Little Fish, Big Pond

Little fish, big pond. That about sums up where I am with my racing right now. Nothing in my life has been as humbling as my racing results since moving away from Rochester. In western NY, I could expect to finish top 5 in nearly every race and certainly top 3 in my age-group even in the biggest races. At the most competitive races like the Lilac 10k or Bergen 5k which served as the USATF Niagara Championships I never finished worst than 4th in my age-group and that was running my second slowest 10k time of 36:14 at Lilac in 2010 30-39 age-group.

Since moving to New England I’ve been handed one ass whooping after another. And while I have lost a bit of time (OK more than just a bit) even if i was running my master’s PRs I’d still be looking up at the finishers on the podium at many races. For the past 2 years I’ve been using that as an excuse for not running my best, and not training as I should.

The New England USATF 5 Mile Championship (AKA Ribfest 5 Miler) was my wake-up call. I allowed myself to start 6 or 7 rows from the front. I tried to shuffle around people for the first half mile which I ran in 3:11. It was right then and there that I decided I had to get serious about my training and my racing. I may not be in peak shape anymore but I am not yet resigned to shuffling along in the middle of the pack. If I had merely started closer to the front and run the first half mile in 2:50 (a very reasonable 5:40 pace) I could have finished 3rd in the 40-49 age-group. My gun time/chip time difference of 7 seconds was double that of everyone that finished ahead of me. I’d convinced myself I didn’t deserve to start with the leaders, so I didn’t finished with them.

I managed to close the last mile in 5:32 feeling great on a very hot and humid day. I need to take that feeling with me into each workout and race. Maybe I’m not as fast as I was 2 years ago, but I’m not ready to be an also ran just yet. I’m stuck right in the middle of my age-group with no good excuse for poor performances. So as the other Dylan said…

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Ribfest Results here.

 

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.

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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.

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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Syracuse Festival of Races 2014

Do you ever wonder why you picked such a hard hobby? Yeah, me too.

Sunday was the Syracuse Festival of Races which once again served as the USA Masters 5 km Championships. Roadkill took a masters team, 2 open runners and poor unattached Derrick Jones who is still serving his time out for having run with GVH.

The Syracuse Festival of Races is in it’s 21st year, and has for many years served as the USATF National Masters 5k Championship. A quick glance through the results shows finishers from: California, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Maryland, Florida and many more. If you ever start feeling a bit cocky about dominating your age-group I recommend heading out to this race for a reality check, but only if you’re over 40, the open competition is actually pretty average.

It was a morning of personal records. The flat course, great competition and very good (although slightly breezy) weather propelled 4 of us to certified course Personal Records. Matt (16:17) and I (16:14) have both run faster but never on a certified course, and we both do most of road racing on certified courses so we have a big sample size. Ashlie (21:18 )and Josh Williams (17:36) both ran PR’s as well, certified or otherwise. Derrick continues to cut time from his recent 5k results and finished with a season best 16:24, while Marcus Gage (17:51) and Jim Werven (19:57) had great Roadkill masters team debuts.

Aside from the individual competition the race was also a team competition. Not having Derrick cost us a top 3 finish but we still ran a solid average time of 17:14 and beat the two other clubs in the Niagara region.

1. 47:47 ATLANTA TRACK CLUB ( 15:56)

1 15:40 Chad Newton 44 Pisgah Forest NC
2 15:50 Kristian Blaich 48 Decatur GA
3 16:17 Matthew Whitis 46 Tucker GA
4 ( 16:39) Steve Wilcox 43 Cumming GA

2. 49:38 GARMIN RUNNERS ( 16:33)

1 16:21 Brian Crowley 49 Hillsborough NJ
2 16:27 Mark Zamek 51 Lavellette NJ
3 16:50 Mark Williams 41 Columbia NJ
4 ( 16:55) Gary Rosenberg 43 Morristown NJ
5 ( 19:44) Bill Bosmann 64 Rockaway NJ

3. 50:30 WILLOW STREET AC ( 16:50)

1 16:37 Robert Irwin 41 Guilderland NY
2 16:56 John Stadtlander 49 Clifton Park NY
3 16:57 Volker Burkowski 43 Gansevoort NY
4 ( 17:01) Derrick Staley 55 Ballston Lake NY
5 ( 17:13) Frank Horn 44 Albany NY

4. 51:41 ROADKILL RACING ( 17:14)

1 16:14 Joshua Perks 40 Fairport NY
2 17:36 Joshua Williams 40 Geneseo NY
3 17:51 Marcus Gage 42 Palmyra NY
4 ( 19:57) Jim Werven 48 West Henrietta NY

5. 52:41 GENESEE VALLEY HARRIERS ( 17:34)

1 16:41 Mike Nier 49 Rochester NY
2 17:48 Scott Bickham 48 Corning NY
3 18:12 Carl Johnston 49 Pittsford NY
4 ( 19:24) Gary Radford 57 Cicero NY
5 ( 20:25) Bill Beyerbach 59 Rochester NY

6. 54:53 SYRACUSE TRACK CLUB ( 18:18)

1 17:15 Richard Cohen 43 Utica NY
2 18:21 Javier Martinez 43 Baldwinsville NY
3 19:17 Dennis Delaney 50 Syracuse NY

In non-5K related news Kenny Goodfellow ran another in a series of stellar marathons. While we were zipping up and down the streets in Syracuse, Kenny was grinding away through the Southern Tier taking 3rd place in the Wineglass Marathon. His time of 2:33:11 was 2 minutes off his PR, but running into a headwind for 26.2 miles will do that to a man.

Also racing Wineglass was Joe Haungs who finished 4th in the 50+ category with a blazing 3:19:30, 5 minutes faster than he ran at the Rochester Marathon a few weeks ago.

Wineglass Marathon Results

USATF Men’s National 5k Championship Team Results

Syracuse Festival of Races Overall Men’s Results

Syracuse Festival of Races Overall Women’s Results