Sunday, as per custom for the Shamrock 5k in Baltimore, turned out to be great weather for racing. And as we've endured a colder-than-usual winter, the warmer temperatures were welcomed with open arms.
With 5000 registered participants (3700 finishers), that meant a sea of hi-vis green long sleeve t-shirts weaving their way around the harbor. Up front, it was the Joe Wiggy Wiegner show. Joe, who runs for GRC and is coming off a racing hiatus, had a small gap at the mile, which turned into a big lead by the time he turned onto Pratt Street. Mark Buschman of Howard County fought valiantly to a 2nd place finish, and then a few recognizable names including Under Armour's John Ealy, GRCers Matt Hassett and Karl Dusen, and former Falls Road employee and now Massachusetts resident Rory Jenkins (16:31). Jesse Jaeger finished in 8th at 15:53, and then it was a little ways to 10th, where Dan Miranda landed, at 16:21. Patrick O'Rourke just missed out on breaking 17 (17:01), and chubby Joel Brusewitz used his plentiful glycogen stores to propel him to a pretty remarkable 17:09. Joel Gladfelter's previous personal best was 17:13 from a race I measured and timed at Druid Hill a few seasons ago - so needless to say it was probably questionable - but on this day he eked out a 1 second PR, 17:12. Tim Burns was supposed to be the mayor of Track Town this winter, but a class and work kept him away. So while his 17:13 isn't that great for him, it's a solid start.
After Tim, our next runner was women's race winner Melissa Majumdar. It was another incredible performance for Melissa, who has been devastating 2013 so far. She's 3 for 3 in wins (Resolution Run, Club Challenge, and now Shamrock) and her time of 17:40 was a massive PR (14 seconds). Not only that, but the last time she ran this race, in 2008, she ran 18:58. So yeah, I'd say she's doing pretty well this year. Melissa finished 8 seconds ahead of last year's winner, Megan DiGregorio, and it was Liz Laseter who finished 3rd for the second straight year, although this time she nearly broke 18 minutes, landing on 18:00.
Somewhere in between all these fast ladies came Nick Klastava (17:52) who was listed originally as a female, and then incognito Brennan Feldhausen, who had run 16 miles leading up to the start. The biggest mover was PJ Anderer, who broke 18 minutes for the first time ever. His 17:58 was also 1:47 faster than he ran last year. Absolutely insane.
Tom Stack came in right on 18:00, and then Jon Miller blazed the last couple hundred meters to finish in a majorly improved 18:17. Right behind him was 6th place F, Meg McNew, who ran 18:23. Carly Page, who had run her long run the previous day, gave it a go and ran 19:10. This would have been a great race for Carly not long ago, but now she's running it basically as a tempo run. That's improvement! Cory Donovan (19:21), David Lee (19:32), and Pete Mulligan (21:35) were all there, and Angela Vavasori came across at 22:58. Finally, it was pregnant Patty Stott finishing at 26:35.
There were a few other races over the weekend, including the Tim Kennard River Run 10 Miler, where Graham Peck and Denise Knickman took the wins. Graham blitzed his friend after negative splitting the race (53:38) and Denise ran a terrific 1:07:46.
Out at the San Diego Half Marathon, Diane Heiser finished 3rd in 1:23:07. She's now run within 10 seconds of the same time in each of her 4 half marathons. Consistency is not a bad thing!
And of course Terry Decker was 14th at the Backyard Burn 10 Miler in VA.
Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, a very tough choice this week, went to PJ Anderer. That big of an improvement was just too significant to ignore. But it was Melissa Majumdar winning the AutoZone In the Zone Award, for her awesome streak that she has going!
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