Saturday, November 18, 2017

Looking back

15 years ago
It was a weird month for me with a couple of “workout” type races and a couple of LONG races.  On 11/02 I ran with Dan Verrington in a 5k in Haverhill (Run for Food), Dan ran fast enough to win and I ran fast enough to finish right behind him (18:04).  The next day I topped a field of 71 runners at the Willard Brook Ramble, an 8 mile trail race in Ashby, MA.  Steve Peterson gave me a good race; every time I got lost and went off course he’d pass me and move into the lead.  I ended up first in 52:40.  The following weekend I ran the Stone Cat trail marathon in Topsfield (11/09/02).  For the most part I ran with Leigh Schmidt and Dan Verrington.  Dan stopped to puke late in the race and I pulled away from Leigh in the last mile to score a win in a (then) course record of 3:06:10.  Since that time the record has been lowered twice by CMS teammates: Greg Hammet 3:04:50 in 2008 and Ben Nephew 2:54:45 in 2009 (the CR has since been lowered to 2:54:33).  I closed out the month with a 50k in RI, the Nifty Fifty was the New England championships.  I ran pretty much alone, except for a few marathon runners who stayed with me through 15 miles.  It was an awful day to race with temps in the 40’s at the start and 36 and pouring rain by the time I finished.  The wind didn’t help with steady 20+ mph winds and gusts in the 40 mph range.  My hands were numb for the last 10 miles but I held on to win in 3:20:07.  I picked up $100 for the win.

10 years ago
I raced three times in November of 2007, and felt like I was getting into decent shape.  I returned to Slattery’s for the first time in MANY years.  I ran a lot of the race with second place female runner Heidi Westerling and was able to gap her on the final tough hill.  I ended up finishing 16th, and 3rd 40+ with a new master’s personal best of 27:52.  A few days later it was back to Newburyport for the excellent Thanksgiving race.  I took 14th out of 958 over the 5k course under excellent conditions.  I was third in the 40+ age group running 17:29.  The next day I ran at the Chelmsford Alumni XC race.  I was the top Billerica finisher J  The Chelmsford boys took it out very relaxed for the first 2 miles then took off.  I ended up finishing 4th in 18:56.

5 years ago
I raced three times in November of 2012.  On 11/10 I had a rare race against teammate Eric Morse and his very speedy dog (Murdoch).  A field of over 300 took off in a sprint for the 5k Doggy run in Boston.  The course had some “out/back” which is never a good idea in a dog race.  I caught Eric at 1.5 and ran with him until ½ mile to go but couldn’t kick with them.  I ended up in fourth in 16:53.  Erick and Murdoch ran 16:45.  The following weekend (11/18) I had a good run at the USATF NE XC championships in Westfield MA.  I had a good battle with teammate Joe Shairs right to the finish out-leaning him by 1 second for 13th place in 27:54.  The very flat 8km course was great for fast times (Mike Nahom was top master in 26:19).  Five days later I placed third at the Chelmsford Alumni XC race.  As is sometimes the case at this race the first mile was at conversation pace, the second mile was hard running and the final mile was all-out.  I took third place (tied with race director O’B) in 19:34 over the 3.28 mile course.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Looking (way) back

35 years ago
Only one race in November of 1982 (11/06/1982) and it was the New England XC championships at Franklin Park.  We’d missed qualifying for XC nationals so this was my final race of my freshman cross-country season.  I took 14th place in 24:08 running splits of: 4:40/4:50/4:53/5:13/4:32.

30 years ago
My only two races in November of 1987 were the New England championships and the U.S. championships.  On the 15th I ran a “part XC but mostly roads” NEAC championship in Marlborough, MA.  I ended up placing third in 29:57.  Two weeks later I (barely) cracked the top 50 at the TAC championships on a long (10.3k) course in Van Cortland Park.  I took 49th in 31:42 in a field of 500 on a cold 40 degree day.

25 years ago

I ran four races in November of 1992, two on the roads and two cross-country.  On the 15th I headed to Smithfield RI for the New England XC championships.  I ended up 4th in 30:55 after passing the mile just out of the top 15.  Two time Olympian Bob Kempainen won in 30:12.  Next up was Slattery’s 5m (11/22/92), which was always loaded due to the ca$h prizes.  Nearly 1,000 runners hit the road on a 55 degree and rainy day.  I found myself in a tight battle with Eric Morse and Andy Ronan (Irish Olympic Marathoner).  We dropped Ronan in the last ¼ mile and Morse used his sub-4 mile speed to pull away in the final stretch.  I took 2nd in 23:33 and picked up $400 for the effort.  The following Thursday (11/26/92) I “tempo” ran the Feaster Five road race in Andover.  I didn’t want to run too hard as my focus was the US XC championships two days later.  That was a tight turn-around but I’d been doing tempo’s at 5:10 pace so it wasn’t a huge stress.  I ended up placing 3rd in 25:32 in a field of over 3,000.  Two days later I was on the line in Racine WI racing 300 of the top XC runners in the country.  It was muddy and icy in spots (perfect XC conditions).  I moved up slowly through the field cracking the top 30 by 5k and ultimately placing 25th in 30:51.  Bob Kennedy won in 29:41 and CMS took second place (by 11 points).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Town Bagging - Article on Let's Run

Meet the Folks Motivated by Running Every Corner of Their Home StatesFrom Vermont to Iowa, they're determined to log miles in every single town or county.By Paul Snyder FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2017, 4:18 PM

Run Vermont
I thought, but wasn't sure, that I was alone in one of my peculiar tendencies when traveling via car or bus.
I’ll zone out while staring out the window, admiring the rapidly changing landscape, until I fixate on a particularly lush-looking, trail-strewn hillside, or an impossibly inviting town’s bricked main street, or even the crumbling asphalt of an urban waterway’s neglected bike path. And I picture myself hopping out of the vehicle and going for a run right there, exploring this previously unknown-to-me place on foot.

After Dave DeVarney completes a casual run this weekend in Winooski, a town of about 7,000 just north of Burlington, he’ll join an exclusive and quirky club, but perhaps at an echelon he’ll have all to himself.
That’s because DeVarney, a native-Vermonter who now resides in Rhode Island, will become the first known person to go for a run in every municipality in Vermont. A similar club already exists, The 251 Club of Vermont, which welcomes members who have visited each of the state’s 251 towns and cities. As far as we know, DeVarney will be the first member to do so while logging runs.
Speaking to Vermont Public Radio, DeVarney explained that he was looking for something to keep him occupied following his retirement.
“Originally I was going to do a Forrest Gump and run across the United States last year,” he said. “And financially, physically, I was just not ready. And of course my wife was not ready for it, so that's when I played my card and I said what about if I do this? She let me do it.”

Like Vermont, Connecticut also boasts an informal club that avid intrastate travelers can join, but unlike its northern counterpart, Connecticut’s aptly named Run 169 Towns Society is a club just for those who run a race while visiting each of the state’s incorporated areas.
The “race” stipulation means would-be members have not only the physical challenge of getting so many places to contend with, but also have to reckon with the road racing calendars of 169 communities. It’s no small feat, logistically or otherwise. In fact, in the club’s six-year history, only 22 people have completed the task.

Though Massachusetts doesn’t have any clubs for intrepid traveling runners to join, that didn’t dissuade Dave Dunham from crossing a run off in every town in the state. (Runner’s World wrote about Dunham’s successful quest to do so back in 2009, and despite the impressive nature of his accomplishment, his record keeping might be the story’s biggest takeaway.)
An IRS anaylist, Dunham wasn’t motivated by a desire to stave off post-retirement boredom, nor—as mentioned above—could he become a member of an elite crew. So why did he do it? Dunham was already, accidentally almost halfway through with checking off every town in his native Massachusetts, and thought finishing up could be cool.

For whatever reason, New Englanders and Midwesterners seem most inclined to want to run their whole state. But given that heartland states tend to be larger, runners there chase after counties.
As of October 7, 2017, 12-year-old Madison Rahschulte had run a 5K in 82 of her native Indiana’s 92 counties. Rahschulte is well on pace to complete her goal of finishing before she starts high school, and in the process has lowered her 5K personal best to an impressive 20:46, proving you don't have to sacrifice speed in the interest of conquering counties.

Dave Joens of Westward, Illinois, completed his mission to run a race in each of his state’s 102 counties in 2015. His quest took seven years and a whole lot of ingenuity to find out about events taking place in the more far-flung regions of the state. The State Journal-Register described Joens’s ingenious approach:
“Hardin and Scott counties were the most difficult. His solution was to subscribe to their local weekly newspapers and watch for news of any races. Within a month, he hit pay dirt when a race was announced in the Scott County paper.”
The Iowa-based duo of Daren Schumaker and Dennis Lee really upped the ante. Over the course of nearly a decade, they ran a makeshift marathon in every Iowa county.
In the course of marathoning in each of Iowa’s 99 counties, the two calculated that they had driven more than 20,000 miles, while running more than 2,500 miles, just in the interest of completing their objective. They cooked up the plan out of boredom, but wound up raising more than $10,000 for the American Heart Association in the process.
This sort of challenge ought to speak to the record-minded members of the running community, as there seem to be plenty of remaining states to attempt. Is there a soul brave enough to log a mile in every Alaskan city and town? Surely California, with its countless suburbs, hasn’t been claimed yet. Will the person who attempts to run every Hawaiian municipality use a boat to get between islands?

As for me, if nobody else has called it, dibs on Rhode Island.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hooksett Rail Trail

Checked out the Hooksett Rail Trail (Heads pond trail) and it was very nice.  Great smooth surface.  I'll have to go back when I can do a longer run!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week Ending 11/12/17

Got another decent mileage week and slowly pulling ahead in the "Hike 125 challenge".  Also got a little workout and a little race with a big WIN.

Week = 96
Month = 165
Year = 3653
Life = 137,638

Mon - 430am Weir/Stevens 6 in 849s
            PM out/back Weir Stevens 8 in 829s
Tues - 430am Weir/Stevens 6 in 849s
            PM out/back Weir Stevens 8 in 809s
Wed - 430am Weir/stevens 6 in 840s
           PM Lunch run from work 8m Ballardvale in 708s
Thurs- 430am Weir/Stevens 6 in 824s
            PM out/back Weir Stevens 8 in 752s
Fri - 630am out/back Weir in 850s
         10am 3m out/back on Hooksett Rail Trail in 931s
          2pm 3m at Weir/Stevens in 729s (1wup, 1m with 4x1 minute hard, 1 warm-down)
Sat - 8am 3m warm-up, 1m in flats, 2.2 mile trail race, 3m warm-down
         10:30am 5m at Ward Res in 853s

Sun - 12 out/back on Stevens to Stevens in 820s

Sunday, November 12, 2017

PAWS on the trail - 4km trail race

I don't usually do first year races, because you just don't know what you are going to get.  I contacted the RD with some questions and she was very quick to respond.  I liked the idea of a trail race and especially liked the 9am start.  I'd run in the Reading Town Forest before and looked forward to heading back for the PAWS on the trail 4km race (fun run and walk as well).

It was cold, damn cold when I arrived at 745am.  I quickly picked up my number and dashed back to the car, the wind was howling and it was about 25 degrees.  What a contrast to the 70 degree day we had earlier this week.

I did my warm-up checking out the course, it was pretty rough at the beginning on the downhill stretch with a lot of leaves down on the rooty rocky trail.  The rest of the trail was a mix of nice single-track, wide forest road, and some boardwalks.  The course came up a bit short of the advertised distance (4km=2.48 miles), I got 2.3 on my Garmin.

I quickly changed into racing flats and three top layers to keep warm (it took the full 3 miles for my hands to warm up).  I was the only one at the start braving the course in shorts (with half-tights).  After a mile running around staying relatively warm I headed to the start.  Only 26 lined up, maybe due to the temps/wind and it being a first year "fun run".

Off we went and Brian Atherton and his little dog went sprinting to the lead.  I didn't recognize them but they headed out pretty fast.  The dog made it a little difficult as he wasn't sure what to do when I tried to go by.  I pushed the pace on the downhill and pulled clear of them.  After that I just focused on pushing as hard as I could.  I hit the turn (it was an out/back course) and counted 10 seconds until I passed the duo.  I felt pretty safe at that point with a 20 second lead and only a mile to go.  I didn't ease up, trying to give a good strong effort right to the finish.  I got a nice cheer from the volunteers as I rolled in at 14 minutes (I could've sworn it was more like 13:58) and ended up with a win by 1:32.

I went back out and got in another 3 miles checking out some of the other trails in the forest.  I got a nice cheer as I came back in to the finish again as they were just wrapping up the awards ceremony and were waiting for me (!!!!!).  Gotta love a race that starts at 9am and is done with EVERYTHING by 10am.  My kind of race indeed.  I even got $50 at Marathon sports for the win!

I finished the day with another (bonky) 5 mile run at Ward reservation on my way home.

PAWS on the Trail 4K
Saturday, November 11, 2017 Start Time: 9 AM

Place Name No. Div/Tot Div Ag S City St Time Pace
===== =================== === ======== ===== == =
1 Dave Dunham 110 1/5 M5059 53 M Bradford MA 14:00 5:38
2 Brian Atherton 101 1/3 M3039 35 M Ashland MA 15:32 6:15
3 Heather Barackman 102 1/4 F4049 43 F 17:57 7:14
4 Robert Lucci 121 2/5 M5059 50 M WAKEFIELD MA 18:35 7:29
5 Alison Lackey 118 1/5 F3039 36 F Woburn MA 18:49 7:35
6 Michael Ii McLane 128 1/2 M2029 24 M Wakefield MA 19:54 8:01
7 Matthew Carter 107 2/2 M2029 26 M Wakefield MA 19:55 8:01
8 Kelly Iosua 147 2/5 F3039 34 F Reading MA 20:17 8:10
9 Vineet Mehta 129 3/5 M5059 50 M READING MA 20:27 8:14
10 David McCann 144 1/1 M0119 10 M Reading MA 20:31 8:15
11 Steve Marzeotti 123 4/5 M5059 55 M Lynnfield MA 21:02 8:28
12 Michael McLane 127 5/5 M5059 59 M Wakefield MA 21:03 8:29
13 Rich Matson 125 2/3 M3039 30 M STONEHAM MA 21:45 8:45
14 Chayil Timmerman 140 3/3 M3039 38 M Melrose MA 24:16 9:46
15 Sarah Alger 146 3/5 F3039 39 F Wakefield MA 25:51 10:24
16 Melissa Rousselle 137 2/4 F4049 41 F HAVERHILL MA 26:03 10:29
17 Jennifer Newman 132 4/5 F3039 30 F Superior CO 28:26 11:27
18 Lucy Skeldon 139 1/1 F5059 53 F Wakefield MA 28:55 11:38
19 Lisa White 145 3/4 F4049 48 F Wakefield MA 29:43 11:58
20 Cinthia McLane 126 1/3 F6069 60 F Wakefield MA 29:47 11:59
21 Simon Rosenthal 136 1/1 M7099 71 M Malden MA 31:05 12:31
22 Judith Jacoby 117 2/3 F6069 64 F Wakefield MA 35:29 14:17
23 Terry Lee Harringto 115 3/3 F6069 67 F Salisbury MA 35:31 14:18
24 Jennifer Pustz 135 4/4 F4049 45 F Wakefield MA 37:22 15:02
25 Julia Zioto 143 1/1 F2029 27 F Boston MA 44:41 17:59
26 Charlotte Pearce 134 5/5 F3039 32 F Wakefield MA 44:43 18:00

Saturday, November 11, 2017

XC 30 years ago

30 years ago!  USATF NE XC championships at Marlborough, MA .  I’m not sure how many of these guys are still racing but Wayne Levy had a solid run at the championships last weekend taking 4th in the 50+ and helping BAA secure the team title.

November 1987
1 Ricahrd Nerukar Nike-Boston 29:39
2 Greg Lautenslager Nike-Boston 29:49
3 Dave Dunham GLRR 29:57
4 Frank Powers Nike-Boston 30:12
5 John Clopeck Nike-Boston 30:21
6 Ken Haller NYAC 30:23
7 Dan Dillon Rich Classic 30:33
8 John Wright Unatt. 30:42
9 Rod Ellsworth GLRR 30:51
10 Tom Carleo Nike-Boston 30:57
11 John Fiola BAA 31:13
12 Mark Kimball Nike-Boston 31:24
13 Charlie Breagy Rich Classic 31:26
14 Wayne Levy CMS 31:31
15 Chris O’Donnell BAA 31:34
17 Mike Wright GLRR 31:43
29 Art Demers GLRR 32:54

34 Brad Hurst GLRR 33:14