Archive for March, 2009

He Still Squeaked Out a Win

Just outside Phoenix, AZ on February 14, Josh Brimhall (Henderson, NV) had two reasons to not feel so well.   The trouble was, one was not related to how hard he ran his race.  About a week before the Pemberton 50K, Josh got sick.  He’s a school teacher, and most likely after he gave his students homework, one of them returned the favor and gave him a cold.  But as defending race champion, Josh wanted to run despite his sickness.  As he cruised through the first of 15.6 mile loops in 1:40, he eventually began to pay for being sick as his energy stores ran lower than typical and his breathing was labored from the cold lodged in his head and chest.  Josh still maintained a strong pace despite his compromised state and held on for a narrow margin of victory of 16 minutes.  His time of 3:30:03 wasn’t a course record, but Josh estimated that had he not been sick, his fitness level was good enough to have run nearly 20 minutes faster.

Tough Guy to Please

The field at this year’s Holliday Lake 50K in Appomattox, VA on February 14 was unusually deep.  With a number of familiar faces and a host of new ones, the race did not disappoint as a highly competitive event.  In the mix this year was Chris Miller (Alexandria, VA).  As the course wound around the trails around the perimeter of Holliday Lake and the surrounding area, Chris went out on his goal pace early on and maintained it through a loop of the course.  The second loop of the course was a bit tougher to maintain the planned pace and Chris ended up finishing 16th overall in 4:23:52.

Now Chris wasn’t satisfied and said as much following the race.  He was upset because he had been passed by some of the younger, perhaps spryer runners late in the race.  The thing he didn’t mention freely was that his time was a 25 minute PR on a course that is often rumored to be a bit long.

Some guys just aren’t satisfied—and that’s good!

Where Did Everyone Go?

As Eric Grossman (Emory, VA) headed out with the pack at the Strawberry Plains Half Marathon in Strawberry Plains, TN on February 14, he was quite comfortable to be just behind the lead pack of competitors.  However, when he got to the 5K mark, everyone in front of him and around him looped the cone and headed back to the finish line of the 10K.  Eric was the lone half marathoner in sight, being left to run the final 10 miles of the race alone.  Eric pushed the pace on the rolling terrain along the Holston River as the course dropped and rose along the valley.  Toward the end of the out-and-back course, Eric was passing a steady stream of competitors still on their way out who were cheering him on.  Being quite winded, Eric gave his best weak wave and smiled the best that he could as he gritted through late race pain.  Upon reaching the flat portion once again to the finish, Eric collected himself and stormed to the finish in 1:14:09 for the win out of over 600 competitors.

Boston—Here We Come!

On February 15, Luis Stoute (Panama City, Panama) headed to the starting line at the Sarasota Marathon in Sarasota, Florida with two things on his mind.  First, he was there with hopes of running a qualifying time for the 2010 Boston Marathon and second, he knew that his training preparation was ultimately geared for an upcoming 50 mile race.  He hoped that his prep for 50 miles had him ready  to accomplish one goal while gearing for another.  On a warm day by February standards of 70 degrees, Luis got in with the group with a pacer to take them through 3:30, and kept that group within sight while adjusting for his sub-3:35 goal.  At one point after turning and heading back up over a bridge at the 18 mile mark, Luis struggled, but maintained his pace.  With three miles to go, Luis checked his watch and calculated that he was under his goal pace, but he didn’t back off, but ran strong through the finish for a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:33:14, good for 34th place overall and 3rd in the 45-49 age group.  Three days after the race Luis begged to get training again but he was forced by his mean coach to take a few more days of rest…

Getting It Done

Marvin Seibert (Colorado Springs, CO) headed to Phoenix, AZ on February 15 hoping to improve on his best half marathon time from December’s race in Pueblo, CO.  Marvin’s training had gone well through the winter months.  His confidence was high.  His workouts had been building in distance, intensity, and he was excited about getting the chance to show off his new fitness level.  But, just 13 days before the event he got food poisoning which left him weak, dehydrated, and unable to run for several days.  Marvin’s hopes followed everything he ate for several days down the proverbial drain.  When he finally got the bug which had gutted him out of his system, he began a program of rehydrating himself and refueling himself aided by his wife’s outstanding cooking.   Marvin’s confidence was being tested.  As he scrambled to get his energy stores back up in time to save his race, he remained worried that the “bug” had sucked too much from him to replace in such a short time.  After continuing his precautions to replenish, Marvin headed to Phoenix anyway to take his chances, hoping that he’d built back up his energy stores.

At the beginning of the race, he was anxious, but controlled, just under the calculated pace he had set for himself.  As he progressed through the race, he continued to feel good and realized that along the way he had begun to put a bit of “buffer” time between his actual pace and his goal pace.  Later in the race, he was passing scores of people who hadn’t been so disciplined in their approach.  Marvin finished 279th out of 415 competitors and beat over 100 people who were in younger age divisions as he posted a 20 MINUTE PR of 2:30:20.

If you’re gonna get a PR in a race, make it a 20 minute PR!