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CMS 52-Week 5K Series Race #39 "Guess Your Handicap"

Devens, MA, September 24, 2008


2008 CMS 52-Week 5K Series Race #39 "GUESS YOUR HANDICAP RACE" VICKSBURG SQUARE DEVENS, MA September 24, 2008 Results Courtesy of Central Mass Striders
Tonight's race was a HUGE success. We had this concept that we tossed around all summer of having a Guess Your Finish Time type of race with a twist where everyone starts at different times. We would have a display clock at the start counting down from 40 minutes. When the clock got to your predicted finish time, you would start; hence the Handicap portion to our title. If everyone were to estimate exactly, they would all be crossing the finish line as the clock hit zero. Similar to Guess Your Finish Time, watches and timing devices were not allowed and the display clock was turned sideways so the runners would not see it until they were crossing the line. The two winners would be the first Male and Female runner to cross the line AFTER the clock reached zero.

Bill Krauss got the award for sandbagging his estimate the most and had the whole finish line crew wondering who was coming up to the finish line so early as he was more than 8 minutes ahead of his predicted time. Alas, he might have been the first across the finish line, but he would not be our winner on the night. He did get a head start to the pizza though!

Young Travis Spinnelli also was well ahead of his estimate and would be second across the line and then the rest of the runners started coming into view across the field! What a sight it was! You could see everyone bunching up more and more! Picture the reverse of a starting line where everyone slowly spreads out, here everyone was coming in as the clock was ticking down.

A funny thing happens in this type of race. Everyone has a chance of being the winner as the first runner across the line AFTER the clock hits zero. But with people bunching up, runners push more to hold off the people catching up while others are pushing to catch up. So the adrenaline can get you to run faster than you had thought you could! 3rd across the finish line was Dan Navaroli who ran the fastest time on the course this year and close to the course record. He started second to last only because one runner was late and would pass almost everyone enroute to a HUGE 15:43 finish! Similarly, Heather Arsenault sported a huge grin after realizing she ran what I think was her first sub 20 minute 5k! Congrats Heather!

In fact, the first 18 runners would run faster than they estimated so the winners of tonight's race were the metranome like runners Cyndy Curley and Alan Hoffman! Cyndy ran just 1 second over her estimate while Alan would finish 4 seconds after the clock ticked over to zero. Both Cyndy and Allan would have first dibs on the raffle prize table for their Carnac-like talents.

After the run, everyone was treated to free pizza on the club and a runner emblazened cake courtesy of Roxanne Robert who has been so kind to feed us all summer long. This concludes the 2008 season at Devens. We will be starting back up at Worcester State College on Saturday October 4th. Race time will be at 9am.

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