Week 1 started us off with a decent crowd of 20 runners on a hot and humid Saturday morning. The group was a mix of return long runners, some veteran club runners joining in with us for the first time, and some bright cheery new faces eager to get some miles in with us. The run included 2 bonus water stops for a total of 3 over 8.8 miles. Almost every runner was more than happy to take the extra breaks to replenish lost fluids and get them through the run. And for the record the radar sign record is 13 MPH set by Mary Corbett, Wayne Higgins, and me back in August of 2009. They both have been relocated to the West Coast so I could be the only remaining member of the record setting team left to boast about it. Nobody reported any speeds this run but you’ll have a few more chances at that sign over the next 13 weeks.
This Sunday we’ll be hitting the roads at 8AM from Brueggers again! The route will take us south on Main St and right onto West Wyoming Ave. When you hit the lights at Grimsby’s you’ll head left onto the Fellsway. Here you’ll find marvelous wooded hills to carry you over to the rotary at Highland Ave. Go right at the paper boy and head up to Water Stop 1.
After the water stop you’ll go one of two ways: shorter route runners bear right at the rotary, longer routers go left.
The half training route will take you along the eastern side of Spot Pond, which we’ll call the front side of the pond. You’ll pass an old hospital on the right, water works on your left, and then hit a little traffic island at Pond St. Head right down the steep winding path along Pond St back to Grimsby’s, take a left through a few hills on the LynnFells Parkway, pass the Melrose Middle School and High School, cut the corner at Melrose St up to Main St and back to Brueggers.
The full training route travels down Elm St to the Fellsway West. Turn right there and head up a series of a few hills, the first of which we’ve dubbed Slackers Hill where you might find a few people walking. Don’t walk! Run along this road under Rt 93 and then back over Rt 93, past an off ramp from Rt 93, where you’ll take a right onto a little road with parking at Straw Point at Spot Pond. If you make it to an intersection with a Friendly’s and a Mobil you missed the right turn, but turn right there and you’ll get back on track. Sometimes there is a water stop at Straw Point. If so grab a drink, if not keep on running. This little road will take you to Pond Street in Stoneham. Following that to the right will take you past the Stone Zoo. Take a gander at the animals as you go by. You’ll continue past the pond, past the water works, past the hospital, past the hockey rink, and back to the water stop near the rotary. Drink some more and head on out for the last stretch.
On this stretch you’ll leave the water stop and take a quick left onto East Border Road. Enjoy the uphill here where you’ll hear echos of people cursing me from training seasons past. Feel free to add your own choice words. This hill will take you to an intersection where you take a left back onto the Fellsway East. Those hills you didn’t like on the way out, you can not like them on the way back. They’ll take you to Grimsby’s, keep going straight here to the LynnFells Parkway and… wait for it… another hill! The parkway will bring you to Melrose Middle School, Melrose High School to Melrose Street. A right turn here will take you right up to Main St. A right on Main Street will take you right back to Brueggers and you’ll be done!
Sound Fun? Most of this route was part of the Law Enforcement Half Marathon which grew up and moved out to become Boston’s Run to Remember, so I’m not to blame for the design of the course.
Water Stops: I’ll take care of them again this Sunday, although I could use a car at Straw Point to throw some supplies in. If anyone wants to park there and catch a ride from someone to the start, I’ll dump the supplies there during the run. Volunteers?
Ok, we had 20 last week, let’s get more this week! Who’s in? ROLL CALL!