Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Marathon, Almost

No, I didn't enter a marathon and DNF this weekend but I did run two good workouts totaling 1/2 mile shy of the marathon distance. First up was a 10.8 mile fun fest with friends beginning at Ward Reservation and following the A.V.I.S. trail system in Andover. On Sunday I was on my own for a 15 mile cross town run though Breakheart Reservation in Saugus and Lynn Woods, in Lynn of course.

It was still in the 20s when Emily, Kevin, Rob and myself met in the parking lot of Ward Reservation on Saturday morning. I had been looking forward to this run all week, excited about running on unfamiliar trails. Ward is home territory for Emily, who would be our tour guide, but this would be a first-time run for the rest of us.

The trails in Ward, Hammond Reservation, Mary French and Skug River were very different from what I am used to running. I was surprised by the lack of rocks on the trails; much less I am accustomed to at Breakheart and Lynn Woods. Also surprising was how much snow was still in the woods but it was the hard, crunchy type and very easy to run on without screws or Kahtoolas.

Emily leading the way!

Much of the run was on twisting single track but we also ran on wide trails, grass covered hills and also crossed a very long boardwalk spanning a partially frozen marsh. It was awesome! In fact, I have never run over so many boardwalks as I did on this run. And how could I forget the hills! We climbed Holt Hill and Boston Hill, both over 400 feet high and offering spectacular views for many miles.

The longest boardwalk I have ever run!

This was the most fun I had running in a long time. I was very happy Emily offered to show us around and glad Runnin' Rob was able to join me and Kevin on this day filled with sunshine and a lot of laughter. Sharing the trails with friends makes training a joy.

Goofing around!

Kevin and Emily in a wrestling match. Who's going in bog first!

On Sunday I managed to crank out 15 miles even though my legs were a little sluggish from my run through Ward Reservation. I discovered another new single-track trail in Lynn Woods running along the banks of Breeds Pond for almost it's entire length. This is the best running in Lynn Woods as far as I'm concerned. The trail is sort of an out-of-the-way trail so I hope it remains relatively undiscovered.

Sorry about the lack of details but I've been very busy and don't have much time for writing.

Don't drink the green beer!


  1. Hey Dan, That's a lot of beautiful mileage. You are going to be more than ready for the Fells Trail Race in 2 weeks. Even more, it seems like the 4 of you had a blast running the Andover trails. Can't wait to join you! Ana

  2. Excellent Weekend, Dan!

    Ward looks beautiful. I've walked there in the summer with my wife and daughter, who was then very small. We met a dog named Lilly. It seems a gorgeous winter run. I'd love to try out your Breakheart-Lynn Fells traverse, too.

    I'm sorry I missed them. Since a bunch of us are signed on for the Fells on the 28th, how do you feel about a couple of slow, safe laps on the Skyline Trail next weekend?

  3. Great stuff Dan, it certainly was a good time, and as you can tell my depth perception is not a fan of rickety boardwalks made of a couple of planks. I was hoping I wouldn't be finding out how deep, and or muddy the bog was. :-)

  4. Rob, I had the same concern although a fall in the bog would have made a great video post!

  5. Dan, What fun indeed! I'm delighted y'all loved WARD and beyond. Sharing these places with fellow happy trail runners was a joy and your photos and video capture the spirit of the day. I didn't realize how many boardwalks we traversed...I love boardwalks over water so that might have had just a little something to do with the route. Thanks for the post, I know how much time they take, so your writing and pix are greatly appreciated! Kane's glazed roll or Busted gut!


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