For those of you that live in western or upstate New York, you know what the weather has been like lately.  Last year we were spoiled by an exceptionally mild winter (except, of course, on the days that a Freezeroo race occurred).  This year we seem to be enjoying a more typical winter, as evidenced by the several feet of snow and slush on the roads.

The first Freezeroo, the Bill Curran Memorial 5K, took place on Saturday, December 14th.  A good amount of snow had fallen in the day or two prior, and the roads that morning looked like they hadn’t been plowed in some time.  On top of that, the course we ran went on a bike path through a park and various parking lots, which made footing very treacherous.  As a result, the race was decidedly not a fast race.  I finished 3rd overall behind fellow Roadkill Racer Kenny Goodfellow and Dave Rappleyea.  Kenny and Dave are sub-16:00 runners, and the three of us all ran from 17:25 to 17:37.  Not a fast race at all.

Freezing my roo off.

The week after, Rochester’s largest 5K, the Penguin Run, was held at the Strong Museum of Play.  The course looked to be flat, and I knew Dave and Kenny would be there again.  I figured if I could hang with them as well as I did in the first Freezeroo, then I might be able to run a pretty quick time; hopefully under 16:30.  The weather was quite nice when I woke up; around 50 degrees but humid.  I opted to wear only my singlet and shorts for the race, which I quickly realized was a bad choice when I got to starting line.  The temperature had dropped into the 30s, and it had started to drizzle.  I could tell it was going to be a miserable race, but I told myself to run fast so the pain would be over quicker.

Unfortunately, my plan did  not work out.  I stayed with the lead pack for the first half mile or so, nearly falling on my face while navigating the slushy 90-degree turns, but once we turned onto the straight Inner Loop, the pack took off and I found myself running in no-man’s land.  Around this time, my hands started throbbing, and I began to hate myself to running this race.  The course was hillier than I expected, with lots of sharp turns.  To add insult to injury, the last 50m of the race involved navigating a circle driveway, so it was impossible to really kick the final stretch.  I ended up running 16:43 for 6th place.  A bit of a disappointing showing, but then again, this wasn’t a goal race.

Coming around the bend

This Saturday the 28th, I am running in the RIT Holiday Classic indoor track meet. I’m not in 16:00 shape yet, but with any luck and some tough running, I should be able to run around 16:15 or so.  Then, on the first, is the second Freezeroo, a 7.5 miler through the hills of Mendon Ponds.  I will probably find some more indoor track races to try to break 16 minutes.  Won’t that be a blast?

Thanks to runnerpics and Kim Smith for the photos.

Categories: Matt's Blog


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