Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Runaway Bride

We started the marriage off right with a jaunt up Mount Mansfield. Looks like Doris has been doing some secret training while Dave's spent a little too much time in the bowling alley instead of the track.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Frank and Martin go crazy at Cranberry

The NETT multisporters were again kicking booty out at the races this weekend. Here's Martin's report:

This past weekend Frank and I did the Cranberry olympic-distance triathlon in Lakeville, MA. The day was perfect - the water was just cool enough to be wetsuit legal and the sun provided a bright, warm day. This race was pretty large with pro/elites and many collegiate teams including Army and BU. The swim was ~0.8 miles, the bike was 25 miles and the run was 10K.

My goal was to get out with any front swimmers in my wave and then calm down and settle into the swim. The gun went off and I put a few strong strokes in and then looked to my left and right to see where the field was. I found myself in the lead and settled into a controlled pace. Because I went off in wave 6, I started making contact with earlier waves but they were thinned-out enough to be able to get through them without too much trouble. I got out of the water first in my wave and ran to the transition to the bike. The bike went really well - the course had some tight twists and turns in the first several miles which slowed things down a bit but I concentrated on picking people off. I managed to work through the bike leg without getting passed by anyone behind me and had a quick transition into the run. The run went really well but I was pretty tight from the bike effort. The course was largely shaded but there were a few exposed spots - by now the sun was up and hot. I again just concentrated on trying to pick off as many people in front of me as I could. I crossed the finish line in 2:11:12. That was good enough for 1st in my age group and 8th over all and was extremely happy with the race.

Frank had a great race as well. He went off in the wave after me and posted a time of 2:19:03 for 3rd in his age group and 32 over all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thomas Chamberas XC Race A Big Success on All Levels

Well it was another impressive showing at the 8th Annual Thomas Chamberas XC Race this year, with 150 runners coming out to run a great, challenging XC race and help raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The weather was nearly perfect--bright sun and warm temperatures after a cool morning. We were treated to a very special pre-race ceremony, courtesy of XC superfan Michael Mahon. Mike talked a bit about Cystic Fibrosis and encouraged everyone to donate to the cause. He also gave a moving tribute to local running legend Larry Olsen, who passed away this year. He belted out the national anthem like only he can (see the video here) and lastly, he unveiled the jersey of his favorite team--the Montreal Alouettes (this guy's got two passions--cross country and Canadian football).

New dad Ryan Carrara became a three-time winner of the race, trouncing the course in 18:07. Amelia Lanberg won the women's race in 20:54. The Greater Boston Track Club won both the men's and women's team titles. The Greater Framingham Running Club had an absolute ton of people out for the race as well so BIG thanks to them for their support, as well as the Greater Lowell Road Runners who brought some of their youth runners decked out in funky tie-dyes. And the Naval Academy Prep School that brought men and women's teams again this year. Also thanks to the Eastern New England Trail Race Series for including our race again this year--loyalty is what helps small races like ours keep on every year.

Other race notes:
-We had four men over the age of 70 finish the race that deserve special mention: Jonathan McKenzie, John Parker, Edward Ginsberg and John Shane.
-We probably broke the "furthest traveled" this year with a couple from Lebanon in the race.
-We had two pregnant volunteerts (that we know of!)
-Thanks to some generous donations and a successful raffle we likely raised more money for the CF Foundation this year than ever before.

As always, our army of volunteers were just perfect. Thanks to all of you who helped volunteer (you know who you are and how much we appreciate it). It really is one of the things that makes this race work. Special thanks to Joe Hardin, Paul Young and Ben and Cindy Winther for their LOOOONG support on the volunteer side. They have been there every year, going back to our days when we first put this race in Rhode Island as a XC relay.

Special thanks to our sponsors:
aLoft Hotel in Lexington, Mass.
La Sportiva
Darn Tough Socks
Road ID
City Sports
Marathon Sports
The Run Smart Project
Apofacy Solutions
Ryan Miller, yoga instructor
And any others we've missed.

And thanks to all the runners and other supporters. Got feedback, good or bad, email me at Ttroll71@aol.com with comments.

(Photos courtesy of Frank Georges, JimRhoades.com)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Porne┼čte departe Bogie. Run far.

As most of you know by now, NETT said goodbye to our friend Bogie this week, who's heading out Colorado to live the trail runner's dream and train in the BIG mountains out West. While we'll always consider him an NETT member, given that he'll be a significantly less active member going forward, I thought it might be a good time to share a few memories about Bogie's time with NETT. (If you have memories you'd like to add, feel free to post in the comments or email me directly and I'll post here).

We first met Bogie through Jennifer Shultis a few years back. As Jennifer tells it, she just bumped into him while running through the mountains of New Hampshire one day and started chatting and running with him. After coming out for a run with us in Concord, we didn't see much from him until maybe a year later and he became a regular on the Monday Battle Road runs and some of the long runs on weekends.

And his running improved dramatically in the time we knew him. In his early Battle Road runs, I remember he'd really just run on his own or struggle to keep pace with the group. But for the past year or two, he's been right there stride for stride with main group.

Perhaps Bogie's biggest contribution to NETT came on the administrative side, however. As most of you know, he introduced us to the Meetup at a time when we (okay I) was struggling to find a way to manage the posting of our runs and workouts, etc. I think since moving to Meetup, we've had more consistent attendance and brought in a bunch of new members and we've got Bogie to thank for that.

But Bogie's trail running activity in New England extended far far beyond NETT. In his relatively short time as a trail runner and short time in New England, he managed to direct three different trail/ultra races in the area (Wapack end to end and two Fells races) and ran nearly every trail race he could find. (Some of us might say he runs TOO MANY races, but I digress). I've been running trail races in New England for, well, a long time, and Bogie has gotten to know dozens more people in roughly one quarter of the time.

Okay, this is beginning ot read too much like an obituary. The guy's just moved to Colorado, not the great trail race in the sky! So I guess I'll wrap it up. We'll miss you Bogie, and best of luck wherever you wind up!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

NETT comes up BIG at Greenfield, Lowell triathlons

After laying low for a few weeks, the Mini Ponies were out in force this weekend, producing some stellar results at two triathlons. First off, here's Frank KJ's report from the Greenfield Tri.

"After a bit of a dry period here's something good to report on the triathlon front. After taking July off to heal from his crash down the Kanc, Martin was back in action at Greenfield triathlon. And he put on quite a show, taking the lead on the swim, biking strong and the finishing off with his usual fast run to take 1st overall more than 4 minutes ahead of 2nd place finisher. Afterwards Martin was interviewed by the local press [perhaps we need a name that caption contest here. I will go first: My coach had me do these excruciating painful hill repeats two weeks ago so the hairpin turns on the hill today actually felt like piece of cake]. Another phenomenal performance by Martin."

Martin said, "It was a perfect day to race. The temperature was cool up to the run when the sun finally got bright. This race was a great fit leading up to Cranberry with a bike and a run leg that were a bit longer than what I will face there. The water for the swim was nice and cool. The race started and I pulled out in front. The way that the swim course was laid-out, I had an opportunity to see where the pack was behind me three times. I grew the lead each time I saw the pack. I had a relatively quick transition with no issues and was off on the bike. Two riders came blowing by me during the first lap which got me a little concerned. There were 4 laps for the course of a little over 7 miles and I feel that I improved on each. One other rider came by me during the bike leg, which happened at the end of lap 2 - it turned out that the first two were doing the race as a relay and the 3rd was the only individual who came by me.

I had a quick bike-to-run transition but had a bit of a snafu leaving the transition - the exit forked left for the sprint run and right for the international. I went left and got confused for a second. I corrected, back-tracked and was out on the run course - this probably cost me 20 seconds. At this point, I thought that there were 3 people to chase down and I was a little worried about catching the first two. It took me a little over 2 miles to make contact with the last guy who passed me on the bike. By mile 3.5, I had passed him. It was around here that a race official told me that I was in the lead. There was a very challenging hill at mile 4 but after I got through it, I felt good and pushed on to the finish trying to put as much distance between myself and the guy that I had just passed. As an interesting footnote, this was my first ever win for triathlon."

Frank decided to the do sprint distance this year and that turned out to be a good decision. "I ended up taking 3rd overall and fastest Master with good solid splits all around - in fact I had the fastest run split off the day and the blisters to proof it. Greenfield triathlon might be a small race but the venue and relaxed atmosphere makes it a real treat and worth the drive. Thanks to Chrissy for coming out to support and take pictures."

But that's not all! Meanwhile, up in Lowell, three Mini Ponies were stomping around at the Lowell Triathlon with some very strong results. Here's Karyn MM's report:

"We had a areat day in Lowell today! Eri, who chose to participate fully clothed, finished his first Olympic distance triathlon and looked very strong at the finish (we don't have any of the results yet, so we have no idea whether we scored NETT points).

I was doing a relay with Mary. My swim was fine, about the same as last year's I think (maybe a few seconds faster) but somehow (???) I managed to take about 10 minutes off my bike ride (43 last year, and according to my watch, a little over 33 this year, with another minute or so to walk to the transition area). Mary of course flew through the running leg, despite the fact that her timing chip was engraving her initials deep in her achilles."Congrats to all! That's the way to represent NETT out there in the field.