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Road to Boston SLR 5

A great long run on The Road to Boston 2023. The weather was perfect, and I learned a few lessons along the way!

The Road to Boston continues!

I didn’t write about last week’s Sunday Long Run Number 4.

That was a hilly 14.6 mile slog over well trod roads. I climbed the equivalent of 70 flights of stairs or 754 feet and achieved an average pace of 10:11.

We ran the Fells hills in both directions, up Highland Ave and hills on other roads that Jim tossed in just to keep it interesting!

My hamstrings were tired and sore and my quads were maxed. On Tuesday night I cut my club run to 4 miles and my PT had to work on my knee Wednesday night.

Sunday Long Run 5

This is a pre-run group photo that Bobby Taylor posted on FB. I counted 39 people. A few are water stop volunteers, but I’m pretty sure we missed a few.

The weather was as good as it get’s in January for running: above freezing, no rain and no wind. Who could ask for more? How about a great group of people to run with and great support from Bobby and the team of volunteers he pulls together each week? Life is good!

This is Bobby’s photo with his stats, a nice 9:04 pace to run 6.53 miles in under an hour.

Road to Boston SLR 5,January 29, 2023

I knew I wasn’t going to be the fastest so I started first. One of the new runners who I didn’t know soon caught up to me but didn’t respond when I asked him how he was doing.

But I did run the first two miles with Marty Hergert, our club President. We had a good chat about club goings-on and life in general.

Just after mile two we turned onto Main Street in Saugus and our first water stop. This one was mainly for the short runners, but I stopped in for a drink anyway.

My knee was acting up and I was hoping the brief stop would alleviate the pain. It usually does, but this time it just went down a notch and not away.

Main Street Saugus heading out to Wakefield High is deceptively hilly. They are long and not really steep. In a car you would barley notice them as hills.

Just after mile four we reached Wakefield High and the first official water stop for the long-runners. Paul Locke was there and on my return stop Linda Field had joined him.

I had a nice chat at both stops, but my goal was to keep the stops short. I won’t be stopping during the Boston Marathon, hopefully! And your muscles always tightened up when you stop.

Running Breakheart Reservation

Leaving the high school lot we hit our next hill in about 100 yards. It’s not a bad hill, but we had many more in front of us.

I knew that Dorota Bulik was right behind me and expected her to catch me on the hill. But I was all alone most of the way through Breakheart Res.

We always loose count how many hills are in there and we always joke that they added a new one since last time.

Depending on what you call a hill there are four or five hills. Several of them are undisputedly hills. The third or forth hill climbs 80 feet in less than a quarter mile. Yeah, that’s a hill!

On each hill I rose up an ran on my toes at a quicker tempo and shorter gait. It seemed to work as Dorota didn’t catch me until that last hill, and she’s a much better runner than I am.

We both used the facilities at the ranger station and headed out.

Dorota used the flatter terrain on the outbound side to take off. After the water stop at the high school she took a short cut back.

But I did catch up to Joe Winslow before we left the res. and even saw Jeff Rushton at the water stop.

I left the water stop and didn’t see anyone until I got back to the parking lot.

Running it in

The water stop was at about 7.5 miles. It felt great knowing I only had five miles to go and I didn’t feel like I was going to die!

As I ran down Water Street/Route 129 in Wakefield I noticed many new buildings and renovations. It always amazes me how many small businesses there are. And how much construction is going on in every town.

Just after hitting mile 9 I reached Wakefield Center. Traffic was light and very few people were out.

My goal this week was to run a 10 minute average pace. My watch said I was at 10:04 pace as I ran down Main Street in Wakefield.

Everything felt pretty good so I decided to give it a push. Nothing too crazy but mile 10 came it at 9:53 and the last 2.54 miles were all under 9:45.

It was great to see my overall pace tick back to 10 minutes and then tick down to 9:57.

My last 2.54 miles were quicker than my first three miles, which is great.

It’s awesome to get near the end of a run and still have some juice.

Last week I was talking to Bobby Taylor about doing some speed work. I felt I needed some to improve my marathon pace, but was afraid of aggravating something. Over the past two years just about every part of my body has ached at one time or another. I’d rather run Boston slow than not at all!

Bobby suggested doing strides. As he explained them, you basically do your normal run but add speed surges for short distances. He does them near the end of a long run and it really helped him last year.

As I ran through Wakefield towards Melrose I ran four strides using light poles as my begin and finish markers.

I did these when the road was flat. No sense getting too crazy.

What I found interesting was that after I strided for probably 100 to 200 feet, I had to slow myself down. My legs wanted to keep up a faster pace. Not the stride pace but probably 30-45 seconds faster per mile than my goal pace of 10 even.

That was pretty cool.

It was also pretty cool that I didn’t feel like I was going to die or had to stop. And nothing broke! And my breathing hardly changed at all.

It was very encouraging and I will be incorporating this technique into a lot of my runs from now on.

One of the benefits of running alone is that you can do something like that and not kill your running buddy.

It’s hard to have two people feel the energy at the same point in a run. While I hate to slow someone down, I also hate beating the shit out of myself to keep up. Sometimes you have to be big enough of a man to let the other guy go.

Finishing Week Five

I felt pretty good running the last mile heading to the parking lot. This week was a shorter run, but I think it was just as hilly per mile. Fewer miles just meant less elevation.

When I got back to the parking lot I saw Erik Cann. He’s been running with us most weeks and usually I see him off in the distance!

He told me that he wanted to join our club and we talked about the logistics.

After we hung out a bit he headed to Café Nero and I headed to CVS to pick up a few items including something good to drink.

Running Stats

The total distance for me this week was 12.54. Erik had over 11 on his Strava app. We compared maps and we ran the identical route so we were both scratching our heads on that one.

My heart rate peaked at 178 and that was when I was running the first couple of hills in Breakheart. I hit 172 during one stride late in the run and my average was 156 bpm.

Garmin said “this activity had enough intensity to provide a stimulus to increase your maximum aerobic capacity. It increased your high aerobic training load.” It also said my aerobic load was 5.0 on a scale of 0-5.

While it’s good to push it and max out once in a while. The app said 5.0 is “overreaching” and that this can become harmful without enough rest between these types of runs.

Noted!

But my anaerobic level was 2.0 which is at a “maintaining” level. This probably came about during my strides. These higher intensity efforts should only last 10 to 120 seconds. And my strides were probably less than one-minute each.

During my weekly runs I think I’ll start adding longer strides now that I know the parameters.

Overall, it was a great run, I learned a few things and I feel like it was a benefit to my training.

How was your run this week?

Andy

What distance can my child run?

Here are some guidelines and resources to help you decide what distance your child can run safely.

Updated January 28th, 2023

As parents we want to encourage our children to be healthy and active, and we want to make the best decisions for them.

And to make good decisions for our kids, a little advice and some good information can be very helpful.

We often talk to our friends with kids to get this advice and information, but how many parents know how far should a 7 year old run, or how fast can a 4 year old run.

For this article, I gathered tips and advice from the experts to help you make an informed decision about how far your child should be running.

In full disclosure, I am not one of these experts. What I offer here is expert advise from organizations with extensive experience designing running programs for chidren. I hope to make your decisions a little easier to make.

I do encourage you to consult with your pediatrician before you begin doing more than running around the yard.

What distance can your child run safely?

Children are born to run and love it. Just look at kids on a playground or at the park.

However, running for play and running for exercise or to train for a race are completely different.

At play, kids start and stop and make up their own rules as they play. The only goal is to have fun.

When you introduce formal exercise or training for a race, there are goals and a few rules. Your child may feel obligated to follow those rules and reach for those goals before they are ready.

This article can help inform your decisions when you are setting goals and making the rules.

Goals and Rules

When I talk about goals and rules we’re not talking boot camp or anything close to that!

The rules could be, you have to be able to talk while you run, who sets the pace, or that homework needs to be done before the evening run. Things like that.

Goals could be that you will run 2-3 times each week. Time and distance don’t matter. Or a goal could be to run one block or one telephone pole further each week.

You and your child can make the rules and set the goals. The biggest goal and most important rule is that it should be fun.

So how far can your child run?

The two things to keep in mind when considering how far your child can and should run are:

      • Your child’s health and fitness level
      • Your child’s age

Your child’s health and fitness level

While pediatricians disagree on how much children should run, all agree that children need exercise.

Some is better than none but you can have too much of a good thing.

At your child’s next physical let the pediatrician know that your child is interested in running.

This is a good way to start a conversation between your pediatrician and your child.

If there are limits or cautions, your child is more likely to be receptive if the pediatrician makes suggestions. The doctor’s enthusiasm may also help motivate your child and keep them going when running turns into work.

If you do not have an appointment coming up, a quick call is advised.

I suggest involving your pediatrician as a best practice.

Fitness and Activity Levels

Fitness and activity tend to go hand in hand.

Active play and sports help keep children’s cardio-vascular system in good shape. Active kids tend to be fit kids.

If your child comes in the house after playing and they are a hot sweaty mess, it’s safe to say they got some exercise.

For younger children, the vigor of their play time is a good indicator of their fitness.

If your child is older and participates in sports, they probably have a healthy level of activity. Drop by practice some time and ask the coach how they are doing.

Your Child’s Age

If your child is healthy, age is the biggest factor in deciding what distance your child should run.

children running. kids races, what distance can my child run

How far a 12 year old can run and how far a 6 year old can run will be quite different.

Older children are more physically developed, stronger and have better coordination.

Older children also tend to have higher levels of motivation, self control and understand goals.

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the largest running organization in the US and provides educational materials for running clubs who host youth running programs.

Established in 1958, they have extensive experience and expertise.

Their guidelines address appropriate race distances for children starting at Pre-K and give you some guidance on training and encouraging your child.

The RRCA guidelines recommend that children under 5 participate in kid’s fun runs which are usually under 400 yards.

These “races” do not require training and everyone gets a ribbon and lots of encouragement.

They are a great way for your child to try out running and have a good time. And that’s what it’s all about for this age group.

Not all races have a children’s fun run, so you will have to look around and keep your eyes open.

Mother’s day, Father’s day and some holiday races are your best bet.

RRCA FUNdamentals of Youth Running

These age bracket guidelines from the RRCA should be helpful to you.

  • Children 5 and under should focus on “dash” events that range from a few yards to 400 meters.
  • Children 5 and over, kids fun runs that are a ½ to 1 mile long may be considered, but allow for a combination of running and walking.
  • Children ages 12 and over may want to participate in a 5K run.
  • Children ages 15 and older may want to participate in a 10K to half marathon event.
  • Children 18 and older may want to participate in a marathon or further distance.

While every child is different, you should feel comfortable using these guidelines to decide what distance your child should run.

Running should be fun

Children should not be pressured into running longer distances than they want to. As any parent knows, it’s not unusual for a child to change their mind in the middle of something.

As adults we know about challenging our limitations and pushing through to the next level. Children often do not have these motivations and just know that “this isn’t fun anymore.”

If your child wants to stop or walk while training or racing you have the difficult task of knowing when to let them have their way.

For pre-teens, the emphasis should be on fun, participation and enjoying the event. The emphasis should not be on competition and attaining goals.

If a young child has a genuine enthusiasm for running, let it grow naturally. They will move up to longer distances as they mature and grow stronger.

As the parent your role should be to guide and encourage your young runner and help them make wise choices about running.

Additional Running Guidelines

child running distances, What distance can my child runHere are the distances that the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) uses for their youth events.

Many HMF races have included FitKids fun runs as part of their races for many years. They have a lot of experience in this area.

HMF greatly expanded its platform of youth running programs in 2022 under the umbrella of the Susie Beris, MD Youth Running Program. With a mission to build lifelong runners, the expanded program encompasses the existing HMF FitKids offerings with additional resources and opportunities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

It’s exciting to see their program grow to include kids from age 2 to 12th grade!

If you click on the HMF FitKids tab they list races throughout the year that your child can participate in.

Most Fun Runs award a ribbon and sometimes provide a drink and a snack. They usually do not provide a medal or shirt as these are free events.

If these things are important to your child, you should see if you can buy an extra shirt for your child.

Omni Running does offer a medal for first time 5K finishers, but a younger child might be happy to receive it for running a shorter distance.

Some races allow you to register your child ahead of time for the Fun Run, but some only have “day of” registration.

suggested distances for kids, youth runningThe Healthy Kids Running Series was created by Jeff Long, Founder and President of Pattison Sports Group, to provide kids with a positive, educational, and fun experience in the world of running.

They help parents set up youth running programs in their own towns and provide these youth running distance recommendations.

On their web site you can find information on good running form and stretching. It’s important for kids to form good habits early.

The program emphasizes fun and encourages weekly organized runs for children. You can find out if there is a program near you by entering your zip code at their website.

Angela Bekkala wrote an article for Active.com: How to Get Kids Ready for Their First 5K It’s a quick read and offers additional advice.

Your child wants to run a 5K with you. What should you do?

If your child has been running shorter distances, you can either run the 5K for fun or start increasing the training effort.

If your child has never really run before, I would suggest a few short easy training runs at the very least. They should know ahead of race day what running feels like.

If the easy training run doesn’t turn them off, both of you should work out a training plan.

You’re not training for The Olympics, you just want to improve their conditioning and get their bodies used to running.

  • Do not put any pressure on them to achieve a certain goal
  • Forget about your own time. You need to run their pace
  • Be prepared to walk and always be positive and encouraging
  • You are mom or dad, not their coach, so always be supportive

This applies to training runs and the race it self.

If your child has a positive experience with you at their first 5K, you may have a new running buddy. What could be better than that?

Make sure to emphasize the fun race environment. Make them feel like one of the other runners by introducing them to your friends and including them in conversations. Everyone loves a new runner, and your child will thrive on the positive energy at a race.

Some 5K races are adult events and can have loud music and drinking. If you run one of these 5Ks with your child it may be a good idea to only stay for a while after the race.

Competitive Running for your Child

Around the age of 12, the RRCA says children may participate in 5K races. Moving from fun runs to a 5K race should be your child’s decision. The emphasis should still be on fun and participation.

When a child starts running 5K races on a regular basis, they may become competitive. A child may compete with themselves, friends or you.

Competition is good and running competitively teaches many life lessons. As the parent it is up to you to guide expectations and be supportive.

It is important for children to understand that few of us ever come in first place. Most of us have friends who finish ahead of us. As adults we understand this and our self worth and image are not dependent on how we do at a race.

For a pre-teen or teenager, winning and loosing can become the focus of running. As a parent, it is your role to focus more on the fun and participation in the event and running community, and focus less on competition.

As your child runs more races and improves their running, competition can become more important.

Setting goals and training to achieve them are important life lessons. If a child sticks with running and maintains a healthy enthusiasm for the sport, your guidance can help them set healthy goals and expectations of themselves.

When your child moves from the 1-mile fun run to the 5K, let them guide you. You can see when they may be pushing too hard and you can see when they should push for the next goal. As the more experienced runner, you can guide them.

Moving to longer distances

As always, the age and the health of your child are your main considerations. Around age 15 it should be okay for your child to run a 10K or half-marathon.

Many marathons will not allow anyone under age 18 to run. Some will allow teens to run with a parent’s permission.

If your child has run a few 5Ks and enjoyed themselves, then it should be okay to try a 10K. While a child may not need to train for a fun run or a 5K, they should do training for a 10K and definitely for a half-marathon.

In your child’s mid-teens, running 5Ks and 10Ks should be sufficient. In the later teens an occasional half-marathon and perhaps a marathon should be okay.

As your child moves up to longer distances, you child should train with you or a coach at school. Fitness and conditioning become more important at longer distances in order to avoid injury and to run successfully.

If your child does not get an annual athletic physical as a requirement to participate in school sports, make sure you are making those appointments.

I hope this information is helpful. I want to emphasis again that this information should be used as a guide only.

races with medals, 5k medals, my first 5k medalIf your child is running their first 5K race and you would like to get them a medal to remember the race, check out the My First 5K medal. Many 5K races do not give finisher’s medals. Usually only the top male and female finisher and top age group finishers receive a medal.

And the sale of these medals helps support this web site.

Run well my friends and happy running with your child!

Andy

Saturday Long Run January 14, 2023

A Saturday Long Run

This week the Melrose Running Club held their Holiday Party on Saturday night, so we had our Sunday Long Run on Saturday. Some people don’t like to stay out all night and then go for a long run.

Since this is the third week of our program, the Saturday Long run dropped down to 10.5 miles. After the hilly 12.5 miles the previous week, it was a welcome distance.

Last week, my Garmin showed that I climbed the equivalent of 77 flights of stairs on that run. And my legs certainly felt it!

This week we left our starting area behind Brueggers on Main Street in Melrose and headed north on Main Street. Somehow, we forgot to get a group photo!

This Saturday the temperature was around 33F with an occasional breeze and a constant, light drizzle. I think the precipitation kept our group small, probably 25 people?

The first mile out I ran a 10:57 pace in an effort to warm up and see what was going to hurt this time. And I did run a bit with Marty Hergert this week!

Over miles two and three the group settled into groups of runners by pace and I ended up running with Joe Winslow and Dan Slattery. We ran around 10:15 over those two miles and my left knee was bothering me.

This early in my Boston Marathon training, this had me a little worried. Knee pain has been a constant issue but I have learned a few tricks.

When I first started back to running, my PT would have me walk four minutes and then run one minute and slowly progress to running a 5K without walking over the course of about five weeks.

When I got to the point in this process where I was running more than walking, almost every time my knee would hurt. So the walking breaks were welcomed.

What I discovered by doing this progression was that often my knee pain would go away after I took the walk break. Even if I did more than the usual pre-run warm up my knee would still hurt. But walking almost always made it feel better.

So when we got to our first water stop at about 5K I took an extended walking break to the men’s room at the local McDonalds.

Sunday Long Run number 3, Boston Marathon training
Zelia Magliozzi photo

Don Cranley is the guy in the red jacket next to me in the above photo. We both have a Boston Marathon number through our club and both really needed to get this run in.

Don wasn’t really feeling it, so I told him I’d catch up and run with him after my pit stop.

Now, Don might not have been feeling it, but it took me almost four miles to catch up to him at the bottom of Lake Q. I ran all of four of those miles well under a 1o-minute pace. So he was cruising along.

Finishing the Saturday Long Run

As I ran down North Ave in Wakefield I could see Don’s red jacket way down the road. And I could see him taking walking breaks. When I caught up to him he asked me which direction to go in, so I think he had been checking the map on his phone.

This is the second week that someone has asked me for directions, which is generally not a good thing to do. Fortunately, I know these courses very well and they are some of our easiest.

But if you add in a few rotaries and intersections with five roads and poor signage, I could get you lost!

As we ran down Main Street in Wakefield almost every driver let us cross the street and were just great in general. I think both of us really appreciated that.

When we got back to the water stop Bobby Taylor was there manning the stop and the only person there. Then Zelia showed up and started snapping pics. Just like she did last week.

We were about seven and a half miles into the run at this point. I didn’t feel great but my back and left knee were manageable. And while my cardio wasn’t in marathon condition, my breathing was comfortable.

After a minute or so, Don and I headed out for the last 5K of the run.

Don was kind of struggling and he told me later that I helped push him along. He was only going to do the half distance.

Soon after we left the water stop we hit a small hill and both of us felt it, but we kept on going and talking.

It’s always a good sign when you can talk and run!

At around mile nine Don said he had to walk and that I should go on. We’ve all been there and it’s no slight to run on ahead of someone during a training run. Especially when you are almost done.

I ran in the last approximately 1.7 miles by myself around a 10 to 10:30 pace. It felt comfortable and my pain was manageable.

My total distance was 10.81 miles at an average of 10:02 which was the pace I wanted on this run. Now I want to try and run this pace at the longer distance next week.

I had to do some club business in town after the run, so I didn’t hang out for coffee afterwards. Maybe next week.

I hope your training is going well,

Andy

New England Valentines Races 2023

Looking for a Valentine’s Day race, or something close to it?
Check out these local races.

Looking for a New England Valentines race for 2023?

In New England we believe in getting outside, even in the middle of winter. New England Valentines Races are a great excuse to go out for a run with your somebody special.

Massachusetts Valentines Races

Cupid’s Chase 5K

11 February | Saturday | 10AM | Wakefield, MA

Cupids Chase 5k, wakefield valentines 5k, february 5k

The 10th Annual Cupid’s Chase Valentines Race is in person for 2023.

Registration is: $35 for individual runners and they encourage running club participation.

100% of proceeds from the 5k road race will be donated to the National MS Society and Neurofibromatosis Northeast. Over the past eight years this race has raised more than $50,000.

I ran The Cupid’s Chase in 2017 in Wakefield, MA.

2022 Race Results

2020 Race Results

Bradford Valentine Road Race

TBD February | Saturday | Bradford, MA

Valentines Day 5K road race, Bradford

The Bradford Valentines Road Races went virtual for 2021, was cancelled in 2022, and I cannot find any details for 2023.

The 5 Miler should return to an in-person race in 2022.

2021 registration was $35 for either the 5 Miler or 6K race.

Registration included:

Customized race bib for download
30th anniversary commemorative long sleeve shirt
Custom participant medal and ribbon
Sampler box of chocolates
Valentine flower
Personal online photo album
Virtual online leaderboard results
Access to members only Facebook group
Personalized digital finisher’s certificate for download

Paddy Kelly 10K Road Race

5 February | Sunday | 11:00 AM | Brockton

This race was cancelled for 2021 but came back for 2022 and for 2023 it has gone from a 5-miler to a 10K. And it’s close enough to Valentine’s day!

The race is based out of Harry’s Westgate Pub and Grill in Brockton. Race start is at D.W. Field Park about a quarter miles away at 11:00 AM.

This race is produced by the Colonial Road Runners and registration is $35. First 250 to register are guaranteed a gift. All runners will enjoy hot chili/pasta and one complementary beer or soft drink.

Age group and top finishers receive awards. This race does not provide a finisher’s medal to all runners.

2022 Race Results

2020 Race Results

Valentines Race in Vermont

Cupid 5K

? February | Saturday | 9:00 AM | Shelburne, VT – no details for 2023

Registration was $30 and includes finisher’s medal for all finishers. Registration is limited to 100 runners.

T-shirts were available for $15.00.

Racevermont.com will be donating a percentage of the net income from this race to Healing Winds and the Cancer Patient Support Foundation.

2022 Race Results

2020 Race Results

Valentines Races in Connecticut

Bob and Peg Andrulis Memorial Sweetheart Run

11 February | Saturday | 11:00 AM | Litchfield, CT

This USATF certified 5 mile course (#CT13035JHP) starts at the Litchfield Community Center at 11AM.

There is also a 3 mile walk which also begins at 11AM.

Registration is $30, Kids 10 and under are $10.00, folks 80+ are FREE!

Proceeds benefit the Litchfield Community Center. Long sleeve shirts guaranteed for the first 150 registrants.

Cupid Made Me Do It! 2 Miler

12 February | Saturday | 10:00 AM | Willimantic, CT

The Cupid Made Me Do It is a 2 mile run or walk to be held in downtown Willimantic. This “urban scramble” will be held as a part of the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival and will benefit the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry.

Valentine’s Day fancy dress is appreciated and applauded.

The first 250 registered runners receive a free Cupid Gloves or a FANDANA.

Everyone registered by February 3rd receives a shirt. There are age-group awards and team awards – so bring your friends!

Registration is $25 and $10 for 12 and under.

2020 Cupid Made Me Do It Results

IRIS Run for Refugees 5K

12 February | Saturday | 10AM | New Haven, CT

Registration includes their iconic Run for Refugees shirt, post-race food and entertainment.

Registration is open at $33 for adults and $27 for students.

IRIS served more than 2,000 immigrants last year and welcomed over 280 newly arrived refugees! The mission of IRIS is to enable refugees and other displaced people to establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut’s communities. Refugees are men, women and children who fled their countries of origin due to persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religious belief, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Run well my Friends!

Andy

St. Patrick’s Day 5K Races Greater Boston 2023

Looking for a St. Patrick’s Day 5K race in the GBA? This updated listing for 2023 has you covered.

Here are the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day 5K races in the Greater Boston area.

St. Patrick’s Day 5K races, like most holiday themed races, take place around the actual holiday.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday March 17th, 2023

This gives you the opportunity to run a St. Patrick’s Day themed race two weekends in a row or twice in a weekend if you want!

To register for a race click the race title or the registration information link.

To order a finisher’s medal for your runner, click HERE.

St. Patrick's Day 5K finisher's medal

Shamrock Shuffle 5K

11 March | 9:00 AM | Saturday | Medway

Medway Shamrock Shuffle, St Patrick's 5K

Sponsored by the Medway Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, the race raises funds for Medway’s elementary schools.

Supporting creative arts programs, cultural arts programming, teacher appreciation events, and other activities that benefit Medway schools and enhance the children’s education.

The 5K course winds through the scenic back roads of Medway and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, including children and families. 

My First 5K medal, running medal

Registration is: Adults $30, 17 and under is $20. T-shirts available through February 1st.

Now in it’s 12th year, this race has cash awards for the top three male and female finishers. Age group medals for first through third place runners will be awarded. This race does not have a finisher’s medal for all runners.

Shamrock Stampede 5K

18 March | 11:00 AM | Saturday | Plymouth

St. Patrick's Day 5K, Plimouth

This race is based out of the DCR Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Registration includes one free beer ticket for the post race party.

Proceeds benefit:

Kathy Frank Scholarship Fund – providing a scholarship to a graduate of Silver Lake High School going into the field of nursing in memory of Kathy Frank.

Kathy was a Kingston resident and a nurse at South Shore Hospital who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in April 2011.

Registration is $30 for adults, $20 for 11 – 20 and 70+, and $15 for 10 and under. Add $5 for race day registration. T-shirt with registrations through February 26th.

Awards for top 1-3, male and female and 1st place age-group runners.

This race does not have a finisher’s medal for all runners.

Mick Morgan’s St. Patrick’s 5K

11 March | Noon | Saturday | Sharon  

Registration is: $30, $35 day of race. The first 300 to register receive a long-sleeve tech t-shirt. This race often draws up to 800 runners, so sign up before they hit capacity.

Event location: Mick Morgan\’s Irish Pub, 973 Providence Highway (Route 1), Sharon, Massachusetts 02067

Proceeds support HESSCO programs and services of providing support and services to seniors, individuals living with a disability and their caregivers in South Norfolk County.

HESSCO packages and delivers an average of 130,000 home delivered meals each year and serves an additional 30,000 meals annually in dining room settings. Our drivers not only deliver a hot, nutritious meal, but they provide a wellness check and a friendly visit. For many, this is the difference needed to maintain their dignity and independence at home.

My First 5K medal, runners medal

It appears that this race does not provide a finishers medal to all runners. If you are bringing someone to their First 5K, make sure to order a My First 5K medal for them!

Marshfield St. Patrick’s 5K

18 March | 10:00 AM | Saturday | Marshfield

Marshfield St. Patrick's Day 5K Race

This St. Patrick’s Day 5K is sponsored by the Marshfield Education Foundation and is now in it’s 13th year. This USATF certified race usually draws over 2,000 runners.

Registration is $30 for adults and $20 for 19 and under. After March 11th, registration is $35. 

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at “America’s Most Irish Road Race”! Wear your green and join 4,000 runners, walkers and crawlers at the South Shore’s premier road race!

Flat, fast, USATF certified 5K ocean course with cash prizes ($683,$250,$100) for the top three overall male and female, along with $317 ($1,000 total!) for a new male or female course record! (M-14:39 & F-16:28). Age group awards first through third.

Great finish parties at the pubs and restaurants of Brant Rock! A fun day for all!!

St. Patty’s Day 5K/10K & Pub Crawl

11 March | 10:00 AM | Saturday | Portsmouth, NH

This race is entirely within the Pease Development Authority, on straight paved roads. These races used to be held in Salisbury Beach State Park.

The 5K is a single loop and the 10K is two loops plus a bit.

5k & 10k participants (21+ only) may redeem their Sam Adams beer ticket at Paddy’s American Grille or at Cisco Brewers, Portsmouth.

FREE photos and finish line video will be available at no additional cost! There is also a gear check for these races!

Age group awards start at 19 & under for both the 5K and 10K.

Registration is:

5K – $30 through race day of if available. Ages 12-20 $30 and under 11 is $10.
10K – $40 through race day of if available for all age groups.

Age group and top three male and female runners will receive awards.

Hyannis Shamrock Shuffle 

15 March – 11:00 AM – Sunday – Hyannis – cancelled?

Hyannis Shamrock Shuffle, St Patrick's Day 5K

This race is based out of the Michael Aselton Memorial Park in Hyannis. Registration includes a beer ticket for the post race party.

Proceeds benefit The Shawn Thornton Foundation. ​The Shawn Thornton Foundation is dedicated to helping find cures for diseases close to Shawn’s heart, specifically, Parkinson’s and cancer. 

Registration was $30 for adults, $20 for 11 to 20 and $15 for 10 and under. Add $5 for race day registration.

St. Patrick’s Day Road Race

19 March | 11:00 AM | Sunday | South Boston

boys and girls clubs of Boston, Boston 5K road race

A Southie tradition since 1940, this race takes place just before the famous South Boston St. Patrick Day’s Parade.

The race is hosted and sponsored by Keystone, the Edgerley Family South Boston Boys & Girls Club Teen Leadership Program. Funds raised at the race will help support the Keystone program.

Event location: 230 West Sixth Street Boston, MA

Registration is open for only $30.00 though March 10th.

Registration is limited to 650 runners and the race always sells out, so don’t wait!

The Connolly Medal is given to the first South Boston resident to finish the St. Patrick’s Day Road Race. It is named for James Brendan Connolly, a son of South Boston, who medaled in the 1896 Olympics in Athens and is considered the first modern Olympic champion.

The Father Lane Medal is awarded each year to the first place Edgerley Family South Boston Club Kid Finisher.

2022 Race Results

2021 Race Results

Guinness Celtic 5K

12 March | 11:00 AM | Sunday | Worcester

This race was cancelled due to the Corona Virus but is back for 2023!

Guinness Celtic 5K, Worcester

Held at the Elm Park at 284 Highland Street in Worcester, this race features an extensive list of bars for post race parties. So you know it’s going to be a good time!

The Guinness Celtic 5k is the first race of Tour de Worcester, a three part race series starting in March

Registration is $32 through January 31st

The post race party takes place at five Worcester bars!

Mayflower Brewing St. Patrick’s Day 5K

? March 9:30 AM – Sunday – Plymouth – Cancelled

Plymouth St. Patrick's Day 5K, Mayflower Brewing

Sponsored by and based out of the Mayflower Brewing Company brewery at 12 Resnik Rd # 3, Plymouth, MA.

Registration was at $37.

Each runner will receive a short sleeve tech shirt and runners over 21 will get one Mayflower brew. So bring your ID. Free finish line photos will be taken for you!

This race does not offer  a finisher’s medal for each runner.

Shamrocks on the Rocks 5K

12 March | 1:00 PM | Sunday | Lunenburg

This race is organized by the North Medford Running Club and is an out and back 5K Run and Walk around Lake Whalom.

The race is listed on the club site, but there isn’t a link for registration.

Custom designed apparel for the first 150 entrants and a party after the race at On The Rocks!!! with pizza from Embers Pizzeria!

Event location: 96 Lakefront Street, Lunenburg, MA

Prizes: Cash for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Male and Female Runners Overall Only. If you’re bringing the kids, spouse or a friend for their First 5K, make sure you get them a finisher’s medal!

Registration was $25.00 with race day registration available.

11th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hibernian 5K

? March 11:00 AM – Sunday | Lynn – no info for 2023

Course: The Hibernian 5K is a loop course starting at Hibernian Hall that goes through some of the residential neighborhoods of West Lynn and finishes at Hibernian Hall. Walkers are welcomed! 

Race Amenities: Long-sleeve dri-fit shirts to the first 500 pre-registered runners, race timing, water on the course, post-race raffles and entertainment.

Prizes for the top three male and female adult overall winners, and top male and female under 13 years of age, and top Hibernians.

Event location: Hibernian Hall, 105 Federal St., Lynn, MA

Registration was $30 through race day.

Holyoake St Patrick’s Road Race 10K & Walk

18 March | 1PM | Saturday | Holyoke

Registration is open for the 45th annual running of this race. The 10K is $30 and the walk is $25 until February 16th.

There is a FREE kid’s race that does not require registration for children 2 to 10 years old.

Rás na hÉireann 5K

12 March | 11:00 AM | Sunday | Somerville 

This race has become a tradition among local runners over the past twenty years. The race took a 4-year hiatus between 2018 and 2022, but is back for 2023!

Run from Davis Square the course is moderately challenging and well marshaled.

The after party is one of the best with most bars in Somerville participating.  Check the web site for locations and sign up!

Registration was $40.14 and included all fees, shirt and a medal. 2023 registration is not open yet.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, run well and may the wind be at your back!

Andy

The Road to Boston SLR 2

Celebrating twenty years since my first training run, I ran the second Sunday Long Run with the Melrose Running Club and guests.

The Road to Boston has begun with the second Sunday Long Run. The Melrose Running Club has been sponsoring these Sunday runs for the past twenty years and all runners are invited.

The Road to Boston SLR 1

Since January 1st was the first Sunday of 2023 we didn’t have an organized club run that day. Many of us ran various New Year’s Day races, such as the Hangover Classic in Salisbury Beach.

Because I was running a New Year’s Day race I decided to do my first long run on December 30th.

For that run I started at my house, ran through Malden and out on the North Spur bike trail to Saugus.

This route in almost entirely flat, so it was a great way to start ramping up the miles. I ran 10.3 miles that day at a comfortable 10:05 pace.

Idle Hands Craft Ales Vienna Lager - Emelyn, Brew Pub
Idle Hands Photo

On the way back I stopped in at Idle Hands Brewing and had a nice half liter of Emelyn, their Vienna Lager. I also had a nice conversation with the bar tender, John. I was the only customer in the bar!

The Road to Boston SLR 2

January 8th was the first official Melrose Running Club Sunday Long Run. And since it is technically the second week of Boston Marathon training, we ran the week 2 route which was 12.5 for the long run and 7.1 miles for the half distance. 

I know, not great math there. But when you’re not up for almost a half marathon, 7.1 still feels like half of the full. Or a short run.

Group photo on the 2nd Melrose Running Club Sunday Long Run
Julie Galvin Photo

We had at least 44 people show up for this chilly run. I think a few more people joined us after this photo was taken.

When we started it was 24F and it really felt like it. We were lucky in that there was no wind or rain. That makes a big difference in the comfort level.

In this photo you will notice that several of us have our hands stuffed under our arms. Even with gloves my fingers were freezing.

It was so cold that I headed out with the first runners. I knew I would warm up eventually. And if I was in the lead pack all the faster people would catch up and I’d get to talk to everyone. I’d also not be at the end of the pack.

At mile one my fingers and toes were feeling a little better, but I was trying to figure out if they were warming up or if I was loosing feeling in my fingers and toes!

At mile 1 we were close to the intersection of West Wyoming Ave and the Fellsway East. The road was clear so we crossed the Ave like a stampeding heard of beast breathing frost into the air.

At the intersection we took a left and headed for the hills of the Fellsway East.

At this point I began to adjust my running pace and approached the hills by my self. I’ve been doing this twenty years and I know what running hills can do to you if you’re not prepared.

As I made my way up the first hill our former club President, Bobby Taylor, caught up to me.

He noticed that I was wearing trail shoes on a road run and asked if I always wore them for road runs.

I told him I have been for the past few months.

I started wearing the Brooks Cascadia shoes about 10 years ago. At the time I was looking for a shoe to keep my feet warm in the winter. At the time these shoes featured Gore-Tex which helps insulate the shoe.

Trail shoes are generally stiffer and heavier than road shoes. The outsoles are designed to give you extra traction and support. They do not flex as much and are good for landing on stones and tree roots.

But they are stiffer, don’t have as much cushion, and are very loud on the road. Like many runners, Bobby prefers more cushioning. I agreed that I should pick up a pair of road shoes to use on nice days. It’s good to rotate shoes and the Cascadia are a bit much for a road run.

Eventually Bobby moved along and the group prepared for and made our move across the Fellsway so we would be ready for our next turn onto Highland Avenue.

Highland is a nice wide avenue with a wide bike lane to run in. It’s also a hill for the first half mile.

5K and Water Stop One

Shortly after turning onto Highland we hit 5K. Only 9.4 miles to go!

At this point all of us still felt good and both the long and short runners were still together.

Julie and Gail had the first stop set up for us. When you get a group of runners together, it can be hard to get them going once again. We have so much fun catching up.

Zelia Magliozzi had run down the Fellsway and met us at the water stop. She was doing a recovery run after doing her long run on Saturday.

Sunday Long Run at the first water stop.
Zelia Magliozzi Photo

I left the water stop by my self. If you hang out too long the muscles tighten up and you get cold.

As I headed out of the Fulton Street rotary I could see a few runners ahead of me heading up the Elm Street hill. They had crossed the road already and were moving along nicely.

I put my head down and dug into the hill. About half way up the hill I made my crossing to be in position for our right onto the Fellsway West.

As I approached the turn I saw a runner in a 2017 Boston Marathon jacket. He was standing there looking at his phone.

When I reached him I asked if he was okay and he said he thought he was lost. He had downloaded the half-map and thought he needed to turn left.

I assured him that we were taking a right and off we went. His name was Eric and he was with The Mystic Runners. Eric is also training for Boston 2023.

This piece of road has a number of challenges. The breakdown lane is nice and wide in most places, but there is hill. There is also a ramp to Rt. 93 South and if someone is coming up behind you and doesn’t care about hitting you, it can get dicey.

Fortunately we waved someone on who was coming towards us to take the ramp.

The run over the Rt 93 bridge wasn’t too bad. Some days this wide open area can be windy and cold.

Shortly after the bridge we hit mile 5 and approached the exit ramp from Rt. 93 North. People come flying up this ramp, there isn’t a cross walk and no one would expect to see runners crossing their path.

Once again, we were fortunate and there wasn’t any traffic.

10K and Water Stop Two

Just as we hit mile 6, we made our turn at Straw Point for water stop two.

Nicole Jacob was our goddess at this stop. We weren’t especially parched or anything but it’s always nice to see a friendly face.

After a quick drink we continued on our way and hit 10K before we left the parking lot.

Eric hadn’t run much beyond 10 miles in quite a while and as we told Nicole, “it’s beginning to feel like a run.”

We ran down Pond Street in Stoneham and made our way past the Stone Zoo. Running past the parking lot we had to run another hill.

The Road to Boston SLR 2 course map

Shortly after we hit mile 7 the road turns into Woodland Road. This is one of those curvy, hilly roads that our forefathers designed for Sunday driving in the suburbs. We managed to stay pretty close to our average pace running the hills they designed for amusement.

As we approached Flynn Rink we hit mile 8 and it felt like a gift. I hardly noticed the mile. I still felt pretty good but both of us had become more focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

We negotiated the Fulton Rotary again and headed for water stop 1/3.

It’s always nice when the club can use a water stop twice. It’s often challenging to get enough volunteers to man all of our stops. Sometimes one person will cover more than one stop.

Four miles to go at Water Stop Three

Eric and I were the only two runners at the stop this time.

Julie and Gail said they ran out of cups and had to go buy more. Based on the cup count they figured 40 runners were on the course. Amazingly, there were a few people behind us.

We didn’t hang out long. We were both sweaty and tired and didn’t want to get cold and have our muscles tighten up.

Stiffly we started out and crossed the road to get ready for our next turn.

This was onto East Border Road which is a hilly piece of road on the south side of The Middlesex Fells Reservation.

As we ran down the hill approaching the Fellsway East we hit mile 9. Only 3.5 miles to go.

The turn onto The Fellsway had us running up hill immediately.

Drivers tend to fly up this road also. Seems to be a common theme here!

But the pavement is only a few years old and there is a pretty good break down lane for most of this section of The Fellsway.

We continued to chat as we made our way over these hills. As we crested the second hill we hit mile 10 and still felt pretty good.

As we ran down the hill I knew I needed to make a pit stop at the Dunkin Donuts.

Eric asked if I wanted him to hang out, but I told him to go on and I’d try to catch up.

Fortunately the restroom door wasn’t locked and I was back on the road in no time.

As I left Dunkin’s parking lot I didn’t see any other runners. But I knew where I was going.

As I crested yet another hill I saw Joe Winslow ahead running on the sidewalk. It took me a bit to catch up with him, but when I did we ran the rest of the distance together.

Joe and I haven’t run together in probably three years. We did chat after a club run a few weeks ago, but it was still fun catching up. Both of us once had little girls and are now empty nesters.

As we approached West Foster Street I made sure we got to 12.5 miles. This early in a training program, you don’t want to be taking short cuts. Training is about doing the work.

Apre SLR 2

Before COVID we used to hang out at Brueggers after a long run. They had a few long tables and we could get twenty or so people seated. It was great and we left some cash in the till.

But Brueggers removed all of their tables during COVID and still hasn’t replaced them.

So we headed to a new coffee shop called Café Nero. It’s in a new building on Main Street and is a new shop in town. I think they are a local chain.

There menu looks like Starbucks but they have a wider variety of food and the décor is a bit more modern and hip than Starbucks.

I was celebrating twenty years since my first ever training run. So I got a grande coffee and an almond cressant.

As one of the last long-runners to come in, I found the table full. But AJ Drummond was gracious enough to offer his seat. He had to head out.

It was fun to hang out with everyone. Some people I knew, some I recognized and some I didn’t.

I finished my cressant, said my good byes and headed home. While I sat there my muscles had tightened up and I knew that I needed to get home and stretch.

Run well My Friends!

Andy