For those that enjoyed last week’s flat run along the snowy sidewalks of Melrose and Wakefield, you’re in for a treat this week. You’ll get 4 more miles and giant snow banks to contend with. This week’s run extends the miles again, up to 14.6 for the long run and 7.1 for the shorter distance. Seriously there will be little room on the side of the roads so try to stay single file and hug the giant snow banks.
This week we’ll be running the old Melrose Half Marathon route. Long before Boston’s Run to Remember moved to Boston, it used to be the Melrose Law Enforcement Memorial Half Marathon. It was organized by the Runner’s Edge running store which existed in what is now the Melrose Marathon Sports location. The run will take you up Main St, past Ell Pond and the Clarence DeMar statue (give it a tap for good luck if you can get to it). Take a left on Melrose Street and another quick left onto the LynnFells Parkway. As you pass Melrose High School you’ll be passing the starting line of the Half Marathon. As you reach Tremont Street the full distance runners will turn left on Tremont, the short distance runners continue on straight. For the full distance you’ll do a loop of the Ell Pond neighborhood, taking a left whenever you hit a street: left on Lake Ave, left on West Emerson, left on Main Street, left on Melrose Street, left on LynnFells Parkway. Now you’re back across the start and you’ll continue straight on the LynnFells Parkway. Yes, the official Melrose Half Marathon started with a loop around Ell Pond.
Now that everyone is on the LynnFells, go up and over a hill and you’ll find a water stop at Grimsbys. After Grimsbys continue on the LynnFells to Fellsway East. This part should be familiar, we ran it two weeks ago. Enjoy the snowy scenery of the Fellsway East as it takes you up and over two beautiful (long) hills. Keep runnint through a set of lights to a rotary at Highland Ave. Take a right on Highland and follow that towards Spot Pond. You’ll find another water stop on your left before the next rotary.
After that water stop, if you’re running short stay right at the rotary along the front side of Spot Pond. Take a left on Pond Street back down to Grimsby’s. Continue straight past Grimsby’s along West Wyoming Avenue to Main Street. A left on Main Street will bring you home to Brueggers.
In for the full? Go left on Elm Street at the rotary and circle Spot Pond. You do that by taking a right on Rte28, Main Street to Stoneham. You’ll go up what we’ve dubbed Slacker’s Hill… if you’re walking, you’re slackin’… under I93, past an onramp to I93, over I93, past an off ramp from I93 before reaching Straw Point. Take a right into the parking lot of Straw Point (If you hit Friendly’s and a Mobil Station you missed your turn and a water stop, but if you take a right there it’ll get you back on the route). St Straw Point have a little sip of water and continue on around the pond. Right onto Pond Street, past Spot Pond (look for the wolves, they sometimes do their own Sunday Run up on the hills), along the front side of the pond up past the Flynn Hockey Rink, through the rotary and back to the second water stop.
From there you’ll take a left on East Border Road. This short steep road will take you to a set of lights at the Fellsway East. Left there, through the hills again back to Melrose High School. The race would end with your hill depleted legs having to take a loop around a track that existed at the Middle School. You’ll be spared the onlookers watching you eek out the last quarter mile. Instead you’ll have to run up to Melrose St, take a right up to Main. A right on Main Street will take you back to Melrose Center where Melrosians get to spy your hill depleted legs take you back to Brueggers.
This was a challenging Half Marathon, and the hills haven’t gotten any smaller 15 years later. Celebrate with a bagel and a cup of coffee. go home and take a nap so you can be wide awake to watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl!
So water stops. There are three, but two people can handle them. I’ll need at least one volunteer to cover this, or someone to drop their car at Highland Ave and a friend to pick them up and bring them to the start. Who can help?
Ok, who’s in the for this Super Bowl Sunday Run? ROLL CALL!