It remains to be seen whether the stressful world of track running is behind RI’s Pat Tarpy. The former Heps 5000m champion while at Brown took a 13:38.89 PR from 2008 to the US Olympic Trials last July, but he also brought something else – a stress fracture.
“It was extremely disappointing to have put everything into the
training and preparation for a race that comes every four years and
then have to drop out,” commented Tarpy after his solo tour-de-force at Amherst.
“I don’t know if I’ll go back to it, I put a lot of pressure on myself
and it bothers you if you’re a few seconds off on your splits. On the
roads, what does it matter, you’ve got flat here, hills here, a
downhill. The whole idea is it’s supposed to be fun and running track
just wasn’t fun anymore.”
So Tarpy took two months off to heal and then started to put in some great training sessions. Amherst runner-up Pat Moulton had the dubious distinction of having driven Tarpy to the race.
“We got to two miles in 9:48 and that’s when I told myself to hold back
and keep something in reserve,” said runner-up Moulton (51:28), who
also noted this is when Tarpy decided to surge.
“Pat had been telling me all week how terrible the course was,” noted
Tarpy. “Once I got past three miles I thought, ‘this isn’t so bad.’ I
kept going mile by mile and at each one I was thinking I’d die before
the next, but it didn’t happen. The last mile uphill over the railroad
tracks I did lose 25 seconds.
Considering the ice buildup on the Cushman Rd. side of the dirt road extending from mile 4.0 to 5.25, and the fact Hodge had Johnny Halberstadt
for company through 7-miles, Tarpy’s performance isn’t anything to
sneeze at. Based on his showing at Amherst, the odds are that Tarpy
will now tackle the New Bedford Half Marathon on March 15.
It was a banner day for the blue of the BAA as the men’s and women’s squads swept behind Moulton and the 1-2 women’s punch of winner Heidi Westerling and Kasie Enman. -Bob Fitzgerald Complete Results
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