Archive for May, 2008

The Boy Has Teeth 

Nick Whited (Raven, VA) has grabbed a hold of his training like a pit bull on a pork chop.  Nick decided it would be best to change venues and days on one of his interval sessions.  So instead of doing a workout alone on Friday, he went to the
Bluefield Wellness Center 10K on Saturday in Bluefield, VA to get his work done with a crowd around.  Over a tough course, typically about 3-4 minutes slower than flatter 10K races, Nick did his hard intervals followed by relaxed jog recoveries and stormed through the field to finish his interval workout in 37:03 for a 2 minute win. 

Another Hot Day in Roanoke 

Steve Crowder (Botetourt, VA) continued his return to peak form with a 2nd place finish on Saturday in Roanoke, Virginia’s Festival in the Park 10K.  Over the notoriously hard course under typical Memorial Day Weekend heat, Steve battled most of the race in 2nd or 3rd place, but at 5 miles, threw in a surge which proved unmatchable by his opponent.  As Steve closed on the finish line, he also gained ground on the eventual winner, narrowing the gap to just 25 seconds.  Steve’s 2 year old daughter, Kaitlyn was on the sideline watching—unclear as to what her Daddy was running from.

Nice Day, Tough Course

Helene Strutko (Harvey’s Lake, PA) ran Saturday’s 31st Annual Danville Memorial Trail 12K Run in Danville, PA.  On a beautiful 70 degree morning the course climbed a very steep hill at 1.5 miles, but relented to a fast rolling downhill on the backside before becoming mostly flat to just before the finish, when it climbed again and headed back into town.  Helene ran a strong race to finish 5th female overall. 

A Tough Tangle 

Jorge Pardo (Brooklyn, NY) traveled back to his home town in northern Virginia on Memorial Day Weekend for the Cascades 10K in Sterling, VA.  Two of the Washington D.C. area’s toughest road racers Phillipe Rolly (current course record holder) and Ray Pugsley gave Jorge a run for his money.  After taking the lead through the mile with Rolly and Pugsley in tow, Jorge and Rolly battled through the next miles with the advantage eventually going to Rolly.  Pugsly eventually kicked Jorge down as they finished Rolly, Pugsly, and Pardo, 1, 2, and 3, respectively.  Jorge had won the event last year in 33:21, but his time this year, 9 seconds faster, was good for 3rd, but still earned his reward of a new pair of training flats.

Glad to Finally See Spring 

Leo Lightner (Rocky River, OH) placed 3rd in the 70-98 year old age category at Cleveland’s Right Aid Half Marathon.  The first two finishers in the age division were nearly a decade younger!  Leo ran a very well paced race to record a time of 2:25:25.  Despite fighting the snow and ice through winter and a late spring in the Cleveland area, Leo got his work done and when the race was over, had surprised himself with such a strong finish.

You Never Forget Your First 

Marcia Horner (Philadelphia, PA) prepared through the winter, making the transition from regularly walking on the treadmill to running and completing her first 5K road race on Mother’s Day. Coach’s Note: Marcia works as the receptionist for the doctor that fixed my sports hernia last October at Philadelphia’s Hanneman Hospital.  Thank you, Marcia for treating me so nice when I came to Philadelphia last fall, scared and thinking I might be facing the end of my running career. 

Getting it Done Alone

Dalton Kuhar (Scottsville, VA) ran a personal best at 800 meters in 2:35.44 for 2nd place at the Virginia Independent Conference Championships held at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA.  Dalton, a sophomore, trains alone every day as she is the sole member of her track team at the Fuqua School in Farmville, VA.

A Good Start 

Helene Strutko (Harvey’s Lake, PA) finished 5th at Sunday’s Sick Trail Run in
Millville, PA.  Helene finished 22nd overall out of 68 finishers over a very tough 4 ½ mile trail course.

Back in the Game       

Jorge Pardo (New York, NY) proved he was back near top form with his 1:11:50 performance good for 7th place at Saturday’s New York Road Runner’s Club Half Marathon Grand Prix in Central Park, New York City.  Jorge’s time was just over one minute faster than what he ran last year.  Jorge led his team, Urban Athletics to a third place finish.

Jorge and Howard were teammates and training partners in the mid-to-late 80’s at Virginia Tech and following graduation in Blacksburg, VA.

Another Solid Run 

Mike Hayden (Lynchburg, VA) ran a well paced 3:01:40 for a near-PR at the 112th Boston Marathon on April 21.  Mike is finishing his freshman year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  Mike is planning on spending the summer training in Colorado Springs.

Good Save 

Eric Herdman (Las Vegas, NV) let his body overcome his mind at last weekend’s Ruth Anderson 50 Mile in Sacramento, CA.  Eric had prepared intensely for the Mad City 100 Km on April 12, but the nationwide problem with airplane inspections left Eric at the Las Vegas Airport watching flight after flight being cancelled and his chances of getting to Madison, WI to tangle with the nation’s best 100 Km runners fade.  Eric ended up going home with no way of getting to Madison feeling anger, frustration, and fear in his mind of both losing and wasting his fitness.  Just a week later, the Ruth Anderson 50 Mile and 100 Km were contested and while there was no longer a problem with air travel, Eric still feared that his fitness had faded with another rest week before the race.  His fear soon was put to rest as he got the chance to prove his fitness added to just a taste more rest.

The race started out with a pack of 4 running between 6:50 and 7:00 per mile pace.  The pack held together for two and a half laps, with laps of 4.57 miles per.  When the pack soon broke up, Eric’s main competition ended up being the weather, which threw winds of 30-35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.  Eric ran alone for the majority of the race.  With a lap to go, it looked like a sub-7hr was possible, but again the wind driving against ever-more-weary legs won out with Eric crossing the finish line in 7:02:50, still good for a 7 minute PR, a full 15 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.

Hot Day at Bull Run 

It was a hot day in Manassas, VA at the Bull Run 50 Mile.  The temperature was in the 80’s but the competition was even hotter.   Mark Lundblad  (Swannanoa, NC) annihilated the men’s field by nearly 30 minutes with a time of 6:42:29.  He led from start to finish with only a few competitors able to keep up for even a portion of the race.  While Mark was running from the men’s field, Anne Lundblad (Swannanoa, NC) ran away from most of the remainder of the field, finishing with the women’s win, and a 4th place overall in 7:31:17– a new course record by over 9 minutes.  Tim Long (Charlotte, NC) finished 7th in a PR 7:49:56 and Nick Whited (Raven, VA) finshed 8th with a PR 7:52:54.  Rick Moyer (Reading, PA) finished in 11:04:16, marking his return to fitness. It was estimated that the unseasonably warm temperatures slowed performances nearly 20 minutes.

Not Bad Despite the Weather 

Jessica Nakles (Arlington, VA) toed the line under cold, rainy conditions in this year’s Cherry Blossom 10 Mile on April 5, in Washington, DC.  Despite unseasonably cold conditions and rain, Jessica ran steady the first 8 miles and had enough left to push the last two miles to the finish line in 1:40:20, just slightly off her performance of last year, but still satisfying considering the tough conditions.