|Shuffling to a Top 5 at Olde Salem|
Greens Snowshoe Race.
[Photo courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky]
SALEM, Massachusetts -- Exactly one year ago I finished 5th at the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Race in Salem, MA. Today, as if history were repeating itself...I once AGAIN finished 5th overall at Olde Salem. The conditions were actually pretty similar to a year ago with long fairway sections of 6+ inches of crusty snow with very short stretches of grass and hard packed snice. Although the snow conditions were similar, the course would be dramatically different as the dedicated athletes of Dungeon Rock Racing did their level best to piece together a course with the remaining snow on the golf course. And rumor has it that they shovelled their fair share of the stuff as well to assure we'd have an adequate course to race on. Their efforts certainly paid off as all were treated to some pretty fun racing. The 3.2 mile course meandered around the Olde Salem Greens golf course with a considerable amount of up & down. In fact, more up & down than last winter because of the course modifications. This change, however, suited me fine as I am not the fleetest of foot but can hold my own on a hilly layout. Predictably the field went out fast with a left-handed uphill hairpin turn within the first 50 meters. Fortunately for me I had placed myself on the left inside and was able to take a nice tight line as the lead group log jammed. Within the first 100 meters I was somewhere in the Top 10 but felt like I had more than that ahead of me. Things got single file in short order as we made our way around the first two very short repeating loops. I found myself racing with Patrick Smith & Christopher Smith of DRR who were just hammering this first kilometer. Not wanting to get too far behind these guys too soon I tucked in behind them and let them pull me along. By the time we made the split to the "big" loop I had taken those two spots and was closing on David Long of Wicked Running, who despite his size (he must have been 6'3"), he was just killing it in the first 2k. As the course opened up I eventually passed David and was able to peek ahead at the lead group and only noticed the Top 3 plus the guy ahead of me (Brett Rickenbach of Winners Circle). As soon as I was able to get to his shoulder I could feel he was very strong and not at all interested in me going around him. The handful of times he slowed to allow me to pull alongside he quickly (and effortlessly) surged ahead to regain the 4th spot. After another failed attempt to take the place and a quick spy behind to see if we were going to be challenged, I became content to let him pull me along to the finish. In the last 25 meters he accelerated and put a little gap on me finishing 4 seconds ahead. The kick I had two weeks ago at I Love Woodford was a distant memory. My posture in the picture above really tells the story...I was tapped out. I crossed the finish in 27:00 and 5th place overall. And with a smaller overall turnout this year was able to pick up the 40+ 'masters' victory. Kudos to RD Eileen Dunn and the entire crew at Dungeon Rock Racing for another fabulous event in not quite ideal conditions...although wouldn't you know it, the snow started to fall when we were finishing!
NEXT UP: Feel Good Farm (GSSS#1)?