2019 Awards Nights Nominees

Most Inspirational

This award is for a PPTC member who inspires others through their running, racing or other contributions to our club. Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Noah Devereaux. "Has taken a leadership role in helping other PPTCers get fast . . . a mentor to so many club members . . . supports teammates to reach their potential."

Adam Devine. "At every race with a huge smile and encouraging words . . . his ability to juggle rigorous ultra and marathon training and a full time job is inspiring and motivating . . . spent hours coaching, encouraging and inspiring first-time marathoners."

Chris Fischer. "Incredibly positive and supportive to other members . . . mobilized a dedicated early morning runners group . . . remained positive in his fight to recover from a major injury and weight gain, going sub-3:00 twice, at Chicago and NYC. 

Eric Levenstein. "Always positive, always giving . . . our super-volunteer . . . went from being a casual runner to someone who was able to complete a 50-mile ultra marathon."

Jennie Matz. "Puts more work and emotional energy into the club than anyone as a runner, Board member, race director, cheerer, and friend. . . . keeps a positive and respectful tone in everything she does . . .  her support at races and encouragement to join events makes you feel welcome."

Jana Trenk. "Her hard work and dedication to running a sub-3:00 marathon inspired me to get back out there . . . she is inclusive and treats everyone as equals, always offering helpful advice for all levels."

Andy Wong. "Exudes love and patience . . . an amazing cheerleader for his teammates . . . deals with injury with grace, positivity and resilience . . . while laid up, he has always continued to help out wherever he can."

Outstanding Single Contribution

This award is for a PPTC member whose standout contribution has enhanced our club's image, improved our operations, or provided a unique opportunity for member participation. Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Crystal Cun. "Gives a lot of her time to create fun events for our team . . . in her leadership of the social committee, Crystal has helped build community and connect members . . . her welcoming presence at the New Member run I attended (before I was actually a member) got me off the fence and into the club."

Katie Dadarria. "Did an amazing job with the new logo . . . the sleeker and cleaner logo greatly enhances PPTC's image . . . served as a liaison with Tracksmith to make the new design a reality."

Noah Devereaux. "His race recaps give a great sense of the vibe of each race . . . researched decades of PPTC results to create the Record Boards that are now featured on the website, and keeps them updated . . .  has brought back a friendly competitiveness that had been missing from the club in recent years, resulting in our men's team becoming the strongest in years and moving up to the NYRR's "A" category."  

Oren Efrati. "The guy behind the scenes . . . leads runs, answers questions, and seems to hold many aspects of the club together . . . wears the hats of both the Membership and Clothing committees and has stepped up efforts to create a more seamless experience for members in both areas, with a new ordering system and new membership website."

Chris Fischer. "Organizes early morning runs and encourages member participation by being flexible but consistent . . . runs with teammates at various paces, but has also sparked a friendly competition among faster runners that's helped the team gain recognition from other clubs . . . always willing to join folks for a workout."

Adam Iannazzone. "At the center of everything: getting Slack off the ground, the new membership platform, clothing sales, social activities . . . spearheaded the new look for the PPTC website."

Matt Imberman. "Put together the ultra marathon training group . . . his program has made ultra and trail races approachable and accessible for everyone, no matter your pace or experience level . . . his enthusiasm for the sport is infectious."

Jennie Matz. "An unsung hero in the background of many events, including being a race director for the Al Goldstein races and Harry Murphy and handling logistics for other major club events . . . cleaned up our Strava group to protect members' safety and privacy . . . put together Runners Safety Awareness Week . . . has great ideas and is an organizer."

Jana Trenk. "Welcomes new runners, guides those who want to be faster, helps to create a vibrant social setting for the club . . . an outstanding athlete who provides useful advice to other runners . . . has crafted a culture of inclusion and support."

New Member of the Year

This award honors a member who joined PPTC in 2017 or 2018 and has made noteworthy contributions to our club as a runner, volunteer and/or teammate.  Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Ted Brakob. "Super positive, super welcoming, has volunteered a ton, active in all kinds of group events, and has become an inspirational leader at the gentle age of 24 . . . ranked at or near the top in every NYRR points race . . . always inclusive, he runs with everyone from the fasties to the 10 minute milers . . . friendly, helpful and a good teammate."

Albert Cahn. "Active in the Social Committee, encourages others, and tries to improve the club where he can . . . completed his first marathon at NYC last November."

Kirsty Carroll. "Does an amazing job making PPTC gear available, despite last minute requests."

Linda Chan. "Jumped right in to volunteer . . . kept the Turkey Trot medal distribution organized."

Chris Fischer. "Helped to get the faster folks organized and training together, yet is still helpful and supportive of mid- and back-of-the-packers . . . puts a lot of time into the club."

Joyce Larioza. "Even injured, she's been at tons of events with a huge smile and encouraging words . . . many people would have taken a step back from a running club they'd only just joined after this kind of personal setback, but Joyce has become a staple in the PPTC cheer section . . . she makes each one of us feel like she is our biggest fan ."

John McElroy. "A great training partner . . . has scored a ton of club points for us and is an excellent resource for advice."

William Ngo. "Jumped right in with volunteering for the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, and also helped plan events with the Social Committee . . . increased his racing distances from 5K to 10K and ran his first Half on Staten Island, blowing away his own goals and expectations . . . super-supportive of teammates at races."

Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong. "Great to see a new member who jumps in and almost immediately volunteers to give back to the club . . . reached out to join the Instragram/Communications team and has provided us with custom-made GIFs, animations, and a lot of help on social media . . . the quality of her work enhances the club's image."

Pam Ritchie. "Has put our masters women at the top of the board."

Blair Smith. "Joined before she could even participate due to injury, but she swiftly got involved in volunteering (on a bitter cold Thanksgiving morning, to boot) and signing up for events and committees . . . has since represented the club in multiple races."

Jason Smith. "An integral part of the Social Committee, someone we can rely on when we need something transported (we're still not why he entrusted us with the keys to his van) . . .  worked to organize a joint run and picnic with Running for Ayotzinapa 43, a group of runners and parents whose children were disappeared by the Mexican police . . . a friendly and motivated training partner, and one of the faster men in the club in both the open and masters categories."

Adam Wapniak. "It's amazing that he's gone from couch to multiple marathons in one year . . . his attitude, work ethic, and consistently showing up for the club is really admirable."

Most Improved

This award honors the club member who has shown the greatest improvement in time, consistency, and/or versatility in distances raced. Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Holly Chase. "Put together an absolutely amazing spring training block to break through this year . . . had a great Boston, was the second woman (tied) at Rock the Ridge 50M, and then killed it at the 60k in the fall . . . has quietly entered the top tier of our women runners."

Rachel Guinn. "Went from fearing the marathon distance and never having done one, to jumping straight into a 50K on her own . . . fricking incredible."

Adam Iannazzone. "His dedication to training and hard work over the summer were inspiring . . . has gone from a strong runner to an absolute wrecking ball . . . delivered one of the strongest performances at the NYC Marathon this year, with a massive PR (from 3:22:17 to 2:53:54) . . . has set PRs in just about every distance, and who could forget his 5K showdown with Jana?"

Mary Johnston. "PR'd in nearly every distance last year . . . took 1 min off her 10K (40:13), 5 minutes off her Half Marathon (1:27:36), and 7 minutes off her Marathon (3:08:26) . . . already one of our top women, Mary's improvement was impressive."

Eric Levenstein. "Ran a solid first marathon and ultra in 2017, and then improved in both in 2018, with huge PRs."

Jennie Matz. "Earned a huge PR at the 2018 Philly marathon . . . getting faster when you're a masters runner is tough (as I know from personal experience), but that's what Jennie has been doing on a consistent basis."

Lillian Park. "Set a slew of new PRs in late 2017 through 2018, at distances from 5K to the marathon . . .  her results from the year now have her racking up Masters' awards . . . she continues to get faster, despite increasing job demands."

Jason Smith. "Went from being a cusual runner to someone who BQ'ed on his first marathon with a 3:09 . . . is now running very consistently and PR'ing in many distances."

Carlos Vazquez. "An incredibly hard worker who doesn't brag, doesn't boast, and has still gotten even faster over the last year . . . broke 3:30 in this year's NYC marathon."

Adam Wapniak. "From couch to two marathons in a month . . . Adam had a banner year, in which he lost 45 lbs, moved up to the B corral, and has wholeheartedly thrown himself into a healthier, run-centric lifestyle . . . excited to see him tackle an ultra next."

Comeback Runner of the Year

This award honors a member who has returned to racing after being sidelined by illness or injory for at least four months. Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Chris Fischer. "Unable to run consistently after fracturing his back in a bike accident and gaining 50 lbs, Chris ran two sub-3:00 marathons in 2018 . . . completed a ton of NYRR points races, scoring in our top 5 several times . . .  inspires folks with his example and by being a great teammate."

Chris Jessiman. "Took a long break to recover from injury . . . came back to racing in 2018, mainly on trails, to suit his injury . . .  quietly and modestly crushed his races, often placing in his age group or overall."

Hillary Pauli. "Peroneal tendonitis forced her to stop running, defer several races, and undertake a slow post-recovery buildup . . . came back to a significant half marathon PR and a significant NYCM course PR . . . supported team members by pacing several loops at the 60K."

Mirza Rahman. "Took almost 4 months off running while recovering from two injuries, and then returned hesitantly . . . I remember him saying "I don't think I'll ever run below a 6 minute pace", and then running 5:30 at the Fifth Avenue Mile 2 weeks later . . . with steady and careful training, he ran a 3:09 in his first marathon ever . . . has a ton of potential."

Joelle Reeves. "Grew another human with her body and then returned to racing with a vengeance . . . made an amazing marathon debut (3:05:48) a year after giving birth . . . inspirational for every women who has ever had to take a significant time off from running at her highest performance to prioritize her pregnancy or raising her baby . . . runs with grace and joy."

Bob Mueller Award

This award honors a club member over age 50 who ranks among our top runners and has contributed to our club as a volunteer. Excerpts from nominating statements follow (in alphabetical order):

Mark Guralnick. "An essential part of the Social Committee, eager to volunteer for any task large and small . . . has organized countless food runs, helped plan post-race parties, and been welcoming company for runners of all paces . . . after being injured for several months last winter, he has begun racing again with a vengeance, posting 22:49 for 5K at AGSSS and 1:43:59 at the Brooklyn Greenway Half."

Michael Koplin. "An incredible mentor, supporter, and friend . . . a constant source of support, his insights helped me as I ramped-up my running commitments."

Jimmy Leung. "Always there helping, volunteering, cheering, taking pictures and recruiting new members . . . despite getting older, he shows up to speed workouts and tries to get faster and stronger . . . set new PRs in 2018, from the 5K to the half to the full marathon . . . I don’t think I would have been able to have finished my long runs in the summer without his company."

Doug Olney. "Brings a wealth of running experience and lore to our club . . . quietly consistent in his running and racing . . . does so much behind-the-scenes work."

Murray Rosenblith. "Continues to run despite knee issues . . . selflessly comes out to support his teammates . . . shows up for everything, volunteers, takes pictures, bikes, and always brings a sense of calm and positivity with him."

Larry Sillen. "His photos are great, his participation is great, he's always around, always kind, just an amazing guy."

Anthony Watson. "Coach Tony has been super helpful in terms of making us all better/faster . . . in races, he out sprints much younger people . . . knows his stuff, and is willing to share his knowledge."

Lillian Park