Monday, July 21, 2008

NETT crew heads North for some big climbs

A few of the NETT diehards took to the Green Mountains of Vermont on Saturday to test their mettle. Jerry the Tick, Frank KJ, Toledo Joe and Dave Guertin (who needs a nickname by the way), took on the "Four Gap" 112-mile bike ride that criss-crossed the Green Mountains with some unbelievable climbs. (Note: These are significantly steeper than ANYTHING In the Tour de France--no BS).
Here's Frank's report:

"It was hot and humid for most of the day and you throw in a couple of T-storms here and there including the summit of Lincoln Gap and it was a very demanding day for us.

Lincoln Gap was brutally steep up and scary going down. So yes, I was off my bike walking it for most of the last 1 mile on Lincoln Gap. Jerry and Joe rode the all way up - to me that seems humanly impossible on the gearing Jerry had. Brandon and Middlebury were great climbs, Lincoln was crazy and App Gap was very challenging, especially the last 0.6 miles when it kicks up to 18%; you can see the summit yet it is so far away. Total climbing on the ride was around 10,000 ft.

So the conclusion was that that Toledo Joe gets the yellow jersey for being up front on all hills and overall strength. Jerry clearly gets the polka dot jersey for his insane Lincoln Gap effort. Dave G was the clear winner of the white jersey for the strongest 'young' rider not only for his age, but given this was his first ride of this type, he did phenomenally well. And we decided I get the green jersey for having the cue sheets and telling people when to turn and sprint.

Will I do the ride again? I would probably rather go back and forth on App Gap and do whatever it takes to avoid Lincoln gap."

Thanks Frank. That gives a pretty good picture of what these maniacs did. For a finer point on it, here's Jerry's two cents:

"Yes, having done Lincoln Gap once I'm not sure I'll ever feel the need to ride it again or at least ride it without walking. Having considered it a little more I think that climb alone pushes the ride into the "epic" category. Dave Guertin does get the white jersey on his FIRST group ride. They're not all like that Dave!

My Garmin unit recorded 101 miles of the ride (forgot to start the watch couple times) and it spit back just over 11,000 ft of climb. Good stuff. Not sure we could make all 6 gaps without a significant modification to pace in between gaps."

So, what was Crazy Dave doing while these nuts were out trying to flatten the Green Mountains? He took a solid four-hour hike on the Long Trail from Brandon Gap (saw an amazing amout of moose poop and paw prints up there!) and then followed it up with a great trail run up the Chittenden Trail to the top of the ridge as well.

Then he took a nap in the van while the cyclists were still out on the roads.

Go Mini Ponies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dwyer, De Zutter make tracks at the Old Colony Tri

Congrats to NETT pal Pat Dwyer, who kept on his vicious tear on the tri circuit, taking the win this weekend at the Old Colony Triathlon. Looks like his regular Wednesday visits to the Bentley Track are paying off in spades (he has already qualified for Kona and finished second at the last tri he entered).

NETT's Jerry De Zutter had a solid race, as well finishing third master and scoring some more points for NETT in the FIRM Grand Prix. While official results aren't posted yet (check, here's Jerry's report:

"My game plan was to: 1. have a solid swim (of course "solid" still means giving up the three minutes to the leaders) 2. focus on/hammer the bike leg and 3. Hang on for the run.

In the real world, here's how it worked out: 1. Had an OK swim 2. Had a mediocre bike (never felt like the hammer I wanted to be), 3. Still ended up hanging on to a lackluster run.

Really I just wanted to be quite a bit faster particularly on the bike, but I just didn't have it. Just glancing at the results before I left I think I recall a 25 min swim, 1:00:XX on the bike and a 43:XX on the run. I was also annoyed that 2 other 40-44 beat me, not sure if they are on teams or not though.

THink I need to ride my TT bike a bit more. Congrats to Pat for his win there.


Nice work, Jer. Just think how much more intimidating we Mini-Ponies are going to look when we put on those very cool new uniforms you've got in the works for us all!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Redlining it in the Blue Hills

While official results aren't out yet, Dima, Karen and Jennifer took on the Blue Hills Trail Race again this year and had very good results. Here's Dima's report:

"I was surrounded by NETT women: Karen and Jennifer. It wasn't as hot as last year, but Ben Nephew ran about as fast as last year and was 2nd, while Josh Ferenc broke an hour. I was 12th about 5 min faster than last year. Karen was 4th woman (2nd master F) and improved her time by 1 second. Jennifer was a couple of minutes ahead of her running down the hill like a crazy maniac she is (3rd woman). The were more females at the race than usual. There was Simonetta Piergentili was the second female, she was always well ahead of me on the roads, but today she was way behind ... her 1st technical trail race.

Karen says the "race seems easier and quicker this year. Too bad my stop watch doesn't support that notion. After all that training and races on the trails I felt my more confident and at home in old Blue Hills. Humidity wasn't that hard and there was a nice breeze on the top. There was a talkative guy running just behind who was chatting away about every upcoming uphill and downhill. It was nice to leave him in the dust somewhere behind. A guy with ipod passed me just before the finish though, it was upsetting on so many levels."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A well-earned brunch

After a nice run on the Battle Road Trail on Sunday, Frank and Tina hosted a great brunch for us all. The photos tell the story.

Seeya suckers!

USATF-NE Announces Races for the XC Series

USATF-New England has announced the races selected for its Cross Country Grand Prix this fall. Similar to the road race Grand Prix, the six-race XC Grand Prix will include both team and individual scoring throughout the series. To score for NETT you need to 1. Be registered with USATF and 2. Either have selected NETT as your club or at least have not selected another club for 2008.

8/3/08 GMAA Scholarship 5K X-C Run, South Burlington, VT

8/24/08 Thomas Chamberas 6K, Carlisle, MA

9/13/08 Feel Good Farm 7K, Lyndeborough, NH

10/5/08 Topsfield X-C Festival, Topsfield, MA

10/12/08 Wayland X-C Challenge 5K, Wayland, MA

10/19/08 Groton Town Forest, Groton, MA 3.4M

10/26/08 Boston Mayor's Cup, Boston, MA

11/9/08 USATFNE X-C Championships, Boston, MA

Find the latest updates at

Monday, July 07, 2008

Down with Sudbury! Support the Latest Rails to Trails Effort

There's a big debate going on about the latest Rails to Trails project. It seems a few staunch citizens in the town of Sudbury are creating enough of a stink that a major rails to trails bike path from Framingham to Lowell may not be complete.

The Boston Globe covered it nicely here with some great quotes from the opponents that are surely going to do them in (sometimes you just "give them enough rope" and they'll hang themselves).

As runners, cyclists, and general fitness nuts, it's partly our duty--even if we don't live in this town--to get this thing done. According to the Globe, "The trail would be part of a web of more than 100 miles of bike trails planned for Massachusetts that state officials say could one day permit riders to bike 120 miles from Lowell to Westfield, or along the Mystic River to the beaches of Lynn. The big vision has proved challenging to knit together, with efforts often meeting intense local opposition."

In favor: Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail
Against it: Sudbury Citizens for Responsible Land Stewardship

Any suggestions?

KJ captures Masters title at Patriot tri to cap off busy weekend of July 4th racing

Congrats to Frank KJ who claimed the Masters title and 8th place overall in the appropriately named Patriot Half-Ironman Triathlon this weekend in the appropriately named town of Freetown. Frank's time of 4:44 was clearly supplemented by a 1:25 run split (3rd overall in the run) which helped hold off the second place master only a minute back. For those keeping track that is Frank's second half-iron this summer. Stay tuned for more.

Also playing the Patriot this weekend, in his debut at the distance, Dave Guertin turned in a solid 84th place (out of 333 finishers), 12 out of 31 in AG, real nice 1:42 run split to finish off a fine performance.

Also in TRILAND, on Sunday at Holliston Lions triathlon, De Zutter brothers Jim (swim and bike) and Jerry (run) teamed up to finish first overall in the relay division just before heading over to the NETT run/brunch soiree at Frank and Tina's place.

But there were plenty of other NETTers out mixing it up on the roads this weekend in 4th of July Races. Here's a short recap--if I missed you, send me an email.

Despite mom's injury woes, the Miller-Medzon clan keeps right on racing. This weekend, Eminem's speedy sons Little and Medium Skittles (currently in the NETT farm team program)ran the Lynnfield Athletic Association 5k . Noah, 10, came first in the 12-and-under division with a 21:39 and Daniel, who just turned 15, came 6th in the very competitive 13- to 19- division (and 18th overall). His time was 20:31. Some promising news for the future of NETT!

Not too far away over in Boxford, the Youngstah cranked out a 29:52 to nab 5th place overall and TOP MASTER at the Jennifer Tinney Memorial 5 Miler. Someone check this 42-year-old's back yard for the Fountain of Youth, please???

Meanwhile over in his hometown of Harvard, master blaster Jerry De Zutter successfully tested the age vs. experience theory and ran a 30:36 for 15th place at the Harvard 4th of July 5 Miler Young John "Anakin" Kinnee couldn't keep up with the Tick and finished up in 30:58. Experience 1, age 0.
(Note they both got their jocks handed to them by the first female, so I guess it's women 2, experience 1, age 0).

Out in the "west of 495" world, Dave Mingori grabbed the top masters spot and 6th overall at the 59th Leonide J Lemire 4.9 Mile Road Race in 28:22.

And Crazy Dave took 7th at the Duxbury Road Race.

And late last week, an interesting cast of characters toed the line at the Pat Poletta 5K race in Haverhill. Jim Rhoades in 11th place in 17:25, just a few ticks ahead of Battle Road compadre Chris Smith in 17:39.