Register for the Hussdog Jog 5K

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Registration is now open for the 7th Annual Hussdog Jog 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk and The Running Griffin encourages you to join me in Pembroke, Massachusetts on July 15th for what is annually a great run!

The 7th Annual Hussdog Jog will commemorate the passing of Steven R. Hussey by bringing family, friends, and the town of Pembroke together in a celebratory 5K and 2 mile walk! Join the Hussey family as they raise awareness and provide support to individuals and their families who have suffered from a stroke.

Proceeds from the Hussdog Jog benefit the nonprofit Stroke Rehabilitation and Healing (SRH). SRH’s mission is to raise awareness regarding the challenges met by stroke patients and their families. SRH works to increase the support and services that are offered to stroke patients and their families, and provide necessary equipment for in-home recovery/rehabilitation. SRH hopes to increase the quality of life and longevity of those who suffer from a stroke. For more information about Stroke Rehabilitation and Healing, please click here to “Like” them on Facebook.

I have run this race a few times in the past and the course is a great run through mostly residential roads. A couple nice little hills mixed in for good measure but an early summer start time helps ensure you will be running your best before the hot summer midday heat kicks in.

To register for the 7th Annual Hussdog Jog, please click here. I’ll see you in Pembroke for the Hussdog Jog on July 15th!

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Market Square Day 10K

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This weekend it was up north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the Market Square Day 10K. This race is a component to a great downtown festival in the heart of Portsmouth, New Hampshire called Market Square Day and is sponsored by Pro-Portsmouth, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and sustaining the vitality of Portsmouth’s arts, culture and history through events and community collaboration.

If you’ve never been to Portsmouth, you have to go. A New England town along the water, Portsmouth features an idyllic downtown area with some amazing restaurants, breweries, pubs, shops and more. The downtown area is a spot visitors could spend a day, relax and take in some great culture. Market Square Day capitalizes on that New England charm with streets closed down and vendors selling their wares, food vendors offering their food and drink and a 10K road race taking runners throughout the streets of Portsmouth.

The 10K kicks off right in the heart of Market Square and takes runners out of the central downtown area and into some Portsmouth neighborhoods throughout the course. The race has some really excellent fan support along the way and it seems as though mimosa helped make a hot morning a bit cooler for spectators watching the race. Parts of the course reminded me of the fan support along the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon course.

A decent hill around the 4 mile mark added a little challenge to the course and a shaded section in the fifth mile added a little reprieve from the warm temperatures and sunny race time conditions. Heading into the finish line there was a sharp and steep uphill sprint which once crested led to a nice, fast downhill 100 yards or so into the finish line.

The race course was perfectly prepared with water along the way though it could have been a touch cooler as particularly in the later miles the water was warm. Also, mile markers were missing from the course which made for a little added challenge to the race trying to determine where you were along the way.

Overall, a great run at the Market Square Day 10K and I finished the race with a time of 53:33, good for 8:38/miles. This was my first time ever running the Market Square Day 10K but it certainly will not be my last. An amazing course, great support and an awesome New England city welcoming runners; it doesn’t get much better than that!

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Newport 10 Miler

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The alarm went off at 4:45 AM Sunday morning and we were in the car by 5:10 making our way to Newport, Rhode Island for the Newport 10 Miler. We deferred last year’s run to this year due to not having a babysitter which ended up working in our favor since last year’s race it rained pretty good while this year was an absolutely gorgeous June morning!

Thankfully the Newport 10 Miler kicks off at 7:30 AM as the sunny temperatures were nice and warm and later in the morning/afternoon would have made the race a touch more difficult due to the heat.

The course is absolutely amazing as it takes runners alongside amazing stretches of the Atlantic Ocean, past the Newport mansions, through neighborhoods and into Fort Adams State Park. Running on the concrete paved Bellevue Avenue where some of the most iconic Newport mansions are located was a remarkable stretch running in a nicely shaded street full of so much grandeur and beauty. Running on the roads abutting the Atlantic Ocean made for another true highlight of the race with some downright amazing views, fresh ocean air and rolling hills that kept you honest as you made your way along the course.

Ran the Newport 10 Miler in some new Mizuno‘s I had picked up last weekend and represented the Amstel XLight brand shirt as a 2017 Amstel XLight ambassador.

I felt strong while running and seemed to be keeping up a good pace throughout the course. Each mile was marked and I was tracking my pace to be quite consistent each mile. Because temps were warm, water and Gatorade at the stops was critical but even with the hydrating I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the course of the race.

I finished the 2017 Newport 10 Miler with a time of 1:26:02, good for 8:36/miles.

 

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Cleveland Marathon Finisher!

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Last weekend it was off to Cleveland, Ohio for the 40th Anniversary of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and I am proud to report that I am now a Cleveland Marathon finisher! That’s right, another marathon is in the books and another medal can be added to the collection!

The Rock and Roll City did an a great job hosting this marathon and if you are looking for a nice marathon to add to the running bucket list be sure to give this one some serious consideration. From the race expo to the finish line the organization around the Cleveland Marathon was absolutely excellent and runners traveling to the city were welcomed the entire weekend.

I headed over to the race expo both on Friday and Saturday and hit up the various sponsor tables, vendors and other booths. The expo had plenty of space to move around and registration and number pickup had plenty of volunteers available to help the avoid any length delays.

The Cleveland Marathon features a variety of different races so Saturday I made my way to watch the 5k race which had all the trimmings of a larger race complete with an announcer at the finish line greeting runners into the chute. The finish line for the races was conveniently located outside of my hotel which made for a truly perfect location to stay while in Cleveland.

On race morning, I made my way over to the starting area which was just about a quarter mile from my hotel and directly in front of the Quicken Loans Arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play and Progressive Field where the Cleveland Indians play. The corrals were very well managed and the race went off without a hitch immediately at the 7AM start time.

Runners made their way out of the downtown area and down toward the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where an exceptional band blasted some rock music and really got the runners amped up for the miles ahead. After running past the stadium where the Cleveland Browns play, it was then up a short , steep incline and down toward The Flats section of Cleveland. A remarkable hill was mixed into the course pretty early and signs placed by the marathon organizers alongside the road helped motivate runners up the hill step by step.

For about the first half of the race I felt pretty good. I knew it wasn’t going to be my best marathon given the perfect storm of some humid conditions coupled with some gall bladder and pancreatic issues I have been dealing with but I was determined to put one foot in front of the other each step of the way and get to the finish line. Even when the rain entered into the mix at the midway point, I kept myself mentally in the race and kept on trucking.

The Lake Ave section of the race in the second half of the marathon was quite flat and well supported with people cheering runners along the way. One of the constants of this marathon was how remarkably well supported the run was the entire way with both official and non-official water stops, energy drinks, gels and more along the entire race course. If you really wanted to, a bacon and beer stop was even available for those with an iron stomach! An area called Edgewater Drive took runners past some beautiful homes and this stretch was a pretty quiet but enjoyable part of the course.

Heading back onto Detroit Avenue I saw a large bridge I knew led to the finish line having walked over it the day before while checking out the Ohio City section of the city. I knew I was close and felt the legs get a little stronger with each step over the bridge.

I made my way into the finish line with a time of 5:08:06, or 11:46/miles. My pace continued to fall off throughout the course but I made it. It would be easy to be disappointed with my time but I couldn’t be more happy with the fact that I finished another marathon. Marathons and marathon training certainly can take its toll, but I did it! And now, I am a Cleveland Marathon finisher!

 

Monday Night Fun Runs Are Back!

Runners on the South Shore of Massachusetts know that summer is quickly approaching when the Monday Night Fun Runs in Raynham, Massachusetts begin to kick off again! These runs feature a timed 3.25 mile road race all for the very reasonable price of just $2. That’s right, 8 quarters and you can race on Monday nights and try to beat your pace each week on the streets of Raynham.

The first half of the race is quite flat and then heading into the Mile 2 marker the course begins to pick up some elevation. Once you pass that marker the grade gets tougher and takes runners up a relatively steep incline before cresting the hill, making a quick left turn and leveling off a bit before being greeted by a nice downhill heading into the mile 3 marker. Once you hit that, the last stretch of the race is nice and flat.

The race is an open course route and has grown in terms of runners over the past few years. Water is provided after the run and the race times are posted online immediately following the run. This Monday night series is sponsored and organized by the Colonial Road Runners and is a great way to end the first day of the week.

This week I finished the Monday Night Fun Run with a time of 25:15, good for 7:46/miles. Great start to the season and look forward to hopefully working to shave a few seconds off over the course of the summer. If you are in the Raynham area on Monday nights, join me!

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Food Trucks, Breweries, Baseball & Running

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What do food trucks, breweries, baseball and running have to do with one another? On the surface, probably not a whole heck of a lot. But when you put five childhood friends together in Minnesota on their annual guy’s weekend away it starts to make a lot of sense!

My four best friends growing up and I pick a different city to meet up in once a year to take in a baseball game, to eat what some might call a “less than healthy” variety of food, tour some breweries, pass gas without being shamed by our significant others and tell the same jokes we have told each previous year and find new bits to work into our routine. A couple of us also try to find a race to partake in to partially help offset the amount of BBQ we have consumed and to work up a good thirst for the next brewery visit.

Last weekend was our annual trip and this year we ticked Minneapolis, Minnesota off the list of cities to check out. Added bonus this year is that our hometown Boston Red Sox were in town for a series against the Minnesota Twins so we were able to take in a game and cheer on the Sox.

When looking for races to do we located the Minnesota Brewery Running Series race being held at 56 Brewing. The MBRS is a series of fun runs hosted by local breweries and entry comes with a free pint of beer and a pint glass, handmade coaster, running belt or other offering. There was a healthy amount of raffle prizes given away post run, as well.

The run is not a timed affair and the course was just an eyelash short of 3 miles. The open course had runners and walkers of all speeds mixed in and the route started and ended at the brewery. Runners made their way down a relatively flat first mile before hitting a bridge that spanned across the Mississippi River. The up-and-down running of bridge added a little bit of some hills into the mix as runners ran across one side of the bridge, crossed the street and then ran back on the other side of the bridge. After coming off the bridge it was across a street and then into a residential neighborhood before making your way past a grain mill and back toward the brewery. I felt quite strong on the course despite dealing with some medical challenges of late and finished the race with a well below 8 minute mile pace.

After making your way into the finish line, runners were handed a wooden token for a free beer inside 56 Brewing. The brewery literally was only a day old in this new location and couldn’t look better. A well-crafted wheat beer hit the spot post-run and the new brewery location had a great vibe going.

Kudos to Sean and Matt for tackling the race alongside me. Next year, Nick and Justin, we’re getting you to run, too!

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Heart Zones

Heart Zones Ambassador Badge 2017

The Running Griffin is a proud 2017 Ambassador for Heart Zones!

Heart Zones, Inc is dedicated to helping to “Get America Fit” and a big part of doing that comes in the form of training through using wearable technology that provides tangible biofeedback to learn how to train better and smarter!

These different heart rate monitors and wearables are used for different types of athlete and personal training. Heart rate monitors, step trackers, GPS running watches and wearable technology are critical to the data driven training that Heart Zones, Inc is all about.

For more information about Heart Zones, please visit their website by clicking here. You can also “Like” them on Facebook by clicking here.

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