Monday, April 30, 2012

NETT Nabs a 1st (Hale) and two Seconds (Blue Hills, Ludlow Tri) in Busy Weekend

In another busy weekend of racing, NETT's Mini Ponies grabbed a first place and two second place finishes at some challenging trail and multisport events.

Mary continued her winning ways on the trails on Sunday by walking away with the Hale Reservation 5K trail race, while Dustin did the real dirty work at the event. Here's her report:

Sunday was the kickoff to the Hale Reservation Summer Trail Race Season. There was a smallish crowd at Hale for the race, but as usual the folks at Hale put on a great low key race. True to form, the course was "different" than all other Hale courses. The course used part of the Blue & Red trails and looped around Noanet & Storrow Ponds, which was very familiar territory for me, and I think gave me the home turf advantage. I placed 6th overall, and 1st woman (editor's note: that's right, only 5 speedy men were in front of her)!! She covered the 5.2K in 25:06 (according to fellow Mini Pony Stephen Peckiconis, who finished just a couple spots back, the course was a 5.2K).

In true Mini Pony fashion, I made sure to get her "secret training" in by running home after the race, claiming "It's only 6 more miles".

But while I was out having fun on the trails, the more impressive performance at the Hale race was Dustin's stealth distribution of Wellesley 1 Mile Road Race fliers. Dustin patiently waited for the race to being, and then discretely distributed the Wellesley race fliers on the other runners' cars. He did his 'job' and got out of there before anyone could become aware of his mission!"

Great teamwork Pizarros!

Meanwhile, only a couple exits down 95, Chris was busy nabbing second overall at the Blue Hills 10 Mile Trail Race (Fox Trot). Here's his report:

"I did not have high expectations going into the race after a week of taking care of a crazy dog that has a bad habit of waking me up a couple times a night. I did not adhere to my usual pre race routine. Instead I went to a brew pub the night before and grabbed breakfast at Starbucks on the way to the race.

I didn't feel great at the start but stuck to my usual game plan of going out fast. I was talking to a guy at the start who knows Crazy Dave (that would be NETT lurker Jerry "Rocket Start" Hughes") I knew he was doing the three mile. He set a brutal pace and we ran side by side until the split, but I still heard foot steps. I was only able to match that pace for the next mile or so. I ran the rest of the race alone. The hills in that race just keep coming. My pace definitely dropped off the last couple miles. Fortunately I had enough of a buffer and managed a second place. Good enough to win some chocolate chip cookies!"

And lastly the elite relay team of Dave's niece Julie (swim), Dave (bike) and Doris (run) headed out to the Ludlow Sprint Tri and worked hard enough to win second place in the mixed relay division, 7th relay team overall! Julie set the tone by passing a couple swimmers in the very short swim leg, Dave did he best to hold it even on the bike, and Doris enjoyed the benefits of her increased fitness by throwing down her fastest 3-mile pace ever!

The very busy and successful weekend kicked off Saturday morning with a healthy jaunt down the Battle Road Trail.

Go Mini Ponies!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boston Marathon in Pictures (and video)

It was a long hot day out on the Boston Marathon course. Here's a few pictures that tell the story. Emma and Frank were waiting in the hot sun for all the NETT folks to come by.

An exclusive post-race interview with Crazy Dave.

For more photos, find NETT on The Facebook.

Marshall Leads NETT To Inspired Results at Boston Marathon

Well this year's Boston Marathon certainly lived up to all the hype and more but thanks to some great team preparation, some veteran experience, and a lot of inspiration, the New England Track & Trail folks out on the course Monday posted some simply amazing results.

First off, I simply can't say enough about what an inspired race Marshall ran out there. Personally, I'm going to tell people about this guy's performance for years to come. To toe the line, in sweltering heat, and throw down a 3:18, good for 5th place in his division is simply...simply....I can't even....

Marshall you did what you never thought anyone could do. You made Crazy Dave....speechless.

Seriously. He came in with bib number 7195 pinned to his very special Hannah singlet and finished 1635! It's literally unthinkable. Perhaps the only thing MORE unthinkable is the fact that he went to his weekly track workout the NEXT DAY! (I wish I was kidding, but I'm not).

I could dedicate the rest of this page to superlatives and try to describe what we're all feeling about Marshall's performance, but it really wouldn't do it justice. But let's say this: If every other one of us dropped out at mile 2, his result alone would have us all one cloud nine for the rest of the spring.

But we didn't drop out. Anywhere.

The rest of the NETT crew drew inspiration from the same well and threw down some of the best results possible on such an incredibly unrunnable day. Tina came into the race qualified at 16,536. She claims she never quite hit her stride, but we all know Tina's always a bit tough on herself with results, but the numbers don't lie Tina. You finished 5776, almost 11,000 spots higher than you came in with. 11 THOUSAND!!!! You were the 1276th woman to come across the finish line. You were 189th in your divison. Holy crap. THAT is some inspired running.

Crazy Dave posted a strong result in his first Boston as well, gaining a lot of added inspiration from the "Hannah" cheers he heard on the course starting in Framingham, getting very loud and frequent in Wellesley, and continuing all the way into Kenmore Square until things got so loud, nothing could be made out over the roar. He posted a 2:58, good for 476th overall (1527th qualifier) and 55th in his division. ("I may run faster, but I will never run another race that even in my life. I can guarantee you that much.")

Another person that clearly put in an inspired race and ran almost even splits was Ali, clocking a 3:02 in a sweltering heat, finishing in 634th overall and 78th in his division! He only lost about six minutes on the back half of this race when most folks were losing 30 to 60 minutes. As a result of his smart pacing, he improved about 5500 spots from his qualifer as well. Insane! AND he was our gracious host for the post-race decompression session, so we all owe him a BIG word of thanks for that.

The Youngstah, with a photo of Hannah pinned to his shirt, put in his own gutsy performance out there, pacing himself in the early miles and working a bit with pal Keith Schmitt to run a very solid 3:32, good for 350th in his division. Paul's the most experienced marathoner most of us will ever know and has run marathons in every possilbe condition, so when he pulls things back, you know it's a hot day out there! Great work Paul.

The same goes for Keith, in fact, who posted a 3:28 in blazing conditions, losing clothing and gaining strength as he went. Really impressive stuff, especially for a guy who spends most of his time crushing trails like you would not even believe.

There is more to tell, but I'm out of time. I'll post photos ASAP. For now, like the Ponies on the Facebook.

Lastly (for now), a big thanks to our support crews:
-Doris and Mary popped up around every corner with fresh Gatorade which was literally the difference in Crazy Dave's race and guided three zombies around the crowded streets of downtown (we'd probably still be down there otherwise)
-Karyn and Ron were providing ice to runners in Newton (you want milk with that ice?)
-The Chamberi clan, AC and Chris all up on that "hill" (what's it called again?).
-Frank, Nick and Emma cheering and helping us all decompress after.
-Dustin for his calming influence post-race (and quick medic-alert reaction to help a runner in distress)
-BScan somewhere on Beacon (how did he yell loud enough to get my attention in that crowd?)
-Mike M out there and many many more
-And a big shout to to Dave and Doris' "mistress" club, the Parkway Club who hosted a few of us on their bus to Hopkinton and provided a lot of support this training cycle. A great group of folks who had their own success out there on Monday.
-Sorry to those I missed. You know who you are. More soon.

"Boston" Weekend Brings More Strong Results for NETT at Wrentham Duathlon, River Rat and Hale O

"Boston" weekend also brought about the kickoff of NETT's multisport (and I emphasize the "multi") season with some very strong results.

First up was Frank KJ's annaul trip down to Wrentham to kick off the season at the Wrentham Duathlon. Frank finished 19th overall and 6th in his age group in 1:01:56. Here's his report:

"This was my 10th trip to Wrentham since 2000 and thus my 4th age-group that I've raced in. And surely there is no denying I am getting older. Despite plenty of recovery in the week leading up to Wrentham and not overeating at Jean-Dany's (which took a lot of discipline with all that great food!) I felt sluggish right out of the gate and never really found my stride. In the end I was almost 2 minutes slower than last year. Good thing the CRW Thursday rides start soon and Walden Pond should soon be ready for open water swimming so there is plenty of time to get in shape for more Dus and Tris. The season has just started."

While that might be a sub-par result by Frank's standards, many of us would never dream of that kind of result. Congrats Frank!

Also this weekend in the "multisport" category, Andy and Kristin notched some great results in their areas of expertise, canoeing and orienteeering. Andy and his teammate finished second in the Athol River Rat canoe race. That's second out of 275 canoes. See a great picture and read the story in the Worcestor Telegram and Gazette here.

And the uber-fit Hall clan was well represented at an early season orienteering meet in Hale Reservation with mom Kristen winning the 5K course outright in 45:30, while the apple fell very close to the tree in the white course and the yellow course. (See full results here and you'll catch my drift)

Now that is the kind of family weekend NETT members love!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NETT Kicks off Busy "Boston" Weekend With A Few "Wins"

A 1-4 finish. A new distance PR. A great team dinner. And an unveiling of a special new team shirt. It was a very busy day for NETT and only the first of three in a row this weekend.

Up in Vermont, Doris tackled her first half-marathon at the Unplugged Half Marathon from Colchester to Burlington. With the help of her personal sherpa, Doris finished her first half in 2:06, far exceeding her goal by running a consistent and steady race. Big congrats. And, what a great event from the folks at RunVermont. Well organized, great post-race feast, and a very nice course. You couldn't ask for a better event.

While Dave and Doris were pacing along the bike path up north, Mary and Adrienne were hauling ass along the Rivah! At the Merrimack River 10 Mile Trail Race, Mary and Adrienne absolutely crushed it by going 1-4 in the women's division. Mary even won a tasty treat for her troubles. Huge congrats to both on a job well done. For more pictures check out the NETT The Facebook thingy.

And to wrap up the very busy day, Jean Dany hosted a pre-Boston pasta party where the new NETT "Hannah" shirts were officially unveiled. NETT be honoring Hannah's memory at Boston and the Vermont City Marathon and other upcoming races by wearing the shirts. Special thanks to JD for hosting a very nice dinner.

Changed for the better. Changed for good.

Coming up tomorrow, Frank kicks off NETT's multipsport season at the Wrentham Duathlon and on Monday, it's Dave, Marshall, Ali, Tina, and Paul tackling Boston in a sweltering heat. Think cool!