This is an overloaded, action-packed post including race results for the USATF National Masters 5K Cross Country Championship, the Witch City 5k, the Cancer Run, and the Ravens Wood Trail Run; it also includes details on a scintillating career accomplishment by Michael Pelletier! Pour yourself a beverage, pull up a chair, and read on about Striders striding in the Halloween season!
Witch City 5K on Saturday, October 14, 2017
- Jennifer O’Neil 2nd / W50-59 / 24:45.5 / 7:59
- William Kobus 3rd / M60-69 / 22:49.5 / 7:21
- Kevin Rich 1st / M70-99 / 25:50.8 / 8:20
North Shore Cancer Run 5K and 10K
October 15, 2017 – writeup by Linda Desjardins.
The weather prognosticators were talking increasing heat and humidity once the fog wore off and were preparing us for maybe 80 degrees! Mother Nature, fortunately, had a different time line and when we toed the starting line at 8:00, it was still a little foggy and overcast and only 62 degrees, very runnable. The races had 355 finishers: 241 in the 5K and 114 in the 10K. The proceeds went to a great cause. The course went through Beverly neighborhoods and had some small hills, just enough to keep things interesting. There was a small NSS contingent, almost all in the 5K race; but, they represented well. Special kudos to Mariellen Hayward and Maureen Kelly who both ran the Chicago Marathon LAST WEEK and took the 5K challenge. They had outstanding results, too! Mariellen took second in a field of 11 in the Women’s 60+ age group, running 27:38 for a 9 minute pace. Not even close to her in that same age group was Linda Desjardins, squeezing out a third in 29:29 for a 9:35 pace. Closely following was Maureen Kelly who ran a 32:09 for a 10:26 pace and was 7th of 32! Refusing to give in to her aching back, Jenny Reynolds trotted out a 43:15 for a 14:05 pace and she was 39/45. That took guts and tenacity.
Meanwhile in the 10K race, Gary Freedman ran twice as far and was out there in the heat a lot longer and came oh-so-close to the medal stand with a 48:57.8 (7:54 pace) good for 4th/13 M5059.
We got the 5K race in just before the sun started burning through the clouds and the humidity started rising. Thank goodness – everyone was already dripping wet from their efforts. No one needed the temperature to be any higher. Some innovative post-race treats: two food carts, one offering some super grilled cheese sandwiches and the other handing out whoopee pies in an assortment of flavors. The only downfall? We were given a single ticket and had to choose one. I loved my salted caramel whoopee pie. But damn, that 3-cheese grilled cheese sandwich looked yummy.
Ravens Wood Trail Run
Gloucester, MA, October 15, 2017
- LAUREN HAMILTON / 1st F50-59 / 44:56
- BONNIE HALLINAN / 1st F60-69 / 55:34
- DEB JACKSON / 3rd F60-69 / 57:46
USATF National Masters 5K Cross Country Championship
Writeup by Michael Pelletier.
Injuries and previously scheduled commitments reduced the NSS Veterans and Super Veterans who have been running in relays and USATF races to a team of one for the USATF National Masters 5K Cross Country Championship: me. The team competition requires teams of three, so I was running as an individual and hoping I wouldn’t finish last in my age group. As luck would have it, I finished 3rd and am now the USATF National Masters 5K Cross Country bronze medalist.
The National Masters Cross Country Championship came to Boston’s Franklin Park this year. The cross country course at Franklin Park is a classic, and one of the best known-cross country courses in the United States. I had never run in Franklin Park before and hadn’t raced cross country in over 35 years. However, when Anne saw the location of the Championship and how I had no one to go to the race with, she readily volunteered to be my chauffer and manager. Anne had grown up just down the street from Franklin Park and from her pre-teen years had used the park’s Roxbury Puddingstone as a training ground for her early adventures in rock climbing.
Today Anne used her race-car driving skills and intimate knowledge of the area near School Street to chauffer me through the streets of Roxbury to Franklin Park for the first race of the day. Men 60 and over started at 10:30. The second race at 11:15 was for Men 40-59. The third race was for all of the women who ranged in age from 40 to 82.
It was a really fun course with a starting line perhaps 200 ft in width from where we ran across a field of over 200 feet onto a narrow path through the woods and circled to the right back along the starting line and then past the eventual finish line and onto another loop which circled around and headed up a hill to what used to be the Bear Cages at the Franklin Park Zoo.
After running down Bear Cage Hill we ran along the side of the main field to the 2-mile mark and then headed off into “The Wilderness” for a looping run along a dirt road. When we returned from the wilderness, we ran a final loop of one-and-a-half laps around the original field.
After the first half mile, I think I only passed 3 guys (2 of them were on Bear Cage Hill and the third was just before the 2-mile mark). This multi-loop course was really fun. I think it brought us past the spectators 3 times before a final time as we ran to the finish line. It was much more fun than a 5K on the roads where often you run most of the 3.1 miles with few or no spectators.
After I ran, Anne and I hung out and watched the younger guys and then the women race. There was only a single award ceremony and it was held at 1:15 pm, 2 hours and 15 minutes after my race finished, but the wait was well worth it as I received a really special bronze medal for 2017 USATF Masters 5 km Cross Country 3rd Place M75-79.
- GEORGE TOOKER 77 / WRENTHAM MA / New England / 65 / 27:12
- CHARLIE PATTERSON 75 / BUFORD GA / Atlanta Track C / 27:29
- MICHAEL PELLETIER 75 / SALEM MA / North Shore Striders / 28:26
- ROBERT SULLIVAN 75 / BROOKLINE MA / New England / 65 / 29:44
- ANDREW SHERWOOD 77 / ATLANTA GA / Atlanta Track C / 30:59
- AL SWAN 77 / CLIFTON NJ / 37:36
The only woman I knew who was competing was a former colleague of mine and of Linda Desjardins from our years at Northern Essex Community College: 82-year-old Mary Harada. Mary finished 1st and won Gold.
- MARY HARADA 82 / WEST NEWBURY MA / Liberty AC / 44:44