Saturday was Graham's 25th birthday, and as Brennan pointed out, boy have things changed since most of the rest of us turned 25. None of us ever had the thought to run our age in miles. My 25th birthday was a dual-themed party, starting with a Pirates vs Ninjas Extreme Laser Tag Challenge and ending at the old 802 S. Eaton house with a Miami Vice (1984) theme party. Now, us old folks don't really celebrate birthdays, other than perhaps with a burger at Kooper's.
But for Graham, we were excited to get this one going. The plan was to start with a big group trail run at Patapsco. We left at 7:30 and got in a solid 15 miles on a beautiful morning before Graham, Conrad and Franco intrepidly headed back to Baltimore via Wilkens Ave. Immediately Graham and Conrad dropped "Flip" and after 4 miles, Matty Francs opted for a ride home in my whip. The other two were running so fast it took me to Carroll Park to finally catch them! 26+ miles later, the day was in the books.
We were also celebrating Chrissie's last day in Baltimore. She is getting her own separate post because she deserves it.
Meanwhile, there was some hot racing going on. Sunday was the Bel Air Town Run 5k, and I just checked and noticed everyone's times have been adjusted down - good news for you!
Dustin Meeker was the top dog as he soloed to the win in 15:27. He was almost a minute up on 2nd place, Rory Jenkins, who ran 16:21. Next through for us was Melissa Tanner, who had a decisive margin (17:37) over 4-time BATR champ, Megan DiGregorio (2nd, 17:55). Nick Klastava slotted in at 17:38. Jon Miller had a great race, coming oh-so-close to breaking 18 (18:05) and Dave Ploskonka also had one of his best 5k races, running 18:31. Carly Page rounded out the ladies' podium in 3rd at 18:50. Next up was Denise Knickman, 5th in 19:46, and then Julie Wolfe, who I missed initially, ran 20:23 for 10th. Jordan Dillen ran the fastest he's gone in quite some time (21:37) and Alley Firey had a great run, crossing the line at 23:22.
In the multisport world, Kendra Ingram rocked the Omaha Women's Triathlon, coming in 84th in 1:51:56. Tom Stack was 3rd at the Rock Hall Sprint, a very solid all-around race for him a week out from Eagleman. But the best part of his day was recording the fastest run of the day at 17:47 - the only athlete to break 18 minutes for the 5k run. I noticed Diane Heiser ran the Pacific Assocation USATF Championship meet (1500m) where she finished 8th in 4:48.05, which is about a 5:06 mile. Very speedy!
Finally, down in Raleigh at the Ironman 70.3 there, Brian Benda finished 52nd in 4:46:40. Naturally he had one of the fastest swims of the day (24:17) before riding strong (2:35) and holding on for a 1:42 half marathon. David Lee bounced back from his day at Columbia a few weeks ago to swim a terrific 31:30, ride a 2:40 and also ran a 1:42 to finish 152nd in 4:59:56. Just scooting under 5 hours, I'll take it!
The performance of the day, and our clear Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, went to Suzanne Hurst. Suzanne did her first triathlon last summer. Obviously she is a very fast runner, but the swim and bike are quite foreign. She managed a 40 minute swim, which was a fantastic start to her day, and she rode an eye-popping 2:57 bike split! Let me tell you, racing your bike for 56 miles is far from easy. To only be 30 minutes slower than the top female pros on the bike is pretty impressive. Once she was on the run, Suzanne went to work, scorching the earth to the tune of a 1:35:57 half marathon split. She went from 130th F to 59th over 13.1 miles. She negative split the run, ripping a 6:50/mile average over the last 5k. She finished 8th in her age group in her first ever half ironman in a time of 5:19:48. WHAT?! That's 90 minutes faster than I went in my first half ironman. Absolutely incredible, this performance will easily go in as one of our best of the year.
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