Saturday, September 29, 2012

NETT sets its sights on Wayland

After a day of highs and lows at the GBTC XC Race last weekend, the NETT MiniPonies are regrouping and strategizing a plan for an all-out assault at the upcoming Wayland XC Festival next weekend.

The men's masters team lost a controversial battle to GBTC by a single point and will be looking to exact some revenge on someone at Wayland.

The MiniPonyettes produced what might have been our best women's team of all time at GBTC and finished second to the national-class GBTC women's team.

The Wayland race is always a favorite for NETT. We've had an overall men's winner there in 2007. In 2008 we had a third-place women's team and a fourth-place men's team. That's the year Tina implemented her very successful "women's bathroom line" recruiting technique. In 2009, both men and woment were third place.

The last couple years, however, we haven't fielded a team and it's time to gallop back into the results higher than ever.

Bold prediction: One of our two teams will win the team competition.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

That time of Year: Mini Ponies Stampeded at GBTC XC Race

They were just everywhere! The NETT Mini Ponies had a great showing at the Greater Boston Track Club XC Invitational today at Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley. There were some stellar individual performances and great team results for both men and women.

In the men's open 8K race, NETT rock star Zack Schwartz ran like a veteran, stalking the leaders well throughout the race. By the time he got to the finish, he had broken his 8K PR by more than 40 seconds with a furious kick to the finish good for second place overall. Honestly--if this race was another quarter mile he would have won this thing at the rate he was moving. So great to see a great guy produce great results. Beet juice all around! Congrats to the youngest Mini Pony.

In the women's race, NETT fielded one of its strongest squads in recent memory. Amanda Mahoney, Kristin Hall, Adrienne Cyrulik, Julie McVeigh, Tina Wang and Cindy Winther combined for second place overall in the women's open race. (While the scoring and results were a bit hard to follow in all of the races, it would have been nice for the organizers to recognize our ladis as second place at the awards as second place team, but we salute you, oh strong Ponyettes!) Kristin and Tina were among the top masters as well. It was so great to NETT Ponyettes out there mixing it up on the XC course. It's been a while.

In the men's masters race, NETT fielded its largest men's team ever with no less than 11 finishers! Dmitry Drozdov took the overall win in a smart and strategic race. Paul Miller ran his first race in three years and finished as our second scorer. The gang of Frank, Jerry, Youngstah, Andy and Big Ben all worked well together over the course. Patrick, Marshall and Bob were steady in the back. (Marshall fell for a GBTC booby trap, but it can happen to the best of us).

With top five scoring the Ponies got beat by GBTC by a mere one point....arrggghh.

Official results haven't been posted, but all in all it was a great day for us all.

Here's a video that captures the highlights for those of you with WAAAY too much time on your hands:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mini Ponies Planning Stampede at GBTC XC Race

There will be a record herd of NETT Mini Ponies at the GBTC XC race in Wellesley on Sunday. The men's masters 5K will be a sea of NETT white and the women's team is a serious contender for a top 3 finish.

To find out more about the race go here:

There is a kid's race too so bring the mini mini ponies!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Frank KJ Gets a Boost at Dover Tri

Frank KJ is just packing in the multisport events before it gets too cold. Here's his latest report:

"It was another successful triathlon weekend for me. This time I did all 3 legs myself and the Dover-Sherborn Boosters triathlon. But luckily the combined time was only about half the time I spend on the bike at Firmman.

The swim took place in Farm pond - a tucked away little pond in Dover (then again everything seems tucked in Dover). It was a short 1/4 mile swim and I had good swim despite being clobbered so bad at the first buoy that I was out breath for about 30 seconds and barely moving forward. The bike leg winded its way through shaded bucolic (love it when I get a chance to use that word) roads in Dover and Sherborn with lots of rolling hills and some good headwind on the backside. My speed for the 14.3 miles was actually quite a bit slower than last week when I did 56 miles due to the hills and wind. But since I only passed people and nobody passed I was confident my bike split was pretty good. Coming out of T2 my legs surprisingly felt good. Surprising since I have only run a total 28 miles in the last 3 weeks - guess they were fresh. Similarly to the bike leg, the run leg is quite hilly but I felt strong the whole way and was passing people all the way to finish on the track at the high school. In the end I placed 5th overall just squeezing into the leader board - and 1st in my age-group.

Evelyn, who I know from the Minuteman swim club, Walden pond and cycling was there as well and funny enough she placed 5th overall for the women and 1st in her age-group. Nicely done Evelyn."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wings Flies to 13th Place at Reach the Beach NH

The NETT-heavy WINGS team took its game to an entirely new level at the Reach the Beach relay this year, finishing a staggering 13th place overall out of 420 teams! We finished in 23:17, sixth in the "men's open" category (yeah, right), averaging 6:53/mile over 202 miles.

We DID have one "extra" pair of wings this year and it clearly made a difference. We dedicated our race this year Hannah. And as he always does Marshall provided us with more inspiration than any team should be lucky enough to have. He led us off from Cannon Mountain in the second-fastest group in the entire race and ran stride-for-stride with them putting us in great position to start the race. And at the other end, 23 hours later, when it came time for him to step up for us and run an extra leg, he didn't hesitate. He took the bracelet and ran four unexpected miles including a half-mile on the sand to bring us across the finish line in the highest spot we've ever been!

We had a new mascot this year--Willy Wings, co-piloting van 1. At some point during that long overnight drive, he was definitely responding to Crazy Dave's questions and laughing at his jokes--he's sure of it.

Some other fun facts about our team this year:

We were in the men's open category. We had exactly ONE person on our team in that category.

Our oldest runner was 40 years older than our youngest runner. And he ran the most of any of us.

The oldest child of our members is three four years younger than our youngest team member.

We had five women, two of which are masters. Of the seven men, one in his 20s, two in their 30s, two in their 40s, one is his 50s and one in his 60s. Yeah, men's open.

None of us, apparently, has six pack abs.

We had two new members this year and both outperformed.
Three of the runners in van two broke our previous record by passing more than 50 runners each on their legs. That's 150 teams in three legs.

For the record, we like to pass you when you tell us you don't like to be passed. A lot.

If you tell us "I have 30 years on you" when we pass you, you might as well paint a target on your van. Or if you prefer, we'll paint it on there for you in the middle of the night.

While a 15-passenger van may be the largest vehicle some of us ever drive, for one of us, it's many many tons smaller than her usual "vehicle" of choice.

We had only one first-time RTBer on our team this year. And he is hooked.

This was our best finish ever. Our past finishes have included: 26th (2008), 20th (2009), 16th (2011), 13th (2012).

As always, team captain Karyn MM organized us well, handled the curve balls with grace, and matched up the right legs to the right runners, which are the keys to a successful RTB finish. Thanks for all the hard work Karyn!

Another Video Review of our Experience.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NETT takes the mixed relay crown at "Frank Man"

NETT muscled, cranked, and tip-toed its way to the mixed relay crown at the FIRM MAN Half-Ironman Triathlon this weekend. Given that Frank has competed in 12 out of the past 13 FIRM MAN tris, NETT will begin a legitimate lobbying campaign to change the name of this race to FRANK MAN. Here's his report:

"Sunday it was yet again time for a trip to Narrangansett to partake in the Firmman Half-Ironman. Similar to last year we mustered a great mixed relay team with Al as the swimmer, yours truly on the bike and Tina as the closer on the run leg.

Hurricane Leslie may be several hundred miles out in the Atlantic but still close enough that swimmers had 4-7 feet waves to battle. Some people decided not to swim, some started and then turned. Not Al of course who took the challenge head-on and swam a phenomenal 22:30.

Next up, it was me and Kuota. There was a bit of rain at the beginning of the bike leg which resulted in lots of flats but luckily I had none today. My new wheels were perfect for the course since there was a bit of crosswind which bothered people with deep rims but allowed my short rim wheels not to be caught by the wind. My 10K splits were very consistent and I felt good from start to finishing – so good that I ended up with a PB of 2:26 (23.0 mph) for the 56 miles. Coming into T2 we were 10th of all despite starting in the 4th and last wave.

In fact I came in to T2 before Tina expected so she quickly handed Emma to Al before we exchanged the timing chip, then I took my helmet off and next thing I had Emma in my arms. She fell asleep and so for the next 20 minutes I stood with a sleeping toddler next to my bike in the transition exchanging stories with Al and fellow relay cyclists.

Tina had a very solid run. So much that when Lisbeth Kenyon (the overall winner at Firmman and 3 time age-group in Hawaii Ironman) saw Tina on the run course she started doing math in her head. She started in the elite wave and got nervous there was some fast unknown age-grouper outracing her down. Pretty funny and good practice for Lisbeth to dig a bit deeper. Talking about digging then Tina had her challenges digging through the ¼ mile run on the beach. Seen from the finish line she was tip-toeing her way through and going sideways at times as if the beach were filled with landmines. She just doesn’t dig the sand. Of course her face lit up when she saw Emma and there was even time for a High-five before crossing the line.

Final outcome: We finished 1st mixed team relay out of 8, and 4th overall out of 19 teams. Results are posted Another great trip to the beach."

Sunday, September 09, 2012

NETT goes 1-3-3 at Friends of Arlington 5K

Three NETTers took to the roads this weekend to shake off some rust at the Friends of Arlington 5K.

Zack Schwartz took the race wire-to-wire, setting a new course record in 15:39. After the race, Zack was mobbed by groupies, including a 11 (?) year old kid who knew more about Zack's race than Zack did. No word of a lie, the kid walks right up to Zack and said "You're Zack. You did great. You finished in 15:39, and that is 5 minute miles" and continued to talk with Zack about the race. It was really funny and Zack did a great job of encouraging the kid in his running as well.

Doris' goal for the race was to focus on pacing early on and her focus definitely paid off. She finished 3rd female master on the day in under 27 minutes. But the highlight for her was the Whole Foods swag at the post-race event. "I got a bag--you know these are a buck at the store--and a bottle of electrolyte water, a banana, a nice water bottle, some granola..."

Crazy Dave got outkicked for second and finished third overall (the more things change the more they stay the same) and top master in 17:22.

The race itself was a very nice event, raising money for a good cause (the Arlington Council on Aging). They had a lot of very nice extras including a Dixieland band, pizza and drinks, GREAT prizes (Dave and Zack both went home with gift certificates) and handmade medals for the top finishers in each group. Definitely a race we'd go back to.