Monday, February 26, 2007

Young takes top masters at Hyannis 10K

Paul Young continued his top masters running this weekend in taking the top masters spot at the Hyannis 10K.

Paul finished third overall in 36:46, achieving his winter-training goals of running sub-6s on the course and besting his previous Hyannis 10K PR of 37:14 in 2005.

Nice work Paul!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Adventure racing, snowshoe results

Dmitry and Jennifer's adventure race team won the Smartwool Swamp Stomp in Florida. According to the unofficial results,
Team EMS the first four-person coed team.

(Dmitry and Jennifer carry an old tire and a rusty lawnchair as part of the Garbage Contest at the Smartwool Swamp Stomp. No, I don't know what a garbage contest is either???)

The report from Dmitry:
"Dude we won, numero uno. We kicked @$$. We teamed up with another team that had one EMS racer and 3 JEEP team racers and we finished together. They made us paddle like 37 miles which I think was not only painful for me but for most of the others in our team. And then the lack of sleep, popping the caffeine pills and red bull. Bike was really hard for me too but I am happy with how I did on the trail sections. The climbing section was easy and I was able to wing a rappelling part. We went through all kinds of terrain including swamps. There was an easy component to this race which is no hills and we never had to submerge in the water.

When asked if it's common for newbie adventure racers to bring a camera and take pics during the race, Team EMS Captain Jennifer Shultis responded:
"No. But it's also not common for someone who has never rappeled, has mountain biked like once and paddled twice to be luaghing and kicking everyone's a$$ the whole way. Dmitry was a Russian Rockstar out there."

As always, Dmitry takes his racing VERY seriously, stopping here to get detailed coordinates from a large-mouthed bass mailbox.

More photos posted here.

On the snowshoe front, Dave H took on both the Hallockville Pond race on Sunday finishing 8th in the very tough four-mile event and the Merrimack River snowshoe race, taking 4th there on Monday.

OUCH!!! I've seen better running form from brain-damaged monkeys! (Photo courtesy a finished and fully recovered Dave Dunham)

Any other NETT results to share? Email them to Dave H at

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Party!!! NETT's winter social at Frank and Liz's place

The NETT winter social on Sunday was a big hit. Great food, good friends and good times. Special awards went to:

Paul Young  Most ambitious race schedule
Frank White: Most ambitous schedule
Leo Fahey: Rookie of the year
Frank KJ and Tina Wang: MiniPonies of the Year

Some pics now available in the NETT photo gallery here. More from Dmitry available here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NETT Results: Bradford, Fresh Pond, Frostys

Despite cold temps this weekend, NETT members were still out racing at various events.

Paul Young on Saturday ran the Bradford Valentine 5-miler and finished 17th overall and 3rd master in 29:54.

Frank KJ took a trip to Fresh Pond to run the 5-miler there on Saturday and finished 7th overall(?) in a very competitive field.

And Dave H travelled up to Atkinson NH on Sunday morning to the do the Frostys Dash for a Cure, a scheduled snowshoe race-turned road race benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
With very limited competition due to the format, Dave snagged second place in 19:13ish over the 3.3 mile course.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Forget the Colts, Dmitry wins Super 5K

Not a big football fan, Dmitry decided to spend Super Bowl Sunday running Jim Rhoades' Super 5K in Lowell. Not a big fan of second-place finishes, Dmitry crushed the field and ran a blistering 15:44, 30 seconds in front of the next finisher. Very impressive given the frigid temperatures. (Photos courtesy of

Congrats Dima!

What happened to the Waltham Watches?

On this morning's run, we went right behind the old Waltham Watch Factory. It's an old brick building right on the river in Waltham.

According to this entry on Wikipedia, the "American Waltham Watch Company" was founded by Aaron Lufkin Dennison in 1850. "In 1854 a new factory was built on the banks of the Charles River, in Waltham, Massachusetts. The company eventually became the Waltham Watch Company, the first company to manufacture interchangeable movement parts, as well as assemble and sell at affordable prices reliable watches, Railroad chronometers, 8-Day Clocks and other timers in the U.S.A."

The factory "produced about 40 million high quality watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses and other precision instruments between 1850 and 1950."

The American Waltham Watch Company went out of business in 1957, but had founded a subsidiary in Switzerland in 1954, Waltham International SA, which now produces Waltham Swiss made luxury watches. This company has some brief history on its web site here.

If that name Dennison sounds familiar, it's because he also founded The Dennison Manufacturing Company, in Framingham, which eventually became the Avery Dennison Corporation we know today.

Also of note, the Dennison has two other folks to thank for the company's success: Francis Cabot Lowell (the namesake of the city of Lowell) and Paul Moody (of "Moody Street"). According to the Charles River Museum of Industry's site, the two men took a 12-foot waterfall on the Charles River in Waltham (right where the museum sits today) and harnessed its power.

"While Moody devised a way to harness the river, Lowell devised a way to pay for it. He solicited participation from a tight-knit group of Boston's first families, raised the unheard-of sum of $400,000, and established America's first capitalized corporation, the Boston Manufacturing Company. Within a year, Lowell's dream was born, and America was never the same."

Thus was born the Waltham system of manufacturing in America.

The Vikings in Waltham?

No, we're not talking about the Minnesota football team coming to town.

For those of you who have run from Brandeis with us (and who hasn't), we almost always run past a large monument just off the campus on Norumbega Road. Most days we probably never even notice or mention it, but on a previous run I had stopped to read the monument and recalled that it mentioned something about Vikings living in this area.

So on Wednesday's run with Dmitry and Frank KJ, NETT's "Viking in Residence" we stopped again and read the plaque. Of course, reading a 100-year old plaque by headlamp is not optimal, but it clearly claimed there was some evidence of Vikings having been in the Norumbega area. Well, that's all we needed.

This week, Frank and I exchanged some emails and web research and here's what we came up with.

According to several sources, the Weston monument was commissioned and built in 1889(ish) by a retired Harvard professor Eben Norton Horsford(those kooky academics) who was convinced that the great Viking explorer Leif Eriksen had found his way to the Charles River.

According to this entry on, "Later in life, and with too much time and too much money (and perhaps a few too many fermentation experiments), Horsford turned amateur archeologist and convinced himself that in A.D. 1000, Leif Erikson sailed up the Charles and built his house in what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts. Horsford did a little digging (literally) and found some buried artifacts that he claimed were Norse...A few miles upstream, at the mouth of Stony Brook (which separates the towns of Waltham and Weston), he had a tower built marking the supposed location of a Viking fort and city. As if that weren't enough, he also commissioned a statue of Leif that still stands on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. "

(See a good photo of the tower and read the inscription here)

It wasn't a sole wacko out there though. According to this site, Horsford's theories were, in fact, based on some earlier ideas in the 1870s including those popularized by Ole Bull, a great Norwegian violinist and purveyor of Norse culture, who was also a proponent of the theory, first put forward by Danish scholar Carl Christian Rafn, that the legendary Vinland of the Viking sagas was in New England, and that the first European to reach our shores was Leif Eriksson in 1000 AD. Rafn was a Danish archaeologist noted for his early advocacy of the theory that the Vikings had explored North America centuries before Christopher Columbus's voyage.

Bull visited Boston to dine with writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the two discussed the theory and decided to erect the statue of Leif Eriksen on Commonwealth Ave.But the statue was never made, apparently because of opposition from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which felt that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim of the Norse discovery of America. A few years later, Horsford picked up the cause.

But alas, there wasn't much "meat" to the good professor's theories. According to this page on "The tests of time and critical scientific review were not kind to Horsford's ideas, but since he had the foresight to have his theories carved in stone, you can still visit monuments to his discovery today. Crackpots, take note!"

Anyways, that's the history there. If anyone's read this far, please leave a comment on the blog to let me know if this was at all interesting or tremendously boring.

And yes, there are a few Irish Vikings left around the area....

(Photo courtesy of Frank KJ)

History lessons, NETT-style

Well since it's a slow time of year for race results, I've decided to use the blogspace here to edu-ma-cate you MiniPonies a bit about some of the local landmarks we run by. As with last fall's posting about the history of Prospect Hill, I'll be writing a couple historic entries. Stay Tuned!