Saving the Hooha’s

As many of you know HBO (Heather Bailey Ostrander) recently kicked ovarian cancer’s ass. To help celebrate and to support women currently fighting the battle many on Roadkill Racing turned out for the 7th annual Ovarian Cancer 5k at MCC.

HBO with son Austin and husband Rick.
HBO with son Austin and husband Rick.

The women were led by Lisa Perks who finished 2nd overall and was followed closely by Ashlie Roberts 3rd overall. Lynn Gottfried finished 3rd in her age-group and Jamie Phillips ran a 5k PR of 24:39. HBO was taking it easy on her family and the 3 of them finished the race together.

Lisa leading the women
Lisa leading the women’s team.

On the men’s side it was a clean sweep 4 deep, led by Kenny Goodfellow who managed a 16:17 despite being in the middle of 247 mile week. He was followed closely by Matthew George the Dread Pirate Roberts who ran a certified road PR of 16:20.

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Kenny breaking the tape

Dave Rappleyea and Derrick Jones finished up the sweep in 17:01 and 17:06 respectively. This was Dave’s first race back since suffering a foot injury in the spring and Derrick is reminding himself why he prefers longer races. Still not too shabby for a 43 year old, I expect he’ll take 30 seconds off that time for the Masters National Championships in October.

Roadkill men taking and holding the lead.
Roadkill men taking and holding the lead.

Next up… cross country, where time doesn’t matter and the distances are made up.

Results Here.

Bergen 5k

Early August marks the unofficial start to the Cross Country season with the Bergen 5k. This race serves as the USAF Niagara 5k Championship and race director Eric Boyce pulls no stops with putting together one of the fastest races in New York. The top-60 finishers ALL BROKE 17 MINUTES! This is nearly unheard of for a smallish (365 finishers) local road 5k. So how did the Roadkill racers fair?

The Women

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The Bergen 5k was the ladies first scored team outing since formation, and boy was it a great debut! Not only were they able to field two complete teams (3-5 runners with the top 3 scoring), nearly everyone ran a PR! No small feat for an individual let alone an entire team. Leading the way was Molly Romano (20:09) followed by Erin Mahoney (21:42), Ashlie Roberts (21:43), Lisa Perks (21:45) and Lindsay Rynders (22:51) rounding out the first team. Team #2 was lead by newcomer Monique Golossi (22:13) followed by Lynn Gottfried (23:39), Lauryn Recchia (24:11), and Heather Ostrander (26:28). Congratulations to all the ladies on a successful debut!

The Men

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Similar to the women’s team, the men had outstanding performances all around. The teams for the men are comprised of 5-8 runners with the top 5 scoring. Missing from the group due to injury were Kenny Goodfellow and David Rappleyea, as well as Brett Smith with illness and Mark Streb who had a prior engagement. These gaps were filled well by some new and young RkR members. Lead by Buffalonian and new member Dan Snitzer (16:08) the men finished 4th overall. The remaining top-5 of veteran Josh Perks (16:17), Mathew Roberts (16:25), newcomers Pete Gratien (16:34) and Adam Staveski (16:34) packed it in nicely fo a team average of 16:24. Andrew Caffrey (18:24) and Joe Williams (18:30) rounded out the team. The newest member, Andy Penner (17:08), finished well running his fastest 5k in quite sometime.

Looking forward to Cross Country as both teams seem poised for success!

Team Results

Full Results

Tentative Cross Country Schedule

I can’t believe this will be Roadkill Racing’s 5th cross country season. I had look back in the archives to double check, but we did indeed start racing as a team in the fall of 2010. Over the past 4 years we have had some big successes, such as winning the whole series in 2011 and some failures, such as having to run as a combined team with High Noon last year. I think we are heading into the 2014 season with one of our strongest teams ever. We also head into the season with a women’s team for the first time which is a testament to how far Roadkill has come since Mike Insler and I first dreamed up the team.

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Rob, Mike, Tyle, Travis, Josh, Ryan, Chanse

Below is the schedule for this years series, renamed from the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country Series to simply Pete Glavin Cross Country (PGXC).  Please plan your fall accordingly!

9/14 Syracuse – Jamesville Beach 5K 11 am
9/27 Rochester – McQuaid Invite 3 miles 5 pm (incl. USATF Niagra Masters)
10/12 Buffalo – TBD 6K 11 am
11/02 Ithaca – TBD 6k 11 am women 8k 12 pm men  (incl. USATF Niagara Championship)
11/23 Rochester – Mendon Park 6k 11 am women10k 12 pm men(PGXC Championship)

Numbers

Racing and baseball are my two favorite sports, and they are as different as any two sports can be.  Racing is nonstop, no TV time outs, no injury time outs, no rest after each inning.  Baseball is pastoral, the shortstop can wander in to the pitchers mound and strike up a conversation in the middle of an inning if he wants.  Racing is a celebration of the individual, one winner everyone else is an also ran.  Baseball is about team, 25 guys striving for the same goal, if you are lucky enough to play for the Yankees you don’t even get your name on the jersey.

Yankees

But both sports have one thing in common, an obsession with numbers.  And while 714, 755, 61, 56, 2,632 may resonate nationally more than 3:59, 2:03:23, 3:43, 26.2 the latter numbers are important to people who race or follow the sport.

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Last night Albert Puloj became the 26th MLB player to hit 500 career home runs.  This used to mean something, it used to guarantee entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame, now it is a nice milestone that gets a 1 minute spot on Sports Center.  The reason behind the degradation of the number is obvious.  In 1929 Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 500 career home runs and over the next 70 years he was joined by 14 more players.  Then in a span of 15 years (1999-2014) 11 more players were added to the list.  You probably know some of the names.

Barry Bonds
Alex Rodriguez
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Jim Thome
Sammy Sosa
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Manny Ramirez
Frank Thomas
Gary Sheffield
Albert Pujols

7 of them have either tested positive for steroids or admitted using them.  What has MLB done about this?  Aside from suspending 2 of them for 1 season or less, nothing.  For a sport that clings so tightly to its history and records it has done nothing to preserve the meaning of those numbers.  And this may be the most glaring difference between the two sports I love.  In racing if you cheat, you are essentially erased from the history books.

07dope.2.650

Look at the 100m All Time List, no Justin Gatlin no Ben Johnson no Tim Montgomery.  And while I’m not naive enough to believe none of the current distance marks are tainted, at least when the IAAF busts someone they take action with up to a 2 year ban for a first offense and loss of any records or medals.  No one is taking Manny or Arod’s World Series rings from them even though they are both serving/served suspensions for multiple violations and Bonds is still listed as the all time single season and career home run leader.

628x471But I didn’t write this post because of Puloj’s milestone last night.  I actually began thinking about this after Meb’s win in Boston.  I started thinking about it terms of something baseball and distance racing have in common, something that baseball, distance racing and many other sports have in common actually.  The winners aren’t always the ones with the glaring stats, with the blazing fast times, with the highest paid stars.  Yogi Berra has 10 WS rings, Bill Russell has 11 NBA titles and neither are ever mentioned as the best player in their sport.  The NFL player with the most championships?  Charles Haley with 5.

And then you have Meb Keflezighi.  He’s won 4 NCAA titles, 3 National XC titles an Olympic silver medal, the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon.

Meb_Keflezighi_in_2014_Boston_Marathon

Meb has never been considered one of the best in the world despite these accomplishments.  He’s never had the jaw dropping times of many world class marathoners.  In fact his fastest time, 2:08:37 run this week at the Boston Marathon, ranks as the 843rd fastest marathon time ever run.

And that is why I love distance racing.  When you toe the line it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past or what the other guys have done.  It only matters what happens that day, in those fleeting moments from when the gun goes off until you cross the finish line.