I've been busy with my research and Cacky's birthday (she just turned 29!), Sam's graduation and have not had much patience for taking the time to trail run so I've resorted to three road runs over the past 6 days, which is more road running than I've done all spring. My goto road run includes the Woodville-Field Rd. loop, which has few cars, a beautiful dirt shoulder, magnificent farmland scenery, and sweet rolling hills (it drops and climbs, drops and climbs from the East branch of the Piscataqua River). Thursday night, I still hadn't run and had little time left, so I banged out a 7.5 miler on this loop that included a 4X1200 at 5K pace. And yesterday afternoon, similarly pressed for time, I did an easy 8 mile run using the loop. But after this run, I decided that I needed to take the time to return to the trails.
Cue forward a few hours and I decided to race the Run for Honduras 5 mile road race which uses the same Woodville loop. This decision was made after I was reminded that my son Tom was running it and he pre-registered a few weeks ago. Son Will also decided to run it. McMillan has my 5 mile time at 29:33 but I was not gunning for this time given the course and my workout only 36 hours earlier. I figured 6 min/mi and 30:00 would be a good run.
The race is organized by the Foreside Community Church and the Falmouth Congo Church and raises money to provide basic health care for rural hondurans. The FHS track coach legends Danny Paul and Jorma Kurry encouraged the track kids to race this since a FHS track alum had something to do with organizing it so I figured there'd be lots of FHS runners and alum but it was mostly members of the churches I think.
After an easy 1.5 mile warmup and change into my race shoes I arrived at the start line and didn't really have to push my way to the front because the front consisted of two boys that were maybe 10-11 and a skinny post-collegiate-runner-looking guy who turned out to be Nathan Huppe from NH (not sure what about this race attracted him!). The gun went off and the two kids and Huppe went out fast. Not wanting to be seen running behind two middle schoolers, I went out fast too and was on about 5:35 pace after a quarter mile and was in control of 2nd place. I decided to slow it down a little and hit mile one in 5:59. That was a little too slow because mile one drops about 80 feet to the Piscataqua River. I could hear footsteps behind me for only the first half of the first mile and was maybe 150 m behind Huppe so from here on out I'd be running alone. The course went around the Woodville/Field Rd loops clockwise so mile two was a climb of about 100 feet (total climb of around 130') and I went through that mile in 6:19. Mile 3 drops sharply down to the river and climbs a bit (5:57). At this point I was feeling the toll of the hills (or my workout) and still had a long climb and I was alone in 2nd place with 1st place 400 m ahead and 3rd place was out-of-sight behind me. That is, I had little motivation to push it to the limit. But I continued the race and hit mile 4 in 6:12, which isn't bad considering it was all climb up from the river. The last mile is pretty typical road race flat; my split was 5:45 for a 30:11 2nd place finish. Will had a good race (35:11) but Tom seems to have inherited my susceptibility to sidestitches and got one by mile 2 so jogged in in 39:59).
Results are now up
The organizers served up a yummy Honduran breakfast burrito filled with egg, cheese, refried beans, and fried plantain with cantaloupe on the side.