Week 9 – Would You Like That in 10s or 20s?

September 7th, 2019

Last Week – Cool weather swept in to help the group get through a 9 miler or 18 miler last week. Everyone ran over to Breakheart for a loop and while the half runners headed back to Melrose, the full runners wound their way through Wakefield over to Lake Q before coming home. Big thanks to Matt, Andrea, Diána, and Julie for the water stop support all morning!

Running Shoes – Its time to look at the bottom of those running shoes you’re wearing. You’ll likely see all these miles you’ve been running have started to wear this pair out. This is a good time to hit up the running shoe store and get yourself another pair. You’ll either be breaking in the pair you will wear marathon or half day, or you’ll save the tread on this pair by only using it for long runs here on out. Either way, plan ahead so you have a good pair of racing shoes for the big race.

This Week – Looks like we missed the rain as Hurricane Dorian passes by out in the Atlantic. The winds are pretty light too. By morning it should be sunny and in the 60s, perfect for a looooong run. We’ll also have the Victorian Fair to contend with this week. That means the streets around Melrose Center will be closed. We can usually get in to the parking lot fine, but there may be less parking spaces to choose from. Besides this stuff, we have a long run to go do. For the marathon trainers its a 20 mile jaunt to the cusp of Arlington, and for the half marathon trainers there’s 10 miles that bring you into the Winchester Highlands.

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Start – This week everyone starts down Main Street to West Wyoming where they’ll take a right and run up past Grimsby’s to Spot Pond. Turn right at the pond, past the Stone Zoo, past Friendly’s, straight onto North Border Rd. Continue to a set of lights where you’ll turn left on Marble Street. Marble will become Forest Street as you enter Winchester, where you’ll find a water stop tucked in on Eugene Drive.

Half 2 – The half runners will continue with the long runners, heading down Forest Street and turning left on Highland Ave where the Winchester Hospital direction sign is. Continue on Highland until you find a little park on the right side at the corner of Eaton Street. Turning right on Eaton will bring you down to Washington Street where you’ll turn right. Continue on Washington to the Gingerbread Construction Company and turn right on to Forest Street. Run up, up, and up Forest Street until you find the water stop at Eugene again.

Half Finish – The final leg of the half run will take you back to Melrose the way you came. Go over I-93 on Forest Street as it becomes Marble Street. At the set of lights turn right on Park Street which becomes North Border Road, taking you back past Friendly’s. Continue straight as you go past the Stone Zoo to where Pond Street turns left to head towards Melrose. Run straight past Grimsby’s onto West Wyoming, then turn left on Main Street and get back to Brueggers to finish your 10 Mile run!

Long 2 – The long runners will head down Forest and turn left on Highland with the half runners. Continue straight on Highland, past Winchester Hospital, past where the half runners turn, straight through a 5-way intersection staying on Highland, all the way to the end of Highland where you’ll find a water stop.

Long 3 – You’ll venture into new terrain for this section. Turn left on Main Street/Rt38 and head to Medford. Cross to the right side of the road and as you run along the wall of the Oak Grove Cemetery, turn right at Playstead Road. This will continue along the cemetery, past a soccer field, along the commuter rail to High Street in Medford. You’ll turn right on High, cross the train tracks, and if you must the Dunkin Donuts has been a convenient rest stop for many years. Continue on High Street, making sure to keep left to stay on High where Grove Street forks off. DO NOT GO ONTO GROVE STREET. High will bring you to the source of the Mystic River. Do not cross the Mystic or you’ll be in Arlington and we don’t go to Arlington. Instead turn right on the Mystic Valley Parkway at the little rotary. Follow this past the Mystic Lakes, which feed the Mystic River, until you get to what seems to be the end of the Mystic Valley Parkway where you’ll turn right on Bacon Street. Follow Bacon under the commuter rail and then take your first left onto Mystic Valley Parkway (told you it wasn’t the end). This part of the Mystic Valley Parkway runs along the Aberjona River, which feed the Mystic Lakes. Along this stretch will be a water stop at the half way point of your run.

Long 4 – Continue along the Mystic Valley Parkway, going through a set of traffic lights and then turning left at the next set of lights on to Washington Street. Washington will take you through a five way intersection where you cross Mt Vernon Street and keep right to stay on Washington. If you run past Winchester High School, well you didn’t learn from your mistakes the last time we ran through here and are likely to be lost for a while. Washington will cross Winchester taking you over to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you could buy a muffin but won’t, you’ll instead turn right onto Forest Street and head back up, up, up to the water stop at Eugene Drive.

Long 5 – After this water stop you’ll continue on Forest over I-93 as the road becomes Marble Street. You’ll turn right at the lights onto Park Street and continue as that becomes North Border Road. At Friendly’s you’ll turn right onto Main Street and continue as that becomes the Fellsway West. Turn left on Elm Street, which will stay Elm Street all the way up to the rotary at the other Highland Ave. Turn right onto Highland and look for a stop right after you turn.

Long Finish – The final leg of this journey will take you down Highland all the way to the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Turn left and follow the Fellsway East through our version of Heartbreak Hill as you make your way to Grimsby’s. Here you will happily remember that you can take a right on West Wyoming and a left on Main to finish your 20 Mile run at Brueggers!

Water Stops – There are quite a few stops this week. We should have Lois, Tom, and myself out there helping you move along, but anyone else interested in helping would be appreciated.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 8 – The Wakefield Half

August 30th, 2019

Last Week – We took on the original route of the Law Enforcement Half Marathon, which later became Boston’s Run to Remember. We had a pleasant weather morning, and a pull back mileage week, leading to much happier faces at the water stops. Despite the cool weather, the group was still relatively small as many regulars were off doing their own things.

This Week – We’ll take on parts of the Wakefield version of the Law Enforcement Half Marathon, which took off from Lake Quannapowitt and headed to Montrose Street, through Breakheart and looped back around to Wakefield. We’ll be heading back to the Breakheart portion of the run for the half trainers and the full trainers will take off and cover the return to Lake Q portion before heading home to Melrose. Half runners will be doing about 9 miles, training those quads on somedaunting hills 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. (I know some will go rogue and run the opposite direction).

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. Keep your eyes on the look out for a water stop, there will be one 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 one. I will be at the first water stop at Breakheart, but I’m leaving from there. Essentially I need three volunteers. I had quite a few people come up to me at the Knights Tuesday, thank you all for being so kind. For this run, which is very spread out and challenging to support, I chose a few people that have run the routes several times to ensure people know where to be when. I think I have Matt and Andrea Kerton for Wakefield High School, Julie Galvin for Lake Quannapowitt, and Diana Hughes for Nick’s Pizza. Tom will be there to help organize as well. We can all meet at Breakheart on the Saugus side at about 8:20. Once we’re all organized I may do a little run from there. Thanks for all that offered, and believe me there will be some opportunities in the coming weeks to help out!

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 7 – Old Melrose Half

August 24th, 2019

Last Week – The weather was very hot and humid for a long run last week, with temps reaching the 80s and the sun breaking out for the later miles.

This Week – It looks like we’re in for some better weather. The route this week is the old Law Enforcement Memorial Half which was held in Melrose about 20 years ago. 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 helping me out again this week. Anybody else interested?

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 6 – Winchester Highlands Run

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

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!