My Wife says I have to be more personal in the blog, so here goes.

The Boston Marathon.

Trained for it 10 years ago and got hurt in March.  Couldn’t run until May.  Did not start.

Trained HARD for it 8 years ago and had a mental meltdown on the course.  Did not finish.

I have a score to settle.

This is personal.

In the words of Lieutenant Dan Taylor

:showdown

I’m going to run, I’m going to finish, I’m going to have a great time and I’m going to PR.

Sunday I took the first steps toward that goal.  I ran an 8 mile loop through Franklin Park.

Boston, you don’t know how great you have it.  Franklin Park is like the Fenway Park of running.  The Carnegie Hall of Cross Country!

A brief comparison.  Let’s start with movies for 200 Alex:

  • Movies filmed at Fenway: The Town (Good) and Ted (funny but aging poorly)
  • Movies filmed at Franklin Park: Mystic River (Great).  I would argue Sean Penn won his Oscar on Bear Cage Hill (where they find his daughter).  There was also a movie with the Mall cop guy filmed in the zoo.  I haven’t seen it.

Advantage Franklin Park.  Next Up Competitive History:

  • Competitive History at Fenway: 86 years of losing, then ’04 happened.
  • Competitive history at Franklin: Collegiate championships yearly.  State meets yearly.  World Championships.  Mayor’s cup.

Advantage Fenway.  Landmarks:

  • Fenway: pesky pole, green monster, Lansdowne street, Citgo sign.
  • Franklin park: the zoo, Bear cage Hill, White Stadium.

Advantage Fenway.

Alright, nothing comes close to Fenway.  But Franklin Park is a runner’s equivalent.  Acres of beautiful trails, wide open grass paths, a world renown hill (that isn’t that tough to be honest), a storied competitive history.

Run there under the trees on a crisp fall day… you’ll feel it.  You’re somewhere special.

All the great ball players have come through Fenway, and likewise so many brilliant runners have run these trails.  Gold medalists, high school and collegiate All stars, Olympians, World Champions.

When it comes to running Franklin Park is Mecca.  And it is in your back yard Boston.

I like to run loops on the Emerald Necklace that include a loop through Franklin and it’s golf course loop, but you can run loops inside the park and easily string together a 10-12 miler without too much repetition.  Here’s a sample of what awaits:

I never had a map of Franklin Park.  I just kept showing up, getting lost and finding my way back to familiar ground.  I know it fairly well now.  Lot’s of great paths.

Is it safe?  I’d say that the main loops are safe during the day.  The woods… bring a friend or your cell phone ladies.  I’ve heard stories… but my wife has walked our Brindle Son Ernie (aka our greyhound) there at dusk and never had an issue.

Lord help the fool who steps to my wife.  They’ll be picking their teeth up with broken fingers.

Franklin park was, however, featured on an episode of my favorite show: ‘Boston’s finest’.  A reality Cop show.  A guy said someone chopped his finger off there. Turned out he was lying buuuuut let’s err on the side of caution.  Run with a friend and your cell.

Bathrooms: Porta Johns.  If things go bad there are acres of woods.

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We’re lucky Boston.  This is a special place.  My very personal journey begins here.

Running Log entry: 7.6 miles in around 50 minutes.  Felt strong running the trails and the hills.  Tough 2 mile uphill start running on Columbia to get to the park, easy downhill finish.  Weather was perfect.  Joints felt good.  Feet felt good from yesterday’s mobilization.

Where does your journey begin?  Email me at thebostonrunningman@gmail.com

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