Friday, February 27, 2009

Burke takes to Euro XC like a duck to, well, mud

The NETT news desk got a great story filed in from Jack Burke, a guy who's never afraid to mix it up on multiple surfaces--and multiple continents apparently. Here's Jack's report:

Jenn and I took 63 kids to London over the Feb break (Editor's Note: Jack and Jenn are teachers, not kidnappers). That in itself was a feat of endurance. I managed to run a cross country race on the outskirts of London with some of our high school runners in the group. UK Cross Country is an animal unlike any cross country experience that exists over here. Our kids who usually run 5:50's ran over 8 minutes and I hobbled through 5 miles barely hitting 9:30's.

We were woefully unprepared - the English runners had spikes the size of pencils and the terrain was like running through a damp marsh after several weeks of rain. So with each step you sunk in a few feet and slipped at the same time. We ran this in trainers ;-)...I was able to redeem myself at the Amherst Ten Miler - not sure I saw any other NETT folk out there - I think you guys were all on the Cape. I ran 7:45's over ten miles thanks to all the good training I suffered through with you guys over the winter. I was happy with that time given the course was very tough. I think this would be a good course to have a team at in the future - it's seems like a very NETT type event - lots of huge hills, dirt roads and some good straightaways to make up time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jerry's crazy tale makes the WHDH news!

In case you haven't heard, Jerry De Zutter's encounter with a red-tail hawk while on his Sunday run was covered on WHDH last night. The coverage included an interview with Jerry and a couple shots of fellow NETT members out for their Tuesday workout in Cambridge.

See the coverage here and you can find the full video report on their home page under "local" videos (Jogger struck by red tail hawk)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hawk attacks Mini Pony!

Well just when you think you've heard and seen everything in running, a story comes along that just floors you--or in this case, floors Jerry. I'll let him tell the story:

"Sunday morning I planned on a run of the mill 90min or so. I didn't get out until ~1pm and it had started raining and I scoped out a new route on some roads I don't normally run on and ~25min into the run something way out of the ordinary happened.

Yes, a Red-Tail Hawk dove down and hit me. It made full contact with my neck and head, basically tried to take me out. As best I can tell it slammed into me and then talon'ed me on the way out. You know, after it hit me I was too busy trying not to fall face first onto the ground to take a swipe at him but I did feel the whoosh of the wings etc as it took off with my hat in its talons, dropped it a few wing beats later. As soon as I stopped stumbling I found myself in a "ready" stance without thinking about it, really is amazing how we are just like any other mammal with our fight or flight response to something totally unexpected and threatening. I was totally swivel-headed for the next mile or so of the run.Of course I got a good look at it, it only flew about 50ft away onto a tree branch and we eyed each for a few minutes. It was a red tail because, well, it has reddish tail feathers. They are actually pretty common, I see them around fairly regularly. Bigger than your average bird, this one was big even for a hawk. Felt like I got hit in the back of the neck with a large duffel bag. Called blue cross blue shield, no worries on rabies and my tetanus shot was fairly recent (football split open eye injury couple years back) so I'm all set.

Not to worry though, I finished the 95 min run; which ended up being anything but run of the mill."
No confirmation, but rumor has it the winged beast was wearing a blue singlet with a unicorn on the front...? All kidding aside, that's pretty messed up and we're just glad Jerry didn't sustain any serious damage.

UPDATE: NETT Women Win Hyannis Relay

The NETT coyote pack was out in full force at the Hyannis Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10K and relay, putting in some great performances.

At top of the performance list was the NETT women's relay team, which WON THE WOMENS' MARATHON RELAY RACE. Their blazing fast time of 3:20 for the relay would put them in first. The winning team was led off by the capable hands of Karyn Eminem Miller-Medzon who slim shadied her way up to the first exchange point. From there Chrissy Durden took the baton and cruised along to the half-marathon exchange area. Mary Smith took off like a shot from there in a neon green blur before handing off to anchor leg speed demon Deb Robertson who was all business kicking it in for a 3:20 finish (whatever was in those port-o-potties Deb clearly wants to get away from--fast!).

In the 10K race, Paul Young successfully three-peated in winning the Master's competition with a third-place overall finish in 37:33 (for a course that is significantly longer than 10K). That's three years in a row Paul has won the master's competition here, despite missing some training time with a back injury lately. Paul was simply too fast for us to get any pictures of him, even!

In the half-marathon, there were plenty of Mini Ponies to contend with. On the men's side Crazy Dave led the charge with a 1:16 for for fifth place, Dima Feinhaus was not far behind with a 1:23, good for third master honors! And just to make us feel like whimps, Chris Smith showed up with a mere five hours sleep to run his second race in about 15 hours and still managed a 1:28.

In the ladies half-marathon, the always-consistent Karen Ringheiser churned out a 1:36, while Laura Wieland ran a Personal Best 1:47. Laura is definitely someone to keep your eye on as she continues to improve her times steadily!

Also on hand to cheer on the Mini Ponies and get some running in were Martin Bures and Jean Dany Joachim. Special thanks to those guys for the support.

After the race there was an exclusive, invitation-only NETT lunch at Doyle's in Dennis.

Photos courtesy of Eminem Photorgraphy Studios.

Monday, February 16, 2009

If NETT ran the U.S. Treasury Department...

Today we have a very topical guest blog post from Frank KJ! Take a look.

I started pondering a bit about the astronomical size of the stimulus and wrote the little snippet below. You are welcome to post it on the blog if you feel it is appropriate. I just had "fun" (sometimes disgust) playing with the numbers. Frank
$787,000,000,000 is a lot of dough. For that kind of money you could
- Buy Walmart 3 times
- Organize about 50 Olympic Games
- Buy the worth of Niger 200 times - say
- Buy about 1500 Major League Baseball teams
- Pay each person in the US about $2,700
- Hire 12,000 bank and carmaker CEOs and give them each a Gulfstream jet
- Buy 270,000 Super Bowl ads
- Buy 3,400,000 Ferrari F430 Convertible

Now imagine that NETT was in charge of all that green. How would we spend them? For starters we could buy every single person in the US a nice pair of running shoes. That would only cost us about $15 bio. Next, throw in some Darn Tough socks and we are set back another $1.5 bio. (still leaving Big Ben with a nice commission). And of course everybody will get an NETT singlet with the cool new logo – never miss a chance to promote even it cost you about $5 bio. Whew! Still $755 bio to hand out. Some big ticket items would include building and maintain trails across the country, building sidewalks and bike paths, and fixing all those darn pot holes so we run can at night with risking sprained ankles. In the fine print of the bill, NETT would quietly award each member $10 mio. for promoting a healthy life style; surely no one would catch such a tiny little bit of pork. But there is still money left, so how would you spend them?

Just to get a sense how big a number 787,000,000,000 is --say NETT members combined run 100,000 miles in a year. At that rate it would take us 7,87 mio. years to run 800 bio. miles. Even Paul Young better start believing in reincarnation if we want to reach that goal.

These are tough times but like any endurance event hang in tough and as long as you keep moving forward you are getting closer to the goal.