37th Annual Paddy Kelly Road Race


(Photography Credit: PhotographyByNewman.com)

Last Sunday it was a short drive up Route 24 to Brockton, Massachusetts for the 37th Annual Paddy Kelly Road Race. This five mile race is sponsored by the Colonial Road Runners and takes place within D.W. Field Park, a great park with running/walking paths through the urban locale of Brockton.

Having run the Paddy Kelly a number of times, you know what the course entails but the challenge of a race in February means you never know what the weather is going to bring on race day. Last year, the race was held with temperatures well below zero and a previous year the race was cancelled due to the snow and moved to April. This year, the temperatures were moderate for February and some rain made its way into the region. That said, race clothing called for shorts a long sleeve shirt and a coat which provided enough warmth and protection from the rain along the way.

The 5 mile course takes runners through what is really a hidden gem sort of place when it comes to nice, paved running trails free from traffic. As runners crossed streets intersecting the park, Brockton police officers held traffic allowing runners to cross safely. Each mile is marked on the course and a water stop is present about halfway through the race. Even though the race is in February and temperatures aren’t scorching, for a five mile race I do always wish there were two water stops on the course to support hydrating along the way.

The Paddy Kelly Road Race was the February Grand Prix race for the Thirsty Irish Runners so a nice sea of TIR green made their way onto the course and stuck around for the post-race merriment. Each runner is provided a ticket for a free beer in the Westgate Lanes Bowling Alley after the run and pasta, chili and a roll is available to help refuel, as well.

This year, the course was the normal five mile route as in past years due to some weather challenges the race has had to shift course a little bit. For the five miles, I ran a per mile pace of 8:21, good for a final time of 41:44. Last year in the frigid temps I ran an 8:46 pace so it was nice to be able to push the legs a bit more this year and finish with a nice pace.

Wild Turkey 5 Mile Road Race


Admit it. You are going to eat a lot of cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, pie and more on Thanksgiving Day. And you have been known to overindulge in the goodness of a gravy boat. But have no fear! Thanks to the Wild Turkey 5 Mile Road Race you will now have a reason to put those feet up on the couch when the turkey day football games come on!

The Wild Turkey 5 Mile Road Race is held Thanksgiving morning in Salem, Massachusetts and is a great way to kick off your holiday merriment. Proceeds from the 14th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run on Thanksgiving morning benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. This is the largest race on the North Shore with 2,000 anticipated participants toeing the starting line and making their way out onto the five mile course.

The first 1600 entries will receive a long sleeve Brooks tech shirt and the race starts bright and early at 8:00 AM so once done running you can head off to your Thanksgiving feast in plenty of time. The course runs along the Atlantic Ocean down Derby Street in historic Salem and then runs through Winter Island around historic Salem Willows and then back toward the Common.

To register for the Wild Turkey 5 Mile Road Race, please click here. Be sure to also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here.

36th Annual Paddy Kelly 5 Miler


Last Sunday a wintry blast hit Massachusetts and with snow and freezing rain in the forecast all eyes were on email to see if race cancellations would be taking place. Fortunately, the weather gods sort of timed some of the messier conditions around the 36th Annual Paddy Kelly 5 Miler and the Colonial Road Runners were able to kick off their race perfectly on time. The course was shortened to a 4.5 mile loop through the scenic D.W. Field Park in Brockton, Massachusetts as the Avon stretch of the race could not be run due to icier conditions in that section of the park.

The race is a February treat each year with runners tackling the road within D.W. Field Park. The course is a nice stretch through a park and takes runners through the woods, along water and up a moderately challenging stretch known as Tower Hill.

This year, the course was snow covered in a some spots and had a couple of icy spots but other parts of the course were down to the pavement. The terrain was not perfect but sort of added to the allure of running a race in February. The race was a Grand Prix race for my running club and the decision was made all of the team would get the 15 points for the race and not have to worry about pace to ensure the safety of the runners.

Some flurries fell during the run and thankfully the freezing rain that was anticipated stayed away during the race making for an all-around nice winter run!

I finished the Paddy Kelly race with a time of 39:26, good for 8:46/mile. Be sure to keep an eye out for this race next year particularly if you have never run the race; it’s a perfect winter run that everyone should check out!

Running Through Brrrrrockton


Nothing can be more challenging than the variability of winter time running in New England. The weather the past couple weeks has been rather fickle with some warm days mixed with some brutally chilling days. On Sunday, the arctic air swept into the New England area as I made my way over to Brockton, Massachusetts for the Paddy Kelly Road Race.

The Paddy Kelly is a 5 mile road race organized by the Colonial Road Runners that takes runners on a scenic run through DW Field Park. Due to the adverse conditions of -4 degrees at the starting line (that’s without the windchill), the race directors changed the course slightly to a 4.5 mile race. The race was part of the Grand Prix series for the Thirsty Irish Runners club but due to the rough, below-freezing temperatures no one had to meet their pace goals; just finish.

At the starting line there was a mixture of wanting to bolt into the course just to get it over with coupled with a feeling similar to how the Michelin tire man must feel given all the added layers of clothing not typical of going out for a run. Extra socks, two pairs of gloves, about five shirts. Needless to say, I was feeling bulky.But I was not alone as when the weather takes such a turn for the worse the important thing is to stay safe first and foremost.

I ran with Mrs. Running Griffin for the first mile to make sure neither of us would regret carrying on through the freezing temperatures and it was Valentine’s Day so what better way than celebrate than to run with your favorite running partner?

All runners that started the Paddy Kelly finished the race even with the sub-zero temperatures; a true testament to the hearty nature of New England runners for sure!


Register for the Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run


Registration is open for the Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run which will be held in Salem, Massachusetts on November 26, 2015. This race is the largest race on the North Shore and is one that you certainly want to take part in! It was voted Best Holiday Race 2012, 2013 and 2014 by North Shore Road Race Guide.

Proceeds from the 12th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run on Thanksgiving morning benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. This race will feature close to 2000 runners taking part in a Thanksgiving morning run ideal for burning a few calories before the turkey and trimmings hit the table at your Thanksgiving dinner. With an early start time of 8AM this is race will allow you to have a great run and earn that extra piece of pumpkin pie!

The first 1500 participants get long-sleeved Brooks tech shirts. You can register for the race by clicking here.

You can also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here.