10th Annual Granara Skerry 5K
2016 marks the final running of this Medford road race. I started running this race six years ago and managed to show up for the race five times.
The Granara Skerry Trust and the families involved have put a lot of time and effort into growing this race into the great success that it became. Their goal was to raise $1,000,000 to support families facing pancreatic cancer, support research to find a cure and develop early detection of pancreatic cancer, and to raise awareness.
This year they achieved their One-Million Dollar goal and decided to end on a high note.
Granara Skerry 5K Races
Somehow the weather gods always smiled favorably on this 5K race. In the five times that I ran, it never rained and the temperature was always 60-70°. A little warm for runners, but still comfortable.
On several occasions researchers from Mass General in Boston spoke about the research that they were doing. They spoke of their successes and the long road that lies ahead to find a cure. Without the support of groups like The Granara Skerry Trust, some of this research and progress would not have been possible.
Two years ago they had close to 1,100 runners and walkers for the race. I remember that year, the place was packed. I was talking to one of the race directors after the race and he said they were worried they would have to move. They just couldn’t accommodate more people.
They backed off on promoting the race a bit and the numbers did decline. This year they had 282 runners and possibly 500 walkers. The Race Director said they had over 900 combined this year.
While speaking with two of the organizers they did seem relieved to be concluding their efforts. It was bitter sweet, but they were weary of the effort.
Granara Skerry 5K 2016
The only person at the race that I knew was Jim Gallant. We see each other at races all the time. We hung out before and after the race and had fun swapping stories.
Out of 282 runners I came in 47th over all and 4th in my age group. My official time was 24:08.5 or a pace of 7:50. I’ve run this race faster but I haven’t really been training for the past six months.
Last year I ran 22:22 and placed 3rd in my age group. This year that time would have won the age group.
Jim was happy with his finishing time and had a good race. We both agreed that the weather was perfect for a 5K.
The winners were Brian Klein of Lexington with a time of 17:08.7 or a pace of 5:32! Lindsay Weigel of Boston was second over all and the first female with a time of 19:48.6 or a pace of 6:23!
The top 16 runners all had a pace under 7:00 per mile. The next 35 runners all ran under 8:00.
The Local Race Scene
As you have seen in my local race directories, there are a lot of races in the Greater Medford Area. On Saturday there were at least two races and Sunday there were also at least two races within five miles of Medford Square.
Runners really have their choice of races this time of year. Next weekend I can run three races if I want to.
The race directors mentioned all of this competition and one of them said that Medford is becoming very popular for races. I was surprised to hear this since Medford only hosts eight and now possibly only six 5K races. Spread over nine months, that does not seem like a lot.
For a race director all of those races compete for local resources. Races in neighboring towns compete with Medford races for runners.
A wide variety of races within a short distance from our homes is great for runners but presents challenges for race organizers.
Before the race I was walking around to see who was there. As I walked by one table someone asked if I wanted a sitting massage. I’ve been to Physical Therapy plenty of times, but I’ve never had a massage.
It was over an hour until the race, so I said “Why not?” I knelled down into this chair and rested my head on a face rest. The massage started out fairly light and proceeded to dig into my tight shoulders and back.
It’s a good thing my face was buried into the head rest because I was making some faces! This guy was hitting some tight knots in my back, neck and shoulders. It was painful at times.
The old adage is, “don’t do anything new before a race.” Here I was having some guy dig into my back and shoulders right before a race. He didn’t spend much time on my legs so I wasn’t too worried.
As many of you probably know, getting a massage is nothing like going to a PT session. PT is more about training you how to take care of yourself between sessions so you can improve and heal.
A massage is more about working on those tight spots and relieving the tension in your muscles. I could never do these things at home with a roller or stretching.
I have to say that I’m intrigued by massage and Elements Massage in Medford.
Have you ever had a massage? Do you get them on a regular basis or only when something hurts?
Run well my friends!