Monday, July 6, 2015

Unlikely Inspiration: 70 year old woman breaks ultra-marathon record

This is one of the best running stories I've heard recently: a 70 year old woman became the oldest woman to finish the Western States Endurance Run (the link has a great video, as well as the course elevation map).

It's called an endurance run, because you don't exactly race it, you endure it- all 100 miles.  Gunhild Swanson not only became the oldest finisher, she did it with a dramatic sprint to the finish to avoid the dreaded cut-off time.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Local Buzz: Ben True and the USATF World Championships

Ben True, who grew up in North Yarmouth, has (deservedly) been getting a lot of press recently.  The article below, from this week's BDN, highlights his performance at the USATF Track and Field Championships this past weekend.  True qualified in both the 5K and the 10K for worlds.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Important SHOE Info

Running in general is a very low gear sport.  No pads, no headgear, no special gloves (although regular gloves do come in handy the closer we get to November).  No one really needs compression calf socks.  But what is of paramount importance to runners is shoes.  

There are hundreds of different models of running shoes on the market.  It can be really overwhelming to choose a new pair.  But it's also really important that runners start off the season with shoes that are in good shape.  A general rule is that if shoes have more than 500 miles on them, it's time for a new pair (i.e. every cross country season).  But general, vague/minor aches and pains in the feet, ankles, shins, knees and hips can also signal that it's time for a new pair.  Additionally, if shoes have been worn for other sports or other activities for several months, consider a change.  Broken down shoes provide less cushioning and support, which can lead to problems.  

Not sure where to go?  Fleet Feet/Maine Running Company in Portland and Brunswick has staff that's trained to fit shoes to specific feet.  Even if you end up buying online, it's definitely worth it to visit to find a proper fit.  Not all running shoes are interchangeable, especially if you're got "weird" feet (extra wide, over-pronating, extra narrow, supinating, etc.)  

Finally, a word on spikes ... 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sunday Run!

Fiona A will be leading a group run at Bradbury Mountain this Sunday.  Meet at 9AM in the parking lot.  If you plan on going, please email Fiona so she knows to wait for any late-comers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reminder: Friday's Group Run

Just a reminder that Friday's group run will be at the Freeport fields.  This is Freeport's home course, and remember, just because it's flat and fast doesn't mean you should run it like a race.  It's $10 for the whole summer trail series (there are 4 races left).  I will be away, but several of the upperclassmen will be there.  If you're new to the team, they'll be on the look out for you, so please introduce yourself!

Monday, June 22, 2015

"An Unlikely Duo"

I really love this story, about an American ultra-marathoner and his unintended racing partner at the Buffalo Marathon.  Make sure you read all the way to the end, as his reflections on his experience are both inspiring and surprisingly humble.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sunday Run!

Fiona and Louise are hosting an impromptu Sunday run tomorrow morning at Bradbury Mountain State Park. Join them on the trails at 9am- meet in the parking lot.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New definition of leaving it all on the course...

Here's a pretty remarkable story about a high school runner from NY who races despite her disability, which leaves her liable to collapse at the finish.

"Dale Peterman watched and waited. It was all he could do.
His daughter, Sam Peterman, a sophomore at Sweet Home High School near Buffalo, was 100 meters away from finishing the 1,500-meter race in the New York high school state championships at the University at Albany on Saturday. Dale Peterman stood at the finish line.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Volunteering at the Beach 2 Beacon

Looking for a running-related volunteer opportunity?  I'm organizing the Beach 2 Beacon Kids Race again this year (Friday, July 31st) and, as always, we could use more volunteers.  The Kids Race is on Friday evening (6PM), so if you're racing on Saturday morning, you can still volunteer.  In exchange for a few hours of your time giving out medals, handing out numbers or helping to organize kids by age group, you get a nice tech t-shirt and an invite to the volunteer cook-out.  It's also a nice way to give back to the running community!

Here's the link- if you're under 18, you'll need a parent or guardian's permission.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer Practices

Summer practices are optional, and open to anyone in the Merriconeag high school community interested in running.  We would also welcome the participation of XC alums.  These are intended to be a fun, low-key way to get in summer miles with teammates.  Generally, we will have practice at the following times and places:
  • Monday, 8AM: Back Cove in Portland (meet at the "Start Here" sign by the Hannaford parking lot.
  • Friday, 6PM: Freeport Fields on Pownal Road.  This is part of Brian Berkemeyer's trail race series.  It costs $10 for the remaining 5 races.
  • Sunday afternoon, Pineland, high school steps: TBA
If there is unsettled weather (mainly thunderstorms), cancelations will be posted on the blog at least an hour before the run.  If you have questions, please check here first (and then text or email if you're still not sure).  

Running Camp Update

We do have enough runners signed on to have running camp - hurray!  It will take place Wednesday, July 15 to Friday, July 17.  More info will follow as we get closer to camp time, but for now please be sure the dates are on your calendar.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Running Season

Now that the snow has finally melted, running season will be upon us before we know it and the high school running program will, as in past years, be offering a running camp this summer.  The dates will be Wednesday, July 15 to Friday, July 17.

For those new to the running team, the running program has sponsored a 2-3 day "running camp" each July hosted by the Pierce family on Sebago Lake.  The purpose of the camp is to build excitement for the upcoming season, to help runners stay motivated, to encourage a supportive and healthy team environment and, of course, to HAVE FUN!  In order to have the camp be successful for all, we ask that kids attend camp only if they intend on being on the team in the fall.

IMPORTANT DETAILS:
1.  We need a minimum of 10 runners to be able to hold the camp.
2.  Runners should be excited to commit to the XC Team during the fall season.
3.  Cost:  The only cost is for food at camp, usually under $75 for 3 days (thank you Pierces!).

By May 15, every family should let me know one of the following:
1.  You (your runner) will attend camp and can firmly commit.
2.  You (your runner) is interested in camp, but you need more time to determine if the dates work.
3.  You (your runner) is interested in running but cannot come to the camp.
4.  You (your runner) is not interested in the xc running team.

Please tell Susan at school, send an email to highschool@merriconeag.org, or give her a call at 688-8989 with your intentions.

If we don't come up with enough kids for running camp, we'll still organize some team runs and team training days over the summer.

As always, please let Susan know if you have any questions.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanks!



Thank you to everyone for the amazing season!  


Monday, November 10, 2014

New England Championships (11.8.14)

The trip to the New England Championships provided the capstone to the boys' cross country season, a mixture of challenge, camaraderie and fun.  While the race results were definitely uneven- the absence of our reliable number five, Lars, was keenly felt- it was generally agreed to be an excellent all-around experience.  The team left Friday afternoon to travel to Manchester, CT, stopping on the way for dinner (which included the largest pasta portions ever seen).  The team spent a quiet night, waking up the next morning for a light breakfast and course walk at Wickham Park.  The team was fortunate to enjoy cool temperatures with bright sun and a light wind.  The course itself was fairly dry, but with a trail that criss-crossed a massive hill (for those who want a mental image, check out the course map, complete with topo lines!), it provided constant challenges, along with a beautiful view of the Hartford skyline.

A big thank you to Susan and Sarah for making the travel arrangements, and Keelyn for driving, chaperoning, photographing and supporting the team!

The boys' race started out fast- very fast.  Tucker was briefly in the lead, surging out quickly so as not to get boxed in.  The large, fast field quickly swallowed him, and he spent the remainder of the race comfortably in the middle of the pack.  He broke 18 minutes on the challenging course, as did Zach, who was not far behind.  Zach had one of his better races, using the competitive field to motivate himself.  Getting swept up in the fast pace, he handled the hills with aplomb and finished his high school career on a high note.  Dylan had perhaps the strongest race of the day, running very even splits despite the nearly half-mile sections of uphill.  Undaunted by the morale-crushing ascent in the second mile, Dylan powered through to finish right behind Zach.  Nick faced a slightly different challenge, after losing a shoe in the first half mile.  An unseen competitor stepped on the heel of his spike and heavily packed course was too crowded for him to recover it.  In true Carlin Tindall-style, Nick forged on ahead, completing the remaining two and a half miles with one shoe.  Unsurprisingly, gravel is uncomfortable in just a sock, and it's hard to get traction on the uphills.  Yet Nick still managed a fairly fast time, finishing close behind Dylan. Graham stepped into the final scoring position on the team, running another consistent race close behind some of the other Maine competitors from Freeport and Windham.  He managed to improve significantly on his State meet performance, despite the challenging terrain.  Lincoln was the final finisher for the team, and although he did get temporarily sidetracked near the end of the course.  Despite this, he managed to smile through almost the entire course.  Eli started his race with Graham, his usual racing partner, but after experiencing dizziness (among other unpleasant health symptoms), he dropped out at the second mile.  The boys' team finished 30th overall.

Full results can be found here.  The photo page will be updated in the coming days.

This meet marks the end of the competitive season for the cross country team.  Congratulations to the seniors on a great four years, and hope to see everyone next season!