Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mt Washington Hike

Photos uploaded from our hike up Mt. Washington. This was our only hike of the year (so far), so we decided to make it a good one. Conditions were good...not too hot...not too cold. We took the Tuckerman Ravine trail up to the summit. This trail proved to be a good intial challenge up to the base of the ravine. A steady flow of rocks lined the trail the entire way up. Once up in the ravine, things flattened out a bit before getting really technical. As we entered the base of Tuckerman, you are now in the 'alpine-zone' and were pleased to run into some late season snow packed in the bowl right at the base of the ravine wall. Being July 21st, I think this is personally the latest (in the season) I have ever had my hands on natural snow in New England. We stopped for some food about half way up the ravine and took in the sights and sounds of hundreds of other hikers coming up and down. It was relatively warm in the bowl (probably in the 60s), but it would get drastically colder only slightly higher up, as we got out of the ravine and started the ascent up the remaining portion of the mountain. The rest of the way up to the summit was a constant 'pick-your-rock-and-hope-it-doesn't-move' moment as you have to hop on and off of thousands of strategically placed boulders, all the while, keeping your eyes on the markers that lay the straightest line to the top. Once on the summit, we quickly became aware that the temperature was down below freezing with windchill (about 29 F). It made being outside only the slightest big uncomfortable, but it was the wind that really made it feel unseasonably cold. We took our self-gratifying pictures (with me sporting the MVS swag of course :) ) at the highest point, weasled our way through all the jerks who took the bus up to the top, rummaged through the giftshop (while realizing we couldn't buy anything because we'd have to lug it back down the mountain for 3 hrs), had a cup of hot chocolate at the snack bar, and started our trek back down (which felt even harder on the calfs and knees than the way up). All in all, it was a great day long hike that we may (or may not) do next year. See the photographic evidence here...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

John Carson 4th of July 2 Mile Road Race

Today, I ran in the Annual Sullivan Farms Ice Cream / John Carson 2 Miler in Chelmsford, MA. It was my first time running this relatively fast 2 mile course which I have known about for years...It has become an annual tradition for many of my former UML teammates and their families.

I had been sick for the past couple days and was feeling slightly under the weather at the start, but decided to give it a go anyways. I missed the first mile marker as I was looking around for a sign or clock and missed the huge paited "1" on the road below me.... I must have gone through in just around 5 minutes or slightly under. The first mile started with a downhill, hooked around to a slight uphill, and then turned onto Route 4 where it rolled up and down until the final stretch which has a steady incline up to the finish. The course is an estimated 15 seconds or so slower than a track 2mile (according to reliable sources).

I ended up 17th of 1731 which wasn't TOO bad, although my plan was to go under 10 minutes (based on where I believe my current fitness level is). That was not to be. 10:15 on this perfect day was all I could muster. Next year, i hope to be around 9:30 or so and well within the top 10. Totally doable.

Up front, Patrick Tarpy won the $1000 cash bonus for breaking Darin Shearer's course record (from 2004) of 8:57 by running 8:50 (yes, 8:50) which (if you are doing the math at home) is 4:25 pace. Yikes. Nate Jenkins gave him a run for his money and finished just over 9 minutes.

The lovely and talented Kristin again took a fine batch of pictures here...