Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Conqueror - Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 Edition of the Conqueror was compiled and edited by Urvi Mujumdar and Carrie-Anne DeDeo. Special contributions from Bradley Harris, Deb Downs, Scott Abrams, Jesse Morrow, Julie Holt, Nichole Bukowski, Joe O’Leary, Laura Buso, Irene Lanois, Shane McNally, Victor Gonzalez, Tim Blanchard, and Doug Lipinski. Interested in contributing to the winter edition? Send an email to

President’s Corner

It’s no secret that Fall is my favorite season for running. Anyone who’s heard me whining about the heat and humidity finds me pleasantly quiet--cheerful, even!--about the weather as soon as the temps drop and the air gets crisp. On a not-very-fall-like-day in Vermont back in October, I was at mile two of the Harpoon Oktoberfest 3.6-mile race when I felt a sharp pull in my left hamstring. The race was already a hot and humid mess, so I took a quick break to shake it out while walking a few feet. As I did, two runners passed me. One said loudly to the other, “Some people just don’t know how to seed themselves in the corral, and they end up walking.” Those of you who know me know that this aggression would not stand, man. I quickly started up, dropped them, and never saw them again.

A half mile later, I saw three people running abreast up ahead. They were taking frequent walking breaks. As I passed them, I heard one say to the others, “Wow guys…I had no idea that six weeks of chemo would take so much out of me.” He was a cancer survivor, it was his first race post-chemo, and his friends were sticking with him in support.

The point of my story is that you never know what kind of day anyone else on the course is having. You never know what someone has overcome just to be out there. One of the things I love best about our club is that we support each other regardless of speed. Of course we all get wrapped up in PRs and BQs and paces at track -- but at the end of the day, we support each other as fellow runners. I like to think that we support non-SRR runners too -- a quick “nice work” as we pass others in races, a high five to the guy who kicked just a little harder and crossed the finish line a split second ahead of us, a moment of appreciation shared with the runner next to us on a scenic training run. Running takes heart, and SRR’s got a lot of it. Let’s make sure the world knows that.
On a less philosophical note, this fall season has seen many great performances, which you’ll read about below, and as we hurtle toward the holiday season we look forward to some of our club members’ favorite events:

  • The Gobble Gobble Gobble committee is hard at work planning a great race that always brings the SRR family together as well as serving as a long-standing tradition for many local families as they start their Thanksgiving holiday. The Gobble also raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Somerville Homeless Coalition and other local charities each year. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up to run and/or volunteer. We always need volunteers who are not running, so if you want to be a superhero, be sure to let us know!
  • Mill Cities Relay, held on December 3, is another excellent opportunity to run with old friends and meet new ones. Many members say this is the first event they participated in with SRR or how they met some of their best running buddies.
  • Finally, keep an eye out for our annual post-holiday bash, date TBD (typically late January). It’s a celebration at which we recognize running accomplishments and outstanding members, and it’s a chance to see what we all look like when we’re not in sweat-drenched running clothes (we clean up nice!).

A highly anticipated personal favorite “event” of mine is receiving the Boston Marathon invitational numbers granted to us by the B.A.A. each year. Our volunteer support at B.A.A. events throughout the year is often rewarded with these coveted marathon spots, and I hope this year will be no different. Should we be awarded numbers this month, I will post instructions on how current SRR members in good standing can apply. The board seeks candidates who have contributed their time volunteering at races, on committees, at weekly runs, and as part of our many programs and community initiatives. We are always proud to be able to reward our active members with this amazing opportunity! So keep your fingers crossed, and I will keep checking the mailbox.

Thanks for another great year, SRR! I hope to see you out there on the run.

Julie Holt
President, 2017-2018


  • Just a reminder that SRR’s old Yahoo! Group was replaced by a Google Group with a new email address this past summer and that we have a new email address.
  • As noted above planning for the 21st Annual Gobble Gobble Gobble Thanksgiving Race is well under way, and we are on track to sell out once again. Race director Bradley Harris notes that Somerville Police Department has called us "the best-run race in the city." That distinction would never be possible without the amazing contributions of our volunteers. If you are able please consider signing up to help out before, during, and/or after the race (or all three!).
  • Do you like parties? Keep an eye out for the Save the Date for the annual SRR post-holiday bash, typically held in late January.  Email Julie Holt at if you are interested in joining the planning committee!
  • Indoor track season at Tufts kicked off on Tuesday, November 7th. Thanks to coach Joe O’Leary for continuing to organize and run the workouts for 10 years and running!  You can choose to add track when renewing or signing up for your club membership. This year, track fees return to the pre-2017 price of $50.
    • This fee includes indoor track guaranteed through January 16, 2018 at Tufts track. After January 16, track membership will include EITHER a) weekly indoor track sessions through the rest of the winter at Tufts or another local indoor facility OR b) an alternative program, TBD, comprised of weekly sessions that may include a combination of indoor track workouts at a local facility and coached training sessions that cover topics crucial to healthy running, such as strength training, mobility, heart rate training, nutritional fueling, adjusting training and racing plans for weather conditions, and injury prevention (topics subject to change). Track fees also include outdoor track (approximately March through October 2018).

  • Join us for weekly runs on Mondays and Thursdays! Casey’s coordinator Irene Lanois tells us what we have look to in the late fall and early winter:
    • Prediction run November 9th (prizes will be awarded)
    • Self-timed Thanksgiving on November 23rd
    • Holiday themed cook-off on December 14th
    • Hot beverage run on December 21st

  • Co-merchandise coordinator Laura Buso tells us what’s new at the SRR Store: We ordered a restock of men's black size medium singlets. Samples of running jackets are on their way, and along with winter may come knit pom pom hats!

Life in the Fast Lane: Here are some special moments from our weekly runs and track workouts (Photo credits: Laura Buso)

Toe the Line
  • As mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, the 21st Annual Gobble Gobble Gobble will take place on Thanksgiving Day (11/23). Volunteers are needed, and volunteers who are not running are in high demand!
  • In the pursuit of camaraderie and bricks, SRR will be fielding teams once again in all categories at the annual Mill Cities Relay on 12/3. Click here to sign up! Teams will be announced around Thanksgiving weekend.
  • SRR is also fielding teams for the Cambridge Half-Marathon on 11/19 and Yulefest 5K on 12/10 (the first SRR Grand Prix race!).
  • Speaking of which, mark your calendars for the next SRR Grand Prix! Here is the scoop from your co-coordinators Victor Gonzalez and Tim Blanchard:

We are very excited to announce this upcoming SRR Grand Prix schedule. To put the GRAND into Grand Prix and add some race regularity, we have put together a ten-race series with races once a month December through September 2018. We’ve included a variety of race distances, from 5Ks to a half-maratho--a total of 49.8 miles if you complete all 10 races.

2017-2018 SRR GP Race Schedule:

Race 1: Cambridge 5K YuleFest, Cambridge, MA - December 10, 2017
Race 2: Wicked Frosty 4-Miler (10th Annual), Salem MA - January 1, 2018
Race 3: Super Sunday 5-Miler (not the 5k), Cambridge MA - February 4, 2018
Race 4: New Bedford Half-Marathon, New Bedford MA - March 18, 2018
Race 5: James Joyce Ramble 10K, Dedham MA - April 2018
Race 6: Run to Remember 5-Miler (not the Half), Boston MA - May 27, 2017
Race 7: 26x1 Mile Club Challenge Relay (1 Mile), Medford MA - June 2018
Race 8: Summer Classic 5K, Cambridge MA - July 2018
Race 9: Race to the Row 5K, Somerville MA - August 2018
Race 10: Lone Gull 10K, Gloucester MA - September 2018

2017-2018 SRR Grand Prix Rules/Regulations:

1. The 2016-2017 Tom/Tom method of scoring will be used for all races in this series.

2. For each participant, the best of 8 races will count towards the final standings. You must run a minimum of 6 races to compete for age group awards. (If you run 9 or 10 races, your best 8 races will be computed in your final score.)

3. Your age as of the first race on December 10, 2017 will be the age and age group for the remainder of the Grand Prix. Those who turn 20, 30, 40, 50, 60+ before this date will stay in their old age groups.

4. Participation prizes will be award those who finish 6 and 8 races. Top 3 overall and top 3 age group winners will also receive awards.

5. Though some of the races listed offer multiple distances, only the race distance specified above will count towards your Grand Prix points.

6. To promote volunteering at our SRR races (26x1 and Race to the Row), +5 points will be awarded to those who volunteer during the race. If you run and volunteer only your race points will be calculated.

Please check the SRR Facebook page and Google Group for race discount codes and USATF race entries paid for by the club. This information will be posted as it becomes available.

  • SRR Runs Boston (April 16, 2018): Running the Boston Marathon as part of the SRR squad is a truly unparalleled experience. Whether you’re volunteering, cheering, or running, stay tuned for more details to come in early 2018!

Fall Recaps
Since the summer edition hit the press, SRRs have been in action both locally and around the world, setting new PRs and BQs and bringing home the hardware! Here is a round-up of SRR repping at races near and far this fall.

It’s not always about running! We enjoyed Runners’ Night at a Red Sox game this August.

Photo credit: Urvi Mujumdar

The 5th annual Race to the Row took place in August. Words of gratitude from the race director, Scott Abrams:

  • If you volunteered for the race either on Saturday or Sunday, I gratefully applaud your time, generosity, and efforts. As with every year, this race is put on by a village, not by just a committee. So many of you chipped in wherever you saw the need. The Somerville Road Runners has some extraordinary members.
  • Thank you to my awesome race committee of Tim Morin, Julie Holt, Mark Duggan, Carrie-Anne DeDeo, and Laurie Gagnon. Also thank you to Jesse Morrow for taking over the Fast Mile, Jenn Fonda for leading the Kids Fun Run, and Mark Duggan for again being the 5K big cheese. These guys took on so many different responsibilities over the last six months, and everyone chipped in with enthusiasm, especially on race day. Thanks to Irene Lanois for ensuring our volunteer turnout was successful. And one more shout out to Steve Vaitones who comes out every year and helps out in countless ways.
  • While I couldn't award SRR the fastest 5K team award, SRR definitely was the fastest team. Congratulations to Patrick Haneberg (who came in 2nd overall), Chris Smith, John Wichers, Jason Pollutro, and Sarah Norcott. We hope you had a fantastic time and will return next year for the 6th annual Race to the Row.

Left: The awesome Race to the Row volunteers
Right: Patrick Haneberg (2nd) and Jon Cusick (3rd)
Photo credits: Laura Buso

SRR Grand Prix 2017

Co-coordinator Tom Breider shares his report:

The 2017 SRR Grand Prix awards night took place after a Thursday night Casey's run in September.

This year’s Grand Prix saw 119 SRR members participate in at least one race and over 40 people compete in three or more races. The most popular race was Yulefest with 65 SRR participants. In total SRR members ran 880 miles over the six races.

Awards were presented to SRR members who competed in three races, plus a second bonus prize for people who competed in five races. This year's participation prizes were Somerville Road Runners custom shoelaces. Keep an eye out for these yellow-and-black laces at your next race.

The overall female and male winners in the series were Erin Morin and Kieran Condon, followed by Deb Downs and Paulo Amaral in 2nd place and Florentien deRuiter and Matthew Kiesz in 3rd place.

Congratulations to the Age Group winners: Barbara Grandberg, Tresa Casaletto, Kate O'Malley, Carrie-Anne DeDeo, Ryan Doherty, Erik Bok, Patrick Haneberg, Tom Breider, Tomas Bok, and David Oldham.

A special mention to the people who competed in five or more races: Erin Morin, Kate O'Malley, Carrie-Anne DeDeo, Nicole Tateosian, Megan Prokop, Barbara Grandberg, Tresa Casaletto, Kieran Condon, Paulo Amaral, Matthew Kiesz, Tomas Bok, Patrick Haneberg, Tom Breider, Ryan McCracken, David Oldham, Victor Gonzalez, Dennis Shay, and Vittorio Montanari.

The full list of results can be found here.

Those who have not yet received their prizes can collect it from the SRR track session on Tuesdays or email

Thank you to everybody took part in this year’s race series. Don't forget that the first race of the 2018 SRR Grand Prix will be Yulefest in Harvard Square on Sunday December 10.

Top stat of the series: one second. That’s what Kieran Condon’s victory margin was over Paulo Amaral in the men’s overall competition. Kieran finished one second ahead of Brian Cullinan in the 26x1 relay. Had Kieran finished one second slower, Paulo would have won the competition.

Ultra Corner
In ultra action, Greg Soutiea and Barbara Grandberg brought back some hardware at the Sweltering Summer 8-Hour in August, Andy Marinelli was the first female in her first-ever 100K at the Tesla Hertz trail races in September, and Doug Lipinski took 4th in his age group at the Vermont 50K in September. Greg then went on to win the Can Lake 50M in early October! Mae Polson came in second at the TARC Fall Classic 50K, and Adena Schutzberg completed Javelina 100-Miler.  Another shout-out goes to Scot DeDeo who finished the Hennepin Hundred (yep, 100 miles) and also raised nearly $15,000 for Miles to Defeat Neurofibromatosis. Congrats, all!

Left: Barbara Grandberg and Greg Soutiea sweltering this summer (photo credit: Greg Soutiea).
Right: Andy Marinelli winning her first 100K (photo credit: Andy Marinelli).

Here’s a closer look at the Vermont 50K from Doug Lipinski: It was a tough day for an ultra, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees even on the wooded trails around Mt. Ascutney. Doug managed to finish his second 50k in 5:25:29, good enough for 13th overall and 4th in his age group. He even took home a bottle of Vermont maple syrup as an age-group prize.

USATF Grand Prix
The fall season kicked off with unseasonably warm weather at the Lone Gull 10K, part of the USATF Grand Prix. Despite the warm temps, SRR had a great day, coming out in full force with the men’s open, master, and senior teams placing 8th overall and the men’s veteran team placing 5th! The women’s open and master teams both took 11th.

Lone Gull: A perfect beach day in late September!
Photo credit: Urvi Mujumdar

Coach Joe O’Leary shares some USATF highlights:

  • As mentioned above, we had men representing in the open, masters, seniors, and veterans category at Lone Gull.  It’s not often that happens!
  • Congratulations to SRR's 2017 USATFNE Grand Prix Iron Runners Tim Blanchard, Christopher Klucznik, and Dan McCarthy. An Iron Runner is someone who runs all seven races in the Grand Prix (from 5k to Marathon) in a single year--not an easy task!
  • Liz Cooney won her age group in the entire series!
  • Barbara Grandberg, Michael Quinn, and Noel Clarke all ran five races in the series.
  • PRs were set almost across the boards at Baystate, the marathon distance in the USATF Grand Prix. The men’s open and masters’ teams each placed 6th. Chris Klucznik, Kieran Condon, and Karen Encarnacion each placed in their AG!

  • Upper left to bottom right: Chris Klucznik placed 8th in the marathon with a huge PR, Todd Prokop coming in for a PR, Karen Encarnacion placing in her age group, Kieran Condon huge PR and last but not least,  coach Joe O’Leary! (photo credit: Urvi Mujumdar)
Post-race victory is the best! Here’s the crew relaxing and reveling after Baystate. (photo credit: Urvi Mujumdar)

Did you know if you run five Grand Prix races, SRR will pay your USATF membership the following year? If you run all seven Grand Prix races, you receive the coveted Iron Runner jacket. Check this out for for more info.

Summer Long Run Series

The summer long run series came to an end. Some words from co-coordinator Deb Downs: Thanks to all who attended one or all of this summer's amazingly beery long runs! And many thanks to our hosts:

    • Scot DeDeo - Spring Scotoberfest - May
    • Carrie-Ann DeDeo - Viv's Invitational - June
    • Tim & Erin Morin - Summer Beer Run & BBQ - July
    • Herbert Lin - Long Run & Pool Party - August
    • Nichole Bukowski & Brian LaValle - Long Run & Corn Hole - August
    • Deb Downs & Steve Smrcina - No Frills Charles River 30k, Half, & 10k - September
    • Scott Abrams & Julie Holt - Fall Scottoberfest - November

    No Frills Charles River Run (photo credit: Deb Downs)

    What's next?  You tell us! Want to host a long run during the upcoming Boston Marathon training season? Email, and we'll add you to the calendar.

    Other SRR Accomplishments
    • Our SRR down in Texas, Emma Kosciak, qualified for the Xterra Trail Racing Championships in Utah and placed 7th overall in the 21K.  She is going on to the Worlds in Hawaii this December!
    • Did you know SRR has been either a platinum or gold sponsor of the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5K for several years? Or that at this year’s race Chris Antunes was the overall winner?
    • Congrats to Nichole Bukowski, who has worn many hats in SRR club leadership (currently Vice President and part of the long run and marketing crews). Nichole recently completed an Ironman-distance triathlon at Ironman Chattanooga.  She is our awesome veep!
    • In other Ironman news, Billy Hafferty competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, finishing in 10:07, placing 89th in his AG in the world!
    • Congrats to Deb Downs, who won this year’s Falmouth in the Fall Road Race!

    Casey's Corner

    • Casey's Streak Winners: Most consecutive runs were run by Victor Gonzalez and Dennis Shay who ran each week except for the last week for a total of 10 weeks in a row! Most nonconsecutive runs were run by Tom Breider, Shane McNally, and Doug Lipinski, each running an impressive 9 weeks!
    • Additional prizes were awarded to the following 5 people for running PRs during the streak: Matt Kiesz, Doug Lipinski, Sean Finn, Ryan Doherty, and Liza Neustaetter. Liza ran three PRs over the course of the streak!
    • The International Cook-Off was held on October 19. The crowd seemed very pleased with the offerings. Voting was close, and after a long deliberation, the Casey's committee declared a tie between the Korean Bulgogi and the Polish Gołąbki
    • The first Casey's Kids’ Fun was held on July 27. This year’s race was geared toward the toddler age group; however, we are looking to possibly expand to older kids next year.

    The next generation of SRR representing the Mack, Harris, Crellin, Morin, and Caffrey families!

    (Photo credits: Irene Lanois)

    Volunteer Update

    • Irene Lanois serves as volunteer coordinator. Here’s what she had to say about the club’s volunteer turnout this late summer and fall:
      • Race to the Row had a great showing of awesome volunteers who helped to ensure that the race ran smoothly, including those who helped with set-up, as course marshals, handing out pizza and ice cream, and cleaning up. These volunteers were truly the superstars of the day!
      • Volunteers at the BAA Half-Marathon a terrific group of SRR veterans and brand new members! While the rain held out for much of the day, we ended up pretty wet during the second half of the race. Despite the rain, the volunteers all had a smile and encouraging words to share with runners as they finished. Check out the BAA’s video of our volunteer crew handing out finisher’s medals at the Half.
      • SRR members also volunteered and staffed an information table at the Somerville Homeless Coalition's 5K on October 7.

    Fall Marathon Spotlight

    • SRR in Chicago (October 8) - A special message from Deb Downs: Thanks to all of the awesome SRRs who made the Chicago Marathon feel like a local race! Special spectators Amie Gauthier, Jesse Morrow, Liz Cooney, Steve Smrcina, Melissa Glotzbecker, Liz Caffrey, Kathy Gorvin, Kimi Macdonald, and Dean Rapaport: You are the bomb! And, of course, Steve Pepe popped out of nowhere around mile 15. It's likely that he personally knew 10-15% of the field.

    A double rainbow appears in Chicago, meaning lots of luck coming SRR’s way! (Photo credit: Deb Downs)

    • SRR at the Cape Cod Marathon Relay (October 29) - Eighteen runners on four SRR teams took to the Cape Cod Marathon course once again this year after taking first place last year. Though the overall team cup was just out of reach, the SRR Mixed Open took first place and SRR Women came in second in their respective categories.

    Top: The women’s team took second (Photo credit - Melissa Glotzbecker).
    Bottom: The mixed open team took first (Photo credit - Laura Buso)

    • Not quite a marathon: Boo Run (October 30) - The seventh running of the Boo Run was good, spooky fun! Thank you to Paul Nelson for organizing and for photographing the event. Thanks also to Seth Maleri for kicking off the run, the volunteers along the way, and those who hosted stops at their houses.  

    (Photo credit: Paul Nelson)

    SRR Kids Program

    Fall Season Recap
    SRR Kids finished the fall season at the Boston River Run 5K. Despite the cold, there were many special moments. Some kids finished in under 30 minutes. Several ran their first 5K, which is a special occasion in the life of any runner. Even some very little kids ran and did themselves and their families proud.

    Sound like fun? The Kids Program is always looking for coaches and volunteers to join the fun and help kids enjoy running too. Practices for the spring session will begin in March at the Tufts Track. 

    Program coordinators Shane and Darren would like to thank pacers Kari Lavin, Barbara Grandberg, and Isaac Burleigh, and prior Kids Program coordinator Jenn Fonda. Let’s not forget the job done by the all-star coaching team of Kari Bender, Rob Cocca, Mary Booras, and Liza Neustaetter.

    (Photo credit: Darren Cormier)

    Member Spotlight: Victor Gonzalez

    (Photo credits: Victor Gonzalez #FYeah)

    How long have you been running and a part of SRR?  

    Member since January 1, 2007. It was a New Year's resolution to join as a way of mentally getting back into running after taking 18 months off. It worked, I PRed at VCM that spring!

    Where are you from? 

    Brooklyn, NY

    Fave race and why?
    The New York City Marathon. It's home. I have fond memories of watching the race as a kid with my mom on television. Wistfully hoping that maybe one day I'd be able to run it. Have run it seven times, though the lottery itself doesn't love me, I'm one for 15 in it, earning me the nickname from my friends of being the "Susan Lucci" of the New York Marathon Lottery.

    Most unusual thing seen on a run?
    I run with blinders on, my own private little bubble of hell. I'm always taken aback when someone comments on how beautiful the course is. WHAT? Ain't nobody got time for that! If you're noticing the view, then you're doing it wrong!

    Recent PR or race accomplishment? Finished up my 15th Reach the Beach, as team captain of the Fellowship of the Bubblewrap. I'm very proud of our team retention. Four of us have done all 15 years, another six have done 14 and the other three spots have been filled by runners that have run at least seven or eight of them. What's really interesting is that in all that time, the vans have never swapped, so everyone in Van 1 has always been in Van 1 and the same with Van 2.

    Why do you love being a part of SRR?
    The camaraderie. I love being at the 30K water stop [at the Boston Marathon] and cheering each and every SRR as they run by. That excitement is genuine and often exhausting.
    Running shoe of choice?
    It's fairly well documented that I'm a Nike whore. I train in Lunarglides and race in Lunaracers, though lately I have returned to running in Mizuno Waveriders as well.

    What is something that your teammates might not know about you?
    I have a tatt on my bum of my first race bib number.

    Quote of the Season 

    “It’s a moment I’m trying to soak up and savor. This is the moment I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl.” -- Shalane Flanagan

    Shalane Flanagan is the first woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon. She won in 2:26:53 (blazingly fast!). Congratulations, Shalane! Your spirit, perseverance and wise words inspire runners everywhere.

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