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Week 6 – Winchester Highlands Run

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Last Week – While I lounged on the beach, our runners enjoyed the Slattery Saturday Long Run with Matt and Andrea Kerton helping out at water stops. Thanks to the trio for stepping up and helping people get through their training runs before they headed to the Melrose Running Club Summer Party which I hear featured sprinklers.

This Week – I’m back to man a water stop and maybe hop in for some of the run, and Tom Gorman will keep you hydrated as well. The runners will head out to Winchester to run one of my favorite routes.

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Start – Heading north on Main Street, runners leave Melrose by taking a left on Franklin Street and following the road up a hill into Stoneham. Run past Stoneham high school, past a Dunkin Donuts, and turn left at a set of lights on to Summer Street. Summer St will wind over to Main Street in Stoneham, where you’ll cross onto Marble Street. Marble takes you to an overpass of I-93 into Winchester where the road turns in to Forest Street. On your left you’ll find the water stop on the corner of Eugene Drive.

Half Finish – The half route runners will turn back over I-93 to a set of lights on the corner of Park Street. There they’ll turn right which will take them over to Friendly’s in Stoneham. Cross Main Street and continue straight to Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo and turning left to stay on Pond Street down to Grimsby’s. To get your 8.2 miles in you’ll turn left at Grimsby’s onto the Lynn Fells Parkway, running past Melrose High School, and turning right on Melrose Street, and another quick right onto Main Street to finish up at Brueggers.

Full 2 – After leaving the water stop to continue on Forest Street, runners will turn left on Highland Ave towards Winchester Hospital. As you approach the hospital, turn left onto Reservoir Road. This will bring you up to the edge of the Middlesex Fells, with a view of Winchester’s North Reservoir. As the road becomes Hillcrest Parkway, enjoy your surroundings and ignore the hill you’re running up. The road will eventually bring you back to Highland Ave where you’ll turn left. You’ll reach a 5-way intersection where you’ll continue straight across to stay on Highland Ave. At the end of Highland you’ll find a water stop.

Full 3 – Leaving the water stop, turn right on to Main Street in Winchester. You’ll run up to a rotary, as you circle it counterclockwise you’ll pass a little spur street and then turn on the second street to stay on Main Street. There is a sign for Symmes Farm Historical Site as a landmark to tell you you’re on the right road. Stay to the right side of the street, as you’ll come to a fork where Main goes left, you want to stay right to run on to Washington Street. Washington will take you to another 5 way intersection. Cross Mt Vernon Street and stay to the right to keep on Washington Street. If you run past Winchester High School you went the wrong way. Washington will eventually take you to Forest Street, the Gingerbread Construction Company will be the landmark to note that its time to turn. Go right on Forest and climb up a series of hills to get back to the water stop at Eugene.

Full 4 – Leaving the water stop you’ll go over I-93 and turn right at the lights on to Park. Run to Friendly’s and turn right on to Main Street/Fellsway West. This will take you over I-93, past the Sheepfold, under I-93 to Elm Street where you turn left. Elm will take you up to a rotary where you go left and find Flynn Rink. The final water stop will be in the skating rink parking lot.

Full Finish – To finish up the long run continue on Woodland Road to Pond Street, where you turn right to make your way down to Grimsby’s. Continue straight onto West Wyoming and run to Main Street in Melrose. Turn left and finish up at Brueggers.

AltHalf Finish – The alternate half route runners follow the Full 2 and Full 3 sections. After that you still have a few miles more before finishing. Go with the full route runners onto Forest to the set of lights where you turn right onto Park. When you get to Friendly’s turn left on Main Street instead. Main will take you to the intersection with Marble Street where you turn left. Marble will take you back over I-93 to Eugene Drive where you can carpool back.

Water Stops – Tom and I can handle this, with maybe some help from Lois, but if anyone else wants to help us out, let me know.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 5 – Saturday Slattery and Kerton Breakheart Run

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Last Week – Big thanks to Liz and Cynthia for handling the Horn Pond run last week!

This week – To allow you to enjoy the MRC Summer Party to its fullest, we’ll be running Saturday morning. We’ll be heading in the opposite direction, reducing the mileage a bit, but adding a series of tough hills to keep strengthening your legs and your resolve to finish.

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(I’ll stick a map in here if/when I find a better internet connection)

The Start – The group will start from Brueggers at 8AM. Again, if you’d like to start early aim to hit the first water stop around 8:20. The group will head up Main Street to Ell Pond, crossing to the right to veer onto Green Street, and then turning right onto the LynnFells Parkway. Follow the parkway to your first set of lights at the corner of Main Street in Saugus, taking a left there. Half route runners will take a quick left onto Howard Street where they’ll find a little water stop. Long Runners continue straight on Main Street in Saugus until it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield, stopping for a water stop in the Wakefield High School parking lot.

Half Finish – The half route runners will return along Howard Street, turning left onto Green Street. At the lights at the LynnFells Parkway you’ll turn right and run the MRC summer route in the reverse direction: Lynnfells Parkway past Melrose High School, over to Grimsby’s and take a left onto West Wyoming and a left on Main Street to get back to Brueggers.

Full-2 Breakheart Loop – The longer route will take up past the Northeast Metro Tech Vocational School where you’ll find the Wakefield entrance to Breakheart. Run the Breakheart Outer Loop in the counter-clockwise direction. First making your way through some challenging hills. Drive your legs up the long steep hills and then stay controlled as you let gravity take you down the steep downhills and into the next hill. This section will take you over to the headquarters where you’ll go left to continue around to the Breakheart pond. Stay right there as it takes you back over to the Voc where you’ll pop out into the parking lot and back down to the water stop.

Full-Finish – To finish up you’ll run the same way back that you did in Week 1. Turn right onto Farm Street to the end, turning left at the T intersection onto Water Street. Continue into Wakefield Center, turning left onto Main Street. Follow Main Street back to Melrose Center, into Brueggers.

Alternate Half Route – An option for the half route runners is to carpool to the parking lot at the corner of Main St in Saugus and the LynnFells Parkway and jump in there for a loop around Breakheart before heading home back to your car.

Waterstops- Dan will host one stop and the Kertons will host the others. Thanks for the help!

Who’s in? – Roll Call!

Week 4 – Hecht-Berger Horn Pond Run

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Last Week – Courtney and Gail took over the reigns and set a bunch of hot runners north to Wakefield for a trip around Lake Quannapowitt.

This Week – The Sunday Long Run will take you out to Horn Pond. Liz Hecht and Cynthia Berger will be your hosts for this run as you make you’re way through Winchester into Woburn.

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The run will take off from Brueggers at 8AM. Half runners, if you want to experience Horn Pond feel free to carpool over to the first water stop and jump in there for a 7 mile run from Eugene to Eugene.

The route will take you south on Main Street, past Marathon Sports and Dunkin Donuts before turning right at a set of lights onto West Wyoming Avenue. Follow West Wyoming past Grimsby’s and up Pond Street to Spot Pond, where you go right to keep on Pond Street. Watch for uneven terrain due to construction. Run straight past the Zoo as the street turns into South Street, and straight past Friendly’s as the street turns into North Border Road, and then straight past the I-93N on ramp as the street becomes Park Street. You’ll get to a set of lights and turn onto Marble Street, passing over I-93 into Winchester as the street turns into Forest Street. On your left will be a small side street named Eugene Drive where you’ll find Tom at the first water stop.

If you’re running the half route you can turn back onto Forest, back over I-93, and continue on Marble Street past Park Street and across Main Street onto Summer Street. Summer will go through one set of lights and then bend over to Franklin Street. At that set of lights turn right onto Franklin and head back to Melrose. When you hit Main Street in Melrose, turn right and head back to Brueggers.

The full route will leave the water stop and head down, down, down Forest Street. Turn left at the set of lights at Washington Street where the Gingerbread Construction Company is, crossing over to the right side to take a right onto Cross Street. Cross Street will cross from Winchester into Woburn where you’ll hit yet another Main Street. Turn right on Main, and a quick left on Lake Street. Lake Street will take you to Horn Pond. There is a parking lot off the right side of Lake Street where you’ll find the second water stop.

From here circle Horn Pond clockwise. It should be pretty obvious how to accomplish this, stay on the main path, you’ll cross over a little section over the water and turn right onto a street, Water Street/Sturgis Street. Follow Sturgis up the big hill (although there is a path that skips the hill for the faint of heart) and turn right on Arlington Road. This will bring you along the side of Horn Pond. If you’re bored look for the planet markings set apart to represent the solar system. Once you hit Lake Street again you can take a right to grab more water, or a left to head back along the next section. If you are skipping the water stop let them know when you come through the first time so they aren’t standing there all day waiting for you to come back.

Head back the way you came along Lake Street, turning right on Main, left on Cross, back to Washington. At Washington turn left and cross over to turn right on to Forest. Now its time to head back up, up, up Forest Street. The prize at the top is at Eugene Drive where you’ll return to the first water stop for more candy and drinks.

Now its time to finish off the 14+ miles along Forest, back over I-93, and continuing on Marble Street past Park Street and across Main Street onto Summer Street. Run through one set of lights on Summer and follow the bend over to Franklin Street. At that set of lights turn right onto Franklin and head back into Melrose. When you hit Main Street in Melrose, turn right and head back to Brueggers.

Again, I’ll be away but Liz and Cynthia have the water stops.

Who’s in? Roll Call!!!

Week 3 – Lake Courtneypowitt Run

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

Last week Lois, Dan, and Dave kept people hydrated on a challenging early morning run. On a day where temperatures quickly climbed into the high 90s, the group decided to start early, leaving Brueggers at 6:30AM, to beat the heat. It was a hard long run, but a small group got it done!

This week and next Lois is on vacation, I’m still away, and Tom is unavailable so a little help was needed. Minutes after Lois posted on Facebook, boing, hands were raised. Courtney, Gail, and Marian volunteered for this week. Liz Hecht and Cynthia volunteered for next week. Thanks!

The route this week will bring us to Wakefield, with a loop around Lake Quannapowitt for the long run. The run will start from Brueggers at its normal time of 8am. Temperatures will still be quite warm this Sunday, 73 at 8am and quickly rising into the 80s by 10am, so you’ll need plenty of fluids.

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The run will begin heading north on Main Street, continuing straight into Wakefield to a water stop at the intersection of Main Street, North Ave, and Nahant St where you’ll find Dunkin Donuts and Jiffy Lube. The water stop will be on the right side in the Nick’s Pizza parking lot. Courtney usually hosts quite the party at her water stop so watch for a lot of energy and excitement.

After the water stop the half route will turn around and head back to Melrose to complete the run. The full route will continue up Main Street, through Wakefield Center, up to Lake Quannapowitt. Stay to the right to run along the east side of Lake Quannapowitt, turning left at Rte 129, and left onto Quannapowitt Parkway. Follow through the parking lot across to North Ave, taking a right there. You’ll reach a softball field after which you’ll turn left onto Church Street, which will bring you to a church. Across from the church is Common Street, where Wakefield Common is. Common Street will merge onto Main Street which will bring you back to Nick’s Pizza for another water stop.

When you’re hydrated up, follow Main Street back to Melrose, back to Brueggers, to complete your run.

When you get back to Brueggers, if you’re hanging out there please change out of your running clothes, which will undoubtedly be very wet, into something clean and dry before you mingle with the customers and your fellow runners.

Enjoy your Courtney Run, keep drinking.
Who’s in? Roll Call!

Week 2 – Hot Run Around Spot Pond

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Last Week – We got off to a good start. Over 20 people started their training with a nice weather day for a Sunday Long Run. Half the group opted to stop a little early. The sun was shining and temperature was normal for a July day in New England. Tom helped out at water stop 1 and Lois handled water stop with Joe T. A bonus stop was thrown in along Main Street to help offset the rising temperatures.

This Week – We’ll be back at Brueggers to step up the distance and take on Spot Pond. It’ll be pretty hot on Sunday so there is a chance we’ll start super early to beat the heat. I know some are talking about a 6:30AM start. I’ll let Lois decide whether we move the official start to an earlier time or not. Watch the comments below and Facebook for that announcement. The half run is about 7 miles, the full about 12.5. Generally every other week of the long run will step up 4 miles and then the next will drop down 2 miles as we walk to 22 miles. Meanwhile the short run will step up 2 and then step back 1 headed towards an 11 max before their race.

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Start – Leaving Brueggers we will head south on Main Street (in the direction of Malden), past Dunkin Donuts, and turning right on West Wyoming, like the start of the MRC Summer Route. West Wyoming will take you out to Grimsby’s where you’ll turn left onto the Fellsway East. Two hills will great you on the Fellsway East which you’ll hate, but maybe someday you’ll grow to love. Ignore the incline and enjoy the feel of running through the Melrose section of the Middlesex Fells. Eventually you’ll go through an intersection with a set of lights and come down to a traffic circle in Medford where you’ll turn right on to Highland Ave. Follow Highland up towards Spot Pond, finding a water stop on the left right before a rotary by the Flynn Rink.

Half Finish – After the water stop, the short runners will continue straight through the rotary on to Woodland Road, running past the Flynn Rink. Follow this to Pond Street where you’ll turn right and head down a steep hill to Grimsby’s. Turn left there and follow the Lynn Fells Parkway past Melrose High School, after which you’ll turn right on Melrose Street and then take a quick right onto Main Street to finish up at Brueggers.

Full Route 3 – The long runners will leave the water stop and turn left at the rotary on to Elm Street. Run to the end of Elm Street and turn right onto the Fellsway West. This will bring you through another portion of the Middlesex Fells, up what we’ve named Slackers Hill after that urge you get to walk instead of run up the hill, keep running. You’ll then cross under I-93, past the Sheepfold, and over I-93. Watch on your right as you cross an off ramp from I-93, cars come down there very quickly! After that you’ll want to turn right into the Straw Point parking lot. There will be a water stop there, so grab some water and keep going through the parking lot to Pond Street. Continue right to keep circling Spot Pond, pass the Zoo, continue straight as Pond Street becomes Woodland Rd, up to Flynn Rink, through the rotary and back to the water stop at Highland Ave.

Full Finish – After the final water stop you’ll cross Highland and take your first left on East Border Road. This will bring you up to a set of lights where you turn left to get back on the Fellsway East. Ride those two hills back past Grimsby’s and onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. Run past Melrose High School, turn right on Melrose Street, and right on Main Street which will take you back to Brueggers.

Water Stops – Lois is in charge of setting things up with help from Dan. We’ll need volunteer help over the next few weeks while I’m out, and really throughout the whole program. These water stops don’t just happen, people need to help each other out.

Roll Call! Those are the plans, who’s in?