Saturday, April 30, 2016

For You, Sue

Back on Track in Tyngsboro Saturday, for a worthwhile cause to remember a great person taken far too soon.
It was the second annual Susan (Scanlon) Bradley Memorial Walk-A-Thon to help fight brain cancer, along with all the other diseases that take far too many of our loved ones.
Props to Sue's daughters, Mikaela Beth and Lauren, who pulled together most of the details for the picture-perfect day.  The weather was GLORIOUS, a far cry from last year's chilly temps and wild winds.
Here's the extended Bradley-Scanlon clans proudly wearing their commemorative tees to celebrate the day and Susan's legacy.  Color-coordinated, ain't they?
Sue's husband, son and daughters led the walkers out for the hour of exercise on the Academy of Notre Dame track
The track was packed (though it thinned out as the laps racked up) 
Mike O'Connell was warning me not to take a picture whilst he and Barry walked arm in arm.
Too late, and now it's on the internet for the world to see.
These guys were ready to run.  Or pose for a Power Rangers ad.  Not quite sure.
One of these walkers needed a rest.  Good thing his granddaughter was there to give him an excuse to stop.
Barry and his ladies
St. Joseph's Regional High School, class of 1982 - me, Darlene (Young) Slates, Mike Cassidy, and Bill Mahoney.
If only Sister Theresa could see us now.
She'd probably still try to have us strip searched.
The E Streeters are always eager to support fund-raising efforts for worthy causes, and this one ranks right near the top.  It's a pleasure and an honor to support Sue's memory.
Sue passed away from a Glioblastoma, a type of malignant brain tumor.  She was an educator for most of her life, working in the school system for 25 years.  The funds raised at the Walk-A-Thon are applied to the Susan Bradley Scholarship set up at NDA.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can do so at the website: 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tracking your 2016 Boston Marathon Runners

As we do each year on this blog, we like to remind folks that you can track the peeps you know running in tomorrow's Boston Marathon.  While the E Streeters don't have a ton of folks intrepid enough to log the miles this year, we do have a handful who'll be running the 26.2 from Hopkinton to Boston, so here's how you can follow them and keep tabs on their progress.

To get started, visit this website to enter the information you need to follow the runners:  Athlete Alerts

Simply enter their bib number, and off you go!

First up is Sean Kenny of Chelmsford.  His bib number is 29235.
Sean's run enough of these marathons before to know how to pace himself.  And also how to still look cool enough when running through the scream tunnel at Wellesley College.
Sean has traveled from volcano-stricken lands to log legendary outings in Boston before, so he's a pro at this.  Best of luck, Sean!

Next up is one of the true veterans of this venerable race, Scott Graham of Westford.  His bib number is 14359.
Scott's logged a few of these races before.  How many?  Take a look at his stats on the Adidas runner history board on Boylston Street for a hint.
So, yeah.  Scott's the real deal.  This year's warm temps will preclude him from wearing his trademark striped tights, but there's always the winter runs to see them make their return.
Next up is the E Streeter's Great White Hope, Lowell Sun reporter Rick Sobey.  To say Rick is fast would be an understatement.  Let's put it this way - on an average, his Boston Marathon 2016 training runs average a mile split faster than just about every single mile I've ever logged running in my entire life.  I'm taking low 6 minute splits.  Yowza!
Rick hails from the metropolis of Wilbraham and covers, among other things, the town of Billerica for the Sun.  His bib number is 3755.
So for the E Streeter breaking the three hour mark, and logging an uber fast finish time in 2016, Rick, E Streeter nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

And a special shout out and thank you to Katie Casey, 44, of Dedham.  She's number 26735.  She's one of the nurses taking care of Jack's sister Annie over at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. When she runs tomorrow, she's carrying a list with the names of all her patients in her pocket, so in essence, they'll be running the Boston Marathon with her!  Thanks for not just acknowledging the patients during tomorrow's race, Katie, but for taking care of them in their hours of need all year long at the hospital!

Best of luck to all of this year's runners!  I'm super jealous! And we're all rooting for you!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Clydesdales, Mustangs and Phillies!

A quick Saturday morning E Streeters outing, this time featuring Tom Beaupre, on loan from Pennsylvania, in town for some Boston Marathon press conferences.
So of course, with Pennsylvania on our minds, naturally, talk turns to the November Philadelphia Marathon.
Many of us are ready to run in the footsteps of this guy:
And to bask in the glory that awaits us atop the famed staircase
Of the eight runners today, six have already signed up for the hallowed Philly Marathon.  Sean, who's resting up for his big run in Hopkinton on Monday, makes seven, and Ryan, who's working on his cheese steak regimen, makes eight.
Who'll be nine, ten, and eleven?
Let's take a look at the field and begin the Vegas bookmaker handicapping
Two of today's runners are plagued with injuries, but that doesn't stop them from signing up for a marathon seven months out.  Keep on trucking!
Cutting through the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro state forest, the entourage surrounds and protects one of the last hold-outs to sign up.
On the way out, there's always the required pitstop to say hello to Trixie
The cutest damn filly on Totman Street
Back at D'Youville, where Tom is taking up temporary residence, the group catches their collective breath
As of this writing, these six mustangs have already signed up for Philly
Will this holdout be dragged in?  Vegas odds heavily favor a YES!
No time like the present, Carlos!
Would this help sweeten the pot?
How about this?
See you all in Philly!

Friday, April 15, 2016

One Boston, One Expo

Much has been written in the press, on social media, and blogs everywhere about One Boston Day, the date that now commemorates the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with a hopeful eye toward making it a positive ideal to help others and move forward.
This year, Andrew and I headed in to Boston to buy some running swag at the Boston Marathon Expo at the Hynes Convention Center and found ourselves back on Boylston Street at the same time - 2:49 p.m. on April 15 -  when the bombs went off, killing three, and injuring hundreds of others.  Regular readers of this blog know that Andrew and I, along with so many of our loved ones and fellow runners, were all out on that stretch of road at the fateful moment when the marathon - and our country - was attacked.
This year's anniversary was marked by an eerie moment of silence on the street, followed by a tolling of the nearby church bells.  Potted yellow tulips adorn almost every doorstep along the street.
April 15 has now been rededicated to creating good will, and encouraging everyone to do good deeds for one another.
Judging by this pic, for Andrew and I, that meant getting this year's Boston Marathon E Streeter representative Sean Kenny psyched for his 26.2 mile voyage come Monday.
Here's Sean posing before his expected finish time.  Or as he hopes, at least his halfway mark.
Andrew took to the Brooks treadmills to test his running mettle.  He bumped into fellow Lowell High Cross Country runner Padraic Donovan working at the Expo.
Sean and I both have a history of running greatness.  You can re-read any of my past blog posts to revisit some of those moments.  It might take you a while to find them, but they're there.  Somewhere.
Lots of official marathon gear could be found at this expo.
This inspirational wall from Asics seems to speak to the seemingly endless cavalcade of Saturday morning Group Runs that so many of us have taken part in over the years.
BOLD.  It says run BOLD.
Heading out of the Hynes, bumped into an old friend, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.  This guy is not only a police legend in Boston, he's a running legend as well.  He helped lead the Boston Police response to the Marathon attacks, but is also a perennial runner of the vaunted race.  His finishing times are CRAZY fast.  But he's taking this year off from competing because he wants to make sure he's on scene to personally oversee the police protection for all the runners and spectators of the race.  He'll run the whole route at a later time.
A classy guy, and a true leader.  Proud to know him.
Pick your word.  They all describe this guy running on Monday.
Pick another word to describe this guy for just looking good at the Expo.
Out on Boylston Street, Andrew shows us the pose he plans to strike Monday looking for Sean coming down Boylston Street.  Hopefully the stands won't be THAT empty when it happens.
Sean will be back here in a couple of days, a little more tired for the wear, and in even more impressive form.
Us?  We're just appreciating the history and lore of the finish line.
The site of where the first bomb went off
And further up the street, where 8-year-old Martin Richard was killed by the second bomb.
Looking at the topographical elevation map of the course, Sean is having second thoughts.
But get those thoughts right out of your mind, Sean!  Listen to the dancing vegetables!
I'll be back later this weekend with instructions on how to track Sean and some other members of E Streeter nation running on Monday.
Now get out there and do some good for someone!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Silvah Rivah!

A quarter century after a group of intrepid Rivah Rats gathered at the Lawrence Technical School and set off on the first ever Merrimack River Trail Race, more than 200 die-hard trailrunners set off on Saturday to log the next series in the 250+ mile annals of this 25-year-old race!
Cheers to Steve Peterson (seen here on the right with his trusty clipboard), as well as running legend Scott Graham, who's saving his legs for his big 26.2 outing from Hopkinton to Boston next week.
And the other guy?  He's there for the Top 10 Chili
Speaking of which, former Rivah champ Dave Dunham stirs the pot
The calm before the storm.
One of these E Streeters is about to log his first official 10 miles as part of the Rivah series.  Will he be back for more?  It remains to be seen.
The other trio is just there for moral support.  And the chili.
Cayuga! Petey and his red flag are ready to get this Silver Anniversary Edition underway!
With all the past year's shirts giving this race a banner start, the crowd is ready, too!
And they're off!
Here they come!
(Here's that E Streeter making his debut we were telling you about)
And there they go!
Because somebody needs to take the role of the sweep car
This day, to celebrate the Silver anniversary of the great race, a few of us retraced the steps of the first couple of year's race, which was actually an 11.5 mile course! (And that extra hiccup is what prevents this series from capping at a neat 250 mile mark.  In truth, it's probably more like a 253 mile voyage.)
Some of the newer bridges don't appear ready for the weight of runners, though.  At least not THESE runners.  Nice recovery, Barry!
Finally, at the finish line, Scott, who has notched almost all 25 of these races,
chooses the messy way in
Andrew opted for the cleaner of the routes.  He was thinking of the floormats of my car.
And afterwards?  What else?
Top 10 Chili, of course!  I had a bowl queued up to try it just to make sure the guys and gals who logged the full 10 didn't burn their mouths when they scored their own bowl.  Noble, I know.
Congrats to all who've participated over the 25 years of this epic race, and kudos to Petey, Dave, Tom Scott, Scott, and anyone else who's hand a hand in keeping the landmark trailrunning alive.
If you haven't taken part, make sure to join the rest of the Rivah Rats next April for the 26th outing.  I'll have a bowl of chili waiting for you at the finish!