Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekend Recap: Neverending Track Season, Lawyers Have Heat

If there's one thing I've learned this track season, it's that track season is not "nearly over" in early May. Each week has brought about a new slate of meets that I am either unfamiliar with or have carelessly forgotten. This week, I'm going to try the ol' reverse jinx method - track season is just getting started (wink wink).

Emily d surely had the track performance of the weekend with her 9:59.33 3k steeple out at the Portland (Oregon) Track Classic. The odds were stacked against Emily, who had reportedly last jumped over a steeple barrier at the 2017 USATF Nationals, but sometimes a lack of expectations is the key ingredient to a long-awaited PR. It's likely that Emily's club record time will qualify her for this year's national championship, so maybe I'm right about track season actually just getting started...

Photo via MoCoRunning.com
On the East Coast, Daniel Trettel just missed out on the club record in the 800m with a 1:53.89 at the newly-established DMV Meet of Champions. Judging from this photo of his finish, it looks like Daniel had an innate sense that he should have run .04 seconds faster. A little further north, Liz raced a mile at the New Jersey International Meet in a strong time of 5:03.12.

In the local road race world, seven brave souls faced the inevitable heat and humidity of the Lawyers Have Heart 10k on Saturday. Maura L fared best in the conditions with a 6th place finish in 35:31, and solid efforts were also logged by Taylor (37:02), Kerry (38:38), Emily (39:41), and Rebekah (40:01). On the men's side, Paul finished 13th in 32:15 and Zak also finished the race, despite some mid-race uncertainty about his prospects to do so.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Weekend Recap: Track in Tennessee

Track season continued its seemingly endless march forward over the weekend, with notable meets in both West Chester, PA and Nashville, TN.

North of the Mason-Dixon line, a fearless trio comprised of Alex, Alyson, and Liz ran the 1500m at the John Hay Invitational. Alex ran 4:34.87 for a 3-second a PR (and a GRC #4 all-time performance), and she was followed by Alyson in 4:38 and Liz in 4:45.61. Despite my best efforts, I can't find any photos from this meet, so please enjoy this thumbnail from a Milesplit video where you can see what appears to be the outlines of Liz and Alex.

At the Music City Distance Carnival, Maura L claimed bronze in the 5000m via a 17:02.2 clocking, and Paul Thistle nearly ran a season best in the 3000m steeple with a 9:07.04. Conditions were steamy trackside, but morale was high, so both Maura and Paul expect to return next year with plans to improve on those performances.

Also in Tennessee, friends of GRC Ryan Lockett (mile, 4:09.09) and Kieran Gallagher (1500m, 4:18.15) ran season-best performances in their respective events.

Speaking of GRC friends, ex-pats Phil Royer and Hannah Rowe ran the Mountains to Beach Marathon in Ventura, CA on 5/27. Hannah performed exceptionally well for her first 'thon (2:54:14), and Phil finished runner-up (2:29:32).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Long Weekend Recap: Road Mile, Outlaw in Ottawa

Does a race during Memorial Day weekend qualify as a spring race or a summer race? These are the types of questions that keep me up at night. I'm leaning towards summer, but I'm open to opposing arguments.

The major event of the weekend took place on Memorial Day proper out in Winchesta, VA. Our crew of Gina, Emily, and Jackie placed 3rd (5:05), 5th (5:08), and 6th (5:18) at the Loudoun Street Mile. While Loudoun County is a veritable hike from DC, this race has a long history of awarding snazzy backpacks to top finishers, and this year's neon colorway was no exception. By all accounts, Gina and Emily couldn't even wait 10 minutes after receiving the backpacks to start flaunting them about in the streets of downtown Winchester.

Up in Canada, Outlaw closed out his spring season (or started his summer season) at the Ottawa Half Marathon with a 1:14:36.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Weekend Recap: TK in Green Bay, Mark 3rd at Historic Half

Folks, I've said it before on this very blog, and I'll say it again - you have to escape the DC area if you want to run a fast distance race during the summer. Some may argue that May isn't "summer", but what else do you call a day where the temperature hits the upper 80's?

Always one to heed my advice, TK4 traveled to Wisconsin for the Green Bay Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Tom ran a massive PR of 1:13:40 for 6th place, despite windy conditions and limited competition near his pace.

Never one to heed my advice, Mark Hopely ran a strong 1:14:39 for 3rd place at the MCM Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA. Mark hoped to defend his title, but the combination of a hot morning and a hilly course made that a tall order against a competitive field. I doubt that Mark will start taking my advice anytime soon, so there's a good chance that he reclaims his title at the 2019 edition of this race.

Kerry also continued her sneaky spring (summer?) comeback tour, running the Capitol Hill Classic 10k in 40:38.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Weekend Recap: Swat, Zak runs a 5k

For reasons unbeknownst to us, club runners aren't permitted to compete in college conference meets. The Swarthmore Last Chance Meet is the next best thing, and despite its inconvenience for your standard non-NCAA runner (whose idea was it to have a meet on a Monday?), a good chunk of our track crew made the trek up to Delaware County for some fast late-season times. Particularly notable performances include Alex Morris running a 3-second PR in the 800m for a new club record plus Paul Thistle continuing to chip away at his club record in the 3k steeple.

 Swarthmore Last Chance Meet

800m
Alex - 2:08.87 (GRC Club Record)
Jesse - 2:11.11

1500m
Alyson - 4:36.45
Jackie - 4:41.94

Lars - 3:57.35
Craig - 4:02.15
Mitch - 4:03.96

3000m Steeplechase
Paul T - 9:00.52 (GRC Club Record)

5000m
Maura L - 16:41.25
Rebekah - 17:58.26

Jake - 15:12.49
Witty - 15:23.14
Alex A - 15:23.78

Outside of Swat, Lucas Stalnaker won the 5k at the Montevallo University Last Chance Meet in 14:30.78, and Emily d logged a solo 4:36 1500m at a low-key meet in Paris. Expect her to shred up the track once she returns stateside in the near future.

Zak also won the Police Week 5k in 15:55. Good job, Zak.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weekend Recap: Some marathons, other races too

Summer showed up early to the party last week, and our distance crew responded with a mad rush to fit in as many races into this weekend as possible. It's either now or never, folks!

On the marathon front, Natalie claimed both victory and a PR at the Kalamazoo Marathon, crossing the line in 2:59:10. Up in Pittsburgh, Maura C completed her hometown marathon in a two-minute PR of 2:52:26.

Down in Philadelphia at the Broad Street 10-Miler, Tyler replicated his strong performance from Cherry Blossom with a solid 53:20, and Mark Hopely knocked out two PR's in one race with a 25:42 5-mile split en route to a 52:16 finishing time. I would think that there was a 10k PR in there too, but let's be honest, who cares what a lowly blog writer thinks.

Closer to DC, Steph won the Frederick Half Marathon for the third year straight in 1:20:19. That's an impressive streak of victories, but even more impressive is Steph's ability to perfectly replicate her breaking-the-tape pose year after year. 

Our track crew also joined in on the weekend fun by running quick times at the UMD Kehoe Twilight Invitational. Standout performances include a pair of 2:13's in the women's 800m from Alex and Jesse, a pair of 1:55's in the men's 800m from Craig and Daniel, and a near-PR in the 5000m from JLP.

800m
2. Alex 2:13.24
3. Jesse 2:13.59
6. Craig 1:55.31
8. Daniel 1:55.87

1500m
5. Alyson 4:39.55
6. Jackie 4:43.37
7. Liz 4:45.52
13. Elyssa 5:09.47

15. Mitch 4:07.69

5000m
3. JLP 15:22.50
4. Lars 15:29.81
6. Jake 15:47.15
7. Wertz 15:53.64
9. TK 16:00.82
11. Luk 16:02.68

4x400m
1. GRC 4:06.29 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Weekend Recap: Dix 4th in NJ, Pair of 6th's at Penn Relays

Like a fine wine, or maybe a nice cheese, or perhaps a cast-iron skillet, Dickson only seems to improve at the marathon with age. Dix ran 2:31:58 for 4th place at the New Jersey Marathon on Sunday, with bike assistance from Evan and pacing help from Outlaw.

Earlier on in the weekend (or the week, depending on how you view a Thursday evening), Paul Thistle and Maura L logged 6th place finishes in the 3k steeple (9:03.58) and 10k (34:44.7) respectively. Our four-year streak of coming back to DC with an Olympic Development race victory unfortunately came to an end, but if Jordan's run with the Bulls showed us anything, sometimes you need an off year in order to establish a dynasty.

In other action, Gina won her road race debut at the Nike Women's 8k in 30:42, Liz ran 4:41.19 for 1500m at CNJ, and Hashem ran 16:02 for 6th at the Red Hook Crit 5k in Brooklyn.



Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend Recap: Pacers races, a little bit of track

Pacers' event staff was busy working double duty this weekend, with both Crystal City Friday 5k #3 and the Parkway Classic on the docket. Charlie was also busy running double-duty, but that was by choice.

On Friday in Crystal City, young Lars seized the lead early and broke the tape in a road PR of 15:43, followed closely by Jake Roberts in 16:01. Down in Alexandria on Sunday, fresh off the momentum of a PR at Cherry Blossom, Keely took the win in 63:08. Keely was stoked to break the tape in the biggest win of her career, and equally stoked to get a free sticker and breakfast from District Taco after the race.

On the men's side, running retiree Kieran was second in the 10-mile in 52:11, and TK4 won the 5k in 16:12.

Crystal City 5k # 3
1. Lars 15:43
2. Jake 16:01
14. Fridge 17:03
17. Charlie 17:51

Parkway Classic 10-Mile
1. Keely 63:08

2. Kieran 52:11
6. Outlaw 54:50
10. Tyler 56:03
18. Charlie 59:27

Parkway Classic 5k
1. TK4 16:12

3. Rebekah 19:39

On Saturday at various venues, our speed-inclined trackies logged impressive performances on the oval. At Princeton, Alex won her heat in the 800m, Liz ran a solid tune-up in the 1500m, and Trettel put forth an encouraging performance after a few injury-laden weeks of training. Further to the south, Mark and Ryan #PanhandleCrew Speir competed well in the 5k at Widener and Georgia Tech respectively.

Princeton Invitational
800m
Alex Morris 2:13.86

1500m
Trettel 3:55.16
Liz 4:47.09

Miscellaneous Track 5k's
Mark 15:25
Ryan 14:57

Last, but certainly not least, Greta ran 3:18 at the Zurich Marathon. As is often the case, the time alone doesn't tell the story of Greta's performance. Coach Jerry recapped Greta's bumpy marathon buildup in his weekly recap:

"Working as a consular officer in Kabul probably isn't the worst possible job on the planet for marathon training--scientists at the research station on the South Pole and refugee resettlement officials in Myanmar likely have it slightly worse--but it's way up there on the list.  The air quality in Kabul is so bad that it's impossible to run outside most days, and even on those rare days when the air is borderline tolerable, the only place available to run is comparable to a prison yard.  And Kabul is located at over 6,000 feet of elevation, making workouts on the treadmill extremely difficult.  Add to that very long and stressful work days and sleepless nights due to occasional artillery fire into the compound, and it all adds up to Greta having to deal with an exceedingly difficult training environment.  Despite all of these impediments, Greta worked very, very hard to be ready to compete in Zurich, and I was extremely proud of her preparation.  While the race didn't go the way she hoped, she gave it her absolute best effort, and that's all I can ever ask for.  Greta's next assignment is in Bern, Switzerland, which is an excellent place to train, and I'm fully confident that she will run a well-deserved PR within the next year."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend Results: More Track, Cold Bahstun Marathon

While we're still waiting on a final ruling from our highly-paid team of experts, it's safe to say that our marathoners in Massachusetts experienced the worst weather of a very weather-filled April weekend.

Congrats, Graham!
Weather be damned, Graham's 23rd place finish at the Boston Marathon was the performance of the weekend. Graham ran somewhat close to even splits (1:14:02/1:16:04) on a day when many elites dropped out before Heartbreak Hill. Since photos of Graham have yet to surface (and since he chose not to reply to this author's text of "Dude you are a legend. Got any photos of yourself during the race?"), we'll have to make due with a photo of Graham looking lost on a much warmer day.

Boston Marathon

Graham Tribble 2:30:06
Chris Van Es 2:53:27
Chris Bain 2:56:45
Kyle Cooke 3:06:47
LTO 3:26:14

On Saturday, our track crew split time between the George Mason Spring Invitational and the Bison Outdoor Classic. Highlights include Maura L notching a solid W/PR combo in the 5000m at Bucknell, as well as the dynamic mid-D duo of Alyson and Alex logging top-10 finishes in the 1500m at Mason. Unfortunately, summery conditions in Pennsylvania were not conducive to fast long distance times.

George Mason Spring Invitational

1500m
6. Alyson 4:35.98
7. Alex 4:37.64

800m
20. Craig 1:58.28

Bison Outdoor Classic

5000m
1. Maura L 16:27.34 (invite heat)

5. Rebekah 18:33.61
6. Emily K 18:33.64

26. Stewart 14:46.92 (invite heat)

26. Lars 15:26.27
30. Alex Archer 15:44.18

10000m
42. Kyle Wagener 31:43.59

Lastly, Mitch and Kerry broke the tape at Friday's Crystal City 5k. With ~30 minutes to go before the start, Kerry was still undecided between volunteering at the turnaround water stop and "jogging" the race. It looks like Kerry made the right call.

Crystal City 5k Friday #2
1. Mitch 16:45

1. Kerry 20:08



Friday, April 6, 2018

Weekend Results: Hopkins 1500's, Friday 5k SZN kickoff, Jerry Blossom, etc.

There's no doubt about it, folks - this is a capital-B Big weekend of racing.

Our track crew got an early start on the weekend up at the Hopkins Invitational in Baltimore. Highlights include Alyson and Jesse's 1-2 finish in the women's 1500m, as well as young Lars breaking 4:00 in the men's race.

Hopkins Invitational

1500m
1. Alyson 4:39.2
2. Jesse 4:42.5

2. Lars 3:59.4

5000m
4. Rebekah 18:27.3

400m
4. Jesse 58.61

Closer to DC, Kieran and Witty replicated Alyson and Jesse's finish order in the first Crystal City 5k of the season. Kieran's performance is notable in light of his repeated claims of having "retired" from running, despite regular attendance at workouts over the past few months. You can only say you've "retired" so many times before people stop taking you seriously, Kieran...

Crystal City 5k
1. Kieran 15:28
2. Witty 15:39
4. Alex Archer 16:25
8. Fridge 17:29

2. Erin Sicher 18:42

On Sunday at the Jerry Blossom 10-Miler, Paul Thistle led the men to a first-place finish in the Men's Elite Club competition. The women took a close second in their respective club competition, with Taylor leading the charge in an impressive debut.

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler

29. Paul Thistle 50:32
41. Nick Posada 52:58
47. Tyler Dye 53:16
48. Outlaw 53:23
56. TK4 54:01
59. Wertz 54:13
84. Sean O 57:03

26. Taylor 59:37
31. Maura C 60:09
40. Keely 62:25
46. Natalie 63:24
160. Marianne 70:16
178. Elyssa 70:53