Fisher Cats Thanksgiving 5K – Millennium Running 11.24.16

1 Dec

Podium Day!!!   1/186 in AG  – Very, very lucky

13th/ 15 races  – 2016 Elliot Millennium Running Series

 

Northeast Delta Dental Fisher Cats Stadium

Northeast Delta Dental Fisher Cats Stadium

My third year running this race – another fun, well done Millennium event.  What better way to start Thanksgiving than with 2,700 running friends!   An extra highlight this year included start/finish line INSIDE Northeast Delta Dental Stadium at Center Field on the warning track.

Start & Finish on Warning Track

Start & Finish on Warning Track

Temps in the 30’s 9:00 a.m. race – tights and long sleeve.  There were even snowflakes post race.   Race day number pick up was easy on the stadium concourse level – enjoyed seeing so many friends and familiar faces.   After a warm up, I returned to the stadium and went down the stairs, through bleacher aisles and onto the ballfield.  Nerves, excitement.   After I figured out which direction we were starting (d’oh) I did a quick, stealthy slip through a couple thousand people towards the front.  The national anthem was beautifully performed and there was a poignant recognition for two local runners struck by a car last week in Bedford.   One of the runners, Attorney Uliasz, fired the starter’s pistol and we had a moment of silence for 58 year old Ducharme who succumbed to his injuries.   (Union Leader article)

2,700 running friends

2,700 running friends

Amped up, we prepared, the gun fired and we took off along the warning track.  Out past WMUR studio with their cameraman – slight incline on Granite Street – trying to keep strong.  Work, work, work, push.   I saw friend Greg Audet ahead.   When we turned back to Commercial Street, I managed to sneak by Greg, but wasn’t sure I could stay ahead of him.  Mentally keep it together, each step is closer to the finish.  Into the stadium, down onto the field and dirt warning track – saw the “kick here” sign and I heard WMUR Sports Director, Jamie Staton, announcing me with his always awesome shout out!!  Over the finish line, hit my watch, yay, yay!!!!  DONE!!!

I kept moving, then back out on the course to cheer for others, a warm down and grab a coat.   Back to the stadium –  Millennium wasn’t able to use timing trailer inside the stadium, so I didn’t look up how I did in my division.  Dave Audet was on the concourse with his awards and said I should go check the awards table.   On the way, I saw Ellen & Tom, so they came too.   Holy cow!!  I was very, very pleasantly surprised and so fortunate to win my AG.   It all depends on who shows up – thinking of Whirlaway teammate Miae Jacobs’ AG win last year.   I am definitely cherishing it and savoring the good fortune.  I received a gorgeous Whole Foods apple pie and offered it to Tom Raffio for his birthday (3 days later).   It turned out Ellen also won a pie, plus Tom won one the following day!

Ellen & Tom Raffio; Whole Foods Apple Pie & gift certificate to Millennium Running Retail Store

Ellen & Tom Raffio; Whole Foods Apple Pie & gift certificate to Millennium Running Retail Store

I am so grateful and appreciative for my body allowing me to do this and I give so much credit to all my running friend athletes out there… getting it done… everyone challenging themselves on a chilly morning… camaraderie, determination, covering the distance.   I don’t get jammed up about my per mile pace anymore, it’s about doing your best on any given day – not giving up.   Weekly PT with dry needling & Graston is keeping my hip injuries manageable.  Usually 6 needles each side, then Graston, and I walk like a “cowboy” for a while after, hahaha!!

With John Mortimer, founder CEO of Millennium Running; Tom Raffio President Northeast Delta Dental, Ellen Raffio

With John Mortimer, founder CEO of Millennium Running; Tom Raffio, CEO & President Northeast Delta Dental, Ellen Raffio

Millennium does a remarkable and always professional job with events — innovative, welcoming, appealing to so many runners, lots of fun & great extras like free digital photos — plus always coming up with more!  Well done John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew!!

Feeling very fortunate

Feeling very fortunate

 

1/186 in AG.   Even would have placed in Masters AG

Full results here

23:16,  23:21     7:30

Current Point Chase Standings

Current Point Chase Standings

3rd F overall in Millennium Points Chase, 1st in AG.

Live video from race

This race is part of the holiday mini-series, “NH Orthopaedic Holiday Hat Trick”  If we complete (3) of the final (4) events of the year towards earning a NHOC Holiday Hat Trick quarter zip pullover with thumbholes

AND race 13 of 15 in Elliot Millennium Running Series

26.2 STATUS:  756 people have earned their Series Jacket (26.2 miles)

ULTRA STATUS:  231 people achieved Ultra status (40+ miles)

ALL MILLENNIUM:   37 “studs” are on the All Millennium track by completing ALL Millennium Signature Events!

 

Manchester City 5K, powered by SNHU – Millennium Running, 11.06.16

14 Nov

Podium day!!   2nd Female of 129, 8th overall

Manchester City Marathon, powered by SNHU / Millennium Running

Manchester City Marathon, powered by SNHU / Millennium Running

Marathon, Half Marathon, Relays (8:50 AM), 5K (9:00 AM)

I registered for this 5K race which was part of the Manchester City Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay & 5K events in Manchester, New Hampshire.    I thought the 5K was part of the “All Millennium” series, plus it gave me a chance to support the Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay runners.   I didn’t figure out until two days before the race that it wasn’t part of the “All Millennium” designation – d’oh! – well I was still running it!

Elm Street, getting ready

Elm Street, getting ready

The Marathon served as the final race in the USAT&F New England Championship series, bringing the best teams and runners from across New England.   Back in 2013 and 2014, I also raced it as the USATF – NE Marathon Championship.   This year, I could support and cheer for Whirlaway teammates, all my USATF- NE friends and local friends too !!

Medals for other distances

Medals for other distances

Arrived an hour early, easily found a parking spot, picked up number – smooth, seamless.    They had long sleeve shirts which are great looking and women’s sizes, yay!   Jim Monahan needed an easy 45 minute run, so he did warm up with me and did his run during the 5K.   I looked for a 5K map, no luck… so I asked announcer Andy Schachat.   Andy wasn’t sure about the 5K course, but made me laugh, “everybody is finishing through this same finish line, even if they are just out for a walk on Elm Street – I’m sending them through the finish!!”

Finish line

Finish line

As we lined up, nerves, excitement, I did a few quick strides.   Musket shot fired and we were off!   5Ks are so painful for me, just push, push, push… north up Elm Street then a quick left down to Canal Street.   We continued on Canal Street with a bit of headwind and I tried keep strong, catching any targets I could, then back up to Elm Street.   It was so cool to see the top marathon runners on the other side of Elm Street!!   I cheered for them and my friend, Eric Narcissi, (was Whirlaway, now CMS) even cheered for me!!   As I got closer to the finish, another female held strong near me and I was trying to keep up.   I couldn’t find another gear to pass her and could hear Andy Schachat announcing me and in a bit of sadness, watched her break the tape seconds before me.

Finish line

Finish line

 

 

Finish line, "almost" go to break the tape - alas

Finish line, “almost” go to break the tape – alas

(Spoiler alert, I haven’t broken 20 minutes for a 5K in a few years — a course mishap was subsequently explained and professionally handled by John Mortimer and Millennium Running) The other female, Capano, and I hugged & congratulated each other and were asked to hang around for a photo… climbed up on the podium and she received a pair of HOKA shoes.

Podium, 5K Females (Kassidy Ford 3rd F, Rachel Capano 1st F, Me 2nd F)

Podium, 5K Females
(Kassidy Ford 3rd F, Rachel Capano 1st F,
Me 2nd F)

Back to the car for a coat and then a prime spot to cheer for marathoners, half marathon & relay runners on Elm Street.   High fives to Whirly girls, Ephraim, Ellen, saw Barb McManus, Dave Dunham, Nancy Druke, Greg Audet.   Had a photo op with Candidate for NH Governor, Colin Van Ostern.   Man he’s tall!

Executive Councilor & Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern

Executive Councilor & Democratic gubernatorial nominee Colin Van Ostern.

Then we went to Hanover Street to see the Half Marathon winner flying towards the finish and catch the marathoners again.   Hilarious, Eric Narcissi yelled to me whether I’d won – since last time we saw each other, I was sprinting towards the 5K finish line!!   I yelled loudly to Leslie O’Dell, Matt St. Germain, Brandon Newbould, Jose Ortiz and the “Whirla-wall,” Dave Dunham, Christin Doneski, Kathryn Cooney, Heather Spinney, Mary Garrity Klene, Deb Hamond Slason and so many friends out there.   Ducked into Runner’s Alley to warm up and the wind was picking up.   Saw longtime friend and Whirlaway Karen Durante for a hug! It’s been too long!

2nd place awards - Millennium Running Retail Store gift certificate, engraved glass coaster

2nd place awards – Millennium Running Retail Store gift certificate, engraved glass coaster

Bittersweet sort of “podium” day… thinking if I hadn’t paused to ask a cop which way, waffled about direction and had to gain momentum again, maybe I could have found the few seconds necessary to win instead of being “wishy washy” and Capano chased me down and got me.   So many variables, always learning… don’t dwell on it.   I did some yardwork at home, checked how everyone’s races played out… so proud of everyone who had raced and congratulations to all my running friends, teammates !!  Cherishing a really great, fun day and happy for so many of my incredible running friends!!!

Results of all the Manchester City races

 

Millennium Running “CHaD Trick-or-Trot 3K’ 10.30.16

8 Nov

Millennium Running  “CHaD Trick-or-Trot 3K  October 30, 2016

Millennium has early bib pick-up at their Bedford store with innovative promotions and enticements!!  Wish I lived closer!

Another super race by John Mortimer and the Millennium Running crew!!  This was my 3rd time running this race which takes place at Arms Park, Downtown Manchester on the banks of the Merrimack River.  Afternoon, 2:30 race start.  Here are prior race write-ups 2014 and 2015

Ariel view, Arms Park

Ariel view, Arms Park

There is a Halloween Festival with lots of fun things going on like a kids run, vendors including: safari rides, Wildlife Encounters, bouncing house, fire truck, beer tickets for Stark Brewing Company (formerly Milly’s Tavern), Shaskeen, and The Farm.  Post race food: Rustic Crust flatbread pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt, Muscle Milk, Drink Maple, organic fruit.

Runners on bridge crossing Merrimack

Runners on bridge crossing Merrimack

I did a warm up on the course and up on the bridge, some hill strides, dynamic stretching, more strides… nervous that this body would not remember how to run fast!   We lined up at the start, pre-race festivities, anticipation, excitement!   Count down and we were off!!!    3k = 1.86 miles, a painful distance and I went redline before I even got to the uphill.   My friends are so much quicker out of the start with such great leg speed.   The bridge across the Merrimack River is nifty to run over, plus you can see the lead car & front runners… especially memorable when a front runner is dressed like a banana.   A left & downhill, back towards the river and try to keep strong and focused.   As we rounded into Arms Park, I could hear WMUR Sports director Jamie Staton announcing and turned towards final straightaway, the clock and finish arch in sight!!!   Thanks Jamie for the always fantastic shout-out at the finish line… always an awesome feeling!!!   I could see the red numbers on the clock, KICK, under 13:00!!   (later, the results showed that my “KickTime” was 12.1 seconds or 6:29/mile pace, I guess I DID throw in some kick!)

Kick to finish! Awesome photo thanks to Steven Krejckant

Kick to finish! Awesome photo thanks to Steven Krejckant

I was hoping for a strong run and felt very, very grateful for how the day turned out.   Aimee Sherman and I visited the timing trailer together, hoping it was a podium day for us. Yay!! Both of us!!  Ironically, Aimee and I met at the finish line of this race last year!

1st in AG with Aimee Sherman 3rd AG

Happy podium day with Aimee Sherman (1st in AG; Aimee 3rd 40-49 AG)

12:52.8 6:55 pace

1/134 1st in Age Group

1st race of the NHOC Holiday Hat Trick Series

As a warm down, I ran the course again and started to let the day sink in.   I felt incredibly lucky.  I’ve been hardly able to run since August and keeping up with weekly PT of dry needling and Graston on both hips.   Somehow the road biking has been very helpful and fascinatingly, my finish time was only 3 seconds off last year! There are so many phenomenal fast senior women, I felt very fortunate today.  Cherishing when things go well and appreciating every nuance!! Woot woot!!!

Race number, gift certificate award, women's size race shirt, awesome mug

Race number, gift certificate award, women’s size race shirt, awesome mug

3rd Millennium Running “Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon” 10.23.16

31 Oct

Fabulously fun day.   Maybe it helped to have no expectations except to “just get through.”  The hip injury I’ve had since August, moved from the left to the right side, so I’ve had weekly dry needling & Graston, very little running and lots of biking.   This would be the furthest I’d run since this race last year, uh oh!

My friends and I train on part of the course.   It feels familiar.   Beautiful too – the race is described as “a unique point to point course starting at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway and running scenic country roads to finish at the New Hampshire State House.”   Shaker Road is wonderful and there is tremendous gratification kicking the final straightaway down Main Street towards the gold domed capitol.   When I am biking high on Oak Hill, I look down for the bright gold capitol — dang that looks FAR from start!! dome

9:30 race kick-off and extra logistics for point-to-point race.   Like last year, Jim and I left his car at the finish and brought my car to the NHMS

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, start

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, start

The wind made it feel cold – I pulled on my Sauce race hat and put hand warmers in my gloves.

Training partner Jim

Training partner Jim

We took off through the gate and Route 106 seemed to have a headwind – looking forward to the turn!   Jim pulled ahead after a few miles – running strong even with an ankle injury.    The miles seemed to go by pretty quickly, although I was definitely working hard.   My limited training meant I really had to “dig deep” and in many ways felt like I was running a marathon.

Smile or grimace?

Smile or grimace?

There was great support and camaraderie – so many awesome running friends out there together!   Pat, Jim, Ellen, Tom, Sal, Greg, Aimee, Tom, Ellen, Kevin, Muriel, Jules, Ed, Eric, and more.   As always, John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew did a fantastic job.   Their attention to detail, professionalism, and innovation is so impressive.   Swag included full-zip fleece jackets – same manufacturer, color & style as last year, different embroidery (unfortunately no x-s size) Also, I love the free race photos!   We are treated to quick results at the timing trailer and more that I even remember or think to mention!

Working with these speedy ladies for strong finish

Working with these speedy ladies for strong finish

Fun extras like the live music, finisher medals, beer tickets for several Concord spots.   Friends Ellen & Tom Raffio, Pat Bourgault, Jim Monahan and I gathered postrace at True Brew and shared stories about our day, great stuff!

Ellen Raffio, Jim Monahan, me, Pat Bourgault, Tom Raffio

Ellen Raffio, Jim Monahan, me, Pat Bourgault, Tom Raffio (newlyweds 2 weeks!)

Such a fabulous, memorable day in so many ways and I feel incredibly grateful to be able to enjoy this sort of camaraderie, fun, friendships and healthy endorphin boosting activity.   I’ve been working on keeping my perspective and appreciate one particular bit of advice from an elite runner who said “unless you are the current world record holder, there is always someone out there faster.”  Somehow this helped me feel less jammed up about my pace, comparing, etc.   See if I can keep my head in good perspective.

number

Interestingly, my finish time was 27 seconds faster than last year  despite limited training of very little running, but lots of road biking

results  1:47:47 8:14

8/172 (a NH Grand Prix race, there were some fast women out there!)  Congratulations to everyone who raced!!!

 

Northeast Delta Dental, Halfway to St Patrick’s Day 09.18.16

22 Sep

2/113 in Division PODIUM!      9th race of 16 in Millennium Series

NEDD Halfway to St Patrick's

NEDD Halfway to St Patrick’s

Looking back at my logbook, I first ran this race in 2005, the day after a 23 mile run (Chicago Marathon training) and 89 mile week!   With all that, and a 5K PR that day, I still wanted more – imagining being as fast as XYZ person, being on the podium (5th in division that day)

While eventually I did get very fast, dropped my times way down and achieved a level I had dreamed of, there is always someone faster, doing more.   Are we ever satisfied?   Every race can’t continue to be a PR.   How do you attune expectations?   Goals?   Lately, I haven’t been taking the time to quiet the “noise” in my head, unhelpful negative automatic thoughts, practice helpful mantras.   My coach for over a decade, Fernando Braz, had wise words /advice which got my head in the right place, quieted the “noise” – I want to work on that aspect more.

##

Race Morning

Race Morning

10:15 race start, drizzly, like last year.   22 minute warm-up.   At the risk of sounding repetitive, thank you John Mortimer and Millennium Running crew who put on another outstanding event.   Fabulous attention to detail and everywhere you look there’s professionalism, innovation, fun.   Inspiring – all these athletes come together to persevere, encourage each other, endure, push to the finish – then celebrate!

We lined up on Elm Street, I’m disreputably slow off the starting line.   Heck, I’m chill, snoozing.   3 months ago I injured myself practicing track sprint starts and stuff.   Nonetheless, I was boldly up there, not many rows back.   Up close enough to appreciate the National Anthem beautifully sung by crowned Miss UNH (?) all the other pageant girls properly with hand on heart.   John Mortimer, Jamie Staton, starting pistol.   We were off, Elm Street was ours – runners in “race kilts” and green.

Start

Jade and Eric (left of me) rocking their kilts!

Start

Here we GO!! ~1000 runners take over Elm Street

I “noticed” the incline on Elm St before the turn and pushed.   There was a very strong female runner near me, I tried not to let her get away.   Competition inwards towards myself – be tough.   In the last mile, I was pleased to see friends Jade and Greg nearby for encouragement.   Finally that right on Bridge, left on Kosciuszko Street (Apple PT office!) and final straight away towards the magnificent black and white Millennium arch finish line.   Hearing announcer Andy Schachat’s generous shout-out, “future New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Famer” was such a wow!!

Kosciuszko Street towards finish line

Kosciuszko Street, finish line in sight

I hopped over to Millennium Running timing trailer and felt incredibly blessed for a podium day, 2nd in AG!!!  My friend Pat and I getting 1 & 2!!   Later, I looked at more results and saw that the “very strong female runner” who helped me be tough finished only several seconds back as 3rd in AG!

Podium day

Podium day

After a 22 minute warm-down and encouraging other runners on the course I went back to Race Day HQ.   Runners hung around to celebrate – so motivating, tough, strong, positive – looking for the best from themselves on a given day, stepping up, living!!   There was a Wild Rover Celtic Festival and one of the best musicians I’ve heard in a while, MB Padfield.   I couldn’t help but groove when she played “Kiss” by Prince.

festivalThere was Portland Pie Pizza, Stonyfield yogurt, bananas, beer ticket. Vendors with cupcakes, Celtic items, food.

Always awesome WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton congratulated me when I picked up my award.

WMUR Sports Director, Jamie Staton, 2nd in AG award

WMUR Sports Director, Jamie Staton, 2nd in AG award

Thank you wonderful friends, I am so grateful for you and the experiences.

Podium day!!! Second in AG (2/113) was icing on the cake!!!

Points Chase Standings:

1st in division; 4th overall female; 12 in total standings

Kilt! won Gift Certificate to Millennium Running store, Pint Glass, Irish running socks

Kilt! won Gift Certificate to Millennium Running store, Pint Glass, Irish running socks

Results:  7:21,     22:47, 22:50

 

Love the finish line

Because I LOVE the finish line

49th Bill Luti 5 Mile, New England Runner Magazine article. Will there be a large salute for 50th Luti in 2017?

13 Sep
  
49th Bill Luti 5 Mile, Concord NH

49th Bill Luti 5 Mile, Concord NH

ne-runner-septoct-2016-luti_page_3ne-runner-septoct-2016-luti_page_4ne-runner-septoct-2016-luti_page_5

 

 

USATF New England 10 mile Championship, Millennium Running, New Hampshire 10 Miler 8/27/16

1 Sep

8th of 14 races in the 2016 Elliot Millennium Series and Points Chase

Around Massabesic Lake, Auburn.   Great & helpful course preview here

A couple weeks ago I injured my right hip flexor and even walking was uncomfortable… ugh.   Road biking fortunately does not hurt… at least I feel like I am doing something athletic.   PT was helping, but I was really concerned if I could cover the race distance.   Hmmm, call a cab at 5 miles?   The day prior to the race, my PT at Apple Therapy Services opted for dry needling.  Crazy, but it helped significantly!   It was wild to see how my muscle bent the needle when it twitched.    Apparently, that’s a good thing!   I hopped off the table and my hip felt as loose as soggy spaghetti.   Thrilled after successful PT, I went to early number pickup at Millennium Running store and used a gift certificate from RibFest 5 mile race towards some Tifosi sunglasses!

Pre race near Northeast Delta Dental Partnership flag with Ellen Tidd and her fiancé Tom Raffio, CEO Northeast Delta Dental

With race sponsor Northeast Delta Dental CEO, Tom Raffio, and his fiancé Ellen Tidd (573)

I was looking forward to seeing my USATF friends and Whirlaway teammates who I haven’t raced with in a while.   From 2000 through 2014 I competed in every USATF NE Grand Prix Championship race (105 consecutive) and feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to be a Whirlaway runner.   Since then though, I’ve dialed down running and enjoy being an athlete more for fun now… a new “balance” with life and running.   I felt apprehension.   Would I be judged for not being as fast as I used to be?

USATF New England 10 Mile Championship

The weather predicted a 89 degree high, so started drinking water as soon as I woke up.   The “other injured SP” (Sal) picked me up at 7:15. We arrived at 7:45, found a good parking spot and checked out the area. Warmed up a bit on rail trail, a few bathroom stops, some banana and lined up near friends.  I started out very conservatively, seeing how hip would react. Pat Bourgault said, “just treating it like 10 mile run” and I kept that thought in my head.  I also drew on having run the course 3 weeks ago and seeing USATF friends around me – Lisa Doucett, Stephen Peckiconis, Whirlaway teammates Lisa Z and John Gorman – many others from a decade and a half of Championship races.

I walked through 2 water stops to make sure I got enough water, checked in with my body, didn’t look at splits.   Poignantly chasing Pat Bourgault and Lisa Doucett on one of the toughest inclines – and having the grit to pass them.  Pat got back by me, but she didn’t realize it until after we finished.   (The following day, Pat & I went to Greg Audet & Lisa Comire Kaim’s “After the Wedding Celebration” – amusing to talk about what we had forgotten during the race!)

The final right into the parking lot – don’t gauge it wrong – and then the fabulous sight of the finish line.  WMUR sports director Jamie Staton gave me a tremendous shout out, yay, and crossed the line, overjoyed that my body let me get this done.   Singlet and shorts were sopping, sunglasses so coated with dried sweat I could hardly see through them.

Headed to finish line

Headed to finish line

I was so grateful and fortunate to be able to get through.   When I saw my PT last night, she’d been worried how it would go.  As I told her that not only did I get through, I was 6th in NE Age Group, she got chills.   6th in NE age group was totally unreal, competing with runners like Mimi Fallon (3 Olympic Marathon trials and one world marathon team) and Whirlaway teammate/Olympian Maria Servin… absolutely an out-and-out gift.  finish line

As always, John Mortimer and Millennium provided an exceptional event. Pre-race information emailed, early number pick-up, free photos and results emailed, medals and womens size shirts, results trailer, lots of post race snacks, Andy Schachat announcing on the course and Jamie Staton at finish – always lots of extras and professionalism. Super all around!

Happy to see finish line

Happy to see finish line

Results

1:21:19 (1:21:35)    8:08     6th in USATF NE AG (10 of 115   50-59 )

6th

2016 Elliot Millennium Series / Points Chase – Still 1st in AG

 

pint glass from last year, medal, race shirt, number

pint glass from last year, medal, race shirt, number

 

Lake Massabesic early race morning

Lake Massabesic early race morning

Millennium Running – Boot Scootin’ Boogie 5K, Londonderry NH July 23, 2016

2 Aug

 

Boot Scoot

“Boots” Boot Scootin Boogie

Congratulations to everyone who participated and thank you for a great night Millennium Running!

“Boots” was another fabulously innovative, incredibly professional event from John Mortimer and Millennium. Everyone seemed to have a blast and the tough weather early on just made it more memorable! Plus it showed the resourcefulness and resilience of the athletes and Millennium crew.

The 2nd year of this country themed, evening race –  part of NH Grand Prix (club road running series) AND double miles for Elliot Millennium Series – so extra competitive!  With my lack of training, knee problems and the high level of competition, I tried not to have huge expectations.  Rather, I try to look at the positives, cherish the running “journey” and all the great, fit, determined athletes – together for the challenge & celebration.

 

country music

Taste of Nashville country music tour concert

##

Driving to the race I stopped at Dunkins’ for iced black coffee, hoping caffeine would give me a jolt, and noticed the weather was ominous. When I arrived at Londonderry High School and parked in a dirt lot near a baseball field, the wind was howling. It looked like a dust storm and baseball players were running towards their cars.   I thought of Cape Cod Marathon, October 2012 (Hurricane Sandy weekend).   As I ran towards registration and warm-up, Mike Thompson was removing the starting line… huh?!! WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton (WMUR Sports Director) said registration, tents, everything was being taken down because of a thunderstorm warning, but they would be producing the race and it would kick off at 8pm.

The storm was quick moving and people were being asked to seek shelter until the storm passed, so Mike & Jamie said I could get in the truck. I still wanted to do a warm up, but heard tree limbs were down all over the area.

After it passed, everything came together incredibly rapidly and we lined up to start with a rainbow behind us!

number

Race number, wrist band to access post race concert, beer garden, bonfire, mechanical bull, etc. Swag cowboy hat to all participants

We were off!!!  It’s a fast downhill start.  I did my best to just keep pushing.   Friends Ellen, Greg, Jade were ahead of me.   It wasn’t until the last long uphill 3rd mile that I got near Jade.  She’s a super fit athlete, incredible competitor and leading the Millennium women’s Points Standings.  Jade pushed me hard to not lose her during the race.   Up the final part, meter by meter, relentless.

We turned the last left with finish line in sight, hearing Andy Schachat’s shout out… I threw in a kick… somehow Jade didn’t come… wow, I got lucky.  Did I mention Jade is leading the Millennium women’s Points Standings?!?  She’s an amazing runner.

It was a “hurl inspiring” finish.   I kept walking around for a few minutes, ready to barf!!!  John Mortimer asked if I was OK.   Jade said she did throw up. We must have pushed pretty hard!  Friend Tammie Robie, 3rd F, said it was that way for her too!

Jade, Steven

Jade Potts, me, Steven Krejckant – post race, check out Steven’s cow bell medal

Post race was a country music concert, mechanical bull, beer garden, food vendors, huge bonfire and people wearing their race cowboy hats. Runners loved the Yasso frozen yogurt bars – I tasted mint chip, but my stomach wasn’t ready for food.   Visited with Ellen Tidd & Tom Raffio, Audet’s, Jade & Steven and gave away my Sam Adam’s Summer beer.

 

fire

Athletes headed to field, huge bonfire!

I started having post race bonkiness and it was getting late for me.   I needed to put something in my system quickly, fortunately there were some bananas left over and grabbed a few small slices of Portland Pie pizza as I walked back to the car.

I tried to not be too bummed about my time and not compare to where I was a few years ago.  I also tend to get down on myself often by comparing myself to others.  I need to stop my automatic thoughts and remind myself to follow the better way of looking at things.   Perspective, Sarah!!!!!  I gotta remember!!  I have so much to feel grateful about – thank you wonderful running friends who I treasure –  we keep getting it done!!  Appreciate the accomplishments, participate in the fun and thank God I am still able to do this!

 Results   23:17  7:30 pace  Kick time: :49 last 200 (7:22)

5th of 93 in AG 

 

yellow bib

Millennium Running Points Chase  – “maillot jaune” leader yellow jersey

selfie

Post race – Jamie Staton setting up for selfie

WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton - post race.

WMUR Sports Director Jamie Staton – post race.

Ayotte

Millennium Running CEO, Founder John Mortimer; Delta Dental, race sponsor, CEO Tom Raffio; Senator Kelly Ayotte; Ellen Tidd (Tom’s fiancé) – twins Kelly & Ellen!

Millennium Running, Ribfest 5 mile, Merrimack – 06.19.2016

21 Jun

ribfest-logo

Third year and my 3rd Ribfest 5 mile, Anheuser Bush facility in Merrimack.  1403 registered runners.  This was part of a huge 3 day BBQ competition with live bands, booths, food vendors, kids race.   Last year it was a NH Championship (pouring rain) and the year prior it was a USATF-NE Grand Prix 5 mile Championship so this always draws fast, competitive runners.

Similar to last year, travelled with NHTI coach Perry Seagroves. Offsite parking at BAE guarantees warm up, warm down. Forecast was hot for the day (90’s)  9:00 a.m. start, I’d been hydrating for a few hours.

Inflatable arch

Inflatable arch

Like all Millennium events, everything was so professional with tremendous attention to detail. Plus this year had innovative tie-ins to the event, like BBQ apron (instead of race shirt) and BBQ wood-handled grill tool spatula awarded to top 50 Age Grade winners!  (My secret goal was to win an Age Grade BBQ grill tool)

We also received event entry & 2 free beers coupons, although I’ve never felt up for it post-race.

After stretches, strides, national anthem, we were off for the uphill start and ½ mile in, my quads wondered about that speed on treadmill the day before the race. Well, this was going to hurt, so be tough!  I tried to keep up with friends Ellen & Greg, which meant going out fast for me.   By two miles, I had inched ahead of them, but wasn’t sure how my legs were going to keep going for 3 more miles.   I felt like I was slowing in the 2nd-3rd miles.  Pat Bourgault came by me, but I couldn’t go any faster.   I saw Perry ahead (shorts on backwards, NHTI logo on the back!)   At 4 miles (wishing it was 5) I told myself “4 more laps on the track”   Form, mental focus.  Finally, taking the left turn downhill.  Look up for the huge black & white inflatable arch & clock, strong through the final, hearing Andy Schachat’s voice with a generously kind shout out… over the finish line!!!!!   I grabbed a water, spent – racing hurts.

rib-fest

Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable

With Whirlaway teammate & race winner Ruben Sanca

With Whirlaway teammate & race winner Ruben Sanca

Checked timing trailer for results, but it wasn’t showing AG, I knew at least 2 were in front of me. After a quick trip to the car, went back and found out YAY!!!  I was 19th in Age Grade awards!!!!  The BBQ wood-handled grill tool spatula!!!! PLUS we got gift certificates for Millennium store too!!!!  When I got home, I checked full results and found out I was 3rd in AG, whew, I got lucky today with strong competition.  Podium.

Coveted Age Grade award BBQ wooden handle grill tool!! BBQ apron, gift cert to Millennium store

Coveted Age Grade award BBQ wooden handle grill tool!! BBQ apron, gift cert to Millennium store

Results

38:28 (10 seconds faster than last year)

3 of 124 in Age Group – podium day

19th Age Grade [34.09]

1403 registered runners

Points Standings Update  3rd female overall

Fisher Cats 3K May 29, 2016 – Memorial Day weekend

2 Jun
Fisher Cats

Fisher Cats

Thank you Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental!

Outside stadium, pick up numbers

Outside stadium, pick up numbers

Memorial Day gives us pause to thank and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can have our freedoms.  We are truly fortunate and coming together with friends in a race like this reminds me how much we have to be grateful for.

50, debut new AG:

Two weeks ago, I turned 50. I admit, I was secretly hoping to have a strong debut run here in 50 AG.   Plus, I love stadium finishes, the 3K distance, know Riverwalk area (late miles of Manchester Marathon course.)  Plus, race entry included buffet picnic overlooking left field, (1) complimentary ticket for game following race and Atlas fireworks show!

My secret plan for a good 50 AG showing were shot down Friday when I found out masters & seniors were combined, ugh, 40-59 AG! I dropped my expectations. Oh well, just go and enjoy the fun of the event.

Race day:

Temps were fortunately in the 60’s, compared to 90’s the day before. Grabbed my number, brief warm up to check sections of the course.  Ushered down stadium steps onto the field and nervously did strides for 4:15 start.

On the field

Tossed a rosin bag out of the way, like I was clearing a track.   Fired up, anticipating, ready… GO!!!  We were off, my heart rate increased… sprint, no rest, focus.

At a hairpin turn I saw leaders, Dave Dunham and a youngster together.   Ellen Tidd, who has been racing incredibly fast, had a teenage girl nearby.  I didn’t think they were within reach… just keep pushing hard.   Ellen got by the girl while on Riverwalk, then, surprisingly, I passed Ellen.   Keep strong around a left turn and up slight incline.   I was vocal at a car poised to cut off runners and kept focus entering the stadium.

Felt the red clay underfoot, with a gratifying push towards the clock… over the finish line!! 12:29, elated, that was quick!!! Jubliant, I checked in with other runners and kept moving.  I felt like I might have placed well, didn’t want to be too hopeful, but wondered if was among top women?!?!  Winner, Dave Dunham, thought I might have been 2nd female.   Teeming with excitement… 2nd overall female?!?!

It was hard for me to stop moving and think clearly. Did a 2 mile warm down, washed with excitement, adrenaline.  Dang, dang, dang, wow what a great day.

Northeast Delta Dental suite! Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F) Dave Dunham (1st)

How “suite” it is! Northeast Delta Dental suite! Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F) Dave Dunham (1st)

I didn’t think it could get better, then after the warm-down, walking inside the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium concourse , Tom Raffio (President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental) graciously invited several of us to the Northeast Delta Dental Suite, including 1st , 2nd place (Dave Dunham & Dave Audet), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F)!!!  Immediately, as you step inside, the most tremendously stunning view of the ballpark!!  The suite is pristine; kitchen area with granite countertops, fridge stocked and hot and cold food, comfy furniture and through the sliding glass doors is a private seating area with real ball park seats.   Wow, what an honor and privilege to be invited, thank you, Tom!!!

Results, Fisher Cats 3K, May 29, 2016

Results, Fisher Cats 3K, May 29, 2016

Next, checked out the picnic… burgers, salad, hotdogs, chips (stomach doesn’t want to eat much post race) but while waiting, posted “Suite” photo and my iPhone received automatic results confirming I was 2nd female overall!!!! Wow, wow, dang, dang, dang, what a great day!!!!  Seriously incredible course of events!!

The race entry included post race all-you-can-eat buffet picnic overlooking left field

The race entry included post race all-you-can-eat buffet picnic overlooking left field

Game started at 6:05 and stayed for first pitch, but it was starting to get really chilly. I was trying to remember about awards, not sure how they’d handle them, so while walking to exit stadium, I looked up “Registrant Info” email:  “A Fisher Cats Prize Pack would be awarded to the top two race times among male participants and the top two race times among female participants in age groups. Additionally, the top three overall times for males and females would be awarded with a VIP Prize Pack presented on-field at the end of the first inning.”  What?!?!?!  NO WAY?!?!?!  COOL!!!  Double back to executive suite!!  How could the day keep getting better and better and better?!?!?

Tunnel inside stadium, headed to awards

Tunnel inside stadium, headed to awards

Tom Raffio showed us to the Guest Services area and we were led through corridors under the stadium to dugout.

dugout

Waiting behind the scenes to go on field

I was trying to take it all in – there were the Atlas fireworks for post game show, players were walking past us.

dugout 2

Dugout before going on field for awards. Fisher Cats game vs. the Reading Fightin’ Phils (AA-Philadelphia Phillies)

I tried to stay quiet and out of the way, oblivious to my chilly wet running bra, shorts, and that my Whirlaway sweatshirt wasn’t keeping me really warm!!   Hey, I wouldn’t miss this if I was frozen to the bone.

Awards on the field Dave Audet (2nd pl), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F), Dave Dunham (1st pl)

Awards on the field
Dave Audet (2nd pl), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F), Dave Dunham (1st pl)

 

We were given the cue to go out on the field and I turned to see that our names were displayed huge on the jumbotron.  It was hard to hear the announcer, so I likely waved at the wrong time… d’oh.  Our Fisher Cats VIP Prize Pack included an ball autographed by the players (witnessed and certified) plus, I won 4 tickets to any game this season!

Won a Fisher Cats team autographed ball; 4 tickets to any game this season!

Won a Fisher Cats team autographed ball; 4 tickets to any game this season!

Holy cow, wow!! Not my typical race… seriously, it could not have been more perfect. Heading home, I couldn’t settle down, stopped to grab some celebratory sushi (eventually there’d be hunger) with my thoughts replaying everything.  Living the dream!!

12:28.5, 6:42 pace, 2nd place Female

Full Results

What a day! Debut race in 50 AG could not have been more perfect

What a day! Debut race in 50 AG could not have been more perfect

 

 

 

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