Thursday, September 24, 2009

NETT finishes third in FIRM Grand Prix!!!

Great news from Frank on the FIRM Grand Prix final standings:

New England Track & Trail had tremendous success in the 2009 FIRM Grand Prix Series. For a relatively small team we scored often and high putting us in 3rd place overall. We had 21 mini ponies participate in at least one race.

In each race in the FIRM Grand Prix points are awarded within each category as follows: 1st place 8 points, 2nd place 5 points, 3rd place 3 points, 4th place 2 points, and 5th place 1 point. Across the 10 GP races we had 40 entries and scored a total of 248 points. The maximum potential points we could have scored is 293 points resulting in a “utility rate” close to 85% - that is an incredible achievement that truly shows the quality of NETT. In fact every single member who entered a race scored points.

This year the "next generation" of NETT emerged on the scene and the 5 teenagers showed lots of talent. Katherine was perfect in her 4 races adding up 32 points in the spring. Jim III, Daniel, Noah and Nicholas all scored in relay teams at Wrentham and Webster. At Webster Crazy Dave crashed the Kids relay and did the bike leg in gut wrenching style when Jim III had to opt out.

Eri, Karyn, Martin and Jim were the newcomers on the multisport scene. Eri surprised us all by showing that he's a fantastic swimmer and great bikeer in addition to being a strong runner - and no wetsuit for this powerhouse. Karyn simply surprised everyone on at the beach in Webster by popping out the water like a submarine; and in both races she used her fast run to pass a multitude of people in her age-group.

Martin was a great success story this year, getting better for each race he did this season putting down some amazing swim and run splits. The other guys in his age group better start getting used to see the NETT coyote pull away from them in that final leg.

And then there is Jim--our Clydesdale monster swimmer and cyclist; the guy looks like a low-flying missile on the bike.

On the relay side Big Al, Ali and Martin truly showed the colors at the FIRMMan race by winning in convincing style. And Big Al, Bruce and Dave won the Old Colony in equally impressive style. Al has done many relays with us over the years so thanks again for coming out and giving it all on those swim legs.

And finally there are the multisport veterans. Although unrelated to the FIRM GP the biggest achievement no doubt goes to Jerry who completed his first Ironman race – congratulations. Jerry still found time to score in 3 FIRM GP races as well and to no surprise won his age-group each time. Tina smartly built up her training and came out and with two strong performances in August and September. Bayside was Tina’s first ever ocean swim.

Lastly, there were the old pros Paul, Joe and Frank in the M40-44 that all did very well in their races. At the TDD triathlon we for once got our calendars synchronized so that we could race against each other. We used that opportunity to sweep the podium by taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in our age-group.

In the individual age-group standings the quality came through as well. We have 5 people winning their age-group in the series (Jerry, Jim, Katherine, Eri and Frank), two second places (Karyn and Martin), one third place (Paul), one 4th (Tina), one 5th (Chelsea) and one 7th (Joe) place finishes. Last year FIRM had the Grand Prix ceremony at the Wrentham Halloween Duathlon with awards to teams and age-group winners so you may want to consider blocking October 25 in your calendar.

All details about the FIRM Grand Prix at
Congratulations to everyone for who made 2009 a stellar year for New England Track and Trail.

Editor's Note: A VERY special thanks to Frank KJ who did a lot of organizing to get our teams lined up and did a LOT of fact-checking on the scoring to make sure we got credit for all our efforts in this series. We're all very busy people and this is a 100% volunteer organization, and it takes folks like this to make these things happen, so thanks Frank.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wings takes top 20 finish at Reach the Beach Relay

Short story is with a team of 5 women and 7 men, most over 40, the NETT-heavey WINGS Reach the Beach team finished 20th overall in 24:15 (an average pace of 7:01 for the entire 210 miles) and sixth in the men's open--which is what we qualified as since we weren't 6 and 6. By comparison, our time last year was 25:36:35 (a full hour and 20 minutes longer!)
It was another tremendous experience. Here's the abbreviated version:

-Martin's heroic effort with a toe the size of a cucumber
-Crazy Dave's final leg, where he passed a full 20-percent of the field
-Jeanette's kleptomania
-Jean Dany's brilliant quote: "I waited for the pain, but it never came."
-Eri running circles around the parking lot while van 1 watched
-And of course our all-around great team-ness.
-The bear!

More details to come later but Crazy Dave is out of town so gotta keep it short. Results Posted here

Saturday, September 19, 2009

NETT Sweeps M40-44 at TDD Triathlon

Another very encouraging update on the mutlisport front from Frank KJ:

TDD Triathlon was the last FIRM Grand Prix race and NETT had 5 people at the start line. Paul, Joe and Frank battled it out in the M40-44 while Jim and Tina were in their respective age groups.

An extremely short 300m swim with two 90 degree turns resulted in the swim leg being a whirlpool and everyone being hit and kicked. In the M40-44 Joe managed to find the perfect line and got out the water first, followed by Paul (yes you read correctly) and Frank right behind. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Paul right in front me running in to T1. Afterwards Joe and I agreed that we would like to see the aerial footage of the swim as we have suspicion Paul cut the swim course short (just kidding – nice job on the swim Superman).

(Editor's note: Paul responds to Frank's remarks by saying "Let it be noted that Frank is a *way* better swimmer than me and would trounce me in any real swimming race. The problem was there were loads of swimmers even worse than me and a crowded course. I was 50% slower than the fastest guys (given the run to the timing mat out of the water) which is par for the course for me these days. Frank must have found himself in worst positions than me...He and Joe called it right pre-swim "a mosh pit".)

The bike leg is very hilly which suited Paul so well that he quickly moved away from me (I naively tried to hang with Paul for as long as possible – that was 0.5 miles) and later also passed Joe.
The run leg is pretty much 1.5 mile uphill and then 1.5 mile downhill. Paul used his usual strong run to secure 3rd place overall. And I used whatever I had left in the tank to chase down Joe and finish a few strides ahead of him. End result was that we ended up sweeping the podium spots in the M40-44. How is that for showing off the NETT colors?

Jim was as always flying fast through the swim and bike leg – so fast that he was first Clydesdale coming into T2. The hilly run put its toll on Jim though and he had to let one guy slip by him on the run. But with the points earned today Jim moves into 1st place in the GP Clydesdale division. Congratulations.

And finally there was Tina who used her strong run leg to pass a ton of people in her age-group on the run – both uphill and downhill. Tina finished around 5th in her age-group.

Results on the FIRM SITE HERE (Tina's time not correct - she did around 1:14)

I will summarize the success of NETT in the FIRM Grand Prix series in a separate posting. One thing is for sure –we have had great success so congratulation to everyone who raced. We will have a celebration party later in the fall.

Monday, September 14, 2009

MiniPony Cup heats up

Folks, here's the latest update on the Mini Pony Cup based on the replies I've gotten. Want in? It's not too late. Email one race for each category you have completed to CrazyDave to be included.

Mini Pony Cup

NETT shines at FIRMMAN

Great results from the FIRM MAN half-iron triathlon this weekend. Here's Frank KJ's report:

"The male relay team did their job and finished 1st well ahead of everyone else. Al lead off with a very fast swim, Ali followed through on the bike, Martin ran down what may have been left on the course - and posted the fastest run split of the day in the progress. Results posted here.

Jim De Zutter did the Aquabike and shaved 6 minutes off his last half-ironman bike split. That on a course that was quite windy and due to the rain saw 50+ flats on the day! Frank did the whole thing, finishing 20th overall and 9th in the M40-44; apparently everyone but Paul and Joe showed up in my age-group today. Great ocean swim, solid bike split and a rough 4 minute mid-way in the run leg where I overheated and had to walk and drink. But all in all another great race in Narragansett. Results posted here.

We scored another 18 points in the Grand Prix series. More to follow on that later in the week..."

Thanks Frank. And in less impressive NETT multisport news, Crazy Dave took his life and the life of 150 other competitors in his hands and faked his way through the Hale Kids 2 Camp off-road triathlon on Sunday. Anyone who's seen this guy on a mountain bike knows the risk to all involved, but thankfully there was no bloodshed. A review of Dave's splits are pretty comical: 58th out of the water and 38th off the bike and a winning run split all add up to an 11th place finish.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Update on Mini Pony Cup

Well the response to the Mini Pony Cup has been lackluster to say the least. But as of right now we have four competitors: Crazy Dave, Frank KJ, Karyn MM and Jennifer Shultis. I won't even give an update on the points right now, but it's still pretty close, so it's anyone's game.

You want in? All you have to do is send Dave the name of races you finished--don't even need what place or time--just name of the race--in any of the following categories:

Road race (1/2 marathon and under)
Road Race (over 1/2 marathon)
Track race any distance
XC race
Team XC race
Team relay event, any
Snowshoe race
Trail race (under 1/2 marathon)
Trail race (1/2m or over)
Adventure race
Triathon (under 1/2 iron)
Cycling road race
Cyclocross/Mtn Bike Race
Triathlon (1/2 iron or over)
Volunteer at a race
Direct a race
Host a social event for NETT
OTHER (Make a suggestion and the judges will consider it).

Monday, September 07, 2009

Jerry takes 3rd at Plymouth Ironman triathlon

HUUUGGGEEE congrats to Jerry De Zutter who finished third in the Iron Distance Triathlon at Plymouth Rock yesterday in a staggering 10:12:55 (adjusted time for start in wave two). It was Jerry's first Ironman and truly inspiring to watch.

Jerry spent months building up to this effort and on race day, stuck to his game plan and competed smart, snaking his way up through the field throughout the race. For a first-time Ironman, it was a very smart race, but not surprising to those of us that know Jerry's training and racing tactics.

Jerry was certainly well supported by friends, family and teammates out on the course as well. In addition to his wife Jennifer and kids those out there cheering him on were his dad, Jim, brothers Phil and Jim, Frank and Tina, Joe Hardin, Paul Young, Paul, Candance and Alex (and newest NETTer, Theo!), Crazy Dave, Bruce Goode and I'm sure there were more. It certainly says a lot about a guy that can get that many people to wake up early get down to Plymouth and cheer him on.

Also, big big congrats to NETT's adventure race queen Jennifer Shultis who was the fifth woman overall in 12:0. And NETT pal Pat Dwyer finished 6th in the aqua bike competition (just swim and bike). FULL RESULTS HERE

Heading into the race last week, Jerry was quick to point out that getting in shape for an Ironman is not easy to do but is made easier with good training partners. "I couldn't have gotten to this point in my build-up to the IM without you guys, my fellow NETTers. The best part of NETT is that we are never lacking for great training partners. I am always psyched when I'm heading to a workout with teammates (and assoc.) since I know we're going to have some laughs, maybe a little light ribbing, trade training and racing war stories AND get a workout in. This makes putting in the training so much more enjoyable. Case in point, do you think I would have been trudging up and down Beacon Hill by myself in the dark in the dead of winter? Everyone is out there training and working hard towards their own goals, but I sure have benefited greatly from the fitness environment we've created on NETT. As I learned a while back, good training partners are hard to find and so when you've found some you make the effort to keep them together. That's got nothing to do with paying 'dues'."Afterwards, it was the usual NETT feast to celebrate the success!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

NETT Tri Update

Here's the latest update from Frank KJ on NETT's place in the FIRM Series:

Although NETT is in a secure 3rd place in the FIRM Grand Prix serieswith 192 points it would be great to see NETT finish off the series with strong attendance and performances at the last two races.

Sunday 9/13 is the FIRMMan - a half ironman distance in Narragansett, RI. It is a fast ocean swim, a pretty fast bike leg - depending on the wind, and a run that if the sun is out can be quite brutal. The last 1/3 mile is definitely brutal as they have you run on the beach to the finish line - imagine running in loose sands after 4-5 hours at near LT. Jim De Zutter will participate in the the aqua bike, Frank will race individually and then we have a superfast male relay team that most likely will win their division. Big Al will swim, Ali will bike and Martin will run.

Saturday 9/19 is the TDD sprint triathlon in Douglas State Forest. I have personally never raced it but from others I have heard it is a great course. It is a sweet short swim of just 1/4 mile, then 11 miles bike and 3 mile run. A distance that everyone can manage so having a crowd of mini ponies would be phenomenal. Not sure yet who will be there, so if you plan on racing, please indicate so on Meetup (or let me know).

Once the season has come to end, I will plan a social to celebrate our success in not just the FIRM series but all the great accomplishments NETT has posted this season.

P.S. Don't forget about Jerry's Ironman race this coming Sunday in Plymouth - all these multisport races he has done and yet this is his first ever Ironman. Go Jerry!