Category Archives: Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series

Despite the heat, a record Summer Speed Series turnout

On a gorgeous Wednesday evening in Prospect Park, a record 378 runners finished the first installment of the 2016 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series. Here are the full results.

And, courtesy of Larry Sillen, here are photos! Feel free to download and share as you wish.

The second of seven races is June 8; to register, please visit our main page.

2016 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series
Recaps: Register:
May 25 June 8 June 22 July 6 July 20 Aug 3 Aug 17

Participants often find the Summer Speed Series, with its midweek schedule and relatively short distance, hard to resist. “I like that it’s quick – just the nuts and bolts,” said longtime PPTC member Jim Israel, who claimed second in the men’s 70+ division. “It’s unadorned.”

“For me it’s special because everyone knows who I am and it’s a familiar crowd,” said Michael Ring, PPTC vice president and one of the race directors of the series. “I love the excitement at the starting line. Plus, the crowd gets my jokes.”

The series has grown rapidly over the past few years; in 2011, for example, the average turnout was around 125, and everyone was scored by hand. Working behind the scenes, a large contingent of PPTC members kept things smooth at bib pick-up, along the course, and at the after-party.

“We had more help than we expected,” said Club President Tom Meany. “It’s always gratifying to have such an outpouring of volunteers.”

Getting ready for the first Al Goldstein 5k. @prospectparktc #gopptc #runbrooklyn #pptc5k

A photo posted by Keith Williams (@wmskeith) on

DWRT’s Olivier Wijtenburg was the first to cross the finish line, winning the men’s division in 16:12. He has used the Summer Speed Series as a benchmark for improvement.”Two years ago I ran my first 5K ever here in 18:50. Last year, it was 16:48,” Wijtenburg said. “You see the same group of people each week, so you know how to pace yourself.”

The temperature, which hovered around 80 degrees at the start, was a common talking point, but some runners found solace along the course. “It was a little hot, but there was a good breeze,” said Tom Anderson, who took third among men in 17:10. “The toughest part is staying strong after the big hill – pushing the pace is really difficult.”

PPTC’s Joelle Reeves started running in October, but finished third on the women’s side tonight. Her previous race experience included this February’s Cherry Tree 10-Miler, which featured single-digit temperatures. “It was good in the cold,” she said. “I thought so much about the weather that I wasn’t thinking about the running.”

As for dealing with the heat, Wijtenburg had the best solution: “I’m going to buy a beer,” he said.

2016 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series

We’re looking forward to tonight! Bib pick-up begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Bluestone Cafe at Lakeside Center (near the skating rinks). You can register in person for $10.

We’re gearing up for another great summer of evening 5K races! You don’t have to be fast to enter, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be!

Individual races are $5 online until the night before. Day-of registration will be available during bib pickup for $10, cash only.

Races are on alternating Wednesday evenings at 7:10 p.m.* in Prospect Park. Click on an individual link to register:

Races will take place rain or shine. Any decision to cancel due to dangerous weather conditions will be made at start time.

Races will start and end at the Bluestone Cafe at Lakeside Center. There, we will offer:

  • Bib pickup starting at 6pm
  • Bag check
  • Lockers available for a fee
  • Bathrooms (real ones!)
  • Water after the race
  • Age group awards ceremony after the race
    • Age groups: 9 & under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+

Please see below for a map of the race course. For directions use this link.

Walkers are welcome, but due to liability reasons we cannot allow strollers or pets.

2016summer5kmap

For any additional questions such as large group registration, please contact summer5k@pptc.org.

*Call it tradition: in the olden days, cars could use West Drive until 7:00 p.m., and we would wait until all of the cars were out of the park to begin the race.

2015 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series

 We’re gearing up for another great summer of evening 5K races in Prospect Park! Registration for the full series and the first race is now open.

The first edition of the 2015 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series will be Wednesday, May 20, with the gun firing as soon as cars are out of the park (a little after 7:00 p.m.).

We’ll hold a race every other Wednesday thereafter through August 12, seven races in all:

May 20
June 3, 17
July 1, 15, 29
August 12

This year, the Al Goldstein Series will be based at the Bluestone Cafe in the Lakeside Center. The nearest subway is Parkside Ave.  This map indicates these locations.

In a nutshell, we’d really like it if you register online. In order to “incentivize” you, in-person registration at the park to $10, cash only.  This is due to the additional effort required for last-minute data entry.  It’s a lot easier for us if you sign up in advance. It helps us produce the results quicker and with much greater accuracy – improving the race for all.

Until June 2nd, you can register online for the entire series – all 7 races – for only $25.  When you pay for the entire series up front, you will receive a bib with a timing chip that you will use at each race. Bibs are non-transferable.   **If you don’t bring your bib, you will have to pay the in-person registration fee of $10.**

If you don’t want to sign up for the entire series, you can register online for any of the 7 scheduled dates, up to 10 am on each race day.  Online entry fee is $5.  You’ll still be able to make a last-minute decision to race and save some cash!  Also, you can only register for all seven races up until the second race.

Also if you want to sign up a large group and pay all at once, please email mring@pptc.org in advance of the race.

Number pick-up and in-person registration start at 6 pm. In person sign up closes at 7 pm and the race starts as soon as possible after that. We make an announcement and head to the start as a group.  Timing mats will only be at the finish line, so don’t be late. Following the race we will distribute awards at the Bluestone. Results will be posted here.

We race rain or shine but thunderstorms make last minute cancellations a possibility. The decision to cancel will be made from the park at the start of the race.  We don’t cancel the race because of a forecast.

Regular race type bag check will be available at all races.  But one of the cool benefits of being at the Lakeside Center is the fact that they have lockers and bike racks.

You don’t have to be fast to enter, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be. You don’t have to run to have fun either, instead you can support your fellow runners by being a volunteer.

For all questions, please email mring@pptc.org.

The Al Goldstein Speed Series Is Coming!

PPTC is gearing up for another great Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series presented by JackRabbit!   The 2014 Summer Speed Series 5K races will be held every other Wednesday evening starting on May 21, followed by June 4 and 18; July 2, 16 and 30; and August 13 and 28.  Online registration for the entire 2014 series or for any of the 8 scheduled races is available here.

Please continue to read for important changes to the staging area, course, and registration process.

For at least the first few races of the series, registration, bag check, and the post race will be at The Peristyle, adjacent to the finish line.  The starting line is just on the main drive in the park near where Parkside Ave. intersects Ocean Ave.  The nearest subway is Parkside Ave.  This map indicates these locations.

We also have a new entry fee structure for 2014. In a nutshell, we’d really like it if you register online. In order to “incentivize” you, we are increasing in-person registration at the park to $10, cash only.  This is due to the additional effort required for last-minute data entry.  It’s a lot easier for us if you sign up in advance. It helps us produce the results quicker and with much greater accuracy – improving the race for all.

Until June 3rd, you can register online for the entire series – all 8 races – for only $25.  When you pay for the entire series up front, you will receive a bib with a timing chip that you will use at each race. Bibs are non-transferable.   **If you don’t bring your bib, you will have to pay the in-person registration fee of $10.**

If you don’t want to sign up for the entire series, you can register online for any of the 8 scheduled dates, until 3 pm on each race day.  Online entry fee is $5.  You’ll still be able to make a last-minute decision to race and save some cash!

Also if you want to sign up a large group and pay all at once, please email theteam@nycruns.com in advance of the race.  They will be happy to accommodate you.

Number pick-up and in-person registration start at 6 pm. In person sign up closes at 6:45 pm and the race starts as soon as possible after that. We make an announcement and head to the start as a group.  Timing mats will only be at the finish line, so don’t be late. Following the race we will distribute awards at the Peristyle. Results will be posted at here.

We race rain or shine but thunderstorms make last minute cancellations a possibility. The decision to cancel will be made from the park at the start of the race.  We don’t cancel the race because of a forecast.

You don’t have to be fast to enter, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be. You don’t have to run to have fun either, instead you can support your fellow runners by being a volunteer. Email membership@pptc.org if you want to volunteer.

For all questions, please email membership@pptc.org.

 

 

The 2012 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, presented by JackRabbit

To sign up for the 2013 races click this

 

  • These 5K races are every other Wednesday starting May 23, June 6, June 20, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22. Please note we are skipping Wednesday July 4th
  • Registration starts at 6:30 pm at the Oriental Pavilion. (This is near where the ice-skating rink used to be)  The race will start about 7:15.  Prospect Park closed to cars at 7:00 but we want to make sure the road is clear.
  • Race starts after the Parks Dept closes the roadway of cars; $5: cash.
  • We will give out awards following the each race at the Oriental Pavilion.  Results for all races are here
  • The B/Q and Franklin Ave Shuttle is really close.  Get off at Prospect Park and walk into the Park at Lincoln Rd.  There is not parking anywhere near where you want to park. Continue reading The 2012 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, presented by JackRabbit

The 2012 Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, presented by JackRabbit

 

  • These 5K races are every other Wednesday starting May 23, June 6, June 20, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22. Please note we are skipping Wednesday July 4th 
  • Registration starts at 6:30 pm at the Oriental Pavilion. (This is near where the ice-skating rink used to be)  Sign up closes at 7 pm and the race starts soon after that.  We usually walk from the Oriental Pavilion to the Starting Line as a group.
  • Race starts after the Parks Dept closes the roadway of cars; $5: cash. 
  • We will give out awards following the each race at the Oriental Pavilion.  Results for all races are here
  • The B/Q and Franklin Ave Shuttle is really close.  Get off at Prospect Park and walk into the Park at Lincoln Rd. There is not parking anywhere near where you want to park.  
  • A detailed map of the Park and its relationship to the subway  can be found here
  • We race rain or shine.  Thunder and Lightning not so much.  The decision to cancel will be made from the park at the start of the race.  We don’t cancel the race because of a forecast.
  • This event has been going on since before people had digital watches, but we have a big digital clock now.  This year we will be using B-Tag timing, using the MyLaps BibTag system.  Timing mats will only be at the finish line, so don’t be late.
  • You don’t have to be fast, but these races will help you find out how fast you can be.
  • You don’t have to run to have fun. Volunteers needed Membership@pptc.org.
  • PPTC members who are in Coach Tony’s speed training group race for free.Advance Registration is available for the entire race series for only $25. You can go here to pay for the rest of the races or just show up with $5.  If you pay for the entire series you will receive a bib with a timing chip that will work all summer.  The bib will be assigned to one runner for the entire summer and is not transferable, so please bring it to each race.  So you are saving $5 by signing up for all the races but you have to keep your bib.  The bibs have timing chips in them and cost us money.  OK.
  • We have a place to stash your bag. 
 Questions????…..  Membership@pptc.org
 Tell your friends, but tell them not to tell their friends. We don’t want this too get to big.

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series

Wow!!
Last year we were happy to have 35 or 50 runners. We did a good job and all the participants had a good time. (When I say good time, I am not judging their speed; I am saying they had fun.) I figured we could do the same good job for about 3 times that many runners and everyone would still have fun.
Just when I was thinking of how to make the public more aware of these races I met Steve Lastoe
(AKA: Steve at NYCRUNS.COM). We promoted the race series on his website and decided to try advance registration. About 20 people paid in advance for the entire series and our first race had 96 people. Yea! Our next race had more and our third race had almost 200!
But we had problems. The system we used to score the race that worked great for 50 or 100, did not really work at 150 or 200 runners. We were not able to accurately match the finisher’s times and their bibs. We added a finish line “shoot” so we could better gather the bibs but that had problems too. This is about to get very technical, so if you really want to know more or have any solutions please join the Race Committee. I also don’t want to dwell on the negative because the Summer Speed Series was a huge success.
It was a success on many levels.
It was a financial success. We have not finished counting the proceeds yet, but I think each race made more money than all of last years races.
It was a success for the runners. Many ran all of the races and reported personal records or improvements over the summer.
It was an organizational success. The Race Committee was able to adapt our method of scoring to provide quick and accurate results.
But it was really a success because of the volunteers who showed up without being asked and did things without being asked. For example: With the race to start in 5 minutes I realized that it would be a good idea to set up the finish line. I looked behind me to see that it had already been set up, but a volunteer that I did not even know was there. Or after I carried the clock, megaphone, and the timing computer to the start and realized I did not have a fourth hand to sound the air horn I looked around and saw two PPTC teammates with their hand out saying “Michael, Can we help you?”
What I am trying to say is that this very successful race series was the result of the hard and smart work of the volunteers from the Prospect Park Track Club. I might have been the “face” of the event” but this was truly a team effort.
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The Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, presented by JackRabbit

That is a big title, but it is not such a big event.

There are simple thing you should know

1. It may be hard to believe, but summer is coming.

2. Al Goldstein will be there.

3. This event has been going on since before people had digital watches, but we have a big digital clock now.

4. Races are every other Wednesday starting May 25 then June 8th and 22nd, July 6th, 20th,August 3rd and August 17th (ALSO August 31!)

5. Registration starts at 6:30 pm at the Oriental Pavilion. (This is near where the ice-skating rink used to be) The race will start about 7:15. Prospect Park closed to cars at 7:00 but we want to make sure the road is clear.

6. Race starts after the Parks Dept closes the roadway of cars; $5: cash. No Tshirts.

7. You don’t have to be fast, but these races will help you find out how fast you
can be.

8. You don’t have to run to have fun. Volunteers needed Membership@pptc.org.

9. PPTC members who are in Coach Tony’s speed training group race for free.

10. Advance Registration is available for the entire race series for only $30. Click
here and save $5. You can go here to pay for the rest of the races or Just show up with $5.

11. We have a place to stash your bag.

12. Awards will be given to those who finish the most races at the end of the
Summer.

13. The B/Q Train is really close. Get off at Prospect Park and walk into the Park at Lincoln Rd.

14. We race rain or shine. Thunder and Lightning not so much. The decision to cancel will be made from the park at the start of the race. We don’t cancel the race because of a forecast.

Questions????….. Membership@pptc.org

Tell your friends, but tell them not to tell their friends. We don’t want this too get to big.




The results of the May 25th race can be found here
The results of the June 8th race can be found here.
The results of the June 22nd race can be found here.
The results of the July 6th race can be found here.
The results of the July 20th race can be found here.
August 3rd was a fun run because of rain. (We have a new plan to make this work rain or shine, next time.)
The results of the August 17th race can be found here
The results of the August 31th race can be found here

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Al Goldstein in the Blogishpere.

I was just about to do launch some publicity for the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series.  But before I got started I wanted to see if anyone else was.  So I Googled “Al Godstein”.  (Then I added “race” to the search and got ride of the nasty stuff.)  No body is talking about the Speed Series yet but Al is getting some love.

Ya know that he will be giving out the awards this summer (as usual) and he also gives out the awards for the NYRRC.   One of the great things about Al is that he gives a sincere handshake to all the male award winners but an even more sinner kiss to the female winners.

Here is what threlkeld, sadi in her blog Races like a Girl.  After she ran the Colin Caner 4 mile race she found out she won her age group……

“By the time I got back to Baggage they’d posted the results. Well. To make a good day better, I discovered that not only had I won my first ever award in a NYRR race, but I’d done it with style: 1st in the 40-44 women’s AG. It’s a good thing my birthday is a week away because the 45-49 winner beat me by 16 seconds. I was 12th overall, out of over 1,300 women. I’m still in somewhat of a state of disbelief.

Manning the awards table was an elderly gentleman named Al Goldstein (not to be confused with the Al Goldstein of Screw Magazine fame). He gave me a congratulatory hug and told me that hugging attractive women on Sundays was the biggest fringe benefit of his volunteer job, which NYRR founding member Kurt Steiner gave to him in 1992.

While I was standing there chatting with him, I had a quintessential New York City moment. A woman came up to the awards table and picked up one of the awards, which are all the same: half inch thick blocks of plexiglass with the award details engraved on the back, so they show through the surface of the plastic (they make good paperweights). Al said, in a friendly yet firm voice, “Please don’t handle the awards.” To which the woman replied, “I was just trying to see if they were glass or plastic.”

Al said, “They’re plastic.”

To which she testily replied, “Well, this is a race to fight colon cancer. They shouldn’t be made of plastic since that causes cancer.”

Al gave her a look that I can only describe as withering. I was somewhat tempted to ask her if she was concerned that runners would insert the awards into their asses. Otherwise, what was the issue? But I decided against it.”

I can’t wait to spend every other Wednesday evening with Al this summer

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