Billy Ocean Would Approve

 When the going gets tough, the tough get rough.

dsc_0521Let’s not kid ourselves, this winter has been no friend to runners. It’s been ankle twisting, frostbite nipping and straight up bullying to motivations. For every 5 days of clear sidewalks we’ve had two days of winter weather emergencies.  The days of more miles on the legs than degrees on the thermometer have been too many to count on our touch-screen-compatible-finger-pad gloves.

And yet, the Blue shines through.

There’s a new saying out here in the “there-be-dragons” county of Western Massachusetts. When the going gets tough, the Wolves get fast. Apryl Sabadosa has been holding training clinic in Getting It Done, the past few weekends. The first at the Frigid Fiver in Newburyport, where she placed second female and gave herself a new PR in 29:34. The following weekend she came back for more at the Stew Chase 15k and taking home the bronze on a hilly and unforgiving course in 59:05.

Joining Apryl at the Stew Chase, and enjoying his Stew with a Silver Spoon was Wolf Matthew Weissinger with a 2nd Overall finish in 52:05.  Matthew was able to share his stew with some members of the Red Army (GBTC), accomplishing his real goal of the day by pocketing some of the club’s training secrets.

1,700 miles away one Wolf was down in Puerto Rico spreading his Business.  Ivan “Business Time Yay” Cordero cruised to a 1:24:55 for a 61st overall finish, and IDEAL Boston Training Run, at the San Blas Half-Marathon in Puerto Rico.

“It was very hilly and hard, but very spectator friendly”, says Business Time about the course.  “At the 8-Mile mark I had flashbacks of Mt. Washington when Sean Duncan pulled on my shoulder to keep from falling back.  Eminem’s 8-Mile Road is child’s play to the San Blas 8-Mile marker!”

Well folks, as both Young Jeezy and Nicolai Naranjo have always said, “You Damn Right Ima Go Getta (Ey!) Go Getta (Ey!) Go Getta (Yea!).”

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It’s in the Job Description

AMERICA, USA - Everyone knows someone who goes running. Every office has their resident Marathon Expert and “avid runner”. As Real Runners we are constantly thrown into the pool of Tough Mudder-ers and Tie-Dye 5k “racers”, but the winter is our time to stamp that badge of Runner boldly across our chests as we brave the unforgiving elements or the monotony of the treadmill for longer than half an episode of Keeping Up With the Karadashians. We’ve reached the time limits of a few treadmills in our day and been called crazy for that shuffle run we snuck in during a State of Emergency because all the gyms were closed. Don’t let the Hobby Joggers label of “Crazy” flatter you just yet. These are just job requirements of being a Runner.

This year the Wolves of Western Mass have been doing their fair share to earn their title. Starting on January 1st, while anyone with any sense of sanity was milking their bad decisions from the night before, a few Lady Wolves decided to start the year off with some PR’s. Annie Paredes, Vanessa Diana, and Kristin Tetrault took on Gordy’s First Run 10k in Westfield, MA. Annie was the first female to the finish line, and second overall, in 38:09. Vanessa claimed the second female position with a 43:30, followed closely behind by teammate and fourth female, Kristin.

Follow I91 North and find a couple Wolves standing on the top of the podium at the Sawmill 10k. Jesse Regnier (34:55) and Apryl Sabadosa (40:15) claimed the top male and female spots up in Montague. I have some inside sources that say Jesse was out doing his carbo-loading like a Real Runner on December 31st with a little extra to top off the tank after midnight. Not a bad way to kick ofthe New Year

The next weekend the Wolves swept the Snowstorm Classic 10k put on by the Greater Springfield Harriers. No team results were listed this week due to how obvious the Blue win was. The Cordero brothers went 1-2 (Orlando then Ivan) to start the brotherly rivalry for the year. Carolyn Stocker, Ashley Krause, Lauren Ross, and Laura Christoph went 1st through 4threspectively with Dawn Roberts capturing the One Spot in the Masters race.

On Sunday evening Apryl Sabadosa and Dana Parrot put their wheels to the test at the Sugarloaf Mountain AC Indoor Track Meet in the Mile. Apryl cruised in for a 2nd place in 5:22 with Dana sneaking under the 6-Minute barrier for a 5:59, just a second out of winning the Masters Division.

Fast forward another weekend and grab those sunglasses, we’re headed to the Southwest…

Vanessa Diana turned in a huge performance at the Rock n’Roll Phoenix Marathon with a new PR of 3:27:03. This run down in the Valley of the Sun would snag her a top 40 spot at 37th Female Overall and 8th in her age-group; a pretty encouraging way to start off a nice 13 week Boston Build-up.

A little more central towards the Heart of ‘Merica young Wolf Andrew Erwin was busy putting together some Boston Prep of his own. Andrew turned out a 2:47:39 at the Houston Marathon to kick off his Road to Heartbreak Hill.

Jon Joyce was busy out in Boston making sure the Red Army of GBTC still keep the rowdy Powder Blue on their minds. Joyce pulled off a 7th overall in the Invitational 3,000m with a time of 8:46.52.

So the weekday runs will continue to be long, but they will continue to be worth it. Whether it’s in the snow, the gym, or a cold parking lot, just get it in. We’ll keep doing what we do out here in the Western part of the Commonwealth with an exciting year of running, racing, and causing a scene laid out ahead. Cheers.

“Get it in young fellas, get it in.” – Unknown

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Ben “Hollywood” Mears flys in from California to win UMass Homecoming 5k

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Amherst, MA – WMDP used their vast resources to fly in Ben Mears from Google Headquarters to win the UMass Revolution Run Homecoming 5k.  He finished the prestigous 3.1 mile race in a time of 15:48, avoiding 2nd place by 4 seconds.  However, WMDP was only able to negotiate his release from Google for 16 minutes, so he was unable to stick around for the award ceremony.  He sent his agent and part-time WMDP teammate, Russell Johnson [time omitted], to collect his award.

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Summer Daze

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Most large carnivores need lots of room to roam; Wolves are no exception.

The sun is beginning to set on the summer adventures of the Wolfpack, and our bellies are full from our delectable rewards. The dispersal zone for our Wolves covered from the tippy-top of Cranmore Mountain, to the beaches of Maine and the Cape, and back to the waterfalls of our homeland in the Berkshires. Divide and conquer, as they say.

We’ve gotten quite the sunburn from reveling in the glory of the National Title for USATF Mountain Running Championships. Earlier this season, Dawn Roberts, Abby Mahoney, and Ashley Krause all finished under 53 minutes at Cranmore and secured first place for the women’s competition, claiming WMDP the National Mountain Series title. One more time again? WMDP claims a National Title. Get used to it.

In the USATF Grand Prix 5-Mile the WMDP Men had a strong showing despite battling some team injuries causing big gaps to fill. The team was led by Sean “Big Meet” Duncan in a time of 24:30, good for 5th overall.  Wolf Robbie Crossman ran a superb effort to capture a huge 5-Mile PR and fill in the scoring squads gaps with a 25:52 for 20th place overall. The Men would ultimately drop the overall series lead to the Unicorns of the BAA.  The Lady Wolves were led by Apryl Sabadosa in 32:25 followed by teammates Annie Paredes in 32:43 and Wolf cub Rachel Cardin in 33:34 for her WMDP debut. This brought them to an 8th place finish and a few points in the pot of the Grand Prix. Cranberries are not very satiating to the Wolf and the Carver Cranberry 5-Mile has left these Wolves quite hungry to say the least…

Wolves Sarah Romain and Matthew Weissinger took off on their own hunt and followed the scent of sweat across New England. Romain took the trek to Maine for the Beach2Beacon 10k and squeaked out a PR with 37:54, good for 30th woman. Weissinger found his way to the NB Falmouth Road Race and had his own day in the sun, finishing Tommy’s favorite 7-miles in 37:49.

Wolf territory knows no bounds, but activity on the home front has been never been busier. The Bridge of Flowers 10k was heavily patrolled by the Lady Wolves, and Abby Mahoney led the charge to a 5th place female finish, followed shortly thereafter by Ashley Krause and Apryl Sabadosa, good for a second place team finish. Wolves have been spotted wherever there is a line drawn in the sand. Keep an eye out for them at the Holyoke Elks Club Thursday races and the Northampton Tuesday night xc scene.

Photo credit to Joe Viger. Thanks Joe! http://www.joeviger.com/

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It’s Opener There, In The Wide Open Air

Sargents, NH – A week late and… I guess seven dollars short, this just in:

The LWP (Lady Wolf Pack) heard their calling and headed to the mountains, strutting that sweet baby blue up 7.6 miles and 4,500 feet to the summit of Mt. Washington.

Abby Mahoney lead the charge, finishing in 5th place (1:25:49), followed closely by our top masters runner Dawn Roberts in 8th place (1:27:28). Ashley Krause fought her way to the top with a new Washington PR to finish in  1:28:46 and good for 11th place.  These three were strong enough to place 2nd place in the Open Women team division (and top 25 team performance in the 53-year race history).

The ladies were joined by several first-time mountain runners, including Annie Parades (1:38:56), Vanessa Diana (1:50:46, 2nd WMDP masters finisher) and Janet Aronson (1:51:32, 3rd WMDP masters finisher).

The men’s team sent three runners up the mountain for a breath of fresh air. They took one look around and decided that it is their territory for the taking next year. All three men were fresh off great races at the recent Hollis 5k race, but figured that 36 hours of recovery is plenty. Weekend total elevation: 4,500 feet up, 220 feet down. Sean Duncan challenges the throne of the People’s Champ by finishing first Wolf now two races in a row, pacing the wolf pack with a sub 1:10 finish, good for 20th place.  Finishing just behind him was John Messer finishing in 1:12:02  and Ivan Codero in 1:19:48.

WMDP: 1
Mt. Washington: 0

Your mountain is waiting…

 

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