Thursday, December 22, 2011

What is Going on Here?

What on earth is going on here? Frank is being awarded a sash like a beauty queen? ("I feel pretty...oh so pretty..")

And then crowned Turkey Prince? And who the hell is that crazy chic? And WHY did Frank come home covered in...of all things...glitter?

What is going on here??

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good Press for NETT

The NETT Mini Ponies were out in force this past weekend at both the Assault on Mount Hood XC Race in Melrose and Walter's Run in West Roxbury.

In addition to our great results, we got some great press from these races as well.

In additon to NETT being thanked for coming out to Walter's Run in this article, Crazy Dave gets a brief quote here in a story in the West Roxbury Transcript about Walter's Run. And here's a good picture of the start, with Frank KJ right up there with the baby jogger! Love it.

Here's a couple NETTers toeing the line at Walter's Run courtesy of the West Roxbury Patch.

We didn't get mentioned in the Mount Hood coverage, except that our pal Ryan Hunt gets a mention here as the first Melrose finisher. (And I love the picture of Walter the Dog--he could give a s-t about the race. He's like "is that bacon I smell? What is that?"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NETT Caps Off Double-Header Weekend in Style at Walter's Run

For the second year, NETT showed up in force at Walter's Run in West Roxbury, just flooding the results before enjoying a delicious brunch.

In the results, it was a swarm of Mini Ponies up front. In the women's race, NETT swept three age groups--Mrs. Pizzaro took the 20-29 age group, Adrienne took the 30-39 age group and NETT newcomer Sinead took the 40-49 category. In addition, Tina was 11th overall/4th in her age group and Eminem took 7th in her age group.

Of course, technically Emma was the first NETT lady across the finish line.

On the men's side, it was NETT all over the place as well. Chris exacted his revenge on Crazy Dave by two seconds as they finished 3rd and 4th overall. The Youngstah was only a few spots back in 7th and Martin was 11th. Chris G put in a great effort as well, hitting 8 minute pace on a very hilly course. I think he's getting used to this running stuff....

The most impressive men's result of the day is a toss up between Frank, pushing Emma in the baby jogger, finishing in 19:39, good for 13th place overall or Little Skittles finishing his first race in many moons. Great work guys!

In addition to the NETT regulars, a few of the FATC members were ripping it up out there including Victora, Alissa, Ken and Matt, with Amy and Cara out for support. And Paul's Sheryl put in a solid effort as well.

Doris greeted us all at the finish line by "pulling our tags" when we crossed the line (she was volunteering). We had plenty of support (thanks to Ron, Chrissy and Lincoln!).

After the race it was back to Dave and Doris' for the new NETT tradition of a festive holiday potluck brunch. It was great to catch up with the regulars and new folks.

As usual, race director Keith Shields and the Parkway Running Club put on a fantastic race. A challenging course, great raffle, nice volunteers and all for a good cause. Read more about the The Walter Burgess American Running Camp Scholarship

All in all it was a great day and the capper to a great weekend of NETT racing and socializing. Here's looking forward to a great 2012!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

NETT Shines in First Half of December "Double Header" at Mt Hood XC Race

In the first race of the NETT December Double Header, the Mini Ponies tested their mettle at the always demanding Assault on Mt. Hood XC Race, hosted by the Melrose Running Club.

The NETT men's team showed some numbers and finished as the 4th men's team behind CMS, CRC, and CSU and just in front of our pals on Team Glennon. This was NETT's first time scoring as a team in 2011. The top three scorers for NETT were Dave Hannon, Chris Smith and Andy Hall. The supporting crew was strong with Marshall Randolph (2nd in his age group), Jack Burke and Patrick McVeigh all battling a very tough course.

For the women, Kristin Hall led the charge, finishing 2nd in the master's division. Jenn and Doris also did a fabulous job of tackling the steep climbs and descents of the Mt. Hood Golf Course.

As usual, Brian Slater and the folks at the Melrose Running Club put on a great race. Every year the course changes and this year's was called the toughest version yet, by more than a few runners. The post-race buffet at the Melrose Fish and Game Club was very very nice. Pasta, meatballs, salad, desserts, and BEER!

Looking forward to the second half of the weeken's double-heard, Walter's Run tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

What's Wrong with this Picture?

According to these statistics from our Meetup group, our total membership (blue) is up but plateauing, while our ACTIVE membership (red) is on a steady decline. Is it time to make some changes in the NETT membership policies? NETT members speak now!

Monday, November 28, 2011

NETT Celebrates its Anniversary at Andover XC Race

A few Mini Ponies were mucking it up at the Andover Country Club XC Race on Sunday. It was nine years ago that NETT first raced as a team at Andover.

This year, the women were represented by Tina Wang who finished fourth in her age group in 25:48 and Karyn Miller-Medzon who finished in 27:05.

On the men's side Crazy Dave finished 10th overall and fifth master and Janos Mako who finished fifth in the 50-59 age group in 21:20. To get an idea of just how competitive this race has become in the age groups Marshall Randolph was THIRD in his age group! And yes, Chris Smith was out there too. Blabbity blah Somerville blah blah.

Special thanks to Frank and Emma, our top-notch cheering section.

"I swear to you Emma. If you walk through that door over there, they will give you FREE BEER! Uncle Crazy would never lie to you!"

As always, the post-race party was top-notch with a great meal and..of course..FREE BEER!!

Big Congrats to Dustin and Mary!

A HUGE NETT congrats to Mary and Dustin for tying the knot this weekend. These two crazy kids got hitched and had their reception appropriately enough just a mile down the road from the Blue Hills! It was a fun night with everything from salsa dancing to a wild Pennsylvania tradition involving a bag of dollars and a minor brawl in suits.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congrats to Eri!!

Big congrats to Eri for finishing his first marathon last weekend. Eri finished the Philaelphia Marathon. Here's his report:

Right at the start I made a deal with my friend Alex that we would run
together until the end. We kept a nice 7:50-8:00 pace until mile 18,
then as I was getting ready to speed it up, Alex was having some
problems with his right leg... So we slowed down gradually all the way
to 9:40 until mile 23. He insisted that I would leave him and run at
mile 18 but I kept him company until mile 23 and then took off (when he
had to stop to stretch and consistently insisted that I should go).

The last 3 miles or so I kept a 6:50 (according to my gps watch)
average and finished with 3:34 (according to my watch, and 3:35
according to their timing). I am pretty happy with the result... I was in pain at the end but I think I can do better in the next race...

The day was perfect, a little over cast but not too cold, then the sun
came up. Great organization and a ton o water station and bathrooms
along the way. apparently there were 25000 runners and 60000 people
cheering... I would definitely do it again, I loved the city!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Congrats to Marshall!

Warning: If you have a fragile ego and are in your 20s or 30s--seriously, don't read the next paragraph. Skip down to the video.

HUGE congrats to our pal Marshall who, at 63 years young, ripped out a 3:13 at the hilly, windy Cape Cod Marathon last week. That's 3:13 at 63 years old! Insane.

Marshall never fails to impress us and reminds us that you're as fast as you feel. So in his honor, I'm going to post my new favorite video featuring a couple other running idols that captures the spirit of it all. So watch the video, raise a glass and sing it loud: I Never Wanna Grow Old!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Emma Hits Her Stride at Waltham Halloween Race

A great Halloween race report from Frank KJ:

With Wrentham Duathlon postponed to next week, Emma and I decided to join Tina for a 5K race in Waltham. Nice little race for a good course - only downside is that the course is on Waverly Oaks with a lot of traffic. Luckily we got through it safely. As you can see from the results - - Emma placed 3 and 3/4 right in front of myself in 4th place. Tina placed 2nd overall. Afterwards a cold red-nosed Emma enjoyed all the attention in her Tigger outfit while Tina and I collected a couple of Best Buy gift certificates.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breaking News: NETT Racks up the Wine and Pumpkins at Groton Trail Race

The NETT Mini Ponies had a great day at the Groton Town Forest Trail Runs today, highlighted by a 1-2 finish in the women's 9.5 mile race.

Mary Smith has clearly bounced back from the Nipmuck Marathon, running strong enough to take the women's win in her first crack at Groton (time to come), while Adrienne Cyrulik was not far behind to finish second place overall. What a great finish for the Ponyettes. Both earned themselves a coveted bottle of wine made personally by race director Paul Funch.

In the men's long race, CrazyDave chugged along fast enough to take the master's win, while Eri Verter, in the final stages of marathon training, cranked out a very strong run on the trails.

In the 3.5 miler, NETT "better halfs" Chris and Doris both enjoyed their first trip to this race with Chris earning himself a pumpkin for his efforts.

It was great to see some other NETT pals like John "I hate Facebook" Kinnee, Brodie Miles and Tom Hildreth mixing it up on their first trip to Groton as well.

As always, Paul Funch and his crew put on a great event--just what trail running is supposed to be. A well-marked challenging course with all sorts of surprises, helpful volunteers, VERY generous prizes (homemade wine takes a LOT more effort to make than a plastic trophy), and some nice post-race snacks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NETT gives back to the trails

This weekend, a couple NETTers decided after all the dirt they've taken off the trails (and tracked into their cars, yards and living rooms), they should spend a day fixing them up a bit. Here's Mary's report:

"Saturday the Needy Little Man (aka Crazy Dave) proved that he's truly very generous. Dave and Mary joined the Friends of the Blue Hills in their organized trail maintenance day. The work days were started as a way for avid Blue Hills users to give-back, and help maintain the network of trails. Work days happen one Saturday a month (during Spring, Summer, and Fall), and include clearing brush and downed trees, digging ditches to re-route water and minimize trail erosion, and other small projects.

There were over 30 volunteers lined up at the Houghton's Pond parking lot. The core group of organizers (a bunch of guys named Bob) gave a brief description of the scheduled projects and then organized all the volunteers into smaller groups. Mary & Dave joined the "Brushing Group" which involved clearing downed trees that were making the trails impassable. The trees had been down since Hurricane Irene blew threw New England. The destruction from Irene was incredible. There were rows of huge downed trees, that fell like domino's in Irene's wrath. Some were so large, they looked like baby Red Woods! However, that did not deter Mary, Dave, and the 3 other's in the group. They worked diligently to clear the downed trees using only a hand saw and pruning sheers. The 3 guys in the group did all the sawing, while the gals worked with the pruning sheers and then used their pure brute strength and determination to move all monstrous logs (that the guys cut up).

The trail work day wrapped up around noon. The amount of work that done with 5 people, a saw, pruning sheers, and a whole lot of determination was absolutely amazing!! The next scheduled work day is November 12th.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Molkie Takes it Up to a New Level Down in Jersey

As most of you know, our pal Dave Molk headed South this fall to do smaht guy stuff. Well, he's definitely being smaaht about his running too, finishing his first 50K this weekend at the Mountain Madness 50K on a monstrous course down in NJ. Here's his report:

"I just finished my first 50k down here in Jersey and I'll start by saying that in my experience so far, the trails in MA are vastly superior to the ones down here. Take advantage of them. The race was Mountain Madness and claims around 5000' of elevation gain but luckily most of that is rolling, rather than steep scrambles. The terrain reminded me a lot of the Blue Hills, minus the Skyline trail. I ended up running the whole thing with a really nice guy who had ample ultra experience, so he definitely helped me more than I helped him.

I had tweaked something in my leg the week before the race (everyone's nightmare), so was considering not doing it at all rather than get into trouble mid-race. Luckily, we had good drop points for the first 10 miles and everything felt ok, so I kept going. Nutrition became a bit of a problem later in the race, as I got really tired of Clif Shots, which in turn led me to reject pretty much anything I tried to eat. I think Hammer shots are the worst product I've ever tried (stocked at the aid stations).

Other than that, I stayed hydrated, blister, cramp, and chafe-free, and tried to look at it as a fun adventure/hike in the woods. I had a few mental lapses but the body stayed strong and the legs were good up to the last mile and a half, which was downhill and beat up my quads more than I expected. Still, things are feeling good today. Course marking was similar to Oxford, so I got some extra mileage in, but luckily not too much. We had a gorgeous day, starting in the low 50s and ending in the 60s, with sun for most of the time (although we had a lot of tree-cover).

I finished with 6:29 for 13th place."

Big congrats Molkie! Way to make us proud!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

MiniPonies Tackle the Trails at Nipmuck Marathon

A couple hearty MiniPonies took to the trails at the Nipmcuk Trail Marathon on Sunday and the results were one great finish, one acceptable finish given the circumstances, and a whole lot of stories to tell.

First, we'll check in with Mary "Candy Pants" Smith on her race. CP finished 7th woman overall in 4:50 (time means nothing in this event, except to say it's a rugged run). But it's not even so much WHAT she did, but how she did it. Starting out easy, weaving her way up through the pack, bee-bopping along most of the way, and finishing looking like she could have run another 10 miles. Here's her report:

"Overall this was a great race! A little crazy, a smidge muddy, and a bit hilly...but I would do it again. The race was 2 out and back runs: 6+ miles one way back to the start and then 6+ miles in the other direction and then back to the finish. The out and back on the single track made it tougher to pass (especially when the speedy runners were coming toward you) but it was encouraging to see the other runners. Somehow Dave managed to provide pertinent advice both times we passed each other.

I was a little nervous going into the race, wondering if I trained enough - I just ignored that part of my brain until the race started. The pre-race de-brief was informative yet, shall we say 'interesting'. I don't think words could explain the actions of Nipmuck Dave & his pre-race mud jaunt. When the race started, I was toward the back, which was good and bad...good because it forced to start slowly, but bad because it was hard to pass on the single track. The people in front of me were walking up every hill and through every mud crossing (and there was plenty of mud). The 1st 3 miles of the race were slow and mentally tough - trying to navigate around the other runners. About 30 minutes into the race, the weather gods decided it wasn't muddy enough, so they brought on some more rain. It rained just long enough to make sure everything was soaked and that the mud was plentiful.

I got to see Dustin & Doris (our biggest fans) at the half way point. Dustin told me I could quit the race, but I told him that if I quit - I'd have to find another marathon to run before the wedding (I set a goal for myself to run one more marathon before the wedding-mission accomplished). I enjoyed the 2nd half of the race more than the 1st, even though the 2nd half was slightly longer & more technical. All the runners spread out and I was able to run alone in the woods...and there was less mud. Plus, since I started so slowly, I was able to speed past people who were starting to struggle. A memorable section of the 2nd half was having to slide over a big fallen log (because it was too big for me to jump) but then crossing a marshy area - where I had to wade into shin deep water for 3 or 4 steps before I got to the footbridge (which was also submerged). I thought of it as a way to clean off some of the mud. The course continued through the woods, on a short stretch of dirt roads, over some significant climbs, and down a treacherously slippery set of stairs to the final turnaround.

The last 6 miles were challenging, but we were all like horses headed to the barn. I tried using Jean Dany's attitude of "run harder when you're tired so you finish sooner". I saw Doris & Dustin again at one of the aid stations, and then was off to finish the race. The last 2 miles were the toughest but I knew the end was near. As I crested the last hill and headed to the finish I felt "OK" but was glad to see Dustin waiting for me at the bottom - I knew it was almost over and that I was about to finish! I finished in 4:50 slightly slower than Dave's 3:55 effort.

There was post race food and drink (who in their right mind wants more Gatorade after a marathon). We got some food, checked some results, & I even found some evidence of Candy - CP lives on!! Thanks to Dustin & Doris for waking up at 5am on a Sunday, and especially to Dustin who missed all the 1:00 football games!"

Crazy Dave could have taken a lesson from Candy Pants and taken a different approach. Unfortunately for him, the race played out in a not-so-pleasant manner. A slightly upset stomach meant he limited his food intake to basically less than half a sports bar. And for a race this long, that spells disaster. The last five miles, he was not his usual peppy self and struggled up some of the hills he was actually looking forward to early on. The result? He gave up two places in the last 1/4 mile to finsih 6th overall in 3:55, good for first master (thanks mostly to a kids' soccer game up in NH somewhere).

As the photos on Dustin and Mary's Facebook show, Crazy Dave was basically a ghost after the race (check out the last picture as well as Dustin's hilarious comments throughout!), turning whiter than Pat Boone at a Clan rally. Not to worry for all of his many many fans out there, all's well with Crazy Dave and he's back to his usual wisecracking self (as the previous and current sentence will attest to).

The Shenipsit Striders did a great job putting this race on for the first time in the fall. They made sure there was plenty of mud, a couple knee deep water crossings, and plenty of aid at the aid stations and volunteers on the course. Congrats to Clint Morse, taking the reigns from Nipmuck Dave.

HUUUUGE thanks to:
Dustin for waking up at the crack of dawn, driving all the way there and back, taking pictures and all out support.

Doris for the continued support and post-race medical care.

The race volunteer in the white Boston Marathon jacket who watched Crazy Dave like a hawk after the race, repeatedly asking if he was okay and if there was someone coming to get him. No joke--that is exactly what he (I) needed at the time whether he (I) knew it or not.

The Newton Wellesely Hosptial Bear for checking vitals.

And ALL of the race volunteers who spent a long Sunday in the woods so that a bunch of us whackos could run around in the mud.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wings Flies at Reach the Beach Relay

The Result

The NETT-heavy Team Wings flew through nearly 200 miles of New Hampshire roads to finish 16th overall in this year’s Reach the Beach relay. 16th out of 434 teams.
See the official results here (and scroll through some of those team names—very funny)

To put this feat in perspective, here are a few statistics:
• That is an average of 6:50/mile for 191 miles
• Although we have virtually the same team we did two years ago, we lopped off 10 seconds/mile average
• We finished 7th place out of 119 teams in the men’s open category
• We only had three actually “open men” (men under 40). We had three men in their 40s, one in his 50s, one in his 60s, one woman in her 40s, and three open women.

Preparation is Key to Success
One of the secrets to Wings’ success is team-oriented preparation. Even before we left of the race, there was Chris waiting for Crazy Dave to get off the plane that morning at Logan Airport, fresh from a week of partying in Vegas. Team-oriented preparation in action.

The team vans headed up to the start on Friday morning and then we relaxed a bit.
Chrissy outfitted us with some goodies from CitySports to help us glow in the night legs.

Dave’s week in Vegas had him a bit overweight, but he and Peter had a smoke and relaxed before the start.

A few Wings members partied with the Hello Kitty team at the start (Hello Kitty Loves You, Justine). And of course we decorated our vans with the usual slogans and borderline profanity.

Off and Running
As part of his negotiated contract terms, Wings’ newest member Marshall Randolph took the first leg from Cannon Mountain. He toed the line with a group of runners roughly 30 to 40 years his junior. And let’s just say experience won out over enthusiasm, with Marshall patiently watching a couple of the overzealous kids pull away before patiently running them down.

With that solid start, Wings was off and running. The next 35 legs and 190 miles are a blur. Jean Dany set a new team record by passing more than 48 teams on a single leg! (He stopped counting at that point).

Crazy Dave set a new volume-based team benchmark of another sort (the look on his face in this pic should give you a clue). Team Captain Karyn has the most experience in this race and set a personal record by passing 10 runners in a short five mile leg. Van 2 set the bar really high in their last set of legs—a sub-2 hour marathon. But with that goal a bit unattainable (by humans, at least), they reset their goal to a more volume-based one as well.

Before we knew it we were joining Eri on the final run into the finish on the beach (and no, he didn’t even slow up to let us jog in with him on the sand, he continued pushing hard all the way to the finish line to get us every second possible).

Upon Reflection
It was a really inspiring performance by literally every member of the team, putting in the extra effort at every turn. This race requires not only good running – it requires good organization, good communication between vans and runners to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, it requires a keen understanding of the rules (Note how many teams lost time or were even DQed due to rule violations). Captain Karyn deserves huge credit for not only organizing, but setting the tone for our crew. (Yes, there is such a thing as too much information-Mary keeps WHAT in her pants?)

And it requires a LOT of understanding from our spouses and families who allow us to partake in this craziness every year so special thanks to them. Especially this year.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, we dedicate this year’s performance to Wings member Jeannette. We were thinking of you and know you were with us out there in spirit and can't wait to see you next year.

You can see more pictures of our race:

Here on Karyn's Facebook page

And more HERE on Karyn's Facebook page

And Justine has posted more here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NETT Relay Team Takes 2nd at FirmMan

The relay team of Big Al, Frank and Tina took 2nd in the mixed relay at Firm Man. Al put down a great effort on the swim including swimming through layers of sea weed at the end. Frank paid for not having done more than two rides longer than 56M this year by hitting the wall at mile 46. Of course it didn't help that there was a headwind and 3 miles of grooved pavement. Tina put the hammer down on the run and ran a supersonic 1:33 (or so) half-marathon. Thanks to Al's wife Judy for coming out to cheer and babysitting Emma.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Frank's Pastry-inspired Hill Repeats from Denmark

Frank and Tina are just back from a trip to Denmark and, as always, Frank provides an amusing travelogue:

So you thought Denmark was flat as a pancake. Think again, we actually do have some good hills. While vacationing on the island of Bornholm I did hill repeats up a 0.4 mile 6% grade road complete with two hairpin turns. You can check the route and elevation here.

The view of the small coastal town is quite picturesque.

I then ran along and over the rocky coastal cliffs [photo attached] back to the hotel and then ate some more yummy Danish pastry while listening to this wonderful song from a 1959 movie celebrating Bornholm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thomas Chamberas XC Race Another Success in 2011

The Thomas Chamberas 6K XC Race is in the books for 2011. It was a great success, as we put on a great race and raised more than $3500 for the Cystic Fibroris Foundation--and we got the race in right before Hurricane Irene let open a can of whoopass on New England. About 150 runners finished the race this year. Results posted here

Chris Miller of the Naval Academy Prep took the men's race in 18:06. Amelia Lanberg of GBTC took the women's race in 21:11. Both Navy Prep and GBTC brought a ton of runners to the race, as they have in the past, so very big thanks to them and their coaches. The Greater Framingham Runnning Club and the E Streeters also brought teams. But the highlight of the day came when the race's namesake, Thomas, came striding into the finish, having run almost the entire course -- at six years old!! Wow. Check out the stride this kid has! Specail thanks to all our volunteers again this year. And of course to all our sponsors and folks who donated prizes. We had some very generous donors all around. Thanks!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend of tris and trails for NETT gang

It was a weekend of triathlons and trail runs as a couple groups of Mini Ponies set off on some adventures this weekend.

Question: Would you run into the deep woods with two guys named Crazy Dave and Farmer Ed? Well Mary and Molkie answered "yes" and were treated to an epic run up, down, and around Mount Greylock this weekend.

Farmer Ed Alizbozek and his trusty canine guide Tippy led the NETT trio on a guided tour of Greylock, starting with a 50-minute climb, hitting the War Memorial Tower and the Bascomb Lodge, taking a detour to take in an astounding view from Stony Ledge, and winding up with a dip in the falls at Lower Peck Brook. It was a fantastic day of running. Many thanks to Farmer Ed!

Not to be outdone, Frank KJ headed out to the Westborough tri this weekend and met up with an old (but young) NETT member who's been a bit quiet recently. Here's Frank's report:

"Katherine and I did Westborough Sprint Triathlon today and with great success. Katherine won her AG and I took 3rd overall. Steve Levandosky who is in my AG won overall. The swim was super short so I stayed in contact with Steve the entire way. On the way out of T1 he realized he had forgot to put his helmet so that gave me a chance to get a head start. Nevertheless he got me around mile 3 and then steadily pulled away from. The run was a great mix of trails along Chauncy lake and through corn fields and some road and grass sections. I knew I had a good race but I was still surprised to learn that I had taken 3rd overall. Good luck to Katherine at Nationals next week.

P.S. The ice cream run is now officially over as I finished the last bit of Cherry Bomb the other night!"

Monday, August 08, 2011

History Almost Repeats at Greenfield and Thankfully Doesn't Repeat at Dam Race

There were some great NETT results this weekend from the trails and the tris, with history nearly repeating itself in one instance and thankfully not repeating itself in another.

Here's a report from Frank KJ:

"Martin and I ventured out to Greenfield triathlon again this year and with almost equal success as last year. Last year Martin won the international distance and Frank took 3rd in the sprint. This year Martin was the first person to cross the finish line but some ueberbiker in the next wave eventually ended up with the victory. Martin was, however, more than one minute faster than last year and once again had the fastest run time so all in all great race.

I was 3rd to cross the finish line in the sprint but some even older dude got me by a mere 12 seconds. Looking closely at the results reveals that he was 29 seconds faster than me in the transitions - guess I need to spray some more PAM on that wetsuit. I had the fastest run split of the day and 3rd best bike split so another good day in Western Mass for me.

Thanks to Lincoln, Emma, Chrissy and Tina for cheering us on - and letting us race ;-) "

Great report, Frank. Meanwhile this weekend, Dave Molk continued his tour of the classic New England trail races, this time at the Dam Trail Race in Oxford, a notoriously tricky course to follow. Here's Molkie's report:

"I ran the Oxford Dam race this past Saturday, finishing 12th. Going into it, I didn't know much other than that the course has a reputation for being hard to follow and features a river crossing. The first mile or so was really dusty, so the footing wasn't the best, but it quickly became packed down.

It's definitely a run-and-gun type course, with minimal technical spots or hill work. The water level was extremely low, so the crossing wasn't particularly intimidating and unfortunately didn't provide much of a cooling effect (there was a fair amount of exposure with hot/humid conditions, something that really hit home on my overly ambitious cool-down).

Good course marking - apparently a different course from last year's (which I guess has been the trend). Lots of helpful volunteers - definitely worth checking out."

Nice work Molkie. Keep it up!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NETT Screams for Ice Cream

The Mini Ponies ran, biked, walked and did everything we could to burn a few calories before indulging in the First Annual (I hope!) NETT Brunch and Ice Cream party. One group rode their bikes while another ran the Battle Road all in the name of ice cream.

("What? Pictures? Quick put down the ice cream and pick up some fruit!" says Dave.)

It was great to see the "extended" NETT family enjoying the day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NETT "B" Teamers Get Straight A's at Mass State Tri

Karyn Eminem provided a great update on the NETT B teamers at the Mass State Triathalon in Winchendon. Here's her update:

Our Team #1, doing an Olympic distance, was composed of Eri-the-Fish Verter, Doctor Ron, and our very own poet athlete, Jean Dany.

It took The Fish almost as long to get into his wet suit as it did to swim the 3/4 of a mile, but he did it with such speed that he literally almost fainted when he got out of the water. Doctor Ron took over on the bike leg and took off for his second-ever race and his first time riding 25 miles. He re-emerged about 80 minutes later, sprinting into the finish chute -- the only athlete carrying his bike instead of rolling it. Jean Dany took off on the run so quickly we barely saw him speed by, and he passed almost EVERY athlete on the course, finishing in about 40 minutes, despite the 90-degree heat. The effort earned the team 3rd place in the male Olympic relay.

Team 2 was composed of resident musician Daniel (or DMM as his friends call him), running, and two non-NETT women biking and swimming. Daniel (who's been concentrating more on music than running of late) confessed that he started slowly, until some guy came by and said "Hey, I'm in the relay too" at which point he took off and ran the second half of the race minutes faster than the first half-- passing half a dozen people in the last quarter mile (which looked great!) That effort earned his team a 3rd place in the Mixed Sprint Relay.

I was the final athlete in the NETT roster. My swim went surprisingly smoothly. Somehow I didn't have to vie for a clear corridor. So I didn't make any stops at all along the way and felt great at the finish. My transition was slow (how do people do it so quickly????). I couldn't get my socks on my wet feet and started heading out without a helmet (oops) and headed back for it. Once I was on the bike I realized how hot it was, and also how hilly. I got passed a fair amount on the flat and downhill portions, but passed literally a dozen people on the first 1.2-mile-long hill (okay...some of them re-passed me later) and half a dozen people on the second long hill. So I wasn't disappointed. What I had forgotten is how hard it is to actually run when you get off a bike. Yowch! The run was fine -- I didn't set any personal records, but I didn't get passed either, and had some satisfaction running by nearly every woman who had sped by me on the hills. I think my time was in the mid 23's (haven't seen the official breakdown yet). I came 5th in my age group, satisfied by the effort and humbled by how talented real triathletes are.

It was a great day and we missed the NETT'ers who weren't there!