Bolton XC Alumni Race

The 1st Annual Bolton XC Alumni 5K Race was held this morning at Bolton (Connecticut) High School. This event could not have been more different from the Ironman I did three weeks ago. It was as low key as it gets, which is good, real good. Bolton High School Cross Country Coach, Paul Smith, has done a great job in building the boys and girls XC programs at BHS and he finally had the alumni following to pull together an event that he plans to do annually. A great group of sponsors came together to support this morning’s race. I was impressed that in addition to raising funds for the XC program, half of the proceeds were being donated to Foodshare, an important local non-profit organization.

The race was held in warm and muggy conditions. We went off at 9:00 A.M., which was probably an hour too late because in 60 minutes, the temperature must have gone up 10 degrees. We ran over from the house, which was the best part of the race. Going to an event that is practically in your back yard is such a great feeling. Debbie and Shep watched while I got my chance to move my muscles again. I was jet lagged from my Mexico trip and yesterday’s red eye flight home, but I was eager to push my legs a bit. I’ve pretty much done nothing intense since Ironman Lake Placid 20 days ago. That was planned, but as of today, I’m training again.

45 other runners joined me for the sweat-fest, and most of them, like me, were locals. The first male across the line was Gavin Harney of Bolton. Harney has been tearing up the Bolton XC Series held on Thursday evenings this summer. He took the overall title in the series, has been running well in the more competitive Summer Grand Prix XC Series at Wickham Park, and took the honors today in 18:45.

Winners Gavin Harney and Andrea Walsh

I had no illusions of sticking with Harney. After watching his kick from the sidelines, I knew that you had to really gap him if you wanted to win. I didn’t even attempt it. I actually couldn’t hold his pace in the final mile and ended up 4th behind Kris Borton and Thomas Paquette, both of Bolton. A minor victory was the fact that I was one of the faster “old guys” in the race. Of course, Ned Kennedy, who wasn’t far off of my pace, might take exception to that comment because he has been a vet for a while! Nevertheless, the top three guys were all about half of my age. You should expect that a 1st annual XC alumni race would be a kid-fest! The pace was mild on the first couple of laps before increasing, but that was just about the time I faded. Regardless, I achieved my goal of getting in some speed work and had some fun in the process.

A local art club had a hand in designing the unique finisher awards. Various rocks were painted with motivating slogans. No two were alike. Shep picked mine out. As expected, he picked the heaviest one. It weighed as much as he did and made our Chariot jog stroller sag on the run home.

Stone Hardware

The first female was another Bolton resident, Andrea Walsh. She finished in 22:07. Walsh was followed by Olivia Mondo of Marlborough and Lindsay Cordero of Bolton. Coach Smith had a wonderful post race spread and was very gracious in his thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors. I’m already looking forward to 2010 when he moves the race up an hour to 8:00 A.M the “kids” to get up an hour earlier. (hint).

My Trophy

Race Results

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