The first Sunday in March, so runners, especially those in training for April's Boston Marathon, know what that means - Stu's 30K, or 18.6 miles through one of the hilliest courses around, through Clinton, West Boylston and the environs around the Wachusett Reservoir
This year, Ben Nicholson is representing E Street Nation in the Boston Marathon so it was his turn to take center stage at Stu's - with a little help from some of his fellow E Streeters
Barry was there to start things off with Ben, and was sorely tempted to log the entire 18.6 - the only thing stopping him was the back 12
Even Spider-Man was impressed with Ben's web-slinging, thwipping skills
Heading into mile 9, slogging up one of the course's longest hills, we had our support team in place for us waiting at the bakery named after this blog
Not really, but damned if it isn't a Wicked Good name
Three Wicked Good Cookies in their own right
After the hairpin turn at mile 10, Ben starts the long back road trek getting him into the back half of the course. Not to mention the pace car handoff from the Old Man to the Young Stud
And there at the halfway mark, once again, are Ben's two biggest cheerleaders, his mom and dad
Getting to the 15 mile mark, these two jungle cats are honored to represent Wakanda Forever
Ready to take on the steepest downhill on the course, one more high five from mom as the reservoir fades into the rear view mirror
Andrew looks a tad surprised to see Obi-Wan waiting for them again after the course's steepest uphill
I think they're both getting ready to slug the unofficial race photographer
It's either another Wakanda Forever moment, or it's getting damn cold out there in Clinton
Across the finish line, nothing but bear hugs from Ben's biggest supporters
Wear that hardware proudly Ben!
43 days to go (as of this writing, probably 42 or less as you're reading it) to the starting line in Hopkinton. Based on his performance at Stu's, Ben's ready for the final stretch. If you can handle the hills of Stu's, you're ready to take on the fabled hills of Newton, Ben.
Keep on training, keep on forging ahead, and keep on drinking plenty of water. And as long as Scott's not watching, have another bowl of clam chowder!