Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just One of the Guys

As it's been pointed out, the blog has been quiet recently. Not because people haven't been racing, but honestly because I haven't had time. SO GET OFF MY BACK.

Just kidding. But seriously, I just haven't had the time. And then you know how it goes when you miss one week, it's easier to just miss a bunch of weeks. What I'm going to do is a series of hopefully reasonably short posts with just the highlights, let them hang out up top for a day and then push them down.

This is going to be all about Rockville Twilight 8k. A longstanding tradition among our group in particular, it really is one of the best summertime races out there. With the exception of one year when a tri I was doing conflicted, I've been out there since 2005 - but have only run it 3 times. The race is generally associated with oppressive heat and humidity, and last year's event was canceled after a lightning storm wouldn't move out of the way.

Like the rest of this summer has been, race day came and the forecast was for temps in the low 80s, and by race time it was maybe the 2nd nicest day I've seen in the last decade (behind 2009). This meant fast times were on tap!

Up front, Conrad Laskowski looked determined to race hard from the gun. With a handful guys faster than him, he gritted out a 25:25 8th place finish. Graham Peck, who seemingly never runs this fast in training, blasted a near-PR 25:44 for lucky #13. Our third finisher was Nick Gehlsen, who ran a solid 26:33. Now that should have been our scoring three but apparently in the team results C-Rad was conveniently left off...get to that later.

Next 3 were Andy Sovonick, who ran an absolutely great race to run his fastest time on the course (26:59) followed closely by the Prime Minister of Swag himself, Sean Caskey, in 27:05. That's a great first crack at Rockville, and a fine Falls Road debut. There were a few other notable male performances: Erik T. Orberg, in off-season form, ran a solid 27:37; the wolfpack of Ed Aramayo, Terence Baptiste and Brennan Feldhausen all...finished; and to toot my own horn, I ran 30:11. Not that this is spectacular, but my times here have been: 30:24 (2005), 30:03 (2007), 30:03 (2008). So, at least I'm pretty consistent, and technically I ran faster at 32 and broken than I did at 23 and slightly less broken.

Once upon a time, I actually used to beat Chrissie Ramsey...

Now she wipes the floor with me. Fortunately, I'm not the only one. In 2009 Chrissie won Rockville in a PR of 27:15. It was easily one of the best performances I've ever seen, maybe for her only topped by a 1:14:57 half marathon and 2:44 NYC Marathon. Earlier this year she won the other Rockville-based race, Pike's Peek 10k, and despite moving out of Baltimore we'd hoped she would come race again to cement her status as Queen of Rockville Pike. Just a day before the race I finally found out that she was racing (don't get me started on this!) so I couldn't make sure she was added to the team roster, but she looked ready to go on the start line. She also started campaigning for the Brita Grothe B.A. Award, wearing the tiniest Brooks bottoms we've ever seen.

Chrissie ripped along the course, ultimately finishing 3rd but in a very good time - 27:25, just 10 seconds off her fastest 8k time. For team purposes, Kiera Harrison was our first finisher, 8th in 30:16, and then we had what I thought was the surprise performance of the day come from Kaylyn Peck. Kay ran 31:32 for 11th, which was about a minute faster than I realistically thought she might run. With teams scoring 5 (3M/2F), Kaylyn helped seal our team victory!

As always, it was a fun night down in Rockville, and many thanks to our hosts Montgomery County Road Runners. This race is one of my favorites and is one I always look forward to each summer. Post-race was much less congested this year, and a bunch of us went to Ted's Big City Diner afterwards for late night breakfast food. It ends up being a pretty late night by the time we get back to Baltimore, but it's worth it for a race that brings the team together!

Earning the Purple Drink Athlete of the Week was Chrissie, and Kaylyn won the KC Masterpiece Award this week.


JAR said...

I don't think anyone was giving you a hard time. On the contrary, I think we are all amazed by how much time you must put into writing the blogs AND the weekly emails AND everything else you do for the running community. I think those who commented on the missing blog posts just wanted to let you know that your posts are appreciated and missed when they are not there...Thanks, Ryan!!!

c-rad said...

^He doesn't speak for me. If I had been a part of the conversation I would've been busting your balls to WRITE MONKEY! WRITE!!!