Monday, September 7, 2009
Cape Ann 25k
I went up to Gloucester on Monday morning for the 76th Annual Around Cape Ann 25k Road Race. It's amazing to me that I had never run this race before, but it seems like we've always got something going on on Labor Day weekend. I'm glad I finally did--this was a fun race on a great day for a 15.5 mile run.
At the start it was pretty clear the Greater Boston Track Club would be taking home the men's team title. I found myself in a pack that included at least 6 or 7 of their bright red singlets. Within the first mile I decided I'd better cut the balloon string and let them go or it would be a pretty awful second half of the race. I did, and after a 6:24 opening mile, settled into a good groove in the low 6:30's for a while. I found myself running with Diona Fulton of the Somerville Road Runners for a few of those early miles. She was looking strong and neither of us seemed to be working all that hard.
Everything was going fine and I was okay with the low 6:30's pace over the roller-coaster of a seaside course when around mile 5 or so a guy from the Cambridge Running Club caught up to us and broke up the party. He was working awfully hard for 5 miles into a 25k and between his feet slapping the ground and his breathing like a freight train I just for some reason decided I needed to leave. And so I did--out the front door. I dropped a 6:26, then a 6:18 and a 6:17 and suddenly I was all alone, having dropped Diona and the Cambridge guy and having caught and dropped the GBTC guy who had been about a hundred yards up the road from us. I caught a few more guys going through Rockport. I had gone from about 20th to about 14th in just about 3 miles.
It's funny but at that point I was still feeling fine and so I just went with it. I saw my sister somewhere in here and she snapped the photo below. I sure don't look like I'm working all that hard.
Around miles 10 to 11 I caught a BAA guy and a Somerville guy who were running together. I hung with them for a couple minutes and then moved on up the road. I could see two more targets up the road--a Wicked Running Club guy and the women's winner, Tara Wommack of GBTC. I would eventually catch the Wicked guy around mile 13 or so, but despite closing hard in the last mile I never did catch Tara.
I wound up 10th overall, in 1:38:56. I really didn't know what to expect going in and figured 1:40 would be a good effort on such a hilly, winding course--so I am more than satisfied. And I'm even more pleased with the fact I was clicking off low 6's at the end with relative ease. Any time you can negative split a long hilly race like that it's a big confidence boost.
It was a solid effort for me and should be excellent marathon training. I saw lots of Shamrocks, my sister and brother-in-law and their baby and a bunch of the usual suspects. Overall it was a great way to spend Labor Day morning.