The Inside Loop – February 2015

No, there was no truth to the rumor that seals had been liberated from the seal pool at the Prospect Park Zoo and were seen cavorting in the lake off the transverse. Obviously a sign that one's been shoveling too much. Not to rub it in but Ian Grey continues to send his warmest wishes from Belize and his runners there thank us again for all our donations of running shoes and gear that we've been sending their way. If your preemptive strike at spring cleaning has you realizing that you have more running shoes and t-shirts than you know what to do with, please let Harold and Gwelda Fairweather or yours truly know for a pick-up or drop-off at a mutually convenient time and we'll get your stuff to those in need in Belize. Don't dump your stuff but keep them running! Micaela Birmingham now has all sorts of new-found space in her closets thanks to the shoes and gear she recently donated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Byrnes