I love the smell of Genny in the morning

3 Years ago Roadkill Racing won the Pete Glavin XC Series taking 3 of the 5 races including the Championship race. Since then it has been rough going. We were shutout in 2012 and in 2013 we didn’t even have enough runners to field a team. But it has been a busy year and we returned to form at the first race of the 2014 season.

The Strut
The Strut

Just look at those faces. Do those look like the faces of runners who are messing around? OK maybe Kenny is messing around but Matt is serious as hell.

Seventeen Roadkill Racers competed in the opening race of the PGXC Series Sunday at Jamesville Beach. Seven open men, 5 masters men and 5 open women took on the challenging 5k course along with 140 other runners. It was the first time we had fielded a women’s or masters team.

Leading the way for Roadkill were a couple of old hands, Kenny and Pete but we had a number of runners making not only their cross country debut but also their Roadkill debut.

Leading Men
Leading Men

Josh Williams, Joe Haungs, Kraig Connor and Megan Ganskop ran their first of what will hopefully be many races for Roadkill Racing.

The New
The New

The open men finished 3rd and the open women finished 4th against stacked fields of Syracuse Track Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, Checkers Athletic Club, Cornell Running Club and High Noon.  The masters men owned the day though, surprising the series old timers and taking home Beer & Glory!

Man Down
Man Down

One of our runners got a little too excited (Derrick) and dropped his beer. I am confident that we will be able to win another one for him before the end of the series.

Results

Spring Forward 15K RROY#1

 

 “It’s a little hilly, but they are mostly rolling hills.  Nothing really that bad.” Me to Kenny before the start of the Spring Forward 15K, which kicked off this years Rochester Runner of the Year Series.

I must have had such a poor recollection of the course because of the lack of oxygen going to my brain the last time I ran it.  As you can see from the elevation profile below the course does nothing but go up and down.

hills2

I ran this race once before in 2012 and it didn’t go as I had hoped.  This year went much better both in terms of my place and my time.  There was some solid competition this year, but nothing like the last time I ran when Tim Chichester won it in 48:42.  Kenny was sure to run well and after Dave Bradshaw’s 26:10 at Johnny’s I figured he was going to be well out of reach as well.  If everything broke right I thought I might be able to sneak into the top 3, but I didn’t recognize a few guys who looked pretty fast and I don’t have a good history at this race.

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Kenny and Dave took it out together pretty quick but by the 2nd mile Kenny had broken away and Dave remained a good 50 meters ahead of me.

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Mike Reif the GVH coach informed me around the 3 mile mark that I had about a 50 meter lead on whoever was behind me.  Dave was holding steady 50 meters ahead putting me in 3rd place with a little cushion close to 1/3rd of the way through the race.  That was enough to make me smile.
IMG_25333640996002

Drew had plans to run this race as a tempo run, this sounds like the worst possible thing in the world to me.  Races are tough, but tempo runs are awful.  Still this seems like something other Roadkill Racers, especially those prone to running marathons, like to do and he seems happy enough at 2 miles.IMG_25337906515270

What’s with all these smiles?  Must be because Heather Ostrander is cheering us on and is the most enthusiastic Roadkill Racer ever (as well as the provider of these pictures).  Joe didn’t seem happy with his time after the race but he ran 20 seconds per mile faster than last year so I’m not sure what he was complaining about.

Somewhere around mile 6 I caught up to Dave, who was nicer to me than anyone I’ve ever passed before giving me a fist bump and encouraging me to keep pushing.  Knowing that at least one other runner was close on my heels I took Dave’s advice and laid down a pretty good 6-7 mile split just under 5:40 pace.  Kenny of course was long gone, but Dave and a runner who turned out to be John Schnitter from East Amherst dogged my steps the rest of the way to finish.  I was happy to see Dave hold on to 3rd place by 1 second.

I crossed the line with an official time of 53:22 in second place having run a pretty steady pace. This was a 80+ second PR for me, although I’ve only run two 15k’s both on this course. The only big variations in my splits were in miles 7-9 which isn’t surprising considering they are a long uphill followed by a long downhill.  I picked up 14 points in the RROY series and a jar of organic peanut butter for my 2nd place finish.

05:39.4
05:41.0
05:38.4
05:44.1
05:45.4
05:47.3
05:39.1
05:52.1
05:34.2
01:59.2
53:19.0

 Kenny won in 51:17.  You can see his beaming face in the D&C story below.
Democrat & Chronicle
Full results are here: 
Spring Forward 15k Results

As a final note (more of a question really).  Can anyone explain why this always happens to me?  I start my watch as fast as I can when the starter says go, and stop it a few steps after I cross the finish line mats, but somehow my watch time is always a few seconds faster than the official time.  In this case they even had chip time and gun time which were both the same as I started on the line.  Is it just some oddity where both my watches run a bit slow?

 

XC championship and Turkey Trot reports

I feel very behind in my blogging but I suppose that is to be expected with all the holiday travel.  I’m going to give you two race reports in one post so I can get caught up and move on with my life.  First up is the USATF-Niagara 8k XC championship/Pete Glavin Upstate New Your Cross Country Series championship or as I like to call it USATFN8KXCC&PGUSNYXCC day for short.

Championship Day

This was the first season RKR hadn’t won any of the races leading up to championship day.  That of course means we had not won any victory beer, which was sad.  None the less a spirited and ready to race Roadkill team showed up at Black Creek Park late Sunday morning.  We new that if we finished in the top 3 this race we could win cash, and as everyone knows cash can easily converted into beer.  And beer bought with victory money is victory beer, and everyone also knows that nothing tastes as sweet as victory beer.  For the final race we had Kenny, Brett, Jeff, Evan, Joe and me.  After a warmup that consisted mostly of running around the lake by the finish line watching the ladies come in we lined up on the starting field to do our prerace cheer.  There were 6 men’s open teams and 140 runners competing in the 8k to lap race.  The course was flat, and would have been very fast if not for the mud.  We were the last of 10+ races that all used some part of the course that morning (The Junior Olympic races were held earlier that day) and by the time we went off the already soft course had been completely shredded.

Kenny and Brett leading the charge.

Kenny and Brett lead the way with a fast start while I settled into a comfortable pace and stayed at the back of a pack of runners I knew I would have to beat if we wanted to win any of the prize money that was up for grabs.

Taking it easy at the start

Once we had completed the first loop I started making moves to pick off the competition.  Every time we hit a grassy patch were the footing wasn’t awful I managed to pass another runner or two, but a pack of 5 runners stayed stubornly ahead of me.  Kenny and Brett were just a bit ahead of me, but I didn’t know it until the finish, and I assumed Jeff and Evan were somewhere close behind. As we came out of the woods and began the 600 meter kick around the lake to the finish I managed to pass 3 of the 5 runners in the pack ahead of me, but had no idea if it would be enough.  I caught my breath in time to cheer in Jeff, Evan and Joe and then the long wait for the results began.

Final Results (link to results)

  1. Genesee Valley Harriers $250
  2. Syracuse Chargers $150
  3. Roadkill Racing $100 (and a case of beer)
  4. High Noon
  5. Syracuse Track Club
  6. GVH#2

It was a long and difficult season, but we fought the good fight all year and in the end were rewarded with both cash and beer (still not sure what we won the case of beer for).  In a few weeks we will meet to wrap up the season-with food, drinks and a few well earned awards.  I’m looking forward to getting to race on some roads in the coming months and expect Roadkill Racing to clean up again during the Freezeroo Series which starts on December 8th.

 Turkey Trot

Powering up the 400′ climb to start the Turkey Trot.

Going into this years Turkey Trot I had high hopes of finally breaking 27 minutes for 5 miles (my PR is 27:00.38).  I even went so far as to get a deep tissue massage on Monday to help me recovery in time for the race.  Thankgiving morning was as perfect a late November morning as a runner could hope for, 35 degrees sunny and not a breath of wind.  I knew I would have plenty of company at this years race as several college runners, and recent college grads were signed up for the race.  We started out the first mile in a reasonable 5:35, I say reasonable because the last half of the first mile is a very steep climb.  I was happy with the split but knew it felt like to much work, all the bounce I had in my legs on Sunday was gone, and the chance of it returning before we had to turn around and run more hills was unlikely.  We hit the 2.5 mile turn around in 13:47 I knew from previous years that it was possible to run back much faster than out (I had twice run the last mile in 4:50) so I just had to push the gradual 1.5 miles back to the crest of the big hill and I could fly to down the hill to the finish and break 27 minutes… or I could competely fall apart and run the 4th mile in 6 minutes which is what I did.

In pain down the hill.

I still managed a 4:50 final mile for a finishing time of 27:18 good for 4th place (full results here.) While disappointed I didn’t set a new PR I was happy with the effort, and think I looked rather stylish in Hazel’s leg wamers, although they were a bit short.

I Double Dog Dare You

Regular readers of this blog (yes there are a few even among GVH’s ranks) will know that I frequently post on the Runner’s World message boards.  Unlike Let’s Run the RW message board actually has some sharing of information about running, and I try to help out some of the newer runners when I can.  Today while taking a little break at work I responded to a new runners post about Yasso’s 800’s.  For those of you unfamiliar with Bart Yasso and or his 800’s I will direct you here or you can just Google them yourself, there is no shortage of information online about them.  The very quick summary of them is if you can build up to 10×800 whatever time you can run all 10 800’s in while doing equal rest is the time you can probably run a marathon in.  So if you can do 10×800 in 3:30 with 3:30 rest you should be able to run a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes.

 

Sounds simple and makes for interesting discussions, but I don’t put much stock in them and told the OP so.  It seems that very few people understand the difference between causation and correlation, and the problem is even worse among journalist.  This is where the “trouble” began.  It seems Mark Remy Editor at Large of Runner’s World  took issue with my slight of Bart’s seminal workout.  You can see how the whole nasty affair went down here.  Again for those not interested in clicking links I’ll give you the short version.

 

Josh- Yasso’s 800’s are dumb and not a good predictor of marathon performance because I could go out tomorrow and do 10×800 in 2:35 each with 2:35 rest tomorrow but I couldn’t run a 2:35 marathon tomorrow.

Mark- Bull shit you can’t do that and I’d like to see you try.

 

It is probably worth noting at this point that this is not the first time Mark has had an issue with something I’ve posted.  When he first started his blog on the RW I made a comment he didn’t like and he emailed me to tell me so.  So I think he is a bit thin-skinned, especially when it comes to people saying anything bad about Runner’s World or Runner’s World employees.  Kind of strange for a guy who’s daily blog is pretty much nothing but snark and sarcasm (not that I think that is a bad thing, I’m certainly not above a bit of snark and sarcasm myself.)

So anyway, Mark doesn’t think I can run 10×800 in 2:35 with 2:35 or better and I know that I can.  I guess it is also important to point out that I really have no shot at running 2:35 for a marathon anytime soon.  My two best half marathon performances were 1:15:53 and 1:16:24 and I’m in about the same shape now as I was when I ran those although I am obviously also a bit older (38 years old to be exact). Since I’m about to start doing some shorter faster intervals for my xc training anyway I’m going to take him up on his calling me on what he this was a bluff.  I had planned to do 7×1000 in 5:10-5:15 pace with 400 meters rest on Thursday so I’m just going to change that to 10×800 in 2:35 or better with 400 meters jogging rest.  Just to make it all official I’ll be setup the video camera, and if anyone is really really bored on Friday they can come back here and watch me run around in circles for an hour.  Or if you are even more bored you can come out to Nazareth College at 3 pm on Thursday and watch me do it live.