Block Island Long Run: Saturday, 5/11/15

“A good long run requires more time to plan than to execute.” –Anonymous


Long runs can be boring, but they don’t have to be. To combat boredom, the runner has two primary weapons in his arsenal: company and variety. It is a bitter irony, though, that the implementation of the latter diminishes the former. It is a simple mathematical fact, then, that THE MOST INTERESTING RUN EVER will have zero attendance.

Flying in the face mathematics, however, Brian organized THE MOST INTERESTING RUN EVER, and three people attended: Brian, Mike, and Mark. (Mark deserves special recognition for making THE MOST INTERESTING RUN EVER his first run with the club.) These three runners boarded the 11-a.m. ferry in Pt. Judith, bound for Block Island, and enjoyed a not-so-bumpy ride to the island. What follows is a short picture-narrative of the run.

Click HERE to see the route.

One logistical concern dealt with the question of where to stash bags. (Mark boldly embarked on this 8-hour adventure in running singlet, shorts, and shoes, with no luggage.) The Visitor’s Center was open, but was to close at 3:00 p.m., so the runners made use of the nice rack behind the building.

Outdoor rack

Outdoor rack

The run began in Old Harbor and ran toward the north end of the island.

Mark

Early in the run: Mark running north

At about three miles into the run, the route turned right onto the Clay Head Nature Trail. It was a beautiful day and the views from the high bluffs were spectacular. (Mike and Brian were, at this point, ahead of Mark. The two groups didn’t meet again until after the run.)

The trailhead

The trailhead

View from the Clay Head Trail

View from the Clay Head Trail

Running along the Clay Head Trail

Running along the Clay Head Trail

Exiting the trails, the runners turned again north and followed the road to its end, at which there is a good view of the North Light in the distance.

The North Light

The North Light

Mile 6 through 11 took the runners back south and through the middle of the island, past the airport, taking a right onto Cherry Hill Rd. at Rodman’s Hollow. The left onto Lewis Farm Rd. began a fascinating and breathtaking three-mile journey through Ireland-like fields and stone walls, then onto and along the rugged south beach that is towered over by high bluffs.

Ireland

Ireland I

Ireland II

Ireland II

Running along the south beach

Running along the south beach

The beach run was about two miles of slow going to the Mohegan Bluffs at Southeast Light. To get off the beach and back onto the roads, the runners scrambled up to the steep stairs, and (in a quad-burning burst of adrenaline) ran every step to the top.

The bottom end of the stairs

The bottom end of the stairs

Once on the roads, the quads eventually recovered enough for Brian to push the pace for the last three miles (all of which were close to six-minute miles). The Visitor’s Center and bag rack were a welcome sight after the 18-mile run, and the runners enjoyed hearty refreshment at the Mohegan Cafe.

Mohegan Cafe

Mohegan Cafe (with one of the three runners menu-browsing )

With 30 minutes to kill and $8 of change, the runners found an open candy store. The sign in front advertised free fudge, but it was not free, so an $8 bag of random chocolates (including a piece of chocolate-covered bacon) served as dessert.

The warm ferry ride home was smooth and uneventful, and thus ended THE MOST INTERESTING RUN EVER.

February Race Report

Happy Spring! The weather cooperated for our Super 5K, but no such luck for the annual MV 20 Miler, which was canceled due to snow. Looks like we are turning a corner. Time to get out and enjoy the roads!

Happy running,

Nicole

RI – Feb 1: Super 5k

       11    Brian McNeiece            2 40-49   17:52 5:46

       15    Kaela O’Neil              1 30-39   18:08 5:51

       21    Jessica Kutcher           2 30-39   18:45 6:03

       23    Aaron Rome                4 40-49   19:07 6:10

       24    Diane Senecal             1 40-49   19:23 6:15

       26    AJ Fournier               2 19-29   19:25 6:16

       28    Ben Folsom                13 30-39  19:26 6:16

       41    David Tetreault           8 50-59   20:52 6:44

       43    Pete Rumsey               7 40-49   20:56 6:45

       45    Ken Abrams                9 50-59   21:03 6:47

       46    Claire Gadrow             2 40-49   21:09 6:49

       47    Laurie Feit-Melnick       3 40-49   21:14 6:51

       49    Peter Barbera             10 50-59  21:22 6:54

       52    Joyce Lin                 3 30-39   21:48 7:02

       57    Elizabeth Marchetti       4 30-39   21:58 7:05

       58    Mary Camire               1 60-69   22:02 7:06

       67    Amy Rice                  1 50-59   22:36 7:17

       70    Steve Wright              16 50-59  22:42 7:19

       71    Rebecca Allen             4 40-49   22:43 7:20

       76    Flynn Sullivan            6 14-18   23:01 7:25

       77    Jim Sullivan              18 50-59  23:03 7:26

       79    Pat Ferrigno              2 60-69   23:25 7:33

       81    John Peabody              3 60-69   23:33 7:36

       84    Nicole Rattay             5 30-39   23:37 7:37

       102   Rich Falvo                17 40-49  24:22 7:52

       114   Stephen Schonning         25 50-59  25:39 8:16

       115   Joe Behl                  3 70-98   25:40 8:17

       135   Jennifer McCaffrey        16 40-49  27:40 8:55

RI – Feb 7: Belleville Pond 10k Trail Race (updated 2/8/2015)

       14    Aaron Rome                          52:09:00 8:25

       20    Jess Kutcher                         54:56:00 8:52

       28    AJ Fournier                            57:37:00 9:18

       37    Pete Rumsey                         1:03:33 10:15

       46    John Peabody                       1:06:56 10:48

       65    George Ross                         1:16:43 12:22

No Excuses

This brutal winter hasn’t stopped NRA members from getting out and running, and every weekend there are at least two or three different group runs planned.

Some of the group is training for Boston, some for the Vermont City Marathon in May, and others are just getting out there because it’s what they love to do.

Thanks to Murray Norcross for this photo (and accompanying caption) of one of the Newport contingent’s recent winter outings.

Many happy miles to you all, and here’s hoping that we can post some snow-free pictures soon!

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“Some of the Newport Gang ran from the Ferry Landing out to the Beaver Tail Light this morning, Saturday, 28 February 2015. Air Temp at 0730 was 14F. Windchill was 5F. Terri Martland is running toward the Beaver Tail Light House on Jamestown. In the distance, large ice floes can be seen being moved by the current. Why we run? So we see beautiful scenes like this and friendships.”

January Race Report

Congratulations to all the runners who raced in January!

RI – Jan 1: Hangover Classic 5 Miler
39 Ken Abrams 7/45 36:18 7:16
68 Michael Scott 17/45 39:26 7:54
120 Jim Cotter 9/19 43:42 8:45
160 Linda Hurteau 7/22 47:11 9:27

RI – Jan 11: Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race (updated 1/12/2015)
22 Jess Kutcher 20:24 6:35
24 Aaron Rome 20:33 6:38
28 Diane Senecal 20:44 6:41
45 David Tetreault 21:44 7:01
50 Shira Fuller 21:55 7:04
66 George Ross 23:27 7:34
73 John Peabody 24:16:00 7:50
95 Stephen Schonning 25:58:00 8:23
110 Jim Cotter 26:53:00 8:40
163 Elise Hedglen 37:14:00 12:01

RI – Jan 17: 4th Annual East Coast Championship – Saturday Running
6 McNeiece, Brian 5:04.05
1 O’Neil, Kaela 5:15.21

NH – Jan 25: 20th Annual Boston Prep 16 Miler
13 Michael Tammaro 1:40:59 6:19
29 Warren Angell 1:48:33 6:48
31 Diane Senecal 1:48:56 6:49
71 Claire Gadrow 1:59:47 7:30
80 David Tetreault 2:00:48 7:33
241 Kim Raymond 2:28:06 9:16

Claire, Diane, Mike, and Dave at Boston Prep 16 Miler in Derry, NH.

Claire, Diane, Mike, and Dave at Boston Prep 16 Miler in Derry, NH.

The Cooks: A Request

A request was made to post a picture of the winter party cooking crew to the website, so here we go. The first image shows the masterminds of the operation, John and Paul.

John and Paul

John and Paul

The next image shows Michelle and Diane.

Michelle and Diane

Michelle and Diane

Finally, the whole crew:

Steve, John, Mike, Michelle, Paul, Sarah, and Diane

Steve, John, Mike, Michelle, Paul, Sarah, and Diane

The dinner setup and meal required careful planning and preparation, and the execution on party day was hectic, nerve-wracking business. Thanks to Joyce for taking this last picture!

December Race Report

Happy New Year!! Here is the December race results. Congratulations to all those who raced this month! Well done Mike Tammaro, Brian McNeiece, Tim Kobylenski, and Michelle San Antonio! All placed in their age group at the December 7th, Jingle Bell Beach 5k Run. Representing the NRA 2nd Generation, was Dante San Antonio. Dante came in 5th for his age group. Some top performances at the 10K By the Bay in Newport by Vinny Hey, Claire Gadrow, and Linda Hurteau. Congratulations on a great race. Nooseneck was covered by both Mike Tammaro and Murray Norcross. In case you missed the email here are some highlights. Congratulations to our winners, two-time champ Kaela O’Neil and five-time champ Matt Pelletier, each smashing the previous course  records in the female and male divisions, respectively.

On December 21st, the NRA and friends, headed for the trails.  The South County 4th Season Race Series is a sequence of off-road trail running races held throughout the winter months. Check out the series here. Each race offers awards and raffle prizes to participants of that event. All races raise awareness of local recreational resources, charities, and small businesses.  The next race in the series is Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race : Sun, Jan 11, 2015 – REGISTER ONLINE. Hope to see you there!!

Summary of Race Results for December

Macau China – Dec 7: Macau Marathon
339   82    PETER BARBERA        4:21:05

MA – Dec 7: 3rd Annual Frosty Five Mansfield 5k
50    Michael Scott             22:23.00

RI – Dec 7: Jingle Bell Beach 5k Run
1     Brian McNeiece               1 40-49   17:58 5:48
2     Michael Tammaro           2 40-49   18:43 6:02
7     Tim Kobylenski               2 50-59   23:01 7:25
30    Dante San Antonio          5 01-18   37:04 11:57
31    Michelle San Antonio       3 40-49  37:09 11:59

RI – Dec 14: 10k By the Bay
24    Vincent Hey               1  60-69     40:44   6:34
29    David Tetreault          5  50-59     41:47   6:44
31    Mark Fuller               14  19-39    42:11   6:48
44    Claire Gadrow            2   40-49    43:22   7:00
88    Shira Fuller               11  19-39     46:47   7:33
101   Linda Hurteau            3 50-59     48:01   7:45
163   Jim Cotter                10  60-69    53:20   8:36
249   Jennifer McCaffrey     20 40-49   59:30    9:36

RI – Dec 21: Old Mountain 5k Trail Race
20    Aj Fournier                         21:24 6:54
23    Mark Fuller                         22:05 7:07
24    Ben Folsom                        22:14 7:10
37    Jess Kutcher                       23:15 7:30
53    Shira Fuller                        24:11 7:48
54    Diane Leith-Doucett          24:13 7:49
74    George Ross                      26:26 8:32
78    David Tetreault                  26:52 8:40
81    John Peabody                     27:14 8:47
83    Diane Senecal                    27:29 8:52

RI – Dec 26: Nooseneck 18K
3     Brian McNeiece                    1:08:55 0:06:10
11    Kaela Oneil                         1:13:43 0:06:35
13    Zachary Kudlak                   1:14:50 0:06:41
18    Brian Sweenor                     1:16:58 0:06:53
19    Paul LeToile                        1:17:50 0:06:58
22    Vinny Hey                           1:19:04 0:07:04
28    Chris Spaight                      1:21:15 0:07:16
29    David Tetreault                    1:21:22 0:07:16
34    John Gadrow                        1:23:35 0:07:28
35    Rick Cota                             1:24:17 0:07:32
36    Claire Gadrow                       1:24:31 0:07:33
45    Mary Camire                         1:27:38 0:07:50
46    Ken Abrams                          1:27:39 0:07:50
49    Elizabeth Marchetti               1:29:11 0:07:58
53    John Brindamour                   1:31:03 0:08:08
54    Pat Ferrigno                          1:31:23 0:08:10
55    Amy Rice                               1:32:05 0:08:14
62    David Heskett                       1:35:05 0:08:30
64    Rich Falvo                             1:36:00 0:08:35
69    John Peabody                        1:36:57 0:08:40
76    Linda Hurteau                       1:40:27 0:08:59
80    Joyce Lin                               1:41:37 0:09:05
82    Ray Isacco                             1:43:47 0:09:17
85    Steven Ahern                        1:44:52 0:09:23
96    Deborah Lysik                       1:57:20 0:10:29

January 3, 2015, Narragansett Running Assn Winter Party

January 3, 2015, Wickford, RI. Narragansett Running Assn holds its winter dinner at the Wickford Yatcht Club. This year the group was treated to a special sit down dinner prepared by NRA President Michelle Theriault San Antonio, former NRA President Michael Tammaro along with special chefs John Brindamour and Paul & Diane Senecal Over 55 NRA members and their guests attended. H’orderves were crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops, oysters on the half shell, spring rolls, and seafood stuffed endive. The soup was a delicious squash soup topped with sour cream. The main entrees were delicious: chicken, beef, or vegetable tart. Dessert was lemon cookies and cranberry-chocolate brownie alamode with chocolate sauce. We can eat meals like this because we are runners!! A great evening was enjoyed by all.

Claire, Ann, and Fran

Claire, Ann, and Fran

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Wendy and Nicole

John, Ann, and Kate

John, Ann, and Kate

Pat and Ken

Pat and Ken

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NRA President, Michelle San Antonio

Photo credit: Ann Norcross.

New Year’s Eve: To the border, beyond, and back.

On Sunday, 12/28/14, Brian and I ran from downtown Coventry to Rte. 102 via the Washington Secondary Trail: an impressive new multi-use path that connects Cranston to Coventry along an abandoned rail corridor. Our route was an out-and-back, with the turn-around point being about 0.3 miles west of Rte. 102: at the Summit General Store in Greene, RI.

The Summit General Store

The Summit General Store

From the turn-around point, we saw that the paved path continue west, but how far west? We set out to explore this question on Wednesday, 1/31/14, meeting at the Summit General Store at 11:33am to run west to the CT border. There was designated parking for path users, which averted any anxiety that might have come with utilizing the store parking.

Parking area for path users

Parking area for path users

We stepped out onto the path, and turned west to find an immediate answer to our question: The paved path ends about 100 meters west of the Summit General Store.

The end of the paved part of the Washington Secondary Trail

The end of the paved part of the Washington Secondary Trail

We had been looking over satellite images since Sunday’s run, and it was clear that, paved or not, the trail continued west, so west we went. The path was wide and clear, and usually straight and level, as far as the eye could see. Some sections contain a regular pattern of bumps, separated by about 5-10 meters, and with heights varying from very small to about one meter. These so-called “doop de doos” were initially annoying, then funny. Is there a training benefit to running this terrain? We don’t yet know the answer, but the soreness in my glutes might be a clue.

Abandoned railway conversions always produce trails without sharp bends or steep hills.

Abandoned railway conversions always produce trails without sharp bends or steep hills.

A few short sections were flooded out, forcing us to run around the frozen edges of the puddles. Several times we had to abandon the trail altogether, but at these points there were clear secondary trails that ran alongside the main path.

Some doop de doos hold water

Some doop de doos hold water

We encountered an obstacle at about 2.2 miles: an abandoned iron bridge. The bridge once carried trains over a river, but only the truss remains. We tiptoed carefully across the truss (not looking down). In the photograph, you can see a granite stone that has somehow fallen onto the truss. The stone bears word “ZEPPELIN,” written as graffiti.

The Zeppelin Bridge

The Zeppelin Bridge

The next bridge crossing occurred at 3.3 miles. This bridge was much higher than the Zeppelin bridge (approximately 60 feet high compared with perhaps 15 feet) and spanned a more substantial waterway.

The 3.3 bridge

The 3.3 bridge

Looking down from the 3.3 bridge

Looking down from the 3.3 bridge

A train cannot climb anything but gradual hills, so railways are necessarily quite flat. As a consequence, the railway bed is often built up quite high in low areas, offering scenic views of the surroundings. The photo below was taken at about 3.7 miles, where Carbuncle Pond can be seen beyond the marshy area.

A view of Carbuncle pond from the heights of the trail.

A view of Carbuncle Pond from the heights of the trail.

We estimated our pace to be about 8 min/mile, and, from the time, we estimated that we were closing in on the CT border. We expected no “Welcome to Connecticut” sign, so our plan was to was to turn around when we reached Plainfield Pike, which we knew to be just across the CT border. We first spied Plainfield Pike through an opening in the trees that, in an erie way, appeared perfectly circular from a distance. Looking through the circular hole and seeing cars pass confirmed our conjecture that we had, indeed, passed into CT and wer

Plainfield Pike in the distance

Plainfield Pike in the distance

Crossing Plainfield Pike

Crossing Plainfield Pike

We decided to cross Plainfield Pike and continue on the path for a few more minutes, turning around at 0:47:00 on the watch. On the way back, we stopped in Greene (RI) center and took a few pictures.

Map showing Coventry in relation to Rhode Island and Greene in relation to Coventry

Map showing Coventry in relation to Rhode Island and Greene in relation to Coventry

We learned, from a monument placard, that Greene was once a rail stop along the Washington Secondary Trail, with the rail built in the early 1850s.

Greene center

Greene center

Monument to the rail

Monument to the rail

We completed the return trip in fewer minutes than the outbound trip, and called the total distance 12 miles. The Summit General Store claims to be Rhode Island’s only real general store, and we saw no reason to disagree. There was no indoor seating, but they did serve food and coffee, so we each purchased a muffin and coffee, got in our cars, and drove home. (The muffins were delicious, by the way.)