Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stowe 8-Miler

This was my first Grand Prix event in a couple of years (since Ollie 2009), and Heather and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend (part of) the weekend alone together in Stowe at the economical and adequate Riverside Inn. We had a great pre-race dinner of shed burgers, nachos and mountain ale, followed by apple-blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream! I had a hard time sleeping with nerves and over-hydration, but felt good enough at 6:00 am on race morning.  Read 2 chapters of Job and then got Heather up so we could be at The Bagel when they opened at 6:30. We shared 3 bagels ( I ate most of two) with cream cheese and Green Mountain coffee. Saw Ed Breen and another GBTC teammate (Will Feldman?) enjoying their pre-race breakfast and talked briefly with Ed (Ted according to results). Then we went back to the Riverside and took a short walk on the beautiful Stowe Rec Path to scout out our post-race swim spot.

We left for the start at a couple minutes before 8:30 and jogged the 2-miles up 108 and Cape Cod to Weeks Hill Rd. We saw a big crew of CMS men warming up, including JJ and Pawlicki (surprise!).  Then we met up with Joe Shairs and he ran back in to the start with us and told us about the desirable accommodations at The Golden Eagle Resort. (I was especially interested in the trout fishing pond for kids - maybe next year if we're back!) Got to the start and stood around in the sun for a few minutes - saw Greg Hammett, Jeff Goupil, and met Tim Pipp, coming off a 19:50 4 on the Fourth, and running "his longest race ever". After Krissy snapped a pic of the mustachioed men of CMS,
we settled in to the CMS starting box and got ready to go.

The start was quick, but I was not and I sort of bounced around in the midst of all the bodies while we wound our way through the field and out to Weeks Hill Rd.  JJ was right ahead of me, and Andy McCarron and Chris Mahoney were nearby. We went through the first mile in 5:46, and Andy said, "That can't be right." I said, "I hope it's not." and checked the Garmin, which measured it a little long.  Sure enough, our 2nd mile was a 5:03, and it seemed to balance out, though not quite to the 5:15 pace I was hoping for. Climbing the hill up to Barrows Road, I went by Joe Navas, who looked strong and wondered when he would come back past me.

Sure enough on one of the big downhills he flew by, along with another runner, who I think might have been Chad Carr. I felt pretty relaxed on Barrows, which is mostly downhill and has some nice shaded sections. Mile 3 was a too-slow 5:30, and mile 4 was a 5:13. As we came to the end of Barrows Road and turned onto Moscow Rd., I looked up to see how far ahead JJ and Bob Wiles were - I counted 6 runners between them and me, so I started to try to catch a few. Moscow Road does a little climbing, and I was starting to feel the effects of the sun and humidity, but managed to reel in a couple guys before the turn onto River Rd. There I passed Bob, who was apparently struggling a little, and shortly thereafter I went by Joe N. again. The next runner up, who I determined from the results was Bobby Asher of the Van Cortland Track Club appeared to be struggling and looked back several times, but remained strong and neither Joe nor I was able to catch him.  River Rd. went better than I remembered it going in 2005 and 2006 (the last time I was here) - Mile 5 (Moscow Rd.) was a pleasantly surprising 5:21 and Mile 6 was a forgettable 5:34, but Mile 7 was a 5:25 as we began the somewhat cruel ascent back to Ye Olde England Inn and the finish. I stayed about the same distance behind Joe the rest of the way in and finished with a 43:29.5 for 21st place and 3rd CMS.

I was happy to be able to be a scoring member of the CMS Men's Team which currently leads the Grand Prix by a comfortable margin, but I would have loved to have improved on my 43:14 clocking from '06 (on a slightly different course).

Thanks to Krissy K. for all the great pics - it's good to see that I need to remember to pick my left foot up off the ground.: ) I have two weeks to pick my feet up and sharpen my 5-mile speed for a 25-flat effort at Carver in 2 weeks. Maybe we'll get a freak 70-degree day or some rain.

Heather was pretty pleased with her 53:18.9 for 22nd woman and (also) 3rd CMS in her first race with the team in ages. We cooled down right after she finished and headed straight to a spot off the rec path on the river for a very brisk dunk in the water to soothe the sore muscles and stave off the heat stroke.
We went back to the Inn, showered and checked out then headed back to the post-race festivities, chatted briefly with Jim and Kris, who were about to take off, Joe Shairs and Kevin Tilton, then Jane and Bernie Sexton from Hamilton, who we ran into at registration the day before. It was too short of a stay, and I dreamed of a little bit better result (42?), but we had a good time regardless. Big thank you to my mom and dad who watched Ben and Grace for the weekend so we could go run!

My love and me in our matching Stowe 8-Mile Cotton/Poly blend T's (Oh yeah, and my sick stache which has to come off soon.)


  1. So nice to see you and Heather at a Grand Prix event and up in Stowe. Carver should be fun. Glad to see this blog and thanks for sharing. Feel free to grab photos from Krissy's smugmug account.
    Jim P.

  2. Thanks, Jim - your blog is one of several that inspired me to start. Thanks for the photo offer - I trust you recognized your shot at the bottom of the page - Thank you.