Race Recap: Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K

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When you race after a full day of work you never really know what to expect. 7PM races can always be an interesting challenge to ensure you have properly hydrated throughout the day, ate the right amount of fuel but not too much and still have enough energy in the tank to tackle the race well even after putting in a full day of work.

On Thursday, it was out to South Boston for the 31st Annual Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K. This is an exceptionally good race put on by the L Street Running Club and takes runners along a relatively flat and typically hot 5K course alongside Carson Beach in Southie. The road is shut down to traffic for the quick time the race takes place and runners have the road to themselves as they make their way out onto the course.

The race is known to have featured some tough warm temperatures in prior years and given you are in the sun the entire way this 5K course can certainly take a toll when the weather is hot. Fortunately, this Thursday night was an absolutely gorgeous night with temperatures still warm but not scorching, absolutely no humidity in the air and a gentle breeze from time to time coming off the water. When compared to the brutally warm conditions from last year’s race, this year was a simply perfect night to run a 5K.

In this year’s Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K, I felt strong making my way out onto the course and it seemed as though it was going to be one of those running days where you just sort of know you have it. The out-and-back 5K course allows you to hit the water stop twice which certainly came in handy and through more than 3/4 of the race I kept up a nice pace. I could feel myself fading a little bit as I hit the 3 mile marker but knowing there was just a tenth of a mile left to go I dug deep and finished with a time of 23:07, good for 7:27/miles.

A great result and proving just how nice of a night it was for a run in last year’s scorcher I ran an 8:44/pace so shaving more than a minute per mile off I couldn’t be more pleased with that result!

Be sure to “Like” the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl’s Facebook page by clicking here and I will see you at next year’s race!

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Bridge & Back 10K Registration Now Open

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Registration is now open for the Bridge & Back 10K which is being held in Salem, Massachusetts on August 5th. Faithful readers of The Running Griffin attended last year’s Bridge & Back 10K and reported back glowing reviews of the race so be sure to add this 10K to your race calendar!

With a name like the Bridge & Back 10K you could probably have guessed that there is going to be a bridge involved! Runners make their way over the Salem/Beverly Bridge on this 10K route giving runners a bit of an incline while racing up and down the bridge. Once runners make their way along the 10K route, there is a great post-race party at the Tavern in the Square in Salem where runners can refuel and enjoy a cold pint after the run.

The first 300 participants will receive a short sleeve t-shirt! Race Director Doug Bollen puts on some amazing races and this year’s Bridge & Back 10K is sure to be no exception!

All proceeds from the event benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. Be sure to help pack the starting line to help raise funds for this great organization!

To register for the Bridge & Back 10K, please click here. You can also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here.

 

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Register Today for the Run for Jess

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Registration is now open for the 5th Annual Run for Jess which will be held on Saturday, September 1st in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. I have run this race a number of times since it has started and can assure you that this is one 5K race you will not want to miss!

All proceeds from the Run for Jess 5K benefit the Jessica C. Thurston Memorial Foundation. Jess was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 at the age of 27. After a very courageous battle with the disease Jess lost her life in August of 2013 at the age of 29. Throughout her illness she displayed so much strength and resilience; living her life with hope and a positive attitude.

Jess’s family and friends put on this amazing race that takes runners through the streets of East Bridgewater and the Foundation helps support breast cancer research in Jess’s memory.

The run is a good course on residential roads and there is a water stop half-way through the race. You get a couple of gradual hills mixed in for good measure which helps make the burgers and hot dogs served after the race taste all that much better! The race has a remarkable amount of raffle prizes available so be sure to bring some cash and take a chance on winning some great things to take home with you!

The race is a perfect family event complete with the kids race and the cookout. The race starts and finishes just outside the grounds of the Commercial Club in East Bridgewater so there is plenty of room to kick a soccer ball, run around, throw a football, etc.

To register for the Run for Jess, please click here. You will also want to be sure to follow the race on Facebook by clicking here and give a “Like” to the Foundation’s page here.

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Race Recap: Finish at the Fifty

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Every year it seems as though the Finish at the Fifty is held on the hottest day of the summer and this year was no exception. Though in the past I have opted to run the 5K at 6PM followed by the 10K at 7PM, I am glad this year I chose to only run the 5K course as the heat was downright ridiculous this past week here in New England.

The Finish at the Fifty is held on the hallowed grounds the New England Patriots call home. There is always a significant size crowd for this race given the allure of finishing at the fifty yard line inside Gillette Stadium and this year’s heat didn’t seem to thin the crowd out much. This isn’t a race you are going to PR at; rather, the race is an experience run and one that is quite fun to enjoy.

My daughter, one of her friends and Mrs. Running Griffin also ran this year’s race and deserve a ton of credit for tackling the run with such oppressive temperatures present even at a 6PM start.

The first mile of the race takes runners through the parking lots around Gillette Stadium and the heat coming off the pavement is quite noticeable. There is a water stop just around the 1 mile mark and then again around the 1.5 mile mark before runners head into the stadium. Once runners make their way through the parking lot, the race then takes an uphill turn as runners run the ramps from the ground entrance of the stadium all the way to the top of the stadium. Once the ramps have been tackled up, a quick loop around the upper bowl of Gillette then takes runners down another set of ramps to head back down toward ground level. These downhill ramps can be a nice challenge, as well, given the gravity pulling on your knees while running them. After heading down a set of the ramps, a half loop around the lower bowl of the stadium then takes runners outside quickly before heading into a tunnel to run out onto the field and be greeted by throngs of fans cheering you into the finish line.

As runners are heading into the finish line at the fifty yard line, runners are shown on the Jumbotron and the Patriots cheerleaders and mascot welcome you into the finish line. One disappointment this year is that there was no New England Patriot player available at the finish line as in the past players like Nate Solder or Jerrod Mayo were there cheering you in and available for photos.

After the race, we hung around the parking lot of Gillette Stadium and tailgated with friends and enjoyed a great fireworks celebration once it was dark out.

Even with the heat and the sea of runners and walkers present, I ran a nice race and felt strong heading both up and down the ramps and finished with an overall time of 26:11, good for 8:26/miles.

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Accelerated Performance Rehabilitation

17103778_1335363406510011_7500762606011180655_nThe Running Griffin would like to welcome Accelerated Performance Rehabilitation as the newest sponsor of our website!

Located in Westwood, Massachusetts, Accelerated Performance Rehabilitation provides  a unique patient/client centered approach to physical therapy and their premier physical therapists work with sports performance coaches to develop individual treatment plans that rehabilitate while also enhancing your sports performance. This combination of sports medicine and sports performance training benefits everyone from the elite athlete to the postoperative patient working to resume their normal lifestyle.

At APR, you will feel valued and respected from the initial phone conversation. Their priority is to provide exceptional care to accelerate your recovery and performance. As a runner, APR will spend the time necessary to get you feeling better and in top performance to ensure your body is in top running form!

APR’s team of highly skilled manual therapists believe in a hands on approach to tissue preparation. Muscle, fascia, and involved soft tissue should be soft and pliable, not only to promote healing but to allow full activation and function before adding stress to these tissues through proper strength and performance training. When these restrictions are addressed, combined with the correct exercise prescription, accelerated healing and performance begins.

I had the pleasure to meet the APR team at the Pack the Pantry 5K and they provided some great post-race stretching and techniques to bring home and help maximize post-race recovery. In the short ten minutes we spent together, I was impressed with the attention and unique feedback they provided to me focused on my own personal feedback as to what areas tended to be problem areas.

For more information about Accelerated Performance Rehabilitation, please be sure to check out their website by clicking here. You can also “Like” them on Facebook here. If you are in the greater Westwood area, please be sure to give them a look today if you need quality physical therapy, massage therapy or group training techniques.

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2018 MitoAction Energy Walk & 5K Run

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Registration is now open for the 2018 MitoAction Energy Walk & 5K Run which is being held on Sunday, September 16th in the South Boston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The race will kick off at the DCR’s Mother’s Rest on Carson Beach in Southie and this course hugging Boston Harbor is one you won’t want to miss!

Presented by Stealth BioTherapeutics, the 2018 MitoAction Energy Walk & 5K Run raises awareness of mitochondrial disease and helps raise funds for MitoAction, a leading patient advocacy organization within the mitochondrial disease community. Mitochondrial disease is an inherited chronic illness that can be present at birth or develop later in life. It causes debilitating physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities with symptoms including poor growth; loss of muscle coordination; muscle weakness and pain; seizures; vision and/or hearing loss; gastrointestinal issues; learning disabilities; and organ failure.  It is estimated that 1 in 4,000 people has Mito.

With a goal of raising $150,000 for MitoAction at this year’s race, runners will tackle a chipped time 3.1 mile course along the water and the race route is a perfect course for runners of all levels. The course is a nice, flat stretch of road that makes for a great opportunity to run a strong race and support an amazing cause.

To register for the 2018 MitoAction Energy Walk & 5K Run please click here. Be sure to also give the race a “Like” on Facebook by clicking here.

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Race Recap: Bill Dunn, Jr. Memorial Road Race

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Saturday it was up to the Hough’s Neck section of Quincy, Massachusetts for the Bill Dunn, Jr. Memorial Road Race. Having never been to the Hough’s Neck section of Quincy, didn’t quite know what to expect from the race however with race time temperatures hovering around 90 degrees all runners knew that the five miles ahead were sure to be challenging.

Thankfully the race kicked off at 9AM as the temperatures only raised higher as the day grew on. At the starting line, most runners noted that it would not be a PR kind of race and instead would be one aimed at finishing safely. Runners who have also tackled the course hinted at the fact that the course would have a good amount of hills mixed into the race.

As I made my way onto the roads, the course took a really nice route throughout the Hough’s Neck section of Quincy. There were some amazing views of the ocean, some great spots that showed the Boston skyline in the distance, beachfront homes worthy of a glance as you ran by and a nice outpouring of neighborhood support along the entire 5 miles of the race. Those neighbors packed the course with hoses, sprinklers and water stops all along the route which was perfect given the hot conditions and I definitely took more water than normal and hit as many sprinklers and hoses as I possibly could. Even the smallest splash of water was helpful to cut the heat and hydration was certainly key.

Those runners who warned about the hills at the starting line were spot on as the race had some nice hills mixed throughout the entire route. The most significant hill was around the 3.5 mile mark where runners tackled a hill that basically went straight up for about a quarter mile. At the top of the hill, runners were greeted with a view of the ocean and a quick downhill toward the Nut Island Park. The final mile also included a couple good uphills, though much smaller, added in for good measure including three fast up and down hill sprints heading into the finish line.

As the race was the June Grand Prix for the Thirsty Irish Runners there was a nice contingent of green shirts along the course that helped push me along with a friendly hello and encouraging push at the right times. On a hot and hilly course, nothing better than some friends helping you along.

I finished the Bill Dunn, Jr. Memorial Road Race with a time of 44:04, good for a pace of 8:49/miles. Certainly not my best pace lately but given the conditions I was not expecting top performance and was happy to finish the race with a respectable time. The runner side of my brain (and as a runner you know what I mean) sort of had a love/hate relationship with the race and the heat and hills sort of added to the charm of the race. Would definitely look to run this race again at some point!

Bill Dunn Jr. lost his life while boating with friends on July 1, 2006. A proud member of Houghs Neck, he was truly loved by his family and friends and anyone who came in contact with him. His spirit for life and love of adventure is missed by all and this race helps keep his memory alive. A 1996 graduate of Quincy High School, Bill went on to join the Plumbers Union, Local 12. A standout for both the Houghs Neck Manets and Quincy High Football, Bill was inducted into the QHS/NQHS Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

All proceeds from the road race benefit the Bill Dunn Jr. Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship fund is used to enrich those who are in need. Some past recipients of the scholarship include Broad Meadows Middle School, Quincy High Football Players, Quincy High Students, The Houghs Neck Manets, Holy Trinity Parish, Children’s Hospital and Atherton Hough Teachers.

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