By Mark Vatour
For the last 3 years I’ve raced the New Bedford Half Marathon a season opener. While it conflicts with Quncy I like the level of organization (chips, waterstops, clocks at every mile and a fairly good crowd support). New Bedford has a large field with a good showing from the BAA etc as it is a final Boston tune up for many. This race is always cold as it is on the water and there are two moderate hills. This would be my longest run in a while but after and abysmal performance at the Multisport Expo TT I was hoping to run 1:30 but decided I’d be happy at 1:31ish.
So after long a long bathroom line I shed a few layers and headed off to the start. The gun went and the race started. For the first few minutes I was assessing just how little clothing I was wearing and how cold I thought I’d be. I went though the first mile at 6:10 and realized I was in trouble. Sensible racing would have had me staring at a lot closer to 7minutes. Oh well. I was quickly passed by Karen Smyers and decided I’d stay with her (in my mind she must be the she must be the smartest person in the race right?). The miles seemed to click a way. I’d drink a little but not a lot as the water as it was cold and I didn’t want to wear it. I was using the race clocks to do the math in my head rather than look at my Garmin. I went though mile 7 is 45minutes so I knew I was ahead of 1:30 pace but was starting to feel a bit tight. The New Bedford course is notoriously windy as the race turns along the water and this year was not different.
At each passing mile I was trying to do the math of how much of a gap might have. I had started to “give back” time and watched my cushion shrink with each passing mile. I also started having flashbacks to Brian Quigley passing me at mile 9 a year before. So with one eye on the race clock and another over my shoulder kept running while I started running out of gas. I finished at 1:29:12, pleased to be under 1:30 but definitely learning something of a lesson about having gone out too fast. Quigley never caught me as he never showed up. Michelle Quigley did and seemed to have a great result.