From Coach Jerry:
I. Race Results
A. Track and Roads
Ali-Frazier, Magic-Bird, McEnroe-Connors. To this list of epic American sports rivalries we can now add Luff-Webb. On Saturday night in the 5k at George Mason, Sam went toe-to-toe with Alan Webb, the American record holder in the mile, whose 5k PR of 13:10 is over a minute faster than Sam's. But never one to back down from a fight, especially with a guy who is short, Sam led the race from the gun, with Webb right on his shoulder. Sam looked in control through 2 miles, but when Webb made a big move with 4 laps to go, Sam could not respond. Sam closed the race hard, but Webb’s world-class speed was too much for Sam to overcome. Despite not being able to hold on for the win, Sam looked very, very impressive in running a negative split 14:22.51, his second fastest time ever. Webb came out on top in round 1, but Sam is ready for a rematch, any time, any place, any distance. Webb can run, but he can't hide!
Sam was not the only GRC athlete to run a memorable 5k on Saturday. In the morning, Maura, Drea, and Beth all ran huge PRs at the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational. Maura led the way with an outstanding 17:27, for a massive 23 second PR. Maura had her baptism by fire in the 5k at Raleigh two weeks ago, and this time around, she was able to stay comfortable through 2 miles off of a fast pace, and she dropped the hammer with 1k to go. Maura is still learning how to race this distance, but her future is bright indeed. Drea ran 17:34, for an impressive 16 second PR. Although 5k is at the short end of Drea's range, she fought hard throughout, and will be ready for a big performance in the 10k at Penn Relays. Beth ran her first track 5k, and her first track race of any distance in the 21st century, and her 17:52 was a revelation. Beth is a true distance runner, but she proved that she has enough speed to be competitive in short races as well.
Our final set of track 5k results comes from Bucknell, where Sam Boimov, Dave Wertz, and Jason got after it. Sam continues to work his way back to PR shape, and his 15:20 was another big step in the right direction. Dave continued to prove that he's got plenty of run left in his 36 year-old legs, running a PR of 15:29.7. Dave has run a total of 2 track races in his life, and his lack of tactical sense cost him a few seconds, but he'll be ready to roll when he gets back on the roads at Pikes Peak. Jason was disappointed with his 15:50, but he is far too fit to continue to underperform in races, and he will show what he is capable of before this season is over.
We also had some exciting performances on the roads this weekend. Michelle made her long-anticipated return to action with a comfortable 18:46 5k. Michelle is going to continue to focus on biking this spring, and will ease back into running gradually, but she is finally healthy, and will be back to her GRC MVP form this fall. Susan ran a very solid 18:11 at the Women’s 5k By The Bay. And Kirby ran an impressive 18:02 for 2.98 miles in a low key road race. Had the course been 5k, Kirby would have likely run a PR. Well done to all!
B. Boston Marathon
The marathon is a cruel event, and that point was bitterly proven once again today in Boston. The conditions simply made it impossible for our guys (and everyone else) to run well. Not only was it extremely warm and humid on the course, the effects were exacerbated by the fact none of us are acclimated to heat right now. It’s truly a shame because several of our athletes were ready for big PRs. Dickson was in the best shape of his life, and his training could not have gone better. Boston has been his sole focus for the last year, and he did everything he could to put himself in a position to succeed. Murph was also in PR shape, and was prepared for a huge breakthrough performance. But it was not meant to be, and the day ended in disappointment for everyone. And while their disappointment is understandable, to me, the guys should be proud of the process. Distance running in general, and the marathon in particular, are process-driven, because weather is such a huge factor. By that I mean that no matter how well prepared a runner is for a marathon, there is always the strong chance of an unsatisfying result due to factors that are utterly beyond our control, with weather at the top of that list. Dickson and Murph, as well as Bain, Breezy, and Lavar, did everything right in the months leading up to the race. I am extremely proud of the process each of them underook, and I take comfort in knowing that they will have better days, hopefully in the very near future as we start to figure out Plan B. This crew will be heard from again this spring. Well done, men!
We’re going to continue to prepare for the big races at the end of April with something peppy on Wednesday. The A group is going to do a 5-4-3-2-1, all with a 3:00 rest, in 75s on the 5, 73s on the 4, 71s on the 3, 69s on the 2, and 65 on the 1. I’d like the B groupers who are running Pikes Peak, and anyone else who wants in, to sit out the 5, and then do the 4-3-2-1 with the A group. If there’s anyone who needs something slower, give me a holler and we’ll figure out a plan.
I’ll send the women’s workout separately.
We’ll come back on SUNDAY at BCC and do a sharpening workout for the folks who are running Penn, and anyone else who wants to come out.
I’ll see you Wednesday at BCC.