Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Not About the Price Tag

As race entry fees continue to increase (not to mention the number of clowns at races), there is still hope for grassroots running.  The Baltimore Road Runners Club is a great example.  I don't say this because I have a rooting interest in them (I'm not a member), but the fact is that this summer they were set to increase entry fees into their low key summer track series (excluding Meet of Miles and 10 Mile Relay), but in a rather surprising move, they elected to eliminate entry fees instead.  As many of us take advantage of these meets over the summer for races and workouts, this was a pleasant surprise.  A big thank you to the BRRC, to the volunteers and members who give up their time and own running ambitions to put on these meets, and other great, low key events throughout the year.  Now, if only they could get results up a little faster!

Results aren't up yet from last week's Summer Track Series #3, but we had an awesome turnout.  The Mile was the first event, and since most of us actually got there in time this week to warm up, it went a little better.  Ed Aramayo and Conrad Laskowski went 1-2, finishing right around 4:28.  Joel Brusewitz, who had done the workout the day before, was a surprise starter and finished just over 5.  Meg McNew was looking to run a PHSPR (post-high school PR) and she accomplished that, running 5:35, finishing 2nd to Meg DiGregorio, who was just ahead of her.  Denise Knickman ran as well.

In the 800m, Denise took top honors for the women, running a 2:47 - one of her fastest times in years.  For the men, Joel Gladfelter wanted to improve upon his 2:08 from a few weeks ago.  He got out very hard, and found himself with an enormous lead by 200, and by 400 (59.9) he was in a great position to run fast.  He split 600 in 1:32, and then the wheels came off.  That is, if the wheels were the landing gear of a 747 and at the end of the runway you there was a cavernous abyss.  40 seconds for his last 200, finished in 2:11high/2:12.  But hey, he got the W, and as Vin Diesel once said, "it doesn't matter whether you win by an inch or a mile."

Next up was the 5000m, which had a field of 31 athletes on the line.  Most of these athletes were us or a gangly band of collegiate-aged runners, and it was a fast race.  Dustin Meeker was our top finisher, 3rd in 15:46, and Ed and Conrad came through in 5th and 6th just under 16.  Tristram Thomas was a little back of that, and Alex Waldt ran a solid 16:19.  Dave Berardi, who had run 17:32 for the track 5k a few weeks ago, went 17:18.  Louis Foudos finished at 17:43.  For the ladies, it was 1-2-3 with Meg McNew establishing an all-time 5k PR (18:46) and getting the win, just ahead of Meg D, and then Denise.  Melissa Tanner, returning to Baltimore, ran 19:11 and finished 4th. 

After the 5k, we went after it in the 4x400m relay.  Teams were Ed, Conrad, Dustin and Tristram vs Joel G, Vince, Alex W and Louis.  Barf ran a great lead-off leg, handing off just ahead of Ed, who had just finished the 5k (in fact, Joel was the only one who hadn't run the 5k prior).  Conrad and Vince were neck and neck, and then Dusty separated himself a little from Alex.  This left it up to Tristram to just hold on, or Louis to bridge a 3 second gap.  Louis did his best, but came up less than a second short, as Tristram crossed the line in 3:52.  Awesome work!

Other events over the weekend included Dave Ploskonka's 5th place finish at Beast of Burden 100 miler, and Spider Sillery's 2:08:22 finish at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals.  I've also received word that some people ran the BRRC Too Hot to Trot 10k on Sunday (which may have been closer to 6 miles).  Joel Brusewitz ran 36:35, Louis ran something in the mid 36s, Alix Brusewitz ran an hour and Denise got the win. 

Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week went to Louis Foudos.

We're all set for a nice evening at the track tonight, and expect some newcomers so it will be a fun workout.  1200-400-1200, 1000-400-1000, 800-400-800.  90sec in between intervals, 400m in between sets. 

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