Monthly Archives: July 2013

2013 – Blessing of the Fleet

Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler
July 26, 2013
Narragansett, RI
Story by David Principe
Photo by Scott Mason
Full Results

The Blessing of the Fleet is one of those races that (at least for me) you love to hate!! The temperature on a Friday night in late July down in Narragansett is typically uncooperative to say the least and getting out of work early on a Friday to race is a very odd feeling. The entire experience is very different from your normal local weekend race in my opinion. My opportunities to run the race have typically been few and far between for the last several years, as I have either been out-of-town with DJ at the Junior Olympics, on vacation or injured. This year DJ was not doing Junior Olympics, there was no family vacation planned and I was not injured. I had no built-in excuses to not do the race. Plus 10 miles is one of my favorite race distances and I had not done one in a while, so I was actually looking forward to it this year. I took half a day out of work so I would have plenty of time to get to the race early and avoid the masses of people showing up at the last-minute. However, as I was walking in the door to the house from work, the screen door did not open up all the way and closed abruptly on my Achilles Tendon / Upper Heal. The bottom corner of the metal door ripped a nice triangle-shaped flap of flesh into my left heel where the back of a running shoe would rub!! Needless to say, I thought my race was over before I even left the house!! I calmed myself down and cleaned the wound up as best as I could. I did not believe it needed stitches so I put two butterfly band aids on it to hold the flap in place and then taped it up with some athletic tape for some added security and headed to Narragansett.

In the weeks leading up to the race, I had set a goal of breaking an hour and was not about to change that since my heel was feeling okay and the weather was shaping up to be perfect. I did a 2 mile warm up and then toed the line. I saw many of the usual suspects and was trying to size up the field for Masters competition, but in the end all I really wanted was a good consistent run under 60 minutes. The race started on time and I ran at a good pace for the first mile. I expected to be a bit under pace as the first mile has some downhill and is always fast, but when I went through the mile in 5:36 I immediately thought this is a little too fast for me. The 2nd mile has a lot more gradual uphill than the first mile, so I knew the pace would correct itself if I relaxed a little. I settled in and ran a 6:00 flat for that mile and felt great, so now it was time to start racing. I was running just behind Glen Guillemette and a couple of others in a small pack, so I put in a little burst and got in the pack. As a group we pushed the pace and started tracking down and passing other runners. The pack consisted of 4 of us and we all stayed together exchanging the lead here and there until the 6 mile marker. At that point Glen broke away and one of the other guy’s went with him. The other guy and I held our pace and did not (or could not) follow them. I had been clicking off 5:55’s for the last few miles and it felt good, so I did not want to tempt fate at just over half way. The other guy and I ran together for another half mile and then he too pulled away from me just before the 7 mile marker on Kinney Ave. I looked at my watch and I saw that I was at 41:07 through 7 miles, so I was thrilled. I was way under pace and thought that now I had a great shot at sub 59 minutes!! I immediately started doing the math in my head and realized that all I needed was to maintain 5:57 / 5:58 pace and I would have it. So that became the focus for the remaining 3 miles. I stayed in pursuit ran a 5:55 for mile 8, which has some uphill back to the school. I was pretty confident that I could hold that pace for the next two miles which were faster miles. I ran a 5:46 for mile 9 and was closing in on two of the guys who had pulled away from me earlier. I could also see another runner from the Ronald McDonald House falling back to me as well. I started pushing pretty hard and I finally caught back up to Glen somewhere around 9.75 miles on the long straight away to the finish line.

DP Blessing
Dave around 8.5 miles

The other two runners were right in front of him and in true Glen G form, he told me to “go get those two guys”!! I passed Glen and started making my move to overtake them both. I passed the young kid first and he did not react. Then I pulled alongside the runner from the Ronald McDonald House and tried to get in front of him. He reacted immediately and we went stride for stride for about 20 meters. After a few strides, it was clear that I was spent and that I went for it too soon. He started to pull away from me, but the finish line was just up ahead. I was still hoping to keep my lead on the young kid, but I had nothing left for a sprint and he nipped me at the line! I do not think I have ever been so happy to get nipped at the line. For starters, he was in his 20’s and should be able to out kick this old fart and then I had run over a minute and a half faster than I anticipated. I ended up in 20th place and was 2nd Master with a finish time of 58:27. I broke my Master 10 mile PR by 6 seconds from 6 years earlier when I was 40 and I believe it was my second fastest 10 mile ever! The weather had a lot to do with the great times that people were running. It was about as good a night as you could ever expect for a Friday in late July and we probably won’t see a night like that again for 10 years!

George Ross “Tri’s”

Crabman Sprint Triathlon
July 28, 2013
 South Kingstowm, RI
Story by George Ross
Photo by Glenn Anderson
Full Results

In my debut year as a Triathlete I am learning that ‘I am learning’ and have a long list of things that I need to work on in the off-season and with that in mind I prepared myself to take part in The Crabman Sprint Triathlon (1/4 mile ocean swim, 10 mile bike and 5K run) on Sunday July 28th.

Preparing for a Triathlon is way more intense than any road race and the day before the race is consumed with preparation. I picked up my race packet at NBX then…

– Changed the wheels to race-day carbon wheels
– Add the front mounted hydration system so I can drink without leaving the Aero riding position
– Remove my seat bag and add a ‘sew-up’ tire spare for the race wheels
– Tape one GU onto the bike to be taken ½ way through the ride
– Tape my race # on my seat post
– Charge the GPS/Power head unit
– Oil the springs in my Speedplay shoe clips
– Cycling glasses, cleaned
– Make it nice and shiny

– Wet suit good to go
– Pink Swim Cap to designate that I was swimming in the first wave
– Add defogging spray to my swim goggles
– Body glide to add to the back of my neck to stop the suit from chaffing

– Add my race number to my race belt (which I will pick up when I change into my running shoes
– Check that the elastic lace locks are working (used for a quick change of shoes)

– Small towel to organize my cycling shoes and running shoes in the transition area
– One GU to take 15 minutes before the swim
– Baby powder to add to both pairs of shoes to make it easy to slip your bare feet into the shoes quickly
– Tri Bag back pack to carry all of the above and my helmet

With that all done, I put my one piece Tri-suit, timing chip (which wraps around your ankle) and my calf compression sleeves beside my bed and went to sleep, with the alarm set for 4:15.

As I drove down to the race I was very nervy about the swim. I have only been swimming for 11 months and I am not very good and to add to that I estimated that there would be 120 guys in the 1st wave, the old man wave (men over 45). That is a lot of folks for such a short distance…this one was going to get physical.

Once at the race transition area, I racked my bike and methodically set up my transition area as trained by Amy Rice. The bike must point the same direction as I will exit the transition area. My shoes must be orientated correctly, bike shoes pointing to the bike and running shoes parallel to the bike with my race belt under the running shoes. The shoes must be doused with talcum power. My helmet must be put on the bike in the direction to which I will put it on my head, with my bike glasses duly aligned.

Phew!, now I can go for a warm up swim – swim to the first buoy and back and work on “being smooth”. With my wetsuit on, pink cap on I walked the ¼ mile to South Kingstown Town Beach and the realized that when I got out of the water I had to run this ¼ mile back to my bike. This was going to hurt.

How to position yourself for the swim is extremely important. I am a low mid-pack swimmer and if I start too close to the front then the fast guys will simply swim over me. So, my plan was to start near the middle on the outside edge to avoid, as much as possible the inadvertent punching and kicking that occurs when swimming with a pack. There is no crying in swimming. Just before the gun went off I saw my friend Pete Rumsey run to the left of the pack, he dived in and I chased him into the water figuring he knew something that this rookie did not. ½ way to the first buoy I realized what he had seen…the current was flowing fast from left to right and as Pete and I swam towards the first buoy, the entire pack was drifting away from it. No bodily contact but that changed when I got to the buoy with everyone else and all hell broke loose…hands, legs, bodies everywhere but we all got around it and swam into the heavy current to the second buoy after which it was a left turn to shore. I made that left turn but because I have a tendency not to swim straight I headed off in the wrong direction. A quick adjustment and I was shore bound and this is where the constant drills that Amy puts me though come into being… not stop swimming until your fingers hit sand, take of your cap and put your goggles into them, pull the zip down on the wetsuit and lower your wet suit past your hips…all the while trying to run out of the water! Once out of the water it was that ¼ mile jog with wet suit on and more than a tad tired.


Races are won and lost in transition, the fast guys do it in about 40 seconds and I take about 1:25 as struggle to get my wet suit over my big feet. With my wet suit off it was time to put my cycling shoes on, riding glasses on, helmet on , unrack my bike and head to the corn fields. Yep, there was a ¼ mile run to the road., ugh! Once on the road, I moved the bike into my large chain ring, started my GPS and it was time to catch many of the guys who swam faster than me. It was a flat ride, I averaged 22.2mph with a couple of 24mph miles in there and I passed 25 riders. Feeling good that I was making progress, I got back to the cornfield, took my shoes off and pushed my bike through what seemed a very long ¼ mile.

Into transition, I found my rack, racked my bike, took off my helmet and glasses and switched my cycling shoes for my running shoes, tightened the lace locks, grabbed by race belt with my race number and into the run I went.

It is at this point in all Triathlons that you think…where are my legs? if you are lucky they will come back in half a mile. One of the tactics that I employed to help my legs was to spin pedal on the bike during the last ½ mile of the ride to ease the lactic acid build up.

My legs never came back to me and the situation worsened as my hip flexors tightened and became painful which is a by-product of driving hard in the aero portion of the bike and lack of flexibility (I really have to stretch more). It was a long 3.1 miles, I crossed the line in 109th place out of 431 finishers @ 1:09:33.

Exhausted but totally jacked!

The race was won in 54:04 by Derek Jakaboski.

I have much to learn and I need to hit the gym this winter to get stronger in the right areas but for now my attention turns to Firmman….a ½ Ironman distance…on September 8th.

Next up…July Results and a Blessing of the Fleet re-cap!

Blessing of the Fleet Turtle Stats

I asked the club to tell me what their fastest Blessing of the Fleet time was, what year that happened (if they could remember) and how many times they have run the Blessing.  I had 18 people report their stats.  Many Turtles were a bit fuzzy on how many Blessings they have run, I had answers like “6 or 7” and “between 8 and 15”.  I added the average Turtle Blessing PR, the average # of times run and the Total # of Turtle finishes to the stats.  The total # of Turtle finishes is a lot lower than they could be, as there were a lot of Turtles that did not respond.  Still a pretty cool list.  PR years and times range anywhere from 1983 to 2012 and from 51:17 to 1:17:12.

JP Blessing
John Peabody cooling off after the Blessing.

For more race stats, check out WTAC’s Muddy Puddin’s Blog as he has listed the winners back to 1996 along with how many runners went under 60 mins that year.  The Turtles most popular PR year, 2003, only had 26 runners under 60 mins and one of the slowest winning times in the history of the race, Matt Pelletier’s 53:18, behind only Stormin’ Norman’s 1996 winning time of 54:04…note, both of those winners were Turtles when they ran those races.

Good luck to everyone running the Blessing tonight…maybe you will lower your PR for next years list!

*Disclaimer…Turtles tend to blather, some of these times have not been validated  🙂


The rest of June and a wee bit of July.

The second half of June had fewer Turtles racing, but there were still some die-hards out there trying their best to race well int he heat of summer…possibly good training for the always hot Blessing of the Fleet at the end of July or the Run with the Beavers Trail Race this coming Saturday?  Either way, July is usually a big racing month in Rhode Island…we can’t wait to see the results!

USATF NE Junior Olympics – 3000 Meters
Fitchburgh State University, MA, June 22, 2013
1st Principe, David            9:34.27


Oh My Godard Sprint/Olympic Triathlons
Warwick, RI, June 23, 2013
50th   John Schieffren         2:18:25
65th   George Ross             2:24:55


Rosanne’s Rush For Research 5K
Nashua, NH, June 23, 2013
1st     THOR KIRLEIS         18:51  6:05
2nd     JASON NEWTON        19:11  6:12
11th      GINA NEWTON         20:56  6:46


Nipmuck South Trail Race
Mansfield, CT, June 30, 2013
9th Patrick Quinn       2:08:32.22  9:49
21st  Scott Mason         2:17:37.43  10:31









Chatham 5k Walk & 10k Run
Chatham, MA, June 30, 2013
21st   42:37  6:52    Lawrence Walker

Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50
Foxboro, MA, July 3, 2013
11th Martin Tighe 38:40   6:14

North Andover July 4th Road Races
North Andover, MA, July 4, 2013
5th Thor Kirleis    39:27  6:21 43

Arnold Mills 4 Mile Road Race
Cumberland, RI, July 4, 2013
133rd  RACHEL  FLAKSMAN       31:26

Camire’s 20th Firecracker 4 Miler
Wakefield, RI, July 4, 2013
27th  ROBERT CORSI          24:19  6:05
36th  Dave Schaad           25:50  6:28
57th  ISSY NIELSON          26:53  6:44
155th  GEORGE ROSS          32:20  8:05