Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awards Night Recap

While Awards Night was the highlight of the weekend (and, the year, in my opinion), we did have some race performances that I should have highlighted:

Dave Ploskonka got his revenge on the Hellgate 100k, a race he withdrew from in 2009.  The conditions were favorable, but this is a tough race.  The race starts at 12:01am, which means the first 7 hours are run in complete darkness.  The roads were tough enough to drive through the night, I couldn't imagine having run the trails.  Dave moved up steadily through the field during the race, ultimately finishing 11th overall and 9th male in 13:11:16.  Alyssa Godesky, meanwhile, was racing on the heels of an extremely successful, and long, triathlon season.  Unsure of both her ultra fitness, and her trail running skills, she was not sure what to expect.  After a pre-race dinner of Wendy's, her stomach was unsettled throughout the first half, and while she didn't look bad, she was uncomfortable.  At the mile 42 point, Carly Page joined her for the remainder of the run, and the two laid waste to the competitors in close proximity.  From the last aid station (7 miles to go) they passed 4 or 5 runners, including the woman who was in 4th, and put serious time into them.  Alyssa's second straight fast finish earned her the "Coffee is for Closers" Award on Sunday night.  It also landed her in 4th in 14:32:40.

In other trail racing news, Lisa Ievers tackled her a) first ever trail race and b) first run over a marathon in the Tashka 50k, somewhere in Georgia or Alabama or something.  She took a few spills, and absorbed a pretty banged up ankle, but walked away with the W in 5:08:30, well ahead of the next female finisher.  Not a bad first attempt!

Out in Washington State, US Club XC Nationals were going on, with men racing 10k and women racing 6k.  Cool to see some names of old mixing it up again, along with some newer faces of the sport (including local, Matt Centrowitz, 4th in the men's race).  GRC sent a team and had some solid performances.  Former Baltimore resident, and dentist, Kyle Smits, ran 35:46 for 299th.  Yikes.  That would be a top 10 time in a lot of races around here!  Julia Webb, expectant mother, ran 21:53 in her race. 

The Annapolis Striders put on their Anniversary Run 15k, which PJ Anderer (this year's Ke$ha Award winner) finished 42nd in.  And down in DC, Alex Waldt and Baltimore turncoat, Liz Laseter, placed 15th and 6th in their genders, respectively, in 28:25 and 31:01. 

That led to this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week: Dave Ploskonka, and the NOS Button award went to Alyssa.  Carly took home a very well-deserved KC Masterpiece Award.

Then it was onto the 5th Annual Awards Night.  Major thanks to Jim, Karen and Pete for obviously all they already do, but particularly for them bringing alligator bits and turducken.  It was a great feast!  The attendance was great, and I was pretty proud of myself for being marginally better organized for this year.  Here's a rundown of a few of our marquee awards:

MVP (M): Dustin Meeker
MVP (F): Denise Knickman

Most Improved (M): Pete Mulligan
Most Improved (F): Alyssa Godesky

Comeback of the Year (M): Kris Simms
Comeback of the Year (F): Chrissie Ramsey

Breakthrough Performer (M): Pat McLoughlin
Breakthrough Performer (F): Diane Heiser

Performance of the Year (M): Joel Gladfelter's 2:51:21 Miami Marathon (17 minute PR)
Performance of the Year (F): Chrissie Ramsey's 1:14:57 Philly Half (1:33 PR, qualifies for Olympic Trials)

And of course, we can't forget about the Brita Grothe Best Ass Award, which went to New Becky Parks, who also won some other awards, like the Ed Aramayo First Loser Award, and a few other awards involving whining.

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