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Fullerton Breaks Through

While the bulk of the attention was on Galen Rupp and his sub-3:50 attempt this past Saturday in Boston, there were quite a few runners lining up on the track quietly going about their business. Pat Fullerton (aka @fullatweets) is one of those guys. I saw this tweet from him and decided to reach out to find out more:


Questions I had: What were you expecting to run? How much of an impact did watching Rupp’s race have on you? At the end of the day, what’s going to be more important, watching Rupp run well or nailing your own race? Maybe some people can handle both, but the more intense competitors might opt to not even be a part of the circus surrounding Rupp. There’s no wrong answer there. You have to do what’s necessary to accomplish your goals.

Here’s what Fullatweets had to say:

We don’t have a pic of Pat, but this is an artist’s rendition.

I seeded myself actually at 810 but the goal was to run around 815. I had run 825 at the second BU Mini Meet but that was my first ever 3k. So to run 816 in my second 3k and still basically having no idea how to really run it because I have run so many 800′s, 1000′s, and miles before was awesome. I closed in 29.xx so I know that there’s a few more seconds that I could have shaved off. It was also huge because for the first time since college, I felt like I reached a goal. Last year I wanted to run 345 in the 1500 and i ran 348, which is still fast, but it was the first time in 9 years of running I didn’t PR in a mile. I’m excited now because I’m going into the BU Valentine hoping to break my indoor mile of 409.1 and going into outdoor my confidence is sky high and positive knowing I can run faster than I did last year when I focus on a mile/1500!

As for Galen Rupp, I didn’t watch it knowing that it would mess with my head just because of how ridiculous it was going to be. So I arrived at 5 and treated it like a business trip and it worked.

Basically I have had lofty expectations since I left college (ran 347 for the 1500) and I think now my fitness is finally where I had hoped it would be and I’m working 40 hours a week at GBRC which has also helped because Tom and Eric have really got me even more motivated. Eric (McDonald of UMass Lowell) and I have had a friendly rivalry to see who can run faster and it was awesome to see him run 814. Hopefully we will get a chance to race each other in the same heat soon because both of us are in similiar shape.

We’re looking forward to a head-to-head showdown between Fullerton and McDonald.

Champagne Top American in Jamaica

Mary Kate Champagne made the most of her first time racing for Team USA. The New Balance Boston runner finished 4th and was the top American in the women’s NACAC race. Mary Kate ran 21:48 for 6k, just 41 seconds back of winner Natasha Fraser (Canada). The US women finished second to Canada.

Picture courtesy of Michael Scott.

1.) On the surface this looks like a huge success. What are your thoughts on the race?

I was satisfied with my race. I was not sure what to expect going into it because I hadn’t raced since Club Nationals and had been sick twice with amazing training in between both illnesses. It might be better that I had foggy expectations because I did not over-think anything. I was just ecstatic to have made a US team for the first time.

2.) What were the conditions like? Was it tough to race in the heat coming from a northeast winter?

The NACAC XC Championship just so happened to coincide with the most brutal week of winter so far (and hopefully it’s uncontested as the most brutal week for the rest of winter). We had an 80-90 degree increase in temperature, but had four days to acclimate. It was tough, but I was extremely grateful to escape the Northeast.

The course was very challenging, not so much in terms of hills but in terms of the terrain: I never felt like I could get into a comfortable rhythm. It was very windy, undulating, and uneven. Also, there was reggae music playing the entire time. That was extremely difficult to endure.

3.) Do you think you were better prepared for this race compared to XC Nationals?

I definitely had an off day at XC Nationals. It was the first off day I had had in a long time and it shook me up a little.

4.) Any special challenge to extending your XC season so long?

I haven’t really been training for XC much-there’s not much in terms of soft surfaces in Providence. I didn’t find out I was doing this race until about a week and a half before we left, so I was planning on doing the BU Terrier Invite. I’ve been working out on the indoor track once or twice a week, but I think I’m just naturally better suited for XC; I’m more gritty than I am quick.

5.) Are the XC races in Ireland next or is there something for you in between?

I plan on doing the 3k at the BU Valentine Invitational before I leave for Ireland just to see where I’m at a little more objectively-you can’t really hide anything when it comes to track.

In the men’s race, Team USA followed up their Bupa success with another win. Two of the first four spots went to the Forys family and it was the younger Craig earning the win with Matt close behind in 4th. Full results and a ridiculously tiny write up of four international championship races can be found on the USATF website. Thanks to Michael Scott for the amazing pictures. Find more of his great work here on his Shutterfly page.

Boston Prep 16 Miler

Scott McGrath successfully defended his Boston Prep 16 Miler title and Olympian Stephanie Reilly ran a new women’s course record in Derry, NH on Sunday. There’s a good write up about in on the New Hampshire Union Leader website, so no need for us to reinvent the wheel here.

What we can do is point you to McGrath’s own write up on on his race from his blog earlier this week. Another thing we can do is share with you some footage that David Quintal took during the race:

Eleven mile mark Warner Hill Rd. Scott McGrath in lead, with an incognito Jordan Kinley hot on his heels?

Lead female, Stephanie Reilly, eleven mile mark.

Michael Wade coming through, among some other top runners.

Heather Searles Mahoney:

And finally, it’s a course tour with David Quintal himself (“the hill still climbs”).

Good stuff. You can see the full results here.

NE Distance to Host Two Parties in February

Woonsocket RI, January 29, 2013:  New England Distance, athlete-in-residence fellowship program is celebrating its first year with two parties during the first week of February.  NE Distance athletes live, train and work in the Woonsocket community, spending half their days training to be able to represent New England at top national and international races and the other half of their days tutoring, coaching and mentoring local youth through one of the Woonsocket After-School Coalition programs.  Events next week include:

  • For Families – Track Party at the C-3 Center, Saturday, February 2nd, 3-5:30pm.  David Goodman, NE Distance’s first athlete fellow will be competing in the Open Mile at Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City, going against some of the top runners in the country.  The meet will be broadcast live and the free viewing party will be held at the C-3 Community Center, where David tutors kids after school.  Healthy snacks will be available through a generous donation from Whole Foods in Bellingham, MA.  The C-3 Center is located at 120 North East St. in Woonsocket (Enter on Sayles St.).
  • For Adults – NE Distance Shareholder Party at Rhode Runner in Providence, Tuesday February 5th from 7-9pm.  Come meet the NE Distance Fellows and learn about the program’s first year, plans for 2013, where the athletes will be competing and how they are training and working in the community.  Snacks will be available through a donation by Whole Foods, University Heights in Providence.  Rhode Runner is located at 657 N. Main Street in Providence.  Please bring gently used winter running gear and shoes to donate to the Woonsocket High School Track Team.


About NE Distance:  NE Distance, Inc. (www.nedistance.org) is a community-based distance running program funded by individuals in the running community.  NE Distance will provide a supportive environment for post-collegiate runners committed to representing their community and reaching a higher level of competition.

About NWBRV:  NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (www.NeighborWorksBRV.org) is a nonprofit community development corporation that works with residents, businesses, and neighborhood institutions to enrich neighborhood life and make affordable housing opportunities available throughout Northern RI.  With over 20 years of experience, the organization offers innovative programming that goes beyond bricks and mortar- including youth after school and summer academic and enrichment activities, financial fitness, credit and homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and much more.

About WASC:  The Woonsocket After-School Coalition (woonsocketafterschool.org) supports individualized learning needs of youth by coordinating efforts among eleven organizations, families and schools to expand opportunities for success within the community and the world beyond.

Sandwich Sidehiller

Guest blog by Kevin Tilton

Well, it’s the end of an era. Double J put an end to my reign of terror in the tiny town of Sandwich, NH, also known as the Center of the Snowshoeing Universe. It was a hard fought battle from the beginning to end.

I knew the conditions would be fast as we haven’t had any fresh snow in this part of the state in a few weeks. Luckily there was a decent base that allowed Paul Kirsch to set a modified course. I was worried that most of it would be on the flat and fast fairgrounds, but I was quite surprised to see how much of it was in the woods on the other side of the road.

I was pretty nervous the last couple of days as I haven’t run a race since Cape Cod in October, and the first snowshoe race of the year always hurts like hell. Usually by the time Sidehiller rolls around, I’ve run at least one other race to get ready for what is usually a pretty competitive race. With a relative lack of snow and a busy work schedule, that didn’t happen. Work has also been cutting into my training, as I have been pretty busy this winter taking on some new responsibilities. Hopefully I’ll adjust and get back to some good training again.

The gun went off and as usual Jim shot out to the front 1/2 a mile in. I was working pretty hard just to keep him in sight. This is usual though, so I just kept plugging along hoping that I would make up some time on the hills and singletrack. He had a 5-10 second lead as we crossed Bean Rd. where the volunteers had put down plywood and shoveled snow to cover the road. Thank you Sidehillers!

Finishing up by Gianina Lindsey

I immediately started to close the gap on the steep up and managed to catch Jim on the field section, which was surprising as I was not expecting to actually run through the upper fields. My lungs were burning pretty good at this point, but I kept the hammer down as Jim let me by and I opened a little gap while running through the windblown snow.

I was hoping for more of these conditions, but we ran out of hills and the rest of the course was pretty firm. I did my best to open a gap in the last field and on the downhill singletrack, but Jim hung tough. I knew that if he was close after the road crossing that I would be in trouble. Unfortunately, I was in trouble before we hit the downhill. I was pretty much out of gas. I lengthened my stride on the downs, and opened a tiny gap after the road crossing, but with a quarter mile to go Jim went around me. I responded, but it was too late and he cruised into the finish for a 4 second win.

I spent a good amount of time with my hands on my knees at the finish. My lungs were on fire and my quads and core were shot. I ran hard but Jim ran harder. This was the first race in a LONG time where I just didn’t feel strong. I haven’t been doing the mileage, long tempos or long fartleks that make up the base of my training. This was a good reminder of what I need to get back too.

I am running in the GV Snowshoes Challenge next weekend in Quebec City. It is a 10k consisting of 5 laps of a 2k loop. Not my type of course, but it should be a neat experience running a race in the middle of Winter Carnival in the heart of the old part of the city. The course will be fast, but at least now I have a race under my belt.

GPS data: http://app.strava.com/activities/38735850

Get A Glimpse Inside the Head of a Mountain Man by following Kevin’s blog. Also check out this video of the finish (shot by Roger Marcoux and posted to Youtube by Jim Johnson):

Janji Apparel Giveaway

Win Janji Shorts!!

Our friends at Janji want you  in their shorts!  Literally.  We are giving away two pairs (one men’s & one women’s) of Janji shorts.  Want to see what you can win?  Click here for the images.  The winners get their choice of either Haitian or Kenyan shorts.  FYI: Janji’s mission is to combat the food and water crisis through the power of running.  It’s a noble mission and totally on The Level.  Win or lose this raffle, you should learn more about them and support their brand.

 How do you win? It’s as easy as 1,2,3.

1. Like the Level Renner FB page.
2. Like our status updates about this raffle.
3. Like the Janji Running FB page.

Bonus: recruit a friend, spouse, and/or sibling to like the Level Renner FB page and say so by leaving a comment on this blog post or FB page (example: I just got Seymour Buns to like your page), and we’ll increase the chances by the number of fans your recruit.

 (keep reading to see how you can win if you don’t use Facebook)

Janji: Run for Another

How can I win if I don’t use Facebook?  Glad you asked, it’s still as easy as 1,2,3.
1.  Leave a comment on this post.
2.  Encourage friends, spouses, siblings to subscribe (remember: it’s free!).
3.  In your comment, tell us who you recruited to subscribe.
PS.  You can go ahead and subscribe new members yourself.  All you need to know is their names and email addresses.  The more new subscribers you recruit, the more chances you get at winning.  Add 10 members to The Legion, you get 10 additional chances of winning.  Just don’t forget to tell us in your comment who you recruited.
Hey Tweeters: One More Way to Increase Your Chances of Winning.  Just do this:
1.  Follow us on Twitter (@levelrenner) and  retweet the original tweet related to this raffle.
2.  Follow Janji on Twitter (@RunJanji).
3.  Include #JanjiOnTheLevel in your tweets
Bonus: recruit a friend, spouse, and/or sibling to follow us and say so by leaving a comment on this blog post (example: I just got Seymour Buns to follow you), and we’ll increase the chances by the number of followers you recruit.
Hurry!  Act Now!  Contest ends Friday evening.  We’ll announce the winner on our website.  You must be a subscriber to our free magazine to win, so make sure you’re enrolled in The Legion.
If you would like to promote your product through a free giveaway, please contact us.

Curly’s Snowshoe Race

Guest blog by Steve Dowsett

This weekend offered up two very tempting race options. Sidehiller in New Hampshire or Curly’s out in Western Mass which was the MA state championship. The idea of trying to be the Massachusetts State Champion sounded fun so that was the option I picked and went to Pittsfield Friday night after work.

It was a cold morning at 14 degrees so I got there later than I would usually get to a race. I wanted to warm up and get into the race without much time in between. I talked to Brad Herder about the course to get a feel for it which was essentially 3 miles of twisty single track up and a 1.5 miles of fast downhill on the auto road. I headed out for about 15 minutes on the lower trails. I came back to the parking lot and saw a good field consisting of Dave Dunham, Josh Ferenc, Tim Mahoney and Tim Van Orden who says he hasn’t been training. (He is still fit). Ed Alibozek who puts on a lot of WMAC Snowshoe races gave me a vest with a target on my back since I won the last race in Pittsfield. I thought it was funny so I wore it (no pressure at all!).

We lined up, the whistle blew and we headed up the road which is the way all Pittsfield Forest races start. Tim Mahoney was in front but I passed him as we got on the steep section and took the lead into the woods. This photo from Brad Herder shows me leading with the target vest. Josh Ferenc came around me right after this photo.

I settled into second and we started to roll down hill and were going a little faster than I wanted. Dave Dunham shouted out that we had missed a turn but we ran a bit a further before turning around. We missed one of the only turns on the course! We wasted no time and raced back to the course and were pretty far back as we wasted about 4 minutes or just under half a mile. I settled in behind Tim Mahoney for the climb up Turner Trail. We were passing tons of people but I noticed Ferenc and Dunham had opened a good gap. I felt like we wasted a bunch of energy trying to get around people. I didn’t want to blow up so I ran my own race and just focused on getting to the top as Tim Mahoney started to pull away.

The terrain was easing up and the steep section was over but I still had no idea what position I was in. The next guy I passed said I was in the top 10 and about 8 people ahead but wasn’t sure. I saw some fast looking people at the start and started to think that  the since the climb was over maybe I wouldn’t catch anyone else.  I tried to keep my head in and started pushing the pace on this flat section. I saw a hard right turn ahead and as I took it I noticed everyone in front had missed it! As we crossed the road at the peak of the State Forest. Ferenc, Dunham, Mahoney and I were all together. I was pumped to be back in the race. All of the wrong turns had given me a fresh start.

Charging To The Finish

We took a hard descent back in to the woods and I was immediately dropped again! We were starting the fast sections but I had a terrible cramp and couldn’t get going. We raced through some single track and I caught up to Ken Clark (smartest runner of the day as he missed no turns). My cramp went away as I hit the descent on the auto road. I knew there was about 1.5 miles left and i just wanted to open my stride and go as hard as I could. I caught Tim Mahoney and went around him and saw DD way ahead. I thought it was a stretch goal but maybe I could reel him in. Before the race he said he was worried about how fast this section would be. I gave it everything I had and I could see I was making up a crazy amount of time. My Garmin beeped to let me know I just ran a mile in 5:16! I gave it one more surge as I knew there wasn’t much race left and I got within 5 seconds of Dave but ran out of ground.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the result and I had a bunch of fun. It was exciting fighting back to the front. It was also an amazing feeling of relief when the whole race essentially restarted about 3 miles in. I figure the results would look very similar if no one got lost but its interesting to think about how the climb would have played out if it was just the top 5 fighting it out.

GPS Data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/266732666


1. Josh Ferenc   43:04
2. Dave Dunham 43:45
3. Steve Dowsett 43:50
4. Tim VanOrden. 44:26
5. Tim Mahoney   44:32

Congrats to Steve on a good (and interesting) race. Follow all of Steve’s training and racing on his blog Steve D Running. This is also a fine example of a blog in our new blog network. Is yours? Sign up here (it’ll go live sometime this week).

Rupp Runs a 3:50.92!

The atmosphere at Boston University was electric. The spectators were further whipped into a frenzy with each highlight that was read from Rupp’s ever expanding resumé. The roar of the crowd swallowed up Rupp’s name by the time the announcer said it. It didn’t matter; they knew who they were there to see. His silver medal elevated him to the status of He Who Needs No Introduction.

Here’s his race, from my vantage point on the first curve:

It’s not the best footage, I know. I decided to leave it intact for the flow of it and hopefully provide a better feel for the atmosphere. Besides, with Flotrack all over the place it was obvious they’d have it covered. Think of this as bonus footage. I definitely felt like a clown using my iPhone with a Flotrack camera guy stationed right next to me. But the real question is: can he get Facebook on his expensive camera? Advantage: iPhone.

That’s it for now. More to come, including the post-race workout that I unexpectedly got to observe. #AwesomeOnTheLevel.

Rupp…Coming Soon

We have some footage from Rupp’s 3:50 mile at the BU Terrier Classic. Some from the race and some from his after race activities. Keep checking back.

GBTC Invite/Level Renner 3k

Whoa, this one almost got away from us. We know the anticipation must be killing you so we decided to work a little later tonight to finally bring you our coverage of the first ever Level Renner 3k. We teased the coverage and results back on Monday (not very subtly either) with the plan being to put full coverage on Tuesday but we ended up having some technical difficulties.

Enough of the intro, we can finally formally congratulate Dan Kramer of New Balance Boston for winning this prestigious event. Dan hung back early and then made his decisive move later in the race. Final time: 8:32.47. Here’s what he had to say:

For his efforts he won himself a coveted Level t-shirt and a pair of GoRun 2′s courtesy of Skechers. Not too shabby.

Other notable performances:

Karina Johnson (NBB) won the women’s 3k in 10:29.49
Eric Ashe (BAA) in the men’s mile in 4:09.48
Joanna Murphy (NBB) in the women’s mile 4:53.08

Sean Duncan DNF’d in the mile. He can’t even finish a mile?! In reality Duncan made the trip out to Boston to be the rabbit for the Squires Mile. He helped pull Ashe to his winning time. Find the rest of the results here.

It was fun to be a part of this prestigious event and we also need to thank Skechers for yet again providing a sweet prize to a hard-working member of Level Legion.

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