Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wah, Wah Wachusett!

No, Andrew, Tommy and I aren't supporting the Mount Wachusett TV commercial, that noise was us crying today at the trail race up Mount Wachusett in Princeton. The Mount in the name is a dead giveaway that this isn't a flat course. The E Streeters were scattered to the four winds today, but a trio of us managed to make the trek out to run in incredibly muggy conditions.

Here I am, wondering just what the hell I'm doing out on the course:Tommy, looking just as surprised by the terrain on the course, which was changed to a more technical route today to accommodate a wedding in the lodge. We thought about being wedding crashers, but we were clearly underdressed.Father and son, ready to conquer the mountain: We always look so happy before these things start: The fog wasn't just in our heads, it enshrouded the mountain today at race's start: Andrew and Tommy are also trying to figure out why the hell they're spending their early Saturday morning running up hills:
Courtesy of Andrew carrying the RunCam, here's a look at the terrain:Ever wonder what a sweaty, out-of-control Clydesdale runner listening to Sympathy for the Devil looks like as he thunders to the finish line? Wonder no more. (Obviously the walker in front of me hears me coming and is feeling deservedly nervous.) Afterwards, the fog hasn't lifted, and the smiles have somewhat faded, lost somewhere in the mud or beneath Balance Rock out on the course.And of course, for all of our complaining and grousing, we'll be back again next year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Prom-ised Land

A couple of days late, but hey, it's been a crazy week. Andrew's prom was this week, heading toward the finish line of his senior year. He opted for a James Bond tux, and of course a bowtie, since as all Doctor Who fans know, Bowties are Cool. Here's the proud family, with Brady surveying his surroundings.With the proud aunt and cousin:Towering above NanaIt took a committee to get that flower pinned on at his beautiful date's home. Mary was stunning. And as a sidenote, thankfully, despite the coincidence in name, we didn't have a prom event complete with firefighters a la "There's Something About Mary."The handsome couple. Looks like a Facebook profile picture to me:He's not heavy, he's her brother:And the proud mama with the blissful couple:Down at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, LHS XC runners and their coaches, saying "cheese hamburger" for the camera:And no matter the event - prom, race, graduation, etc., you always need to "Remember the Moose."Great job by the LHS crew and congrats to Andrew and Mary for a picture-perfect night. On to commencement!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Of Firefighters and Fighters

After a quick trek back from Boston, Andrew got to the starting line just in time for the Lowell Firefighters 5K this morning, joining Sean and a couple of his LHS XC and track teammates to represent the E Streeters well.

LHS track was well represented at the starting line (and the finish as well, but that's later in the post)Here's Andrew, on Fletcher Street, coming in for a landing. He finished 9th overall out of 257 runners, first in his age group.Sean Un-Kenny held his own, too, coming in comfortably in 25th place, clearly still riding his Sub-4 wave.Post-race, the Kenny family strikes a great family pose. Good luck to Jill on her upcoming half-marathon!Jackie with one of her Lowell PD buddies, Mickey O'Keefe, the movie star who made it big playing himself in the recent Mark-Wahlberg flick the Fighter. O'Keefe ran in fighting form, perhaps getting ready for another big screen appearance?A couple of Irishmen, waiting for the burgers to be done.And finally, LHS captured the 1-2-3 slots in their age group. Nice showing, gentlemen!

Just a Formal-ity

Saturday night was our little girl's formal dance with her friends up at St. Margaret's School. They're getting ready to wind down the eighth-grade and their SMS experience, and they're going out in style.

Here's the family shot, complete with Brady actually facing the camera:Heather towers above her grandmother nowWith a bunch of her friends getting silly before the big night kicks off:Heather and Chloe, glitzing the glamour:Congrats to the entire SMS 8th grade, seen here hamming it up to end the night. Just two more weeks, and they're off to high school! Great job guys, you all looked terrific!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Long Live Walk

Time for the 2011 Lowell General Hospital Cancer Walk, and another strong showing by the extended Nicholson/Blake/Cook clans, not to mention a healthy dosage of E Streeters. The walk is a terrific annual event aimed at raising money to help the hospital serve its patients suffering from cancer. A worthy cause if ever there was one... Six of the E Streeters did the 6 mile loop out to the Rourke Bridge and in-bound, but alas, we didn't have a RunCam in hand at the time, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Heading to the stretch behind LeLacheur Park, the walk gets a big thumbs up from Zachary:A colorful looking clan, getting ready to head into the home stretch:After the walk, Andrew is more than happy to model the stylish bicycling jersey for the upcoming Middlesex Community College bike challenge on June 5:Heather and Mary cut a mean rug on the grass behind the Tsongas Arena:Once again, congratulations to walk organizers, there were literally THOUSANDS of walkers and runners out on the streets of Lowell for a great cause.

Oh yeah, and Andrew got his first tattoo ever. Leave it to him to get one to help advertise a Mexican food restaurant.....(the tattoo gets bigger when he flexes his muscle.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bananas Mayday

As Queen Guinevere said in Camelot, "It's May, it's May, the lusty month of May..." That means it's time for the No Bananas race out in Chelmsford, and the numbers are growing, not to mention the cheering section, walkers, and baby jogger passengers! Jackie made her walking debut out on the course, except for the stretch she ran after coming across a snake that wriggled along the course. Great job as always by Ruth Whalen Crockett, who pulls it all together the first Sunday of every month on the Freeman Trail in Chelmsford. (And thanks to Heather for the race pics!)Two of our E Streeters couldn't join us for this outing, but they get a pass, riding as they were in the 62 mile bike ride on Martha's Vineyard to benefit Multiple Sclerosis. Nice job John and Scott, not to mention Donna, Mary Jo and Tom, who also did the island ride. Right out of the gate, here's the new Top Banana in the No Bananas race, Andrew, wielding the turnaround marker banana in his hand:
Running as a pack, the E Streeters don't give the runners behind them much room to get past them. We call this our rolling roadblock.

Chrissy can still manage a smile at this point, about 30 yards into the race: Two wins in a row and a new course record? Take a bow Andrew! But watch out for the OTHER Andrew on your tail!

After missing a month, Jonathan roars back to the top of the pack
Carlos, refusing to get beaten TWICE in a row by Barry Barry, resplendent in his Middlesex Trail Race teePat, proudly displaying a town line victory on his tee-shirt (more on those later)Ruthless, putting the finishing touches on her raceThe end is in sight! Rich, getting beaten by a baby jogger The cheering section grows each raceAnd finally, Pat, wearing his badges from not one, but EIGHT TOWN LINES! Tommy, alas, can only look on in abject defeat.See you all in June!