Monday, October 17, 2011

Putting On For Our City

Full disclosure: Since no fewer than 50 of us competed in some way at the Baltimore Running Festival this weekend, not everyone's story will be highlighted in this recap.  You can see everyone's results on the side.

The 5k

Tristram Thomas won the 5k in 15:34, which was a 17 second improvement from his time last year, and a 17 second season best.  It also moved him from 9th to 5th in our Top Ten All Time list.  TT was disappointed the time wasn't faster, but put some of that on the lack of competition in the field.  In the women's race, Melissa Tanner was 2nd in 19:20, with New Becky Parks just behind in 3rd (19:29).  For NBP it was a season best.  She said she was going to try her best not to get drunk on Friday night, which could explain the performance.  But after the race, and Saturday night, and most of Sunday, she made up for all that she couldn't drink on Friday.  Erik Westlund had a cortisone shot prior to the race, which made his foot feel better, but also inhibited him from running too fast.  Christa Wagner ran 20:48, which was almost a minute improvement from her time last year, and I'm pretty sure a PR.  It also placed her 9th. 

The Half Marathon

A group of 8 blitzed from the gun, clipping the first mile in under 5:30.  Brennan Feldhausen made sure to dial back his effort, and it paid off for him as he began to reel everyone back in at Lake Montebello.  With sustained winds of 20mph, including a headwind for the final 5-6 miles, most recorded their slowest mile on the flat mile around the Lake.  Brennan finished 5th in 1:17:16, which while off his goal, didn't leave him feeling too concerned.  Tim Parker was coming off a fine finish at the Delaware Distance Classic 15k, and was looking to improve on last year's 1:22 low that he ran.  Unfortunately it wasn't his day, as he finished up at 1:26:31.  Another who had trouble finding his legs was Joel Gladfelter, who was hoping to go under his 1:23 time from a few weeks ago.  Joel finished up at 1:31:02, but as bad days happen, you just put it behind you and move on.  David Lee, better known for his monster skills on the bike, and Sam Wollner, the swimmer, both found their running legs as they finished in 1:31:14 and 1:32:51, respectively.  Jon Miller (1:38:42) and PJ Anderer (1:40:56) each ran fine races, and Colin Brooks had a good race, running 2:07:03.  I will keep telling this story for a while, but Colin thought that the mile markers indicated what mile you were STARTING.  In other words, he thought the race starts at Mile 1 (instead of 0) and that at mile 10 he still had 4 miles to go.  So he had a little too much left in the tank!

For the ladies, Jackie Truncellito ran a great race, improving by 1:40 on her 2010 time in her 3rd place effort (1:28:46).  Kelly Meier also ran a great race for herself, finishing in 1:39:15.

The Marathon

The laurels and praises for Dave Berdan's 2:21:19, 10th place effort, could not be higher or more plentiful, so we don't need to recap his performance.  I am confident that, at any race besides Baltimore, his effort would have resulted in a sub 2:19 time, and if he gives it a go again this fall, may the wind be at his back!

But there were others running this race, some for the first time, and some as their first marathon.  Conrad Laskowski shot out like a bullet, running most of the race by himself, and splitting 1:15:30 at the half.  He paid for it in the back half, as almost everyone does, but still finished up at 2:44:00, good enough for 27th.  Andrew Beef Jaffe always makes me scratch my head, as he muscles and bulls his way to great times.  He finished up at 2:49:01.  Pat McLoughlin, due to the forces of nature, decided to make Baltimore his first marathon.  Perhaps not ideal from a "fast race" perspective, it did allow him to train on the course and avoid traveling.  It also meant he was going to have support the entire way.  He didn't disappoint.  Running 1:23 at the half, he managed to hold himself together for a 1:27 back half and finish at 2:50:43 for 36th place.  A fantastic debut for Pat!

For the women, Denise Knickman finished 13th and was top master, claiming $1000 for her 3:09:45 effort.  Perhaps the surprise of the day was Meg McNew's 3:10:38, which, all things considered, is probably equivalent to her 3:06:43 from two weeks ago at Wineglass.  This is an incredible confirmation of her fitness, but now hopefully she'll take at least more than a couple of weeks off from serious running!

The Relay

We didn't have the numbers, or desire, to put together open men and open women teams, so it was just one co-ed team with Arjun (who hadn't really run in two weeks), Ed (who had just run his marathon 6 days earlier), Amy, and Meg D.  They won handily over Team Jaskot (2nd place co-ed) and finished 4th overall in the relay division at 2:42:12.  Apparently Meg D (4th leg) was enjoying the water stations. 

Andy Olson, and Nina Hartman, separately ran as individuals on the same team (inside joke) and established a team PR for themselves. Dave Berardi was on the 3rd place team, comprised of HCS masters. 

The Purple Drink Athlete of the Week

With many worthy performances on the docket, the PDAW showed its bias towards those competing in their first marathon, and with a 2:50 debut, it's one of the best debut marathons we've seen in our years here.  "Congrads" Pat!

But we weren't quite done with racing just yet!

Sunday was the Columbus Marathon and Half.  Although many were looking to run OTQ times, it appears as if, between both races, just a handful of women were able to do it - the half winner and a couple in the marathon.  The male marathon winner was 45ish seconds off and the half winner was even less than that.  Dustin Meeker wasn't interested in qualifying for the Trials, he just wanted to run a fast time.  He has been incredibly diligent in his preparations over the past few months, and he unleashed the fury on Sunday, covering the 13.1 mile course in 1:10:34 and finishing 13th out of nearly 10,000 runners.  For Dusty, it was a PR of 1:06, which is pretty insane.  It also helped him leapfrog Ben by 2 seconds to put him in 4th in our Top Ten All Time (in fairness, Ben has run 1:09 but it was before he met us so we don't count it. It also was before the internet, so there is no published record of it). 

Meanwhile, up in Detroit, Lauren Boof Dennisuk ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon, finishing 41st in 3:21:37.

Elsewhere in Michigan, Ryan Schmidt ran on a relay race at the Grand Rapids Marathon with his wife, his brother, sister, and sister-in-law.  They were out to have some fun, and for Sara, it was the first race I can remember her doing in a long time! 

This week we will honor Dusty with the NOS Award, for pushing his NOS button at just the right time.  He split 10k at 33:05 and zoomed past 4 people from 10k to the finish.

We will also honor the AutoZone In the Zone athlete, Dave Berdan, who seems to be firing on all cylinders following his great runs at PDR, Race for our Kids, and now Baltimore. 

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