Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rindge (#124) on Saturday, Aug. 6

A belated post on the Rindge "Tour De Common" -- sorry, but it's been than kind of a week.

Nice weather, a little warm but overcast building in, for a 5K race in this town on the Massachusetts line, about an hour's drive from where I live. Not too much prior experience with Rindge, though technically the Jaffrey-Rindge School District was part of my beat when I was education writer for the Keene (N.H.) Sentinel, the local paper, two decades ago.

The only other thing I can think of is that I bought some coins at an auction house here many years ago, too. Another distinction of Rindge is that it's one of only a handful of New Hampshire communities with a one-syllable name. Offhand, the only others I can think of are Lee, Bath, Troy, and Hill. Oh, and Weare. (Where?)

Anyway! Very organized race with a really well laid-out course, too. Starting just above the town common at the police station; first mile drifted steadily downward, then bottomed out. Before Mile 2, we hit a series of upgrades, none of which were soul-destroying, but just enough to keep you focused. (It helped that a woman was continually coming up behind me, then walking, then catching up again, then walking, which kept me from slacking off.) Then, for maybe the last half-mile, it's a long downhill back to the town center, and razor straight and open so you can see who's in front of you and all that.

The net effect of all of this was to just pull me along at a quicker rate than usual, even though the sun was breaking through and starting to heat things up. Finished in 29:07, my fastest time in years! Pace of 9:24, vs. the usual 10-minute mile. I came in 41 out of 73 runners, or just five places out of placing in the top half, a rare occurrence for me.

One weird thing about this one was that after going to my car to change into a non-soaked shirt, I returned to the town common to find a group of woman line dancing as part of the awards ceremony. Hey, whatever. Also, I had a few moments to study the town's veterans memorial, which reads like a language lesson. Class, what tenses are in use here? Pay attention!

As for Canaan on Sunday, Aug. 7, I'm embarrassed to say I overslept and would not have made it up there in time. Let's hope the Canaan Police Department decides to make their "Run From The Law" an annual event so I get another shot.

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