Posted by Dan Slattery on September 26, 2019 at 14:01:

September 23, 2019

Greetings Melrose Running Club!
Time flies. Life is short. Friendships remain. There’s no I in team.
Cliché’s all of them, but damn if they don’t apply to the last 2 years.
It seems like yesterday on Halloween Night 2017, when I became President (scary thought, I know!) of The Melrose Running Club. My longtime friends are always there, and I was even more grateful and richer in spirit to have met many new ones.
Did the last 24 months require a fair amount of effort? Sure. The Board Members and countless volunteers had an immense role in taking this running club to unprecedented heights. Hyperbole or cliché? Don’t think so.
Jim Carson, who also started in the Club 21 years ago, has been coordinating the Sunday Long Runs for close to that time period. His work can take him away for weeks at a time, but he’s on the clock most weeks, and when not, has tremendous help from the likes of Lois Parker Carmona, Tom Gorman, Hank Murphy, and many others. How would our races (from the local 5K to a marathon) go if we didn’t have the structure and water stops that we so desperately need, especially on those hot and humid days?
The Club ran races all over the world again this past year; one only needed to go onto Facebook to see Robert Busby, Courtney Koschei, and Michael Urquiola in Amsterdam (to name only one!), Jeanne Halloran Boisseau, Liz Hecht, Audrey Hanscom, Haecha Donnelly, Michael and Judith Dolan in Ireland, Jessi Jimenez Marquardt in CA and DC, and SO many more...!

Mike Urquiola coordinates Thursday night track workouts in Stoneham each year from Spring to Fall. He also counsels @ Craftsbury and his knowledge and delivery of running advice is subtle, yet tailored to each individual.

Continued Initiatives
We continued the MRC VIP, this year on a monthly basis. What a success.
I loved to watch the previous winner tell the group why they were choosing the new recipient.
It never had to do with their running prowess or speed, but rather who they are as people, what difference they made to that awarding person’s life, and often, how they encouraged them to go outside the bounds of their comfort zone.
Name That Runner continued as well, turning into Walker Turned Runner for the last few weeks. It allowed the Club to find out things about that person that they might not know otherwise. Think about it……how else would you have known that Mike Urqiola likes to knit hypoallergenic hats for underprivileged youth, or that Keith Lordan’s favorite food is sh*t on a shingle?

Hank Murphy, Lesley Moss, and I met with the Mayor of Melrose, Gail Inferna for a 2nd straight year. I hope this important partnership continues in the years ahead. Numerous ideas were discussed, and we carried out a few!
For only the second time (2 years straight) ever, MRC participated in the Melrose Memorial Day Parade. I was about to ask my son Owen to hold the other end of the banner (have you seen the new one yet? Thank you, Bethany Mayo!), when at the 11th hour, Hank Murphy (with encouragement from Janet) and Bilal Ozaslan came to the rescue. I know the PR effort has paid dividends.
The MRC is a giving club, and so many consistently brought items each First Tuesday. Donations that Mike Quigley delivers to A Servants Heart Pantry in Melrose. Thank you all.

Highlights over the past year:
November: The Club members continued to give until it hurts with the 5 Thanksgiving baskets. These are delivered to area families who could use a little help and the smiles upon delivery make it all worth it.
The Thanksgiving Fun Run is another tradition around Spot Pond. With Owen not playing high school football anymore, I can jump back in! Making some room for pecan pie or an IPA later in the day isn’t a bad thing.
December and January: Kathi Rossi-Roh, with tremendous help from Denise Gaffey, and Carrie Pitzi, brought her own tireless effort and creativity to the Events (Lights Run, Solstice Run, and Holiday Party), and kudos to David Penn who stepped in big time by attending Mill Cities Relay meetings and keeping the Club informed while Liz Carmona Tassinari once again coordinated the teams
Brian Slater and Paul Donahue do an outstanding job each year at the helm for The Assault on Mount Hood. Brian had to scramble as the Fish and Game was not an option in 2018. The Clubhouse came in handy at the last minute and many other clubs were able to secure their Gran Prix race of the month….whew!
February and March: Another beautiful day for the 22 miler from Hopkinton to BC. Jim’s advanced analytics acumen came in handy again for this day. Megin Hemmerling was ready with the pizzas on the back end!
April: This year we were once again awarded 3 numbers from the BAA for the Boston Marathon. The lucky recipients were Julie Smith Galvin, Regina Wallace Curran, and Marian Sales. Make NO mistake, all 3 were incredibly deserving. These ladies, along with many others, gave it everything they had, in what is no easy 26.2 miles!
New MRC Boston Marathon Guidelines
The Club, nonetheless, deliberated for months on ways to possibly improve the application guidelines. I’m confident, we did just that, streamlining the requirements to virtually exclusively merit based with event participation levels, and eliminating the discretionary vote.
Nick Lamberti is the Leader of the Walk To Run program. In addition to his role as Co-Membership Coordinator with Lesley Moss (always a big help on Tuesdays identifying new members), together they put in a ton of time starting in April to run the MRC Walk To Run program. Thanks again to our new President, Diarmuid Cahill, for leading the Saturday morning WTR run. The 2019 version has matched the 2018 group with numbers and enthusiasm as they all continue to come each Tuesday night.
May: Our signature event and one of our two main races is The Melrose Run for Women or as many refer to it, the MRC Mother’s Day Race. Coordinated by Liz Carmona Tassinari, with the help of her many captains: Katie Sinnott, Alastair James Drummond, and our new VP, Thuy Dang, they have all their volunteers carrying out their duties like a well-oiled machine.
This run just celebrated its 22nd year and supports a great cause, the Melrose Alliance Against Violence. MAAV is a domestic violence prevention and education organization in Melrose. Since the races inception in 1998 the Melrose Running Club has donated over $192,000 to MAAV.
June/July/August/September: From the 26X1 Relay expertly coordinated by Courtney Koschei to the Summer Solstice Run in June, to the WTR Graduation Run and Summer Party in July (thank you again Kathi, Carrie, and Denise!), there’s no time off around here, and we just put a bow on the summer (calendar wise) with the Victorian Fair – thank you to Lesley Moss and all the volunteers!

I said it during announcements on September 17th: I was really proud of the Club and the turnout for MRC Clean Up Run OR Plogging Night 2019. The picture attached tells the story. Thank you all for seeking a bigger endeavor and satisfaction that night than your normal run.

A huge thanks to all the folks on the Board – Jim Carson, Charles Brinkman, Andrew Nagelin, Nick Lamberti, Liz Carmona Tassinari, Lesley Moss, Matt Sazama, Mike Sikkema, Lisa Clark Tysall, Brian Slater, and Kathi Rossi-Roh.
Thank you to the folks at the Knights of Columbus including Mike Quigley, our K of C liaison, Mark Hall, Crystal, Logan, and all the bartenders for keeping us “hydrated”!

MRC Renewals
Please keep your eyes open for the Membership Renewal Drive email coming soon to a computer or device near you (probably by the end of October with a link to!! You’ll be signing off on the liability waiver, the photo waiver, and the Code of Conduct.

In Closing – Challenge Yourself
I’ll issue a challenge to all of you, and especially myself, to strive for bigger and better in the months and year ahead. While it’s most definitely optional, it might help folks get out of their comfort zone, and see how great you, and the Club, can become.

Here’s one list with that in mind….
1) Volunteer more
a) When the new President, Nick for WTR, Jim re: SLR’s, or other coordinators ask for help, perhaps raise your hand. If you’ve benefited from the help of others, think about returning the favor.
2) Donate more
a) Your time – we make time for things we want to…
b) Items on first Tuesday if you typically don’t...
3) Add a day of running
4) Run a distance you haven’t before;
a) If you think you can, you will.
5) Buddy up on runs
a) Witness the last 2 years of Walk To Run; this helps to hold yourself accountable
6) Stay positive
a) Negativity can derail dreams & more!
b) See positive people (Lois Parker Carmona, Daniel Deoliveira, Bilal Ozaslan, Lynne Jameson-Meehan, The Dolans, and many more….and maybe emulate them).
7) Take a bigger role in the Club
a) Can you assist a board member?
b) Spearhead and coordinate an event (e.g. family related)
8) Break from your cliques on occasion.
a) At the bar, or before a run, introduce yourself to someone new or that you don’t know.
9) Find out who your fellow runners are beyond the running….
a) Can you help them on a job search?
b) Direct them to a local resource that helps their kid or spouse/partner?
c) Etc.!

10) Tell your friends you love them, and while reminiscing about the past, get excited for the future. Remember, life is short.

Dan Slattery
President, Melrose Running Club

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Melrose Running Club - PO Box 761022 - Melrose, Massachusetts -