Thursday, November 26, 2015

The GRC participates in Thanksgiving fitness activities!

'Twas daybreak on Thanksgiving, and the pies had been prepped, the turkeys had been thawed, the wine had been stockpiled, and a hush had fallen upon kitchens across America. Chefs would soon take to their roasting pans and basters, TVs would soon be tuned to the day's football entertainment, and dinner rolls would soon undoubtedly be forgotten in the oven, but the early morning hours belong to the turkey trotters, whose pre-race peanut butter-banana toast is at odds with the typical gluttony of the day. Fortunately, the GRC likes to break the mold, and its members were scheming to dominate races from coast to coast before the food comas set in.

The GRC was out in full force at the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 miler. Tom Kelly made the impossible possible with a PR, and ex-pat Matias was first in the stroller category with TWO passengers along for the ride. No man (or child) left behind on Thanksgiving!

5. Kevin McNab 25:38
8. Tom Kelly 26:05 (PR!)
10. Chris Van Es 26:16
11. Paul Guevara 26:31
21. Matias Palavecino 28:43 (plus Leo and Chloe)

Congratulations as well to Matias' wife Katie, who finished in 36:26, and Chris' mom, who placed first in her age group!

The GRC was also represented well in Nazareth, PA at the Pumpkin Pie 5k. Sam Luff repeated as winner of the race and also of a pie, and Dickson Mercer finished in third but also won a pie! Exact pie details were not given, but pumpkin seems like a likely candidate. We're also unsure as to whether the pies were eaten at the Thanksgiving table or whether they might have been better suited to a post-race recovery snack.

Julie Tarallo, meanwhile, not only secured the coveted bib number 1 at the Tiger Turkey Chase 5 Miler in Easton, MA, but managed to snag an approximately Julie-sized frozen turkey with a winning time of 30:27. Julie shows off her turkey hoisting ability below. Note: this was not consumed as a post-race snack.

The Youngs had a successful showing in Toledo, taking home two Dutch apple pies at Dave's Turkey Chase 5k. Beth locked down third place with a run of 19:20, while Breezy ran 17:47 for 12th. Breezy also doesn't seem to be thrilled with the quality of this year's haul. Mama Young better step her baking game up for this pie snob!

Also in the humble state of Ohio, Blake Taneff won the Chase Columbus Turkey Trot 5 miler in an excellent 24:42.

Kieran O'Connor got the win in 31:30 at the Troy Turkey Trot 10k in upstate NY. Pay special attention to his new signature "OC" victory pose. The jury is still out on whether it will catch on.

Mike Franklin repeated as the winner of the Morris Township Thanksgiving Day 5k Turkey Trot in Morristown, NJ, with a time of 15:58.5, while middle distance star Cecilia Barowski, whose weekly mileage used to be mainly made up of the Wednesday workouts' warm up, ran an excellent 18:36.0 for 5th place in a competitive field.

Katie Kieran won the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5k in Towson, MD in 17:42.

Up north, native Minnesoootan Kyle Wagener battled snow and mid-thirties temps to finish 5th in a competitive field in the Minneapolis Turkey Day 5k with a time of 15:55. He was rewarded with a pumpkin pie for a top ten finish and braving what is probably a typical fall day in Minneapolis.

Closer to the familiar oval of BCC, three of GRC's favorite men ran the Bethesda Turkey Chase 10k. Luke Meyer got the win in 31:26, Paul Balmer was 5th in 32:14, and Sean O'Leary finished 7th in 33:33.

Cabell Willis and Teal Burrell secured matching second place finishes in the Richmond Turkey Trot 10k, running 32:21 and 38:14, respectively, despite their generally very different race length preferences. Teal's husband Rusty also competed well, running 46:38. He didn't quite make the cut for the post-race photo, however.

Ryan Witters also finished in second place at the Goodwill Turkey Day 5k in Evansville, IN, running 15:00 in a competitive field.

Phil Royer took the roads of Newport, RI and social media by storm with a win in 24:43 at the hilly, competitive 30th Annual Pie Run and with the below family photo, which garnered the most Facebook likes he's ever received. Well done on both fronts, Phil!

Speaking of photogenic families, Laura, Dave, and Greta O'Hara ran, ran, and stroller-rode (respectively) the Fairfax Turkey Trot 5k. LTO ran an impressive 19:33 for the win, finishing with an incredible kick, and Dave O and Greta crossed the line in 21:41.

The Reiches also showed some family unity in finishing only seconds apart at the Way Station's Turkey Trot 5k in Frederick after spending a few days in Costa Rica. In her first race as a Reich, Stephanie got her new name off to a good start with a win in 17:49 and Stewart appears to have outkicked her with a finishing time of 17:45. You'll get him next time, Steph!

In the creatively named town of Forty-Fort, PA, the Olenginski brothers went 1-2 in Tim's Turkey Trot. Luk ran 25:18 for 5 miles and Greg followed in 25:58. Greg and Luk (or is it Luk and Greg?) will look to take over the podium again in a few weeks at clubs clubs clubs!
Frances Loeb was truly in the giving spirit on Saturday, as she spent the first mile of her turkey trot helping to pace a friend to run a sub-20 minute 5k for the first time. Due to her supreme negative splitting ability, which we've seen many times before, Frances still ended up finishing as the first woman and fourth overall finisher on a hilly course with a time of 18:47.
In the wilds of Laurel, MD, Susan Hendrick welcomed herself home from a week in the tropics with a first place showing at Tom's Reindeer Run 5k in 19:18, which was also good for third place overall. Santa was apparently on hand for this race as well. We've entered the Christmas season, folks!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday practice, November 24


It was another big weekend for GRC in Philadelphia, as we had several athletes in action at various distances. Frances K got the weekend started with a bang, placing 3rd in the Rothman 8k in the excellent time of 26:26, which is yet another new club record. That Frances was able to run so well after only a handful of workouts since her return from injury is a great sign of things to come for her in 2016. In the half on Sunday, Teal made a promising return to competition, running 1:21:49 as a hard tempo. Teal has also just begun workouts after a serious injury, and she is well on her way to being ready to make some noise at the Trials. Also in the half, Keely ran a nice PR of 1:25:45, and former (and possibly future) GRC superstar Catherine Campbell ran a PR of 1:22:30. I was quite pleased with Keely's performance, and I'm looking forward to her continued development in the future. In the full marathon, Charlie ran 2:39:52, and Fridge ran 2:41:31. They both struggled with extremely windy conditions, and while neither of them was particularly pleased with the result, they were both in excellent shape, and will run much faster the next time out. In non-Philly results, Balmer tempoed a controlled 1:14:43 for second place at the Annapolis half on a hilly course.


There is no practice on Wednesday, but I will be at BCC on Tuesday night for those of you who are looking to get in a workout this week. We're getting an early start, so meet for the warmup at 5:45, and we'll roll at about 6:15. If you want to come out and need to start later, that works too, so let me know.

The practice schedule leading up to Clubs is that we will be at BCC on Wednesday 12-2 for our final hard workout, and that's one you won't want to miss. We'll get on the grass for a moderate workout on Saturday 12-5, and we'll do a final light workout on Tuesday 12-8 at BCC.

Good luck with the turkey trotting, and enjoy your holiday.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wednesday workout, November 18


We had some excellent performances at the USATF East Region XC Championship in Philadelphia on Sunday. The men scored 26 points to easily top the field, and Phil got the win in 26:26 on the very challenging Belmont Plateau course. Matt Rand ran a very solid 26:48, followed closely by Cabell in 27:00, Mike in 27:04, and Balmer in 27:06. The 40 second spread for our top 5 bodes very well for Clubs, and when we add in a couple of our top guys who were not in Philly, we will have an excellent shot to get back into the top 10. The women, who placed second, were led by Katie in a very strong 18:42, followed by Hannah in 19:12, Maura in 19:14, Frances L in 19:15, Susan in 20:14, and Chelsea in 20:44. The women are determined to improve on last year's 10th place finish, and I am confident that they will be ready to do so when the gun goes off in San Francisco.

The road highlight of the weekend was Kevin's triumphant return to action at the St Rita's 5k, where he ran a very comfortable 15:35. Kevin has been out of action since May due to injury, and while he has a ways to go to get back to his dominant form of last spring, he is well on his way to full fitness. Also at St Rita's, Wertz made his masters debut, running 15:53, followed by Chris in 16:02 and Dickson in 16:05. On the women's side, Kara got the win in 18:52. LTO ran 21:32, but despite her best efforts, she was the second woman in her own household, as she was edged out by a stroller length by young Greta.

GRC did not compete in the USATF 12k champs, but we were there in spirit. Alexi Pappas, a teammate of Nina's at Dartmouth, wore a Nina patch and finished 9th in the elite field. Nina would have been proud to be a part of such a great performance.


We're at BCC for our normal 7:15 start on Wednesday, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.
I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Wednesday at BCC.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Wednesday workout, November 11


It was another big weekend for GRC, with numerous excellent performances. The Veterans Day 10k was a triumphant return to competition for Frances Koons, whose track season was cut short by a serious injury. With only a few weeks of running under her belt, and not much in the way of quality work, Frances ran the outstanding time of 34:12, which is a new GRC Club record. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Frances just might have a knack for this whole running thing. Not to be lost in the hoopla over Frances's return is the excellent GRC debut of Stephanie Bryan, who placed second in 35:04, which was a huge PR, and puts her 4th on the GRC all-time list. Steph is going to be a major contributor to our track group, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what she can in 2016. Also at Vets Day, Hannah was fifth in 37:06, Frances L was sixth in 37:16, and Maura was seventh in 37:22. Nice work, ladies!

The men were in action at Vets Day as well, and Mike lead from the gun and got the win in a very strong 31:08. Mike is rounding into shape at the right time, so keep an eye on that young fella. Phil was third in a solid 31:32, followed by Balmer in fifth in 32:07, Sam in seventh in 32:15, Tom in ninth in 32:41, Zak in tenth in 32:42, and Wertz in eleventh in 32:43. I was extremely pleased with Zak's performance, which was not only a huge PR, but most likely the best race of his life. In non-Vets Day results, Matt Rand ran 31:15 for the win at the Rockville Centre 10k in New York, which is a 29 second road PR. To say Matt ran alone from the gun is an understatement--second place was over 3:30 behind him--making his run that much more impressive. Jerry Outlaw followed up his big PR in Philly last week with a controlled 1:11:53 at the Battlefield Half in Winchester, where he placed fifth in a competitive field.

We also had a wonderful example of community outreach this weekend, when Big City guided visually impaired athlete Matthew Rodjom to the win at the Race to End Women's Cancer 5k in 17:30. GRC has made a commitment to guide elite visually impaired athletes, and it's a service I'm very proud to see us continue to provide. Thanks to Chuck for upholding this wonderful tradition.

Finally, Brian Young scored a huge victory last week in a different venue, winning a conviction in an extremely complicated, high-profile, and important trial involving manipulation of the Libor interest rate. Many of us felt that Breezy was making a mistake when he put his lucrative and secure career as a professional runner on hold to follow his dream of being a DOJ lawyer, but it's now clear that his risky decision has paid off. Breezy is giving a new meaning to the term send 'em, as he is sending seemingly untouchable white collar crooks to the joint. Mazel tov on a job well done!


We'll be at BCC for our normal 7:15 start, so meet for the warmup at 6:30. Fall sports are concluded, so we will have smooth sailing on Wednesday nights at BCC for the rest of the year.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Wednesday at BCC.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wednesday workout, November 4


I'm still trying to get my head around Kieran's amazing performance at the Philly RNR half marathon on Saturday, where he ran the truly outstanding time of 1:04:39, and qualified for the Olympic Trials Marathon with room to spare. To say Kieran had the race of his life would be an understatement, and I could not be more proud of his spectacular run. The research arm of GRC has swung into action to answer the compelling questions the media throng have been asking me since the moment he crossed the line. GRC historians are hard at work trying to determine if Kieran's race was the greatest performance ever by a GRC man. GRC statisticians are trying to calculate the odds that a guy who stated in his introductory email to GRC in May 2013 that he did "the bare minimum to get by" when he ran high school cross country, who did not run competitively until after he graduated college in 2009, and did not train in an organized setting until he joined GRC in the summer of 2013, could meet the very, very difficult Trials qualification standard out of the half marathon barely 2 years later. And GRC's aeronautical engineers are utilizing the latest wind tunnel technology to calculate how much faster Kieran would have run if he had shaved his beard. Whatever the answers to those questions prove to be, we can all take great pride in Kieran's magnificent accomplishment. Well done!

There were other notable performances in Philly. Blake Taneff made an excellent GRC debut by running 1:06:54, a PR of over 2 minutes, which puts him 4th on the GRC all-time list. Blake, a standout at Ohio State who has ran 29:12 for 10,000 on the track, hopes to join Kieran in LA for the Trials, and I like his chances to hit the standard when he takes his next shot in January. Jerry Outlaw ran a very nice PR of 1:09:35, which sets him up well for another marathon PR in Houston in January. Tex Paul ran a solid 1:10:32, which is a big step forward as he continues to return to full fitness. Last but not least, Chris ran a huge PR of 1:12:20, which I was particularly pleased with. When Chris joined GRC in May, I regarded him as a developmental runner who was going to need at least a year to progress to the level of accomplishment that we expect from our members, but Chris accelerated that timetable considerably with his major breakthrough on Saturday.

In non-Philly results, our men's class of 2015 ran the Parks 10k, and since each of them made their debut at the distance, it was PRs all around. Kyle W led the way, finishing 3rd in 33:06, followed by Lukasz in 4th in 33:09, and Greg in 6th in 34:02. Future GRC superstar Emily Potter was second in 36:39, and they combined to win the team title. Katie continued her winning ways at the Baltimore Trick or Trot "5k" where she ran 17:46 on a course that was at least 100 meters long. Finally, Teal made her return to racing in a low key "5k" in New Jersey, and her time over the indeterminate distance was 18:48. However far she actually ran, the important point is that Teal is healthy again and back in training, as she's got a race in February that is of slightly more consequence to get ready for!


We'll be at BCC on Wednesday for our normal 7:15 start, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Wednesday at BCC.