(Congratulations to our Sunday Long Runners Judi Chiavetta, Lois Parker-Carmona, Sue Clough, Nancy Gaudet, and Pam Walcott on their runs at the Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler this past Friday. Great job ladies!)
At 7AM I put the water stop container out on my front steps for Walt to pick up. At the time a moderately heavy rain was falling, the skies were dark and gray, and a wind was blowing. Walt, our long run meteorologist,Â had posted a weather update promising an end to the rain before our 8AM run but that prediction didn’t look promising, but having faith in Walt I left the house without a hat to block any precipitation and hoped for the best. Walt dropped his car off in Wakefield and made his way back with a 3 mile pre-run run back to Brueggers. In that time the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and our group was greeted with a bright sunny start at 8AM. â€œGone are the dark skies that had me blindâ€. Nice call Walt!
As Walt made his way into downtown Melrose, seventeen more runners readied themselves for runs between 6.2 and 10.7 miles on the sidewalk outside Brueggers. Through the store front windows two little red-headed girls, Erin and Allison my next door neighbors, sent us off with smiles and waves. Along Main St towards Wakefield we went, Brian Slater and Judi leading the way, Brian Gilroy and I keeping close behind, with Walt, Ed, Eve (a new speedy addition to our group), Ginny, Nick, andÂ Sue Worrall on our heels. Peter, Jo-Ann, Mike Quigley, Nancy, Steve, Donna, Denyce, and Jen kept a solid pace down Main Street to round out the group. As we headed into Wakefield we got another smile and wave, this time from Sue Clough who was on her way to the water stop to join in for a few miles, making it an even 20 runners for the day. We pulled into the water stop, sweaty from the humidity and the heat from the sun but comfortable from a gentle cool breeze that was in our faces along the way. â€œLook straight ahead thereâ€™s nothing but blue skiesâ€. Judi headed over to the first â€˜red carâ€™ she saw and peered in for water stop supplies… not Walt’s car of course which Judi quickly pointed out is maroon, not red.
The group rehydrated in the Dunkin Donuts auxillary parking lot. From there the long route runners continued down Main St to Lake Quannapowitt. The Brians led the group around the lake, matching each other step for step, both wondering how fast the other one actually is. Walt did his best to keep pace with them, a tough taskÂ having runÂ 3 extra miles than them, and planning on another three after they were done.Â Judi, along with Nancy and Sue Clough, is recovering from Friday night’s Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler and took it easy on us today, looping the lake slightly in front of Ed and Eve. Ginny and I, after chatting at the water stop for a while, began our chase after them. With Sue Clough now part of the mix, Sue Worrall and Jo-Ann ran the lake with her to get in about 7.5 miles. Peter and Steve ran along with them as part ofÂ their 10.7 mile run. The rest of the crew turned around at the stop and headed back, or added on another mile by running up to the lake and back.
After running most of the loop around the lake with Ginny I pulled ahead and caught sight of Ed and Eve. I tried to catch up as we followed the loop back to Main St and headed back to the water stop but a sore knee was hampering my pursuit of them. I kept them in my sights though and could see Judi slightly ahead… and saw Ginny pulling into the stop ahead of me. A moment of confusion, trying to figure out how she got ahead of me while I was giving quite an effort to catch Ed and Eve… then it dawned on me, she tookÂ the short cut along North Ave! At the water stop we took a quick accounting of who was where on the route to make sure no runner was left behind, and then headed out down Main Street to finish up our run. The lead pack took off quickly, again without dilly-dallying at the water stop. Ginny and I followed out but never caught sight of anyone ahead of us. As meÂ moved along my knee stopped hurting and I picked the pace up some. â€œI think I can make it now the pain is goneâ€. As we headed into the finish at Brueggerâ€™s we all spotted Walt heading back down Main St again in the opposite direction finishing up his 18 mile training run.
One by one our group gathered together at the tables in front of Brueggers, sipping on coffee drinks, sports drinks, and water while soaking in what was so far the most pleasant weather of the summer session of Sunday Long Runs. The conversations centered onÂ the outcome of last Friday’sÂ 10 miler in Narragansett and the planning for Tuesday’s 10 miler in Newburyport. The enthusiasm for longer races made it apparent that the Sunday Run group gained some momentum from this â€œbright, bright sunshiny dayâ€.Â