|Barnstead, NH is home to the only green fire trucks|
in the US. [okay, I might have made that up]
BARNSTEAD, NH -- Feeling foolishly unprepared for next week's Reach The Beach Relay I decided to find a local 5k road race to prepare myself for the rigors of three 6+ mile races in less than 24 hours. Actually now that I write it down it really doesn't make any sense? Either way, that was the plan. A very quick search for 5k's in NH last weekend revealed only one logical choice...the Barnstead Firefighters Association 5k in Barnstead, NH. Being only thirty minutes from the house meant it was one of the shortest race commutes of the year. And having Karen come with me to race was an added bonus. We arrived the customary sixty minutes before race time and found aR teammates Craig Poirier and Richie Blake who had answered my call for some additional aR support. The out-and-back course was flat as could be with one initial and final 90 degree turn 50 meters from the START/FINISH. It looked to be a very small but youthful crowd at the start. It's funny how fast folks look prior to a race as they warm up. I wonder what people think about me? Because I didn't recognize anyone that I knew that was faster than me I lined up on the front row with about a dozen runners none of which appeared older than 18. At the siren we were off. And it was a predictably fast start. I had lined up inside the first hard right hand turn and managed to out sprint most of the crowd to the hole shot. Within 200 meters I was squarely in the top 5 with the eventual winner (Andew Tuttle) already gapping the field. Over the next several hundred meters things began to shake out a little. By the mile split (5:47) I was in 5th place with two teenagers just 20 meters ahead. Just before we hit the turn around I closed the gap and was right on their heels at the 1/2 way mark. One of the two backed off a little as I ran with the other for the next 400 meters. He too seemed to fall off the pace just past the 2 mile mark. Now in 3rd place I called for the hammer to put him away for good but alas it wasn't in my bag of tricks. As I hit the wall (running a 6:00 3rd mile) the youngster took back the podium spot without any challenge from me. Lucky to hold off the rest of the field I crossed the finish line in 4th place overall (1st 40+) in 18:16 (5:54's). Far from my PR at the distance I learned at least one thing this weekend...youth trumps experience in a 5k road road. Every time.
NEXT UP: Run To Fall 5k