Friday, November 19, 2010

Rhode Island 6 Hour Relay

The Acidotic Team of Charlie Therriault, Chris Dunn, Rich Lavers, Steve Wolfe, and me along with the borrowed Alan Bernier from CMS drove down last Sunday morning to race the RI 6 hr relay. Taking place in Warwick, RI along a 2.7 mile bike path, Robert Jackman and the Tuesday Night Turtles(TNT) had runners race as many loops as they could in 6 hours.

We had decided that each of the six of us would run one lap at a time and try to get as many laps in as possible-keeping the pace high and allowing time for recovery between legs. This race was serious- there was three cases of Red Hook IPA on the line for first place. It looked like the main competitors would be a team from Fuel Belt, TNT, and an interesting duo of Pat Moulton and his girlfriend running a two person 6 hour relay. Pat Moulton, half of the famous Moulton twins, can run a marathon averaging low 5 minute miles so theoretically he could run hard enough to beat us.

Charlie Racing Acidotic

Not taking ourselves too seriously, and yet for a good cause, the majority of us we rocking moustaches as part of Acidotic's Movember which was designed to raise awareness and money for Prostate Cancer which two of our teammates' fathers have had.

Danny rocking the 'stache

The race started out competitively with Charlie handing off to Alan with only a second lead over Fuel Belt with Pat Moulton and a TNT runner within 15 seconds of them. Alan hammered the second lap putting about 15-20 second separation between us and Fuel Belt and handed off to me.

Alan running the second leg

I was not going to be the one to give up the lead! I ran hard sighting slower runners ahead, racing to each and passing them-thinking this would be a good way to keep up the pace. I passed two runners pretty steadily and was cruising-only to come to a fork in the road that was not marked. What? I look back at the two runners I had just passed and they had turned around. Apparently I had chased down and passed two runners warming up for their laps and had gone off course. Frantically I raced as hard as I could back to regain my lost time only to cross the first mile in 11:35- a little less than six minutes slower than predicted.

Danny trying to regain time after getting lost

Finally getting back on course also had taken a lot out of me, far more than I had planned to expend on the first of four laps planned for the next six hours. After handing off to Steve Wolfe, I sat down dejected and upset that I had let the team down and potentially got us off the podium as there were now three teams ahead of us.

Wolfeman after the hand off from Danny

Steve would have none of it. He swiftly picked up and passed the 2nd and 3rd teams getting us in good position to close the gap on Fuel Belt which we did within the next few laps, in no small part due to Chris Dunn sandbagging his expected times to such a degree that every lap he ran was over a minute faster than predicted.
Chris J Dunn Sandbagging it

So in the three laps that he ran he gave back a bit more than the six minutes that I had lost. Charlie, Alan and Rich all contributed their share to reducing the deficit that I had created.
Rich Lavers running solidly after a strong fall season

We eventually passed Fuel Belt and started to put a sizeable lead on them and soon realized that our goal would be to lap them before the six hour limit. With 45 minutes or so to the finish, Alan put the hammer down and assertively passed Fuel Belt for the lap. Steve and I ran our last laps to finish up with a total of 22 laps(59.4 miles) in 5:54(they didn't count partial laps) which was good enough for the course record and the win. Fuel Belt came in second with Pat and his girlfriend a solid third.

A great late fall race to get us in the mood for Snowshoe season which starts in less than two months. We celebrated our win sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away sipping on our newly won IPA's.

The Team

Danny excited after getting the winnings

All photos courtesy of Scott Mason.

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