Sunday, February 24, 2008

NETT-Etonic Teams Dominate Hyannis Marathon Relay

The NETT-Etonic mens team took home top honors at the Hyannis Marathon Relay while the NETT-Etonic women's teams nabbed 2nd and 6th in the women's race. The men's team of PaulM, Chris Smith, DaveH and DaveM finished up the race in 2:33, a full 20 minutes in front of the next relay team. The women's teams had a bit more competition with a very strong women's filed (top women's relay team was third overall and only a minute out of 2nd!). But the team of Tina, Claire, Deb and Mary threw down a 3:06 good for ninth place overall (out of 70 teams) and 2nd women's team. The other team of Jennifer, Emily, KarynM and ChrissyD averaged under 8 min pace for a very strong 3:28, 6th in the women's division and 22nd overall.

And our non-relayer, Mr. Young, won the Master's title in the 10K, a pretty much annual even for him now. Our pals at Etonic provided us all with new shoes, new shirts and a home base at the race Expo, which was extremely helpful in organizing the relay teams (Thanks Pete!). Special thanks to team photographer Frank KJ out there taking all these great pics and to the folks who made an extra effor to run the race--Claire coming all the way from DC, Chrissy for jumping into the fray, PMiller racing down with minutes to spare at the start, and all the other folks. It's not easy to get three teams organized and down to a race 90 minutes away

Saturday, February 23, 2008

NETT gives a "thumbs down" to Spirit of the Marathon

Overall, the NETT gang gave collective "thumbs down" to the Spirit of the Marathon movie.

The highlights included a bit of local flare with Tom Dederian making an appearance, as well as New England greats Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson. And Greater Lowell's Casey Moulton gets a LOT of screen time running along next to, in front of, behind Deena Kastor. Sadly, no shots of Big Ben who ran one of his best races at Chicago that year.

But all in all, the film was a bit heavy on the "human interest" angles and not heavy enough on the "Spirit of the Marathon" itself.

Vlad, who originally pointed it out to us, said, "Well, the "Spirit of the Marathon" is not the best movie I have watched. Sorry for the mislead.
I hope this one is better:"

Big Ben said, "I didn’t really like the movie, was pretty let down. It was like I was sitting in cross between a weight watchers presentation and a Chicago Marathon promo. There was way too little action, way too little intrigue. They missed golden opportunities to really catch the mystique of the race. They didn’t even explain the relation between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley and their amazing race. Figures like Emil Zatopec were shown running but their real accomplishments weren’t put into perspective. Y’know, they went so far in the beginning of the movie to explain how the race is about pushing the limits and they didn’t really get to the meat of the subject. I felt they concentrated way too much on the back of the pack, and way too little on the folks who’re really striving at working to be at the front of the pack. What the hell do I care about some fat jackass that hurt his knee and can’t run. In my opinion, they failed at really capturing the spirit of the marathon."

Frank KJ summed up his thoughts by saying, "Movie Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars. Three out of the five people followed get injured training for the marathon. Moral of the story: Don't run. Instead on Patriot's Day go to Fenway and watch the Red Sox, then go out and see suffering people limp their injured bodies towards Boston. And if you still really want to run after that, then come out to Lincoln woods and hit the trails with NETT."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winter is Cherry Picking Season for NETT Snowshoe contingent

It was a weekend for Cherry Picking for the NETT Snowshoe squad and they picked well!

For the uninitiated, here's a few simple rules to follow for successful winter cherry picking. First find a very small minimally promoted race, preferably fewer than 15 people. Next, confirm they are giving prizes out in various divisions. Feel free to invite friends, but be sure they are friends you can outrun (say, for example, they've been busy traveling for work non-stop before their very pregnant wife gives birth). And running most of a walking race helps too.

The cherry harvest began on Saturday, when the trio of Big Ben, Crazy Dave and Sherpa Doris all hit the first annaul Shaker 3K Snowshoe Race in Canterbury, NH and put the cherry picking strategy to the test. With Cindy (and Baby Jenkins) cheering them on and snapping these great pics, the cherry picking was, well, fruitful. Crazy Dave and Big Ben finished 1-2 and Sherpa Doris snagged a win in the open women's category. Okay, there were 15 people in the race and only one person besides our trio had "running" snowshoes, but that's the point of cherry picking, right? For their trouble, Dave got a brand new pair of Crescent Moon snowshoes, and Ben and Doris both won gift certificates to visit the Shaker Village. Crazy Dave was even interviewed by a local radio station about his victory (hereby giving new meaning to the term "slow news day").

All joking aside, this was a very nice, small-town event. The folks organizing it were very nice, the scenery was gorgeous and the course well-marked. The organizers had prizes and finisher certificates for all participants. They are planning on hosting a XC running race in May, so we'll be sure to head back up there for that. And the foursome (okay, fivesome with Jenkins in utero) enjoyed a great lunch at the Shaker Table restaurant at the Shaker village--fantastic food and service with a sense of humor (Our wisecracking waiter told Ben that "Berries are like fruit, but smaller"). What more could you ask for?

And on Sunday, the winter cherry picking continued, as Crazy Dave and Sherpa Doris headed up to the Horse Hill Snowshoe Race in Merrimack, NH. And this time it was Doris that came away with the biggest cherries (or so to speak), as she cleanly trounced the competition in the 4K race (okay, fitness walk), winning it outright (see her here at the awards ceremony, photo courtesy of Virginia Amarello, more photos here). Not the women's division, not her age group, but won the 4K outright. Can I get a hell yeah? HELL YEAH!

Dave struggled to a second place finish in the 6K race, but seriously, who cares about that? Today was clearly Doris' day, wowing the crowd at the award ceremony with her one liners like "Is there any more coffee left?" and "Oooohhh...donuts."

Again, kidding aside, Mike Amarello put on a very nice, low-key race here which was superbly marked by using discarded campgaign signs (Ron Paul would be horrified to know how many people he "sent left"!). He was a great host and made sure to include as many participants as possible in the awards.

All in all, I think these winter cherry pickers are in no rush to see spring come!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ponies play at Frosty's Dash

At the Frosty's Dash 5K Snowshoe race in Atkinson, NH, another NETTer got his snowshoeing baptism. Janos "The Hungarian Landshark" tooks to the snow like a shark to water--or something like that. In his first race on the big shoes, he finished 7th (? results not yet posted) in a strong 21:54.

"I enjoyed my first race, but found it much tougher than I thought," Janos said afterward. "I went out fairly hard, because I figured it was going to be a short race. But between the hills, and the traction, and the effects from the Bradford race the day before [A romantic shark at heart, Janos ran a 31:48 at the Bradford Valentines Day race on Saturday] I found it tough to maintain a high rate of speed."

Doris made a good showing at Frostys to support the cause (it was a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) and completed it with flying colors! (She's no novice, having done several snowshoe events in the past, including one where she beat Dave!)And Crazy Dave finished up fourth at Frosty's Dash in 20:20.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jennifer's NPR interview, snowshoe racing story in the NY Times

If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to Jennifer Shultis's interview on NPR's Here and Now (produced by our own Karyn Miller-Medzon) at this site:


Also, some folks might be interested to read this great story on snowshoe racing featured in the New York Times. Sure, it's mostly about those whimps out in Colorado that race on groomed trails (450 people at snowshoe race?? Holy Shite!), but it's a good read nonetheless and mentions Frostys Dash for CF.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Marathon Movie coming around end of February

Thanks to Vlad for passing this info along. There's a movie called Spirit of the Marathon making the rounds that not many folks know about. It tracks six runners as they prepare for and compete in the Chicago Marathon, including Deena Kastor.
It also features interviews with Bill Rogers, Frank Shorter, Paula Radcliffe, Alberto Salazar and more.


It will be playing in Fenway, Framingham, Revere, Lowell, Milbury, and others.