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Yes, “race report”. Haven’t done one of those for a long time. In fact, I ran no races while I was 58 and only one in 2014. Now I’ve run one in 2015.

The M’neck Turkey Trot is a flat 5K. The course is a bit different from when I did it in 2011; it now starts and finishes in Harbor Island Park (as opposed to starting on Route 1). This eliminated a bit of a side-trip on the course itself.

Since my last post, I’ve not run as frequently as I might like, but my runs are starting to come together. Two weeks back, 40 minutes at Twin Lakes/Nature Study and last Sunday 45 minutes for 6 miles to Scarsdale Road and back, which used to be a basic course but now was a stretch. But it was a stretch made.

I decided to do M’neck because it’s a nice course and I hoped to see some of my SSRMC teammates. The club that took it over, New Ro Runners is a race sponsor although NYCRuns puts it on. I was glad to see Mark in the race, Tom (who ran) afterwards, and Greg and Gregg afterwards.

So I took out my Warren Street singlet (which I washed last week in anticipation) On Friday I ran a nice easy 30 minutes and it turned out to be 4.5 miles. So I was pumped about what I could do. I thought I could get under 21 but hoped to get sub-20. Of course, my mileage has been low and my speedwork non-existent. But you never know.

Until you’re on the course. I’m embarrassed to say that my optimistic mind-set did not matach my start position and I was one of those guys who is passed by a fair number after the horn. Sorry to those I blocked. And by the time we hit Route 1 — you come out of the park up a slight incline and turn left, with the water (the Sound) to the left — and I took a look at my Garmin I realized things were too rich for my blood. “6:14” I saw, and so I throttled it down a bit. I was able to avoid heavy breathing well through the one mile mark, which was 6:20. But I felt it.

From the 1.25 point on, I don’t think I was passed by anyone (ecept in the finish straight) and I picked off a fair number. By the time I hit Rote 1 again, though, I was hurting. It’s about 0.75 to the finish, flat. I just tried to hold it together. One turns back into the Park and that incline is a decline yet the expectations on the course that the finish will be a breeze quickly fades as I look and look to see where the finish is. Finally, there it is the “FINISH” in impossibly-small print. So far.

So I just push through and am dead. The time: 20:45. I check it on an AG table and it’s 76. Ouch. ¬†Nearly 2 minutes slower than in 2011. But the race felt smoothly enough, and some of my recent workouts have been smooth enough, that with a bit more dedication and speedwork I can get back to where I should be.

This will be my only race of 2015. ¬† I can allow things to build into the winter. And we’ll see where things go from there.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving has long been the date for one of my favorite races, The Mamaroneck Turkey Trot Five-Miler. I’ve run that race more often than any other race and worked at it several times. This year, though, it was down-graded to a 5K. More participation was sought.

Apparently more participation was received. I figured, though, that we don’t need another local 5K (as I mentioned in my Sleepy Hollow 10K post). I figured, further, that my not doing it somehow seemed the thing to do. Few noticed. Fewer cared. But that’s why I ran to Crestwood and home yesterday.

After a week of slowly increasing my miles without difficulties, I managed to get to 27:40 yesterday before running out of gas, a half-mile from home. So I decided to head over the Mamaroneck this morning to run one of my favorite local races, a five-mile turkey trot.

Off I went. It’s a very nice, largely flat course, with the last 1.25 but for the final 200 heading northbound along the Boston Post Road, Route 1. It finishes by a marina on the Sound, and my old club is a sponsor. I’ve done this race maybe 5 times, with a second and a couple of thirds to my name. I think it’s a pretty accurate course and fast; I had a 28:40 in 2007.

For this race, there is always a wind-induced chill in the park where you register and it’s much warmer on the course itself. So singlet was in order.

But, of course, I was just doing it for fun. What’s it like to lope along in the crowd? Well, I confess, I never found out. Some of us are not meant to lope along in the crowd. I was doing pretty well through the one-mile split where Gregg Rubin — SSRMC’s prez and my former RTB teammate (his mom is one of Deena K’s mom’s best friends) — said 6:24. Now my goal was simply to hit 34 or 35 so this was a bit quick. And then, seeing bunches of folks ahead, I decided to run hard but relaxed. Plus it was so nice out, sunny and temp in the mid-50s.

Off I went, passing people. Of course, I ran out of gas, as I said, at 27:40 yesterday. I didn’t know how for how long I could keep this up. Most important, my knee was fine.

And in the end neither my knee nor my heart gave out. I felt nice and comfortable, albeit mighty winded, as I headed up the Boston Post Road, checking off landmarks along the way. Into the park, through the finish, get a massage. Quite happy with the result. While I was first in the 50-59, two others in that AG were under 32.

I got to see several of my old teammates — Dave Burgess, Greg Stern, Mark Thompson, Paul Goodman, Eric Turkewitz (wearing a turkey costume). Arthur Weinberg did quite well; he’s just turned 65 and is pumped about being in a new age-group and is headed down to Dallas in three weeks for the marathon there. Judy Rubin and a bunch of others. In a sense, though, it was kind of sad that the SSRMC contingent was so scant.

A Frenchman won the 40-49 age-group. I was wearing my “Running for Margo” shirt after the race, and he came up to me and told me that, in fact, he knows Margo through Olivier, Margo’s dad. He also knows Pascal Lauffer. Small world.

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