Monday, April 12, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

That was the name of the game on Sunday, with some of the most incredible performances I've seen in my 28 years on this earf.

Our track athletes, Chrissie, Ed and Arjun, were all in competition this weekend. Chrissie dropped a 16:57.99 to win the 5000m on Friday at Hopkins (lowering her own stadium record) while Ed and Arjun went 4-8 on Saturday at the Delaware Invite in the 1500m. Ed ran 4:10.57 and Arjun was 4:11.96. Both closed their last 300m in about 46.5, which means they have some speed.

Our ultra runners, Dave P and Alyssa, ran some great 50 mile times this weekend at Bull Run. Apparently it was a PR for Dave at 8:06:18 (26th place) and for Alyssa it was a strong showing just two months out from OD100 (8:48:32/9th).

Our 10 mile runners went absolutely nuts on the roads. At Cherry BLOSSOM, Ben led the way to finish 30th in 52:47. This represents a 1:20 drop in time from Club Challenge. Kyle came through next in 54:46, with Phil Turner hot on his heels in 54:58. Amazingly, Phil was 65th with that time. Last year that placement would have been about 2 minutes slower. This year's race was truly one of the most competitive in history. Perfect conditions may have had something to do with it, but I just think there are some fast people around here. Tim Parker, Mike Zero and Rodney Taylor had solid races, and Denise ran a respectable 1:07:07. I know she hasn't been training as much as she normally is, so that's a really good time. Kevin McGrath has been looking for that elusive "sub 7" average for a while now, coming as close as 7:01 in an 8k. He knew he was primed for a big race, and Cheese offered to run with him for 8 miles or so. Cheese found him and he had already run two 6:55's to open. They were under 7min pace at 5, and at that point it became "how much under 70 do you want to go?" The last two miles were run at 6:40 and you could see the manifestation of pain in every stride towards the finish - but when it was all said and done he had run 1:08:56. Awesome job Kev! Sara Spears hasn't been able to run as much as she'd like lately, but that never stops her from going out and competing. She ran 1:25:37 and celebrates her birthday on Sunday. Jan Cook was out there too, good job for him spotting me.

At Cherry PIT, Kipchirchir returned to racing and winning, defending his title in 53:02. Stellar time on a challenging course. Dustin placed 2nd, a few minutes back, but was in the middle of a 20 mile run. He ran the 10 mile race and kept going for another 4 at that pace. Insane. Pittsburgh Marathon is not ready for this guy! Mellow Mike ran a 1:03:47 which is an awesome time, faster than he's run in 5 years (his PR was from 2005 on a flat course I found out). And Cynthia Evans ran 1:23:30.

Surprise race of the day was Blue Jay 5k. I knew Melissa was running but figured she was just going to test out the legs. She has been doing some very long workouts as you all know, and focus has not been on short stuff. She ran most of the way with Hollywood (17:43, 4th) and ultimately finished in a 36sec PR at 17:54. Her previous best was almost a year ago at 18:30. Dipping under 18 for the first time is a MAJOR accomplishment! Johnny Blatz took 2nd in 17:30 and gf Meghan Kelly was 4th in 21:30.

Final race, which I missed in the email, was Dave Berardi's 2nd place at the Hills of Milltown 5k. Must be REAL hard because he ran 20:21.

The impressive performances of Plosko, Ben, Melissa and Kevin made this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week honor really difficult, like stomach-turning difficult. Someone's first time under 18 is a huge deal, and a 50 mile PR or first time averaging under 7 are also major accomplishments. In the end I had to go with Ben, because he took it to the house in an obscenely competitive and large event. In the process he defeated some major rivals that I know had to feel great, and ran an amazingly fast time.

A special shout out to the spectators of the weekend, including Melissa/Kevin/Cheese/Arjun for going up to UDel on Saturday and Boof/McLoughlins for coming out EARLY on Sunday to go to DC. I can't believe that Macs even made it. But a super special honor, the KC Masterpiece Award, goes to Cheese for running 8 miles with Kevin and helping push him to a huge PR.

Tuesday Night Track workout - Cheese/Arjun are doing some FAST stuff. Melissa's not working out Tuesday. Chrissie has a workout of 2x(2x1k @ 5k pace, 6x200 @ mile pace). I like the workout but I know most of those showing up are not keen on doing 200s when they're not racing that short, so we will probably opt for 5xMile.

Enjoy the beautiful day!

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