January 1, 2018, by Linda Desjardins
Five Strider Women decided that backing down from a race for which they had
registered would not be a good way to begin 2018, so they gathered at the Elks
club in Lowell and vowed to honor the promises they made to themselves. And
they did. In fact, one who was going to back down from the 10K to the 5K even
went the 10K distance!
The hardy souls, (foolhardy?), were Denise Young, Maureen Kelly, Mariellen
Hayward, Annajean McMahon and Linda Desjardins. It was frigid out there, as
predicted. Air temp was 7 and wind chill was -11. There was a conglomeration of
runners wearing probably every piece of running gear they owned! What a
motley crew we were. The total number of racers was down from a typical
turnout of 1300 finishers to today’s total of about 700. And yes, we all had “hat
Each of us was pleased with her results as we hadn’t formed any expectations or
goals other than to get through it. In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad. There were
some icy patches (the start/finish chute again, and Ferry Road, the start and finish
road, just as it was last year), and a sort of clogged-up start as we were reduced to
using only part of the icy-patch- laden road and it took nearly a mile to spread out.
Cheers to Mariellen and Maureen who ran and finished together, and a little after
that, Denise crossed the finish line. Annajean felt strong running the first 5K so
she opted to do the loop again for the 10K. (Fewer than 200 others did!) Linda
found her way to the medal podium in her first 70-79 race at a less-than- stellar
pace but under the conditions (and regardless of the time), she was thrilled.
From appearances, there was a lot more hot soup being consumed post-race than
Eleventh Annual Wicked Frosty Four
Not to be outdone by those who chose Lowell, a contingent of Striders decided to
kick the weather to the curb for the four-mile race in Salem. Temperatures in
Salem were more than frosty, too. These harriers scored enough bling to melt
The first Strider hitting the finish mat was Kate Gage, 2 nd in 40-44 in 30:01.
Second Strider finisher was Dan Forster, 6/29 M50-54 in 30:18. Right behind Dan
was Lauren Hamilton 1st in 50-54 running the four miler in 30:34. Next Strider
over the mat was Jay Kumar, 15/29 M50-54 in a fine 34:00. Not far behind Jay
were two striders finishing together: Gary Freedman 12/25 M55-59 in 38:39 and
Vanessa Freedman, 2/2 F01-19 also in 38:39. Mike Pelletier blazed in next,
taking 1 st in the M75-59 age group in 38:59. Shortly after, Cheryl Welsh crossed
the line and took an age group 5 th in F50-64 in 39:31. Bonnie Hallinan came in 1 st
in the F65-59 category in 43:40 and Deb Jackson came in 2 nd in the F65-69 group
Obviously Striders have solid running skills. Nice showing on a day that required
both talent and GUTS! You rocked this race!
Here are your First Run Lowell Striders at their fashionable best: