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NER Pub Series X Men’s Standings After 4 of 6 Races

The kettle is beginning to bubble as things tighten up heading down the homestretch. Publican stalwart Terry McNatt continues to lead with CSU teammate Lorin Obler 19 points back in second, just 6-points up on Mr. Quarterdeck, Mike Norton with Capemate and this year’s dark horse on gilded wings, Joe Navas chewing up points like OJ grabbing sports memorabilia in Vegas.

With Navas placing second at Trail to Ale, McNatt 6th, Norton 8th and Obler 10th, there was a slight budge among the top four. Navas picked up 4 points on McNatt, 8 points on Obler and 6 points on Norton.

The report from Maine Marathon RD Howard Spear that yours truly was seen in a field of dandelions looking up at the stars (and there were no stars) is only partially true. I felt a photographic duty to capture the pain and suffering on the course’s lone dramatic hill while making myself as comfortable as possible. It’s from this vantage point that NER saw Obler go down hard after coming off the bike path and hitting a curb leading to the uphill. Bloodied but unbowed, Lorin continued on, ceding 2-points to Norton yet retaining his No. 2 position in the Standings.

Bridgewater, MA bullet Frank Nelson e-mailed to say he’d be in Portland and entered the Reebok shoe handicap contest but was inexplicably AWOL, thus dropping from the 5th to 9th position. Master runners Paul “The Legend” Hammond and Jimmy Fallon both had strong showings, moving into the 5th and 10th Open positions, respectively. If the Series ended today, crafty Chris Smith – 7th Overall and 3rd Master – would once again (as in 2006) climb to the top Master rung.

While his Thristy Irish Runner teammates lounged in a field looking at the stars somewhere, top Senior Dave Wessman claimed the top 50-59 slot at ‘Trail’ but 2nd Series Senior Brian Byrne is frozen at 11 points (he’s turned 60) with Kevin Sweeney, Tom Kiely and Jim Shope separated by one point below with John Winters (helluva blues guitarist) also in the hunt. (Anyone know Jim Shope? – does his wife have a sub to NER? Someone ask him or we’ll have to drop him like a rock).

Byrne immediately picked up points in the Veteran division so this could be interesting. Dave Cobb ran a great race at Trail, and with Joe Drugan one point back but not showing, this was the equivalent of a knockout punch.

Marshfield RR’s literary lion, Bob Hillman was poleaxed by Maine Hall of Famer Lloyd Slocum in the 70-79 division, and hammerfisted by NER’s 2005 ME 70-79 Runner of the Year John Howe, not to mention gutstomped by rowdy Bob Randall, yet still managed to add to his Series supremacy. Plus, he stayed in Portland Sunday night, along with fallen Publican Guy Barra and we (Michelle LeBrun included) hit Walter’s for dinner and Dock Fore for the Patriots game.

Most valuable player award at the Trail to Ale goes to Shipyard brewmaster Alan Pugsley who manned the taps until the last Publican sauntered out into the sunlight. Runner-up goes to fallen Publican Chris Spinney, a few lbs. over his prime, yet finishing at a 6:22 pace after opening with a 5:40 mile – good enough to get the “weak link” slot on the NER All Star Relay Team to compete at the Cape Cod Marathon this Oct..

Speaking of weak links, NER will be putting aside the daisies and wildflowers, strapping on the brass knucks, shellacking the elbows and lining up at the next Series race – Dave LaBrode’s awe-inspiring Bobby Bell 5-Miler at the Lasting Room Pub in Haverhill on Oct. 7.

2007 NER Pub Series X Men’s Standings After 4 of 6 Races

OPEN (top 50)

1. Terry McNatt………………184
2. Lorin Obler………………….165
3. Mike Norton………………..159
4. Joe Navas…………………….148
5. Paul Hammond……………..130
6. Lee Danforth………………..119
7. Chris Smith…………………..117
8. Jim Sullivan…………………..99
9. Frank Nelson………………..86
10. Jimmy Fallon………………80
11. Stephen Walsh…………….71
12. Dave Wessman…………….56
13. Ken Warren………………….26
14. Theo Kindermans……….14
15. Dave Audet………………….11
16. Brian Byrne, NH……………9
17. Dave Cobb…………………….5

MASTERS (top 10)

1. Terry McNatt……………….38
2. Paul Hammond…………….23
3. Chris Smith…………………20
4. Jim Sullivan…………………13
5. Jimmy Fallon……………10

SENIORS (top 8)

1. Dave Wessman…………….16
2. Brian Byrne, NH…………..11
3. Tom Kiely……………………7
4. Kevin Sweeney…………….6
4. Jim Shope………………6
6. John Winters………………..3

VETERANS (top 6)

1. Dave Cobb……………….21
1. Joe Drugan………………16
3. Dave Pember……………9
3. Tom Hart…………………8
5. Brian Byrne, NH………5
5. Tom Abbott……………..2

SUPER VETS 70-79 (top 5)

1. Bob Hillman……………..14
2. Tom Wright……………….8
3. Ruane Crummet………….4
4. Henry Wolstat…………3

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