I’m sure a great many of you have been holding your breath in eager anticipation. Desperate for news about your departed leader. Your long wait is finally over.
I’ve been watching the kids, running and occasionally racing since I left Rochester back in July. This is shocking news I know. Who would have guessed that is how I would spend my retirement. The kid watching is going great but the running and racing have been… uneven.
Since I last updated the blog I’ve raced three xc 5k’s, one road 5k and one road half marathon. In order they went: ok, good, terrible, worse, good. I won the 5k road race by about a minute but didn’t break 17 minutes. The first xc 5k I won and felt good doing it. The half marathon was the worst race I’ve run in 10 years. The second xc race wasn’t much better, although, I did get to race with the Roadkill masters team and we won beer & glory which made it worth the 7 hour drive. Finally I raced the USATF National 5k XC Championships with my new team the Central Mass Striders.
Here is me winning the Greater Boston Track Club XC Festival masters race in my new gear.
Racing with a new team is strange. I’m not used to just being another cog in the wheel. I’m the 3rd or 4th fastest masters runner on the team. In many ways it is nice to just show up and race without the pressures of being in charge. After years of stressing over rosters and recruiting, worrying only about myself should be freeing, but in many ways I miss rallying the troops and leading them into battle.
The CMS team is 2 for 2 this fall winning the GBTC Masters Championship and the USATF Masters National Championship. Next up for us is the New England Masters Championship.
Next up for Roadkill Racing is the 4th race in the Upstate XC Series and a chance for the masters men to pull ahead in the series scoring. Run Tuff you crusty sea dogs.
I’ve raced lots of doubles and even triples at track meets, but somehow in all my years of racing I’ve never raced back to back days. Going into this weekend I had no plans on changing that.
Sunday was the 3rd meet in the PGXC series and Lisa was supposed to take some time to herself (well herself and some of the other lady racers) while I stayed home with the kids. Even though we have had some very generous babysitting help from people connected to the team, it is nice to go to race without having your attention pulled in many directions. Having no cross country racing responsibilities I figured I would jump into the Safe Journey Scarecrow 5k on Saturday morning. It is a mile away from my house and they had $100 prize money for 1st masters runner.
I shuffled down to the race and put in a pretty solid effort finishing 2nd overall and 1st masters running in 16:26. As an interesting aside I ran 16:28 in 2012 and 16:27 in 2013, if I keep this up I’ll break 16 on the Scarecrow course when I am 67 years old. I got my butt kicked by Kenny Goodfellow who ran a 16:02 only 6 days removed from his 2:33 marathon performance (seriously wtf Kenny). Also in the race were Joe Williams and Joe Haungs (dressed as a Scarecrow). Joe Williams was hoping for a PR but came up just a bit short. He said he wasn’t looking forward to Sunday but thought he could drag himself out to Akron Falls… better him than me.
Later that evening as I was about to sit down for dinner I get an email alert on my phone. Normally I would have waited until after dinner, but I get a little paranoid the day before xc races so I checked it. And as the song goes, just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you (Yes I am aware Joseph Heller put that in a book first). The toll of working several overnight shifts in a row had finally caught up to Joe W and he wasn’t going to be able to race. We only had 5 masters runners including Joe scheduled to run. I’d already scramble to pull in 2 new masters runners for this race Rick Ostrander (pictured below) and Daniel Sackett (who also ran the Wineglass Marathon last weekend). If the Masters team was to have any chance of winning the series we couldn’t take a 0 for this race, which meant back to back races it would have to be for me.
We had a 6 man open team and a 7 woman open team also racing, but sorry kids this particular post is all about the masters team. I will give a quick tip of the cap to Dave Rappleyea who seems to be very close to his old racing form and to Lauryn Recchia who ran a 5k PR at Scarecrow and came back to race this meet as well. You can see the results for all the teams at the end of the post.
Now for a quick history lesson. The Pete Glavin XC series is in its 25th season. In 14 of the last 16 seasons and for the past 9 seasons in a row the Genesee Valley Harriers have won the Male Masters Division. GVH has had a stranglehold on the Masters competition in Western NY for a generation, and nothing would make me happier than to break that grip.
Going into the race my hope for the team was to place no worse than 3rd. I had no idea what I had left in my legs, Derrick was fighting a cold, Dan had just race a marathon and Rick was a totally unknown commodity. The only person I knew was going to run well was Josh Williams and he didn’t disappoint, blasting past a GVH master runner in the final meters. No one else disappointed either. Derrick dragged me through the first 5k of the 6k course and held on as the 2nd masters finisher after I moved past him on the final uphill. Daniel edged out GVH’s 5th runner by 4 seconds, and Rick finished with what can only be called a ferocious kick. After finishing 2nd by 3 points to GVH at the McQuaid race, we were revenged in Akron Falls beating them by 1 point!
We have put ourselves in a good position for the last 2 races. We have a 4 point lead and should have our full complement of masters runners for those final 2 races. I hear GVH is putting out an all points bulletin for wayward masters members for the USATF-Niagara Masters 8K Championship on November 2nd which is also the 4th race in the series. I would be shocked if that race doesn’t come down to a point here or there. Despite what the GVH coach may be telling people, all we do is not sit around and drink beer.
3 Years ago Roadkill Racing won the Pete Glavin XC Series taking 3 of the 5 races including the Championship race. Since then it has been rough going. We were shutout in 2012 and in 2013 we didn’t even have enough runners to field a team. But it has been a busy year and we returned to form at the first race of the 2014 season.
Just look at those faces. Do those look like the faces of runners who are messing around? OK maybe Kenny is messing around but Matt is serious as hell.
Seventeen Roadkill Racers competed in the opening race of the PGXC Series Sunday at Jamesville Beach. Seven open men, 5 masters men and 5 open women took on the challenging 5k course along with 140 other runners. It was the first time we had fielded a women’s or masters team.
Leading the way for Roadkill were a couple of old hands, Kenny and Pete but we had a number of runners making not only their cross country debut but also their Roadkill debut.
Josh Williams, Joe Haungs, Kraig Connor and Megan Ganskop ran their first of what will hopefully be many races for Roadkill Racing.
The open men finished 3rd and the open women finished 4th against stacked fields of Syracuse Track Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, Checkers Athletic Club, Cornell Running Club and High Noon. The masters men owned the day though, surprising the series old timers and taking home Beer & Glory!
One of our runners got a little too excited (Derrick) and dropped his beer. I am confident that we will be able to win another one for him before the end of the series.