So what are we up to this weekend? We’re moving into the longer of long runs. The “short” route is nine miles, the long run is 18, and this is how we’re gonna do it…
Run north up Main Street, give a nod to the Clarence DeMar monument in front of Ell Pond and the history of long running in Melrose that it represents. Bear right on to Green Street, and then turn right at the lights onto the LynnFells Parkway. Follow that into Saugus, through a set of lights, and up to the Saugus entrance of Breakheart Reservation on your left. Run up the road to the Headquarters of the park and find the water stop car. Hydrate up at water stop 1, 3 miles into your run.
Go into the park entrance on the right and run the full loop of the park (stay right at the fork by the pond). You’ll start with the flatter side of the loop and end with the hilly side. There are 5 of them, although there always seem to be more than that. The last one will give you momentum to shoot back into the parking lot for another stop 6 miles into your run.
If you’re running “short”, you’ll return to Melrose Center the way you came. Leave the park, take a right on the LynnFells Parkway, turn left onto Green and merge back onto Main to finish up your 9 mile run.
If you’re running long, you’ll be now running on what used to be the Wakefield version of the Law Enforcement Memorial Half Marathon, which ran for a few years after the race left Melrose and before the race moved to Boston to become the Run to Remember Half Marathon. You’ll do this by leaving the park, then take a right on the LynnFells Parkway, then turn right at the set of lights at Main Street in Saugus. This road will take you into Wakefield where the name of the road changes to Farm Street. Stop at Wakefield High School for water stop 3 at mile 9.
From here you’ll continue on Farm, take a right at the end of Farm onto Water Street, crossing over and taking your first left onto Montrose. This road will take you up to Salem Street at the end, where you’ll turn left. Salem Street will bring you to a fork at a Prime Gas Station where you’ll bear right onto Lowell Street. It’ll look like this:
Once on Lowell Street keep running straight, it’ll bring you to Lake Quannapowitt. Stay right at the Lake and turn left onto Quannapowitt Parkway at the north end of the Lake. You’ll come up to the Comverse Building. There will be a water stop in the parking lot of the office park, aout 12.5 miles into the run. Keep your eyes on the look out, the position of this water stop tends to vary.
Continue along Quannapowitt Way out to North Ave, where you’ll turn left. Follow North Ave to the softball fields at a set of lights where you’ll turn left on to Church Street. This will bring you to a church, where you’ll turn right onto Common Street, next to Wakefield Common. This will merge you on to Main Street (which will not bring you to Maine). It will bring you to Nick’s Pizza on the corner of Nahant Street where you’ll find the final water stop of the run at mile 15.
Three miles left! And they’re all straight south along Main Street. When you hit Melrose Center you are done!
Ok, water stop help. I need quite a bit of it. Two volunteers would make this route much easier to handle, although we could pull it off with one volunteer. We’ll work the water stop at Breakheart, then one person will move up to the third stop. After the last runner comes through the first water stop will move to Lake Q. After the last runner comes through Wakefield High School, that person moves to Nahant. That’s where the timing gets tricky if the fastest runner gets 15 done before the last runner gets 9 done. It’s rare, but it has happened. So who can help?
And that’s the plan for this week. Who’s in? ROLL CALL!