As I approached 40 years old there were a 3 races I had on my to do list. All of them were mile races, all of them masters only. The first one was the Messenger Mile which I raced last month. The second was the Hartshorne Mile which I raced last weekend. The third is the McMullen Mile elite masters heat.
The Hartshorne is by far the most competitive of the 3, with the winning time often in the low 4:20’s. Saturday’s field was stacked with former Hartshorne champion Scott Weeks and national stand out Mark Williams along with 7 other masters runners from up and down the east coast. I was seeded 5th with a time of 4:38. I ended up finishing 5th but with a time of 4:41. Results.
The whole field ran a bit slower than their seed times, and I feel like I missed a great opportunity to place higher. You can see from the video below that after about 3 laps I lost focus for a bit and the front pack opened up a 5-6 second lead on me. I was able to close that gap to less than 2 seconds during the last lap but I can’t help but think I could have stolen 2nd or 3rd place had I only run a smarter race. Things happen so fast on the track and if you aren’t ready to respond you get left behind. For now I’m moving on to distance training with the Syracuse Half Marathon being my next goal race. I’ll have to sharpen up my speed after than to be ready for the McMullen Mile in June.
Some other notable performances from Hartshorne included great races from fellow Mid-Hudson Valley runners Marisa Strange and Jeff Conston. Marisa ran 5:20.26 which is a 94.55% age grade.
A little more than 5 years ago Mike Insler and I had the crazy idea of starting a new racing team in Rochester. Then he up and moved to Maryland 3 years ago, leaving me short a training partner and a chief rival. This past weekend Mike returned for a visit and I knew we had to find a race to do together. Roadkill Racing came out in force and showed Mike how much the team has grown over the years. We had some great performance by our open runners, and also from our new masters women runners. We have come a long way from that first meet in 2010 and our iron-on singlets.
Once again it was Kenny Goodfellow leading the way. This time at the Scare Brain Cancer Away 5k in East Rochester. We had 11 runners compete in the race with lots of overall and age group awards won and even a few PR’s.
Kenny (16:13) finished 2nd overall with Matt Roberts just 3 seconds behind in 16:16. I took top masters honors in 4th overall with a 16:20. Derrick Jones (16:38) and Mike Insler (16:43) gave us 5 runners inside the top 10 both winning their age group.
Rounding out the men’s team were Andy Penner (17:13) Josh Williams (17:14) and Joe Williams (18:20). The race was Josh’s fastest 5k by over 20 seconds and just a few seconds off Joe’s best. Andy’s 11th place overall was good for 1st in his age group.
Not to be outdone by the men, the women’s team turned in some impressive performances as well. All 3 ladies ran PR’s (1 lifetime and 2 post pregnancy). Ashlie Roberts who is gearing up for the Indy Monumental Marathon next weekend lead the way in 21:18 ( LTPR) followed closely by Lisa Perks in 21:20 (PPPR). The picture above shows Ashlie and Lisa separated a healthy margin with 100 meters to go, Lisa threw down a serious kick to close within 2 seconds! Lynn Gottfried, who managed the awesome feat of running her final mile of this race faster than her McMullen Mile time in June, finished in 23:15 (PPPR).
While Mike was up here Adam was down in DC racing in the 28th Annual Walk to End HIV 5k. He finished in 3rd place with shiny new 23 second PR of 16:09! That made for 3 20+ second PR’s in one weekend… I think there is something to this team racing thing.
One final note on the Scare Brain Cancer Away race. Take a look at the picture below taken right before the start. This is after Derrick told the starter something should be said.
The starter (director?) at Derricks urging said “If you aren’t planning on running a 5 minute mile you shouldn’t be on the front line.” This caused a bit of laughing from the 1000 runners but no change. He went ahead and started the race anyway. I didn’t think this was funny in the least. It is dangerous. I’m sure that many of the people a few rows back had no idea there were a bunch of young kids, some literally coming up only to my waist, on the line. I would strongly encourage race directors to take a more active role in managing runners at the start, especially in a race with this many people. I would also strongly encourage whoever was responsible for these kids (they appeared to be a boys hockey team and a girls soccer team) to understanding racing protocol before taking kids to a race.
A huge thanks to everyone who contributed photos to this post including the Rochester Photo Crew and Roadkiller Lauryn.
I’ve raced lots of doubles and even triples at track meets, but somehow in all my years of racing I’ve never raced back to back days. Going into this weekend I had no plans on changing that.
Sunday was the 3rd meet in the PGXC series and Lisa was supposed to take some time to herself (well herself and some of the other lady racers) while I stayed home with the kids. Even though we have had some very generous babysitting help from people connected to the team, it is nice to go to race without having your attention pulled in many directions. Having no cross country racing responsibilities I figured I would jump into the Safe Journey Scarecrow 5k on Saturday morning. It is a mile away from my house and they had $100 prize money for 1st masters runner.
I shuffled down to the race and put in a pretty solid effort finishing 2nd overall and 1st masters running in 16:26. As an interesting aside I ran 16:28 in 2012 and 16:27 in 2013, if I keep this up I’ll break 16 on the Scarecrow course when I am 67 years old. I got my butt kicked by Kenny Goodfellow who ran a 16:02 only 6 days removed from his 2:33 marathon performance (seriously wtf Kenny). Also in the race were Joe Williams and Joe Haungs (dressed as a Scarecrow). Joe Williams was hoping for a PR but came up just a bit short. He said he wasn’t looking forward to Sunday but thought he could drag himself out to Akron Falls… better him than me.
Later that evening as I was about to sit down for dinner I get an email alert on my phone. Normally I would have waited until after dinner, but I get a little paranoid the day before xc races so I checked it. And as the song goes, just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you (Yes I am aware Joseph Heller put that in a book first). The toll of working several overnight shifts in a row had finally caught up to Joe W and he wasn’t going to be able to race. We only had 5 masters runners including Joe scheduled to run. I’d already scramble to pull in 2 new masters runners for this race Rick Ostrander (pictured below) and Daniel Sackett (who also ran the Wineglass Marathon last weekend). If the Masters team was to have any chance of winning the series we couldn’t take a 0 for this race, which meant back to back races it would have to be for me.
We had a 6 man open team and a 7 woman open team also racing, but sorry kids this particular post is all about the masters team. I will give a quick tip of the cap to Dave Rappleyea who seems to be very close to his old racing form and to Lauryn Recchia who ran a 5k PR at Scarecrow and came back to race this meet as well. You can see the results for all the teams at the end of the post.
Now for a quick history lesson. The Pete Glavin XC series is in its 25th season. In 14 of the last 16 seasons and for the past 9 seasons in a row the Genesee Valley Harriers have won the Male Masters Division. GVH has had a stranglehold on the Masters competition in Western NY for a generation, and nothing would make me happier than to break that grip.
Going into the race my hope for the team was to place no worse than 3rd. I had no idea what I had left in my legs, Derrick was fighting a cold, Dan had just race a marathon and Rick was a totally unknown commodity. The only person I knew was going to run well was Josh Williams and he didn’t disappoint, blasting past a GVH master runner in the final meters. No one else disappointed either. Derrick dragged me through the first 5k of the 6k course and held on as the 2nd masters finisher after I moved past him on the final uphill. Daniel edged out GVH’s 5th runner by 4 seconds, and Rick finished with what can only be called a ferocious kick. After finishing 2nd by 3 points to GVH at the McQuaid race, we were revenged in Akron Falls beating them by 1 point!
We have put ourselves in a good position for the last 2 races. We have a 4 point lead and should have our full complement of masters runners for those final 2 races. I hear GVH is putting out an all points bulletin for wayward masters members for the USATF-Niagara Masters 8K Championship on November 2nd which is also the 4th race in the series. I would be shocked if that race doesn’t come down to a point here or there. Despite what the GVH coach may be telling people, all we do is not sit around and drink beer.
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.
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.
Josh Williams, Joe Haungs, Kraig Connor and Megan Ganskop ran their first of what will hopefully be many races for Roadkill Racing.
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!
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.