Saturday, May 16, 2015

Heather's Senior Moment Night

Lowell High School Girl's Lacrosse Senior Night 2015, and a special tribute that LHS puts on for all graduating seniors across the school's sports programs.
This time out, Heather and four of her classmates took the spotlight as LHS squared off against Malden.  A nice touch, too, is the delivery of roses to the senior members of the visiting Malden team who were in town for the showdown at Cawley Stadium.
A great group of young women and friends, led by their coach, Lowell Police Officer Kerry Bomil.
Taking the field in pre-game intros, Heather gets a high-five from coach
High sticks, all around
Arms locked, a united team 
Sadly, one of the players lost a contact lens on the field before the game started.  But as a team, they joined in to look for it. 
Having found it, time for a hurrah! 
Posters created by teammates adorned the walls of Cawley, some of the them depicting seminal moments in the senior's history, such as Heather's memorable zipline excusion. 
All five of the seniors with their coach:
Heather, Callie O'Neil, Katy Coughlin, Taylor Ly, and Alyda Yim 
Everyone in the stands was surprised by the unexpected appearance of the Hulk. 
A few, um "action" shots, taken by soon-to-be Lowell Police Officer Feby Colon 
Finally, in a nice family touch, each of the players brings their families onto the field for half-time recognition
Callie is heading off to Northeastern's College of Engineering
Alyda is going to study kinesiology at UMass Amherst
Heather will be studying history History and Pre-Law at Stonehill College
Katy's also heading for the hills of UMass Amherst
Taylor will be heading to Westfield State University to study elementary education
Wrapping up a fine year with the team!
Notice, we didn't even talk about the outcome of the game, because it's all just gravy on a special night for five graduating seniors.
Congrats to all of them, and thanks for a great season!
Super proud, of course, of our daughter, Heather, who's grown into a beautiful, mature, fun-loving and free-spirited young woman ready to take on the world at Stonehill College.  Buttons busting all around!
LHS Girls' Lacrosse 2015!

Monday, May 4, 2015

FINALLY, the Finish!

I know, I know, I know.  Seriously negligent blogging in progress.  Sorry, but every now and again, life gets in the way and derails all the best intentions of blogging at its best.
But that doesn't mean it's been forgotten!
And it would be bad parenting, bad friendship, and bad neighboring if I didn't close out the books of the 2015 Boston Marathon by showing how strong Andrew, Tom, Nicole (and others) finished out this run for the roses!
So without any further ado - and save the complaints for the comments field - let's join our intrepid trio at the halfway point, running in the rain through one of the loudest portions of the course, the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel, where Barry and I were waiting to join their ranks and chronicle their conquest.
Natch, it's the perfect time for a father-son Spidey pose.
Barry desperately wanted to recreate his Wellesley chip mat tumble, but wasn't sure the females could handle another year seeing him somersault across their field of vision.  Instead, he opted for the safe, companion run.
Once upon a time, Andrew stopped to kiss all the girls.  This year, he settled for high fives. Hmmmmm.......
And right on his heels came the Senor and Senorita themselves, the father-daughter incredi-team of Phil and Alyssa Maia!  Hola, Senor!
And finally, the moment she has waited all her life to experience!  Nicole was on the other side of the metal stanchions!  For four years, she lost her voice screaming at all the runners as they passed her college halls.  This year, they were screaming FOR HER!
And not just screaming, they came wielding signs for her!
So naturally, hugs all around
Seriously, how awesome is it to have your own fan club waiting to help you get through the back half?  Either that, or this was Wellseley's E-MATH team, standing in the wrong order.
Heading down the steepest part of the course, Alyssa is still beaming away!
And then comes mile 16, where vaunted photographer John Piekos awaits every year to capture some of the best shots of the entire course.  Seriously.  The Boston Athletic Association needs to hire this guy for their official race shots.  He coined the running idiom "always know where the camera is."  But when it comes to mile 16, always know where John is, because you're guaranteed a money shot.
He catches Spider-Man coming in for his wardrobe change
And helps get him fired up for the back 10 as Captain America
Yes.  Fired up.
Tom's cheering section is sheltered from the storm
Giving Tom just the burst of inspiration he needed to pose for John

And finally, the finish line.
The First Avenger is triumphant in his super-time
His medal in place, Andrew proudly queues up for his cape
Because everyone who runs in Boston KNOWS, that real super-heroes wear silver capes
Mom and dad couldn't be prouder
Tom's turn.  Ian hurtled the gates to join dad in the winner's circle
The aforementioned silver-caped super-hero
And finally, his first 26.2 miles under his belt, Tom knows he now has the green light to wear his marathon jacket with pride.
Seriously, for anyone who stuck around to see this triumph play out for the runners in this year's marathon, give it up for the herculean efforts of the runners, as well as the friends and families who supported them all through the most brutal training winter any of us can ever remember.
Some of you may get sick of reading blogs about running and especially the Boston Marathon, but believe me, running in this 26.2 historic outing is an experience that can never be forgotten, and once you've notched your first one, it's an accomplishment that can never be taken away.
Keep on running, everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Before You Take That First Step....

I know we're still a bit behind the times, but in terms of blogging updates, we've finally reached the point of the opening gun that gives the green light for the final 9,000 runners of this year's Boston Marathon to cross the starting mat.
And that includes our three favorite entries this year - Andrew Cook, Nicole Hatem, and Tom Beaupre!
But before they can get to the blue and gold START painted across the center of Hopkinton, there's a lot of pre-race rituals they have to partake in.
Including.....the group picture with marathoners past, present, and future (looking at you Ian!)
Andrew was photobombing so rapidly, he's a blur!
With great power comes great marathons.  That bodes well for Andrew.
This year's Terrific Trio
If only the nuns of St. Joseph's High School could see us now.  They'd never believe it.  Five Crusaders brandishing medals of Boston Marathons past.
Notice Tom didn't want to flirt with superstition so he wouldn't don his medal. Yet.
Six veterans of Marathons past.  Notice only one of them is wearing a number for this year's outing.  Iron Man.  Or Spider-Man.  Some super-hero.
No, they're not making bad fashion choices.
Anyone who's run Boston knows the legend of starting line disposable gear, especially on a day where the temperature barely creeps out of the 40s, and the rain is steadily falling.  Thankfully, race organizers collect all the discarded clothing and donate it to charitable organizations.  Here, both Tom and Andrew show off their donations to this year's collection. 
In Hopkinton, thanks to the ever-capable wheels of Elias Hatem who knows just about every road into and out of Hopkinton, our intrepid runners make it right to the bus transports.
But first, they need to have their fashion choices inspected.  For security reasons.
Fashion statements or question marks?
Then it's time to board them buses!
Nicole is just excited because she got a seat to herself on the special bus!
One of the greatest welcome sights a runner can see
Yes it does.
Don't make fun of the ponchos.  They're a life-saver during inclement weather, especially when you're just standing there waiting for your start!  No hypothermia, here!
Anchorman High Fives!  You better believe it!
And suddenly, in the race's earlier steps - there they were!  The father-daughter legend tandem of Phil and Alyssa Maia!  'Twas Coach Maia who helped Andrew develop his love of running at Lowell High School, and now here's Andrew doing his third consecutive Boston Marathon!
Tres aclamaciones para El Senor and La Senorita!
Carrying on a tradition set by his proud papa, Andrew made sure to catch Jolly Old Saint Nicholas on camera.
Back home in Lowell, Andrew's proud mama was letting the city of Lowell - and the world- know how super proud she is of her little runner!
So finally, we've made it to the start!  All that remains is the glory of the remaining 26.2 miles of this year's Marathon!  We'll close out this blogging series with award-winning shots next time around!