Week 7 – Friendly Run

February 16th, 2018

Its with regret that I bring the news of the death of Jeff Brogan to our Sunday Long Run group. Jeff ran with us off and on over the past few years, specifically through his training for the Baystate Marathon in 2016. There he qualified for Boston running a 3:32:40. He returned to the group this season for his training for this spring’s Boston, running 16 miles with us just this past Sunday. Jeff passed away on Wednesday, experiencing complications with his heart. Jeff Brogan’s Obituary can be viewed here.

Our training continues on this week with a 14 mile long run and 7 mile shorter run. Be aware, there is snow in the forecast. While the snow should end before Sunday Morning, be wary of slick sidewalks, narrow roads, and plows. The google map sections are outlined below.

The Start will be similar to last week’s run as we head north, past Ell Pond, continuing on to a left turn on Franklin. Follow Franklin into Stoneham, continuing on all the way to Main Street in Stoneham Square where you’ll turn left. Main Street will bring you towards Spot Pond, hitting a water stop at Friendly’s on Main Street.

Half-Finish will leave Friendly’s, crossing to the left side of the road to take an immediate left on South Street which will become Pond Street. Continue past the Stone Zoo, then turning left to stay on Pond Street as it heads down to Grimsby’s. Turn left on the Lynn Fells Parkway, running past Melrose High School and turning right onto Melrose Street and right on Main Street to finish at Brueggers.

Long-2 will continue straight after leaving Friendly’s as Main Street becomes the Fellsway West. Follow around the backside of Spot Pond to Elm Street where you turn left. Elm Street will climb up to Highland Ave where you’ll go right and run the length of Highland in Medford, looking for a water stop on the left side of the road near the traffic circle at the intersection at the Fellsway East.

Long-3 After the water stop you’ll turn left onto the Fellsway East, running through the hills to Grimsby’s. Turn left onto Pond Street and climb back up to Spot Pond. Turn right at the pond and run past the Stone Zoo to return to Main Street and the water stop at Friendly’s.

Long-Finish returns to Brueggers the way you got to Friendly’s originally. Run Main Street in Stoneham back to Stoneham Square where you’ll turn right onto Franklin Street. This will take you back to Main Street in Melrose where you’ll turn right to make your way back to Brueggers.

Water Stops at Friendly’s and Highland Ave will be hosted by me, Hank, and Tom.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 6 – The Most Beautiful Run of The Season

February 10th, 2018

Last Week – Despite many local races we still had a solid core of about 35 runners continuing on their marathon and half marathon training with the group. The icy conditions put the kibosh on running in Breakheart, but we changed up the route and got the miles done. This week ice shouldn’t be a problem with warmer temperatures, but rain might add to the challenge

Map Route Sections – New this season, I’m trying to include Google Maps for your phone to help you navigate the route. You can preview each section of the run here. While running, you can start navigating from that section when you’re at the start of that section during the water stop. Note, navigating will need to be started at each stop, the route will not continue on to the next section.

Start-1 – We start from Brueggers at 8AM heading North on Main Street, passing Ell Pond and Clarence DeMar as we make our way to a left turn on Franklin Street. Following Franklin up a hill and into Stoneham, pass Stoneham High School and Dunkin Donuts, on to a set of lights where you’ll turn left onto Summer Street. Stay single file on Summer as the road narrows at turns, as you make your way up to and across Main Street in Stoneham to Marble Street. Marble will cross over I-93 into Winchester where it becomes Forest Street. Eugene Drive will be on your left with Water Stop 1.

Half-Finish – The half runners will turn back over I-93, back on Marble Street, but at the set of lights turn right at Park Street which becomes North  Border Rd. Pass Friendly’s, going straight to Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo, and following Park left after the Zoo down to Grimsby’s. Turn left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway which you’ll follow past Melrose High School, turning right onto Main Street, past Ell Pond, and back to Brueggers for an 8 mile run!

Long-2 – Long route runners will leave the first water stop and head down Forest Street. Enjoy the down hill, it gets harder after this. Follow the blue H signs to a left turn onto Highland Ave. Highland will bring you up to Winchester Hospital where you’ll turn left onto Reservoir Road. This is my favorite road of the SLR, travelling along the edge of the Fells as it becomes Hillcrest Parkway… oh yeah there is a hill you’ll have to crest here too. After running along the gas lamp lined road and the big fancy houses, you’ll wind back down to Highland Ave where you’ll turn left. Highland will go through a 5-way intersection straight across to continue on Highland. Here you’ll find why its called Highland as your climb through some more hills to the water stop at the end of the road.

Long-3 – The next section of the run will turn right on Main Street, bringing you to a rotary. Enter the rotary and go right onto Main Street where you see a historical marker for Symmes Farm. Following Main there is a subtle fork in the road where you’ll stay right onto Washington Street. Washington will bring you to another 5-way intersection at Mt Vernon Street. Cross Mt Vernon and stay to the right to stay on Washington Street, if you pass Winchester High School you went the wrong way and should be using the navigation map. Washington will bring you to the Gingerbread Construction Company, where you’ll turn right onto Forest Street. Forest will climb back up to the water stop at Eugene Drive.

Long-4 – After Eugene, cross over I-93 and turn right at the lights at Park Street. You’ll be on North Border Rd which will bring you to Friendly’s where you’ll turn right. Follow the Fellsway West around the back of Spot Pond. Don’t go down the ramp onto I-93, go over I-93, past the Sheepfold, under I-93, over to Elm Street where you’ll turn left. Elm will bring you up to the rotary at Highland Ave, but don’t go onto Highland, turn left onto Woodland and look for the water stop in the parking lot of Flynn Rink.

Long-Finish – From the rink you’ll finish up by running along Woodland Rd up to Pond Street. Turn right on Pond down past Grimsby’s to West Wyoming. Continue straight to Main Street where you turn left and finish up at Brueggers for a solid 16 mile run!

Water Stops – There are 4 water stops along this route. The plan is to have Hank at Eugene Drive, Jim at Highland Ave, and Tom at Flynn Rink. There will be Gu available at Eugene Drive. If you’d like more than one Gu along the route, consider donating a bit more to the SLR.

Roll Call – Who’s in?!


Week 5 – Super Sunday Long Run

February 3rd, 2018

Last Week we had a good group of 30+ runners run the old Melrose Half Marathon Route. Great weather helped the runners get a challenging 7 mile or 14 mile training run in to stretch out their mileage.

This Week we start our Super Bowl Sunday off tackling a 6.3 mile run for the shorter distance and 12.5 for the longer distance. We’ll start at Brueggers at 8AM, although short runners have the option to call an audible and start at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot on Main Street in Saugus by the Lynn Fells Parkway if they want to include the Breakheart section of the run.

The Route begins up Main Street, past Ell Pond and our friend Clarence DeMar’s monument where we’ll run a crossing pattern to the right over to Green Street and turn to the right at the lights onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. The whole group will run the Lynn Fells to the next set of lights and turn left onto Main Street in Saugus. Here the short runners who started will curl left onto Howard Street for a water stop. Short runners who want to run Breakheart will jump into the route at this point, going straight along Main Street towards Wakefield with the long runners.

After their water stop the posted short route will return to Melrose along Howard Street and bear onto Green Street to the left to bring them back to the Lynn Fells Parkway where they’ll turn right. Cross Main Street, stay on the Lynn Fells to pass Melrose High School and continue on to Grimsby’s where you’ll turn left onto West Wyoming. At the next set of lights you’ll turn left and rush down Main Street to cross the goal line at Brueggers.

Longer runners and those that jumped in will be heading through the hills of Main Street as it turns into Farm Street. Wakefield High School will be on the right where the water boys will run over and hydrate you up. From there you’ll head through the neutral zone between Wakefield High School and the Northeast Metro Tech on your way up to Breakheart. Stay to the right as you head onto the paths, tackling the hills first, then streaking along the flatter side. Make sure you stay to the right as you approach the beach section to complete the loop, popping back out at the Northeast Metro Tech where you entered. Back through the neutral zone down to the water boys.

After the water stop run a slant back on to Farm Street if you’re running long. Those that jumped in curl left and head back to where you started. Long runners will turn left at the lights onto Water Street for a lateral over to Wakefield Center. You’ll turn left onto Main Street and from their either march back to the end zone at Brueggers like a Patriot or fly like an Eagle and likely stall in the red zone if you’re so inclined.

Water Boys Patriot Fans Jim and Hank, along with Cowboys Fan Tom will try not to fumble your snacks and drinks. While it’s frigid right now, we should get up to the 30s during the run. Don’t forget your $2 for the long run and $1 for the short… there’s a quarterback joke there but there’s only so many football terms you can cram into a running blog.

Huddle Up! Who’s in for the Super Bowl Sunday Long Run?!


Week 4 – No (Sun)Days Off Melrose Half Training Run

January 27th, 2018

As the Patriots prepare for yet another Super Bowl, those training for Boston should head Bill Belichick’s chant from last year’s parade. While you shouldn’t run everyday, No Sunday’s Off should be in your head. Follow your routine, train every Sunday with a quality long run, and build the endurance, mental toughness, and confidence running hills by running the same routes Clarence DeMar and Bill Rodgers did while preparing for Boston.

Last week over 50 runners, maybe 60, joined in on the Sunday Long Run. The weather was nice, the route was flat, and a recovery run got you ready for this week’s 14.6 mile run for the Marathon trainers and 7.1 for the Half Marathon trainers. The water stop at Nick’s Pizza was full of smiling runners enjoying a strong long run.

This Week we’ll be running the Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon Course. This hilly race, held in the late 1990s was the predecessor to Boston’s Run to Remember. The route starts out up Main Street, past Ell Pond, to a left on Melrose Street followed by a quick left on the LynnFells Parkway. After passing Melrose High School the short route runners will continue along the LynnFells to Grimsby’s for a short water stop. Longer route runners will loop Ell Pond with a left at the traffic lights onto Tremont Street, and lefts on Lake, Emerson, Main, Melrose, and then LynnFells to pass Melrose High School again. On this pass you’ll continue on the LynnFells for a water stop at Grimsby’s.
After the Grimsby’s water stop both marathon and half trainers will continue straight as you cross on to the Fellsway East. Run through the hills to the traffic circle where you’ll turn right onto Highland Ave. Run along Highland until you get to the water stop on the left side of the road.
After this stop the runners going long will turn left on Elm Street to loop Spot Pond while the shorter route runners will continue straight onto Woodland Road and turn right on Pond Street to head back down past Grimsby’s onto West Wyoming. At the set of traffic lights at West Wyoming and Main, turn left and head back to Brueggers.

Long runners follow Elm to the end where they turn right. We did this loop a few weeks ago so you should be familiar with it as you go under I-93, over I-93, and over to the Straw Point parking lot at Spot Pond. A small water stop there will help you continue onto Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo and onto Woodland Ave. Pass Flynn Rink and back to Highland Ave where the water stop will be waiting for you.

After this stop, turn left onto East Border Road and at the lights turn left back onto the Fellsway East. Run the the hills and pass Grimsby’s onto the LynnFells Parkway. Head past Melrose High School, which back in the day would have been the end of the Melrose Half with a loop of the track around the football field in front of the spectators. You don’t have to do this since the track is no longer there, nor are the spectators. You continue up to a right on Melrose Street and a right on Main Street which will take you back to Brueggers.

The Water Stops will be manned by myself with helping hands from a mix of Tom, Hank, and possibly special guest Audrey Paradis! Thanks to all those that give their time to make the MRC SLR run smoothly.

Roll Call, although some will decide to run the Stew Chase 15K this weekend I’m sure there are many looking for a good training run. Who’s in?!

Week 3 – Not So Cold, No New Snow Run

January 20th, 2018

Week 1 challenged us with giant piles of snow, slippery footing, and frigid temperatures as you criss-crossed your way through Melrose Center. Week 2 followed up with more frigid temperatures as 35 runners came out to run along the shores of Spot Pond. Those are the weeks that build the character you need to push through whatever challenges you find in front of you on Marathon Day.

This week Mother Nature has decided to give you a break. It will be above freezing for the start of the run, for the most part sidewalks are clear, and your run gets a little shorter, recovering from the hills and miles you conquered last week.

The Route this week takes you in to Wakefield, and if you’re running the full route, around Lake Quannapowitt. We’ll leave Brueggers at 8AM, heading north on Main Street past Ell Pond. New to the MRC SLR? Keep an eye out for the Clarence DeMar monument as you pass Ell Pond. Clarence lived and trained on the roads and hills of Melrose in the 1920s when he started his string of 7 Boston Marathon victories, the most by any one athlete. It has been an MRC SLR tradition for someone to tap the monument on the way by to honor the great runner… and ask for a little good luck on our journey to Boston. Continue up Main Street, into Wakefield, to the intersection of Main Street and North Ave/Nahant St. There you will find the Water Stop in the parking lot of Nick’s Pizza.

From there you’ll either turn around and head straight back to Brueggers along Main Street to finish your 10K. If you’re running long you’ll continue on Main Street, through Wakefield Center, staying to the right to continue along the eastern side of Lake Quannapowitt. Bear left on Lowell Street, and turn left on Quannapowitt Way to continue along the lake. In the Comverse parking lot you can either run along the lake if the path is clear, or run along the office building parking lot, either way continue out of the other side of the lot turning left on North Ave. At the set of lights by the softball fields on North Ave, turn left on Church Street and run to… wait for it… a church. Turn right there on Common Street along… wait for it… Wakefield Common. You’ll merge on to Main Street and run to Maine… just kidding… just run back to Nick’s for another Water Stop.

After that water stop you’ll head back to Brueggers along Main Street to finish up your 10.7 mile run.

Water Stops will all be at Nick’s and hosted by myself and Hank and Tom if they want to come help. Simple.

Roll Call! Who’s in for a nice, flat, reasonably temperatured Sunday Long Run?