Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blue Hills, Blue Temps, Blue Feelings

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Run: Blue Hills Skyline Traverse
Quincy, MA
20 Miles in 5:44
12,000' of elevation change

Another gorgeous day as the January thaw started to make its way out of New England. I met up with Jeff List and Greg Stone for an awesome long run in the Blues Hills Reservation south of Boston in Quincy, Ma. As temps rose into the mid to late 40's, I was glad to be able to wear a pair of shorts to run just one more time. Even though we have one of these thaws EVERY year, it's unusual to be able to wear shorts to run in January here in New England.

What I enjoyed most about the run was not only the company, but the opportunity to get my feet wet, mud on my legs, bleed a little and drag my rear end up and over the classic Blue Hill Climbs. Those who have run here before call this the PERFECT place to train for Massanutten as the terrain here is damn near identical. I loved the day running from Shea Rink with jeff and Greg out to Blue Hill, stopping at Gregs car for some aid.. then running back to the rink. We said bye to Jeff as Greg and I headed back to Blue Hill to round the workout to an end.

This 20 mile run took 5 hours and 44 minutes. We never stopped and ran hard when we could, walked hard otherwise and today.. I'm pretty sore! I love it! Of course.. no day would be complete for me without some kind of controversy. As we reached Blue Hill one last time, Greg opted to take the rocks down while I wanted to run the ski slope. As I got to the slope, I noticed it was in operation, Two runs were in operation as skiers swooshed their way down the hill. Just enough snow was left here (and ONLY here) to allow such activities. I decided to run down the ski slope but stayed all the way to the side in the ankle deep water, grass and mud. As I ran onto the ski hill, I ran past 5 ski patrol members and none of them said anything. As I reached the bottom, a woman walked out in front of me and held her hand up like a crossing guard as she yelled, "STOP!" She then proceeded to rudely explain to me that I was not allowed to run down the ski slope. I asked to see a sign that says that or to be handed some kind of documentation. An argument ensued with choice words where I was told that state law prohibits me to run down the ski slopes. I very much doubt that so I once again asked for documentation. She tells me the State Police will show me.. and I told her I'll elect to WAIT for the State Police then. On and on we went and she then changed her story from "its illegal" to.. "If you buy a pass to the ski hill, you can do it." So.. I ask you... IS IT ILLEGAL? or "DO I BUY A PASS?" Ridiculous. I told her to pretty much enjoy the gorgeous sunshine and have a nice day.
UPDATE: I contacted the local Ranger Station at Blue Hill and found out that during Ski Operations it is indeed illegal to travel on the ski slopes. However, there currently is no signage and this will be taken care of for future parties.

Greg and Jeff in the Blue Hills

So now the thaw has ended and winter slowly worked its frigid way back into the picture today. Temps hovered in the upper 30's lower 40's for highs as New Englanders got ready for the NEXT big storm. Here in Newmarket our snow pack is down to about 5-8" with almost all of the snowbanks still about 2-3 feet high. Tomorrow's Nor'Eastah is slated to dump anywhere from 1 to 2 feet of snow on us with winds in excess of 45mph at times. Yes... Blizzard Conditions. THIS... is New England at its best and I want out. As Robert Frost Once Said, "If you don't like the weather in New England... wait.. it'll change."

And Lastly... many of you are well aware that I help with the Pittsfield Peaks races held in Pittsfield, Vermont. We have our Snowshoe Marathon/Festival in March, Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge and Death Race in June, 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race in August and the New New England 200 and 100 Mile Ultra in November. I am merely a volunteer, passionate about enhancing the ultra-running community in New England by donating my time and effort to the success of these new and great races in Pittsfield, VT. I often promote these races through various internet sources.

There is only ONE race that I am solely responsible for and that is the New England 200/100. It is the ONLY race I am a race director of. The other 4 events I am simply on the race committed with a VERY limited role. My role is as follows: 1.) Help Promote the event, 2.) Mark the courses before race day 3.) Provide Feedback. That's it. While I acknowledge I stick my neck out for these races, I am very much passionate about their toughness. These races are the true test and the real deal. I will continue to promote them, play my part and direct my own race... as a VOLUNTEER. It NEVER seizes to amaze me the numerous negative and derogatory comments people will make towards volunteers and towards others who are obviously more passionate about the sport than they. This saddens me.

So... to check out our fine races of which I hope to see you at. And.. for a look at my race and... YOUR RACE in November.. please see

Week In Review:
Monday: 8 on Roads in 1:06:30 (8:19 pace)
Tuesday: 8 on roads in 1:07:10 (8:24 pace)
Wednesday: Run #1 = 12.21 on Roads in 1:46:11 (8:42 Pace)
Run #2 = Short run with Sarah at her pace. 1.46 Miles at 11:05 Pace
Thursday: 7.2 Miles - Hike.. 2,400' of gain and loss
Friday: 0
Saturday: 19.68 Miles in 5:44 down in Mass. South of Boston. Blue Hills Reservation.
12,000' of elevation change in 19 Miles. Tough going. Ran with Greg Stone and Jeff List. Felt great! Ran in shorts!
Sunday: 0

Week Total: 56.6 Miles

Happy Trails