Archive for February, 2019

Week 8 – Route Change Week

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Last Week – We had about 35 runners hit the roads, stopping by Friendly’s on their way to a cold but solid training run. Thanks to Hank, Lois, and Haecha for supporting the water stops and getting everyone where they needed to go.

This Week – Normally we would go to Breakheart this week, but with two little snow falls through the week we know the hilly side will be unrunnable. With warm temperatures in the day causing snow melt on the cleared pathways, followed by cold nights freezing that moisture into black ice, the flat side won’t safely be runnable. So no Breakheart. In the spirit of the Malden Half Marathon I could have you all run laps of the MRC 3 Mile Summer Route. Too soon? Instead I’ve created a new route, combining parts of other routes, to get close to 9 and 18 (they’re both a little short so you may want to wander around a little at the end.

The Map –

The Turn-by-Turns –

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Start – Everyone starts together, running up East Foster to Melrose Common. Take a right on 6th Street and follow that as it turns in to Swains Pond Ave. This will take you up to Swain’s Pond, to a stop sign where you turn right to stay on Swain’s Pond Ave. Swain’s Pond Ave will end at Lebanon Street. Some have been fooled into thinking Swain’s Pond Ave continues into Malden, watch for the turn to go right on Lebanon back towards Melrose. At the next set of lights turn left on Forest Street. Follow that to the end, Main Street in Malden, across to the Citizens Bank and a water stop.

Next Step – Leave the Citizens Bank parking lot onto Winter Street. This will take you past the Oak Grove T Station to a 5-way intersection. Cross straight onto Glenwood Street and follow that to it’s end at Highland Ave. Turn right on Highland, through the traffic circle (be careful!) to continue on Highland Ave on the other side. Take Highland to the highland rotary where everyone continues straight onto Woodland Rd, passing the Flynn Rink, and running on the Melrose side of Spot Pond. At Pond Street, turn right down to Grimsby’s for a water stop.

Half Finish – Everyone will run the Lynnfells Parkway towards Melrose High School. Half route runners will turn right on Melrose Street, and right again on Main Street. As you come up to Brueggers your Garmin will be telling you you’ve run about 8.6 miles. If you really want 9, wander a bit, maybe up to Wyoming and back.

Full 3 – Again, everyone will run the Lynnfells Parkway towards Melrose High School. Full route runners will turn right on Main Street and head to Wakefield. When you hit Nick’s Pizza, you’ll find a water stop.

Full 4 – Time to run around Lake Q. Follow Main Street through Wakefield Center, up to the east side of the lake. Turn left at the end of Main St, onto Lowell Street, then left again onto Quannapowitt Way. Make your way across to North Ave and turn left. I have you going straight along North Ave back to the water stop at Nick’s. Since this route is slightly short, you may want to opt to turn left on Church St and back Main St for a little extra. Either way, see you at Nick’s!

Full Finish – After Nick’s, run Main Street back to Melrose, back to Brueggers. Do what you have to be content you ran 18 miles.

Water Stops – I know Hank and I will be there. Anyone else?

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 7 – Fribble Run

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

Last Week – About 30 of SLR runners made their way out to Winchester, with about a dozen winding their way through Winchester Highlands, and a couple taking it to the trails of the Fells. The weather was cold when you were facing the wind, but quite comfortable when the wind was at your back. The hills on that route worked those Boston muscles, getting people one step closer to Heartbreak Hill.

This Week – We’ll be heading back out to Spot Pond, but in a slightly different way to mix up where we hit the hills. 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, with a trip to Friendly’s instead of Winchester. It will be cold, but Week 7 has been a notoriously snowy weekend each winter, so take the sunshine and 20s with a smile.

Week 7

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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 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 at least me, Hank, and Lois. I may run the middle part of the long run if we get enough volunteers.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 6 – Winchester Highlands

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

Last Week – I sent you all off to run to Saugus, where the half runners turned around and came back and the long runners headed for the Wakefield entrance to Breakheart. I’m not sure what happened when they got there, as a little snow and freezing temperatures made for some slippery steps. Whatever they did, they all came back to Melrose eventually, settling in for an afternoon of Super Bowl watching where the local team pulled off another championship.

This Week – We’ll head out to Winchester for one of my favorite routes.

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Start – Heading north on Main Street, we’ll leave Melrose by taking a left on Franklin Street. Following this up a hill into Stoneham, we’ll run past their high school, past a Dunkin Donuts, to a set of lights where we’ll turn left on to Summer Street. Summer will wind over to Main Street in Stoneham, where you’ll cross over onto Marble Street. Marble takes you to an overpass of I-93 into Winchester where the road turns in to 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. There they’ll turn right which will take them over to 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 to 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 up to the edge of the Middlesex Fells, with a view of Winchester’s North Reservoir. As the road becomes Hillcrest Parkway, enjoy the views as this will be the prettiest street you run on a MRC Sunday Run. 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 Main goes left, you want to stay right to run on to 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 should have followed 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. 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 – Hank, Tom, and I can handle this, but if anyone wants to help us out, let me know.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 5 – We’re Still Here

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

Last Week – Many of our longer route runners went off to Lynn to run the Stew Chase. Back in Melrose a majority of the runners ran the half route, while only 4 stopped by Hank at Straw Ppint.

This Week – Many of our runners will be off to Cambridge to run in the Super Sunday 5k. Our run is on Super Bowl Sunday and much to the dismay of most of the country, the local team is once again proving they’re doing something right because their right back in it for the third time in a row. That’s something only the Dolphins in the 70s (3x) and Bills in the 90s (4x) have accomplished. It will be their 11th Super Bowl appearance, three more than the next most successful franchises: Steelers, Cowboys, and Broncos. In the spirit of successes, let’s have a successful Sunday Long Run.

The Route – I’ve thought about the route quite a bit this week. Frankly there are no completely clear spots to run. There is a light layer of snow and ice everywhere. I’ve decided to stick with the original route, running through Breakheart, but runners should run the flatter side of Breakheart out and back. The hills are likely too slippery so anyone daring enough to run those is… daring. For those running short you have the option of starting the run at the corner of the Lynn Fells and Main Street in Saugus for a run up to Breakheart and back.

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Start – The run this week begins up Main Street merging right onto Green Street at the lights at Ell Pond. At the next lights, turn right onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. Take that to the first set of lights where you’ll turn left onto Main Street in Saugus. For those running short, look for a water stop near the corner of Howard Street. For those running long continue straight up Main Street as it becomes Farm Street and turn in to the Wakefield High School Parking Lot for a water stop. If you’re running the alternate short route, jump in at the half route water stop and follow the long runners to Wakefield High School.

Half Finish – The half route turns onto Howard and follows that back to Green Street where runners will veer left on to Green and merge back onto Main Street. Finish up at Brueggers and get ready for some football.

Full 2 – The full route and the alternate half route runners will leave Wakefield High School, running up past the Voc and entering Breakheart. Turn left for the flatter side of Breakheart and carefully make your way to the little beach at the pond. Stay to your left to make your way along the outer loop to the Headquarters. Turn around and come back that way and pop out of Breakheart at the Voc. Make your way back down the hill to the Wakefield High School water stop.

Full Finish – From here you leave the water stop going right on Farm Street up to the end. Turn left onto Water Street and follow that to Main Street in Wakefield Center. A left of Main Street will head you back in the direction of Melrose and eventually to Brueggers where you too can start getting ready for some football.

Water Stops – Well, instead of catching footballs, I’ve caught a cold. I’ll kick the run off, I assume Hank will be there, and if I can get at least one more volunteer to help with the stops that would be great. I’d like to get back into bed and rest until kickoff.

Roll Call – Who’s in?