Uncomfortable warm temperature and sticky humidity greeted runners on a decidedly un-fall-like day last Sunday. Was it already autumn? Who could tell? No matter, amost 15,000 runners were ready to storm the Grand Concourse, designed by an Alsatian immigrant named Louis Aloys Risse who became chief topographical engineer for the New York City government, in the Bronx.
Challenging conditions did not scare away PPTC members; 127 runners showed up, which made us the fourth largest team at the Bronx 10-Miler.
Congratulations to Dean Gebhardt (1:03:55), Matt Siefker (1:03:55), and Noah Devereaux (1:05:57) for being the three fastest PPTC men. Noah would like us to know that he “wasn’t really racing” the Bronx 10-Miler. He paced Captain Adam for the first 6 miles and practiced grabbing drinks from the aid station tables. For the last six miles, he felt out the paces for the upcoming Staten Island Half. In doing so, he ran an (unofficial) 5K PR and a 10K PR. If running under 66 minutes for a 10-mile race is “not really racing” for Noah, then we can’t wait to see what you can do when you are really racing. Hey team, any predictions for Noah on what he can do for the Staten Island Half?
Congratulations to Junko Matsuura (1:12:39), Leiba Rimler (1:12:41), and Holly Chase (1:14:00) for being the three fastest PPTC women.
It should also be noted that Dean’s, Junko’s, and TyroneSklaren‘s (1:30:43) performances garnered them a top-10 finish in their age groups.
Kudos to everyone on this illustrious PR list! Maybe the weather was warm because you guys were HOT!!!
Leiba Rimler (1:12:41) – perfect 1 min PR Kelly Greene (1:21:44) – almost a 9-min PR Jonathan Giles (1:11:38) – first 10-mile race Clifford Tsao (1:19:28) – knocked 5:41 from his time last year Issac Josephson (1:22:20) – 3:18 PR Lisa Maya Knauer – 1:14 PR Adam Iannazzone (1:06:36) Rob Dekker (1:13:26) Aung Barteaux (1:16:35) – first race running for PPTC Sam Smullen (1:26:03) Carlos Vazquez (1:11:59) – a minute+ faster than his 15K PR. Michael Abrahams (1:06:44)
All photos in this post are credited to Jose Baizan.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.