Sunday, January 23, 2011

Derry Kings

It seemed like a good idea at the time... Somewhere along the line one of us idiots suggested running the Boston Prep 16 mile race in Derry, N.H. in January. Of course, the suggestion was probably made when temperatures were within survivable norms.

And also of course, that was before we knew this weekend would be starting the coldest spell in New England in years, with temperatures flirting with sub-zero, not to mention a painful wind chill factor. Oh, and did anyone mention the most ridiculous freaking hills to be found in any race south of Mt. Everest? No? Apparently that part of the missive got lost in the mix somewhere. Truthfully, we needed Mother Abbess:Anyway, here's some frigid photos from along the race course, thanks to Anne Scanlon, uber cheerleader and wardrobe manager. I'm surprised the camera even worked in this weather.

Here's Tommy, early on, he hasn't broken a sweat yet.Even though there's hundreds of runners in front of me, I still have enough energy to muster the number one bravado to our intrepid photog. (That energy would quickly dissipate.)
Scott, running his first Derry, is undaunted by the temps, going for the unzippered look at the six-mile mark:
Yes, Sean really is as cold as he looks:
Barry looks surprisingly happy. Either that or he's delirious from the cold.
Tommy doesn't realize the worst hills lie directly in front of him, ergo the smile:
Here's me, in bank robber mode, still able to flex some muscles:
Barry, in post-race celebration, on the wrong side of the chute:
Sean, just happy to be done with the damn thing:Tommy, joining my bank robber posse:
Post-race, we're smiling because soup is just a couple of moments away. But as you can see from Barry's expression, apparently the chili was damn hot!
Post-race, I heard at least two "never again" comments from within the ranks of the E Streeters. And this blog will provide the documentation the next time that stupid email suggestion makes the rounds. Next up? Kilimanjaro.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Icemen Runneth

So, somewhere along the line, we E Streeters thought it would be fun to do an eight-mile run in sub-zero temperatures this morning. Needless to say, we were quite the spectacle for the Westford families who, instead of driving through an animal preserve, opted to take their kids for a ride to see the stupid-ass runners.

Here's the result (forgive the quality of the pics, electronic devices tend to malfunction at -4 degree temperatures, which it was at our East Boston Camp start.)

Here we are at the start, joined by Scott Graham, who decided to add seven miles onto his already-completed seven-mile loop: Preparing for the hills of Chelmsford:
Scott Spence had a clear advantage out front:
Here's the course, map complete with elevation, courtesy of John's runkeeper:
And the satellite pic of our course, because NASA likes to keep tabs on the E Streeters:
And finally, at the finish, Barry was a little worse for the wear:
And just think - next weekend we get to run twice the distance, only with more hills!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Frozen Bananas

It wasn't a fit morning out for man nor beast. Here's the (men AND women):and here's the beast: Yes, come rain, shine, or freezing cold, icy, sloppy, chilling slush, the No Bananas racing series surges on. This morning, brave and hardy New Englanders (known 'round some parts as E Streeters) ventured out onto the Bruce Freeman Trail in Chelmsford for a 5K race under anything but optimal conditions. Cheers once again to race director Ruth Whalen Crockett.

As usual, photos courtesy of John Piekos and his Runcam.

Here's Andrew, taking the early lead: Tommy, watching his chance to defend his second place standing vanish into the fog:Sean and Scott, in town line racing form:Here comes the leader, undaunted by the wolf pack rushing toward him:The lonely life of the winter runner: Scott, choosing the path least travelled:The banana bunch, marking the turnaround:E Streeters thrive on punishing conditions: She's smiling on the outside. Inside, she's gonna kill John: I got out of bed for this??? Expanding monthly, No Bananas now boasts an official timer:The Lone Wolf: The male E Streeter contingent:Buoyed by her first place finish in the women's division, Karen basks in the adulation of her fans:Another photo finish, eerily mirroring the December No Bananas thrilling finish: And somehow, they still manage to look great after a grueling Iditarod: Finishing with Grace: Ready to kill the guy who talked her into running the course:But after all the slush and slipping, there they stand, the top 13. Mysteriously missing, though, is one stalwart E Streeter. Could it be? Was Scott Spence a DNF? Racing pundits will be talking about this one for a long time to come... See everyone in February!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Soup Year!

So today was the annual E Streeters New Year's Day run, a tradition that dates back decades. A time for friends to recharge, start the New Year off right, and log their first miles. Lately, though, a new participant has entered the game.

May I present the star of the run, Karen's soup: Here's the soup's pre-run shot, with some of its biggest supporters:
Heading out for the run, who takes the early lead on 1/1/11? Oh yeah, the guy wearing the number 1:
Here's Sean, mapping out his town-line strategy: And here we go, the first contested town line of 2011. Who won the horse race?
Gee, I don't know. Maybe the Clydesdale?
Running through the Tyngsboro springs, on a 50+ degree day:
Back in the lead, it must be the downhill momentum
Barry, ready for battle:
Andrew and Jonathan, heading into the Land of the Lost:
Andrew, flexing some frontrunner muscle:
And another town line. Who took this one? The Chili king?
Could it be Barry, angling to get back early for the first bowl of soup?
Or did 2011 start off with a two-timer?
The first father-son pic of the 2011 running season:
And afterwards, the soup takes the number 1 spot:
Thanks Karen, a memorable soup that even Scott Brown would enjoy! Thanks also to John Piekos and his Runcam shots. A great way to start the New Year off running! May there be many more E Streeter soup runs in our future! Here's to 2011!