Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chrissie, TWSS Rock Rockville

Holy crap, I don't even know where to start. I guess first of all I was really excited to make it back to Baltimore to see all of you race so incredibly well. I was also touched (not in the Joel Brusewitz way) to see some of the gang wearing pieces of blue painters tape with my initials on it on their singlets. It was like we were in the NFL or NBA or something.

The weather couldn't have cooperated better, in fact I was sad because I know if I do this race next year it will go back to normal conditions. Temperature was cool, there was a slight breeze and very low humidity. This enabled the race to start precisely on time for the first time I've ever seen.

Kipchirchir and I settled in to watch the start and then all we had to do was turn around and wait as the race passed by us again at mile 2. Daniel Too, the eventual winner, came blazing through in 9:20 and had a huge lead. To my surprise, Baltimore newcomer Jeff Gaudette was hot on the leaders heels. Before the race he said he was just hoping to run "around 26." Next through were Greg Jubb and Ryan Stasiowski, local college studs and FRRS employees. Then the unmistakable dayglo yellow singlet of NCOTB. I spotted Justin and Brennan running near each other, and then Kris, Hollywood and Berardi. Then all the ladies - Denise, Eileen, Melissa.

At the finish line there was excitement as Daniel Too came through in a very swift 23:51, with a huge gap to 2nd. Jeff Gaudette came rolling through in 24:51 for 5th place, which is an incredibly strong finish and it's amazing to see how quickly he's pulling himself back into his old form. Greg and Ryan came through in 12th and 15th, respectively, in great summer training times of 25:41 and 25:55. NCOTB was next in 28th at 26:36, which was well under his pre-race goal of 27.

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the tiny little shape of one Christine Ramsey. I realized that no other ladies had gone through yet - which meant Chrissie was WINNING this race. I looked at the clock and as she crossed it read 27:12 (later it became 27:15). She put 20 seconds into DC/NoVA standout Samia Akbar and ran one of the fastest times seen at this race. She obliterated her PR and TWSS record (formerly 29:31, Rockville Twilight 7/21/07) by almost 2:20. That's absurd. Unfathomable even.

Putting a dollar in the pot will be Justin (27:18) and Brennan (27:22), who finished strong right behind Chrissie. Justin's was a post-collegiate best and Brennan's was an all-time PR. Kris Simms, so glad to see him finally exorcise the Rockville demons and put down a stellar 28:23. He can never do this race again now and be happy. Hollywood was right behind in 28:28, and Old Man Berardi wasn't too far back in 28:43. Amazing times from all the guys.

For the ladies, after Chrissie we had an incredible pack - really incredible, actually. Denise, 13th (30:46); Eileen, 15th (30:49); Melissa, 17th (30:59). It was awesome seeing the three come into the finish boom-boom-pow. For Melissa, it represented a 40 second improvement from last year. For Eileen it was welcome back party - she's really back in shape. Christine Trzcinski ran great too, 34:19. And Joel's better half, Alix, ran a solid 40:32.

It was, by far, the best team performance I've seen us pull together. Truly amazing. I am going to file a formal protest with the race management because we did not show up in the team results, which we would have won by a margin of :35. I sent in the team app (plus the reg fee) last week and emailed the guy to let him know it was on its way. So that pisses me off. But we don't need confirmation of us being awesome.

I'll be sure to post a little more on the results from the weekend tomorrow, when I find out about David Ploskonka's 100 miler and Ben's Great Lakes Relay. But really there was no denying this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week: Chrissie "Christy" Ramsey. That was one of the finest performances I've ever seen in my life and we are all super psyched for your great successes this year.


Collin said...

Dave ran a 23:20, so you can add that. Apparently his feet got pretty beat up and his no s-caps thing finally caught up with him a little bit, but he still finished in a respectable time while lots and lots of other runners were dropping out.

KLIM said...

I would say that Ramsey's had the performance of the day yesterday. Low 27s for 8k is very legit, and it wasn't freak. Whipping Samia is no small feat either. I raise my Gatorade in a toast. Great work!

Rebs said...

woo hoo! Great Job everybody! Chrissie you are an animal, but no surprises there :)

Sara said...

Congrats, TTWSS! Wish I'd been there to see it.