Ruth Shields’ Syracuse Half Marathon Race Report

Editor’s note: the Syracuse half marathon was the latest race in the USATF Grand Prix series. RKR sent a contingent of men and women and had a great showing. Ruth ran a huge 8-minute personal best, so I asked her to write a race report for everyone’s reading enjoyment. Read all about her experience on the RunTuff website!

Not Ruth. But I couldn’t find any pictures of her, so here is a photo of Chad Byler.

Another Cross Country season has come and gone

Roadkill Racing was founded on a love for cross country, and for the opportunity to win beer and glory at the Pete Glavin Cross Country series, one of the finest local series around. Even though the distances are made up and the times don’t matter (race director Mike Nier’s words), the races always attract a lot of regional talent and are lots of fun.

This year, we ran a few new courses in addition to the regulars. A full race report will come soon, but for now, enjoy this brief recap of the races:

  • 09/08 Long Branch Park 5K – Syracuse
    • masters women 4th
    • men 7th
  • 09/22 Center Park 5K – Fairport
    • men 4th
    • masters women 5th
  • 10/06 Akron Falls 6K – Akron
    • masters women 3rd
  • 10/27 Taughannock Falls 5K – Ithaca
    • men 4th
    • women 5th
  • 11/03 Finger Lakes Community College 8K – Canandaigua
    • masters women 3rd
    • men 5th

Now that the PGXC series has wrapped up, a contingent of the RKR men is now preparing to unleash at USATF Club Cross Country Nationals in Bethlehem, PA on December 14th!

Recent USATF Grand Prix results

Autumn is always a busy time for racing, and this year is no exception. Roadkill Racing has completed in the following USATF team races over the past few months (in addition to everyone’s regularly scheduled races):

10/20 Ridge Run 25K Trail Race (women finished first!)
11/03 Pete Glavin Cross Country 8K (men finished 5th, women incomplete)
11/10 Syracuse Half Marathon (women 3rd, men 4th)

These races are all part of the USATF Niagara Grand Prix series. The next and final race in the series is the Holiday Classic indoor 5,000m on 12/29. Look for us there!

The Battle at Bristol 10k race report (A back-of-the-pack perspective)

My fiancé Don is a new member of Roadkill. He’s happy to be part of the team, although not nearly as fast as some of our other illustrious members. So when Matthew put out the call for creating a Roadkill team for the Bristol 10k, Don felt that he could help Roadkill. He may not be fast, but he’s tough and could power up those hills. I was on the fence about running it. I had just run Candlelight 24 and my quads were finally starting to speak to me again. But I’ve signed the poor man up for so many races, it was the least that I could do. (God help me!)

Unfortunately we were not able to form a team for the men. Erin, Molly, Ashlie and I were able to represent the women. Thank goodness they are the fast ones and I was told that I only had to cross the finish line! At that point, looking up at the mountain, I knew that this race was not going to be pretty.

The beginning of the race immediately started up the mountain. It was around 1.5 miles before we reached the top of the climb. The grade wasn’t terrible and I power-walked it. I wanted to conserve some energy and I thought that I could make up time on the descent going into mile 2.

I was able to pick up the pace, but it was pretty steep. There was a path through the tall grass, but you needed to be vigilant. There were “ruts” (maybe to keep the snow in place on the hill during ski season?).
The climb going into mile 3 wasn’t too bad. At this point I wasn’t worried about time. I wanted to finish and earn the right to wear the race T (it was a pretty blue color 🙃). Another descent and a decent runnable portion…..then……


It became a matter of survival at that point. We were warned of this hill at the start, but I have never been afraid of a hill so bring it on!!
Holy Mother of …..
Halfway up, I seriously considered my odds of injury if I just gave up and rolled down. I also wondered it there was a helicopter rescue option available. In the end, it was the thought of watermelon at the aid station that gave me the strength to climb it.

It was a very nice aid station. Watermelon 🍉!!!!

The next section of the race was pretty nice. I believe that it is the cross country ski loop. After that it was basically all downhill (a steep downhill) to the finish line. I ran/ walk/ran/walk and tried a sideways kind of running. ( I avoided a face plant, I’ll count that as a victory)

I swore that I would never “run” it again, but I would. 😜

Congratulations to my Roadkill teammates who seriously kicked butt on such a crazy hard course (I didn’t mention the high heat and humidity)