Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Great Weekend for Strider Women (and Keith as well!)

After a brutal week of temperatures in the high 90s, a slightly cooler weekend (particularly on Sunday) made for some great running.

To kick things off, Keith Levasseur took part in his first ever 100k, the Mason-Dixon Longest Day 100k Challenge, in Susquahanna State Park. The gun went off at 5AM to let runners take advantage of the 15+ hours of daylight. Keith had hopes of breaking the course record of 11 hours and change, setting a PR at the distance, and getting the HCS team record as well. Almost 50 miles into the race, it looked like he would get his way, as he was well ahead of pace. But unbeknownst to him, the last 12 miles of the course would have him essentially "rock climbing" up a side of a hill, just to come back down and repeat. The course record slipped away from him this time, but he still took the team record and set a PR in the process with a time of 13:06. Two out of three isn't shabby. He has already vowed to return next year to take another crack at the record.

A few hours later, Donna Wecker and Caroline Bauer took on the challenge extended by the "Dreaded Druid Hills" of Baltimore.  Donna continued to impress, not only finishing as the first grand master, but also taking the award for top female overall with a time of 43:47!  Caroline was not far back. taking third in a time of 44:27.

Sunday proved to be another showcase of Strider female talent, with the grandmaster women in particular putting on a "master class" for their competition.  In her debut as a part of the elite women, Samantha Matthews finished in 19:37, good for 12th place.  Samantha was followed by the ageless Pat Wilkerson, who continues to run blazing fast times year over year.  Her 20:04 got her 15th overall and first grandmaster.  After Pat was Janeth Scott, who just squeaked under 21 minutes (20:55) and took 1st in the 50-54 age group.  Janeth was followed by Dorothy Beckett, whose 21:38 was good for 2nd in the 50-54 group.  Finally, Tacy Powers rounded out the list of superb times by crossing the line in 22:23 (5th in 40-45).

Congrats to all!  This coming weekend looks to be very hot and humid, so be careful if you are racing!

Tacy and Pat, after the race.

Pat and Tacy with a fellow runner (left).  I am told she is 76 years young!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Where did summer go...???

Father's Day weekend was unseasonably cool by mid-June standards.  Guess what that meant?  PERFECT running conditions!

Start of the B-10
The weekend kicked off with the Baltimore 10 MilerKeith Levasseur took top team honors, crossing the tape in 58:48 for 11th overall.  Not far behind was the new Master, Jason Tripp, who paced the 40+ers, posting a 59:03 for 12th place.  On the ladies side, Caroline Bauer kept up her kick-ass 2012 campaign finishing 9th with a 1:08:03.  Solid times on a slow course!

On Sunday, runners gathered at the Gateway Overlook Shopping Center to take part in the 2nd Annual Father's Day 8k put on by Bullseye Running.  There were not as many runners as I had anticipated (only about 120), but the times were blazing due to the prize money ($200, $100, $50).  Falls Road's Dave Berdan (3rd, 25:49) and Tristram Thomas (4th, 26:42) ran well on the tougher than advertised course.  Peter Keating led the way for the Strider men, finishing 5th in 28:04.  He and his son, Joseph (15th, 31:12) took the Father/Son crown.  Andrew Madison, who had to stop in the middle of the race due to stomach issues, still cracked the 30 minute mark, finishing 6th in 29:04.  Other notable performances on the men's side included: Dave Berardi (7th, 29:12) and Chris Chattin (8th, 29:50).

Janeth Scott cruised to an easy Master's win on the women's side, with a time 34:02, good for 4th.

Donna Wecker continued her comeback taking part in the Mount Hebron 10k Trail Challenge, winning the race in 48:13.  She loves running the trails, since Patapsco is literally across the street...

Finally on Sunday, Keith Levasseur and John Chall took part in the Dawson's Father's Day 10k hosted by the Annapolis Striders.  Keith ran a PR of 35:39, finishing 2nd to Karsten.  John took the GM title, crossing the line in 38:38 for 12th.

Also, we welcomed Samantha Matthews to the team late last week.  Samantha is a recent graduate of Bloomsburg University and is a former product of the Junior Striders.  She boast PRs of 18:03 for the 5k, 39:25 for the 10k.  Looking forward to having her help the ladies team come late summer and into the fall!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Summer is Definitely Here

With temperatures already soaring into the 90s in early June, there is no doubt that the summer is here.  Along with it have come some blazing fast times by our men and women.

At Damien's Run this past weekend, the line was filled with a number of "bounty hunters", aiming to score some prize money and potentially a $500 bonus for breaking the course records (Men - 14:32, Women - 16:37).  Both races saw the records broken, with finishing times of 14:23 (Abiyot Endale) and 16:35 (Teszata Desalage).

Behind the leaders, there was a strong contingent of Striders, with some outstanding performances:

-- Jeremy Rea, who has just recently begun to do track work again, ran a solid race (16:56, 6th).
-- In his first race as a master, Jason Tripp (17:33) began his winning streak with a convincing victory over fellow Strider master runner, Mike Colaiacovo (10th, 18:23)
-- Craig Lebro made it under the 18-minute barrier (17:53)
-- UnSong Ostrowski, suffered her first defeat of the year to a record-breaking winner, but still ran a very strong 18:46, good for 2nd
-- Kelly Westlake ran a great race, finishing less than 10 seconds behind UnSong (18:56) and taking the award for first female master.
-- Robyn had a tough day, but still managed to run a 19:27, which is nothing to frown at
-- John Chall and Dorothy Beckett took the grand master awards, with times of 19:01 and 22:08, respectively
-- Bobby Gessler finished 2nd in the grandmaster category (19:46)

Photos from the race are available here and full results are available on the Striders website.