Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunny and 75

Boy, it sure would have been nice if it had been sunny and 75 on Thanksgiving weekend. Alas, it was far from it. With temperatures below freezing (and in some cases, hovering around the low to mid 20s), it made for the coldest Thanksgiving in recent memory.

Of course a little cold and some wind never stopped anybody from racing!

There were some great Thanksgiving Day performances, including Graham Peck's win at the Gobble Cobble. He ran 21:09 for an unknown distance that was probably about 4 miles. PJ Martinez was 3rd, then Denise Knickman took the ladies' title with Erin Feldhausen finishing 4th. Then Denise and Erin helped out at the end too - troopers!

Many thanks to the folks who got up early (some after a very late night) to help out: Alyssa, Brennan, Erin, Michaela, Bob V, Andrew Hill, Kelly, Britany, Erik T., Meg D, Pete, Amy, Karen, Jim, PJ, etc.

In New York, Terry and Molly Decker ran the Notre Dame Turkey Day 5k. The official starter for the event was none other than US Olympia and Notre Dame alum, Molly Huddle. The Deckers even got mentioned in the local Elmira newspaper, which, if you're wondering, charges to read their content. Don't worry, I was able to read the article thanks to a free trial.

Elsewhere in the Empire State, Alex Battaglino took 2nd and Diane Heiser was 10th at the Cardiac Classic 5k. Alex's 16:02 was a fine time on a cold day, and for Diane it was a return to some running after many months off due to injury. Even MORE elsewhere in New York, Dan Miranda and Sara Damiano ran the Townwide Fund of Huntington 4 Miler. Dan finished in 22:03 and Sara came in at 27:49.

The Catonsville Turkey Trot 5k (XC) lured runners in with big prize money (not often seen on this day). Since money will only ever attract a few fast runners and has virtually no impact on registration of the masses, the race did at least reach 500 people. Apparently it was a very challenging course and it was a cross country run. I was surprised to see Dave Berdan not in the top spot, particularly when I didn't recognize the top two runners but I did know the 4th place guy. But according to Dave, his lack of fitness combined with his poor XC running skills right now required him to use a massive kick just to move from 6th to 3rd in the last 600m. Becky Parks finished 2nd among the women, and we saw Alyssa Doyle's name in there as well!

Down in Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Amy Flashenberg and Conrad Laskowski ran the Turkey Chase 10k, their first race of the weekend. They ran it in 55:25. Then on Friday evening they headed up to NJ and on Sunday the pair ran the Navesink Challenge 5k. Conrad ran with his sister around 22:30 and Amy finished just under 25 minutes on the undulating course.

Shouts also to Kyle Smits, who once again ran the Pequot 5M in Connecticut. I always remember to look out for this result for him! As competitive racing has become less of a priority for the family man/dentist, it's good to see he's still able to mix it up. He finished 13th in 27:41. And of course Patty Stott ran the Tel Hai Turkey Bowl 5k with a FEVER, for which there was no cure other than massive amounts of cowbell. And I spotted Alix Brusewitz running the Bel Air Turkey Trot, Ryan Stasiowski won the Towson one, and Alli Bosslet, sister of the great Melissa Bosslet-Majumdar, ran the Palatine Turkey Trot 2M.

Once the races were done on Thursday, the focus became Saturday's final fall marathon in the area - the NCR Trail Marathon. 26.2 miles of out and back on the NCR (definitely not my thing!). Patrick O'Rourke decided somewhat late in the season to do this one, and good thing he did. He won the whole darn thing, running the race largely by himself as he cruised into a 2:47:07 win. Dave Ploskonka was awarded 2nd, although I'm still trying to sort out the finish. It appears as if the guy in 3rd was closing in on Dave right at the end, and caught Dave off guard. It must have been a photo finish or something and Dave was awarded 2nd with a 2:55:13.8. It's Dave's 2nd fastest marathon and a mark of validation for his 2015 Boston plans. Johnny Lyons was 19th in 3:06:46, and Ed Jablonski ran 3:25:40. Running an amazingly even race with a little pacing help from Brennan in the first half, Sara B in the back half and PJ towards the end was Bryn Burkholder. Bryn placed 7th among the women in a new PR of 3:20:44!

In the relays, Cory Donovan and Jack Flowers won the overall relay competition in a few ticks under 2:48. Cory's 1:28 split gave Jack a deficit to overcome, but boy did he! Mr. Peck and Denise combined to take the co-ed title and finish I believe 4th relay, and then Suzanne Hurst and her husband were supposed to run, but an injury took him out of contention so she ran with her friend Caitlin. Together they were 8th overall team, but had they been registered as an all female team they would have won!

Big ups to all the spectators, including Brennan, Sara B, Dusty, Meg D, Pete, and PJ.

The final race I noticed from the weekend was my brother and sister, Kevin and Meghan McGrath, who once again ran the Navesink Challenge 15k. Way to go guys!

Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week went to Patrick O'Rourke!

And as a reminder, AWARDS NIGHT 2K13 is THIS SUNDAY, December 8th. I know the Ravens (and Packers) have a 1pm game, so we will look to assemble around 4:30pm at the Falls Road Running Store. If you plan on attending please RSVP and if you want to sign up to bring something, use this little form I made! Awards Night RSVP

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