Monday, February 8, 2016

The Conqueror - February 2016


Toe the Line: Recent & Upcoming Races
  • January 31: USATF Indoor East Regionals (track meet)
    • Congratulations to 3000m AG Champion Brian Cullinan, 5000m AG 2nd place finisher Joe O'Leary, 3000m AG 2nd place finisher Jim Pawlicki, and 1 mile AG 3rd place finisher Jesse Morrow!
  • February 7: SRR Grand Prix Race #2 - Super 5k, Lowell, MA
    • Congratulations to overall winner Brian Keefe, 2nd female Jennifer Rapaport, 2nd male Chris Klucznik,  and Division winners Aharon Wright, Kieran Condon, Brian Cullinan, Erin Morin, Carrie-Anne DeDeo, Joe O'Leary, Tom Bok, Amy Dierberger, Eva Kopf-Ridout, Rory Fagan and Jesse Morrow!
  • March 6: SRR Grand Prix Race #3 and USATFNE Grand Prix Race #1 - An Ras Mor, Cambridge, MA (presented by SRR)
    • Calling all volunteers! To help out, please contact Melissa at

Bringing home some hardware from the Super 5k!
L-R: Rory Fagan, Brian Keefe, Jesse Morrow

SRR February Instagram/Facebook Photo Contest: #SRRLoveMyRun
  • What’s not to love about SRR’s second social media contest? Where is the Love, the love, the love? Who needs hallmark cards and overpriced chocolates when you have the #SRRLoveMyRun photo to post? Did you find your lova lova on a run? Are you in love with your early am run crew….another bunch of run nuts who trade in cozy covers for icy winter roads with you? Do you love your mid-day run break that allows you to escape from your cubicle and TPS reports? Perhaps you love the excuse to drink beers with friends….but I just went for a RUN! Share your run love with us this month. Post your running love on SRR’s social media (IG: @somervilleroadrunners, or FB: for a chance to win a LOVEly prize: a free entry to the Spring Classic 5k! The photo with the most likes win – so share that love photo forward. Use hashtag #SRRLoveMyRun through the month of February to win. PS. We LOVE you all!

Love at the 30k mark of the 2015 Boston Marathon!
(Photo: Amy Dierberger)

SRR Second Saturday Long Run & Marathon Trials Viewing
  • Meet the SRR Second Saturday Long Run Crew on Saturday, February 13th at Au Bon Pain in Davis Square. This run is open to ALL pace groups, with pacers to support a wide range of paces. The run will head out from Davis along the bike path to Fresh Pond. Runners will have the option of doing various distances by doing more or fewer loops of Fresh Pond before heading back to Davis. Bathrooms and water are available at Fresh Pond. Check the SRR Facebook Page and Yahoo Message Board this week for details on where to hang with us post run to watch the televised Olympic Marathon Trials…unless you are in them of course. ;) 

FREE Running Safety Workshop
  • SRR will be co-sponsoring a FREE Running Safety workshop in partnership with the Somerville Police Department on Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30pm. The event will be hosted in the SPD Academy Room at their 220 Washington Street location, and will feature two SRR Members on the expert panel - Brendan Kearney will give us insight into WalkBoston's community initiatives for pedestrian safety, and Elizabeth Cooney will share some tips from her recent Boston Globe article. John Gorvin has been working diligently to get this moving, and we can't wait to see you there! Make sure to pre-register using this link so you get a freebie at the door!

USATF Incentive Program 2016

2016 Officer Elections
  • The 2016 officer elections will take place at our Annual Meeting on Monday, March 14, 2016. We are now accepting applications for positions between Feb 1-Feb 19th (at 11:59pm Eastern). At the elections, the ballot will include all candidates for the elected officers that make up the board of directors. Once elected, the board will then appoint several additional positions critical to club leadership. In addition to these positions, we have prepared an amendment to the club bylaws. A summary of the proposed changes will also be added to the ballot. Final results will be announced after the Annual Meeting.
  • If you are a current member (dues paid for the 2016 year), you may vote for candidates for elected officer positions. You must be present at the meeting to vote!
  • Any current SRR member (dues paid for the 2016 year) may run for elected office or submit their name for consideration for an appointed position. A list of elected and appointed positions and their job descriptions is available on the SRR website.
  • To run for an elected or appointed position, submit your application to Urvi Mujumdar at no later than 11:59pm on February 19, 2016. Please include the following information:
    • Name
    • Approx. how long you have been a club member
    • Position you are interested in running for/being appointed for
    • Brief statement that can be posted on the SRR website
      telling club members about you and your interest in the position.You are
      encouraged to disclose any memberships, management, business
      involvement or significant roles in the sport, outside of SRR, if
    • Optional: Photo (preferably JPG, GIF or PNG format, no larger than 1 MG) that can be posted with your statement
  • A list of candidates will be posted on the SRR website during the week of February 22, 2016. Elections take place on March 14, 2016 at the Eastern Bank Community Room at 7pm.


Member Survey Results Are In!

Thank you to all who participated in our recent Member Survey. We had 91 responses, and here are the results as well as specific ideas that initiated at the January board meeting upon review.


  • Over half (52%) of respondents have been club members for 5+ years
  • The Top 5 events for running participation (in order of frequency): Casey's, Track, Mill Cities Relay, Group/Long Runs, Bur-Run
  • The Top 5 events for volunteer participation (in order of frequency): Casey's, Gobble, Ultra Around the Lake, An Ras Mor, Boston Marathon
  • On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, the average overall rating for SRR was 8.61
  • Most common mode of communication: Yahoo Email Group
  • Most commonly known aspects of the club: USATF followed by SRR Kids
  • Least commonly known aspect of the club: Road Runners Club of America
  • Discounts were the highest reported perks that current members took advantage of, and specifically would like to see more of Free or Discounted Race Entry
  • Top characteristic of SRR that members would offer to new/prospective members: Types of Runs Offered

First,  it was great to have a large response and also report the average rating of 8.61 out of 10. It was also noteworthy that over half of the respondents have been long time members.

Second, we discussed the feedback and there is room to improve. There were several helpful comments that we will attempt to implement. From the comments, there are specific action items that club officers will be working on over the next year:

  • Exploring the possibility of SRR having a youth running club to allow for our younger club members/SRR Kids.
  • Creating a new initiative to be more environment-friendly and green! Tom Breider, Irene Lanois, Sonia Sharan and Mariah Tinger are organizing this effort and will be trying out new recycling possibilities at our next club race, An Ras Mor. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Tom at
  • Building up our group long run program to offer a monthly standing run for all paces with easy-to-follow routes out of Davis to Fresh Pond, and to create a committee of interested runners to help our current Long Run Coordinators with planning and organizing. If you have ideas or want to help in the execution,  please contact
  • The newsletter has been introduced as a means for monthly streamlined communication, taking all the important information already posted in various channels and offering other types of information for the club. This can also be a place for members to share stories, race reports, or post about potential destination races or trips. If you'd like to share in an upcoming edition, please contact Julie Holt at
  • Committee involvement. We understand that some individuals may want to volunteer in a more involved capacity without taking on a leadership role. Survey feedback indicated we need more opportunities for this. To that end, the board has already expanded some positions (long runs, for example) and we want interested members to know about our various race committees. As stated in the call for election nominations, if you are interested, please email
  • An internal initiative is club documentation for the board, club officers, and race committees. The goal is to capture institutional knowledge and help the future leaders of SRR.
  • We have resources available to us as we are a member club of the Road Runners Club of America (such as our club insurance), that will be made more available. This was the least known aspect of the club, according to the survey.
  • We will brainstorm new ways to offer discounted or free race entry as a membership perk.   
  • We had mixed feedback related to club culture, with comments that it can be hard as a new member, and that some feel there are many cliques. We thought it would be best to provide that feedback back to the club so that we can each do our part to be welcoming. If there are ideas for newcomers, please email
  • It is encouraged to continue to use the Yahoo email list and Facebook group for any and all needs for the club: carpooling, ideas for runs, ideas for destination races, runner resources, questions, and more.

Lastly, we understand that our club vision is very diverse. We are a community-focused organization with several running and volunteer opportunities, and we have members of all levels and interests. All members are welcome to the monthly board meetings, and if you haven't yet volunteered at a club race or event, give it a try! Many of our current club programs came from ideas from members, such as the Kids Program. To highlight some of our recent club successes, please read the 2015 Year in Review posted in the January newsletter.

It truly takes a village, so thank you all for your input and contributions to the club.  

Urvi Mujumdar, SRR President or

A Good Time Was Had By All: Annual Party and Awards

We had another wonderful post-holiday party at the Arts at the Armory. Thank you Dafne Cardamone, Pensri Pilotte, (and Gordon), Anthony White, Carrie-Anne DeDeo, Melissa Glotzbecker, Tinamarie Sanborn (sorry if we forgot anyone) for all the advance planning and to the volunteers!
The festivities at the Armory (photo: Urvi Mujumdar)
For those that could not attend (or just to repeat the awesome!), the following club members were awarded for their 2015 achievements:
Most Improved Male: Aharon Wright
Most Improved Female: Megan Vdk Prokop
Appreciation awards for their dedication and contributions to the club: Brendan Kearney and Julie Holt
Outstanding Volunteers: Amy Dierberger and Anthony White
Rookie of the Year: Irene Lee
Unsung Hero: Aaron Beer
In Appreciation for his TEN years of service as SRR coach: Joe O'Leary
We had some special awards this year because club spirit, being a supportive teammate, and camaraderie should also be applauded:
Florence Nightingale: Dafne Cardamone
"You've Got This": Deb Downs (Bam!)
Pacing Queen: Jennifer Rapaport
Congratulations to all!

Member Spotlight: Laurie Gagnon & Seth Maleri

How long have you been a part of SRR?
Seth & Laurie after the Reykjavik Marathon
Seth went to the very first Bur-run in the spring of 2009. Rich Lu convinced him to check it out. Laurie first went to Casey’s in September 2009, when she was training for her first half marathon. It was the Thursday before the Lake Winnie relay and everyone kept asking if she was on a team.

Laurie first remembers meeting Seth on a Monday night Bur-run. She could hear him talking and telling stories and wondered who he was. Seth first remembers meetingLaurie on a Thursday at Casey's where he noticed she was a steady pacer and good company. Over the course of the next year, they became part of the same circle of friends, self-named the “AV Club” because they were the new kids, cool in their own way, but not as fast or cool as the fast cool kids.

In January 2011, our friendship turned into more and we got married this past October 3!  

Where are you from?
Laurie is from Berlin, NH and has lived in Somerville since 2000. Seth is from Shelton, CT and moved to Somerville in 2007.

What is your fave race and why?
Seth’s favorite half is New Bedford, where he PR-ed the distance in 2012. He also loves the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5k. Laurie loves a race that is local and raising money for a good cause. She does have a soft spot for 15Ks with good food – her favorites are Bow Lake Dam 15K (in June, which serves smoked turkey and delicious potatoes) and Boston Tune-Up 15K (in April, 2 weeks before Boston, famous for tortellini soup).

What a recent PR or race accomplishment?
We both ran Derry last month. For Seth, it was his 6th in a row – a 2011-2016 Derry streak. It was Laurie’s 5th Derry since 2010 (she missed in 2012 when she was in India and took 2015 off).

What’s on your running horizon?
Laurie is currently training for the Barcelona marathon. It will be her 11th marathon and her 4th in kilometers and in a country outside the U.S. (Iceland, Lima-Peru, Vancouver-Canada). Seth is eyeing California International in December.

With SRR friends before the Reykjavik Marathon

Why do you love being a part of SRR? 
SRR is an amazing community. We’ve made such wonderful friends in SRR and found love. All while benefiting from the wisdom of the group and helping SRR to give back to others.

What is your running shoe of choice? 
Seth likes Mizuno or Brooks. Laurie has many pairs of Brooks Ravennas in different colors.

What is something that your teammates might not know about you?

Seth is still scared of mascots. Laurie lived in Japan for two years. She did a little bit of running then, but in her first town, there was only one narrow road and not many runners. She’d make her way to the cliffs above town where the elderly kept gardens to run safely. 

Laurie & Seth with the SRR crew at their October 2015 wedding!

Quote of the Month

"Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance - you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet." - Doris Brown Heritage

Happy Running!