By Mike Pelletier
Anne Pelletier and Vicky Yee (our city girls) did a superb job managing the Sunshine Start and the Exchange Zone at the Greater Lowell Technical School. They were ably assisted by Rosie Kyes, Mary Stevens, Tara Arnold, and Patti Silva. In addition, Rosie,Mary, Tara, and Patti each ran a leg of the relay.
Linda Fitzpatrick of the Women Veteran’s team pulled up lame about 6 miles into the 9.5 mile leg of the Sunshine Start and had to walk until Annajean McMahon could be driven back three miles to take over Linda’s leg and then run her own. The time lost getting Annajean back to Linda was enough to push the team into third place instead of the 1st place they earned last year.
The Men’s 70+ team was handicapped by having only me available to run the 9.5-mile leg. After Armand Claveau ran a really strong 2.5-mile leg, I ran the first 4+ miles of the 9.5-mile leg with Linda Desjardins who did her best to keep me going. Linda would ask me a question every now and then, but I never replied because I had all I could do to just keep running at her pace. When we came up from the bike path along the river and back onto Rte 110, I stopped running and walked while I drank a cup of water. Linda didn’t drink or even slow down, but just cruised down the road toward the next exchange zone at the office park. Soon Linda was out of sight up ahead and I was left to contemplate the back of a runner from the North Medford Club. I chased him for another 4.5 miles before I could pass him just before the entrance to the office park. I unleashed what felt like a final kick and tried to sprint to the finish. George Geis took over and ran a very fast last leg. It took George about 3 miles to catch our competition. At the top of the last hill, George pulled alongside a runner who looked really old and asked him if he was in the 60’s. When the guy said, “No,70’s,” George reached for another gear, picked up the pace, and ended up beating him by 46 seconds at the finish, giving our team the 2nd place souvenir brick in the Men’s 70+ competition.