Category Archives: Race Reports

5th Ave Mile Race Report

Noah Devereaux takes a flying leap. Photo Credit: Adam Iannazzone

Race: 5th Ave Mile

Where: 5th Ave, Manhattan, NY

When: Sept 10, 2017

On a cool crisp day, after a long muggy summer of training, 68 PPTC members were ready to take on the trial of a mile known as the 5th Ave Mile. This course is widely known as an excellent course to set a PR because of its net decline, however, anyone who has run down 5th Ave from 80th St. to 60th St. knows that there’s a slight incline in the second quarter of the race. Such a small incline is usually not a big deal, but in a short distance race like a miler, every second counts.

Women’s Results

Christine Weiher was the fastest PPTC woman (5:39).
Junko Matsuura came closely behind in 2nd for PPTC (5:41).
Alison Restak was not far behind in 3rd for PPTC (5:44).

Men’s Results

Congratulations to Etan Levavi for being the fastest PPTC member for the 5th Ave Mile (4:49). He represented Brooklyn in the 5 Boroughs Heat.
Matt Siefker was 2nd for PPTC (5:01).
Noah Devereaux was right there for 3rd (5:03).

New PRs

Let’s congratulate all these PPTC members who set new PRs for themselves.

Yulia Yomantayte (6:55) – Her first sub-7 min mile
Chaya Wolf (8:46) – She knocked off 22 seconds off her last PR set just three weeks ago.
Erica Niemiec (7:13) – Her first mile race
Kristin Stocks (7:23)
Adam Devine (5:42) – 14 sec PR
Andrew Leonard (6:05)
Adam Iannazzone (5:17)
Sam Smullen (6:36)
Kirsty Carroll (6:46) – Her first mile race and first race repping PPTC!
Isabel Santiago-Gordon (7:44) – Also her first mile race and first race repping PPTC!
Jonathan Giles (5:45) – His first mile race
Alison Restak (6:07) – 21 sec PR

Big thanks to everyone who cheered for PPTC, especially those members who didn’t run the 5th Ave Mile.

Race Report: Are you up for the 18.12 Challenge?

by Lillian Park

Race: 18.12 Challenge

When: August 27, 2017

Where: Watertown to Sackets Harbor, NY

Lillian: Hey, do you want to drive me to Watertown? It’s six hours north of here.

Jimmy: Why?

Lillian: There’s an 18-mile race up there.

Jimmy looks at Google maps.

Jimmy: It’s close to the border. Can we go to Canada? I need to buy Haagen Dazs.

Lillian: Sure! I’ll buy orange Fanta.

The best thing about PPTC is that no matter how crazy your idea is, you can always find a friend who’ll join you in your outrageous endeavors.

Yes, we really did cross the border to buy Haagen Dazs and Fanta. No, we can’t get these in the US. Haagen Dazs has five different flavors of alcohol-infused ice cream (Rum Vanilla Caramel Blondie, Whiskey Chocolate Truffle, Irish Cream Coffee & Biscotti, Vodka Key Lime Pie, and Rum Ginger Cookie) that is exclusively available only in Canada. As for orange Fanta, the formula for orange Fanta varies from country to country. I love the Canadian and European versions and hate the US one.

And yes, that pretty much was our real life conversation when discussing this race.

We took off for Sackets Harbor at the leisurely time of 5:30 in the morning on Saturday. Jimmy wanted to leave even earlier, but I begged for mercy and asked for another half hour of sleep. After stopping for coffee at Wawa, gas, Krispy Kreme, and visiting a friend, past noon we made it to the race expo at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield, which was the site of two major battles (first battle & second battle) in the War of 1812.  This is the war where the British troops famously burned down the White House (and something that Canadians like to take credit for as I learned when I lived in Toronto).

The theme of the War of 1812 is quite predominant throughout the race. The official route is 18.12 miles long (actually it’s shorter because I – and everyone else – always measures this course short, around 17.9 miles). They give out $1812 worth of prize money. The finishers medal and race shirt feature a patriot. I love well-thought out themed races.

The next day we parked at Sackets Harbor Battlefield, where the finish line would be, to catch a shuttle to the start line in Watertown. The weather was just about perfect – a shade over 50 degrees. Only a cloud cover would have made it better. Even without the cloud cover, the sun was not a problem. Because the race starts early at 7 am, there was plenty of shade from the trees, and when there wasn’t any shade, we were running with the sun to our backs.

Jimmy and I briefly discussed our race plans. Right before the horn went off, we mutually agreed that if we happened to run with each other that was great, but we were not to wait for the other person. All throughout the drive to Sackets Harbor from Brooklyn and earlier that morning, Jimmy swore he would start out between 9:00 and 9:30 pace. Instead, he took off charging like there was a battle in front of him that he had to storm.  I didn’t even get a chance to run with him for a quarter mile. For better or worse, I was going to run my own race and I watched him fade into the distance.

I eventually caught up to Jimmy at Mile 6.5. We briefly ran together and then I decided to go ahead because I was feeling good. At the end of the race, Jimmy told me that he followed me for the next several miles.

The 18.12 course was not exactly as I had remembered. All week I told Jimmy that it was a downhill down with one, maybe two hills in the beginning and another small one at the end.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

It is a net downhill course, but you’ll never realize it because of all the rolling hills. I counted the hills and in the end I lost track. There are a lot of hills, albeit small ones with gentle inclines, on the course. The net decline does help you and it shows up in your paces because you notice that you run faster with less effort.

Compared to last year, there was less entertainment out on the course. There weren’t any musicians, but I did see a little girl doing some Irish step dancing. The bulk of the entertainment came between Miles 8 and 13. Right before we entered Sacket Harbor, a huge group of cheerleaders cheered for us. A police officer welcomed us with the booming words, “Welcome to Sackets Harbor!” Sweeter words were never spoken. There was a pirate-themed water station with swashbuckling pirates handing out water, Gatorade, an ice cold wet towel, and sweet, sweet popsicles.

The hardest part of the race is the turn-off for the runners doing the 18.12 Challenge because you know the half marathoners have only another two miles to the finish line, but you have another five miles. At this point, I’m tired and think, “This is cruel.”

I was running really well and following the race plan that I set out for myself – to run the first five miles conservatively and then progressively speed up every five miles. A quick glance at my new-to-me Garmin (thanks, Jennie!) showed me that I was well on my way to smashing the previous year’s time. I decided to race out the final three miles and picked off runners left and right. This was really fun for me because I often fade at the end of races. I’ve been working really hard at having a strong end game, and it was nice to see progress being made.

One last turn and it’s the straightaway to the finish line. I’m thrilled to find out that I finished in 2:31:12, which is well over a six-minute PR for me. Jimmy crosses the finish line a couple minutes after me in 2:33:24, which earned him 2nd place in his age group. We both had great races.

The post-race party was wonderful. There was a ton of food (apples, oranges, bananas, sandwiches, pizza, yogurt, cookies, and more) and we were encouraged to take seconds and thirds. Fun music played over speakers. People took their time to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery overlooking Lake Ontario after the race. I chatted with other runners while waiting for the awards ceremony.

I highly recommend the 18.12 Challenge to any PPTC member, especially if you’re doing marathon training. The race is well-organized, fun, and well worth having Jimmy drive you six hours to North Country. You might have to go to Canada though.

P.S. After the race, we went to sightseeing at Boldt Castle in the Thousand Islands because we felt that we didn’t do enough that day. The castle and boat tour were super cool and receive two thumbs up from us.

Dirty German Endurance Fest Race Report from Captain Adam

Sara, Jana, Shan, & Adam

by Adam Devine

Race: Dirty German Endurance Fest

When: May 13, 2017

Where: Pennypack Park, Philadelphia, PA

So this may be a long recap, but it was also a long race, so bear with me.

I did the North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain last year, but wanted something not quite so challenging course-wise this year, so at the suggestion of Jana and Shan, I signed up for the Dirty German Endurance Fest 50 mile race. It is in Pennypack Park in Philadelphia, and has a lot fewer climbs and rocky bits, so I thought it would be a slightly saner endeavor. I was wrong.

In the 10 days or so before the race, the forecast went from mostly sunny with highs in the mid 60’s to downpour and low 50’s. Sara and I went down to Wilmington, DE and were graciously hosted by Shan and his parents. We went shopping the day before to stock up on supplies and then relaxed and watched the Avengers with Shan’s dad (a definite highlight of the trip).

We got up at 4:15 am, packed up the car, and headed out after only one small freak out where I couldn’t find my wallet. The rain had started in earnest, but I kept hoping that I was perceiving it letting up a little, even as Shan kept changing the wipers to higher and higher settings. We drove up to Philadelphia with minimal fuss and used the flush toilets at a Wawa near the park as a luxury, where we ran into our first fellow participants.

Once we got to the start area we ran into Jana and Anh-Tuan, but only had a little time to get our bibs, set our drop bags, and take a second to appreciate how miserable the conditions were. I was running in my normal shorts and singlet with a handheld water bottle, and as I scanned my fellow runners with their Camelbaks, ponchos, packs and hats and gloves and compression socks, I commented that I felt underdressed. “That’s because you are!” chuckled a gentleman with 15 lbs of extra gear. I usually feel very intimidated at the start of a race, like everyone else is going to fly by me, but for the first time ever I had a sense that I belonged among those other runners, that I had trained as well as possible and fit in, even if I wasn’t wearing as much as they were.

“That’s because you are!” chuckled a gentleman with 15 lbs of extra gear. I usually feel very intimidated at the start of a race, like everyone else is going to fly by me, but for the first time ever I had a sense that I belonged among those other runners — that I had trained as well as possible and fit in, even if I wasn’t wearing as much as they were.

Before I knew it, they were shuffling Shan and me into the herd, and we were off for the first of three 16.5 mile loops in the park. We fell in toward the back of the pack, and just sort of settled into a rhythm. The conditions weren’t too terrible, some puddles and mud, but nothing too bad. I was happy to have serious trail shoes with what amounted to cleat treads on the bottom. Shan was obviously struggling to keep his footing in his AB2s, but we slowly moved up through the pack.

We almost went off course at one point, but were hollered at by two women and realized our mistake. I think Shan and I decided it was best to stick with them for a little longer and let them lead the way, content to be safe in a pack. We stayed there for most of the first loop until speeding up a bit towards the end. The course was really well marked, the aid stations were evenly spaced and well stocked, and the volunteers were all super cheerful and helpful. I can’t say enough about how well this event was organized and executed in really terrible conditions.

At the start of the second loop I quickly noticed two things:  1) we were probably a little quick on our first loop and 2) an extra 2.5 hours of rain and a couple hundred runners worth of footfalls hadn’t done the course any favors. What used to be small puddles were now like the world’s worst kiddie pools, and they rerouted us across a condemned bridge instead of one of the stream crossings because it was safer.

The extra mud was playing havoc with my footing, and I was really feeling for Shan, but was also approaching what I consider to be the hardest part of a 50-mile race — miles 20-30. That is where my survival instinct kicks in and my brain starts telling me it is better to stop. Along a particularly muddy section, Shan dropped back and I had to make the conscious decision to stay on pace because if I slowed I didn’t know if I would be able to finish.

I figured I was in the top 20 or so, and was just focused on keeping moving as fast as I could. The lead woman passed me, and we chatted a bit, mainly my letting her regale me with tales of her 100-mile races as I panted and tried to keep up. I was happy for the company, but she soon left me behind.

At this point, I was running by myself, but I was not alone. I had read that positive self-talk helps other runners, so I started talking to myself, telling myself that I could do this, that I had trained hard, that I had been through worse. I also started thinking of all the people that I had the opportunity to train with over the last few months, even if we only shared a few miles, and I began to thank them out loud for helping me along this journey. Knowing that I had a whole team with me helped immensely.

My second lap was about 20 minutes slower than the first, but I still had a slight hope of averaging a 10 min mile by doing the last loop in three hours flat. This turned out to be a false hope. I have never run a Tough Mudder, but that is the only thing that came to mind while traversing the last 16 miles. It was nothing but puddles, mud, and slogging, accompanied by the squelching of my shoes and my increasingly labored breathing.

Fatigue had set in, but I knew I was doing well overall. I had seen the lead woman drop out after taking a tumble, and was passed by Chris Scarpetti, a very accomplished ultra runner, with about 12 miles to go. I was feeling alternately bone weary and giddy, finding myself laughing at the absurdity of what we were doing. The last few miles ticked away, and my goals kept getting pushed back, but I had no doubts about finishing now; it was merely a question of how much more suffering was in store. I consciously didn’t press the pace too much, knowing I wanted to cross the finish line strong and not sobbing. I also made sure to thank all of the volunteers on the last lap, knowing that they were the real rock stars on that day, standing in the cold for hours on end just so a bunch of crazy runners could gallivant through the woods.

As I headed out of the woods for the last time I started going at a pace that could be considered “running” and saw Shan scrambling out of his car to join me. He was shoeless and chasing me like a crazed animal, shouting what I thought was an encouragement. Sara and Jana were there at the finish cheering too, and I ran through the finish arch just relieved it was over.

At that point, I saw a volunteer approach me and say, “Third overall!” while attempting to hand me a jug, a hat, and a box. I was slightly confused, as I had no idea I was in third, and had never even considered the possibility of a podium finish. The box contained a little cuckoo clock that says “3rd Place Dirty German,” a really cool and unique award. I wanted to hug and high five everyone and tell them I loved them, so I did. We took a bunch of pictures and ate some AMAZING bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Within minutes of finishing my body started to revolt: shivering, cramping, and pain, oh so much pain. Hips, feet, and ankles were especially bad, but it was just general pain. We piled into Shan’s mom’s car, trying our best not to destroy its interior too thoroughly, and headed to a post race feast of Five Guys and frozen yogurt, which tasted amazing after months of low carb training. More hugs and high fives were exchanged, and Shan and Jana dropped us off at the train station to head home.

Forty hours or so later I feel moderately human again. I managed four miles at a decent pace this morning, and I don’t seem to have done any lasting damage. I continue to be amazed at what I am capable of, but also know that I am only capable of doing this with the love and support of those around me. If you are reading this, I am truly grateful to have you as a teammate and in my life. You all continually inspire me to become the best possible version of myself. Special thanks to Jana and Sara for sticking around in the cold rain at the finish after kicking butt in their own races and to Shan for joining me on this crazy journey and providing accommodations, chauffeuring, coaching, and inspiration. Finally, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Haq for allowing us to stay in their home and for letting us trash their car. I hope the smell comes out soon.

Al Goldstein Summer Series #7 Race Review

Photo Credit: Murray Rosenblith

Race: Al Goldstein Summer Series #7

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

When: August 16, 2017

The last 5K of the Al Goldstein Summer Series took place on Aug 16th. Over 500 runners came to participate in PPTC’s final 5K for 2017. We look forward to seeing everyone again in November for our Turkey Trot!

Once again, PPTC had a great showing and came away with a few awards and PRs too.

Women

The top three women for PPTC were Jana Trenk (18:46), Leiba Rimler (20:24), and Shania Smith (20:47).

Congratulations to Jana for coming in 2nd overall female for AGSS #7.

Kudos to Kathleen Lewis (29:12) for her 3rd place in her age group (55-59).

Once again, Leiba is on the podium with 1st place in her age group (30-34).

Shania‘s performance garnered her 1st place in her age group (15-19).

Marvelous Maggie Deschamps (22:35) takes 1st place in her age group (50-54).

Jennie Matz came away with 2nd place in her age group (40-44).

Congrats to Judith Diers (25:50) who received 3rd place in her age group (50-54).

Other top ten performance in age groups

Colleen Lynch (23:09) (30-34)

Lindsay Turley (21:39) (35-39)

Holly Chase (22:07) (30-34)

Hannah Southworth (23:02) (25-29)

Wallis Finger (23:10) (35-39)

Lisa Smith (27:56) (45-49)

Ulla Griffiths (28:43) (45-49)

Janice Fuld (28:50) (50-54)

Congratulations to these women for setting new PRs!

Jana Trenk (18:46)

Leiba Rimler (20:24)

Maddie Coultrip (24:23) – A big welcome to Maddie! She’s new to PPTC and this was her first 5K. Many more to come we hope!

Katie Dadarria (26:50) – After dealing with plantar fasciitis for five months, Katie’s back faster than ever!

Men

The top three men for PPTC were Sean Quealy (17:12), Matt Siefker (17:42) and Dean Gebhardt (18:23).

It should be noted that Sean’s performance was good enough for a 10th overall finish.

Congratulations to Dean for his 1st place AG award (50-54).

Melvyn Stafford‘s (18:41) performance earned him 2nd place in his age group (50-54).

Kudos to Anthony Watson (20:52) for his 2nd place showing in his age group (55-59).

Kudos to our own Larry Sillen (45:43) whose photographing did not get in the way of his taking 1st place for his age group (70+).

Other top ten performance in age groups

Alexis Davidson (31:54) (60-64)

Matt Siefker (17:42) (30-34)

Robert Dimock (19:44) (40-44)

Oren Efrati (20:50) (45-49)

Howard Abrams (21:41) (50-54)

Tom Sheridan (22:03) (50-54)

Sam Smullen (23:03) (55-59)

Tom Tobin (24:50) (60-64)

Frank Deleo (25:54) (60-64)

Lawrence Balick (27:20) (60-64)

Richard Cahn (57:55) (65-69)

Tim Peck getting his PR! Photo Credit: Missy Burgin

Congratulations to these men for setting new PRs!

Ahn-Tuan Tran (22:37), who broke his old time of 24:10 set earlier this summer at AGSS #1.

Sam Smullen (23:03)

Tim Peck (29:06), which is an 1:40 improvement over his previous PR.

Of course, PPTC would not be able to put on its events without our incredible volunteers. We would like to acknowledge and thank our members who volunteered for AGSS #7.

Veronica Antoine
Michael Ring
Liz Grammer
Priscilla Upshaw
Paul Lowe
Charlene Kohler-Britton
Eliza Varner
Sara Devine
Sam Smullen
Missy Burgin
Tricia McNaughton
Murray Rosenblith
Mervlyn Baptiste
Chaya Wolf
Rich Nolan
Janet Gottlieb
Eric Levenstein
Junior Passee
Natacha Ferrari
Nicholas Cohen
Stuart Kaplan

Race Report: Michael Ring’s Club Team Championship

I always used to find a way to run this race. I never tried to run my fastest because my fastest cannot ever help the team. Sometimes I ran the men’s race and then the women’s race just to get in the extra miles. A few times I ran all the way to the start because recently it began coinciding with the first day of the Summer Streets program.  Whenever possible, I scheduled my family vacations around this race.

But in May of 2014, I lost control of the ability to schedule vacations and races. I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome; my immune system malfunctioned and started treating the myelin sheets of my motor nerves as enemies. I went from marathon-ready to paralyzed in a few days. (Eventually, I was re-diagnosed with a rare variant of this rare disease. I have acute motor axonal neuropathy. That means my immune system attacked the motor axons themselves.) It was a no-brainer to ask for a medical deferral in the marathon I was going to run the end of that month. But it never occurred to me that I wasn’t going to be able to show up for a 5-mile race in August.

Between May and July I moved from one hospital to another five or six times. Most of them happened with a strange sense of bureaucratic emergency. Doctors and social workers worked together to find me a bed and then with hardly any notice at all, I was transported to a different hospital. But my wife and I had some say in where I was going for the last hospital. At that point I needed to be transferred to a long-term subacute medical facility, known to most people as a nursing home. My wife visited these places and let me know that they would all suck and that there was a facility that had the best physical therapy, and the worst food, but was in Chinatown. The place they came in second on her list was on Fifth Avenue around E 100 Street. Looking back, it was probably selfish of me but I really wanted to be uptown, near Central Park. I had this fantasy that I could get a day pass from rehab and get to Central Park to see the Club Team Championship Race. I wanted to see the race and I wanted to be seen.

On August 2, 2014 I put on my happy face when a few of my teammates ran south on Summer Streets to visit me in Chinatown after the race. After they left I went to my happy place; I reviewed all the times I ran to the start of this race. Running over the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun was rising, running up Lafayette and Park Avenues. I remembered what it was like to run from Brooklyn to the northern end of Central Park arriving just 90 seconds before the race was to start. I also remembered what it was like to run through the Park Avenue Tunnel at 34th St. because the police weren’t looking. Although this disease was able to temporarily take away my bodily functions, it couldn’t touch my memories. But the memory I replayed countless times was what it was like to run that last mile in a race that ends at the 102nd St Transverse – with the hill behind me and that long straightaway past Engineers Gate, then a slight left turn and the sounds of cheering teammates.

In 2015 I got a ride to the race. I had just graduated from using a walker to a forearm crutch to get around. I don’t think anyone knew how challenging (frightening) it was for me that day. My balance was terrible. Well, it wasn’t really a balance issue, I was still suffering from a lack of proprioception in my legs. That meant that while I had the nerve function hold up my body weight and walk, I couldn’t always tell where my legs were. It was weird. I don’t think anyone noticed my tears of joy when I got up to the top of that big rock so I could see everyone run by. I remember looking back at Mount Sinai Hospital to the east of Central Park thinking that symbolically that’s where I was last year and looking forward to Park Drive and knowing that was where I would be next year.

And yes, in 2016 I ran the race. Running isn’t really the word I should use. The New York Road Runners Club allowed me to start behind the women in their race so I could finish among the slowest men. I walked. My body wasn’t ready to run yet.

But this past Sunday, I was able to live the dream that I had three years ago. And Holy Moly, I was incredibly happy with myself because this was a race. I just went to the New York Road Runners Club race results website to see if I met my goal of sub-20 minute miles. Not only did I do that, but I beat someone. I did not come in last!

Okay, back to talking about race strategy. My plan for this race was to alternate running and walking every minute. I actually installed a boxing match timer on my phone for one minute rounds and one minute rest periods. (The Galloway apps that make audible alerts cost money. WTF).  The race started with a little problem. I couldn’t get the app to work and I didn’t want to stand at the starting line fiddling with it. So I decided to just count my steps – 50 walking steps and then 60 running steps. I did that for the first couple of miles but I was beginning to lose my mind. Luckily, I noticed how evenly the cones were put out by the New York Road Runners. So I’d run for three cones and walk for two cones.

Credit: Linda Chen

But then there was the last quarter-mile. That quarter-mile that I ran so many times in my head. I started to think about how glorious it was to be living that this dream. This quarter-mile was better than I remembered it. It wasn’t just the Prospect Park Track Club cheering for me. It started with the cheers zone from North Brooklyn. I saw someone I didn’t even know pointed me and screamed, “Look it’s Michael Ring and he’s running!”  So, I had to clear my head because I had to do two things; I had to run the rest of the way and more importantly I had to not fall down. The not falling down part became a big challenge when one of my favorite teammates slammed into me tapped me on the shoulder.

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m just about to send this off to the Communications Committee. There is something I need to add. At last night’s membership meeting I had intended to stand up and tell my story when Tom asked about recent races. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t do that. I started to choke up as I raised my hand. I’m saving the water works for November’s meeting.

Race Report: NYRR Team Championships 2017

Mary receives high fives from her male teammates, who stayed to cheer for the women. Photo credit: Noah Deveraux

For a period of time, it looked uncertain as to whether the NYRR Team Championships would go on with the rain and lightning in the area, but in the end, lightning decided to stay away, leaving only humidity behind. A team of 74 PPTC runners (43 men and 31 women) ran 5 miles for glory on August 5th. The men’s race started at 8:00 am and the women’s race started at 8:45 am. Here are few PPTC highlights.

Men

Congratulations to Ben Collier for being the fastest PPTC man in the NYRR Team Champs (30:15).

Dean Gebhardt and Matt Siefker came in 2nd and 3rd for PPTC men (30:26 and 31:02, respectively). Dean came in 4th for his age group, which is also the highest age group placement for men in PPTC.

Congratulations to Tyrone Sklaren (43:57) and Dan Dougherty (35:29)  whose performances garnered them top ten finishes in their age groups (5th and 10th, respectively).

Big birthday PR for Jimmy Leung (38:52)! Congratulations, Cronut Prince!

A PR for Ben Allison (32:18)! Congrats!

Congratulations to Sam Smullen (40:48) for his PR!

Noah Deveraux (31:37) raced his first 5-miler and therefore gets an automatic PR!

Women

Congratulations to Jana Trenk for being the fastest PPTC woman in the NYRR Team Champs (31:39).

Mary Johnston and Missy Burgin came in 2nd and 3rd for PPTC women (33:40 and 35:31, respectively).

Congratulations to Charlene Kohler-Britton whose 7th place in her age group is the highest PPTC women finish we have for the age group divisions (53:36).

It should be noted that Mary Johnston and Claire Dougherty (46:21) finished in the top ten for their age group (9th for both).

Carla Benton (38:30) and Hilary Pauli (43:31) both got new 5-mile PRs in this brutal weather. Great job, ladies!

Congratulations to Rachel G. (41:40) for her PR as well!

Big thanks to Linda Ewing, Crystal Cun, Tom Meany, and Eric Levenstein, our “picnic” organizers, for hauling all the goodies to Starbucks because the weather forced them to pre-emptively cancel the picnic. Post-race fun was had with at Ryan’s Daughter.

Race Report: Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon

Henrik runs the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon

by Henrik Hartmann

Race: Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon

 

Where: Toronto, ON, Canada

When: May 7, 2017

The Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon is a fast and PR-friendly course that makes for a beautiful weekend trip across the border. I signed up on a whim two weeks before the race because my spring training had been good. I had initially planned some trail races in spring and to do a road marathon only this fall – but I felt ready, so why not give it a try?

Unfortunately, the conditions were less than ideal. Days of rain had flooded parts of tToronto and strong winds of 20-30 mph were forecast for race day. But there was no backing out now and in the end, it turned out to be a great race for me after all.

The first half of the course is downhill and with the wind in my back, I felt like flying. I passed the half marathon mark well under my target time and still felt fresh. The route continued through the scenic downtown area and along Lake Ontario for the second half. The wind now blew straight into our faces and I was lucky to find a group of runners who pulled together to share the lead work and draft off each other.

A few miles before the finish, our group started to disintegrate and I could feel my quads shut down from the impact of the earlier downhill sections. My splits began to drop but I forced myself to not let up and finished utterly exhausted but thrilled. With a time of 3:01:23 I had beaten my old PR by more than eight minutes and achieved the Boston qualifying standard for the first time.

The Goodlife Marathon is a well-organized race with a friendly vibe. For being in one of the largest North American cities, the race was relatively small (only about 1,200 Marathon participants). It didn’t feel like in New York or Berlin, where the whole city is taken over by the event. I guess this has its upsides and downsides. Sightseeing and great food options made the trip worth it despite the weather and I was rewarded with a superb race experience.

Pre-race meal: Phở Hưng Restaurant – extra-large special beef rice noodle soup
Post-race meal: Antler Kitchen and Bar – wild boar, bison and deer burger

Race Report: Al Goldstein Summer Series #5

(Left to Right): Junior, Alexis, and Erin volunteering at bag check. Photo credit: Larry Sillen

Race: Al Goldstein Summer Series 5K

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

When: July 19, 2017

On hot, hot, hot evening, 394 intrepid runners lined up in Prospect Park for Al Goldstein Summer Series #5 on July. The only things hotter than the weather were the performances from PPTC! As you can see, the master runners came out in full force to show us how to run in the heat.

Congrats to:

Dean Gebhardt (18:25) for being the first male PPTC finisher. His performance also garnered him 1st place in his age group (50-54).

Matt Siefker (18:26) followed closely behind Dean to be the 2nd male PPTC finisher.

Melvyn Stafford (18:35) came in as the 3rd male PPTC finisher. His performance earned him 2nd place in his age group (50-54).

Jana Trenk (19:09) is the first female PPTC finisher. She also is the 2nd place winner for the women.

Daniel Dougherty (21:01) received 2nd place in his age group (60-64).

Shania Smith (21:29) is the 2nd female PPTC finisher and won 3rd place for her age group (15-19).

Leiba Rimler (21:56) is the 3rd female PPTC finisher and her performance garnered her 2nd place for her age group (30-34).

Robert Herel (24:46) received 3rd place for his age group (50-54).

Jacqueline James (27:54) won 2nd place for her age group (50-54).

Al Prawda (28:18) came in 1st for his age group (70 and over).

Claire Dougherty (28:30) won 1st place for her age group (60-64).

Donna Newton (29:54) earned 3rd place for her age group (55-59).

Lisa is crossing the finish line. Photo credit: Larry Sillen

Much thanks to this partial list of volunteers at last week’s AGSS 5K. If your name is not on this list, but you volunteered, please email me at blog@pptc.org to let me know and I will fix the omission.

Veronica and Andy are working on race registration and bib pick-up. Photo credit: Larry Sillen

Michael Ring
Tricia McNaughton
Kathleen Lewis
Jimmy Leung
Yoshie Niitsuma
Andy Wong
Sam Smullen
Veronica Antoine
Chaya Wolf
Fran Kotkov
Doug Olney
Melissa Lee
Amanda Jean
Linda Ewing
Kate Dalton
Priscilla Upshaw-Wimbley
Murray Rosenblith
Missy Burgin
Howard Abrams
Junior Passee
Alexis Davidson
Bruce Weiner
Erin

Race Report: Manitou’s Revenge

By Matthew Imberman

Race: Manitou’s Revenge

Where: Catskills, New York

When: June 17, 2017

This is the description from the Race Director:
“THIS IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER ULTRA YOU’VE RUN BEFORE!
This is a grueling, gnarly, nasty course with approximately 15,000 ft. of climbing, much of it rocky and precipitous.  To be sure, there are some runnable sections, but you will more often find yourself hiking uphill or down, sometimes hand over hand.  Expect this course to take you much longer than your average 50 miler. That’s why we are allowing 24 hrs. to complete this monster. Because of its remote and difficult nature, there will of necessity be a limited number of aid stations, 8 or 9, and runners should be prepared to spend up to 3 or 4 hrs between aid stations. You will have to be reasonably self-sufficient. To make matters worse, the course gets progressively more difficult as you go along! And to top it all off, the average runner will have to tackle this hardest terrain in the dark.”
Back story: I don’t know exactly why I ended up choosing Manitou’s as my goal race for spring/summer ultra season, but whatever it was, I’m thankful for it. There are race formats (5k, 10k, 26.2, etc.) that create and sustain meaningful product and process goals: breaking three hours in the marathon, or going sub 24 hours in a 100 miler, I imagine. Then there are races that because of their historical importance, the challenging nature of their terrain, their location the weather, or a combination thereof–become a life’s work, with rewards that come not just from achieving a specific time, but from starting and (hopefully) finishing the journey. Manitou’s Revenge is one of these races.
This was my second time running and finishing the course. I ran it in 2015 in just over 18 hours, recovering from a hip flexor injury, and on the edge of being overtrained from a long marathon to ultra season, with lots of work pressure to boot. I don’t add this in to apologize for my less-than-stellar result: 1) just finishing Manitou’s within cutoffs is something to be proud of and 2) Everyone who trains for this race a little or a lot probably has their own “niggle” that they could use to handicap themselves. It’s more to remind myself that you can’t expect results that you don’t plan for. This time around I had fewer miles on my legs, and fewer days out on the trail; however, I had a clearer idea of the course, I had arguably trained more specifically and somewhat more intelligent given how I had to be creative with my training to make it fit around family and work. I thought if I had the best day ever, the weather was great, and everything went perfectly I could finish ~16 hours. Given that the weather was far less from perfect I’m thrilled with my results; however, there are some things I could have done in-race to scrape away at least 30 mins, but I’ll get to that. Anyways…
Training for Manitou’s was extremely non-linear, which is to be expected given the whole circus of two kids and two jobs. Throw in planning a move that happened two days after the race and it gives an idea of the creativity with which I’ve had to approach training: running mostly to and/or from work, long runs on a Sunday night, taking off a few Fridays to get some trail time in. This sport is a labor of love, so none of this seems like a sacrifice to me. This season I relished every run I got, and constantly felt appreciative of being able to get a run in, and, at times, anxious that I wasn’t getting enough mileage in.
Plans for the race only jelled in the final week. I was hoping to stay closer to the start and sleeping in until at least 4 am for the 5 am start; however, a lot of that hinged on my friend, Brennan’s plan, as he was trying to decide between pacing me for the last half of the race, or running the full length himself. He decided to run the race and with everything going on I had neglected to line up any alternative crew to help with logistics for the point-to-point format of the course, so I decided to make peace with staying close to the finish and waking up at 2:15, so we could get to the buses that left at 3:30 to transport us to the start.
Brennan and I left the city midday on Friday and got up to Phoenicia at around 2, had some lunch, and went to our motel in Big Indian to get our start kit, drop bags, and finish bags ready. I had packed a week out from the race because I knew there would be too much going on week off to not be a total spaz. I had some PB&J on the way up so I wasn’t really hungry for lunch. We got settled at the Starlite Motel in Big Indian, which was actually pretty awesome, and headed into Phoenicia to pick up our packets. We had dinner at Brio’s (chicken fajitas, latkes, and beers) and the headed back to finalize our bags for the big day.
Weather for race day was all over the place: 70 and sunny to 85 and thunderstorms. After 3+ rainy hours my first year, I decided to play it safe and plan for rain which never arrived but would have been most welcome. The entire day was incredibly humid and I kept wishing for rain. It had been insanely hot earlier in the week, and then rainy followed by humidity, which meant the very rocky course was made even slicker. And then the mud. But I digress.
Here’s what I ended up using or packing for the race:
Breakfast
Peanut Butter on wheat bread
2 scoops of Ucan in 10 oz of water, 1 hour before start
Start kit:
Salomon Half-zip t-shirt
Salomon Exo short tight
Salomon S-Lab Advanced Skin3 5 Set Pack (2015 model)
Naked Running band waist pack
Raidlight 600ml soft-flasks with straws x2, filled with water
Hydrapak 24 oz. soft flask, empty
Scott Kinablu SuperTrac shoes
Injinji trail mini-crew socks (changed at Platte Clove—too thick)
Half buff
Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles
8 gels
2 bag of pro-bar chews (1 with caffeine)
1 bag of honey stinger grapefruit chews
Black Diamond Storm headlight (2017 version) plus 4 extra AAA batteries
2Toms anti-chafe stick (applied, not carried)
Med kit: SCaps x 7, Pepto x 2, Tums x 5, tincture of benzene, mole skin pre-cut, safety pin, anti-septic gel, tiny lighter (in hindsight probably not needed)
iPod shuffle
Drop bag for Platte clove (31.5):
La Sportiva Helios SR shoes
Injinji Original mini-crew socks
Patagonia t-shirt
Inov-8 shorts (not used: Salomon’s were awesome)
Salomon S-Lab Advanced Skin 3 Belt Set
8 gels
3 bags of honey stinger chews (1 w/caffeine)
Black Diamond spot headlamp (not used; leant to a runner who forgot to pick up his lamp at platte clove)
Hydrapak 2L bladder
Arcteryx packable rain jacket (not used)
Finish:
Some kind of IPA from Other half courtesy of Brennan that I couldn’t finish
A bagel and cream cheese plus a bag of combos because I forgot to get food from the post-race buffet because I wanted to let Clara know I wasn’t dying somewhere along the Devil’s Path.
Race:
I was in Wave 5 which meant I had an extra 25 minutes to wait in the musty men’s room hoping, in vain, to be able to crap. As opposed to my first Manitou’s, I managed to make it a ways into the race before the lack of bathroom magic caught up with me. Like with most of my ultra-distance races above 50k, though, the lack of said bathroom magic caught up to me later in the race.
My start group was pretty somber and we trudged through the first few miles on the road in eery silence. It was a mixture of all the ultra types ones come to expect: the over-eager bro who wants to talk about all the races they’ve run and their training, the quiet mice happy to trudge along unnoticed, the grizzled vets doling out (unasked for) advice about the course, life, etc.. I was probably all of these at various points during the race, but at the start I was just trying to wake the fuck up.
We hit the left turn for the Black Dome trail and the gradual climb towards the Escarpment Trail. I felt kinda sleepy but my legs were finally waking up. During the first stretch, everything felt fine except that I felt like I was slipping and sliding all over the place. This was worrisome as I had worn my Scotts in a rainy 7+ hour day in Hudson Highlands and felt very confident. The trouble was that the rocks had developed a slippery coating thanks to the humidity during the week. I fell like 3 times in the first 20 miles, including one really splashy fall that ripped open my right forearm, leaving me dripping blood through the end of the race. I’m not ever going to be confused with Killian on the trails; however, I’m generally pretty nimble so it was disconcerting, to say the least. I was running with a really nice biologist from Vermont named Palmer, and she actually said at one point she wished she could buy me new shoes. So…yeah. This, however, is why we plan ahead. I knew I had shoes at Platte Clove that had served me well at the same point in Manitou’s in 2015 (note to self: just start in the La Sportiva Helios SR—they’re perfect for this course), so I decided to not stress and just focus on getting to through the first 50k without falling too much. It meant I was a little more hesitant than I normally would have been, but at least this was the easiest part of the course.
I felt generally fine through the Escarpment trail, which in itself is no picnic. I used my poles more than I thought I would have, and after a few times of taking them out and them stowing them in the naked band, I decided to just run with them in my hand which was the right decision. At some point around Blackhead Peak, the high point on the course, I passed Amy Hanlon who reminded me not to let her beat me (words that would play out in my head later on) and then also Brennen, who was in the wave ahead of me. He had mentioned at the start that he was going to drop at Platte Clove (~31M). Manitou’s is definitely a race where you have to be fully committed mentally, even if you’re afraid of what you’re committed to, so I wasn’t surprised to hear him say he was planning on dropping at North/South Lake). I felt for him, as I know what it’s like to DNF, and I also know first-hand how hard the course is. Given that he was flirting all season with not running the race, I think he made the right decision and I’m sure it wasn’t easy. God knows he’s run plenty of tough races and if it was time to call it quits, that was the right call.
I made it to North/South Lake mostly running with Palmer and Adam Moody, who I’d later learn was the same guy Brennan had camped out next to for Twisted Branch 100k. The descent down from Stopple was unmemorable but I felt more confident with my footing than earlier in the race. At north south I showed off my dripping arm wound for Joe Azze who was taking pictures for MPF (must have seen him like 4 times on the course) waved off medical help, ate some watermelon, stuffed my empty zip lock with potato chips, downed some Coke, and left Palmer behind, picking up a guy named Scott, also from VT, who would eventually finish 30 minutes ahead of me (I think).
I ran the long downhill to Palenville pretty well, eventually catching and passing Adam on the final descent that must be an out-of-service jeep road. It was rock-hopping at its finest, but I enjoyed it for the most part and rolled into Pallenville pretty focused: fill up the empty 24 oz. bottle for the 10M stretch without any aid, down Coke, pack zip lock with potato chips and Swedish fish as I was down to a few gels, and get moving while stuffing my face.
I headed out with two full 600ml bottles and the spare 24 oz. in the rear, plus some extra food. The road section was uneventful but I burned 5 mins spacing out and then having to consult my map about location, all for no reason as it was clearly flagged and I had followed the turns. I hit the sketchy back yard section and was either caught or caught up with Adam (probably the former) and headed uphill with my poles at the ready. I was kinda zoned out and didn’t catch the right turn past off the street onto the long path, and ended up heading up a jeep road for about 1/2 mile with Adam (sorry!) until I realized we were off course and we backtracked and headed onto the long path for the long climb up to KHP. The climb was worlds better than two years ago, when I had to grab downed limbs off the trailside to aid my shitty ascent after having snapped a trekking pole over my head on a nasty fall in the escarpment section. The poles were definitely helpful in taking some strain off my legs, and the work in the gym this season meant my upper body was ready to pick up the extra load. Still, I think a goal this summer is to practice climbing sans poles, as I think that’s going to be part of how I get better at Manitous. Back to the story…
The climb up was fine, but as we approached the flat part before KHP shoulder, that’s when the course got muddy. At some points it was shoe-sucking mud that left my kicks nicely coated in red-clay mud. At other points it was just slickly mud that made for anxious foot placement. All-in-all not exactly what you want after a long grind uphill, but thems the breaks. I forgot how pace-killing the descent down to Platte Clove is in comparison to the one to Palenville. I would hit stretches where I was running reasonably well, and then all of a sudden be tip-toeing around streams, mud, rock slabs, and other obstacles. Not as runnable as I remembered, but fun nonetheless.
I rolled into Platte Clove at ~31M with a clear idea of what I needed to do, but maybe an unrealistic idea of when I might finish. I knew from the first 10 miles of the race that I was going to switch into my La Sportivas; however, it’s never as fast to swap shoes as you think it’s going to, so from now on I’m just wearing the Helios SRs for everything. This year I’ve used them for a pretty tunable 50k and the hardest part of Manitou’s and they’ve been great. I also took the time to change shirts as my first one was totally soaked, and swapped out my naked waist band for my Salomon waist pack as with all the sweating it started to bounce around a lot. I grabbed 7 Huma gels (3 caffeine and 4 regular) and the remaining three bags of honey stinger chews, plus filled up my zip lock with potato chips, pretzels, and some m&ms. I also grabbed my bladder for the long stretch in the Devil’s Path, and uncharacteristically filled up one of my bottles with Gatorade. While I may not have been able to crap in the morning, this was one of those days where my body was happy with whatever I ate (which makes sense as I only grabbed stuff that instantly felt appealing). I also drank some pickle juice and a PB&J wrap and then headed off for the gradual climb up to to the Devil’s Path, and Indian Head.
I had been leap-frogging with a few groups of runners leading up to this section that I would see throughout the rest of the race: Adam, Tommy, Bob, and a few others whose names escape me. We fell into a loosely formed group for a decent stretch of the Devil’s Path, which definitely helped.  In looking back at my splits from 2015, I ran the first 50k only like 10-15 minutes faster this year than I did in 2015; however, I ran the Devil’s Path about 45-50 minutes faster than in 2015, and part of that is from not having to go it alone this time. It’s a humbling and amazing stretch of trail and this time around I felt much more comfortable; although, the humidity was definitely getting to me. There’s very little runnable terrain at all during this 7-mile stretch, but in retrospect, there were times I would have benefitted from running even the short stretches that permitted it, as you can save enough small moments of time to add up to a decent accumulation of minutes. In fact, that’s the story of Manitou’s: you’re not going to shave a ton of time off any one section. Improvement in this race comes from not wasting any time (in aid stations or otherwise) and from running every stretch of trail where the terrain allows for it. During the Devil’s Path you are hiking so much that you get lulled into the belief that you won’t run. It’s hard to motivate yourself to run little patches of trail knowing that after 50 feet you’re just going to have to hike up, climb up/down, or butt-scoot down a rock face again; however, that’s what I need to do.
My trekking poles were both a gift and a curse during this section: more helpful on the non-scrambling sections of climbing than I would have thought, but a bit of a nuisance on some of the downhills and downright treacherous on any of the scrambling or butt-scooting sections. In looking at the faster race finishers it seems like one thing I need to do is just spend more time on technical ascents practicing hiking and running without poles. In general, ascending has never been my strength, so I’m making this summer’s trail focus ditching the cheating sticks. But I digress…
I took one decent spill on the Devil’s Path and managed to land with a point slab of rock directly between my ass-cheeks. Honestly, I have no words. It was just an amazing bit of shitty luck. My new-found running friends thought it funny enough, and who can blame them: it’s not every day someone loses their virginity to a rock. At this point Adam had moved ahead and I was running more with Tommy and his crew. I was definitely drinking enough–maybe too much–as I seemed to need to piss every 45 minutes.
I hit Mink Hollow after like 11 and a half hours of running (about 45 mins faster than in 2015) happy to see some familiar faces, including Lisa who was killing it running the aid station. I think I saw Mendy there, and Adam’s wife Jennie. I grabbed some Swedish fish, some more Gatorade (no Coke as they didn’t have any…rats!) and some more potato chips and maybe some more pickle juice and headed for the last climb on the Devil’s Path, up Plateau. In my mind and in reading up on this stretch, it seemed like it wasn’t as bad as the previous stretch I had just completed. Somehow, that wasn’t actually the case and I suffered a little on the climb and then again on the descent, but it could also have been that at this point I felt the need to heed the call of nature, so wasn’t eating as much, and thus flagged on energy. I spent part of the climb up and a descent down Plateau running with a guy and his pacer. I can see how a pacer in this section helps, as you’ve gone through the hardest part and you’re pretty beat up, but with the right encouragement you can start to establish a decent pace again. I hung with them, staying even or behind on the climb and then leapfrogging ahead on the descents until eventually the call of nature was loud enough that I veered off trail to dig a cat hole and TCB. Maybe TMI, but squatting after 12 hours of really technical trail running isn’t exactly easy on your legs. So yeah, lost more time here, but it was much better than the alternative. I was far enough off trail so as not to be noticed, but positioned in a way where I could see who was catching up to me. Eventually I’d regain the positions and time later in the race, picking up the last one on the final 3 miles descending down Tremper.
The distance between Mink Hollow and Silver Hollow Notch is much longer than I remembered it to be. At this point I was mentally feeling a bit checked out and frustrated by my pit-stop in the woods, so I put my headphones in one ear and hunted for music on my Shuffle until Jay Z’s “Dirt of Your Shoulder” came on, and cranked it on repeat until I hit the  Silver Hollow Notch aid station at around 43 miles. It was my favorite AS in 2015 and was again this time. They had cheese wrapped in salami, fruit, and Coca Cola with ice! Deliciously cold ice. They were kind enough to not only fill up one of my bottles with Coke, but throw ice in as well. I’m definitely doing a bottle of Coke from now on. I get why Ben Nephew uses it instead of water. Who cares if my teeth will probably fall out: that shit is amazing. I even sat in the chair for a few minutes while they filled up my bottles, luxuriating in the Euro vibe and sucking down cold pop.
With a newfound appreciated for refrigeration, I headed back out into the woods, for the short ascent up Edgewood Mt. and the descent down to Warner Brook. The climb felt like nothing after the Devil’s Path, and the descent is decently runnable. I didn’t move as quickly as I think I could have during this section, but I was also pretty spent from the previous 44 miles of humid fuckery. When I finally got to Willow Brook (which was pretty well overflowing by this point) I took a moment to plunge in, renewing my sprits and waking up my dog-tired legs before the climb up Tremper. Last year I had done the climb and ascent of Tremper in driving rain and in the dark. I was happy to hit the climb mostly in daylight this time, although I again got fooled by some of the false switchbacks and took a little too much time looking for blazes. The volunteers and RD do as good a job flagging a course like this as you can (definitely a good number of confidence flags for the stretch from Silver Hollow to the finish) but it’s not a race for people who need to know they’re on the right trail every 10 feet. I’m not exactly the best navigator, but still I made it through OK, and doing this in daylight gave me a much better appreciation for this stretch of trail, and I think I’ll remember it much better or next time (and there will be a next time!) It’s another climb that feels pretty easy in comparison to everything else you’ve been through already.
I ended up getting caught by a guy named Morcin, and we agreed to run together to the Willow aid station, but I mentioned that if my legs felt good by the top of Tremper, I would push on the descent. It was getting dark by this point so I pulled out my headlamp, however, with the humidity we were now running in fog, so wearing the headlamp on my head made it almost harder to see. I decided to just carrie it in my hand, which worked reasonably well but was a bit annoying, Morcin hadn’t pulled out his headlight yet even though it was pretty dark, and I had started to regain some energy so pushed a bit on the climb up to Willow. I was surprised he still hadn’t pulled out his lamp as we neared the AS and I asked what was up and he explained that his headlamp didn’t seem to be working. I had grabbed my spare at Platte Clove in case I had a rough time on the Devil’s Path and wanted to use it in my hand or around my waste for depth perception. Willow was easy to spot with its tikka torches. I grabbed some broth and a little more coke and then took of with Morcin again. We split up for a bit as I stowed my poles and had to retie my shoe, but I caught him a bit later. I also passed Adam during this section, who I was sure was going to beat me as he was moving so constantly during the race. He’s a great guy and I hope to run with him again.
The descent down Tremper was much like I remembered it from 2015, minus the driving rain. I caught about 5-6 runners during this stretch, and it felt good to let my legs open up on the still rocky but decently runnable terrain. I felt like I was flying but was probably running like 10 minute miles. Still, after a long day I’ll take that. Even for someone who loves downhill running, I’ll say that a 3 mile descent after 50 miles feels kinda cruel. Still, I loved this part of the race as you can smell the barn at this point. I continued to push it until I hit the last aid station, grabbed my vest, said hello to the french-speaking pace I had run with during the Devil’s Path and let him know his runner was on the way. I was glad to hit the road, and passed one more runner on the way to the finish.
The approach to the finish wasn’t as surreal as the first time–in the rain, fairly delirious from never having spent that much time moving, and definitely out of calories–but it was special nonetheless. I was very happy to have shaved an hour off my previous year’s time, but also aware of how I could have made that gap even bigger. Still, I was ecstatic to have finished the race for a second time, with most of my body and pride in tact, and feeling pretty decent, all things considered. In any other race I’d feel let down knowing I could have finished faster if I made different choices, or had better weather, or any of the other things we tell ourselves to motivate us to return again and to handicap our own efforts. The real feeling I’m left with is one of accomplishment, as this is as much if not more so an epic adventure than a race.
Brennen was at the finish line and had brought my bag from the car. I sat for a bit and changed and then said goodbye to some friends and headed back to the motel so I could call Clara, have a beer, and eat the only food available: a bagel and cream cheese and a pack of combos–dinner of champions. I slept pretty fitfully but awoke feeling not totally destroyed and well enough to drive us home. I walked in the door a few hours after leaving Phoenicia and was greeted by my older daughter, Frankie, who immediately remarked on the large boo boo on my arm, and then demanded I read her books. Then we moved two days later–arguably harder than the racve.
Summary:
Things that went well:
-nutrition and hydration felt on point
-as opposed to 2015 when I went in a bit injured, I felt relatively strong on descents
-felt stronger on technical ascents than I have previously and all the repeats at Beacon and Tammany paid off
-Gear: alomon vest remains a workhorse; La Sportiva’s are great, Huma gels are still good, trekking poles were helpful, going with half-tights was key; new Garmin is great
-time spent reviewing race reports ahead of time paid off in terms of setting expectations during the race
-mindset much more focused and calm than two years prior: had strategies in place for how to get through the roughest stretches of trail, deal with the lows, and extend the strong parts. In general just felt much more positive
-I know that between work and family obligations my training would be compromised; still, I felt I trained specifically enough given my time constraints that it translated into a good results, even if I suffered from the weather
-Tammany training is probably the best thing I could have done for Manitou, and next time I need to spend more time there
-Aid station efficiency was pretty good, barring Platte Clove
-Slept reasonably well the night before thanks to doing my meditation. Side note for anyone who uses headspace: do English people’s voices make you mad sleepy now?
-I spent a lot of time running alone but was still able to push myself and focus
Things to improve on:
-find a way to take a crap before the race start: look at food week leading up to race
-do recce on escarpment section as this is more runnable than memory served me and with practice this could be a good way to make up time
-have crew, if only to sleep closer to start and not wake up at 2:15 AM
-Don’t change shoes: start in Helios and plan to finish in them—have a backup pair of helios at Platte Clove just in case
-Try to use AS’s more for food and not have as many gels; take coke in one bottle after Palenville; eat more real food
-Try pushing a bit harder in first 50k—nothing dramatic, but shaving off 20-30 mins here seems possible
-Try not using poles or saving them until Platte Clove to just have less weight on you and one less thing to worry about.
-Get out of Platte Clove faster…this is the one reason to have a crew here. Lost too much time sitting and sorting through shit, even though I didn’t overpack my drop bag and knew what I was going to get.
-Run each and every section of the course–especially on the Devil’s Path–that feels runnable, even if that means having to transition back to hiking quickly.
-Don’t use poles on Devils path as it makes you more hesitant. You know it’s hard but you also know the terrain by now. Use your body more and just get up and down as quickly as you can given the terrain
-Take Tremper harder: it’s shorter than you think and you can bomb the downhill off it
-Don’t second-guess your bearings as much: you’ll know if you’re seriously off course and by now you know the course so stop consulting your phone and just run.
-gear: Scott Kinabalu SuperTracs probably had too aggressive a lug height and pattern for this course and would be better for a soft ground race or something with less wet rock; take running band isn’t as good as the Salomon 3L (although it’s made much better); Injinji Trail socks are too thick and hot and soak up water; Probar chews taste like soap; Poles, while a net benefit, are annoying at times (still more helpful than hurtful).
Things not to do:
-Land ass-first on a rock
-Fall on the Escarpment trail
-Have that much sugar ever again
-Mix Swedish fish and potato chips
-Not eat dinner after a race
-Move the week after a race
FWIW I’ll probably be back next year.

Race Report: 2017 NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K

Photo credit: Jimmy Leung

RaceNYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K

Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

When: July 17, 2017

Prospect Park Track Club had an amazing day at the 2017 NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K yesterday at Prospect Park! We had 94 runners run for PPTC, which was just behind Team for Kids who fielded 95 runners. We blew away North Brooklyn Runners, who came in 3rd with 59 runners.

Despite the warm and muggy conditions (and a decidedly PR-unfriendly course), a number of PPTC members had outstanding performances.

Congratulations to:

Matt Siefker (18:29) for being the fastest PPTC member. He came in 26th overall, 25th for men, and 6th for his age group (30-34).

Leiba Rimler (21:29) for being the fastest PPTC woman. She came in 284th overall, 22nd for women, and 5th for her age group (30-34).

Anthony Watson (21:32) came in 2nd for his age group (55-59).

Maggie Deschamps (23:12) came in 2nd for her age group (50-54).

Marcia Brown (23:44) came in 1st for her age group (60-64).

Edwige Sucher (24:11) came in 1st for his age group (45-49).

Tyrone Sklaren (26:05) came in 3rd for his age group (70-74).

Charlene Kohler-Britton (31:53) came in 1st for her age group (65-69).

Francisca Daza (46:49) came in 1st for her age group (70-74).

The PPTC Women’s team came in 2nd for the team competition.