Different singlet, craptastic weather, same results. Kevin Johnson of the Western Mass Distance Project (aka WMDP, the Wolfpack) repeated in Amherst. This time he was wearing the powder blue WMDP singlet whereas last year he was rockin’ the GBTC red. In fact, Kevin was our very first post-race athlete interview. Check it out here. It’s only a year old, but it looks so much older just because he’s sporting that red jersey.
Johnson (L) and Duncan, leading the field in Amherst. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.
That was a pretty fast time for those conditions, how’s training been going?
It was an interesting day for sure. Training has been going well and I have been fortunate that this winter weather has been gentle for this young fella living at the foothills of the White Mountains. Our Coach, Mike Gauvin, drew up a plan that was focused on getting some strength in our legs for these hilly races (Amherst and New Bedford) before getting ready for the shorter faster stuff later in the spring. . . so I have just been following that. Basically, a good number of hilly tempos with some more volume.
Rumor has it you had to stop twice during the race and you still won. Is that true? How much time do you think you lost?
I did unfortunately stop twice during the race due to intestinal distress likely caused by some Moroccan food the night before. I am not sure how much time I lost, but it was probably on the order of 30 seconds or so. Not my finest hour (or 51:40 for that matter), but it was life experience gained and lessons learned.
What are you gearing up for now?
I am currently gearing up for a healthy season where I try to race often in March/April/May/June. No race in particular, but I want to throw down some faster races as I have gotten away from those over the past year. Injuries seem to be apart of the sport and those lucky enough to string together months of consistent training tend to PR. So I guess right now the goal is just the process of training.
Wolfpack came out howling on their home course. is this a sign of things to come for the rest of the year?
WMDP is gearing up for a competitive 2013 campaign and we hope that the performances Sunday will help draw the best runners from the other squads so that we can really put our team to the test. Obviously, a team like BAA is incredibly talented and it would be nice to see if we could compete with a semi-loaded BAA squad out on the GPS or in a road/track 5k/10k (clearly a full BAA squad trumps any team in the region).
As you might have surmised from that last response, the Wolfpack emerged from the fray victorious on Sunday. There’s a great write up on the WMDP team site about the race, here’s a funny excerpt from it:
“Johnson’s win was under attack by some stomach issues as he was inspired by a LetsRun thread about Hicham El Guerrouj to eat copious amounts of Moroccan food the night before the race, causing The People’s Champion to take a pit stop at 5.5 miles and again at 7 miles. His 7th mile conference call with nature was observed by all harriers within 3 minutes, which was initially perceived as taunting.”
Check out the rest, it’s worth the read. The 2012 USATF-NE C0-Club of the Year drew first blood in 2013. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see who’s going to respond to it. Be sure to also check out the amazing race photography from both Scott Mason Photography and Krissy Kozlosky.
Courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.
In the masters race, Joe Navas led the way. While he was injured and relegated to only interviewing the winners last year, this year he came out swinging. Said Joe:
“What a great day at the DH Jones 10 Miler in Amherst. Last year, I was watching this race from the sidelines with much of our Masters team. This year was a different story and a total, snowy, slushy blast! Great to see everyone out there today. Tough runners, these New Englanders.”
Okay, he doesn’t really talk like that. It was something he posted on Facebook but seemed appropriate to add to this piece.
(L-R) Anthony Walsh, Titus Mutinda, and Joe Navas battle it out in Amherst. Courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.