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Scargo Hill Buster - CCAC Grand Prix #7

Dennis, MA, January 21, 2001

The Whiteout Shuffle

Hardcore ... or perhaps, just plain foolish! 25 determined runners gathered at the home of the Marcy's in Dennis in the middle of the first real snowfall of the winter season. And finally one of the Winter Grand Prix series races seemed to really be held in winter. Possibly the most difficult part of the race was getting there as the driving snow made traveling along Routes 6 and 6A like driving in a can of white paint. Dwight Pfundstein and Kathleen Thomas, who chose to travel in separate cars from Mashpee, kept in constant contact with their mobile phones for the entire trip. Jeff Zee chose to drive on the rumble strips the entire way so at least he knew he was on the road rather than in the ditch; although he claimed it was just the snow built up in his treads. The climb up Old Bass River Road from 6A was so slick that I didn't think I'd make it up on my first attempt and upon reaching the top, all the road signs were completely covered with ice and snow making it virtually impossible to find the road. Luckily, the finely handcrafted and detailed CCAC spray paint on plywood sign and the course arrows led the way.

After arriving at race headquarters, the talk centered on the storm, how difficult it had been to get there, and how crazy we were to actually be there. "You think that was bad! You should have seen the tree I drove around in Dennis!" "Is Mike Sellars here yet?" "Are the signs still up out there?" "Are we starting on time?" "What's the course now?" "It was that white truck ahead of me on the Mid-Cape without his lights on that really worried me." ... and so on. There was some discussion on how curious it was that all of the people in attendance had also been at the Polar Bear Dash and Swim, but it was ultimately dismissed as a mere coincidence. It was decided that the prudent thing to do would be to shorten the course to a double out-and-back and thus avoid running on Old Bass River Road. Of course, no mention was made of canceling or postponing the race as that would have been pointless. It was also agreed that in order to preserve the miscellaneous digits and faculties of the finish line staff, the finish should be between the cars, up the driveway (watch out for the boat), and through the sliding door into the cellar, whereupon Paul Masterson would record the time and name tags would be taken. This made for some interesting final kicks.

At about 11.30 AM, in the height of the storm, 25 intrepid souls shuffled out of the warm cellar into the 28 temperatures and 30 mile per hour wind gusts. The neighbors continued to shovel their driveway and tried their utmost to ignore us. At 11.35 AM, after duly shouting at Mike Parker and Bill Masterson for delaying the start, the race was underway. John Martin, looking fashionable in orange shorts, a long-sleeve turtle-neck, and a pair of ski goggles, got off quick and led unchallenged the entire way, finishing in 19:11. As has become a trademark of this year's Grand Prix races, the double out-and-back course allowed everyone to see the race ... several times ... and, although strung out over 20 minutes, the field was in touch for most of the race. Most treated the race as a fun run in the 2-3 inches of snow and an opportunity to gain some Grand Prix points; only a few wiped out on the many icy twists and turns as they practiced their winter running mechanics. The swirling snow, the muffled footsteps periodically punctuated by the crack of ice, and the runners emerging out of the white completed the surreal tableau. In the women's race, Kathleen Thomas led, followed in by Jane Zee and Pat Nally. One of the benefits of running in a small field: everyone placed in their age group with the exception of 2 Clydesdales ... thus proving that Clydes will make it to any race, especially if there's beer involved. Dwight Pfundstein claimed the Clydesdale division while Jane Zee ran unchallenged in the Filly. In the Grand Prix points battle, the story of the day was the race between Mike Sellars and Michael Parker who both called and asked, after first asking if the race was indeed on, whether the other had called yet. Mr. Sellars who ultimately did not show, gave Mr. Parker an uncontested 10 points and a series points tie. This contest will be decided by the last race of the series on 28 January through the woods of Nickerson State Park, in what could be a bloody, brambly, brawl to the finish.

It seems only fitting that this race should have a few special awards - -

The Whiteout Awards =================== ------------------------ |The Best Dressed Award| ------------------------ John Martin

John was the most dashing in his shorts and ski goggles and although he looked chilly (and maybe a little funny), was probably just right as it got durn hot running with the wind.

--------------------------------------- |The "I Should Have Stayed Home" Award| --------------------------------------- Tom Scott

... who was crazy enough to drive all the way from Pembroke to run in the snow. We figure he must have left at 6:00 AM and probably still hasn't gotten home yet.

-------------------------------------------------------- |The Endurance Athlete (or "My Toeses Is Frozes") Award| -------------------------------------------------------- Connie Curtis-Worgan

... who was out on the course walking for 43 minutes! ... long after most of us had thawed our faces and removed the icicles from our hats.

------------------------- |The Fleet of Foot Award| ------------------------- Bob Smith and Dwight Pfundstein

... who were so thoughtful to help Kathleen make the final turn that they skidded right past it.

------------------------------------- |The "I Want To Be A Mechanic" Award| ------------------------------------- Mike Herlihy

... who also missed the final turn and ended up underneath the Nally's parked car. Oh, wait! He is a mechanic!

------------------------------------ |The "Just A Little Bit More" Award| ------------------------------------ Tom Radziewicz

... who's counting on his wife, Janet, to slow down just a few more seconds so he'll be able to beat her ... once.

------------------------- |The White Knuckle Award| ------------------------- Everyone in a two wheel drive car

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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