Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Who'll Stop the Rain

The opening May weekend is typically rife with awesome racing action. Some are hitting their peak while others are getting their seasons ramped up, but with good spring conditions, fast courses and good competition - big races abound! Of course we earned it after 3 straight days earlier in the week of the hardest rain I've ever seen!

We kicked things off Friday night down in College Park. For the 6th year I got to head down to the ol' alma mater and "race" the Alumni Mile. And by that I mean I technically covered 1609 meters. We've been fortunate to have terrific weather every year for this event, and it makes for an enjoyable night. The foursome of myself, Conrad Laskowski, Tom Stott and UMD coach Danielle set out at Conrad's easy pace (my race pace) and for two laps, held it together. Then Tom made a move, and the race was on. I got my doors blown off. Conrad was racing Sunday so he kept the effort to a minimum and let Danielle cross the line first. Scott aka Scotty had a solid day running 5:27. I ran 5:32. Ha! It could have been worse I suppose. Denise Knickman ran well, scooting under 6 minutes.

In the actual Terp Twilight Meet, we were treated to some very fast racing from our friends at GRC. They brought a stellar squad and lit up the otherwise quiet track. Our own Chrissie Ramsey took the women's 5000m (field of 3) in a solo 17:04.82.

Saturday was the Fiesta 5k in Baltimore. Dan Miranda suffered an untimely injury in his run-up to Boston, and wasn't able to compete as a result. He's been staying in shape by riding his bike, but went out on Saturday and cruised to a 2nd place finish in 17:42! Evan Burros was 3rd in 18:15 and Cory Donovan, in his 3rd straight weekend of racing, was 7th in 18:33.

In evening action, as evidenced by the photograph two posts down, Andy Sovonick had a great win at the Frederick 5k. He ran 16:31, easily outdistancing 2nd place.

Alyssa Godesky had that Cali swag going at Wildflower, one of triathlon's most iconic events. As I mentioned in the email, this year was a unique situation: due to some serious drought conditions, the normal swim venue was all dried up, forcing the race to migrate a couple of miles away to a lake that had some water left in it. This meant a 1.2 mile swim followed by 2 mile run to get to transition, then the 56 mile challenging bike course. Race organizers didn't want to make the total run mileage 15, so they took 2 miles out of the half marathon at the end, so the final run was about 11 miles. With that lengthy explanation, onto the race. Alyssa posted a half iron swim best (29:12) and rode a strong bike leg. She's a consistent racer and there isn't a weakness in any of her disciplines, so her speedy run put her in 16th in the women's pro field at 5:08:43.

The sun went down and the moon came up, and then the sun rose again and it was Sunday.

Pennsylvania racing was plentiful with Steve Febish covering the Pittsburgh Half course in 1:16:02 and Megan DiGregorio racing in Philly at the Broad Street 10 Miler, crossing in a new personal best of 1:01:34 (and 17th!)

We were expecting some fireworks out in Frederick at the half marathon, with Dave Berdan and Conrad racing, along with a couple of GRCers and a Pacer. In the end it was Dave with a comfortable margin of victory in 1:07:17 - well off his insane 1:05:40 best there, but a great tuneup ahead of Vermont City Marathon. Conrad, racing for the 3rd time in 5 weekends, said he just felt "empty" as he finished up in 4th at 1:10:03. Jon Miller had a big race on the heels of his awesome Pike's Peek last weekend. Jon ran 1:23:24 for 30th place, which I mistakenly announced as a 6 minute PR but he reminded me it was more like 20 seconds or something.

Some big results you might have missed in the box scores: Carly Page ran the Frederick Half Relay with her friend, and they crushed as usual. At the Race for Hope 5k, Terence Baptiste finished 8th in 17:52 and Brennan Feldhausen showed off his fine form as he burnt up the streets of DC, running a 22:07. Angela Vavasori ran an excellent 1:49:12 at the Flying Pig Marathon.

And in multisport action, Christa Wagner was 2nd and Amy Horst was 4th at the Devilman Sprint Duathlon in New Jersey. Chilly, windy conditions down in the flat south Jersey landscape made for a tough bike, but both ladies rolled the runs pretty hard.

So many fine choices but there could only be one Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, and that went to Jon Miller!

Don't forget to check out the post below for Sunday run plans.

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