Tuesday, October 30, 2012

HOORAH! Rocking the streets of the Nation's Capital

Well, the time had finally come....


With forecasters predicting a real whammy from the approaching Hurricane Sandy, the organizers and runners of this race could have cared less what Mother Nature had in store.  It appears as though the weather wasn't terrible other than gusty winds, particularly while crossing the bridges into and out of the District.

We had a strong male trio competing this year: Keith, Conrad, and Kevin.  Keith, a former Marine, ran his PR of 2:38 at this race last year.  To our surprise, he decided to wear shoes...what an idiot!  Conrad recaps running with a fellow Navy teammate until Mile 14 where he fell off and he met up with Keith.  These guys ran together until Mile 20 or so before Conrad picked up the pace and claimed a top 25 finish and 3rd Master.  Keith was right behind him.  Kevin, in his debut marathon, went out at a comfortable pace going thru the half in 1:23.  We've all told him all summer that he had a good shot to break 2:50 if he ran smart.  Judging by the splits, he tailed off a bit the last few miles but crushed his goal of 3 hours, running 2:53 and setting a high standard for future 26.2 adventures.  Official results:

Conrad Orloff 2:41:07 24th
Keith Levasseur 2:41:43 26th
Kevin Ford 2:53:13 72nd
In related news, Phil Lang held his 2nd Annual 9k Around The Fairway race at The Timbers at Troy golf course in Elkridge.  To everyone's surprise, he decided to participate this year and took home top honors, clocking a 34:25.
We have another big weekend coming up with the NYC MarathonAdam Wytko and Hall of Famer, Mick Slonaker will be running through the Big Apple.  Hopefully the city will be back up and running by then.  Also on Sunday, the Run Through the Grapevine 8k will take place on the grounds of Linganore Winecellars.  Regardless of the condition of the course, I know the hills will be calling everyone's name!
Thoughts and prayers out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy!  At least we all have running to fall back on as a secondary means of transportation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

FLASH: Unofficial MCM results

It was cloudy and windy which made the running conditions less than ideal.  Kevin smoked 3 hours in his marathon debut!  Unofficial results as follows:

Conrad Orloff 2:41:07 24th
Keith Levasseur 2:41:43 26th
Kevin Ford 2:53:13 72nd PR

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ATM Recap and Our World Record Holder Gets International Coverage

It was a quite weekend on the race front.  Sunday morning featured one of the largest and most competitive races in the MD/DC area...the Army 10 Miler.  Our crew was smaller than normal this year.  The headline of the race was  the long awaited return of grandmaster, Weems McFadden.  Weems has been battling lingering injuries for much of the past year but has finally gotten healthy and restarted his racing career.  My sources tell me he's been running 50 mile weeks and slowly throwing in some faster runs.  It's always fun to watch him go head to head with fellow rival John Chall for grandmaster AG wins.  The weather on Sunday was quite nice.  The course was allegedly about 0.1 miles long.  Results as follows:
Mark Buschman 53:44 44th PR
Weems McFadden 1:03:44 441st
John Chall 1:03:48 449th

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Adam ran his fifth race in as many weekends (including four consecutive marathons), the Youngtown Peace 10k Race.  He indicated his legs didn't have lots of spring in them, but he still managed a respective 35:29, good for 25th overall and 4th in his AG.

In related news, Keith received some international press for his World Record marathon run in flip flops at Baltimore two weekends ago.  A reporter from Yajiuma! TV in Japan contacted Carlos asking for permission to run a story on Keith's amazing feat.  Here is the article posted on the TV station's website:

We have a big weekend ahead.  Keith, Conrad, and Kevin take on the Marine Corps Marathon in DC on Sunday.  Good luck fellas...GET SOME!!!  If anyone reading this is also running the marathon or 10k, good luck to you as well!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baltimore Running Festival

There was plenty to celebrate at the 12th annual Baltimore Running Festival this past weekend.  The festival, consisting of a 5k, half marathon, marathon, team relay, and kids fun run, brought together a record attendance of 27,000 runners and an estimated half a million visitors.  It was the 6th year in a row that the event has sold out.  Among the throngs of runners, there were plenty of  royal blue and navy Striders/Bullseye Running singlets to be spotted.

In the marquee event, the marathon, four Striders finished in the top 50.  The top finisher for the Striders was none other than our resident mileage king, Keith Levasseur, who decided that running a marathon with shoes was not enough of a challenge for him.  Instead he opted for some "comfortable" flip flops to carry him across the distance. His time of 2:46:58, was good for 29th overall and set the Guinness World Record for world's fastest marathon in flip flops.

Only a few minutes behind Keith were Jason Tripp (2:48:24, 31st), Peter Keating (2:52:47, 38th) , and Adam Wytko (2:53:34, 41st).  Jason's time was good for 3rd in the master's category (40+).

Starting concurrently with the marathon was the team relay.  On the men's side, the Bullseye Running team, consisting of Carlos Renjifo, Phil Lang, Tom Williams, and Mark Buschman, was looking to repeat as winners for the third year straight.  On the women's side, the Bullseye Running Ladies (Kelly Westlake, Vicki Lang, BeaMarie Altieri, Robyn Humphrey) were trying to go for the win as well.  The men faced stiff competition from a team of UMBC alumni (Adventures for the Cure), while the ladies had to contend with a very strong women's team from the Falls Road Running Store.

In the women's relay race, the Bullseye ladies took an early lead over Falls Road, as Kelly Westlake ran a superb first leg, giving the team almost a two minute lead over their rivals.  This lead, however, was short-lived, as Falls Road's second leg ran a tremendously fast and essentially put the chance of victory out of reach.  This fact did not seem to deter the Strider/Bullseye women, who ran their hearts out, with Vicki running a gutsy second leg (48:39), followed by Strider hall of famer Bea Marie (41:54) on the third leg, and a very strong finish by Robyn on the final leg (48:02).  Even though they finished 4 minutes behind the Falls Road team, they obliterated the team behind them by nearly 14 minutes, with a time of 2:54:40.  Oh ... and one more thing I forgot to mention ... these women are all 41 years young or better, which makes the feat all the more remarkable!

In the men's relay race the race ended up being a nail-biter.  Carlos led off with a fantastic first leg, which saw him handing off to Phil almost a minute and a half in front of the UMBC team and nearly a minute in front of the top Kenyan's in the marathon.  Phil ran a brilliant leg, which was over 90 seconds faster than his previous best over that leg of the race.  Although the Bullseye team was caught by the UMBC team, Phil's effort limited the gap to a little over 30 seconds, which kept the team in contention.  On the third leg, Tom cut the gap to less than 10 seconds, giving Mark the opportunity to take a shot at the victory.  Mark did not disappoint,  as he threw in a few surges early in his leg to close the gap and take the lead.  Despite being taken off course by the pace bike, Mark kept his composure and came home strong with a convincing victory over their challengers.  The time of 2:23:54 was almost 6 minutes better than last year thanks to great performances across the board.

Other racing team members running on relay teams included Caroline Bauer (The Usual Suspects, 2nd coed team, 2:53:15) and Dorothy Beckett (Run4Chocolate, 4th female team, 3:13:46).

Finally, there was the half marathon, where John Chall and Stephen Olenick represented the team.  John ran 1:20:16, which was good for 2nd in the grandmaster category (50+).

But by far the best performance of the day (in my humble opinion) was Stephen Olenick's 1:15:05 half marathon, good for 5th place overall.  The time was a huge PR for Steve on a very challenging course.  The feat becomes even more impressive when you consider that only two years ago, after setting  a PR in the Baltimore Marathon (2:48:08), Steve was seriously injured and sidelined from running for 18 months.  In less than 6 months, Steve has gotten himself back into top form and is arguably in the best shape of his life at the ripe old age of 36!  Way to go Steve!

Congratulations to all who raced.  Here are some pictures/videos, courtesy of Brian Fleming and Issel Lim:

Adam, finishing his 4th marathon in 4 weeks.

Master superstar, Jason Tripp running a solid sub-2:49 marathon.

John, either flexing his muscles, or pumped up to finish 2nd in the grandmaster category of the half marathon.

Keith in his flip flops.  Looks like he still has some spring in that stride!

Mark in some patriotic attire.  No better way to celebrate a three-peat.

Robyn brings in the Bullseye Running ladies team.

Steve, in the form of his life, and probably wearing a singlet in a race for the first time in 2 years (he usually runs shirtless).  The Striders logo looks great on you, buddy!

Mark, Carlos, and Tom pose for a picture after a thrilling relay victory.

Mark at the end of the race, showing his finishing speed.

More pictures are available on the Striders Website and the Racing Team Picasa Album.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Striders Receive Honors from Howard County Recs & Parks

On October 9th, 2012, racing team members Bobby Gessler and Carlos Renjifo and former Junior Strider Corey Hamilton were recognized at the 10th Annual Howard County Celebration of Sports Event hosted by Howard County Recreation & Parks at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD.

Bobby Gessler, a long-time Strider, received a Goodsports Coach of the Year award for his involvement with the Howard County Junior Striders program.  The award specifically recognizes "the coach's commitment, dedication, preparation, respect for officials, teaching skills, emphasis on teamwork, team ethics, leadership, motivation, sportsmanship and patience in their work with youth and adult sports."

Carlos Renjifo, our racing team captain, received a Goodsports Adult Player of the Year award, recognizing his "dedication, respect for teammates, leadership, community service, attitude, commitment to practice, respect for coaches and respect for officials."

Corey Hamilton, a participant in the Howard County Junior Striders for many years, was awarded a Youth Player of the Year award, recognizing his running talents and "dedication, respect for teammates, leadership, community service, attitude, commitment to practice, respect for coaches and respect for officials."

Also in attendance were fellow Striders and Hall of Fame members Phil Lang and David Tripp.

In addition to the coaching and player awards, several officials were recognized and 7 new individuals were inducted into the Howard County Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame.  The keynote speaker was Scott Foster, Howard County resident and active NBA referee.

Photos of the event will be available soon here: http://countyofhowardmd.us/celebrationofsports.htm

Congratulations to All!

Carlos and Bobby show off their awards.

5k Run For Food - November 18, 2012

Joseph Keating, son of the great Peter Keating, is putting on this race as part of an Eagle Scout project.  Phil is helping him out with it.  The course is located on the grounds of the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.  I know it comes right after the fall marathon push, but if you're around and still healthy, please consider doing it and supporting him.  Registration link is here:


Monday, October 8, 2012

What Time Is It?....PR TIME!!!

I was remiss in picking up any of race results from two weekends ago so let's start there...

Dorothy Beckett kicked off the action on Saturday, 9/29 cruising to an age group win at the College Park Cares 5k, running 21:20 for 7th.  Marathon connoisseur, Adam Wytko kicked off his three marathons in three weeks in Akron, OH, clocking a 2:50:01 for 16th in what I was told was a comfortable effort. 

On Sundau, 9/30, our Ironman, Keith Levasseur went down in enemy territory and took the overall crown at the hilly Falls Road 15k, nailing a PR in 54:50.  SSSWEEETTT!  Pekka and I participated in the BWI Airport 4 Miler.  We both used it as a hard tempo run.  I got outkicked in the last 100m and had to settle for a roundtrip ticketless 2nd, but ran a good race given the 13 miles the day before in 20:18.  Pekka won the 'Furthest Traveled' award and hit his pre-race goal of sub 22, clocking 21:50 for 7th and 2nd in his age group.  I can't believe he'll be a master in a couple months!

Now onto the this past weekend.  Caroline and Craig took their talents to the Windy City for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  Race morning conditions were damn near perfect (maybe a bit chilly).  I streamed the end of the men's race and they were clocking mid 4:30s from Mile 22 on.  Craig ran a BIG PR, running 2:44:03.  Caroline followed suit, clocking nearly even splits and a HUGE PR in 3:14:43.  All those scorching summer miles must have paid off!!!

Kevin Ford headed down to Alexandria, VA to run the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon for a second straight year; this year as a tune-up for Marine Corps.  Not sure if it was quite a PR or not, but he cracked the top 20 in a pretty competitive field with a 1:16:03.  Adam ran marathon #2 of 3, this time in Johnstown, PA.  This is usually the Karsten Brown show but he beat him by 5+ minutes, running 2:53:07 for 4th and unfortunately out of the money (?!?!), but taking his age group.

It was certainly an awesome start to the Fall racing season and it just keeps getting better.  Good luck to everyone partaking in the Baltimore Running Festival this Saturday!  I hope to see many of you out there!