Monday, February 27, 2012


Sunday's Club Challenge 10 Miler was the most successful showing from our team in its history, as we kept hold of our RRCA-MD 10 Mile Team Challenge title in a strong, to quite strong, display of team running. 

I will never apologize for the pride I feel when our team is successful, both individually, and of course, as a team.  The recipe for success is no secret: set a goal, make a plan, prepare, execute.  You were out there on two of the coldest, windiest days of this winter running yourselves into the ground on the course.  You have been coming, in droves, to the track each week to hammer yourselves.  You talk about this race to others like you expect them to understand, or at least know, what the race means.  You demand greatness of yourselves, and expect it of your teammates.

And for those reasons, and a million more, our team won yesterday.  Many of you ran PRs.  You helped make this race the most competitive in its existence.  Even those who had "bad" races didn't make excuses, didn't stop working hard. 

For me to go through and write a post mentioning every person's performance would take up the entire length of the page, so I'll let you read my thoughts in the email, and of course you can see results any time.  Instead, I'm going to highlight just some of the plethora of great performances from the day.

We have a grand tradition of laying claim to the overall race winner, but interestingly, none has ever won twice.  Keeping the streak going (4th straight year) was Conrad Laskowski.  Conrad put everyone on notice that he's here to play, running 52:55 (3rd fastest in our history).  The only other time he ran here was 2 years ago, when he went 56:20.  He runs fearlessly, and with his heart.  He is not a follower; he doesn't know how. 

Conrad the Barbarian
Not to be outdone, it was a remarkable race for Nate Brigham, who finished 2nd in 53:04 (4th fastest all-time for us).  Nate has pedigree, and desire: two traits that will lead to greatness.  No stranger to setbacks, Nate has rediscovered his passion for the sport, and has been a motivating factor in the recent success of the team.  We love having him around, and if this race is any indication, he's put himself in a position to have a great year. 

Dustin Meeker is an historian, and as such, prefers order to chaos.  He prepares diligently for all of his goal races, and has established himself as a leader of this team.  He overcame a disappointing 5k last weekend to take 25 seconds out of his 2011 Club Challenge time (and, 10 mile PR) as he finished 4th in 53:37.  Dustin later reveled in the folly of anarchy at Kisling's.  And thanks to his lovely wife, Ellen, for once again sending down some delicious muffins.

Vince Collins and Jesse Jaeger were running CC for the first time, but these two long-time buddies and training partners were almost inseparable on the course.  The trio of Tristram Thomas, Alex Battaglino, and Ed Aramayo came through next, a little off what they did last year, but their focus hasn't been on the 10 mile distance, and with a strong kick by Ed, he ensured 8 of our team in the top 9 of the race.  Just our great rival, Carlos Renjifo, was able to break up the mix.  He, too, ran a PR, shaving 7 seconds off his time from last year in another 3rd place effort. 

Seth Tibbitts led a strong contingent in the 57th minute, as he ran a bit faster than last year.  Chris Snyder led 3 others across in just 4 seconds, as Dan Miranda, Brian Godsey, and Brennan Feldhausen rounded out our top 12 (scorers) in under 57:30.  That was good enough to solidify the men's team victory.  4 guys came through next, all running their first Club Challenge: friend of the program Andy Sovonick, Andrew Beef Jaffe, Tim Burns, and Steve FebishKris Simms finally broke that hour barrier, running 59:37. 

On the women's side, there was going to be no challenge to superstar Chrissie Ramsey.  She cruised to a 1:01:36 victory.  But running super aggressively behind was Megan DiGregorio, who raced to a 1:02:53 2nd place.  This is a PR of 2:22, and some 5 or more minutes faster than she ran here last year.  Meg D looks super fit, and has been running great lately.  Emily Hurley completed the podium sweep as she ran 1:04:07.  All of our scoring 6 were under 1:06:40 and inside the top 10, as Denise Knickman, Becky Parks, and Meg McNew made up that group.  For Becky, it was an all-time PR, and for Double M, I'm pretty sure the fastest she's run at CC.  Carly Page took it to the streets in her first CC, and we had a surprise rockstar performance by Sara BreedloveChrista Wagner took a full 7 minutes out of her 2011 time, which is incredible, and Eileen Fleck wasn't even running a few weeks ago and came out to rock.  Alyssa Godesky, 19th a year ago, was 20th this year with a time 3 minutes faster than last year. 

When results were announced, we had earned the men's, women's, and overall team titles.  This is a testament to your hard work, and for another year we will get to claim the "Ugliest Trophy in the World." 

There were a number of other impressive PRs and first-time performances:  Louis Foudos (PR), Tom Stott (PR), Dave Ploskonka (PR), Terry Decker (1st time, great race!), Jon Miller (1st time), PJ Anderer (1st time); Lillian Pinault (1st time), Alyssa Doyle (1st race that long), Kelly Meier (BIG PR!), Jen Mitton (1st time), Sara Damiano (1st time), Fraley Coles (1st time), Emily Boss (1st time), Karen Menge (PR), and Steph Sudbrook ran her first race ever, and her first time over 8 miles.

We did on-the-spot Purple Drink Athlete of the Week award(s) at Kisling's after the race, and it went to the two runners-up, Nate Brigham and Meg D.  Joel Gladfelter earned the KC Masterpiece Award.  His race not going as he'd hoped, he realized he could help set a tempo and clear a path for Meg D.  Great teamwork!  And the NOS Award goes to Conrad, who sneakily didn't mention he ran a 4:29.26 Mile last weekend indoors at the Monmouth Invite.

And a special shout to the great support we had on course.  Of course Jim was out there, and Melissa was great, navigating the course on Chrissie's bike, and being in a number of spots to cheer.  It was awesome to see Justin out there with a half mile to go, and nice of him to run it in with me.  Patty Stott and baby Haleigh were out there, braving the cold.  Amy Flashenberg was there, and maybe next year we'll get her to run!  And another local stud, Michelle Miller, was out snapping some photos.  She said since there were just so many of us, and we stood out so splendidly in our new singlets, it was easy to get a lot of shots of us.  She conveniently put them into Flickr, so here they are for you to see:

How did we fare in our Project 2012 goal?  18 guys, 11 girls.  I think this is awesome!  A couple of outlier performances by some guys (myself included) and the late departure of a few girls made it a very challenging goal, and now it leaves us with something to strive for next year.  It will help us stay sharp and not become complacent!

In the intrasquad scrimmage between Team Edward and Team Jacob, it was incredibly close - almost unbelievably.  I tallied the scores and Team Jacob, captained by Dusty and Alyssa, had won by a scant 3 points!

It was a great effort by everyone, and the post race atmosphere at Kisling's was great.  I hope you enjoyed the rest of your day there! 

This is what winning looks like. Photo via Amy Flashenberg.


Dart said...

Superb job. Kudos to all.

Looks like C-Barb just conquered the south Pitt Street pier, Mount Pleasant, SC? The pic is reminiscant of the very spot I took a spill (pier turn around) during a rainy long run.

pepperjackb said...

Apologies to Team Edward. Had a outside chance at the win. Unless it wasn't scored that way.

KLIM said...

Jolly good show gents. Jolly good. See you on Charles St...

RM said...

I'm not liking this new comment pop up box that shows up. The font and format look weird...

Joel - you are correct. Out on the pier in Mt. Pleasant.

Thanks Klimster! See you in two weeks!

the kris said...