Thursday, April 17, 2014

Track Your 2014 Boston Marathon Runners

So it's finally here.  After God only knows how many snowstorms.  Weekend after weekend of sub-zero runs.  More injuries in one season than we've chalked up over the course of our vaunted running careers. And a year of remembrance for one of the most significant events in the history not just of running, but of the spirit of Boston.

The 118th Boston Marathon arrives this Monday.

And to help all of you keep track of your friends, family and loved ones who'll be participating in the event for the ages, I've compiled this blog post to make it as easy as possible for you to track the lot of us.

The BAA has rolled out its Athlete Alert tracking program to keep tabs on all of us.

To get started, click here:
Boston Marathon Athlete Alert

Once there, you have options to get text alerts about our progress throughout the run, or email alerts.  All you need is our bib numbers, then follow the instructions on that web page.

So here you go: our 2014 Boston Marathon E Streeter team, along with our bib numbers.

First up, is the runner I'm most proud of, for obvious reasons.  My son Andrew, returning to the finish line after last year's unforgettable experience that will stay with us forever.  He'll be proudly representing Holy Cross again and boasts the youngest pair of legs on our team.
Andrew is number 31360.

My fellow DisneyWorld Marathoner Barry Scanlon will be running in his fifth consecutive Boston Marathon, his seventh overall.  His humor kept us going on the coldest of outings this year.
Barry is number 31240.

Another fellow Disney marathoner, Tommy Scanlon, will also be doing his fifth consecutive Boston.  He's our Energizer Bunny.  Just keeps going and going.
Tommy is number 31370.

Sean Kenny makes his triumphant return to the roads of Boston this year after a few years off, but he's been logging the miles every year nonetheless.  This will be his third Boston.  And no volcanoes are going to keep him from getting to the starting line in Hopkinton this year.
Sean is number 31341.

Lowell Police Officer Nick Laganas makes this a back-to-year as well.  Like so many of us, Nick was at the finish line when everything hit the fan last year.  An Iraq veteran, Nick ran back to check on his parents and to try to help the victims last year.  He's running this year for the Wounder Warrior Project.
Nick is number 28048.

Joe Patuto was one of the 5,700 runners who got stopped just short of the finish line by last year's events, making it to Kenmore Square before the roads were closed.  Joe is another seasoned Boston Marathon veteran who's been eating the course up this season with his Beantown Bootcamp buddies.
Joe is number 33239.

Mary-Jo Griffin will be making her Boston Marathon debut this year.  She's come a remarkably long way, considering she just started running "seriously" last fall.  From a 5K to a 10K, to a half-marathon, to our grueling 18 and 20 mile winter runs, Mary-Jo just keeps on moving forward.
Mary-Jo is number 29997.

Donna Corbin is also making her debut on the Boston course and personifies never giving up.  An avid outdoor athlete, Donna added long distance running to her repertoire last fall, and has logged crazy mileage over the winter, all the while maintaining the most upbeat attitude of any of us.
Donna is number 29123.

Scott Graham owns the Boston Marathon.  He has run it 27 years in a row.  Yeah, you read that right.  He'll easily be the first among our ranks to cross that historic finish line come Monday.  Do I really need to say anything else about this giant in our running circles?
Scott is number 9828.

And last but not least, is your blog author.  This will be my 10th Boston Marathon.  I don't know yet how this one will rank against past outings, but I can tell you the build-up that's been in place ever since we heard that first explosion last April 15 and the anguish I felt knowing my wife and daughter were right across the street has lit a fire of resolve and commitment that guaranteed I'd be returning to toe the line in Hopkinton this year.
Pat is number 31359.

So there you have it.  Your 2014 Boston Marathon E Streeter running team.  Wish us all good luck.  If you're the religious type, say a prayer for our safe travels.

And to my fellow road warriors, it has been an honor to go into battle with you this fierce winter.  It's an experience I won't soon forget.  Enjoy your day Monday.

We Run Together.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wet, Wild, and Windy!

Taking a break from the Big Easy for this blog post to visit our annual ordeal, otherwise known as the Eastern States 20 in which we run down the New Hampshire coast, usually contending with some type of wind that makes the run unforgettable and sometimes unbearable.
This year?
A nor'easter.
That means crazy ass winds that blew in off the ocean, rain that hit us sideways for the start of the race and the first five miles, washed out roads that added brook-jumping detours, and chilly temps that never climbed out of the 30s.
Luckily, at some point, Boreas, the god of the North Wind, looked down on us with favor and shifted the wind to our backs to get us into Hampton Beach.
But first? A warning from race organizers about the dangers of this year's weather, conditions that caused them to abbreviate the half-marathon course and to drill home the very real danger of hypothermia over and over and over. Quite the sobering speech.  In fact, it scared the $#!+ out of these guys.  Can't you tell by the telling glances?
The Wild Pack, in happier times
Spider-Man joined us for the pillar of excellence 
Mary-Jo and Donna had the boo-boo lips out in full force because of the storm 
We're known for our trash talking.  This race, we took it to a new level with garbage time.  Don't mock us.  The trash bags were life-savers. 
Andrew:  Seriously?  I'm running with these clowns? 
Picture of the year.
Tommy's either letting us know who's number one, or he's getting ready for a new career in proctology.  All I know is that when he ran behind us, we ran faster. 
The Garbagemen of the Apocalypse, Running Against the Wind, a Seger song I just couldn't get out of my head for the first hour
Donna's got thumbs us for on the streets of Portsmouth 
Mary-Jo has no idea about the spectacle creeping up behind her 
One of many windswept bridges in New Castle that tried to blow us out to sea 
Nick Laganas, showing the sporty Glad look, 2014
The two front men, honoring the time-worn tradition of always knowing where your cameras are 
Team Holy Cross rocking the backstreets!  No hills like Mount St. James to be found here, though 
If Tommy hadn't shed the latex glove, this guy would have something to be worried about.  Tommy chased this shirt for miles.  Alas, none were to be found at the finish line.
It's not easy running green.
Afterwards at the finish line.  One is beaming.   The other, well I was just proud of Andrew's finish 
Yeah, we were frozen by this point, but who cares?  We were done 
Sadly, the elements sent us scurrying back to hot showers, so I wasn't there for Mary-Jo and Donna's later miles, but they were rock stars, nonetheless!  Shoutout as always too, to Ann, who leapfrogged the whole course and was a welcome oasis whenever we passed her, with a welcome wardrobe change, drink, Gu, or Advil.
And yes, in case you were worrying, there was food at the end.  Chicken soup and pasta all around.
Someday, I don't know when, can we get warm and sunny conditions for this 20 mile expedition?
Just once?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bourbon and Run

Another early bell in the Big Easy to get out and running before the conference starts, this time, with a wandering nine miler that started in the French Quarter and ended up over in the Garden District.
Donna and Mary-Jo, running straight down Bourbon Street, sans beads
The benefit of running so early in New Orleans is that they've just finished washing the streets down from the previous night's "revelry" and there's no cars on the streets yet
Of course, places like the Hustler Club aren't open for business at that time, either
Over to the scenic garden district where thousands of beads adorn the trees, and the Gothic homes are glorious
Also home to two Lafayette Cemeteries, and trust me, if you to to N'Awlins, checking out the above-ground cemeteries with their beautiful crypts is a must-see
Donna got lost
Mary-Jo and Donna were afraid to step on a crack in Lafayette Cemetery
Me, I'm just wandering
Any fans of the video game Left 4 Dead out there?  It's a staple for father/son or father/daughter video game playing round our parts, and there's more than a few dozen points in the Big Easy when you feel like you're smack dab in a level of the game.  Including the finale, set on the bridge behind me.
Because it's not every day you can take your picture with King Triton
Or his giant alligator
So yeah, my turn 
One of the cooler street names to be found down there.
Yeah, we had one of these on our runs
And finally, listen to the streetcar - come watch us run
Great start to the day, feeling invigorated and ready to rock the marketing scene

Thursday, March 27, 2014

All That Conference Jazz

Day One of the NCMPR Conference, and Team MCC had a busy day, with staff presenting workshops on a number of marketing fronts and attending a keynote speech delivered by political analyst James Carville.
Carville, a New Orleans native, has worked the television talk show circuit for nearly two decades after rising to prominence during the Clinton presidential administration.
He was on hand at NCMPR to speak with the community college marketing folks about getting their message out, and keeping it simple, and to the point.  Not every press release or speech needs to run on and on.  Sometimes brevity is better.
To prove his point, he told the fascinating tale of Ed Everett.  Don't recognize his name?  He's the guy who delivered a more than two-hour speech at Gettysburg on the same day another famous orator delivered an address that lasted only 10 sentences and yet is emblazoned in the annals of history.
Here's a gathering of some of the most strategic political analysts of our generation.
My colleague Jennifer Aradhya and I delivered three workshops to our peers from community colleges across the country on social media and crisis communications.  With last April's Boston Marathon as well as Hurricane Sandy serving as our Massachusetts backdrop, we had engaged and lively roundtable discussions with dozens of communicators, some of whom lived - and worked - through disasters in their states.
Sadly - and shockingly - virtually no one at the table could answer our trivia question about the number of World Series won by the Boston Red Sox this century
Later, in another room, our colleague Beth Noel had a packed house for her presentation on project management.
Conference goers, clearly, were jazzed by our efforts