Saturday, June 18, 2011

Luff leads GRC at Garry Bjorklund Half

UPDATE: This corrects an earlier version in which race times were reported incorrectly and includes splits and commentary.

Sam Luff's 1:07:08 debut in the half marathon lead all GRC harriers at the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon this morning in Duluth, Minn.

Karl Dusen was close behind, running 1:07:58. Having survived a nasty virus the last few weeks, Dusen admittedly no longer thought of the race as a qualifier attempt, but rather as a test to see how fast he could run, as I guess most races are in the end.

Paul Guevara's 1:08:47 is a remarkable time given that he was splashing around in a pool a few months ago and has raced twice since then.

They reportedly, have "gotta be happy with that."

Tex and Karl plan to make attempts at the qualifier later this year, Tex at the former Philly Distance Run, now-overpriced Rock and Roll Philly Half in September. Speculation is that Dusen, who grew up with Filthydelphia, will join him. No word on Diddy, because I never asked him what his plans were, but I imagine he will try again in the fall.

MORE: "The day was good, we just weren't ready to run 65 minutes".

A cold rain and tail wind saw runners huddling for warmth in the elite athlete tent. Here is how the race developed from Shady Grove's own Sam Luff during a phone call from the GRC RACE TEAM Hotel Room in Duluth:

Luff, Dusen and Tex were 4:57 at the mile, behind a pack of Kenyans and elite Americans. Dusen realizes pace is too quick today and slows down.

9:55 for two.

15:05 at 3. Luff is running alongside Will Christian

20:10 at 4 for Luff. Tex drops back some.

25:17 at 5, 31:17 at 10k for Luff.

Shortly thereafter, Luff is running alone, but has a tailwind, keying off of other runners.

50:56 for 10 miles. Luff's legs then settled into 5:10s.

ANALYSIS: GRC Racers claim the trip was (is) good and the race was run "hard", but that neither of the 3 were ready to run 4:57s for 13.1. Still, a fine way to end the season for some and start it for others.

From Coach Jerry:

Karl once again had the misfortune of getting sick just as he was reaching true race fitness, and considering that he has not been able to finish a workout in a month because of his health problems, this was a remarkably positive performance. At the end of April Karl was at a point where 1:05 was a real possibility, but with his illness, there was no way it was going to happen today. That being said, he's got the whole summer to get back to the level he needs to make the Trials. I'm confident he will get on the starting line in the fall with a great shot to qualify.

Sam continued his breakthrough season with another excellent performance. He was in uncharted territory at this distance but took his shot and ran very, very well. Sam and I have talked about continuing his momentum from the spring into the future, and while we haven't made any decisions about what to focus on for the fall, there's no question that Sam is ready to move to the next level in the coming year.

Paul had a great run considering that this was his first competitive race in over 6 months, and I'm very encouraged about his progress. Paul will continue to get stronger and there's every reason to think he will have a big fall.



Sam L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

nice job guys.