Archive for Running Races

2014 Boston Marathon and CASA 5K

A quick summary of two races run 5 days and 259 miles apart (April 21st and 26th):  The Boston Marathon and CASA 5K:

Steve and Milo at Finish of Marathon

Steve and Milo at Finish of Marathon

I was the heaviest and in the least decent shape of any of the 20+ marathons I’ve run in the past 39 years. Nevertheless, I did some minimal training during our tough winter and planned to run 9 minute miles to just get through the beast. It was really great to get back to Boston and see many friends, including my old running buddies from the Winchester Highlanders. The daughter of a Highlander was running her first marathon with the intention of running a bit faster than my original plan. I suggested we try to keep each other on pace, and we did a pretty good job of it.

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Was the Web Invented 123 Years Ago? Evidence Surfaces ;-)

Some of my favorite runs with the Winchester Highlanders were through the spacious and gorgeous Middlesex Fell Reservation - directly adjacent to Winchester, MA, USA. One sunny and cool Saturday, we took a slightly different route and came across the mysterious structure below (map).  Looks like an old pump house. Or … is that just a cover?

Pump house on the shores of Spot Pond, Middlesex Fells Reservation, north of Boston

Pump House or Home of the Web?

Check out the inscription (photo below) above the massive doors:  “WWW 1890″. Could it be that this is where the World Wide Web was invented? And could the Web have been invented nearly 100 years before history records that Sir Tim Berners-Lee is believed to have conceived of the world’s most important communications medium?

Inscription above door of pump house reads " WWW 1890"

Inscription reads, “WWW 1890″ .. and also “Big Russ”

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CASA 5K – First Race with Team GS1

201304CASARunGroupOn Saturday April 28, I ran my first race as a Princetonian. The “CASA” in the title CASA 5K stands for “Court Appointed Special Advocates”, and their race benefits their organization’s work to address the needs of Mercer County children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect and are living in out-home-placements. Great cause.

I assessed fairly well my out-of-shapeness, and ran an appropriately-moderate pace that saw each mile split a bit faster than the one before.  Somehow, I was 8th overall (21:04 – 6:46/mi), despite the pounds I’ve added recently  (results:  More detail …

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Some Old Running Race Data

Three old photos of Steve Bratt running - 1980 to 1983

1980 – 1983

The Web captures so little of people’s personal histories, pre-Web.  I had a few minutes of time today, and for some reason, dug out old running training logs, and put some of the data on this site.  If interested, have a look at this new page with a summary of race performances by era (high school to the present).  I included some scans of old training logs and race results from the early 1980s.  Ahhh .. those were the days!

Family Affair at the Firefighters 10K

Becky, Steve, Tory before the start of the Firefighters 10K

Before the start of the Firefighters 10K

This was about the most beautiful day for a race imaginable. Temps in the 50s (F).  Slight cool breeze.  Sun.  Fall colors.  Bagpipes. And a flat 10K course that largely hugged the coast south of Boston.   Today, I ran the 30th Annual Boston Firefighters 10K Memorial Race.  However, the highlight was that two of my progeny- Tory and Becky – ran, as well.  As you can see from the full results, we all finished, as did a record 1,160 runners.  Very proud of my daughters for running really well. Most importantly, the three of us had fun.  I heard discussion in the back seat of the car on the way home of running another race.  Cool.

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Chatham Harbor 10K: Heat, Hospitality .. No Great Whites

Seagull on a swingAn all-star team of Winchester Highlanders and friends descended upon the fair town of Chatham MA, on the elbow of Cape Cod, for the Chatham Harbor 10K.    The highlight for me was the post-race barbecue at Joe and Maria Nicholson’s beautiful home in the heart of town.  Thanks so much to the lovely couple for the hospitality, the delicious food, cool drink, (thx to others who brought wonderful consumables), and the pyrotechnics ;-)    What a super way to end the event!  Read on …

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Bill Brace (1926 – 2012): 3 Ways He Changed My Life

Before the start of 1984 AGU run over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco: Bill Brace, Howard Pratt, Steve Bratt, ???, Art Montana, Tim Grove, Brian Evans, ???, Dave Olgaard, Brian Bonner, ???

Yesterday, I and a couple hundred relatives and friends attended a memorial service in Concord, Massachusetts for Bill Brace.   It was a wonderful celebration of a life lived to its fullest: world-renowned geoscientist, runner, rower, adventurer, naturalist, wood craftsman, husband, father, grandfather, friend and human being.  Only a small percentage of who he was and what he did could be captured in the obituaries in the MIT press and Boston Globe .. but please do have a read.  It was great to see many old friends yesterday, and to swap Bill stories.

What I want to remember here is how Bill played a major role in 3 things that changed my life:  choosing MIT for grad school, meeting my wife, and finding my first job (hint: the photo here has something to do with the latter).  Read on … it’s kind of a funny set of stories …

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Newton 10K – New England Grand Prix

Last Sunday (June 6th), I ran the Newton 10K in nearby Newton, Massachusetts.  This year, the event was also part of USA Track and Field’s New England Grand Prix series …  a team and individual championship series.  This means most of the region’s best runners of all ages show up.  I ran for the Cambridge Sport Union (which I first joined in 1980).  To cut to the chase, I ran a leisurely 42:38 — about what I aimed to run (full individual and team results here).

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Providence Marathon

Steve Mid-Way through the Providence MarathonHad an fair run today at the Providence Cox Sport Marathon in Rhode Island.  This incarnation of the 26.2 miler has become a popular post-Boston Marathon event.  I should not have been surprised at the large number Boston registrants — in addition to hope-to-be qualifiers — who were in Providence today.  I ran Boston three weeks ago as a training run for Providence (it is a loooong story).  But this year’s Patriots Day run was one of the hottest on record … temps in the upper 80′s.   Over 2,000 runners did not start the Boston Marathon, and almost no runner ran the time they’d hoped for.  So, Providence was a viable, nearby option for a better experience.

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Miles for Missing People 10K, London

Today, I ran the Miles for Missing People 10K to benefit the search for people who have been reported missing. I’m in London, England in between meetings with the Web Foundation Board and others in London, and a trip to Kenya on Monday for a workshop. I awoke to a cloudy, raining morning (how rare for London!), and ran up to Regents Park, about 4 miles north of my hotel.  The park is one of many beautiful spots in London in which I’ve run over the years.

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