Granara Skerry 5K Finale

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.

running,5k race

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.

Granara skerry 5KOn 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

granara skerry 5K 2016The 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.

Elements Massage

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.

elements massage medfordIt 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!


Granara Skerry 5K 2015

Granara-Skerry Trust has raised over $840,000 for pancreatic cancer research at Mass General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. Now in its 9th year the race and walk continue to grow.

This year 260 runners and close to 1,000 walkers participated in this important fund-raiser and community event. The race and walk attract many runners from Medford and surrounding communities.

The Overall Top Male Winner, Brian Klein of Cambridge, finished the race in 16:45 and our Overall Top Female Winner,Beverly Antunes of Somerville, finished the race in 17:39! Beverly was the second runner to finish. Biliana Mihaylova of Medford was the 2nd place woman and 3rd overall finisher of the race at 18:31. A strong showing by the ladies.

I carried the day for the Male 50+ category finishing at 22:22 and 30th overall. After last week’s poor performance in Cambridge, I was shocked when my friend and fellow age-group winner Liz Emerald told my I won my age group.

Granara Skerry 5K Race

This is the 4th time I’ve run this race and the 5th time I’ve signed up for it. Two years ago I forgot it was on a Saturday and by the time I realized I had my days mixed up, the race had already started. This year I got mixed up again and thought the race was on Sunday. So many races are on Sundays.

Thinking that the race was on Sunday, I went to the gym on Friday. I didn’t do a lot of leg work, but I did do 5 sets of squats, three sets with a 45lb plate. Friday wasn’t a leg day, so I skipped most of the other leg routines I normally do on a leg blow-out day. Good thing!

When I got home Friday night I double checked the race details. Made sure I had the correct time and checked the parking details. Then I noticed the race was on Saturday! Oops!

I was able to park on High Street, less than half a mile to the race. Lucky for me, no parking meters that far up the street! I walked up to the American Legion Hall and went in to get my number.

I gave the ladies my name, they found me on the list and then took out a bib and wrote my name on it. Then they wrote my bib number down on their sheet. I’d never seen that before. I walked around a bit and headed back to my car.

About 45 minutes before the race I went back up to the Hall to use the facilities and get ready. As I walked in a lady looked at my bib and told me I had to go and get a new bib. I was a little confused.

It turned out that the timing company mailed the bibs to the Post Office and no one knew they were there. When I picked up my bib, early of course, they were using generic bibs. I could tell some sort of chaos was going on, but the ladies at the number pick were very cool about the whole thing. A feeling of chaos at a race is not uncommon.

I got my correct bib, went out side and pinned it on. They had three porta-potties out back for the guys, in addition to a bathroom in the basement of the Legion Hall. This was a big improvement over previous years.

I went back inside and got a hot Starbucks and had a few mini-muffins. Just perfect. Outside I met my friend José and his wife and her friend. They ran last year also. We took some photos, talked and then went back inside. I got more coffee, finished that and headed for the facilities again.

I knew my legs were weak from Friday’s workout, but my pre-race prep was spot-on.

Granara Skerry, Jose Margarita Around 10AM José and I headed to a spot near the front. We saw a lot of kids and people wearing the cotton race t-shirt. From past races we knew that the kids would bolt out of the start and fade quickly. We also knew that anyone wearing a cotton t-shirt had probably never run a 5K before.

We also spotted the man and woman we thought would win the race. They were young, in shape and looked like they knew what they were doing.

The guy trying to organize the start didn’t have a microphone, but tried to tell people to self seed. This worked about as well as it usually does. Many cotton t-shirts were still in front.

About 10:05 the fire engine about 6 feet from us blasted its horn to start the race.

Granara Skerry, Medford 5kI took off running hard. By the time we got to the ladder truck with the American flag the lead group had formed, and I was one of them. The hill approaching the high school driveway was our first test. I really thought my quads would start screaming by this point, but it was smooth sailing.

The road was flat as we passed Oak Grove Cemetery. As we approached Winchester the road rose again and I passed a few folks who sounded winded. As we approached the turn in Winchester I counted the runners heading back, to see how many people were in front of me. There were about 30 runners.

I pushed hard on the two hills on the way out, and knew I had two down hills to run on the way back. The hills were not steep, but I had to use what I had available to my advantage. A young guy passed me and then I passed him on the first down hill.

There seemed to be 1,000 runners and walkers heading in the other direction. The cops motioned for us to run near the center line to allow for some traffic to pass. The masses filled the left lane and I had to crowd them to cut the curves efficiently. They seemed oblivious to the fact that runners were blowing past them and a collision would not be pretty.

As we approached the High School the last down hill was coming up. We passed an un-manned water stop but I didn’t really need it. There were two runners in front of me and that young guy on my tail. My legs felt pretty good and I knew I had a kick for the end.

I could tell I was gaining on the two runners in front of me and knew I was grinding up the young guy behind me.

As the street rose a bit, 200 yards before the finish, I passed the two people in front of me. I couldn’t hear the guy behind me anymore. About 50 yards before the finish someone flew by me. That was one impressive kick!

As I approached the finish I saw 21 on the clock! I was shocked. My legs held out and i was running strong with the clock in sight! The clock turned to 22 and I still had a way to go. I tossed in everything I had left and pushed for the finish.I saw 22:20 as I passed the clock, my official time was 22:22.

A little redemption

Granara Skerry, Medford 5kAfter my race in Cambridge last week I felt a little down. I actually had expectations for that race and had no business at all seeking any type of goal there. I just haven’t put in the work.

I did find out that they used gun time and not net time for the Cambridge Fall Classic 5K race. I started a ways back from the front and that probably cost me 30 seconds. Knowing how they timed the race made me feel a little better.

Crossing the finish at the Granara Skerry 5K at 22:22 really helped ease the pain. It wasn’t a course PR or anything. But for a guy running on gym legs and being able to give some younger runners a good run, I felt pretty good.

I didn’t expect to be able to run that hard. Beating my own expectations was the best reward for a race well run.

Full results HERE.

Run well my friends


© 2015 andrew nagelin

Granara-Skerry 5K

Granara-Skerry 5K Run/Walk

The 8th annual Granara-Skerry 5K was run on Saturday, September 27th in Medford, MA.

It was rumored that 900 people were pre-registered and that another hundred or so signed up just before the race. This was the largest group of runners and walkers ever for this race.

The race is an out and back from the American Legion Hall on Winthrop Street in Medford. The turn around is on Main Street in Winchester.

granara-skerry 5k,runnersI have run this race a few times before and it has always been a few hundred walkers and runners. I was skeptical that 900+ people were walking or running. When I made the turn and headed back I saw all of those people. There may have been 900 people participating.

Out of 400 finishers, I came in 29th and 3rd in my age group. My official time was 21:33 with a pace of 6:57. This is almost exactly what Garmin had, 21:32/6:59 with a distance of 3.09. I’d call that an accurate timing.

This won’t count as a PR because I ran the Beyond the Rainbow 5K in 21:11 official time and 21:14 Garmin. The problem is that Garmin has the distance at 2.92 miles, not 3.1 like it should be. In my mind this does not count as a PR.

Awards were given to the top three over all male and female finishers. I believe that awards were also given to age group winners. Finishers medals were not provided to any other runners.

Granara-Skerry Race Results

You can see how everyone did here. There were 50 runners in the 1-19 age brackets, and about half were 12 or younger. The oldest finisher was Robert Regan of Lynn who finished at a very respectable 29:03.


MGH,cancer research,granara-skerry 5kThe Granara-Skerry Trust has a goal to raise $1,000,000 for Pancreatic Cancer research. Prior to this race they had raised $760,000. This race should get them over $800K. Very impressive. A lot of the money goes to MGH in Boston where important research is being conducted.

My personal goal was to run the best race I could, and I think I did. I had to save something for my 22 mile long run on Sunday. There were moments during the race when I questioned my pace. During the Sunday Long Run there were moments when I questioned running the 5K.

This is the second race in my #505Ksat50 challenge. The 22 miler on Sunday was hot and challenging. I think I like 5Ks more!

Run well my friends!


8th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Walk/Run

The 8th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Walk/Run

Saturday, September 27th in Medford, Massachusetts.

runners, spectators,5k
They’re coming!

This is a nice flat course where you can set a 5K PR. There are usually 200-300 walkers and runners each year, so it is not a crowded race. Proceeds support pancreatic cancer research and since 2006 they have raised $671,040!This is a nice local race (Medford, MA) for anyone who would like to try running or walking their first 5K.

The race begins at 10AM, and is an out and back loop from the:

American Legion Hall – 321 Winthrop Street – Medford, MA

For more information, registration and to create your personal fundraising page, go to Race Information.

Adult registration is $26, Children 6-11 $11.00, Under 5 is FREE!

Run well my friends, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

©2014 anagelin

6th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Walk/Run

The 6th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Race is next weekend

This 5K will be held Saturday September 29th, 2012 in Medford, MA.

running,5k race,granara-skerry

This is a nice flat course where I ran my 5K PR last year. There were probably 200-300 walkers and runners last year, so it probably will not be a crowded race. Proceeds support pancreatic cancer research. This is a nice local race (Medford, MA) for anyone who would like to try running or walking their first 5K.

The race begins at 10AM, and is an out and back loop from the:

American Legion Hall – 321 Winthrop Street – Medford, MA

Here is the link for more information and registration.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

©2012 anagelin