Thursday, April 14, 2011

Falls Road Blitzes Westminster

Kris followed by Pat
Above, Kris Simms, 39, of Baltimore, celebrated his birthday by making this angry face.  He ran 4:35 and finished 12th at the Westminster Main Street Mile.

Westminster, MD: The 30th edition of the Westminster Main Street Mile saw some incredibly fast times run, and they have Falls Road to thank.  With double winners Ed Aramayo (4:05) and Diane Heiser (4:40) running some of the fastest winning times in years, and placing 8 runners in the top 20, race organizers said they "did not know what we would have done without you" (psyche they didn't really say that).  The question on most peoples' mind is: how did this happen?

The Falls Road Dirty Dozen rolled deep into Westminster, a place few of us had ever been.  The hill-and-dale of Carroll County revealed tremendously undulating terrain, and as we approached from the finish line, we had an opportunity to see the cliff that we would be jumping off of.  We finally understood why times were so fast, and how Remus could have run a 4:24 here.  Fortune smiled upon us, as the weather conditions, which featured temps below 50, rain and an expected headwind of 13mph at race time, cleared up by the time we arrived in Westminster.  A temperature of 54, dry roads and a lighter headwind created a perfect atmosphere for running fast.

After a brief warmup, our crew hustled up the mammoth climb to the start line.  The fear of the other runners' was palpable, as our intimidation factor was at an 11 (but it only goes to 10?).  Despite a number of young girls ahead of me on the line, in general our entire crew was on the front, and following the absurd starter's countdown and whistle-blowing, the crowd of 200+ in heat 1 tore out of the gate and flew down Main Street.  When my parachute didn't open, I was a little concerned, but to give you an idea of just how fast this race was: I hit the quarter in 67 seconds, and had to have been in 40th place. 

The race went by in a blur; we all commented afterwards that it was the fastest that splits have ever come up in a race.  First was the quarter, which seemed like no time had passed.  It was this first quarter that was on the steepest downhill section.  The road then flattened out as it passed the half, and from there it was actually a slight rise before dropping down again.  You could see the finish line at this point, and with the benefit of the downhill you could start your kick much earlier than in other races.  When the whilrlwind race was over, all 12 of our crew had run under 6 minutes, with Ed finishing 9 seconds off the men's record (and narrowly missing the 4 minute barrier), and Diane running about 8 seconds off the women's record. 

Apparently the guy who holds the course record (3:56) was there, much older now and I don't know what he ran, so we'll just have to keep going until somebody gets it. 4 people slotted in between Ed and Tristram Thomas, who finished 5th in what they say is 4:14 but I feel like that may not be right, as I thought he said he was 4:09. We'll have to confirm that. Next, the pair of Arjun Majumdar and Jordan "Juice" Orr came through in 7th and 8th (4:22, 4:26). The birthday geezer, Kris Simms, was 12th in a rather amazing 4:35, with Pat McLoughlin right behind in 13th (4:36) and Diane, women's winner by 25 seconds, right behind. She was about 5 seconds off the course record for women. Brennan Feldhausen came through in 4:44 for 19th, and yours truly ran what can only be described as a miracle mile, running 4:50 for 23rd. I say miracle because since my surgeries I'm sure you've all seen what happens when I try to run downhill. After me was Meg DiGregorio, 2nd F in 5:05, and then Alyssa Godesky, who had already run a workout this morning, ran an incredible 5:36 for 6th, finishing narrowly behind the girl who looked super seriously fast (and was very far ahead of me at the quarter). Pete Mulligan finished in 5:49, I bet he didn't think he could ever run that fast.
Spectators for the event included Chrissie Ramsey, Jordan's girlfriend (who also had a birthday today) and Alex B, although he missed all of us run. Following the race I think only two of us actually got the ice cream sandwiches because the rest of us foolishly cooled down immediately and came back to an enormous line.

You can read the article in the Carroll County Times about the race, with quotes by Ed, as well as take a look at the photo gallery, courtesy of Ullrich Photo.

From there, it was off to the track, where Meg D rocked the women's 3000m at the McDaniel Twilight Meet, winning in 10:53.55. The track was super close to the race, and it's a really weird beige color. Never seen a track that color that wasn't concrete. The big event of the night was the final event, the Distance Medley Relay. Our crew of Ed, Jordan, Arjun and Tristram was taking on the team from McDaniel College, and it wasn't even close. Ed led off with a 3:15, passing to Jordan who ran a 55 second 400. As Jordan told us after, the last DMR he ran on finished in 9:37, where he got "rolled" running a 1:49. Well, our team wouldn't run quite that fast, but it would be a (default) TWSS record! Arjun ran a 2:07 800 leg and handed off to Tristram who soloed to a 4:30 1600 for a finish time of 10:48. It was really awesome to watch, the field was completely empty and it was 9pm, but it was a great night for racing.

We followed this up with trivia night at the Greene Turtle. God, if I lived up there, I honestly don't know how I would make it more than a week.

Awesome job everyone! Great Wednesday races!


RM said...

If you check out the article from the newspaper, there is a little video on the left side. Watch it - good shot of Ed coming into the finish and Arjun looks like he is f***ing flying!

Meg said...

Did you notice that Kris is listed as a female in the results?

Awesome job, everyone. You people are fast.

RM said...

I sent an email to the timers letting them know that, to the best of our knowledge, Kris is, in fact, a male. That bumps up our girls to 1st, 2nd and Alyssa should have been 5th, as there was definitely no 8 year old girl between Sherry Stick and her.

Now the only thing we have to determine is whether these blazing fast times should count as team road mile records, or have an asterisk, or what...

alyssa said...

I mean...a wise man once said a mouth is a mouth.

And mile and mouth both start with 'm'.

Therefore, by the power of induction and the Free State, I hearby nomiate these times to count as team road mile records.

RM said...

Did you copy and paste that, or is your handle on the English language not that strong today?

"power of induction"? = power of deducation aka logical reasoning

"nomiate" = nominate?

That wise man, by the way, who said a mouth's a mouth, is Dave Chappelle (actually I think Neal Brennan wrote that line).

Maybe there's a table out there for time adjustment on this downhill course.

alyssa said...

Okay, so I spelled nominate wrong. Got me there.

However, my mathematics background did give me some knowledge to drop. Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates inductive arguments (citation: wikipedia)

In fact, induction was probably better than deduction to use in this instance, mostly because I was pulling things out thin air (poof). That lack of substantial base of fact allows me to call my above argument "weak induction."

THE KRIS said...

i've always thought the only thing this blog needed was more pictures of me.

fbg said...

I agree with both Alyssa and The Kris.

RM said...

BG - as the former road mile record holder (4:20.19, Attnanger Meile, May 3 2008) - your wish is my command.

fbg said...

Aw crap. I meant I agree with Alyssa on the induction-deduction issue. I'll let you make the call on whether the Main Street Mile is unfairly fast.

Ben said...

You guys are welcome to come out to Wincester for round 2 at the Loudon street mile on memorial day. I'm not sure how it compares with westminster - but it is downhill.

RM said...

BG - in good faith, I have trouble counting the Westminster results as records, because Ed's 4:05, with my estimated :13 conversion would be just ahead of your time, BUT it is super close and we really don't know what kind of impact the downhill course had.

For the women, since the only road mile time ever posted previously was 7:11, it's safe to say that Diane's 4:40, even with a time conversion, would be far enough ahead.

Ben - I am giving serious consideration to taking a trip out to Winchester for the Loudon St Mile. I feel like it's a less steep downhill, and if it's on the Monday, then I would bring my bike and we could go ride afterwards.