Tag: Jason Bui

Chicago Marathon Highlights & Results

The Chicago Marathon was this past weekend. Level Legion was well represented out there, and we got word of quite a few New Englanders running it. We had boots on the ground and got some footage of this major race. Diana Davis was deputized as a Level correspondent and captured some clips of the leaders, along with some footage of Jason Bui and another mysterious BAA runner. Also included is a quick interview with BAA elite David Bedoya.

And here is the roster of the runners we knew of racing out there, along with results:

Lindsay Willard - BAA - 2:57:17
Ruthanne Waite - SRR - 5:36:51
Adrian Bellando - SRR - 4:15:35
Jason Reilly - BAA - 2:42:13
Christina Haddad - 3:53:28
Annie Schirmacher - 3:41:14
Benai Kornell - 4:04:35
Jeff Barbieri - 3:23:53
Laurie Pouliot Ferguson - 3:17:46
Lindsey Wolfe - 3:32:43
Andrea Desantis - 4:05:35
Ross Tulloch - 3:07:00
Amiel Bowers - 5:49:09
George Thompson - 4:11:15
Jason Bui - GLRR - 2:43:35
David Pinsonneault - 2:47:18
Dan Smith - BAA- 2:31:36

Wow, that’s a lot to check up on. I’m sure we missed some too. Did you run it or know of someone else we missed? Add it on in the comments below. If you did run it we’d love to know how you did.

Thanks again to Diana for getting this to us.

As far as the runners themselves, we should be hearing from Jason Bui about his race pretty soon. David Bedoya was out there to help pace Dan Smith and Dan Martin. According to David, the goal for both was about 2:26, but they fell a bit short of that (still running a speedy 2:31 and 2:30, respectively).

Another local who made the trek was Lindsay Willard. It was a tough one for her, but despite the incredible difficulties experienced, Lindsay gutted it out and finished with a more than respectable time. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:

Certainly disappointed about Chicago after the training season I had devoted to the big day, but I learned from it and I’m going back to the basics. Hoping to heal up a little in the coming days and run Mount Desert Island next Sunday. I’m very sore and had great trouble keeping food down for the last day and a half, but I don’t have the bad lactic acid in my legs that would have come from a much faster finish. In the end I was just trying to pick up my feet and not have my stomach churn again. I knew from previous marathons where I had much worse conditions like stress fractures, torn miniscis, pneumonia, bronchitis… If I ever dropped out, I would be haunted by that mile marker in any future marathons.

My training was intense this Spring and Summer, including recovery from my April knee surgery. I was trying out new sports drinks and recovery supplements since I tend to have nasty acid reflux in marathons and tempo long runs. I was nursing a pulled hamstring from the last month as well. I think the combination of too much Advil for my hamstring micro tears, the new electrolyte drinks and chews, and not drinking much since the race was so chilly, just backfired into system failure.

I had to get blood work, an IV, and help for hypothermia and very low blood pressure and glucose levels in the medical tent after finishing. My legs kept seizing on the cot and I was pretty out of it.

Gotta respect that effort. Knowing Lindsay, we wouldn’t be surprised to see her crush it at MDI.

Run 4 Kerri: InterviewsOnTheLevel

It’s hard to figure out how to fit all the good stuff into short enough clips for your web digestion. Every now and then, an event presents us with enough “extra” material to produce some additional features.

Here we have Matt Pelletier uncut and on camera after the Run 4 Kerri. It’s always a good interview with Matty P and it felt criminal to leave out most of this in the more official race coverage video. Plus it was a good way to tease an upcoming video/blog post. ‘About what?’, you may be asking. You’ll have to watch to find out.

Next, class is in session as Jason Bui, Diana Davis and Lindsay Willard come to the Level Renner classroom for post race detention. All three of them came into the race on tired legs and all three ran quite well. One of them may have stealthily swiped $50 from an Olympian at a mile marker. Check it out:

We had a blast working with Scott Bessette and Co at the Run 4 Kerri this year. Be sure to add this race to your calendar for 2014! We’ll save a seat in the classroom for you.


Who wouldn't want this shirt?

Mr. Allen Goes to Washington

Guest blog by Jason Bui

The last time that I saw Gary Allen was when we parted ways at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on an overcast winter morning.

This was after our annual New Year’s Day Boston Marathon Run.

It was the 3rd time that we’ve spent our first day of the new year together on this historic course.

After the run, Gary went home to Maine, and I, out west to Ayer.

Two weeks later, we would meet again somewhere in the middle.

I didn’t know exactly where until late on Saturday night when his GPS tracking stopped for the night.

He would start up again on Sunday morning around West Concord, about 20 minutes from my house in Ayer.

I set out around 7AM in search of my Crow teammate and inspiration for making the impossible, possible.

I drove up and down Rt. 62 near Maynard looking for the familiar gait of a tall runner, but couldn’t find any sign of Gary. I then remembered from reading on his Facebook page that he was going to detour and test out some trails in the area. I’m sure his feet would be appreciative of this gesture after being on them for 7 straight days, and logging more than 280 miles.

Gary is currently on a mission from Maine to Washington DC to raise funds for the victims of the Newtown, CT school massacre, wounded veterans and cancer research.

This folks is a 700+ mile journey in the heart of a New England winter.

Gary’s goal is to get to DC by January 21st. This would require about 50 miles per day over the two weeks.

I finally found my friend at mile 282 of that journey, moving steadily down Sudbury Rd towards Rt 62, where he would continue on for at least another 40 miles today.

I ditched my car around Stow, and joined him for a ”few miles”. Since I had already ran 18 hard miles the day before, my original plan for today was to run with Gary for only 5 miles, head back to my car, and call it a day with 10.

We were quickly joined by another runner named John in downtown Hudson. John had driven all the way out from Westfield, MA! Word was definitely getting out far and wide about Gary’s run.

John told me that he was planning to do at least 15 miles before getting a ride back to his car, which was about a mile or so from my car. I was intrigued.

When mile 5 came and went on my Garmin, I decided to continue on, and just get a ride back with John. It was just too tempting, and too much fun, NOT to continue with Gary for as long as possible. This meant that I’d have another 18 mile day, albeit a little slower.

What some people don’t realize is that going slower doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any easier. You’re burning pretty much the same amount of calories, and it can be even harder on your body, especially if you’re use to a certain stride length and cadence. I can’t imagine what this pace must be doing to someone like Gary who’s body is use to cranking out close to sub-3 marathons on a consistent basis.

I guess the body has a great mechanism to adapt to survival situations.

For myself, you throw in some Central Mass hills and a little headwind, and you’ve got yourself a nice long run comparable to a 2 hr long run with Lindsay Willard.

We adjusted our pace accordingly, and had to be conscious of the fact that Gary had to take it “slow”, since we didn’t want to be the ones responsible for him blowing up halfway through his trip.

Doug Welch, who I first had the pleasure of meeting at the Great Cranberry Island 50K back in July of 2012, was sharing crewing duties with a lovely lady named Elizabeth (which I later found out that evening was working with another mutual running friend in Lowell -  a truly small world indeed).

They did a fantastic job of making sure that Gary, and some of us runners, had exactly what we needed to stay strong and fueled, every few miles. I’ve crewed for others on ultra runs before and it’s no easy task. Ultra runs can bring out the worse in people, and it takes a special crew to understand and deal with that on a daily basis. Emotions run the entire gamut.

We were soon joined by a few other runners, including Doug, as we made our way southwest towards the Connecticut border via Rt 20.

This route is actually very dear to me. Two years ago, I ran this nearly identical route as I escorted world runner, Tony Mangan, for about 20 miles of his 3+ year run around the world. Tony is currently in Fiji.
I also try to run it once a year to get to my brother’s place in Auburn. I didn’t plan on making that trip this early in the year.
Seeing a lot of the familiar buildings and landmarks along the route brought back a flood of happy memories from runs gone by.
Like I said, even slow, long runs can take a lot out of you. For example, I didn’t take any water or GU during my 18 mile, 6:40 paced run with Lindsay the day before, but here I was, at mile 10 of a 10:30 paced run feeling a little light-headed. I would be in trouble and not be able to get to mile 18 if I didn’t do something.
It was around mile 13 that I finally took something or else I risked bonking on what seemed like an easy jog.
Gary, on the other hand, was smartly fueling up at every possible chance. I can’t even imagine the amount of calories that his body is burning off every single day, and how much he has to put back in on each 50 mile run.
I felt better after taking a quick GU, but more guilty for taking one from the support vehicle because I was naive enough not to take one with me when I left my car. Poor planning and judgement on my part.

I was already at mile 16 by the time we reached Grafton, but was told that Mile 300 for Gary was only about 2 miles further down the route. There was no way that I was going to stop now.

We marched on for about another 20 minutes before hitting Mile 300 right around the Mass Pike overpass. Much like the finish of our New Year’s Boston Marathon run, there was no fanfare, cheerleaders, or Mylar blankets waiting for us at the finish.

Just yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, prepared by Elizabeth, from the back of the mobile support vehicle. I’ll take that over cheerleaders any day. Well, maybe not every day.

Sadly, this also marked the end of the road to the nation’s capital for me and John.

We wished Gary and the support crew the best of luck, a safe journey, and thanked them for inspiring the rest of us to do what we love.

Once again, on an overcast winter morning, I parted ways with my dear friend Gary Allen.

Me to Ayer.

Mr. Allen to Washington.

Follow along on the rest of Jason’s training and adventures on his blog.

1st Run

Guest blog by Jason Bui

I was in bed and asleep well before the New Year’s ball dropped on 2012.

I needed the sleep in order to be ready to run at the 9th Annual New Year’s Day Boston Marathon “Fun” Run at 6AM. Of course, only a bunch of Maineiacs would consider running the Boston Marathon course, at any time of year, fun.

From the Facebook pageThis is not a race. There is no entry fee, timing mats, bands, finishers medals, t-shirts, times, cheerleaders, or Mylar blankets. This run has nothing to do with the BAA or the real Boston Marathon and everyone is responsible for their own safety and liability. If you love to run and you want to experience the historic Boston Marathon course in it’s purest sense you really need to do this.

Here’s a little background and history on the very low-key event: Don’t Double Click Me

I started back in 2011, and it’s been just as much fun each time I’m out there at 6AM freezing my balls off, regretting the decision to have agreed to it in the first place.

My 2013 New Year’s morning started at 3AM, before I promptly went back to bed for another 58 minutes of sleep. I was finally up, everything packed, and ready to go by 4AM. I had it relatively easy compared to some of the Maine folks that were driving down while I was still warm in my bed.

The same reason that Boston is a great course to run, makes Boston a tough course to coordinate an event like this. The start is 26.2 point-to-point miles away from the finish.

The plan was to meet up near the finish line, drop off our cars, and take one car to the start in Hopkinton. I first had to make a detour to pick up Mike Quintal, who decided about six hours prior (most likely under the influence of something) that he was going to join us on this long run.

I was 10 minutes late picking up a panicked Quintal at the McD’s in Woburn. Panicked because of all of the crazies that were out and sobering up from their First Night activities. It got so bad that Mike texted me telling me to hurry because the locals were blasting “Funky Town”, and a black cat was staring at him.

I eventually rescued Mike from the cat, drove into town, and met up with Reno, Gary, and Blaine for the drive out to Hopkinton. Thirty minutes later we were parked at the start of the world’s oldest annual marathon.

Helen Dinan and members of HTC eventually joined us a little after 6AM for the walk to the starting line. We did the group picture and then we were off. This was the lowest-key start in the years that I’ve done it. No speech or much chit-chat.

There were only six of us in the 6AM group that were doing the entire course, the others were running to the halfway mark. For those that like to sleep in, there’s also another group that starts around 7AM.

Reno, Helen, Mike, and I led it out, while Blaine and Gary hung back with the others.

I could already tell that today was going to be all business. There wasn’t much talk in those first few miles, and even fewer over the entire course.

We all settled into a sub 7:30 rhythm right from the start, and that didn’t change much for the rest of the run. Mike eventually made his move around mile 10 and took off on his own, never to be heard or seen from ever again…….maybe the black cat got him.

I managed to stay with Reno and Helen before they dropped me at mile 17 as we climbed the Newton Hills. It wasn’t because I was slowing down. They were just going faster and faster. Fellow Whirlaway runner, Ephraim Ezekiel, joined us around this point and he ran with them into town.

We only took two bathroom breaks on the run, and I only had to take one GU to finish the run in one piece.

Overall, I felt pretty good considering that this was my 3rd “long” run since mid-December. I finished about 3-4 minutes behind Reno and Helen, who pretty much crushed the training run in 3:10ish.

I could definitely tell that my core workouts were helping me on this run. My “time to exhaustion” was beyond anything that I had before I started working out, and the Newton Hills weren’t as bad as I remember from prior years. The only way that I can describe it is that it now seems that my bigger (stronger) ass was carrying most of the load now. Odd, but yes.

Now for the hard part: recover from this and try to do it all over again in four days in Mississippi. Sub 3 or bust.

This originally appeared in Jason Bui’s blog on January 2nd (click here to see the original). There’s always room for more on this run, so mark it down on your calendars and plan on joining Jason et al out there next year. Good luck to Jason in Mississippi!

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