The Inside Loop - January 2014

Happy 2014!

So in the few days since the start of the New Year, how many of those New Year's resolutions have you broken so far?

PPTC is 731 members strong I read and this doesn't include all those invisible friends members talk to when they're out and about running, walking, or biking. I have to admit that swimming makes it hard to carry on a conversation with friends, invisible or otherwise but who knows, this may be the year that it happens.

Came across Paul Soskind's former Eighth Street address on the label that he had attached to the card he sent me for Christmas 2012. May he be resting in peace.

Look to read about Peggy Casey's building run up somewhere in this city sometime this new year. Stair it, Peggy!

Still looking for the names of age group winners of the PPTC Ugly Sweater Contest at the PPTC Holiday party on December 15th. Anyone know if the contest included with or without 'undergarment' divisions? Tyrone, are you paying attention?

The men's locker room repairs at the Prospect Park YMCA on 9th street are completed! New floor tiles, new lockers, new this and new that… Thanks to past PPTC presidents Bobby Fisher and Ann Prezeszty for their shout outs about the incentive to member up at the 9th Street YMCA without having to pay the 'joiners' fee. And speaking of the 9th Street Y, after January 1st will we still see our Mayor Bill de Blasio working out there most mornings? Hey, respect his privacy and respect his bodyguards that will see that you keep your cool.

And while we're on the topic of NYC mayors, did we know that the lower loop of Central Park Drive was being renamed in honor of former Mayor John Lindsay on Monday, December 16th? Apparently the lower loop of the park, which runs 1.7 miles from West 72nd to East 72nd Street, will sport new signs that read "John V. Lindsay Drive". Mayor Lindsay first closed the drive to traffic on weekends in the summer of 1966, according to the Parks Department press release, and the closings were extended year-round the following year. Closing the loop to cars made the drive more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, and the move was replicated in other parks, including Prospect Park and Forest Park.

Linus Ly admires talented fundraisers men and women that go around asking their friends and family and sometimes complete strangers for contributions for their cause. Sometimes they manage to raise thousands of dollars to gain entry into the NYC Marathon or obtain an amount they need for what they are trying to achieve. Linus admits to being just the opposite. "I'm socially withdrawn and there's only so much leveraging social media can do," he told me.

While he loves giving to charity, there are limits to what he can afford, An example is the thousands of dollars he'd need to fundraise to gain entry into the NYC Marathon. Enter the Charity Miles app. Available for both iOS and Android, Charity Miles lets Linus raise money for charities while going about his usual exercise workouts. Runners and walkers can earn 25¢ per mile while cyclists get 10¢ a mile. One has a variety of charities to choose from, such as Feeding America, Wounded Warrior Project, and Autism Speaks. Easy to make them some money while you're out there on the roads.

And speaking of being out there on the roads, Tom Byrnes was invited to participate in the 5 mile ''torch run'' from the jetty at the Shinnecock Inlet on the ocean side to St. Rosalies church in downtown Hampton Bays out in Suffolk County on Thursday afternoon December 12 with the Guadalupanos, a group in that parish that has a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mostly Mexican and South American but not an exclusive bunch, these men and women look to build camaraderie, share their devotion, and celebrate with family and running friends on this special day. Adding a few more words to his Spanish vocabulary, Tom, at 66 and 11/12ths, had to be the oldest runner to join their celebration. The post run reception included tamales and Mexican coffee, which certainly seemed to beat bananas and Gatorade. A cold 'Dos Equis' might've put the icing on the cake so to speak so maybe next year …

Look for Coaches Tony Watson and Charlene to start up the next round of ten week indoor training sessions at the Prospect Park YMCA Armory on 15th Street beginning Tuesdays and Thursdays the week of January 13th. Have someone who's still asking you what they might give you as a late late gift from Santa? Hmmmmmmm.....

On New Year's Day PPTC saw a list with 90 runners pre-registering for Harry's Handicap but only 54 brave souls actually placed their foot on the starting line and finished. The first 37 finishers crossed the finish line within three minutes of each other and all finishers crossed within 10 minutes! As sometimes happens,the weather was not as bad as the weather forecasters had predicted, or so it seemed.

The club's post run reception at the K of C on 10th Ave was flowing with milk & honey, coffee, hot chocolate, beer, soup, eggs, bagels, cheesecake, cookies, and more. There was a great mix of long time members and newer Club members. Former PPTC President Regina Cahill ran her 38th Harry's. Matt Strawn did the handicapping, checking runners estimated times with his database. Good job!!!

Tom Meany reports that even Steve Lastoe participated, albeit ''remotely'' from Hawaii. Michael Ring, Tom Tobin, Anne Perzeszty and Julio Zavala were there to take care of every detail before, during & after and Lynda Mules & Nicole Importico clothed all those in need. No reports about those who later trekked to Coney Island for a swim with either the Polar bears or the Iceberg Club but I'm sure word will get out.

Happy New Year to all the members of PPTC's family and friends and remember well that January, February, and March are the months for the training that will bring you the PR's you want in April, May, and June.

Tom Byrnes