Sunday, March 3, 2013


For the loyal blog followers, you have probably been asking yourself if this blog even still exists.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it does and it will be operating in full force from here on out!  I've got a lot of catching up to do since 2013 arrived, so here goes nothing....

The first performance of the year will undoubtedly be one of the craziest ones ever!  Keith flew to Hawaii, not to enjoy the beaches, sun, or coconuts, but to run one of the most challenging races the planet has to offer....HURT 100.  After experiencing Leadville with him last summer, I thought for sure he wouldn't be dumb enough to do another one of these, but I was wrong.  I don't believe anyone had ever cracked the 24 hour barrier before this year.  Our boy persevered, saw the sun rise twice, crossing the finish line in 32:37:00!!

Keith needs to see a psychiatrist...
Jessica kicked off the New Year running her longest race ever...the High Cloud Snapple Half.   Of course she PR'd, but cracked 90 minutes in her debut...1:29:43 in snowy conditions.  Meanwhile, in Lexington, KY, Conrad repped it hard at the USATF XC National Championship.  On a tough 12k course, he finished 89th in 43:20 and was the first Master in the open men's race.

Superbowl Sunday meant is was Penguin Pace day.  We had a small group run it this year.  I wonder why...oh yes, the course is hilly, it's usually cold as shit, and the competition is PATHETIC.  Weems was the lone wolf on the men's side, running 19:58 for 7th.  The ladies cleaned house.  Tiffany won in 20:06, with Robyn not far behind in 3rd (20:54) after a rough night with a bottle of wine so I've heard....

Saturday February 9th was filled with ultras.  Keith partook in the Holiday Lake 50k, finishing 5th in 4:02:10.  Meanwhile, in Rockburn Park, Adam ran the Mid-Maryland 50k, coming in 3rd in 4:09:10 with sloppy trail conditions on the 5-loop course.

And now to the Main Event, a week ago was everyone's favorite race...Club Challenge.  Though the course is awful, I gotta tell you the weather was unbeatable for this time of the year.  Temperature was in the mid 30s and the winds were light (except along Freetown Road).  I had a good feeling about our team this year, with most everyone healthy and running well.  The gun went off and we shot down Hickory Ridge like bats outta hell.  The lead pack went through Mile 1 in +/- 4:45.  We had a couple PRs (that I am aware of)....Kevin (57:28) and Steve (57:36).  The men's and women's teams won but we were edged 559-557 by Falls Road in the coed competition (with the large, but ugly trophy).  That has to be the closest margin of victory in race history!  After the race, people were complaining about the scoring.  The fact is Howard County has hundreds of runners and many of non-scoring males displaced many of our women scorers which costs us.  However, many of the top Falls Road ladies were down in New Orleans kicking it at the Rock 'N Roll New Orleans half.  Had they been in Columbia on Sunday, we still would have lost and the scoring wouldn't have been as close.  Congrats to our I-95 rivals!  We'll get 'em next year.  Here's a summary of the Striders results:

Mark Buschman    54:14    4th
Andrew Madison    55:36    8th
Kevin Ford    57:28    14th
Steve Olenick    57:36    15th
Kent Werner    57:59    17th
Seth Geoghegan    59:04    21st
Jason Tripp    59:38    26th
Craig Lebro    59:48    29th
Keith Levasseur    59:59    31st
Maurice Pointer    1:05:08    85th
Weems McFadden    1:05:39    95th
Phil Lang    1:06:11    105th
Tunde Morakinyo    1:07:42    127th
Mick Slonaker    1:08:15    136th
Kelly Westlake    1:05:02    3rd
Jessica Ivy    1:05:54    5th
Caroline Bauer    1:06:45    9th
Robyn Humphrey    1:08:11    15th
Tiffany Hevner    1:08:55    18th
Dorothy Beckett    1:15:03    44th

Shout out Brian Harvey and Kyle Stanton for being in town and helping us out.  Brian, last year's New England Runner of the Year, set a course record in 51:00 while Kyle, closing out a 140 mile week, came in 2nd in 52:25.  Also, congrats to Jessica for running an amazing race and qualifying for the elite team!  She's going to be a force to be reckoned with this Spring and into the Fall...WATCH OUT LADIES!!!

Here's some photos (thanks Denise) and a video (courtesy of Carlos) put together of the finish...

Brian running alone crushing the course record

Yours truly

Madison had a rough 2nd half, but he's tough as nails
Seth regretting he didn't wear a singlet
Jason wasn't the first master in this one...guess they finally drug tested him...
Keith ran 6:00 pace to the 'T' today
Kelly is pretty fast...don't you think?
Is that a smile Jess?
Robyn in professional running attire
I know Mick has been dreaming about running this course again since he's been back in the States
Tiffany kicking it in
Dorothy in beast mode!

AWESOME JOB EVERYONE!!!  It will only get warmer and we'll be kicking some ass come April!!!

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