Community: Exchange advice in the forums and read running commentary Resources: Personal running log, calculators, links and other tools for runners News: Running news from around the world Training: Articles and advice about fitness, race training and injury prevention Races/Results: Find upcoming races and past results Home: The Cool Running homepage

Cool Running homepage
Massachusetts Event Spotlights
Find Events
Find Results
Race Directors

Race directors: Promote your event
Discover how Cool Running can help you.

Add to our calendar
Submit your race to our event calendar.

Submit race results
Add race results to our results section.

Instant Ads
Pay-Per-Click Ads on  
> Printer-friendly page I've always felt fortunate that I know a lot of runners from Chelmsford





































I've always felt fortunate that I know a lot of runners from Chelmsford.  As a Billerican, I've overcome the indoctrination that all things Chelmsfordian are bad.  While in high school (1978-1982) I competed against and hung out with many of the rivals from Chelmsford.  We competed fiercely and enjoyed each other's company immensely. 


Keith O'Brien did me the great honor of inviting me to join in the fun at the 9th annual Chelmsford Alumni race.  I spread the word to my fellow runners at Billerica.  Unfortunately I was the only one who dared to tread the soil of the X-C course.  The last time I had raced against Chelmsford was 1982 and it was a tough loss (27-28) that we still talk about today.  I was hoping we wouldn't get shut-out (15-50), but I'd only been running for a week after sitting for a month with a stress fracture.


Conditions at Chelmsford High were not ideal.  The sunny skies were the only good weather conditions.  The snow was about 4" deep in spots, other areas had been packed down a bit and they were now icy.  The wind was gusting making the temperatures in the low 30's seem quite a bit worse.  A few hardy souls headed out for a warm-up.  I got in my car and cranked the heat.


A fairly large group walked to the start and the obligatory "team" photo.  There were some jokes about alternating Billerica/Chelmsford runners on the line.  Then we were off.  About a dozen runners formed the lead pack with no one seeming interested in taking the lead.  Eric Beauchesne, who has won this race numerous times, was finally making his way back from injury and said he was going to "jog the course".  Tom Doody, who won a 5K race in the snow in Lowell the day before, was content to chat and hang out near the front.  Perhaps the lousy footing and good company (and protection from the wind) kept the top 10 together for the first half of the race.  It may also have been that the snow covered course had been "marked with chalk", making it difficult for those not in the know to figure out where they were running.


Just after O'B. announced that we had completed half of the race, the pack began to shake loose.  Beauchesne, Festus M., and Doody, quickly gapped the following pack as they strung out crossing the baseball field.  I ran with O'B. and tried to reel in Scott Graham.  Scott has only beaten me once (Lowell marathon) and I wasn't going to easily give him another victory.  As O'B. pulled away I passed Scott, then realized that if O'B. beat me we (Billerica) would have no finishers in the top seven.  X-C scoring in dual meets (I'm not sure if this really qualified as a dual meet, but I'll take whatever I can get at this point) only allows seven runners from any team to score and displace.  Therefore if one team takes the top seven they score a perfect 15 (1+2+3+4+5) to 50 (8+9+10+11+12).  I was hoping to sneak into seventh, and caught O'B. with about 1/2 mile to go.  The coach that he is (Tyngsboro HS), he gave me a "Good job" as I pulled slightly ahead.  I think he may have given me the 7th place, but hey his team did win 15-49 so no complaints here.


Post-race we gathered around for Gatorade and bagels.  The prizes for top finishers included a coffee maker, breakfast cereal, toilet paper, toothpaste, mouthwash, and soap.  All in all, a fun time was had.  X-C is a great team experience for runners, which is a nice change in what is typically an individual sport.  I look forward to at least doubling the number of Billerica runners next year!




race directors shop for premium running gear my profile


© 2015 Active Network, LLC and/or its affiliates and licensors. All rights reserved.
About Us | Terms of Use | Copyright Policy | Your Privacy Rights | Support
Cool Running Facebook Facebook | Cool Running Twitter Twitter | Newsletter Subscription | News Feed Subscription
Race Directors | Running Events | Race Results | Running Tips | Pace Calculator | Couch to 5K | Running Forum | Running News