Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Newport Christmas 10K

Newport, RI
Sunday, December 13, 2015

Took a ride with Mike B and Jana over to the City by the Sea for my 35th and penultimate race of the year. Tom had sowed the seeds of a WTAC race team and outing a month or so back, and it was now coming to fruition.  After checking in and catching up with frenemies Jackman, Principe, Brightman, and Jim Ortel, I went for a warm-up with Mike B past the patrician homes of the Newport coast.  I think Mike picked out a retirement or second home along the way. 
Three geeks and Shara pre-race.
(All pics by Jana)

First 5K:  Was at the start line talking to Jeff V, when all of a sudden most of the front-runners starting running out.  What gives?  Oh, the race just started; maybe we should join as well?  After the usual shuffling, I fell into 8th place.  Net downhill first mile, 5:46 split.  Right after the first mile marker I passed a runner sporting an impressive "Ironman Finisher" shirt, and that's it for competition for the entire race.  The next couple miles are flat and beautiful hugging the Atlantic Ocean at Brenton Point.  It is a very warm and un-December like day with temps in the high 50s.  I can see FiveK and Principe battling it out, but they are getting farther and farther away from me.  Mile 2 5:56, Mile 3 5:55.
Maybe I should pay attention instead of just running my mouth?

Looks like I'm out for a casual jog at the start.

Second 5K:  My pace is slowing.  Tommy and Principe have now pulled out of my sight.  We are hitting a few rolling hills.  I am starting to tire and am really warm (the casual reader likely knows that I have no shortage of excuses). I can see no runners around me, but have many walkers (as in pedestrians, not as in relatives) in front of me.  In past years, I had much weaving to get around walkers, but this year they posed very little obstruction to me. The final three miles rolled by with little fanfare, although unfortunately at progressively slower paces:  6:02, 6:08, 6:11.  Saw Tommy for a final time on the course on a long gradual uphill straightaway, then around the next corner, we begin the climb back to the school and finish line.
Giving a hand-slap to a young supporter,
while levitating above the road

Final strides, at an interesting angle

Final result:  36:50, 7th overall, 1st in age group.  A good, but not great, race performance.  Full results here.

I finished the race, caught my breath, turned around, and here's Shara crossing the finish line as the overall female winner in a 6:10 pace.  Wow!  I better pick it up, as it looks like I'm next in line to get chicked by her!  Seriously, well done.  Next WTAC runners to finish were Jeff V, Mike B, Kevin Murphy, Shira Fuller, and Crutch.  We next ran BLS in, and then took a short trail run led by Crutch.

Team WTAC (well, most of us that raced today)

After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, the awards ceremony was finally held.  We came in second as a men's team, but the WTAC women's team took first place!  (Hopefully Beth got her award this time.)  Then 11 of us were off to the Brick Alley Pub for food and drink replenishment.  A really fun time!
Fortunately, Mike B wasn't around to razz me
when they called out first "senior"

One of the unusual diners at our table


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  2. Nice race, Jeff! Your sentiments about the course matched mine. Fun race, great day!

  3. Well done. Nope i didn't get my award. Oh well... hope someone did!