Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Conqueror - Late Winter/Early Spring 2018

The Winter 2018 Edition of the Conqueror was compiled and edited by Urvi Mujumdar and Carrie-Anne DeDeo. Special contributions from Shane McNally, Tina Mack, Julie Holt, Jesse Morrow, Nichole Bukowski, and Brian LaValle, as well as many words of wisdom from the peanut gallery in our Boston Marathon feature. Interested in contributing to the next edition? Send an email to

President’s Corner 
Happy Spring, I think. Is it here yet? I can't tell for sure. This winter was full of exciting achievements, awards and PRs (and lots of hardware), saw the addition of new coach Rick Muhr to the team, and included another year in the books for the Gobble, An Ras Mor and of course the Wintah Challenge. Still, I think most of us are ready for milder weather and the arrival of the day around which the running calendar revolves: Marathon Monday.

It is no secret that Marathon Monday is my favorite day of the year, and I am enjoying the buildup to "runner Christmas." I love how our team comes together for our pre-marathon events, I love the adrenaline of our cheer zone at the 30k, and most of all I love the spirit of camaraderie and excitement that the marathon brings. 

In this issue of The Conqueror we have included advice and tips from you all to our Boston Marathoners, and I'll include mine here: my number one recommendation is enjoy the race and take it all in. Boston is unlike any other marathon in the world. Most people will never get the opportunity to have this experience, so make the most of yours! I have so many incredible memories from race day 2015, not the least of which is rounding the bend and seeing the SRR tent at the 30k mark, but my favorite moment was coming up out of the Comm Ave tunnel and realizing that I was about to make the famed right on Hereford, left on Boylston. I still well up thinking about that moment and the last stretch along Boylston Street, where I actually wanted time to slow down so I could savor every painful, wonderful step. Everything after I crossed the finish line is a blur, but I'm glad I took the time to take everything in during the last few minutes of my race.

Whether you're running, volunteering, or spectating, have a fantastic Marathon Monday. Happy Running!

- Julie Holt, President


Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Board of Directors:
President: Julie Holt
Vice President: Nichole Bukowski
Treasurer: Brian Tinger
Secretary: Melissa Glotzbecker
Members at Large: Irene Lanois and Jason Lachapelle

As their first order of business, the incoming Board approved the following appointed coordinators:
Volunteer Coordinators: Liza Neustaetter and Jenny Brown
Membership Coordinator: Dennis Shay
Welcome Wagon: Kari Lavin
Marketing Coordinator: Jesse Morrow
Long Run Coordinators: Deb Downs and Scot DeDeo
Casey's Coordinators: Irene Lanois and Doug Lipinski
Webmaster: Sara Radkiewicz 

SRR welcomes Coach Rick Muir! Rick has been a runner for 43 years and a running coach for 22 years. He has had the honor and privilege of coaching over 10,000 runners to the completion of their first marathons. The following are several of his personal best times:

100K: 8:41:17 (finished fifth in the national championships)
Marathon: 2:33:13
Half-marathon: 1:12:12
10K: 32:25
5K: 16:05

Rick says, "I am extremely excited to join the SRR family of runners. I am looking forward to sharing my running and coaching experience to help others realize their potential and become lifelong runners. I also look forward to learning from the collective experience of everyone at SRR in my pursuit of being the best possible runner and coach!" 

Coach Rick had the special experience of appearing on a panel with Meb Keflezighi in Austin, TX.
(Photo courtesy of Rick Muhr.)

Get ready for the next season of SRR Kids! Co-coordinator Shane McNally shares five reasons you should consider getting involved:

1. Free pizza and 5K! If you volunteer with the Kids Program, you’ll have a great time hanging out with a terrific crew of coaches and coordinators. A team in every sense of the word, we support everyone’s achievements, from the kindergartener running her first mile to the coach aiming for a marathon PR. And after we run a 5K together, we all celebrate with a pizza party!

2. Volunteer and have fun! Looking to get more involved with the club and gain meaningful volunteer experience? Coaching involves a commitment of an hour each week and a 5K at the end of the program. Not available every Wednesday? We’d love the additional help on weeks that you’re free. Or consider pacing a kid at for the end-of-season race. 

3. Share your knowledge and gain coaching experience. As an avid runner, you’ve learned a lot about this wonderful sport. Consider passing this knowledge on to a young person just starting out running. Past coaching experience is not required; your own experience as a runner is sufficient to benefit the kids in the program.

4. Be a kid again! You may be a very respectable doctor, lawyer, or computer programmer during the day, but at SRR Kids, you’ll get the chance to hop like a bunny and play tag like a five year old. 

5. Make a difference! The SRR Kids Program offers you a chance to connect with kids and make a positive difference in their lives. By getting involved with SRR Kids, you’ll help to combat forces like excess screen time and promote a healthy lifestyle. If you want to pass your love of running onto a new generation, join us!

The SRR Kids Program began this spring on Wednesday, March 28, and will run until Saturday, May 19. Practices take place on Wednesdays from 6:15-7:15pm at the Tufts outdoor track. The season ends with a 5K in which kids run with adult pacers. Coordinators Shane and Darren are always looking for coaches to help out. Email for more information. 

Fun with SRR Kids. (Photo courtesy of Shane McNally.)

Upcoming SRR volunteer opportunities:
Marathon Monday Cheer Zone & Elite Water Stop - Saturday, April 14, through Monday, April 16

Check out our weekly runs--Monday night’s Bur-run and Casey’s on Thursdays:

  • Seth Maleri reports from the Bur-run: “Come out on Monday night for a 5K and food afterward. The Burren has a new and improved beer list. Love, Seth.” 
  • Check out the following link to sign up to help out with timing or for upcoming events at our Thursday night weekly run held out of Casey’s Pub in East Somerville.

Become an SRR Ambassador & Share What You Love:
Joining a new community can be intimidating. Sometimes you need someone to ease your fears and make you feel welcome. SRR is launching a brand-new Ambassador Program to support new club members by giving them someone to talk to, ask questions of, and establish a connection with. 

As a club ambassador, you will be given a special t-shirt to wear once a month to a weekly run (the Bur-run, track, or Casey’s) or to one of our races or other events. You will introduce yourself to the community during pre-run announcements, so that people know you are the one to go to with questions and for more information.

This is a great opportunity to support SRR and the community by continuing to do what you already do--run and have fun! If you are a regular Bur-run, track, or Casey’s participant and enjoy helping people to learn more about SRR, please join this new initiative!

We will be kicking the program off after the Boston Marathon. This new program will also count toward volunteer points, which we use as one criterion in selecting recipients of Boston Marathon invitational numbers.

To express your interest, please fill out this Google Form for Community Ambassadors. If you have any additional questions, contact SRR VP Nichole Bukowski at 

Want to Become A More Resilient Runner? 
Our club VP Nichole Bukowski is leading a workshop in Waltham on Sunday, April 8. This workshop is geared for runners of every ability and will help you to feel and perform better! Nichole will teach you how to develop greater physical and mental resilience to up your game and keep you doing what you love with more strength, confidence, and ease.

The workshop will address how, when, and why to incorporate strengthening postures, myo-fasical release, deeper stretches, breathing exercises, and mindset strategies in order to make you more efficient and conditioned in body and mind. During the class, you will be guided through yoga strength and mobility postures and breathing exercises for efficient oxygen intake and carbon dioxide release--resulting in more energy and stamina--as well as mindset preparation exercises to give you the mental edge and post-exercise stretching and rolling routines to maximize the impact of each workout.

Nichole has a rich history of competing in sports and teaching fitness classes. She has completed 22 marathons and is currently training for her 14th Boston Marathon. She finished an IronMan this past fall and played on a Division 1 field hockey scholarship for the Boston College Eagles. She believes the true game-changer that fuels her and continues to ignite the fire of the human spirit within her is a balanced routine of self-care strategies that extend beyond the miles she puts in hitting the pavement, trails, and treadmills. 

Come learn how to become a more resilient athlete, mover, and human being.

April 8, 1-3pm
$35 (workshops are non-refundable)
To sign up, visit either of the following:

(Photo courtesy of Nichole Bukowski. Photo credit: Lucie Wicker Photography.)

Merchandise Update:
Laura Buso reports that buffs are in. They’re $15 each, and they’re a limited run, available from the SRR online store

Special Feature: SRR Runs Boston!

Congrats again to SRR’s ten invitational runners! Find out more about them in our weekly Facebook posts. This year’s invitational runners are:

Mary Booras
Charoma Blyden
Molly Crellin
Ryan Doherty
Chris Lupien
Andy Marinelli
Liza Neustaetter
Sara Radkiewicz
Leevi Raassina 
Dennis Shay

Everything You Need to Know for the Boston Marathon (from marathon coordinator Tina Mack):

Planning is underway for this year's Boston Marathon, taking place on Patriots’ Day, Monday, April 16. Please make sure your membership is up to date at Some perks require six or more months of club membership.  Please let Tina know if you have any questions! (You can reach her at

Course Long Run
The Boston Marathon course long run was a success on Saturday, March 24. Thank you to all drivers and volunteers.

SRR Sean Collier Memorial Run & Pre-Marathon Pasta Dinner
The Sean Collier Memorial Run & Pre-Marathon Pasta Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 12, at Casey's in East Somerville. Runners will leave the bar just after 7pm to run the 4-mile Casey's course. After the run, we’ll come back to the bar for a pasta dinner celebration. We will also be collecting funds for the Sean Collier Scholarship Fund.

The party starts later!!! In a bold move, the BAA has pushed back our Party Bus arrival time. The SRR Party Bus will leave the Assembly Square T Station at 7:45am. No more early wake-ups! 

If you are parking at Assembly, please use the paid MBTA parking lot. The non-MBTA lots at Assembly will tow cars left over three hours. The Party Bus price is $30 (signup). The bus will wait in the Athletes’ Village, so you will have a comfortable place to sit before your start time. There is a bathroom on board the bus. There is no bag check at the start of the marathon. Anything you take on the bus you will have to discard or carry during your run. 

On marathon day, Tina will meet the bus to check everyone in and to pick up any personal items (wallets, phones, etc.) that need to be taken to the Post-Marathon Hospitality Suite.  

SRR Post-Marathon Hospitality Suite
We have a room reserved at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, a short walk from the finish line at 50 Park Plaza, Boston, for you to clean up and catch up after the race. The room will be stocked with post-race food and friends. Tina will be in touch in April with detailed instructions about the hotel and information about bag collection for the room. This perk is available to SRR members (of six-plus months) only.

SRR Elite Water Stop & Cheer Zone
The SRR Elite Water Stop Team will be providing an elite-style water stop for SRR members at the 30K mark. Need to pick up a specific kind of gel, feel like changing your socks after 18 miles, or just want a hug before Heartbreak Hill?  Carrie-Anne, Urvi, and the whole SRR crew will be there for you! You pack up and label your snacks, and Urvi and C-A will make sure you have just what you need to finish the race strong. They will be in touch in April with collection times and locations. Here is the form for runners to sign up in advance with bib numbers, special requests for the cheer zone, and so on. Volunteers can sign up here.

Also located at the 30K, the Cheer Zone is where all the cool kids hang out on marathon day! The Cheer Zone is open to SRR members, families, friends, and non-members. Really, it is just a big SRR party. MORE COWBELL! 

Head to the Burren in Davis Square at 5pm on Marathon Monday to have a pint, scarf some munchies, and talk split times, chafing, and race-day weather. Sign up here if you plan to attend.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Marathon Monday. Good luck with your training! Still have questions? Email

Advice and Motivation for the Boston Marathon
We asked the peanut gallery for any and all tips, tricks, and motivation for the Boston Marathon Class of ’18 and for those doing other spring marathons. Here’s what we heard from the SRR community! Thank you to those who contributed.

Ryan Doherty:
On Marathon Monday, I am looking forward to the entire experience, from the bus ride to Hopkinton to the crowded start to the epic finish--and everything in between. Since this is my first marathon, I'm excited to see if/how all this insane training actually works! At this point, my motivation is just proving to myself that I can actually do it. (There have been days in training when I doubt myself!)

Kieran Condon: 
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who volunteers at the 30K mark. I have done Boston the last six years, and through good years and bad years, this location has always inspired me. Even when I have been walking a lot of the back half, I always run through here! This is one of the things that I think makes the club special to me. Look forward to seeing you all again on April 16! Here is hoping it is not too warm…

Kimi Macdonald:
Everyone dreads the Newton Hills but expects them to start after the Mile 18 firehouse. But the first one is over I-95 as soon as you go through Newton Lower Falls. Be smart about that one so you don't burn out before 18 like I always do! If you're having a bad day, don't be a Scrooge, and be sure to soak up the experience--high-five ALL the kids, drink the beer (remember: unopened cans), smile for the cameras, help another runner. You won't always have the opportunity to be on that side of the barriers on Marathon Monday. <3  

There's always some drunk college kid at BC (or BU, let's be honest) wearing a horse mask giving out beer to the runners. Speaking from experience, TAKE AN UNOPENED CAN, NOT A RED SOLO CUP--for your own safety! Breathe deeply before you run past the VFW in Natick. So much cigar smoke ;)

Brian LaValle:
My advice for any first timer? Slow it down, breathe, and find your natural pace. Don’t look at your watch too much, and try to savor the experience. Think of just getting to the SRR tent. The shot of adrenaline from the SRR cheering section will give you the strength you need to keep those legs moving to the finish. 

Warning: This advice is the EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT A COACH WILL TELL YOU TO DO!!! My advice for seasoned marathoners? If the weather is good, go out fast and hold on! You’re gonna hit the wall at some point, so you might as well have minutes in the bank to draw from. Just get to the SRR tent!

Bradley Harris:
No matter what happens on race day--performance of a lifetime, not what you planned, extended walking breaks, or ending your race before the finish line--always remember to hold your head high. You are in the goddamn Boston Marathon!

Scot DeDeo:
My favorite experience with the Boston Marathon begins with one mile to go as you run under the "Boston Strong" bridge. At this point, any pain you’re feeling becomes irrelevant, and the finish pulls you in. As you turn onto Boylston, the world stops. Take in the crowds, the other runners, and the sight of the finish line. You have done it. Running Boston is an accomplishment that no one can ever take away from you. Be proud of yourself.

Sara Saba-Sher:
The best advice I ever received was from Coach Joe. He told me that you shouldn't feel any pain at all the first 13 miles. It should just be pure fun--high-fiving the spectators, smiling, waving, etc. He said if you feel pain, then you need to slow down! That advice is dead-on, and I use it for every marathon. Also, draw strength from the crowd. Everyone in Boston loves Marathon Monday, and their excitement and fun is contagious! I like to think about the Red Sox playing downtown and all the great Boston sports teams!

Also, for me, the best approach is to treat the race like 26 mini mile races. I set a mile pace and try to hit it for each mile consistently. I use a regular Timex watch (I think Garmins are too much information for during a marathon) and hit lap after each mile. Then I only think about the mile I am in--not the previous miles, not the future miles, and not the overall time. I don't stress out tons about being off the pace for a mile or two; I just restart the race with the next mile. 

For the 2013 Boston Marathon, I was coming off a year-plus of injury. I had done a lot of cross training during that injury with Rachel Shanley. She got me to go to yoga, lifting classes, and boot camp much more than I ever would have on my own! Rachel also agreed to run to the SRR support table with me during the marathon (she had a marathon number, but was still injured, so she couldn't run the whole marathon--an uninjured Rachel is way faster than I will ever be!!!). We ran together, and I was feeling great! I was way ahead of my projected time, and Lee says while he was tracking me, he was freaking out that I would crash and crawl through the last few miles! Lee, my parents, and my aunt were sitting in the VIP bleachers at the finish line. Rachel stopped at the SRR table, and I was exhilarated passing my teammates and hearing their words of encouragement (hands down the best part of the Boston Marathon!). As I ran through the hills in Newton, I was feeling really strong and still way ahead of my projected pace. I was getting nervous that I would crash at some point but just went with it. All of a sudden, this man stepped out of the crowd. He was wearing a 1980s track suit (he looked like a character in Hot Tub Time Machine or something), and he made eye contact and pointed straight at me and said, "You’ve got this!" It was the weirdest sensation; I got tingles throughout my entire body, and I clearly remember thinking, "I do. I have this." I couldn't stop smiling. I picked up the pace even more and ended with a PR and a negative split. I saw Claudia and Lee at the finish, and I told them immediately, "I had an out-of-body experience during the marathon." They laughed and congratulated me, but it was a feeling, I will never forget. I had run about ten minutes faster than the years prior (which turned out to be a crucial ten minutes), and my parents and aunt left the bleachers immediately to meet me at a designated meeting spot. My dad didn't want to hang around, so we immediately left. While we were in the car in the parking garage, the bombs went off, and the rest is history. People think that I remember that out-of-body experience because of what happened after the marathon, but Claudia and Lee can vouch that I said it before anything bad happened. I do feel like I had the marathon I did to get my family away from the finish. I wish everyone had been so lucky that day. 

Good luck to the runners! Boston is an experience like no other! I can't wait to get back out there :)

Emma Kosciak:
This is a tough course, and most folks in fact do not run well here. (The stats are something like only 10% of BQers run a BQ time at Boston). This is, of course, with the exception of Deb Downs who for some reason completely owns Boston like a boss. So, don't be upset if your "goal time" doesn't happen. Trust me, you'll be in good company when you go back to the club and tell them your woes. (Joe is famous for saying he is only 1 for 9.) It happens to all of us. However, with the right mentality, it could still be the best race of your life--the hometown crowd, the history, make sure to SOAK IT IN! I started at a BQ time in 2013, but cramping got the better of me. My 16-year-old cousin jumped in to run a few miles with me (this was before the bombings of course), and with all the family and friends we saw along the way, we ended up having the time of our lives! Read the infamous blog of Jesse Morrow for some inspiration on how to handle that moment when everything you've trained for turns against you, and it turns into an amazing day after all. 

Urvi Mujumdar:
The experience of running or cheering Boston with SRR is unparalleled! Whether you’re at the pre-marathon events at the Bur-run or Casey’s, doing the final track workout (Lou Ristaino), shopping at the expo, cheering or receiving cheers at the 30K--it’s amazing and surreal. I want to give special shout outs to my hubby, Jesse Morrow, who always puts his doubts aside and gives it his all AND to my new training buddy, Ryan Doherty, who has lifted me up with her dedication and love for the sport. I wish them and the rest of the SRR crew a special Boston experience. I also want to take a moment to thank the board and SRR’s marathon coordinator, Tina Mack, and all the designees and volunteers for putting the whole SRR Boston experience together! It truly takes a village, and it’s a fun one!

Sarah Bolt:
Marathon day is long and stressful - and fun and exciting! - even before you get to the start line! Be mentally prepared for a long morning, stay calm and save your mental and physical energy as much as possible. Try not to let the stressed out runners around you stress you out even more! Go into the day with your own vision and goals and stick to it. Everyone will be chattering about their paces and strategies, but trust your own training and game plan!  

Victor Gonzalez:
Best piece of advice I can give all the first timers is to have a small disposable water bottle with you at the starting line of the race. The first few water stops are chaos, and when you come upon them,  all hell breaks loose, it's like the parting of the red sea. Everyone is running left and right to grab water, so the idea is as everyone runs outwardly, you as a runner with his/her own disposable bottle of water run to the center... it's amazing how clear the pathway becomes as everyone else is scrambling. The crowd starts to thin and the water stops start to clear up by mile 3 or so, so you just need a water bottle large enough to get you through the first few stops. Little 8 oz gatorade bottle will do the trick, doesn't haven't to be anything big or fancy. Good luck all of you! 

Mariah Tinger:
When you reach mile 11(ish) and the Wellesley scream tunnel (you’ll hear it coming!), go to the right for kisses or to the left so you don’t get trampled by those going for kisses! Either way, it’s a lot of fun! And you’ll know you are almost halfway done! Seeing teammates at the SRR 30K tent is another highlight--I yearn for those yellow and black balloons! The energy and enthusiasm from SRR will give you a boost, and the finish will be practically in sight. To quote an SRR great (Kevin Guarnotta), a marathon is a 10K with a 20 mile warmup. Throw down when you hit Mile 20! Know that it will probably hurt, but that you will find strength you didn’t know you had. The combo of these two makes the success of finishing taste even sweeter. Go get it!

Toe the Line - Upcoming Races

USATF Grand Prix
The USATF New England Grand Prix kicked off on March 18 with the New Bedford Half-Marathon, followed by the Nealon 15K two weeks later on March 31. SRR paid club members’ entries to the Nealon 15K (and one other USATF Grand Prix race) this season.
To be eligible for SRR paid entry for other races, you must be a current member of USATF with SRR declared as your USATF member club.  Also, consider doing 5 of the races to have SRR pay for your USATF membership next year. 
Here is the full USATF Grand Prix Schedule for 2018.

SRR Club Grand Prix 
We have currently completed three of ten races. Though there are seven more to go, you only need to finish six to make the final cut. Race #4 was the New Bedford Half Marathon, and Race #5 is James Joyce Ramble 10K, coming up on April 29. 

Here are the SRR Grand Prix Results through the first three races.

Race Recaps
Here are some highlights of what SRR members have been up to since our Fall Edition. 

An Ras Mor 5K - Sunday, March 25
An Ras Mor is SRR’s annual spring club-managed race. This year’s race took place on Sunday, March 25, in the heart of Cambridge. Zelus Beer provided some of their new beers for the finish line post-race party, Heartbreak Hill Running Company provided the race headquarters, and the new winter hats were a hit. 

As you know, our club’s race proceeds go directly back into the local community, so our races need your support to keep making this happen! The more support we can gain from the strong SRR community, the greater impact we are all able to have.
Our charitable giving goes to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin Track Team and the JLK Sanfilippo Foundation.

The An Ras Mor Committee would like to give a special shout out to Laura Buso, who recruited over 30 runners through marketing the race to her colleagues and a local charity she volunteers with.

The entire An Ras Mor Race Committee thanks you for your support and time. 

Congrats to the SRRs who took to New Bedford!
SRR had 11 men break 1:20 which has only happened once before in the club. PRs were set by Patrick Haneberg, Kyle Pochini, Brian Ketterer, Ryan Doherty, Liza Neustaetter, Sarah Canterman, John Longo, Brian Cullinan, Sarah Cullinan, Dennis Shay, and Dan Forward. Karen Encarnacion also took third in her age group! 

Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler: Another Medal Hoard for the Black and Gold (by Jesse Morrow)
At the late-night Tuesday track session at MIT, Kieran was not overly optimistic on repeating his 2017 Martha’s Vineyard victory.  

Toledo Steve positioned himself up at Mile 4 to play SRR photographer before his annual pilgrimage to Offshore Brewing. As the first runners approached, the lead cyclist whipped around the corner and warned the detail officer: “Here comes the first runner; and, he’s hauling a**.” It was not Kieran.

In the annual trek to Vineyard Haven, the Runners did not require as much fortitudinem as usual. Saturday was a mild dry day, especially for the race that requests “No Weenies.” The mid-winter day was about the same temperature as the first day of spring. While the number of 20-miler finishers has decreased in the past few years, the new relay option saw 75 teams participate. Included in that total were Somerville’s own Runner Twins (Scott A. and Shark Tank) and the Sethcast Audience (President and former President, Julie and Urvi).

Sixteen miles after passing Steve, Kieran’s prediction turned out to be correct. A Michael Schroeder from the Tar Heel State had beaten him by three and a half minutes.  But Kieran still represented the Black and Gold by finishing in second overall and winning his age group.

Joining Kieran atop the Age Group podium were first-place winners Dennis Shay, Brian Culla and Deb Downs. Erin Morin, Carrie-Anne, Jesse, and Dirk also finished with places in their divisions. 

Later that evening, SRR congregated at Offshore Brewing to share battle stories. In all we had 15 runners and two relay teams spanning the gamut of our all-abilities club, from Kieran at second overall to Sethcast Maleri who came in 173rd. Each of us shared our respective victories over Beachnut Road Browns and Lazy Frog IPAs.

(Photo credit: Julie Holt)

Shout-out to Emma Kosciak who placed ninth in her age group and 17th overall at Xterra Trail Race World Championships in 2017.  

(Photo credit: Rod Azadan.)

Andy Marinelli was featured in Ultrarunning magazine Top 100K female athletes in 2017! 

2018 SRR Wintah Challenge
Despite the forecast being colder than Mars, the Wintah Challenge continued in early January with an abbreviated “Feats of Strength” followed by brunch and awards at Casey’s.
(Photo credit: Laurie Gagnon and Deb Downs, Wintah Challenge Committee Members.)

(Photo credit: Laurie Gagnon and Deb Downs, Wintah Challenge Committee Members.)

Annual awards presented at the post-holiday bash (recap by President Julie Holt):

Please extend your congrats to Deb Downs and Todd Prokop, the 2017 Steve Burton Most Improved Runner Award recipients. Liza Neustaetter, Doug Lipinski, Chris Smith, and Barbara Grandberg were recognized for being outstanding volunteers in 2017. We gave appreciation awards to Bradley Harris for his work taking over the Gobble Gobble Gobble, Mark Duggan for his contributions to our race committees, and Carrie-Anne DeDeo for her ongoing commitment to the club in various capacities.

Dennis Shay was our 2017 Rookie of the Year, and Charoma Blyden was presented with the Grit Award for her toughness in sticking it out to finish 50 miles at the TARC Fall Classic. Paul Nelson and Pensri Pilotte were given the Tom Cole Award for their efforts to photograph SRR runners at the Boston Marathon and throughout the year, keeping Tom's legacy alive.

Finally, Steve Vaitones was the 2017 Don Molloy Unsung Hero Award recipient for his tireless service to SRR throughout the years. The next time you see him, be sure to thank him for everything he does for us (and he does everything for us!).

(Photo credit: Laura Buso.)

(Photo credit: Laura Buso.)

SRR Runs Philly: Shout-out to Dennis Shay for his amazing PR! He cut 20 minutes off his debut marathon time (at Newport in April 2017).

(Photo courtesy of Victor Gonzalez.)

Gobble Recap by Bradley Harris

The 2017 Gobble Gobble Gobble was another successful running of SRR’s premier race event. With our largest ever field--we had 2700+ finishers this year--and a new outdoor beer garden, we were able to raise funds to support SRR’s programs as well as donate $38K to Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville Track PAC, Somerville Auxiliary Police, and the Sean Collier Fund.

We are always looking for new committee members or families to be featured as our favorite family. If you’re interested in either (or both!), email

Here’s a photo of Laurance Stuntz from this year’s favorite family with his official G3 turkey!

(Photo courtesy of Bradley Harris.)

Member Spotlight - Spice Bean

Maybe you've seen her sprinting at the start of the Bur-run, or perhaps you've almost tripped over her while she catches up on some urgent pee-mail in the middle of the Casey’s Thursday night run. Undoubtedly, you've seen her sad puppy dog eyes gaze longingly at you while you try to enjoy a post-run piece of pizza or bowl of beef stew. This fun-size canine has been called "The Queen of Somerville" by SRR member Jackie Silago, and she certainly lives up to her name.

In the four years that Spice Bean has lived in Somerville, she has frequented many locations typically reserved for human counterparts. Spice regularly attends CrossFit workouts with her human, Jon Bean. She has kayaked down the Charles River and even attended a Red Sox game where she met pitcher Joe Kelley. "He wanted to pat my head so I let him," remarked Spice. She later confessed, "I was hoping he would give me a treat." But what is Spice's favorite activity?

Spice reports that, in addition to running, she enjoys lounging in the sun, rolling in foul smelling patches of grass (for some unknown reason her human always interrupts this pastime), chasing sticks, swimming at the Fells, cuddling, being carried, and defending her home from the neighbor's dog, Rosie. "She knows what she did," stated Spice after being asked why she has such a dislike of Rosie.

In addition to her many hobbies, Spice also enjoys being a member of the Somerville Road Runners. She considers herself a full-fledged member of the SRR although she has yet to pay any dues, stating, "My human takes care of my finances." Spice has been an avid runner for three years and has completed the Freedom 5K and MOM’s Run, where she came in first in her species. To novice runners, she offers the advice, "Go slow and enjoy the process of running," and, most importantly, "Always wait and make sure that everyone has gotten at least one serving of food before going back for seconds."

Quote of the season:

"When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more." 

- Florence Griffith Joyner

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