Jim Pawlicki won the 10k trail race at the Greenbelt Run for the Hills in 36:34. The 39 yr old CMS runner pushed to the front right from the get go and held off Eric Narcisi (who for the record feels weird writing about himself in the third person here).
Eric, once again rocking the Level singlet, was beginning to entertain thoughts of avenging his loss to Pawlicki at the Kupenda trail race back in June. Narcisi closed the gap early into the second lap but ultimately the sound of his breathing served as a wake up call to Pawlicki, who put the pedal to the metal and built up another lead to carry him through the undulating, technical terrain.
Pawlicki was running on tired legs after having placed 53rd the Sunday prior at the Loon Mountain Race (which also served as the US Mountain Running Championships). The confidence Jim gained from surmounting the 40% grade of the Upper Walking Boss at the end of the Loon race helped carry him over the ‘speed bumpsâ€™ that this course featured. Not to say this course was easy, but thereâ€™s something about running up a 1 km wall of a slope that makes any other hill seem quite unchallenging.
The gritty senior Verrington was engaged in a tight battle with a couple of other runners north of 40 and ultimately couldnâ€™t catch them. David Long came in 3rd in 38:09 and was the top masters runner. Matt Curran was right there and came in 4th (top senior runner) in 38:14, followed by Verrington in 38:28. Rumor has it that Curran ran both the Mount Washington Road Race and this trail race with a broken big toe. If that doesnâ€™t earn you some sort of badass badge of honor then Iâ€™m not sure what does.
In the 5k race, 46 yr oldÂ Mike Dimauro won the race in 18:24.
Note: Both the 5k and 10k courses ended up being a little short due to a last second adjustment. An angry swarm of bees materialized at an early junction in the course and it had to be rerouted to go around this part. After a slight delay, the race went off without a hitch. Nobody minded waiting a couple of minutes to avoid running through those sting-happy bees.
To get more on this race from Jim Pawlickiâ€™s perspective, check out the write up on his blog: Good Clean Run