Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summertime Sadness

ICYMI, it's getting chilly. That's not to say we can't get some kind of Indian Summer effect in the weeks to come, but the trend is certainly going to be a decrease in the mercury. Which is GREAT for running fast and doing other things fast!

This past weekend a few of us went up to Philadelphia to run the race formerly known as Philly Distance Run. Once upon a time this was the greatest half marathon on the planet. Even when it began to transition from PDR into "Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half" it was still a great race. The bands were a little more annoying, it cost a lot more, and the increased participant level didn't up the competitiveness and just made it more crowded - but it's a fast course, the weather's good, and it's a fun weekend to spend in Philly. I've been at this race every year since 2006, and sadly, after Competitor Group International's decision to cater to fun and participation rather than keep the first word in their business name applicable, 2013 may have been my last time.

For now, let's focus on the great performances. Like Conrad Laskowski, who led our finishers with a 1:14:12. That was good enough for 84th place - which means the race was still very competitive. In fact, the winner, Stanley Biwott, ran 59:36 so obviously this is still the place to be. Chrissie Ramsey is whipping herself into shape, as she ran 1:16:35 for 13th. How's this for a stat? Chrissie has run in the 1:16:xx on 3 occasions - 2009, 2011, and now 2013. Looks like odd years, every two years, are good for her! Melissa Majumdar was next through in a new PR (by nearly 80 seconds!) of 1:20:58. This also puts her now 2nd on the all-time list. Melissa has had an amazing 2013 racing campaign and as this is her last individual race of the year, a great way to cap off a year that saw PRs at 5k, 10mi, Half Marathon, 4 wins and her first duathlon!

After Melissa came all the underachievers. Psyche, every put out their best effort, some of us are just slower right now. Brennan Feldhausen was next through at 1:22:11. He was at 6:15/mi through 5, then picked it up and started dropping a few low/sub 6's before deciding he'd had enough with 3 miles to go. Arjun Majumdar, who was quite sick all week and probably shouldn't have started the race ran with Melissa through 6 before sitting up. Andy Sovonick and I ran 1:26:26. It might have been a little faster but I didn't have it in me. PJ Anderer came through in 1:29:31.

For PJ, the race was just an afterthought as he ran a 5:04 mile at the not-so-downhill Frederick Market Street Mile the day before. Jon Miller also ran, finishing in 5:13.

And Chicken Tender had run the day before, too - except he ran another 1:27:36 half marathon down at the Air Force Half in DC. CTR is the consummate teammate. This time he was helping guide a visually impaired runner. A far cry from his Sunday run where he was "guiding a grumpy old man" (he was referring to me).

Erik Orberg took 3rd at the White Marsh Crossroads 4 Miler on Saturday, and Claire Bear Lears celebrated her birthday with a finish at the Flagstaff 50k!

At the inaugural Hokie Half Marathon in Blacksburg, Graham Peck was 3rd overall/1st "white guy" in 1:10:55, a strong showing, and Joel Brusewitz was 2nd at the Fort McHenry Tunnel Run 5k in 18:20.

In the world of triathlon, Tom Stack took 2nd at the Dewey Beach Tri, and he said he was pleased with where he's gotten his bike to, just needs to get better at swimming (although he's definitely not being hindered by it). Spider Sillery raced in both the Sprint and Olympic distance World Championships over in London.

And Terry Decker did something really cool (besides shave his head) - he did the Savageman 70.0 out in Deep Creek. This is one of the most challenging races out there and a must-do for triathletes. The main feature is the Westernport Wall, a super steep (31%) climb up huge cobblestones. I've never been out there, but every report I've seen is that this is obviously no joke. If you do it, you get a brick. Terry's main goal - get a brick - was achieved. He said it was the hardest thing he's ever done. He finished in 6:56:42 which featured a 1.2 mile swim, just shy of 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. Way to go TD!

Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week went to Melissa Majumdar, and a KC Masterpiece Award went to Andy Sovonick.

Shouts to Amy Flashenberg (happy birthday!) and Bob and Diane Laskowski for cheering in Philadelphia on Sunday, as well as Monica Majumdar for watching Tarala while Melissa and Arjun ran.

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