|Rich Horgan is a regular contributor to Boston.com's Marathon Blog.|
Last Saturday I hosted the Shifter 5K at the Wave for Dana Farber.
With a lot of help from volunteers and generous donations from Harpoon, the Wave Sports Pub and Dunkin Donuts, not to mention more than 500 runners, I was able to raise more than $10,000 for innovative cancer research at Dana Farber.
My good feelings after the race were somewhat tempered last Thursday night. For the last 20 years a group of runners has been meeting on Thursday nights and running the marathon course back to a local watering hole.
The tradition started in 1994, when our group would take the D train to the Woodland T stop and run the last nine miles of the marathon course and then head to the Eliot for a few beers.
At that time, the bartender was Tommy Leonard, a running legend and all around great guy. Tommy was responsible for starting the Falmouth Road Race and would always regale the newbie runners with stories about Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, and legendary coach Bill Squires.
The tradition continued for a few years until the Eliot Lounge closed shortly after the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. Desperate to keep the tradition going, fellow runner and Eliot bartender J.J. Larner and I sought out a new venue.
After a one year stay a small pub we approached Mike Brodigan, the owner of Crossroads Pub in Boston. Mike and his staff welcomed us with open arms and we began a great 15-plus year run at our new location.
During this span, Crossroads became famous for the Thursday night runs. All were welcome and the pizza and conversation were free. A few years back Mike sold the bar to a restaurant group run by Sam Carlisle, who continued to be a gracious host to 80-plus sweaty runners. Crossroads always seemed to hire a great group of young bartenders.
For many years J.J. was the person who welcomed us back after our run. In subsequent years, Hilary, Lindsey, Janah, and Brittany made sure we stayed hydrated after our run.
Unfortunately the landlord at Crossroads went bankrupt and the building was sold off to another group. Sam and his group were unable to work out a deal with the new owners and a month ago announced that they would have to close.
The official last day for Crossroads is appropriately Marathon Monday, April 15. I'm sure that I may stop by for one last "Final Final" and toast the great friendships that I have met over the past 20 years.
Sam has arranged for us to move our Thursday night runs next year to another Irish Pub on the marathon course, An Tua Nua.
Hopefully we can continue the tradition started two decades ago.
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes