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Merrimack River (No) Snowshoe Race 3.3 miles

Andover, MA, January 4, 2004

Overall Results

Results courtesy of Dave Dunham

Merrimack River 3.3m XC race

by Dave Dunham

The race had been advertised as a snowshoe run; however, the December snow disappeared because of the unseasonably warm weather. As this race is part of the 15‑race Western Massachusetts Athletic Club snowshoe circuit, there was no question about holding it as a foot race instead. Points from this race would be halved due to the non-snowshoe nature of the run.

I went out on Saturday and ran the course, marking it with surveyor flags as I went. I hadn’t realized how hard this would be. The ground was frozen and it was very difficult to get the flags to stay up. Not a problem in snow! After marking the course, I went back out again and ran the course as if I had never been on it before. I put a few more markers out. After the second marking of the course, whenever I was at a surveyor flag, I could already see the next one up ahead. It would be very difficult to go off course.

The course itself was somewhat unusual. The start was located in the back parking lot of the Wyndham Hotel and narrowed down to single track in the first 20 yards. The muddiest section of the course was in the first 100 yards. The “signature” feature of the course is the run under Route 93 in the first ¼ mile. There were five stream crossings spread out along the course and a short section of bushwhacking at the turnaround. The course was in very good shape despite the rain and sleet on Saturday.

My wife Cath and I set up the registration at 6:30 AM for the 8:00 AM start. I was pleasantly surprised when a couple of hardcore WMAC guys showed up from Adams. They left home at 4:00 AM to make the race! A large contingent from Gloucester arrived to get in some trail running. As we witnessed a beautiful sunrise, it became apparent that the field would be quite small. Thanks to my helpers, Leslie, MJ, and Petey, at the last minute I decided to do a mile warm-up and jump into the race.

With the traditional shout of “Cayuga,” the group sprinted for position on the muddy single-track course. James Pawlicki (CMS) took it out very hard and was never challenged. “It was really neat coming back through the field with the sunrise over the river,” noted Pawlicki. Dan Verrington (CMS) was the first master in 2nd place overall. After the race, Verrington jogged the course to retrieve the flags and the mile marker and noted, “This was one of the best marked trail races I’ve ever run.” Local runner William Morse topped the 50+ age group. Richard Busa won the 60+ age group, fresh off his snowshoe run in Saratoga the previous day.

On the women’s side, Jennifer Lassen set a quick early pace in the first mile and was closely followed by Kara Haas. Kara pulled ahead just after the mile but went off course slightly at the split at 1.25 miles. “Dave (Dunham) yelled to me right after I went off course, so I was able to correct my mistake without losing any ground,” said Haas. She went on to run a sub-6-minute last mile, taking the victory by one minute. No women competed in age groups other than the open division.

CMS won the team competition followed by Team Gloucester and WMAC. All runners received a T-shirt, refreshments and a prize along with the opportunity to test themselves on the Merrimack River trail, all for a $5 pre-entry fee. A snowshoe race will be run on a weekend to be determined later this year. Please check the WMAC website (www.runwmac.com) for updates or send an email to dave.dunham@verizon.net.


Place    Name                  Town          St     Category    Time      Pace    Team
1        James Pawlicki        Beverly       MA        MO     0:17:22    0:05:16  CMS
2        Dan Verrington        Bradford      MA        MM     0:19:18    0:05:51  CMS
3        Shaun Sutliff         Adams         MA        MM     0:19:25    0:05:53  WMAC
4        Matthew Curran        Gloucester    MA        MM     0:19:38    0:05:57
5        Rob Smith             Charlestow    MA        MO     0:20:31    0:06:13
6        Kara Haas             Burlington    MA        FO     0:20:41    0:06:16  GLRR
7        Dave Dunham           Bradford      MA        MO     0:20:48    0:06:18  CMS
8        Bob Gillis            Gloucester    MA        MM     0:20:57    0:06:21  TEAM GLOUCESTER
9        Rick Clolino          Gloucester    MA        MO     0:21:00    0:06:22  TEAM GLOUCESTER
10       Jennifer Hegarty      Arlington     MA        FO     0:21:42    0:06:35  GLRR
11       Steve Whitley         Gloucester    MA        MM     0:21:45    0:06:35  TEAM GLOUCESTER
12       David Geary           Gloucester    MA        MO     0:22:24    0:06:47  TEAM GLOUCESTER
13       Norm Sheppard         Bedford       MA        MM     0:22:30    0:06:49
14       Jennifer Lassen       Gloucester    MA        FO     0:22:41    0:06:52  TEAM GLOUCESTER
15       Michael Haas          Burlington    MA        MO     0:22:43    0:06:53
16       William Morse         Dracut        MA        MS     0:23:19    0:07:04
17       Pete Lipka            Adams         MA        MS     0:26:27    0:08:01  WMAC
18       Richard Busa          Marlboro      MA        MV     0:30:32    0:09:15  WMAC
19       Laurel Shortell       Northampto    MA        FO     0:31:23    0:09:31  WMAC
20       Cathy Dunham          Bradford      MA        FO     0:35:13    0:10:40  WCRC

Teams        3 RunnersScore
1        James Pawlicki        Beverly       MA        MO     0:17:22    0:05:16  CMS
2        Dan Verrington        Bradford      MA        MM     0:19:18    0:05:51  CMS
7        Dave Dunham           Bradford      MA        MO     0:20:48    0:06:18  CMS
10
8        Bob Gillis            Gloucester    MA        MM     0:20:57    0:06:21  TEAM GLOUCESTER
9        Rick Clolino          Gloucester    MA        MO     0:21:00    0:06:22  TEAM GLOUCESTER
11       Steve Whitley         Gloucester    MA        MM     0:21:45    0:06:35  TEAM GLOUCESTER
12       David Geary           Gloucester    MA        MO     0:22:24    0:06:47  TEAM GLOUCESTER
14       Jennifer Lassen       Gloucester    MA        FO     0:22:41    0:06:52  TEAM GLOUCESTER
28
3        Shaun Sutliff         Adams         MA        MM     0:19:25    0:05:53  WMAC
17       Pete Lipka            Adams         MA        MS     0:26:27    0:08:01  WMAC
18       Richard Busa          Marlboro      MA        MV     0:30:32    0:09:15  WMAC
19       Laurel Shortell       Northampto    MA        FO     0:31:23    0:09:31  WMAC
38
           Incomplete teams
6        Kara Haas             Burlington    MA        FO     0:20:41    0:06:16  GLRR
10       Jennifer Hegarty      Arlington     MA        FO     0:21:42    0:06:35  GLRR
20       Cathy Dunham          Bradford      MA        FO     0:35:13    0:10:40  WCRC
Volunteers - Big Thanks!
        Leslie
        MJ
        Cathy
        Petey
        Dan




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