Jones-ing for a 10 miler!
The DH Jones 10 miler road race is the first race in the New England Racing Series sponsored by my local running club, Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club. Six hundred plus runners from all over New England lined up looking to race for their teams. This wasn't another run-of the mill St Pats day race. There where some tough competitors looking to win some cash. All one had to do was to look at the various colors and team shirts at the start line to realize people here meant business. I was glad that i stayed up late last night eaten fondu and drinking wine...(sarcasm!!)
While at registration, i was happy to bounce into friend and fellow racer Dave. Dave is a strong age grouper and amazing skier and hiker that has been on several winning Tuckerman's Inferno Teams. Now I felt i had a purpose for the race, to keep Dave in sight.
The Jones course is exceptional, running through the quiet hills of Amherst, and over some dirt roads through Shrewsbury. Weather was breezy with temps in the 20s.
As the race progressed I quickly spotted Dave. We spent the entire racing trading positions. For most of the first half I led, then between miles 5-9 Dave took the lead. He pushed the pace, moved ahead and I was sure that I lost him. I looked around for someone to keep me moving. Amazingly enough i caught him at the last half mile and with the last turn and 200 yds to the finish, I was able to pass and finish 1 second ahead of him. It was a great ending, but one should be aware that Dave is at lest 10 years older than me. The true victory will be if I am still running like he does now in 10 years.
The race brought tough competitors with a top time of 51:12, a 5:08 pace. I finished at 131 out of 603 with a 1:03 time, 6:19 pace. To put the competition in perspective, at this years St pats race, i finished 48th out of 7,000. There where lots of fast people at the Jones!!
This was my first 10 mile race in many years and I was glad with my time. The knee was feeling good and i am ready for more. This could be a sign for good things to come! Maybe fondu and beer the night before does make good race prep food!