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Good Times 5k Spring Series Race Report

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
in Road Races

After a day of tremendous sadness over the senseless violence that was inflicted on our beloved Boston Marathon, the Good Times runners towed the line on most likely the first organized road race after the horrific events of April 15th. Runners are a resilient group by nature and almost 400 showed up on Tuesday night to show support for the innocent people whose lives were changed forever on Monday. Race Director Dave Camire had some moving remarks prior to the start of the race and asked runners to observe a moment of silence.

Like many of you I was devastated by the news of a bombing at the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately acts of senseless violence seem to be happening all too often. The sheer evil required to plan and carry out any of the recent mass shootings and the bombing at the Boston Marathon is beyond comprehension. There is no valid reason as to why someone commits these acts. Senseless violence doesn't make any sense. The only thing we can do is to hold the  perpetrator of each act accountable, increase our efforts on prevention, and make sure the victims of these acts have the full support of our nation.


The Race

This week's race was a unique event named the Rose Maguire's Great Mill Girl Chase 5K. In this event the women start the race first and 2:30 later the men start. The overall winner of the event receives $100, man or woman. This is a fun event for all. Even though I am not in competition for the $100, my focus is always to try to catch my wife before the finish line. I have done this race several times before and beat her for the first time last year.

This race is challenging to me for a few reasons. It is not just the 2.5 minutes that is tough to make up. I am used to starting in the front. When you start in the front and typically finish in the top 20 there are not usually many people in your way. In this race the men need to weave through many of the 200 woman that started ahead of them. There are many narrow sections of the Good Times course (check out the course) and this is always challenging and can really slow you down.

The race started and I waited the interminable 2:30 before I could begin. After running sub-par times for the first two weeks I decided to run without a watch. I like to run by feel in the shorter events. In a 5k I'm always running a 100% effort, so seeing my mile splits doesn't help me run faster. I caught up to the first large group of women fairly quickly and had a tough time navigating for about half a mile. At one point I was flying down the left side of the road third in a line of three men. There was a large group of women in front of us and the lead guy quickly went further left only to find 3 benches blocking our way. Much to my surprise he jumped up on the first bench and then jumped from bench to bench, hit the ground, and kept running. I have never seen someone do this in a road race before. This was impressive but must have taken a lot out of him because soon after he was dropped.

I suffered for most of the race. I finally broke free from the crowds and tried to focus on maintaining a fast pace. At one point on the course as you cross the Aiken Street bridge you can look to the right and see the runners ahead of you going underneath the bridge. As I got to this point on the course I looked and saw my wife about 20 seconds ahead. Unfortunately my legs were close to the red line of effort and I didn't have much left. I tried a surge on the last straightaway in an attempt to bridge the gap. Up the final "S" curves I could see her just ahead of me but the bottom line is I just couldn't do it. She ended up beating me by 4 seconds. However, I did run my fastest time of the season 19:58. Good Times!



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Freeze Your Buns Off 5k Race Report

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Sunday, March 03, 2013
in Road Races



One thing you should know about me is that I love racing. I especially love running in 5k road races. (check out my race history here) Over the past couple of years I have been focused on Ironman training so I have missed out on a lot of 5k's and sprint distance triathlons that I really enjoy. Despite the fact that the weather was terrible and my performance wasn't great, I think running in the Hyannis Half Marathon last weekend started to get my racing juices flowing. I have to admit that after last week I was not excited to sign up for another half marathon but I started to get excited about getting back to racing shorter distances.

I am really excited about the Spring Good Times 5k Series in Lowell and I knew I needed to enter a few 5k's before the series starts on April 2nd. (see the course here) Now I have no illusion as to my current conditioning. I am in the words of the famous movie "Full Metal Jacket" quote a  "disgusting fat body". When I am feeling out of shape and overweight I always think about the below several lines of dialogue from that movie when the drill instructor found a jelly donut in the barracks. This really has nothing to do with the 5k I ran today but if you are wondering about what I think about during the race this is it.


Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Holy Jesus! What is that? What the f%#k is that? WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: A jelly doughnut?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: How did it get here?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Is chow allowed in the barracks, Private Pyle?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Private Pyle?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: And why not, Private Pyle?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, because I'm too heavy, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Because you are a disgusting fat body, Private Pyle!
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Then why did you try to sneak a jelly doughnut in your footlocker, Private Pyle?
Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, because I was hungry, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Because you were hungry...
[turns and addresses rest of platoon]
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Private Pyle has dishonored himself and dishonored the platoon. I have tried to help him. But I have failed. I have failed because YOU have not helped me. YOU people have not given Private Pyle the proper motivation! So, from now on, whenever Private Pyle f*&ks up, I will not punish him! I will punish all of YOU! And the way I see it ladies, you owe me for ONE JELLY DOUGHNUT! NOW GET ON YOUR FACES!
[rest of recruits get in front-leaning-rest position, Hartman turns to Pyle]
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Open your mouth!
[shoves jelly doughnut into PYLE's mouth]
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: They're payin' for it; YOU eat it! Ready! Exercise!

First 5k Race of 2013

Since the racing juices were flowing I wanted to enter a 5k close to home. I wanted a quick and easy fitness test to see what kind of shape I am in. The Freeze Your Buns Off 5k in Nashua, New Hampshire is a no frills, well organized 5k race series managed by the Gate City Striders. This race was exactly what I needed today. The race only costs $5 and has a simple rolling course around Nashua High School.

After a nice warmup I hit the start line. Conditions were not bad for winter...30 degrees and snowing. Not snow that sticks to the ground,  just nuisance snow that goes into your face and eyes. Certainly the weather was a lot better than last week's pouring rain. I ran a hard but controlled pace for the entire race but didn't have the fitness to maintain my pace. I won't bore you with the details but my splits tell the whole story:

Mile 1-  6:19

Mile 2- 6:34

Mile 3- 6:53

5k Official time:  20:18  (6:32 pace)

Not bad for the first 5k of the year and a decent starting point. For me I always think if I break 20 minutes in a 5k then I had a decent time. Over 20 minutes sucks...I plan on entering a few more races this month and continue training for speed. The cool thing about racing short distances is that you can race every week if you want to....I am looking forward to the 2013 racing season!  See you out there!

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