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February 10, 2012

Boston Indoor Games

This past weekend Lynne and I went to Boston as I was invited to run the Masters Mile at the New Balance Boston Indoor Games.  I had a great time (pun intended)!  Unbeknownst to us, we flew on the same plane as Ross Dettman, the best photographer I know.  Ross was there to photograph Maggie Vessey and Jenny Simpson.  We shared a cab to the Lenox Hotel in Copley Square.  If you ever go to Boston and are looking for a great hotel, I recommend the Lenox.  The hotel was sold out at 6:00 a.m., but a room was available when we arrived and I was able to secure a very reasonable rate.  Lynne, Ross and I ate lunch together and swapped stories while enjoying a fantastic clam chowder.  After lunch we walked around Beantown.  As good tourists we had to stop and get a photo outside Cheers. We helped the local economy with a couple purchases at the mall and discovered there is no sales tax on clothing items under $175 – BONUS!

Patrick Tomasiewicz invited us to join New Balance employees and many of their best pro athletes for dinner.  It was great to break bread and hear the stories shared by Andy Baddeley, Mark Draper, and James Brewer, all from Great Britain.

On Saturday, Lynne and I went for a run and ran strides along Landsdowne outside Fenway Park.  On the cool down back to the hotel we dreamed about visiting again, perhaps this summer.

Once at the Reggie Lewis Center, I met up with the other Master Athletes in a gym outside the track.  We discussed training, how excited we were to be there, injuries and getting old.  I warmed up separately from the other runners, performing my usual routine of rope stretches and 15 minutes of running.  We were escorted to the call room, were given our hip numbers, changed into spikes and were lead out onto the track to run a few strides.

The field was much smaller this year, but we were still placed in alleys.  I was in alley 1. When the gun sounded I immediately moved to the lead.  The second alley cut in on the backstretch sooner than I anticipated and I was in 3rd place.  I moved to second on the turn and by the completion of the first lap I was in the lead and was never challenged.  Last year I was chased by Lance Elliott through the first 6 laps which helped me to run a new meet record of 4:19.73.  Too bad he wasn’t here; we could have pushed each other to do our best.  The crowd was great and encouraged us throughout the race.  I broke the tape in first with a time of  4:22.09.  I was handed a bouquet of flowers and proceeded to take my victory lap (very cool by the way).  I spotted Lynne in the crowd and threw the flowers to her.  She made a great catch and I continued my victory lap.  The field announcer stopped me before completing the lap and interviewed me on the P.A. system.  I shared how grateful I was for the opportunity to race with 4,000 fans watching.  Once I made my way back to the call room, I was interviewed by flotrack, runnerspace, and milesplit.  It was a thrill to have the opportunity to talk about running.  Here are links to the interviews:

Flotrack: http://www.flotrack.org/coverage/247829-2012-New-Balance-Indoor-Grand-Prix/video/595460-Charlie-Kern-Former-344-Runner-Wins-Masters-Mile-In-422-2012-NB-Indoor-GP

Runnerspace:http://www.runnerspace.com/gprofile.php?do=videos&mgroup_id=31488&video_id=58550

The next race will be in Iowa City on the 17th.  I will be running the mile again with the intent of running 4:16.

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