– By Dave Newhall –
Sunrise was shortly after 5:00 AM this past Sunday with the promise of a warm, beautiful, summer day in June. Shortly thereafter 6 dedicated NSS runners, four 70+ men and two much younger and faster women, began preparing to run the 3rd race in the USATF-NE Grand Prix, the RibFest 5-miler. After everyone gathered at the planned location to share a Box-of-Joe, a convoy of two cars headed for the Anheuser Busch Brewery in Merrimack, NH, the site of the race.
The approximate ½ mile between the ‘premium’ parking lot and the start line was useful for the pre-race warm up. With the temperature in the 70s, NSS runners mingled with the just under 2,000 other runners waiting for the 9:00 AM start. At 9:00 all the runners – males, females, young, old, running club members and recreational runners – headed up-hill to the mainly flat, out and back course along the Daniel Webster Highway. Multiple aid/water stations provided needed relief for all, as the morning continued to get warmer.
The first Strider to cross the finish line was Allie Vered. Cheryl Welsh, still recovering from a recent knee operation walked/jogged the 5 miles and reduced her 5K Rossetti race pace time from just four days previous by 1 minute, 40 seconds. Impressive! All four Super-Veteran Master Striders placed high in the USATF/NE age-group standings, led by our Strider President in his new, extremely bright, neon yellow running shoes. Thanks in no small part to his new, magic running shoes, Mike Pelletier is now the USATF/NE 5-Mile Champion M75-79 for 2018.
After the race vendors were giving out freebees such as Gatorade, yogurt drinks, power bars, flat bread pizza, bananas and other snacks. There were also free beer and not-so-free ribs (it is not called the RibFest for nothing) for those who could handle such after-race, mid-morning treats.
In summary it was a good morning to run on a fairly easy course. All six North Shore Striders performed well, considering the heat. Hope to see more of you at the Beverly Relays on Friday.
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