Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Rabbits

The final "long" run of the 2013 Boston Marathon training cycle - 15 miles -  which meant it was time for one more trip back in to break a few hearts on the hills of Newton on the marathon course along Boston College and its environs.
And this time, we were joined by Scott Spence, fresh off his Hawaiian adventure.
At this point of the run, we've still got a lot of gas in our reservoir
Heading out in Brookline, the sidewalks are ours.  No sign of the camelback this year.
Andrew, pointing out the marathon finish line, which seems oh, so far away at this point
Looks like Sean's trying to reel Andrew in
Recapturing their Eastern States pace, Tommy tries unsuccessfully  to keep an eye on Andrew, that brown speck way off in the distance
Five alive
Legends of the Boston Marathon - Johnny Kelly and the E Streeters
One of these men will make history on April 15
It looks like we made a fashion boo-boo, but look closely, you'll see we're rocking the Boston Marathon swag from 2008, 2010,  and 2012
And Four Horsemen came running out of the sun
Thank God for the well-placed water stops along the course 
And afterwards, what else, but our Boston Marathon post-run training regimen - Mexican food.  For me, it was breakfast tacos
Andrew went the route of chorizo
And Tommy? He went with the Chululu hot sauce.  Barry opted for the Korean cuisine further down the block.
One more 10 miler on the horizon for us, and then it's all over but the sobbing.
Happy Easter 2013 to all!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Eastern States and Altered States

Ahh, the Eastern States 20 mile run, an annual E Streeter tradition - gorgeous course, roaring winds, and a great feedbag afterwards.  From Kittery, Maine, down the coast of New Hampshire's beaches to Salisbury, Mass.
This year marked Andrew's inaugural outing for the race, and to celebrate, he participated in a proven pre-race ritual used by Kenyans prior to their Boston Marathon wins
It's all about the commitment.  Or being committed.  Or needing to be committed somewhere.
Another pre-race ritual, Barry's attempt to down one of the Gu energy gels.  Normally, his gag reflex kicks in moments later, providing hilarity to all
Case in point
Finally, out on the course, 'round about mile 5 at Odiorne Point, Andrew looks like he's running the race all by himself
The Brothers Scanlon
A few miles further, and Andrew still has the frame of mind to pose for the cameras.  John would be proud.
Mile 7, and Barry is partaking in one of his usual past-times, shedding clothes
Mile 8, and Tommy can hold his water
Barry was reunited with Skippy, his starting line nemesis
At this point, Andrew exclaimed "I FEEL GREAT!" The mantra would change by mile 16.
Along the course, there are few spectators, and none as loyal as Ann Scanlon, seen here cheering on the masses.  Too bad her husband running past her doesn't realize she's there.
Andrew is just hitting his stride, and getting ready to kick it in for the back half
One of Barry's favorite stretches of the course, through scenic Rye Beach
Taking a page from the Kenyan elitists, Barry perfects his patented chewing-of-his-shirt-collar move.  We think the collar is coated in performance-enhancing drugs or something
Obviously, the Scanlon boys didn't confer about their fashion choices pre-race.  A running fashion faux pas.
One of these buffoons still has enough bravado in him to flex for the cameras.  The other one would likely rip his shirt were he to flex at this point
Here, it was a bridge over troubled waters, but the end was in sight
A man alone with his thoughts.  Of Kenny Chesney and cowboy boots.
A classic state line race.  Who took it?  Does it matter?
Afterwards, back at Casa de Scanlon, their bellies full of soup, salad (complete with crouties and bacon bits, a la General Hospital) and pasta, the runners with their support staff.  We couldn't do it without all of you out there cheering us on! Sadly, our good friend M.J. was unable to join us for this group picture.  She declined the invite to have dinner with a group of people she never met before, but whose cars she spent most of the day riding in.
Just three weeks to the big day, April 15 and the running of the Boston Marathon.  With today's run under our respective belts, the hay is in the barn!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Fritty Good Day for a Run....or Two

St. Patrick's Day in the Mill City, so naturally, this Patrick had to get his Irish Feet Running, and what better place to do it than at the Patrick Frye Memorial 5K that roams through Lowell's Highlands neighborhood?
The race is in memory of Patrick Frye, whose life was taken way too early, but whose memory lives on in the enormous family that carries on his honor, establishing the race that support a scholarship fund in his name.  It doesn't hurt that Frye, known to his friends as P Fritty, was a member of Clan Durkin, one of Lowell's biggest Irish conglomerates.
Before the start of the race at Mount Pleasant, four of my favorite ladies are all Irish Eyes Smiling
Met up with another Irishman at the starting line, Mike Cassidy, looking a little green under the gills
Two of Josh Simoneau's favorite ladies to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates with
With the starting gun fired, Patrick Frye's mom and Aunt Mary are making lots of noise to get runners started on the right foot
Heather doesn't look too happy with me here, but appearances can be deceiving
Anyone who grew up in the Highlands knows this landmark.  It's like Lowell's Citgo sign
Heading back into the home stretch, it's a good thing we had uber volunteers like Brennan Cassidy to tell us a la izqierda, otherwise, we'd be lost
See?  Here's Heather taking his advice and making her move
Even after stopping to put her nursing skills to the test live-time on the course, Julie and Patrick's brother Michael were able to stay stride for stride coming into the finish gate
Post-race, Heather hasn't even broken a sweat
And we actually got Brady to look at the camera
The Clan Simoneau

Again, congrats to everyone involved with putting the race together, it was a huge success.  P Fritty would be happy to see so many of his peeps getting together on St. Patrick's Day for a great cause!
From there, though, there was still a couple of more things to do to check off the St. Patrick's Day list, including meeting up with Andrew for the tail end of his 14 mile run through Worcester, Holden and Paxton, including a breathtaking run past the Holden Reservoir
Even Andrew couldn't figure out what kind of tree this was along the route
Babbling brook, meet babbling idiot
And of course, as always, Andrew came out the victor in the town line sprint
Here's what kept the pep in our step:  the corned beef dinner awaiting us at run's end at Mamma's Paxton home
And finally, me and one of my favorite leprechauns, Zachary, complete with a cup of green milk
All in all, yet another St. Patrick's Day for the books, albeit a tad more sedate than the days of yore.  Great runs, great friends, a great cause and a great feedbag to top it off.  Erin go bragh!