Monday, January 28, 2013

Belleville Pond 10k Trail Race

                                                       Photo credit:  Ellen Galoob (age 8)

I headed down with Greg on Saturday to my parents' house in Charlestown.  Jonny came over at night and we talked about his upcoming race.  I decided I would give it a whirl.  I had to grade some midterms on Sunday night, so the plan was to not kill myself in order to save a little energy for grading.  The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!

We arrived with plenty of time to register and enjoy pre-race chatter.  Mother Nature kept chatting to a minimum.  The temp was in the high teens and warming to the low 20's by race time, but there was a brutal wind which made the conditions much less comfortable.

The gun went off and I tried to stick to my plan of not overextending myself early.  After the first view of the pond I began to pick it up.  After about 5 minutes I realized that I was working pretty hard already.  I heated up and proceeded to work on the zipper on my top.  It wouldn't unzip.  I patiently tried to wiggle it down for the next minute or so while trying not too panic.  I wasn't that hot... yet! I kept working on it while steadily heating up.  Finally,  I took off my gloves and ripped it in a slight state of claustrophobia/fear of death by heat exhaustion.

I felt a little relief and kept working through mile 2 which was somewhere near the powerlines.  It was nice of Mike to put out mile markers.  I hit the second mile right at 16 minutes.  I immediately figured I would be around 50 minutes if I could sustain my pace.  The third mile was tough.  It had a lot of little, steep climbs on beautiful single track.  I was in full race mode as I passed a few runners and got passed by a couple others.  I was relieved to see Greg because I knew he would be at the approximate half way point.

Mile 4 was a grind.  I definitely worked harder than I intended on the 3rd mile and I was really feeling it now.  Mile 4 was more hilly single track, but thankfully it seemed to be less sun exposed.  My sleeves were rolled up, my ear flaps were up on my hat, my sunglasses were fogging, and I was considering ditching my gloves.  Somehow I was still managing to pass some runners.  I followed a fellow racer for at least a half a mile before I passed Matthew Walker.  He pulled right over for us to pass.  The racer I was closely trailing asked if he was alright and he seemed ok - just tired.  I could relate!

Right before the long straight section near mile 5, I heard the pitter patter of light, quick foot strikes.  A speedy 12 year old girl glided past me.  She would be the only runner to pass me from the 3 mile point on.  She kept motoring and ended up finishing four places ahead of me.

Once I saw the five mile marker I began to grind.  My form felt pretty good (nice quick cadence) and I was able to pass another runner right after the crazy bridge over the pond.  I had one more guy in my sights, but I ran out of real estate.  I mustered a kick and brought it home in 51:49 for 45th place.  I had clearly worked harder than I originally planned as evidence by my slower pace in the middle miles of the course.  I slapped some high fives, grabbed a water, then jumped in Greg's truck to make his meet in Providence.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course.  The snow was fun.  It was really well marked.  The weather wasn't that bad.  And I felt decent out there.  I was pretty zonked while cheering for Greg's WR (check his blog it's the Pisgahtwin link).  Thanks to Mike Galoob for putting on such a fun event.  I had no intentions of doing this race, but I'm really glad I did.


  1. I'm glad you decided to race. You looked much stronger at the finish. Come down with Greg in two weeks and try the Brrrr-lingame 10 Miler!

  2. Great to see you out there, Glenn! Great day for a race, and a spot-on writeup...

  3. Thanks guys. 10 miler huh? I'll hem and haw over it for the next two weeks.