Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comeback in Progress

Flagging the course at Loon Mountain this year. l-r, Sam, Paul Kirsch, me, Tim Van Orden
Tim Mahoney and Bear. Photo by Paul Bazanchuk.

By the way, the sign say "mountain runners - we're not that bright". I beg to differ.
Miles - 1669
Jan. to June  641m
July to Dec.   1028m
Races - 18
Snowshoe - 6
Trail - 3
Mountain - 3
Relay - 3
Road - 3

It was a slow start to the year, but once July hit, i was starting to find a stride. Steady miles and dropping some weight finally got me to where i was enjoying my runs more. Longer runs were getting easier and seeing that most of those were on trails, i was really starting to feel good. I ran Mt Washington in June, totally bombed there. Ran Mt Ascutney a few weeks later and was faster than at half way at the Rockpile. Things were already turning around. I ran sub 6.30 pace for 5k at the infamous Ross Handicap, things were really falling into place. September was a down month, a lot of photography duties got in the way. October brought a big breakthrough at Vulcans Fury in NH, i ran strong for most of the 11+ mile race on tough trails. Check this race out next year if you want a good trail run. I ended the year with the Mill Cities Relay on my birthday, a very good run, 6.39 pace at 8 mile and then i dropped my wristband and backtracked to get it, losing all my momentum. I think the wristband was cursed, as it had dropped off the wrist of our lovely leadoff runner earlier in the day. Ran the Nooseneck 18k the day after Christmas and was strong until the last hill. I think 2012 will be a good one for me!

On to 2012


Blog more :)

Average over 200 miles a month. 2400+ for the year.

Drop weight under 150, that will come with the miles.

Take at least 20 minutes off last years time at Mt Washington. Bad race in 2011, lots of room for improvement.

Break 18 minutes for 5k. Should not be a problem.

Run more trails and avoid the roads as much as possible.

Run an epic trail race somewhere in Canada. Hmmm, where could that be?

Make more homebrew. And share it of course.

Stay Healthy!!!!

Take more photos at races, i ONLY shot about 70 thousand last year.

Favorite shot of the year? Could be this one.
Ben Nephew at the Rhode Island 6 Hour Race

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fall Wrapup

It has been a long time since my last post here, but since we are at the end of the fall and my running has improved, i should post something. Since my last post in mid-July, i have been pretty steady with the mileage, running 45-50 most weeks or about 200 miles per month. There have been aches and pains, but no injuries to speak of. Half of those miles were done on trails up until the clocks changed in November, now i'm mostly on the roads except for my weekly night trail run with John Peabody. Headlamps, water crossings, single track, roots, rocks, train tracks (look out for the Acela train) and lots of deer, it is fun, but not for the faint of heart. I just picked up a Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine too, looking forward to some good cross training this winter.

8 miles in (Steve Wolfe Photo)
That brings us to racing. I have run 5 races this fall, 2 on trails and 3 road relays. The most recent was the Mill Cities Relay, run from Nashua, NH to Lawrence, Ma covering 27 miles and 5 legs. I was running this one for my secondary club, The Goon Squad. We were set up as a mixed masters team. Leading off was my excellent friend Sarah Prescott (Goon name:Goatie), Sarah has been a P.R. machine this year. Next up was very fast senior Linda Jennings (Goon name: Sonic Boom), Linda has been running some of the National USATF Grand Prix Circuit and is wicked fast in her age group. Running third was Jack Mulligan, Jack was filling in for late scratch Fernando Braz. I was next up (Goon name: Flash), i was running the long leg which was 9.5 miles. Our anchor runner was John Murphy (Goon name: Pusher). We knew we weren't running for the win in our division, but that doesn't mean we weren't going run fast anyway. When i took the handoff from Jack, i really did not know what to expect. I figured i would be happy if i ran just under 7's, my first mile was 6.24 after which i backed off a bit and tried to fall into a good rhythm. I locked on at 6.35-6.40 and held pretty steady for 5 miles or so then fell off a bit to 6.45's. It might have been better if not for unknowingly dropping my relay wristband and then backtracking a couple hundred yards to pick it up, that destroyed my momentum. After that, i just figured i would jog in, spirit broken, but i dug down and got back into high gear for the last mile. I may have cost us bout two minutes which was only one lost place in division. All in all, our team ran great despite my mess up. Once done, we all headed into the post race party at the Claddagh Pub, had some food, drank some Guinness and hung with friends and fellow runners. It was a great time! I can't wait for next years race! This was also my birthday and i treated my self by running faster than i thought i could right now, i was a good 15-20 seconds a mile better than i thought i could do for a longer distance. It is fun getting fast again, but i do have a ways to go before i will be satisfied. The goal is sub 6's. I'll get there.

Grog and Dog Jog

Other races i have done this fall include the Rhode Island 6 Hour Relay. Our team the Tuesday Night Turtles finished second overall after a number mishap by the then second place Fuel Belt team. There were timing chips on the numbers and one of their runners forgot his number and had to backtrack to get it. It is a tough way to lose a place. We went from a 3 minute deficit to an 8 minute lead in a lap and finally won by about 12 minutes, but way behind the lead Acidotic Racing team. I also was on the "B" team at the Grog and Dog Jog at the Wild Colonial Tavern in Providence. Run 1 and a quarter miles, eat a hot dog, drink a beer and hand off to your next runner. Dressing up for this race is not a requirement, but most teams do and that is the most of the reason this race is so much fun. Our team dressed up as Larry the Cable Guy, good thing he wears flannel shirts with cut off sleeves, it was 80 degrees plus at race time. Race time is basically thrown out the window hear, first over the line is all that counts. We were top 15, good enough for us.

TNT second place team at the RI 6 Hour Relay
My other two races this fall were both trail runs, but that is where the similarity ended. One race, the Lil'Rhody RunAround is flat, fast 8ish mile race with some roots and plank bridges to cross and a mile of pavement at the end. The other was the Vulcan's Fury Trail Race in Nottingham, NH, 12 miles? with about 1600 ft of climbing. Single track, steep ups and downs, stream crossings, running water down the middle of some double wide trails, climbing up rocks, a lot of twists and turns, basically what makes for a fun race. I had one tough fall here, sliding across a very wide rock while on a decent from the peak, a good amount of rock-rash that i did not even notice until the race was over. It was great fun, looking forward to next year's version. I will get more of my Turtle teammates to this one.

So, now that the fall is over and i am rounding into halfway decent shape, we look towards snowshoe season. This should be good, i have been racing on snow for the last 3 years, but never in very good condition. All we need right now is snow, bring it on! Hopefully i can keep up on my blog updates too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Finally, i get to run a race that i also ran last year, this gives me a time to aim at. So up to Windsor, Vermont i went to run the Mt Ascutney Road Race up the mountain. It is a 3.75 mile paved road that rises 2300 ft, finishing just below the summit. Two years ago, this was my first ever mountain race. That year, after running 2 miles on the road, the course veered off onto single track trail to the actual peak. I did not care for that route to the top and thankfully, they changed back to the traditional road course last year.
Last year i really suffered going up this mountain, this year i knew would be better, just a matter of how much. For the last 10 weeks, my running has been pretty steady, usually around low 40's to 50 mile per week. I have been running a lot of trails and recently, a decent amount of mountains. Training runs up Wachusett, Cranmore, Black Cap, Loon and Middle Mountain along with the Mt Washington Road Race had me feeling pretty good.
Time to run. After a short warmup run, i lined up back in the pack at the start line. At the gun, you start climbing. I started off cautiously, call it slow if you like. The plan was to run to the mile and then take short walking breaks the rest of the way. I locked on to what i thought was a comfortable pace in the first mile, right behind Rich Miller and Goon teammate Hank "Spanky" Wilder. Just before the mile, i took my first walk break, maybe 50 meters and ran again. I caught up to Spanky and we went back and forth a few times until i pulled away. I figured to have him with me or in front for the race, so i was a bit surprised to leave Spanky behind. From then on, i would walk some of the corners where it was steeper and try running the staight sections. It was hard to tell if i was running better than last year, it seemed like i was running more but it still is so tiring. Towards the top, there are some sections that flatten out and i could stretch out the stride a little. I checked the watch a few times in the last mile and figured it would be close, but i would be faster than last year. Coming around the last uphill bend, i was surprised to see that i was way under last year as i ended up 3 minutes and 56 seconds to the better. Needless to say, i was happy with that. Can i knock off another 4 minutes next year? Why not.
The Goon Squad - Spanky, Flash, Thunder God and Taz
Happy to be done with it, i was asked almost right away if i was running to the top where the lookout tower was. Of course, i said sure, lets do it. I jogged to the tower with Paul Bazanchuk. The rest of the gang was way up in front, i had no desire to push that fast. The view from the tower was great (see photo at right). After the awards, we ran back down the mountain, it is a nice way to wreck your legs for the next days run.
One last stop, we all headed over to the local river to soak in the cold water and enjoy a few adult beverages. It is a nice way to finish off the mountain running series.

Want to read a race report by the winner and series champion? Go here:
I guess i have to find some trail races to do now, or i could always try a road race (yuk).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Loon Mountain

I spent the weekend up in Lincoln, NH for the 5th round of the USATF-NE Mountain Series race at Loon Mountain. Once checked into the motel, i headed over to Loon to run the course, but upon arriving, i ran into race RD Paul Kirsch, who was about to go out and flag the course. I decided to go along with Paul, as well as Tim VanOrden, Tim Mahoney and Paul Bazanchuk to help out. It sounded like fun and was, and one hell of a workout to boot! We headed up the mountain with 2 dogs in tow (Sam and Bear), marking the course and enjoying nice conversation. It was pretty warm out and that took a toll on the dogs, so Tim M and Paul brought them down in the gondola and left Paul B, Tivo and myself to hike Upper Walking Boss with the flags. I learned two things, Upper Walking Boss really sucks to go up and the mosquitos were about as bad as the ascent of the mountain. My quads were burning at the top and i wasn't even racing. I think i lost a pint of blood too.

The easy way up the mountain
Tim Mahoney, Rich Miller, Paul Bazanchuk and Tim VanOrden
soaking in the ice cold Pemi
The next morning, it was overcast and cooler. Just after the start, the rain came in. I took the easy way up the mountain in a gondola with my camera equipment. Once at the top, i had to hike up to the north peak, top of Upper Walking Boss. Last year, i ran into a bear at the top and Eric Blake ran into the same bear a little later on course. No bears this year, although we did se one the day before while flagging to course. I took a bath in Deep Woods Off, no bug problems today. I parked my butt down the slope a bit and shot away. The rain would come and go, then eventually, the clouds moved in and visibility at the top was about 100 feet. By then i had shot about 2000 images, time to go.

You can see my Loon photos here:

For a good race write up, go here:
Dare Mighty Things

After the race, we headed to the river out front, the Pemi, and soaked in the ice cold water while enjoying a beer. A very nice way to wrap up the race.

Next week is the last race of the series at Mt Ascutney, Windsor, Vermont. I will be running, not shooting. I look forward to hanging at the river afterwards. I know it will be a good time.

Ross Krause at the top of Upper Walking Boss in 2nd place

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tough Run at Mt Washington

For the last 5 or 6 years, i have been wanting to run the Mt Washington Road Race but every year something came up.......yes....injuries. I have had balky knees for that long. First it was a kneecap tracking problem in the left leg, then the right knee started up, probably from favoring it over the other. I had been to orthopedics, podiatrists, chiropractors and physical therapists, they were all kind of useless to my problem. My savior is Nicole, my massage therapist. It took a while, but she got everything straightened out and now i have been running pain free for over a year. So with that being said, i really wanted to run the Rockpile this year. Of course, our team missed the lottery, but through the kindness of Paul Kirsch of the White Mountain Milers, i got a number along with TNT teammate Martin Tighe. 

Now that i was in, i had to start training for it. Easier said than done. I had about three months to get ready for this, i had been running a bit over the winter, mostly 25-30 mile weeks with some snowshoe racing thrown in too. But when it has been 5 + years of injuries and no real competition you get lazy and out of shape. Getting back after a long layoff, especially after 50 was not going to be easy. I kept getting sidetracked, sometimes it was the weather, sometimes it was lack of motivation. I seemed to be falling behind on my training timetable. Finally, in early May, things started looking up. I had a few 40-50 mile weeks, lots of trail running, but no hills (Rhode Island isn't know as a hilly state). I knew that all i could do is just get in steady distance and hope for the best. I did run the Wachusett Mountain trail race and sucked on the uphills, but flew the downs, at least i know i had leg turnover. This would be no help at Mt Washington though.

If only i could find Mr Peabody and Sherman and hop in the wayback machine. I would have loved to run this race when i was 30 and a road rocket. I think it would have been good, i had a 1.07 half marathon and 23.58 5 mile pr. I loved running hill repeats. If only.........

On to race day. I arrived an hour and a half before race time and parked next to Tim Van Orden and Dave Quintal. After some small talk, headed out to find Bill Riley, who we were bringing back down the mountain. Right about then, the rain started and it was coming down pretty good for a while. It stopped with 25 minutes to spare so could get a warmup in with Martin. The legs felt ok, not great. Off to the start line, i lined up about halfway through the pack, too far back i would find out shortly. The cannon went off and so did we. With the first mile having some down and flat running, my mile was a bit faster at 10.45. I was concentrating on getting past slower runners, not my pace. It probably did not matter anyway. Second mile was 13 minutes, that was my last good mile split. It was about here that my lack of preparation was showing, third and fourth miles were around 14 minutes, halfway at about 48 and i was thinking that a 1.36 finish wouldn't be that bad. Then it got ugly. My back tightened up on me, i was walking too much, but i did feel best going up the dirt section and actually got my stride going just before going back to pavement, then around a sharp bend the legs just did not want to cooperate anymore today. I walked a lot of the last two miles, there was nothing in the tank. Almost to the top, i made sure i ran past Joe Viger, who was shooting pictures, then rounded the corner to the "wall" and i really wanted to run up it. I walked most instead, then watched the clock tick over to 1:45 as i crossed. Boy, was i glad that was over. I ran into Amber & Danny Ferriera and Rich Lavers right after that a vowed to never run this again, well maybe i will, maybe i won't. We will see what next year brings and decide in March. 

One consolation was scoring on the winning seniors team for the White Mountain Milers. I was happy about contributing.

Once back to the bottom of the mountain and it was time for fun. I broke open some homebrew, Bob Fitzgerald had a growler of Moat Mountain IPA. Time to hydrate. It is always great to hang with friends after race like this. 

Funny thing i found about this race. It does not trash your legs like a marathon would. I was talking to Craig Fram afterwards and he was saying that your legs will be fine in an hour. It is like eating chinese food, you will be hungry in an hour. It only makes sense as there is no pounding unless you are one of those crazy guys who run back down the mountain.

Next race is Mt Ascutney, more torture but for less time.

Next week is Cranmore, i will be behind the lens for that one. See you there.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ultrarunning Cover Shot

I like taking cover shots. Ultrarunning has a great one this month. No clutter on the cover, almost like a piece of art, Karen Benway running at the USATF-NE Ultra Championship @ the Rhode Island 6 Hour Race. Karen took first woman AND first overall. Great to see my friend and teammate get the recognition she deserves.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Horsehill Snowshoe

Another weekend, another snowshoe race and finally, I felt like i ran pretty good although  my time does not show it. The race, Horsehill 7k Snowshoe in Merrimack, NH is the 5th race in the Granite State Snowshoe Series. It is mostly single track with some wider snowmobile trails for easier passing, which i should have taken more advantage of. The snow was packed down from traffic on the trails, so it would be fast and after last week, very welcome by me. This week, i had also picked up a set of secure fit binding for my Dion 121's, lets just call it a bit of piece of mind knowing there is no way in hell that my shoes fall off. I want to say that i have not lost faith in the quick fit binding and will use them again, but right now, i felt better in the secure fit.

Race time brought all the usual suspects, hotshot shoer DoubleJ was there as well as Dunham, Cake, Cox, Kelly and Welts. The Turtles were well represented with Dave & DJ Principe, Matt & Ben Keefe, Tara Cardi, Warren Angell, Tony Wild and yours truly. Bob Jackman sat this one out with a cold, but he did take a few photos at the race. 

The race, starting on a narrow, packed snow path, went out fast. After a quarter mile that helps sort out the field, you make a left hand turn onto the single track. This also starts you up the first hill, i had fallen into line behind Ben and DJ, right in front of Tony.
Just short of the mile, i figured i was out just a little too quick and let a group pass and then felt better just falling into my own pace. I ran steady through halfway, passed a few runners and fell in behind another runner who seemed to keeping good pace. I should have passed him. One thing to never assume in a twisty single track with good climbs in front of you, is that the runner in front will handle the hills the same as you. You would also hope that the runner in front is aware of who is behind and maybe ask if you would like to pass. I sat there on the climbs and i know i lost time, finally passing at the top in time for the nice downhill to the finish. A lesson learned for me, next time i will be more aggressive if i need to pass. I finished strong, finally having a good race.

Jim Johnson won the race in just over 7 minute pace. Turtle wise, Dave Principe took top master honors and 7th overall. Warren, Matt, Ben and DJ were our top 5 scorers for a second place in the team race.

Post race stop today was at the always good Martha's Exchange in Nashua. I started with their IPA which was nicely hopped and tasty. I also had the Belgian Tripel which was ok for an american version of this style, but no where near as good as Ommegang or Allagash Tripels. Food is always good here, i went with the veggie panini w/ sweet potato fries.

Next week is a double, Beaver Brook is in the morning and Kingman Farm at night. Racing at night in the snowshoes will be fun and will probably be more of a training run anyway. I know the morning race will destroy my legs and there is only 6 hours between races. So lets have some fun out there!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Exeter Hullabaloo- Good Race, Bad Run

Chris Jasparro, Tony Wild, Dave principe, Bob & Jackie Jackman,
Scott Mason, DJ Principe and John Peabody
Thanks to Danny Ferriera for taking the photo.
Race #4 of the Granite State Snowshoe Series is at Exeter, NH. The Turtles had 8 shoers on the line, I was one of them. This past week, I was finally able to get some running in after getting over a pesky chest cold and was feeling decent. I figured that i could make it through this race while feeling pretty good. Well, I did feel good, but.......

The race was held at the back of a commercial park and headed into the Fort Rock Woods. The course was totally narrow single track, passing was difficult and if you got off the narrow path, you fell into deep snow, i found this out the hard way. At the start, you had to narrow down to single track almost instantly, of course, there was a pile up. After dodging a few downed runners, I settled into a line of shoers. Directly in front was teammate Tony Wild, behind was Lisa Ransom and we were running along at decent pace for the conditions. Then it happened, my foot slid off to the side of the track and i was down, i got up right away but with everyone running so closely, i had to wait to jump back in line, losing 6 places. About 200 meters later, i fell again, giving up a few more spots, one being to teammate John Peabody. One more fall came in the first mile and now it was getting even worse. Seems the velcro straps on my snowshoes had come apart with a combination of falling too much and having the wrong shoes attached to the snowshoes. Once the velcro comes apart and then collects the snow, you can no longer attach the straps. So basically, i was screwed. Loose snowshoes on a track like this just does not work, i made it through, i walked a bit, tried to clean the velcro and i finished. Now this could have been avoided if i had worn the shoes that i always do with the snowshoes, but no, i tried something different and payed for it. I have my snowshoes adjusted for a specific pair of running shoes and did not take in to account that the new pair was narrower with a thin outsole, i needed to switch straps along with shoes and did not do this. Lesson learned!! Too bad, it was a great course.

On the way home, we stopped be The Tap brewpub in Haverhill, Ma. Nice looking place, it reminds you of a library. There are books on the wall, a few murals, dark wood and brick. Very nice. I started off with a barleywine served in a 10 oz glass a bit too cold. No real flavor or hoppiness came out as should on a good barleywine. Even on warming up, the beer did not improve much. Next up, cask schwarzbier, dark, supposably hoppy beer. It was ok, not great. Ended with the english strong ale called Snobound. It was the best of the three. Food here was nothing special. I had a turkey burger since they were out of veggie burgers. Onion rings were good. Can't say i would go out of my way to come back, i need beers with more character.

Tim Smith @ Norwich Rose Arts 10.6 mile 1981
Sunday morning i was sitting around watching a live video feed of a cyclocross race from Belgium when i decided to run the Super 5k down in Narragansett. Seems they name it after some over hyped football game played later in the day. I needed a reason to get out on the roads and get some miles in and this would to do the trick. My knees were sore from the snowshoe race and the legs were a bit dead, but what the hell, lets see what happens anyway.  I went through the first mile in 6.56 and averaged 6.57 for the race, slow and steady by the sea. With a warmup and warm down, i got in 7 miles, i'll take it right now. Nice post race with buffet and cash bar. I get to see runners that i do not see that often here. All in all, a fun time. I have to note that i got to see Connecticut legend Tim Smith at the race, Tim won the 60 year age group, we hadn't met up in quite a few years. He is a guy that could tell you some stories of the good old days. 6.30 pace at 62 years old isn't too bad, I am glad to consider him a friend of mine.

Next week is another double, back to back snowshoe races. Saturday is Horsehill in Merrimack and Sunday is Bear Paw in Northwood. Hope i survive it all.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sidehiller Stuff

Photo by Krissy K
The Turtles made the long ride up to the Sidehiller snowshoe race in Center Sandwich, NH today. Here are a few highlights:

> Left the house at 6:35am with Jackie and Bob Jackman, made great time heading up to Center Sandwich. Pulled over for speeding in Holderness, 50 in a 30. Cop let me off with a warning, it pays to be polite.  Still only took 2:45 to get there.

>Sign in for race, then hang out talking with fellow competitors for a while. Best part of the race is hanging out before and after the race. Nice chat with Bob Dion, Laurel Shortell, Steve Wolfe, Chris Dunn, Jim Pawlicki and Krissy Kosloski.

>50 minutes to go, time for a warm-up with the Turtles, a mile out and back, cut it short and ran back with Ryan Triffit. Can't say i felt good because i didn't. Almost race time.

>Race time. Lined up in mid pack, passed a lot of people in the first half mile or so. I guess i should have started closer to the front.

Chris Tessier and Me. (krissy k photo)
>Went back and forth with Don Fredrickson for the first half of the race. He would stop on a hill to let me by and then i would stop to let him by and we would repeat this a few times before i pulled away, but not by much.

>John Peabody came by like a freight train just after the half, bellowing "passing on the left" as he flew past. JP beat me and was 5th scorer for the Turtles today, great run!

>Legs had nothing left in the last mile or so. Probably the result of being sick for a week or so. Time to get back into a training mode.

>Race over, finally! Wiped out and my knees ache.

>Watch my old friend Chris Tessier finish up the race and hang out with him for a while. Chris and i go back to 1982 when we worked for the Athletic Attic in Warwick, RI.

>Finally meet Jeff Dengate.

>Get interviewed for NH Chronicle with a few of the Turtles, hopefully we make the final cut.

>Hit the road for the trip to Milly's Tavern in Manchester.

>Manch-Vegas IPA on Cask. Very Good! Scotch Ale was good too.

>Uneventful ride home to RI.
Mmmmm...Chicken Sandwich w/Jalapenos and a Scotch Ale

>Sitting here typing this while sipping a Dogfish 60 Minute IPA and watching classic Spencer Tracy movie, Bad Day at Black Rock.

>Congrats to Paul Kirsch and crew for putting on a great race at Sidehiller.

>Next week, Exeter Hullaballoo. See you there.
Growler Time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble

Drive 3 and a half hours, run 4 mile race and drive 3 and a half hours back. Why, because i want to. I guess it also helps when you are joining a bunch of your teammates and other friends from the north to run a snowshoe race.

Saturday was the second race of the Granite State Snowshoe Series and my first one. I had been sick for most of the week and had not run in 8 days, so i was coming into the race with only one goal....finish comfortably. The race was at Whitaker Woods, right in the middle of North Conway. It is a nice park, with groomed XC trails and some great views of Mt Washington. The race uses both groomed and single track trails on some nice rolling terrain. We had 11 Turtles up here for the race, funny how we can't organize that many to run a race in RI as a team, but we drive 3+ hours here.

Photo by Gianina Lindsey
At the race start, i lined up way over to the side to stay out of the way of most of the runners. Race Director, Kevin Tilton said a few words and then we were off. We headed off across the groomed trails, there was already separation as the front half of the field was pulling away. I hear it was a very fast start. I stuck with my plan of running comfortably, moving up and down the first hill easily. Footing was great, but i did feel that my snowshoes weren't adjusted to my liking, i had loaned them out last week and the straps were definitely off. On the second uphill, Jackie Jackman went cruising on by, i just kept my pace. All the climbing in the race was done in the first 2 miles, about 400 feet worth. Just after the mile, we came out onto one trail where you had a great view of Mt Washington totally covered in snow. Five months from now, i hope to be running up that hill. Once past the 2 mile mark, things started feeling better, downhills will do that. I seemed to pick up the pace a little, coming into 3 miles, i caught up to and passed Don Fredrickson. Don and i go way back to the 80's and racing in RI. He had mentioned later that this was his chance to finally beat me. Sorry Don, maybe next time. It will be the battle of running has beens. I finished up right behind Tim Lindsey, Tim was in my sights for a while, but i just could not and really did not feel like trying to catch him. Over the finish line and then the effects of the race and my week long cold hit, i had a 3+ minute coughing fit, then i was fine. I ran better than i thought i would.

Up front, the Turtles had a good day. Bob Jackman was 9th, Dave Principe, Martin Tighe and Matt Keefe all made the top 20. Jim Johnson/CMS won the race in 26.53.

Next week is Sidehiller in Center Sandwich, NH. I have run this race the past 2 years. Lack of snow last year caused them to change the course, with a lot more snow this year, we should be back on the original course. That is a good thing!

After a short awards ceremony, most of the Turtles headed over to the Moat Mountain Smokehouse  and Brewing Co. Joining us there were Don Fredrickson and Jess & Kevin Tilton for some food and excellent beer. My beer of choice was the Double Bock, the menu said you could only have 2 of these, usually they say this when it is a real strong beer, i did not find it strong but it was very tasty. In the number of times i have been to the Moat, i have yet to see an IPA on tap. I'll have to contact them a month before i show up there again and beg them to brew a big, hopped up IPA, maybe for the Mt Washington Road Race. We had a great time there, Don and myself got to talk about the old running scene here in RI, i could have stayed for hours, but we had to get back so John Peabody could get out on his lobster boat for 8pm.

One nice thing about going up to Sidehiller is that we get to hit Milly's Tavern in Manchester afterwards.

See ya next week.

Race Reports:

DoubleJ Running
Acidotic Racing

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Feel Good Farm Snowshoe Race

Finally, enough snow on the ground to start the Granite State Snowshoe Series. After postponing the first two races to February, I was really looking forward to running at Feel Good Farm in Lyndeborough. Of course, i was not planning on catching a nasty cold the day before the race so this race was a no go for me. I could have probably been able to run most of the races, but seeing as this is the tuffest course on the circuit, there just was no way. It wasn't really a problem though, i seem to be a better photographer than a runner these days.

For the Tuesday Night Turtles, this was a big day. We had a bunch of newbies coming up for their first taste of snowshoe racing. This was supposed to happen at Beaver Brook a few weeks ago, but with the postponements, this was the one. A few of us "veteran" snowshoers in the Turtles have been talking up the GSSS series since last winter and we have quite a bit of interest this year, not bad for a bunch of flatlanders here in RI. Today, our rookie list was long, Jake Scheiffelin, Jackie Jackman, Martin Tighe, Warren Angell, Tara Cardi, Tony Wild and George Ross. We also had Bob Jackman, Dave and DJ Principe, Chris Jasparro with his wife, Vicki and myself on the DL list for the day. It should also be noted that Ben and Matt Keefe ran, but got to the race a half hour late and only did one lap.

I shot the start of the race and then hiked up Moose Mountain to get some good downhill running shots. First time by, Josh Ferenc and Kevin Tilton had a sizable lead on Ben Nephew, they were all moving pretty quickly out there. Bob Jackman was first Turtle by, followed by Dave Principe and surprisingly, his son DJ on his tail. DJ is 12 years old and he was hanging with the big boys on the first loop. As the rest of the Turtles made their way by, they looked pretty comfortable, well, all but one. George Ross was complaining his calf was cramping up, so he ended up bailing at the end of the first lap. George was listed in the Coolrunning results as finishing the 2.7 mile Wimp Run, as race director Mike Amorello calls it. At the brewpub later, George summed it up by saying it " Was the fucking hardest thing i ever did"

On the second time around, most of the TNT gang held their spot. DJ dropped of a bit. Martin and Warren were running a few seconds apart as were Jake and Jackie. Tara was enjoying her run, i think. She did yell to me to put that camera away, that ain't gonna happen. :) As a team, i would say we had a good day with ten Turtles finishing the two loops. It was a great start to the season. The next two races are a much longer drive for us, so i don't expect to see too many Turtles racing until February when the series gets back to southern NH. We will have some runners at Whittaker Woods and Sidehiller though.

Post race, we did the usual thing and went the local brewpub. This time it was a favorite, Martha's Exchange in Nashua. With a cold, my taste buds were a bit off, but the cask IPA was very tasty and would have been even better if they had filled the glasses up to a proper level. A good time was had by all.

See the photographs i took at the race here: 

Read Chris Dunn's race report HERE .

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beaver Brook Non-Snowshoe Race

Hi everyone, Happy New Year!! I know, i haven't updated my blog in 3 months, but with the new year and all, it is time to get it going again.

Today was to be the start of the Granite State Snowshoe Series at Beaver Brook in Hollis NH. With last weekends storm dumping 12-16 inches of snow over the area we shoers were excited for a start to the race season. I had managed to get in 3 SS runs during the week, including our first Tuesday Night Turtle Snowshoe Team group run on a frigid Monday night and a shorter run with Martin Tighe on Thursday. Getting in some snowshoe runs was great, but looking at the extended forecast was really depressing knowing that the snow might be gone before Sunday. Sure enough, word came out on Saturday that the race was postponed until February 19th as a day/night double header with the Kingman Farm night race.

Even with the postponement, RD Mike Amarello was still going to hold a trail run and include entry to the rescheduled SS run. With nothing better to do, some of us Turtles decided to go anyway.We pulled into the lot about an hour and a half before race time, we being Jackie and Bob Jackman, Dave Principe and me, greeted by Mike A, who was a bit surprised to see us there. I think the only others there were a couple from Huntsville, Al. that were up on vacation and wanted to do a snowshoe race. We ran a few mile warmup on the local trails and then were joined by other Turtle snowshoers, Vicki and Chris Jasparro and Warren Angell.

At race time, there were 17 of us taking the line, 7 Turtles, 2 from Alabama, Richie Blake and 7 others. As Mike said GO! We took off down the muddy then snow, slush covered dirt road. The race is about 2.5-2.6 miles, downhill, then flat, then uphill. Footing sucked, i was a bit better off than most wearing INOV8 X-Talon 212's that are almost like wearing spikes, still, it was tough going on the uphill to the finish. I felt ok out there, but backed off on the final stretch of the hill as i had no one close to me and really just wanted mileage today. Finishing first was Bob Jackman, followed by Dave Principe, Warren Angell, Chris Jasparro and me. For the women, it was Vicki Jasparro taking first followed by Jackie Jackman. So Turtle men took top 5 and women the top 2. Not that it really means anything seeing the field was very sparse, still it was a good hard workout. We warmed down with a few more trail miles around Beaver Brook followed by some kale soup that Mike had made for the race. He had enough for an army, needless to say, he took a lot home.

Time for the ride home, but first a stop at Watch City Brewing for lunch and a beer. In the last 2 years of snowshoe racing, it has become a Turtle tradition that we hit a brewpub after the race. There were many to choose from, but with Watch City being right off the highway in Waltham Ma., it was perfect. I started with a Hops Explosion IPA as did Dave and Chris. Funny, i did not taste any hops exploding. They say it has a "powerful conflagration of hop flavor", could be if you were a Bud drinker, I did not notice it. I'll call it a good pale ale. I ordered the pesto provolone chicken sandwich, it was tasty and we had a bucket of sweet potato fries. Yes, they bring them out in a bucket. As sweet potato fries go, these were quite good, crisp and meaty. Second beer was Titan Ale, a brown ale that was good for the style. We also sampled an IPA that had spearmint added to it, very subtle taste, but i don't think i would want a pint of it. All in all, this a good brewpub, i return when i get the chance.

Next weeks snowshoe race is the Bear Paw Classic in Northwood, NH. I hope there is snow on the ground, but the extended forecast isn't great at this point. They are calling for snow on Friday and Saturday, how much? Who knows?