Archive | November, 2012

122nd Bemis Forslund Pie Race at Northfield Mount Hermon School 11.12.12

15 Nov

Fresh Baked Pie Race Pies

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:

Pie-qualifying times:
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.  

1913… hey, that looks like me 😉

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!!!!


USATF New England Marathon Championship, Cape Cod 10.28.12

7 Nov

Surf Drive, final few miles

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.

26 miles, photo by Scott Mason

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.   

Courtney Bird, 30 years as Race Director

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

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