Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Callin' Baton Rouge

As Brennan Feldhausen toed the start line for his 2nd marathon (or longer) distance race in the past three weeks, I couldn't help but think:

Man, it was so much warmer and nicer in Louisiana!

The Mid Maryland 50k was held this past Saturday at Howard County's Rockburn Branch Park. The race was made up of five 10k "loops" and I can say that race director Phil Lang used every inch of available space at this park to create this course. We arrived just after 7 in the morning and found Alyssa Godesky, who had come up from her new home in Charlottesville to test her legs with an early season race before IM Los Cabos next month.

It was cold, the grass was frozen, there was mud and ice in parts, the course was silly, and it was five loops - but that didn't put a damper on the fun! Brennan quickly found 2:22 marathoner Kyle Stanton and the pair ran side by side the entire run. And I mean the entire run. 3 hours, 44 minutes and some change later, the duo crossed the line simultaneously to tie for the win. Most impressively, their lap splits were 45 minutes almost on the nose for all five laps.

Alyssa's race was fairly similar, although she had no competitors near her. Melissa Majumdar joined her for the first lap, and then I ran some of the back half with her. The way she was attacking this race though, Ironman pros better watch out! Her laps were also extremely consistent, starting right around 50 minutes and finishing with a split just over 52 minutes by the end, for a 4:16:16. That's a 40 minute distance best from her Holiday Lake 2009 time, and an hour faster than her last 50k (Rosaryville, 2010).

Steve Wancowicz was also out there, finishing at 6h23m.

I'll tell you though, that was a tough little race. It would have been cool as a 10k cross country course, but to do it five times, it really beat you up! As I mentioned in the email, Alyssa earned this week's Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, and rightfully so as a few hours after the race she was in the pool!

I also awarded KC Masterpiece Awards to Melissa and Terence for pacing and Christa for coming to spectate then leading a few girls on a second Club Challenge preview.

Brennan earned the first AutoZone In the Zone award as he rolled his 3rd race of 2014, and after watching the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix I decided to award the NOS Button award to Eric Sowinski, who anchored Team USA All-Stars to a new World Record in the 4x800m.

From the previous week, which I didn't write up on here, the PDAW went to Nate Brigham for his excellent 15:20 2nd place performance at the Pacers' First Down 5k in DC. As I mentioned, that's the fastest Nate's run with us, and it's one of the fastest early season performances we've ever seen. Great job Nate! Shout to Dustin Meeker (3rd, 15:40, while sick) and Melissa Tanner (2nd, 18:04) on terrific performances as well.

And of course last Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday, but it was also Graham's inaugural Tavern Run. We were blessed with good weather for it, and had a great turnout. Over a dozen people met at Mt. Washington Tavern, drinking and running their way back downtown with some incredible stops along the way at various Taverns.

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