Tag: Jim Dandeneau

Moulton’s Overcome Adversity, Take the Cape

By Jim Dandeneau

On 10/27/2013, Pat and Katie Moulton of Providence won the men’s and women’s titles in the 36th running of the Cape Cod Marathon. Pat, 31, a Providence College graduate, running in his first Cape race, took the lead just after the 18 mile mark from Kyle Sousa, 27, to claim the title in 2:35:59. Katie, 30, also a Providence College graduate, running in just her second marathon, finished in 2:55:48.

For the two of them, who recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary, victory did not come easy. On June 9, while warming down after finishing 2nd overall in New Bedford’s “Day of Portugal” 5K road race, Pat tripped on a sidewalk and fell on his side. Shortly thereafter, he became dizzy and fainted. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and diagnosed with a lacerated spleen along with a fractured rib.

Moulton_Patrick1-Providence11After spending three days in-patient he was released. However, Pat was warned by his treating physician of the potential for internal bleeding. Unable to run for eight weeks, it was a difficult time for the manager of Providence’s Rhode Runner retail running store. Upon resuming training in August, he gradually built his mileage up but noticed frequent side stitches, rarely felt prior to the accident. It was something he encountered in last Sunday’s 26.2 event which, despite taking the lead hindered him in the last 6 miles or so of the Cape event.

The owner of a 2:15:35 (Austin 2006) in his first completed marathon stated “I really did not have time to fully prepare for this race. I only did a few long runs and a few tempo runs. I figured I would try to be competitive and see how I felt. I only decided to enter after running the September 29th Providence Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I’ve run the Hartford Marathon the last several years however I thought it was still too early. I needed those additional weeks.”

[Editor’s note: Pat ran a 1:11:03 and came in second at the aforementioned Providence half marathon.]

After hitting halfway in 1:15:08 Moulton found himself down 30 seconds to Souza. “I was not sure who he was or if he had ever run a marathon before. I knew there was a long way to go, the last several miles of the course are hilly.” Despite slowing, Moulton was able to cruise to victory, winning by 4:33 over the second place finisher, Jean-Pierre Allera, 24, of South Park, PA, who believe it or not, had won the Cape Cod 1/2 marathon the day prior, and in record time.

While Pat, a Pelham, NH native, states his 2014 goals are “to build a strong base again and get back into the low 2:20’s” he remains uncommitted on whether to make an attack on the challenging 2:19 “B” standard barrier. “I really love to run, however I really need to be cautious after what happened. I’d love to get back to doing what I was doing a few years ago.”

For Katie, (nee Twarog) an Albany, NY native, the Cape course posed its own challenge. Primarily a 5K-10K specialist, the winner of the 2013 Cox Marathon developed four severely bruised toenails. “The course really took a toll on me; the second half was really hilly…it was another learning experience. I’m sure I’ll figure it (the marathon) out”. Having ramped up her training from a typical 40-50 miles a week to “4-6 weeks of 70 plus miles” the smooth striding running coach/personal trainer felt she didn’t get the taper just right. “I probably should have backed off of my training leading into the race a bit more. These first few marathons are all about gaining experience.”

The self-coached Moulton will take some time and then decide her plans for the possibility of a Spring Marathon: ”The 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon B standard (2:43:00 or under) is definitely something I’ll be striving for.”

With amazing tenacity and passion for the sport of running, expect the Moultons, after healing, to be a force on the marathon scene.

Jesseman Gets Win, ‘B’ Standard

By Jim Dandeneau

On October 12th, 24 year old, Erica Jesseman of Scarborough, Maine raced to victory in the 2013 Hartford Marathon in a course record 2:38:13. This was her 3rd appearance at Hartford; previously winning in 2011 (2:45:00) and finishing 2nd (2:46:59) in 2012. With the victory, the 2011 University of New Hampshire grad obtained the “B” standard (under 2:43:00; “A” standard is under 2:37:00) securing a place in the 2016 United States Marathon Olympic Trials.

Jesseman Mason New Bedford 2013

Erica at the 2013 New Bedford Half Marathon, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Entering the race, Jesseman was not certain what to expect considering 2:35 marathoner Heidi Westover (Walpole, NH) was entered along with Ethiopian youngster Aregash Abate. At the onset, after watching Westover and Abate take off at a faster clip, she was content to run sub 6 minute miles with defending Hartford champion Hilary Dionne (Cambridge, Ma). However, by 4.5 miles, Jesseman had already caught Westover (who appeared to be suffering from a hamstring issue) and continued to run consistent miles ranging from 5:50-5:58, catching Abate by 12.5 miles and gradually pulling away, slightly slowing in the last 3-4 miles.

Jesseman was elated with the victory, “This is my 5th marathon and I finally got it right. I stayed hydrated and drank fluids at every water station. I knew I had my work cut out for me with Heidi and Hilary running…. I felt very good.” The self-coached Hartford champion trained extraordinarily hard for this event putting in high volume work, maxing out for 5 weeks, (120miles/week) during a mid-August-September 20th training block adding speed work with fellow Maine marathon extraordinaires Sheri Piers and Kristin Barry. After a disappointing tune-up half marathon a month prior to her goal race, she dropped her mileage “significantly” to “in the 80’s” in order to rest and focus at the task at hand. A 16:17 road 5K 2 weeks out boosted her confidence tremendously heading into the race.

Recently, she resigned her position as assistant cross-country/track coach at St. Joseph’s College to decide her future plans. Presently, she is exploring the possibility of joining a post collegiate training group. She understands she is young only once and feels it is what God is calling her to do. “I’m healthy, motivated, not married, and do not have any student loans. I really feel, with the right training, I can run in the low 2:30’s by 2016.” Up next though, is some well-deserved down time prior to a likely assault on the indoor track circuit with a focus on breaking the 16 minute barrier for 5000 meters leading into her Spring Marathon, “hopefully Boston, to honor the victims of last year’s tragedy”.

With her unbelievable work ethic and tenacity one can be sure to see big things to come from this northern New England competitor.

Johnson Out-Duels Pelletier

The New Bedford Half Marathon was a few days ago, so you probably are already well aware of the outcome by now (if not, it’s probably a good idea to read this earlier entry by Jim Dandeneau). Kevin Johnson of the Western Mass Distance Project (WMDP) outlasted Matt Pelletier on his way to a win and a new PR of 1:06:04.

After the race, the cool down and taking a moment with the fans (the phrase “a brush with greatness” was thrown out there, which would make for a good title of the video), Jim interviewed Kevin:

Although Matty P wasn’t on camera for an official interview, we did catch up with him later to get his take on the race:

426507_552719524748477_1738086516_nIt was disappointing not getting the win. I felt like I was in similar shape to last year, but I’ve been sick a lot this winter (something kind of serious) and missed more days of running than I’ve missed in a long time. That said, I bounced back pretty quickly I thought that maybe being sick hadn’t been as bad as I thought. I feel like the difference was in the wind. Our first mile was 10+ seconds slower than last year, and our 2nd mile was 14 seconds slower. I feel like the wind aided miles were about the same as last year. Aside from not getting the win, I’m disappointed I couldn’t match Kevin’s move when he passed me. I feel like I should have been able to go with him, but he was really strong and it just wasn’t my day. Kevin’s time was faster than my PR, so it would have taken a great day from me to beat him, and it wasn’t that kind of day. He looked really smooth. I think had I been able to push him for another 2-3 miles, he would have gone under 1:06.

Like I said, I think I was in similar shape compared to last year so I was hoping to go under 1:06:30 and just be a few sec. faster than last year. I don’t like to race in the cold, so when I got to the race and warmed up I knew it would be tougher than last year. I wasn’t really sure how the race would play out. With the WMDP kicking ass lately, and Brian Harvey moving up in distance, I wasn’t positive I would win. This was a stepping stone on the way to VCM, so a fast time, a win, or both were all goals. Obviously I walked away with neither, but it is what it is. I still have 10 weeks to prepare for 2:17 guy Chris Zablocki and some other fast guys. Hopefully this will serve as motivation for Memorial Day weekend.

To complete our coverage of the open men’s division, here’s an interview with Rob Gomez (Dirigo RC). Rob played a key role in the race by helping to break it open earlier on. He then slowly worked his way up the ranks and finished an impressive third.

In the men’s masters race, Chris Magill enjoyed his first road race as a master by cleaning up. Although he was the second master in the race, he was the first from the USATF-NE association so he still ended up being a masters champion for the day:

See the rest of our New Bedford coverage here. Want to see more race pictures like the ones included here? Be sure to visit Scott Mason Photography’s great website. Also, special thanks to our sponsors for providing prizes for some of the top runners: Skechers provided pairs of shoes, along with a couple hundred goodie bags for finishers, and Sigvaris provided custom fit compression socks. They support us, so please consider supporting them.

Reilly Edges Jesseman in Tight Race

This time, the ladies are up first. The New Bedford Half Marathon, the second race in the 2013 road racing grand prix series, took place this past Sunday. Stephanie Reilly broke the tape again, and her Team RUN ladies finished second in the team competition. For her effort, Stephanie had this to say:

Stephanie Reilly, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Stephanie Reilly, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

I would say relieved would be my best emotion after the race to be honest. I was just not a 100 percent physically, and was not sure how the race would go. I definitely had to change my game plan as a result, and run very smart early in the race. Erica is a great runner and she ran a great race and she really made me work hard to catch her.

From miles 4 to 9 I really started to find a rhythm, and I think I ran strong for those 5 miles. The wind was very harsh but I was fortunate to have a male runner to latch onto from 9-12 miles and that kept me on with not too much of a lag in pace. That’s when the lead women’s truck got close very suddenly. I was maintaining a decent pace, while I think Erica was struggling a bit. It was only on that stretch from 10-12 where I knew I had this and it was just maintain and go right by once I got to her.

It was somewhere on the hill after 12 when I caught her. I definitely feel that I am stronger than I ever have been, so even on a bad day I can truck along pretty solid. I definitely feel confident that I have a good half in me when I am on 100% physically. You think a lot when you are not feeling so great, and it certainly turns into a tough mental game more than anything. Anytime I race I always give a 100% of what I have on that day, even if that day I am not 100%, if that makes any sense.

There’s a bit of a gap between now and the Hollis 5k. What’s the next couple of months look like for you, race wise?

The Hollis 5k is definitely the next one penciled in, but until then to be honest I will play it by ear. Certainly I will keep jumping in some road races over the next couple of months. I haven’t stepped onto a track yet, and with the crap weather we are getting of late, not sure when I will….haha. But at the very least I will have another 6 weeks of this base I have going, and see where I go from there. I think I will do that Westfield 5km in a couple of weeks though. I am kind of enjoying this free spirit take to my racing. It has always been the way I operate. I hate planning to far ahead.

Finishing a few seconds back of Stephanie, Erica Jesseman wasn’t feeling great either. Although she didn’t get the individual win, being part of the winning Dirigo RC team surely offers some consolation. Here’s an interview with her after the race, with Jim Dandeneau:

In the masters division, Sheri Piers (also of Dirigo RC) took home yet another title. Sheri ran a 1:20:44 and finished with comfortable cushion over runner up Mimi Fallon.

Sheri Piers leading the masters women in New Bedford, courtesy of Scott Mason Photography.

Sheri Piers leading the masters women in New Bedford, courtesy of Scott Mason Photography.

See the rest of our New Bedford coverage here. Want to see more race pictures like the ones included here? Be sure to visit Scott Mason Photography’s great website. Also, special thanks to our sponsors for providing prizes for some of the top runners: Skechers provided pairs of shoes, along with a couple hundred goodie bags for finishers, and Sigvaris provided custom fit compression socks. They support us, so please consider supporting them.



Guest blog by Jim Dandeneau

Kevin Johnson, 24, and Stephanie Reilly, 35, took different paths in winning the 36th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon race, the second leg in the very competitive New England Grand Prix road race series. Johnson, a 2011 University of Massachusetts alumnus and presently a graduate student at Dartmouth College pulled away from defending champion Matt Pelletier just prior to the 8 mile mark in running 1:06:04, significantly faster than the 1:07:22 he had run last year in placing third.


After a conservative first 3 miles covered in 15:41, Robert Gomez, 29, started to break up the pack of approximately 15 runners with a push up Hathaway Rd. After making the turn onto Rockdale Ave. Pelletier started to put the hammer down covering miles 4-6 well under 5 minutes a mile and had a lead of approximately 5 meters hitting 6 miles in 30:21. However, he could not shake Johnson who was running off the 2012 champion’s shoulder and had caught Pelletier just after 10 kilometers. Hitting 8 miles in 39:58 Johnson started to gradually pull away and by 10 miles, reached in 49:53, had a 175 meter lead and cruised up County Rd. to the finish in dominating style to win by 50 seconds.

Johnson, who had also won the DH Jones 10 mile race, the first leg of the New England Grand Prix road race series and had to stop two times during that race due to intestinal issues suffered no similar stomach ailment on this day. Gomez, running determined throughout, ran a significant person record clocking 1:07:14.

Reilly, 35, running in 2nd place throughout the 13.1 event, passed Erica Jesseman, 24, just after 20K (12.4 miles) in running 1:15:52. Jesseman, prepping for next month’s Boston Marathon, ran 1:16:09.

More to come on this weekend’s racing, stay tuned!

New Bedford Preview

The second stop on the Grand Prix circuit is the New Bedford Half Marathon, which will be held this Sunday. As we start to go through the races again this year, we’re excited about the fact that for most of these races it won’t the first time that Level Renner is covering them.

For Amherst I had this little spiel all set to go, about how it was the first race we ever got footage and interviews from and it would mark an important anniversary for us. Well, that was before winter storm D-Bag (that’s what they named it, right?) rolled through and messed up everything. The race was still held (obviously), but the time change prevented us from going in force.

So that brings us to New Bedford. Although it was the second race we ever covered, it’s the first one that we’ll be re-covering. We’ll be down a man during the race, but for good reason: Joe Navas will be racing this time instead of jetting around the course with me. That’s bad news for the Masters runners too. Joe will certainly be one to keep an eye on for that fiercely contested race within the race. To help make up for it we got a pretty serious upgrade in equipment. Watch out!

To get you ready for Sunday’s race, here is a good preview article (by Jim Dandeneau):

Matt Pelletier finally set to defend at Half Marathon

According to the article, Matt Pelletier will be back to defend, but Hilary Dionne will not be. Stephanie Reilly will be there and is the one to watch for the women.

Here’s our interview with Matty P after last year’s race:

It’s almost embarrassing to watch that. I can vividly relive the terror I felt as soon the camera started rolling. I think I’ve gotten over that, but we’ll find out on Sunday.

Level Renner will be there in force. With some help from our friends at Skechers we’ll be contributing some shoes to a couple of the top finishers, and there will also be about 200 “goodie bags” available on a first come first served basis at the finish line. It’s extra motivation to run faster! Good luck to all on Sunday, and if you need extra motivation you can check out all of our coverage from last year’s race here.

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