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Race Recap: Fargo Half-Marathon

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It could have been the increased level of training. It might have been the no alcohol for 30+ days. Perhaps it was just a good day running. But, I think there is more to it.

This morning I ran the Fargo Half-Marathon in Fargo, North Dakota. Having never been to the state before, I am now able to cross another state off the half-marathon list and certainly earned today’s medal on the course. The weather this morning brought quite a bit of rain, gusty winds of 35+ MPH and cooler temperatures in the mid 40s to the Fargo area but no matter what was thrown at me, I was going to have a good race today.

Throughout the course, the rain came down pretty much from start to finish and the headwind seemed the toughest in the final three miles of the race. But even with that, I kept the legs moving and focused on my pacing, hydration and breathing and felt quite strong from start to finish.

The race starts and finishes inside the Fargodome, a large field house home to North Dakota State University. Half-marathon runners kicked off right at 7:15 AM and made our way out onto the rain soaked course. Kudos to the strong folks of Fargo for still coming out and supporting runners along the way with bands, DJs, signs and fans cheering throughout the course.

The course itself was pancake flat just about the entire way with some of the more gradual hills noted to be underneath overpasses so they passed quite quickly. The route took runners through residential neighborhoods of Fargo, through historic downtown Fargo and then back into the Fargodome for the finish line. Inside the Fargodome at the finish line, runners could be seen on the Jumbotron and an announcer called out runners’ names as they made their way in. After finishing the race, runners were given a water and their finisher medal and then were corralled past tables of food where I chose to have some Nutter Butter cookies and chocolate milk. A cover band played tunes inside the Fargodome and rocked out an amazing array of songs ranging from Africa to Piano Man to 867-5309.

As I noted previously, today I was running for something bigger than myself. As I have posted previously, today’s Fargo Half-Marathon I dubbed Miles for MSA and ran the race to raise funds for The MSA Coalition in honor of my dad who is currently courageously battling MSA with a strength and attitude that can only be described as inspirational. Thanks to so many friends, family members and even a few random strangers, I raised $3,175 for The MSA Coalition!

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.

Being able to bring awareness to MSA and to be able to run in honor of my dad is honestly the least I could do after all that my dad has given to me throughout the years. I tagged my sneaker heel with Miles for MSA and when I talked to my dad last night he told me to have a good run and thanked me for running (and of course added a bit of humor noting that the most running he has done was on the basketball court in his high school glory days). Running 13.1 miles today was made easier today despite the wind, despite the rain and despite the cool temperatures simply knowing I was running for a purpose. And you can bet that this is the first of many Miles for MSA runs I will be doing! (If you want to still help with a donation, please click here to donate online)

And with that added motivation, I scored by second best half-marathon ever! Rain, wind and cool temps were no match for me today and I finished the Fargo Half-Marathon with a time of 1:49:38 good for 8:22/miles! Great race for a great cause in honor of the best dad. #MilesForMSA

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Race Recap: Foley’s Backstreet 5K

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It was a back-to-back race weekend this past weekend with the Hop for HOPS 5K on Saturday followed by yesterday’s Foley’s Backstreet 5K. After a solid race performance on Saturday, I was looking to match the strong running on Sunday and thankfully just around race time in Canton, Massachusetts the rain held off for a bit and made for some nice running conditions.

Foley’s Backstreet 5K is sponsored by Foley’s Backstreet Grille, a local family owned-restaurant in nearby Stoughton. Having dined at the restaurant in the past, it was clear that the entire team truly look forward to this race day and several familiar faces staffed the registration area, the post-race cookout and other spots throughout the race.

Prior to taking off onto the course, runners stood at attention as a flutist played an impressive rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Once the anthem was done, it was into the street and off onto the course for a perfectly on-time race starting time.

The course took runners through a quick loop of the grounds of the Pappas Rehabilitation Center for Children and then back onto the main road in front of the center. Runners were then greeted with a somewhat downhill stretch of the run but having heard tell prior to the run of the hilly nature of the course I knew that the downhill portion was to be enjoyed quickly before tackling some hills.

The race then took runners through some residential neighborhoods with some challenging hills mixed in for good measure. Water stops were thankfully available throughout the course and the route moved along nicely from start to finish. In the final mile of the run was the most significant uphill of the course which upon cresting and making a right turn back onto the main road heading back to the finish line then gave way to another uphill stretch that could be felt in the legs and the lungs equally. Continuing back toward the Pappas grounds, runners then made a final left hand turn and finished with about a .25 mile stretch into the finish line where many spectators cheered runners into the finish line.

Coming off a strong Saturday race, I was quite pleased with yesterday’s finishing time of 23:01, good for 7:24/miles. A great weekend of running!

After the run, a really nice post-race celebratory cookout complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, Foley’s homemade kettle chips, kettle corn, beer and water was available for runners and a DJ played tunes adding to a nice post-race atmosphere. Definitely, give a “Like”to this race on Facebook and check it out next year as this is one run not to miss!

Every single dollar of the money raised at this event is donated to the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children. To learn more about this organization and center, please click here.

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4th Place Overall at Hop for HOPS 5K

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Yesterday morning in honor of May the 4th it was over to Halifax, Massachusetts for the Hop for HOPS 5K. This race was originally held as a fundraiser for Halifax Open Play Space, an organization whose mission was to raise funds for a playground in Halifax, and with the playground now built funds raised from this race now go to support the ongoing maintenance and care of the beautiful playground space.

With the race being held on May 4th there had to be at least some opportunity for some Star Wars theme to the run and with a few Star Wars songs at the starting line and Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker out on the course the organizers infused a bit of Star Wars into the run.

The course for the run was an out-and-back 5K and even though the race ran through residential side streets the roads were closed to traffic throughout the race. Several spectators came out to the end of their driveways along the course and cheered on runners and three water stops were available to runners.

The race started with a nice downhill start and then smoothed itself out for a stretch. However, that downhill start became a much more noticeable uphill stretch starting around the two mile marker as runners made their way back on the course. The final quarter mile of the race was a nice little uphill sprint into the finish line where fans cheered runners into the finishing chute.

I felt really strong on the course yesterday and even with an uphill finish kept the legs moving well throughout the run. Overall, I finished in 4th place in the run with a time of 22:44, good for 7:19/miles. One of my better 5K finishes in a bit and a nice way to start off a two race weekend! Now it is off to Canton for the Foley’s Backstreet Grille 5K; stay tuned for a race recap soon!

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Dropps: Perfect for Cleaning Running Gear

As runners, we all know that the laundry basket can very quickly begin to fill up with running gear. All that running gear needing to be cleaned calls for a whole lot of detergent to be used and thanks to Dropps there is now an ecofriendly solution to laundry detergent worth checking out.

Dropps offers effective, plant-based cleaning products by eliminating excess water, additives, artificial colors, and animal testing. They’re delivered direct to your door in eco-responsible compostable packaging. Good for you, good for the environment.

Dropps is committed to delivering superior cleaning in the safest, most sustainable, and most convenient way possible. They have a great corporate philosophy where Dropps sources ingredients and packaging from suppliers that meet high quality standards and share our responsible, ethical, and sustainable vision. Dropps boxes are corrugated packaging contains recycled material, and is recyclable, repulpable, and compostable.

For more information about Dropps and to order your shipment of drops to ship directly to your house, please click here.

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Race Recap: Crush Cancer 5K

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Gotta love a race where the windshield time to get to the race is less than five minutes!

This morning the Crush Cancer 5K took place in Bridgewater, Massachusetts and though earlier forecasts called for a deluge all day today for the 9AM race time a few sprinkles here and there were all we had to contend with relative to rain but the humidity and headwind at points made for a nice challenge. The race starts and finishes at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School and is organized by Northeast Race Management who in the past few years of organizing the run has raised more than $30,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In addition to the 5K run, there is also a 3K walk and combined the race brought more than 500 runners and walkers to the starting line to raise money for a great cause!

The course took a quick stretch on the B-R High School grounds before runners made their way right onto North Street. There, runners ran for about a mile and a quarter before turning right onto Aldrich Street and then right onto Center Street before turning back into the high school grounds for the final stretch. At about the halfway point a water station was present and overall the course rolled ever so gently but was predominantly flat throughout the race.

The race started perfectly on time and I felt strong on the course, particularly in the first half of the race. A nice headwind in the second half of the race made for some extra exertion to be required but overall a really good morning for running. After finishing up the race knowing there was more rain and Easter Brunch on the way tomorrow morning, I opted to log an additional two miles, as well.

I finished this morning’s Crush Cancer 5K with a time of 24:04, good for 7:46/miles.

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2nd Annual Foxborough Cares 5K

2019 FoxboroughCares5K Flyer Final as of April 12th

Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Foxboro Cares 5K. This race will be held on Saturday, June 1st in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

The Foxborough Cares 5K is a collaboration of efforts from community volunteers who wanted to continue a long-standing, beloved tradition of gathering to run for a cause on the first Saturday of June each year. The proceeds of this 5k will benefit 3 local non-profits:

  • The Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center at the Orpheum run by a non-profit organization whose mission is to keep our theater vibrant for the community.
  • ConfiKids, a non-profit that builds kids confidence by providing financial support for recreational, enrichment, sports and arts programs to families with financial challenges.
  • The Foxborough Police Relief Association who provides scholarships and relief funds to community residents and programs.

The first 200 registered runners will receive a commemorative t-shirt so don’t delay and register for this great community-focused road race today!

To register for the 2nd Annual Foxborough Cares 5K please click here. Be sure to also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here.

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Race Recap: Raynham K of C 5 Miler

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A rainy spring morning greeted locals early yesterday morning before the rain gave way to an absolutely perfect afternoon. It was a quick shot over to nearby Raynham, Massachusetts for the Raynham Knights of Columbus 5 Miler where the spring rain and a touch of humidity in the air made for a good springtime run!

For those familiar with the Colonial Road Runners Monday night fun runs, this race took runners on a reverse course featuring sections of that run and then an added couple of additional neighborhoods, as well. The course itself had a somewhat gradual uphill grade to it and the King Phillip Road hill was in the final mile of the race which made for a very solid uphill run as you hit the mile four marker which then gave way to a slightly downhill finish in the last mile.

Felt decent on the course but definitely could have used a tad thinner of a rain coat as by the time I was around 3.5 miles in the heat could certainly be felt. It was only the high 50’s but the humidity and rain added a different element to the run I battled through. Overall, pleased with my time at the race finishing with a gun time finish of 41:11, good for 8:14/miles.

Post-race, runners are welcome to stick around for a full pancake breakfast. I picked up a banana, water and some cranberry juice and then made my way to a coffee shop for post-run coffee!

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