Monday, December 19, 2011

All We Do is Light it Up

We were all there, or hopefully all read this morning's email, so rather than go through every single result from Celtic Solstice, I'll focus on the highlights:

Dave Berdan won his 5th Celtic Solstice, but it wasn't easy.  Coming off the best fall racing season of his career, "The Teacher from Garrison Forest" was set to defend his title, but not if the rest of the deep field had their way.  From the gun, HCS' Carlos Renjifo charged to the front of the race, and, joined by our own Tristram Thomas, the pair forged a small gap on Berdan.  Dave admitted after the race that he was hurting, and contemplated just letting it go.  But this is Celtic Solstice.  This is Dave's race.  You knew he wasn't going to race for 2nd or 3rd, he was going to go for the win.  Coming off the Mansion Loop and into the Conservatory turnaround, Dave moved past Tristram and sat just a few strides back of Carlos.  The race was now on, as Dave surged by Carlos to assume the lead, and he wasn't going to give it up.  They hit the Reservoir Loop and Dave's confidence built with each stride, but neither Carlos, nor Tristram, was done just yet.  With a quarter mile to go, runners turn down Wyman Park Drive towards the finish, and anything can happen on this downhill dash to the line.  But Dave made sure he was going to keep his crown as he set a new Course Record (because it was a new, harder course) in 25:47, with Tristram moving past Carlos to finish 2nd in 26:00.

Dustin Meeker, third a year ago in 26:13, finished 4th this year in 26:14.  Nate Brigham made his return to competitive racing, finishing 5th in 26:23.  Running a big PR, with some encouragement from Conrad Laskowski, Dan Miranda finished in 9th at 27:01.  Another one making moves was Seth Tibbitts, who received some pacing help from Alex Battaglino, as they finished at 27:22.  That's over a minute faster than last year for Seth, so I expect some big things from him at CC this year!  Rounding his fine 2011 out with another great Celtic Solstice performance was Tom Stott, who ran 29:16.

On the women's side, the race was all but determined as soon as Chrissie Ramsey made known she was running.  This Olympic Trials Qualifier, and perennial contender for the Brita Grothe Best Ass Award, set not only the Course Record, but the Team 5 Mile Record, as she cruised to the win in 28:27.  Second place went to Julia Webb, who as we all know is pregnant, showed that even soon-to-be-moms can still compete, as she ran a stellar 29:35.  In non-Chrissie years, that kind of time is good enough to win.  Denise Knickman was 6th, and first master, in 32:35, and one of the best performances of the day came from 8th place Christa Wagner, who ran 33:05.  This is equivalent to her 2011 best 5k pace, for another two miles, on a very difficult course.  Great job CW!  Jackie Truncellito, Madeline "Tink" Dulac, and Melissa Tanner all finished within a few seconds of one another around 33:30, and then an off-season Meg McNew ran 35:03.  Lillian Pinault had a great race as she ran a 35:42, which was 50 seconds faster than her best 5 mile time for the year.  Another super performance came from Patty Sweeney-Stott, who learned on Saturday that in order to run fast, you should feel uncomfortable.  She ran a 42:46, which is a big, BIG PR, for the woman who gave birth 6 weeks ago.

But as I mentioned in the email, the performance of the day, and the foregone conclusion for Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, went to Justin Gerbereux.  Big Pappa has not raced in 2.5 years (Rockville 09 was his last).  Fighting the back injury that nearly crippled him, and subsequent spine surgery, it was amazing and awesome to see him on the course on Saturday.  And, flanked by two great members of Falls Road Brown, Kris Simms and Terence M. Baptiste, Justin ran a 32:11.  That is insane.  For their efforts, Kris and T, who coincidentally also like BBQ sauce, earned this week's KC Masterpiece Award.  Christa Wagner earned a very well-deserved NOS Button Award.

It was the 12th year for Celtic Solstice, a race that Jim started with just over 100 people.  It has now grown to 35 times that size, with over 3500 registered for Saturday's race.  Most people do it for the premium.  Some like the course.  Some don't have anything else going on.  Whatever the reason, big shoutout to Jim, Karen, Pete, Dan, all the Falls Road staffers, and anyone else who lent a hand in the past week (or couple of weeks) to put this event on.  Now we just have to talk Jim out of trying to grow the race.  It's too big! (that's what I hope she said?)

This week we have our HEADLAMP night tonight at FHR, and tomorrow there will be people going to the track for various workouts.  Since this weekend is Christmas, after all, I don't necessarily expect anyone to be running around here, but if you DO stay in town, or are local, and want to get a run going, feel free to post on the blog.  We will be back in action over New Year's weekend with some runs. 

And a special tribute, to our GRC compatriot, and my friend, Jake "Red Fox" Klim, who announced over the weekend that he will be stepping down from his role as de facto captain of GRC's team... Jake was one of the first people I met when I arrived in 2005, in the faux parking lot at Patapsco following a run.  Jake, by his own admission, was a run-of-the-mill athlete in college, who took his passion and commitment to an incredible level, putting himself in the mix with athletes of "higher pedigree."  He has led by example, and with enthusiasm for the sport, and is largely responsible for the creation and cultivation of this amazing Georgetown Running team.  No leadership effort of a group is truly individual, and I'm sure Jake would be quick to credit some of the other folks who have played a part in developing and organizing the group, but he has always served as the point man for competitive DC running.  He knows everyone, is everywhere, and does it because he loves to run.  Jake will continue to train and race with the team, so it's not like we won't get to see him (or continue to read his fox-fetish of a blog), but I just wanted to take a minute to recognize this great asset of Mid-Atlantice running.  First Regis, now Klim...

And, in case you haven't read their 2011 Review blog, it's a good one!  Complete with pictures, a few jabs at Baltimore, some spelling errors...but I digress.  It is actually a good little read.  Even if they did all of a sudden start having awards night too...haha

1 comment:

Maddog said...

I just wanted to say that it was so wonderful racing with you all and I can't wait for next year's race!