Mark Andrews eked out the win over Peter Hammer at the James Joyce Ramble 10k back on April 24th. The popular Dedham, MA race once again played host to the USATF National Masters 10k championship so there was more than just pride on the line as the runners fought through a brutal headwind.
Andrews (Yellowjacket Racing) broke the tape in 32:45 while Hammer (BAA) was next in 32:47. Greg Putnam (CMS) rounded out the Masters podium with his 33:08. Mark and Peter would’ve placed 12th and 13th respectively had they raced in the open field. Not bad when you consider how strong of a field that was!
Speaking of the open runners, what a race that unfolded there! That one came down to a close finish between BAA teammates (and Olympic Trials marathon runners) Brian Harvey and Eric Ashe. Harvey got the win in 30:32 while Ashe was next in 30:40. Just behind them were another couple of Trials runners and teammates: Nate Jenkins (30:54) and Dan Vassallo (31:18).
When the gun went off for the open runners (3-5 mins after the masters field), it wasn’t any of the Trials runners taking control. Nope. Instead it was Eric Macknight, the former Whirlaway runner turned Saucony ambassador. Eric ran with guts and led the way, right into the teeth of the wind, for the first mile or so.
“Didn’t have enough of a game plan before the race. I decided a couple weeks before (aka coach Goup said it would good to race it) so I thought it would be fun with the cat/mouse thing with the masters,” said Eric.
Gotta respect the effort, but on a day like that (and on that tough course) you’ll end up paying dearly late in the race for early mistakes. “I should of ran a smarter race and held back the first couple miles to try to charge the 2nd half.” Eric still managed to run a 32:48 and finish 12th.
Winner Brian Harvey took a more conservative approach in dealing with the headwind in the early going and that thinking paid dividends in the end. “I made sure to not do too much leading to try to conserve energy. After we turned, I decided to push the pace a bit to break up the large group. For the next few miles, Eric and I ran next to each other (well, I have a tenancy to “one-step”) with Nate right behind us. I knew we would have a tailwind for basically the entire last mile, so started pressing hard once we passed mile 5 to avoid getting into a sprint finish with Eric.”
Ashe seems to be over the issues that hampered him at the Trials, but even without the benefit of long stretch of healthy training he’s still not one you want to be near if it comes down to a kick.
For the women, the battle for the title was even more exciting as unaffiliated masters runner Marisa Sutera Strange (Pleasant Valley, NY) ran a 36:48 for the win. The 52 yr old Marisa edged the 45 year old Sonja Friend-Uhl (Atlanta Track Club) by a mere second. Marissa’s time age graded out to a 95.44 compared to Sonja’s 88.13, showing just how amazingly Marissa ran to pick up that win.
41 year old Renee Tolan (Clifton Park, NY) rounded out the podium with her 37:11 third place finish. Diana Bowser (Craft Concept Racing) was the top local masters runner (38:16, 6th).
The BAA provided more fireworks in the open race as they swept the podium with their power trio of Rachel Hyland (35:09), Madeline Duhon (35:13) and Heather Cappello (35:15). Like their podium placing male counterparts, these three were also Trials qualifiers…but only one could win. This time it was Hyland, who had taken some down time after the Trials to focus on shorter track races. As far as this race goes, Hyland broke it down for us:
“We went out hard (5:28), which is more like my 5k pace (into a headwind)…but I wanted to stay with the leaders as long as I could. I ran with the other BAA ladies for the next few miles, and luckily we slowed down a bit on the hills. Around the 5k mark I started feeling like maybe we had slowed too much, so I decided to pick it up a bit. I ran the rest of the race on my own, but I knew Madeline and Heather would be close behind. I had no idea they were within 5 seconds, but I think they caught up during that last mile.”
Look for Rachel on the track this spring at the upcoming Battle Road TC Twilight Meets, where she’ll be lining up for the 5k and the 10k, and then possibly at the BAA 10k as well. We could also see her racing a half marathon in SF in July or even a full marathon in the fall.
Be sure to check out this great gallery from Scott Mason Photo (all pics seen here are courtesy of Scott).
Full results can be found here, including team results.