Monday, February 15, 2010

Paddy Kelly 5 Mile Road Race

The Skinny
5 mile time: 26:27
place: 3 (division: 1)
pace: 5:17
1 - 5:14
2 - 5:31
3 - 5:22
4 - 5:11
5 - 5:09
The Full Race Report
Setting: D.W. Fields Park, Brockton, MA; 11:00; sunny, low 30s, windy

The gun fired and by 100 meters I was at the front of the pack. Immediate thought: no regrets on wardrobe choice, short sleeve tech under a tank and spandex shorts under running shorts w/ mittens and no headgear. I wasn't cold at all.

The first 2.5 featured a blustery headwind that got pretty sharp a few times. The pace felt slow and nobody wanted the lead so I took it. Didn't want to, but I felt like we were going too slow. After cresting tower hill and getting the mile split of 5:14, I thought somebody else might want to do the work of leading. No takers. The pace slowed, but the other two in the lead pack of three (me, Kyle Sousa and Eric Greenspan) didn't seem to want to take over.

I continued a step ahead of the other two. I figured I was running for time and not place, so to slow down would be against my goal. Having done the work for the first two, I was becoming slightly irked that nobody else would get out in front, especially b/c one of the guys kept clipping my leg on my backswing. When this happened for the 4th time, I blurted "What the *#!?" I said it to the air more than anything else. I knew it wasn't intentional, but if you're going to draft off me, give me a little space. Because of all of these shenanigans and posturing, the second mile was the slowest.

Nobody took water at the halfway point. A key left turn was coming in which the wind would switch from in our faces to at our backs. I thought I would make my move here. Well, so did everybody else. At the turn, Greenspan bolted. Sousa followed in tow and I was in third. I didn't have the wheels to cover this move but in a quarter mile or so I was back on their shoulders. This move told me that if it came down to a finishing kick, I'd be in trouble b/c each of these twenty-somethings had good speed in his legs.

At four miles, I was several meters off the two leaders. At the marker, I witnessed Sousa make a move on Greenspan. He gapped him a bit and extended a lead. With about a half mile to go, we recrossed Oak St. and my dad was there to cheer me on. The two in front were in striking distance but it would be tough, esp. given the surge speed I witnessed at 2.5.

With a quarter to go, Sousa extended his lead and would not be caught. At this point, I saw Greenspan momentarily put his hands to his head. I thought this strange and pushed the pace. He then looked back. I reengaged a push. I didn't know it at the time, but he was playing possum. I caught him, momentarily passed him, and then he moved back on me. Man, I now knew he was sandbagging on me, but what could I do? I couldn't not go. There were like 200 meters left. So I pushed it. I held him off. He passed me back. My friend Tim and his wife, Cait, were yelling at me, and I hunkered down. I fought back on him. He had one extra gear that I didn't have and re-passed and crossed the line before me.

I was ticked, but I know what I need to do next time and what to work on in the interim. Now, I didn't know it at the time, but I have tangential connections to the guys who came in 1 -2. Sousa is a fellow Skyhawk alum (class of '08) and coaches at Oliver Ames. Greenspan is an alum, like me, of the Kids Road Races. This made me feel bad for the bleep at mile two, but when you're carrying the fire that happens sometimes. I'm not holding on to it.

Overall, a good first race of 2010. I told J, "I better be under 27 today." Well, I at least did that.

Here's my Paddy Kelly history:
2000 - 25:47 (my PR), first
2001 - 26:36, first
2002 - 26:30, second
2005 - 26:48, first
2010 - 26:27, third

So this year was my second fastest time and worst overall placing.

The 26:27 is my best 5 mile time in recent memory. I ran 27:39 in August 0f 2009 at Runaways and 26:32 in November of 2007 at Billy Kelley. Yesterday was my best time post the dramatic injury of '06.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight from the front of the pack. I finished in the middle of my first ever 5 miler and wondered what was happening ahead. I was chasing my brother 3 years my senior so in a way I too was in a race for something. I enjoyed my second ever road race (5K)Turkey Day. I am learning and I thank you for your perspective from the front of the pack. I knew I wouldn't see it on Sportscenter so your blog is helpful and informative. Next time I will have a strategy too and big brother better look out! Great race experience!

DoubleJ said...

Good stuff Kev. Tough weekend for wind... sounds like lots of action... Good progress in the past 5 years timewise though :)...

Jim said...

Nice start to 2010 Kev! See you in a few weeks in Amherst.

Dave H said...

Nice tough effort...and really not too far off from 10 years ago!

KG said...

Thanks fellas...I hope to see you in Amherst at the end of the month!

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