Sunday, December 14, 2014

Strong Results from the Annual "NETT Winter Double Header"

The NETT Mini Ponies produced some quality results during its annual "Winter Double Header" that includes running the Assault on Mount Hood XC Race on Saturday and Walter's Run on Sunday.

On Saturday the Melrose Running Club hosted an NETT favorite event at the Assault on Mount Hood. This year the organizers had to call an audible on the course design the day before the race. To the club's credit the last-minute course changes were well-marked and worked out well.

NETT's men's masters team took second place, with Fluffy Chris, Crazy Dave, Big Ben, Patrick and Andy all powering their way over the very challenging course. That's three nutcrackers for those keeping score. Ethan was the lone NETT "open" male putting in a hard enough effort to produce just the right amount of nausea and enjoyment.

The NETT women scored sixth in the open category with Kristin, Alison, and Bridget pulling together a great team effort. Kristin grabbed third in the women's masters division as well.

The post-race at the Assault was the usual fun. Nutcrackers, pasta, and free beer for all that wanted it. Seriously does it get much better than that?

Maybe it was the free beer or the simple excitement of racing XC again, but Big Ben seemed to take a particularly strong affection for his new friend, the nutrcracker.

At first it was just a pleasant prize. "I like my nutracker," Benny said. "He's fancy."

Then he decided he likes the nutcracker enough he's going to steal a kiss from the nutcracker. "Did you like that nutcracker?" "Uh oh...I don't like where this is going," says Doris.
Of course, then it just got weird, with Ben going hog wild on his new friend. Doris tries in vain to shield the eyes of the other nutcrackers from the adult activity happening only inches away.

With the weirdness behind us, on Sunday, it was onto another NETT favorite, Walter's Run 5K in West Roxbury, hosted by the Parkway Running Club. NETT's provided strong support for this race the past several years and done pretty darn well in the age group results and this year was no different. Bob was the big winner for NETT, finishing first in his age group with a huge PR on the course. And three Mini Ponies did the double and produced great results--  Alison finished 7th female overall and third in her age group. Fluffy Chris notched a second place in the very competitive men's masters field followed by Crazy Dave nabbing a third in the division. Apparently racing these back-to-back races gave Dave and Alison devil eyes while Fluffy gained a nuclear glow.

As always, the Parkway Running Club put on a fantastic, family-friendly event. The new venue (the West Roxbury Irish American Club) was a great place for pre- and post-race activities. There were literally dozens of volunteers (including Doris) out on the course to direct the runners and piles of raffle prizes.

All in all, it was a great NETT-style weekend of racing and fun.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Franks Leads an Estabrook Exploration That Goes Off the Edge

Frank was kind enough to lead a few hearty NETTers on an Estrabrook Exploration run. Here's a few pics to tell the tale.
The "before" shot.

A couple Wylie Coyotes in the snow.

Very soggy shoes.
Huh.Frank appears to have fallen.

He's rolling off the edge of Punkatasset Hill. Should we help him? "Watch out for for that rock, Frank." 

I'm sure he'll be fine. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bob Nabs Second....the Hard Way

Congrats to Bobble Head Bob who took second in his age group at the recent Stone Cat Trail Marathon...the hard way. Here's his report:

"Well, I managed to come in second in my age group as I completed another Stone Cat trail marathon up in Ipswich. It was the last race in the 9-race North Shore Trail Series. I was well ahead in points for the series and didn't need this race in that respect but I still wanted to at least do better than last year time-wise, which I did by a few minutes. So, that's the good news.

The "bad" news is that after the first loop I was on a PR pace to finish a good 40 minutes faster, until the following occurred during the second loop:
  • Fell twice, tripping on leaf-covered roots
  • Sprained my left big toe
  • Ran an extra 5-10 minutes off course when I missed a turn (course was well marked, but sometimes you zone out and get tunnel vision when you are by yourself)
  • Developed a severe cramp in my right calf that wouldn't quit. (I switched from heavier gloves to lighter running gloves at the halfway point but the weather actually got colder and windier instead of warmer such that I could barely use my fingers to open zippers, protein bars, etc.during the second half of the race. As a result, I didn't take in enough electrolyte capsules as I should have, which probably led to the cramps.)
I also learned again that despite all my successes this season on the track, roads, and trails, if you don't dedicate your training specifically for the marathon distance for at least 2-3 months, you may struggle during the latter stages of the marathon, as I have done two years in a row now. How do I know this? Because my first Stone Cat was my best---because I trained specifically for the Nipmuck and Stone Cat marathons (which were a month apart) that year. Training and running  1, 5, and 10-mile intervals and races all season and then throwing in a few longer runs the last month before a marathon won't get it done.  

But perhaps I'm being too hard on myself. It was a good season me overall and for many of my NETT comrades, so let's just celebrate that!"

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Veteran Mini Ponies Look Ageless at Busa Bushwhack

A couple of the more seasoned NETT runners took to the trails at the Busa Bushwhack with great results.

Here's Bobblehead Bob's report from the 10 miler:

Weather was dicey but ended up not being too bad --- all things considered --- for my first Busa Bushwhack ever. It's a 10-mile (or can choose 5 mile) trail race in Callahan State Park in Framingham. Was around 38 degress, damp, and windy with a bit of snow spitting intermittently, but the woods blocked most of the wind and the trails had only a few muddy spots.

I guess the course has changed here and there over the years but, regardless, except for the beginning and ending miles, the middle of that race was pretty technical, so it was a good workout and prep for Stone Cat Marathon this Saturday.

Had a good run and came in third in my age group and in the top third of all finishers. My age group winner was Bob Sharkey, an almost legendary trail runner I had never seen or met until that race. He ran 7:45 miles. I ran 8:50 miles.

Anyway, it was lots of fun. Richard Busa was there handing out pint glasses and celebrating his 80-something birthday. Greater Framingham Running Club did a good job and the course was well marked."

Congrats Bob. In the five-miler, Steve Yankum finished 14th overall. Here's his report:

"I got bushwacked by a guy from NH.   When I signed up for the race I saw that they had special "valuable" prizes for under and over 60
in addition to the age group trophy's.   I checked all the past results and nobody over 60 could touch my times.  I was going for the prize!

Before the race I saw this older guy with long runners legs and thought "not good".  So I get out there and shadow this guy for the first 3 miles.  So here I am knowing who I have to beat and I can keep up with him.  But I lost by 40 seconds and shook his hand afterwards.  New Hampshire!  But I had a good time and a good run.  Bob S. did good in the 10 miler.  Nice trails for a race.  Next year after Frank trains me more on the hills I am going to kick ass.

Full results here:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NETT Around the World: France

A couple Mini Ponies recently made their way to the sunny shores of the French Riviera and true to form, there was more running than beach lounging.

We planned our runs bright and early as a chance to site see around Nice.
On one of our runs, we came across a triathlon being set up.
It was apparently a pretty big deal!
Not to outdone, Dave planned his own one-man triathlon. (You have to actually get in the water, knucklehead!)
Dave got to know the Parc du Chateau quite well during the trip. It had everything a Mini Pony wants in a travel run: hills, trails, fabulous views and just in case he overdid things, a cemetery.
We were sad to say goodbye, but we'll definitely come back to Nice. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NETT Takes to the Trails

Autumn is a great time for trail racing and several NETT runners took full advantage of fine fall weather to race some trails. 

Several Mini Ponies raced at the Groton Trail Race. Adrienne took 1st in her age group for the second week in a row, in 1:15:50 -- which earned her a bottle of Merlot. Also over in Groton Youngstah cranked out a 1:07 while Marshall continues his comeback finishing second in his age group (second to the race's founder, I might note).

At the Ravenswood Trail Race in Gloucester, Kristin, Alison and Bob won their age groups while Fluffy Chris was sixth overall on the technical course.

Meanwhile over in Lincoln, Katy and Paddler Steve raced the Scarecrow Classic 5k. Steve, who memorized every inch of those Lincoln trails this summer, took first in his age group in 20:45; with Katy taking 2nd in hers, in a speedy 23:02.

Congrats to all!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NETT Runners Charging Through North Shore Trail Series

Just a quick update from the NETT news room on the North Shore Trail Series scoring, as we head into the end of the fall.

NETT's Bob Segal has a firm grasp on the 60+ age category, while Chris is in second in the 40-49 category and his better half Alison is in third in her category.

In September, these three ran the the ECTA 10 miler Run for the Hills (Hamilton, MA), and Bob won his age group, saying "I ran a PR on the course this time."

Chris was 4th in masters and 6th overall while his better half Allison was 5th open female and 33rd overall, just a few seconds behind Bob, as you will see in the photo.

Earlier in the summer, things didn't go quite as smoothly at the Watuppa 5 Miler. Here's Bob's report: "I, along with about a dozen others, was one of the ones who made the wrong turn at the 4-mile mark and ran an extra 2.75 miles.I never used to be superstitious, but on the way to the race, a black cat crossed the road in front of me. I remember chuckling to myself wondering if anything bad would happen ... "

To track their progress, check out the series scoring here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NETT Goes 1,3 at Wayland XC

Big congrats to the NETT men's and women's teams who grabbed first place (women) and third place (men) at this weekend's Wayland XC Festival.

NETT also crushed the age groups with the following people grabbing top three honors in theirs: Adrienne Cyrulik, Mary Pizarro (both first in their age group), Steve Yankum, Kristin Hall, Katy Appleby (second in theirs), Bob Segal, Patrick McVeigh, and Julie McVeigh (third in theirs). In fact, NETT women swept the 40-49 age group!

Top finisher for the NETT men was Simon -- while his dad Ilya ran strong for the men's team as well. so great to see a father and son running races together, especially at this event.

NETT has been a longtime supporter of this event from its earliest days. HFC Striders have done a great job in keeping the event alive and vibrant, with good prizes and organization. Grassroots XC is a dying breed in today's era of mega road races, so kudos to founder Eric Bucher and current RD TJ Unger for putting on a fun event that is open to all runners and breeds the next generation of XC runners.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Walden Pond Swim/Run Season Recap

As most NETT members know, Frank KJ has done a great job of hosting early (and we mean early) swim/runs at Walden Pond all year. Here's his recap of the early morning activities this year.

"While some of you were sleeping (slackers), getting to work (we pity you), riding or running elseswhere (we stand with you) or getting kids ready for school (we thank you), some of us got up early through the summer and fall to swim Walden Pond and run the trails. We would get in the water around 5:45am and finish our run around 7:15am for a perfect start to the day.

Everyone is now fully familiar with NETT favorites like Fairhaven Hill, Pine Hill, Mount Misery and be(a)st of all Emerson Cliff. And Stephen now outruns the deer. I have created a mashup of the water and trails we covered. I hope more of you will join us next year."

Great work Frank! We're lucky to have a guy like you in our ranks!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NETT @ RTB 2014

Big congrats to the NETT-heavy Wings Reach the Beach team that completed yet another successful run at the 180-mile relay. Here's the report from Cap'n K:

It was another memorable year. It reminded me  again of how incredible a group this is. For the first time, we did have a few curve balls. When we had a runner go down early with an injury. Poor Peter. We read the rules which said that the next runner had to take over, and could move forward either doing doubles (i.e. all of his and the injured runner's legs), or we could completely switch the rotation, moving the next runner into Peter’s legs etc. and having the last runner doing an extra leg.

By minor miracle, the person who was next in rotation was Tom — the only person on the team who is running a 100-miler in two weekends, and for whom the extra miles were a gift. So he came into Van 1 (we now had 7) and he did each of the injured runner's legs and his own. In the meantime Peter, who now lives in NH and could easily have gone home, stayed with us (in pain and barely able to walk) and navigated for the next 24 hours.

Everyone ran beautifully — each person inspired by the person before them.  In the end we came in 3rd out of 120 ‘mixed open' teams and 23 out of 518 teams total. I credit everyone’s absolute fear of disappointing their team mates for the unbelievable performances. The course was a little longer this year and the legs were longer too (most people did higher mileage than in the past) and everyone rose to the challenge. Having 7 legs to cover in one van also meant that sleep time was cut by at least an hour, because the van couldn’t advance to the van transition area until the 7th runner was done (instead of the sixth). We figure we had about 2 hours total over the 25.

Pictures are up on the Facebook page. We mostly ran in NETT shirts this year and we had a lot of inquiries about who this ‘fast’ team was! Really fun.

Here's a great video Marshall produced:

Reach the Beach Wings small 2014 from Marshall on Vimeo.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Bob Continues to Dominate on the Trails

NETT's Bob Segal has continued to dominate the 60+ age group in trail races around New England, and he's not shying away from the most challenging of them all.

In early August, Bob took on a New England classic trail race on the Grand Tree circuit. Here's his report: In my first race over 10 miles this season, I survived the 15.2 mile Savoy Mountain race this past Sunday out in western Mass. Although equally unprepared this year as last, I still managed to chop 11 minutes off my time and come in 4th in my age group.

In late August, Bob continued his domination of the North SHore Trail Series at the Beverly Commons Trail Race. As you will see here, Chris, Alison, and Bob each won their age groups in the 7 mile race. See the results here:

And more recently, Bob tackled another New England beast. Here's his report:

On Sunday, I tried the 18 mile Wapack Trail race again, primarily to help get me in shape for the Stone Cat marathon in November. I although I am having a good season racing, only one of my races so far has been over 10 miles (Savoy Mountain 15 miler), so I knew I would not be very competitive. Instead, my goal was to just get in the work, avoid injury, and try to run under 5 hours, to improve on my 5:02 finish in 2012.

MIssion accomplished: Did not fall once and finished in 4:51. Youngstah came in 9th overall!

This is a very tough race. I would say that 85% of the race is technical enough going up and down the 4 mountains that you really can't run fluidly very much at all. In fact, I can think of only one area --- along a logging trail --- where you can actually run normally. Otherwise, it's all mountain goat style. You can see the results and read the write-up from the race directors here: 

Nice work Bob! Way to represent.

NETT Hosts the Final Chamberas XC Race

Well..that's all she wrote. NETT hosted the 13th and final Thomas Chamberas XC Race in August and as usual, the crack team of volunteers made sure everything went off without a hitch. Many many thanks to all the folks who have supported this race over the years, from volunteers to sponsors to clubs to spectators.

Here's a video that sums up this year's race pretty well:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bob Burns Up the Trails of Connecticut

Congrats to Bobble Head Bob who successfully defended his age group title at the Bluff Point 3.5 mile trail race in Groton, CT. 

Bob says "It was a beautiful day and an easy, clearly marked trail. Wearing my NETT colors, I was even 30 seconds faster than last year!"

Congrats Bob! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Frank Takes Top Three at Kingston Tri

Congrats to Frank KJ on yet another successful triathlon up at the Kingston Triathlon in NH. Here's his report:

This one I just could not miss out on since it has a real 5K trail. But let's start with the beginning.

Set the alarm for 5am for another beautiful summer morning with warm dry air and little wind. Arrived in Kingston NH around 6:15am and quickly bumped into my friend and triathlon nemesis Steve Levandosky. He runs a lot of trails as well (including Thomas Chamberas) so he also felt compelled to give this race a try. 

Since the swim leg is only 0.25 miles and there is only a little beach area, this race starts in a time trial fashion with two people going off into the pond every 5 seconds - self-seeded. I  agreed with Steve that we should line up as the first to hit the water. After all, how often do you get the chance to start a triathlon with only one person next to you. We swam side by side for the entire 6:45 minutes completely undisturbed except for one guy passing us at a very quick pace. 

T1 was smooth and then it was time to hit the roads. It took me about 3 miles to catch the fast swimmer and then it was me, myself and I for the next 11 miles. All the hills are in the first half which means that the second was a lot of fun with long stretches go well above 25mph. Going into T2 I had about 2 minutes to the next person.

T2 was smooth as well and then it was time to meet the much anticipated trail run. And it did not disappoint. It was a single track constantly winding and with lots of short steep up/down hill sections plus the mandatory roots, rocks and muddy sections. And plenty of horse flies for company. Around mile 2 I heard footsteps behind me and about 0.4 miles later I was passed swiftly by some fast guy. 

I ended up holding on to 3rd overall with my pal Steve in 2nd place. Turns out the person who passed was a slow swimmer but a phenomenal cyclist (25mph+) and strong trail runner (6:10 pace on a fairly technical course) so he deservedly took the top spot.

Results at  

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Frank has "99.9% Perfect" race at Greenfield

Big congrats to Frank KJ for his strong performance at the Greenfield Triathlon.

"I came in 5th overall, first in my age group," he reports. "It was a 99.99% perfet race. And I had Tina and Emma along to cheer me on." Full Results Here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bob Goes All American

Huge congrats to our track demon in-residence, Bobblehead Bob, who raced his way to All American status at the Bay State Games.

Get this--Bob ran the mile in 5:55. At age 61. I'm not kidding. Here are the results. Obviously, that wasn't good enough for Bob, so he ran the 800 also in a 2:43. (Those Chelmsford guys in NETT might recognize another name in the 800m results as well).

Huge congrats Bob. That kind of result takes a lot of hard work and some gutsy racing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mini Pony Trio Takes Top Spots at Hale Obstacle Race

Apparently, the 26x1 relay wasn't enough for three adventurous mini ponies. So after helping put the first "T" back in NETT, Crazy Dave, Big Ben and the original Ponyette Cindy took to the trail of Hale Reservation for the Hale Obstacle Course Race. And the results were....surprising.

The race involved running 5K on trails with various "obstacles" the overcome along the way. This included a hand-over-hand climb up Cat Rock, carrying logs, doing push-ups and sit-ups and a few other challenges along the way.

So, the results.....yeah....technically the results list Big Ben as the top finisher and Crazy Dave a few strides behind. Well the heterolifemates were certainly just a few ticks apart, but the actual race winner was Dave Conforto of the HFC Striders (lawschool classmate of another MiniPony all around good guy). Despite their best efforts to convince the organizers they were not, in fact, 1-2, somehow the results still showed them as the top 2 and Cindy as the second-place female finisher.

As with all the races in the Hale Race series, the funds raised go to help inner-city kids go to camp out in the 'burbs, so all the fun was for a good cause.

And as you can see, the trio (and Doris as their cheering section) had a LOT of laughs at the race. When asked why on earth he was laughing so hard in the picture, Dave said. "Me and Ben....won!" But why's that so funny? "It's funny 'cuz we're fat."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

NETT Claims 4th Place at the SRR 26x1 Mile Relay

NETT made history on Saturday, by gathering 26 club members to claim 4th place overall at the Somerville Road Runners 26x1 Mile Relay. This was (as far as any NETT member can recall) the biggest group of NETT runners ever assembled for a single race and huge thanks to team captain Eminem for gathering the troops, herding the cats, and dealing with a few last-minute curveballs with her usual calm.

Here's NETT's race by the numbers:
Overall place: 4 out of 17
Finish time: 2:34:56
Fastest split of the day: 4:33
Youngest member of the NETT team: 15
Oldest member: 62
"Top 3" finishes in the age groups: 6
Countries represented on the NETT team: 8
  • Haiti
  • Taiwan
  • Denmark
  • Turkey
  • England 
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • US
But perhaps the most fun part was the mix of members that came out for the day. The NETT roster represented a great mix of longtime members and new faces (some very new) and all mixed together well. The "old guard" was well represented. Two of the club's founders Crazy Dave and Paul actually finished within two seconds of each other and were 9th and 10th masters overall--how's that for consistency over the years? "First generation" NETTers who have been members for more than a decade came out including the Winthers, Jean Dany, and Jerry D. Club stalwarts like Bob, Eminem and the KJ-Wangs were there all day. And a host of new faces all seemed to really enjoy the event.

The team's performance was best summed up by the comments of an SRR runner who approached the NETT table at the post-race party and asked "So Track and Trail? What are you guys all about?" (And just to show she respected our club she dumped a pitcher of beer on our table and laps!)

Big thanks to the SRR folks who organized this fun event. What a nightmare the results for this thing must be! Nice work. (I was impressed at the "green" commitment when a guy who ran a 4:45 mile is picking recyclables out of the trash 20 minutes later).

We'll be back next year.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Busy Weekend for NETT Racers at Multiple Event Events

It was a busy weekend for NETT members racing on the roads and trails this weekend.

For starters, Frank KJ took third overall at the Rye by the Sea Duathlon. He ranked fourth in the first run, 8th on the bike, and fourth on the second run. How that gets him third overall is beyond us here at the NETT news room but that's what the results say. Not bad for a 47-year-old!

 Not to be outdone by Frank's run/bike/run Amanda took to the roads of Newton Saturday for a run-run-don't run at the Heartbreak Hill Festival. She completed the 5K in 23:53 and only a couple hours later banged out a 10K in 48:42. Take THAT boys!

Mini Ponies Chris, Allison, and Bob headed north to the Kupenda 5 Mile XC race in Wenham in continuing pursuit of their age-group titles in the North Shore Trail Series. Chris was 7th overall, second master in 31:11. Bob got a raw deal by having to score in the 50+ age group, but still managed 10th. Allison skipped and weaved to 38th overall in 40:45

On Sunday, NETT runners didn't get much saner with a couple hearty souls braving the mid-day heat of 80+ degrees at the Great Lincoln Steeplechase. Crazy Dave managed third overall in 43:45. Katy/Kathryn ran hard early on and won her age group in 58:28. If Dave had remembered her NETT shirt, we're sure she could have shaved a few mins off that time!

The best part of the race was winning a Marshall-made Medal with a great picture of St. Anne's church on it. Nothing like it anywhere. Thanks Marshall!
Congrats to all the Mini Ponies out there this weekend.

Monday, May 26, 2014

NETT Travelogue: Taiwan (subtitle: Of mountains, magpies, and earthquakes)

Frank and family just got back from an exciting trip and was able to file this extended report to the NETT news room:

"We just got back from Taiwan. This time I was lucky enough to rent a bike and do two rides in the Yangmingshan Mountains. And two mountain runs as well. The added bonus this time was that Nicholas joined me for one of the rides, and Tina for one of the runs. I have added links to the recorded GPS and photos so you can get a sense of the workouts.

By the numbers:

  • 35 lb. tour bike with triple cassette rented from the friendly people at
  • Two rides covering 66.5 miles with 11,040 ft. of climbing. Average speed not even 11mph.
  • Two runs covering 17.2 miles with 3,985 ft. of climbing. Average pace around 8:40
  • Number of 7-11 stores in Taiwan: 4,910

Ride 1 -
Nicholas at mile 0.6

At mile 3 (can you find Nicholas?)
I asked Nicholas on the flight if he was interested in joining me for the 1st ride and he said yes. I told him about the climbs, heat and humidity and he still said yes. So off we went early in the morning. It was a warm sunny day with fairly low humidity so pretty ideal for a ride. The first 2 miles have 2 extremely steep sections with grades over 20% so Nicholas quickly took to walking instead of biking. It took 25 minutes or so to cover those two miles. The next 1.8 miles follow a beautiful winding road with bamboos lining the road, waterfalls and great views over part of Taipei. At one point I was even lucky enough to see two monkeys (formosan rock macque) cross the road in front of me. There are constantly sounds coming from the lush green around you – birds singing, amphibians croaking, or monkeys chattering. There is a small town here which marks the entrance to the Yangmingshan National Park - - and the remaining 4 miles to the gap. Some of the things you need to get used to in Taiwan are: stray dogs that luckily are too lazy or hot to bother chasing you, cars and scooters driving fast and close to you and likely paying more attention to their phone than their surroundings. On the flip side most the roads are in excellent condition and there is typical a shoulder. And there are actually a good amount of cyclists on the roads. With lots of stops, walking and pep-talking we finally make it to the Xiayoukeng fumaroles. It took us 2.5hrs to cover the 8 miles! After a few photos, we carry on. While Nicholas rests at Lengshuikeng with its volcanic landscape, I continue down the other side the mountain for a few miles before returning back to Nicholas. I have great views over the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. From here on it is pretty much downhill the entire way back. Sounds easy right. Well not when you have very steep descents with lots of hairpin turns and poor brakes. Let’s just say our fingers were numb when we returned the bikes. Great ride and kudos to Nick for doing it with me.

Didn't get a photo of the monkeys but this is what it looks like

Taiwanese blue Magpie

The road up Mt. Cising with the fumaroles in the background

At the sulfur pits aka fumaroles

Resting near creek colored by sulfur

All smiles at the end of the ride

Ride 2 -

For this ride I went solo. It had been raining the day before so the days were a bit went. And it was a bit overcast which is actually not a bad thing in Taiwan. It was about 78F at the start of the ride and at the end it
My companion for the day
7-11 Pitstop
was 84F with humidity of 66%. Pretty much right of the gate there is a 2M climb with an average grade of 4%. Then it is 3 miles downhill to Beitou known for its hot springs. Next, followed the first real test of the day – the 1.7 miles up Xiaopingding with an average grade of 9% and some parts well above 20%. Sweating from punching the pedals was quickly replaced by sweating from fear of skidding out on the steep slippery downhill with multiple hairpin turns that took me down to the main road. For the next 9 miles I followed a busy two-lane highway; nothing like being at a red light surrounded by countless cars and scooters filling your lungs with CO2. I saw a girl on a triathlon bike with deep rims wheels in long pants, long sleeves and face mask – guess that’s the way to stay healthy and avoid sunburn. Luckily the air quality and scenery changed as soon as I turned back up into the mountains. Over the next 13 miles I would climb 2800 ft. along small roads lined with rice paddies, banana trees, and bamboos. The grade was not too bad and pretty consistent so I could pedal smoothly up. I even passed a number of people on road bikes so that felt good. After that it was all downhill to Taipei.
A few low-hanging clouds over Mt Cising

Roads are good and all is green 

  Flower Clock in Yangmingshan Park
Run 1
Somehow, I managed to persuade Tina to do this run with me. Probably, because she really likes to run uphill. It was a nice sunny day without too much humidity so we were lucky. We started by going up the same 2 miles that Nicholas and I biked earlier. We ran it faster than we rode it. In total we ran up 1,800 ft. in just over 5.7 miles but with the downhill sections here and there it was closer to 2,500 ft. of total climbing.

  End destination is the building up on the hill

Run 2:
My last run is a run I have done before when visiting Taipei. Maybe not quite Mt. Washington but it is brutal. Just 0.6 miles from the apartment is a road that goes 2.6 miles up, up and more up – 1,221ft or 9% grade to be exact. Add to that 1) cars and scooters driving fast up/down the mountain will little attention to runners, 2) torrential rain and thunder creating ankle-deep streams of water in several places and 3) toast legs from hiking and carrying Emma a lot in the last 3 days. It wasn’t pretty but with several stops and jumps to the curb I made it safely up and down again. After the run, Tina told there had been a small earthquake while I was out there.

Soaked after 60 minutes in torrential but warm rain