Monday, January 11, 2016

The Conqueror - January 2016

Happy New Year, Somerville Road Runners!
In 2015, we dug ourselves out of a big old snow pile just in time for the annual elections in March. Since then, we’ve had an extremely busy year.
The following is a recap of 2015, or “The State of the Somerville Road Runners:"
  • Membership was 329
  • Six annual club races were held: Wintah Challenge, An Ras Mor, 26x1, Ultra Around the Lake, Race to the Row, and Gobble Gobble Gobble
    • New committees led the Wintah Challenge, Ultra Around the Lake, and the Gobble
  • Featured runs included:
    • The Sean Collier Memorial Run out of Casey’s which was captured by local media
    • Community runs out of Slumbrew, Kirkland Tap and Trotter, and RunBase
    • The Bur-run organizers organized two fun runs: “The Waffle Run” and “The Boo Run”
  • The Thursday Night run continued its streak and hit 20 years!
  • SRR Grand Prix had its fourth successful series with 137 participants
    • Chris Antunes and Deb Downs were the overall winners, with several age-group winners
  • 175 individuals volunteered their time at 17 different opportunities within the club, the local running community, and the city of Somerville!
  • SRR was featured in the BAA Club Spotlight for our volunteer efforts
  • Ten individuals received Boston Marathon Invitational Numbers for 2016, awarded by the BAA
  • Over $34K+ were made in charitable donations (not including Gobble donations paid in early 2016)
  • Three scholarships were awarded to Somerville High School graduating seniors
  • SRR donated a membership package to the Somerville Homeless Coalition 20th Annual Gala
  • SRR was also a Platinum Sponsor for the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5K
  • Marketing initiatives led to the rollout of the newsletter, new promotional materials, increased presence on social media, and more
  • SRR Kids continued into its fifth season ending this fall at the Boston River Run
  • SRR took home eight of the coveted bricks at the annual Mill Cities Relay
  • SRR was the fourth place club at the Cape Cod Invitational Club Championship Relay
  • Deb Downs, center, 1st place at Asheville Marathon
    (photo: Julie Holt)
    Runner shout-outs:  Deb Downs was 1st female at the Asheville Marathon; Liz Cooney was 4th in AG at the Boston Marathon; Kieran Condon was 3rd Overall and Joe O’Leary 1st in AG at Westport Half Marathon; Shaun Miller was 3rd Overall at Across the Years Ultra. There were many other amazing AG performances this year - too many to keep track!
  • SRR participated in two races as part of the USATF incentive program: Five College Realtors 10- miler in Amherst and the Vermont City Marathon
  • The 119th Boston Marathon had at least 59 runners including our 10 invitational recipients for 2015  
    • Liz Cooney was fourth in her Age-group!  
    • The club supported a bus to the start line,water/gear stop at 30k, and hotel room at the finish line
  • We had a club officer appreciation night at a Red Sox game this fall
  • Membership cards went online with convenient member lookup
  • Merchandise brought in popular new apparel such as the stylish new jackets and singlets
  • Our webmaster introduced the new Google Drive for club documentation and records
  • The board has revised the Bylaws (to be voted and approved at the March elections)
  • Fun facts:
    • There were at least two engagements and one marriage of couples that met in SRR
    • There were at least five new babies born to SRR families!
In 2016, we look ahead to the 20th year of SRR activities (though we officially became an organization in 1998). The club will also honor the memory of Coach Steve Burton who passed away ten years ago in 2006.  The SRR board has great ideas for the new year, including seeking to apply to the Road Runners Club of America to make Somerville a designated “runner-friendly” community.  We have already started sharing ideas based on the recent survey feedback, and we’ll announce those initiatives soon.
Happy Running in 2016!
Fortitudine Vincimus
-Urvi Mujumdar, SRR President


Toe the Line: Upcoming Races
      • Huge thanks to all the runners and volunteers who came out despite the wind and rain to enjoy a Seinfeld-themed run and post-run breakfast!
    • January 24: Boston Prep 16-Miler, Derry, NH
    • February 7: SRR Grand Prix Race #2 - Super 5k, Lowell, MA

SRR January Instagram/Facebook Photo Contest

  • What's your Running Resolution for 2016? Are you racing for a PR? Training for your first beer mile (we hear you shouldn't take this lightly)? Hoping to inspire your friends and family to run with you? Post a 2016 Resolution Run photo on SRR's Instagram (follow us at somervilleroadrunners) or on our Facebook page and tell us your running resolution. Use hashtag  ‪#‎RunResolutionSRR‬ in your post to be entered in a chance to win a $25 gift card to Marathon Sports!

SRR Annual Post-Holiday Bash
  • Current SRR members (for 2015 OR 2016) are invited to join us on Friday, January 22 from 7-10:30pm at the Somerville Armony for our annual party! Come enjoy great company, food from Redbones and music from DJ White as we celebrate the accomplishments of 2015. Tickets are $20 in advance using this link or $25 at the door. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Melissa at Volunteer slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and all volunteers receive free admission.

SRR Second Saturday Long Runs
  • The people spoke and your wishes have been granted. You wanted more community runs open to all pace groups and we are putting the plan into action. Starting on Saturday February 13th (the Second Saturday of Feb) SRR will host a Saturday morning run from Au Bon Pain in Davis Square. The route will head down the bike-path to Fresh Pond. There will be options to do loop(s) of Fresh Pond and/or incorporate parts of the Charles River. The route was selected to provide multiple options for SRR Second Saturday runners to run the mileage that supports their goals. We’ll be looking for individuals to commit to being a pacer – simply meaning show up that day to run with others opting for similar pace! These runs are open to current SRR members and the community. More details will be posted in the coming weeks.  #SRRSecondSaturdays Woot Woot!

SRR Boston Marathon Prep Long Run
SRRs at the start of the 2015 Boston Marathon long run 
(photo: Scott Abrams)
  • Yes, that infamous day is coming!  Before Mother Nature kicks our behinds on Marathon Monday with perhaps another scorcher or a sleet-filled rainstorm, get course miles under your belt with your favorite running club! The course supported long run is set for Saturday March 26th. Mark that calendar. Stay tuned for sign up details – both to run and volunteer!

All Call for SRR Community Run & Long Run Committee Members
  • Want to get more involved in planning fun running opportunities for your fellow running friends? Interested in being more involved in SRR without the full commitment of holding an office or board position?  As a committee member you will help us plan community and long run opportunities that meet the varied needs of the SRR community. Contact Nichole Bukowski at to share your interest.

Save the Dates!
  • March 2: Running Safety Talk at the Somerville Police Department, time TBD
  • March 6: SRR's An Ras Mor 5k, 9am, Central Square
  • March 7: SRR Annual Meeting/Elections, 7pm, Eastern Bank in Davis Square. All are welcome to attend and vote!


SRR Grand Prix Update
2016 is the Fifth year of the Somerville Road Runners Grand Prix. The Grand Prix has four main goals:

1. Compel off-season running for members;
2. Promote local road races;
3. Fly the flag for SRR in the local running community; and,
4. Engender intra- and inter-club competition.

In furtherance of these goals, the Grand Prix is a yearly evolving event.  We try to make to make it different and exciting each year. This year’s series includes two relays and a cross-country race.

Now, the skinny - 

Run at least 5 of the 6 races to receive the five-race prize and three-race prize
Run at least 3 of the 6 races to receive the three-race prize

Volunteering for a race will earn you one point and credit as having participated in the race.

- Men & Women will be scored separately
- Overall Points will be awarded based on participation and place - ex. 50 SRR women participate and you finish first of those 50 women, you get 50 points.
- Age Group Points will be awarded separately, based on place - ex. 5 Men's 50-59 participate and if you finish first of those Men's 50-59, you get 5 points.
- Top three overall winners for men and women will be excluded from the age group prizes (i.e. no double dipping)

Top three Male and Female, and 1st place of each age group, receive the competition prizes. You must run at least three races to receive a prize.

Team Competitions:
If the race has a team competition, you cannot be on a team other than "Somerville Road Runners" and receive points toward the Grand Prix for that race.

Remainder of the Series:
Race #2 - Super 5k, Lowell, MA

Race #3 - An Ras Mor 5k, Cambridge, MA
Race #4 - Playworks 5k, Franklin Park 
Race #5 - Freedom Run 5k, Cambridge, MA
Race #6 - SRR 26x1 Relay*, June 2016, Somerville, MA 
*- 26x1 will be a handicap race.  We will take your last year’s time and divide it by this year’s.  (If you did not run it last year, Jesse will use the VDOT mile from your fastest 5k during the Grand Prix.)

Happy Racing!

Flowers in Your Hair: USATF Club Cross Country National Championships
by Jesse Morrow

On Friday, the weekend did NOT look welcoming. In the Outer Richmond Area of San Francisco, I ran through Golden Gate Park and along the Ocean with a blustery sideways wind and rainstorm that nearly gave me swimmer’s ear. Fortunately, by Saturday the skies had cleared. And while parts of Golden Gate Park were soggy bogs, the course was mostly perfect and ready for the National Championships.   

In 2014, we had put together an entire masters’ team for this event – which was much closer in Bethlehem, PA.  2015, we were not so lucky. Without a team, I was the only SRR runner in the Masters’ 10K and had to line up behind the box of our Greater Lowell frenemies.  We nearly had a full team for the Women’s open, as Erin Morin, Sara Saba-Sher and Urvi Mujumdar all took part in the Women’s 6K event. And, Tim Morin participated in the Men’s Open 10K.

The event is filled with such positive energy. Almost everyone running is in the class of “recreationally competitive.” And there are runners from all over the country. Within 10 seconds of me finishing were runners from Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, California and New England.  

Also, the camaraderie is special.  As the races are all at different times, while running the Masters Men 10K, open runners and women were doing their warm ups and cooldowns along the course.  This led to many moments where a group from some New England club would just yell: “Go Somerville!” as I ran past.

The five of us who flew the flag for SRR, all got caught up in the wealth of talent and had excellent races:

Open Mens 10K
Tim Morin - 38:55

Open Womens 6K
Erin Morin - 25:57 (for the Golden State native, it was a two minute course PR!)
Sara Saba-Sher - 27:19
Urvi Mujumdar - 38:48

Masters Men 10K
Jesse Morrow - 39:26
SRR alum – Jon May – 37:00

Masters Women 6K
SRR alum – Kerry May – 25:24

Next year in Tallahassee! 10/10/16

Club XC Nationals - Golden Gate Park (photo: Erin Morin)

Boston Marathon Recipient Spotlight
We have been awarded 10 invitational numbers for active club members to have the chance to run in the 2016 Boston Marathon. It is an honor to receive these numbers, and we will continue to serve the BAA as a volunteer organization. We were recently acknowledged by the BAA Club Spotlight. We asked our 2016 recipients about their experiences with SRR and what excites them most about running the Boston Marathon:

Richard Mathews
“What I've loved most about SRR so far are the track workouts. Joe's weekly workouts throughout this year have definitely been challenging as I never did speed workouts before, but they've pushed me past my comfort level and now I've grown to love the workouts. What I look forward most about Boston 2016 is passing the SRR water stop at the 30K mark and knowing the finish is near. I like to break up my marathon into land-marked segments so no matter how I'm feeling at the 30k mark, I will be looking forward to the boost I'll get...”

Sharon Yellin
“I have been watching the Boston marathon and looked forward to running it ever since I was a little kid.  I'm so excited that SRR is giving me the opportunity to run it. I'm especially psyched that SRR provides me with the network of runners with whom to train and swap running stories to help me prepare for my first Boston marathon.”

Paul Nelson
“SRR has become a major part of my life for a good part of the past four years. Whether running through the blizzards of 2015 at the Bur-run, dodging cars while crossing the icy streets on Thursdays’ Casey’s Run, or sharing my beer at the Boo and Waffle Runs (as well as the occasional Monday night run), SRR is always on my weekly schedule. I’m very excited to be running Boston for the first time with a great group of people, representing such a great club, and to be able to share the experience with my local friends and family.”

Megan Prokop:
“What I love most about SRR is the support and encouragement of teammates during a race. I am so excited to run the Boston Marathon. I cannot wait to experience what so many tell me is the best race in the world! Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity!”

Darren Cormier
“Although I have only been part of the group for a short while, one of my favorite aspects of the SRR is how much everyone gives back to the group, to other runners, and to the general running community. It's motivating, inspiring, and, even if you already contribute and volunteer some or a lot of your time, it makes you want to contribute more. I've wanted to run Boston since I started running in high school, so I am very excited and grateful to finally be able to. I am most excited to see all my friends and family lined up along the course and at the finish.”

Gary Smith
“What I like best about belonging to SRR is meeting runners at Casey’s and helping newer runners find their way on the course. My last Boston was in 2012 so I am really looking forward to training and running this great marathon again in 2016, and I am especially proud to be running with the black and gold SRR colors!"

Gretchen Wilson
“Being an SRR member since 1998 (yes, I'm one of the "old school"), I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of really great and inspiring people, one of those being Steve Burton (longtime SRR coach and former Boston Children's Hospital Marathon coach). This year, I will once again be running Boston as a part of the Children's Hospital Marathon team - because of Steve, I had the good fortune of meeting Will Ward, Steve's patient partner from Children's Hospital and because of SRR, I am able to direct my fundraising efforts to Begg's Lab whose research is solely focused on Will's condition of Myotubular Myopathy (MTM).  Thank you SRR!”

For those of you running in 2016, please be on the lookout for announcements from our Boston Marathon Coordinator. We look forward to cheering you on from the 30K!

Quote of the Month

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” - Priscilla Welch

Happy Running!