Masters Running


Jones Town & Country 10 mile race---Amherst, MA (Read 296 times)

    34th Annual DH Jones Town & Country 10 mile race Amherst-Pelham Regional High School, Amherst, MA Sunday, February 24 11 AM Total runners: 312 My stats: 1:15:12/7:31-32 pace-----3/25 in 40-49 age group----95th overall Overall winners: 54:16 for the men (Kibrom Temelso--32) and 1:00.07 for the women (Claudia Camargo--36---won last year as well in 59:34) Weather: Sunny and 31 degrees, no wind---the latest storm left plenty of snow everywhere. The footing was pretty good on the roads and back splashing goopy on the trails---sort of like running on oatmeal. The sky was cloudless and a deep, deep blue---bright sun----Currier and Ives postcard scenery on the back roads of Amherst, MA. Gorgeous New England winter day! Attire: “Life is Good” fleece cap, White and neon green zip up top/micro-fiber or some such, favorite black running pants from Target---fraying at the hem, but I am superstitious, black and lime green Nike storm winter running shoes, Running Divas undergarments---unseen, but always there! And black gloves that went into the waistband after mile three. Course: Mixture of neighborhood roads, packed dirt and snow trails (mile 3.5—6.5) near the Atkins Reservoir and finish near the school grounds—two pretty major hills at miles 3 and 8 (each almost a mile in length), crazy downhill at mile 6 ---described as a “challenging” course. If you want a flat 10-mile course, this isn’t it! History: The winner of the inaugural race was Bill Rodgers and the course records are owned by Bob Hodge for men (set in 1984 at 48:57) and Nancy Conz for women (set in 1986 at 57:05). The race still has a local feel and yet full of quite speedy runners shaking off rust from the winter, testing marathon training, emerging from hibernation and the like. It was once used as the USATF-NE 10 mile championship (1999) and the RRCA 10 mile championship. The area’s running club---The Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club and DH Jones Town & Country Realty, are the sponsors of the race. Goals: Hold a steady pace around 7:50 and if weather, footing and fitness come together----go under 1:18. Have fun and no whining about winter—it’s here to stay until at least March 31---suck it up and race! The Race: This wasn’t a target race, but still a good opportunity to test endurance and pacing. I didn’t taper at all and came in with a somewhat frayed spirit and 60+ mpw legs. We (two of my gang ‘o running pals) got to the registration location at the Amherst high school at 9:30 and went for a 2- mile jog on the first part of the course to warm-up. I saw lots of the local racers milling about or stretching and posturing about what they planned to do. I usually get pretty quiet before a race and just take in the atmosphere full of the snippets of conversation that nerves and anticipation bring about----“Yeah, I already ran 15 today…”, Naw, man I am going to smoke the hill”; “Doing Boston?”; “I haven’t run more than 3 miles since November”; “Hear about the next storm on Tuesday?”; “Dude, move over, you reek”; “Are there porta-potties on the course?’…. and so it went. The start is down the street from the school and just past the parking area, so I peeled off a heavy fleece outer layer reluctantly as I jogged past my car. I know, I know, it was 31 degrees, but I was cold---and yes, plenty of shorts wearers too----I won’t get warm again until after hockey season is over (it was 36F at the finish). I wedged myself in between some people who are close to my pace about 8 rows back from the line and put on my game face. We were sent off with an air horn right on time at 11 AM. Here’s what I remember: Mile 1—downhill---7:19---Whoa, find your rhythm girl! Mile 2---steady incline, but not steep---15:02---better, but smooth it out now Mile 3---22:43----uphill climb now and onto the reservoir trails Mile 4---29:14 ---quads burning but feel strong---up and over now Mile 5---37:37----tough footing---keep it steady---shoulders down---stop squinting! Mile 6---45:02----surge, surge---fly down the hill---relax jaw, lean forward a bit Mile 7---52:38----off the trails and back onto the road, slowed to grab water—big gulps Mile 8---1:00:39----tried to ice that PBJ special---climbing Monster hill here—steady on Mile 9---1:07:33---second wind out of nowhere and downhill----let’s start the kick Mile 10----1:15:04 on watch----1:15:12 on clock---Cheshire Cat grin on face This is only the second time I have raced at this distance and the last time was when I was in my thirties, so a master’s PR. I was happy to hold pace fairly steady even with many elevation changes and a few tricky footing spots. I went out a bit too fast, but found a steady groove and stayed there. Good test and I am happy. I went back onto the course (wanting to run 18 miles or so today) to find the buddy who was running with her son. He is nine and a determined kid. My buddy, his mother, runs with him and he has wanted to do this ten-mile race since he was seven. She’s a doctor and makes him stop or slow it up at signs of distress. She gets criticized for his running, but he is amazing and can just go and go. He also swims and plays soccer. Anyway, I found them and I ran back to the finish-----my friend’s husband and her other three children cheering at the finish----longest distance this kiddo has covered. He (they) ran a 1:35!!!! and was smiling and ready to play in the snow with his twin brother (who wanted no part of running). This friend is running Boston, but today’s race was for her son. She is amazing as well and ran her first marathon at 43----will run her third Boston this year at 47. My other friend came in at 1:26. She’s focusing on an April half-marathon and will then ramp up for a full Ironman in late 2008. She was the Canadian water skiing champion for successive years in the 1980s and 1990s and the World water skiing champion in the mid-90s. She is one of the most humble and yet completely awesome women I know----from Streetsville (Mississauga) Ontario. Can you tell that I am the president of their fan club? There are five of us in all who run most of our long runs together. I call them the “Js” since they all have J first names and yet are hardly interchangeable. Anyway…back to the race. The total mileage was 18.2 miles for the day including warm-up and cool down. We had some homemade cookies and pizza and chatted it up while waiting for the awards ceremony back at the school. My friend’s son was first out of 2 in the 15 year and under category. The applause was loud and sustained as he went up to get his mug and medal. Fun stuff. I also looked for Dark Horse since he has family in the area-----hoping he was secretly training and would appear at the race---no luck----I am worrying about him. I am always happy to be out there and it was no different today. Racing for me is not so much about PRs anymore (although I’ll take them!), but feeling strong and passionate about the run. I was burned out after many years of intense competition from ages 14-24 and am so grateful to have the gift of running in my life, no matter what the clock says. It was also nice to see so many of the local crowd and in such good shape. I often run early in the morning and just manage to utter “Mornin” to similarly bundled shapes as we shuttle up and down the roads---doing our best to get the workout in with time for coffee before the school buses and the business of the day descend. On to the next adventure and Thanks for reading!

    MM #5616

      Wow, let me be the first to congratulate you! Am I the only one still up? The left coast folks should still be awake... Sounds like a good time with your friends, and you beat your goal, too. A lot of fast folks there, if you only took 3rd in your AG with that time. Yikes. I'm worried about Dark Horse, too.

      I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

        CNY, I was thinking of you today. I knew how disappointed you were missing your half marathon the other week because of weather, and could relate to the itching to get out and test the waters you were probably feeling for today... (but what's up with that 11:00 start time? That must have been tough.) ...well the patience paid off! What a terrific race, beating your goal by a few minutes. Boston is looking very, very good, indeed. It sounds like it was a terrific day all around in Amherst. btw, the shoulders down. I smiled at that, because I always forget that one (well, lots of form things I forget)... I think I'm all relaxed and every photo, I just want to reach in there and push those shoulders down. Tongue
          CNY- what a great, detailed report, and an AWESOME day of running for you! Smile The race course sounds interesting, with a mix of road and trail, and the hills. Great prep work for Boston. I too have a similar race coming up that I do each year, and the race application simply describes the course as challenging. I particularly liked how supplemented the race with your extra miles to make it 18+ miles for the day. There's a half marathon I have coming up that I'm running as part of my scheduled 22 miler that day, and I think I'll follow your lead of doing a few miles warmup, race, then go back out on the course to find others I know and run with them. Nice plan. Your friends son has a lot of motivation for a 9 year old! Very nice that you could do part of the run with him and his mom. I've mentioned it to you before, but I'll say it again. I love the balance you've found with your running, still having that competiveness, at the same time being very relaxed with it, enjoying whatever comes your way. This says it all... (I) am so grateful to have the gift of running in my life, no matter what the clock says. Smile Congratulations on exceeding your expectations out there. Very well done. Oh, there was a photographer at the finish line. He caught this photo of you...
            CNY, thanks for an enjoyable RR!!!!! It sounds sloppy and fun. Thanks for including your friend's son. I love watching people grow into the sport.


            i'm lovin' it... MM#1949

              CNY!!! Fantastic race girl! Those 60+mpw has turned you into steel. That was a very spectacular PBJ Special+2 The oatmeal footing and "challenging" hills didn't even slow you down. Way to leave your expectations in the dust (or mud)! Great race, report and AG place... your running is awesome! Congratulations! Steve

              Perch's Profile "I don't know if running adds years to your life, but it definitely adds life to your years." - Jim Fixx "The secret is to make in your mind possible what was not possible before. The secret is to make easy what was difficult, instead to make difficult what really is easy." - Coach Renato Canova


                Hi CNY, Fantastic job in Amherst, and a greta, nicely-detailed report. Congratulations on your Masters PR, and on placing in your AG - I can only imagine what you would have done if this was a target race! Good job on your pacing, especially given the hills and running surface changes. As others have said, you do have a terrific attitude toward running. Others who got burnt out by too much competition too early on just dropped out. But you've found a way to make running fun, and it clearly shows in your approach to the sport. Claudia Carmago smoked the women's field in our 5K in '06 with a 16.25, so she clearly comes with some serious speed. Congratulations on a terrific day! (I'm still mulling over doing the Eastern States Half. I hope to get to meet you there if I wind up signing up.) Jay

                Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos.


                  The J's sound like an awesome group of friends!! I think it is really cool the the Dr. runs like that with her son. She is smart to monitor him during the run. You ran a great race. Congrats on your third place! This was a nice RR to read!
                    CNYrunner, I'm not sure which I'm more impressed by, your running or your writing! But I''ll say that in both, your strength of character comes shining through. Smile That sounds like a fast field and interesting running buddies. Good luck in Boston!

                    "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."


                      CNY; Very nice RR (I'll have to steal your format for my next RR). Great performance on a challenging course! You should feel very good about your training for Boston - it's always nice to get that positive feedback from a tester race! What's your goal for Boston? I can relate to your attitude towards racing. I've been running for more than 34 years, and while I may not always race . . . I'll always run! I also like the typical conversations before a race. It seems the more competitive someone is, the more excuses you'll hear before a race. A lot of good runners sound like they should be in bed or a doctor's office instead of the starting line . . . just before they kick your butt! Steve
                        nice race report!! i can just hear you talking to yourself hitting those mile markers - i do the same thing!! in fact - i just love the conversations i have with myself and God while i'm running - keeps me smiling!! Congrats on your PR!! still hoping i see you for the Eastern 20 miler!! i'm going to mail in my appy tomorrow......i won't be running fast that day (not that i'm fast like you anyway) - just want to go out for a long slow distance surrounded by tons of runners for my birthday!!


                          A great race, running with friends and their highly motivated son -- sounds good to me!

                          And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx



                            Thanks for all the kind words folks! I have to wedge my bloated head through the doorway now, but I do appreciate the support and the cheer----it means a lot! BTB--one of my nicknames in high school was Cheshire (couldn't stop grinning after several years of braces). It will be great to meet you deez4boyz (for a birthday run no less!) and you as well Coastwalker----sign up! I may also do the New Bedford half-marathon, we'll see. Boston is the big target and I don't want to burn out the racing jets just yet. I am too superstitious to share my goal (I won't even tell the Js----I am just weird that way), but I want to race well there. The overall race winner was quoted in yesterday's paper as wanting to run a 2:20-2:24 at Boston. Alrighty then! As for the race start time, it actually used to start at 1 PM. It can be tough as far as fueling and yet the sun is higher in the sky and the air is warmer. All groovy this time. Thanks again and happy trails! CNY
                              Late to add my congrats but I was thinking of you as you ran your race and sending good vibes. You raced well - which never surprises me. You are AWESOME! In our souls lie the seeds of greatness. They only need the water of our dreams to spring to life. Boston awaits. Dream BIG K! Skip

                              Marathon Maniac #957

                                CNYRunner - This was great running, especially with the 60+ weeks and sloppy course! Excellent race and report! You are an amazing runner, and I envy the J's getting to run with you so regularly. Smile

                                Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."