Monday, November 30, 2015

Week Ending 11-29-15

Working my way back to full mileage (80 mpw), got in my first workout and my first race since mid-October.  Also, hit the mountains.  All in all it was a good week.

Week – 78
Month – 250
Year – 2986
Life – 130,084

M – out/back Lunch 5 in 37:39
      PM Methuen rail trail 3x800 during 6 mile run 43:13

T – out/back Lunch 5 36:34
      Boxford Forest 2 on my own into 5 with Dan total 61:25

W – Shawsheen 7 at lunch 51:13
      PM 6 on the Methuen rail trail in 44:57

Th – WCRC thanksgiving race, 4 warm-up, 5k race, 3 warm-down

F – Chelmsford Alumni race, 3.25 warm-up, .5 more, 3.25 race (kind of), 1 warm-down
      Afternoon 4 on the Montpelier bike path with Morse 35:23

S – 8 miles up/down Algonquin Mountain with Morse 4:00:42
     Afternoon 3 miles around Mirror lake in Lake Placid with Morse 28:22

S – 5 miles up/down Poke-O-Moonshine Mtn with Morse 1:22:42
     Afternoon twice up/down Mt Philo on trails and road with Morse 52:34

Mountains poking through the undercast

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Most raced on Holiday

Thanksgiving is tied for my most raced on Holiday.  Not a big surprise.  Here are my most raced on dates.

Most raced on date:



January 1
July 4
Thanksgiving (various days)
April 25
May 3
January 5
April 28
May 5
May 19
May 25
July 8
April 29
May 12
June 29
September 17
September 15
18 tied with 6


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pipestave Thanksgiving race

Another year and another Thanksgiving race!  I wasn’t planning on racing at all for the remainder of the year but my recovery from surgery is going well and I’m running with no restrictions (except having to stop more often than I’d like to).  I did a short workout on Tuesday, running three ½ miles in 3:00.  It felt harder than I’d hope for but it was nice to get some turnover.  I figured based on the workout I might be able to manage 6:00 pace in race conditions.


I entered the Winner’s Circle Running Club “Wild Turkey Trot”.  This would be the ninth time I’ve done the WCRC race and the third time I’ve done it since they moved to Pipestave.  Back in 2011 they moved from Maudslay State park to Pipestave.  The Maudslay race continues but is under different management now.  As a lifetime member of WCRC I’ve stayed loyal (so far).  ☺


I got to Pipestave (a nice park in West Newbury) and after fielding many questions on the whereabouts of Greg Putnam (my CMS teammate who has won this race) I headed out for a course preview.  I forgot how hard this course is!  Even the warm-up felt tough at 8:00 pace.  I switched into my Inov-8 racing flats and went back out for another mile and some strides.  A little over 300 runners lined up on the baseball field for the “Braveheart” style start.


It is always a little crazy at the start with a 200 meter on the field before a sharp 90 degree turn.  Typically a lot of youngsters take it out hard and then nearly stop in their tracks.  The real trick is to just not panic and stay on your feet for the first ¼ mile.  I lined up on the far left and took the first turn wide, staying out of trouble.  By ¼ mile I found myself in 10th place and by ½ mile I’d moved up to 6th place.  Kevin Alliette (Whirlaway) was bidding his time as one guy sprinted out hard.  The early leader took a sharp turn at ½ mile where you need to go straight.  The chase guys were about to turn as well when I noticed what was happening and yelled for them all to go straight.  That was pretty much all of the excitement in the race.  Alliette moved into the lead and powered away from the field to win by 20 seconds.


I lost a spot on the first long downhill to the mile and just after the mile I passed a guy to move back into sixth place.  Nothing changed for me from that point on except I got really tired and struggled on all of the uphill sections (and there are a lot).  I can’t complain with an 18:35 over this tough course, and I took first in the 50-59 age group.


I grabbed a t-shirt and a sip of water and zipped back over to the start to run the course as a warm-down.  I was hoping to catch mom Dunham who was out on the course running with one of my sisters.  I caught Denise and mom at a little after 2 miles and offered encouragement.  Mom ended up winning the 70+ age group for the second year in a row.


26th Annual Winner’s Circle Running Club Greater Newburyport Wild Turkey Trot 3.1 Mile X-Country Run/Walk

                                         West Newbury, MA, 11/26/2015

                             For corrections, please email

Place Div/Tot  Div        Name                    City       St          Ag S  Bib    Time  Pace    

    1   1/3    TOP3-M     Kevin Alliette         Methuen MA        34 M  325   17:22.3  5:36

    2   2/3    TOP3-M     Alex Demeule        Merrimac MA       18 M   71    17:43.7  5:43

    3   3/3    TOP3-M     Quinn Parker         Hampton NH       22 M   202   17:47.6  5:44

    4   1/24   M1829      Andy Scott            Merrimac MA       24 M   234   17:57.8  5:47

    5   2/24   M1829      James Macvarish   Braintree MA        20 M   324   18:09.7  5:51

    6   1/36   M5059      Dave Dunham       Bradford MA        51 M    84    18:35.1  5:59

    7   1/16   M1317      Kevin Bonanno      Topsfield MA        17 M    16    19:07.7  6:10

    8   3/24   M1829      Bryce Parker          Hampton NH       20 M   201   19:16.6  6:13

    9   2/16   M1317      Ryan Ducrow         Amesbury MA      16 M    81    19:26.1  6:16

   10   1/23   M3039      Keith Leblanc        Amesbury MA      37 M   157   19:28.9  6:17

Thursday, November 26, 2015

USATF Grand Prix info

USATF NE LDR held a meeting earlier this week in order to decide the process for this year’s Grand Prix selection.  An invitation was sent to “member(s) of a club that scored, or as an individual scorer not on one of those teams, in the 2015…Grand Prix”.  I got the invitation third hand as it was only sent to the CMS women’s team manager who could not attend.  Since no one from CMS could attend I volunteered to make the 40 mile drive to the meeting.  I was surprised to see that although 43 teams were represented in the GP only 21 of those teams were actually sent an invitation.  Of the 21 teams only 11 teams sent representatives, perhaps the logistics of coming to Brandeis on a Monday night hurt attendance?  Anyway, the main goal of the meeting was to decide the process for the GP selection.  It seemed that there was a lot of talk about “slates” which felt like a step backwards after the success of the open voting last year.  After much discussion it appeared that a consensus was reached that the open voting would be used after the restrictions on “conflicts” be loosened.  It did make some sense to not allow back-to-back races especially with the longer distances.  However the 3 weeks BEFORE or after the marathon seemed excessive (really why wouldn’t you want to race a couple of weeks before the marathon?).  With the “conflicts” left as they were last year there would be very few choices to make if you selected a spring marathon.  The loosening of the restriction was accepted and the ballots should be coming out in the next week or two.
The new restrictions:
·         No event of 15k or over can be selected if within 15 days prior to a marathon; no event can be selected within 15 days after a marathon.
·         No event can be selected if within 13 days prior to or following an event 12k-­30k
·         No event can be selected if within 7 days prior to or following any event 10k or shorter
Prior to the actual ballot coming out, it makes sense to do some research and start thinking about what races you’d like to see in the GP.  I’ve listed below the bids along with the website and a couple of my notes.
Vermont city (05-29-16):
Well organized website, easy to locate registration info, race weekend info, past results, etc.   Excellent race well managed, great support from crowds and volunteers, bonus: rough section of bike path is being re-paved this year.
Entry fee = $99/$99
Manchester city (11-06-16):
Also a very good website with all useful information via dropdown menus.  Corrected the course markings from 2014, the 2015 course had every turn marked with signs, arrows, and painted directions on the road.
Entry fee = $80/$90
An Ras Mor (03-06-16):
Website is simple, easy to view all info.  Fast “city” course.
Entry fee = $30/$40
Bedford Rotary (05-21-16):
2016 information not on the website, no information on prize money or entry fees.  Slightly rolling course, the 12k event held the same day has often been part of the Grand Prix.
Entry fee = $25/$40
Hollis fast five (06-09-16):
2016 info is up on the website but records not updated to include 2015 (which impacts who gets a free entry).  Thursday night race, but a very very fast course.
Entry fee = $25/$35
Canton 5k (10-02-16):
Website not updated for 2016 info.  I get errors when trying to load the page and past results won’t load.  I have no experience with this race.
Entry fee = $25/$30
2016 info is up but couldn’t find anything about prize money.  Website causes my browser to crash, especially when trying to check out past results.  This was a GP race in 2014, well managed, closed course (boring un-scenic out/back).  Long walk from parking to start, but plenty of parking.
Entry fee = $30/$35
Bobby Doyle (08-14-16):
Website not updated for 2016.  Part of the GP in 2015, potentially fast course, somewhat narrow start with an early turn.  Well managed.
Entry fee = $24/$34
End of Summer Classic (08-26-16):
Website not updated for 2016.  I have no experience with this race.
Entry fee = $35/$40
Website not updated for 2016, very little information available about the race.  This was a GP race once.  Parking was a major issue that year.  Course is excellent and race management was very good.
Entry fee = $30/$35
Website not updated for 2016.  This has been a series favorite, well run in 2015 although seriously lacking porta-johns and poor communication at the starting line.
Entry fee = $30/$35
Canton 10k (10-02-16):
Website not updated for 2016 info.  I get errors when trying to load the page and past results won’t load.  I have no recent experience with this race.
Entry fee = $25/$30
Other distances (pick 3, but only one at any given distance)
Bedford Rotary (05-21-16):
No 2016 information on the website, no information on prize money or entry fees.  Classic race, always well run, many time member of the series.
Entry fee = $25/$40
5 College Realtors (02-28-16):
2016 info on the website.  This race has a long history in the Grand Prix, typically very well run.  Potential for really lousy weather always exists and the “dirt road” section of the course can be treacherous (at best).
Entry fee = $45/$45
2016 info is up but couldn’t find anything about prize money.  Website causes my browser to crash, especially when trying to check out past results.  Tough course but very scenic.
Entry fee = $40/$45
No 2016 information on the website.  Part of the Grand Prix in 2015, great challenging course.
Entry fee = $55/$65
½ marathon
Middlebury Maple run (05-01-16):
2016 information is on the website but no prize money information.  I ran this race a couple of years ago and loved it.  Scenic, plenty of parking, well managed.
Entry fee = $40/$60
New Bedford (03-20-16):
2016 information including prize money is on the website.  This race has been in the Grand Prix many times.  Excellent race, course management, etc., terrible post race food.
Entry fee = $55
New England Half (10-23-15)
2016 info is up but couldn’t find anything about prize money.  Website causes my browser to crash, especially when trying to check out past results.  Point-to-Point course so logistics could be a little more complicated.
Entry fee = $65/$75


Monday, November 23, 2015

Lifetime mileage

I reached 130,000 miles on Sunday four miles into a 10 mile run with Danny V.  I bet of all the people I’ve run with over the year Dan would easily have the most mileage with me.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week Ending 11/22/2015

Slowly ramping up to "normal" mileage.  Starting to feel a bit better.

Week - 74
Month - 172
Year - 2918

M - Lunch 4 in 29:13
       PM Methuen Rail trail 6 in44:18

T - Lunch 4 in 28:10
     PM Methuen rail trail 6 in 43:54

W - out early Newfield rail trail 6 in 43:26
       Bradford Valentines 5m with Dan  39:01

Th - Lunch 4 in 28:16
        PM 2 alone, then 5 in Boxford forest with Dan

F - 1/2 day, 8 out/back on Methuen Rail trail in 56:44
      3pm out/back 3 at Winni in 21:38

S - 5 with Spence in 3841 in 3 more with Petey in 29:15
     Later nice relaxing 3 in 29:12

S - 10 in Maudslay and Page school trail with Dan 1:30:28

Friday, November 20, 2015

10 years ago today

The Great Loop – Nov 20, 2005

 I’m not sure where the idea for biking the “Great Loop” came from, but I’ve always enjoyed running on sections of the rail-trail in New Hampshire.  With my injury (stress fractured fibula) I’ve had time to work on my biking.  It has been something of an adventure, with at least one good wipeout every ride (including a great one in the parking lot at work in front of EVERYONE).

My plan for this ride was to con some people into joining me for a loop on rail-trails that would connect into a large circle in Southern New Hampshire.  The entire loop would go through Windham, Derry, Londonderry, Manchester, Auburn, Candia, Raymond, Epping, Danville, Freemont, Sandown, Derry, and back to Windham covering about 55 miles.

I sent out word of the ride and got a very fast response from Rich Bolt.  Rich will bike just about anywhere; just about anytime (ask him about his night rides on the golf course).  I had a feeling Rich would be the first in, as we both have a great interest in trails and abandoned rail beds.  I got a couple of other “maybes” and one definite for part of the loop.

On Sunday morning (Nov. 20), I hit the road heading for Windham.  On Route 93 I caught a guy with a mountain bike on his car and was happy to see that CMS-teammate Greg Ward would be joining in the fun.  On the way to the trailhead at the old Windham Depot we passed a bank thermostat that read 29 degrees.  It was going to be a cold ride, but the sun was up and temperatures were supposed to get into the 50s.

Windham Depot is an excellent spot to meet for a ride, it has a very large parking lot and from that spot you can head in four different directions on various rail trails.   Greg headed out for a 10 minute run to “Get my feet warm”