Monday, June 22, 2009

The Softer Side of Sears

The following is an excerpt from David Ploskonka's race report email. It's a great story and I wanted to share it with you all. After that I'll do the rest of the weekend results.

Here's the scoop on the Mohican 100, which I ran this past weekend:

The course was hot (mid-80s and humid, dropping only to the low 60s at night), buggy, muddy, and poorly marked in a number of places, including one of the most technical sections at the beginning, which caused the four or five guys who were in the lead at that point to get lost. Considering how difficult the conditions were, I decided to stick with a guy named Regis, whose father actually designed the course and completed the race 11 times, before passing away from throat cancer two years ago. Regis now runs the race every year as a tribute to his father, and this was his fifth finish (at 10 finishes, you get a special 1000-mile buckle; if he finishes five more times, he and his father will be the first father-son team to receive 1000-mile buckles). When you throw in the fact that the race is held on Father's Day weekend every year, you can see how this would be a big emotional thing for him (and honestly, I got a little teary-eyed when we stopped at the rock pile that they're creating at a point along the course, so that we could each add a rock in tribute to his father).

Anyhow, Regis and I ran together for 97 miles, and our sensible, steady pace, combined with the number of drops due to the heat, getting lost, and just plain frustration had us in 3rd and 4th with about 20 miles to go. We both had pretty fresh legs, and a good pacer with us, but unfortunately, Regis started getting sick to his stomach, and so we had to walk a lot more than we otherwise would have. We ended up finishing in 9th place (and I wound up being first in the 20-29 age category), in 23 hours, 3 minutes, and some-odd seconds, insisting on a tie, since we had run essentially the whole race together. The competitor in me felt torn about this, because of course I was feeling great and wanted to go after third place or better (and, in all honesty, considering that I was feeling better than I've ever felt in one of these races at that point, I probably could have done it if I had just stuck with the eventual third-place runner and kept pushing), but at the same time, Regis had helped me so much through the first 80 miles of the race that I really wanted to finish with him, however long it took us, and save the whole "winning" thing for another day. (I most likely wouldn't have won the race anyway, because the winner came in just under 20 hours, and was the only person to come in under 20, and, if Regis and I had both been feeling just as well at the end, we would have been on pace to go just under 21 hours.)

Thanks for sharing, Dave. Great story, and I think we all sometimes do lose that focus of running being bigger than us sometimes - it's about living. Of course, over the course of 100 miles, I'm sure that is more likely to happen than during a 5k.

Onto the rest of the weekend.

I've seen some crazy things happen at races since I've lived here, but none as crazy as what happened at Baltimore 10 Miler. The fastest male and female did not win the race - and I don't mean that in the "well the best person doesn't always win." I mean quite literally the two people who covered the course in the least amount of time were relegated to 2nd place. Spider showed up late, as per usual, and was held up further by a race number snafu. He began the race over 2 minutes after the gun, and quickly went to work. He got all the way up to 2nd place, but fell short, finishing 4 seconds behind the 15 year old winner. Jackie Truncellito had a similar experience. She was making sure her BOMF runners were attended to prior to the race start, and as a result got a bad starting position. 1:13 after the gun she cross the start line, and wound up making a hard charge toward first but was about 150 meters back. She had run a gun time of 1:07:59, but her chip time was 1:06:46. The winner was 1:07:29/1:07:30 for chip/gun.

Many others raced the B10, which, in its second year, featured the most torrential downpour I've ever seen at a race. If it had started raining a few minutes earlier, it probably would have been canceled. Fortunately/unfortunately it started raining just minutes into the race.

Matt Stanford came through in 11th place, and snagged 2nd in his age group, which he was super psyched about, and as a result, that makes all of us psyched. Christine Trzcinski followed suit, finishing 11th for the women. Baltimore guest-for-the-weekend Lauren Muldoon took 17th, and Cynthia Evans was 70th in 1:22. Awesome job! I'd also like to point out that Jen's roommate Carly went under 1:20 with the help of Claire Lears, which was really awesome. As she came through towards the finish there was a look of intent focus on her face, which was cool to see.

Jan "Can" Cook cooked to a 1:24:46, and then Sara Spears went 1:28:51. Beth Shepard was pretty pumped about her performance at 1:39:20 and cousin Em, who booted and rallied on the course, went 1:40:13.

Also on Saturday was Brian Godsey's triumphant return to short distance racing. The race was labeled at a 5.6km race, but with a slower-than-expected time he was suspect. After measuring the course using the interweb, he got it between 5.75 and 5.85km. Either way, he won. Oh, and the race was called Just Men Run. No joke. And it's in Wien, Austria. Wow, that's more than a little gay. But not gay is the team that he listed as his team:

Sunday there were a few events, with whatever tri Spider did and then the GBMC Father's Day 5k. Looked fairly competitive with Mouhcine showing up and taking 1st over Dave Berdan. Matt Jablonski finished 4th and we'll have to check cause I think he had his track meet last week as well. Big JGerb finished 5th, slipping under 17, and then Hollywood cracked the top 10. Denise took 2nd for the women.

Great job everyone!

Purple Drink Athlete of the Week: For his super impressive B10 performance AND because he won his first ever award, Matt Stanford!


Travis said...

David, Way to go! We have not met, but I have been following your progress and am very impressed. I can only guess what it is to run at your level. I give you the "Trail purple junk in a water bottle" award. You and Collin, although his blog is frightening, could be the future of the sport. Hope to meet you on the trail someday.


RM said...

re: Collin's blog

It is most definitely frightening. So many many few paragraphs.

New Chris on the Block said...

Matt ran a PR of 9:47.02 in the 3200m at MIAA/IAAM Conference Championship, placing 5th.

Matt ran a PR of 4:18.34 in the 1600m at MIAA/IAAM Conference Championship, placing first.


RM said...


Great investigatory work NCOTB...

THE KRIS said...

"tardiness"... that's good.