Monday, April 14, 2014

NETT Braves the Mud, Hills, and...Snow? At the Rivah

Five hearty Mini Ponies made the trip to Andover this weekend to run the Merrimack River Trail Race (aka the Rivvvah) with some impressive results.

The first mile of the race featured a couple major snowpiles (from where the snow gets dumped off route 93) which made that section a unique challenge. There was some good mud and of course, the hills don't get any smaller on this course.

But it didn't deter our hearty crew. We'll start with Adrienne, who finished fifth woman overall and second in her (new) age group with a very strong run finishing the course in 1:22. "It really was a picture perfect day," she said. "We had to scale an iceberg or be careful not to fall into the river. I did manage to beat the gaggle of high school girls who were running."

Bob also managed to capture second place in his age group in the very competitive race field, finishing in 1:31. "Adrienne breezed by me about mile 2 and I never saw her again until she was coming back in," he said. "I love how the race director, Stephen, entertains us before during (he even pops up in the middle of the course), and after the race, and how he talks about how much his late friend Tom loved running so much."

Chris managed to grab fourth in the very competitive 40-49 age group cranking through the course in a very speedy 1:08.

And lastly heterolifemates Crazy Dave and Big Ben ran the first half of the race together and then picked it up in the second half to finish 1:15 and 1:17 respectively. For Crazy Dave, it was 19 years since he first ran the Rivah. "My log book shows I ran a 'tempo run' at 1:05 that year....Father Time is no friend of mine!"

As always, it was a well organized event that raised a lot of money for the Thomas Chamberas Scholarship Fund. Petey was everywhere on the course, making Monty Python references on the top of the biggest hill and turning the post-race awards into some kind of runners' game show. He puts everything he has into this race, with his trusty cohort Dave Dunham, NETT pal Tom Hildreth and many others working behind the scenes on this race.

Congrats to these folks for successfully putting this race into its third decade.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Patrick and Bob put the "T" back in NETT

When NETT was founded more than 10 years ago, we the four founders were still active in track racing. So we included "track" in the club name (post-Banana, of course).

Fast forward a decade or so and very few of us step foot on the track. But two Mini Ponies recently not only took to the track, but did so at the national level.

Patrick and Bob both ran in the USATF National Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships. Bob busted out a 12:31 in the 3000.

Not only did Patrick win his heat in the mile in 5:41, he set a new NETT benchmark and became the first member ever to get drug tested (at least in an athletic setting, heh heh). And he ran an 11:16 in the 3000 meters to boot.

Congrats to both! Nothing like setting a good example.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

NETT's Second Annual Hannah Randolph Volunteer Day at Cradles to Crayons

For the second year in a row, NETT honored Hannah's spirit by spending a day volunteering at a local charity. Last year we painted some rooms at the Home for Little Wanderers. This year, we spent the day at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton. And what a great organization. We sorted donations, made outfits for needy kids in the Boston area and got a feel for what great work these folks are doing every day.

Special thanks to Amanda for organizing the event this year and for all those Mini  Ponies who came out for the day. To see more photos from the day and a special thank you from Hannah's mom, visit our Facebook page.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Congrats to Bob who started the new year right in a local 5K. Here's his report:

"Spur of the moment I decided to run a 5K race New Year's Day in my new Newton running shoes that I had tested on the treadmill and indoor track and loved right away. It was called the First Day 5K and was in the little town of Whitinsville, MA, which is south of Worcester. The reason I chose that race is because my old college roommate lives there and he was running the race too.

The course was either downhill or flat the whole way so was very fast. I ran 22:04, which was just off a PR for me, and was good for first. I bet many of my NETT teammates would have all run PRs on this course.

The only downside was that my appearance bumped by friend down to 4th and out of medal consideration. Although he bought me a beer afterward, I may not be invited back.:)"

Congrats Bob and Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bob Tears it Up this Weekend..and All Year

Congrats to Bob who won his age group in a race this weekend and also collected his winnings for the age group win in the North Shore Trail Series. Here's his double-feature report:

"On a whim, I decided to run the 5K Festivus road race today (Sunday) in Salem. Walter's Run was the first road race I had done in about a year I think and my legs did not act up so I thought I'd give another go at a road race just to build on that success. Wearing my Red Sox santa hat, I came in first in my age group!

This time, I waited patiently without any expectations (they didn't post the results anywhere), to avoid another premature, ill-fated trip to the awards table.

Also, this weekend, because the official awards ceremony was canceled because of a recent snowstorm, those of us who participated in the North Shore Trail Series stopped by the New England Running Company in Beverly, MA to pick up our awards individually. The results are here: 

It's probably my best athletic achievement to date, and it only took 60 years! The series ran from May to November, beginning with a 5K and ending with the Stone Cat trail marathon, with trail races of 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 miles in between. Of the 8 trail races in the series, I came in first place in my age group in 6 of them, with a second (to Marshall!) and a third in the other two. As a result, I took first place in my age group for the series overall and received a spiffy Salomon "North Shore Trail Series´╗┐" jacket and a gift certificate for a new pair of Salomon trail running shoes! It was great fun all season long, running with nice folks and enjoying the outdoors. And all those training runs and races with my NETT teammates during the season helped my fitness immensely, so a big thanks to all of you as well."

Congrats Bob. While we at NETT are always quick to claim victory this one is really your hard work all year. Thanks for representing NETT so well. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mount Hood 2013: A Frosty Fury of Fun

This year's Assault on Mount Hood XC didn't disappoint-- a cold, hilly, sloppy course, good competition, great post-race fare and a pile of nutcrackers to take home.

The course this year had its surprises--all of which went uphill! NETT put three teams into the race: men's "open", men's masters and women's masters.

The women's masters team finished first overall and was led by Kristin, sick as a dog, digs deep to be the first female master. A real gutsy race. Newbie Mairead fit in really well charging through the snow and ice, and Scott's wife Donna rounded out the set.

Zack led the charge for the men finishing 2nd overall, with Crazy Dave and  Fluffy Chris rounding out the Men's open team which finished 2nd overall.

Despite his only training being swinging a hammer the last six months Andy led  the men's masters team to third place with Patrick, Scott, and Jack in tow.

Nutcracker count: 11 by my count! Congrats to all who braved the cold. As always, the Melrose Running Club did a great job in putting this race on. It's an NETT favorite for a reason.
More pictures to come soon.

NETT Rips it Up at Walter's Run

NETT runners have been busy racing and eating the past couple weekends, so here's an update.

Last weekend, it was the NETT favorite Walter's Run 5K road race in West Roxbury. As in years past, NETT runners ran away with age group awards. On the women's side, Mary led the charge finishing 3rd overall. Amanda and AC took 1-2 in the 30-39 age group. NETT newbie Mairead won the 40-49 age group with Tina taking third.

On the men's side, Frank and Crazy Dave ran stride for stride and came in together a few clicks over 18 minutes finishing 2nd and 3rd in their age group. Noah Eminem won his age group in 20:15 and NETT pal Matt Moore ran away with the 20-29 age group. Bob was only one spot out of a bronze in the 60-69 age group.

To see more pictures, take a look at the NETT Facebook page here.

After the race Dave and Doris hosted their usual brunch giving everyone a chance to catch up and enjoy some great company.

As always, Keith Shields and the Parkway Running Club put on a fantastic event. Extremely well organized, friendly and knowledgeable volunteers and a great kids event as well. All of the money raised goes to charity, including the Walter Burgess Scholarship Fund

Sunday, December 01, 2013

L'Chaim and Gobble! NETT Performs Thanksgivukkah Miracles at Warrior Run

It's a true Thanksgivukkah miracle!

In honor of Thanksgivukkah, several NETT members headed over to Brookline, Mass. (where else?) to run the Warrior Run XC race and the results were nothing short of a miracle. 

The event was full of NETT friends and faces. The moment we pulled into the parking lot we heard the familiar and soothing voice of Michael Mahon, who was closing up his XC grand tour for 2013. From the Thomas Chamberas 6K in August to the Warrior Run in December, Michael rode his bike to a pile of XC races. That on its own is truly miraculous. 

Toeing the line for NETT at Larz Anderson Park were Chris, Eric V, Crazy Dave, Illya, and Doris. The course follows the Brookline High XC course, a two-loop (plus) course that includes two steady climbs on each lap. Doris ran steady and strong over the bumpy ground and finished up in about 27 minutes. But HER miracle move came after the race at the raffle, where she won a gift card to the Real Deal deli in West Roxbury. Winning a gift certificate to a deli at a race in Brookline on Thanksgivukkah? The only question is do you get a turkey sandwich or brisket?? 

Doris even had a semi-miraculous (okay, more coincidental) reunion with another familiar face--Bumble Bee Lady who she met on Thursday at the Franklin Park 5K was at the Warrior Run too.  

But perhaps the most impressive Thanksgivukkah Miracle came when the race organizers announced the top 3 finishers in the Masters division at the awards ceremony. Apparently the trio of NETT elders Eric (17:06) , Chris  (17:23), and Dave (cough cough) found a bit of extra oil, mixed it up with some tryptophan and finished 1-2-3 in the Masters division. A with Ilya running a great race finishing up in 21:25, good for sixth master in the race, NETT went 1,2,3 and 6 in the Masters race. Mazel-tov and Gobble Gobble! 

Overall this was a great race for a lot of reasons. All money goes to Brookline HS XC, which has its own NETT connection because Eric's daughter Gabby is on the team and won the HS girls race!). There's an extensive raffle (all the HS kids recruit the sponsors which is a great tradition). The course is challenging, but not insane (Doris said she'll do it again--that's a good sign). Special thanks to Allison for cheering and moral support. And as always, racing with fellow NETTers made it the best Thanksgivukkah ever!  

Zack Celebrates Thanksgivukkah The FAST Way in Newtown

It's not exactly a surprise, but Zack Schwartz blasted through his hometown Thanksgivukkah race to win it easily. Zack ran the Newtown, Conn. 5K in 15:50 sporting his hometown shirt proudly. Congrats Zack! Happy Thanksgivukkah!