Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Trot Results!

As tradition holds, GRC athletes fanned out across the country this morning to compete in local Turkey Trots. Julie Tarallo netted the best prize of the year - her weight in turkey - by winning the Easton Turkey Chase five miler with a time of 30:02.

Although the prize was less desirable, Stephanie Reich set a club record at the Way Station 5k with an unbelievable 16:42. Husband Stewart didn't do so bad himself with his 15:02, good for the W.  And Stew wasn't the only winner. Maura, who has been on a tear on distances from the 5k to the HM, topped  the podium at the PNC YMCA Turkey Trot in Pittsburgh (17:54). Although nothing edible ensued, the race sponsors are mailing her a turkey trophy.  

In the Midwest, Kyle and Evan grabbed pumpkin pies (seen below) after finishing third (15:35) and eighth (15:53), respectively, in the Minneapolis Turkey Trot.  

The results of the Alexandria Turkey Trot are also in:

4. Luke 24:48
6. Steve S 25:49
8. Dangerous Dave 26:00
9. Charlie 26:04
11. Tom 26:30
13 Chris V 26:40
19. Tex Paul 27:20
25. Amy 28:17
27. Kerry "the banana" Allen 28:46
124. Lindsay B 33:40

Fulfilling a long-standing quest, Dickson "the Nazarene" Mercer broke the tape at the Nazareth, PA Run for the Pie with a formidable 16:19 on a fair course.  Meanwhile, in Fairfax, Dave O put in a 17:17 with Laura pushing the stroller in in under 22.  

Out west, David McKay gobbled up several local high schoolers to break the tape at the Missoula, Montana Turkey Trot 8k (26:16). His efforts were met with a gorgeous apple pie.  

Matt Hassett received a well-earned "Top-100" finisher ceramic coffee mug for his efforts of 26:25 at the Ashenfelter 8k in New Jersey.

This author had a forgettable performance in the Southborough, MA Gobble Wobble, but his wife set a "pregnancy PR" for the 5k.  Our efforts returned no prizes after some rapscallion absconded with the Dunkin' Doughnuts cache reserved for rewards shortly after the gun went off.   

We are awaiting the results for Jake Klim's Thanksgiving athletic activities. Patrick Murphy has also been known to hit the roads on Turkey Day, but no results for him have surfaced.  

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Keely Eckberg smashed her sub-3 goal this morning at the Philadelphia Marathon running 2:56:18, a 5 minute PR. Keely executed a strong, smart race nailing even splits en route to a 16th place finish among women. Keely's run is all the more impressive considering conditions were less than ideal with strong winds, and she's battled a cranky Achille's the last few weeks. Keely revealed her secret to success to be chowing down on eight servings of rice on marathon eve, but this blogger thinks Keely's immense dedication and unfailingly positive attitude were strong contributing factors as well.

Keely en route to big PR in Philly

On Saturday, Elena Barham made a very strong half marathon debut in Philadelphia, placing 11th in 1:21:14. This was Elena's first race over 10k and only her third road race. Look for Elena to continue to roll at clubsclubsclubs and on the roads for years to come.

Baby Wiggy!

Six years ago to the day, Jake Klim predicted that GRC ex-pat Joe Wiegner would "meet a babe" whom he would "make love to," which would result in the birth of a "beautiful baby wiggy."

Well, folks, it happened Friday when Wiggy and his wife brought a wonderful Baby Wiggy into the world. Congratulations Joe and family!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vet's Day and RNR Vegas Results!

Vet's Day 10k Results

Phil 31:26
Whitty 32:17
Dangerous Dave 32:31
Kyle 32:33 - HUGE PR!
Charlie 32:43
Chilly Balmer 32;53
Evan 33:03
Blur 33:47

Frances 36:37
Elena 37:28
Elyssa 37:50
Liz 38:49

RNR Las Vegas

Both Reichs sent 'em in Sin City with wins in the RNR Vegas 10k with Stewart and Steph in 32:07 and 36:31, respectively.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Maura - 1:19:44!

Maura Carroll had a major breakthrough in Richmond this morning, breaking 1:20 in the Half. This is a big PR, which Coach Jerry Alexander described as the best long road result of Maura's career. Carol has been increasing her race distances incrementally and, as someone whose half marathon PR was also set in Richmond, I will attest that the course is more than fair. Julie (Half) and Greta (full) had solid results with 1:23:11 and 3:01:56, respectively.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

FLASH: Pacers GRC Men Capture MCM Open Team Title!

The Pacers GRC men took top honors in the Marine Corps Marathon men's open competition, with an average time of 2:34:34 for the top three scoring runners. This result bested the Greater Boston Track Club, which finished with an average of 2:44:27. GRC's team result would have earned its squad second place in the Armed Forces Challenge Division by finishing behind only the U.S. Army squad, which posted an average of 2:29:51 (including a 2:23 by the first place finisher). Notably, Jake Klim's time (reputed to be in the high 2:20's) was mysteriously excluded from the GRC's average. Sean Barret's impressive 2:34:04 was good for first scorer on the all Marine team.

A look at the numbers reveals that this successful result was achieved by fielding a team of substantial depth for which every runner went to the well. This was a model of disciplined running. Every runner formed a race plan and stuck to it, which allowed every member of the team to finish in the ballpark of what we knew was possible. Although one would have expected more carnage given the raceday conditions, smart running enabled all five men to finish with commendable results. And this depth is the key to winning team competitions at major marathons -  all three of the GRC's scorers were within 3:30 of each other. That each runner on the GRC's roster got out and competed and put in a very strong result on a tough course on a hot day is the headline.

Weekend Events: Apples and Bananas

This is a big weekend of racing for Pacers GRC. On Sunday, Kerry "the Banana" Allen will hit the streets of the Big Apple to contest the eighteenth running of the New York City Marathon. Temps look quite favorable for marathoning while winds will be breezier than optimal. "Kerry is in great shape and looking for a PR," says Coach Jerry Alexander. While the rigors of the NYC course and the likelihood of winds may take fast times off the table, this race will provide an excellent opportunity for Allen to get in there and beat as many other runners as possible. If she stick to her plan and runs her race, she is sure to be part of a small and select group of finishers.

GRC harriers will also traverse hill and dale at the USATF East Regional XC meet up in Philly this weekend. Our runners are looking to test their mettle on this challenging course against the Garden State Track Club, which is a formidable adversary.  The lineup for the men is Phil, Luke, Stewart, Michael P, Cabell. David M, Sean O, Kyle W, and Fridge.  Steph, Elena, Elyssa, Frances, Chelsea, Liz, and Lindsay B comprise the women's' team. Alexander is looking for big results from Phil, the defending men's champion, and Steph, who is on a hot streak.

Check back for results!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Marine Corps Marathon Recap

Coach Jerry wrote an excellent report of the Marine Corps Marathon and St. Rita's 5k, here it is below:


I am extremely proud of our performance at the Marines Corps Marathon.  It was a very warm and humid day for a marathon, and the course was even more difficult than normal because of the extra distance and turns in Virginia, but that did not prevent our guys from turning in an excellent morning of racing.  Jerry Outlaw led the way, finishing 6th in 2:33:14, followed closely by Blake in 8th in 2:33:52, Sean Barrett in 10th in 2:34:02, Graham in 14th in 2:36:34, and Breezy in 76th in 2:55:10.  Outlaw ran a superb tactical race, going out relaxed and picking up steam in the later stages, and he went from outside of the top 10 at 20 miles to 6th at the line.  For a reason that we've yet to determine, Outlaw did not feel wonderful from the start, and he even considered dropping out in the middle miles, but he hung tough, and showed why he has a great future in the marathon.  To my way of thinking, Outlaw is a legitimate contender to make the Olympic Trials in 2020, and as he improves steadily each successive training cycle and continues to fine tune his approach to marathon training, we are going to see some fast times from him in the near future.  Blake made an outstanding marathon debut, competing the entire distance, and finishing strong.  Blake ran stride for stride with an Army athlete for the final 18 miles of the race, and Blake and the eventual 9th place finisher dueled it out all the way to the tape, with Blake going past him for good up the final hill.  Blake has great potential in the marathon, and while his medical school schedule will be an obstacle to his immediate progress, I am sure we will see more from Blake in the this event in the future.  Graham had an outstanding training cycle, and I would not have hesitated on October 1 to deem him our top entrant, but he developed a hip issue that prevented him from doing more than a couple of runs in the last 3 weeks.  If that wasn't bad enough, the anti-inflammatory he took before the race caused him to have stomach problems that mandated a pit stop on Hains Point, ruining his chance to compete for a top 5 finish.  But despite those considerable obstacles, Graham fought all the way to the tape, and produced a very solid time on a difficult day.  Graham is a great talent, and we will see some outstanding performances from him in 2017, and beyond. 

As impressive as those performances were, to me the big story of the day was Sean's race.  As you all know by now, Sean is deploying to Iraq tomorrow, and it took a good bit of negotiating for Sean to obtain clearance from the Marine Corps to even get on the starting line.  Despite having his training interrupted by a site visit to Iraq last month and a demanding series of field exercises to prepare him for the daunting challenges he will face overseas, Sean got in a reasonable buildup, and even though he knew his training wasn't ideal, he was determined to take a shot at a top 5 finish.  Sean's plan was to go with the lead pack early, bide his time at the back of the group, and make a move when the opportunity presented itself.  Sean executed the plan perfectly, and by the time we got across the 14th Street bridge (and I say we because I rode my bike with Sean from the Key Bridge to the finish--and don't think I'm not sore today from the ride), Sean had moved into 6th place, and was well clear of the chase pack.  At around mile 22, I thought Sean was ready to take a shot at catching the runner in 5th place, and he was running strong and controlled.  And then at around mile 24, seemingly all of a sudden, he was not.  The lack of long runs due to weekend exercises and dehydration from the heat conspired to put Sean into a dark place that none of you ever want to experience, and by mile 25 Sean was "seeing black stars" and barely moving.  He had built up enough of a gap on his pursuers that I thought he might be able to hold on for 6th place, but the finish line could not come soon enough, and in the last 800 meters Outlaw went by him, followed by another athlete, and by the time Sean turned for the final hill, Blake and his Army travelling companion were approaching fast.  I hoped that Sean could hold on, but the hill was too much, and Sean literally walked up it, and it was all he could do to stagger across the line in 10th, completely and utterly spent.  I've seen a lot of runners run a lot of races, and I don't know that I've ever seen anyone fight as hard with as little in the tank as Sean did those last 2 miles.  I couldn't be more proud of Sean's effort, and I eagerly await his return to competition after he finishes his tour in Iraq. 

Not to be ignored in all of the excitement over MCM is the fact that we had some strong performances at St Ritas 5k on Saturday.  Amy L ran an excellent 17:20, which ties her for 4th on the GRC all-time list.  Amy's performance is particularly impressive because she had a nasty illness earlier this month which disrupted her training.  Elyssa ran approximately 18:20 (the results are inaccurate), and she will run much faster in the weeks ahead.  For the guys, Ryan ran 15:40, followed by Wertz in 15:42, and Evan in 16:14.