Saturday, October 26, 2013

Devil's Chase 6.66-Miler Race Report

When I was looking at airfares to come to Boston to run tomorrow's Cape Cod Marathon, I stumbled upon the Devil's Chase 6.66-Miler in Salem, Massachusetts.

Of course, the race's tagline is to "Run like hell!"

I knew with running a marathon the following day that I certainly didn't want to be doing THAT; however, I thought it was just too much to pass up.

I was very fortunate in getting a $216.30 fare, even though I would end up spending an extra day here (not flying out until Monday morning).

I stayed in Woburn  - about a half hour west of Salem - and arrived at the race site at about 7 a.m. at Salem Willows Park for a scheduled 8:00 a.m. start.  (I mention scheduled because it didn't get started until 8:05 a.m. or so.)

The atmosphere was great with every "devil" song you could think of, including Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".  A wide range of abilities of runners were dressed up in various outfits.

The most prominent, though, were horns, tails and pitchforks.

I even saw one woman with a Tom Brady jersey on and wondered if I should have come disguised as Matt Schaub.

I've never ever thought about doing a Color, Electric or Glow Run, but since I'm running Cape Cod I could see where I wanted to treat this like what I perceived one of those events to be.

Yeah, right.  Good luck with that.

Especially when the temperature was probably right at 40 degrees at the start.

I would estimate that there was approximately 1,000 people and since we ran in and near an older, historic part of the city of Salem, it wasn't until about mile 4 that it started to thin out at all.

We ran with Collins Cove on our right and just beyond mile 1, we ran two-thirds around Salem Common - a community park that has been in place since the early 1800s.  We took a right and another right (which put us on to Essex) and kept heading further west.

We took a pair of left turns, passed mile two (which I never saw) and we were on Derby, which merged with Fort Ave. and we soon were at mile three.

It was there that I had my first time reading -- 30:05.07.  Crap.  10-minute miles.

You know the old adage, "If you feel like you're going slow, you're going too fast."  That was me this morning.

I tried slowing it down as we hit an out-and-back that took us on to Winter Island/Waikiki Beach (East, I guess).  When we came off of it, I had passed mile 4 in 9:56.99 for a cumulative time of 40:02.06.

So mile 5, which is shaped on the map like the Little Dipper star formation onto Juniper Point, is one I did slow down, but not my much.

10:25.65 for a total time of 50:27.69.

Since I felt good, I went back to the former pace as we started to return - toward the soccer field in the Park - on the street we started, which included a little decline as we hit mile 6.

That mile was 10:05.87 that put me a 1:00:33.56.

For the last .66 mile, we hit a small trail that went out to a point that looks out into Beverly Harbor before turning back onto Fort Avenue and down the street with a hard right across the finish line.

The last .66 miles came in at 6:23.26 for a finishing time of 1:06:57.82.  Right about at 10 minutes per mile - even.

If I were even doing a half marathon tomorrow, I'd have pushed it as hard as I could, which might have only been another minute or two off (with how I've been running lately).

All in all, a fun event and glad that I took in the experience.

It was a race in my 104th city or town in North America outside of Texas -- and no. 196 overall.

There were 968 official finishers.  I ended up in 648th place with an average time per mile of 10:03 and an official time of 1:06:56.

If you take Arizona and Indiana out of the equation, I think I was the top finisher from south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  :-)

Thanks for reading!

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