We kicked off our Sunday Long Runs to fulfill our goal of having more team practices, social opportunities, and events! They have been a huge success! We've embedded our Long Run schedule to the calendar that can be found in our Team Schedule page! Check it out!
Last night was our Annual SIsu Project Goal summit to ring in the New Year! We discussed all the ups and downs our amazing team went through in 2016.
As always, we also gave out the team awards listed below!
We also discussed some of our upcoming goals. Of course we want to improve at our races, but we also want to improve our social media and internet presence, starting with updating the news!
Here's to resolutions and a successful 2017!
This Sunday saw two very impressive wins from the Sisu distance crew on the roads. First up, Zachary Cloutier won the Newburyport River Run Half Marathon in a stellar time of 1:25:59. Cloutier has been racing up a storm and is really taking to the distance races well. We expect to see a lot more from Zach this summer out on the roads!
Finally, DJ Raboin cruised to a win in the "Are We There Yet 5k" for the boys and girls club of Lunenburg, MA. DJ passed the lead biker early on and settled in for the easy win in a time of 16:21.
Oh let the sun beat down upon [the track], stars to fill my dream I am a traveler of both time and space...
The sun was beating down hard on the track when the first event of the evening took off which was the men's 3,000m steeple chase. Mike Grasela and Kyle Northrop competed in the event, battling both the wind and the barriers in a very competitive field.
Several events later Dan Button and Amanda Wright found themselves in the same race yet again. Just six days after the marathon, Wright (along with her pacer for 16 miles, Dan Button) took to the track to try to get a 5,000m outdoor track time necessary to score in the All-Terrain Series. If you are not familiar with this series, check out this series. It brings runners from road, track, trail, and mountain together in one series.
This final heat of the 5,000m featured several other ATR woman runners in addition to Amanda Wright, including: Leslie O'Dell (18:52.05), Emma Kosciak (19:10.39), Jennifer Brooks (19:10.45), Freddi Pare (20:37.54), and Lisa Erickson Gorman (24:05.68).
During the ATR portion of the 5,000m (while all other eyes were fixed on the people actually winning the race), spectators who knew about the sub-battles going on, pointed out the epic battle between Leslie O'Dell and Amanda Wright who finished fourth and fifth respectively at the Vermont City Marathon on the Sunday before the race. The two were close in the marathon (O'Dell besting Wright 2:55:55 to 2:58:51) and even closer in the 5k (Wright besting O'Dell 18:46 to 18:52). Other ATR Runners had great races, including Freddi Pare who was just 20 seconds off her collegiate PR. Way to go ladies! We look forward to seeing you all at Loon Mountain.
Finally, in perhaps the best and most impressive Sisu performance of the day, Rick Brandt found himself in heat two of the 5,000m. Brandt ran an impressive 16:16. Although he wanted to break 16 minutes and attempt a qualifying time for the USATF Club Outdoor Track Nationals, he ran strong in less-than-ideal conditions.
The race started off with Brandt towards the back of the pack and as it went on, he slowly made his way through the pack and got stronger throughout the race. On-lookers were not too surprised, as Brandt took the same strategy in his 10,000m race during Twilight Meet #1 two weeks ago. Congrats on an absolutely stellar performance! The track contingent of the Sisu Project sure is happy to have another runner to add to the list of those who love the oval (and are also actively attempting to recruits Brandt's wife).
And while we are VERY impressed with Brandt's race, we are more impressed that Rick Brandt recognized Del Amitri's 'Roll to Me' during the after party at "Joe Sent Me," and we are underwhelmed by Kyle Northrop's inability to even know what we are talking about, but in his defense, he probably wasn't even born yet when that gem of a jam came out. But for Kyle (and everyone born in the 90s) own edification here is Del Amitri for you. The right time...the right time...to rollllll to meeee.....roll to mee....
There is a lot to catch up on from Memorial Day Weekend racing with the Sisu Project because they were pretty much all over the place. We figured we would start with the USATF NE Grand Prix Marathon Event. This year (unlike other years) the Marathon Championship Event took place in the spring with the Vermont City Marathon winning the bid for the marathon distance.
Sisu brought a crew of spectators and runners up to Burlington, VT to join in on the New England running scene fun. The women's team featured four runners: Amanda Wright, Linda Fortunado, Kacey Hill, and Taryn Reese. As a team, the lady project finished sixth overall. The ladies team was comprised of: 1. Amanda Wright (2:58:51), 2. Linda Fortunato (4:35:10), 3. Taryn Reese (4:07:59), and 4. Kacey Hill (4:23:16).
Fortunato was escorted on her trip to Burlington Vermont by New England's most wanted bachelor, Mike "Easy-on-the-Eyes" Grasela (Woah girl! How'd you manage that type of company?). The F-State duo drove up to Burlington together late on Saturday night and met up with the crew on the starting line on Sunday morning. While "Easy-on-the-Eyes" was not running the race, he served as crew, cheerleader, and obviously, Eye Candy throughout the miles on the course (We can say with confidence that more than one face was happy to see his during those long middle miles of the course. However, we can also state that pretty much everything looks good after mile 18). Okay, but more about the actual race. Linda's race went well, considering she missed several important weeks of training throughout the winter. She will have her eye on a marathon over the summer to attempt qualifying for Boston 2016! Is there another team where you can forget your iPod and your headphones and have your teammates waiting along the course with an iPod and several sets of backup head phones because if there is, we would love to know who they are and if they would like to join forces in a plot towards total world domination.
Next up, Kacey Hill was escorted by Rob Roman who also served as cheerleader, photographer, and comic relief throughout the weekend. While this was not a "goal marathon" for Kacey, she was happy to be back in Vermont where she first qualified for the Boston Marathon on a rainy day two years ago.
Taryn Reese was making a go at qualifying for Boston and after having several PRs throughout the year, had a less-than-good race on this Sunday in Vermont. Reese's training went well all winter and we were all surprised that she had such a bad day for her, but her attitude afterwards was still positive! We think Reese will be back out on the roads very soon and go get herself a BQ.
Amanda Wright was escorted in the race by teammates Dan Button and Austin "Piercing Blue Eyes" Susmann. Button & Susmann were already registered for the race, but were tired from that marathon that happens every April in Boston and decided to use their resources to pull Wright and her Greater Lowell Road Runner crew through 16 miles of the Vermont City Course. When we asked Wright about the race she said, "Well, I knew I wouldn't win and I knew I wouldn't win best looking in the race since I was running with Button, Susmann and some really good looking GLRR runners, but I was hoping for first female in a skirt." However, Amanda Wright did not even achieve that goal as she was bested by superstar Leslie O'Dell of CMS who came in fourth, rocking a black running skirt. After being 0/3 on the day, Mrs. Wright said, "Well...I sparkled?"
And how about those guys, eh? The one's in baby blue (because we didn't see any WMDP men out there, the ONLY one's in baby blue).
You might remember this guy from just last week when he ran the Sugarloaf Marathon. Well, he was back at it again at Vermont City, getting it done to become an Iron Runner yet again in 2015. Johnny K ran a 4:40:28, averaging 8:30 pace over 26.2 miles.
Finally, Ryan Wedge caught some pretty bad sickness close to the race and while he didn't have nearly the race he wanted to, we congratulate this Sisu Warrior for finishing the race in under four hours and more importantly hanging in there so that the Sisu Project men would have a scoring team for the marathon race!
That's it for our racers, but other Sisu spectators for the day included: Matthew Germain, DJ Raboin, Ian Wright, Anthony DiPaolo, Kelly & Steve LeCours, Caitlyn German, Rob Roman, Easy-on-the-Eyes, and Carmela Taveras.
Meanwhile they were like, "Marathon? You mean first lap?"
Meanwhile in Maine, Maartje Bastings and Christopher Stone, were running a 50 mile race! So yeah, the marathon distance was pretty much these runners first lap.
Maartje, not too far removed from her own sprint marathon, finished the 50 miles in an impressive time of 8 hours and 21 minutes, setting a Sisu Project club record for 50 miles. Maartje was the 4th overall female and won her age group. Perhaps more impressive, she was the 14th OVERALL finisher! We talked to Maartje a day later and asked her how she was doing and she was pretty much fine. You could find her swimming at Walden Pond just a few days later!
Christopher Stone finished in 9 hours and 52 minutes. We asked him a few questions in the days to follow the run. First, we asked him if he was going to trail run with us next weekend and he said "No." Next, we asked him if we could get a couple words from him on the race....
...and we are still waiting...
...sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
Sisu want's to extend a HUGE congrats to this duo. You all did something some of us could never do!
Click on the slide show to view photos pf Chris & Maartje's 50 mile race.
Hometown Heros at the BALDI RIVER RUN
Finally, Nate Webber and Joe Rand took to the mean streets of Haverhill, MA for the Baldi River Run. Mr. Joe Rand finished seventh overall, covering the 5 mile course in 29:46 - it looks like he is getting a head start on cross country training, practicing the 5 mile distance. We hope he is ready for Hollis because we have a team of people committed to dragging him out of his house for the USATF NE 5k Championships in Hollis, NH.
Nate Webber finished fourth overall with a time of 27:52 - we haven't seen him at many team races lately, but we are happy and excited to report he is in great shape! We hope to see Nate soon out in baby blue!
The second annual 4 Jake's Sake Millenium 5k run was a blast with the Sisu crew showing up in numbers to flood Hudson, MA with baby blue. However, how the race unfolded was nothing short of uhh...interesting.
From the gun (or the "ready set go"), Grasela, Griffin (yes, even Mike Griffin is showing up these days), and Parks led the way for the men followed closely behind by Amanda Wright who was in hot pursuit. The race started off with a bet as to whether Wright could outright beat Grasela, Griffin, and Parks so Amanda would not let down easily.
She followed about 200 meters behind the trio with a rogue runner Thor, who Sisu would later try to recruit. After about a mile and a half, Wright could no longer see the trio, so she thought she was beaten. During the final stretch of the race, Wright was ultimately outkicked by Thor for what she thought was a fourth place overall finish. However, when Amanda (19:03) left the finishing shoot she was surprised by the number of people who said, "We thought you were going to win outright." Not long after she had retrieved some water, Wright turned around to see Grasela (20:59.0) and Anthony DiPaolo (20:59.8) battling it out and storming through the finishing shoot just point 8 seconds apart. The duo was followed by Parks (21:21.7) and THEN Griffin (21:39.2).You guessed it...the trio had been AYR-ed, making a wrong turn just after the mile and a half point, leaving Wright victorious over the Sisu Men at the end of the day.
We talked to Wright after the race and asked her how she felt about the win. Wright said, "A win is a win. I'll take a victory over Griffin when I can." We spoke with Griffin after and asked him, "What happened?" Griffin said, "I saw the arrow to go left, but I figured Grasela was a smart kid, so I just followed him. Boy, was I wrong." We do not feel bad for Griffin since unlike Jason Ayr, Griffin actually saw an arrow, but kept going the wrong way anyway because he figured Grasela "was a smart kid," says the Doctor.
We then investigated the situation with Bob Parks and Parks had this to say: "My race goal was to finish as close to Grasela as I could, even if that I meant following him a half a mile off course into the woods and over a river." But no, that is what Parks really said. Good for you, Bob. #GoalsOverEverything (including going the correct way on the course). Bob also said that "he figured even if they ran the course out of order, their time at 3.1 miles would still count in the results as long as they ran 3.1 miles." Parks then discovered this was actually not a USATF NE event and the rules are you must remain on course and if you go off course you have to go back on course and finish the course properly - only then will your time be counted.
Finally, we spoke with Easy-on-the-eyes (but apparently not so good of eyes), Grasela. He said, "I was being a gentleman, leading the men off course so Wright could have her victory." If that's doesn't say 'teammate of the year,' we do not know what does.
After the race, Sisu gathered for Brunch (the only reason Grasela & Amanda road race) and then some of the team visited Bob Park's at his parent's lake house. While a fun time was had by all and fast races were run, Sisu wants to remind everyone to thank our hosts and support 4 Jake's Sake to help support those affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. There are lots of ways to support this cause and MD that do not require donations: spread the word, attend other fun events put on by 4 Jake's Sake, like their page on Facebook, and visit their website to learn more.
In a busy weekend of Sisu team races, both Johnny K and Christopher Stone ran two different marathons. On a day where the temperature hovered just around 70, we could not be prouder of these two guys. Johnny K ran the Sugarloaf Marathon in a time of 4:11:36 and Stone ran the first ever Nashua Marathon in 3:45 - a good tune up for his 50k race next weekend.
"Where's Western Mass?"
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