Week 9 – Victorian Fair Day 20/10 Miler

September 8th, 2018

Last Week – About 30 runners took on Breakheart on a comfortable weather day. Short route runners enjoyed a 9 mile trip through the Breakheart hills and back, with a little picnic bench water stop along the way. The few runners took on the 18 mile long route continued along a round about excursion through Wakefield, making their way to Lake Quannapowitt before heading home to Brueggers.

This Week – We’ll take another adventure but this week will head out towards Winchester, with the long runners stretching into Medford and almost to Arlington. People training for a half will do 10 this week, while people aiming for Baystate will do 20. With the Victorian Fair going on, people have an option of starting early with a loop of their own to get back to Brueggers around 8AM. We’ll have some water outside if you need it. This will allow you to finish earlier to help volunteer for the EMARC Road Race. Short runners could run 3.5 miles before 8AM and skip the Eaton Street loop. Long runners, I suggest you just stick with the plan in order to hit the water stops at the right time, adjusting times will result in missing water stops.

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Start – Both groups will leave Brueggers at 8AM. Main Street will have workers busily nailing tents down, so we’ll stand in the middle of the street and set off south past Marathon Sports. Take a right onto West Wyoming and run past Grimsby’s up to Spot Pond. Turn right, pass the Stone Zoo, then pass Friendly’s, and continue past the onramp to I-93N. At the next set of lights turn left on Marble Street in Stoneham, run over I93 onto Forest Street in Winchester and stop at Eugene for a water stop.

Half 2 – The half runners will continue on Forest Street to a turn onto Highland Ave, at the blue H sign for Winchester Hospital. Run past the hospital and move to the right side. You’ll come up to a little park at the corner of Eaton Street where you’ll turn right. At the bottom of Eaton you’ll turn right onto Washington Street. Follow that to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you’ll turn right back on to Forest Street. Run up, up, and up Forest Street back to Eugene for another water stop.

Half Finish – Half runners will finish up the way they came. Run back over I93 to a set of lights. Turn right on Park Street and make your way past Friendly’s, straight past the Stone Zoo, and along Spot Pond. At Pond Street turn left down to Grimsby’s. Continue straight onto West Wyoming making your way to Main Street. Turn left on Main and back to Brueggers and the Victorian Fair. Grab a coffee and go volunteer to direct traffic at the corners of the race route!

Full 2 – Full route runners will leave Eugene down Forest Street to the blue H sign for Winchester Hospital. A left there will get you on to Highland Ave. Follow Highland past the hospital, straight through a 5-way intersection all the way to the end. Look for a water stop on the left side.

Full 3 – After your water stop turn left onto Main Street. This will become Winthrop Street in Medford. Move to the right side of the road and as you pass Oak Grove Cemetery turn right onto Playstead Rd. Follow Playstead to the end where you turn right on High St. There is a Dunkin Donuts that is very convenient for a bathroom break. Continue on High Street. There will be a litte fork where you need to stay left to stay on High Street. You’ll eventually come to a rotary at Mystic Valley Parkway. Turn right onto Mystic Valley Parkway… don’t go straight into Arlington! Run along the Mystic Lakes to what seems to be the end of Mystic Valley Parkway and turn right onto Bacon Street. Go past the commuter rail and cross to the left side and take a turn onto Mystic Valley Parkway (see, it wasn’t the end). As you run along Mystic Valley Parkway you’ll find a water stop on the right.

Full 4 – Next continue on the Mystic Valley Parkway to a set of lights at Washington Street where’s you turn left. Follow Washington Street through a 5-way intersection, crossing Mt Vernon Street and bearing right to stay on Washington. This will eventually bring you to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you’ll turn right on Forest Street. Take Forest up, up, and up to Eugene for another water stop.

Full 5 – Leave Eugene on Forest over I93 to a set of lights at Park Street. Turn right and run over to Friendly’s where you turn right. Follow the Fellsway West along the back side of Spot Pond, going over I93, past the Sheepfold, and under I93. At Elm Street you’ll turn left and make your way to the rotary at Highland Ave. Turn right into Highland and find the final water stop.

Full Finish – If you hate East Border Rd you’re in luck! Continue down Highland at the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Turn left onto the Fellsway East, run through the hills to Grimsby’s where you’ll Turn right onto West Wyoming and then left onto Main Street to finish up at Brueggers ring the Victorian Fair

Water Stops – Janet’s keeping Hank this weekend so it will be Tom and I. Lois has volunteered to help but she also wants to run. If anyone else can help, let me know.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 8 – Breakheart and Some of the Wakefield Half

September 1st, 2018

Last Week – We had a pleasant weather morning, and a pull back mileage week, leading to many happy faces at the water stops. Besides the hills, nobody had anything to complain about. There were only a handful of people training for a full marathon, but a lot of half runners as over 25 people ran from Brueggers to run some or all of the Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon route.

This Week – We’ll be heading back to Breakheart, which used to be part of the Wakefield version of the Law Enforcement Half Marathon route. Short runners will be doing about 9 miles, training on some daunting hills, good strength training for those quads and a chance to learn how to pace through hills. The full route runners will also do these hills early in their 18 mile run. As the mileage increases in September you’ll find a few of our routes have early hills which trains your body to recover during a run as you cycle through to your second and third winds in a marathon.

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Start – Leaving Brueggers, head north up Main Street, past Ell Pond, crossing near Melrose Wakefield Hospital to merge right onto Green Street. Take a right at the lights at the intersection of Green St and the LynnFells Parkway. Follow the LynnFells to the Saugus entrance of Breakheart on the left side of the road. Turn left onto Forest Street which brings you up to the headquarters of Breakheart where you’ll find a water stop.

Half/Full 2 – Everyone will circle Breakheart counterclockwise. For those that are clock challenged, that means enter Breakheart to the right following the outer loop. At the pond in Breakheart stay right to continue on the outer loop. Circle past the Wakefield entrance and through the hills to get back to the headquarters building and another water stop.

Half 3 and Full 3 – Run back out the Saugus entrance of Breakheart turning right on the LynnFells Parkway. Half route runners will go back the way they came, continuing on the LynnFells to a left on Green Street. Merge back onto Main Street in Melrose and find your way to Brueggers to finish up. Full distance runners will follow the Wakefield Half route with a right turn at the first set of lights onto Main Street in Saugus. This will turn into Farm Street in Wakefield and bring you to Wakefield High School where you’ll find a water stop near the school entrance.

Full 4 – Continue on Farm to the end where you turn RIGHT on to Water Street. Cross over to the left side and take your first left onto Montrose Ave. Follow Montrose to the end and turn left onto Salem Street. Eventually you’ll come to a fork in the road that looks like this:

Keep to the right here to get on Lowell Street. This will bring you up to Lake Quannapowitt. At the lake get to the left side of the road to turn left onto Quannapowitt Parkway to get into the Comverse parking lot. There will be a water stop in the lot somewhere.

Full 5 – Leaving that water stop continue on Quannapowitt Parkway to North Ave and turn left. North Ave will take you to a set of lights at Church Street where you turn left. Church Street takes you to a church at Wakefield Common, turn right onto Common Street here. Common will merge onto Main Street and Main Street will take you to the intersection of Nahant and Main and North Ave. At Nick’s Pizza on the left side will be your final water stop.

Full Finish – Now its a straight shot south along Main Street to get you back in to Melrose and back to Brueggers. 18 miles done!

Water Stops – This one is challenging but I think I have Tom and Hank helping us all out. The three of us will be at the Breakheart Stop. Hank will move on to the Wakefield High stop, Tom will handle the Comverse stop, and I’ll be hanging at Nick’s to help you get home.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 7 – Half Way Half

August 25th, 2018

Last Week – The weather was extremely pleasant for a long run last week, with temps in the high 60s, a cool breeze, and some sunshine. For August that’s quite a treat. About 25 runners join in on the run, but only about 5 did the full route. Its unusual to have more people training for halfs than full marathons, which made me think “what exactly is everyone training for?”. Let me know in your replies.

This Week – It looks like we’re in for some similar weather, although it could get a little warmer along the way. The route this week is the old Law Enforcement Memorial Half which was held in Melrose around the turn of the century (this century, 2000). It later moved to Wakefield, a portion of which you’ll run next week, and ultimately moved to Boston when it grew up, becoming Boston’s Run to Remember. The full runners will run over to the starting line and complete the whole route, minus a lap around the Melrose High School track mostly because it doesn’t exist anymore, and then back to Brueggers. The half runners will skip a loop of Ell Pond, and cut the end of the route off. When you’re done running you’ll be halfway through the training runs for this season!

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Full/Half Start – Unlike most weeks, the start will end up putting the half runners ahead of the full runners. We’ll start together up Main Street, past Ell Pond, turning left on Melrose Street (before the LynnFells Parkway). Take a left off Melrose Street onto LynnFells Parkway and run past Melrose High School. This is where the Melrose Half started. the half runners will continue straight along the LynnFells Parkway to Grimsby’s. The full route runners will turn left at the set of lights at the tennis courts onto Tremont Street. Loop Ell Pond with a series of lefts onto Lake Street, West Emerson Street, back on to Main Street, Melrose Street again, and around to the LynnFells Parkway. This time continue straight past the tennis courts and over to Grimsby’s. There will be a little water stop there in case you need an early one.

Full/Half 2 – From Grimsby’s you’ll continue on the LynnFells as it becomes the Fellsway East, through the hills, to the traffic circle where you turn right onto Highland Ave. Highland takes you up to the rotary at Highland where you’ll find a water stop on your left.

Half Finish – As usual you’ll keep going straight through the rotary onto Woodland Rd, passing the Flynn Rink. Turn left onto Pond Street coming down the hill to Grimsby’s. Continue straight onto West Wyoming, turn left on Main, and finish at Brueggers.

Full 3 – As usual loop Spot Pond by taking a left on Elm Street at the rotary. Turn right at the end of Elm onto the Fellsway West. Go up a hill, under I-93, past the Sheepfold, over I-93, past the off-ramp of I-93 (watch for fast moving traffic!), and turning left into the Straw Point parking lot where you’ll probably find Hank. Keep circling Spot Pond by leaving Straw Point merging onto Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo, straight onto Woodland Rd, past Flynn Rink, through the rotary, and back to the water stop at Highland Ave.

Full Finish – Leaving the water stop, cross Highland to turn left onto East Border Road. Run up a hill and turn left at your first set of lights back on to the Fellsway East. As you run through the hills again remember I didn’t make up this route, it was an actual race. Run past Grimsby’s over one more hill, past Melrose High School. The race ended with a lap of the Melrose High track with spectators watching your hill weary legs trying to sprint. I’ll save you that embarrassment and instead you’ll run up to Melrose Street, turning right and right again on Main Street. Your hill weary legs will instead parade you through downtown Melrose as you finish up at Brueggers.

Water Stops – I think I have Tom and Hank helping me out again this week.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 6 – The Sidebar Fiasco Run

August 18th, 2018

Ok everyone, the sidebar maps are back! The SLR Blog is created on the WordPress platform and unfortunately during the past week an update to WordPress resulted in an automatic update which unexpectedly blew away some of the customizations I’ve made for this blog. I’ll be fixing that over the next day.

So last week we we survived the torrential downpour run to Breakheart. My trunk is still damp and musty from the inches of rain that came down upon the water stop. Runners were wet, but enjoyed the refreshing coolness of the morning. This week there is no rain in the Sunday forecast and temps should stay below 70, so we have that going for us.

This week we’ll be running to Winchester. Again I’ll suggest that half route runners carpool to water stop 1 and run the middle portion of the route to change things up.

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Start – We’ll start up Main Street, past Ell Pond, continuing to Franklin Street where you’ll turn left. Continue along Franklin into Stoneham, past Stoneham High School, past Dunkin Donuts, then turning left at the next set of lights onto Summer Street. Summer will take you to Main Street in Saugus, where you’ll cross over to continue straight onto Marble Street. Marble will take you into Winchester, over I-93, where the road changes name to Forest Street. There will be a water stop immediately after you pass over I-93 on the left at Eugene.

Half Finish – Half route runners will turn back over I-93, turning right at the set of lights onto Park Street. Park will become North Border Road and take you to Friendly’s. Cross over and continue straight as the road becomes Pond Street. After passing the Stone Zoo look to take a left to stay on Pond Street to get you to Grimsby’s. Take a left at Grimsby’s following the Lynn Fells Parkway past Melrose High School. Turn right on Melrose Street and right on Main Street, finishing up at Brueggers.

Full 2 – Full route runners along with Alternate Route Half runners will continue down Forest Street, turning left on Highland Ave. Highland will take you up to Winchester Hospital. Turn left onto Reservoir Road. This will take you up towards the Middlesex Fells. Enjoy the views of forest, reservoir, gas lamp street lights, and stately homes as you loop back around to Highland Ave. Turn right onto Highland and continue straight through a 5-way intersection all the way to the end of Highland where you’ll find water stop 2.

Full 3 – Take a right onto Main Street when you leave the water stop. This will take you to a little rotary where you pass a small road then turn at the next right off the rotary to stay on Main Street. There is a Symmes Farm Historical Site sign where you stay on Main Street. Keep on the right side of Main, when you come to a fork you’ll stay right to get on Washington Street. Washington will go through a 5-way intersection where you cross Mt Vernon Street and stay right on Washington. If you pass Winchester High School you went the wrong way, turn around and try again, you should pass St Mary’s Church. Washington will bring you to the Gingerbread Construction Company. Turn right there onto Forest and run up the hills back to the first water stop at Eugene.

Full 4 – Leave the water stop on Forest Street crossing over I-93. Turn right at the set of lights onto Park Street. Continue straight to Friendly’s where you’ll turn right onto 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 should have followed 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. 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 – I’ll need one helper to get through this one. I think Tom has volunteered, but if I’m not right is there anyone else interested in spending a beautiful Sunday morning slinging Gatorade?

Who’s In? – Roll Call!!!

Week 5 – BreakHeartin’

August 11th, 2018

Last Week – Big thanks to Tom and Audrey for handling the Horn Pond run last week. Sounded like a good sized crowd enjoyed a hot and humid run out to the little pond and back.

This week – We’ll be heading in the opposite direction this Sunday, reducing the mileage a bit, but adding a series of tough hills to keep strengthening your legs and your resolve to finish. The weather seems… interesting. It’ll be in the high 60s, low 70s, with scattered thunderstorms in the area. We’ll watch for lightning, if it does occur during the run please continue running until you can duck into a shelter like a building, under an overhang, or into a car, until the lightning subsides. Remember if the time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder decreases that means the storm is coming your way. If they’re within a few seconds apart the storm is close, find some shelter!

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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 parking lot at the corner of the LynnFells Parkway and Main Street in Saugus and joining the long runners up Main Street in Saugus to Farm Street, around Breakheart, and then back along Farm Street and Main Street to their cars.

Water Stops – I’ll take care of the stop at Wakefield High School. I need one helper at Howard Street for the half route. Volunteer?

Who’s in? – Roll Call!