Monday, September 15, 2014

Surftown Half Marathon 2014


Misquamicut, Sunday, November 14, 2014

I've run Surftown every year since inception in 2011, and will probably run this race in my "backyard" as long as I'm able to.  Let's take a look at my results to date:
Year Time Pace Place
2011 1:25:29 6:32   23/818
2012 1:22:31 6:18   15/1261
2013 1:21:28 6:14   6/1614
2014 1:20:47 6:10   4/1559

Yes, every year, including this year, has been faster than the previous.  Am I actually getting faster in my old age?  Or, as Mike B would suggest, am I just finding more places to play "Rosie Ruiz" and cut the course short?  :)

My PR going into this race was actually from earlier this year:  1:21:16 at Ocean's Run.  That was the goal I was going after.  No "B" goal or "C" goal this time; just get out there and do it.

Miles 1 - 5:  Knowing that the middle miles are always the place where I slow the most, my strategy here was to run very close to 6 flat.  Within a mile, the dust had settled and the eventual winner (a very fast woman - yes, I got chicked, I'll just throw that out there now as several have already commented) was way out front and three guys were ahead of me.  After the Weekapaug bridge, I lost sight of the lead woman and lead man, and kept the next two guys ahead of me in my sight.  Being cheered on by Bousquet family oceanside at Mile 3 was inspiring.  On the downhill on Chapman (coming into Mile 4), I reeled in and passed one of the guys and was just ahead of him as I heard Steve cheering me on!  Unfortunately, back on Atlantic Avenue, he passed me back. 
Splits:  6:04, 6:02, 6:03, 6:08, 6:03
A few strides with Matthew
just before the start
(Mike B, note we're proudly displaying our club colors)

Seconds into the race
(Matthew just behind me; some guy ahead of me in cargo shorts and a black cotton shirt
sprinting about to pass the race leaders! - Yeah, he lasted for about 1/4 mile)
Photo by Jana

Mile 3 - Weekapaug
(photo courtesy of Tom)

Miles 6 - 10:  Heading back through Misquamicut now, there was a lot of crowd support and I heard my name called frequently.  It was hugely motivating, and I believe a factor in me catching and passing the runner ahead of me, again.  Was able to hold a fast pace for more two more miles before hitting the long slow miles leading into Watch Hill. 
Splits:  6:03, 6:03, 6:21 (ugh!), 6:11, 6:12

Mile 6 - Misquamicut, opening the distance on the guy I passed for the 2nd time
(photo by Jana)
Mile 8 - Fisherman Ave
(photo courtesy of Beth)

Miles 11 - 13:  Up and over the "Ocean House Bump" (50' hill) as I heard a Westerly Sun photographer call my name.  Then started the return to finish via Ocean View Highway, into a slight but manageable breeze.  I was feeling pretty good and able to return the pace to low 6s.  Twice along the return, I asked spectators I knew to let me know how far the next runner was behind me, as I was fearful he'd try to pass me again.  The first answer was about 200 yards; ok - pick up the pace, and the final answer with a mile to go was "not in sight". Yes!  Finished the race with a big smile on my face:  4th overall, 3rd overall male, and another PR!
Splits:  6:07, 6:05, 6-flat.
Mile 11 - Climbing the hill to the Ocean House,
with Watch Hill Harbor in background
(photo by Westerly Sun, Christine Corrigan)

Finishing with a PR and a smile!
(Photo by Jana, always there to catch great race moments)

Shortly after finishing, watched many more WTAC finishers:  Matthew - 1:26:14 (division winner and PR!), Mike B - 1:28:47, Shara - 1:30:21 (4th overall female), Crutch, Lynne R-P, Paul G, Denise, and a number of others.  A really fun day with great running conditions right here in my hometown.

The gang is mostly all here (where did Shara go?)
Denise, we have to get you a WTAC singlet.
Anybody know that guy in the red shirt or what club he is running for?

Matthew and I with our hard-earned loot for the day.
Is Matthew getting taller, or am I shrinking, or both?


  1. Awesome Job Jeff!!! I was a few minutes late getting to where I wanted to be. Figuring you'd be on the tail of Muddy's 1:17:09. And it was a woman. Huh... BRAVO go Katie!!! I think your mile 8 was slow because you had to flash that smile for the camera - blame it on me! LOL You bested all those kids out there and didn't resort to Rosie Ruiz tactics (that woman makes my blood boil). Great race and awesome improvement year over year!! Oh and you are clearly standing in a hole on the beach!! Well done!!

  2. Great job Jeff! Old Gazelles don't get slower - only wiser and faster!