The latest USATF-New England grand prix race was this morning in Methuen, Mass. The Whirlaway 10k had some better weather this year than they did last year, and they had enough water at the finish line for everybody this time. The course takes a quick trip up over the first few miles, and is predominantly downhill for the last few miles. There are a few rolling hills mixed in throughout. The starting line was not marked, as they use a crack in the road to determine where it is. As such, they had to pull the crowd forward about 200 feet since nobody knew where they were supposed to be and everybody was too far down the road.

The race was won handily by Ben Ndaya in 31:41. Jeff Caron and Ethan Hemphill were up front for Dirigo R.C., finishing in 3rd and 5th, respectively. Jennifer Busse was the first woman in 37:09.

I ran about what I expected at the race, (barely) breaking 36 minutes. I was trying to catch one of my teammates, but didn’t have enough time. Officially, he beat me by 1 second, but realistically it was more like 2 or 3 seconds.

There was a great spread after the race, but the awards structure left something to be desired. I had thought that this was a cash race that paid out 5 places, but the winner got a gift certificate and everything else was age group awards. Dirigo got 5th place in the open division and 2nd place in the master’s division, which were both won by the Whirlaway club.