Sunday, April 11, 2010

Racing the Rivah 10 miler

Sadly, this isn't me. It's the race winner, Kevin Tilton. Doesn't he remind you of a Jesus Christ Lizard? The beautiful photo was taken by Scott Mason.

Saturday, seven trail monsters raced the Merrimack River 10 miler in Andover MA. The race and trail were old school, the way races should be. Registration and awards/raffle are in a hotel parking lot. The race is a 5 mile out and back along The Rivah. The first three miles are very flat, with the small exception of a small rise up to a bridge then drop back down to the river. The next two miles are a series of short climbs and drops, some are very, very steep. At the five mile mark there is an aid station and then the course turns around and returns the same path. Old School. The beauty of the out and back is you get to see who's in front and who's right behind you. The out and back also made the back interesting because the wicked steep and fast descents were now clogged with runners (mostly) walking up. The final three flat and fast miles were clog free.

My race went about as well as expected considering this was my 2nd 10 mile run since last October. The first was last week at Pineland. I finished 23.34% (14 minutes) behind the winner, Kevin Tilton, who smoked the course in 59:05. Interestingly I finished 23.64% behind Tilton at Mt. Washington, so maybe this suggests I'm in the same shape as I was last June. This is the positive spin on my race time. But if we compare 10K road times, my (only) 10K time last year was just 17.36% behind Tilton's Lone Gull 10K time. Either I gained a lot of fitness between Mt. Washington and my 10K (which was late October) or I suck running hills or Tilton is a hill monster. Or some combination of the three.

On the injury front, the pain in the posterior tibialis tendonopathy that I had in late Fall 2007 seems to have recrudesced. I first felt this familiar soreness following the TNR @ TB. I have an "accessory navicular" which can mean several things. Mine is actually a sesamoid bone in my posterior tibialis tendon. Regardless, supposedly the soreness is related to this. I took an unplanned rest day Wednesday and ran Thursday-Saturday with very little soreness (it doesn't hurt to run at all). Today (Sunday) was my planned cross-training day so I went out for a short (1 hour) bike ride. I wore my bike shoes even though I don't have clipless pedals, thinking a stiffer sole would be good for my foot. Wrong. My foot is far more sore from biking 1 hour than racing hard for 1:13. So much for cross training to reduce injury.

This is me but I'm not running on water like JC. Thanks again to Scott Mason for the photos. Check out his site.


  1. Wow, an extra bone! That might be cool if it didn't cause you pain. Interesting report and sounds like a great race.

    I wonder if Tilton know's he's your measuring stick? :)

  2. It is a lot harder to enjoy your race report when I have to stop and look up all the words.
    Come to find out, your ankle hurts....OH ..OK I sure didn't stop you from having a great race though!

  3. Nice race Jeff! And good to see you!

  4. I should have introduced you to Kevin on Saturday, so he knows you're stalking him! Needless to say, he's a monster on the hills. Unfortunately for you, he was most displeased with Mt. Washington last year, so you're really going to have to step it up to stay that close this year!

  5. I was accused by a science buddy of mine of "intellectual stalking" because I kept focusing on the results section of his papers and re-analyzing his data. Anyway, I did the analysis for other runners that ran both races and results are about the same, except that it was Ben Nephew that had the bad Mt. W. race last year.