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Thursday tradition: Eliot Lounge and Crossroads Pub

Posted by Rich Horgan  March 10, 2009 09:30 PM

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Just returned from a track workout at Tufts.

Coach Jack Fultz, the 1976 Boston Marathon Champion, put about a dozen Dana Farber Marathon Challengers through a tough one-hour workout.

With six weeks left until Boston, there were more than a few aches and pains at the track.
But there is also the feeling that all of the hard work is finally paying off.

After a few sessions with my chiropractor, Dr. Kate, my hamstrings are finally feeling normal. I was able to drag myself through a 15-plus-mile run with the help of my running partner Emily on Saturday. I was gassed on the way back to Lexington, but Emily coaxed and cajoled me to finish the run.

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This is also a key time of year for our fund-raising for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

This year the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge will attempt to raise $4.85 million for innovative cancer research. Despite the tough economic climate, I am amazed at the dedication of my fellow runners when it comes to their personal fund-raising. Every weekend there is a special event put on by one of our runners with the goal of pushing their fund-raising total.

Thursday night will be our weekly "Crossroads Run." Back in 1993, a group of runners would meet at the Eliot Lounge on Mass Ave., and Commonwealth Ave.

The ambassador to the running community, Tommy Leonard, would welcome us every Thursday night from behind the bar at the Eliot. The runners would leave their bags under the watchful eye of Tommy and take the D-train to the Woodland T-stop. After running the last nine miles of the marathon course, we would find ourselves on the other side of the tap from Tommy.

After a few pints Tommy would regale us with stories of Alberto Salazar, Rod Dixon, and our own Jack Fultz.

There isn't a more caringn genuine person in the world than Tom Leonard.

Every year people will venture to the Falmouth Road Race (which he started) just for a glimpse of Tommy's smile -- and of cours, a few embellished stories.

When the Eliot closed it's doors in the late 90s, we needed to find a new home.

Crossroads Pub on Beacon Street has become our Thursday night oasis for the last 10-plus years. Our fellow DFMC alum J.J. Larner takes care of all of the runners and their friends.

The owner Sam and manager Mike make sure that we are welcome every week, and that there is enough free pizza for everyone. We are joined by our friends from the American Liver Foundation and Joints in Motion teams.

Following in the great tradition started at the Eliot Lounge, Thursday nights at Crossroads have become a required ritual.

Can't believe it is only two more days to Thursday!

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For the fun of it, here's a link to a terrific 2005 column the Globe Magazine's Charles P. Pierce wrote about Tommy Leonard and the Eliot Lounge for Sports Illustrated.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • 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

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