Runaway Pumpkin 10k – Win, and course record pace but…

Two years ago, I came in 3rd overall (2nd male) at the WOWFest 10k in a time of 40:41. Last year, it conflicted with another race. This year, it luckily didn’t conflict… but then they cancelled it! Luckily it was replaced by the Runaway Pumpkin 10k on another free weekend, so I was still able to run it. I didn’t find out until the day before, but they also added a cash prize for the winner, and a cash prize to set the course record. I quickly looked up the course record, and figured it was doable for me on a good day, but that my primary goal would be stay with the leader as long as possible and go for a PR.

The race is not very hilly, but does have a few little bumps. It was hard for my GPS to get an accurate pace due to thick cloud and fog cover as well as trees, so I didn’t glance at my watch more than twice.

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Satellite issues…

It was 28º the morning of the race, so I wore tights, long sleeves and gloves.

Both the 5k and 10k started at the same time, and the 5k didn’t split off until 1.5mi, so it was very tough to tell pacing. As soon as we started, two guys took off fast enough I assumed they were doing the 5k, and I couldn’t have hung with them anyway. I ran beside Sam Wood (who I knew was racing the 10k) until the 5k turnaround when we were suddenly WAY out front.

Shortly after that my toes started to go numb, and I started to slow just a little. I focused on keeping Sam within 3-5 seconds or so, and then just zoned out. I zoned out a bit too much a couple times, as he started to pull further ahead, so I’d have to expend a bit more energy to try and get close again.

The hill in the middle took a little too much out of me, but I gained a bit of ground and came within a second or two of him. I decided to hang back a bit further, since I thought perhaps I could out-kick him at the end.

I stayed well behind Sam until about mile 4, when I started to consciously pick it up a little. Whether I was starting to get fatigued, or whether Sam also picked it up, I’m not sure, but I didn’t gain much ground until mile 5.25 on the WOW Trail. I gained a little but I was still behind him until mile 5.9 when I finally made the pass on a turn in the high school parking lot. I kicked it as hard as I could manage, and broke the tape in 34:39, a new course record… I thought.Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 7.48.23 PM

Unfortunately, after the awards ceremony, we were told that we hadn’t run the full course. It seemed the lead cyclist had led us the wrong way, cutting off about .07miles. After a little discussion, I explained that both my average pace and the female winner’s average pace (Sam’s wife Abbey Wood) would have still set the course record by quite a bit had we run the full course. The race director was nice enough to still award the cash bonus for breaking the CR’s to us both. It won’t count on the website, and it won’t count for a PR, but a new pair of running shoes gets me some more miles in the legs!

Overall, I really recommend this race. It was a bummer about the course mix-up, and I’ve heard it’s happened before, but they did the right thing about it. Also, the haul for overall and AG placing’s was pretty good. A packet of $10 gift cards for a bunch of area restaurants, a $25 gift certificate to a running store, a BIG loaf of pumpkin bread and the cash prizes for the win and CR. It’s a really nice course, though a bit nicer when you can actually see it!

There were several photographers on the course, but I’ve not found any photos posted anywhere yet!

Winter Season:
1/1 – Millennium Mile – 4:35
2/28 – Kingman Farm Moonlight Snowshoe Race – 5th in 38:17
3/1 – Snowshoe to the Clouds – 6th in 1:05:30
3/7 – Northeast Snowshoe Championship – 10th in 54:38

Summer Season:
5/2 – R.W.Emerson Trail Race 9 mile – 3rd in 1:13:34
5/9 – Merrimack River 10 mile – 15th in 1:06:12
5/17 – Sleepy Hollow Mt. Race 10k – 13th in 45:07
5/23 – Wachusett Mountain 10k – 13th in 21:11 (Climb)
5/30- Margaritas 5k – 3rd in 17:15 (New PR)
6/7 – Pack Monadnock 10mile – 8th in 1:10:59
6/14 – Ascutney Mt. Challenge 3.7mile – 5th in 33:46
6/21 – Mt Washington Road Race – 84th in 1:24:56
6/28 – WCM Traverse (non-race) – 17mi, 8000ft, 9 hours of fun running!
7/5 – Loon Mountain Race (New England Mountain Champs) –  30th in 1:07:10
7/12 – Bear Brook Trail Half Marathon – 1st in 1:43

7/18 – Race for the Cure 10k – 1st in 38:10
7/24 – USATF-NE Track Championship 5000 – 9th in 17:16
8/1 – Kingman Farm Trail Race – 1st in 24:09
8/22 – Tristin’s Run – 1st in 18:13 (course record)
8/22 – NH XC Festival 5k – 27th in 17:37

Fall Season:
9/6 – Mt. Greylock Hill Climb – 4th in 59:40
9/12 – Windmill 5k – 3rd in 18:43
9/19 – Brewfest 5k – 1st in 17:07
9/27 – VT50 Relay Leg 1 (12.3mi) – 1st place to that point in 1:26:30
10/4 – New England Half Marathon – 7th in 1:20:10 (PR)
10/11 – Harpoon Octoberfest Road Race – 4th in 20:15
10/17 – Vulcan’s Fury Trail Race – 4th in 1:34:44
10/18 – CHAD Hero Half Marathon – 8th in 1:21:31
10/24 – Runaway Pumpkin 10k – 1st in 34:39 (unofficial CR and PR)