Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Adventures in Ithaca

Seven of NETT's more...seasoned runners headed out to Ithaca NY for the infamous Triennial Trail Relay on the Finger Lakes Trail. And it was certainly an eventful weekend.

The crew of JD, Matt, Rick, Crazy Dave, Paddler (Tarzan) Steve, JoeC, and Fluffy Chris drove out on Friday and broke into their two teams, East and West, to do some recon on the trail junctions and then...a slight mishap. and suddenly the West crew was down to two runners. Not to worry. Steve found out that his leg actually requires the use of a rope to scale up a steep climb. Sounds fun. Not to worry.

Friday night the team had a great I-talian dinner in Cortland NY and retired to the quaint Ramada Cortland for a good night's sleep.

Saturday morning came early and at 7:25 the two NETT teams headed out on their sets of legs. The course is extremely challenging and has climbs that we just don't see here in Eastern Mass. And the guys rose to the occasion. On the east team, Tarzan Steve ran strong before handing off to Rick, the East team captain and only member of the team who knew the terrain. Rick used his hometown hero status to pull himself up and over the brutal hills of Greek Peak before Matt took over and found himself waist deep in a stream crossing. And last for the east team, JD just crushed his leg flying down the hills at breakneck pace to bring it home very strong.

On the West side, things got adventurous. Down to only two runners after Friday's mishap, Chris decided our best chance was to race for the coveted Christopher Columbus award. It's not easy to do, either. Chris had to spend several hours in the woods on and off trail. His efforts WERE in fact, rewarded by the race organizers who decided to include NETT in the results, even though Crazy Dave was so intimidated by Chris' performance he took his shoes off and got in the car.

Here's how the results sheet looked for the Mini Ponies.

Run time:            14:22:00
Handicap:            00:35:00
TOTAL:                  13:47:00
                Steve Yankum (64)                          East 1    9.4 Miles              1:50:00
                Matt Moore (32)                              East 2    6.8 Miles              1:14:00
                Rick Cleary (61)                                 East 3    6.8 Miles              1:41:00
                Jean Dany Joachim (54) East 4    9.4 Miles              1:37:00
                Chris Smith (51)                                West 1  10.6 Miles            3:00:00                  AWARD:                Christopher Columbus (the rest of the crew abandoned ship trying to locate him)
                Dave Hannon (46)                            West 2-3 11.2 Miles         2:00:00
                Joe Canistraro (49)                          West 4 10.6 Miles             2:00:00

Overall this was a VERY fun event and a great trip for the NETT men's team. 

NETT improves its Prospects at Prospect Bandit Run

A couple hearty Mini Ponies put themselves into some serious discomfort recently at the Prospect Bandit Run with great results, putting two runners in the top six overall.

The PBR 5K was part of the Race Around Waltham Series. Jason and Crazy Dave had both done an earlier race in the series, the YMCA race and figured why not press their luck running up the old familiar Prospect Hill.

Jason took off strong and finished even stronger, placing 4th overall and first in the 19-49 age group. Crazy Dave was sixth overall on the very hilly 5K course.

Overall it was a fun race on a tough course. (BTW, to read a Brief History of Prospect Hill, click here).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

NETT Runs for the Bus (to Help the Blind)

A bunch of NETT members and friends decided to spend Sunday morning helping out the blind by running the 78 bus route in Belmont and Arlington.

Confused? Okay, here's the real story. If you've never thought about it--take a look at your local bus stop and imagine trying to find the right place to stand -- if you're blind.  The Perkins School for the Blind has a great app called BlindWays. It allows anyone to input "clues" about bus stops on MBTA bus lines. To the right of the bus stop, within 10 feet is a tree. To the left a phone pole on grass.

So we looked up which bus line needed clues and just ran the bus line in groups, leapfrogging each other stopping at each stop and inputting the info into the app. Eminem, Mary, Jason and Crazy Dave got in a nice run and covered a couple dozen stops in the effort that will now be much easier for blind people to find.

But that's not all! Marshall being Marshall, showed up with whole crew in tow (four kids, a family friend and a dog!) to help hit a few more stops in the Belmont area.  One of the kids was even making suggestions about how the app could be improved ("They could include what kind of bark the tree has so the blind person could touch it and know they are in the right spot"). Great stuff!

In today's crazy environment, it's easy to think we're all going to need a handbasket tomorrow. But you know what? If you take the time to do something good and do it with some good friends you start to feel better about a lot of things. And that's really what NETT is all about it. (Steps down from soapbox).


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

MMs Bring 'Em Home at Brendan's Home Run

The M+M branch of NETT took to the streets of Belmont in full force for Brendan's Home Run 5K. There were MMs in top 20 (Noah), accompanying their better halves in good NETT form (Daniel and Scarlett), sisters of MM's better halves (Devo) and walkers and dogs supporting the cause (Karyn and Amanda).

In case you didn't follow all that, just enjoy some pictures of the day!

Monday, May 29, 2017

NETT Mucks it Up at Pineland Farms Trail Races

A few Mini Ponies made the trip up to Maine to run the (very messy) Pineland Farms Trail Races with some very strong results on a very muddy course.

YP defended his 50-mile title in conditions that were definitely not ideal. Somehow he skimmed over the mud and slop to finishing in 6:27 and crossed the line to the most anti-climactic 50 mile win you can imagine. (The format of the race makes it a bit difficult to know when a race winner crosses the line amongst finishers of other distances).  

YP: I've been running so long I grew a beard!
Dave: Holy s-t! 

In the 25K, Adrienne's top-secret Italian training methods paid off, as she finished 8th woman overall and third in her age group (and we all know how Adrienne feels about soggy conditions!) 

On the men's side of the 25K, Jack made a great return to Pinelands dancing over the mud to finish in the top half of his age group while Crazy Dave's pre-race diet of fried chicken, craft beer, and loud 90s rock seemed to work okay, as he finished 11th overall, 2nd in his age group. 

Special thanks to the NETT support crew (Doris, Jenn, Ben, Cindy and Elsa) for sacrificing perfectly good shoes to hand around at the finish line (yes even the finish area was a swamp!) 

After the race, in true NETT tradition, the gang headed out for some seafood and post-race beverages.  
As always, the folks at Pinelands put on a great event and the post-race party is one of the best around.

To read about past NETT trips to Pineland Farms, check out the archives here.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

YP Directs Successful Boston Bulldogs Race for Recovery

HUUUUGE congrats to Young Patrick who added "successful race director" to his insanely long list of running-related accomplishments.

The Boston Bulldogs Run for Recovery raised money for the Boston Bulldogs, a running club that strives "to provide an anonymous and safe community of support for all those adversely affected by addiction - those in recovery, their families and friends, the clinical community and the community at large."  YP is a volunteer coach for the Bulldogs.

The race took place on the Franklin Park 5K XC course, ground that Crazy Dave and Fluffy Chris both know well (although they've reached such an advanced age neither could remember the sequence of loops for the 5K).

The results? Well, both won their age group with Dave finishing 5th overall, 1st in the 40-50 and Chris two spots behind in 7th overall, 1st in 50-59 age group. (We won't mention that the 60-69 age group winner beat them both and even got a ride home from Crazy Dave!) The Parkway Running Club were also out in force supporting the race, which was great to see.

Overall it was a really well run event with a very positive feel for a good cause. The work YP is doing with this group is (IMHO) the most impressive bullet on his already (very) long running resume and inspires us all to find more ways we can use our running to make the world a better place.

Congrats, YP.

PS--to read more about YP's involvement in the Bulldogs read this article.

Spring Racing Roundup: Boston, Merrimack, and more

The NETT crew has been busy this spring -- too busy to keep the blog updated obviously😞! But at least now we have emojis 😑 so that's somethin' 

Here's some of the latest news.

It was a mixed bag at the Boston Marathon for the MiniPonies. YP had a phenomenal run busting in at 2:40. He was definitely comin' in hot! Joe C ran a very smart race and beat the heat in 3:08. Jason D was consistent as always at a 3:17. Bobblehead Bob dealt with some curveballs and came in just under five hours. It was a rougher day for a few other Mini Ponies, who had to cut their runs short, but finishing a marathon is no. easy. task. 

The week before Boston a few MiniPonies tackled the NETT favorite Merrimack River Trail Race. YP took 3rd overall and set an age group record in 1:00, while Crazy Dave and Eri took a leisurely (as leisurely as you can on that course!) run together and covered a lot of ground (conversationally, that is). It is always a great event and there's always a good crowd of old-school trail runners there! 

Speaking of trail running, Marshall the Machine, did his usual thing at the Blue Hills Fox Trot--by that we mean won his age group by a country mile, finishing in 1:25. 

And lastly, the new Monday night Weston trail runs seem to be going well. Check the Meetup for details. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

Hitting the Trails and Roads ....it's almost Spring, right?

With temps in the 60s last weekend and all the snow melted the NETT crew thought this weekend would be perfect for trail running and road racing. Ummm...yeah not quite.

On Saturday a hearty group braved temps in the teens at best to run the Lincoln trails. It was great to see Paddlah Steve out there where he is most comfortable even when we're all uncomfortable in freezing cold!

Glad THAT'S over!

To the victors go the chemical and calories
On Sunday, a few of the Mini Ponies tackled the Stu's 30K road race out in Clinton, Mass. And wow, was it a tough one. Veteran runners said this was the windiest they'd ever seen Stu's and when you add that to the always-daunting hills in this race, it made for a very tough race mentally and physically.

But never fear, the Mini Ponies aren't scared off by a little (okay, a lot) of wind. Joe C led the charge coming in at 2:05 somehow faster than last year! Matt and Dave came in a bit later at 2:13 and Karyn MM held together very well for a 2:53.

Great results on a very tough course on a very tough day. The Mini Ponies don't often take the easy way out!