All posts by Tom Byrnes and friends

The Inside Loop — June 2016

PPTC was on the roads and behind the scenes at the NYRR Mini 10K in Central Park on June 11. Red singlets and shirts crossed the finish line in droves, and Jill Gregory, Paula VandeNes, and Kimberley K Jones (one of PPTC’s best friends!) were volunteering with USADA as notifying escorts.  This involves a conversation that begins, “Nice race, second place, your position has been selected for drug testing and I’ll be your escort to Doping Control…”

At this year’s Kenny Dolan 5K we saw a young man, all of eight years old, break a world record. Before the rain came pouring down, Prospect Park Youth Runner (PPYR) Tam Gavenas gave  it his all, taking a world  record-setting pace to the finish line. Since there are years to go before he can celebrate his accomplishment with a post-race beer at Ford, I sure hope he had his fill of  hamburgers and hot dogs as a consolation prize! Congrats to PPYR coaches Sean and Fi Rice on helping  Tam (who’s been with PPYR since age 5) get to where he wants to go. As with any gifted and talented young runner, Coaches Sean and Fi will be guardian angels over his eligibility status as an amateur for some years to come.

This sure sounds like something that’s found in Scripture, but during a conversation about the number of newer, younger PPTC members, the phrase,  “Before you were […],  I was […]”  was bandied about while  struggling to maintain the pace during a recent run.
Hard to imagine that Keith Williams was still a figment of the world’s imagination when some of us were already huffing and puffing, chasing after that personal best.    Certainly not complaining, just thinking at the keyboard — how time flies when you’re having fun!

At this year’s second Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K race on Wednesday, June 8,  Achilles Brooklyn shared the road with the rest of us and participated in a fund-raising effort for the PPTC’s Red Hook Initiative. Know anyone who might be interested in hooking up with Achilles  Brooklyn? Give out a shout and start the conversation. Achilles Brooklyn meets at 6 PM on Thursdays in the rear of  the JackRabbit store, located on 7th Ave. at Garfield Place. From the store, we head up Garfield to the PPW park entrance and the inside loop roadway for a quick intro and chat before starting to run — whatever pace and distance feels comfortable to the attending athletes. No fee to attend! Lots of good karma though!

Many thanks to Fran Kotov for her donation of running shoes and clothing for Ian Grey’s running groups in Belize. Ian takes shoes of all makes and models, in all sizes (for youth and for those who wish they were still youth), so don’t toss ’em, donate ’em! Get in touch with me if your closets are yearning to be free of shoes you no longer need. From the back of closets in Brooklyn to fast  feet in Belize!

Mark the date, PPTC: Sunday, June 19th! We’ll celebrate our sport and our friendships at the annual PPTC relay and picnic. More details will be available online as the time approaches!

Thought I’d seen it all — until I read the announcement that Oren and Susan were setting up PPTC’s clothing shop at Connecticut Muffin on Saturday, June 11. There’s a long history behind PPTC gear, ranging from Bob Muller’s infamous “stick figure” runners on yellow PPTC  shirts, to the present singlets and long- and short-sleeve tech shirt options in both red and white. Over the years some designs and shirt illustrations were more effective than others in soliciting shout-outs from spectators on the race course. I well remember speeding along the NYC marathon route with a friend who wore a white BVD shirt with “GO MIKE” scrawled across the front in magic marker, and wondering why he was getting many more  “Go, Mike”s than “Go, PPTC”s than I did with my red shirt.  PPTC clothes at Connecticut Muffin… hey, “coffee, tea , or tees.”  Anything goes!

See you on the roads!

The Inside Loop – June 2016

While many PPTC runners swarmed across the finish line at the Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park on Saturday, May 14, special thanks go out to PPTC’s Wayne Bailey, Doug Olney, Nicole Importico, and Aisha Qamar for their stellar drug-testing assistance in serving as volunteers with USADA.

And who was that shirtless runner crossing the finish line at the SuperHeroes Half Marathon on Sunday, May 15th, in Morristown, New Jersey?  He didn’t waste any  time with  post-race stretching; instead he headed directly to the finisher’s cool-down area and proceeded to shake, rattle, and roll out the kinks and the tightness to the accompaniment of rock music. Though he’s flown below most of our radars for a number of years, Sergio Cano used to be a prominent figure at our events in Prospect Park, and even more of a presence on the dance floor at the annual PPTC awards parties. “Say hi to everyone and anyone who might remember me!”  So if you remember Sergio from on the roads or on the dance floor at PPTC  parties in  Shepherds Hall at Holy Name — this means you!

Although May was Melanoma Awareness Month, our concern for the dangers of unprotected sun exposure should not end as we run into June.  Whether you’re out and about on the roads, at the beach, or on your bike, make sure to be sun-safe. Any areas of exposed skin are susceptible to the rays of the sun, which unfortunately can cause skin cancer. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so cover up with a broad-brimmed hat, clothing with SPF, and lather exposed shoulders, arms, and legs with at least SPF 30 sunscreen. As the season progresses, be exceedingly mindful of the outdoors between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the deadly effects of the sun’s rays can be at their most perilous. If you notice any lesions on your skin that cause you concern,  get thee to a dermatologist and let him or her check it out.  Better safe than sorry!

The Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series is upon us! Every other Wednesday night at the Lakeside Center, check in for the 5K race that starts at 7:10 PM. Run or volunteer, but be there! For those of us who may have just returned to this planet, the Lakeside Center is the site of the ice skating rink, close to either the Ocean Ave./Parkside Ave. intersection, or the Lincoln Road entrance/exit. And now that you have been told, you may never ask again.

I know you’re fast, we all are (ahemmm), but have you glanced over your shoulder and slowed long enough to see the large sculptures at the side of the inside loop roadway? GAP’s triangle has one!

Mike Ring received a call recently from Emma Blascovich, who sadly informed him that her husband and long-time Broadway Ultra Society Member, Sam Soccoli, has passed away. He apparently had been suffering from lung cancer for the past several months. He was 84. Rest in peace, Sam.

Congrats to Steve and Stacey Lastoe, who really made the last weekend in May a special one. Congrats also to Paula VandeNess and Monica Holmes on their life together. May the times to come bring only health and happiness!

Have shoes and lightweight running clothes that you’d love to see put to better use than sitting buried in your drawers and closets,  yearning to be free? I’m always collecting for Ian Grey’s runners in Belize. Send me an email (tbyrnes46@msn.com)  and we’ll hook up. Don’t dump ’em, donate ’em!

The Inside Loop – May 2016

The competition was tough, but congrats to the newly-elected members of the PPTC Board of Directors:

  • Aisha Qamar — one year as Secretary
  • Missy Burgin — 3-year term
  • Keith Williams — 2-year term
  • Michael Koplin — 2-year term

In addition to being elected by the membership to the club’s Board of Directors, Michael K is also to be recognized for having recently garnered his credentials as a USATF Level 1 Track and Field Coach! I can’t wait to ask him about… [insert random training questions here]

Let’s keep Peggy Casey in our thoughts and prayers as she faces some tough miles in the road ahead.

The Inside LoopLou Stern recently turned 82! Back in the day, Lou was one of PPTC’s toughest road warriors.  Now living in the Bahamas, he does come up every so often to visit his adult children. He just can’t seem to resist the lure of the inside loop roadway. Let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers — as you may well understand, piling on the years often does bring additional health concerns.

There’s a morning runners’ group, others who meet to run in the evening, and although they don’t appear to advertise it, Jack Stetch, Dennis Sivack, and Aaron Kofler seem to get out often for a midday easy-paced run from Bartel Pritchard Square. Morning, noon, and night, PPTC is on the roads!

PPTC, as well as Achilles Brooklyn, congratulates PPTC’s Patricia McNaughton upon receiving the Achilles Brooklyn’s volunteer of the month award. Achilles Brooklyn runs strong every Thursday night, meeting and greeting at JackRabbit at 6pm before proceeding to the park pedestrian entrance at Garfield Place and PPW to the inside loop roadway for the workout. Achilles athletes and the Guides decide on the individual workouts for each session, whether it’s a full loop, a half loop through Center Drive, or perhaps just a short down-and-back from Garfield to Bartel Pritchard. Know someone you’d like to see involved with Achilles Brooklyn? Bring ’em there to get their feet on the road! There is no charge, only a simple release form, and all are welcome — athletes and Guides alike. Need more info on Achilles Brooklyn? Patricia McNaughton, Mike Ring, Nicoletta Nerangis, Andy Wong, Jackie Lee, and Tom Byrnes are among those who can fill you in.

The Kenny Dolan 5K, slated for Sunday, June 5th, is a race with lots and lots of runners and lots and lots of paces. Lou Vazquez and family coordinate the best of races and the very best post-race party BBQ with burgers and hot dogs and anything else you might want. Music, dancing, rocking and rolling — hey, what a race!

On behalf of the youth involved in his programs in Belize, Ian Grey extends his heartfelt thanks for the shoes, singlets, and running gear that PPTC members have been so kind to donate. If you have shoes (men’s, women’s, or children’s) and/or lightweight running clothing that’s gathering dust in your closets and you’d like to see it put to better use, contact me and we’ll do our best to hook up and get it to Ian for those runners in need. Ian has a sister who lives near the tennis courts and both have contacts with airline personnel who will facilitate the shipping from Brooklyn to Belize. Don’t dump it, donate it!

Were they wedding bells we heard chiming for Emma Roman recently? They came through loud and clear on Facebook, so felicidades!

Another one of our veteran runners is facing medical issues, but at this point, I’ll wait before providing further info. Shit happens, as they say. For now, please keep a beloved PPTCer in your thoughts and prayers for a healthy recovery.

Here’s some great news! Mike Ring is now the coordinator and spokeperson for the Guillain-Barre Syndrome Support Group: Brooklyn. Everyone else in our world probably knows this already but hey, as always, go Michael! You rock!

Anyone else have a friend who needs his or her watch fixed? Because after hearing the splits, you know you just could not have been running that slowly…

See you on the roads!

Got any juicy news? Email insideloop@pptc.org to let Tom & Friends know!

The Inside Loop – October 2015

PPTC was on the roads at the Fifth Ave Mile September 13th and also behind the scenes volunteering with USADA….many thanks to Doug Olney, Janice Fuld, Wayne Bailey and PPTC friends Trey Heard, Diego Ferrerya, and Sid and Asteria Howard.

The Inside LoopOn the same day, September 13th, not quite the same time, and definitely not the same part of the planet, PPTC was out in force at the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon. Whether we fulled it or halved it, the hot and humid weather took its toll and gave the race clock permission to add minutes and seconds to finishing times. This race saw PPTC’s Nick Guerrero’s return to the road racing circuit after his rehab year recouping from his horrific injury on the job as a Suffolk County Police Officer. Recognizing our blessings to celebrate with Nick and the host of other PPTC that were there in support either on the roads or in the bleachers, PPTC rocked the house!!! A three car caravan drag raced out to Heckscher State Park but at the parking lot, the winning speedster was…..only kidding….

Congrats to PPTC Past President Jack Stetch and his family and friends who celebrated his 80th with him. Although definitely a new age cat for Jack, he still strives to be out there mid day with PPTC running buddies Dennis Sivak and Aaron Koffler. Work some, run some and enjoy life a whole lot is apparently the mantra which keeps him out there.

Great to have Bobby Fisher’s sister Stephanie Fall and family at the Music That Heals 5K in the park the end of September doing the Bobby Fisher Bagel Stop. For all of us who knew Bobby, there’s one thing we’ll never forget about his dietary preferences and that was his love of anything bagel. Bobby Fisher, we’ll never forget!!!

Two athletes we know trek over to NYU every day for their daily dose of radiation treatment for their two distinct types types of cancer. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, PPTC.

It’s certainly great to see the great strides Mike Ring is making in his recovery from Guillaume Barre. On the road each week motoring unassisted on Thursday nites with Achilles Brooklyn and then pictured breaking the tape at Music That Heals 5K! Yeah Michael!

”Chicago, Chicago”, the song begins, but lets hope that it’s a wonderful town with even better times for the PPTC marathoners who are venturing out there for their marathon. With PPTC inscripted singlets minted just for the occasion, PPTC will rock Chicago!

Judging just from the total volume of beer and ale consumed at the post workout get together in September coupled with the number of smiley PPTC faces in attendance both during and after the workout, PPTC’s recent Wednesday nite group run endng at the Greenwood Park Beer Garden at 7th Ave. by 20th street was a huge success. The beers and ales were cold, our athletes hot and we even got a five mile workout in. Missed it? See ya next time……

Congratulations to Selina Rutovitz, Tifenn Python, Ernie Hershey and Rory O’Flaherty, PPTC’s 2015 representatives at the Parade of Nations beffore the NYC Marathon. Thanking all who applied, PPTC had so many strong candidates that the team captains Missy, Linda, Justin, and Michael decided the fairest way to pick was at random. Names were literally put in a hat (a fedora, since this is Brooklyn, after all) and the names of two men and two women were drawn. PPTC will be ”in da’ house” at the Parade of Nations.

Chicago? New York? It’s time to start figuring out come race day what to wear in any weather and in any temp, what to eat the nite before and for breakfast the morning of, what time to hit the sack the night before and what’s the best time to rise and shine on race day. To get to the PPTC bus to the start of the NYC marathon, you have to get up in the middle of the nite, eat, get dressed, hit the bathroom, and then get to where the bus departs from . If you haven’t seen 4am on your alarm clock recently, now is the time to set the clock for that hour and rehearse your race day routines. Members of the ”been there done that” committee always remind that the race you’ve trained months for should not be marred by that new pair of shoes or those bright and shiny socks that have not been proved tried and true. Don’t slurp up the latest freebee at the expo that the product rep swears will clip hours off your finishing time or carry the latest bar to chew up at mile 18 if you haven’t chewed up lots of those exact bars during training. Getting the flu shot is smart but getting the shot just a few days before the race might not be the best of thinking.

Hey, see you on the roads PPTC !!!

The Inside Loop – September 2015

You know it’s September when you read on Facebook that Kristin Ulrich has a job teaching preschoolers art. Now we all know that somehow someway she’ll get in some interval training for her pre-K charges but we’ll have to wait and see how that looks when the paint has dried.

It must be September if PPTC Coaches Tony and Charlene have started another ten-week round of workout sessions. Not indoors at the Park Slope Armory yet but count ten weeks ahead on your calendar and you’ll see when that will kick in.

The Inside LoopThe Summer Speed 5K series ended last month so many thanks to all those who volunteered to make them happen. These races could not happen without PPTC’s spirited and talented volunteers! And let’s hope that former PPTC President Al Goldstein will grace the awards ceremonies at the Summer 5k’s for many years to come.

Early September saw Mike Ring marking his official return to running by running. Unfettered by canes or chairs with wheels, or holding a tether with a guide but actually running, running unassisted, and on the inside loop where else! Not concerned about pace yet, it’s all about the running, covering distances on the inside loop one drop of sweat at a time.

It must be September if PPTC’s Nicole Nerangis and family are back from Greece. Although not having solved that country’s financial crisis, she returned to resume her championing Achilles Brooklyn Thursday nights on the inside loop. Athletes and guides meet at JackRabbit at 6:00 p.m., store their stuff there if needed, and then make their way to the third street entrance of Prospect Park gathering at the triangle where the inside loop and the vehicle entrance intersect on the inside loop. After a brief introductory go around and then a warm-up, it’s off to run or walk at whatever pace is comfortable. If you know an athlete, male or female, whom you feel would benefit from a guided workout, don’t just tell them about Achilles Brooklyn, bring them and get them off to a great start. See you there!

You know it’s September if somehow someway you learn that someone somewhere is counting down to the start of the NYC marathon. If you’re running and not counting down the days and the number of workouts left until you’re toeing the line on the Verrazano Bridge Plaza, be assured that there are those who are.

September also sees the start of Maggie Deschamps’s youth running program. Contact Maggie for further details about when her groups meet and fees involved.

You know it’s September if a number of PPTC are venturing east for the first annual Suffolk County Half and full Marathon. It’ll be great to see Nick Guerrero back on the roads joining PPTC runners giving it his all in his 26.2 mile comeback. Fortunately Detective Nick did not have to work this September 13th which affords him the opportunity to get out on the roads and run some. PPTC will join many SCPD officers and brass out and along the course to witness Nick’s comeback despite some very “interesting” times. Amen.

September, October, November…in all the months of the years to come, lets keep the PPTC members who are fighting the good fight against a cancer in our thoughts and prayers.

This September marks the first anniversary of Bobby Fisher’s untimely passing. Thankfully the tree dedicated to his memory is alive and still doing well in the park. Don’t know exactly where it is? Ask around at a PPTC general meeting and find out just where in the vicinity of the Summer Speed 5k finish line it is. And remember, it’s not just any tree but “Bobby’s Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

See you on the roads.

The Inside Loop – July 2015

As Transportation Alternatives readily admits, Mike Ring was a key player in the successful movement to get cars out of Prospect Park. Starting early July, soon after the July 4th weekend, cars will not be allowed on the inside loop roadway from Grand Army Plaza counterclockwise to Park Circle at any time. For your efforts Michael, we applaud you! Bravo and well donel!

Let’s keep PPTC’s healing thoughts in our prayers for one of our members who started rounds of chemo on Monday June 22.

The Inside LoopPPTC’s runners took home age group hardware in addition to consuming lots of hamburgers, hotdogs and beer at the post race party at this year’s Kenny Dolan 5K. One of the best post race parties ever. Age group awards have already been posted but there seems to be some delays with the awards for most beers consumed. Stay tuned race fans. If you missed it this year, shame shame but get there in 2016.

Achilles International ‘s Brooklyn Chapter has been meeting at Jack Rabbit on 7th Ave. at 6pm Thursday nights. After some schmoozing, we proceed west along 7th Ave to 3rd street and then up to our park’s inside loop roadway for psyching, stretching, and then the start of lots of things good heading west on the inside loop roadway. PPTC members Tom Byrnes, Andy Wong, Regina Chan, and Kristin Ulrich among others have hooked up and can share their experiences. Led by Achilles Brooklyn’s President and CE (Cheerleader Extraordinaire) Nicoletta Nerangis, Achilles Brooklyn was there both on the road, in the photographs, as well as at the post-race party at early June’s Kenny Dolan 5k. The latest plans even call for a show of their force at the July 2nd’s Summer Speed 5k! Achilles Brooklyn will meet throughout the summer, so if you’re available and want to guide an Achilles athlete on his or her workout or perhaps meet Alexa or Arrow up close and personal, don’t wait for ”Achilles Brooklyn: The Movie ”, check out the pics on their Facebook page and come on down!

”A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” Yes, the tree that was planted in memory of PPTC’s Bobby Fisher is still growing strong! A few yards up the slope from the finish of the Summer Speed 5k, seek and ye shall find. A bench with a plaque soon to come I’m told. We ll never forget you Bobby Fisher.

As PPTC’s founding father Harry Murphy used to say and say, and say, the foundations of the fall marathons are built on the backs of those long hot summer miles. The miles are there, go get some!

Thanks to PPTC’s Ilese Weiner, Paula Vandenes, and Nicole Importico for hooking up with USADA and their drug-testing efforts at the Oakley 10k in Central Park in June. Janice Fuld was also on call in case of a last minute emergency. Belated thanks to PPTC’s Wayne Bailey and May Yu Shu (Mayo) for their help at the Healthy Kidney 10K on May 30th in Central Park!!! I heard through the grapevine that PPTC also does some serious damage at the post race brunches!

Great to see that Mike Ring is spending more and more time up and out of his wheelchair, up close and personal with his walker and on his fee. Looking for a fall long race? Check out Suffolk County’s Half and Marathon mid September out east. PPTC’s Detective Nick Guerrero is training for this one!

Did you hook up with Coach Tony Watson and Charlene in their current ten week training go round? Can’t beat the price, $50, nor the company so hey, what are you waiting for. Miss this one? Make sure you catch the next one.

Have you done one of the Summer Speed 5k’s yet? Hey, no getting up in the middle of the night to hook up with so and so on the subway platform to get to the start in Central Park shortly after dawn. Starting at Lakeside (the park’s ice skating rink) and at the price on the cheap of $5 (registering on line at NYC Runs), you can sleep all day, roll out of bed at 5pm, a quick coffee, and then jog to the start to pick up your bib for the 7pm start. I mean, isn’t that what everyone does? Now how can you beat that!!!!

Ian Grey continues to thank PPTC for our contributions of running shoes and clothing for his use with running groups in Belize, youth, male, female, any and all ages. With the recent change of hands with JackRabbit, word is that that business is no longer accepting our contributions. He recently stopped by for a pickup of the donated shoes and clothing that I had been storing. Don’t dump your shoes, send ’em on a recycle-ation to the beautiful country of Belize where he assures us all they will spend the rest of their days being put to the best of uses by those in need. Got shoes that still have more life but for whatever the reasons you no longer wish to wear or use, get in touch and we ‘ll work out the details. Thank you!

Be sun-safe boys and girls and c u on the roads!

The Inside Loop – May 2015

Shock, sadness, sympathies, and prayers for Veronica Antoine, family and friends on the death of her son Leon.

The Inside LoopOn behalf of Ian Grey and his groups of runners in Belize, many thanks to PPTC’s Daniel Schack for his recent donation of “still-lots-of-miles-left-on-them” running shoes. Hey, got shoes that are just sitting there and not being used? Lets make arrangements to donate them. Don’t trash ’em, donate ’em.

Have you checked out the new logo that Keith Williams cooked up for this column?

PPTC farewells to Klazina upon her return to her home in the Netherlands after she wrapped up her art course work here. Klazina was a prominent member of Thursday night’s speed session group at the Park Slope YMCA Armory for this past winter’s indoor season with Coaches Tony and Charlene. Why do I suspect that she’ll be back if not in person, then at least in spirit as a poster on PPTC’s Facebook page. Do they run in the Netherlands or just spend most of their time growing daffodils and tulips and and… O tweet to us dearest Klazina…..

Hail to the PPTCers who shared toespace in their respective corrals at the 2015 Boston Marathon!

Back in the day PPTC used to try to find a watering hole with a bartender or manager with the skills needed to get Boston on their restaurant’s cable or the satellite channel and over burgers and beers we d settle in and look for the few PPTCers who were running. A challenge for the daytime guy and on a Monday in April yet! I think we once thought we saw Doug Olney cheering from the sidelines at about mile 19 but our request for an instant replay to determine if the guy we thought we saw was actually Doug or Doug’s stunt double could not be granted.

To echo Nick Guerrero’s sentiments, “In all seriousness and sincerity, to all those running Boston, typing on behalf of many who can only be with you in spirit, run the streets of Massachusetts with grace, sweat and pride. When completed, please have one of Boston’s own Sam Adams for us, well, maybe, have two, and enjoy the moment! With respect and admiration, Go PPTC!”

Achilles International has come to Brooklyn! Meeting at Jack Rabbit on 7th Avenue at 6pm on Thursdays, PPTC’s Nicoletta Nerangis invites athletes who need assistance working out and athletes who can assist them as guides to come on down. The group makes its way to the park and after a brief warm-up at the 3rd street and the inside loop roadway, athlete pairings are determined and then it’s off and running.

Harry’s Wall will now be accompanied in close proximity by Bobby’s Tree and Bench. On Friday, April 24, those who knew and loved PPTC’s long time member and past president Bobby Fisher had the opportunity to meet and greet Bobby’s sister Stephanie and her husband, her son, many of PPTC’s members, their families, and friends at the dedication of the tree planted in remembrance of and dedication to Bobby along the path that runs from Harry’s Wall towards Lakeside behind a monument.

It was a beautiful afternoon to share the karma that Bobby had for Prospect Park and for PPTC. Bobby’s Tree had already been planted but we participated in filling the hole, adding mulch, and securing the tree stakes and protective fencing.

Harry Murphy, Paul Soskind, Bobby Fisher, we will never forget you.

The Inside Loop – April 2015

It was certainly an awesome thing to see: Nick Guerrero on the sidelines at the recent Scotland Run cheering the PPTC teammates he knows and those he doesn’t know yet, all of whom were sporting the red and white! Busted up bad while on the job with SCPD, Nick’s on the way back. Great great great!

The Inside LoopPPTC thanks Nicoletta Nerangis for her efforts to transplant a local chapter of Achilles to Brooklyn. The number of PPTCers interested in this effort as well as our own Mike Ring is certainly inspiring. Still in its early days, the Brooklyn contingent of this great group still has space for you to put your shoes on the ground so if you can, get there to help those who wish they could. Centered for now at Jack Rabbit in Park Slope and then getting to Prospect Park for the workouts, check it out!

Did you know? There’s a Brooklyn in Maryland, Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. There’s even a Prospect Park in New Jersey unless it’s been paved and turned into a parking lot for another strip mall. Now to find out if there’s a running club in each location…

PPTC was on the road running, along the sidelines cheering, and at the finish line with USADA and the athletes whose finishing positions had been selected for drug testing at the recent United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. Thanks to Wayne Bailey, Nicole Importico, Janice Fuld, and Patty Chongtenn, and our friends from CPTC Diego Ferrerya, JR Modica, and NYC’s Kimberley K. Jones. So far no PPTC athlete has ever been selected for testing by USADA but from the times our PPTC males and females have been running, it might not be too long.

Coaches Tony and Charlene’s weekly speed session workouts have left the protected confines of the Prospect Park YMCA Armory’s indoor 200m track so as of Tuesdays and Thursdays, hi ho, hi ho, it’s outdoors we go! Hey, it’s officially Spring 2015 so as they say, ‘whadaya ‘spect.’ The upcoming ten-week session is approaching the start line so if your training plans include structured speed work with the greatest, get thee registered, pronto.

One topic for discussion on a recent PPTC long run was whether we can or can’t write off the cost of running shoes on our 2014 income tax returns? This was of special interest to none other than PPTC’s own Juan Seaforth who apparently from his recent Facebook posting had dyed his entire collection of running shoes instead of taking the traditional approach we all might have used when only using hard-boiled eggs to color.

If you have running shoes that you don’t prefer to use while training but know that they still have life left on them, you cant just dump ’em. You know that, right? Word was that JackRabbit would take them and turn them over to a company who would grind ’em up and use the material for composite tracks somewhere someplace. Exact info on this is hard to come by and depends on which staff member at their stores you happen to have this conversation with.

PPTC’s friend Ian Grey on the other hand accepts any and all running shoes and running related paraphernalia (shirts, shorts, etc.) and uses them with runners young and old in Belize. Ian has groups of young runners, teens, adults, and has even coordinated a running group with those incarcerated. Apparently sporting good supply stores have not been invented there yet and mail order is a huge challenge. Ian’s sister Golda lives in Brooklyn and I’m sure my neighbors wonder just what ‘s going on when we transfer the black plastic (shoe-filled) bags from my car to hers.

Like the ad sorta says, “got shoes?” We’ll work out getting them from your closets to my basement to Golda in Brooklyn to Ian in Belize, I assure you. Send me an email.

As Bill Rodgers used to say, “see you on the roads…”

The Inside Loop – March 2015

PPTC was on the track at this year’s Millrose games on Saturday, February 14th, and behind the scenes volunteering with USADA and their drug testing efforts as well. PPTC’s Janice Fuld, Paula Van de Nes, and Wayne Bailey got to be up close and personal with athletes whose finishing positions had been chosen for a visit to their on-site ‘doping control.’

The Inside LoopPPTC at its best found Lindsey Owens and a friend renting a van for a quick out-and-back to New Jersey to pick up a battery-powered mobility device to schlep back to Brooklyn for a PPTC brother in need. Hoorah!

Gung Hay Fat Choy, the Year of the Sheep! Anyone know just how many ‘Baaaaaaaaas…’ are appropriate?

The PPTC Disciplinary Committee has been meeting to discuss possible actions against Selina Rutovitz after she posted greetings and pictures of her naked feet from a Caribbean isle during the snow and ice storms that had been bombarding NYC in February. Thinking that solitary confinement with bread and water for the time she spent vacationing might be a bit harsh, the Disciplinary Committee is leaning more towards imposing a penance of cold beers and sliders…

It happens with winter running! Charlene Kohler-Britton was attacked by the roadway surface that seemed to jump up and attack her on a recent workout on the inside loop. Fearing the worse, a broken or sprained wrist, we were all relieved to learn that her X-rays revealed only bad bruising instead. When we saw pics taken at the PPTC general membership posted on Facebook with Charlene trying to control members stampeding toward the free pizza offerings, we knew her mending was on its way and her abilities to hold planks would soon resume to normal.

Congrats to all the winners at our club’s recent annual awards dinner celebration! Always tough decisions on whom to vote for but remember that even being nominated is an honor in and of itself. Check the PPTC website for listings.

And speaking of listings, congrats to Tom Byrnes, Mark Guralnick, Ruth Gursky, Michael Koplin, and Chaya Wolf for their winning entries in the annual PPTC composition contest. This year’s theme was “Why I Love PPTC.” Entries can be found on the PPTC website so check them out.

”Bored of Directors”? No No, its PPTC’s ”Board of Directors” positions that are open for your consideration. There’s a deadline for this but please don’t submit your intent for one of the seven positions last minute as an April Fool’s prank.

They were in the park training hard on Monday, March 2, probably for the rescheduled PPTC Cherry Tree the following Sunday: guys looking like they might be part of a Kenyan Team being chased by a group from PPYR not far behind. We’ll certainly have to see who’s who at the team awards presentations.

Hey, with Daylight Savings returning the early morning hours of Sunday, March 8th and spring knocking on our doors around March 21st, there’s another ten sessions of coached running sessions with Tony Watson and Charlene Kohler-Britton also looming on our horizons. All sessions this go-around will be outdoors either in the park starting at Bartel-Pritchard or at the track at Red Hook, Tuesdays or Thursdays. Build speed, sharpen race pacing, or just wanting to get together with a great group to replace the air in your lungs, heads up for PPTC emails.

See you on the roads!!!!

The Inside Loop – February 2015

No, there was no truth to the rumor that seals had been liberated from the seal pool at the Prospect Park Zoo and were seen cavorting in the lake off the transverse. Obviously a sign that one’s been shoveling too much.

Not to rub it in but Ian Grey continues to send his warmest wishes from Belize and his runners there thank us again for all our donations of running shoes and gear that we’ve been sending their way. If your preemptive strike at spring cleaning has you realizing that you have more running shoes and t-shirts than you know what to do with, please let Harold and Gwelda Fairweather or yours truly know for a pick-up or drop-off at a mutually convenient time and we’ll get your stuff to those in need in Belize. Don’t dump your stuff but keep them running! Micaela Birmingham now has all sorts of new-found space in her closets thanks to the shoes and gear she recently donated.

January 31st’s Armory Track Invitational at Manhattan’s 168th Street track saw a new world record in the men’s Distance Medley Relay and PPTC was there. Thanks to PPTCers Doug Olney, Tony Watson, and Patty Chongtenn for volunteering with USADA’s crew and notifying the athletes in the various events, including the new world record for the men’s DMR, wherein finishing positions had been selected for drug testing. Interesting to see several time NYC Marathon winner Alberto Salazar, now a coach, putting his runners through what seemed to be grueling post-event workouts. His approach to training and conditioning seems to give a new twist to the saying “If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger.” Hey, he has the plan, and the world class runners he trains have apparently bought into it, so we shall see what we shall see.

February 14th will see track fans returning to Manhattan’s 168th Street Armory for the 149th Millrose Games and once again this year we’ll be seeing the PPTC colors toeing the line at the start of the Women’s Distance Medley Relay, the Men’s Sprint Medley Relay, and the Men’s Master’s 40+ 4 x 400. PPTC recognizes Coach Tony Watson for all the time and energy he’s put into getting PPTC runners ready to compete and also applauds PPTC runners Micaela Birmingham, Mariella Quintana, Trish Daley, Majorie Crowell, Yves Nozil, Carlos Pineiro, Clarence Lynn, Tyghe Trimble, and Tim Shields, Michael Abrahms, Chris O’Brien, Justin Burke, and Scott Spratford (as an alternate Clarence might be running in two events!). Go PPTC!

Was that Tyrone Sklaren and Gil Torres snowshoeing in the park after it was reopened to users the day after ‘the blizzard’ at the start of February. Hey, when the schools close, the subways and busses are stopped overnight, businesses don’t open, its time to strap on the snow shoes and get out there! PPTC is hardcore!

The next day February 15th PPTC will once again be hosting the annual Cherry Tree 10 Miler, the Race for the Hardcore, on our home turf on the inside loop of Prospect Park, This year headquartered at PS 154 on 10th Ave between Sherman street and Windsor Place, PPTC runners and fellow race participants will have closer access to both the start as well as the finish from the PS 154 site. Whether running the 10 miler alone or hooking up with PPTC teammates and friends on three person relay teams, the Cherry Tree is a PPTC tradition that’s not to be missed. Hey, you gotta be in it to win it as they say but if you’re not running and can lend a hand and volunteer, all will be welcome. Check the PPTC website for the volunteer opportunities and then again Steve Lastoe’s NYCRuns for the results post race.

Rumor has it that this year will see a special guest coming back to the park to root PPTC runners on from along the sidelines of the inside loop course. No names since his presence can’t be guaranteed but I’m told he’ll be there in spirit if not in person which in any event is great news!

Let’s continue to keep PPTCers S.C.P.D.’s Nick Guerrero, former PPTC President Jack Stetch, Frank Knoll, and Mike Ring in our thoughts and prayers for their continued return to health.

And last but not least, for this installment of the Inside Loop anyway, Chi is back!!! On the radar and on the track at Thursday night’s PPTC track workout at the Park Slope Armory! Off to a great start!