Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Recap


The trail was in very good shape despite 6” of snow that fell exactly one week prior to the race.  Heavy rain (2 inches!) during the week removed the snow and the course drained well leaving a mostly mud-less trek.  The power-line trail, which isn’t a maintained trail, had a huge number of downed trees but RD Steve Peterson and volunteer Ed Sheldon did an admirable job clearing it out.  Word has it that the trail may be unpassable in the future due to construction on the power-line.  Time will tell.
 
Race day conditions were typical with temps in the low 40s and a steady wind of at least 10 mph.  The wind seemed to be mostly a cross-breeze which felt like a head-wind in BOTH directions!  Perhaps the rough weather the week before convinced people the trail would not be in good shape as the smallest field since 2005 showed up (152 finishers this year and 145 in 2005).  This was also the oldest average age (43.54) which topped the previous high of 43.0.  By comparison the average finisher’s age was 35.3 in 1992 and 36.7 in 1999.
 
Five women’s single age records and one Age Group record (60+) were set and seven men’s single age records and 3 Age group records were broken (under 19, 50, 70).  Perhaps the wind slowed things down?  For the women only five finished under 1:20 which is the least since 2014 (4).  Last year a record 15 broke 1:20.  For the men only five broke 1:05 which is the least since 2004.  Last year a record 23 ran under 1:05, typically about 10 runners come in under 1:05.
 
Jenn Brooks ran here 11th Rivah and ran her best time (by 3 seconds) getting her first win and the 11th fastest all-time women’s time.  She has finished every place in the top 8 except 7th with an 8th, 6th, 5th, 2-4th, 2-3rd, 3-2nd, and her 1st.  She also set the age 37 record breaking Pam Alexander’s 1:11:36 from 1992.
 
Lisa Doucett set the 60+ age group record (which is also the 13th fastest 50+ time) taking over 6 minutes off of Marcy Schwam’s 1:38:41 from 2016.  She also broke the single-age (61) record by 19 minutes.
 
Carol Comeau, Linda Usher, and Kathleen Furlani ran the 10th, 11th, and 12th all-time fastest 60+ times.  Usher also joined the exclusive “100 mile club” with her 10th Rivah finish.  Comeau has the women’s lead in “most finishes” with 13.
 
Brandon Newbould picked up his third win which ties him with Dave Dunham, Ben Nephew, and Kevin Tilton.  The only other multiple time winner is Paul Low with five.
 
Fred Ross III set a record in the 70+ age group taking over 3 minutes off of George Gilder’s 1:34:11 from 2012.  He also took 11 minutes off of Tony Federer’s single age (70) record of 1:41:35 from 2009.
 
Dave Dunham set the 50+ age group record running 28 seconds faster than Matt Curran’s 1:07:15 from 2008.  Ed Sheldon ran the all-time 6th fastest 50+ time.
 
Patrick Caron took nearly a minute off of Patrick Moulton’s 61:41 AGR for 19 and under set in 2000.
 
Tim Van Orden (40+) and Stephen Whittey (60+) ran the 4th fastest and 6th fastest all-time times in their respective age groups.
 
Tom Speidel continued his streak.  He has finished all (26) of the Merrimack River trail races.  Dave Geary finished his 15th consecutive and Scott Spence and Chris Harrison both finished their 12th consecutive.
 
Thirty-four runners have completed 10 or more Rivah’s (100 mile club).  Bob Gillis joined the exclusive “200 mile club” with his 20th finish this year.  The leaders include Speidel (26), Spence (24) and Paul Comeau (21).
 
All stats are included in the exhaustive spreadsheet (link below)
 
Enjoy!
 

2017 finish line pictures

Link to nearly 400 finish line pictures!  Thank you Rose Washak!

https://www.facebook.com/rosalita13/media_set?set=a.10209712628952302.1073741931.1227678328&type=3

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 Race recap


The Merrimack River trail race celebrated the 25th running with a perfect sunny and cool day.  The field was arguably the deepest ever as the race was part of the USATF NE All-terrain series and named the USATF NE trail running championships.  It also remains as the first event of the year in the WMAC “Grand Tree” Trail series.

 On the men’s side 23 runners dipped under 1:05 (the old record was 14) and 8 ran under 1 hour (the old record was 4).  On the women’s side 15 came in under 1:20 (old record was 12) and 5 broke 1:10 (old record was 3).

The women broke a number of records with Kim Nedeau (Acidotic Racing) leading the way with a new course record by 24 seconds (1:05:08).  Kim also set a sub-masters record (age 35-39).  Kath Hardcastle ran the third fastest time ever as the top four women ran times ranking in the top 11 all-time.  Regina Loicano (CMS) broke her own masters age group record by 20 seconds (1:09:52).  Marcy Schwam (aR) set a new 60+ AGR by 50 seconds (1:38:41).

On the men’s side Brandon Newbould (WRT) became only the fifth repeat winner (he also won in 2014).  His 6 second victory (57:39) was the 3rd closest finish.  The two closer finishes are the two times I got 2nd place.  Ben Nephew beat me by 3 seconds in 2000 and Craig Fram got me by 1 second in 1995.  Newbould’s time was the 11st fastest and the next four across the line all scored top 25 all-time times (14, 18, 20, and 23 respectively).  Although no men’s age group records were set there were some fast times.  Patrick Caron ran the 3rd fastest in the 19&Under (64:01).  Mike Galoob (BAA) became only the 2nd master to run under 1 hour (59:48) trailing only Tim Van Orden’s CR of 59:29.  The top three masters all had times that rank in the top 10 all-time.  Dan Verrington (CMS) ran the 2nd fastest 50+ (1:07:30) and the first three seniors times all ranked in the top 7 all-time.  Jeff Saeger (TARC) and Bob Gillis (TG) finished within one second (1:19:35 & 1:19:36) running the 9th and 10th fastest Veterans times.  George Gilder ran the 2nd fastest 70+ time (1:34:37) trailing only his AGR by 26 seconds.

Jenn Brooks (CMS), Gary Jewett (TG), David Sorrells, Stephen Whittey (TG), and Kevin Yetman (MVS) joined the exclusive “100 mile club” with their 10th Merrimack River trail race finish.  Paul Comeau became the third member of the “200 mile club” with his 20th finish.

 Tom Speidel is the top active streakers (consecutive finishes), he has finished all 25 of the races.  Dave Geary (TG) has 14 consecutive finishes. Scott Spence (Grey Wolves), Chris Harrison (L-street), and Richard Georato have 11 consecutive finishes.

In addition the following single age records were set:

Age
Time
Pl
Name
Year
City
St
Notes
34
0:57:39
1
Brandon
Newbould
2016
WRT
Nottingham
NH
37
0:58:52
5
TJ
Unger
2016
HFC Striders
Westwood
MA
40
1:02:12
14
Jonathan
Hammett
2016
Wildendover
Charlestown
MA
42
0:59:48
8
Mike
Galoob
2016
BAA
PeaceDale
RI
47
1:01:44
11
Tim
VanOrden
2016
CMS
Bennimgton
VT
52
1:09:12
37
John
Gillis
2016
CMS
Manchester
MA
53
1:07:30
29
Dan
Verrington
2016
CMS
Bradford
MA
59
1:13:56
54
Stephen
Whittey
2016
Team Gloucester
Gloucester
MA
76
1:34:37
139
George
Gilder
2016
WMAC
Tyringham
MA
77
1:50:44
184
Gary
Reuter
2016
aR
Kittery
ME
22
1:17:23
13
Carolyn
Gigot
2016
Cambridge
MA
34
1:06:39
2
Kath
Hardcastle
2016
SRR
Watertown
MA
36
1:05:08
1
Kim
Nedeau
2016
aR
Leverett
MA
AGR/CR
42
1:09:52
5
Regina
Loiacano
2016
CMS
Gloucester
MA
AGR
50
1:26:25
18
Erica
Khan
2016
Team Gloucester
Gloucester
MA
63
1:38:41
31
Marcy
Schwam
2016
aR
Marblehead
MA
AGR