This past Sunday was the 30th running of the Red’s Shoe Barn 5m. It’s now officially called the Red’s 5 Mile Road Race and 3 Mile Walk for a Better & Brighter Community, or something like that. But, I’m going to continue to call it Red’s Shoe Barn because the new name is just too lame. It’s sort of like calling the Boston Garden the TD North Center for the Indoor Sporting Arts or calling Fenway Park the Bank of America Stadium for Grassy Outdoor Events - it just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.
Anyway, this was my 4th time running Red’s and, like each of my 3 previous excursions to the mean streets of Dover, this race was expected to be a knock down, drag out, turf war that only the New Hampshire Grand Prix can provide. As the second race of the 2011 NHGP Series (and first scoring one) this race could very well set the tone for the rest of the season.
|Casey Saves The Day|
The course is somewhat challenging: with two longish hills in miles 1 & 3 and a sharp up at the end of mile 4 followed by a screamingly steep last mile. After a brief warm-up over the first & last miles I tucked myself into the second row and waited for the gun. Looking around during the National Anthem I had hoped to see my son (and wish him luck) but he was nowhere to be found. Maybe he hadn’t rolled out of that bed after all.
As usual, my plan was to run the first uphill mile conservatively, then start to open it up on that second (slightly downhill) mile. Unfortunately, this course is notorious for inaccurate mile markers, so I had to run this one on feel. Fortunately, for me, I felt pretty good. I hit the first mile in 6:05 then started to reel some people in during a 5:35 (short) second mile.
I opened up a small gap with a 6:33 (long) third mile, and despite a 6:05 fourth mile he came charging by and gapped me back as we started up the last hill. I tried to hang with him over the climb, and pull him back on the descent, but I just couldn’t close the distance. My last mile was a quick 5:49, giving me a 30:08 finishing time and 18th place overall – 3 spots and 13 seconds behind Mr. Bemis. Casey came in a short while later – in 32:51.
Fortunately, my Running Club showed up in great numbers (52 GCS participants in all) and pretty much ran away with the overall team points – unofficially 172 points, to Greater Derry’s 133 to Granite State’s 83. And, our Masters Team of Dave Dunham, Brian Ruhm & Randy Macneill went first, second & fourth overall to score a whopping 26 points for the team. Unfortunately, despite my high placing, I didn’t figure in the team scoring due to the fact that NHGP only scores 3 deep - and I was 4th.
|Me and the "Little" Son|
Casey finished in second place in his division and scored 9 big points for the club. At least someone in the family still has some clout! Afterward, we all headed over to my sister’s place in Maine for an early-season bar-b-que. Next up for me is the James Joyce 10k & then the Medical Center 6k and I’ll need to do a better job at training (or a worse job at recruiting) for those races - in order to score some points for my team!