Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chamberas XC Race a Rousing Success


That's about the only word to describe the day on Saturday at the Fifth Annual Thomas Chamberas XC Race. "Wow" sums up the overall turnout (close to 200 runners with a parking lot filled to capacity, making for a VERY nice donation to the CF Fund!). "Wow" sums up the performances on the race course (Ryan Carrara's blistering time of 18:22 for a two-second win on the 6Kish course and the extremely strong women's field led by Mariko Holbrook in 20:56). "Wow" sums up the above and beyond effort from our race volunteers, who were blindsided by number of entries and rose to the occasion. And "Wow" sums up the feeling most of the runners told US about the race itself.

As for the race itself, the mens race came down to a kick, with New Balance Boston's Ryan Carrara outkicking Ryan Miller of SISU Project for the $50 cash prize courtesy of Shereen Fahey at Marlboro Savings Bank. Men's masters was won by Dan "always a factor" Verrington and men's seniors title went to the ageless John Barbour of GLRR. The men's team title went to CMS.

NETT's Rick Cleary was out in the field(s) and had this report to file:
"I ran a nice 5K XC race that turned out to be 3.5 miles at Great Brook Farm Park in Carlisle, MA 10 days ago. It's actually sort of a hybrid race, half what I would consider classic XC (wide trail mowed through fields and dirt roads in pretty good condition) and half trail run (single lane, in the woods, rooty and rocky and hard to follow.) Both parts were hilly. It was a very strong field, or I ran very slowly (two minutes slower than 2005) or both. I only made it into the top half because some local high schools sent plenty of kids who aren’t in shape yet. The race had 60 people in 2005 and 2006 and grew to almost 200 this year but the organizers did a good job adapting to the bigger field and it went off smoothly.

Wow, upon reading above, that's the dullest race report I've ever filed. I think other interesting things happened at this race, but I've been so busy getting freshmen into the right courses, and our day care center closes the week before Labor Day, and I even did a couple of training runs that I was too busy to write until now. I think I'm going to try to get my Boston qualifying time in Newport, RI on 10/27. I did a 13 mile run on Saturday, my longest run without a number on in two years, so maybe I mean it this time!"

For a full collection of photos go to Jim Rhoades' site.

To read Ryan Carrara's review of the race on his blog Easy Gait click here.

To read BAA's Josh Gordon's review on his blog, click here.

On the women's side the top three were split by a mere 30 seconds, with BAA's Mariko Holbrook taking the win, followed by Christy Mae Carrara and Emily Raymond of GBTC. Jennifer Rapaport of Somerville Road Runners took the masters title and SRR also took the womens senior's crown thanks to Barbara Grandberg.

And GBTC's always strong women's team walked away with the team title.

(photo courtesy of Boston Run Gals blog).

To read the GBTC's review of the race on their blog, click here as well as HERE.

But the most impressive was the performance of our volunteers at the start, on the course and at the finish. Special thanks to (in no particular order): Water stop crew Paul Young and Dave Dunham, course marshalls Jerry and Audrey De Zutter, Frank KJ, and Toledo Joe (five years straight). Leo and his sweep crew. The registration team of Anthony, Doris, Ben and Cindy rose to the challenge of a bigger-than-expected crowd with the help of Eric Bucher (RD for the Wayland XC Challenge). And the finish line crew got a big hand from Chris Benson, a college buddy who literally finished the race, turned around and started ripping off tags from the runners behind him to help get people through the shoot faster) and Tina Wang recording numbers. Bridget for her general race support at start and finish. Bill Newsham for chipping in at the race and creating the XC sereis. Jim Rhoades for his always professional picture-taking. Audrey and Alex for their artwork. John Kinnee for donations and participation. Leo and Shereen for the post-race volunteer party.

There are many many others to thank--Dave Bartel for making an unplanned water run when we ran out in the heat. Everyone who pulled the streamers off the trees on their cooldowns. George and Cynthia Chamberas for their food, help and support (and the original creators of this race).

And most of all, Thomas Chamberas. T-man was the consummate host, greeting racers and volunteers with a smile, thanking them for coming and secretly telling Dave that in five years time, he will be the man to beat in the under 19 category!

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