Tag: Joanna Murphy

King is Queen, Ashe is Back

By Jim Dandeneau

On a spectacular November day fit for cross-country, Eric Ashe and Jillian King both won their first USATF New England Cross-Country title at historic Franklin Park in Boston. After a one year hiatus due to course renovations, with last year’s championships held at Stanley Park Westfield, MA, the racing returned in the 100th year since cross-country began in 1914 (at Franklin field).

King, 23, a 2013 Boston College graduate, dominated the USATF-NE 6K championship winning in a time of 20:48.84, leading her New Balance Boston team to victory. King, who took a lengthy break from racing following the outdoor track season, broke away from a tight pack going up famed Bear Cage Hill, prior to 1.5 miles, coasting to victory by 15 seconds over Katrina Spratford, 23, of NE Distance, with Joanna Murphy, 29, and Sydney Fitzpatrick, 24, both of New Balance Boston in 3rd and 4th respectively. “The first mile (completed in 5:24) felt like a hard tempo. I decided to make a move going up Bear Cage hill…I love hills. I do alot of hill work on Heartbreak. This is only my 2nd post-collegiate cross country race,” said the Scotia, NY native who is back to running “in the 50′s” for mileage with workouts split between her alma mater’s cross country team (where she is a volunteer coach), and her New Balance Boston team. King, who is presently applying to medical and grad schools, stated she is planning on running the the USATF National Club Country Championships at River’s Edge Golf Course in Bend, OR scheduled for December 14th prior to hitting the indoor track circuit. The New Balance Boston women’s team scored a nearly perfect 17 points with the Boston Athletic Association (62 points) finishing second and Greater Boston Track Club (70 points) finishing 3rd.

Ashe, a 2011 Boston University graduate, broke away from a pack of 8 runners just after 4 miles running to a somewhat surprising victory in 30:49.99, for the 10K distance. Ashe, a Boston Athletic Association member who is only in his 8th week of running following a serious heel injury likely caused by high arches, won by a comfortable 7 second margin over teammate Sam Alexander. In fact, the B.A.A. showed its incredible depth by also taking spots 3-4 with Dan Harper and Brian Harvey just over 1 and 4 seconds behind Alexander, 23, who was running at the front of the pack prior to Ashe making his move, with Colman Hatton rounding out the BAA scoring in 10th, leading to a dominating victory of just 18 points. New Balance Boston (with 56 points) was runner up while Western Mass Distance project, aided by the 7th place finisher Kevin Johnson, finished 3rd in the team standings with 72 points.

Ashe, 25, a Hanson, MA native, who has tremendous range (PR’s include a 4:03 mile and 2:26 marathon on the challenging Cape Cod course), decided to put the foot on the accelerator following relatively slow splits of 4:55 (mile), 10:02 (2 miles) and 15:48 (5K). When Ashe surged no one could go with him “I could sense the guys around me getting a bit tired. I pressed it a bit up Bear Cage and continued to keep a gap,” stated Ashe, the UMass Boston assistant track and field coach. “I was able to cross-train in the summer riding a bike for 1 hour a day as hard as a could and 1 hour and 30 minutes on the weekends. When I got back running I started on a treadmill however I had to place it on an incline to get a good effort in. I also did alot of workouts for my core.” Ashe also plans on competing at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships and possibly the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January 2014.

In the men’s master’s division Sandu Rebenciuc, 44, of the Greater Springfield Harriers cruised to victory in 26:44 for the 8K distance. In 2000, he had also won the New England Open men’s title, becoming just the second male athlete to win the USATF NE Open and Master’s division (Mark Coogan 1991 and 1997). Rebenciuc, a Romania native, and Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) graduate where he was the 1991 National Division III cross-country champion, made a break in the second wilderness loop from a pack that included Amherst College men’s track and country country coach Erik Nedeau, Peter Hammer (47, of Needham, MA), Chris Magill (40, Cumberland, RI), Greg Putnam (44, Stoneham, MA), Harry Stants (40, Needham, MA), and Binney Mitchell (44 Burlington, VT).

Rebenciuc, the owner of a 23:29 8k best at Franklin Park stated, “I’m just coming back to racing again. When Erik Nedeau started to press I went with him and I pressed it a little. I’m only running about 50 miles a week…I’ve had some stomach problems lately…I might be a bit anemic…I’m not sure about club nationals yet…it depends on the team. I’d like to take a shot at the over 45 American record in the steeple (9:17) next year.” In the men’s team race, the Boston Athletic Association, with Hammer and Magill finishing 2-3, Stants 5th and O’Neil 10th, easily claimed the New England title.

In the women’s master’s race (combined with he open race) Diana Bowser, (40, Needham, MA and spouse of Peter Hammer), racing back into shape after the birth of her second child, won the New England Master’s title in 22:57 over Mimi Fallon, 48, Walpole, MA by 29 seconds.

Level Renner 10K Press Release

Level Renner 10K Press Release

The 1st Annual Level Renner 10K marks the start of a new road racing tradition.  Held on the grounds of the historic DW Field Park in Brockton and Avon, this event is meant for competitive and recreational runners alike. The race will start at 9:00 am on Sunday morning, August 25. Athletes, their families, and spectators should arrive before 8:30 am at the pentangle parking lot just beyond the observation tower.   Online registration is open through August 23 for $25.  Day of race registration is $30.  For online registration and lots more race details go to www.levelrenner.com/10k.

Ruben Sanca graced the cover of our Jan/Feb 2013 issue

Ruben Sanca graced the cover of our Jan/Feb 2013 issue

Level Renner strives to offer a first class event for one and all.  Already committed to the event are several regional and national elite runners, many of whom will be competing for a lucrative prize purse.  For example, 2012 Olympian Ruben Sanca has committed to the race.  Sanca competing in the 5K in London last August, and this August is travelling to Brockton and doubling the distance.  Competing against Sanca in the men’s field will be many regional elites such as Anthony Gonsalves of the Greater Boston Track Club and Jacob Barnett of the Somerville Road Runners.  The women’s field will also feature top caliber runners from New England such as Kyle Linn Feldman and Joanna Murphy of New Balance Boston.  Area clubs will also be fighting for top team honors and a $200 prize.

While the fastest of the fast will be competing for cash prizes, all runners will benefit from a host of amenities that is sure to make the Level Renner 10K an instant classic.  The first 150 registrants will receive a custom T-shirt designed by Scott Mason that is clean and crisp (read: no advertisements) in addition to the coveted LVL decal that is equated with Level Renner’s following. All who enter will also receive a free subscription to Level Renner’s digital running magazine. During the race, runners may take advantage of the wheel-measured course replete with several water stops, mile markers, corner marshals, and lots of support on roads that are almost exclusively closed to motor vehicles.

Who wouldn’t want this shirt?

Once the race is over, participants will enjoy a feast for their hard efforts. Hot dogs, chicken wings, ice cream, pretzel crisps, Kind energy bars, juice, and water will all be among the sundry products accessible for calorie replenishment. Post-race massage will also be available along with a treasure chest of raffle prizes.  Gift certificates, apparel, and so much more will be on the raffle table for all registered runners.   Age group prizes are there for the taking too as the Level Renner 10K is offering cash and non-cash prizes that go 3 deep in 12 categories.  Have a group of friends ready to run?  Sign-up a team of at least 3 and go for the team prize (teams are same sex).

Brockton v. Waltham Rivalry Redux: As part of the fun, the Level is hosting a renewed rivalry of sorts.  Brockton v. Waltham was once a longtime Thanksgiving Day football tradition.  Alas, that game is now defunct but we are starting a new tradition:  Brockton v. Waltham on the roads.  The city that has the lowest net time of their 3 fastest runners gets bragging rights until we do it again.  So, if you’re from Brockton or Waltham you have extra motivation to sign-up, train hard, and race fast.

A portion of the race’s proceeds goes to the Kids Road Races, a youth running program held at DW Field Park in Brockton.  Level Renner would like to thank its race sponsors: Bernardi Auto Group, McCall Transportation, Eastern Bank, Walgreens, Charles River Running, HarborOne, and many more.  If you would like to become a sponsor or volunteer at the race, please contact Kevin at kevbalance[at]levelrenner[dot]com. For lots more race information (such as a course map) go to www.levelrenner.com/10k and https://g2racereg.webconnex.com/level10k2013 will bring you directly to the registration page.  We hope to see you on August 25!



eastern bank logo 5.30.13

walgreens logo 8.1.13

Mix-104.1 ad 5.22.13

charles river running 280x200 ad tile 12.1.12

pretzel crisps logo 8.7.13

kind logo 8.7.13

Greater Boston Running Company

HarborOne Credit Union

McCall Transportation



Holyoke Contest Winner & a Few B-Days

Okay, it’s been about a week now. Time to announced a winner for two free entries to the 38th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Road Race. The lucky member of Level Legion is….

Kevin Coyne

Kevin left a comment on the site as his entry, and we thought it was worth sharing: Love the website and can’t wait for the St.Patty’s RR…greatest and greenest day of the year in Holyoke!

We could potentially be doing this again, so keep checking back. In the meantime, feel free to like the Facebook pages of both Level Renner and the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Road Race. Every little like helps out immensely!

We’d be remiss to not acknowledge a couple of big birthdays today.

Dan Kramer - New Balance Boston

Joanna Murphy - New Balance Boston

Tom Derderian - GBTC / USATF-NE President

How can we not acknowledge El Presidente? Happy birthday to all of them, don’t party too hard. Or party just enough to keep it on the Level.

Reilly the Clear Victor in a Messy Finish

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t get Universal Sports, the US Indoor National Championships were held this past Saturday. Of the 10 women lined up for the 3k, three of them have made appearances on the Level before. That makes for good watching!

Chelsea Reilly held on for a hard fought victory and survived a pretty brutal finish in the process. Lisa Uhl tried to pass on the inside and ended up taking both of them down. Uhl suffered the worst of it, as evidenced by the nasty bruise under her eye. See it for yourself here:

While the leaders were going down in a tangled mess, the rest of the field was battling it out on the final lap. Joanna Murphy of New Balance Boston (the 2013 New England indoor 3k champ) and Cat Beck of the Central Park Track Club held on to finish 7th and 8th, respectively. Murphy ran a 9:46 and Beck finished with a 9:50, both strong times considering it was at altitude.

XC Club Nats: Women’s Open 6k

It was a good day for New England women in Lexington on Saturday. The New Balance Boston ladies took third as a team and placed two in the top twenty: Mary Kate Champagne (14th) and Katie DiCamillo (19th). Brielle Chabot (20th, BAA) also snuck into the top twenty with a blistering finish. Brielle and Katie both were neck and neck with Ann Detmer in a three way battle for the line, and both of them were able to pull ahead by the end.

Other top finishers:

14 - Champagne, Mary Kate  - 20:55.880 - New Balance Boston
19 - DiCamillo, Katie - 21:03.611 - New Balance Boston
20 - Chabot, Brielle - 21:04.415 - Boston Athletic Association
23 - Bell, Rolanda - 21:09.815 - Central Park Track Club
27 - Vongvorachoti, Jane - 21:14.569 - Central Park Track Club
28 - Murphy, Joanna - 21:15.301 - New Balance Boston
31 - Feldman, Kyle Linn - 21:21.295 - Greater Boston Track Club
33 - Fitzpatrick, Sydney - 21:22.534 - New Balance Boston
38 - Neveu, Mariko - 21:30.749 - Adidas/TeamRogue
41 - McCabe, Allison - 21:34.833 - Greater Boston Track Club
45 - Dromgoole, Erin - 21:37.112 - New Balance Boston
46 - Beck, Catherine - 21:37.715 - Central Park Track Club
53 - Nash, Melissa - 21:45.153 - Boston Athletic Association
57 - Argueta, Christina - 21:54.449 - Central Park Track Club
64 - Ogletree, Cheyenne - 22:00.958 - Garden State Track Club
74 - Roberts, Erin - 22:12.469 - Greater Lowell Road Runners
77 - Douma, Alyssa - 22:14.541 - Garden State Track Club
80 - Landberg, Amelia - 22:16.598 - Greater Boston Track Club
85 - Falcaro, Nicole - 22:19.213 - Central Park Track Club
90 - Daniel, Jordan - 22:25.784 - New Balance Boston
95 - Lambert, Lindsey - 22:29.851 - Garden State Track Club


1 - Team USA Minnesota - 70
2 - Boulder Running Company/adidas - 92
3 - New Balance Boston - 97
4 - Adidas/TeamRogue - 100
6 - Central Park Track Club (CPTC) New Balance - 168
12 - Greater Boston Track Club - 338
14 - Garden State Track Club - 363

Boulder Running Co took the top two spots, with Mattie Suver breaking the tape in 20:01, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Team USA Minnesota. Team USA MN placed three in the top seven and had their fourth come in at eleventh.

We would like to take a moment to offer our condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Lauren Roady, who was killed Saturday night after being hit by a fire truck. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lauren’s family as they deal with this tragedy and also to the driver of the truck, since that can’t be an easy thing to live with.

Workout at BC Reservoir

By Joanna Murphy, as it originally appeared in the August edition of The Wingfoot Express.

I had planned on getting a ‘rust buster’ steeple in at the Brown meet, but the text message that woke me up from my coach, Dan, indicated otherwise. “You’re the only one registered for the Steeple, probably not worth the drive. Call me when you get this” it read. My phone call with Dan resulted in a last minute decision to do a tempo workout instead. “Pickles* is running the workout this morning. Call her and find out when…I think she’s heading out soon.” He instructed. Upon calling Pickles, I learned that she was planning to do the workout at the BC reservoir, and she was leaving in 5 minutes. She agreed to hold off  for 15 more minutes, so I quickly changed, grabbed a banana and shoved a peanut butter cup in my mouth as I chugged some Gatorade on my way out the door. This morning was off  to a great start.

Just for the record: I hate mornings. The fogginess in my head and the achiness in my muscles that occurs before 10am is akin to a hangover…except I don’t get the benefit of the booze (I swear there’s a benefit). I generally don’t feel normal until I’ve had at least 2 cups of coffee and a proper breakfast (2 eggs, bowl of fruit and ideally a potato). Plus, I hate being hungry. So should you encounter me first thing in the morning before proper caffeination and calorication (yes, I made that word up… possibly both of them), you should avoid me like the plague. But at 8:15am on this Saturday morning I was already out of bed, and Pickles is an awesome workout partner, so I sucked it up and hurried to get to the BC res by 8:30 for her. And random sidenote: where I come from ‘res’ means (Indian) reservation. It is a place you go to purchase fireworks and gamble (yes, I know this is politically incorrect). How do people get away with calling a reservoir “the res”around here? Seriously, Boston, straighten out your stereotypes.

It was a beautiful morning out, which helped bolster my energy a bit. Pickles was waiting for me at the top of the stairs as I took the steps two at a time. “I’ve got to get this done quick – I have to be back by 9:15 to get ready to get to the school,” she explained as I got there. Pickles is a coach at a local high school and had a track meet later that day. I could tell she was a little stressed and ready to get this workout out of the way, so we warmed up quickly and got started. Luckily, it was tempo intervals, so I didn’t need as much time to warm up.

We had 3miles at tempo pace (~6:05 pace), 2 miles at 5:55ish pace and 1 mile at 5:50 pace all with 3 minutes in between. One lap around the reservoir is exactly ½ of a 5K, or so I’ve been told, so my quick upstairs tally noted 2 laps for the first interval. I pretty much refused to math after that point.

The clock on the first interval showed we were a little slow, so we began picking it up as we started on the 2 mile interval. We had developed a good rhythm by about 300m in. The sun was brighter than I was used to and I kept my head down as we headed into its glare. After a few minutes I looked up to see three large dogs bounding happily towards us, their owner jogging off to our left a bit in front of them. The owner appeared not to notice the fact that his dogs were taking up the entire path in an on-leash-only area. The dogs were coming for us rather quickly, weaving back and forth in the path. I saw this as redemption for the missed steeplechase and decided to hurdle each dog. The first one approached and I got my steps right, sailing over easily. A few stutter steps made a not so graceful hurdle on the second dog, but still a good steeple. I’m joking. That never happened. I chose the far right edge and took a quick hop off the path to skirt the entire pack.

Pickles, however, was not so lucky, being in the middle of the path. “Oh god, oh god..shit…shit!” she began cursing as she bounded to the left, only to be mimicked by the big Golden Retriever who was convinced Pickles had a secret stash of treats located in her left hand. The other two dogs followed suit. Pickles tried to dodge again, this time to the right, but again the dogs, now finding this game extremely fun ran into her, causing Pickles to have to screech to a halt. She quickly cut to the side, scrambled a bit to get back on pace, and continued on. The owner was completely oblivious that his dogs thought of themselves as canine cannon balls leaving a long trail of destruction in their wake.

Upon hearing Pickles’s cursing he turns slightly, but simply whistles casually for the dogs to come up with him. Pickles, now seething, turns around mid-run and yells, “Put your goddamn dogs on a fucking leash!” This comment apparently strikes a nerve and the owner stops jogging, turns around and yells back, “Why don’t you mind your own goddamn business, you bitch!” Pickles, still mid tempo, retorts, “On leash area - read the sign,” and we continue on out of earshot. She is clearly irritated and increases her cadence angrily. The pace drops. I find it highly amusing that a 40 year old man who is clearly in the wrong (we weren’t the only runners his dogs were taking out) gets all bent out of shape at a couple girls who’d probably still not weight more than him if you put both of us together. We went through the mile about 15-20 seconds fast – big surprise.

The second interval starts to get hard about a half mile out and at this point I’m really feeling that fast first mile. My breathing is starting to get a bit labored right about the time we pass the owner of the dogs. This time his dogs are on a leash. As he jogs by he sneers, “Dogs are on their leash – you fucking happy now?” Pickles looks up, a little winded, nods, and says “Thank you”. The owner pulls over to our side of the path, and leans in towards us a bit. “Happy now?” He sneers, his nose all puckered up as he seethes through his clenched teeth. “Mind your own damn business next time,” he says condescendingly as he passes, and continues mumbling indiscernible phrases out of earshot (I can only assume they were compliments). I can’t help finding this hilarious and begin laughing hysterically while trying to run 5:55 pace. This results in extreme side cramps (most likely karma), which then turn to wheezing. I want to call it quits when we finish the lap at 1.5 miles, but Pickles makes me feel like the worst workout partner known to man for considering this, so I suck it up and finish the 2 miles.

Call me judgmental, but if the man would actually be able to keep up with Pickles and I during that workout I may be more inclined not to think so lowly of him. He was most likely an ex-football player, liked to focus on his biceps and chest with the weights, and probably jogged on the weekends so he could go drink beer with his buddies while he watched the Red Sox game. He obviously had never surrounded himself with any amount of female intelligence for too long or his ego would’ve been able to handle two little distance runner girls calling him out mid workout. I don’t say this because Pickles and I are were calling him out. I say this because he’s clearly a dumbass.

The 3 minute rest was a nice relief and the cramp settled down a bit. About 45 seconds to the start of our last interval the dog owner passes us yet again, this time without dogs. He slows down as he jogs by, “all you gotta do is get out of the way….not a big deal, just move out of the way next time,” He explains condescendingly, over-annunciating each syllable as if we had never heard of this magical language known as English. The fact that we were practically lateral bounding at 6 minute/mile pace to get out of his dogs’ way obviously never occurred to him. “It’s an on-leash park,” Pickles retorts. “That means your dogs have to be on a leash.” She’s great at getting that “teacher-authority” tone. This sets him off again. He turns around and yells, “All you have to do is get out of the fucking way next time.” He’s jogging backwards while waving his arms gesturing in the middle of the path.

It’s very clear that he is not defensive at all. I start laughing again, hoping the side cramp doesn’t come back. “We did get out of the way,” Pickles shrugs, turns her back to him and starts skipping. “Why are you still talking to us?” I ask, mostly to myself, but the dumbfounded look is still on my face, evidencing my confusion that this man actually cares that we think he’s a dumbass. He ‘sprints’ off (I’ll call it sprinting for effort sake, but it was about 7 min mile pace) and continues grumbling about the fact that we didn’t move out of the way of his (clearly exceptionally aware) dogs.

I roll my eyes. “Why is he still talking to us?” I ask Pickles. “I can’t believe his ego is that fragile. It’s frightening.”

We start the last interval: One mile at 5:50 pace. I hate the fact that this feels hard. “God, I hope we don’t catch him,” Pickles says in the first 400m. I look up and see him about 600m in front of us. We would definitely catch him before the mile mark at this pace. Thankfully, he cuts off the path, taking the stairs down to the parking lot. We both exhale a sigh of relief and pick up the pace slightly. Pickles pulls away from me with a half mile to go. I have a nasty habit of letting people slip away halfway through intervals. My coach thinks it’s because I’m not aggressive enough, but I blame it on my difficulty with depth perception…I can’t help it if I have bad vision. With 400m-ish to go I close the gap and push the pace for the last minute.

“I knew you’d have the last minute,” Pickles says out of breath. “That’s why I pushed a bit halfway through.”

“Yeah, I know…I hate it when you do that.” I replied, knowing she was right. Like a great workout partner, she’s good at pushing the pace precisely when I don’t want to.

On the drive home I passed a happy duo out for a run along the river. The woman was clearly enjoying the sunny morning with her partner, a golden retriever, happily trotting along next to her on his leash. It was a beautiful scene. My college coach often quoted the saying, “Good neighbors are fenced neighbors”. I’m beginning to think dogs are a lot like neighbors.

*Note: Pickles wasn’t the woman’s real name. It was changed to protect her identity. The reason I chose Pickles? You had to be there (and even then you’d probably be shaking your head).

Contact Form Powered By : XYZScripts.com