In addition to honoring our soldiers and marking the start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend brought about a series of races for the BRC: Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Pineland Farms in Maine, and the Run to Remember in Boston.
In Vermont, it was hot. In fact, hot enough for the unprecedented move to discontinue the race before noontime. But that didn’t stop Lisa Plume, Paul Ontivero, Yazmin Acosta, Judy DeLeon and Pete Guza (in the pug suit) from toeing the line and testing their limits on the course. Race organizers sent warning emails leading up to the race, they doubled the ice on hand to two tons, added extra misting and water stations, increased medical staff, initiated a visual warning system for runners, and requested residents on the route to get out their hoses. They couldn’t create shade or reduce the temperature, though, so it was a grind. At 9 am, an hour after the start, the warning signs went from “moderate risk” to high. Just before noon, the wet bulb temperature (determined primarily by air temperature and humidity) reached the threshold set by organizers to make the call to discontinue the race. Shuttle buses funneled runners to the finish area with their heads down, but some chose to continue churning out the last slow miles by walking or slowly jogging to the finish at their own risk. Official times were offered to those who crossed the finish in under 4:30.
All that being said, it was a very well organized and fun event, and Burlington is a great little city to visit. The race has become a favorite of some BRCers, and it offers two-person and three to five-person relays as alternatives to the full marathon. The clover leaf style race route lends itself well to spectators, allowing them to see their runner multiple times without traveling far. Beyond the race, a wide variety of breweries and terrific restaurants fill the area with wonderful people watching that capture the essence of Vermont. To our disappointment, we couldn’t find the infamous brew Heady Topper but at least we enjoyed the Ben & Jerry’s factory on the way back to North Andover.
To the east in the small town of New Gloucester, Maine, the BRC hit the trails at the Vineland Farms Running Festival. Rusty Bilodeau and John Gorman made up the JV team for the 25K option (one lap around the course), while varsity duo Mat Demers and Martin Lowrie tackled the 50 miler (3 laps plus a short pigtail at the start). The festival also has a 50K. Fortunately, weather was better in Maine than Vermont, but as they say, let the pictures do the talking. A photo at the finish tells more about how the day went than any words ever could.
In Boston, the Run to Remember sent runners 13.1 miles through the city and along the Charles. Steve Cooper, Bob Mallock, Tim and Pam Fallon, Irene Park, Dan Lionetta, and Jess Stryhalaleck (who captured a half PR) represented the BRC. The R2R honors all First Responders killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community.
Stay speedy my friends,
SP 37, with contributions by Hey 19 and photos stolen from Facebook
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