Last week we had 41 stars running through Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester… and that doesn’t include our two dogs. That’s a record for the Sunday Long Run group. Thanks to all of you for making this program such a success!
At the end of this week’s run you’ll have completed half of the training to get you to Boston. You’ll also have completed the first week of the season in which sidewalks will be clear along the route. The weather usually plays a role in our training seasons but this year it has taken center stage in an attempt to steal the show. Temperatures in the 50s, a little rain, and some sunshine has cleared the 14 mile path this week, although as if not to spoil you the temperatures have quickly dropped and you’ll be greeted by wind chills near 0 degrees on Sunday morning. But enough about the weather! We know the real stars are the runners braving whatever is thrown in front of them to get their training miles in.
This Sunday we’ll be running familiar roads in an unfamiliar way. If you’re running the full route, pay attention on the way out because you’ll be coming back the same way. We’ll head out to Franklin St just like last week except we’ll take it all the way up to Stoneham Center and turn right left on Main St. Be careful on this road, although its wide it can get busy and cars travel fast. This will take you over to Spot Pond where I’ll be waiting at Friendly’s with a water stop.
If you’re running the shorter route you’ll turn here and head past the Stone Zoo, go left down Pond St, and another left at Grimsby’s onto the LynnFells Parkway. You know what to do from there, you’ve done it a few times already in this training: LynnFells to Melrose St to Main and Brueggers.
For those running long you continue straight. This will bring you around the back side of Spot Pond, through a few hills to Elm St and up a long hill to the rotary at Highland Ave. Head out Highland this week, that’s off to the right after the Mobil Station onto Highland. Highland Ave towards Malden. A right there at the rotary. Got it? I’ll be doing a water stop at the end of Highland Ave near the rotary on the Fellsway East end.
After that water stop you’ll be running up the Fellsway Easy, through those awesomely fun hills, and over to Grimsby’s. And at that point, just in case you think to yourself “I could use one more awesomely fun hill right now”, turn left and work that Pond St hill back up to Spot Pond. The sidewalk is clear there, but it might be icy, be careful and be smart here. At the top of the hill go right out past the Stone Zoo, take a peek and see if the wolves are out at the zoo and then head over to Friendly’s for the third and final water stop of the day.
From here you go back the way you came, Main St to Stoneham Center, right on Franklin St back to Melrose, and right on Main St to Brueggers.
Want more than 7 but less than 14 miles? Head out with the longer runners but turn right at Grimsby’s down Wyoming for a 10 mile run. For 11 miles go straight at Grimsby’s and finish up like the shorter route goes.
Be familiar with the route. Ask at the water stops if you aren’t sure where to go next. If the stop is unattended, there will be a map in the car for reference.
Speaking of water stops, I’m still on the bench so I’ll take care of the first and second stops, then there will be a car left back at Friendly’s for those that get there before I make it back.
Who’s in for the cold, sunny, sidewalking run? ROLL CALL!