The first post of 2015!
After the hustle and bustle of mid December, it really gets quiet. There aren't a ton of races around Christmas, and even if there were, most people are a little preoccupied. For us, we fill the time with our favorite Christmas tradition: the #TWSSChristmas photo contest!
Click here to see the gallery
It's always fun to see how folks are spending their Christmases, running or not, and we had a lot of submissions this year. Naturally, it appears as though hardly anyone voted, which means they either didn't care to or didn't know how to. I'll declare a winner this week.
My trip home to New Jersey was pretty balmy, enough so that I was able to make it into the chilly Atlantic Ocean following each of my 3 runs. The 3rd was part of the Polar Bear 5k in Asbury Park. I could hardly believe it had been 4 years since I last did this year, but indeed it was December of 2010 that I last ran it. It was still a 5 miler back then, although race day featured an incredible Nor'easter that shortened the race to a 5k. The sea looked angry that day and I made the decision to not go in.
This year was much milder and after my amazing 19:11 5k (gun time, 9th place) in which Conrad basically lapped me (3rd, 17:44, after stopping and waiting for me at the turnaround), he and I ran into the ocean and dunked ourselves. Not to be outdone, Amy and my little sister, Meghan, accepted the challenge and also went in the water after the race. For their terrific race AND getting in the water, they each earned a share of the final Purple Drink Athlete of the Week of 2014.
That brought us to the final week of the year, split between 2014 and 2015. In 2014's waning moments, Erik T. Orberg recorded the last race result - an 8th place at the Vienna Silvesterlauf (5.33km) race in Austria. A couple spots and 12 seconds faster than 2013!
A number of people kicked off the new year in style:
At the Resolution Run 5k in Patterson Park, Justine DiGregorio took the team's first win, Jen Sheely was 6th and Karen Menge laced up her shoes and did her first race in who-knows-how-long.
Down in MoCo, Conrad Laskowski was 4th at the New Year's Day 5k, while Andy Sovonick made a return to running and Tom Stott picked up where he left off at the end of the year.
On New Year's Day we also bid adieu to our dear friend Brennan, who, after 7.5 years in Baltimore, moved to Milwaukee to begin a new job with the Brewers. It was a sad day and he will be missed, but his spirit lives on every time you make a memory. Or send a text.
In a year that was truly full circle, I was glad I was able to spend New Year's Eve with the same crew as last year (Brennan, Zero and my brother) when we went up to New York for the Central Park Midnight 4 miler.
Over the weekend there was a heated battle at the Frozen 5k in Virginia, featuring Team HPB athletes Alyssa Godesky and Leslie DiMichele. Alyssa fought bravely for the win, but in the end Leslie's final move proved enough for the win (19:27 to 19:34). Stephanie Granlund also raced, starting the year with a strong 28:11.
Earning our first PDAW of the year was Karen Menge - it's unnerving sometimes to jump in a race after a long hiatus, but we respect the gumption of getting back out there!