Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why Ragnar when you can B-more?

Only a couple weeks behind once again...

Rewinding back to the first weekend of the month, we sent a group to take on Ragnar DC, an overnight relay from Cumberland to National Harbor.  he team consists of 12 runners, each running three designated legs.  The team is split into two vans, and the entire team only meets at major exchange points and the finish line.  This year was a bit different in that the Government shutdown closed three of the final six legs (legs 31, 32, 35).  This made the race roughly 186 miles total and the three cancelled legs had to double up and run with legs 33, 34, and 36.  Driving time to skip the cancelled legs was subtracted from the overall time since nobody was running on the course.

The Run4Beer team consisted of: David Horrocks, Emily Drew, Mick Slonaker, Yasuo Oda, Tiffany Hevner, Michael Mbugi, Jessica Ivy, Jack Ivy, Jorge Renjifo, Mark Buschman, Kendra Smith, and Ed Reynolds.  While I'll spare all of the details, we started with the last wave of teams at 2pm, only five started then.  During leg 7, Jorge's first, a sign was moved on the course that sent him and two other runners way off course.  He ended up running 5 extra miles and we were in dead last.  However, we fought over way back and ended up taking second overall with a time of 22:13:30.  The runners in Van 2 spent their first two legs running in the pitch black darkness along the C&O canal and rural roads outside of Frederick.  By the time we reached the final leg of the race, it was in the low 80s and very humid.  Crossing the finish line as a team was an experience, but we were then limited to two large pizzas (split by 12 people) and one cheap can of beer post-race.  Overall a fun experience but the race management left more to be desired.

Here's a few photos documenting the journey:

Van 1 before driving to the start
The ladies
Some the guys barely staying awake
Mark and Jess after crossing the finish line
Team photo at the finish line
 And here's a video courtesy of Yasuo:

Fast forwarding to last weekend, it was finally time for the Baltimore Running Festival.  We had several people running the various events.  Let's start in the Marathon.  Dave Berdan took the overall crown, winning in 2:30, eight minutes ahead of second place.  He is an absolute beast and did Corrigan Sports a favor but agreeing to still run a race with no prize money.  On the men's side, Nick had a tremendous performance, finishing 6th in 2:49:21.  Right behind him was Kent, who allegedly slept until nearly 7am and barely made the starting line.  His training is so erratic juggling four kids and long shifts at the hospital, but he still manages to get it done; 2:49:24 for 7th.  Jason had cramping issues but still ran a BQ (though slower than his qualifying time) in 3:03:47 for 35th.  Kevin also had major cramping issues, having to come to a complete stop at mile 26 and walk backwards across the finish line.  It was amazing to watch the determination he showed to finish the race.  Sometimes time isn't the most important thing, it's the effort exerted.  He clocked a 3:05:10 and will have redemption at Boston...I'll bet that!

In the ladies race, Julia, who only runs 3-4x per week, led the race for 22 miles before running into cramping issues herself, but ran 3:00:30 for a 5 minute PR and 2nd overall!!!  I'm telling you this woman could run an Olympic Trials qualifying time if she could put in a year of solid training!

In the Carefirst Half, Maurice led the way, crushing his AG per the usual, running 1:22:36.  John was 2nd in the AG, running 1:28:08.  Robyn had a solid run on the tough course, crossing the line in 1:31:36 for 2nd in her AG.

Finally, in the Team Relay, we had a men's, women's, and Master men's squad.  The team of Mark, Carlos, Tim Burns, and Izzy solidified 2nd place in a course best of 2:22:35 behind Falls Road who broke 2:20 for the first time in race history for the relay.  The HCS/BWAC Master's team of Chris, Dave, Peter, and Steve Kartalia showed age doesn't matter, finishing 4th in 2:32:34.  The ladies team of Caroline, Emily, Suzy, ad Jessica crushed 3 hours, finishing 2nd in 2:54:29 for a new team course in the relay.

Julia was all smiles after her 2nd place marathon finish
Pre-race group shot
Start of the Marathon and Team Relay

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Metric...Everybody's doing it....

The Fall racing season has officially kicked off with a bang and it will only get better from here...

Last Saturday featured the Striders' 37th Metric Running Festival, formerly the Metric Marathon and 5k.  The event was pushed up to September from November in hopes of better weather and to reel in those in the middle of fall marathon training.  The weather was....well...summer like with the humidity and proved to be the demise for several of us.  The 5k was eliminated and replaced with a two-person relay, each running 13.1k (or 8.14 miles).

In the full Metric, Kyle Stanton took off from the start and never relinquished the lead, running a very comfortable 1:36:29, despite taking off for 5 days before the race due to a bad ankle sprain.  Mark was 2nd, making a comeback to the racing scene after a 4-month hiatus, clocking 1:37:52.  Adam ran a great race, running with Mark and Kyle for the first 4 miles or so, running a PR on the course, finishing 3rd in 1:38:58.  Nick had a good one as well, also PR'n in 1:45:52 for 6th.  Jason was 7th in 1:48:11, as he sets his eyes on yet another Baltimore Marathon in a week and a half.  Tunde ran 1:51:20 for 12th.

In the ladies race, Kelly had a nice debut at her longest race distance ever, finishing 3rd in 2:03:07.  Robyn wasn't far behind, grabbing the top Master spot and putting in a nice kick after being told there was wine at the postrace party (total lie) in 2:04:06 for 4th.  Dorothy crushed her AG again, finishing 8th in 2:11:12.

In the relay, John and Weems won the Masters crown in 1:49:04.  Tiffany and Lisa (member of -PR- Racing Team) couldn't quite keep up with the Falls Road ladies, but ran strong in 1:54:19.  Kendra and Mick were 3rd in the open mixed division, despite the fact Mick aggravated his hamstring and had to walk for about a mile, but still managed to shuffle across the line.

Here's some finish line pics (courtesy of Mike Fleming):

Mark (2nd)
Adam (3rd)
Nick (6th)
Jason (7th)
John (1st Masters relay team)
Tiffany (2nd Open Women relay team)
Tunde (12th)
Kelly (3rd)
Robyn (4th)

Dorothy (8th)
 Meanwhile, Maurice ran the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial 5k, winning his AG in 18:48.

Sunday (9/22) featured a couple winners.  Jeremy made an appearance at the Savage 7k, winning in 24:39 as he continues his comeback.  In Stratford, CT, Kevin ran the Fall Frolic 30k as he tapers for the Baltimore Marathon, winning in 1:57:52.

Now to this past weekend...

Adam, a week removed from the Metric Marathon, was at it again at the Akron Marathon.  He (and I) believed he was definitely in PR (sub-2:44) shape for this one.  Not sure about the course or the weather, but he fell a bit short, running 2:51:45 for 20th.  Keith re-entered the results at the Bachman Valley Half in Westminster, running 1:25:31 for 3rd on a very tough course.  Over in Germany, Seth was able to avoid chugging down pre-race beers at the 40th BMW Berlin MarathonWilson Kipsang set a new world record at 2:03:23.  Seth had a tough summer with injuries and a long bout with the flu but finished in 2:51:15, only a few seconds off his PR on this course from 2011.

Finally, there was the Race For Our Kids 10k in Baltimore which has a nice little pot of winner's $$$.  Chris led the way in 36:44 for 5th and 1st Master.  Dave grabbed top grandmaster in 37:15 and Maurice won his AG in 38:04.

This weekend features the Ragnar DC relay from Cumberland, MD to DC then Baltimore Running Festival next weekend.  Time to roll out!!!