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Willowbend Cruise - CCAC Grand Prix #6

Mashpee, MA, January 14, 2001

View From The Bench

I agonized over how I could possibly write a report on this race as I had to sit this one out due to a hip injury. So here's the view from the bench.

This week's race was held at the home of Kathleen Thomas and Dwight Pfundstein who are fortunate enough (or unfortunate, depending on your perspective) to live right next to Willowbend Estates in Mashpee. The weather was once again unseasonable as temperatures reached into the low 40's under high overcast. Upon my arrival, I was immediately put to work on the finish line ensuring a fine pique on the exquisite torture of not being able to run. The course was an out and back 5K course up through Willowbend, over a few speed bumps, through a new development cul-de-sac and out to the cul-de-sac at the end of the main road. Apart from a few cars on Quinnaquisset Ave. and a few builders, runners had the course to themselves amidst some of the finest condominium living on the Cape. At points along the course, the empty houses hovered over the street and yearned to come along. The gatehouses stood empty, their gates raised high for the passing runners. The course gave runners several opportunities to see different stages of the race as they passed each other and from the golf course, one could see the bobbing heads of runners as they made their way along the Willowbend streets. Although not extremely hilly, runners were taken by surprise by the small uphill climb to the finish line which had seemed so inconsequential at the start. At the finish, Paul Masterson adroitly worked the timer as Dwight Pfundstein took the week off and artfully held the results board. Despite some debate on the number of runners and how many times had been recorded, the finish line crew was able to maintain cohesion and complete their duties.

At the start, Michael Parker and Mike Sellars, who are competing fiercely for points in the M40-44 age group of the Grand Prix, led the field closely marked by George Gomes, Skip Michaelson, and Jeremy Dodds. By the turn up Willowbend, George had taken control of the race and led it home in 17:18. Skip Michaelson ran a tactical race to nip John Martin by 5 seconds in another hotly contested GP race. Jeremy Dodds, also servicing a hip injury, finished 6th overall to claim the first and only slot in the M30-34 division. Brian Kelly, who was perhaps not feeling quite at the top of his form, placed as second Clydesdale to Tom Warren. On the women's side, Cathy Klim traded places with her husband again, beating him by 4 seconds, to take the overall win in 19:56. Mary Peabody followed a minute and a half behind and immediately ahead of first place Filly, Kate Naples. Jane Zee as second Filly and Karen Santos finished out the top five. Janet Radziewicz, determined to win her age group, managed to take the top F35-39 slot from Stephanie Michienzi even though being recently off with two leg fractures.

In the overall Grand Prix standings, Cathy Klim has clinched the F50-54 division, Janet trails Stephanie by 2 points in F35-39, and Judy Stacy holds a commanding lead over Pat Nally and Joanne Corsanno who are tied for 2nd in the F445-49 age group. Mike Herlihy continues to lead George Gomes in M35-39, Mike and Mike battle in the M40-44 separated by a single point while Skip and John wage a similar battle in M45-49, and Bill Masterson dominates the M60-64 age group while Bill Riley spends the winter racing in Florida. As we come down to the end of the series, the field begins to thin as runners can no longer make the minimum 5 of 8 races required for Grand Prix standing and attrition takes its toll on those who remain.

The Grand Prix series continues every weekend (except 7 January) until the end of January at various locations across the Cape. Cost is $5 for club members and $10 for non-members. All are invited to attend but only club members are eligible for points and awards to be presented at the annual club banquet in February. For more information, visit the CCAC at http://www.capecodathleticclub.org/.




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