True happy with return to New England after year in Oregon

Posted Aug. 11, 2010, at 8:09 p.m.

    In running, being happy in your training environment can be as crucial to success as plugging miles, grinding out hills and hammering out intervals.

When Ben True moved from his native North Yarmouth out to Eugene, Ore., at the end of last summer to join the prestigious Oregon Track Club, something just didn’t feel right.

No, it wasn’t the training — True said that was actually going well — but he’s always been an East Coast kind of guy, and that prompted him to jump in his car and head on home earlier this summer.

“The West Coast didn’t feel right for me, so that was the big thing,” True said prior to running in the Beach to Beacon 10K last weekend, where he finished 12th overall and was the first American man.

  “I knew that to really fulfill the dreams I have in running, you have to be happy in your environment to train at your fullest,” he added.

True plans to move to Hanover, N.H., at the end of the summer racing season to resume his training. He turned pro at the end of last summer.

“It’s going to be great to be back there, the training there is amazing so I’m very excited about it,” said the Dartmouth College graduate.

True’s physical condition blossomed while training in Oregon — he even served as a rabbit for a 5,000-meter race at the Prefontaine Classic — but he’s not exactly a big-city guy either.

“It was a nice thing to experience [but] I just, personally, had problems with the atmosphere in Eugene. I wasn’t a huge fan of it,” he said.

A “rabbit” is someone who serves as a pace-setter in a long-distance race.

Prior to heading back to New England, True made a pit stop in Iowa to run in the Bix 7-mile race, and discovered that all the driving has hampered his training slightly.

“I’ve struggled the last couple months with my training because of the whole move and everything,” he said.

But running in the Bix race, where True finished seventh overall in 33:29, got rid of some of the cobwebs.

“That was the first race I’ve done over three miles [this season], so it was a nice injunction for the 10Ks,” he said. “It was also [nice] after three days of driving after 2,000 miles, to get out and stretch the legs out a little bit.”

True set a course record in the B2B’s Maine division at 29 minutes, 10 seconds last summer while running 29:02 last weekend, and plans to run in the Falmouth (Mass.) Road Race this weekend.

“That’ll be the end of the racing season,” True said. “I’ll take a little downtime and move down to Hanover.”

    Elsewhere around Maine…

There was plenty of other racing action around the state last weekend outside of Cape Elizabeth.

Up in Aroostook County, where high school cross country runners are just beginning preseason workouts, 79 runners and walkers participated in the Island Falls Summerfest 5K race.

That was won by Caribou girls cross country coach Thomas Beckum, who posted a time of 16:36 while Marie Strouse clocked in at 20:43 to place first among women.

Elsewhere around the state, Sunday’s Rockland Lobster Festival 10K drew 270 participants.

Rockland resident and Bucksport native Mike Bunker led them, running 31:52 while 2009 Labor Day 5-miler champ Amanda Labelle was the women’s winner in 39:40.

And in Dover-Foxcroft, Birch Harbor’s Elizabeth Brunton continued her assault on the Eastern Maine roads by finishing first among female runners and second overall at the Pony Pride 5K, which featured 82 participants.

Brunton was timed in 18:24 while overall winner Shawn Keenan posted a 17:20.

The next race in the Sub 5 series, the Machias Blueberry 5-miler, is Aug. 21. Stay tuned for more details.

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