The Stone Tower 15k was held this past Sunday in Lynn, MA. Bernat Olle won in 59:15 and was the only runner to dip under an hour. North Shore Trail Series stalwarts Jim Pawlicki and David Long weren’t far off the pace but there was still about a minute gap between each runner in the top three (Jim was 2nd in 1:00:22 while David was 3rd in 1:01:39). No word yet on whether or not David was pulling off the fauxhawk again. Our guess would be no since all he does is win with it!
Here’s a first hand account from Jim Pawlicki:
I ran over to the race and signed up for the Stone Tower 15K. The race course goes up Stone Tower three times, Steel Tower once, and Dungeon Rock once. Tough as it can get for a trail race. The weather was perfect after the rain yesterday. I chatted with Dennis Floyd (SpiderOne) before heading over to the line next to David Long (Wicked Running Club) who was 2nd last year. Chris Smith (Somerville Road Runners) charged into the lead from the Great Woods gate driveway and into Lynn Woods. I caught him toward the top of the first hill and taking the race up the single track to Stone Tower. The lead was short lived as I had my eyes on a sign for the 15K and an arrow pointing left. I was scolded to screams of many after I took the turn (where were you on Thursday). I turned back only to be behind Bernat Olle (Cambridge Running Club) and David Long who bolted down the hill. They traded off leads as I had a birds eye view before I was able to catch David after Penny Bridge. Bernat was holding his own about five seconds in front. I kept him close for the next few miles but never got any closer than I did going up the Dungeon Rock steps - maybe 10 seconds.
I lost some time in the Boulder Path which is a single track ankle buster. I knew I was losing precious time and being cautious instead of reckless. I asked myself - what would Jim Johnson do here? Upon reaching Stone Tower a second time, I managed to see Bernat at the bottom of the hill (100 yards?) and not slowing down. That was the last time I saw him. The rest of the tour took me through a personal favorite of Lynn Woods - Undercliff Path. I think I heard David behind me so I could not dare take a nap at the wheel. The legs were absolutely zapped for the rest of the race. I don’t think I could have held anyone off if I got run down in the last two miles. It was all downhill from the third exhaustive visit to Stone Tower. I rolled into the finish for 2nd place overall and a time of 1:00:22. Bernat crushed it in 59:19. David rolled in about a minute behind me. [Full results]
I was pretty beat following the race so I shut it down and hung out for some refreshments. Looking ahead, it looks like I will be racing Ravenswood (1st race as a master), Mayors Cup XC, and the Manchester City Marathon.
What would Jim Johnson have done? Well, we asked him:
“What I would have done in that situation is run cautious as to not break my ass, but devise a plan as to what I was going to tell everyone after about why I lost time…like tell everyone I went the wrong way or something.”
Brilliant. For the ladies, it was once again Emma Kosciak earning the win with a 1:09:45 that was also good for 16th overall. Emma had a relatively big gap on her competition (especially compared to the tight battle in the men’s race). Second woman was over three minutes behind her (Deidre Lowe in 1:13:00).
The next race in the New England Running Company North Shore Trail Series is the Ravenswood 4.1 miler on October 19th. It wasn’t on Jim’s list of upcoming races so probably makes David Long the favorite. With the way Emma Kosciak has been lighting up the trails we think she might be the favorite in the women’s race.