Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Believe I Can Fly

Under normal circumstances, comparing Pete Mulligan to Michael Jordan would be ludicrous, unless we were talking about the Michael Jordan that played minor league baseball for the Chicago White Sox.  But what Pete accomplished on Sunday was akin to all of MJ's career highlights, rolled into one.  Pete shaved 27 minutes off his previous personal best in the marathon, an astronomical improvement, and in the process, achieved the new (and more difficult) qualifying standard for the Boston Marathon.  Pete's time of 3:24:15 put him inside the 3:25 time limit for his age group, so, with some good fortune, Pete will be on the line in April 2013. 

Pete at the Hon Run 2007

That performance was enough to earn Pete the Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, but it wasn't without some stiff competition.

Pete raced at the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY, a race known for its fast times and propensity for bestowing Boston Qualifying times upon its competitors.  A point-to-point, downhill race, this year's edition took place in wet, chilly conditions that seemed to be too much for some, but just right for others.  And apparently, the "others" were everyone that we run with.  Meg McNew's previous marathon best was a 3:17.  She lopped off 11 minutes, running 3:06:43 and finishing 8th among women. 

In the inaugural half marathon, Carly Page showed her fitness by not just winning the race, but doing it in style, and running a 6 minute PR (1:25:48).  I mistakenly cited her position on the Top Ten All Time list, supplanting Meg McNew's best, but was corrected and I apologize to both of them for the error! 

Terry Decker also competed in the half, but was a little disappointed with his result - a 1:29.  He felt he was better than that effort, and I think so too, so I hope he can get on track for his upcoming marathon.  His fiance, Molly Eagen, ran her first marathon and went 4:23, which is a great debut time.

Also earning wins this weekend were Arjun Majumdar and New Becky Parks, in two lowkey, local 5k's.  Arjun ran the Marian House 5k on Saturday at Lake Montebello.  The awful idea of having a two loop course led to Arjun and his main competitor having to weave through walkers towards the end of the race while engaging in a sprint to the finish.  Mostly, our biggest question was who is this guy that is able to keep up with Arjun in the last 400m of a 5k?  Apparently his balls were exposed, too, which had to have been quite a sight.  In any event, it was hard to tell who was going to win but in the last few strides, Arjun got him, running a great 16:39 and earning his first W in a long, long time.  For NBP, who ran the not-accurately-timed-or-measured Sowebo Landmark 5k on Sunday, she of course won and was not pleased with the effort.  Or the shoddy organization.  But what did you expect, it's a race in Southwest Baltimore!

The Falls Road 15k was held on Sunday and thanks to everyone who helped out, even if some of you were "on the clock" for the store.  Alyssa Godesky finished 2nd among women behind soon-to-be-newcomer-to-the-group Kellen McGee.  Alyssa had to run before the race, and then was supposed to pick up the 2nd half of the race.  She tackled the hills of the course and ran a great time.  Just behind was PJ Anderer, and then Kelly Meier in 3rd.  In 6th was Sara Damiano, who joined us for track tonight.  Christine Trzcinski and Karen Menge rounded our our troupe of ladies who stormed the race. 

Lillian Pinault ran the Freedom's Run Half Marathon in 1:42:45, about 7 minutes faster than she was expecting, and Dan Miranda doubled in back-to-back half marathons, running a 1:18:43 in a 2nd place effort at a half marathon in New Hampshire on Saturday, before flying back Saturday night and running the half marathon leg of a half ironman on Sunday in Columbia (where he ran about 1:20).  Not a bad weekend!

Out in Oregon, Matty Blaze Jablonski was racing in his first ever big boy college race, the Bill Dellinger Invitational, an 8k cross country race at U of O.  Matt finished 41st in a stacked field (every race will be stacked for him from now on) in a great debut time of 24:45.  At another college xc race, the Paul Short Invite, on Friday, Tristram Thomas finished 122nd in 27:39.

Our final competitor this weekend was Ben Ingram, who was looking forward to competing in his first ever half ironman at the inaugural Poconos 70.3.  The only problem was the river they were using to stage the swim was surging, and at 14 feet, the park said the swim was a no-go.  So the race became a bike-run, with a 55 mile ride and 13.1 mile run, and competitors were to go off every couple of seconds.  Ben wrote up his race report on his blog, but basically in this type of race he is going to crush almost every time, and his result was a 3rd place AG finish, which earned him a spot to next year's IM 70.3 World Championship!  However, since he just registered for IM Wisconsin, which is the same day, he had to pass.  Must be nice to have that option! 

As mentioned in the email, in addition to our PDAW, we have two new awards that will be popping up from time to time:

The NOS Award goes to the athlete who punched it at just the right time, and this week it went to Arjun.

The AutoZone "In the Zone" Award goes to an athlete who seems to be hitting his or her stride, and this week it went to Carly Page.

Good turnout at the track tonight, it was obviously pitch black just after we started the workout, which is unfortunate but we'll just have to get used to it!  Also as I put in the email, the next few weeks we are going to start winding down.  For the most part, the few of you that have marathons this fall know what you're doing, and there are enough of you to keep working out together for a while.  For everyone else, I think you're mostly satisfied just getting in some quicker running, so the workouts will be fun.  Also, somehow Space Jam was already a label for me to use.

1 comment:

RM said...


Link to a great pic of Pete running with Meg D as a pacer.