Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NETT take the beach at Cohasset

A few Mini Ponies were down at the Cohasset tri recently. Martin Bures has been really ripping it up this year. Here's his report:

So Jim and Katherine and I did Cohasset this past weekend. It is an Age Group Nationals Qualifier Race and it was filled up. There were 804 competitors. It was a perfect day - sunny, the ocean was glass and it was not windy. The water was cold so a full wetsuit was in order.

I lined up for my wave and waited for the gun to go off. There was some jostling at the start but I sprinted for the open, dove into the water and took a few strong strokes to put me in the lead. I kept the lead through the swim and ran up the beach to the first transition.

I was a little winded from the swim and had a slow swim-to-bike transition but was still in good shape. Only a few people passed me during the bike leg which went surprisingly well despite a few shifting problems due to some cable stretch. We had driven the course the previous day and it didn't seem too bad but we missed a hilly
section which was an unwelcome surprise. All-in-all, the bike went well and I have definitely improved this season thanks to Frank.

T2 was a bit faster and I was out for the run. It felt sluggish at first and there were a few challenging hills but I was able to take back a few places that I lost during the bike. I was empty at the end but it was a great effort. I finished 2nd in my age group, 22/804 for 1:00:25 with some strong competition."

Nice work Martin!

Despite the top-notch competition at this race, Katherine still managed to win her age group by less than a minute in a gutsy performance.

Jim De Zutter put in a super strong swim as well and finished in 1:14. He credits his strong race to his unusual habit of inspecting every grain of sand on the beach prior to the swim.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Inside Scoop on Sisters Smith Success

Sisters Mary and Clare Smith did so well at their first 50K recently, the NETT news team decided to pick their brains on it. (Note the picture here includes their "adopted" sister Janelle Smith.) Here's what we found out from Mary:

• The Mantra for the day was "Stay upright & keep moving forward", which we both followed.
• We enjoyed our day on the trail, stopping at 2 lookouts to look down the valley & take in the scenery.
• The aid station volunteers were extremely friendly & helpful. The watermelon was our best friend!!
• Mile 1-20 were tough, lots of steep climbs (both up & down).
• Miles 21 - 25 Both Smith Sister were plagued with nauseau (thankfully one of us lost the feeling at mile 25)
• Miles 26 - 30 one of us learned that nothing calms nauseau (not water, not gatorade, not ginger candy, not gum, not walking, not running, not nothing.....)
• Mile 30 - We FINALLY found the cure!! One Smith lost their cookies - "I mean Gatorade" all over the trail!! Afterwards - she felt GREAT & wished the "incident" had occured 10 miles ago.
• Miles 30 - 31.2 The Smith Sister rolled toward the finish (finishing together as the 2nd & 3rd Women).
• No major injuries to report (just some heat rash & expected dehydration).We're also pretty sure having a rock-solid sibling to run with is a BIG advantage in a long race like that. Congrats again!

Monday, June 21, 2010

MiniPonies out in force at Webster Lake Triathlon

NETT was well represented both in quantiy and quality at the Webster Tri this weekend, with three relay teams and an open competitor taking the race by storm.

In the relays, the big showdown between Dream Team II (Nicholas, Doctor Ron and Little Skittles) and Frank, Adrienee and Crazy Dave was uniquely handicapped at the last minute. Little Skittles had to pull out with an injury, so Tina subbed in. Crazy Dave did his own version of handicapping the race by showing up to the starting line...out of sorts as many of you can attest to.

But at the end of the day, it was a win-win-win for NETT. Frank and Nicholas were both phenomenal in the water (I'm not sure who made it to the beach first, but when you factored in the run across the parking lot to T1 it was basically a dead heat). Dream Team II was slowed slightly when an overzealous race official decided to lecture Dr. Ron on the finer points of triathlon and being such a big proponent of education, Dr. Ron listened and took notes before heading out on the bike.

But that wasn't the rookie mistake that cost him. It was his decision to pass, and taunt, Adrienne early in the bike leg. That woke the beast and AC just stomped the pedals and shot off like a rocket before coming into the closely scrutinized transition area yet again (I'm pretty sure the race officials at Webster were trained by the KGB because they were watching everyone's moves). All kidding aside, Ron's performance on the bike in his FIRST EVER race of any kind was huge. According to one report, he was about one minute off Adrienne's time, which is phenomenal. This guy's going to be a secret weapon in some relays coming up!

Meanwhile, at T2, still in a haze of sorts, it took Crazy Dave three attempts to properly attach the chip to his leg while a race official literally stood over him and watched. With Frank and AC having done the heavy lifting, there was only one relay team to run down which they did easily to capture the relay team title.

Dream Team II, however, produced the most impressive run leg of the day on its way to fourth overall and with Tina and "company" churning out something like a 22-minute run leg (results are a bit messed up). Now while we want to give her praise for this performance, we DO NOT want to encourage such behavior in the future. A 30 or 40 minute stroll would have sufficed there speedypants Wang, so next time we WILL pull you off the course for non-compliance to the very strict rules in the NETT Future Stars development program. (We've already contracted some of those ex-KGB guys that FIRM has!)

Not to be outdone, the third NETT relay team of Eminem, Eminem and Daniel produced some pretty staggering results of its own. For example, what would you give to shave, say, three minutes off your swim time and a couple more off your bike in a year? Well that's pretty much what Karyn did yesterday before Daniel uncorked the third-fastest run leg in the relay competition. Consider they had two people and Dream Team II had four on their (I'll let you do the math!) I'd say they can all be proud.

Despite the whirl of chaos and paparrazi surrounding the relay competition, our sole individual competitor, Eri, was his usual calm and collected self on his way to a 6th place finish in his age group. While we all know he's a very strong swimmer, I'd point out that comparatively his run split was ranked higher than his swim in this race...good sign for this guy's development.

And perhaps the most fun part of this father's day event, is the family affair that is has become for NETT. Last year it was a swarm of De Zutters out there. This year the families were also very well represented in many ways. Great great to see and, I think, a great illustration of what NETT is all about.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Having a Great time at the Lincoln Steeplechase

Several NETT members made good impressions at the Great Lincoln Steeplechase on Sunday and it wasn't all in the results.

Crazy Dave ran the race for the fourth (?) time in 13 years, finishing second in 41:17. Chris Smith took it out hard and held on for fourth overall and top masters' honors. Marshall Randolph won the 60+ age group in 49:17 and Wendy Johnecheck was sixth woman overall thanks to some pacing help from the Youngstah.

But it was Frank KJ, who showed up mainly to take these great pics, that deserves the biggest kudos. While hanging out waiting for us all to finish, Frank was asked if he could help call out numbers at the finish and, true to form, he took to the job with gusto. SO much so, the race organizers gave him a special word of thanks at the awards ceremony
Just the kind of folks we are...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sisters Smith finish second in their first 50K

Teamwork! That's what helped Mary Smith and sister Clare not only survive, but thrive in their first 50K at the Laurel Highlands this weekend down in Pennsylvania.

It was hot and humid on race day--not the optimial conditions to run any race, never mind your first 50K. For those of you thinking Pennsylvania is flat, think again! According to the race web site, the point-to-point course begins at elev. 1200 ft. and ends at elev. 2760 ft. The 50K race saw only 83% of starters actually finish the race this year. Oowwwwccch.

But as we've come to expect Mary and Clare handled what came their way in stride. They ran together to manage the challenges and finished together in 7:14 as the second and third women in the race. That gives you an indication--7 hours for the second place woman to run a 50K course is clearly a brutal race.

Big congrats to Mary and Clare. Great work out there!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NETT relay teams to duke it out at Webster Lake Triathlon

Let the smack talk and the side-bets begin!

NETT has two very strong relay teams set to go at the upcoming Webster Lake Triathlon and we're taking bets on who's going to win (you can post your vote on the poll on the NETT meetup page).

The first NETT trio has Frank doing the swim, a day post-half-iron, Adrienne on the bike and Crazy Dave handling run duties. At full strength, this is a very solid relay squad for the Mini Ponies.

But as strong as that first team is, if they want the crown, they're going to have to wrestle it from the Dream Team II, which has Nicholas "the fish" in the water (I swear this kid has gills!), Dr. Ron hammering the bike leg and the always speedy Little Skittles on the run (You really don't want to have to kick the last 200 against this kid!).

A third Dark Horse team has Eminem, still recovering from injury, doing double-duty in the swim and bike, and Daniel throwing down the run. With all her cross-training lately, Eminem could make it close enough to give Big Dan a chance to open up those monstrous ground-eating strides and make a run at it.

There is already some controversy surrounding the race, as the NETT News Room, which is fully impartial in such matters, has obtained this photo clearly showing two of the three teams plotting some kind of underhanded doings. Frank's team is clearly a trio of marked men..uh..athletes.

No matter who wins, with those teams it's sure to mean a good day for NETT all around. But just for fun, log into the NETT MEETUP GROUP and post your vote today!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Mary tunes up at her own hometown 5K

With a big race coming up this weekend, Mary Smith decided to tune up by running a 5K in her newly adopted hometown of Norwood. Here's her report:

"I did a little seret racing this weekend! I couldn't resist, it was a 5K in Norwood (less than 1 mile from my house). I felt like a little bit of a Crazy Runner as I ran to the start of the race, ran the race, & ran home.

The St. Catherine of Sierra School 5K was a pretty flat 5K & probably would've been fast except it was so humid & sticky at race time. Plus it was to benefit the St Catherine School, so there were tons of little kids crowing the front of the starting line (but no one there would discourage any of the youngsters from getting into we all patiently took a back seat to the kids).

It was just around some of the streets in Norwood. About 2 miles into the race I contemplated if I'd rather be running a 5K fast or a marathon!?!? I ran a 20:20 (no chip was quite low key), but I ended up being the 3rd women overall & 1st in my age group - I could see the 2nd women ahead of me the entire race....but just couldn't catch her. The best part was there was a cash prize ($100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, & $25 for 3rd), which was nice because it paid for my registration fee.

It might not have been the smartest thing to do a week before a 50K, but it was a 5K in my newly established "hometown" so I couldn't resist...

Unfortunately no major politicians at the Norwood race (no governor or mayor).

Sunday, June 06, 2010

NETT celebrates in style at Corrib 5K

There's nothing better than a surprise, is there? Weather holding out when it was supposed to be a washout. A friend offering to run with you just to keep you company. Shaking the Governor's hand on the street. Those were just some of the pleasant surprises for the extended NETT family on Sunday at the Corrib 5K race and post-race cookout.

The race itself saw some very gutsy performances by NETT runners. Chris Smith was his ever-consistent self, churning out a 17:42 on the hilly course, good for 15th overall and 8th master--yeah, it was a pretty stiff field, especially in the 40-plus group. Crazy Dave benefitted from the stacked master's field by finishing 3rd in his age group in 17:15.

The gutsiest performance of the day came from Little Skittles, however. As you can see he was all business on the course, kicking like an absolute demon to finish in 21:24. And just for good measure, the kid jets off to a soccer game after the race while the rest of us had a nap.

"Geez, where ARE those slow old people? I've been done for like 20 minutes!"

On the woment's side, Deb Robertson tested out her racing speed and produced a 23:16 for her efforts. Look for big things later this year from Deb, as she's on a new program with a very elite new coach guiding her training.

Doris had a surprise racing partner when Tina showed up and generously offered to run the race with her. Misery loves company, as we at NETT love to say.

After the race it was back to Dave and Doris' for a cookout with some special guests. A couple members of the extended NETT "family" even got to shake hands with Gov. Deval Patrick, who was attending a party in the neighborhood.

"M...A....R...yes, that's good."

Adrienne even treated folks to a demonstration of her "index finger hypnosis technique." "Now Chris, I want you to touch your chin with your index finger...."

Doris and Dave still have plenty of leftover food, so feel free to stop by any night this week for a hot dog!