As March roars in like a lion, some of us adjusted and spent our last day of February squeezing in a long run before the stormy weather comes in. Walt and Ed decided to run today at 12:30 and Carol, Brian, Peter, Nick and I decided to join in. Everyone but me left Brueggers shortly after the estimate departure time into a biting wind from the north. I took the short cut through the paper cup aisle at Shaws and over to Water Stop 1/2/3 at the Dunkin Donuts in Wakefield.
The only discussion at the stop was the wind, unyielding and in their face the whole way, and in a blink we were off into again following Main St through Wakefield Center to Lake Quannapowitt. I latched on to Peter and Nick while the other four forged ahead in the distance. Soon I found myself picking up the pace, the lure of turning a corner out of the wind drawing me towards the top of the lake. As we came close to the corner aÂ familiar face greeted us, Rick Collette stopping by to say hello. The excuse to take a small break and let Peter and Nick catch back up was taken without a second thought. Our little group of three left Rick and turned the corner into the calm. Turning again so we were heading south on North Ave had finally reversed our fortunes with a gentle nudge from the wind on our back. With the wind chill gone a sweat began to break as we ran into Andy Goldberg walking along the lake. Another short break and we were off again, following North Ave, passed Lauren Cossette off on a run in the opposite direction, and back to the water stop. As we rolled in to the stop Walt, Ed, Brian and Carol were talking to Rick and readying to take off for their loop of Breakheart.
Along Nahant St we could see Walt in the distance on occassion. Heading up Hemlock Rd past Wakefield HS to the Voc we spotted him up the hill. Nick joked to me “Go catch Walt”. As we hit the hills I picked it up a little, Nick went left into Breakheart to avoid the achilles aching hills while Peter and I took them on. I pushed each hill and felt them all on my achilles… smart? Probably not, we’ll see tomorrow. Nick and I met up at the Breakheart headquarters on the Saugus side where I continued on to finish the loop and he waited for Peter before heading back along the flat side again. The flat side was easier despite sections where ice covered the entire path. Weaving my way through dog walkers I started to find a pace. A pair of young female dog walkers moved onto the icy hill to let me stride by, and as I passed one slipped and acrobatically avoided a complete fall. It is slippery in there! I loudly thanked her as I pulled away from her. Exiting Breakheart I was surprised to see Walt’s bright green jacket cresting a hill in the distance. Could I catch him? With about a mile left before the next water stop and the end of my run I made it my goal. As I crested the hill I spotted him again crossing Farm St, Carol and Ed slightly ahead of him. Across Nahant I picked it up, spying them on large curves, losing sight through small curves, heading into the stop I was suprised to see them about 20 paces ahead. Of course they had run 3+ miles more than me, and still had 5 more miles left after I finished, and had no idea I was trying to catch them, so had I caught them it wouldn’t have been anything to celebrate but I picked it up even more and closed the gap… coming about 10 stride short of catching them.
At the stop they planned out the end of their run. Back to Brueggers seemed ok, but when I mentioned “then to Pine Banks and back” Brian made a face like he had just eaten the most disgusting food ever. I’m sure he did it in his typical strong hard fashion, but it certainly wasn’t appetizing at the time. Lauren stopped by for a drink as she was heading home to finish her run, and shortly after Peter and Nick rolled in and out. During that time I got a call from Sue for a weather report: Cold, Windy, but better than tomorrow.
Good luck to all running Stu’s or the long run tomorrow. Barry Cossette will be handling water stop duties tomorrow and if the weather isn’t too bad you may see Walt or I along the route helping out. Stay safe, run hard!