Archive for January, 2016

Week 4 – The Old Melrose Half Route

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Last week you got some snow and it sounds like most of you trudged through and braved a bitter cold to get a strong run in. It’ll be warmer and less windy this week as you take on the old Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon route. This route was the original race route of what eventually became Boston’s Run to Remember. When you hit the hills this week remember that I didn’t design this course, I’m just recycling it.

The run will start from the Knights of Columbus at 8AM. Head up Main Street towards Ell Pond. Take a left on Melrose Street and another left onto the LynnFells Parkway. Run past Melrose High School, where the starting line to the old Half used to be, and continue to Tremont Street. If you’re running short, keep going along the LynnFells to Grimsby’s. If you’re going long, turn left onto Tremont and make a loop around Ell Pond as the original race course did: with lefts on Lake, Emerson, Main, Melrose and the LynnFells.Now its your turn to go straight  on the LynnFells to Grimsby’s. That’s where you all will find a water stop.

After the water stop continue on the LynnFells to the Fellsway East, through the hills, down to the rotary at Highland Ave where you’ll go right and after another mile or so find the second water stop.

If you’re going short stay right at the rotary and head up Woodland along the front side of Spot Pond. Continue to Pond Street where you’ll go right, continuing down to return to Grimsby’s. Pass Grimsby’s and run down West Wyoming to Main, turning left to get back to the Knights.

If you’re going long, loop Spot Pond with a left on Elm Street at the rotary. Turn right at the end of Elm onto Main Street, running under I93 then over I93 you’ll turn right through the Straw Point parking lot. Turn right at the end of the lot following Pond Street up past the Stone Zoo, continuing onto Woodland, back to the rotary and on to Highland where the water stop is.

After this water stop take a quick left onto East Border Road. At a set of lights turn left on to the Fellsway East, back through the hills to Grimsby’s. Continue past Grimsby’s on to the LynnFells Parkway, heading back to Melrose High School. The old race would end at the high school with a glorious/painful last lap around the high school track (which is no longer there). You don’t get to stop here though, keep going up to Melrose Street, turning right, with another right onto Main. Run down through the center of Melrose back to the Knights. Now you get to stop.

I’ll let you all discuss water stops. Whoever helps, thank you very much!

Ok, ROLL CALL! Who’s in?

Week 3 – Missed it by that Much

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

As Maxwell Smart used to say “Missed it by that much”. Now you can say it about the snowstorm to end all snow storms that will hit Washington, DC this Sunday. Since you’ll be missing the storm, you won’t be missing your SLR!!!

After last week’s hilly long run, this week you enjoy a simpler, shorter, flatter recovery run. You’ll meet at the Knights of Columbus and head out for a run up Main Street towards Wakefield. In fact you’ll follow Main Street all the way to Wakefield. Keep running until you get to the intersection of North Ave/Nahant and Main Street. On the right side will be Nick’s Pizza, and in that plaza you’ll find a water stop.

If you’re running short the directions are pretty simple: Turn around and run straight back to the Knights of Columbus.

Running long, continue up Main Street through Wakefield Center. As you approach Lake Quannapowitt stay on Main Street to the East (right) side of the lake. Run a full loop of the lake, Main Street to a left on Lowell Street, a left onto Quannapowitt Parkway past the Comverse Building, a left onto North Ave. As you come down North Ave you’ll turn left at the softball fields onto Church Street. You’ll run along there until you come to a church at Wakefield Common. There you’ll turn right onto Common Street. That will merge onto Main Street and before you know it you’ll be back at Nick’s Pizza. Have yourself another water stop.

Now it gets simple for you too: Follow Main Street back to Melrose, straight back to the Knights of Columbus.

I think, barring a blizzard, you’ll find Lois at the water stop. Thanks Lois!

Ok, that’s it for this week. Who’s in? Roll Call!

Week 2 – Spot Pond

Friday, January 15th, 2016

I’ve heard you all had a good run though Breakheart last Saturday, and that most of you enjoyed a great MRC party Saturday night. This week we return to Sunday, and it’s time to take the Sunday Long Run out to Spot Pond, a place you’ll visit a few times on your journey to a spring marathon or half. You’ll be meeting at the Knights of Columbus again, but this week you’ll head upstairs to gather.

The run starts out heading south on Main Street towards Malden. Pass Dunkin Donuts and turn right at the next set of lights onto West Wyoming Ave. Follow that to a set of lights at JJ Grimsby’s and turn left onto the Fellsway East. If you haven’t run with us before, and you’re new to the Melrose area, get ready for some hills. Now these hills are different than last weeks. Instead of short and steep, they’re more of a long incline. Every time you run these hills they’ll get a bit easier. Love the hills, they’ll love you back. After each long up hill you’ll get a little downhill. Run through the hills, through a set of lights, and down to a traffic circle. Turn right there onto Highland Avenue. Follow Highland to the water stop, usually parked on the left side of the road as you’re approaching Spot Pond.

After the stop, if you’re running short you’ll run past a rotary, past the Flynn Rink, and along the front side of Spot Pond (from a Melrosian point of view). Follow that up to Pond Street where you’ll turn right bringing you down to JJ Grimsby’s again. At Gruimsby’s turn left onto the LynnFells Parkway. Follow that up past Melrose High School to Melrose Street, where you’ll turn right. Turn right again on to Main and make your way back to the Knights of Columbus.

Running long? Leave the stop and go left at the rotary on to Elm Street. Here you’ll circle Spot Pond. Follow Elm, turn right onto Main Street (Rte28), follow that under I93, past the Sheepfold, over I93, and turn right at the Straw Point parking lot at Spot Pond. I’m not sure of the water stop situation this week since I’m so far away, but sometimes someone provides a little water here. If so, have some. If not, keep running. Run through the parking lot and turn right when you come out heading along the pond, past the Stone Zoo continuing all the way back past the Flynn Rink to the rotary. On the other side of the rotary will be Highland Ave… and that water stop you left a little while ago.

After that stop continue on Highland and take your first left onto East Border Road. There’s a nice hill there to climb. When you get to a set of lights turn left and you’ll be back on the Fellsway East. Guess what? Those hills are still there. Run them, ride the downhill past Grimsby’s onto the LynnFells Parkway and keep going. You’ll eventually pass Melrose High School. After that take a right onto Melrose Street and another right onto Main. Follow Main back to the Knights of Columbus.

Water Stops. I think Don Keren is helping once again. I better get back soon or Courtney will start holding a “Don Keren’s water stops are the best!” sign.

Ok, that’s it from me. Who’s in for this week’s SLR? ROLL CALL!

Week 1 – Breakheart on SATURDAY

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

It sounds like we had a tremendous first week of the SLR. About 50 runners showed up at Brueggers and partook in our first run, out to Farm Street in back. This week we have a change in time and location… and we’ll throw in some crazy hills.

You’re running on SATURDAY this week. To keep you from using the run to skip the party, or the party to skip the run, we’ll be doing the run first, then the party.

You’ll be meeting at the Knights of Columbus before 8AM. One rule for using the Knights to meet: leave it the way you found it. So, wipe your sneakers before you come in. There is no storing of bags (or anything really), one the run starts you might not be getting back into the Knights, so treat it like you treat Brueggers. Leave the bathroom clean. If you must use it, when you’re walking out it must look like it did when you walked in. Just don’t make a mess. After the run, if you want to change and hang out, plan on heading over to Dunkin Donuts to unwind. That is the only other coffee shop downtown that has room for a few groups of people.

After you leave the Knights clean, you’ll start running. Go left out the door and turn left onto Main Street. Follow Main up to Green Street like you did last week, bearing right on Green and turning right onto the LynnFells Parkway. This time continue straight on the LynnFells until you get to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart (if you hit Rte 1 you went too far). Left into Breakheart will bring you up to the headquarters where you’ll find a water stop.

After the water stop, if you’re running short, turn around and go back the way you came. Going long, head into Breakheart on the right side. Follow the path, bearing right at the pond, and finish the loop through the hills. When  you’ve run about 5 steep hills, up and down, you’ll come out back at the water stop.

After that water stop chase the shorter runners back to the start following the route that got you there.

You may or may not be able to get back into the Knights post run. We’ll see. But do find a place to change and hang out at Dunkin Donuts to recover.

Ok, Who’s in? ROLL CALL!