Friday, January 15, 2010

from the archives: 2008 boston build-up 15k race report

since the boston build-up 15k is this weekend, i decided to post my 2008 race report (which was originally posted on rwol masters forum). i skipped the race last winter (2009) because it was rescheduled and conflicted with the manhattan half marathon.

for some inexplicable reason, this race is often the coldest of the four build-up races - and the 2008 edition was certainly cold. hopefully, this weekend may bring a slighter warmer race. i kept the rwol screen names in and added link to the results (which also include a link to kate's photos from the race).

Boston Build-Up Series, 15K
Ridgefield, CT
Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Boston Build-Up Winter Series is four progressively longer races, a 10K, 15K, 20K, and 25K, run on progressively tougher courses in Fairfield county, CT. A fifth race, the Boston Blow-Out 30K, is its unofficial conclusion. I ran the first one, the 10K in Norwalk, as a recovery run from the prior day’s 50k in Staatsburg, NY. The second race, a 15K at Barlow Mountain in Ridgefield, CT, would be a tempo run for me. I had run 60 miles in the 6 days preceding it, including a medium-long run of 14 miles the day before. Emmy ("Ctmarathoner") also lined up for the 15K. She, too, ran the 10K as a recovery run after the 50K. Emmy ran the Goofy Challenge last weekend.

Another reason I wanted to run this race was because our friend John was celebrating his 65th birthday - and running his first 15k! John's run plenty of 10Ks, and a regular at the Beach to Beacon 10K every summer in Maine. But this would be his longest race to date. I (and Emmy) offered to pace him during the race - but he wanted to run his own race. And this was after we pointed out that it was one of the toughest 15K courses in CT - run on Barlow Mountain. The bone chilling temperature (low 20's) and heavy winds wouldn’t make it any easier.

I ran for about 5 minutes in the school’s parking lot and just couldn’t get warm. So I grabbed a wind shirt (which would become my third layer) and mittens to cover my already gloved hands. I walked over the to start with my friend Mike ("Torpedo") and we caught up on some running news. Emmy and John were already lined up. She wore a zippered fleece, which was unusual only because I’m typically the one wearing the most clothes at the start of any given race.

Rob was also at the start. But I didn’t actually see him until the turnaround point of the out and back course. Kate ("Ultrabrit") was there taking pictures. Her return to the running scene, which kicked off with three races in one week to start the new year, yielded a nasty dividend. Her old injury had flared up again. Hopefully, it’s only a temporary set-back. There were other familiar faces at the start as well, including Jill, Brian, Don, and Joe.

Despite the crowded start, the pack thinned out quickly. Emmy and I ran the first mile together in 7:50. She said we had gone out too fast! I replied, "(expletive deleted) that was a gravity assisted downhill!" Not only should we have done it much faster, but we would have to climb back up that hill to the finish! Still, in non-racing mode, you have to take what you can get. We covered the next two miles in the high 7's and had a 3 mile split of 23:47. I missed the 4 mile marker (which I later spotted on the snow on the return leg), and the 5 mile marker (which I never did see).

As we approached the turn-around at the half way point, we saw Rob coming back at us. Before we caught sight of Rob, we saw the leaders - which included two Kenyans - flying back over the hilly course. One would win and set a course record of 49:33, the other would come in third with a 50:12 - the first three runners each broke the previous course record that morning! Emmy and I picked up the pace and caught up to Rob just before six miles. I pushed on ahead and reached six miles in 46:31 - for a second three mile split of 22:44.

My 10K split, 48:13, was 4 minutes faster than it took me to run the Boston Build-up race, a 10K, two weeks earlier! But that race was a recovery run for me. The I missed the markers for miles 7 and 8, but reached 9 miles in 1:08:53 - for a third three mile split of 22:21. At this point I was still pushing the pace, but found myself pulling back on the uphills. The final 3/10's climb back to the start/finish seemed to be in slow motion, and took me 2:27, roughly an 8:10 pace. I finished in 1:11:20, a 7:40 pace. Emmy was right behind me in 1:11:56. I grabbed my camera to take some finish line pictures, and Emmy went back out to run in with John.

I hung out with Kate, who was at the finish line taking pictures. We took shots of Don and Jill finishing, then my batteries died - rebelling against having to work in the cold - just as John finished. Emmy had run most of the last mile back with him and we were all set to celebrate. I got in fresh set of batteries in time to get a shot of John just as he exited the chute. John took 5th in his age group - woo hoo! Then we all headed inside the school to warm up and socialize.

All in all it was a good day, having run my fourth race of the year. Next up is the Manhattan Half Marathon.

here are the 2008 results (and kate's photos).

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