Tag: Pat Fullerton

Mile to the Marathon: The Weekend

Once again, the weekend was choc full of exciting race action in the area. We want to highlight a couple of those here, and perhaps we’ll have even more on them later on in the week. One event that really jumped out at us was the inaugural Franklin Park Mile, which was held on Sunday, October 20th. The race, which is put on by the Forest Hills Runners, is a “community organized running event that is open to all.”

Times were slower, but hey…it’s cross country! “It turns out that a rolling mile is not necessarily the fastest,” said race director Owen Kendall. You don’t need track-fast times to get excitement though. “The women’s race had a phenomenal finish,” continued Owen, “with Jen Flynn (6:07) leading the entire way after racing a 5k that morning, before being outkicked at the turn to the finish line with 50 meters to go, but holding off a final charge by Alyssa Charney (6:09), who ran at Vassar.” Kim Lockwood beat both of them, winning with her 6:05.

Pat Fullerton won with a 4:24, and thought it was an “awesome event” with “the theme of community certainly very evident.” While it wasn’t near a PR for the sub-4 minute miler, it was “just a workout for hopefully big things to come this weekend at Mayor’s Cup. Ive been doing really long hard strength workouts since cvs 5k (long for a miler ) and it has already paid off as I ran a 4.62 mile race in Townsend, MA at 4:46 pace (23:45 for an 8k) so it was nice to get some speed in and be even more sharp for sunday without killing myself.”
Sounds like Pat is ready to crush it at Mayor’s Cup. As for the future of the event, Owen said “it’ll be fun to see what happens when there are several fast people pushing the pace when this race starts making a name for itself.  I think it has a lot of potential to be fast, but also to support the development of a running culture in multi-ethnic neighborhoods that haven’t traditionally produced distance runners.”
The event, the cause and the underlying goals of the race all seem like something we can get behind. Looking forward to 2014 already! Might have more to come on this.

The 3rd annual Green Stride Newburyport Half Marathon took place the same day. The top five men and the first two women were all names that were largely unfamiliar to us and from either Schenectady, NY or Malden, MA, which made us think that they could be part of the same training group. The winners were Feisa Ayele Megersa (Malden, 1:05:12) and Pauline Muchiri (Schenectady, 1:14:39). As you can see, pretty damn fast.

The fastest of the Legion was Dan Vassallo (6th overall, 1:08:54) and Andrea Walkonen (3rd woman, 18th overall, 1:18:28). We shot a few questions over to Dan to shed some light on the race. Dan led off with this, which we loved:

I’ll try to answer your questions and provide some commentary without sounding too much like a petulant child who can’t deal with losing. But you have to realize I ran a baseball blog for five years, and I hold myself as an athlete to the same standards as the ones I wrote about on the blog. Anything less would be unfair and hypocritical.

On to the questions:

Who were all those guys up front?

I have no idea who the guys up front were. I didn’t even know that there was a group of African guys who rip out of Malden. I just remember that one of them was little, one of them looked almost exactly like Ray Allen, and all of them completely took off at 5,000 meters. I was more than happy chilling in a group of seven, running between 5:10 and 5:20 pace, and that’s exactly how it was for the first three miles. The only problem was, they went (and, if you do the math, I guess some of them ran in the 49s for the last ten miles – even on a good day, that’s not a realistic time for a stiff like me) and I didn’t. I kept myself between 5:10 and 5:20 the whole time. I clearly had no additional gear. Maybe due to Nahant. More likely due to lack of toughness. Perhaps I no longer remember the effort necessary to run a 1:08 low or 1:07 high like I wanted to. This may make sense because, despite fancying myself as a guy who has the potential to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the marathon, I have not broken 1:08:50 in the half since November 20, 2011. It might be your journalistic obligation to point out this plain fact.

Vassallo on his way to victory in Nahant, courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.

Vassallo on his way to victory in Nahant, courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.

How’d you battle with them?

I battled with them poorly. The first three miles, all of them (mostly Shuttlesworth) decided to throw a 45-second half-hearted surge, maybe to try to drop the weaker runners. But the whole pack responded and stayed together for the first 5K. But once they decided they wanted to actually run, it was over. I went from leader to out of contention maybe over the course of 300 meters. They dropped one guy with whom I battled between miles 5 and 10 and from whom I eventually pulled away. I guess not throwing in the towel and letting him run away was a silver lining – that and the fact that I didn’t die. You can’t die if you’re not alive in the first place. I ran very even splits, but unfortunately these even splits were between 5:10 and 5:20.

Has training been going well?

Training has been fine. Recovery from Nahant has not quite been as bad as recovery from a marathon, but the first few days felt pretty similar. Right now I am just trying to stay healthy for a year, and I’m now at 7 months without suffering an injury that warrants a layoff.

Are you ready to rock n’ roll at the Manchester Marathon?

I will resist the urge to say something pejorative about a certain road race series’ lack of support for elite runners in response to you asking if I’m ready to “rock ‘n’ roll.” But I am looking forward to running with my CMS teammates, providing depth and an insurance policy for my team, and making sure my personal worst in the marathon is something I do on my own terms. If any of your readers is interested in having a quasi-reliable pacer for a 2:32 to 2:36, I might be their guy on November 3rd. I am focusing on a November marathon, but that November marathon will be taking place in 2014.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that he resisted the urge.

One other big one from the weekend was the Baystate Marathon. We don’t have much besides the names of winners here, unfortunately. Well that, and a tweet from the big winner:


Thanks for checking in, Rob! Rob ran a 2:33:22 for the win. Nina Caron, who at the ripe young age of 53 ran a 2:55:59 and not only bested all the other seniors and masters, but was the top woman overall. Quite impressive!

Joe Ryan of Medford, MA and Christy Kirk of Sudbury, MA won the half in 1:11:50 and 1:25:26.9, respectively.

Another big weekend in the books!

Ritchie, Fullerton Earn Some Points

CVS 5k Scott Mason

Fullerton goes after it, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

The US National 5k Championships were held in Providence back on September 22, once again as part of the CVS Downtown 5k race. This post race interview with Pat Fullerton and Tim Ritchie almost slipped through the cracks during our hectic month of race coverage that was September. It’d be a shame to overlook Fullerton’s first big Level interview.

In the race itself, Tim placed 6th overall (14:02.7) and Pat was 12th (14:20.7). For national championship scoring purposes, Tim was 4th and Pat was 8th, so they both earned top ten status and Tim got himself another top five finish. Pretty impressive.

As Tim says in the interview, it’s a tactical race and there’s really only one big move and that comes at the end. Things really shake out in that last mile and the lead pack will be together for the most part up until then. With that in mind, it was quite surprising to see Pat out in front when the gun went off. It led to a moment of “Is that? Wait. Really? Is Pat leading the race?” It didn’t last long, as he settled back in and ended up running a PR by thirty seconds. Not a bad showing for someone that still doesn’t have a lot of 5k experience.

With that PR, Pat scored himself some series points. It’s safe to say that Pat won’t be sitting in a tie for 38th place for long if he keeps racing like this. With a little more experience on this stage he could become a constant up in the front. is anything In the standings, Tim is currently sitting in sixth place. The seven points he picked up for his efforts helped him leapfrog a few other runners to get him into the top ten.

Here’s the interview:

New England is also has some representation up front in the women’s standings. Katie DiCamillo is currently 10th, while Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle are both tied with other runners for 11th. In the 5k championships more specifically, Katie Matthews placed 9th (16:09.2).

The next championship distance is the marathon, which will be the Twin Cities Marathon on October 6th.


Pat Fullerton just went sub-4 in winning the High Street Mile. Now he’s On The Level. Back on July 3rd Pat Fullerton ran a 3:48 at the Hinckley Allen Manchester Mile…and finished second. For those of us not familiar with the race, there was a moment of excited confusion. What? Did he just do that? That course was downhill, but the time was still impressive. I might break four going downhill if I’m in a big enough tire, but then again I’d probably veer off the road and smack a mailbox. But anyway, that’s not important. What is important is that Pat broke four once again, this time in winning the High Street Mile in a new course record of 3:58.8. This is a flat course, too. Now Pat’s On The Level to talk about the feat:

Considering the results of the Manchester Mile, what were you expecting for this flat mile? Was sub-4 the goal?

I came in second to Gagnon in Manchester in 348.2 and it was a windy day, so it should have been even faster in my opinion so my goal coming into to this was to run 356, I had done some outstanding workouts leading up to it and knew if I got out well I would have a chance.

Did you lead from wire to wire?

I swapped leads with Endale (Abiyot, second place) multiple times even though he had the lead at 400 (56) and 800 (1:58.2) before I finally took over at 1200 m (2:59.9) and then kicked for home.

Race video by Joe Mulvar

Just what does it mean to you to run that time?

I’m obviously super excited for how well I ran and breaking 4, but the number of people who have approached me / reached out to me and said it is a legitimate sub 4 is awesome! I didn’t realize how flat the course was I guess, but when I broke 4 I didn’t think anything really of it except just another road sub 4 to add to the list never thinking it was actually as fast as people are telling me it is.

McDonalds….did it make you faster or slow you down? If it made you faster, was there some secret combination of menu items that put you over the top?

I don’t eat it before a race usually, but I do eat it during the week (McChicken’s and McNuggets) and say “fast food makes fast people” all the time which usually irritates most of my female employees.

Working in retail, how do you handle being on your feet so much all day?

As for work itself, I love it. Its so much easier being at work all day in a pair of running shoes than boots which is what I did when I was at Market Basket as a Meat Cutter. So, work has actually benefitted me a great deal and I always have my hard runs done before work and then I wear my compression socks usually all day at work to help recover.

All in all, it was an awesome awesome race and I am really excited to see what happens in the next few months and see how can I do at longer distances while trying to maintain this speed and see if I get invited to any high end road miles!

What do you consider your mile PR to be now? Do you feel the need to go sub-4 on the track to make your sub-4 club membership more official?

3:58.8! Yes I still do for my own personal satisfaction. Is that a possibility right now? Nope, which sucks, but I can live with that….for now at least!

Well you’re a legit sub-4 guy in our books.

Thanks man! But I have always dreamed about it since I was a 8th grader when I first started doing track! So, for me, I wanna do it on a track. #europehereicome?

We hope so. Looking forward to Pat tearing up tracks globally. For now, we’ll have to settle for his stellar local performances and entertaining tweets about fast food.

Big Names, Big Times, Big Coverage

As you probably know, we were away covering the Run 4 Kerri yesterday. It was the 12th edition of the race, but only our 2nd year of involvement.

For the race itself, Chris Zablocki and Julie Culley were the winners. Yes, that Julie Culley. Chris covered 4ish miles in 19:17 (more on that with the rest of our coverage coming soon). Julie placed 19th overall and ran the 4 mile course in 22:22.9. Here’s a sample of our instant coverage (Sam Alexander finishing ahead of Matt Pelletier):

It feels like we need to apologize to Matty P for posting that. It must play out like a nightmare for him, just one continuous loop of Sam beating him.

And we just couldn’t go without mentioning DJ Principe. The phenom ran another good one (21:31.4 for 12th place), and this write up from Steve Mazzone captures it quite nicely. If he keeps this up, then this pic we took at the 2012 R4K might have to go into the Level Hall of Fame one day.

George Ross was the official race photographer, and it goes without saying that he did some tremendous work. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of George’s photos goes back to the race. If you’re going to buy pics from the race, please consider supporting George (which indirectly supports the race as well).

While we were away doing that, Pat Fullerton went out and ran himself a sick time. Fullatweets won the High Street Mile with a new course record of 3:58.8.

Fullatweets High Street mile tweets
Blank me, that’s bleepin’ fast. Pat is on the record committing to a race report on this tremendous achievement, so hopefully we’ll get it soon. In the mean time, we saw this video on Youtube from Joe Mulvar that captures Pat’s record breaking moment:

Keep it here, more on all of this coming your way this week.


Level Renner Road Race Gomez Mason logo

Ritchie Returns to Form at Hollis

In the men’s race at the Hollis 5k (June 13th), Tim Ritchie led the way with a 13:47. For Tim it was his first race since the Boston Marathon, and what a race it was. The top four all went under 14 minutes:

Tim rolls on the downhill course, courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.

2 JEFF VEIGA…………….13:53.7
3 PAT FULLERTON……..13:59.2
4 NICK KARWOSKI……..13:58.9

As usual, Tim wasn’t letting the fast downhill course or the ideal conditions distract him from his goal of leading the BAA to the title. “The team win was the only thing on my mind. The personal win and the fast time were unexpected bonuses. I wanted to help Eric, Brian and I get up front and take the top spots. I was not too confident in a kick at this point in my training so I wanted to get it going from the start. The hope was to clear out everyone except Eric and Brian so we could go 1-2-3. It was good to have others in the mix though – made the race exciting, tough and fun, but also meant I had to work the whole 3.1 miles. We ended up 1-5-6 [Note: 1-3-4 when you take out the two non-scorers], but still good enough for the top team on the day.”

Tim’s plan held up, as his Unicorns won it by two minutes over the WMDP Wolfpack. Sean Duncan led the Wolfpack with a 14:27 8th place performance.

Right behind Tim was Jeff Veiga, the All-American from UMass Lowell. Jeff recently graduated and is relatively new to the road racing scene. This was only his third race for RUN and his first Grand Prix event (as a team scorer at least).

Jeff, who only weeks ago placed 4th at DII NCAA’s with a 4th place finish in the 10k (30:41), was not short on confidence as he entered into the USATF-NE fray: “My training wasn’t really consistent leading up to the race and I wasn’t taking it too seriously either. But I knew going into the race that I was just going to go out with whoever took it because there wasn’t any real stud in the race that I couldn’t run with. So I showed up just trying to get the W because time didnt matter, especially on a downhill course. Ritchie probably knew he had it the whole way but I tried to put up a decent fight.”

Just behind Veiga was Pat Fullerton, and although he didn’t factor into the scoring, Pat still ran a heck of a race. It was a PR* [note: should that be the shorthand notation for a downhill PR? If it’s not already, let’s make that official] for him, just like it was for many in the race. But since it’s downhill it doesn’t really put things in perspective. You get a better sense of the progress he’s made when you compare that to the 14:34 Pat ran on the same course last year.

Pat was eager to see what he could do on the fast course against some stacked competition, but that didn’t mean he was exactly resting up for it. “I wasn’t tapering, I ran more miles this past week than I usually do. It was a big race for me because at the Jack Kerouac race I was with the leaders with a mile to go and lost by 30 secs. So I just wanted to show up and run to my ability and I think this time I did! I’m still new to this 3k/5k distance but I’m getting better every race so I can’t complain!” Hit up McDonald’s, Pat. You earned it.

The Masters

Chris Magill won the 5k crown by narrowly edging Joe Navas. Chris was just under the 15 minutes barrier (at 14:58.1) while Navas was painfully just over the mystical barrier (15:00.4). Magill and Navas finished 21st and 23rd overall, respectively. Finishing in between them was Brandon Newbould, one of quite a few runners (including the aforementioned Sean Duncan) in the race who were pulling the badass double of a downhill race at Hollis followed by an uphill race at Mt. Washington two days later.

There was a tense moment at the end when Navas was sneaking up on Magill in full on distance running ninja mode. Joe had the element of surprise and was about to make his last strong move when Dave Kanzanjian started cheering for Joe loudly. Normally that’s helpful for runners, but in this case it seemed to wake up Magill: “I did hear someone cheering for Joe and I knew I had to kick it in to the finish. Navas is an extremely tough competitor. Also, I knew I had to give it my all to help out the BAA all stars (Ritche, Ashe, and Harvey) get the team title.”

The Whirlaway men’s team rode Navas’ second place performance to a second place finish of their own. Dirigo RC brought their ‘A’ game and bested the Whirlaway squad by about 36 seconds. Leading the way for Dirigo was Andy Spaulding (15:16).

Photos courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky. Check out her page for more great shots from the race.

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.

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