Friday, October 29, 2010

Trusty Stable of Mini Ponies head out to Groton Trail Races

A few of the trusty Mini Ponies ran the Groton Town Forest Trail race last weekend, with strong results.

On the ladies side, Adrienne Cyrulik finished in 1:19 and Beth Murphy took a break from studying for the nursing boards to crank out a 1:26, just one place behind of NETT-North member Jennifer Shultis.

On the men's side Marhsall Randolph continued to defy father time in 1:11 (good for 17th overall) while Eri Verter continued to impress by cracking the top 20 in 1:12. Jack Burke was Mr. Consistency again in 1:17. And Crazy Dave ran 1:03, good for 6th overall.

As he has for more than 15 years, Paul Funch put on a great race. Well marked course, helpful volunteers and some nice prizes. Keep it up Paul!

Looking forward to the Busa Bushwhack this weekend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frank scores BIG with Louisa May Alcott

Frank KJ decided to sneak in one more race before his life turns upside down and had great results! Here's his report:

Tina and I drove to Concord where I ran the Louisa May Alcott 10K race and Tina walked 2 miles. And funny enough I ended up winning the race running behind the lead police car the whole way. So what if there were only a few people in the race – a win is a win.

The race organizers do a good job of keeping it fun and low-key while still getting all the essential race tasks executed smoothly. I ended up with a finish time of 37:54 but a couple of the miles were long. In fact, when I measured the course using MapMyRun it came out to be 10.2Km (6.35 miles) making my pace pretty close to 6:00. I am definitely very pleased with that.

Results at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boston Marathon closes out in eight hours. A tribute to its greatness or a total scam?

Note: The following post is the opinion of the author and not the opinion of New England Track & Trail as a group.

Eight hours. That's all it took for the Boston Marathon entries to fill up this year. It's been shorter and shorter the past few years and for some reason, the BAA chose to delay the entry date this year, perhaps in an attempt to achieve what it has--a ton of publicity and an even more "elite" feel to the race.

The event brings to mind a few questions, the most prominent being what are the BAA's priorities in selecting entries, was this year's process fair, and if not, is there a better process?

I did a bit of poking around this week to get some background before developing my opinion. One area I've just never been able to decide where I fall on is the massive number of charities being given bib numbers to the marathon every year. Obviously, on the one hand, this is a great thing and raises tons of money for very worth causes, but that comes at the expense of many runners' goals and dreams. It begs the question: is this a race or a fundraiser. I think this year shows it can no longer continue as "both." According to the BAA site, there are currently 23 charities receiving numbers. SEE THE LIST HERE.

People who know me know I'm a big supporter of charities. I co-direct a race with 100% of entry fees go to charity. And I've worked at BAA charity events for years. But does giving race numbers to these charities really help them raise money or does it just make the BAA look charitable while clogging up the entry process? The Museum of Science CEO made $400K in 2008. How many runners does it take to cover that? Every time I'm there it's packed. I'm just saying....

The Boston Debate League is given numbers. Its mission "is to extend the social and academic benefits of debate to as many Boston Public Schools students as possible." The Boston Arts Academy is a public school that gets numbers.

I'm not saying these aren't worthy charities. But the race seems to only focus on the front end and back end of the race field and has forgotten us in the middle. Take a look at John Hancock's Boston Marathon web page here. It emphasizes the elite runners, the number of charity runners and the amount of money it spends--on elite runnners. There's not a word about the "rest of us".

So that's the answer? As I see it, there's a couple approaches: One, have a second marathon, perhaps the same day as the Jimmy Fund Walk, for charity runners. The problem here? Shutting down the roads for this event. And it likely robs them of the "glory" they get running down Boylston St on race day, which is really what motivates many of these runners (and almost anyone running Boston).

Another option: Eliminate the charity bib programs and have the BAA donate a percentage of each entry to the charities. They get the money, we get to run. (Heck, John Hancock spends $1M on prize money alone).

Got a thought? Post a comment here. If you're an NETT member, you can respond to our poll on the Meetup page.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Strong results from Wayland, Hudson Mohawk

Just a quick update on some recent results in NETT-land.

Paul Haus ran a kick-ass race at the Hudson Mohawk Marathon last weekend, running 3:11, with almost perfect splits (1:35, 1:36). "I felt really good that day, and was actually surprised that I was able to pace myself so well since the battery on my watch ran out on mile 9. Anyways, I'm really psyched that I officially qualified for the Boston Marathon, which was my primary goal. I'm also very proud of my sister who ran her first marathon in 3 hours 51 minutes!"

Also, there were a few Mini Ponies out at the Wayland XC Festival. Eri Verter showed up only moments before the start and used that adrenaline to uncork a 19:28 while Jim DeZutter charged to a 26:10. On the women's side Karyn Miller-Medzon finished 13th overall in 22:56. And Little Skittles Noah M-M finished 20th in the male 11-14 3K in 11:53.

Congrats to all!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things I Didn't Know I Loved

Yes, we are a literate bunch of Mini Ponies. Many of you participated in our Poetry Festival last February.

Well, I came across a poem this week that I thought many of you may like to read. It was written by a 14-year old girl who was battling Leukemia and unfortunately lost her battle a few years later. So yes, it's a tear-jerker, but worth a read.
Things I Didn’t Know I Loved
by Jamie Connors

Fourteen years old, I’m sitting in a wheelchair
Being pushed by a nurse down a stark white corridor, She stops to get my chart

I close my eyes, I’m running, Muscles flexing, adrenaline pumping
Sweat trickling down my forehead as the sun beats down on my back
No one can catch up
Speedy Gonzalez
Pure ecstasy
The best high in the world…
I open my eyes to the cold, harshly-lit hallway before me
My blanket slips
I adjust myself,
It’s extremely difficult
I’m practically out of breath
All seventy five pounds of me ache
Only skin and bones
I knew I loved running
I never knew I loved muscle,
Never knew I loved fat

To read the rest of the poem to to ParkwayBoston for the full version.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

MiniPonies rack up awards at Houghton's Pond Trail Race

How often can a running club say it brought six members to a race and all six go home with an award? The NETT MiniPonies galloped away with a host of age-group awards at the Houghton's Pond Trail Race Sunday in Milton.

On the women's side, Adrienne Cyrulik and Wendy Johnecheck went 2-3 in the 30-39 age group. And Kristin Hall walked away with the 40-49 award, finishing 4th woman overall.

On the men's side, Crazy Dave took 3rd in the 30-39 age group, while Jerry De Zutter made a surprise showing to grab third in the 40-49 age group and of course, our pal Marshall Randolph walked away with the 60-69 prize, by close to seven minutes.

All and all, it was a great race, well-marked, good volunteers and a challenging, but runnable course. Special thanks to Mary Smith for coming out to cheer us on.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Brunch Run!

NETT had a great day on Saturday at Frank and Tina's Brunch Run. Thanks so much to them for hosting. We got some new faces, some of the old guard and some faces we haven't seen in a LONG time and were very glad to see again. We had a folks out there running, pushing baby joggers, biking with the kids, walking, playing soccer and more. And then of course it was time to eat! A really fun day.