Sunday, September 25, 2016

Weekly Log 19-Sep to 25-Sep-2016: Beach Race!

Amusing anecdote of the week:  Post-run one day at lunch this week, I went to the Westerly Y to shower and change.  I had noticed a blowdryer there before, but never used it, because well I have no hair.  But silly me; apparently hairdryers aren't just for drying hair anymore.

I had to do a double-take at the man blowdrying his ... are my eyes tricking me ... yeah, that guy is really blow-drying his manhood.  After he got everything taken care of there, he spread his toes apart and was blow-drying between his toes.  No other areas, just those two.  Moving on ...

Monday:  0

Tuesday:  11
AM:  6 miles solo on Burlingame trail.  NST from the campground entrance, part of the Brrr-lingame course and then out to Duhamel into Kettle Pond trails and back.  Fun.
PM:  5 miles on new XC course, just to check if any branches came down.  Good thing I checked before Thursday's meet, as three decent size trees came down together completely closing off the trail.

Wednesday:  6
Noon:  2 miles running with chainsaw taking out a major obstruction on the WHS XC course, and two small obstructions on the Pumpkins course.

Evening:  4 miles total barefoot on the beach.  Charlie Stavros Memorial On the Beach Run.  Just a really fun time, as always each year.  This race honors Charlie Stavros, who died tragically during a road race in Westerly in the early 1990s.

Although I never knew Charlie, I've gotten to know his mother, Jeanne, over the past few years planning for this event.  She is really really nice, is focused on doing the right things for this race and the running community, and is a pleasure to work with.  This year she and her husband John brought ten pizzas for the post-race festivities.
The 2016 beach race is off!
Runners on their way to Weekapaug
This year's race was originally scheduled for September 6, but was postponed as we were in the throes of Tropical Storm Hermine at the time.  Good thing, as with the rescheduled date we had near-perfect weather:  clear skies, no wind, and flat beach at near low tide.

The race went off as I had expected:  a few high school runners surged out with their surge to soon fade.  After the dust settled (after the sand settled?), Tom and Matthew went by me.  I thought my 3rd place position was locked in, but not so fast.  I sensed someone right behind me, and had no idea who it was.  I thought it might be a high school runner, but when the person hung with me all the way to Weekapaug, knowing most of the runners, I just couldn't imagine any of them except Matthew matching my pace.

Coming into the cone turnaround at the breachway, at last I'll see who this is.  No, he or she just hung right with me.  I was fearful of this person just sitting on me the whole way and sprinting past me just before the chute.  With about 1/2 mile to go, he went past me and I saw him for the first time.  He looked familiar, despite his Northampton (MA) singlet, and although he was in front of me now, he didn't open up much of a gap.  Down to a 1/4 mile and with the finish in sight, I picked it up to try to catch up to him.  There wasn't much of a fight as I passed him, and I heard him exclaim something to the effect of "there is the kick I was waiting for".  I sprinted as best I could to the finish line, and held him off by 3 seconds.

Time to make my move.

Not taking my lead for granted.

Immediately post-race Eric came up and congratulated me, said he remembered me from past beach races, and said he was fearful that I would outkick him at the end.  Interesting, and fun finish.  I jumped in the ocean, and despite getting stung by a few small jellyfish, really enjoyed the refreshing dip.  Congrats to Matthew and Tommy on their respective first and second place finishes.  Very fun way to end the last day of summer 2016.

Final results:  17:46, 5:55 average pace.  3rd overall.  Sub-6 on the beach; I'm happy!
Really cool sunset at the beach.
(All pics by Jana.)

Thursday:  5
Finally, the first home cross-country meet!  The girls team helped me mark the lower field part of course, and then Jeff Huckle helped greatly with marking the woods part of trail.  I was asked to give a course preview to the Chariho and Middletown teams.  Talked most of the time while running with Chariho top runner Kyle Keefe, who really liked the new challenging course.  Nice guy.  Making my alma mater proud.

Matthew ripped a debut course record of 16:55 on a less than fast course, and the next runner was about a minute and a half behind.

Friday:  5
Easy run through Wahaneeta and nearby Woody trails.

Saturday:  11
Ocean State XC Invitational - Open Division.  Write-up to follow.

Sunday:  9
First time ever running Patchaug State Forest.  Parked off Route 49 in Voluntown, and then went north on Nehantic Trail, and west on Nehantic-Pachaug.  Despite some steep climbs up and over Mt Misery, the first few miles of trails were very enjoyable.  They were mostly single-track through pine forests. 

Unfortunately we completely missed the turn-off onto Nehantic (the sign was visible only from the opposing direction!) and took the Patchaug Trail out to Route 201/138 intersection.  Oh well, backtracked and found the intersection, but by now we were starting to get tired and I also needed to be mindful that Matthew has a meet tomorrow.

The next section of Nehantic was not nearly as enjoyable, as it was double-track with loose rocks.  We adjusted and shortened our course back.  At first, we were on boring fire roads, but then we had a fun muddy single-track through a swampy section with rhododendrons.  Actually picked up the pace in the last mile back through the pines.  Fun run; would like to explore more here.

Weekly mileage:  48

Weekly synopsis:   While just missing the 50 mark, still had significant mileage, with none of it on roads for the second consecutive week.  Many highlights this week, including the beach race, the first ever WHS XC  meet at Bradford Preserve, the XC race with Tom and Mike, and the run in Patchaug State Forest.  Next race will be Pumpkins on October 8.


  1. Good week! I, of course, especially like the Pachaug run, great trails out there and easy to tailor for distance if you have the maps. Let me know and I'll send some detailed info your way!

  2. Fun week! I enjoyed racing with you at Stavros & the XC race. While I enjoyed racing with you, I'm happy I was not there for your encounter at the YMCA.