Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5K

The Inaugural Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5K was a fun, family oriented race. With plenty of pizza and a few cold beers, even us old guys had a good time!

This is a new race for Medford, which is a great thing.

The Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5K took place behind the McGlynn School in Medford and ran the trail along the Mystic River.

We’ve been waiting for summer to arrive and it finally did on June 8th. It was probably only in the low 70s but the sun made it feel much warmer.

Kids Fun Run

I always enjoy seeing the little kids do their fun run. Some kids are so young they still bounce up and down when they run. Their brains are not yet wired to make their bodies run smoothly.

The kids started at the start line for the 5K, did a loop behind the school and came down the path to cross the finish line. Some were running while others looked like they weren’t quite sure what was going on.

It was of course, totally cute.

The mayor was there and they all got a finisher’s medal.

Later they had a costume contest since this was a “Super Hero 5K.”

I don’t know who most of the super heroes are these days and I heard all kinds of names that I was unfamiliar with.

The race director, Kelly Catallo seemed to know what each costume was.

I think all of the kids were in costume and many adults were as well.

I was dressed as a middle-aged runner. In some books that is a super hero costume!

Running the Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5K

There was a pretty good turn out for this race. The official finisher’s count was 138 runners.

Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5K Start 2019I lined up about 10 feet from the start line. I had no intentions are pushing it. As I stood there I saw a few kids lining up near the front and I tried to just let it go.

If I hung back a bit for the first quarter mile there would be plenty of room to pass them without getting hung up.

Then I saw a guy with a stroller making his way from the front into the crowd. At first I thought he was lining up in the front which would have been crazy. But he made his way to the back.

At 9AM Kelly gave us the go and we were off.

The first part of the course was the path along the river which was shaded. As we approached the Mystic Valley Parkway the trees gave way to grass and pavement.

I always feel odd running this route as it seems we will have to cross the parkway. But, there is a wooden walkway under the bridge and we totally avoid the Parkway.

As we ran under the bridge I admired the graffiti. The texture on the concrete gave a nice effect to the art work. I didn’t see any trophies though!

As we exited the bridge walkway we were in the Mystic River State Reservation and in about a half mile. The crowd had thinned a lot by now and I found my self passing my friend Mark Rosenblum who is a much better runner than I.

Mark is coming back from an injury but he has still finished ahead of me at several other races. I told him he would probably be passing me in the last mile.

As we wound through the park I admired all of the work the DCR has done over the past year to upgrade the park. It looks like they used granite instead of concrete in some places and there may even be a boat or canoe launch area.

The landscaping looked well planned to avoid erosion and mitigate flooding.

When we got to The Fellsway bridge over The Mystic they had an officer blocking a lane on the bridge for us. I stayed on the sidewalk and only had two people to pass on the bridge.

Then we turned right onto Shore Drive and had our water stop in the DCR boat house park. I managed to get one swallow of water and inhaled half of another gulp.

We took the Rt. 16 bridge back over The Mystic and back into the reservation for a quick loop to the wooden walkway under the bridge.

Super Hero 5K Finish

It was warm in the sun and I was glad I took that cup of water. Soon after the bridge we hit mile three in Riverbend Park behind Hormel Stadium. All of my miles were around 7:45 and I didn’t feel like I had a kick.

As we approached the finish line a guy behind me kicked it in and passed me. I couldn’t tell if he was in my age group or not. The race had 10-year age groups which can make it tough when you’re in the middle.

I finished strong and managed a 24:01 finish time. Nothing crazy, but I’ll take it! My friend Mark Rosenblum finished just behind me at 24:25 and was the male 60-69 Age Group winner! I was 21st overall and Mark was 22nd.

My other running buddy, Jim Gallant, came in 3rd in the male 60-69 AG and 40th overall.

My time was good enough for a 2nd place AG finish. The race awarded medals for the top three male and female runners and AG 1st place runners. I don’t think anyone was disappointed.

RACE RESULTS

We all enjoyed Sicilian pizza and Naked Ox ale which is brewed in Dorchester. There was plenty of pizza for everyone. The beer could have been colder, but it was pretty good.

We all got a chuckle that we were drinking beer on school grounds! And the mayor and at least one city councilor was there! There weren’t any issues, but 40 years ago all of us would have been busted for doing the same!

138 runners is a good turn out for a first year running. This race is VERY family oriented and the kids had fun in their super hero costumes.

If you live in the area be sure to look for this race next June in Medford!

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Running of the Leprechauns 6

2019 was a challenging year for the Running of the Leprechauns.

The race was originally scheduled for Saturday at the Malden Irish American Club. From what I have heard there was an issue with the permit so the race had to move.

This may have been due to the Malden Half Marathon and 5 Miler that took place the week before. That race had it’s own permitting issues and the half marathon ended up being 5 2.5 mile loops plus a bit more. I liked that format but many did not.

I think that towns are finding that they can only inconvenience their citizens so many times before the phone at city hall starts ringing. I can’t imagine any mayor would not want to encourage healthy activities like road races. Not only do they reflect positively on the community but an influx of runners brings patrons to local businesses.

I saw Medford’s mayor at The Running of The Leprechauns, so I am assuming the race had her support.

I say Malden’s loss is Medford’s gain!

Running of the Leprechauns 6

The race was about 1.75 miles from my house so I ran over with fellow MRC member Marty Hergert. We were using it as our pre-race warm up.

When we got to The American Legion Hall there was a line out the door for bib pickup. I should have picked up on Saturday! After my run across town I was a bit sweaty and the cold began to sink in.

When I got to the table Kelly Catallo checked me in. She looked a little  frazzled and said she hate’s it when she’s behind schedule. I didn’t ask what was going on, but I’m guessing they got into the hall late? The hall was all set up and the food was out, so I’m not 100% sure what happened.

She must have a great group of volunteers, because everything else was ready to go.

After I got my bib I wandered around inside the hall and saw Mike and Judy Dolan and a few other people from the club. I saw they had pictures of water on the bar so I headed over to get some pre-raced hydration.

Around 8:00 the hall was still packed with runners and no one knew when the race would start. Kelly came in and apologized for being behind schedule and asked us to start heading outside for the kid’s run.

Kelly had the crowd yell out the “Ready, Set Go!” for the kids.

I was close enough to see about 10 kids of various ages take off. Most toddled along or went a few feet and looked for Mom to pick them up. It was still cute as hell! Kids are still figuring out how to move their bodies so they always look so awkward running, and damned cute too!

After a few minutes they were ready for us to line up.

I made my way through the crowd and a few people with strollers who should have been looking to line up in the back. Why people don’t line up like they should is beyond me.

At 8:15 we got the command to Go!

I was near the front and did my best to keep up with the lead pack. It was a small pack of about 25 people and I knew some of them had gone out too fast. I also knew that there were people behind me who were much younger and in much better shape who would be blowing past me shortly.

By the time we got to Lawrence Road the lead pack had spaced out and a few people passed me. As we headed up our first hill I kicked it into hill gear and kept up with the younger runners I was with.

By the time we passed the driveway for Medford High it was beginning to feel like a race. I felt appropriately dressed for once. It was a little cool, I was sweating a bit and it was about right. My winter running hat also felt like the right choice. Sometimes I get lucky!

I ran mile one at 7:57. Not blazing fast but we did cover 46 feet of elevation gain. I felt okay and told my self that the initial shot of energy was spent and now the real running would begin.

The Long Turn Around

I’ve run this course probably ten times. The Granara-Skerry 5K and Medford Jingle Bell Run 5K have used this USATF certified course. Granara-Skerry used this route for about ten years and paid for the USATF Certification.

I’ve seen the map and know where the turn around is supposed to be. As an out and back course, the turn around point is pretty simple. The map even gives the address of the house the turn around should take place in front of.

Usually the course is close enough. But I ran The Medford Jingle Bell Run at around 2.9 miles once and we ran The Running of The Leprechauns 6 at 3.31 miles.

As we approached the turn around I knew it was too far. Usually I see the lead pack heading back before I am able to see the turn around point, and I wasn’t running an aggressive race. I didn’t even need to look at my watch to know the turn was too far out.

They had placed the cone at the end of the yellow median stripe which was almost in the traffic circle in Winchester.  It really bothered me that a cop could not look at a map and find an address. They look for addresses every day don’t they?

Above all else runners want an accurate course and correct timing. Shirts and medals are way down the list, below correct race information, food and water.

But it was what it was.

We were running down hill to the turn and we would be running uphill after the turn. My legs still had enough juice that I knew I could push up the hill and make some time.

I hit mile two at 7:48 while still running up the hill. Mile one was 7:57 so I was warmed up and ready to tackle mile three.

For the first quarter mile or so after the turn we could see everyone still heading out. My glasses were dark and the sun was causing a lot of glare so I couldn’t see people very well. I heard Judy Dolan call my name but I only recognized her by her voice. Someone else called my name but I had no idea who they were!

I also saw Mike Dolan and Sam Bookman.

Running of The Leprechauns 6, Marty HergertAs we approached 2.5 miles I recognized Marty Hergert’s shirt and realized I was gaining on him. He was about 20 meters in front of me and I wasn’t sure I could continue to close the gap.

How did I miss those socks?

As I caught up to him he said. “You’re going to pass me again” and I didn’t even see him look over his shoulder at me! I did pass him for a bit and then he passed me.

We hit mile three about a third of a mile before the finish line. Way too far out.

Marty and I were running side by side for the most part. I told him to go for it and he took off with little apparent effort. He finished a few meters in front of me.

As I approached the finish line 25 was already on the clock. I knew the course was long but all of my miles had been under 8 minutes, so I should have had a shot at a 24 minute race.

Apre Running of The Leprechauns 6

After I got a water and my finisher’s medal I wandered around the finisher’s area to catch my breath and watch runners come in.

As I walked around a guy said, “How was your race?” Pretty standard thing to say after a race. Then he said “my name is Dave, not sure if you remember me.” I was clueless!

Then he told me that he was the guy who helped me after I fell during the Friends of The Fells 10K trail race in 2017! I was floored. He must have recognized the club singlet or something. We chatted for a bit and headed inside along with Marty to get warm and some food.

I’m horrible with names and this guy remembered me from almost two years ago.

Melrose Running Club, Running of The Leprechauns 6The hall wasn’t too busy yet. The ladies claimed a table before the race so I left my gloves on the table and headed for the coffee.

They had nice 16oz cups and a half gallon of cream. Perfect. They also had donuts and a hot breakfast for us! You can’t beat that on a cold day.

I went down the line and they gave me more food than I needed, but I did manage to clear my plate!

Later at the table someone said they had run out of cream! They went through a half gallon in less than 45 minutes! Wow.

We had a good time talking and sharing stories about the race and our next adventures.

Marty had to get home and his car was parked at my house. He was pretty sure he knew the way back but I finished up my conversation with Mike Dolan and we headed back to my house.

When I turned my watch back on for the run home, somehow it just added the miles to my race.

As we headed down Winthrop Street our legs were a little tight at first, but we loosened up and did okay.

In spite of the issues Kelly had to work through, she made it and we all had a good race.

Here’s looking to next year’s race!

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Medford 5K Race Directory 2020

Medford is a great location for 5K races. Just north of Boston and right off of Rt 93, The Orange Line or Rt. 28 out of Somerville and Cambridge.

With trails in the Middlesex Fells and in the Mystic River Reservation along the Mystic River, organizers have great course options to choose from.

The course along The Mystic is USATF Certified and so is the course on Winthrop Street starting at The American Legion Hall.

Medford has been rough for race directors and a few races have disappeared recently. I am hoping to see some new races on the schedule and will be happy to do all I can to promote them. 

Many Medford 5K races have been cancelled or gone virtual due to COVID-19. This directory needs to be updated to reflect this. Please check race web sites for current information.

Please let me know of if you are organizing a race. I am constantly searching for races and would be happy to add yours.

Medford 5K Races 2019

Running Of The Leprechauns

15 March 2020  8AM – Sunday – Cancelled due to COVID-19

5k race, medford 5k races2020 was be the 7th year for this popular Medford 5K race. 

The Running of The Leprechauns has moved back to the American Legion Hall on Winthrop Street in Medford.

This Medford 5K race has raised over $90,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital.  Teams are encouraged and the largest team gets to designate where 1/3 of the race proceeds are directed at Boston Children’s Hospital.

538 runners finished this race in 2018. Full Results

Tufts University Graduate Student Council 5K

27 April 2019 9AM

Tufts GSK 5K, Tufts UniversityEach year the Tufts University Graduate Student Council 5K Run/Walk becomes more and more popular. 

Registration is only $20, so you can’t beat the price. 

All proceeds benefit Medford, Somerville and Dorchester organizations. The event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Council of Tufts University as part of their effort to support the local community. 

This race starts at Eaton Hall and takes place entirely on the Tufts University campus. This helps keep expenses down and provides a challenging course for runners.

Kiwanis SUPER HERO 5K

8 June 2019 9:00 AM – Saturday

Medford 5K race, Medford Kiwanis Super Hero 5KThe Kiwanis SUPER HERO 5K is a new race for Medford in 2019. 

The race takes place at Mystic River Bend Park behind McGlynn Elementary School. For your map app use: 3002 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford, MA 02155 

The race route laps the Mystic River and is almost entirely on sidewalk or paths. This makes it a great race to bring the kids to.

Registration was $22.34 for 18+ and $17.02 for youth  6 -17 

MILES FOR MIGRAINES 5K and 10K

July TBD 2020 9AM

Mystic River State Reservation, Mystic Valley Pkwy

EVENT RESULTS 2019

Fit and Fun 5K

August TBD 2020

DCR Torbert MacDoanld Park • 4236 Mystic Valley Pkwy (near State Police Building) Medford, MA 02151

Come join TeamBlood Inc. and Quietman Sports for our third annual Fit and Fun 5K. Take a scenic 3.1-mile walk or run through DCR Torbert Macdonald Park.

100 percent of proceeds from this event will benefit our youth development program which providers boxing conditioning, training, sports equipment and mentoring to at-risk youth in the greater Boston area.

Participants will receive an event t-shirt if they register By July 14.
Event details and schedule
Start time is 9am for walk

9:45 for run

Prize categories for runners only: under 18, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65 and over. First place runners will receive a trophy and second place will receive a medal.

OktoberFells Trail Races

27 October 2019  11:00 AM

Medford High School

The 5K and 10K set of races takes place in the Lawrence Woods. Starting behind Medford High School the 5K and 10K wind through the trails and fire roads. The 10K is a bit more technical with some ledge running involved!

Food was provided by Redbones and beer garden by Medford Brewing Company.

Medford Jingle Bell Run

24 November 2019 11:00 AM – Sunday

The Medford Jingle Bell run is sponsored by Lonergan Insurance and Real Estate who cover the entire operating cost of the race. This allows every dollar from fundraising to go to the students of the Medford Schools.

Each school in Medford that participates receives race proceeds in proportion to their contribution to the race.

Some high school clubs raise as much in this one event as they would in several fundraising events. And many hands make for lighter work.

This is an innovative concept in fundraising. It allows each elementary, middle school PTO and High School teams and clubs in town to have a significant fundraiser and not have to deal with all of the logistics. 

What better way to kick of the Holiday Season than a festive 5K the Sunday before Thanksgiving?

Bring the kids and make it a family run, a family tradition. Many Medford 5K races allow children to run with their parents. Some also feature shorter races just for the kids so they can have some fun and catch the running bug!

Registration fee was $10 for kids under age 11; $15 for kids 11-18; and $25 for adults in advance or $30 day of race.

The race begins and finishes at the Krystle M. Campbell Peace Garden.

Run Well My Friends!

Andy

Running Medford Jingle Bell Run 2016

On Saturday November 26th, 603 runners and walkers completed the Medford Jingle Bell Run. This year the race was based at The American Legion Hall on Winthrop Street. The three previous races took place at Medford City Hall with post race activities taking place outside.

With a warm hall to gather in, runners enjoyed sandwiches, pizza, chips and fruit. A large crowd stayed for the awards ceremony, the raffles and to enjoy time with family and friends.

Running the Medford Jingle Bell Run

Medford Jingle Bell Run 5kI have participated in this race since it began in 2013. I live in Medford and the race was close to my house.

In 2014, I became a sponsor of the race through the My First 5K medal and did not run. This year and last year I sponsored and ran the race.

It is beginning to feel like Fall in Medford and we have had some light rain in recent days. There was some concern about weather on race day, but we were fortunate and had near perfect conditions.

603 runners and walkers is yet another record turn out for the Medford Jingle Bell Run.

As a sponsor, I was busy up to the last minute selling My First 5K medals to runners and their parents. Many people purchased medals with their registration but we more than doubled sales during Friday night pickup and on race day. So, I was busy.

Race time was 8:30. Around 8:12 Jay Lonergan asked if we should shut things down and get everyone outside. He said the timing company wanted everyone out side by 8:15. I suggested he make an announcement at 8:15 for everyone to head to the start.

Jay made the announcement and I started to pack up. While I was taking off my sweats and putting my shoes back on, a few more folks asked for medals.

I quickly took down their information and gave them their bib stickers. One of the high school student volunteers helped me take my gear to my car. As soon as I cleared my gear, other volunteers layed out trays of sandwiches. It was like clock work.

medford jingle bell run 5K, my first 5k medalAfter my gear was stowed, I headed down the driveway to the start. It was packed and everyone was talking loudly.

The Medford Jingle Bell Run used chip timing, like always, so I wasn’t worried about lining up in back. I even considered waiting until everyone had taken off before starting. With chip timing they use your net time to calculate your finish place.

I saw my running buddy Jim Gallant but could not get his attention. A few minutes later, I realized we were in the middle of The National Anthem. I never heard a word. I started my watch and waited for the start.

Somebody said something and the crowd surged ahead a few feet and stopped. It was just the call to the line. A few minutes later we were off. I had managed to get about 100 people from the front, so I was quickly across the start.

And They’re Off!

I didn’t hear the start so much as experience the wave of humanity surging forward. We jogged slowly over the timing mats and for the first 100 yards or so. We were packed in and no one could really move.

As we hit the first rise just after Lawrence Road I started to move through the crowd. This took a bit of weaving and timing to get around and between people. I could see that the lead group was already way ahead of us.

As we continued out Winthrop Street I began to hit my stride.  I glanced at my watch and my average pace was 7:44. At the first mile my time and pace were 7:50. Pretty good for not being in great shape and starting back in the pack.

After the first mile I began to pass more people. I was pushing as hard as I could and reaching my limits.

Relying on experience I ran a steady pace and kept picking off runners. I could hear people breathing hard and rapidly. When I focused on my own breathing it almost seemed like I wasn’t breathing.

I was taking nice deep breathes and my breathing was probably around 98% of capacity. It didn’t make sense to push beyond that. The lead group was way out front and I was doing pretty good.

Around The Rotary

At the water stop I grabbed a drink. Someone donated a few cases of 250ml bottles to the race and that is what they gave us. I prefer a paper cup, but the bottle worked. I took two big gulps and sheepishly tossed the bottle in the road.

As we approached Winchester I began to look for the turn. At previous races on this course we usually turned a few hundred yards before the Main Street rotary in Winchester.

Approaching the turn, I knew that getting the water was a good idea. I felt strong and ready to tackle the uphill as we left Winchester. As the runners came around the rotary and headed back I counted them. There were 38 runners ahead of me.

I knew there were plenty of young runners behind me who could whip past me at any time. As we made the slight ascent, I kept pushing and picked off a few guys. Then a young lady passed me, and she looked strong.

We hit mile 2 just after Highland Ave and my watch said 8:01 for that mile, but my pace was still 7:50. I was still in a good position to do a 24 minute 5K.

Most of the next mile was flat. After Lawrence Road we had a nice descent and I picked up some speed. I had managed to pick off one more runner in the third mile but everyone else was holding pretty steady.

As we approached the finish line I could feel the rise in the road in my legs. I could hear one or two runners close behind me. I picked up my pace and held one off until the last 100 yards and then another got me right at the finish line. I was old enough to be either one’s father so it didn’t really bother me. It’s kind of what I expected to happen.

My official time was 26:03, but the course was 3.36 miles. Doing a little calculating I figure I was just over 24 minutes for a 3.1 mile distance.

RACE RESULTS

Apre Race

After I caught my breathe, I congratulated a father who ran with his young son. We battled it out for the first mile and a half or so. Eventually I pulled ahead, but they finished close behind me. The boy had to be younger than 10 and I was impressed that the boy had the determination to do it and that his father was able to keep him going. I never heard a word of complaint, from either of them!

I didn’t spend much time at the finish line. I had to get back to my car and get everyone’s medals ready. When someone purchased a medal I placed a medal into the awards bag. Things got so busy, I was concerned I may have lost count.

I carefully reviewed my list and counted the medals in the bag. The count was 37! 60% more than 2015! Wow.

At most races I do, people want to buy medals after the race. They may have forgotten or thought they got one automatically by registering. Some people buy them after they them, or their kids see them.

I had carefully ironed the ribbons of additional medals the night before, so I was prepared. I had 40 medals ready to go and draped a few un-ironed medals around my neck.

Awards Time!

Jay and Judy Lonergan were doing the awards with plenty of assistance. It seemed like a lot of the runners were not there. Eventually they had a crew of kids with medals standing around waiting for people to take their pictures.

As I stood to the side and watched their faces I wondered if the next Shalane Flanagan or Ryan Hall was standing there. I wondered if doing well in this race meant anything to them or if it was just another event over the holiday weekend.

Each of them received a medal for running a top three time in their age group. That is significant. I imagine that there were other young runners who wanted one of those medals but were not able to make it.

Then it was my turn at the microphone. I wasn’t familiar with the equipment nor certain that anyone could hear me.

My First 5K, running medal, omni runningIt was a little bit chaotic as I called out names, put medals over necks that held smiling faces and kept track of who actually showed up to get their medal. I know I missed a few people.

I sold a bunch of medals at the podium and while waiting to call the kids up. I’m I sure I missed a few people.

The highlight of my time doing all of this was making the award of that medal feel like a special time for that young person.

It wasn’t close to an Olympic medals ceremony, but I tried to make the moment special. I was stuck behind the podium and the room was loud, so it was a challenge.

Many times, after I put the medal around their neck, they would hold it in their hand and look at it. I saw some smiles and that look of pride in their eyes.

That is what this is all about.

All totaled, 43 young runners received a My First 5K medal. A more than 100% increase over last year. I hope they will all join us next year and run the 5th Annual Medford Jingle Bell Run!

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Medford Jingle Bell Run 2016

Medford Jingle Bell Run and Walk

Come join the 4th Annual Medford Jingle Bell Run 5K.

Thanksgiving weekend is a wonderful time for families to get together and have some fun. After your Thanksgiving feast, come out and enjoy the fresh air with family and friends!

Medford Jingle Bell Run 5kAll proceeds from the Medford Jingle Bell 5K benefit Medford schools. The PTOs from each school in town are participating and each school will receive a portion of the proceeds to fund student activities.

The race is a great way to kick off your holiday season and help support programs in the Medford schools.

You can run or walk the 5K. Strollers are welcomed also, but the race organizers ask that you line up near the back of the runners.

On-line registration closed last night. But you can still register tonight from 6-7pm (Nov. 25th) at The American Legion Hall at 321 Winthrop Street in Medford, or tomorrow morning starting at 8:30.

 

Registration fees are:

  • $10 for kids under age 11
  • $15 for kids 11-18
  • $25 for adults in advance or $30 day of race

Race Day registration and number pick-up begins at 8:30 a.m. at The American Legion Hall at 321 Winthrop Street in Medford.

Free t-shirts will be given to all who registered online by November 11th.

The race is sponsored by Lonergan Insurance and Real Estate and Members Plus Credit Union.

My First 5K, running medal, omni runningIs this your First 5K? Are you running with someone who is running their First 5K Race?

If you answered yes then treat yourself or your runner to a “My First 5K medal”

This marathon quality medal is $9.95 and all proceeds benefit the schools of Medford.

Never forget your First 5K!

 

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!

Andy