Medved 5k to Cure ALS Race Report

The Medved Cure for ALS 5k was this last weekend and I was looking forward to this race. I had been feeling very well the two weeks prior to this race and felt that I had a really good shot at finally being in the 16’s again after about 1.5 years. My workouts haven’t been very fast lately because I have been focusing on just increasing my mileage, but I was feeling strong.

The race started just outside Frontier Field and then just loops out around downtown and finishes inside of Frontier Field.  I was told that the course was changed a bit from last year; apparently the number of turns was reduced. The course looked like it could be fast, there was only 19 feet of elevation change between the highest and lowest point. Also, there was a good turnout of almost 700 people.

The first mile was surprisingly easy. Before the race I spoke with Josh Harter and he said that he was aiming for around 17. So I stayed with him for the first mile. I thought that I may have been going a little fast because Mike was not that far ahead of us. We went through at about 5:24 and I believe Mike was around 5:20.

The 1 mile mark was a turning point for me during this race. At the Chase Corporate Challenge I went out at a 5:20 then slowed to a 5:40. The only reason I managed a good time is because Matt caught me and pulled me along. So during this race I made an effort to speed up. I was sad that Josh Harter did not go with me because this meant that I was going to have to try for under 17 on my own. Speeding up after the first mile is hard work. I thought I managed to actual do it, but I really only held pace. This did help me pass two people in the second mile and for a short while I was actually starting to catch Mike. He must have just lost his pace for a bit because he quickly recovered and started pulling away again.

There was no one at the 2 mile mark to call out splits, which didn’t help because I was aiming for even splits. There was one runner that looked like he could be in my reach so I just decided to try and chase him down. I reeled him in for the entire third mile and I managed to catch him just before entering the field. I made sure to pass him with a short burst of speed to try and discourage him from staying with me. This is just because I am lazy and I really didn’t want to fight him off at the end. I continued to gap him as I rounded the field. Then after all this work to secure my place I turned the final corner and saw the clock at 16:43. This ruined my plan to not sprint at the end, but it was a very good thing that I did. I crossed the line at 16:59 and took 6th overall. While I did not break my goal by much, I can finally say that I am back in the 16’s.

After the race I talked with Mike who finished 5th with a time of 16:38. He was a little disappointed with this time, especially after running a 4:30 mile recently. I am guessing that he is just coming down off of his peak from training for the mile and he will probably start dropping his 5k time again soon. Mike and I both received a $15 gift certificate to Medved for being 1st place in our age groups (although, the two who won the race were in my age group, they were removed for being the overall winners).I was very happy with this race and am excited to see how the rest of the year goes.

Weekend Races

Roadkill Racers are heading out for a few different races this weekend.  Mike and Chanse will be staying in town to race the Medved 5k to Cure ALS on Sunday, while I head into Poughkeepsie to visit family and race the 3rd annual Treetops to Rooftops 5k.  Both races offer interesting courses.  The ALS 5k finishes with a dash around the warning track of Frontier Field, Home of the Triple A Red Wings, to a finish on home plate.  Treetops to Rooftops takes place across the recently completed burned up Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge to turned worlds longest pedistrian bridge Walkway Over the Hudson. 

This first image is the bridge as it existed before the fire that closed it for over 30 years.

This is the bridge as it stands today.



I am hoping that my fear of heights will give me extra energy to get on and off the bridge faster than anyone else.  Have a great weekend and good racing everyone!

Roadkill Rash Wrap

Monday morning dawned cool and cloudy, and would stay that way until 10 am when the sun came blazing out to great us for the start of the 5000 meter race.  Before I get to that, let me back up a bit and explain what the Roadkill Rash is.

The Roadkill rash is, in its first incarnation, a 4 event track and field meet for members of Roadkill Racing.  This years 4 events were in this order:

  1. 5000 meters
  2. 200 meters
  3. Long jump
  4. Shot put

For most of us everything but the 5k was a new experience, or at best something we did once or twice long ago.  I personally had the unfortunate duty of competing in the pentathlon in high school to try and grab a few extra points for the team during our league and section championships.  I did terribly in all but the 1500 meters, and I there was no way I was adding anything involving hurdles to the Roadkill Rash.  Several of our members recently moved away from Rochester and could not compete and our newest member Matt had family obligations,that left Mike, Chanse, Rob and Myself.

I arrived early was soon joined by Mike, Karyn and Chanse.  My wife Lisa and daughter Hazel showed up about 10 minutes before the start of the 5k but there was no sign of Rob.  We decided to forge on ahead and hoped Rob would make a late appearance to compete in the other events and to provide the shot put.  As I mentioned it was a nice enough morning until we lined up for the 5k.  Immediately the sun broke through and the temperature rose to about 80 degrees.  Mike and I were both hoping to run PR’s and break 16 minutes and Chanse was aiming for a season best in the mid 16’s.  I won’t bore you with long details of the 5k, but 1 mile in at a very labored 5:09 I knew, and I think everyone knew, we had no chance of hitting our goals for this race.  The heat was so stifling that it caused Mike to drop out of the race a little more than 2 miles in.  You can see Karyn running across the field to bring him some water a few minutes into the video below.  Chance and I Plowed on ahead at a much diminished pace and after staggering across the finish lines the points stood thus:

5000 meter results

Josh: 4 points
Chanse: 3 points
Mike: 0 points
Rob: 0 points

As we were gathering ourselves for the 200 meter dash Rob made it to the track.  It turns out the field house was locked and he had to wait for security to open it so he could borrow a shot put.  Then he got stuck in the Pittsford Memorial Day parade.  He wasn’t planning on racing the 5k anyway because he is rehabbing his ITB, and as you will see it didn’t matter much that he scored 0 points in the first event anyway.

Next up way the 200m, and it wasn’t even close.  At least not for the first spot.  Rob had the inside lane, and i was the outside (in lane 4) he made up the stagger less than halfway around the first turn and opened up his led on the rest of us from there.  Mike, Chanse, and I were left to battle it out for the 2-4th place.

200 meter Results

Rob: 4 points
Josh: 3 points
Chanse: 2 points
Mike: 1 point

Next up was the long jump.  It took us some time to figure out where to start our run up to the pit, and also to figure out which foot we were suppose to be jumping off of.  You might assume this would be obviously, but to us distance runners it was not.  I figured that I skateboarded and snowboarded goofy footed, so I would launch from my left foot.  After the fact I learned that a simple test is to stand with your feet together and lean forward until you have to step to catch yourself.  Whichever foot you step forward with is the one you stride with, the opposite one is the one you launch from.

This event went much better for me than I expected.  I don’t exactly spend a lot of time working on my explosiveness, but after 3 jumps a piece Rob and I had tied.  We decided that a jump off would be much more exciting than each taking 4 points, so we took one more jump each to determine the winner.  On Rob’s 4th jump of the day he busted out a beauty leaping past my best attempt by a good foot and half.  You can watch us in all our slow motion glory in the video below.

Long jump results

Rob: 4 points
Josh: 3 points
Chanse: 2 points
Mike: 1 point

The final event of the day was the shot put.  I can not put to words how silly a bunch of distance runners look trying to put the shot, or shot the put as it were.  During our “warm-ups” I made an attempt at a spin move and promptly fell out of the ring on my face.  After that no one else tried to get fancy.  I’m pretty sure we would all have been DQ’d for violating proper shot putting form.  Did I mention we were using a woman’s 8.8 lbs shot put, not the 16 lbs man variety.   No photos of this event but it is included in the video.  Mike who I constantly harass for spending too much time in the gym, and for being too bulky for distance running was really hoping to win this event.  He came close, but in the end it was once again Rob who came out on top in his final heave.

Shot put results

Rob: 4 points
Mike: 3 points
Chanse: 2 points
Josh: 1 point

Rob Castor with his stunning come from behind perfect 3 for 3 in events competed in snagged the Roadkill Rash Cup for the 2011 season.

Rob will have the pleasure of drinking out of the Roadkill Rash Cup until next spring when it will once again be put up for grabs.

Enjoy this 10 minute video of our morning!

Final Standings

Rob: 12 points
Josh: 11 points
Chanse: 9 points
Mike: 5 points
I can’t wait until next year, when we will have an expanded field of events, and hopefully a few more Rashers!

Lilac Festival 5K Race Report

This was my 3 time running at the Lilac Festival.  My first time I ran the 5k in 17:31 and finished 8th, my second time I ran the 10k in 36:14 and finsihed 33rd, this year it was back to the 5k.  The 5k has a family team competition and that was the only reason I did the race.  I have been sick for a few days and if it was just on me I would have skipped the race, but Lisa has been wanting to run as a Husband and Wife team so I neti potted the crap out of my nose and gave it my best shot.  The first time I ran this race, my parents were town so my dad and I entered the family competition and won, I was hoping for another family victory but it was not to be.

Starting Line

We got to the race about 40 minutes before the start and found our friend Jerry who was going to watch Hazel during the race.  I did a very slow warm up trying to not stress my lungs which were already aggravated from allergies.  By the time I got around to doing my strides I was starting to at least feel human again, although I did not have a lot of bounce in my step.  The race is basically an out and back, it goes down for a mile, flat for a mile and up for a mile with the steepest part of the hill in the last 400 meters.  My basic plan was to go out and close to 5 minute pace or faster as possible then hang on.  Generally this would not be my kind of race strategy but I knew with how I was feeling I would not be able to run very hard up the hill even if I took it easy the first mile.

Down the Hill

There was a solid field for the 5k this year, normally it isn’t that deep of a race because all the fastest people are running in the 10k an hour later for the big money.  Standing immediately to my right was Steve Strelick who has won the last few years also on the line were a bunch of youngsters I didn’t know but who looks fast.  The field size of over 1200 runners was announced as a record and then we were off, charging down the first big hill.

Lead Pack

The first mile went as expect; it was very fast. I went through the mile in 5:02 slower than I wanted but already struggling to breath.  I was in 6th place as we hit the flat middle mile.  As we wound through the neighborhoods I heard alternating calls of “Go Chris (Hine)” or simply “Alright GVH” so I knew at the very least Chris Hine, if not Dave and Tom were close behind me.  I tried to maintain my speed but knew I was dropping off the pace quickly and came through 2 miles in 10:24.  It was now time for the long slog back up the hill.

Up the Hill


I was doing my best to chug up the hill, knowing Lisa was depending on me, and Hazel would be watching her daddy  right near the finish.  It was those two thoughts that brought me to my senses as I was passed with .2 miles to go.  I was on the verge of just letting go and cruising in the last .2 when I got passed by a heretofore unkown runner.  Over the next .1 miles I struggle to find the motivation to make a push to reclaim 6th.  Just as I passed Hazel (who probably had no idea I was running by) I found another gear and ran down the guy who had just passed me.  I staggered across the line in 16:32, feeling utterly spent, but just as pleased to have not given up the hunt.

In the end Lisa and I finished 2nd in the family division behind the Bischoff’s.  Lisa is determined to improve her time for next year so we can bring home the best Husband Wife crown (or small medal).  I hope some day to be able to enter this race as a Father Daughter team with Hazel, but that day is still a few years off.

Results here.