The Inside Loop -- June 2016

PPTC was on the roads and behind the scenes at the NYRR Mini 10K in Central Park on June 11. Red singlets and shirts crossed the finish line in droves, and Jill Gregory, Paula VandeNes, and Kimberley K Jones (one of PPTC's best friends!) were volunteering with USADA as notifying escorts.  This involves a conversation that begins, "Nice race, second place, your position has been selected for drug testing and I'll be your escort to Doping Control..."

At this year's Kenny Dolan 5K we saw a young man, all of eight years old, break a world record. Before the rain came pouring down, Prospect Park Youth Runner (PPYR) Tam Gavenas gave  it his all, taking a world  record-setting pace to the finish line. Since there are years to go before he can celebrate his accomplishment with a post-race beer at Ford, I sure hope he had his fill of  hamburgers and hot dogs as a consolation prize! Congrats to PPYR coaches Sean and Fi Rice on helping  Tam (who's been with PPYR since age 5) get to where he wants to go. As with any gifted and talented young runner, Coaches Sean and Fi will be guardian angels over his eligibility status as an amateur for some years to come.

This sure sounds like something that's found in Scripture, but during a conversation about the number of newer, younger PPTC members, the phrase,  "Before you were [...],  I was [...]"  was bandied about while  struggling to maintain the pace during a recent run. Hard to imagine that Keith Williams was still a figment of the world's imagination when some of us were already huffing and puffing, chasing after that personal best.    Certainly not complaining, just thinking at the keyboard -- how time flies when you're having fun!

At this year's second Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K race on Wednesday, June 8,  Achilles Brooklyn shared the road with the rest of us and participated in a fund-raising effort for the PPTC's Red Hook Initiative. Know anyone who might be interested in hooking up with Achilles  Brooklyn? Give out a shout and start the conversation. Achilles Brooklyn meets at 6 PM on Thursdays in the rear of  the JackRabbit store, located on 7th Ave. at Garfield Place. From the store, we head up Garfield to the PPW park entrance and the inside loop roadway for a quick intro and chat before starting to run -- whatever pace and distance feels comfortable to the attending athletes. No fee to attend! Lots of good karma though!

Many thanks to Fran Kotov for her donation of running shoes and clothing for Ian Grey's running groups in Belize. Ian takes shoes of all makes and models, in all sizes (for youth and for those who wish they were still youth), so don't toss 'em, donate 'em! Get in touch with me if your closets are yearning to be free of shoes you no longer need. From the back of closets in Brooklyn to fast  feet in Belize!

Mark the date, PPTC: Sunday, June 19th! We'll celebrate our sport and our friendships at the annual PPTC relay and picnic. More details will be available online as the time approaches!

Thought I'd seen it all -- until I read the announcement that Oren and Susan were setting up PPTC's clothing shop at Connecticut Muffin on Saturday, June 11. There's a long history behind PPTC gear, ranging from Bob Muller's infamous "stick figure" runners on yellow PPTC  shirts, to the present singlets and long- and short-sleeve tech shirt options in both red and white. Over the years some designs and shirt illustrations were more effective than others in soliciting shout-outs from spectators on the race course. I well remember speeding along the NYC marathon route with a friend who wore a white BVD shirt with "GO MIKE" scrawled across the front in magic marker, and wondering why he was getting many more  "Go, Mike"s than "Go, PPTC"s than I did with my red shirt.  PPTC clothes at Connecticut Muffin... hey, "coffee, tea , or tees."  Anything goes!

See you on the roads!
Tom Byrnes