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.