Saturday, December 28, 2013

12 Races

I kind of went crazy with running races in 2013. I ran 12 races in the year, certainly more races than I have run for many years - perhaps more races in a year than I have ever run before - for a total of over 80 miles of racing.

Part of the motivation was an attempt to qualify in the Grand Prix Series of the Rhode Island Rhode Running Club. This originally involved running in 9 out of 15 designated races around Rhode Island and nearby states, with the distances ranging from 5ks to half marathons. This was changed during the year to 8 out of 14 races due to some canceled race or scheduling conflict. I forget the details.

You know how I am with crazy artificial participation challenges. So I went for it and I did complete the required 8 races to qualify. (I could have done the 9 if I had needed to - so there!) I didn't make the top 5 but I was up there at times. And I did discover some new, different, interesting races as a result.

The year started, as it always seems to lately, on New Year's Day with the Hangover Classic 5 Miler in Bristol, which I wrote about at Celebrating the New Year Tillerman Style. It was frigging cold. There was ice on parts of the course. But I ran a good time (for me) so that was all good.

For reasons that escape me now I ran another race in Little Compton only 4 days later, a 4.8 mile road race. It wasn't even on the grand prix circuit. I must have been crazy.

In February I ran the 15k Run the Reservoir Race in N. Scituate RI, another regular on my schedule these days and took a few photos to use in one of my incredibly annoying Where Am I? quizzes. I thought my shot of the ladies lining up for the Porta Potty before the race was especially well-framed. O Docker was first to answer the quiz correctly. Isn't he always?

In early April I entered another of the grand prix races, the Thomas Giunta 5k in Fall River. Fall River MA is the town immediately to the north of my current home town of Tiverton RI but I hadn't thought of it as much of a running venue before. How wrong I was! The race is in honor of a fallen police officer and the pre-race ceremonies were very moving. I started near the back of the pack and had a lot of trouble in the first mile picking my way past the ladies who like to walk six-abreast with strollers and similar obstacles. But surprisingly in this race I achieved my best age-graded score in the grand prix series of all eight grand prix races I ran. No idea why. Maybe having to go slow in the first half mile ain't such a bad plan after all?

I took the opportunity of the Fall River race to take some urban landscape photos for another Where Am I?  quiz. O Docker was first to get it right. Again. Isn't he always?

The Laser frostbiting season was still going strong on the last weekend in April when I skipped sailing to go and run the Newport 10 Miler. The race started and ended at Fort Adams, the home of the Laser frostbite fleet, and at least one superfit young dude did both the running race and the Laser racing. Not me! I was knackered after the running so I went home and wrote a post about Socks. Sounds like I spent most of the race looking at lady runners' legs. Hey, it takes a long time for me to run 10 miles. I have to find something to pass the time.

At the end of May I went into Boston to run one of my favorite half marathons and wrote about it at A Half to Remember. Memorial Day Weekend. A few weeks after the Boston marathon bombings. A race which is always in honor of fallen Boston police officers, and this year especially in memory of Sean Collier the MIT police officer murdered by the marathon bombers. A very emotional day. Glad I was there to express my thanks to all the police officers attending for their courage and professionalism in dealing with the extraordinary challenge the city faced this Spring. Boston Strong!

On the first weekend of June 1 decided to bag another grand prix race. And I was so glad I did for several reasons. It was way over on the other side of the state, at least 30 minutes driving, a 5k in North Smithfield. It was the hottest day of the year up to then, so I didn't run very fast but discovered afterwards that I had scored two achievements…
  • First it seemed that not many of the other Rhode Island Rhode Runner grand prix point baggers had bothered to brave the wilds of far north-western Rhode Island so I ended up in third place among "Rhode Island Rhode Runner men grand prix point baggers who bothered to do the race and also qualify for the full series." That didn't do my series score any harm. Woo hoo! I'll take it.
  • Even better I achieved something I had only done once before in my life. I won a running trophy! It was only for second place in the "incredibly old geezers - we are amazed that they can actually stagger round the course in this heat" category. But even so. Only Twice in a Lifetime!  Woo hoo! I'll take it.
I also managed to use a photo of part of my trophy in one of my world famous What is this?  quizzes.

Guesses ranged from a Blogulator 5000 to a roll of carpet, and an armadillo. For once it wasn't O Docker who got it right.

Geeze, this post is dragging on and we are only up to race #7. Time to pick up the pace.

There was a 10 mile race on a Friday evening in July in Narragansett. It was called the Blessing of the Fleet but I never saw any blessed fleet. It was a showery, damp, humid day. The parking was a long way from the start. It rained on me at the end of the race. I couldn't find any free food or drink after the race. The finish was even further from the parking than the start was. But I did see an amazing double rainbow over the bay (through my rain-spattered spectacles)

There was a 5 mile race on a Sunday in August on Common Fence Point in Portsmouth. I ran out of oomph. Probably because I did a 12 mile training run only two days before. Some times I am really dumb.

There was a 5k race on a Sunday in September in Warren. It was called Finish for the Guinness. They gave you a Guinness to drink at the finish. I should have taken a photo of it to use in a What is this? quiz.

And there was a half marathon on a Sunday in October, the UnitedHealthcare Newport Half Marathon.  Best weekend of the year because…

  • Spectacular course
  • I didn't run out of oomph
  • My son ran the race with me
  • My son had a son on the day before the race.

And there was a 5k in Barrington on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to Trot Your Turkey Off, and that's all I have to say about that.


So there you have it.

12 races. Four 5ks. One 4.8 mile. Two 5 miles. One 15k. Two 10 milers. Two half marathons.

82. 7 miles.

I must be crazy.


O Docker said...

Any free hats?

Tillerman said...

Good question O Docker.

Some sailing regattas give out free hats.

But I don't think I got any free hats at running races this year. I got a "free" shirt at a lot of them though.

Maybe I should have written more about the shirts. But I didn't want to turn this into a shirt blog.

PeconicPuffin said...

Crazy? Let's say you've adopted a socially acceptable form of insanity. Let the winter sailing begin!

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