Nearly a fortnight has passed since this annual event, and some of the details are now less than crystal clear. How does Chris write race blogs ten months late (OK, maybe only six months) and still retain minute observations?
This would be the fifth annual Surftown, and indeed my fifth annual as well. Hope to race this one as long as I'm above ground and as long as the body allows. It's so cool to have a race a mile from my house on roads that I run year-round. Met up with friend Mikey B both the day before at pre-race check-in as well as race morning. He and I ran a warm-up to the Old Town Beach or so, and Matthew and his friend joined us on the warm-up.
To Weekapaug: Last year at Surftown I ran my PR of 1:20:47. To beat this would mean running near 6-flat for most of the race, which is where I started off. After a quarter mile or so of jostling, I got chicked and settled into about sixth place. Working my way down Atlantic Ave, two obstacles presented themselves to me: headwind oddly out of the east, and humidity (I was soaked by mile 2). First two miles were 6:05 and 6:06, but I felt like I was working for it. Turning off on Wawaloam to follow the ocean, my next two miles were both 6:12. This is not boding well.
Weekapaug to Misquamicut: Returning out of Weekapaug, the now tailwind helped me greatly. I passed two runners here, including the lead woman, to move into 4th place. Miles 5 - 7: 6 flat, 6:03, 6:04. Felt great.
|About Mile 5.|
(From the Westerly Sun)
Misquamicut to Watch Hill: Turning off Atlantic and working my way towards Watch Hill, my splits dropped dramatically and any chance of a PR was gone. Miles 8 - 10: 6:28, 6:20, 6:36. 6:36, really? The "Ocean House Bump" hill was easy, but I was losing interest here, and figured I'd just run easy to finish this.
Watch Hill to finish: PR out the window, soaked to the skin, and back into the headwind. What's the point of pushing it now, right? In fact, the next mile on lonely Ocean View Highway was a slow 6:40 until a runner passed me, taking me out of my torpor. Picked it up for a 6:09 mile against a gustier wind on Atlantic, and with the finish line in sight, I hear a space watch beep for Mile 13 split. Wait a minute: my space watch is set to vibrate, so that sound isn't emanating from my watch, it's from someone on my heels about to pass me. Sprinted (5:33 pace into the wind for final tenth) to hold off a guy less than half my age by four seconds. Yes! Next conferred with the guy who passed me on Ocean View Highway to validate that he is not in my age group. Double Yes! (although he seemed insulted that I intimated he might be as old as me, and I slinked away with some feeble excuse of not being a good judge of age)
| Chasing down red singlet, unaware|
that I am also being chased.
|OK, I know he's there now,|
right on my tail.
(Pics by Jana)
|Yes, I out-kicked the youngster!|
|Always, always important to be a good sport.|
(Red singlet on left passed me on Ocean View Highway to take 4th)
1:22:16. First in age group. 5th overall of 1,478. Full results here.
|Not a big fan of finisher medals,|
but the design on this one is nice.
|Really unique and cool age group award!|