Archive for February, 2020

Week 9 – Tri-Community Greenway Run

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Last Week – Derm, Bobby, and Nicole helped you get through a hilly 18 mile full run and 9 mile half run SLR on a beautiful day. Each year that is a week where I tell people how the weather challenges in the winter is part of your training and trains you to keep focus through adverse conditions. Well this winter you guys are spoiled! Other than that an inch of slush was the most weather we’ve had to deal with.

This Week – So in the absence of winter weather, we’ll challenge you with a new route, with water stops in places you’ve never seen them before. And to make it more challenging we’ll do it without me being there to tell you the route over and over again. Good luck!!!

The Route – Google Maps hasn’t caught up with the new bike path so instead we’ll just include some Strava Maps. The full SLR page has maps for each route with mile markers, elevation, and water stop locations.
Half Route Full Route

Start – You’ll head out along familiar territory up Main Street to a left on Franklin Street. Run into Stoneham, passing Stoneham High School and Dunkin Donuts. You’ll want to be over to the right side of the road because this week we’ll take the third right after Dunks onto Pleasant Street. Along Pleasant you’ll want to move to the left side of the street as you cross through a 4-way intersection and come to a triangle merge where you’ll go right. Cross to the right side of the road where you’ll enter the Tri-Community Greenway. This bikepath will take you over to Pomworth Park. There is a parking lot there where our volunteers will serve up some treats.

Half 2 – The whole group will continue to follow the greenway, keeping your eyes out for bike route symbols as you jog right on Central Street, left on Elm Street, and cross Main Street as you turn left. The Greenway continues on your right, crossing Montvale Ave and approaching I-93. Before the I-93 tunnel the half route runners will take a sharp left up Maple Street’s steep hill (no walking). You’ll turn right onto Park Street to stop your climb and bring you back to familiar territory. Follow Park through an intersection, past the I-93 on ramp, as it turns into North Border Rd, over to Friendly’s. Cross Main Street straight onto South St and continue as it turns into Pond Street. Look for a water stop at the Stone Zoo.

Half Finish – Finish up by continue on Pond Street along Spot Pond. Turn left to stay on Pond Street as it brings you down to Grimsby’s. Run straight on West Wyoming and left on Main to finish up at Brueggers.

Full 2 – The full route runners will leave water stop 1 with the half runners to follow the greenway. You’ll follow the jog right on Central, left on Elm, and cross Main while turning left to find the greenway on the other side of Main. Cross Montvale on the greenway and continue through the tunnel under I-93. The greenway will run parallel to Montvale Ave with a few street crossings. You’ll continue to follow the greenway as it turns left on a different Central Street in Woburn past a park and cemetery. It then turns left on D-Street and right on Washington Street as it enters Winchester. Watch for the bike lane markers as the path turns off Washington Street along the Aberjona River and over to Cross Street. When you get to Cross Street by railroad tracks look to the right across Cross for the Winchester Community Park for your next water stop.

Full 3 – The next section takes you on a 5 mile loop through Winchester, Woburn and around Horn Pond. Return to the bike path, through a park, past an elementary school, through a neighborhood, to Winchester High School. The bike lane markers will show you the route as it jog left on Irving Street, turn right on Florence Street, another quick jog right on Swanton, and a left on Holland into the parking lot of Winchester High. Turn right on Skillings Rd, cross another Main Street straight on to Lake Street. A quick right will turn onto the Horn Pond Brook Bikeway. This bikeway will bring you onto Middlesex Street which will turn into Sylvester Ave, and the bikeway will cut you through to Lake Terrace to Horn Pond. Turn left on Lake Street (a different Lake Street) here and loop the paved trail around Horn Pond ending up on Arlington Rd along the east side of the Pond. As you finish the loop, turn left on Lake Street and run up to Main Street in Winchester. Cross Main Street to turn left on Cross Street. As you approach the railroad tracks on Cross Street look for the water stop at the Winchester Community Park for water stop.

Full 4 – Continue on Cross Street and quickly turn left on Forest Street. Follow that as it winds over to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you cross Washington Street and run up the familiar hills of Forest Street. No water stop at the top though, continue over I-93 and turn right at the traffic lights onto Park. Now its your turn to follow Park Street past the I-93 on ramp, as it turns into North Border Rd, over to Friendly’s. Cross Main Street straight onto South St and continue as it turns into Pond Street. Look for a water stop at the Stone Zoo.

Finish Full – Finish up by continue on Pond Street along Spot Pond. Turn left to stay on Pond Street as it brings you down to Grimsby’s. Run straight on West Wyoming and left on Main to finish up at Brueggers.

Water Stops – So I’ll be missing the adventure this weekend. Tom, Bobby and Nicole will help you out. The plan will be for them to meet at the first water stop. As the leaders run through Tom can move over to Water Stop 2/3, Nicole will head to Stone Zoo, while Bobby finishes up that stop. Bobby can then move over to Stone Zoo to relieve Nicole and wait for the full runners to move through. Hopefully this plan works for everyone.

Roll Call – Who’s in for the new route!

Week 8 – Getting Longer

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Last Week – We did 7 miles for the short and 14 for the long on what ended up being a cooler day than expected. As cloud cover kept the sun from warming us, and a stiff breeze made the wind chill even cooler, the group made their way through Stoneham to Friendly’s and through a series of hills in and about Spot Pond.

This Week – The weather should be sunny with temperatures approaching 40 as we do our last run in February. We’ll be heading over to Breakheart to run part of what was once the Wakefield version of the Law Enforcement Memorial Half, which became Boston’s Run to Remember. The group will be looping Breakheart as we break into the longer training distances of the season with half runners get in 9 miles and the long runners stretching it out to 18 miles.

The Route –

Start 1- This week we start up Main Street towards Ell Pond. Say ‘Hi’ to the Clarence DeMar monument for luck and bear right onto Green Street to a traffic light where you turn left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. Follow the Lynn Fells all the way to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart on the left. Follow the road up to the upper parking lot at the headquarters building. Look around for Derm in the parking lot for the water stop.

Start 2- All runners, short and long, will head into Breakheart. We’ll be taking the outer loop around Breakheart Reservation. We typically go in the right side and run counterclockwise through the woods, bearing right at the fork in the road at the swimming area. Some runners like to go clockwise, others like to just run the flat side, so feel free to improvise, just don’t cheat yourself out of miles. Make your way back to the headquarters parking lot for a second water stop.

Half-Finish- The half runners backtrack the way they came to finish up their 9 mile run, along the Lynn Fells Parkway to the left on Green Street and back onto Main Street to finish at Brueggers.

Long 3- The long runners will had back along the Lynn Fells but will turn right onto Main Street in Saugus at the first set of lights. The group will continue on Main as it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield and stop at Bobby’s water stop on the right at Wakefield High School.

Long 4- After the water stop you’ll continue on Farm Street to a right onto Water Street and an immediate left onto Montrose Street. This windy hilly road will bring you to its end where you turn left on Salem Street. Salem will fork left, but you’ll bear right onto Lowell Street.

Lowell Street will bring you up to Lake Quannapowitt near the Gingerbread Construction Company. Cross to the left side of the road, turn left onto Quannapowitt Way and look for Nicole at the water stop in the Comverse parking lot.

Long 5- After this stop you’ll make your way over to North Ave, choosing to either go along the dirt path or follow the roadway through the parking lot. At North Ave go left and follow it all the way back to Main Street, where Derm’s final water stop will be waiting for you at Nick’s Pizza.

Long Finish- From here you’re going back to Melrose along Main Street, straight back to Brueggers to finish your 18 miler.

Water Stops- I won’t be around this weekend, but Derm, Bobby and Nicole will be at Breakheart, Bobby and Nicole will head over to Wakefield High School ahead of the pack, and Nicole will eventually make her way to Lake Q to keep up with the pack. After the last runner comes through, the water stop volunteers should pack up and head to the next stop to let the volunteer know who to expect when, with Derm cutting over to Nick’s ahead of everyone. Eventually all water stop help will congregate at Nick’s to finish up the day.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 7 – Good Bye Old Friendly’s

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Last Week – We had a good crowd come out on a frigid day to explore the streets of Stoneham and the Winchester Highlands. The hilly course challenged us all, working those muscles you’ll need late in the Boston Marathon.

This Week – We’ll be heading out the same start as last week, but working away over to the now defunct Friendly’s at Spot Pond. The full route will circle the backside of the pond, but then head out to the Fellsway East hills. The half route is very much the same as last week’s route, but with a trip to Friendly’s instead of Winchester. It’s been cold this week, but should warm up a bit for Sunday.

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The Start – The whole crew will head up Main Street, past Ell Pond where you can tip your hat to Clarence DeMar. If this is your first season with us, you may not have noticed that there is a monument to Clarence DeMar along Ell Pond, remembering a legendary Boston Marathoner who lived and trained in Melrose a century ago. After you pass Clarence, continue on to Franklin Street, where you’ll turn left and climb up to Stoneham. Unlike last week, you’ll continue on Franklin all the way to Stoneham Square, turning left at the end of Franklin on to Main Street. Main Street will bring you up towards Spot Pond. Cross to the right side for a water stop at Friendly’s 4 miles into your run.

Half Finish – Close out your half route, turn left at the lights onto South Street, which will become Pond Street. Follow that past the Stone Zoo and turn left to bring you down to Grimsby’s. Turn left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway, run up past Melrose High School, turning right onto Melrose Street and right again onto Main to finish up your 7.2 Mile run.

Full 2 – The long route will head out straight from Friendly’s around the back side of Spot Pond. Run along the Fellsway West, past the Sheepfold and turn left when you get to Elm Street, which will bring you up to the Highland rotary. Turn right this week, following Highland Ave. The water stop will be somewhere along the Fellway East end of Highland, find it for your next drink.

Full 3 – Leaving the water stop continue along Highland Ave to the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Now climb up towards the eastern section of the Middlesex Fells, over the two hills I know you’re growing to love, and wind down yourself down to Grimsbys. Turn left and do your best to climb Pond Street back up to Spot Pond. Turn right, pass the Stone Zoo and head back to Friendly’s. Have another drink before finishing your long run.

Full Finish – Head back up Main Street to Stoneham Square, turning right on Franklin Street. Continue back to Main Street in Melrose where you turn right to get back to Brueggers after 14.3 miles behind you.

Water Stops – Two water stops, manned by a combo of Derm at Friendly’s and me at Highland Ave. I will likely join in at Highland and run some modified SLR.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 6 – Off to the Highlands

Saturday, February 8th, 2020

Last Week – While most of the Sunday Long Run crew were off running a race in Cambridge, a handful of runners headed out for the second trip around Breakheart of the season. You know we’ve had a mild winter when we get to run through Breakheart twice! Lets hope this holds up for the rest of the winter.

This Week – Lois and I will be hosting the first SLR run out to Winchester of 2020, along my favorite route of all the SLR 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. Continuing past Stoneham High School on your left and Dunkin Donuts on your right, you’ll turn left at a set of lights on to Summer Street. This street will wind over to Main Street in Stoneham where you’ll go straight across onto Marble Street. Marble takes you to an overpass of I-93 into Winchester where the road turns into 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 where they’ll turn right taking them over to the now closed 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 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 along 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 you want to stay to the right to run onto 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 – Lois and I can handle this one but if anyone else wants to help us out, let me know.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 5 – Maybe Breakheart?

Saturday, February 1st, 2020

Last Week – Bobby took over and Derm helped out with a stop, but I was in Maine so I don’t know what happened. Hope it was a good one.

This Week – I may not be there Sunday, but you’ll be left in good hands. I hear Breakheart may be slippery. We’ll try to check it out in advance. If it is safe we’ll venture in for some hilly miles. If it isn’t we’ll skip it and finish up with a loop out by Pine Banks instead. Maps exist for both routes.

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The Start – The group will start from Brueggers at 8AM and 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. If its not icy, 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 turn right onto Farm Street to the end, turning left at the T intersection onto Water Street and continuing into Wakefield Center. Turn left onto Main Street and 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.

Alternate to Breakheart – After the water stop continue on Farm, to the left on Water, to the left on Main. Run back to Melrose and pass Brueggers, continuing on Main Street past Pine Banks Park. When you enter Malden, turn left on Forest Street, then left on Lebanon, and another left on Sylvan. This will bring you back to Main Street where you turn right and back to Melrose Center and a coffee at Brueggers.

Waterstops- If I can’t show up, Dan will kick off the run, Derm will have water at the corner of Main Street in Saugus and Howard Street (42.472478, -71.036231) and Tom will host the Wakefield High Stop. Thanks for the help!

Who’s in? – Roll Call!