Sunday, March 1, 2015

Left to Stu's on His Own

Like yet another rite of spring and training for the Boston Marathon, Sunday marked a return trip to Clinton, Boylston and Sterling for the hill workout known affectionately as the Central Mass Striders' Stu's Run, a 30K (or 18.6 mile) meandering trek around some of the more scenic vistas you'll encounter locally courtesy of the Wachusett Reservoir.
Which this year, was nothing but a pure white blanket for as far as the eye can see.
But this year, unlike past years, Andrew - starting off his Spring Break with a long run - was fated to log the miles alone, as schedules and lack of Boston participation for others kept the masses away.
But that didn't affect this lone wolf.  Just the opposite, in fact.  He reveled in it.
But first, before heading out of the gym at Clinton High School, Andrew some inspiration from words that don't inspire fellow Avenger Nick Laganas.  It's an interesting, introspective, and motivational story for another blog.
Speaking of words of inspiration, I had a few to offer the lad before I headed out to meet him in one of multiple locations along the course.
The first location being alongside the Wachusett Reservoir, where Andrew was literally jumping for joy at seeing his father. 
Looking solid in his stride. 
Thumbs up at the 4.6 mile mark.  Only 14 miles left. 
And then there's THIS guy, who ran the race carrying not one, but TWO American flags.  So stop complaining about your aches and pains. 
Another staple on the course, a cookie shop sharing its name with this blog (check out the profile pic to the right to see it in a past year.)  Andrew makes a point of pointing it out. 
A rare, and maybe even a first father-son selfie.  Because you know, we really ARE Wicked Good Cookies. 
And with that, he's off again! 
With less than five miles to go, Andrew points the way 
Coming around the OTHER side of the vast Wachusett Reservoir
Paying the first of two homages to Leonard Nimoy, buried on Sunday, Andrew reminds us all to Live Long and Prosper 
A couple more shots of the Reservoir Dog 
And finally, at journey's end awaits the conqueror's medal 
Andrew notched a 2:20 18.6 miler, averaging a 7:27 pace throughout.  Not once during the race did he crawl north of an eight minute mile!  A feat made even more impressive by the terrain of the course, which boasts some of the steepest hills you can run in Central Massachusetts.
See how well he does when he doesn't have the rest of us E Streeters holding him back?
Quite the outing Andrew, you did us all proud.
May you Run Long and Prosper!