Spring Onto MARS

MARS has been to Boston for The Boston Marathon.  The 8 runners (and one friend) arrived in Boston midday Saturday and enjoyed two cool but sunny days leading up to marathon Monday.  They awoke Monday morning to a cold, windy day.  In Boston, runners arrive by bus several hours before the race start in Hopkinton.  At the village they were treated to strong headwinds and rain.  Our bunch huddled under a big tent and tried to stay warm, entertained by longtime Boston veteran, Troy Cox.  Troy’s enthusiasm for this race was infectious.  He put everyone at ease, setting the runners up for a great day.

MARS Runners in Throway Clothes Before Boarding Bus To Hopkinton

MARS Runners in Throway Clothes Before Boarding Bus To Hopkinton

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MARS Boston Bound

There’s still snow on our roads as 8 local MARSians get ready to depart for the Boston Marathon in 11 days for the April 20 race.  In addition to 8 individual entrants, MARS has entered 2 teams in the team events.  Jess Sheppard, Kat Ahokas and Martina Morton are entered in the Open Women’s event.  Troy Cox, Mark Sinnige, Pierre Mikhail, Lowell Greib and and Dave Johnstone are entered in the Masters Men’s event.  In each team event the top 3 runners score on aggregate time.

Image: aaa Boston Marathon

Whether you are planning for Boston, another spring marathon or half marathon or shorter races,/XC races in the fall, race strategy often boils down to four items:

1. Rehearse the course.  If you are running a race that has a lot of downhill running like Boston, practice doing some downhill running at pace.  If you are running a XC Race with a lot of uphills, incorporate hill intervals into your training.

2. Avoid winning the race at the beginning.  Whether running a marathon or a shorter race, “barn-burning” almost always fails as a pacing strategy.

3. Focus on “race effort”.  Rather than having an exact pace in mind, get a feel for what your race effort should feel like.  If you would like to run 4:30/km, you will likely not keep this pace going up steep hills and also will likely be faster on downhills.  If you get a feel for what that pace feels like on flat ground, try to hit that same effort throughout your race.

4. Fuel.  This means ensuring good nutrition throughout training and the morning of race day, as well as on course for longer races like the marathon.  Practice makes perfect.  You should not be trying on-course pizza for the first time on race day!

The MARS Spring Fun Run Series starts Tuesday April 28 and will run Tuesdays at 6 pm for 9 weeks.  All runners welcome.  Sign up for the first run here or in person.  Details of the series can be found here.  Racers and recreational runners are all welcome.  Minors will have to have a parent or guardian register them either on line or in person including the online or in person waiver.

April is the last month that high school runners will be allowed to sign up for Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s High School XC Camp.  There are a few spots left.  Details can be found here.

MARS will continue its Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday programming until summer and then will launch its summer program which will likely offer an additional Tuesday afternoon run.  Details to follow.  We are actively seeking runners wanting to take a chance and run XC in the fall.  We are looking for runners in 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69 age groups to be part of age group teams for the fall season.  No experience necessary.  You simply need a willingness to train.  We welcome all high school runners to get in shape with us this summer to get ready for fall XC season.  We promise to keep summer workouts fun and exciting!

See you on the roads…….