Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Set Fire to the Rain

I'm fairly certain that it rained more this weekend than it did during the "hurricane" last summer...

Friday monsoons cleared out of Baltimore at least in time for you all to have some great performances. David Ploskonka and Collin Anderson were back running together at Old Dominion 100 for the first time since the last Olympic year, and it went pretty well, as Dave clipped 2 hours off his 2011 time, and finished 2nd. Collin, who has been building his volume wisely (for once) over the past few months, was excited to get out there again - it was his first 100 in over 3 years I believe - and finished with perhaps a little too much energy, in 22:39.

Afterwards, Collin of course went to sleep like a normal human would, while Dave made the dangerous trip from Woodstock, VA, to Bel Air, MD, for the Bel Air Town Run 5k, in order to keep his 17 year streak alive. He finished in 21:47.

Meanwhile, others were actually racing the BATR, like "Stram" Thomas, who finished 3rd in 15:37. Jack Flowers was 9th in 16:38, and then it was another clean sweep for the ladies of Falls Road Running. Meg DiGregorio narrowly missed another sub 18 minute race (18:01) as she finished just ahead of Meg McNew (18:07), while Carly Page set another PR (18:26). PJ Anderer had an awesome race, earning the NOS Award for beating Remus by a few tenths (19:06). Denise Knickman was 9th in 20:15.

Out in chill/sweet San Diego, Becky Parks rubbed elbows with the likes of Ryan Hall and Ironman Champ, Chrissie Wellington, prior to the race - and it must have worked! She rolled to a 5 minute distance PR in 1:26:32, finishing 15th out of 11,000 women.

Elsewhere in the world of multisport, Chris Scott and Aaron Tripp raced the Rock Hall International Tri on Saturday. Chris blew out his Columbia time, going 2:25 mid for 63rd place. Aaron is "still learning" the ropes of the sport, and had another great race, finishing in 2:36. Tom Stack, newcomer to track, raced the sprint on Sunday and was 7th. Up in NH, Sam Wollner, who has already left Baltimore to seek greener pastures (Sam will be matriculating at Columbia Business School later this summer), did the swim leg of the relay at Mooseman 70.3. The only person who outswam him was pro Clayton Fettell, a terrific swimmer, who then went onto complete the rest of the event as well.

The big tri event of the weekend was the REV3 Quassy Half in Connecticut, and let me tell you, as Eric B and Rakim so eloquently put it, it "Ain't No Joke."(Note: that link takes you to their YouTube video). It was, without a doubt, the most challenging course I've ever seen. The swim was in clean Lake Quassapaug in the Amusement Park at Quassy, and then the 56 mile bike course was a cruelly undulating trip around the surprisingly hilly counties in the middle of Connecticut. From there, a brutal 13.1 miles of steep ups and downs, with the final mile an uphill grind to the finish. Mike Mashner was the day's top finisher, using very even splits but in particular a monster run to finish in 4:41. Alyssa Godesky ran her fastest split off the bike ever, a 1:39 half, and finished 7th overall in 5:08. She felt like she could have kept that pace on the run, which is great news in advance of Ironman Coeur d'Alene at the end of the month. David Lee is also doing CDA, and used the race as prep for that. He had a very good run also, and finished just over 5 hours. Courtney Busch, in her first ever attempt at the distance, surprised us all. She drank virtually no water on the bike, yet somehow made it to the finish line in one, smiling piece, in 6:11. Courtney, you probably could use some of this to quench your thirst, but you earned this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week!

While the sun held out for us during the race, it was right back to rain on the 6 hour drive home.

Coming up this weekend it's one of the best weekends in June, as we see results from the world of Open Water Swimming, Triathlon, and Running. Should be a good one!

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