Larry Cole’s Assorted Races at Various Places

In the past month, I have been to five races at which few, if any, members of CCAC also ran, but they have features that might be attractive to others.

June 15 was the Ribfest 5-miler in Merrimack, NH, a race in the USATF-NE Grand Prix series. It was situated on grounds of the Anheuser-Busch brewery, as was Ribfest Weekend, which was open to the public as well as the site of the post-race party, where there was lots of food, mostly ribs, to buy. A pleasant surprise was that the two free beers were not only Budweisers, but several other brands produced by InBev, the recent acquirer of A-B. Because it was a USATF event, the fast folks were there in all the age groups, so I met some of the septuagenarians who regularly run the NER Pub Series, and Joe Navas was there as part of Whirlaway. The course starts up a long, steep hill to reach a highway, then proceeds on that highway to a turn around in a residential neighborhood, returns on the highway and a nice downhill finish.

June 29 was a USATF-NE track meet at Regis College in Weston, MA, adjacent to Wellesley. After finishing first and only in the M 80-84 AG at the James Joyce Ramble, which was the USATF National 10K Championship, I was urged by Steve Vaitones to enter the 1500 meters event. I looked at the schedule and decided to enter the 100, 1500, and 200 meter events, because of the time spacing between them, and because I run those distances, and three others, once a week at the new Monomoy Regional High School track. I thought it would be interesting to see who showed up and how fast the other old guys were, and I sure did. In the 1500 meters, Tom Derderian, age 65, finished before I started my last lap, and he had earlier run the 5K. In the 100 meters, I shaved 2 seconds off my best time in training and finished ahead of one other senior citizen, but in the 200, I pulled a muscle in my leg and DNF. There’s no post-race party at track meets, so I think I’ll stick to road races henceforth, but if you enjoy competing in track and field, there was  plenty of competition there from Greater Boston and Central Mass. The Regis College track is a new 8-lane facility. The whole campus is in an isolated, wooded area.

July 4 was the umpteenth Mattapoisett annual 4th of July 5-miler, which starts and ends on a park on the waterfront. Nice setting, a good crowd of onlookers at a few locations, and a mostly flat course on residential streets. There is likely to be a ringer from California in your age group.

July 6 was the Phinney’s Harbor Day 5K (PHD5K) multi-terrain fun run in the vicinity of the Weary Travelers Club at Monument Beach. I got talked into this by two running friends who said let’s do a fun run and then go to the Eagles in Buzzards Bay for a high cholesterol breakfast — all you can eat for $8, and the bar opens at 10:00. Then they didn’t run, but showed up for brunch. The race is put on by Bourne Community Boating, a local group raising money for youth activities. Bob Burt, who is race director for the Weary Travelers race in January was there, and informed me that CCAC loans him our clock and hand held timing devices. News to me.

Recall that his club is the one with no officers, no dues, and not many members, but they run in that area every morning at 5:30, and Tom Cahir is among them..

The course starts on highway, goes into a neighborhood that the Weary Travelers race uses, turns onto the dirt road that leads to Weary Travelers the back way, and just before reaching the lodge, turns onto a hilly path through the woods. Fortunately, the downside of the hills leads to the approach to the finish line. The awards were lobster pot buoys; very nice.
And a sizable free raffle.

July 13 was the Old Port Half Marathon in Portland, ME. I stay with in-laws and make a weekend of it. The race is limited to 4000 runners, no walkers, and 500 5K runners on a different course. Shipyard Beer is on the State Pier at the finish, as is a rock band. The awards here are lobster buoys also. The Portland waterfront has great eating places, and Portland has several craft breweries that hold samplings on Saturday.

The course has changed a couple of times in its short history, because of road/bridge construction, and now is less flat than originally, although there are four miles of flat crushed stone pathways around shadeless Back Cove starting at about mile 7. Wisely, the race starts at 7:00am. Except for a couple of Colonials, the only runner we are familiar with that I have seen there is Ian Nurse, who is anxious to run Chatham Harbor in Winter. He finished third overall. In the past he has arrived by boat.

~ Seeing you on the roads – Larry Cole

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