Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

As Memorial Day came and went, I'm reminded of how great of a country we live in.  No matter of your political or ethnic background, America would not be the place it is today without the sacrifice of those who have and are currently fighting for the land of the free and the home of the brave...

The holiday weekend kicked off on Saturday in the Windy City of all places.  Keith Levasseur and Caroline Bauer competed in the Soldier Field 10 Miler....Home of DA BEARS!  The winning time was sub 50 minutes!  Keith clocked a 1:00:17 for 36th and Caroline ran 1:09:50 for 41st on the women's side.

Phil Lang was our lone representative at the McVet's 5k in Baltimore on Sunday.  He ran with the young guns, crossing the line in 6th overall with a time of 17:40.  He still has some speed!  In OC, Bobby Gessler and his girls led the way at the Seashore Strider's Masser 5 Miler.  Bobby led the GM division with a 32:57.  Julie was the 1st overall female in 34:13, Becky was 3rd in 35:21, Katie won the 20-24 AG with a 36:29, and Amy took the 14-19 AH crown with a 36:58.  SSSWEEEPPP!!!

On Monday morning, Memorial Day, the humidity made it feel like a rainforest out there.  That didn't keep our crew from partaking in the Rotary Remembrance Run 5k.  In the men's race, Peter Keating led the way with a 17:26.  Our newest lady member, UnSong Ostrowski, proved my hypothesis correct (see below), WINNING the women's race with a PR performance of 18:53.  A summary of the results:

Peter Keating 17:26 6th
Steve Olenick 17:42 7th
Jason Tripp 18:04 11th
Phil Lang 18:40 13th
Michael Mbugi 18:42 14th
Tunde Morakinyo 18:50 15th
John Chall 19:29 18th

UnSong Ostrowski 18:53 1st
Robyn Humphrey 20:00 3rd
Janeth Scott 21:39 9th
Dorothy Beckett 22:55 15th

Great performances in unseasonably warm conditions!  Pictures from the race can be found here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Endless weekend of first place finishes...

While it was a rather light weekend on the racing front, those who did venture out in the heat to tackle the competition produced well....

While many of us were running the bagel run, Keith Levasseur headed down to Annapolis to compete in the Endless Summer 6 Hour Run.  The race started at 8am and forced runners to push through the heat and humidity.  The goal of this race is to run the 3.4 mile loop as many times are you can in the 6 hour timeframe and the person with the most distance at the end wins.  Well, Keith did just that, logging 45.1 miles and setting a new course record!!!

Sunday morning, Donna Wecker returned to the race scene after a long layoff due to multiple injuries at the BRRC Patapsco Trail Run.  The exact course distance is unknown, but it's approximately 8 miles.  She won the women's race in 1:04:20.  She is looking forward to making a noisy return here soon... Peter Keating took part in the relay at the Columbia Triathlon on Sunday.  He told me that their swimmer ended up choking big time in the water and put them pretty far back at T1.  He ran hard (as the norm) and finished the 10k run in 36:36, good for an 8th place team finish. 

Finally, John Chall took top honors at the Benfield Elementary School 5k in Severna Park, crossing the finish line in 19:02.

FLASH: After months of heckling, we finally got Unsong Ostrowski to cave and join the racing team!!!  She is going to kick some @$$ this Fall!  She already has 1st place finishes at Clyde's and the MD Half.  I GUARANTEE she'll tack on a few more before 2013 gets here...Welcome Unsong!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rockville Twilighter 8k


Register NOW for the Rockville Rotary Twilight 8K on Saturday, July 21! The price will increase on May 20! Fees are as follows: $28 by May 20, $32 May 21-July 1, $37 July 2 - July 20, $42 Race Day registration.

REGISTER HERE: http://www.imathlete.com/events/twilightrunfest. For more information, please visit http://rockvilletwilighter.org/

For elite team members, we will reimburse most of the entry fee if you register by Sunday (exact amount not certain at this time).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dance to the Music

The racing week kicked off on Friday with the Armed Services 5k+.  This is a race for NSA employees and contractors who work down at Fort Meade.  Not sure if the results are top secret classified, but in any case we got the inside scoop.  The course was way long, somewhere between 3.35 and 3.4 miles.  Keith Levasseur took 4th in 18:44 while John Chall took the GM crown, finishing 8th in 20:30.

Saturday morning presented the Musical Madness 5k, put on by the Reservoir High School band and directed by fellow Strider Greg Schuler.  On the men's side, Tunde Morakinyo was the first master to cross the finish line, taking 6th in 18:27.  Bobby Gessler was 9th in 19:54.  The ladies race was swept by our speedy trio of Robyn Humphrey, Caroline Bauer, and Pat Wilkerson, who took 1st (19:27), 2nd (19:45), and 3rd (19:47) respectively.  Way to go ladies!!!

Top 3 overall: Robyn, Caroline, and Pat

Finally, Conrad Orloff was spotted in his first race since running a great race at Boston on Sunday.  He won the Run for Coffee 5k in 16:47.

I also heard from Carlos late last week.  He is in Sydney, Australia for vacation.  His plane arrived Saturday night so when he woke up, it was Mother's Day.  No surprise to me, he stumbled onto a race going on just a minute from his hotel.  Here are some of his words about his experience:

"Got out the door this morning with no clue where I would be going. About a block from my house I noticed that there was a race going on for Mother's day. I had no clue what the distance was, but I ran alongside the group of people racing (on the sidewalks) and decided at that point that I would run a workout of sorts. I didn't go all out, but was running somewhere in the ballpark of 5:30 pace, avoiding spectators in the process. The route was very pretty. After I completed the 4k loop, I skipped the finish line and continued to run the second lap (it was a two-loop course). I didn't see anybody, which made me think I had run the wrong way, but I found out later that I had actually been running the 4k race and not the 8k, which would start a little later. I ran the second loop and then made the turn and crossed the finish line. My final time was about 29:15, but the effort was probably more like 28:00 to 28:30, because running on the sidewalks added about 0.15-0.2 miles and avoiding pedestrians was challenging. When I finished, I heard someone on an amplifier near the finish urging people running the 8k to rush to the start. At that point, I was feeling pretty good and figured I still wanted to run 5-7 more miles for the day, so I went back to the start, stretched for about 3 mins and started with the racers. The pace for this race was understandibly faster, but not that out of control. I found myself still running on the sidewalks, because I didn't want to disturb the runners that paid for the race (which it turns out was for Mother's Day). Like the previous race, I took very long routes to stay out of the way of the runners and had to contend with oblivious pedestrians, who were not expecting someone to be blazing at 5:20 pace along the sidewalk. After the first 4k loop (around the Botanical gardens), I think I was in the top 10 to 15, with the first female right on my heels. I picked it up a bit to keep picking people off, but it turned out that the crowds were much thicker in this race, so some spots I had to come to a complete stop to get past the crowds. At one point, I saw the leader crossing somewhere around 5k in about 15:59. I reached the same point about 1:50 later. The second loop was an absolute mess. The crowds were thick and to add to that, the slowest people were only 3k into the race when the leaders reached 7k. I had to almost stop on two more occasions and then I said "screw it" and jumped on the course to run last 2k. The first female had put on a surge and was about 15s ahead. I pushed to catch her and did somewhere around 1k to go. At that point, we were all weaving thick crowds of people. On the finishing stretch, I peeled off to the side and kicked it in on the grass. I could swear that the first female was still gunning for me, because I could hear her kicking about 10 feet to the left of me on the finishing road. I put on a final surge and crossed the (imaginary) finish line around 28:40. A quick compensation for extra distance run and stopping for pedestrains, put this effort around 26:50 or so. Felt really good overall. I was going to congratulate the first female runner, but it looks like she got swept away by reporters. I ran quick cool-down around a park and back to the hotel. Overall a great day for a tempo."

For those who are interested in running the Army Ten Miler (ATM) in October, open registration opens tomorrow (May 15th).  Based on the website, the field is already half full from priority registration so sign up EARLY!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another busy weekend at the races...

Despite the heat, we had another busy weekend of racing, all on Sunday... We'll start in Frederick where Caroline Bauer continued her 2012 rampage at the Frederick Half Marathon. She cruised across the finish line in 1:29:56, good for 5th overall and a spot on the Elite team!  Awesome job Caroline!!!

We had a nice contingent at the Maryland Half Marathon in Maple Lawn.  Keith Levasseur was the 2nd male to complete the hilly course in 1:20:09.  Meanwhile, our female master's wrecking crew of Kelly Westlake and Robyn Humphrey found themselves running with the men, coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively, with times of 1:28:08 and 1:30:24.  Also of note, another Strider, Unsong Ostrowski, finished 1st overall breaking 1:28!!!

Post-MD Half Marathon (left to right): Keith, Jim, Robyn, Unsong, Lisa, Kelly

Finally, yours truly, along with my boys, Kent Werner and Jason Tripp, road-tripped it to Pittsburgh so they could take on the Pittsburgh Marathon.  While it was cloudy down in Maryland, it was HOT and humid in Pittsburgh, making for tough times.  The course is quite hilly and there are no places to hide from the sun!  I booked it 3 miles uptown from the start to just before Mile 12 where I was able  to catch the fellas cross back from the North Side on the Birmingham Bridge.  I hopped on the course with Jason and paced him through 25.2 miles.  The heat forced several people to stop along our way, including a few Kenyans.  Jason battled through sharp cramping in his right hamstring at Mile 24.5 but manned up and finished in 3:05:23.  Kent echoed similar cramping issues.  Rumor has it he walked about a mile and still ran a very respectable 2:50:04 for 39th.  Great effort in far less than ideal day in the Steel City!!!  Both are BQs!

Just a reminder that registration for Remembrance Run and Damien's has opened so if you're around, these are both good local races so try to make an appearance!