Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Sprint to the Finish with a Turkey Filled Stomach

I hope everyone reading this had an awesome Thanksgiving!

To my surprise, we had a light turnout at the Turkey Trots this year.  As a matter of fact, Kevin was the only one to partake in the competitive ring.  He ran the 76th Annual Manchester (CT) Road Race, a very popular and competitive 4.75 mile race.  The winner averaged 4:30/mi this year!  Kevin clocked 26:42 for 106th overall.

Saturday morning featured the NCR Trail Marathon, starting up in Sparks, MD.  It was chilly and quite windy.  Keith, battling a knee issue, had to put his legs to the test in what sources say was an all-out sprint to the finish line for 2nd place, with Keith emerging victorious in 2:53:17.  Tunde ran a solid race, coming in 22nd at 3:12:49 and winning his AG.

Sunday morning, somewhere in paradise, Robyn made a racing appearance at the Bacardi 5 Miler in Bermuda.  I can only imagine that the weather conditions were much closer to optimal this back in MD.  She ran 33:00 for 3rd.  I wonder if post-race Bacardi shots were included in the entry fee...?

We're hoping to see more people under the lights at OMHS on Wednesday evenings at 6pm for some winter workouts.  This is a great opportunity we've been provided and it only makes sense to take advantage!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The End of Fall and the start of the Dark Ages...

Well, this weekend marks (in my mind) the last big racing weekend of the Fall.  It's been one heck of a season for most of us, dating back to mid-September.  We had some incredible performances at 26.2, with PRs all over the place.  Now the short, dark, and cold days of Winter begin.  A time when many hang up the racing flats and hibernate to the pantry, a select and dedicated few of us continue training knowing that we don't want to start the 2013 racing year off with a 2nd place finish when 1st was there for the taking...

And now for a quick recap of the results...

Saturday kicked it off with the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon in NC.  Phil took to the streets, in search of completing marathon #46 on his quest for 50 by age 50.  He has been running so well as of late, I told him sub-2:55 was in the cards.  His post-race analysis indicated the course was pretty hilly, but he managed to pull off one of his fastest marathons in recent memory, running 2:57:12 for 12th overall and 3rd Master.

Meanwhile, down in MoCo, our ultra boys, Keith and Adam, took to the trails at the Stone Mill 50 Mile Run.  Keith battled what he's diagnosed a strained muscle in the back of his knee and really had to fight the last 10 miles or so to finish.  I know he wanted to win the race this year.  He still managed a very respectable 7:40:22 for 5th.  Adam wasn't far behind in 8th, crossing the line in 7:59:02.  I can't imagine either of these weekend warriors will be racing these insane distances until March, but who the hell knows!

Sunday featured a pair of low-key races.  In West Friendship, Joseph Keating put on the 5k Run For Food, a canned food drive for the homeless for his Eagle Scout project.  It was cold, and the course was quite challenging.  Joey Thompson took the easy win in 15:47.  Mark came in a distance 2nd, running 16:25.  Peter looked strong, taking 3rd and the Master $, running 16:57.  Jason was 4th in 17:28.

In Annapolis, our rejuvenated grandmaster crew partook in the Cold Turkey 10kJames Blackwood (not a GM) took the overall crown.  Weems, continuing to work back from injury, returned to his winning ways in the 55-59 division, finishing 8th in 38:14.  His rival, John, wasn't far behind, with a 39:11 for 9th.

Lastly, up at the Philadelphia Marathon, I wanted to give a shout out to Hafiz Shaikh, who has worked his butt off this summer following (one of) Pfitzinger's marathon training plans.  He ran a 12-minute PR and earned a BQ, clocking a 3:04:24.  Way to go Hafiz!!!

Best of luck to anyone participating in a Turkey Trot tomorrow morning.  And to anyone who actually reads this damn thing, Happy Thanksgiving from the Striders Racing Team to you and your family!!!  If you're running Celtic Solstice, remember control yourself so you don't show up to the starting line 5-10 pounds heavier!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

FLASH: Coach Phil breaks 3 hours in Charlotte...

The ageless one completed #46 in an amazing 2:57:12 at the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon this morning!  He was 12th overall on the men's side and 3rd Master.  WAY TO GO PHIL!!!

In related news, the female winner ran a whopping 2:38!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forget English, we going Metric up in here...

It was another big weekend on the local race front.  The revamped Columbia Metric Marathon Festival, in its 36th year, has a new race director, Grace Tran.  I heard she did a heck of job putting on this event in her inaugural year.

The Metric Marathon is the headline race and is 26.2k, or 16.3 miles of Howard County hills.  Just when you start to get your legs back turning onto Frederick Road around Mile 6, you get knocked in the face with Toll House Road.  It was a good year for the crew.  Jason led the way, running a solid 1:39:44 for 2nd.  Adam wasn't far behind in 3rd with a 1:40:20.  Mick, fresh off his return to the States, showed his NYC Marathon training in Oslo paid off, running 1:53:48 and winning the 60-69 AG.  Bobby had a tough battle in the 50-59 AG getting beat for the win, but crossing the finish line in 1:56:11.

On the ladies side, Robyn continued to exemplify her agelessness, finishing 2nd in 1:55:10.  Last year's big surprise, Donna, finished with the boys once again in 1:57:24 for 3rd.

In the Metric 5k, Kelly blasted the competition for the win in 18:59Caroline made a rare appearance in a short race, finishing 3rd in 19:55.  Samantha was 4th in 20:55.  Awesome job ladies!

Meanwhile in DC, Carlos and I decided to take on a solid field at the Veteran's Day 10k in West Potomac Park.  The race features heavy hitters from GRC and Pacers Race Team.  Carlos, shooting for sub 31:00, didn't have his best day, but still ran 31:53 for 10th.  Yours truly had a good race, despite getting a stomach cramp at Mile 4.5, crushing my old (open) 10k PR, finishing 13th in 32:11.  In related news, a former Howard High stud and baller at UNC Greensboro, Joey Thompson is back in town for the short term and has been training with us as of late.  He outclassed the field coming in 2nd overall in 29:57!  If his doesn't leave us for Charlotte, NC, he will be a huge asset come Club Challenge time!

Caroline celebrating 3rd in the 5k!

Tired Jason?

Welcome back Mick.  The hills missed ya... 


Is Robyn really smiling?

Donna even wore a hydration pack for the occasion

Saturday, November 10, 2012


A few short hours ago, Britt Lang, daughter of the infamous Phil and Vicki Lang, became the 2A Maryland Cross Country Champion killing the competition with a 19:21 on the tough Hereford course, beating 2nd place by nearly 30 seconds!  She led the OM Scorpions to a 2nd place finish on the girl's side...


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Whoever said eating grapes was tougher than running through them must have been drunk...

With only a couple weeks left in the Fall racing season, it's now or never to crank out those last ditch PR efforts.  However, this past weekend did not present favorable racing courses...

On Saturday morning, Keith ventured to Lynchburg, VA to take on the infamous Mountain Masochist 50 Miler.  Sources says this is a very difficult, but scenic trail run through the Shenendoah.  This year, post Hurricane Sandy left upwards of a foot of snow on the high (relatively speaking) slopes.  As he always does, Keith battled through, crossing the finish line in 8:37:18, good for 10th.

Sunday presented one of the Striders' big time races, Run Through The Grapevine 8k.  Race director, Jason Tripp, will tell you that this is a fun race but the reality is those non-stop brutal hills will beat you down, no matter what shape you're in.  It was quite chilly at the race start.  There was a sizeable lead pack through the first mile and a half.  I recall spotting the aforementioned Keith in the lead for a bit.  Adam and Steve battled for the top spot all race long, until an unfortunate miscue with a course marshal resulted in a missed turn and top 10 finishes.  Seth returned from the DL after a bust-out spring, running 32:32.

In the ladies race, Donna showed she's right back where she left off pre-injury, finishing 3rd on the women's side behind WRRC studs, Sherry Stick and Jill Krebs.  Sam also produced a top 10 finish, clocking a 38:11 for 6th.

A summary of the results:

Keith Levasseur 32:20 9th
Seth Geoghegan 32:32 11th
Adam Wytko 33:30 14th
Steve Olenick 33:31 15th
John Chall 34:26 21st
Donna Wecker 36:30 3rd
Samantha Matthews 38:11 6th
Dorothy Beckett 40:16 12th
Now for some pictures....
Keith, the day after a 50 Miler...CRAZY!

Seth reppin' Beantown

Adam and Steve hiding their frustration well

John wearing a shirt?!?!

Donna in the zone

Sam staring at the finish line