Lynn Item February 15, 2012 _ Great Stew Chase runners, including eventual winner Matthew Haringa (342), are on the move at the 38th running of the race on Feb. 5. Also pictured are eventual second-place finisher Samuel Jurek (343), far left; and third-place finisher Kevin Gorman (274), second from right. (Courtesy Photo / Krissy Koslosky) Rich on Running: Stew Chase dishes out good results By Rich Tenorio / The Daily Item Imagine running three 5K races back-to-back-to-back. Well, the almost 300 people who completed the 38th Great Stew Chase 15K on Feb. 5 can say they did exactly that.( ( This year, 272 people finished, almost double the 150 or so who crossed the finish line in 2011.( ( "It went real well this time, because it was held on the regular date," race director Roger Perham said. "People were keyed in."( ( Last year, the same weather concerns that made treadmill running a viable option also wreaked havoc with the Stew Chase schedule. This time around, snow is all but gone from the North Shore.( ( Perham said that it was "36 and clear" when the runners showed up at the Knights of Columbus on Lynnfield St. in Lynn, and added, "I think there was a little bit of wind. There was no snow or ice."( ( While the course stretched almost 10 miles, it did not present any Heartbreak Hill-style difficulties a la the Boston Marathon ... although one climb of almost a half-mile on Dearborn Road in Peabody proved a pivotal point in the race.( ( "I call it a memorable hill," Perham said. "It's where the fellow from Greater Boston (winner Matthew Haringa of the Greater Boston Track Club) pulled away.( ( "For the first four or so miles, there was a group of 6-7 guys running together, clipping along at a good pace. Three or four sort of separated up the hill."( ( The crowd got to see Haringa, a Brighton resident, cross the finish line with a time of 52:08 ... a little over 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Samuel Jurek, an Allston resident and fellow Greater Boston Track Club member.( ( It is always a challenge to conduct a road race across city streets normally crowded with cars, yet it appears local police departments and the runners themselves all did their part to avoid mishaps.( ( "The Lynn police helped us with it, as they have over the years," Perham said. "The Peabody police were great ... The Lynn police led the whole race into Peabody and the Peabody police watched intersections and guided the race."( ( In the weeks leading up to the race, Perham had stressed that runners stay safety-conscious by not running with strollers, dogs or headphones - a move he said was related to Athletics Congress sanctions.( ( "They strongly suggested we didn't allow that to happen," Perham said. "One woman ran with a kid in a carriage, but there were no dogs and I didn't see any headphones. We had almost complete compliance."( ( Perham also thanked Allen and Kathy Peterson for all their help organizing the race, and mentioned that the Wyoma and Shoe City Lions helped serve the race's namesake stew, and that the New England Running Store in North Beverly provided gift certificates.
by Rich Tenorio