Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cherry Blossoms (and pollen) in the air...

Just another delayed travel and beer kept me from my duties once again this week.

Last Sunday marked the first big time local race of the Spring season....Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

This has always been a staple race for many of us as the course is fast, the competition is world-class, and compared to other races, this one is very affordable and surprisingly not too much of a hassle to get to (once you get off the Metro).

As we stepped off the top stair of the escalator onto the Mall, the air was brisk and the sun had not yet rose about the horizon.  I know I had personally under-dressed and immediately began to feel my body using tons of energy to keep my skinny frame warm.  However, once the sun did come up shortly before 7am, it did warm up just enough to make most of us decide to ditch the winter hat, armwarmers, and gloves.

The gun went off a few minutes late and thousands of runners blazed down the road to the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  This race is notorious for tons of people going out way too fast and paying for it the second half, despite the flat terrain.  On the men's side, I knew this was my year to have to lead the team due to injuries and despite being the first Strider to cross the line (53:33), I was disappointed with my performance, as I had tightness in my knee which forced me to slow down quite a bit from Miles 6-9, it was was a small PR.  However, the rest of the team picked up the slack.  Carlos, in his debut comeback race, executed his pre-race plan to perfection, going out in 5:20 and holding 5:20-5:30 pace the rest of the way, finishing 36th in 54:13.  Kevin, running his first non-Club Challenge 10 mile race of his career, had the race of the day, crushing his PR by 80 seconds, running 56:10.  Seth had high expectations this year after crushing this course last year, and ran very well considering his lack of speedwork, finishing in 56:57 (67th).  Steve ran with Kevin and Seth for a majority of the race but faded a bit in the last few miles, but ran a PR nonetheless in 57:21.  Craig followed shortly behind in 58:08, then Keith who ran the course as a last minute hard workout for Boston (58:25).  Maurice led the Master's team as he continues to get back into top form, finishing 2nd in his AG in 63:17.  Tunde, also on the comeback trail, wasn't far behind in 64:00.  Weems crossed the line in 64:25 and John in 66:51.  Bobby, running the race as a 'medical runner', stopped several times to assess runners having difficulty and with his cell phone, ran 68:35.  Impressive, Doc!

In the ladies race, our top 2 finishers both ran over two and a half minute plus PRs, that's right....150+ seconds!!!  Kelly led the way, finishing as the second Master in the race in 62:20.  I saw her at the finish line and she was smiling as usual, but I could sense she was hoping to run even faster than she did!  Caroline, also running Boston in two days and in complete beast-mode with her training, rocked it once again with a 64:04.  She doesn't agree with me, but I know she is capable of a sub-3:07 marathon right now.  Robyn had a heck of a day herself....WINNING her AG with a 65:35 performance...A-MA-ZING!!!  Vicki, also on the upswing, had another great performance after telling me days before the day she didn't think she was even in shape to race 10 miles (typical Lang), running 70:51.  Finally, Dorothy finished 2nd in her AG in 72:14!

In the team competition, the Men's 'A' and 'B' teams finished 2nd and 5th, respectively, losing to Potomac River.  The mixed Master's 'A' and 'B' teams took 2nd and 4th, respectively.  Great job everyone!!!

Meanwhile in Annapolis, Adam opted for the low-key Cherry Pit 10 Miler put on by the Annapolis Striders.  He finished 4th in 58:24, winning his AG (and hopefully a pie?).

Here's some finish line pics courtesy of Issel:


Post-race group shot
Steve and Carlos with their pregnant wifeys post-race

Here's a short video put together by Carlos:

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