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

RKR tackles wind, hills, mud, and … roadkill

Sunday, November 10th, 2013.  The Robert Trent Golf Course at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  While Josh was off running a paltry road 5K this weekend, the real men raced over hills and mud to bring glory to the Roadkill Racing name.  125 men and 73 women braved the cold, blustery weather to partake in the fourth race in the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country series, and the USATF Niagara Open XC Championships.  Roadkill Racing, having been plagued with a dearth of able racers this season, once again joined forces with High Noon Athletic Club to instill fear in the hearts and souls of our competitors.

After warming up on the course, the three Roadkill Racers, Kenny, Joe, and Matt, realized that fast times were out of the question.  The wet conditions made for soggy terrain, and the biggest hill I have ever seen appeared roughly at the 4.5 mile mark of the 8K course.  We decided to run tough and see what scalps we could pick off.  Our spirits were buoyed when we were told that there was a dead raccoon spotted on the course.  Obviously, this rural form of roadkill was an omen, albeit a sad, macabre omen.

Kenny running for beer and glory
Kenny running for beer and glory

The gun went off and we took off as quickly as our soaked spikes would let us.  Kenny, fresh off a recent 15:51 PR, was soon out of sight of the rest of us mere mortals.  The men’s 8K course consisted of three loops around a small section of the golf course before splitting off into hillier terrain after three miles.  After getting dizzy running around in circles, we began the real racing in the hills of the back nine, or lower forty, or whatever that section is called.  I can’t speak for Kenny or Joe, but while I was certainly hurting by the time we reached The Hill, I was able to pass two GVH runners in the last mile.  I was reduced to nearly walking pace up the steepest section of The Hill, but luckily the last quarter mile was all downhill, and I managed to stay ahead of the runners I could hear breathing down my neck.

Matt running for beer
Matt running for beer

High Road Noon Kill Racing ended up fielding two teams, which ended up third and fourth in the PGUNYXC results.  Kenny finished 12th with a blazing time of 28:16, I was 22nd in 29:11, and Joe finished 64th in 33:29.   While we didn’t win any beer, I’d like to think we did run well and each of us beat some real studs.

Joe running for glory
Joe running for glory

Next up is the championship in the PGUNYXC series, a 10K held at Mendon Ponds park on Sunday, November 24th.  Look for the RKR singlets to make a bold statement there!

Results

Thanks to USATF Niagara and Tim Matthews for the photos

Medved 5k to Cure ALS

Some how I have missed this race the last 3 years.  The race starts out in front of Frontier Field were the Rochester Red Wings (the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate play) and finishes with a lap around the warning track  ending at home plate.  It has traditionally been one of the more competitive 5k’s in town with the winning time generally in the mid 14’s and a steady stream of runners from 16:00 up.  This year the field was a bit thin, and so was the prize pot.  The cash awards had been cut from top 5 to top 3 and as Jeff and I looked around at the start we thought we each might have a shot at some of that money.

Talking about all the cash we could win.

I was uncertain how I would run.  I had a cold (I still have one as I am writing this) but I had also had some really good workouts since the disaster of the McMullen Mile.  The cold was mostly above the shoulders so I thought I had a shot at running a good race on this flat course.  I was going with the same plan I used at the corporate Challenge, get out with the leaders and hold on.

Hoping for a fast start.

Jeff got out to the early lead with, Mark Andrews, Patrick Geoglegan, and I right behind him.  We stayed in a tight pack for most of the first mile, but I was already struggling to breath just a few minutes into the race.  Just before the 1 mile mark as we rounded a corner Mark and Patrick broke away leaving Jeff and I to flounder alone into a stiff head wind.  At the 1 mile mark Jeff was a few seconds ahead of me in about 5 flat.

Jeff running in 3rd place a bit after the 1 mile mark.

Things fell apart for me quickly after the 1 mile.  I let Jeff open up a gap and I just couldn’t bring myself to work on closing it.  I ran mile 2 in 5:36, the slowest split in a 5k in the last several years, only to top that with a 5:42 3rd mile.

No man’s land.

Over the next 2 miles Jeff remained about 15 seconds ahead of me and the chase pack about 15 seconds behind.  I was running in limbo, instead of racing I was just running to be done with the race.  I’m going to chalk up this total lack of motivation to being sick.

Crawling to the finish.

 

Somehow I did not lose any placement during this crawl to the finish, and I would like to think if someone had come up and challenged me I could have rallied for a finishing kick.  I finished in 4th place with a time fo 16:53.  This was good enough for an age group win and 12 points in the Rochester Runner of the Year Series.  Full Results Here.

 

 

Side Notes: 

There was also a number of kids races which Hazel was very excited to race in.  We have been going to the track lately so she could race and she was talking about running her race all morning.  She had  on her racing socks, racing sneakes, and racing hair tie (although she ripped off her racing bib.)  A feature of the 5 and under kids race was running with “Spikes” the Red Wings mascot, this I’m sure was meant to be exciting for the children, but it turns out Hazel is absolutely terrifed of the giant red birds.  She refused to go any where near Spikes, which was a problem as he was starting in the middle of the pack of kids running the 50 yard dash.  Hazel would not let go of me anytime the bird came within 50 feet of her.  The experience was so tramatic that when she woke up this morning the first thing she said to me was “where is bird? I’m scared of the bird!”  We clearly will not be going to Disney Land anytime soon.

Scary Bird.

 

Putting a bow on it

It is that time of year when we look back on the past year and look forward to the new one.  2011 was a wonderful year for me and for Roadkill Racing.

On the home front a delicate balance was struck between work and play, between family, jobs and running.  Hazel moved out of what I like to refer to as the larva stage and into the nymph stage, I am not so much looking forward to her reaching the dragon fly stage but we have another 12 or so years before that happens.  I now find myself in the constant company of 2 lovely ladies who for some reason, beyond my ability to fathom, not only tolerate but seem to actually love me for all my many quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Three years of uninterupted training led to many new Personal Records this year in distances both long and short.

  • 1 mile 4:29 at the McMullen Mile
  • 5 mile 27:00 Ed Ericson Memerial Run
  • 10k 35:25 Freezeroo # 6
  • 1/2 Marathon 1:15:53
  • 25K 1:32:56 Turkey Trot
I am more proud of the many achievements of Roadkill Racing, than I am of my own person triumphs.  Defying all reason, RKR has become a force to be reckoned with on the Rochester running scene.  We have built a solid base of runners, and continue to add new runners.  Despite having nothing to offer in the way of shoes, clothing, or facilities we have competed against and beat area teams much larger and better funded than ourselves.  Perhaps it is our simple refrain “For Beer and Glory,” perhaps it is our distinctive racing singlet (which every RKR member must dole out $40 for),  or perhaps it is something a little bit more.  In this holiday season I am reminded of the Grinch, standing on the precipice having stolen all the Who’s Christmas goodies.  And did those Who’s down in Whoville cry boo hoo?  No they were singing.
And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two! 
Yes, I think all the proud members of RKR have hearts 3 sizes larger and they have the strength of ten runners, plus two!