Millennium Running, Ribfest 5 mile, Merrimack – 06.19.2016

21 Jun

ribfest-logo

Third year and my 3rd Ribfest 5 mile, Anheuser Bush facility in Merrimack.  1403 registered runners.  This was part of a huge 3 day BBQ competition with live bands, booths, food vendors, kids race.   Last year it was a NH Championship (pouring rain) and the year prior it was a USATF-NE Grand Prix 5 mile Championship so this always draws fast, competitive runners.

Similar to last year, travelled with NHTI coach Perry Seagroves. Offsite parking at BAE guarantees warm up, warm down. Forecast was hot for the day (90’s)  9:00 a.m. start, I’d been hydrating for a few hours.

Inflatable arch

Inflatable arch

Like all Millennium events, everything was so professional with tremendous attention to detail. Plus this year had innovative tie-ins to the event, like BBQ apron (instead of race shirt) and BBQ wood-handled grill tool spatula awarded to top 50 Age Grade winners!  (My secret goal was to win an Age Grade BBQ grill tool)

We also received event entry & 2 free beers coupons, although I’ve never felt up for it post-race.

After stretches, strides, national anthem, we were off for the uphill start and ½ mile in, my quads wondered about that speed on treadmill the day before the race. Well, this was going to hurt, so be tough!  I tried to keep up with friends Ellen & Greg, which meant going out fast for me.   By two miles, I had inched ahead of them, but wasn’t sure how my legs were going to keep going for 3 more miles.   I felt like I was slowing in the 2nd-3rd miles.  Pat Bourgault came by me, but I couldn’t go any faster.   I saw Perry ahead (shorts on backwards, NHTI logo on the back!)   At 4 miles (wishing it was 5) I told myself “4 more laps on the track”   Form, mental focus.  Finally, taking the left turn downhill.  Look up for the huge black & white inflatable arch & clock, strong through the final, hearing Andy Schachat’s voice with a generously kind shout out… over the finish line!!!!!   I grabbed a water, spent – racing hurts.

With Whirlaway teammate & race winner Ruben Sanca

With Whirlaway teammate & race winner Ruben Sanca

Checked timing trailer for results, but it wasn’t showing AG, I knew at least 2 were in front of me. After a quick trip to the car, went back and found out YAY!!!  I was 19th in Age Grade awards!!!!  The BBQ wood-handled grill tool spatula!!!! PLUS we got gift certificates for Millennium store too!!!!  When I got home, I checked full results and found out I was 3rd in AG, whew, I got lucky today with strong competition.  Podium.

Coveted Age Grade award BBQ wooden handle grill tool!! BBQ apron, gift cert to Millennium store

Coveted Age Grade award BBQ wooden handle grill tool!! BBQ apron, gift cert to Millennium store

Results

38:28 (10 seconds faster than last year)

3 of 124 in Age Group – podium day

19th Age Grade [34.09]

1403 registered runners

Points Standings Update  3rd female overall

Fisher Cats 3K May 29, 2016 – Memorial Day weekend

2 Jun
Fisher Cats

Fisher Cats

Thank you Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental!

Outside stadium, pick up numbers

Outside stadium, pick up numbers

Memorial Day gives us pause to thank and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can have our freedoms.  We are truly fortunate and coming together with friends in a race like this reminds me how much we have to be grateful for.

50, debut new AG:

Two weeks ago, I turned 50. I admit, I was secretly hoping to have a strong debut run here in 50 AG.   Plus, I love stadium finishes, the 3K distance, know Riverwalk area (late miles of Manchester Marathon course.)  Plus, race entry included buffet picnic overlooking left field, (1) complimentary ticket for game following race and Atlas fireworks show!

My secret plan for a good 50 AG showing were shot down Friday when I found out masters & seniors were combined, ugh, 40-59 AG! I dropped my expectations. Oh well, just go and enjoy the fun of the event.

Race day:

Temps were fortunately in the 60’s, compared to 90’s the day before. Grabbed my number, brief warm up to check sections of the course.  Ushered down stadium steps onto the field and nervously did strides for 4:15 start.

On the field

Tossed a rosin bag out of the way, like I was clearing a track.   Fired up, anticipating, ready… GO!!!  We were off, my heart rate increased… sprint, no rest, focus.

At a hairpin turn I saw leaders, Dave Dunham and a youngster together.   Ellen Tidd, who has been racing incredibly fast, had a teenage girl nearby.  I didn’t think they were within reach… just keep pushing hard.   Ellen got by the girl while on Riverwalk, then, surprisingly, I passed Ellen.   Keep strong around a left turn and up slight incline.   I was vocal at a car poised to cut off runners and kept focus entering the stadium.

Felt the red clay underfoot, with a gratifying push towards the clock… over the finish line!! 12:29, elated, that was quick!!! Jubliant, I checked in with other runners and kept moving.  I felt like I might have placed well, didn’t want to be too hopeful, but wondered if was among top women?!?!  Winner, Dave Dunham, thought I might have been 2nd female.   Teeming with excitement… 2nd overall female?!?!

It was hard for me to stop moving and think clearly. Did a 2 mile warm down, washed with excitement, adrenaline.  Dang, dang, dang, wow what a great day.

Northeast Delta Dental suite! Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F) Dave Dunham (1st)

How “suite” it is! Northeast Delta Dental suite! Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F) Dave Dunham (1st)

I didn’t think it could get better, then after the warm-down, walking inside the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium concourse , Tom Raffio (President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental) graciously invited several of us to the Northeast Delta Dental Suite, including 1st , 2nd place (Dave Dunham & Dave Audet), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F)!!!  Immediately, as you step inside, the most tremendously stunning view of the ballpark!!  The suite is pristine; kitchen area with granite countertops, fridge stocked and hot and cold food, comfy furniture and through the sliding glass doors is a private seating area with real ball park seats.   Wow, what an honor and privilege to be invited, thank you, Tom!!!

Results, Fisher Cats 3K, May 29, 2016

Results, Fisher Cats 3K, May 29, 2016

Next, checked out the picnic… burgers, salad, hotdogs, chips (stomach doesn’t want to eat much post race) but while waiting, posted “Suite” photo and my iPhone received automatic results confirming I was 2nd female overall!!!! Wow, wow, dang, dang, dang, what a great day!!!!  Seriously incredible course of events!!

The race entry included post race all-you-can-eat buffet picnic overlooking left field

The race entry included post race all-you-can-eat buffet picnic overlooking left field

Game started at 6:05 and stayed for first pitch, but it was starting to get really chilly. I was trying to remember about awards, not sure how they’d handle them, so while walking to exit stadium, I looked up “Registrant Info” email:  “A Fisher Cats Prize Pack would be awarded to the top two race times among male participants and the top two race times among female participants in age groups. Additionally, the top three overall times for males and females would be awarded with a VIP Prize Pack presented on-field at the end of the first inning.”  What?!?!?!  NO WAY?!?!?!  COOL!!!  Double back to executive suite!!  How could the day keep getting better and better and better?!?!?

Tunnel inside stadium, headed to awards

Tunnel inside stadium, headed to awards

Tom Raffio showed us to the Guest Services area and we were led through corridors under the stadium to dugout.

dugout

Waiting behind the scenes to go on field

I was trying to take it all in – there were the Atlas fireworks for post game show, players were walking past us.

dugout 2

Dugout before going on field for awards. Fisher Cats game vs. the Reading Fightin’ Phils (AA-Philadelphia Phillies)

I tried to stay quiet and out of the way, oblivious to my chilly wet running bra, shorts, and that my Whirlaway sweatshirt wasn’t keeping me really warm!!   Hey, I wouldn’t miss this if I was frozen to the bone.

Awards on the field Dave Audet (2nd pl), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F), Dave Dunham (1st pl)

Awards on the field
Dave Audet (2nd pl), Ellen Tidd (3rd F), me (2nd F), Dave Dunham (1st pl)

 

We were given the cue to go out on the field and I turned to see that our names were displayed huge on the jumbotron.  It was hard to hear the announcer, so I likely waved at the wrong time… d’oh.  Our Fisher Cats VIP Prize Pack included an ball autographed by the players (witnessed and certified) plus, I won 4 tickets to any game this season!

Won a Fisher Cats team autographed ball; 4 tickets to any game this season!

Won a Fisher Cats team autographed ball; 4 tickets to any game this season!

Holy cow, wow!! Not my typical race… seriously, it could not have been more perfect. Heading home, I couldn’t settle down, stopped to grab some celebratory sushi (eventually there’d be hunger) with my thoughts replaying everything.  Living the dream!!

12:28.5, 6:42 pace, 2nd place Female

Full Results

What a day! Debut race in 50 AG could not have been more perfect

What a day! Debut race in 50 AG could not have been more perfect

 

 

 

Millennium Running, Cinco de Miles 05/01/2016

2 May

The race temperature was around 50, perfect for singlet & gloves. The Sportplex is a fun race venue in Bedford with an INDOOR finish on soft turf, right through inflatable Millennium arch!!  Love it. I parked off site and the distance was ideal for my warm-up and I greeted other runners along the way.  Smooth number pick up and gorgeous ¼ zip long sleeve shirts!  Women’s small!

cinco mike

Old friend Mike Thompson

 

Saw many friends and even Dave Tyler and Lisa Hodge, who I hadn’t seen in years. I wore Newton “Distance” shoes (from 2012) because my ankle strength has been improving so much, I’m getting to re-introduce them. Embarrassingly, I haven’t been doing much running, no speed work, and instead of feeling ready to race, on the day prior to the race I seriously felt like the “Michelin Man” ugh!   Some runners are so driven, prepared, focused, lean — Garmins — ranking — win or die!! Conversely, I was laughing with a chick who said she was “running for tequila.”

Cinco DT

Dave Tyler, Lisa Hodge and finish behind us

I went through pre-race routine, tried to think positively and hey, I’m in this for the fun, friends, getting in a few miles, oh and some Muscle Milk.  We were off and I ditched my gloves ½ mile into the race. Around 1.5 miles on this out and back course, I saw John Mortimer driving the Millennium lead car while filming us racing!

lead

The lead male was way ahead and friend Tammie Robie was running super for women. I couldn’t find an extra gear and didn’t feel like I was moving very fast… but at least Pat Bourgault was still in sight. A nice downhill towards the Sportplex and unlike last year, I knew where we entered.   I turned the final corner to view the gorgeous inflatable Millennium arch finish line!!!  I felt the soft turf underfoot, kicked with anything I had, and couldn’t believe the most incredibly enthusiastic, complimentary shout out from Jamie Staton (WMUR sports director)

img_0008

indoor finish, soft turf, love the arch!!

 

Hit my watch, yah, wow, wow, wow!!  A “work campus” runner had heard my name in the generous shout-out and introduced herself. I loved talking with her and her Swedish boyfriend.   Coronas and Margaritas weren’t on my agenda, so I visited with a few more friends, grabbed Muscle Milk for later, two bites of Portland Pie pizza and did my warm-down.It was barely beginning to sprinkle… another fabulously done Millennium event, even the weather!!

On the way home, I was thrilled to accomplish a bunch of errands (smart cover for new Apple Air2!!!)

I didn’t check the results, but my thoughtful friend said I would have been 2nd in AG, if I were 2 weeks older…  I finally checked my results the next day 7:16,  22:33

cinco post race

Fabulous shirt! Margarita glass from last year’s race!

Millennium, Yule Light Up the Night – Final race (#17 of 17) in the Millennium Series!! December 13, 2015

21 Dec
Getting read to race

Getting read to race

Running in the dark on the race track with 2 million holiday lights!  I was so excited for this race, not just the total fun of this one, but extra special as the final race of the Millennium Series.  We worked hard this year – congratulations to everyone who ran!

Bib #20, yay!!

Got race #20, yay!!

 

 

In the morning, 6 of us did an easy 4 mile run/core together.  Since 4 of us were racing (Jim, Sal, Pat, me) we kept ourselves under control, but had a blast.

Race temperature was perfect for singlet, shorts, arm sleeves, gloves and I previewed the finish as part of my warm -up.   Hearing WMUR Jamie Staton’s voice, seeing lots of friends, people with their families, got to meet Jim’s daughter home from college in Oregon.   All good vibes.

A number of us who have raced together all year and track friends lined up near the front.   Greg, Jade, Aimee were off like bullets and even 6 year old Jack Mortimer and dad John Mortimer!  “Run in a straight line, Jack!”

Light Tunnel!!

Light Tunnel!!

Running through the tunnel with lights was so cool.

I tried to stay quick on the uphill and not let others pull too far ahead.   Greg and Aimee are so fast and I couldn’t even see Jade.   Somehow I managed to get by Greg & Aimee and tried to hold my focus.  I don’t remember going by Muriel, but afterwards she told me I got by her too on the hill and then I was able to keep ahead of her on the dark downhills.  I saw Jade ahead and I wasn’t sure if I should try to pass, because I wasn’t sure whether I could sustain this pace.  I leaned in and went harder.  Total zen running, flying in the dark down the hills.

Some lights

Some lights

When I recognized particular lights from my warm-up, I knew how much further on the course and as we entered some left/right cones, I saw two people running together (Erin & Jonathan Lehto) and felt a surge to beat them to the finish line.

The floodlights at the huge Millennium Arch & Andy Schacht’s voice, my feet were going so fast, I thought I’d trip over myself.   Over the line!!! Yay!!!! I felt like I had a very good run and fully appreciating that !!

I was anxious to check results on the big screens at the timing trailer.  Yay!! Won 2nd female (of 223) 14:20, 6:23 (course was a bit short) and I was so excited!!   Sharing the fun with awesome friends and chatting about our races, the excitement and Millennium “extras” like the bonfire, make your own smores, hot soup, hot chocolate, etc.   They think of everything.   I grabbed some Muscle Milk heading back to car and got to enjoy the drive through the Holiday Lights.  Good thing I had the Muscle Milk, the lights drive was longer than I remembered and I was feeling post-race bonky.

I had my glow necklaces, my award mug from placing, got through the Millennium Series of 17 races, driving through the lights, fun with friends – riding the high – cherishing every second!

LED lighted hat swag & 2nd place master mug!!

LED lighted hat swag & 2nd place master mug!!

14:20, 6:23 (~ 2.25M)  2nd female master

6th woman of 1,420 runners too!

Millennium Running, Holiday Hat Trick!

14 Dec

It was my second year doing the Millennium Running Holiday Hat Trick series!  It is so motivating & fun to have goal races this time of year and celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with runner friends!

Holiday Hat Trick Mugs!

Holiday Hat Trick Mugs!

Reverse side of mugs

Reverse side of mugs

Millennium Running, 3 mile Santa Claus Shuffle; 12/05/15.

14 Dec

How often do you get temperatures in the mid 50’s for racing in December?  What a gift of a day.   The 3:15 start time, right before Downtown Manchester’s holiday parade, meant tons of excitement on Elm Street.   Street closed, music and LOTS of Santas! Check out the Video and this great Aerial Video from race!   Race swag included a full santa suit for everyone.  Last year, I wore the suit (except pants) but this year it was way too warm, so with red & black Whirlaway colors, I didn’t look too out of place.   I did a long warm-up, then strides and lined up near Aimee, Greg, Jade.

santa race

Race pick-up was at the Radisson Expo Center

Race pick-up was at the Radisson Expo Center

There were fantastic details and things I saw quickly, but since I was focused on racing, it wasn’t until I saw the video that I remembered things like the cheerleaders.  The out and back course lets you see the phenomenal sea of red Santas, what a kick!

I ran hard and the finishing sprint down Elm Street was visually stunning with all the spectators and the finish near Veterans Park.  I was very happy to be 4th Female Master 21:38 (7:13) with some very fast ladies!!  Full results here. I had a bite of pizza and did a 10 minute warm down before meeting Tina (leading 50+ AG Division!) to celebrate and watch the parade from Thirsty Moose.  There were 9 post-race spots to choose from and I think we went to the busiest one!

Look at the Santas on Elm Street!

Look at the Santas on Elm Street!

 

This was our 3rd race of the Holiday Hat Trick Series and #16 of 17 in the Points Chase.  I managed to hold onto position as 1st Female Master, 3rd Female and moved up to 8th overall!

 

Santa suit, Hat Trick mug, yay, #33!

Santa suit, Hat Trick mug, yay, #33!

Millennium Running, Fisher Cats, Thanksgiving 5K 11.26.15

2 Dec
Fantastic stadium finish!

Fantastic stadium finish!

This was the 2nd race of the Holiday Hat trick and 15th race of the Millennium Point Chase series.

A few of us remembered the race last year after a snowstorm and a few days without electricity!  It made us especially thankful for today.  There were so many familiar faces, friends and camaraderie of being together.

All the details, well done

All the details, well done

I warmed up and checked out how the course was slightly different from last year.  The field was huge and seeing Whirlaway teammate Miae Jacobs and other fast runners as we lined up, I saw it was very competitive too.   The starting ceremony was, as always, well done with the mayor of Manchester, live national anthem, Jamie Staton from WMUR and pace marked starting corral.

We were off and my legs weren’t feeling particularly quick – maybe from the hilly, fast group run and spin class earlier this week.   I tried to catch Greg, then focus on other targets.  Running through the mill area is beautifully familiar.  Pushing hard, the painful challenge of this distance, looking forward to the mile markers.   Around 2 miles, I felt like I could throw up… keep pushing!   Up a slight incline and around the back of the stadium to the field, yay!!! Gorgeous!!  It was so much fun to be running inside the stadium to the finish line.  I eyed the clock, it was near 22:00 and I finished strong.

Stadium, finish in sight! (note, cashmere gloves AND Goretex mittens)

Stadium, finish in sight! (note, cashmere gloves AND Goretex mittens)

Going up the stairs to the concourse reminded me of the stadium finish at Bay State Marathon.  It was a good set-up.   Using the concession windows for number pick-up and shirts – everything visible and not congested.  I looked across the field and saw that the jumbotron screen had runners finishing – very cool detail!  Some other fun details were the Holiday Hat Trick mug (nice weight and color), also the woman’s fit shirt, plus opening day Fisher Cats baseballs tickets.  I wish I had a chance to use mine last year. bib

I talked with friends afterwards, a couple who had PR races, gathered Stonyfield yogurt tube, banana into a nice canvas tote.   For warm down, I totally dug getting to nostalgically run across the Merrimack River on the wooden foot bridge near the metal cow sculpture.  Lots on training runs and 2 marathon finishes coming over that bridge!

Results – 22:04  7:07 pace, I’ll take it!   (Would have been 3rd senior – soon!)

Warm down ! Crossing Merrimack river

Warm down ! Crossing Merrimack river

 

Grohe Ladylux³ & stainless soap dispenser

13 Nov
I loved my old chrome Grohe Ladylux faucet so much, but after 21 years of mineral filled water, the handle was moving harder and it was dripping a bit.   A plumber fixing a leak under the sink in half-bath used my kitchen faucet and reminded me I really needed to replace it.  The problem was finding one I liked nearly as much.
Grohe Ladylux3

NEW!! Grohe Ladylux3. “Pure Freunde an Wasser” (German for “pure pleasure in water”)

Grohe’s German design, quality and technology is superb, but so expensive.  Shopping around, I looked at Lowe’s, Home Depot and the Granite Group/Ultimate Bath Store.  My Grohe these days, $500-800, so figured I’d go with something less expensive like Delta, recommended by plumber.  A fabulous woman who is also an interior designer at Ultimate Bath Store miraculously found me a discontinued color (with black, just like my old one) of my same Grohe model (Ladylux) for less than I’d pay for Delta!
Just to make sure, I asked lots of advice, recommendations, read reviews.
NEW Grohe Ladylux and new soap dispenser

NEW Grohe Ladylux and new soap dispenser

The write-up : 
Best-selling pull-out faucet has been given an updated look.

This new design combines the innovative design of today’s modern kitchens with the functionality and durability of a professional tool. The Ladylux³ features a dynamic and flowing silhouette with a more streamlined body than its predecessors. The flower-like body rises organically from the counter and merges with an elegantly arched spout and distinctive lever.   (I dig the “flower-like” reference!)

With its fluid curves and graceful gooseneck design, the LadyLux3 Café single-handle pull-down spray head kitchen faucet is as elegant and eye-catching as it is functional. Standing 14 ¾ inches tall, its striking profile comprises a high-arc swivel spout that extends 8 1/8 inches in reach and incorporates a pull-down sprayhead. Spray control allows users to switch between two spray modes—regular flow and spray—with a simple push of a button.

GROHE SpeedClean protects the spray nozzles against limescale buildup, and the lever handle, equipped with a GROHE SilkMove cartridge for smooth control of the water temperature and volume, rotates forward to turn the faucet on, eliminating installation issues relating to backsplash clearance. LadyLux3 Café has a 1.75-gpm water flow.  It comes in several finishes and says: the professional’s choice GROHE RealSteel®.

It was surprising to see the variation in cost between faucet finishes.  The retail for Ladylux in chrome is $539, jumping up to $699 for Supersteel and $869 for RealSteel Stainless.  Dang, I saw that Grohe’s retail for my version finish with RealSteel Stainless Steel/Black was $881!!!   Thankfully, mine was hugely discounted.   I interviewed 3 plumbers re: installation and went with a great referral who installed it last week.   When I tried my new Grohe, I realized how rough the old one had been operating.   Plus this piece not only looks like a piece of sculpture – gorgeous & fascinating visually – the handle operates soooo smoothly.

Elle checking out new soap dispenser

Elle checking out new soap dispenser

Similarly, I looked for a better deal than the $159 retail soap dispenser to match the faucet.  The designer picked out one which matched, but when it was installed, I found that it was plastic and the pump didn’t work nearly as well as my previous soap dispenser.  Customer reviews agreed.  So I watched a YouTube video, removed it and replaced with same model soap dispenser as I had before, but with stainless finish to match new faucet.   Check it out in photo.  I can use one hand, it self primes, pumps great and sits low profile, and looks good with new Grohe faucet.

Plus it’s totally OK to mix metal finishes between faucet and antique brass cabinet pulls… “leave matchy-matchy to the catalogs and let your kitchen’s personality shine with a mix of metals for hardware and fixtures” per this article & photos

Elle & new Grohe Ladylux.. kitty shower?

Elle & new Grohe. Reminding me a reason why I nixed the “touch” activated on/off

Millennium Running, CHaD, Trick or Trot 3k, October 31, 2015 – PR

5 Nov

I ran this race last year as part of the “Holiday Hat Trick” and it was a pleasure to get to do it again as part of the Millennium Running “Points Chase” (and “Holiday Hat Trick” too)

Love seeing the Millennium Arches

Love seeing the Millennium Arches

With a Morton’s Neuroma causing toe off trouble and right knee which needs a lot of TLC, I sometimes get kinda frustrated about running, so I really cherish good days when they happen.

View from the bridge, we cross river twice

View from the bridge, we cross river twice (photo courtesy Dave Dunham)

Like all Millennium Events, this was fabulously done – the professionalism, details and great staging – easy registration, custom race numbers, announcers, sound, WMUR TV sports director Jamie Staton and the incredibly welcoming black & white inflatable arches!

I must have registered early, got number 33

I must have registered early, got number 33

It goes without saying that Millennium will have plenty of water, Power Ade, yogurt, fruit, pizza and post race beer.  This race had a kid’s Halloween carnival with climbing wall, exotic animals, bounce house, food truck vendors.  Plus, it’s really a gorgeous course up and over the Merrimack River.

I warmed-up running the course.  Race start was 2:30 p.m., temperature in 50’s and lots of people in Halloween costumes.

Start photo, courtesy Dave Dunham

Start photo, courtesy Dave Dunham

I lined up several rows back – there were 854 runners – we were off!  Jade said she was running easy, so I tried to get past her, then I put in a good effort on the uphill & we were on the bridge.  Not the time to enjoy the view, focus!  Super fast Muriel was ahead, so I tried to not let her gain more distance ahead of me.  Running legend Dave Dunham was on the bridge right before the hairpin turn.  It was great to see him, we runners really appreciated the support of an elite runner/coach like that.  Back across the bridge and I tried to keep strong, Muriel kept about the same distance ahead.  The downhill was fun and a few quick turns and back to Arms Park.

Often in races, I visualize being on the track to keep my form and estimate potential kick.  Rounding the final turn through the arch, I made my move on Muriel, yelling “let’s go!!!” and kicked !!!! It’s so memorable hearing announcer Andy Schachat’s loud shout out – another great Millennium detail, it makes you feel kind of like an elite runner.

Final Kick!!

Final Kick!!

Not knowing how close Muriel was, I kept running beyond the line and it took me a moment to “decelerate” and turn around.  I saw Aimee Sherman (finally got to meet) and then I ran the course again as warm-down.

Muriel’s husband Norm, came up to me afterwards and said he told Muriel she’s not supposed to slow down at the finish – making me laugh.  She is a phenomenal, strong competitor, I felt very lucky to catch her that day.

Additional appreciated Millennium details were a “Holiday Hat Trick” series coffee mug (mmmm keeps my hands warm!) long sleeve shirt that fits and slightly different from last year (so I don’t have 2 identical) and a very, very cherished 1st master glass (different style from other races this year)

Holiday Hat Trick coffee mug, 1st F Master glass, long sleeve women's shirt

Holiday Hat Trick coffee mug, 1st F Master glass, long sleeve women’s shirt

We had 3 choices of bars for post-race celebration and a lot of us went to Milly’s, right next door.

Post-race Celebration Milly's.

Post-race celebration Milly’s. Cherishing the journey to get that winning F master mug!

My time was 5 seconds faster than last year, so it was a 3k PR!  Winning 1st F master meant a lot, I felt very lucky and surprised.  The wonderful friends, camaraderie, atmosphere of striving for one’s personal best excellence :)   What a great day it turned out to be!!!

1st F master of 117, 12:49  6:53

In the Points Chase, I kept my place as 1st female master, 3rd female and 9th overall !!

Results link

Millennium Running, Traveler Beer New England Half Marathon 10.04.15

6 Oct
Run towards the dome!! All the way from Loudon

Run towards the dome!! All the way from Loudon

With not many longish runs this year, I had the nerves and excitement as if this was a marathon.   The extras & details made it feel like a marathon too!  Number pick up the day before, fleece jackets, waterstops competing to be the best, fanfare with cowbells, Millennium arches & Traveler signs along the course, post race with friends.  It turned out to be one of my best race experiences in a lot of years… from the training on our “home course” and the build up to the event, to the challenge of the distance (my longest race in almost a year), so many familiar faces, fabulous weather, Millennium Running’s incredible attention to details, first class quality.   I am pleased with my time, fastest half since March 2013, but especially for my friends hitting their big goals, PRs and sharing their race experiences with them!

Saturday number pick-up was seamless and so convenient at Grappone Center.

Number pick up

Number pick up

Sunday at 8:30, Jim and I dropped his car at the finish and took mine to the Loudon Speedway start.  It had been in the 30’s earlier that morning, so we were studying the wind/temperature.   Josh Fields decided the tailwind = less clothing, so I switched my long sleeve to arm sleeves & gloves, shivering we went to the start, knowing I’d warm up.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, race start

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, race start

After about 2 miles on 106 we turned right and then onto the dirt road.   It was gorgeous and comfortable underfoot, but I was not sure how long it would be  – Jim said afterwards it was about 3 miles of dirt.

What a beautiful surprise to see the Millennium black & white arch reaching up at 10K!   THEN we got to our Shaker course – my 5 mile mark from my house, so many memories & long runs on that road.  Julianne was at Oak Hill trail with the best/loudest cowbell (frying pan too?) cheering ever!  Even the hill at Snow Pond felt effortless this day.  Our training hill – slipping down it in the winter, seeing the ladyslippers in May – usually Jim would surge, Perry tells me I put the pressure on there too –  our hill interval until the farm at the top!!

Several of the water stops were a kick, reminded me of Cape Cod marathon with costumes, leis, and even live music at Shaker Road school!  Another Millennium mega arch looked so welcome at 10 miles and I saw a few people who knew me from running that road, including Alex Vogt who reached out to touch my hand as I ran by.   Down Eastman and I was passing people, even on the narrow bike bridge I passed 2 people…  more memories, another long run route and a very fast 10 mile race for state age record.

I was surprised my legs felt OK  and near Horseshoe I saw Greg Audet ahead and I put on a chase.  Dang, he was running fast!  I told him congratulations it was his PR day and he said Jim was just ahead, but didn’t make a move to come with me.   It’s a switchback up to 393 and I saw Jim.    I caught him almost at the top and asked finish together?

Rounding to N. Main, perfectly positioned Dana B. caught my gloves and then I was ready to open it up for a sprint down Main towards the finish.   Jim told me go, it was OK.    It so memorable how it played out.  I couldn’t believe how good my legs and form still felt – sprinting down Main Street towards the golden dome.  Ooops, surprise turn to Centre and slight incline – no problem, I can hear announcer Andy Schachat’s voice.  Corrals and crowds, Andy saying something like “here comes running hall of famer, Sarah Prescott”… YAY, hit my watch and I crossed the finish line!!!! I was elated, everything went so incredibly well!!

finish line in sight

finish line in sight

Jamie Staton gave me a congratulatory smile & fist bump and I received my medal from Miss NH contestants.  I turned around for double high fives as Jim finished 30 seconds behind me.  Whew, done!

Last straightaway

Last straightaway

Greg finished strong 30 seconds later with his incredible 6+ min PR.  I checked results screen (slightly disappointed with place, 12th Female Master of 248) there were quick chicks!  My time (1:48:14, 8:16) was faster than anticipated and everything else came together perfectly, I seriously have no reason to complain for sure.    What a fabulous day.   Hey, even a really good band was playing on the Legislative Office Building steps… love this Bill Withers song, Use Me

With medals, band playing on stairs in background, Millennium lead car

Kovar brothers with medals, band playing on stairs in background, Millennium lead car

How about this for post-race snack – a mobile, copper, wood fired flatbread/pizza oven! I think mine was cheese herb variety — just a bit of scrumptiousness kept me from going into a post-race bonk.  American Flatbread’s wood-fired pizza oven truck, yum!

Warm dry clothes (handicap ramps + post race legs!) then Ellen Carr Tidd, Tim Pifer, Jim, the Kovars and I went to Margaritas for race sponsor Traveler curious shandy, sample of pumpkin too and promotion (posed for photos with Traveler moustaches).

Ellen's bro-in-law Jonathan Kovar and his brother Robert. Traveler sponsors promo, mustaches at Margaritas

Ellen’s bro-in-law Jonathan Kovar and his brother Robert. Traveler sponsors promo, mustaches at Margaritas

John Mortimer stopped in to say “hi” – kind as always.  We got the couches near Margarita’s fireplace and Greg Audet joined us.  Runners everywhere sharing race experiences… we toasted each other with our new Traveler pint glasses.    Walking back to the car, we talked with more friends at Eagle Square, then Loudon Speedway for my car.  We will be reminiscing about these great race memories for a lot of years to come!!!

Results, 1:48:14, 8:16 pace,  12th master of 248.

And wow, the best part is I kept my place in Points Standing!!! Still 1st female master, 3rd female overall and 9th person!!

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