Thursday, November 14, 2013

Martha's Vineyard in the Fall

Spent the weekend on "the Vineyard" - my first time - and made it out for an afternoon jaunt through Manuel F Correllus State Forest.  Just a hop skip and a jump from our friends' house... and through somebody's backyard ;)
LOVE my Brooks Cascadia trail runners

November in MA means lots of leaves on the ground

Sunset is super early this time of year... 4:26 to be exact!

Sandy fire road

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trail Run in Acadia NP

Charly Dog and I ran 10 kilometers of national park trails in Maine. Great Notch Trail to Razorback Trail and up up up to Mansell Mountain. It was a beautiful Columbus Day holiday morning for such an excursion. 

Currently the only national park in the Northeast
Nah, don't think so
7:00AM, air colder than the water
Ghost dog Charlotte, running fast

Rock ridgeline
The Atlantic to the east

On Mansell and ready to turn around

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vermont 50K

I ran my first Ultra!  Just a 50K (31 miles), but it won't be my last.  I had an awesome time... and it hurt too, for those who think these come easy to me.  Ascutney Mountain was the perfect location for this trail run - all singletrack and dirt roads - and the weather was amazingly perfect :) 

The evening before, bib pickup

"What a weird sign" - text response from my wife Emily
Gorgeous day for my first Ultra!

Enjoying a post race PBR (and a few more after that)

At the awards ceremony with fellow long distance junkie Chris S, who came down from Burlington to volunteer

Monday, September 2, 2013

Skyline Trail run

Back at the car after a 2:50 long trail run on the Skyline Trail. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Newport RI

Proof I imagine that I am addicted. The morning after a raucous drunken night of bachelor partying in Newport, I went for an "easy 3". And I'm happy I did... saw some cool stuff. 

Union General what's-his-name

Newport Harbor and Pell Bridge afar

One of the Newport mansions

Monday, July 1, 2013

Allandale Woods

I have been living in Jamaica Plain since 2005.  8 years later, I am embarrassed to admit that I just learned of the trails of Allandale Woods Urban Wild.  I have run countless miles around Jamaica Pond, in Franklin Park, around the quiet roads of Franklin Park Cemetery, and of course among Harvard's Arnold Arboretum.  But for the first time ever I wandered into Allandale Woods, and kind of got lost!

Their map from their website      

The run in Allandale Woods (far left section) including Franklin Park and Arnold Arboretum

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Training for my first Ultra

So now I've finally done it.  I've really screwed myself.  I registered for an Ultra: the Vermont 50K.  Can't friggin wait!  Oh, but first I must get in shape for this 31 miler.  Luckily, I live right across the street from Franklin Park's "Wilderness", where I've found an awesome 1-mile loop for early morning and late evening training runs.  It pretty much has it all.


A hellish climb (151 steps)

Fire road

Exposed rock
Looking forward to logging many miles on these trails this summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

To put closure on this, I finished the race.  I was happy with my time.  It doesn't really mean anything though, with what happened and all.  It's been almost 2 months since the bombs, and I'm still not sure what to say.  I suppose what would be easiest is to copy and paste what I emailed to a friend after he called me from his boat in the Atlantic Ocean, Bahamas.

Chef Chris,

Got your voicemail, thanks for checking in on me.  Crazy and sad day in Boston on Monday, I can't believe this has happened.  Thankfully though my family is all fine and so am I, except for broken hearts, sadness and disbelief.

It was a beautiful and perfect day for running a marathon, partly sunny and cold (50s), and I had a decent race, finishing in 3 hours 18 minutes.  A little off my goal (3:14) but I was happy nonetheless.  And I felt really good after the race, much better than normal, and I even got an appetite pretty quickly after finishing.  After getting my space blanket and bag from the bus I made my way back to Kenmore Square (Mile 25) where my wife Emily, daughter Parker, sister-in-law Adrienne and her 1 year old son Cal as well as some other friends were located and cheering on the runners.  I felt so good that I was telling Emily that I was thinking of going across the street to the frat party to bum a beer and a grilled burger, and I was dancing in the grass with Parker while looking for some of our NEAq team runners.

Then the booms happened.  We thought it maybe was fireworks, but not sure, it was much louder than fireworks would have been.  Within minutes, word got to us via our and others' smartphones (twitter, facebook, other media) that there were explosions at the finish line, and unmarked cop cars were zooming past us at what seemed like 100mph.  Not only was I worried about my family, but I also had to think about our team runners.  There were 19 of us, including me.  John and Deb (I think you know both of them) were in Newton, at Heartbreak Hill (Mile 21) cheering on the last of our runners and I called them to see if they knew what was going on.  They didn't of course, so we hung up and tried to learn what had happened while at the same time trying to account for our team, all the while fielding dozens of phone calls and text messages flooding in on our phones.  Eventually we (me, Emily, Parker) made our way home on foot (the subway was shut down for a bit) to get somewhere safe and also watch the news.

In the end, 12 of our runners were not able to finish the race.  10,000 total runners were not able to finish the race.  3 people are dead.  150+ were injured.  2 brothers each had a leg amputated from the shrapnel.  There is still no suspect.  Who did this and why?

It's been 3 days and we are doing much better.  We are Boston and we are resilient and we are strong.  Life goes on, but with a lot more police on the street corners and in the T stations.  How will next year's Boston Marathon be?  If I am able to get in with my qualifying time, you better damn believe I'll be out there running the race for the 10th consecutive year.

Hope all is well.  Say hi to the captains for me.

Chris B

Saturday, March 23, 2013

NEAq Team Long Run: 20 miles Hopkinton to Newton

In Hopkinton, ready for our 20-miler

Thanks to Cheri for making our bibs for today!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


We are docked in Bimini before we cross the Gulfstream back to Florida today. LAND! Got to go for a run this morning. At the end of the dock I turned right and ran until the road turned into beach, and turned around.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I flew down to Miami for some hot weather training. Actually it is cooler than last year's Boston Marathon... And I'm lying, I'm down here for a work trip: scuba diving for Giant Ocean Tank fishes! I won't be able to run while asea (no duh) so I got up early before we left the dock and put in a 15-miler. Beautiful sunrise...

Friday, March 1, 2013


I am in Switzerland for a snowboarding trip. It's not a bad problem to have, but keeping up with my marathon training has not been easy. It's less than 2 miles from one end of town (Zermatt) to the other. It's not possible to run out of town (there are no cars here, Zermatt is only accessible by train or helicopter), believe me I tried. So the best I can do is run back and forth back and forth up and down up and down.  I've gotten in some miles, and even some hills, but really it may not be necessary - the riding has been epic and an amazing workout due to the powder.

Running along the Matter Vispa, with the Matterhorn in sight

Running down the hill (and back up) from our chalet, to get some hillwork in

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thames Path

Sunday 18-miler along the Thames River in London, UK.  Two things of note: 1-better to pass other runners and pedestrians on the left, not the right like in the States; 2-when needing a restroom, best to ask the pub bartenders for use of their "toilet" not bathroom, as told to me by Sean before he turned around at mile 3.

Thames Path, well signed

Crossing on the Putney Bridge

Some of the path was well-received packed dirt

With Hammersmith Bridge in the distance
Running a route you've never done before: amazing.  Especially in a different country.  Awesome run!  Thanks to my friends Carla and Sean for mapping this one out for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ice beard

Ran 17 miles on Sunday. It snowed. It was windy. It was cold. Obviously!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


If you are a runner (or even if you're not), likely you've eaten a banana recently.  Likely you eat one almost every morning.  Likely you always have a bunch at your house.  Well, I bet you didn't know that this particular breed of banana is the Cavendish.  Or that the Koran implies that the forbidden fruit was actually a banana, not an apple.  Or that Americans (while Stateside) may not have access to bananas in two decades.  Or that the banana you are now eating was grown in either Ecuador or Guatemala or Honduras. Or that... well let me just list the cool facts I learned while reading "Banana" by Dan Koeppel.  In chronological order:

  • 1870 - Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker purchases 160 bunches of Gros Michel bananas in Jamaica, and sells them in Jersey City for $2/bunch.  This is the first known commercial banana transaction in the US.
  • 1876 - The Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition features bananas (as a cheap and healthy substitute for apples)... the beginning of America's love affair with the banana.  The other major sensation at the exhibition was the telephone.
  • 1885 - Baker starts the first banana importing company: Boston Fruit (later changed to United Fruit and then to Chiquita)
  • 1900 - Standard Fruit (eventually changed to Dole), a rival company, is founded in New Orleans, the central arrival point for all US banana imports.
  • 1900 - Panama Disease (it decimates banana crops) is identified in Java.
  • 1904 - The banana split is invented in Pennsylvania.  And Columbus, Ohio.  (It's invented in Iowa in 1906 as well as Wilmington, Ohio in 1907).

  • 1916 - United Fruit's Great White Fleet is temporarily dry-docked after German U-Boats sink several of the vessels.
  • 1920 - The Fruit Dispatch Company if formed to distribute bananas in the US.  Over the years, this Co. develops refrigerated shipping, central warehouses for supermarkets, and product-tracking systems that will utimately morph into today's retail technologies such as bar coding.
  • 1924 - United Fruit prints recipes for corn flakes with banana slices.
  • 1935 - Sigatoka disease is identified in Central America.  This is the major blight facing today's global banana crops.
  • 1958 - The end of the Gros Michel era nears.  Chiquita scientists begin experimenting with replacements.
  • 1961 - Wide-scale adoption of the Cavendish banana begins.  Because it is much less hardy than the Gros Michel, the banana box is invented.

  • 1967 - Chiquita distributes 90,000 recipe cards detailing an unheard-of creation: the peanut butter and banana sandwich.

  • 1970 - Replacement of the Gros Michel by the Cavendish is complete.
  • 1972 - Black Sigatoka, a disease that rots banana leaves, is first observed.
  • 1985 - A new incarnation of Panama Disease begins to appear in Asia.
  • 1998 - The world's largest banana-processing plant is opened in Costa Rica.  It can handle 50,000 bananas daily.
  • 1999 - US banana consumption is 100 fruits per person per year.
  • 2001 - A new disease called banana wilt begins to spread in Africa.
  • 2003 - The first organically grown bananas are exported from Ecuador.

  • 2005 - The Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation, subcontracted by Chiquita, begins a secret project... To develop a Cavendish replacement in anticipation of what many believe is inevitable: Panama disease will hit Central America.
  • 2006 - A national banana-research lab is opened in Uganda, its mission to develop both conventional and bioengineered hybrids.
  • PRESENT - Panama Disease continues to spread.  Outlook dim.
We as Americans will be affected by the end of the banana, if it does in fact come to that.  However, we do NOT depend on the banana to stay alive like some countries around the world.  If a cure or a replacement is not found soon, it could mean large scale hunger in third world countries.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Snow blankets the front of our house after Nemo

Blizzard Nemo left 26" of snow in JP.  Coincidence?  Or an omen?  Either way, hard to walk out your front door and put in a quick 13 miles.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jamaica Pond

Monday I ran 8 laps around Jamaica Pond.  Those laps plus to and from Parker's playgroup site was 13 miles. The reason I ran a crazy eight times around the pond was because I recently learned that Bill Rodgers - yes THE Bill Rodgers - did a lot of his miles training for the Boston Marathon here.  In fact, I came across his running log from 1973 online, and get this: he ran 543 miles in the 31 days of January '73.  One month.  543 miles.  Almost ALL of those miles around Jamaica Pond.  That's cool (and a bit insane - I'm sure he'll admit this).  Check it out here if you want to read more of his running log.  I thought about him for most of my run.  30 years ago, what was it like?  If I ever meet him, I'll definitely ask him.

A lot of No this and No that but it's a very friendly place with lots of walkers and joggers

Not completely frozen over, yet signs still are needed to prevent people from skating on the pond
Something interesting is that in the late 1800s there existed a Jamaica Pond Ice Company, which harvested and sold Jamaica Pond ice.  Check it out here.

A great thing about running around Jamaica Pond is that you have 2 surface options: paved and dirt
So come run some miles around Jamaica Pond!  It's 1.5 miles around (actually1.45 according to my GPS watch, if you're a mileage junkie like me) and in the warmer months there are public bathrooms at the boathouse.