38th Annual CMS January Thaw – Race Recap

Ahhhh January and running = a bit chilly most of the time.

Photo by David Colby Young

It also means running at the Central Maine Striders January Thaw in Belgrade, ME. Today was the 38th edition, so thank you again to Gene, Geoff, Ron P., DonneJean, Ron P, Alicea and all the rest for putting on what is usually my coldest race of the year ;-).

Photo by David Colby Young

A special thank you to David Colby Young who volunteers so much of his time giving runners photos of themselves running that they never would have otherwise.


Yeah, it is my first uninjured race since the One In Five 5K in Waterville last April. Before I left the house the temp was in the mid teens and I don’t run well in those temps and as I get older it hasn’t gotten any better. The cold screws up my breathing and I worry about pulling something if I push too hard.

Photo by David Colby Young

So I decided to leave my race day shoes at home, wear my Puma 600 Ignite trainers and run an 8:30 to 9:00 minute pace. I haven’t really been running much faster than that outside this year in these temps, so it seemed pretty reasonable.

This is just a way to look at the race a LOT differently than I would otherwise.

Photo by David Colby Young

Yeah, I will be honest, I was a little meechy about running too hard in 23*F with a real feel of 14*F when we started today. Usually, I go out hard and hold on as long as I can, today, for a change I just went out comfortably hard, but not too hard.

Once we got out on the main road I passed the group of runners in front of me and then kept running along comfortably. I settled into a nice pace and followed Gus and Julie the rest of the race, never gaining very much, but not dropping back either.


On RT 135, the hill in the middle is deceptively tough and every year, it kicks my butt. This year it didn’t feel nearly as bad, but still I did slow down pretty good going up it. Once I made the turn, I did pick up the pace, but a guy in Vibram’s flew by me and eventually caught up with the Gus and Julie. Gus held him off and Julie finished ahead of me.

Yeah, I overdressed again, but today it wasn’t as big a deal as usual, I just took off my gloves on the long down hill, but I really didn’t need the fleece vest in addition to the tech short sleeve shirt, tech log sleeve shirt and PI winter weight cycling jacket. Gotta remember that for the next cold weather race, but I prefer to have the mittens when temps get below 20*F over my running gloves.


Nowhere close to my best time on this course, but that was not what this race was all about. It was a really good test of where I am physically and I accomplished the things I wanted:

  1. I made it to the starting line (sometimes I don’t)
  2. Came home without injuring/breaking anything
  3. Ran 20 seconds per mile pace faster than I expected
  4. Had fun seeing and talking with other runners I haven’t seen since last summer.

Thank you again everyone, now to work on some things to get ready for the next race. 😉

Photo by David Colby Young

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