Fall for the Fells 5K and Festival

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Fall for the Fells 5K Trail Race and Festival

fall for the fells 5k, medford 5kThe Friends of The Fells held their First Annual Fall for the Fells 5K Trail Race and Festival on November 6th, 2016.

The festival, which was sponsored by Whole Foods, was held next to the soccer fields behind Medford High School. About a dozen Whole Foods partners provided snacks and there two food trucks.

The 5K Trail Race ran the “Mustang Loop Trail” and the “Cross Fells Trail” out to just before South Border Road. There we turned and headed back to the High School.

It was a beautiful day for a race in The Fells.

Running the Fall for the Fells 5K Trail Race

I’ve only run one other trail race and that was the VERT Sasquatch Trail Race from the Stone Zoo. That was a 2.5 mile run, in the summer on a nice, clear trail.

trail 5k, 5k runningThe Fall for the Fells 5K Trail Race was on a trail covered in leaves. Fortunately the leaves were dry, but it was often impossible to know how your foot would land. Being a road runner, I’m used to landing my feet solidly on the pavement and pushing off strong.

While I typically take in my surroundings, during this race I mostly saw about two feet in front of me.

We started on the pavement at the foot of the stairs going up to the Medford High soccer fields. Within 200 yards we were lined up to get onto the “Mustang Loop” trail for a challenging run.

I discovered that on a trail run it is difficult and un-safe to run close to other runners. I found that getting too close to the runner in front of me blocked my view of where my foot would land next. Due to the completely unpredictable and random nature of the terrain I had to keep my distance or risk serious injury.

After I figured these things out I began to enjoy the challenge of the trail. The not knowing and risk of injury added some excitement to a distance I run all the time. A trail run isn’t always about running as fast as you can. You have to read the terrain and make quick decisions.

My finish time was 29:16 for a pace of 9:26. That pace is just a bit faster than I ran the Boston Marathon at! I managed 7th in my age group and 63rd out of 263 runners.

John Paul Lewicke or Arlington was the first place male at 19:58 and Isabella Donadio of Somerville was the first place female at 21:25.

Full results HERE

Photos courtesy of Friends of The Fells.

Run well my Friends,


Medford Jingle Bell Run

The Medford Jingle Bell Run had another successful year with 663 runners at this year’s race. Double the number from 2014! Congrats to Judy Lonergan and her race committee!

medford 5k, jingle bell run, christmas raceNow in their 3rd year the committee and volunteers have really hit their pace. For the first time the PTOs at each school in Medford were involved. Each school was able to raise money with the race and each school or club at the High School will receive a proportional amount of the total raised.

For the past two years clubs and teams at the High School were involved. Extending the opportunity to all schools really enhanced the community involvement and contributed to the surge in the number of runners.

As any parent knows, it takes a lot of work and time to raise money with bake sales and other fund raisers. Combining the efforts of the Jingle Bell Committee with efforts of each PTO helped these groups raise more money for the kids than they would have been able to otherwise.

Jingle Bell Run

Saturday was a cold and wet day. With rain in the forecast and cloudy skies in the morning, we were worried race day registrations would be low. But the same day registration table was very busy. In the hour before the race Medford City Hall was packed with runners picking up their numbers and registering for the race.

Around 10:15 the call went out for runners to head to the starting line. I was there with My First 5K medals and had to pack up my table at the last minute and head out for the race. Fortunately my friend Jessica Crispin was running the race and was kind enough to help me lug my stuff out to my car.

Most of the runners were already lined up. Jessica and I moved through the crowd to get closer to the start. Jessica did not plan to run very fast, but knew she was going to be faster than most other runners. She finished at 28:02 for 104th over all and 9th in her age group. Nice run!

We realized the National Anthem was being played just as the last trumpet notes were ringing out. A few moment later the crowd surged forward as the race began.

Being so far back from the front it took me about 45 seconds to get to the starting line and then I was stuck in the crowd for another few minutes. About a quarter-mile down Riverside Ave I began to get some room to move. By the time we took the right onto Freedom Way I was able to negotiate the turn the way I wanted to.

We ran past the schools and behind Hormel Stadium. Just before the turn onto the bike path, we hit mile one. Somehow I had managed a 7:23 pace. On the path things slowed down and between the puddles and other runners, things became congested.

We looped the paths behind the schools. While heading back towards Mile 2 I saw a little boy take a face plant on the path. His Dad was right there and fortunately he landed on gravel and not pavement. As I ran by Dad was getting him back on his feet and I didn’t hear any crying. Now there’s a tough runner!

We looped back onto the road behind the stadium and in front of the schools. As we passed the schools I could see other runner still heading out on the road and others on the path going behind the school. There were a lot of people out here!

Mile 2 came in at 7:54. As we got back onto paved roads I tried to maintain my pace and leave a little something for a kick at the end. I had been trading places with a little girl most of the race. Many boys would surge ahead and then walk. This 10 year old kept up a consistent pace like a pro and ended up finishing just ahead of me!

We hit Mile 3 just after the Rt. 93 bridge. I hadn’t prepared well for this race but I had managed to save something for the kick. Most of the runners around me were younger and I knew it would be difficult to pass most of them. It’s very easy for a 12 year old to kick it in for a tenth of a mile. I managed a 7:52 pace for Mile 3.

I negotiated the last two turns and crossed the finish line at 24:02. My pace for the last 0.13 miles was 6:52. Not great, but definitely a kick.

I was 48th over all and 2nd in my age group. This race was focused on the kids, so the oldest age group was 18-99. I wasn’t even close to the medals for this one.

After Race

#1st5K, 5K medalsThe light rain continued and temps were in the low 40s. I grabbed a bottle of water and headed for my car. I grabbed 12 My First 5K medals and headed back to the finish area. Usually a few parents buy a medal for their kids at the end of the race.

As I approached the group giving out the medals I realized they were handing them out to anyone who said this was their first 5k. I was shocked when I looked at their bibs and saw that they did not have a sticker showing that their parents had purchased a medal!

My heart sunk. If they had given away most of the medals we probably wouldn’t have enough for the people who had paid for them. The woman in charge of the kids handing out medals gave me a bunch back, thankfully.

I knew that many people were still on the course and many of the First 5K runners were probably among them. At this point I had no idea if we had enough medals. I felt a little depressed for a moment but hoped I had enough extras with me.

While running the race and crossing the finish line were fun, placing medals around finishers necks was the most fun. I got to hand out about 10 medals and give high fives to the newly minted runners. It’s hard to describe how gratifying it was to see them running towards the finish line with their red bib sticker and then awarding them their first medal!

Here are full race results.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving or Holiday run this past weekend.


© andrew nagelin 2015

Fall Races in New England

Fall Races you should check out

Saugus YMCA 5K Nov. 7th at 9AM. The race is in Breakheart Reservation in Saugus. Some pretty good hills, all on a paved road. All proceeds will benefit the Saugus Family YMCA Scholarship Fund.

The Runway 5k Oct. 21st at 10AM Concord, NH – At the Concord Municipal Airport ON THE RUNWAYS! Benefiting GSAMA Aviation and STEM education. Family fun and non-perishable food drive. RACE DAY REGISTRATION ONLY

run for all ages 5k, 65 plus, fall racesThe Run for All Ages 5k Nov. 4th 10AM Wakefield, around Lake Quannapowitt. Cash prizes for masters age graded winners, and folks 80 and up run for free! RACE DAY REGISTRATION ONLY

RED, WHITE AND BLUE RUN 5K Nov. 19th at 8:30AM in Wrentham. This 5K road race race benefits Fisher House Boston which assists Veterans and their families.

Edaville Rail Run 5 Miler Nov. 14th at 10AM in South Carver. This family friendly races features Bob Merritt’s famous clam “Chowda.” Proceeds benefit the “Dorine Merritt Memorial Fund.”

Myles Standish Marathon and Marathon Relay Nov. 15th at 8AM in Plymouth. Proceeds benefit the Plymouth Area Coalition Food Pantry.

Harborside Half Marathon Nov. 19th at 9AM in Newburyport, MA – only about 200 bibs left. Post-race party features Smuttynose and food at Michael’s Harborside.

Gobble Wobble for SMILE Mass 5k/10k Nov. TBD at 10AM in Sudbury at the Curtis Middle School. Proceeds benefit the SMILE Mass programs of beach wheelchairs and equipment loaner programs.

MarathonSportsJingleBellRun_Somerville_Santa_12162012Marathon Sports Jingle Bell Run – Dec. 17th at 11AM Somerville. I’ve run this race several times and it is always fun. Several thousand runners show up in Somerville’s Davis Square. Currently they are over 70% sold out, so don’t wait to register for this fun race. This is a B&S Events Management event and They are collecting un-wrapped toys for local children.

These are just a few fall races around New England

Enjoy the great fall running weather and get out for a great fall race with your friends and family.

Run well my friends,


© 2015 Andrew Nagelin

Running for All Ages

Run for All Ages 2015

The New England 65+ Runner’s Club invites you

run for all ages, 65 plusto Lake Quannapowitt for a run for all ages on November 7th at 10AM at the Lakeside Office Park, 100 Quannapowitt Pkwy, Wakefield, MA 01880.

Enjoy a flat and fast course around Lake Quannapowitt.

Entry Fee: $22 online, $30 race day, $10 for 13 and under; 80 and up can register for free!

The journeymen runners in the NE65+ Runners Club put on this race every year to support fitness in children of all ages.

Specifically, the race provides an opportunity for very young runners to compete and share in the fun and excitement of a road race.

It is also the premier race in New England for “mature” runners, most of them Club members. Their accomplishments in the race are acknowledged in awards given for age divisions in five-year increments, ages 65 and up, all the way to 90+, and for age graded times to the top twelve master runners, 40 years and older, males and females.

Cash prizes to the age graded male winners are provided by one of the Club’s major sponsors: PACE: Prostate Awareness and Cancer Education race program. Cash prizes to the female winners are provided by the NE65Plus Runners Club.

The Club donates some of the proceeds from the race to the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation.

#1st5K, 5K medalsThe mission of the New England 65+ Runners Club matches Omni Running’s mission – to encourage running and fitness in children of all ages.

The “My First 5K “ medal is a way to encourage and reward first time runners of all ages. We will have a table at the race where you can purchase a medal.

We will also have display frames for your medal and will assemble your medal into your frame after the race for you.

Frames are gold or silver color. We offer this combo package of medal, sticker and frame for $34.95, with $10 from each combo sale going to the New England 65+ Runner’s Club fundraising

We look forward to seeing you Saturday morning in Wakefield!.

Run well my friends!


© 2015 andrew nagelin

Spooky Sprint 5K

Melrose YMCA hosts Spooky Sprint 5K

All the ghouls, goblins, assorted monsters and terrifying runners showed up in Melrose Halloween morning to run the 2015 Spooky Sprint 5K.

At 8:30 on a brisk 41° fall morning, 631 hearty souls toed the line to run through the streets of Melrose causing mayhem and terror with every turn. The race started on a slight incline up East Foster Street and took a right onto Lebanon Street about a quarter-mile into the race.

spooky sprint, #1st5k, 5k raceBefore the race the announcer warned us that we would be running through road construction on Lebanon Street. As we approached the turn onto Lebanon I moved to the right side of the road and noticed a lady standing in the road holding a balloon.

Standing in the road during a road race is generally not a good idea. Then I noticed several more people standing in the middle of Lebanon Street also holding balloons and realized what they were doing. They were marking the raised man-hole covers! Brilliant I thought! It’s hard to miss someone standing in the street holding a balloon.

All the way up Foster Street runners kept passing me. At the top of the hill I could already feel the burn in my thighs. Had I gone out too fast?

I know Lebanon Street well as it is part of the Melrose Running Club’s summer route. We quickly ran through the construction area and onto smooth pavement. There are two small hills on Lebanon and I did my best to push up and then run down those hills.

Spooky Sprint 5k, 5k raceAbout three-quarters of a mile into the race we were running down the hill to the intersection of Lebanon and Sylvan Street. I picked up some speed, pushed up the hill by the cemetery and clocked mile one at 7:17. That number told me I was in my groove.

As we arrived at Pine Banks we took a left into the gravel parking lot and headed for the wet grass. As we approached the parking area near the baseball infield we took a left onto the road around the back of the hill behind the baseball field.

There was a hill behind the hill and I could feel the burn again. Even with my lack of preparation, I managed to run the hill and pass a few people. I skipped the water stop and wondered if that decision would come back to haunt me.

We took Pine Banks Road out to Main Street. We were running on the side walk as we approached the intersection of Main and Sylvan Street. At mile two a volunteer was calling out times and said 14:38 as I passed. I quickly calculated my average pace and my mile two pace.

As we crossed Sylvan Street I moved into the street. The sidewalks on Main Street are uneven and narrow. I needed room to work my strategy.

I started at the head of the pack but many people had passed me. I used the hills to pass a few, but others continued to pass me.

I’ve run well over 100 5K’s so I know how this works. Many runners start out too fast and cannot sustain their pace. We’ve all done it before.

By running a steady, sustainable pace, I knew I could outlast these runners. As we ran down Main Street I slowly began to real them in. Over the summer I learned to stay patient, maintain my pace and savor the subtle closure of distance.

It doesn’t show well on the map, but before the intersection of Main and Wyoming Streets there is a small hill. It’s not much of a hill but like Heart Break Hill it is late in the race. The Main Street hill is just enough to let you know you have quads.

By Lynde Street, across from Dunkin Donuts, I got back on the side-walk. Main Street was getting busy. In front of Marathon Sports we took a right onto Grove Street. I looked at my watch and it read 2.7 miles or so. We had almost half a mile to go.

My legs and lungs were burning by now. We were close to the finish and despite the burn, I decided to kick it in. I passed a few people before our left onto Dell Ave and kept on pushing. I could see the turn onto Foster and knew I was running out of time and distance. I passed a few people on Dell Ave and at least one guy passed me.

When my watch chimed for mile three, I could see the clock down East Foster Street and it said 22 minutes and change! I could finish under 23 minutes if I kept this up just a little bit longer.

With about 200 feet to the finish I maintained my kick and passed two more people.

My official time was 22:52 which was good enough for 41st over all and second place in the Male 50-59 group.

My kick for the last 0.07 miles was a 6:13 pace which is just crazy fast for me. My overall pace was 7:22 which is more than I deserve on my training program.

Spooky Sprint 5K Results

spooky sprint 5k, my first 5k medal, #first5kThe top male finisher was Sean Kay, age 13, with a time of 17:36! Equally amazing was 8 year-old Caleb Barnes finishing in 16th place with a time of 19:19!

The top female finisher was Michelle Kurkul, 29 of Lynn, at 20:25. Alexandra Kay was the top teen female finisher at 20:23. The Kay family had three finishers in the top thee of their age group including Aidan Kay who placed second in his age group with a time of 18:27.

The kids put up some great finish times, many of which were better than the adult finish times.

The oldest woman to finish was Ann Kashatus at age 69 with a finish time of 52:41. The oldest man to finish was Joe Larcamo age 76 with a finish time of 55:01.

See Coolrunning for complete Spooky Sprint 5K results.

Well run my friends!


© 2015 andrew nagelin

Medal Framing

Have a great medal that you want to frame?

Bring your favorite medal to the Melrose YMCA Friday from 2 to 7pm at the number pickup or Saturday morning before the Melrose Spooky Sprint 5K.

I will frame your running medal for $29.95 and donate $5.00 for each frame to the Melrose YMCA.

I can frame your medal while you wait*, or you can pick it up Saturday at the race.

I will also be selling My First 5K medals Friday night and Saturday morning before the race. If you are running with your kids they will be thrilled to get a medal and be part of the awards ceremony after the race!

All proceeds from the sales of My First 5K medals go to support programs at the Melrose YMCA.

medal display,frames,frame, #first5k

1st 5k medal, First 5k medalYour kids will love this medal. This is a high quality medal minted by one of America’s leading medal companies. This is not a trinket, it’s a real medal that you and your kids will be proud of for years.

Who knows, it may inspire them to go trick-or-treating as a runner with their medal around their neck!

Help fund programs at the Melrose YMCA and help inspire the next generation to get out there and run! Be a true hero!

* medals will be framed while you wait if time permits.