails around here. Pavement HURTS! Very happy we got our 32.62 miles in today. Combined results below.
Just want to thank the guys for coming out and enjoying the course with me in the snow. We had a great time. I think for the February Edition our plan is to run across frozen Lake Winnipesaukee! EXCELLENT! Next time I'll try to do it without a hangover.

Results: 32.26 Miles
2,368 vertical feet of climbing, and 4,684 feet of elevation change
Thor Kerleis:L1: 2:39:10 L2: 2:25:22 Total: 5:04:32
Nate Sanel: L1: 2:39:10 L2: 2:31:58 Total: 5:10:08
John Lacroix: L1: 2:39:10 L2: 2:31:58 Total: 5:10:08
Jeff Waldron: L1: 2:39:10 L2: 2:32:22 Total: 5:12:30
Lee Dickey: L1: 2:39:10 L2: 2:52:09 Total: 5:32:09