Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Philly Style

In advance of Sunday's Philadelphia Marathon, here's what you need to know about the race, and who to follow online!

Philly is viewed as a quick course, thanks to its relatively flat profile, competitive field, and friendly (albeit sometimes cold) weather.  And this year, as it's one of the last opportunities to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials, expect to see a number of very fast times at the top of the field, in both the marathon and half.  From what I understand there are now over a dozen elite men entered in the race, all shooting for the OTQ time (< 2:19:00).  If there is a cohesive, organized effort to run the required pace (5:18/mi), I feel like we could see more than a couple of guys punching their ticket to Houston.  The last time Philly was the "Last Chance" meet was 2007, and we saw a number of women running under the "B" standard (< 2:46:00).  That year, our very own Chrissie Ramsey ran a PR 2:52 and finished 17th.  Most years that's good enough to be in the top 10, maybe even top 5.  I would again expect a similar situation this year.

There are three events over the weekend, with the Rothman Institute 8k on Saturday, and the Marathon/Half Marathon on Sunday.  The marathon and half start simultaneously and run the same course, until the half marathoners hit the finish and the marathoners have to keep going down the river to Manayunk.  With a start time of 7am, the light is barely up through the buildings and the temperature is usually pretty brisk. 

The course starts out running through the city a little bit, before heading over the bridge into University City, and the Zoo.  There is little elevation change in the first 7 miles, but between 7 and 9 there are a couple of hills, before you drop again to mile 11.  As the half marathoners come into the home stretch near the Art Museum, the marathon heads down Kelly Drive towards Manayunk (slightly downhill for a few miles) before heading back up the ever-so-slight uphill to the finish, again at the Art Museum. 

Will Knox ran a very impressive marathon debut here, narrowly missing getting under 2:30 (by 25 seconds), and that remains our team's course best.  I expect two people to be under that on Sunday. 

Track Runners Online

Use the above link to track runners.  They've made it quite convenient for you, as you can receive updates via Text, Email, Facebook or Twitter.  And it's FREE (unlike some marathons we know).  Huge plus, Philadelphia.  Here's who we have running, in case you want to track:

Dave Berdan.  Once again, Dave is going for it.  After his PR 2:21:19 at Baltimore, he felt his fitness was still good, and his motivation was high, so why not give it another shot?  The tough part for Dave was going to be recovering from the marathon, and the other races he had done, but maintain his fitness.  He seems ready to go, and is excited to run fast.

Alex Battaglino.  Alex was originally going to look to do the half, but after a bunch of his favored high mileage weeks, he felt he was strong enough to give the marathon a go.  With a 1:07 half marathon PR and a good base, he is looking to put forth a solid effort in his second marathon.

Dan Miranda.  Dan ran his PR here last year (2:44) and seems to be in shape to go well under that.  His workouts lately have been great, and with a bunch of solid long runs in his legs, I expect Dan will set a new best for himself.

Andy Thivierge.  Andy started coming to workouts this summer, so you've probably only met him if you've been to track, but is another great addition to the group.  We didn't really discuss goals, or what he was in shape to do, but he seems quite fit.

Phil Turner.  We usually see Philly Turnstyle once a year now, generally around Club Challenge.  He let me know he's running this weekend and while his expectations are not high, he feels he has an outside shot of getting inside of his PR (2:46)

Terry Decker.  Terry "Upper" Decker is ready to go, looks fit, and is shooting for the stars at Philly!

Jackie Truncellito.  Our sole lady marathoner I believe, Jackie set her PR here a few years back, running a superb 2:58, just a few weeks after running under 3:10 at Baltimore.  I would expect her to run somewhere in between the two.

Chrissie Ramsey (half).  Chrissie is rounding herself back into the form of old, and decided it would be a good test of fitness for her to do the half.  After winning the National Half earlier this year in just under 1:17, she could easily be under that time if all goes well. 

Lillian Pinault (half).  Lillian had a good 10 miler last month, but admitted that training hadn't been quite what she hoped since then.  She is hoping to get under 1:40.  I think she can do it.

Other locals:

I know some of our friends down at GRC are running, and I'm sure there are more but I believe Karl "The Duse is Loose" Dusen and Michelle "Forget Triathlons I'm a Runner" Miller are running.  I would expect both to be in the legitimate hunt for that OTQ time.

As a reminder, the Olympic Trials time standards for men and women are:

Half: < 1:05:00 (men), < 1:15:00 (women)
Full: < 2:19:00 (men), < 2:37:00 (women "A"), < 2:46:00 (women "B")

The race starts at 7am, and because I'll be out on PST and have a little business of my own, I will not be able to update, sadly.  Actually, I'll probably be able to shoot out some early time updates when I get up, but I'll likely miss all the finishes.  If you want to shoot finish times up there, just append @BMoreRunning to your tweet and the person's name and time, and we'll see it on the right hand side!

To everyone racing: tear it up and if you're up for sending me your thoughts about your performance, feel free!  When I'm done racing on Sunday I'll take a look at them and use it for Monday's email (which you should not expect until the afternoon)


pepperjackb said...

good luck y'all!

Andy said...

Easily. Kill it in AZ Ryan and Alyssa