USATF Junior Nationals and Festivus 5K Results

On Saturday, December 13th at the USATF Junior National Cross Country Championships in North Carolina, Sean Michael Kay was 12/362, boys aged 11-12, running a 3K in 10:10.64 (5:27.6/pace) and Alexandra Kay was 86/165, girls aged 15-16, running a 5K in 21:11.89, (6:49 pace).

Meanwhile in Salem on Sunday, December 14th in the Festivus 5K (NSS VP Rick Johnson is Race Director) , Vanessa Freedman led six Striders across the finish line and captured 2ndplace in her division. Vanessa also teamed up with her dad, Gary, and with Mike Pelletier to form a Coed relay team that finished 6th of 11 coed teams.

North Shore Striders in the Festivus 5K:

Vanessa Freedman 2/11 F14-19 24:10
Gary Freedman 12/22 M50-59 24:10
Michael Pelletier 1/1 M70+ 27:03
Rosie Kyes 14/58 F40-49 28:52
Jackie Gomez 22/61 F30-39 29:23
Hope Abramson 13/30 F50-59 29:24

Next up is the Run a Latke 5K in Swampscott at 10 am next Sunday. This one features great latkes and a great Race Director: North Shore Strider Allie Vered.

2014 Chanukah Run – a – Latke Family Fun 5K

Hope to see you there,


NSS at the USATF Junior Olympics


Lesya Kay

Four incredibly fast Striders qualified to compete this past weekend at the 2014 USATF Junior Olympic Region 1 Cross-country Championships in Augusta, Maine. Two will now go on to represent the North Shore Striders at the National Junior Olympic Championships in Myrtle Beach on Dec 13! Lesya Kay finished in 11th place on a


Sean Kay

muddy and hilly track (5k at 21:56) and Sean Michael finished in 6th place on a similar but shorter course (3k at 11:11). Two more rising stars in this fleet-footed family, Marianna and Cecelia, took on a challenging 2k cross country course and finished in 11:11 and 11:28 respectively. Congratulations to all runners – our club is so proud to count you among our ranks! And best of luck to Lesya and Sean as they head to Florida in a few weeks!


Marianna and Cecelia on the starting line


December Races to check out

The following races are a couple of tried-and-true December favorites, hosted by longtime members of the North Shore Striders.


A week following Mill Cities, come out to air your grievances (for a good cause) at the annual Festivus 5K in Salem on Sunday, December 14th. Costumes are encouraged, and runners may be treated to such motivational signs along the course as “I’m very disappointed in you” or “Festivus yes! Bagels no!”. Following the race is an after party at Finz, where race winners will receive their own Festivus poles for their at-home holiday celebrations. Shirts are reserved for the first 400 runners, so get your entry in soon. All net proceeds will be donated to The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism (additional donations are appreciated). If you’d prefer to volunteer rather than run, please contact Rick Johnson.



Next, get your spirit healthy to celebrate the festival of lights! The annual Chanukah Run – a – Latke 5K race will be held on Sunday, December 21st in Swampscott. You’ll enjoy a scenic course, followed by a Chanukah party with fun, donuts, and – of course – hot latkes. This is a very family friendly event, and kids will enjoy Chanukah programming while the adults are out racing, as well as the lighting of the Giant Lego Menorah (how cool is that!?) following the race!

31st Annual Mill Cities Relay


by Mike Pelletier

The Mill Cities Relay, one of the best relays all year, is coming up on Sunday, December 7th. For information about the course, the different distances of the five legs of the relay (three for some age groups), the team categories, the give-aways, the starting times (regular start and the Sunshine Start), etc., go to

This is the one race where you must belong to a running club which is part of the Mill Cities Alliance.

The bad news is that you can only register and be part of a team by registering through a running club which is part of the Mill Cities Alliance.

The good news is that the North Shore Striders running club is a charter member of the Mill Cities Alliance. The best news is that the North Shore Striders will put you on a team and pay your entry fee so that you can run this relay for free and attend the great free party afterwards at the Claddagh Pub at absolutely no cost to you. That’s right; this is a free event for all North Shore Striders! To sign up, please email Mike Pelletier.

Save the Date!

cocktailsSave the date for a Striders cocktail party at the Kernwood Country Club!

Where: 1 Kernwood Street Salem, MA 01970)
When: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Dress: “Cocktail casual”
Appetizers and finger food covered, with cash bar available

Also available for purchase will be Nahant 30K technical t-shirts ($5), and NSS racing singlets featuring the new NSS logo for ($20).

Invitation to follow…

Baystate Marathon/Half Marathon

Tom, Denise, Linda, Neil, and Mariellen before the start.

Tom, Denise, Rosie, Neil, and Mariellen before the start.

Congrats to all of the Striders who finished the Baystate Half or Full Marathon this weekend, and especially to Linda Desjardins who pulled off [yet another] BQ! Grand Prix results have been updated. Please check your score as we’re heading into the final event of the series, the Mill Cities Relay in December.

And now here is a recap of the race, generously provided by Linda Desjardins (thanks, Linda!):

Baystate:  a runner-friendly course and a mountain of support from the Lowell Road Runners.  The race’s execution, from my vantage point, was flawless.  The weather was just right hovering near 50.  OK the wind was problematical at times.  Those of us who ran the marathon were subjected to 4.5 miles of unrelenting strong headwind TWICE as there’s a repeat loop.  Striders made a good showing: three marathoners and six half-marathoners.  Rosie Kyes and I ran the first half of the marathon together.  We had some unforgettable miles.  During one particular stretch we said we’d never forget, an older woman (but younger than me) was running and had a big smile on her face.  But…with every foot plant she’d say ahhhhh and then the next foot plant she’d almost shout whooo.  On and on, ahhhh, whooo, ahhhh, whooo.  Everyone around her was laughing.  We thank her for giving us an incentive to pick up the pace and get out of ear shot.  At about the half, Rosie wanted to take a walking break and told me to keep on, so I did.  We were cruising at a 10 minute pace and shooting for negative splits.  At mile 19, I began to suffer repeated charley horse-type cramps and hobbled back the last 7 miles, stopping frequently to stomp out the cramps in the seized calves.  Rosie, getting some strong second wind, was able to catch me at mile 24 and extended her hand for me to stay with her.  If I only could.  I couldn’t even raise my hand.  Rosie had a great finish and cruised in.  I…finished, nearly falling down on the way to the chute.  In retrospect, another memorable marathon.  But I think I’m getting too old for this!  (I WAS the second oldest woman running the marathon.)