On Saturday, September 8th, Level Renner will be at Bryant
College University for the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Race. As was explained in the intro blog post, this race and cause is quite meaningful to me and there will be a series of blog posts appearing here in the days leading up to the race.
The 2006 race was held on September 17 (results here), and this is my account of it as I recorded it in my training log (edited for grammar and logic, per usual):
This is how the day started (first of all it was hot as shit): for some reason I thought the race started at noon, so I warmed up for it like I normally would. I came to find out it that it didn’t start until one. Fantastic!! I then “had to” do a second warm-up later on. The first warm-up was only two miles, second one was only one mile, not bad…stupid, but not bad.
The race went out painfully slow. Roloff basically called me a p**sy in the first 800, but nobody was goin out hard!! When Heidi took the lead, Yifru said something along the lines of “this is unbelievable” and then he took control. With a slower first mile (5:12 by my watch, and the only split I would get), I thought for sure the rest of the race would feel more controlled and comfortable, but for some reason it wasn’t. I don’t know if it was the heat, the multiple warm-ups or that I’m just not where I thought I was condition-wise.
Anyway, Yifru had the lead with Jonas close on him. I wanted to throw in a surge, or even take the lead, but I felt like the risk was too high. I was certain that making a move there would eventually (and most likely) knock me out of contention. I didn’t feel like I had it, but since they were still within striking distance I figured if I could hang then just maybe I could reel ‘em in on the field. Well, they got a little too far ahead, as my kick was just enough to catch up to them but not pass either of them.
Overall, it’s by far the slowest top three finishers in race history (6 yrs), so maybe the course was slightly longer this year. Maybe, but most likely it was just a conservative, tactical effort on a tough course in the heat. I ran a three mile cooldown with Yifru and Roloff and was curious to see if they would both dive for the finish line at the end of it. To my utter disappointment, that did not happen. Won $50 for placing third, promptly spent most of it on ice cold pitchers of beer at ‘Rentes for my fellow X-C alumni afterwards, and i’m pretty sure Shawn would approve of that.
For those of you wondering what those uniforms were, they were something I made up for our alumni team. The team name is Maggie Mae, named after the song by the Pietasters that was our team anthem/party song. We would gather at Shawn’s townhouse on Saturday nights after meets, and every week we’d hear that song. Late in the night he’d give the signal, crank up the volume and then we’d all be sure to have a glass in hand as we sang loudly (and probably terribly).
Things to note about this year’s race: the race (starting with last year’s) is now held in conjunction with Bryant’s collegiate invitational XC races (schedule and registration here). Hope to see you there!