November 9, 2012

Gillete Stadium Flag Football and Manchester marathon

By: Jake Marcus
Hey everybody, I haven’t posted a blog in a few months but I have a lot of exciting updates to write about…
First, I’d like to talk about a new young group that has been started in for the CCFA New England chapter. The official name is TBD but the initial name was “Young Professionals Club of CCFA” and now we are thinking of calling it the “CCFA Junior Board of Directors”. We held monthly meetings in the summer to get the ball rolling a little bit but now we officially have a direction and are setting goals for every meeting. The group is currently being led by Kaily Nash and Haley McCole. Over the summer we planned for the flag football tournament which I’ll get to in a bit but now we are shifting our focus to other events and bolstering this young group. The next meeting is November 20th at the Mass Ave Tavern in Boston. We are looking to expand the group by this meeting as we currently have about ten members. Feel free to contact me or just show up at the Mass Ave Tavern at 7:30 PM that Tuesday evening if you are interested.
Onto the flag football event which took place October 27th. The tournament took place at Gillette Stadium which was extremely cool in itself. Just shy of 20 teams signed up which is incredible for the inaugural year. The goal for every team was to fundraise $3,000 among the 8-12 team members. There were also spectator tickets for sale. I had a team with a bunch of friends. We showed up at around 10AM on the day of the event and all the volunteers were very helpful at getting us into the stadium efficiently. We hung around and mingled for a couple hours as the clubhouse at Gillette Stadium began to fill up. At around noon a few people spoke to the crowd about the importance of fundraising for CCFA and logistics of the tournament. Then, former New England Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light spoke to the crowd. Light battled Crohn’s disease throughout his career and was very well spoken and had a little fun with the participants. It was great to have him there and talk about Crohn’s. Here is a full video of Light opening up about Crohn’s disease last week: http://www.necn.com/11/01/12/Matt-Light-opens-up-about-battle-with-Cr/landing_sports.html?blockID=796083. As we got down to the gridiron, there were some nice snacks for participants. We tossed the pigskin for a little while and I booted a couple of field goals. I felt like Adam Vinatieri connecting on a 35-yard attempt but then was quickly outdone by a person who crushed a 60-yard field goal, which was pretty cool to see. Soon thereafter, the games started, we won twice but didn’t play inspired football in one of our games and lost, barely missing the playoffs. Intestinal Fortitude vice president, Jonathan Adams, and his team Wizard Computers went on to win the inaugural Super Bowl. His team had some people that made Wes Welker and Tom Brady look like pop warner players and it was very fun to watch as all playoff games were decided on the alst play of the game. After the championship we all went back in the clubhouse for some dinner and a few more people spoke about the importance of the event and fundraising. Kaily Nash worked very hard on making this event successful and did a fantastic job. We look forward to making this bigger and better next year.
On the running front I had a pretty good autumn of training. I had a well-organized training plan with a tough workout a week and a long run that built up to roughly 21-22 miles. I held my peak for about three weeks at 80-85 miles. During my peak mileage I ran a half marathon in Hartford in a personal best time of 1:16:21, which I was happy with especially while getting that time training at my highest mileage. I also participated in the Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire. I strongly believe this helped me for endurance running as I ended up running over 30 miles in less than twenty hours, all at a hard effort. This is a very fun event as teams of twelve people run from Northern New Hampshire down to Hampton Beach. While not running we all just hung out in the vans. We had less than twelve people so had to compensate a bit for that. I also participated in some 5K’s.
However, my big race for the season was the New York City Marathon which was set to take place on November 4th. Unless you have been living under a rock I am sure you’ve heard that the NYC Marathon was cancelled. I strongly support the decision after hearing about the disaster from Hurricane Sandy from friends in New York and seeing some of the devastating pictures. My only problem with the organizers decision is timing. Until 5:30PM on Friday before the race, I was set to run the race as the city said they were still holding the race. People travel all over the world for this event and luckily I live close enough and procrastinate in making plans so it wasn’t a fiasco for me. However, I can imagine after the training it was pretty tough for some of the 47,000 people who already traveled to NYC and/or lived far away. It was a tough situation no matter how you look at it but they made the right decision as people were planning riots in Staten Island where the race was set to start. Races are supposed to be uniting and it sounded like it would just lead to more controversy by holding it. When a co-worker told me the race was cancelled I initially laughed it off thinking he was joking as my mind was starting to get focused on the marathon as work was winding down. However, I looked on the internet and saw the news. I didn’t get too worried but was a little bit discouraged that all the training and tapering initially seemed to go to waste. However, I was proactive and started looking to see if any other marathons were in the area or if there was any coming up soon. I found a website that listed marathons and two stuck out to me, the Manchester City Marathon in New Hampshire and the Ipswich Trail Marathon in Massachusetts. The Manchester City Marathon looked more appealing as it was only an hour drive from Boston. I looked on the race website and race registration closed at 5PM so I barely missed it. I looked a little later and they extended online registration to 10PM, most likely as a result of the NYC cancellation. So, I quickly signed up and later found out at the event that a lot of people switched from NYC to Manchester last minute as well.
As I moved forward with my plans and continued to carbo-load I decided to book a hotel for Saturday night instead of having to wake up early and drive up to New Hampshire Sunday morning. At the race expo on Saturday it was obvious this was a small marathon and I liked the feel and helpfulness of the volunteers. This race was clearly something important to Manchester and the benefits of a small city marathon were obvious, which would have been an extreme contrast to the NYC race. I didn’t really have much to do in Manchester so pretty much just sat in my room all day watching college football (the Notre Dame vs. Pitt game was epic). I felt really ready for the race and made sure to carbo-load at the local Olive Garden. I got a pretty good night sleep for a night before a marathon and had a small breakfast before traveling to the race start. I continued to hydrate and stay relaxed in the Radisson Hotel across the street from the start line. The place started to get packed as everyone else was getting ready for the race. The race was set to begin at 8:50AM and it was daylights saving so I felt wide awake (like Katy Perry) as the race got closer. I went for a nice slow 10 minute warmup just to get the blood flowing as it was pretty cold that morning. I headed over to the start line with Team Intestinal Fortitude member and friend, Brian Teague. I tried to get a spot close to the front. The energy was great for a small-town race and I made some small talk with some nearby racers where I learned a lot of them also planned to run NYC. The mayor of Manchester spoke and it was obvious that this was probably the biggest race they’ve held, especially due to the circumstances. The race took off and I went out pretty quick. I settled down as I had heard the race was very hilly. It was very hilly. Around mile 6 I settled into a solid pace and found a group to run along with. Not only was the race very hilly, but it turned out to be quite a windy day. The race was extremely well-organized as there were digital clocks every two miles as well as frequent water stops which I was very happy with. The most nostalgic parts of the race came at around miles 6 and 15 when there were two trail portions. These parts reminded me of high school cross country races, which was one of my favorite parts of high school. There were some other very scenic parts including lakes, rivers, and a wood bridge which was neat. Around mile 18 I was cutoff by a lady in the half marathon as the races converged and my leg tightened up. From 18-23 I experienced from pretty bad leg cramps in my calves and hamstrings. This would continue after the race and it was pretty painful. Luckily, I made sure to not let my legs tighten up too much even on the hills and slowed a bit for a couple miles but maintained pace as the cramps subsided and passed a few people in these miles. The course became more flat around 21-25 which was good as I didn’t hit a wall until about mile 24-25. If it weren’t for the cramps I have a feeling I could have gone quicker during these miles but I also was pretty spent at mile 25 so maybe not. I was very happy with how spectator friendly the course was. I heard they changed the course from last year and I’d highly recommend this race to anyone. The volunteers and city people were very friendly as well as the race participants. I was right in the vicinity of my goal time and was very happy I was able to do the race to begin with due to the circumstances and didn’t hit a wall until the last couple miles. Here are my mile splits for the race:
13.1: 1:21:59 (6:15/mile)
7:09.34 (1:25.77 for .2)
11th Place Overall: 2:47:18 (6:23/mile)
Here is the official race results and photos from the race:
I’m glad the autumn training went well and I am in the middle of a week break before starting my training up again. I’ll most likely do a marathon in the winter but not sure which one yet. I’m going to begin running again tomorrow at the Team Challenge training session in Wollaston Beach. Due to my marathon training and being busy with some other things I unfortunately haven’t been able to make it to the trainings with Team Challenge. The team has been gearing up for the Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon on December 2nd. We did this race last year and I’m looking forward to doing this again. My buddy Stephen Ivanoski and Team Intestinal Fortitude member will be running the race as well. I’m excited to meet a lot of the new team members tomorrow and am also looking forward to going to Vegas in general. I keep finding out more and more people who just happen to be going to Vegas that weekend as well so it should be a very fun weekend. I’ll be traveling with my parents and my sister will be there flying in from San Francisco. My dad was appointed President of CCFA New England chapter and he has been doing a great job from what I hear. It sounds like CCFA New England is doing big things.
Also, for the New England chapter of CCFA, the next big event is the Fete of Food and Wine at the Four Seasons in Boston. This will be next Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 6:30PM. For more information please contact Kaily Nash at 781-449-0324x3.
Good chatting with all of you, I’ll see you again soon. Thanks.


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