There were some next level performances this weekend, so I'm actually getting this post done somewhat early in the week. But before I get into the ones most everyone knows about, I have to shout out the performances I missed:
Carly Page defended her title at the Run to Remember 5k on Sunday, running 20:11 and easily outdistancing 2nd place. Denise Knickman, who has been absent for the entire summer, finished 4th in 21:58. Great work Carly and Big D!
Up in Connecticut, Alex Battaglino and Diane Heiser ran in the Wesleyan Alumni XC race, and in Massachusetts, Nate Brigham finished 2nd behind Matt "LaceDog" Lacey in the Tufts Alumni XC race, running 15:58 for 5k.
On the Eastern Shore, Alyssa Godesky continued her amazing 2012, running a new half marathon PR (1:28:49) and finishing 2nd (and 6th overall!), earning some ducats for her effort. It was a 95 second beating of her previous best, and a huge smashing of the 1:30 barrier, which also means she hit the significantly harder 2013 NYC Marathon qualifying time.
Continuing on the half marathon track, 4 people headed down to Bethesda for the Parks Half Marathon, put on by MCRRC. Conrad Laskowski, who has recently gotten healthy enough to run again, led the way, finishing 17th in 1:15:25. Andy Sovonick ran a controlled effort, negative splitting to a 1:19:07 for 24th. For the ladies, Megan DiGregorio wasn't psyched she had to get up at 4am to make it down there in time, but she had a good day, finishing 5th in 1:25:54. Allison Letourneau, who recently moved down here after a great career at UNH, jumped in to finish 7th in 1:28:20.
Jon Miller and PJ Anderer helped "bring back the mile" on Saturday, running the Market Street Mile in Frederick. Jon finished in 5:19 and PJ came through at 5:34.
The coolest event of the weekend was easily the Survival of the Shawangunks in New Paltz, NY. I've known about this race for a long time, and last Halloween a couple of us signed up for this year's event. It's unlike any race you'll ever see - it is a triathlon, but it consists of 8 legs, and starts with a bike leg. 30 miles, the last 5 of which climb to the top of a mountain. Then you run 4.5 miles, and come to a lake. It's 1.1 miles across, and you swim with your running shoes. Stuff 'em in your shorts, wear 'em on your feet, whatever you have to do to get them across. Get out of the water, run 5.5 miles. Get to another lake, 0.5 miles, swim across. Run 8. Swim 0.5. Finish with a 0.7 mile run straight up to the top of this overlook. It was incredibly challenging, amazingly beautiful, and generally an awesome event. 30 miles on the bike, 2.1 miles of swimming, 18.7 of running. Really cool.
Mike Mashner had a great day, posting incredible splits across the board and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish, just a few minutes off the winning time. OJ Keller had a solid day, too, as he and Mike got off the bike together, ran the first run together, and then traded places on the swim and next run, before the race got tough. Brian Benda was unsure of how he was going to do; he's an awesome swimmer, but he's been hurt and hasn't run much lately. His run splits were a little slower than usual, but he persevered and made it to the finish line in one piece, with a great result. Very fun day.
The day's big winner was none other than Ben Ingram, however, who absolutely devastated his first ironman at Ironman Wisconsin. Ben has been doing triathlons now for about a year and a half. He decided he would very quickly engage in an IM, and signed up last year for this year's Wisco race. In Ben's previous tris, he has not had very good swims. I don't know what he did, but he went from swimming a 40 minute half iron swim in June, to a 1:03 full iron swim this weekend. That set his day up perfectly, as he rode comfortably to a 5:38 bike split, and then got off the bike and made people look foolish. His first 6 miles were at an average pace of 6:03. I can't run 6 miles at that pace right now, and he runs it 6:45 into his day. He backed off a little, realizing the pace was aggressive, but didn't slow down much as he went onto run a 2:52:19 split - FASTEST OF THE DAY and honestly one of the fastest run splits I've ever seen on that course in its ten years of existence. Ben finished 34th overall, and 7th in his competitive age group, with a 9:48:04 DEBUT Ironman. Incredible. Great work Ben, obviously our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week.
And in the first ever Running Maryland newsletter that was sent out on Monday, we named The Runaround's Male and Female Local Athletes of the Week - and those awards went to Alyssa Godesky and Mike Mashner! You can sign up to receive the RM newsletter (not me RM) on their website.