boston runner

a cyclist who swears he'll someday run boston in under 3 hours.

How friends saved my life at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

There will be thousands of “close call” stories from today’s Boston Marathon and here’s mine. I had knee surgery (torn meniscus) in January. Recovery has been slow and painful, so while the annual running of the Boston Marathon typically means I run for time, today I opted to run for fun. If you saw me out there or look at the pics on my Facebook page (see more pics below), you’ll see that I had SO MUCH FUN over the first 25.5 miles. As I was cruising into Kenmore Square, high-fiving literally hundreds of spectators, the marathon was turning into a nightmare at the finish line. My friend Stephen and his wife Jennifer flagged me down as I approached Mass Ave, but they were not smiling. They told me there were explosions near Marathon Sports.

You all know the rest of the tragic details. What you don’t know is that I was supposed to be showering at Marathon Sports right around that time. Yesterday afternoon, I’d spent half an hour in the store, a good part of that time catching up with my friend Shane, the store manager.  Shane graciously offered to let me shower there after I finished, with an estimated finishing time of 3.5-4 hours and an ETA at the store of 2:30-3:00pm. The explosions occurred at 2:50pm.

Since I’d stopped to get pictures with many friends along the course over today’s final miles, I was still about a mile away as the explosions occurred. Thanks to friends, I was 8-9 minutes from the finish, maybe ~20-25 mins from walking into the store.  To each and every one of you who got my attention today and inspired me to stop for a moment and get a picture together, I thank you more than these few words can possibly express. Today was a tragic day for so many, but thanks to all of you, I was safely away from the tragedy.

Thank you, friends – you might’ve saved my life today.



Brookline & Boston

15 April 2013 at 18:15 - Comments

race report x 3: boston, cambridge & winthrop. yeah, winthrop.

2010 boston marathon
so yeah, i ran the boston marathon again back in april.  it was my 6th boston and it did not go so well.  okay, let me re-phrase: it went really bad from mile 15 until mile 21 and then went pretty damn good once i got over heartbreak hill.

over the first 13 miles, i hydrated poorly and also developed some giant blisters which tweaked my stride.  so the leg cramps came early this year… and they came hard.  i struggled to maintain pace through newton but finally accepted defeat at the base of heartbreak.  once over that li’l monster, i proceeded to have the most fun i’ve ever had in a marathon. hell, i was high-fiving friends and strangers nearly every step of the way over the final miles  and even performed the moonwalk in coolidge corner.  best of all, we had over 50 teamracemenu/mix1 runners out there proudly sportin’ our new team singlet!

so there ya’ go; i really enjoyed the boston part of the boston marathon. but sadly, i failed to win again.  in fact, my result (3:34) means i did not even re-qualify for next year and gotta’ run another 26.2 deathmarch in the fall.  baystate, here i come.

cambridge summer series race numero uno
like so many others, i love the summer series races for the fun factor: run 4.1 miles, eat crap food, drink good beer & party with crazy friends.  over 1,000 people show up for these monthly races along the river and i’m guessing more than that are there partying afterwards. (yeah, seriously)

team racemenu/mix1 had 5 or 6 runners amongst the 1,251 people at this race (including mike thompson!) and we almost got the win!  greg picklesimer ran very strong and finished 2nd overall at 21:50, 5:12 pace.  i finished 19th at 25:00, 5:57 pace; better than expected but off my normal pace for these races.  as usual, crazy fun afterwards.

seaside stride 5k, winthrop, ma
i’d heard about this 5k race over in winthrop but forgot about it until friday afternoon.  considering its proximity to the father’s day 10k, relay & walk for dad i’m putting on at revere beach next week, i decided to go hand out flyers and shoot some video for a racemenu project.  my printer said they’d have the flyers ready by 5pm but – of course – they were not ready when i arrived at 5:25.  without any flyers to put on windshields, what else is there to do during a race in winthrop?  already wearing shorts and sneakers, i decided to run.  so what if i haven’t laced up in nearly three weeks; i am well rested.

thanks to rush hour, i arrived at 6:28 to find over 250 lined up for the 6:30 start. i sprinted to registration, handed them cash, begged them to let me register after the race, got a bib and dashed to the line.   when i say dashed, i mean sprinted top speed across a baseball field.  the gun went off no more than 15 seconds after i got there.

whoa, USA-england starts in less than an hour… guess i’ll let this video tell the rest of the story.

12 June 2010 at 17:50 - Comments

bye bye blogger; bonjour wordpress.

on may1st, google/blogger nixed FTP-publishing… which was just the kick in the ass i needed (after neaerly 10 years on blogger) to finally move the site to a better platform.

after playing around with drupal gardens for a while, i ran into a few difficulties (gasp! user error?) so opted for a quick wordpress install for now.  and since i’ve recently launched a business with close ties to facebook, i figured a facebook theme is a fun starting point for the new look & feel.

2 June 2010 at 01:23 - Comments

ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser on Cyclists: “RUN THEM DOWN.”

Yes, he really said it. Tony Kornheiser wins today’s “douchebag of the day” award for last week’s rant against cyclists on his ESPN sports talk radio show. Some of his comments are listed below; you can listen to the show here (11-Mar, starts @ 31:30) or read the entire transcript here. EDIT: ESPN yanked the podcast but I’ve uploaded the audio here and the video (below) to YouTube here:

“And they all wear…my God…with the little water bottle in the back and their stupid hats and their shiny shorts, they are the same disgusting posers that in the middle of a snow storm come out with cross country skiing on your block. Run them down.

I don’t take my car and ride on the sidewalk because I understand that’s not for my car. Why do these people think that these roads were built for bicycles?

They dare you to run them down. And then when you do, they get angry. What is that about?

And so you tap them. I’m not saying you kill them. I’m saying just tap them. Tap them once. If you’re not rubbin’, you’re not racing right? So you pop them a little bit and see what happens.

…and somehow the law does not allow you to run them down.

I have a large powerful car compared to your stupid little bicycle.”

Kornheiser is no stranger to controversy; just last month ESPN suspended him for two weeks after his disparaging comments about anchor Hannah Storm’s wardrobe. If you ask me, these comments warrant a much stiffer penalty, perhaps even termination.

Advocating violence against any group is wrong and not something to joke about on sports talk radio. But with the number of cars on the road and the increasing prevalence of road rage towards cyclists, Kornheiser has crossed the line. I won’t sit back and ignore someone who jokes around about murdering me or my friends.

Run them down? Really?

At the very least, I am submitting a complaint to ESPN management. What are you going to do?

18 March 2010 at 02:24 - Comments
already poosted on 5 forums, LET THE FIRE STORM BEGIN!!!
23 March 10 at 02:22
tony cornhole is a megadouche. i hope he loses his job.
24 March 10 at 20:26

20 Simple Ways to Prevent and Conquer Cancer.

Twenty years ago today, the Ides of March, I stood alone by my Dad’s side in a hospital room, holding his hand as cancer took his life. Jacques A. Ferry, age 59, died of Multiple Myeloma, a not-so-common cancer of the blood which will kill over 10,000 Americans this year.  Despite the big number, it’s “not-so-common” because more than 550,000 Americans will die of cancer this year.

People occasionally ask me why I am so passionate about cancer causes. It started with Dad. But fourteen years later, a very close friend, British cycling champion Alaric Gayfer, lost his life to a brain tumor. And two years ago, my then-girlfriend’s Mom lost her brave battle against non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. And my heart aches over the realization that there will be more.

Here are 20 easy ways you can help battle this menace.

  1. Quit smoking, or help someone else quit… it’s never too late.
  2. Just say no to second hand smoke, it contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals.
  3. Check yourself monthly; self-screening for skin cancer, testicular cancer and breast cancer is quick, easy and just may save your life.
  4. Vote for candidates who support funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
  5. Toss out your scratched teflon pans; a connection to cancer may be unproven, but why risk it?
  6. Enjoy the sun responsibly; apply sun screen after 10 minutes to allow your body to soak in some vitamin D.
  7. Run, walk or volunteer at a cancer-charity running event; you’re preventing cancer and helping the fight at once.
  8. Exercise at least 3x/week; it flushes out your colon and rids your body of cancer-causing carcinogens.
  9. Consume whey protein after exercise; it speeds muscle recovery while stimulating production of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
  10. Obesity causes cancer, so maintain a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 19-24. Calculate BMI here
  11. Aim for a high fiber, low fat diet: more whole grains, fruits & veggies, less sugar, salt and fat.
  12. Start your day with a cup of coffee and some blueberries; both are linked to cancer prevention.
  13. Boost your immune system with foods rich in vitamin C: sweet peppers, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, guava and canteloupe.
  14. Favor whole grain breads, rice, pasta and cereals over their white, processed counterparts.
  15. Load up on dark, leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, kale and romaine lettuce.
  16. Go with the red sauce; tomatoes help reduce cervical, ovarian and prostate cancer.
  17. Garlic breath is healthy breath; eat it often, its ties to cancer prevention are strong and unchallenged.
  18. Reduce your intake of fatty foods such as meat (except fish) and dairy products like milk, eggs & cheese.
  19. Drink alcohol in moderation; it is linked to mouth, throat, liver and breast cancer.
  20. Donate $20 to a cancer charity… support Livestrong right now by donating online.
16 March 2010 at 03:47 - Comments

Super Sunday 5K/10K Raises Over $16,000 for Livestrong.

Each year on March 15th, I try to reflect on what’s important to me so as not to dwell on what has been taken from me.

Today, I proud reflect on the combined efforts of a dedicated race committee, dozens of volunteers, several generous sponsors and nearly 1,500 runners which made for a huge party at the Super Sunday 5K/10K and raised over $16,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

While visiting friends in Austin, TX last month, I visited Livestrong’s headquarters and met Chris Brewer and CEO Doug Ulman (pictured with me above.) Chris showed me around, introduced me to Doug and made me feel like a total rock star… which he’ll probably do for you too if you show up with a big check like this.

15 March 2010 at 15:40 - Comments

Good News for Americans: Google Maps Adds “Bicycling” Option.

It’s been a long time coming, but Google Maps has finally added “bicycling” as an option for mapping directions, a feature which bodes well for broader acceptance of cycling in the United States.

From an initial review, this exciting new feature was well worth the wait. Google has over 12,000 miles worth of cycling trails incorporated into their maps, in addition to cycling lane information and maps of cycling-friendly roads in over 150 cities.

When seeking point-to-point directions via bicycle, Google Maps suggests the flattest, most efficient route to use. Even better, Google makes it easy to modify a suggested route by simply dragging the route indicator towards the path you’d prefer to follow.
Read Google’s official blog announcement here. Cyclists, please provide feedback if the suggested route is not ideal; Google has a nifty reporting widget which empowers those of us “in the know” to make this feature even better for all.

Thank you Google; this tool should get more Americans out of their cars and onto their bikes… and ultimately help make cycling in the USA safer for all of us down the road.

10 March 2010 at 19:33 - Comments

super sunday 5k/10k registration now open.

that’s right, online registration is open but probably not for long. i’m about to blast an email to everyone who ran last year (and some who did not) and i’m expecting this race will sell-out pretty quickly. check out for more info & watch this video-thingy i made.

21 December 2009 at 23:53 - Comments

boston 2010 training has begun.

dare i say it after one measly week of three runs? hell yeah! last sunday i ran the jingle bell run 5k in a snowman costume (which was hard and counts for at least 4-5 miles.) then i ran 5 miles with the niketown crew on wednesday night. then yesterday, i returned to the brookline marathon sports’ weekly saturday morning run and threw down my longest run since the boston marathon: 7.2 miles. one week total: 15+ miles

okay, this kind of weekly mileage is probably child’s play for you, but it’s a big deal for a guy who’s only run 3-4 times since september… especially a guy whose legs don’t even hurt today. so i’m going out on a limb to declare that i vow to run at least twice per week through the end of february, then three times per week into april culminating with a SUB-FREAKIN’-3:00-BOSTON on april 19th!

20 December 2009 at 21:37 - Comments

it’s on!

just in case you’re wondering… the holiday 5k is ON! the race starts at 11am, so the snow will probably be a distant memory by then.

day-of registration IS available and opens at 9am.

visit for more info

6 December 2009 at 11:52 - Comments