Coaches Corner May - 2018

With the warmer weather finally? upon us, it’s time to think forward towards the summer and fall racing season.  Stripping down from running pants, long sleeves and hat and gloves is something I’m looking forward to more than I can ever remember.  This was a tough winter for me. Bunged up and trying to build back some consistency is a hurdle in itself, but being constantly frozen while sweating to death really grated on my nerves.  I mean, just last week during our first track meet we had some rain, three different kinds of snow and a touch of sunshine.

And talking about racing, the only goal I have been focusing on is the Pinelands trail 25K.  I’m looking forward towards a Memorial Day weekend and some camping, and lots of trails and field running that is the Pinelands Trail festival.  With 5Ks and 10K events on Saturday, and 25K, 50K and 50 miles of awesomeness on Sunday, the event makes for a great weekend of running and for me, the kick off of summer.We’ve been doing the race for 6 or 7 years now, camping in Freeport and enjoying the best of what Maine has to offer.  I don’t actually get to land until Sunday due to other commitments, but we make the most of our overnight and the girls go up on Friday with friends. The whole thing has a laid back, relaxed vibe to it right down to the beer garden, BBQ and hay bales and John Deere awards for prizes.

I haven’t really looked ahead from there as track and other summer commitments start to stack up and I’d like to avoid any major conflicts.  There’s also a trip to Alaska where I’ll spend 5 days in the home town of Allie Ostrander, 2017 NCAA champion in the steeplechase. She started what’s called the Salmon Run series in Soldatna to benefit river conservation in the area.  While I’ll miss the series by a day I hope to run the course and just see what the race is all about. I’m hoping to run the spit in Homer as well, as it juts almost 5 miles out into Kachemak Bay, about as far west as you can go in the continental US.

I also hope to get to a bunch of the MAGPie (Monadnock Area Grand Prix) series races but I haven’t committed to them due to scheduling.  I definitely want to get to Run for the Honey as I missed it last year, and of course the Viking 5K. I’ll be timing the HoFall 5K and I’ll run the course beforehand.  While I don’t have the others on the schedule I’ll be making some game day decisions add a few more to the list.

And of course we have our Jack Murphy 5K fun runs for ten weeks in the summer.  Starting on June 21st and running for the next ten weeks, the Jack Murphy runs allow runners of all ages to show up, run a relatively straight forward and easy course, and the best part is it is all free!  The start and finish is at the South Meadow School in Peterborough with the run to begin at 6pm.

Also available to runners of the area is a run in New Ipswich we call the Grinder.  The just under 4 mile course climbs an infamous 1.3 mile hill used by the Mascenic cross country teams in their training and provides a staple hill workout for them throughout the summer.  Anyone is invited to join in, running the hill as hard, or easy as they like. The run goes off on Monday nights at 6pm, starting on June 11th. The kids made a video of the workout which can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gUaQTkuF5U

Other things on my horizon is the Caddyshack Classic 5K on June 16th at the Shattuck golf course in Jaffrey.  Run on the back nine with views over to Monadnock, the Caddyshack has to be one of the area’s most scenic runs.  Run on the cart paths with no pavement whats so ever, the unique race has a cross country feel and a breakfast brunch to follow.  Sign up at: https://www.active.com/jaffrey-nh/running/trail-run/caddyshack-classic-5k-trail-race-2018

The one other run I’m getting excited about is this year’s Baby Barkley.  As the snow melts, the trails clear up and the vegetation starts to fill in, I’m gearing up to get the 2018 version of the course configured and set up.  I’ve taken three of the checkpoint GPS coordinates with twelve to go, we’ve got a look out for the appropriate book titles and the pre and post preparations are underway.  We didn’t set out to make the course harder, just less easy. My right hand man Reckless Rob and assistant course setter Mayhem Meli have scrutinized the details and are eagerly awaiting race weekend on August 3rd through 5th.  A video on last year’s race can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1zWqapGvn8&t=18s

For more information and an invite, email me at msmith@mascenic.org

If you haven’t pinned down your summer racing season I encourage you to look into the MAGPie series or any of the outings mentioned here.  Maybe it’s time to change things up, try something outside your comfort zone if this never-ending winter’s weather wasn’t outside of everyone’s comfort zone.

See you out there.