Monday, March 02, 2009

Kel Rocks!

1:30 PM - Auburn - 8 miles, 1:03:00.

"Eh, these guys don't need water, they're eatin' snow!"

The above quote is attributed to the Irish-sounding fella manning the lone water stop just before the 2-mile mark of yesterday's Claddagh Pub Classic in lowly Lawrence. It made for a good chuckle at the summit of a steep hill, a small sampling of the ascent up Mt. Washington, according to my tour guide yesterday, Double J. As far as the play-by-play from the race, it can pretty much be summed up like this: The starter said "Go" and Double J, myself and some other dude possibly named Dave separated ourselves from the field within the first 200 meters. After hitting the first mile in a dead-on-nuts split of 5:30, it was just Double J and I covering ground at a talkatively hard effort till the 3-mile mark, where I cut all communication ties and made some half-assed attempt at a move that did nothing but kick up some extra snow off the ground. The two of us passed back by the Claddagh Pub, told each other to be careful as we took three left turns over the course of a quarter mile and when all was said and done the always generous Double J let me have it in the homestretch. End of story.

Ideal racing conditions for early March.

Elsewhere on the racing scene this past weekend, NBB Boston mates Rebecca Donaghue and Jenn Donovan tore up the track in the 3K at Reggie over the weekend, posting PR's of 9:01 and 9:15, respectively, at the USATF Indoor Championships. Regardless of where she's racing, Rebecca's been ripping it up for the last year and Jenn was just getting back from an Irish adventure where she rocked a road race, killed a cross country contest and drank lots of genuine Guiness. Good stuff from those gals.

Ripping it up on the roads, or more appropriately, shuffling along in the snow, the dynamic duo of Ryan and Christy Carrara took first and second, respectively, yesterday at the rollercoaster ride around the Wachusett Reservoir more commonly known as Stu's 30K. Despite PR Running's donation of a bunch of bags and a shitload of swag I was not in attendance, but for a fantastic firsthand account of the event, you can direct your attention here.

Last but certainly not least, congrats to the Comeback Kid, Keith Kelly, on a super stretch of races over the past week back on the Emerald Isle. A year ago at about this time, I remember sitting in the store sipping coffee with Sir Kelrock, brooding over the bad timing of my before-Boston injury and talking about his own developing destruction that would eventually have him on an operating table instead of the starting line at the World Cross Country Championships later in the month. I went beyond ballistic last week when I saw the results of the Armagh and the Ras and about lost it again over the weekend when I heard the news of victory at the Irish Cross Country Championships. Any injured athlete can relate to and respect the rocky road Keith has continued to travel, even when it looked like it would never lead anywhere, but personally I couldn't be happier for a guy who is genuine, grounded and brings an energy every day that is both infectious and inspiring; for a guy, who after hearing of my Mom's sudden passing last July, offered to take a few unpaid hours out of his day and unselfishly drove all the way up from Providence to cover a shift at the store so my co-workers could attend the services. By way of his recent win, Kelrock has regained the respect of a world-class athlete, but victory aside, he'll always be respected as a world-class dude.

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