There and back again (a runner’s tale)

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.

The children have grown a bit wild in my care.

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.

CMS Masters Team
CMS Masters Team

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.

A Long Road to Utica Boilermaker 15k… 

By Derrick Jones

I’ve run the Boilermaker on plentiful occasions and my motivation has always been to it run hard and fast.  My race results have ranged from a sub 50:00 all the way to 60:00 where something had gone wrong. Over time I began to develop a love-hate relationship for this hot, humid and hilly 9.3 mile race, with very little desire to run it.

Then in 2008 while finishing training for the Boilermaker during the week of the race my older brother passed away. For the next seven years that would become my motivation to return to Utica and honor him while towing the line in this race.

Then in 2012 I had my first appearance as a masters runner and knocked out a 53:30 that was good enough for 71st OA and a 1st place in my age group. This made me realize that if I maintained my fitness and kept the injury bug at bay for at least the next 5 years I would have a legitimate chance to walk across that stage not as an age group winner but an overall winner. Then for the next two years I would find myself just missing 5th place OA in the Masters.

Then on July 12th 2015 it finally happened!!! Running nearly a minute and a half faster than the previous year I took my place on the stage and honored my brother. I was so overjoyed to hear the crowd cheer for me as my name was announced, however to this day I am not sure if they were cheering for Derrick Jones or the fact that I was from Henrietta, NY, USA.