With the institution of a sign-in sheet for the Sunday Long Run comes confusion and shenanigans. The sign-in sheet is meant to provide me with some record of who ran that day and how long they planned on running. The information helps me write the recap (remembering who was in a group of 30 runners can get confusing), it also makes it easier to verify that everyone returned to Brueggers, and at the end of the season I’ll use these sheets to coordinate the Sunday Long Run post-season breakfast invitations. This week seemed to cause some confusion since many of the runners were planning on improvising their own version of the long run route. In the end all 28 runners had put a signature on a map, all but Sue Clough who either didn’t want to be counted or couldn’t figure out which route to commit to. Another face in the crowd whose name was missing was Nick Lamberti but this was offset by a name on the paper whose face I didn’t see… William shakespeare. Since Shakespeare is a heck of a lot more quotable than Nick, I’ve used a quote of his from Richard III as the title of this week’s post, and the following passage from Richard II to recap this run:
These high wild hills
and rough uneven ways
draw out our miles
and make them wearisome
These high wild hills: The first section of this week’s run started out like the MRC Summer route, down Main St and out West Wyoming Ave. This was the one of the rare flat sections of the course which was pleasantly breezy, shaded, and cool… perfect running conditions. I was accompanied by Lois and JenR, with Joe, BrianS, BrianG, Mary, and some new comers Tim Gilday and Craig and Alicia Simmons, up ahead. Behind us the rest of the pack jockeyed for their positions as the mass of runners broke into packs. At Grimsby’s we turned left and ventured into the high wild hills of the Fellsway East. Along the first hill we watched Jen disappear into the distance, catching the runners up ahead. Passing me along the uphill went Walt then MikeY. Barry Cossette pulled up next to me and Lois drifted back, conversations transitioning with each running partner. Through the hills and along Highland Ave we moved along to water stop 1, where Walt’s car waited full with the essentials.
And rough uneven ways: After waiting until all runners had found their way to the water stop and had continued on, I headed out on my weekly quest to catch back up to my pack. The shorter route took Woodland Rd back to Pond St, and either followed Wyoming to Main or LynnFells to Main for a run of 6 or 7 miles. Tall Dave joined them, keeping his streak of making his own route alive. The rest of us zoomed down Elm St to the Fellsway West, up Slacker’s Hill, under I-93, past the Sheepfold, back over I93, and into the Straw Point parking lot at Spot Pond. As I arrived at the water stop Kristen, Lauren, BarryC, and Nick stood next to my car, watching me come in. None were holding a cup of water which made me wonder “Did I lock my car when I left it here earlier?!” No, they were just about to head out so a quick sip and I followed right behind. Nick stayed, waiting for others and planning out his alternate route back to Brueggers. Our new pack of four ran together up to where Pond St turns down to Grimsby’s. There Kristen and Lauren turned to run a shorter route while Barry and I forged on to Woodland Rd and back to Walt’s car for another break.
Draw out our miles: The supplies at Walt’s car were running low, a side effect of people running longer and the temperatures getting hotter. As Peter came in to the stop Barry and I continued on, the toughest miles in front of us. In an instance we almost encountered our first road kill of the day as Barry darted out into oncoming traffic. Up East Border Rd we almost encountered our second road kill of the day, a little toad making its way to the side of the road in front of Barry. Conversations of softball and baseball distracted us from the return trip through the Fellsway East hills. Here we passed Walt, which the way he’s been running lately would be quite the accomplishment. We passed Walt as he returned from the opposite direction. Having already completed his early miles and the full route, he was now headed back to pick up his car. With each passing year Walt gets faster and faster, as if he’s getting younger rather than older, which led us to refer to him as Benjamin Button for the rest of the morning. The run continued, coming out of the hills and cruising down to Grimsby’s where Nancy’s car awaited with a jug full of water, the last break of the day.
And make them wearisome: The wearier of runners turned down West Wyoming to finish up 11.5 miles on the day. The weariest hopped in Nancy’s car and Lambertied their way to Brueggers. Lamberti himself was off wandering along his own route which took him to Pine Banks in search of water where there isn’t any. The remaining few followed the official route up the final hill of the day on the LynnFells Parkway. To dampen our spirits a pack of 5 teenage boys zipped by Barry and I making what felt like a good pace seem sadly slow. We continued behind them, past the Melrose Middle School and down Main St. To add insult to injury the pack of 5 looped Ell Pond and passed us again on Main St. Feeling old and slow and beat down by the sun and heat, the final mile slowly rolled by bringing us back to Brueggers.
After the run we all relaxed at Breuggers Beach, soaking up sunshine, relating the various routes of the day, estimating mileages, eating bagels, drinking coffee, and watching Walt get younger.