But, hitting USATF New England Grand Prix consecutive race #100 in March was a big deal. Lots of press and attention… for example, USATF NE blog, Level Renner interview and video, huge cake from USATF NE after the race, Athlete of the Month in New England Runner (with $50. Whirlaway Gift Certificate), article in Runner’s World online, hundreds of FaceBook “likes”… and then yesterday, this magazine arrived!! Cover shot!!
Scott Mason (official Goon name “Flash”) took this photo at USATF New England half marathon championship, New Bedford when I was close to finishing #100 consecutive. Race bib #100 made it extra special… cool, huh?
Yes, I feel very fortunate. Wow… wow… wow
My third trip to Hollis Fast 5k was surprisingly fast… yes, even more than expected!! Changed into Whirlaway uniform in the parking garage of new job at U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 4th day on the job. It may be temporary, but enjoy it! Based on 2 mile time trial previous week at GSRT with Amber Cullen Ferreira, I hoped for 6:45 pace at Hollis… but that Hollis course was blazing fast and my pace ended up being 6:19!!
The race drew nearly 1400 runners on a Thursday night, weather was ideal. Chugged a huge diet Mtn Dew for caffeine and saw tons of wonderful friends and teammates. But really, my time was unreal… I’ll cherish it for a long time.
Whirlaway women swept Open, Masters and Seniors and Whirlaway Men’s Masters and Seniors got second!!
19:34 6:19 I don’t know that I can call it a 5K PR due to the course advantage, but it is a “Hollis PR!”
11th and 2nd fastest New Bedford… achieved the goal I had set for myself. I worked hard over the winter to rebuild some fitness, so I was happy with the results. I traveled with
a friend, Rob Knight, and the drive went very quickly. My posterior tibial tendinitis has started acting up again, so the last 3 miles were quite a challenge. Great fun seeing so many friends and such a strong Whirlaway team!
A few days before the race, saw NECN forecast of 12-18″ of snow. We’d find a way to run in it, but driving there? Held off booking a room as snow forecast decreased and race start time delayed. Still, a good amount of snow in New Hampshire when I met Whirlaway teammate Brandon Newbold for the 2.5 hour drive. The drive was challenging and cars were off the road, but Brandon (from Alaska) plowed little Kia through undeterred.
This was my 5th Amherst and ended up a course PR for me. I put a lot of work into rebuilding fitness, hoping to pull off a good race and felt very fortunate how it came together. I had a couple key targets, including Stephen Peckiconis and Tom Derderian, who I caught and kept ahead of. Through the wet and muddy dirt section, noticed a very mud splattered female target… got her! I kept my focus and felt strong on the hills. Knowing every second counts for the team, I pushed hard the last 3 miles against another master, who was somehow able to chat, but only put 3 seconds on me.
Results were posted and I was thrilled with a fast time and 5th master, yay!!! Placement was a luck factor since some fast masters did not end up racing. I was surprised to hear my name during awards and with 5 year age groups, I even pulled off 2nd place there! yay!! And to top it off, I scored for the winning women’s masters team, Whirlaway!!! Can’t beat a day like that!! So many accomplishments, definitely something not to be taken for granted.
Congratulations to everyone who ran and thanks coach Fernando Braz, so many friends and Whirlaway teammates for a phenomenal day.
1:12:38 7:16 pace (course PR by 1:28)
Womens Masters Team Results
Thirty years after my first “men’s pie”, this year my goals were (1) to be healthy enough to race it (2) fast enough to get a pie and (3) stretch goal to run under 33 minutes for a young men’s pie. Yes, “men’s pie” sounds funny… here’s the translation:
General (Students and graduates prior to their 25th reunion – Class of ’88 or younger)
Females 40 minutes / Males 33 minutes
Masters (Graduates beyond their 25th reunion – Class of ’87 and prior)
Females 45 minutes / Males 38 minutes
I graduated class of ’84, so technically I was allowed additional 5 minutes (masters), but I really wanted to hit the fastest time necessary for a pie (33 min), just like 30 years ago.
Race day temperature was warm for this time of year (60’s in Concord) but perfect for running and enjoying being outside on campus. Pre-race nerves, even though there wasn’t huge pressure. Noticed fresh apple pie scent as I climbed the steps inside the gym… here’s a video about making the pies! My ’84 classmate, Marggie Slichter, is the cute blonde near the beginning, talking about the pies. And here’s a video from the 2010 Pie Race.
Being uncertain how Newton shoes would be for grass and x-c trail section, I covered those sections during 20 minute warm up. Fortunately, Newtons were fine. We lined up on the field in front of the gym and the headmaster fired the gun. The kids went out really fast! The video at the start, I look like I’m almost last ;-) I wound up 62 of 311, so passed a lot of people.
Maintained a strong, even pace, and I was ready when we hit the trails. I was near some boys who were also shooting for pie time and I actually nimbly handled the rocks, roots, inclines really well, total focus, arms everywhere!
Several times on trail portion I was in a position to pass and I was so impressed to hear the boys yelling to each other “let her through!” One boy called out what we needed to run the last mile for pie, losing another dude who apparently stopped to throw up, and several strategizing to “kick at Tron” (they still call Overtoun dorm “Tron!”) Surges, I’d stay with them, but I didn’t wait until Tron to kick. I saw another alum and went after him, passing him at the chapel. Rounded near Tron, straightaway by gym and kept strong to glimpse the clock, 31 minutes!!! Thrilled !! It would be a young men’s pie!! Hit my watch at 31:07!!! Safely ahead of my stretch goal to be under 33… young men’s pie!!!
We stumbled through the finish chute all congratulating each other, attached placement stickers to board and making our way to the pies. Proudly, pie winners cradled their prizes as runners continued coming in. Alum friend and running talent Ellen McCurtin was right behind me. I carefully transported a couple waters, an apple and my pie to the car before my 15 minute warm down.
Here’s a link to school website with race write-up and Full results which were published a few days later (they apologized for the delay in posting, explaining “it is an antique timing machine that we use. Very functional but the data conversion takes a while.”)
And, I received email confirmation that I was first female master!!! woot woot!!!!
Both feet taped and up at 2:30 a.m. met Doctor Death (Chris Chetsas) and Hillcheck (Dan Hill) at Cataduella in Methuen to follow them to Falmouth. Highway warnings about Hurricane Sandy added to nerves, but you know that Cape Cod Marathon never hands it to you easily. Heading into the adventure of my 10th Cape Cod Marathon, this one with very limited training & foot injuries adding to the challenge.
Teammate, Karen Durante, kindly picked up our race numbers. We walked to Tedeschi for more Red Bull Zero that I’d need later. Visited with teammates before the race & Coach Fernando Braz called with a race plan suggestion to “help others.” Not to the extent of sacrificing my own race, but I found that doing things like giving WRT teammate Brandon Newbould my Body Glide, smiling during race, saying “great job,” pointing to others wearing Newtons and being positive inspired me. One college age dude who was running nearby around 15-19 miles exclaimed, “oh good, there you are!!!” after regaining sight of me. I was making a difference to other runners. It turned out to be brilliant and motivating.
Grateful having so many friends on the course. WRT teammate Chris Spinney even ran with me around 26. But, no, I didn’t buy the line that the wind would be less once I turned the corner!
Although I didn’t use my watch, 2 or 3 course clocks let me know I was ahead of my goal time. Most thankfully, my injuries weren’t stopping me! Turned last corner onto Main Street to see the finish line and Whirlaway and Goon teammates screaming to me… closer, I focused on 3:51 on the clock. I was beyond thrilled. Besides successfully completing 13th consecutive Ironrunner year & 26th marathon, added bonus of being Boston Qualifier #14.
Back at the hotel, the shower had a pounding massage head which I directed on my hardworking quads, then off to awards and those gorgeous (pink for women!) Ironrunner jackets. The jackets were stunning this year and the beauty and significance made even sweeter because of the challenges faced.
At the post marathon party, Courtney and Caroline Bird were honored for their 30 years directing the race, then we danced to Baha Brothers band with post race glow, shaking out tired legs. Exhaustion seems to lend to letting loose for ridiculous amounts of fun. Dancing with teammate Paul Hammond is always a kick and SRR runner Robert Cipriano joined in too.
Then, Doctor Death generously treated Hillcheck and I for tons of insanely delicious sushi. The chef presented one dish, unknown contents, which I’m pretty sure was my first raw octopus!! Great fun!!
Hearing talk about closing the bridges to/from the Cape due to Hurricane Sandy convinced me to be on the road as soon as it was daylight.
USATF NE Grand Prix Team Results: Whirlaway runners finished up a spectacular season with a women sweeping, men’s masters tied for 1st, senior men 1st and open men 4th.
USATF NE Grand Prix Individual Results: Looks like I’ll finish 4th in the individual standings (45-49) and was the only person in my division to score in all 7 of the Grand Prix races! Thanks to DD for compiling this list, I feel very honored to be included. It is extremely gratifying that our efforts are recognized.
Full Marathon Race Results. 26th Marathon, 14th Boston Qualifier, 13th consecutive Iron Runner Year!!!! Yay!!! (3:51:30) 3:51:23 8:50
Congratulations to everyone who ran and thanks so much for the love and support of incredible friends, family, Whirlaway & Goon teammates, coaches Dave Kazanjian & Fernando Braz.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
-Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic
Congrats to all who ran the Cape and to Whirlaway for another fantastic season!! Level Renner coverage of the race is up! Thanks Dave Kazanjian and Whirlaway for sponsoring the coverage, in addition to everything Kaz does for the Whirlaway team. Kaz even got into it with a little on screen time himself.
I appreciate EJN considering me “interview worthy” and love my commercial debut… but does my voice sound off? might be coming down with something.
This race was nothing short of ridiculously full of grace & good fortune. Being able to race that fast (6:45 pace) with a killer team and so many freaking great running friends… to borrow from teammate Joe Navas, “It’s chunks of time like this in my life that are better than any trophy, any birthday cake, anything I can be given or buy, I’ll look back on these spans forever and just say ‘hell yeah, that was really something else’ “
My last USATF NE 5k Championship in Lowell was 2000 (7:11 pace) and I would have been thrilled to run that pace again in 2012… damn, just happy to be running this race!! (injuries, anemia here) But 12 years older and almost 1.5 min faster, surrounded by all the positive, energetic, accomplished, outstanding friends… absolutely hell yeah!!!
Warm up 2.3 on course with Doctor Death and Hillcheck. Doc was slightly hungover. My gloves didn’t match, slight rain, nervous energy. Women lined up on right, no stress start, smooth, worked with teammate Karen Durante and Michael Brodeur (see photo). 6:40 first mile. Very flat. Watched footing on wet bridges and cobblestone section. 6:49 2nd mile. I spotted CMS senior Karen McGahie and pushed to pass her. Yah! Final turn, eyed finish line and yes, this felt like an incredible run! 20:50! Days like this don’t come along often, so cherish every moment.
This was just my 3rd run in Newton shoes. These are the only shoes which feel ok right now, plus look, funky colors!
3 mile warm down with Lisa Z., and nearby were Karen, Doc, Deb Johnson. Changed into dry Whirlaway Ironrunner sweatshirt and black running skirt in my rear seat, hope no one watching, but must be child/goat proofed latch because then I couldn’t get OUT. Really hope no one watching as I step & roll over seat to the front. Realized I forgot something (bra)… rushing & mentally exhausted, got in the back and stuck again!! Fun silliness.
Whirlaway teams did incredible at this race! 5 firsts and one 3rd! The Whirly women swept
Full results here
6:45, 20:50 (20:54) 7th in AG
Scored 5 Grand Prix points. Consecutive Grand Prix Championship: #90
Thrilled to hold onto 4th in standings… such an honor… just look at those fast women around me! In addition, they are such sweet friends to me.
|W 45-49||10M||13||12 K||10K||5M||5K||26||PTS|
Things have been busy on the Goon front. The founders received a request for membership from Mike Nolan and had fun reviewing his application. We approved him and bestowed his official Goon name “Frosty” because he wears shorts year round. I particularly liked that his application mentions the big “G” singlet, because I put a lot of thought into how I wanted the design to come across. Very cool that it got noticed.
Doc Death and I have also collaborated to update the Goon Member Bios. I emailed all members and received great feedback and updates from many Goons already. Some really cool stories and love of the sport, reminds me why I am so proud to know these amazing runners. Tom even agreed to let me use this photo for his bio, love it! I put in new bios for Renegade, Flash (I like the photo we chose), Thunder God, Interrogator, Puma, Tom, Frosty, Departed, Codfather and updated Bios for Cocky, Pusher, Cold Masochist, Mad Dog (check out the bloody singlet), Silent Assassin, Glamour Hammer Sonic Boom, Hillchecker, Animal, Gumby, Whacko, Showtime, Smokin’ Ivy, Judge, Disco, Mrs Triage, Yeti