Another cloudy day didn’t stop the runners from showing up. A quick countÂ showed about 25 heads exiting Brueggers at about 8:15 for a scenic, meandering tour through Melrose.
The run started out East Foster and headed up to Melrose Common. Nick, who ran 16 miles of downhills on the Boston course last week, wasn’t happy to be tackling an uphill in the first mile. I don’t put the hills there, I just run over them. At the Common, three dogs and their owners all looked on with similar curiosity as the pack stretched out the length of the park and turned right up to Swain’s Pond. Somehow I took the lead with Walt close behind keeping close track of our instantaneous pace….Â 9:00 minutes on an incline, 7:00 on a decline, average pace 8:25 which I interpreted as A) too fast and B) indicative of the balance tilting in favor of uphills. On to Lebanon St we went, turning on to Forest towards water stop 1. As we approached the water stop the real lead pack finally showed up, Brad, Barry and ErinÂ having reclaimed theÂ head start they gave us.
Having pulled into water stop 1 with what was now the second pack I discovered why I have no chance of keeping up with them. Sure I’m slightly slower on foot but as far as eating and drinking go there is no comparison. Despite being one of the first served, my gatorade cup was still well full when Ed hustled off and the rest followed him. Mike York, Nick, and Tracy all showed up before I polished off my refreshment, and Nick encouraged me to keep those guys in sight. Off past Oak Grove and cutting across to Highland Ave I could catch glimpses of Audie’s and Mike Murphy’s jackets. Through the hills of the Fellsway East there was a fain glow of yellow from Mike and Walt’s yellow jackets. Past Grimsby’s I lost sight of them until the water stop at the Knoll across from the Middle School. As I approached I got a quick wave from Andy Pate as they headed out, and the acknowledgement that they knew I was close as a full cup of a purple gatorade and water awaited me on the trunk of the water stop car.
As the shorter route runners turned back to Brueggers at different stages of the run, longer runners continued out the Fellsway toward Saugus. A few last glimpses of the group ahead of me and no sign of a group behind me signaled the fact that the remaining 11 miles of my run would be done alone. This leads to a boring recap as I don’t get any stories from other runners along the way. So on this 4+ mile stretch I only have two things to report: 1) the rabbit died, literally a dead rabbit on the Fellsway was the road kill of the day, God bless you Mr Bunny. 2) Along the sidewalk of Nahant St I ran past a box from a pregnancy test. So separately these two things mean nothing but together they are a signal that someone’s pregnant. Anyone have news they would like to share?
After a brief stop at the water stop at Nahant and Main St in Wakefield I headed out for a loop around Lake Quannapowitt. For those training for Boston and tapering, they turned left and headed back to Melrose. Mike York, Nancy, Lois, Pam, Mike MacNeil and myself would be the only ones to run this additional section of the route. A chance run in with Joe Terranova as I approached the lake was a welcome sight, I hadn’t seen a runner in miles! The blustering wind was whipping in our faces along the route all morning, but nothing matched the intensity of the wind meeting us head on heading East along the northern part of the lake.Â The exhausting stretch left little left in my legs as I marched back to the water stop for the final stretch. Along the way I spotted Brian heading home, realizing he would be home before I reached the final water stop… I wish I were faster and tapering.
Along Main St the skies got grayer and the circling winds picked up. There was nothing left to do put push along to the finish, with the wind nudging runners along in places while occasionally pushing us back for a second. Finally 18+ miles of chasing the clouds away was done… except the clouds were still there, and we’re still waiting on a sunny day… or at least aÂ windless day.
Boston Marathoners, 1 week of trainingÂ left!
Providence Marathoners, 1 more long run before our taper!
Great Bay Half Marathoners, you’re done, congrats!