October 1979 – 35 years ago: I didn’t have much luck during this month as I got injured twice while racing. On Oct. 5 I twisted an ankle during a dual meet against Tewksbury after passing through 2 miles in 11-flat. I ended up with a DNF. Four days later I was back out there testing the ankle in a dual meet at Wilmington. This time I ran on the JV squad and took the win in 10:20 over a 1.75 mile course. Four days later I was back on the varsity squad for the Catholic Memorial meet. I was running well through the mile when I rolled the ankle again and something “popped”. It was my second DNF and I spent the next two weeks on crutches. That was a dubious end to my first XC season.
October 1984 – 30 years ago: I had a solid month of racing but not a great month of training. I ran 232 miles with 8 days off due to plantar fascia issues and a sore knee from compensating, despite that I raced three times and lost only once. I started the month at the venerable Codfish bowl a 5 mile cross-country race in Franklin Park (Boston). I had a good battle with Tom Anderson (Keene State) as I stayed back in the early miles (4:58/9:58/15:00) before moving up. Tom and I fought right to the end and I got him by a kick in the last ¼ mile winning the race in 24:43. We took home second place in the team competition with 76 points to Keene states 51 points. A week later I was back at Franklin Park this time for a quad meet with Northeastern, U-Mass Amherst, and Keene State. After a much slower start (5:16) the action heated up. I ran a nearly identical 24:42 but this time Anderson got the better of me as I finished 12 seconds behind him in second place. We took third place in tight competition with Keene. Northeaster won with 37 points, Keene had 59 and we scored 60 points. I wrapped up the month at the Eastern Championships at Bryant College. Somehow I forgot my racing flats! Pete McClellan, kindly offered to drive back to Lowell from Smithfield RI, but I decided I’d be okay in my heavier trainers. It was a warm day for late October (high 70’s) so the pace wasn’t super-fast on the 5.2 mile course. I ran in the pack in the early going then moved out and ended up winning in 25:55, five seconds ahead of teammate Dave Quintal. We led the way in the team standings with 46 points.