Thursday, May 23, 2013


This past weekend saw the return of Baltimore's primary export: humidity!

As the air heats up, so did the racing - a couple of wins and some other fine performances highlighted the weekend. First, since I forgot to mention them in the email, shout to our Columbia MBAers, Sam Wollner and Sara Spears, who both ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Sam broke 90 minutes (1:29:14), which is pretty awesome, and Sara, who as usual claimed she was in "terrible shape" ran what I believe is a PR, breaking 1:50 (1:49:03).

Dave Berdan threw down at the Poconos Marathon - his 2nd marathon in just about 65 days. Dave's been on a roll, running that terrific VA Beach Marathon, followed by the win and a PR at the Frederick Half. We just need to talk him out of doing small, challenging course races now, because he ran 2:22:19 on his own on Sunday for his first ever marathon win. Of course, this one was all about the Benjamins, of which Dave brought home quite a few! Pete Mulligan ran, pacing the 4:20 group to perfection, which given the course's undulations was not an easy task!

In the world of triathlon, Mike Mashner kicked off his racing season by retaining his title at the Upper Dublin Sprint Triathlon. Mike won last year's inaugural race and by the code of winning had returned to defend. It's a serpentine (pool) swim, which means you swim down to the end of the pool, turn, and swim under the lane line and return via the other lane. It was a 350m swim, followed by ~11 mile bike on the roads, and then a 5k run. Mike's 5k was a little slower than last year but not much, which was promising as he noted he has about 600 fewer miles in his legs this period. Z won by quite a few minutes, too.

More triathlon! Sunday was my favorite race, the Columbia Triathlon, and this year they were celebrating their 30th year. Hard to believe that was my first triathlon way back in 2001. Competitors included former race-winner, OJ Keller, who was our leader in 2:11:39. OJ swam with Brian Benda, then the two recorded pretty similar bike splits, before OJ outran him. Benda finished at 2:13:23. Tom Stack went a little bit quicker than he did in 2012, and considering how wet the roads were and what appeared to be a very sluggish swim across all competitors, that's progress! Tom came in at 2:15:35. Alyssa Godesky last competed here in 2011, where she broke 2:30 for the first time. This year she tore into the course with a monster bike split, and ran a 44:04 10k (faster than her open 10k best) to finish at 2:21:51 - a near 8 minute improvement from 2011 and 5 minute distance PR. She was 23rd among the women, and 9th among amateurs. Of course, shout to Andy Sovonick for being out there and supporting everybody all morning in the mist.

From elsewhere, Lillian Pinault finished 3rd at one of her favorite races, the Ironton Rail Trail 10k, running 43:57. She is bummed because she said they're turning it into a 5.2 mile run next year. Who does that?! Becky Parks ran the Bay to Breakers 12k in San Francisco. Her time wasn't a PR, but it was still faster than her first year running it, and she was pleased. Apparently Andrew "Beef" Jaffe happened to be out there and was spectating - way to represent! Also in the B2B race was Heather Tanner, Melissa's sister, who finished 5th I think. Pretty awesome! And shout to Dave Ploskonka, who finished 7th at the Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 Miler. I can't even fathom running one of those things, let alone multiple in a year. Dave's persistence is admirable; a couple of tough marathon performances recently and comes out and crushes this one. Way to go Dave.

Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, on account of his first ever marathon win (which seems inconceivable given how fast he is!) is Dave Berdan.

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