SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 14, 2013

On The Run: Looking ahead to happy trails

By Jay Kumar
Correspondent

---- — We’re in the dog days of winter.

It’s tough enough having to get out early and brave single-digit temperatures to get those long runs done. But last weekend’s blizzard added to the challenge by dropping 2 feet of snow on the North Shore, leaving runners scrambling to get their long runs in.

Adding to the problem is the massive snow banks piled up along the roadside. Even if you don’t usually run on the sidewalks, now you’re pushed that much further out in the road and have to be even more vigilant about motorists and icy patches. While there are still runners who are braving the elements and the dicey conditions and continuing to run outside, others are playing it safe and running on treadmills.

So we’re doing what we must to get the miles in.

Still, wouldn’t it be nice to just fast-forward to the spring?

Unfortunately, that’s impossible, but I like to distract myself from the cold and bleakness of the current season by thinking about warmer times ahead.

At least we’ve got the 2013 North Shore Trail Series to look forward to. Now in its fourth year, the series features eight races of varying distances held over seven months on scenic courses throughout the North Shore.

The series is as follows:

May 2—Greenbelt’s Pipestave Hill 5K, West Newbury

June 8—Kupenda 5-Mile Trail Race, Wenham

July 13—Greenbelt’s Run for the Hills 10K, South Hamilton

Aug. 24—Greenbelt’s Beverly Commons 7.3-Mile Trail Run, Beverly Farms

Sept. 21—ECTA 10-Mile Trail Run, Hamilton

Oct. 13—Stone Tower Trail Run Challenge, Lynn

Oct. 20—Ravenswood 4.1-Mile Trail Race, Gloucester

Nov. 2—Stonecat Trail Marathon, Ipswich

The series is sponsored by New England Running Company of Beverly. Runners are awarded points based on their time as a percentage of the winner’s overall time. For example, a winning time of 41:08 gets 100.00 points; a time of 42:21 is worth 97.13, and 1:20:32 gets 51.08. Women’s scoring is based on 100.00 points for the first female finisher. Each runner’s top seven scores are counted, and 25 bonus points will be awarded to any runner completing the marathon finale.

New England Running Company will host an awards banquet in November to honor the overall male and female winners and age group winners in four divisions: 39 and under, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over.

Visit www.nerunningco.com/trail-series/ for more information and to register for any or all of the races. The winter will be over soon, but not soon enough.

Starts and stops

If you’re feeling the need for speed, check out The Saucony Mile at Latitude Sports Club in Peabody this Sunday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. The club’s indoor track is about 200 meters and the races will max out at 12 to 15 runners. Saucony will provide awards for age group winners and t-shirts to the first 50 registrants. Pre-registration fee is $15, post-registration is $20. Contact race director Mike Toomey at mike@toomeysports.com or visit www.toomeysports.com for more information.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

UPCOMING RACES

Wednesday, Feb. 20: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Feb. 21: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 27: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Feb. 28: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Saturday, March 2: The 3rd Annual Black Cat 10 & 20 Miler, Bentley School, 25 Memorial Drive, Salem, 8 a.m. The event is a good training race for spring marathoners. Contact: Ashley Steeves (BNS EVENT MANAGEMENT) at 1-978-836-0271 or email bnsfitnessevents@yahoo.com for more information.

Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.