Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some ponies charge up the Blue Hills

There were a select few members of the NETT stable out at the Blue Hills Trail Races this past weekend. Yes, they were the ones who remembered to register early.

Chris Smith put in another solid effort there (his third year in a row) finishing 9th overall and 4th master (yikes!) in 1:12.

Marshall Randolph won his age group (yawn) and cracked the top 20 in 1:20 over the rugged course.

But run of the day goes to Jack Burke who finished in 1:24 this year. "I was able to knock seven minutes off my time from last year," he tells the NETT news room. "Of course, if you recall it was hot as hell last year but this year the weather was perfect. But man did those trails take a beating from the rain this year. I felt like I did as much hopping and criss-crossing as I did actual running."

Let's see, Jack's done both the Merrimack Rivah and Blue Hills races but swears he's not vying to win the Eastern New England Trail Race series this we believe him?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mini Pony may have set WORLD RECORD in New Hampshire

Yes, you read that right. There's a mini pony that may have set a world record in New Hampshire recently.

Want the details? READ MORE HERE

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NETT's "extended family" at Boston Marathon

Some of the NETT gang gathered on Route 16 in Wellesley on Monday to cheer on some NETT members and friends. Frank, Tina, Mary, Eminem, Crazy Dave, Doris, Dave Molk and others were on hand to cheer Big Ben Winther as he came barreling by on his way to a 3:07. And in the annual Battle of the Scanlans, Brian edged out his sister Claire by a nose in 3:19:14 to 3:20:04. Longtime NETT pal Tricia Grenier notched a 3:25, while Karen Mahoney-Ringheiser clocked a 3:44. Dima Feinhaus cranked out a 2:58 at 47-years young while Rick Cleary finished his umpteenth Boston in 3:54.

Congrats to all!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NETT kicks off multisport season at Wrentham Duathlon

NETT kicked off the multisport season in good form today at the Wrentham Duathlon. Here's Frank KJ's report:

Despite the cold weather a record number of people showed up for Wrentham duathlon. And NETT was well represented with 6 people racing and 3 getting on the podium. The man of the day was NETT friend Barry Phelps who posted an amazing 57:05– 1st in M40-44 and good enough for 5th overall in a very strong field. Barry used Wrentham as a tune-up for next week’s national championship in Richmond, VA. Good luck Barry!

Katherine swept the F0-19 in the sense that she was too only girl in that category. Who cares, a 1st place is a 1st place and equally important she continues to get better. Jim broke his promise and raced in the Clydesdale division – Jim!!! And he lost the father-daughter challenge with Katherine being right on his tail coming into T2 and quickly passing him on the second run. Yes, Jim they get faster and faster while us parents just try to hang on to old splits.

Chrissy showed guts by holding true to her Friday decision on racing and she was solid from start to finish; looking very comfortable when she crossed the line. Martin took his new bike out for its first race and first rainy day. He was right behind Barry on the first run - 3M in sub 16:30 that is, had a solid bike leg, especially the second half, and finished off with another fast 2M split. Martin just missed the podium this time.

Lastly, I Frank continued my tradition of just missing the hour mark with another “one hour and change” time. My run splits at Wrentham continue to be very consistent, literally with +/- 2 seconds. Scary but in a good way! I was battling it out with Gary David from MRC for most of the race but I couldn’t match his second run leg. I thought I had come in 5th in my age-group but to my positive surprise I was actually 3rd.

Full results at

Monday, April 12, 2010

The original Ponyette comes out of the stable!

Great news from up North. Cindy Winther has returned to racing and we're all pumped to here about her first race in a couple years. And she hit her goal time to the bloddy minute! Here's her report:

"I did the Great bay 1/2 in Newmarket, NH. My goal was to hit 1/2 of my fastest marathon time (3:38) so I needed to hit 1:49. Ben's advice was to go out easy for the first 8 and then if I felt good to push it the last 5. So I ignored that and went out hard the first 5 and just stuck it through for the last 8. It was like running in Henniker, a little hilly with some dirt roads thrown in. It was a nice course.

I ran the last mile near trail runner extraordinaire Tom Parker. After the race we chatted a little. He said he had run the Merrimack 10 miler the day before and said he knew Crazy Dave. I also saw NETT's Paul Young there and he was flying as usual and super supportive.

It was good to be back - other than our local 5K in Henniker I have not run a race since I had Elsa. I think Ben and I are going to try to the Yankee Homecoming in Newburyport in August."

For the record, Cindy finished in exactly 1:49, her goal time on the nose! Don't we all wish we could pull that off after a couple years out! Nice work.

I know it's hard for some of the current NETT Ponyettes to picture it, but in the early days of NETT, Cindy was often the sole female participating in our early excursions(think Lynn Woods 2003). Even during her break from racing, she has been a big supporter coming out to races (cheering us on at Topsfield, volunteering at the Chamberas race EVERY year) and supporting us all.

AND OF COURSEshe has the distinction of coining the phrase "MiniPonies" so we ALL owe her a big thank you for that one.

Congrats again Cindy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

NETT runs wicked awesome at the Rivah

(Editor's Note: The following blog post is written in the vernacular of the region where it takes place, the Merrimack Valley, circa the late 1980s, a region and era this reporter knows all too well).

Oh my Gawd you guys, you shouldah been theah!

That frickin rivah race? It was soo awesome. I mean it was totally awesome. I thought there was like gonnuh be some mud, but oh my gawd it was wicked muddy and people were like wipin' out and stuff everywhere.

You know that chic Adrienne or whatever? So she like thought she did bad, but she did wicked good you guys. Her time was like 1:23 and I'm like oh my gawd that is awesome. Jack was wicked good too and did like 1:25 and he says he's going to Doyle's with his brothuh tomorrow cuz they have free beah and I'm like I'm theah, Burkey.

It was so cool to see guyz pukin theyah guts out and stuff at the finish with mud and stuff. Fricking Smitty was theah too. I guess he like rode his bike or something queer and I was liks Smitty you shoulda run it was soo awesome. That Greek guy and his hot wife were theah too just watchin. I was like tellin his kid he should be a runnah cuz you can get muddy and stuff and no one gives you crap about it.

It was soo cool. Petey and Dunham did such an awesome job you guys. Petey's frickin' nuts. His like watchacallit awahds speech at the end was soo funny. Tommy get outta heah. Okay my little brothah needs the computah to like talk to his stupid friends, but you guys shoulda been theah.

(The author clearly enjoying a typical day in the The Valley circa 1989.)

Rivah pics courtesy Steve Wolfe. More pics and videos here. Last pic courtesy of bad haircuts and misspent youth.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Chrissy strikes a pose

If you've been to CitySports lately you might see a familiar face up on the wall! It's our own Chrissy Durden looking all fit and friendly in a new full-wall sized CitySports ad. Take a look (photo courtesy O'Shannon, McGillicuddy Productions)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Multi-Brick gets multisport season off in strong fashion

Frank and Tina helped NETT tune up for the multisport season by organizing and hosting a multi-brick workout at their place in Lincoln. Here's Frank's report:

First of all the weather was phenomenal making it feeli more like racing a duathlon in June than do a workout in early April.

The usual suspects included Joe, Bruce, Martin, Jim, and me. Martin showed up on his new ‘Felt’ (see photo) which he had literally picked up less than 24 hours before and thus never had a chance to ride. Talk about a serious way to break in a new ride! Barry joined the action and showed incredible strength and speed. After missing the peloton of Joe, Bruce and Frank on the first bike leg he single-handedly closed the gap and then steadily increased his lead on each laps thanks to some very fast run splits. Ed (swims with Minuteman Masters) got my email around 8:15am in the morning, packed his gear and biked from Burlington to Lincoln, then did all four laps looking relaxed and smooth

Joe looked strong overall; Bruce substituted a couple of the run legs for chatting with the local residents; and Jim was kind of “now you see me, now you don’t”. I, myself, had a good workout thanks to drafting behind Joe and using Barry as motivation for the run. Coffee and bagels on the porch afterwards - not bad for a spring day in New England.

Hopefully the calendar allows for another multi-brick later in the spring.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Looking for a new challenge? Try orienteering!

Getting bored of plain old running? Using a trail just too mundane for you? Maybe it's time to check out something new?

Well that something new might just be orienteering. That fun sport where you run through the woods with a map and try to find "controls" and complete a course. It's a lot of fun and it's a great way for runners to get a workout in. But to give you a bit more information on orienteering, the NETT News Team recently sat down with Andy and Kristen Hall, NETT's resident orienteering experts, for a quick Q&A on the basics of the sport.

Q: How long (time-wise or distance wise) is a typical orienteering event?

A: It depends on the type of event. Sprint courses like the CSU Park Series are typically around 2km. How long it takes you depends on how well you navigate - winners will be about 12 minutes, those who have to stand still to read their map/ get lost/ run way past the control before realising that they should have stopped after 100m will take a lot longer.

Weekend events normally have a wider range of courses, varying from 2km to 8km (shorter ones have easier navigation, based around trails; longer ones are more technical for the navigation and may rely on you not running on trails to be fast - there will often be trail routes but they will take you a long way around). Winning times are, of course, longer (expect the fastest to be around 8 min/km)

Q: Do you need any special equipment to participate in an orienteering event the first time? (Fancy compass, shoes, GPS?)

A: No, but it helps to have a compass. Compasses are sometimes available to rent at the registration. GPS are not allowed. If the sun is out, it is generally in the south, so you don't necessarily need a compass

Q: What advantages would I have as a runner in an orienteering event?

A: Fitness is the runner's biggest asset.

Q: What disadvantages would I have as a runner?

A: Runners tend to run faster than they can navigate, meaning that when they make mistakes they are really big. Dave Dunham took a long time to realise this fact. He now tends to run slower when orienteering and therefore orienteers faster!

Q: Any other advice or words of wisdom you give to first-timers?

A: Go slow and make sure you know where you are on the map AT ALL TIMES until you are confident with your navigating abilities. It is a great way to get out in the countryside, in places that you wouldn't necessarily go otherwise.

Cambridge Sports Union has a great weeknight series of shorter races. See the 2010 Boston Park Orienteering Series here that has events in familiar places like Fresh Pond, Arnold Arboretum, Cat Rock Park and even Boston Common on Thursday nights starting April 15.

Another great resource is the New England Orienteering Club, which has events coming up in Westwood, Nashua and even Prospect Hill in Waltham (April 18).