Wednesday, November 16, 2016

30 miles? Sure, why not....

I put the Nougat IIIIIII event on my tentative running schedule. Take a look at the site. It is pretty funny. William Jackson and I exchanged text messages the day before. I was tempted to run a 50K distance with him. A 50K distance would have consisted of two times (10 mile loop on the left hand side of Lynn Woods and a 5.5 mile loop on the right side).  However, a brush fire on Friday and into Saturday morning squashed any hope of us running on the right hand side loop. Thus, event directors Gregory Esbitt and Jeffrey Lane said that the left hand side would do.

I picked up Nakri on the way to the event. He was on board for one 10 mile loop. William was on board for three 10 mile loops. I committed to two and left a third loop open. Nakri and I were the first vehicle to show up next to Jeffrey a twenty minutes before the run would start at 7:00AM.

There is a rolling start policy meaning that you can show up and and start anytime after writing your name and start time down.  I had a bag of fuel that I left in the truck next to the aid station. Nakri hooked me up with a Tailwind drink. I had some Gels, Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Iced Tea ready to go.
A few minutes before the start
Photo by Mike Fitzgerald

A group of a dozen runners lined up for the 7:02AM start. There was a hint of smoke and smell of fire for the first mile of the loop. We passed a fire truck at the Great Woods entrance which seemed to be on standby with a couple of four wheelers zipping in and out of the right hand side of the woods.

William took charge and toured Nakri, Michael  McKie, and I through the first 5 miles. I was being careful with foot plant in the single track trails that were scattered with leaves. The pace was very conversational. It had to be put the miles that we planned to cover.

I got anxious with picking up the pace a bit once we hit a wide fire road  and went ahead half way through loop one. Nakri came up to keep me company. The loop was a constant up and down covering every landmark in Lynn Woods from Steel Tower, Dungeon Rock, Penny Brook, Stone Tower, views of Gannon Golf Course, Walden and Breeds Pond. The marked loop with orange streamers and the occasional arrow on the ground surrounded by leaves was easy to follow. It is neat to cover 90% of the trails available. 

Nakri pulled out the phone at Stone Tower for a photo, tried to get the Boston City Skyline in the background. Two miles later we wrapped up loop one taking a short break for some fuel.  The pace was comfortable for loop one. We were not racing, covering the 10 miles in 92 minutes.

Me, Michael McKie, William Jackson, and Nakri Dao
Photo by Donald Gerolamo

William and Michael came in a minute later while I was fueling up with a Gel and taking in the pleasant Tailwind drink Nakri made for me. It had a mild berry taste. Former CMS runner and stud Senior Ultra Runner, Paul Young was getting ready to start his run so his company was welcomed. William started his 2nd loop. Michael, Paul, and I headed out 45 seconds later. A lot of conversation made loop two fly by with them. Lap three was optional in my head but decided that if Paul was going out for his 2nd  loop, I would go out for my third. That is exactly what we did after several minutes fueling up after 20 miles.

Nice fall day in Lynn Woods
Photo by Donald Gerolamo

My legs were getting tired in the last five miles. I covered the marathon distance in 4 hours 11 minutes. Paul had threw in a surge (later told me it was on purpose to get us back on pace) for less than two minutes. I tracked the surge wondering if that would come back to haunt me in the last five miles. One more surge came a few minutes later. I had my first stumble and almost  wipe out, a stride beyond Stone Tower heading down the steepest part of the loop with just a few miles to go. It was a reminder of tired legs and to be careful. 

We carried on quietly to the end of the loop. I stopped my Garmin as it showed that I covered 30.01 miles. The time was 4:42:58 (9:26 average pace per mile) which was just the running (did not include a running time in the two aid station stops at 10 and 20 miles).

The slowest and quickest miles for each 10 mile loop:
Loop 1: 9:49 mile 2 and 8:24 last mile
Loop 2: 10:26 mile 2 and 8:15 last mile
Loop 3: 11:07 mile 2 and 7:55 mile 7 (last mile was a 8:03)

This was my longest run I have done. Had I run another mile plus, I would have covered a 50K. Maybe someday.

Jeffrey Lane and Greg Esbitt in the middle of this crazy event


  1. don't leave the house in your pajamas again.

  2. I must have been really tired. Didn't even realize you were there at the start!