Race Recap: Mick Morgan’s 5K

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This weekend was a full schedule of soccer matches for my oldest daughter but with Saturday’s first match taking place at 3PM, I was able to make my way over to the Mick Morgan 5K in Sharon, Massachusetts in advance of hitting the road for the soccer matches. The Mick Morgan 5K was the March Grand Prix race for the Thirsty Irish Runners so always good when you can pick up some points for the Grand Prix series, as well!

The Mick Morgan race is advertised as a 5K race but race organizers clearly note that the course is actually 3.3 miles and adjust the timing accordingly. Kudos to them for doing this! Running longer is never an issue but when race directors don’t adjust timing accordingly that can be a real pet peeve for runners.

The race raises money for HESSCO and supports their mission of delivering over 130,000 Meals on Wheels each year, providing homemaking and home health aide services, advocating for residents in nursing facilities, counseling Medicare recipients on health insurance options and protecting our seniors from neglect and abuse. A very noble cause and one runners toeing the starting line happily helped raise money for.

The race kicks off and finishes at Mick Morgan’s Irish Pub and for St. Patrick’s Day weekend you can’t really ask for anything more than that. Runners were decked out in their finest green and shamrock covered clothing as they made their way out onto the course.

The route was a really nice one with an overall hilly terrain mixed throughout the course. There were stretches of uphill running alongside a golf course and then through residential neighborhoods and part of the course looped back on the same roads both out and back. For most of the run there was some climbing involved but the course moved along really well and was free of any traffic. Neighbors hung a large Irish flag over one part of the course and a water stop was present at the halfway mark.

Overall, felt good out there running on Saturday and despite some hills and wind ran a strong race. Finished the race with a time of 26:33, good for 7:59/miles in the 3.3 mile course.

Hope you all had a great St. Patrick’s Day!

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Join Me at the Pack the Pantry 5K


Looking for a nice 5K race in support of a local food pantry? Look no further and join me on June 8th in Dedham, Massachusetts for the 2019 Pack the Pantry 5K!

Organized by St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, the Pack the Pantry 5K raises funds for the Dedham Food Pantry and runners are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item with them to the race as a donation. The race organizers do a really nice job with this race which comes complete with a homemade breakfast for all runners post race.

I ran last year’s Pack the Pantry 5K and loved the course laid out for this 5K race. The race started off with some really nice uphills in the first mile followed by a significant downhill right around the one mile marker. The course was open to traffic but coned off on main roads and while running through the neighborhoods there wasn’t much traffic to contend with. A water stop was present at the half-way mark which proved to be important as runners made their way up another really good uphill stretch around the two mile mark. After tackling the hill it was then into another looped neighborhood stretch before runners made a right turn back onto the road the church was on for a good downhill and flat stretch heading into the finish line.

APR Physical Therapy will be at this year’s run again and will provide stretching for runners both pre- and post-race. Be sure to visit their table and take advantage of the amazing muscular work the APR team provides to runners; you won’t be disappointed!

Don’t delay and register for the race today and take advantage of their refer-a-friend program where you’ll receive $2 back for each friend you refer to run with you. Race a great 5K and help tackle hunger in the greater Dedham area. See you at the starting line in June!

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Boston Marathon History by the Mile

BM cover and author

Local journalist and runner Paul Clerici is the author of the bestselling book “Boston
Marathon History by the Mile.”

The award-winning writer takes readers through the colorful 26.2-mile journey – mile by
mile, town by town, story by story. With his unique vast array of experiences and
knowledge – he has run the Boston Marathon 23 times and has covered it for over 30
years now – Clerici brings the great race to life through informative, humorous, and
enlightening detail that includes stories about every statue, moment, landmark, and
portion of the course from its start in 1897 to its current incarnation. With forewords by
Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray and the first woman to complete the
race – Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb – the book also features a wide range of vintage and race-
day photos, some of which never before published. Read about all the great stories about
the very beginnings of the race in Ashland; the various start lines in Hopkinton; the year
in which a train cut through the race in Framingham; the Scream Tunnel of women at
Wellesley College; the Johnny Kelley statue in Newton; the different finish lines in
Boston; and much more.

A freelance journalist, photographer, and former newspaper editor, Clerici also delivers
talks and lectures at libraries, historical societies, bookstores, running clubs; appears at
expos, book signings, group meetings; appears on television (NECN, cable stations, etc.),
radio (NPR, local and city stations, etc.), and media outlets including “The Boston
Globe” and “Cape Cod Times.” Race director of the Camy 5K Run & David 5K Walk in
Walpole, he has also competed in nearly every distance from the mile to the marathon –
including two triathlons, 43 marathons, the Falmouth Road Race several times – and has
won numerous age-group and Clydesdale running awards.

He is also the author of “A History of the Falmouth Road Race: Running Cape Cod” and
“History of the Greater Boston Track Club.” https://paulclerici.com

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Raynham Knights of Columbus 5 Miler


Join me on April 13th in Raynham, Massachusetts for the Raynham Knights of Columbus 5 Miler! This is the 29th annual running of the race and is sure to be a great road race!

The course has one moderate hill at Mile 4 on the file mile course but otherwise is relatively flat and fast for rest of way. The race takes place on quiet residential streets with volunteers at every turn and post-run runners are welcome to enjoy a complete pancake breakfast at the finish line. Awards are awarded for First, Second and Third place M/F for the 5 Mile Run.

Proceeds from the race benefit the Raynham Knights of Columbus and local charities across the greater Raynham area.

To register for the race, please click here. To save a $1 off registration and to receive a coupon for a free sub from Jersey Mike’s, use code JERSEYMIKES at checkout, too!

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Miles for MSA


On Saturday, May 18th I will be heading to Fargo, North Dakota to run the Fargo Half-Marathon. Having run a number of half-marathons in the past this one is going to be different. Here’s why.

My father, Mike, has been diagnosed with MSA, also known as Multiple System Atrophy. If you are like me, prior to my dad’s diagnosis I had never heard of MSA and so as we began the intial journey into the world of MSA I wander through the confusion as to what the disease is and have begun exploring the nuanced facets of a disease so few people know about. When talking with medical professionals, the initial response is often times, “Is that a form of MS” or an even simpler, “I have never heard of that” so as someone newly impacted by what MSA truly is the road ahead is an unsure and confusing one but just like running a half-marathon we’ll take things one step at a time.

So what is MSA? Multiple system atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect both the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary action such as blood pressure or digestion) and movement. The number of Americans affected by the disease is less than 50,000. It’s a wildly unknown disease, one without a playbook for how to wade through it and one without a cure as of this time.

Let’s change that. The MSA Coalition has a primary purpose of assisting researchers to find a cure. In the meantime, The Coalition also provides much needed patient and caregiver support, educational resources, and advocacy to create awareness and to fight for issues important to the MSA community.

My dad has always been there for me and now it’s time to do my part and I ask you to join me in trying to find a cure for MSA. I wish there was a simple answer with this disease; that with “x” treatment or with “y” pill he would be better but I understand it’s just not this simple. So my pledge then is to do what I can do to help. Running a half-marathon is easy, particularly when compared to what my dad and all of those with MSA face so as I am pounding the pavement of Fargo, I’ll carry with me the immense honor and responsibility of knowing that each step I am taking is hopefully one step closer to finding a cure for MSA.

So, will you join me in helping work to find a cure for MSA? To help support my Fargo Half-Marathon run, please click here to donate to the MSA Coalition!

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38th Annual Paddy Kelly Road Race


With two exceptionally busy daughters trying to make races can always be an interesting juggling act but thankfully when you have a village around you that you can rely on, sometimes getting to the starting line is due largely in part to the amazing friends around you. Today, our friends took our kids for a bit and we were able to make our way to the 38th Annual Paddy Kelly Road Race before our oldest daughter’s soccer match allowing us enough time to log a five mile road race before we made our way to the sidelines to cheer on the soccer team!

The Paddy Kelly Road Race is a five miler that takes place in Brockton, Massaschusetts D.W. Field Park. The race has had some unbelievable weather in the past complete with snow, sleet, cold temperatures and a year where they had to actually shorten the route due to the winter weather. The race has a certain wintertime charm to it but today turned out to be a decent morning for February in New England and the race time temperature was about 25 degrees with a chilly wind present but overall not a bad day for a run!

The race is sponsored by the Colonial Road Runners and is a fan-favorite for the Thirsty Irish Runners and the race served as the February Grand Prix race for the TIRs. Held completely within the grounds of D.W. Field Park, the course is closed to traffic and the five mile race takes runners through the park, alongside water, through the woods and on one of the nicest stretches through Brockton and Avon. The run up Tower Hill toward the end of the first mile is the most noticeable uphill climb in the race but there are a few other stretches that have a gradual incline mixed in for good measure.

Felt good running today and ran strong through most of the race. There were a few stretches that took a bit more of a toll but overall ran well and finished the Paddy Kelly Road Race with a time of 41:15, good for 8:15/miles. Post-race it was off to Starbucks for a coffee to help warm-up post-run and then it was on to the soccer match!

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Pre-Game 5K at Barrel House Z


If you lived where your team has never been to a Super Bowl you may spend all of Super Sunday in front of the TV watching just about every pre-game show possible. But when you have the good fortune of living in New England, well, you find a race to run the morning of Super Sunday so you can indulge a bit with game-time snacks while watching the big game!

Yesterday morning it was off to Weymouth, Massachusetts for the Pre-Game 5K hosted at local brewery Barrel House Z. I participated in this race last year and it was nice to see this run grow in size quite nicely year over year as the run is a good one. The course starts and finishes at Barrel House Z and a healthy amount of Patriots gear clad runners toed the starting line and made their way out onto the course.

The course can definitely be described as relatively hilly with a really nice, gradual hill mixed into the course in the first mile and a half. Because the race is an out-and-back you do have the benefit of getting the same gradual downhill but the climbing really goes on for a while. The final half-mile of the race also has a nice uphill stretch to it before runners turn right for the final .2 miles into the finish line chute in front of the brewery.

In addition to those who opted to wear Patriots gear, the DJ did a nice job playing the arena rock songs fans can here at Gillette Stadium and got runners into the mood for the game later in the day. Each runner was provided with two tickets for a pint or can of Barrel House Z brews and the Bamboozled by Hops IPA is a really nice option. The can was a Berliner weisse and was very well received by those who opted for that offering.

I felt good while out on the course and perhaps it was the visions of buffalo chicken dip dancing in my head that pushed me harder on the course but I ran a strong run and finished the race with an overall time of 24:11, good for 7:48/mile. A great run and a great result later in the day with another win by the Patriots!

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