Hurtin’ For Certain

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With the conclusion of the 2013 USATF-NE XC Grand Prix fast approaching (this Sunday at Franklin Park), it felt like a good time to put up our profile on the HFC Striders. HFC is well represented on the cross country circuit and even put on their own event. Here’s the profile about HFC by HFC’er Ed Groden:

It started with a question posed to a weary group of runners as they circled the track during a long interval session: “Dragging?!? Are you guys HFC? Hurtin’ For Certain?” And then the next interval began, but the question lingered as each of the runners pondered the existential question, “Am I HFC?” A spark was lit, though, as the runners asked themselves, “If I am HFC, what am I going to do about it?” The responses were decisive and telling, “I may be HFC. But I’m not slowing or quitting.” Hurtin’ For Certain never felt so good. Thus an ethos was born. And an identity: HFC Striders Track Club.

That was 1969. Social and political worlds were in upheaval. Long established institutions were falling apart. Enter some rebellious track kids who trained hard, raced hard, and did not want to give any quarter to the established order. The notion that the athlete should control and dictate his own training, racing and recruitment schedules, as well as gear and support was novel. Other Boston area start-up clubs at the time were wrestling with the same issues. The radical thought was simple: the runners should control their own futures; the runners should be surrounded by like -minded runners; the runners should be encouraged to pursue their own unique version of success.

Now in its fifth decade, the HFC Striders are thriving. Our 70 member roster includes a vast array of postcollegiate talent who compete principally as distance runners throughout New England and beyond. Our recent influx of 20-somethings blends seamlessly with our 30, 40, 50 and 60- somethings. Headquartered in the Boston suburbs, HFC seeks runners who love to compete and enjoy training in a group setting. Our group training sessions are organized with the notion that together we help each other get better.

You see HFC everywhere, competing on the track, on cross country trails, and on the roads. We compete at every distance, every age category and each gender. During the past few years, HFC has focused on the USATFNE cross country series, the Pub Series, the Boston Marathon, our own Grand Prix and many other prime events – Beach to Beacon, Falmouth, BAA Half Marathon, CVS 5K, to name a few. When we can’t find a race to suit our fancy, we’ll make one up to entertain our members, such as our annual handicap road mile or the agegrouped and age-graded 4 x 1600 relay, each providing opportunities to race under a fanciful format and grouse about seeding times.

HFC team shot
Some notable recent achievements for HFC include: Lee Danforth threepeats as the Pub Series Champion; John Sullivan three-peats as the Senior Champion at both the USATF 5K and BAA Half Marathon; TJ Unger places 1st and 4th open division and Jason Cakouros places 1st and 2nd masters division in the last two USATF-NE cross country series; Brenda Egizi repeats as Pub Series Senior Champion; Meaghan Scearbo wins Pub Series before maternity; Justin Renz wins the 2012 Bermuda Triangle Challenge; Kenny Rayner runs the Boston/Lincoln, NE Marathon double in less than a month, finishing in 2:37 and 2:35 respectively, the latter places him on the Massachusetts National Guard Racing Team; Dana DeIngenis wins a Braintree 5K outright, a rare achievement for a woman.

HFC is not a collection of dispirited iconoclasts, rather an engaged collec- tive dedicated to the propagation of the sport, fostering a life-long commitment to running. Our members are high school, collegiate and post- collegiate coaches; track and road race officials; serve on USATF-NE boards; organize and oversee many road races, each supporting wonder- ful initiatives. As an organization, HFC officially sponsors and directs two running events: MAD Scramble in Milton and Wayland Cross Country Festi- val. Each community-based event fea- tures a developmental kids’ race.

Since we have been around a long time and collected a wide variety of talents, training methods and experi- ences, HFC has a vast reservoir of knowledgeable racers and teachers available to guide, chide and direct. Jimmy Fallon, a long-time fixture on the road racing scene, has replaced Rich Hart as the lead coach, respon- sible for devising a training program appropriate for the club’s racing goals.

Our credo has remained unchanged: Of the runner. For the runner. By the runner. So ask yourself “Could you be HFC?” HFC’s members know that Hurtin’ for Certain never felt so good.

This article was originally published in the July/August issue of Level Renner, which can be downloaded for free (along with all of our back issues). Get your free subscription today, which also will make you eligible for our subscriber only contests.

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