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Know Your Racer: Carl Palmer

Know Your Racer: Carl Palmer

Mens Veterans

Carl Palmer

So when did I become so old to be called a ‘veteran?’

As with many runners, I claim I was a good soccer player ….  until it came time to start kicking with your left foot (say, 6th grade).  All I was really good at was hustling, I suppose.   I ran some track in junior high school (mile), but never scored a point.

Come high school, I never made varsity, although to be fair, we would run our JV versus varsities  in one of the two leagues were were in. That “Delaware Independent School Conference” league was so bad that I actually finished 7th at the league meet.  On the bright side, I’m pretty sure I beat the current senator from Delaware.

I so badly wanted a letter in high school.  I ended up barely making varsity baseball, ending up with a stellar .111 average.  At least had no errors in my handful of games.  So I got my high school letter that way.

When I got to Swarthmore college (Division III), a guy on my freshman dorm convinced me to go out for cross country.   It was a fun diversion that became my passion over the years.  I probably would average 7 minute miles in races that first year – about 20th fastest (or 10th slowest) on the team.  Sophomore year, I did a little better, and I also did track in the spring, making it the first time I ran year-round.  After Sophomore year, I would average 40-50 miles/week through the year.  I cracked the top 7 on the XC team in Junior year, but it was my enthusiasm (or whatever) got me elected co-captain.  By senior year, I was typically ~5th or so on the team, meaning that my performance would affect the score (slightly).  I did have one out of my mind race at a big invitational where I finished right behind our number one runner, and that finish propelled us to win the meet.   30 years later, I’m probably the only one that remembers that meet.

During college, I only ran a handful of road races in the summer.  But come to think of it, I won trophies at a couple of the smaller 10K’s.  But this was the 80’s, and running wasn’t like it is now.

 

Carl Competing in College.  Curly Hair.  Favorite Shoes.  Striped Tube socks!
Carl Competing in College.  Curly Hair.  Favorite Shoes.  Striped Tube socks!

Side commentary – my experience of improving over time is why no cross country coach should cut people for performance.  When I hear of coaches cutting kids at the high school or college level, I take it personally.  The sports are there for student benefit.  …. But I digress.

PR’s from the 80’s  (….a long long time ago in a galaxy far away)

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1 mile 4:36 (cinder track)

2 miles 9:53

5K 15:43 (rubber track – my usual races were ~16:20)

10K 33:38 (rubber track)

In my first grad school, I ran with my roommate who ran for Purdue.  It was humbling – I learned the difference between division 1 and division 3 athletes.  That is, division 1 are athletes, and division 3 are …. not quite as good.  He had this extra gear where he could just go zoom any time he wanted to.

In my PhD years, I continued to run with professors and other assorted students at lunchtime.  It was a great way to get to know people outside of your own field.

In 1991, life happened.  My wife was pregnant with our son. She gained weight, I gained  weight.  She gave birth. She lost all the weight.  I didn’t do either of those.

I tried running with a running stroller once. My son screamed.  Stroller was returned to store.  Not much running after that.

Fast forward to 2009.  My doctor tells me to lose some weight, or she will put me on cholesterol pills.  So I start writing down everything I eat and literally counting the calories.  [I’m an engineer.  That’s what we do]  Yes I can tell you that ~3500 calories does equal one pound.  So if you cut out the 5 100 calorie hard pretzels you eat for snacks every day, you lose a pound in a week.  It happens.  Over 3 months, I lost 25 pounds. [And as an engineer, of course I graphed the whole thing]  Oh yes,  I also started running ~2-3 miles a day with my dog.

So my doctor said to me “Your cholesterol numbers look great.”  I said “You told me to lose weight.”  She said “But nobody ever listens to me.”

So I’ve been running since then, with some of the typical up & downs (injuries, life, bad winters).

I spice up my activities by also participating in Orienteering, which is running off-trail in the woods, looking for ‘controls’, using only a map and a compass.  The best raw runners rarely are the best orienteers, because the harder you run, the more likely you are to make bad route choices.  See    http://roc.us.orienteering.org/ (shameless plug).

I came across Roadkill Racing in early 2015 via a strange set of circumstances that involved LinkedIn and me mistaking someone else’s identity, and then stumbling across the roadkill site via google.  I saw that my friend Jim Werven was on the team, so I figured, why not.

My best times of the last quarter century have occurred with me wearing a Roadkill Racing Singlet:

2015 Sunset House 5K: 6th overall of 276, 18:28 and a fun kick at the end to get 1st Master’s.  “Better than sex” (tongue in cheek) – If you’ve ever done it, you know what I mean.

 

Carl Palmer at2015 McMullen Mile.
Carl Palmer at2015 McMullen Mile.

 

Happy Carl - Sunset House Award
Happy Carl – Sunset House Award

 

War of the flowers

War of the flowers

John S. “I would describe your team’s presence at the Lilac run as ‘Prolific’.”

Eric B. “It was impressive when all the Roadkill people came to the line in a massive group, felt like you guys had your own entrance music.”

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I’m running out of superlatives for the Roadkill team. I’ve done my best to chronicle the growth and stand out performances of the team and its runners over the last year. It seems every big race we have more runners doing more great things. The Lilac 10k last Sunday was no exception.

The Lilac 10k once again served as the USATF-Niagara 10k Championship. Last year we had 6 or 7 runners compete and 1 women’s team. This year we had 33 runners competing on 7 teams. We fielded 2 men’s open, 2 women’s open, 2 men’s masters, and 1 women’s masters team.

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Putting all those teams together was no small feat. Worrying about putting the teams together correctly kept me up all Saturday night. Nothing like staying up worrying about something you can’t do anything about to get you ready for a race. It turns out all my worry was for nothing. The teams did as well as I ever could have hoped.

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Our men’s masters teams fared the best sweeping the top 2 spots. (Just don’t tell them they were the only 2 teams.)

1st. 2:01:39 ROADKILL RACING A ( 40:33)
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1 39:03 Jamie Hobbs 40 Rochester NY
2 39:42 Joe Williams 42 Canandaigua NY
3 42:54 Joe Haungs 53 Rochester NY
2nd. 2:39:00 ROADKILL RACING B ( 53:00)
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1 48:22 Paul Phillips 60 Pittsford NY
2 49:10 Jeffrey Young 46 Bergen NY
3 1:01:28 Rick Ostrander 44 Macedon NY

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The women’s masters team led by age group winner Kerri Brown finished second.

2nd. 2:40:19 ROADKILL RACING ( 53:27)
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1 49:29 Kerri Brown 46 Pittsford NY
2 55:04 Heather Ostrander 41 Macedon NY
3 55:46 Kim Graffeo 54 Marion NY
4 ( 56:26) Martha Doody 45 Shortsville NY
5 ( 59:03) Ann Lynn 41 Victor NY

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The 2 women’s open teams faced the most crowded field and finished 4th and 6th despite missing several top runners.

4th. 2:18:49 ROADKILL RACING A ( 46:17)
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1 44:38 Arlene Dejoy F 36 Pittsford NY
2 45:44 Molly Romano F 31 Pittsford NY
3 48:27 Lindsay Rynders F 22 Williamson NY
4 ( 52:27) Lynn Gottfried F 35 Fairport NY

6th. 2:37:14 ROADKILL RACING B ( 52:25)
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1 48:18 Monique Golossi F 35 Rochester NY
2 54:00 Andrea Hickerson F 35 Pittsford NY
3 54:56 Lauryn Recchia F 28 Fairport NY
4 (1:00:27) Marti Meyers F 53 Henrietta NY

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Our men’s open teams, the ones I was up all night fretting about, had one hell of a day. We put 3 runners in the top 10, and 10 runners in the top 25. Led by David Rappleyea (7th overall), the men’s open A team finished in second place. Derrick Jones (9th overall and 1st masters) led the open B team to a 12 second 3rd place, just edging our GVH’s A team. STC led by a 30:35 2nd place performance by Sam Morse took first place.

2nd. 2:53:43 ROADKILL RACING A ( 34:45)
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1 33:47 David Rappleyea M 29 Henrietta NY
2 33:55 Kenny Goodfellow M 25 Rochester NY
3 35:15 Andy Penner M 19 Fairport NY
4 35:23 Adam Staveski M 20 Fairport NY
5 35:23 Mark Streb M 25 Rochester NY
6 ( 35:33) Kyle Dacey M 26 Fairport NY
3rd. 2:58:17 ROADKILL RACING B ( 35:40)
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1 33:59 Derrick Jones M 43 Henrietta NY
2 34:40 Joshua Perks M 40 New York NY
3 35:46 Jim Park M 48 Buffalo NY
4 36:55 Matthew Roberts M 30 Williamson NY
5 36:57 Matthew Phillips M 34 Pittsford NY
6 ( 43:54) Blake Landry M 33 Rochester NY
7 ( 57:32) Jason Gottfried M 35 Fairport NY

Age Group Award Results 

Team Award Results

Overall Results

I need to thank each and every member of Roadkill Racing for their hard work and dedication to the team. Seeing all those black and white singlets surrounding me during our prerace meeting and hearing you all scream like lunatics along with me was pure joy. Every time I feel like my legs are about to fall off this coming Sunday at the Buffalo Marathon I will recall that moment and I’m sure it will keep me moving forward!

One final note. A highlight of the race for me was getting to share a beer with overall winner Kip Tisia after the race. It is nice to know, even guys who run sub 30 minutes for 10k still enjoy a cold one after the race. Kip is not only the fastest runner in the area, he is also one of nicest guys you’ll meet. He always has a smile and a hug for my kids and a genuine interest in how other runners did. Congrats on your win Kip and good luck at Buffalo this Sunday.

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Racing Around New York

Racing Around New York

The spring racing season is in high gear. Despite not feeling a bit like spring, Roadkill Racing has been out in force on the Western New York racing scene. After a stellar showing at Johnny’s we headed en mass to Syracuse for the 3rd Annual Syracuse Half Marathon.

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A windy 16 degrees at the start. Photo by Sam Maller www.syracuse.com

 

The Syracuse Half Marathon was our first team scored race of the year. While the Syracuse Track Club proved too much for us to overcome, we did finish in second place with an average time of 1:15 led by David Rappleyea in 1:13:39. Lindsay Rynder lead the Roadkill women in a time of 1:38:05. Juan Martinez led the way for frosty facial hair.

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Frosty. Photo by Sam Maller www.syracuse.com

 

Results

Spring Forward 15k was a bit warmer than the Syracuse Half, but it was much snowier. Kenny Goodfellow led the charge for Roadkill Racing followed by Kerri Brown. The rest of the team decided enough was enough and we couldn’t bring ourselves to race in the snow again.

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More Cold. Photo by Kim Smith

 

Results

Two intrepid racers, Dave Rappleyea and Derrick Jones traveled down to Binghamton to race in the Forks XV (15K).

Dave running away from the field.
Dave running away from the field.

Dave and Derrick finished 1st and 5th. Dave won the race by 2 minutes and Derrick beat the next masters runner by over 5 minutes. The local paper did a nice story on our men’s team captain.

Press & Sun-Bulletin story

Results

Next up is Daniel’s Race. Hope to see many of you there!