This morning we ended the first chapter of the long run program as the January â€˜08 training runs came to a close. Today I provided the water stops with the help of my three children. The streets were dusted with a fresh layer of snow. Luckily the routes today were flat, heading north along Main St, as ice would prove to be treacherousÂ in some places, which became evident as one curly haired Carson wound up on her butt outside of Brueggers.
Eighteen runners showed up despite the snow, while a handful of others headed north to New Hampshire to run the Boston Prep 16 Miler. It will be interesting to hear some of the stories from that race, steep hills plus snow always leads to fun. Back in Melrose our little group headed up Main St towards Wakefield. As we drove along to the water stop we watched the runners make their way up Main St hugging the side of the road to take advantage of the road salt and sand for traction. Lois and Pam, after a late start, gained ground on the crew ahead of them, Denyce, Donna, Jocelyn, and Beth. Then we passed a big group of people that included Evan, Molly, Julie, JoAnn, Nick, Ana and her friend Paul, Ed, and Mike York. Ahead of them I think I spotted MaryAnn Grande mixed in the crowd too. Finally we passed Paul Donahue and a pair of Brians, Gilroy and Slater.
At the water stop we quickly set up and I delegated the water stop duties. Kait would be handing out cups, I would pour the Gatorade and James would mix in the water. Lizzie was assigned the distribution of candy but as the snow continued to fall she opted to be snow angel maker instead. In small packs the runners filed in, drank some, went over directions and headed out, except for Nick who just waved and kept heading north to Lake Quanapowitt. Eight runners turned back south on Main to run the 6.2 mile route, two stretched the run out to 8 miles, and eight completed the whole 10.7 miles. Paul and the two Brians followed the route counterclockwise around the lake as planned. Nick, having not stopped for directions and also never having looked at a map set out in the opposite direction around the lake. Itâ€™s thought that the next group just followed Nick, as Paul and the Brians reported that they passed the rest of the runners going in the opposite direction. No worries though, they all ended up back at the water stop for a second drink.
The packs came in and we were warned that Nick had been voicing his intentions of hopping in our car for a ride back to Melrose. We decided as a group that we would do everything in our power to keep Nick from â€œpulling a Lambertiâ€. As I poured the refreshments and handed out the Gummie Bears and Snickers, my two daughters searched for the perfect snowflake as many nice crystals fell from the sky. They then worked on the perfect snowball in anticipation of Nick stopping by, and wrote happy birthday messages in the snow for Lois, whose birthday is imminent. Iâ€™m happy to report that Nick made no attempt to get in our carâ€¦ although maybe the snowball to the chest dissuaded him. As the snow squalls came in full force and the runners disappeared south into the whiteness, we ended our day of water stopping.
When we pulled the car around to Brueggers we spotted some very snowy runners finishing strong despite the weather. Snowy mustaches, icy hair, and foggy glasses were the norm as we settled in for a long thawing out session of coffee, hot chocolate, and bagels putting a close to January.