The Great Harvard July 4th 5-mile Race
July 4, 2000
CRC July 5 Miler series
The Harvard 5 Miler Harvard,MA
The CRC had yet aother proud showing at the Harvard 5 Miler in Harvard Mass. This course offers a beautifully shaded romp through the hills.
Bruce Davies account:
With July 4th starting off warm and humid – traditional holiday racing weather – I headed out to Harvard MA for the second time to run the very hilly 5 mile race. Having run 29+ minutes last year – 1.5 minutes slower than my PR pace – I figured that it would be a reasonable goal just to break 29. Soon after the gun went off I found myself in a lead pack running shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Townsend. In our matching CRC uniforms, I hoped that we looked as intimidating to our fellow runners as a couple of Kenyans in more elite competition (well, one can always dream). In the second mile, Jeff moved into first place and I settled into fourth, then dropped back to fifth on the big hill that seems to last for about 1.5 miles in the middle of the race. On the rare flat and downhill stretches I managed to pass a couple of runners to regain third place, and then entered the long downhill of the final mile, trying to make it into second. I managed to cut a 20 second deficit to 2 seconds, but the number 2 man had just enough final sprint to hold me off and I settled for third place – first in my agegroup – and an entirely satisfactory time of 28:32.
The Harvard 5 Miler is a good July race because most of the course is shaded, thankfully. Bruce and Peter warned me about the long hill in the middle of the race, and Bruce also warned that this course is at least a minute slower than a PR course. However, I also knew the last 2 miles were flat then downhill, and that eventually helped me.
I ran @ 6:00 pace for the first 2 and last 2 miles, but my split at mile 3, at the top of the long hill, was 7:15! By mile 2, I was in 2nd place for the women. Once I recovered from the long hill I began to close the gap between myself and the lead woman. I used my size and weight to my advantage in the last downhill mile and moved into the lead a half mile from the finish. I saw Ranjeet at the final turn into the school lot; I was so tired and happy to see him! But he yelled to me, “Run faster! Go!” so I picked it up as much as I could and crossed the line in 31:08, 12 seconds ahead of the 2nd place woman (who, it turns out, is the woman I tried so hard to catch in the Covered Bridges race but couldn’t). The time is just about a minute off my PR, so Bruce was correct.
JEFFREY TOWNSEND 28:15 5:39 1st/1st BRUCE DAVIE 28:32 5:42 3rd/1st MELISSA MENDEL 31:08 6:13 1st/1st TOM O'BRIEN 32:11 6:26 ERIC LANZENDORF 33:26 6:41 MERRITT MADUKE 36:28 7:18