Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baller Status, Attained

"The team did awesome yesterday - tell everyone I said great job! Baller status, attained." ~ Kevin McGrath

The 2010 edition of the RRCA Club Challenge 10 Miler became the Falls Road show. Led by course records for both men and women, the team scored the fewest points it has ever scored for men's team and combined team, at 165 and 382 respectively. HoCo was 2nd on the men's side at 270 and in the combined at 725. Before the race I did a little mock scoring and "predicted" the men would score 163 and narrowly hold off HoCo. For the women, I felt like Westminster was too loaded and could put 3 in before our first. I was very pleased to be proven wrong.

Dave Berdan looked like an absolute monster out there, and crushed everyone. His lead was 1:40 by the end, and his time of 51:43 on the newly certified course is the fastest ever run here. I knew HoCo would have two guys up there in Graham and Izzy, who did come through in 2nd and 3rd, but the next person coming through was none other than Ben in 54:08. He ran 54:05 at Army 10 in the fall, so this was pretty awesome. Ben's previous times here have been 1:00:47 and 56:25. You can read more about his race on his blog. Dusty came through just behind Ben in 54:23, and we're all glad he's made himself part of the group. Kyle is a new dad and has just a few months left before he's officially a dentist and back to Seattle, but came out on minimal training for one last go at CC. He ran 55:01 for 7th. A couple surprises from RASAC popped up next, if they were to ever get more people up there they could become a force to be reckoned with. Then came Brennan, running 55:42 for 12th. Last year, when he ran 56:39, I thought it was unreal. I felt like he was capable of 56:00 this year, so it was a great surprise to see him that far up.

We had 4 people come through under 57, and I didn't have them on my predictor under 57. Jake Marren came through in 56:09 - his previous best here was from 2006 where he ran 1:01:47 I think. Conrad Laskowski, a CC first-timer, ran 56:20 and then Phil Turner, who emailed me on Friday to see if it was cool if he could run on Sunday, dropped a 56:30. Stay Tuned - Phil and Will may be getting together to run this weekend, so I'll let you know about it. Cheese, who has been sick for like 10 months, and didn't feel like he was in great shape, ran 56:58. With the exception of Phil, these were all 10 mile PRs.

Ashish came up from Austin to help the squad, just a week after his 1:16:06 half marathon. He ran 57:14 and slotted in at 19th. Arjun, who hasn't been training the same way he was last year, ran 57:47 and was our number 11. Think about that - 11 people under 57:47. My original guess was we'd have our scoring 12 under 58:30, and if Will had shown up, we would have accomplished that. Steve Levin came up big as #12, 59:36. Haven't seen him run since Baltimore half in the fall, so this was a good result. Jeff Rumbaugh came up from ATL for this year's race, and ran a course best here at 59:36.

Some other notable male performances - Tim Parker's 1:00:43, which is a great time for him, who has been training inside most of the winter. Eric Benjamin claimed that his 1:01:50 was his best time here. Tom Stott ran 2.5 minutes faster than last year at 1:02:11. Barf's 1:08:43 was run both exceptionally smart, and with a tremendous amount of guts. For his effort, he earned the KC Masterpiece Award. Truly a gritty effort. Tank, who I missed in the email, dragged his fat ass around the 10 mile course for the longest he's run since he did that marathon a few years ago.

On the ladies' side, boy oh boy, I did not expect some of these performances! We showed up to the race with a scant 41 runners. This was maybe something like 28 or 29 guys and 12 or 13 ladies. Small in quantity, but deadly effective. Susie came flying up the road and finished in 59:27. The 2nd time I ran this race I ran 59:25. Ouch. Her nearest competitor was her own teammate, Melissa Majumdar, who ran 1:03:24. Her previous best here was about 5 minutes slower than that. After Laura O'Hara came through 10 seconds back, Diane Heiser was hot on her heels, finishing in 1:03:51. This was a 6 minute 10 mile PR and a 21 minute course best for her. Eileen Fleck finished 6th overall but 4th for us at 1:05:30. Unbelievable.

Instead of scoring 4 women, they scored 6 - I guess the smallest team had 6 so that's what they do. That meant our next two scorers were Denise, at 1:08:04, and Nina at 1:09:32. Nina - good thing we didn't need you to run a little faster! Lauren aka Boof ran 1:10:11, great time for her first CC, and Dr. J was sick but still came out, and the result was a time not much off what she ran last year. So I'd say that was pretty good. Meg McNew (running for RASAC) seems to be on the path back to being injury-free, and Alyssa, who had run the course backwards before we got there, and then ran 8 more miles after we were done, dropped a personal best 1:19:30. Sara Spears, at 1:26:16, was over a minute faster than last year, when she felt she was in better shape.

There has never been a greater team from Baltimore than this one. Even with some people missing we still proved to be so deep in talent, it really is amazing. You have all dealt with the worst winter ever quite well, and your fitness shows it. Be confident going into the spring, you are all stronger than you think after last year's great successes.

Oh, and the course was 300 feet longer than last year - they had it certified. So if you ran last year, your time this year was automatically a few seconds slower.

Finally, I would have liked to have given the Purple Drink Athlete of the Week to everyone, but I felt that the award needed to be singular. So, because he set the course on fire, and more importantly helped the team in his first ever running of CC, Dave Berdan owns this week's award.


Collin said...

Great job. Out of curiosity, why was Serge Arbona racing for Baltimore RRC? His 59:59 wouldn't have scored for us, but he's kind of part of the original FRR crew from back in the day and the couple of times I've seen him racing, he's always had the FRR singlet on. Weird...

THE KRIS said...

great job people, you've got me fired up to start running again.

Christy said...

Did you get a jogging stroller yet? Can Vivienne come to TNT with you?

THE KRIS said...

I'll need a lot of work before I have the legs to push one of those things around. That said, as soon as she's crawling I'll get her on the track. Remus probably waited till his kids were like 5 to put them on the track... Loser.

gladfelter said...

Remus. Haa! Any reference of him is worth a chuckle or two.