Howlin’ in Hartford

Hartford, CT – The Wolfpack sent a handful of Wolves down to the Insurance Capital of the World to Claim some Coverage over the 2014 NU Hartford Marathon & Half-Marathon. Let’s hope the fine folks down in Hartford have some casualty insurance because scalps were taken.


In the Men’s Half-Marathon David Johnson was able to leverage some momentum and crack the top ten with his 1:09:12 performance, good for 9th Overall. Johnson was followed by teammate Jesse Regnier, whose 1:09:44 would earn him the 11 spot in the competitive field. The two Wolves were able to work together for the majority of the event before Johnson decided to liquidate Jesse’s asset and make a surge for sub 69.

“I love racing because I enjoy the grind and putting myself in the hurt-box”, said DJ on the effort. “After getting the OK from Jesse around mile 7 I decided to give it a real push.”

Both Johnson and Regnier fulfilled their duties of representing New England well as part of the NU Hartford Half-Marathon New England’s Finest Program.

In the Men’s Marathon a big HOWL goes out to Wolf John Fuller for completing his first marathon, under some pretty adverse weather conditions, in 4:17:36 and cracking into the top 100 in the very competitive Open Male division.

10003934_10153921939735594_948886265_nOn the Lady Wolf side of things the big surprise of the day was Wolf Annie Paredes in the NU Hartford Marathon, coming off her “seven week taper” due to a stress fracture in her foot. Paredes, also a member of the New England’s Finest Program, entered the race with the intention of taking it mile-by-mile, making the risk-assessment of when to keep pushing through the injury as she went.

“I really thought in my heart I would have to drop but somehow the miles ticked by and I made it. The most meaningful finish for me for sure after coming off a 7 week taper and with a broken foot”, says Paredes of the experience. And finishing paid its dividends. Her 3:05:55 would be good for 13th Overall Female in the event and 4th in her age-group.

In the Women’s Half-Marathon Wolves Melissa Hine and Danielle Ignace turned out solid performances on the cold, rainy day. Hine would be the first Lady Wolf to the line in 1:26:33, good for 13th overall and 6th in her age-group. Ignace followed behind her teammate in 1:44:05.

Respect the Process – that’s our full-coverage policy.

New England’s Finest Program: We encourage New England runners to look into the New England’s Finest Program offered by the Hartford Marathon Foundation. Our athletes that were fortunate enough to be a part of this program at the 2014 NU Hartford Marathon & Half-Marathon had nothing but praise for the program. Programs like this put resources back into the runners and should be encourage in our sport!

Check out the details here:

Posted in Western Mass Distance Project | Leave a comment

Behind Blue Guys

WMDP Cover Photo

Ashley Reservoir, Holyoke, MA – The Wolfpack invited harriers from around the New England region to, what some would say is, The Original Den of the Wolfpack, Ashley Reservoir. Rain would soak the region into the late hours of the night before the event, but on the day of the 3rd Annual WMDP XC Festival the skies were Blue and Mother Nature was giving The Process its due Respect – IDEAL conditions.

The unattached David Wilson and Sam Alexander of the BAA were out for an early battle in the men’s competition. The chase Pack would include WMDP’s Sean Duncan, Jesse Regnier, Scott VanderMolen, and David Johnson. When the gentlemen rounded their second left through The Four Corners Wilson and Alexander were still sharing the driver seat, but when Billy Harbilas’ pace truck emerged from the woods at 4.5 miles it would only be Wilson in tow, eventually taking the overall 5-Mile title in 24:33. Alexander would cruise in for second in 25:00. Mark Reeder of Greater Lowell claimed victory in the Master’s competition with his 27:05.

The Men’s Wolfpack, led by your new Yellow Jersey holder, Sean “Big Meet” Duncan (4th – 25:06), was able to defend the home turf, holding off the Greater Boston Track Club for the team win. Big Meet was followed home by teammates Jesse Regnier (5th – 25:15), Scotty VanderMolen (6th – 25:21), David Johnson (7th -25:25), and Mathew Weissinger (11th – 25:43).

In the Women’s race Kerri Leondhart of the Greater Boston Track Club would take control early and run away with the title. Kerri was able to put close to a minute on the competition with her 28:33 win over WMDP’s Apryl Sabadosa (29:30). The ladies of the Greater Boston Track Club would go on to take the overall team title, putting five runners in the top ten. Trish Bourne of the Greater Boston Track Club would take the Female Master’s title in 32:39.

The Lady Wolves brought home a secone overall to GBTC.  Sabadosa was followed in by teammates Ashley Krause (7th – 31:24), Lauren Ross (9th – 32:15), Maura McDonald (12th – 33:12), and Dawn Roberts (14th – 33:50).

The day wrapped up to the sounds of The Sun Dogs as the runners rehydrated at the Elks Club. With good vibes and great music the Wolfpack dished out all the donated swag from New Balance,, and the Northampton Running Company. And the Sisu Process started a war, but we will Finnish it.

To say that we are excited to have you all back next year would be a statement.

Feel free to send over your suggestions on how we can make The Festival better in years to come!

A Special Thanks goes out to the following groups and individuals:

-          Coach Kristin Tetrault and the Southwick-Tolland High School Girls XC Team for all their volunteer work at registration and on the course

-          Mackenzie Gray and Co. for the timing services

-          Billy and Sally Harbilas for keeping the runners on course with their pacing services

-          Manny and Alejandro for setting up the beautiful finish line

-          The Holyoke Elks Club for allowing us to use their venue

-          The Holyoke Water Works for giving us access to the gorgeous Ashley Reservoir

-          All the USATF Clubs that came out to represent

-          Brian Donoghue for coaching us as one of Western Mass’ premier race directors

-          The Sun Dogs for setting the vibes in the afternoon (check these guys out!)

- for donated awards

-          New Balance for donating a lot of gear

-          Northampton Running Company for the donated gift certificates

Posted in Western Mass Distance Project | Leave a comment

Women’s Report for Boston

This gallery contains 10 photos.

It’s been two weeks since the Boston Marathon and the Lady Wolves have still been unable to transcribe their collected thoughts on the Day. Describing the experience of a marathon is one of the more unknown challenges of the event.  … Continue reading

Posted in Western Mass Distance Project | Leave a comment

Men Claim 2nd at the 2014 Boston Marathon

Boston, MA – How does one describe the 2014 Boston Marathon? You just had to be there…

“I couldn’t understand why I would sign-up for a race that requires one to put all their eggs in one basket (the marathon), but the 2014 Boston Marathon made me realize why I do.  There is nothing that compares to this race.” – Nicolai Naranjo

The Men in Blue came into Hopkinton 13 Wolves Strong on Patriot’s Day 2014. The Athlete Village was glowing with energy and the Pack from out West was doing nothing short of adding to its glare. Community; this became the immediate theme of the day.

“I was lucky to have my teammates at my side. They took my mind off the race in the early stages and I must say, striding alongside Bric (Mathew Weissinger) was the most enjoyable part of the run. We might have even stopped for a quick kiss in the Scream Tunnel.” – Kevin Johnson

Mathew Weissinger, Kevin Johnson, and Robert Deegan execute some Pack Running early in the race.  Photo Credit:  Scott MasonThe Men would find themselves in 4th of the 83 teams at the Half, with Jesse Regnier leading through in 1:11:44.

“Through the second half of this race there were WMDP fans going nuts along the road. I constantly found myself throwing my arms up and riding the energy of the crowd. This was hands down the best racing experience of my life.” – Jesse Regnier

The second half of the race includes the Newton Hills, capping off with the infamous Heartbreak Hill leading up to the 21st Mile Marker. When a hill has a name, fear that hill…

“I was grinding up Heartbreak and that’s when DJ (Dave Johnson) told me to go for it. I grinded and the wheels came off a bit towards the ends, but I went for it. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of WMDP.” – Mathew Weissinger

On the other side of Heartbreak the road is open, lonely, and, on this particular Patriot’s Day, it was hot. The body screams “No!”, but it doesn’t have the choice; the mind has already made the decision. Beacon Street is where that investment must be gripped tight.

“I was dreaming about turning right on Hereford and left on Boylston since mile 17 and it was better than I imagined. Time didn’t matter, my legs were beat up and I was exhausted but I still had enough to soak it up. I turned onto Boylston and raised my hands to pump the crowd up and it was so loud it actually shook me from the inside. It almost rattled me off my feet.” -Sean Duncan

The crowd may need the runners to have something to cheer for, but more than can even be expressed in words, the runners need the crowd. In the final miles of the 2014 Boston Marathon the crowd more than delivered.

“By the finish of Heartbreak I had punched my one-way ticket aboard the Struggle Bus to Boylston Street. I was riding the energy from Jesse (Regnier) who was pumping up the crowd. I have always looked up to Jesse, and again I felt myself admiring him for really soaking up the atmosphere and promoting the spirit of the marathon. This was a great day to be part of the running community.” – David Johnson

Kevin would go on to negative split the course by over two minutes and lead the WMDP Men to a 2nd Overall finish, besting all but the hosts, the BAA Unicorns. The crowd showing support for the Men in Blue along the course were just as much a part of it as the Wolves themselves.

There wasn’t an officer, official, volunteer, spectator, or runner in Boston on April 21st, 2014 that didn’t understand full well what it means to Respect the Process.

WMDP Top Finishers:

1) Kevin Johnson – 2:26:14
2) Sean Duncan – 2:27:02
3) Jason Ayr – 2:27:36
4) Nicolai Naranjo – 2:28:47
5) David Johnson – 2:32:15
6) Jesse Regnier – 2:32:20
7) Mathew Weissinger – 2:33:29

Posted in Western Mass Distance Project | Leave a comment

Keeping up with the Jones

DSC_0164-LAmherst, MA – Sunday marked the official start to the 2014 USATF-NE Grand Prix with the New England 10-Mile Championship, the 40th running of the Jones 10-Mile Road Race held in Amherst, Mass. A few warm days leading up to the staple Western Mass road race thawed the course just enough for the runners to leave their snowshoes at home and dust off the racing flats.

Defense of last year’s title was not meant to be for the Men’s Wolfpack as the Blue would ultimately be defeated by the Blue and Gold of the Boston Athletic Association, led by overall race champion, Eric Ashe. Leading the charge in Blue was Wolf Jesse Regnier in 53:27, good for 11th Overall in the competitive field of New England runners.

“I was a bit nervous of the icy conditions going into the day, but I don’t feel it had much of an effect”, says Regnier on the race. “I played it conservative through the dirt road, but when I was still feeling good at that point I just let it rip.” It looks like Jesse’s new training partner, Gus, has been keeping Mr. Regnier on his toes this winter.

Jesse led in the train of Jason Ayr (14th, 53:46), Sean Duncan (16th, 54:01), Jon Joyce (18th, 54:08), and Andy Messer (20th, 54:13) to round off the top 20 Overall and the Men’s scoring team.


In the Women’s Battle the Lady Wolves would go on to claim 4th, with Dirigo taking the Female Overall  Team title. The Blue was led in by Apryl Sabadosa in 64:10, good for 15th Overall Female.

“I was well rested for this one and felt very confident going into the race”, says Apryl on the race day. “This race is sort of my two year running anniversary as I started really running to prepare for this race two years ago. It’s a really challenging and scenic local race with great crowd support! It’s a running goal of mine to one day master this course.”

Rounding out the scoring squad for the Blue were Annie Paredes (19th, 1:05:04) and Ashley Krause (21st, 1:05:33). The race was won in a very strong effort by Megan Hogan, breaking a 28 year old course record by over 90 seconds in 55:28. “Amherst is such a great event every year to see so many familiar faces in the running community, especially to break up this brutal winter”, says Annie of the 10-Mile event. “These hills are always killer, but pulling off a four minute course PR made it all worth it!”

In the Master’s competition the Ladies in Blue also pulled off 4th, led by Dana Parrot in 1:09:56, good for 8th Women’s Master Overall. Dana led the charge for teammates Vanessa Diana (14th, 1:11:36) and Karin George (23rd, 1:14:32).

So here we are again, at the door step of a fresh season of Grand Prix racing. The Pack has left this hunt a little hungrier than desired, but there is work to be done. It is all part of the Process.

You know the rest…

Posted in Western Mass Distance Project | Leave a comment