Archive for March, 2020

And We’re Done…

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

The Melrose Running Club has decided to suspend group runs until further notice so today was the final Sunday Long Run for this session. With an eye on social distancing a group of about 15 runners met outdoors in the parking lot behind Brueggers, stood at a safe distance from each other to listen to the directions for todays run and headed off to Wakefield. People enjoyed the fresh air and the quick water stops as they made their way up to Lake Quannapowitt. A few made their way over to Breakheart, some opting to cut through and head home from there.

For those who’s races haven’t been cancelled or postponed, good luck with your continued training.

Depending on how long this all lasts, I plan on starting things up sometime in June to help people prepare for postponed spring races that are planned for September.

While we wait, I wish you all good runs and good health.

Week 11 – That Escalated Quickly

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

Last Week – Runners ran their 20 milers and 10 milers in prep for upcoming races. We started taking Coronavirus precautions at our waterstops by limiting the number of people that handle bottles and cups to the volunteer and the individual runner. We thought we were being careful.

This Week – Each day the Coronavirus impacted everybody’s lives more and more as each day passed. Many things have been cancelled or delayed, just about every race in the next month including the Boston Marathon. Schools are cancelled for weeks or months. The Knights of Columbus is not hosting large groups until mid-April, including the Melrose Running Club. The good news is, as far as I know, none of have contracted the virus and we have a healthy lifestyle on our sides. So how do we move forward? There are still May races scheduled for the time being so training will continue. To help promote social distancing, if there are more than 10 of us, instead of cramming into the corner of Brueggers we’ll meet in the parking lot behind Brueggers before starting the run on Main Street. We will be skipping the 22 mile run from Hopkinton to Boston and replace it with a local long run lined up with a May marathon if those continue to be scheduled. If attendance drops off to just a few runners we’ll end the season and pick it up to train for Boston in the summer.

The Route – This week we’ll be running Lake Q and Breakheart with all waterstops at Nick’s Pizza.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

The Start – This is simple, run up Main Street to Nick’s Pizza in Wakefield.

The Second Section – Run up Main Street towards Lake Quannapowitt. Going short? Turn left at the lake on Church Street, run to the set of lights at North Ave, turn left onto North Ave and return to the water stop. Going long? When you get to the lake keep on Main Street along the lake. Keep turning left onto Lowell St, Quannapowitt Parkway, and North Ave. Continue on North Ave back to the waterstop.

The Short Finish – Run back Main Street to Brueggers for 8 miles. Wash your hands and buy a bagel and eat it 6ft away from anyone else.

The Long Third Section – Leave the water stop on Nahant St. At the end of Nahant, cross Farm Street to Hemlock Rd up to the Voc. Enter Breakheart and, speaking of escalating quickly, run counterclockwise around Breakheart through the hills first. On the flatter side remember to stay right at the pond to gat back to the Voc. Pop out to Hemlock Rd and back to the water stop via Nahant.

The Long Finish – Main Street back to Melrose and Brueggers for 16 miles. Wash your hands and buy a bagel and eat it 6ft away from anyone else.

Water Stop – One Stop multiple times hosted by me.

Roll Call – Who’s in? Anyone?

Week 10 – The Big Two-Oh! Or One-Oh!

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

Last week – The group found their way through a new route on the Tri-Community Bikeway in Stoneham, Woburn, and Winchester. Overall the feedback was good. While the route is marked most of the way, it seem people got a little off track after the second water stop but everyone found their way back on to the bike route. Thanks to Nicole, Bobby, Tom, and Liz for the water stops.

Coronavirus – No matter your opinion of the ongoing coronavirus issue, I’d like to take this time to remind people to practice good hygiene while running. Cough into your elbow or shoulder, minimize touching your hands to your face, limit what you touch at water stops, and keep a few feet distance between you other runners. We won’t be “saving cups” at water stops for the rest of the season to limit the chance that fluids from one cup transfers to another. Candy dishes won’t be put out, but candy will be in cups, and if you want one ask the water stop attendant and he/she will “pour” one into your hand. Let’s limit runners touching bottles and candy bags, and leave it to the water stop volunteers to touch things. As we run through cold, flu, and coronavirus season we, as a group, do a good job keeping healthy. Let’s keep it that way so everyone can get to their races healthy.

This Week – We have the 20 miler for the long route runners and the 10 miler for the half route runners. We have three water stop volunteers, so we’ll keep it to the traditional route shown on the map. Last season I made a slight change to this route and a few got very confused so we’ll save that variation for another day.

The Route –

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 feeds the Mystic Lakes. Along this stretch will be a water stop, which feeds you.

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 anything 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 Bobby, Tom, and myself out there helping you move along.

Roll Call! Who’s in?