Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

I would like to take a minute to wish a happy new year to all my faithful blog readers and my Tuesday Night Turtle teammates. Hopefully, everyone will have an even better year than last, i know i will.

First things first. I would like to say congratulations to my Turtle teammate Dave Schaad who just ran his 75th race of the year in Florida. Dave has not missed a day of running in over 4 years and in that same time, has run in 235 races. One thing about Dave, he runs every race hard, likes to play the part of the rabbit and loves every minute of it. His consistency is amazing, running most of his 5k times between 18.30 and 17.50 while winning his share of master divisions. Oh yeah...Dave is also a beer rep for Dundee's and Genesee as well as the host for the greatest Labor Day party around. Good going, Dave.

New Year, New Goals.

The new year better be better for me. This past year was just awful when it came to my running. I think that both knees are finally better and i am at a point where i actually look forward to going for a run. It has been 3 years and 10 months that i have been dealing with one knee or the other and a stress fracture that seemed to start it all off. Now i just have to build a base, lose some weight, throw in some quality training and i will be racing before you know it. Knock on wood :)

Some goals for the year:

**Running a few snowshoe races and probably making a total fool of myself in the process.

**Running Mt. Washington if i can be lucky enough to get in. If not, find some other mountain races that i won't be photographing to run.

**Cross country and trail racing if it don't kick the shit out of my knees.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Too Much Snow

 What a lousy weekend! 48+ hours of snow combined with incompetent snowplow drivers means roads that can't be run on safely. When recovering from knee problems, the last thing i want to do is get out and run on roads like these. Add in the idiot driver factor and missing a few days seems the right thing to do. I was looking forward to having my biggest week in 8 months, granted it would have only been close to 20 miles, but it is better than the zeroes i was putting up in the fall. All because of too much snow, if i wanted this much of the white stuff, i would move back to New Hampshire.
Now if this was next week, i would have my new Dion snowshoes and could get a workout in the snow. I am looking forward to using them and it just so happens that my buddy Martin Tighe has snowshoes too, so i will have someone to train and try a few races with. Hopefully Martin will take it easy on me, he is coming off of a 2nd place, 6:20 50 miler down at Sunmart in Texas a few weeks ago. One other Turtle, Bob Jackman has shown some interest in trying some snowshoe action, we'll see how a bunch of flatlanders do up north. Should be fun.

The photo is my summer toy with my snowblower. I would much rather be playing around with the TR6.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Charlies Surplus 10 Miler 1981

Hey there everyone, time for some more vintage running photos. Charlies Surplus was a great 10 mile race that attracted very high caliber fields back in the day. The course was hi-lighted by Tower Hill, which came at about 6 miles if memory serves me right, but i could be wrong. It did tend to break open the race if it was close. I don't really remember alot about this race except for the fact that i had the cover shot on Frontrunner Magazine with the photo at right with Bob Hodge and Geoff Smith. If you click on the text below, it should enlarge so that you can read the original story of the race that was in the June 1981 issue of Frontrunner Magazine, written by Don Drewniak of the Central Mass Striders. See more pictures at

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow and Bikes

I know, it is Thursday and pouring rain outside right now. There is no snow left on the ground and it was 60 degrees yesterday, but last Sunday i went to the NBX Grand Prix of Cyclo Cross in Goddard Park, Warwick, RI to see some great bike racing in the snow and loved it. If you don't know of CycloCross, it is really just road bikes on trails with some minor modifications to the bikes. The New England CycloCross Series is a great experience, you have music blaring, announcers walking around with cordless mikes and a small, but vocal fan base watching riders do 45 -60 minute races. I wish road races could
be this enthusiastic, the fans here were hardcore, ringing cowbells or even handing out cups of beer to riders and they were taking them and downing the beer. If you ever get the chance to check out a cyclocross race, do it! These riders are into it and the atmosphere is just so electric, you can't help but get into the frame of mind of these riders. We had some great riders out there, Jamie Driscoll won the Mens Elite Race and is heading to the Nationals this weekend and Luke Keough took the under 19 age-group and seems to be a future national champion. There seems to be something about this sport that you can relate to. As a kid, you ride your bike through the woods just because, and now as an adult, you ride through the woods for the same reason. Because it is fun. What is better than That?! Do you want to see more photos? Check out this,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Matty P.

Went out for a run tonite, a whopping 3 1/2 miles. The legs wanted to go, but the lungs said no. Heck of a birthday run. I really hate starting up my running from square one.  To make matters worse, i finish up at the lot just after Matt Pelletier, Patrick Moulton and Scott Bessette get done with their quick run. I'm jealous. Seems like not that many years ago i was running workouts stride for stride with Matt. I got hurt and he got faster. 

I told Matty about this photo of him from the Martini-Hicks 5k in 1996 and he said you gotta put it up, so here it is. Please excuse the quality of the picture, i did not take it, it was given to me by the guy in front of Matt in the shot. It was March 31st, 1996 and that is Mark Zartarian kicking in front of Matt. Zart ran 17.08 to Matts 17.09, Zart was 42 and Matt was 16 years old at the time. I'd say he has done quite well since then, what do ya think?

Maybe i'll be out there running with you sometime in the near future, Matt. On your easy day, of course :)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Old Running Photos

Well, tonite i started uploading some of my old race photos onto my website. I am putting them under the categorie of Vintage Running. This stuff starts in 1979 and goes through the 80's and 90's. You won't see loads of pictures like you do in today's digital age, after all, it was film and you did not want to waste anything if you didn't have to. Most of the photos are in pretty good condition, but there were some negatives that weren't handled too well over the years and it shows. I will try to label as many of the photos as possible as long as i recognize or can find results of the runners in them.

First up is the Freedom Trail Road Race in 1979 & 1980 and the Brattleboro National 50k Championship in 1980.

I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Photographs and Injuries

I was reading Dave Dunham's latest blog entry about popular holidays to race on and the mention of injuries intrigued me. I've been running for 30 years now and racing for almost that much. That also means that i have been dealing with running injuries for almost that long, the first would be a groin pull in the winter of 1980. So i got to thinking and compiled a list of all the running related injuries i could think of off the top of my head. These would be considered major setbacks, missing at least 4 weeks time each. Of course, there are numerous minor problems that we all deal with like lost toenails, callouses, blisters, etc.
Here is the list (i know i am missing some)

**Groin Pull
**Hamstring Pull (3)
**Hip (4)
**Quad Muscle (2)
**Heel Spurs (2)
**Patella Tendonitis (5)
**Achilles Tendonitis (1)
**I.T. Band (1)
**Stress Fractures @ 5th metatarsal on feet (6, but probably more)
**Foot Puncture, stepped on broken glass in a snowbank, but did finish up the last 5 miles of the run because there was no other way to get home.
**Threw out back rounding a street corner
**Broken Toe, stubbed while running at night but kept running for the week because the Utica
Boilermaker was coming up and i did not want to miss it.
**Neuroma, had to have surgery to remove the nerve between 3rd and 4th toes.
**Knee Surgery to remove scar tissue built up on Patella Tendon
**Foot Surgery to remove part of bone to straighten out little toe.

That is all i can think of at the moment, there was never a list i kept for this stuff. Oh yeah,almost forgot the current problem i just am getting over, a knee cap that wasn't tracking correctly that led to the other knee acting up that caused me to miss alot of the last 3 1/2 years.
It took long enough just to get it diagnosed correctly. I could go on about orthopedic doctors that don't deserve a license and numbnut podiatrists, but the blog would take three days to read. The guys at Foundry Sports in Providence, Ken Furcoulo and Michael Wiggins are great, they know what they speak of and really care.

The biggest shout out goes to my excellent massage therapist, Nicole Toth. She has helped me out more than anyone.

So it seems that this last injury is finally over and it is time to run. Now i just have to try to not over do it and get hurt again :)

Since i am talking numbers here, i thought i would mention one race time. It is 52.56, what is that you say? It was my last 10 mile time that i ran at Yankee Homecoming in 1999, it is also the same exact time i ran 10 days before that at the Blessing of the Fleet. Oh yeah, that's right, i ran that exact time the year before at the Blessing of the Fleet, kind of freaky, ain't it? My last three ten milers are all run in the same time! High expectations if i ever run another 10 miler.



P.S. That x-ray picture is 2 years old.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dick's Dash - Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there. This morning, the Turtles got together for the annual Dick's Dash at "Cousin" Rich Northup's house. The run consists of either a 4 or 10  mile run followed by breakfast and beverages. It was a great morning for a run, upper 30's and no wind. Our winner today was Bob Jackman, time? Does it really matter? Everyone had a nice run and then ended with breakfast and coffee(with Bailey's, of course), and then to beer and a raffle and good times. You can see our president, Dave Principe (in black) and Sir George Ross at left, cracking the crab legs open for a snack. Along the way, we sampled some great beers, a Belgium Gueze, Newport Storm 02 & 04 and Unibroue Terrible. That is the "Cuz" downing a brew in the photo below. It also started the beginning of our Man Of Winter Award, an outdated prize that needs to disappear.

This made 5 runs in the last 6 days for me. I have had no knee pain to speak of, just burning lungs and tight muscles. I haven't run this much in 3 plus years. I can only hope that this is the beginning of another comeback, how many? I lost count. Right now, i am optimistic about the running, i really want to compete again. I have even been pricing out racing snowshoes for a foray into that snowsport. I think that i can get back into racing shape and compete in my age categorie, if i can't, i won't race. But i really think i will be back.  

I headed down to my parents house after the run for dinner, you can see the sunset from their front deck. Nice! 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Orange, Orange, Everywhere.

I took a ride down to Charlestown, RI this morning for the Li'l Rhody Runaround to watch some of my teammates run this trail race. It was a cold morning, right around 30 degrees with a brisk wind and lots of sun. Not to many runners in shorts today, kind of wimpy if you ask me. Anyway, this race is just short of 8 miles, being listed at 7.9 and mostly singletrack, although the last mile is on paved road with a downhill finish. This is a well put on race, hosted by the Westerly Track Club and timed by SNERRO. You get an orange t-shirt with your entry fee that comes in hand, seeing you must wear orange because of hunting season. There wasn't much drama in years race as the mens race was led wire to wire by Greg Hammett in 46.31 @ 5.49 pace followed by Ben Nephew in 46.50 @ 5.51.
First place female went to my teammate Michaela Driscoll  in 54.45 @ 6.51 pace. Other Tuesday Night Turtles were Bob Jackman in 6th overall and first 18-29 @ 50.39, Dave Principe in 10th  place 4th master @ 52.23 and "Cousin"Rich Northup in 29th @ 56.37. Ex-Turtle Zak Kudlak ran 53.02, just beating out Stormin' Norman Bouthillier at 53.16.
 Norm was running well until rolling his ankle with less than 2 miles to go, he wasn't too happy leaving the race but had to be feeling better after the Patriots beat the Dolphins. 
It was just plain cold after the race as runners huddled in the hut for hot soup and cider. The wind was coming across the pond, right in the front of the open  hut, but there were fireplaces at either end of the hut with fires roaring to help everyone stay somewhat warm. It was nice to get to the local swillhole afterwards for a beer and a bite to eat, and some warmth.   

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Falmouth Road Race Weekend 1980

Falmouth weekend, 1980. We started on Friday night, Gerry Beagan, Kenny Field and myself headed out to Provincetown, Ma for a little run back to Providence, RI. Gerry was doing this run as a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy that was billed as Gerry's Run For Jerry's Kids. It was to be a 120 mile run over 2 days, starting at 6 am at the base of the Pilgrim Tower in the center of Provincetown. Gerry would be joined by 2 other runners, John Armour and Tim Lepore. We left Coventry, RI on Friday night and headed east, when we got to Swansea, Ma, we decided to get Gerry pumped up for this run by going to the drive-in theater that advertised Rocky 1 + 2, awesome, lets go. We get in and set up, and looking up at the screen, realize that they are playing a porno film with some guy in a wheelchair. Well, this is not the kind of pump-up film we were thinking of, so out we went and in the next parking lot to us was a bar with live music, so we figure we might as well stop in. The band Northeast Expressway was playing, a good cover band, so we hung out until closing time and then headed to Provincetown, it was now 1am or so and Gerry was to start at 6am. Gerry got to sleep for most of the drive as Kenny and myself drove that long, boring ride on Rte 6 to the tip of Cape Cod. I think we pulled into P-Town about 4am and tried to get some sleep in the van, i was stretched across the front seats with the cooler between to make a very uncomfortable bed. We awoke and headed to the Pilgrim Tower for about 5:30am, so Gerry heads out for a warm up run, why?, i couldn't tell you. He runs into a cop who asks where he is running to, Gerry says Providence, so the cop shakes his head and walks away. Kenny and myself are sitting in the van reading Playboy magazines, trying to hold off the locals. So, off goes the run, Gerry, John and Tim are off on their adventure. All my film from this run is in the possesion of Gerry, so i can't show any of the photos from the run. Maybe at a later date. I also learned about DMSO this weekend, also known as DimethylSulfoxide, it is like a bengay on steroids and it was legal for use on horses. Tim Lepore was using this stuff on his legs, Tim is a surgeon. It would go strait to your bloodstream, so if you mixed aspirin in with it, you would get very direct results. One thing you would notice is the taste of garlic in your mouth about ten minutes after applying this stuff. Did it help? Not that i ever noticed and i did personally try it. Gerry did make the Cape Cod Canal on day one.

The next day, Gerry was to finish his long run, but i was not to be there, i was heading to Falmouth to shoot the race. I met up with Betsey Roundsville to photograph the race as we were both shooting for Frontrunner Magazine. The race went off as many others, we were at 5 miles or so on the course, shooting like crazy. Rod Dixon won the mens race and Grete Waitz took the womens win. The fun started after the end of the race. With Gerry doing his ultra-fundraiser, we thought it would be cool to get the current cover of Frontrunner signed by all the top runners for Gerry. Most everyone cooperated with us, Grete, Joanie, Bill Rodgers, Dixon, Hodge, Patti Catalano, Jackie Gareau. The only real prick we ran across was Herb Lindsey, but Benji Durden took care of that with us, walking over with a pen and saying "sign the magazine, Herb".I think we ended up with 40 plus great runners signing the cover. The photo of Grete Waitz that is above, ended up being printed in an Australian newspaper, but i do not remember which one. The photo pass above was signed by Ric Rojas, who finished 3rd this day, but was overlooked for the other "bigger" runners. He was hanging out in the tent with Jan Merrill, seems like no one cared that they ran so good so it was kind of cool to hang out talking with them without any distractions. I always liked this picture of Jackie Gareau, it was just 4 months earlier that she had to deal with the Rosie Ruiz bullshit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Bumble Bee Shoes

Anyone out there remember Nike's Sock Racer? These were wicked comfortable racing shoes, they were very light and fit like...a sock, of course.

I got my first pair from Nike on their Wear Testing Program. I can't remember, but i would tend to think that when i opened the box and saw these, it was kind of like WTF is going on here. One race in these and you had to love them, especially if you like flashy shoes. I think on the testing program, i only had them for about 6 weeks, not much time to test in real race conditions. From what i can tell from old race logs, i wore them for 4 races. The first one being the picture below at the West Warwick Holy Ghost Society Labor Day 5k, also know as the La-La Race. Don't ask me why, i don't know. I ran 2nd that day in 14.58. The last race i wore them in was October 19th at the Cape Cod Relay. Lucky me, i got to run the longest leg, the 14.6 mile seventh one. By the time i took the handoff, it was pouring rain and there was no one close in front of me or behind which made for a long boring time trial. I had to settle for a 1:16.0 on the leg in conditions that just plain sucked, but the team did get 5th place that year so i can't really bitch about it too much. The next day the shoes went back to the testing labs which were in Exeter, NH at the time. With all the rain in the race and the very porous EVA midsole on the shoe that acted as a sponge, the shoes probably weighed twice what they were supposed to. I was wringing water out of them after the last race, i can just imagine what the lab techs thought when they opened the box. I did buy a pair of these when they hit the market, that is a picture of them above, i only kept them because they are a great conversation piece.

I don't think i would have had the balls to wear the bumble bee socks that Ingrid Kristiansen wore with her shoes in the 1986 Boston Marathon, of course, she ran 2:24.55 and won the race that year. Still, the shoes were ugly enough without wearing matching socks. But they were probably the best racing shoe i ever had.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

La Sportiva Mountain Series Photos

Hey there everyone. Well, the running season is slowing down now, so i decided to put up a few favourite shots from the La Sportiva USATF New England Mountain Series . I had never intended on shooting any of these races until Martin Tighe wanted to run Wachusett on the way up to the Vermont City Marathon and Relay this year and i was doing the driving. So i figure, what the hell, lets take the bus to the top of the mountain and fire away. I mean, my camera goes just about everywhere that i go, so i was prepared. It really is a great race series, you see the same people at all the races, so it is like a big family. I only wish that my knee was good enough for me to run a few of these races, maybe in a year or two, one can only hope.

As a photographer, it is hard to pick a favourite race, but i would probably have to say that Cranmore was it this year. The shooting conditions weren't great, but the results were pretty goood if i must say so

The heavy rain and thunder and lightning storm at the start was a little disheartining, but it cleared soon enough. I got a kick out of Dave Dunham urging runners to get to the
start in the middle of that weather saying"what lightning" as the masses huddled inside the building. The race started in the pouring rain, so i waited outside out of the rain unbeknownst to me with the lovely and talented Kristen and Tim VanOrdens dad. I got up the ski slope as fast as possible and came up with some decent photos. If i had to pick best photos, it would probably be the one of DD Mountainman coming down the mountain looking some what out of control with the fog off in the background and Justin Fyffe going full bore down the hill. Of course, my friend and teammate Martin Tighe coming out of the woods looking a little worse for wear is a good one too.
Loon was good weather and a much tougher run. I love the shot of Tim Van Orden, you can see his eyes fixated on the finish at the top of the mountain.
Mark Miller in full flight at Northfield is a good one as is the long distance shot of him and Ryan Carrera along the power lines.
Not to take anything away from the ladies, Amy Nadeau cranking up the last hill at Northfield and Abby Woods running out of the woods on Cranmore are great shots.
I look forward to the mountain series next year, maybe i'll even run one of them. I'm am at least trying to get some of my Tuesday Night Turtle teammates to get some sac and try a mountain race. I know a few will probably do some of them. Martin, Bob, Jodi and Sheila should be there, it's a start.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Falmouth Road Race 1981

I don't really remember too much about the Falmouth Road Race in 1981, of course, that may have something to do with having a bit too much wine the night before. I was cruising around Hyannis the night before with Betsey Roundsville and Diane Field and a bottle or two of Reunite(not on ice, but nice), so the next day may have been a little foggy.

Anyway, Alberto Salazar easily won the race in a then course record of 31.55, out running defending champ Rod Dixon by 20 seconds. Dixon ran 32.15, followed by Mike McCloud, Craig Virgin and Kirk Pfieffer. In the womens race, Joan Benoit(not yet Samuelson) took an easy victory over Judy St.Hillaire, 38.15 to 38.38. This was #3 out of six wins here for Joan. Below right, you have Tommy Ratcliffe showing the proper way to run through a puddle when it is at the apex of a turn. Fast runners really don't get their feet too wet because their feet aren't on the ground that long :) Tom was one of the best to come out of Rhode Island.

One thing to mention about Falmouth is the parties after the race. Everyone seems to be hosting a cookout or going to the Brothers 4 Bar, where you could always find Tommy Leonard hanging out. I forget the name of the bar next to Brothers4, but that was another great place to hang. This year we partied around town and then headed back to the house we had in Marsden Mills for a cookout and winding down time. This was the last time i ever had red meat, not that i am a vegetarian, but close. I will get some of my black and white photos from 1980 up sometime soon, there is some good stuff there. Later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cross Country Weekend

So i had a busy weekend, shooting photos at a combined 7 cross country races between Saturday and Sunday. I started Saturday morning at Colt State Park in Bristol, RI with the ECAC Division 3 Championships. My buddy George Ross and myself were asked to do this race Charlie Breagy of Eident Sports Marketing and we jumped at the opportunity. It started out as a foggy morning on the edge of Narragansett Bay making for some interesting shots when combined with the last of the fall foliage. As for the races themselves, it looked like a Williams College team workout. In the womens race, Williams had 7 of the top 10 runners and in the mens race "only" had 6 of the top 18 finishers. The race was a lot of fun to shoot, as most are. We cover a lot of area in these races, i shot from 5 different location around the course. Seems like i get better workouts than the runners, after all, they aren't running from spot to spot carrying two big cameras.
On Sunday morning, i headed up to Franklin Park in Boston for the USATF-NE Cross Country Championships. The weather was great, just the opposite of Saturdays. The thing about a beautiful day is that the bright sun can actually make it harder to get good photos. You have to be aware of where the sun is at all times. Keep tBlockquotehe sun over your shoulder if at all possible and try not to shoot where the shade is being pierced by sunlight or you get spotted runners. With most of the leaves off the trees , it is a real challenge to shoot cross country right now, but i manage.

The mens and womens races were won easily by Mary Cullen and Dylan Wykes. I ended the day shooting the NCAA Division II Regional qualifier, it made for a long day. It was good to get home, upload the photos and crack a cold beer, a DogfishHead 60 Minute IPA, YUM!! I was happy with most of my work over the weekend and a got to try out my newest lens for the camera, a Nikon 70-200vr Tele-Zoom. It really makes a difference.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back 10 Years More - Wilton, NH 15k 9/25/1988

Since I was going back ten years to a New England Runner cover i was on, i decided to go ten years further. I just happened to be scanning some pictures into the computer and came across a few shots from the Wilton 15k NEAC Championship from New Hampshire. It wasn't what i would call a great race for me that day. The race went out fast with a pack consisting among others, Jimmy Fallon, Andy Ronan, Dave Dunham, Jim Zimmerly and myself. After a couple miles you go up a long rise going to some school and right about then, i get a side stitch that brings me to a full stop near the top of this hill. At this time i figure the race is over so i wait for my friend, Kevin Maguire to come by and jump in with him to finish the race. Here comes Kevin, running pretty well, but i still had to wait over a minute and a half for him to get there. So i jump in with him for a mile or so and then realized that he was running to slow or maybe i just had recovered from my cramp, so i say "see ya later" and blast down the road. I can't tell you how many runners i went by on the way to the finish, but there were quite a few and they weren't slackers, i was just on fire and maybe a little pissed off about stopping. I managed to get to 6th place in a time of 47.54, not bad considering i took a break in the middle of the race. I never recorded my mile splits from that race, so it makes me wonder just what my last 10k would have been, sub 30? Maybe, but there was some downhill in the last half of the race. Up in front of me was race winner Jimmy Fallon in 45.54 who i had some nice duels with over the years, followed by Andy Ronan(46.02) and Dave Dunham (46.53). Speaking of Fallon and Ronan, I travel up to NH to get away from these guys and they show up too. Racing in Rhode Island, you never know which Providence College runner would show at a race, would it be John Treacy, John Doherty,Brendan Quinn Mick O'shea, Charlie Breagy or Fallon and Ronan. It sure kept you on your toes. I lived right on one of John Treacy's running routes, so on any given day, he could be coming by with any number of world class runners with him. It wasn't uncommon for me to come around the corner and be confronted by Treacy, Doherty, and Gregorek . Below left is Jimmy Fallon, on the right is Double D Mountainman. Nice shirt, Dave. Gotta love the Violent Femmes!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ten Years After

Have you seen the latest issue of New England Runner? The cover shot was taken by yours truly. Thanks go out to Bob Fitzgerald for choosing to put it on the front of his magazine.

It was 10 years ago that i appeared on the New England Runner cover from the Les Pawson 5 Miler in Linclon, RI. Funny thing is, i wasn't even going to run that race. During the warmup, Bob Fitzgerald comes over to me and asks what i'm doing here. Seems that he knew that i was entered in the James Joyce Ramble the next day and would have gone head to head with John Barbour for the masters title, we were the two fastest 40+ runners in New England at the time and it would have been a nice showdown. I ended up running second at the Pawson race, 1st Master in 25.50 or something close to that. I never did end up racing against John before going through a number of injuries that kept me off the racing scene for years. I should have gone to the Ramble, but i was also training for a marathon at Vermont City and really wanted the long run on Sunday.