Week 7 – Good Bye Old Friendly’s

February 15th, 2020

Last Week – We had a good crowd come out on a frigid day to explore the streets of Stoneham and the Winchester Highlands. The hilly course challenged us all, working those muscles you’ll need late in the Boston Marathon.

This Week – We’ll be heading out the same start as last week, but working away over to the now defunct Friendly’s at Spot Pond. The full route will circle the backside of the pond, but then head out to the Fellsway East hills. The half route is very much the same as last week’s route, but with a trip to Friendly’s instead of Winchester. It’s been cold this week, but should warm up a bit for Sunday.

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The Start – The whole crew will head up Main Street, past Ell Pond where you can tip your hat to Clarence DeMar. If this is your first season with us, you may not have noticed that there is a monument to Clarence DeMar along Ell Pond, remembering a legendary Boston Marathoner who lived and trained in Melrose a century ago. After you pass Clarence, continue on to Franklin Street, where you’ll turn left and climb up to Stoneham. Unlike last week, you’ll continue on Franklin all the way to Stoneham Square, turning left at the end of Franklin on to Main Street. Main Street will bring you up towards Spot Pond. Cross to the right side for a water stop at Friendly’s 4 miles into your run.

Half Finish – Close out your half route, turn left at the lights onto South Street, which will become Pond Street. Follow that past the Stone Zoo and turn left to bring you down to Grimsby’s. Turn left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway, run up past Melrose High School, turning right onto Melrose Street and right again onto Main to finish up your 7.2 Mile run.

Full 2 – The long route will head out straight from Friendly’s around the back side of Spot Pond. Run along the Fellsway West, past the Sheepfold and turn left when you get to Elm Street, which will bring you up to the Highland rotary. Turn right this week, following Highland Ave. The water stop will be somewhere along the Fellway East end of Highland, find it for your next drink.

Full 3 – Leaving the water stop continue along Highland Ave to the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Now climb up towards the eastern section of the Middlesex Fells, over the two hills I know you’re growing to love, and wind down yourself down to Grimsbys. Turn left and do your best to climb Pond Street back up to Spot Pond. Turn right, pass the Stone Zoo and head back to Friendly’s. Have another drink before finishing your long run.

Full Finish – Head back up Main Street to Stoneham Square, turning right on Franklin Street. Continue back to Main Street in Melrose where you turn right to get back to Brueggers after 14.3 miles behind you.

Water Stops – Two water stops, manned by a combo of Derm at Friendly’s and me at Highland Ave. I will likely join in at Highland and run some modified SLR.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 6 – Off to the Highlands

February 8th, 2020

Last Week – While most of the Sunday Long Run crew were off running a race in Cambridge, a handful of runners headed out for the second trip around Breakheart of the season. You know we’ve had a mild winter when we get to run through Breakheart twice! Lets hope this holds up for the rest of the winter.

This Week – Lois and I will be hosting the first SLR run out to Winchester of 2020, along my favorite route of all the SLR routes.

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Start – Heading north on Main Street, runners leave Melrose by taking a left on Franklin Street and following the road up a hill into Stoneham. Continuing past Stoneham High School on your left and Dunkin Donuts on your right, you’ll turn left at a set of lights on to Summer Street. This street will wind over to Main Street in Stoneham where you’ll go straight across onto Marble Street. Marble takes you to an overpass of I-93 into Winchester where the road turns into Forest Street. On your left you’ll find the water stop on the corner of Eugene Drive.

Half Finish – The half route runners will turn back over I-93 to a set of lights on the corner of Park Street where they’ll turn right taking them over to the now closed Friendly’s in Stoneham. Cross Main Street and continue straight to Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo and turning left to stay on Pond Street down to Grimsby’s. To get your 8.2 miles in you’ll turn left at Grimsby’s onto the Lynn Fells Parkway, running past Melrose High School, and turning right on Melrose Street, and another quick right onto Main Street to finish up at Brueggers.

Full 2 – After leaving the water stop continue on Forest Street, runners will turn left on Highland Ave towards Winchester Hospital. As you approach the hospital, turn left onto Reservoir Road. This will bring you along the edge of the Middlesex Fells, with a view of Winchester’s North Reservoir. As the road becomes Hillcrest Parkway, enjoy your surroundings and ignore the hill you’re running up. The road will eventually bring you back to Highland Ave where you’ll turn left. You’ll reach a 5-way intersection where you’ll continue straight across to stay on Highland Ave. At the end of Highland you’ll find a water stop.

Full 3 – Leaving the water stop, turn right on to Main Street in Winchester. You’ll run up to a rotary, as you circle it counterclockwise you’ll pass a little spur street and then turn on the second street to stay on Main Street. There is a sign for Symmes Farm Historical Site as a landmark to tell you you’re on the right road. Stay to the right side of the street, as you’ll come to a fork where you want to stay to the right to run onto Washington Street. Washington will take you to another 5 way intersection. Cross Mt Vernon Street and stay to the right to keep on Washington Street. If you run past Winchester High School you went the wrong way. Washington will eventually take you to Forest Street, the Gingerbread Construction Company will be the landmark to note that its time to turn. Go right on Forest and climb up a series of hills to get back to the water stop at Eugene.

Full 4 – Leaving the water stop you’ll go over I-93 and turn right at the lights on to Park. Run to Friendly’s and turn right on to Main Street/Fellsway West. This will take you over I-93, past the Sheepfold, under I-93 to Elm Street where you turn left. Elm will take you up to a rotary where you go left and find Flynn Rink. The final water stop will be in the skating rink parking lot.

Full Finish – To finish up the long run continue on Woodland Road to Pond Street, where you turn right to make your way down to Grimsby’s. Continue straight onto West Wyoming and run to Main Street in Melrose. Turn left and finish up at Brueggers.

AltHalf Finish – The alternate half route runners follow the Full 2 and Full 3 sections. After that you still have a few miles more before finishing. Go with the full route runners onto Forest to the set of lights where you turn right onto Park. When you get to Friendly’s turn left on Main Street instead. Main will take you to the intersection with Marble Street where you turn left. Marble will take you back over I-93 to Eugene Drive where you can carpool back.

Water Stops – Lois and I can handle this one but if anyone else wants to help us out, let me know.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 5 – Maybe Breakheart?

February 1st, 2020

Last Week – Bobby took over and Derm helped out with a stop, but I was in Maine so I don’t know what happened. Hope it was a good one.

This Week – I may not be there Sunday, but you’ll be left in good hands. I hear Breakheart may be slippery. We’ll try to check it out in advance. If it is safe we’ll venture in for some hilly miles. If it isn’t we’ll skip it and finish up with a loop out by Pine Banks instead. Maps exist for both routes.

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The Start – The group will start from Brueggers at 8AM and head up Main Street to Ell Pond, crossing to the right to veer onto Green Street, and then turning right onto the LynnFells Parkway. Follow the parkway to your first set of lights at the corner of Main Street in Saugus, taking a left there. Half route runners will take a quick left onto Howard Street where they’ll find a little water stop. Long Runners continue straight on Main Street in Saugus until it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield, stopping for a water stop in the Wakefield High School parking lot.

Half Finish – The half route runners will return along Howard Street, turning left onto Green Street. At the lights at the LynnFells Parkway you’ll turn right and run the MRC summer route in the reverse direction: Lynnfells Parkway past Melrose High School, over to Grimsby’s and take a left onto West Wyoming and a left on Main Street to get back to Brueggers.

Full-2 Breakheart Loop – The longer route will take up past the Northeast Metro Tech Vocational School where you’ll find the Wakefield entrance to Breakheart. If its not icy, run the Breakheart Outer Loop in the counter-clockwise direction. First making your way through some challenging hills. Drive your legs up the long steep hills and then stay controlled as you let gravity take you down the steep downhills and into the next hill. This section will take you over to the headquarters where you’ll go left to continue around to the Breakheart pond. Stay right there as it takes you back over to the Voc where you’ll pop out into the parking lot and back down to the water stop.

Full-Finish – To finish up you’ll turn right onto Farm Street to the end, turning left at the T intersection onto Water Street and continuing into Wakefield Center. Turn left onto Main Street and follow Main Street back to Melrose Center, into Brueggers.

Alternate Half Route – An option for the half route runners is to carpool to the parking lot at the corner of Main St in Saugus and the LynnFells Parkway and jump in there for a loop around Breakheart before heading home back to your car.

Alternate to Breakheart – After the water stop continue on Farm, to the left on Water, to the left on Main. Run back to Melrose and pass Brueggers, continuing on Main Street past Pine Banks Park. When you enter Malden, turn left on Forest Street, then left on Lebanon, and another left on Sylvan. This will bring you back to Main Street where you turn right and back to Melrose Center and a coffee at Brueggers.

Waterstops- If I can’t show up, Dan will kick off the run, Derm will have water at the corner of Main Street in Saugus and Howard Street (42.472478, -71.036231) and Tom will host the Wakefield High Stop. Thanks for the help!

Who’s in? – Roll Call!

Week 4 – Melrose Half

January 25th, 2020

Last Week – With inches of slush on the ground, a group of about two dozen runners headed out for a Sunday Long Run. The sidewalks and road sides were a bit slippery, but everyone made their way up to Wakefield to Derm’s water stop. Some continued on to circle Lake Quannapowitt, some turned back around, but we all eventually made it back to Brueggers.

This Week – The weather should be sunny and in the 40s for this week’s run. Many will be off running the MRC Racing Series race, the Great Stew Chase in Lynn, but we should have a good group at the SLR. We’ll be running the route that used to be the Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon which was run in Melrose back at the turn of the century before it moved to Boston to become the Run to Remember.

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Half Start – The two groups will start together up Main Street, past Ell Pond, turning left on Melrose Street, and a quick left on the Lynn Fells Parkway. There the half route runners will get a head start on the rest of the route, heading straight to Grimsby’s along the parkway. You’re less than 2 miles into your run, but there is a water stop there if you need it.

Full Start – The full route runners will also head up Main Street to the left on Melrose Street and left on LynnFells. They’ll pass the start of the old race and follow its start by looping Ell Pond. Turn left at the first set of lights on to Tremont Street. Then take your first left on Lake Ave, then first left on West Emerson, and then first left back on to Main Street. Retrace your steps along Main Street, left on Melrose Street, and left on the LynnFells Parkway. Now continue on the parkway straight to Grimsby’s for your first water stop.

Section 2 – Both groups will run the same second section of their run, but the half runners are a good mile plus ahead of the full runners. They’ll try to keep that lead as everyone runs onto the Fellsway East, making through the Fells hills over to the traffic circle at Highland Ave. Turning right on Highland they’ll make their way up to the next water stop on the left side of highland before the Highland rotary.

Half Finish – The half group will stay to the right at the Highland rotary onto Woodland Ave. You’ll pass the Boating in Boston launch and the water pumping station and then turn right onto Pond Street. Let gravity take you down past Grimsby’s on to West Wyoming. Turn left on Main Street and finish up at Brueggers.

Full 3 – The full route runners will loop Spot Pond as they did a few weeks ago. Turn left at the Highland rotary onto Elm Street. At the end of Elm turn right on the Fellsway West. Follow those hills under I-93 and over I-93, past an off ramp of I-93 (watch for cars!) and then left into the Straw Point parking lot at Spot Pond. There will be a little water stop there before you continue on to Pond Street going right to continue around the pond. Run past the Stone Zoo and follow straight onto Woodland Road up to the Flynn Rink. Cross through the rotary (watch out for cars!) and back to the Highland Water Stop.

Full Finish – To finish up take a left on to East Border Road and follow it up to a set of lights. Turn left onto the Fellsway East and make your way through the hills back to Grimsbys. Go straight onto the LynnFells Parkway back to Melrose High School. The race ended with a loop of the track at the high school which is no longer there, but you have to continue up to a right on Melrose Street and a right on Main Street to get back to Brueggers.

Water Stops – I’ll be away this weekend so Bobby Taylor and Derm Cahill will be your water stop crew!

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 3 – A Little Weather Before The Lake

January 18th, 2020

Last Week – We took off for Spot Pond on a very mild day for January. It felt like early Spring with temperatures on their way to the 70s last weekend, the extra layers of clothes were quickly shed and put in the water stop trunks. (I still have a shirt). We even spotted a buck with two does traipsing through the fells, and a big cat at the zoo was watching runners go by.

This Week – Not so much like last week. It’s currently 16 degrees, its been really windy, and a storm is on the way. Predictions are a few inches of snow tonight followed by some rain overnight. Be prepared for some slush along the way to Wakefield. The route travels Main Street, which is wide. Use the sidewalks when you can, if you’re in the street run single file. If there is still snow on the ground dress to be seen and watch out for plows! If you’re uncomfortable running in the snow, run on your own at another time during the weekend.

The Route – This week is a step back week, distances reduce a bit. The crew will head north to Wakefield with Full Route Runners running a loop of Lake Quannapowitt while Half Route Runners turn around at the water stop and head back.

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Start – We’ll head up Main Street to Wakefield. Stop at the Nick’s Pizza parking lot for a water stop.

Half Finish – Turn around and go back along Main Street to return to Brueggers.

Full 2 – The full route will run along Main Street through Wakefield Center, staying on Main Street up along the east side of Lake Quannapowitt. When you reach Lowell Street, continue around the lake by going left, and another left onto Quannapowitt Way into the Comverse parking lot. Continue through the lot, coming out at North Ave where you turn left. Follow North Ave to Church Street where you turn left. At the church turn right onto Common Street. This will merge back on to Main Street and bring you back to Nick’s for another water stop.

Full Finish – Head back along Main Street to Brueggers.

Water Stop – Derm will handle the water stop.

Roll Call – Who’s in?