Monday, September 29, 2014

Addie wins half marathon, state championship!

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Addie DiFrancesco for her state-championship half marathon run at the Hogsback Half Marathon in Colebrook, CT. Addie was first female and seventh overall in 1:30:27, an average of 6:54 per mile on the very challenging course. The second-place female is usually in the 1:25 range for the half-marathon distance, so that tells you how well Addie ran here. In addition, here are some excerpts from Addie's very entertaining race report, sent via e-mail. We remember Addie as one of our craziest and toughest runners ever, and this race proves she is still going strong with a great future ahead of her. Nicely done, Addie! Here is a link to the results.

I went out WAY too fast. The first three miles were basically all downhill and I felt

great. The guy I followed out said he was basically around 5:40-5:50. Too fast for me. I was fine through the rollers that started up around mile 4 though. We started at a dam, so we ran along one side of a river basically. At mile 6.5, there was a bridge we crossed and then had to start the climb back up to the dam. They advertised this course as a net decline of like 100 feet or something like that. Well, the last 6 miles were so hilly. They weren't just rollers. There were some leg burners in there. I started to lose it around mile 9, which was extremely discouraging. Told myself to get to the next water station but I somehow plugged along by just alternating my pace between longer strides and pulling back. It kind of worked but the sun and heat were definitely not helping. I hit another water station and actually had to stop and take a water, which is something I never do because water always upsets my stomach. It didn't this time so I must have needed it. The guy working it looked a little worried because I'm sure I was a mess. My legs were wobbling and I wasn't standing up straight. But a few older guys ran by and said how I was doing great and had killed the course. It gave me a little burst so I went on another half mile. I saw the 12 marker and then a quarter mile after it was a MONSTER hill. There was a left onto the dam at the top. I was embarrassed but I actually slowed to a walk. I have never in my life truly had NOTHING left in the tank. This hill took all of it. I picked it back up before the top and ran to the finish. The race atmosphere was great otherwise. It was for dog rescues, which I loved. And I loved that people in the race were screaming Marist when I went by because they saw my jersey and recognized the school. Red Fox Family.

Conor gets second in Adirdonacks

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum Conor Shelley for his second-place finish at the Adirondack Half Marathon on Sunday in Schroon Lake. Conor completed the hilly course in 1:14:24, an average of 5:41 per mile. He texted me after the race to say that he had a calf injury that cropped up around 6 miles, but he was able to gut it out for a solid effort. Nicely done, Conor!

Weather or not ...

I entered the Radio Shack store in Hyde Park with a purpose. My stride was quick, my eyes were wide. The clerk behind the counter immediately eyed me warily. Clearly, I was on a mission; clearly, he had seen my type before, as I would soon find out. In my hands was a National Weather Service weather radio, purchased lovingly by my wife for a birthday or Christmas or Father’s Day (can’t remember) many years ago. Being a Certified Weather Geek, it is one of my prized possessions. Each morning, I listen intently to this weather radio, while taking a shower (odd behavior, I know … but I’m not ashamed). I listen to the forecast, but also to the statistics – heating degree days, cooling degree days, severe weather advisories, stuff like that. It was through this weather radio that I learned of the NWS SkyWarn spotter training sessions, which has enabled me to be, in fact, a Certified Weather Geek. I have certificates to prove this.

Anyway! My weather radio had not been working for weeks. Static. Annoying static. No channels available. Distraught, and fearful that it was broken, I entered the Radio Shack. The guy was waiting for me. Clearly, I was the next in a long line of Weather Geeks to enter his store. He was ready. OK, he explained. A bolt of lightning struck the top of Illinois Mountain in Highland, disabling the transponder or whatever that sends the computer generated voice to weather radios throughout the mid-Hudson Valley. Nothing wrong with your radio, he told me. But! It might be months – MONTHS! – before the repairs are made, and the signal is up and running again.

I am persistent. I am stubborn. Each morning, I turn on the weather radio. Static. Annoying static. Sunday morning? Voila! The sweet sound of the computer generated robot voice, telling me that we are nine cooling degree days above normal for the year, there were no heating degree days on Saturday (when, in fact, there should be 7 heating degree days), and that Saturday’s high of 85 was a record for Poughkeepsie. Weather minutia, at its finest. My showers are now going to be longer and more informed. Weather Geeks of the Mid-Hudson Valley, rejoice! Our lifeline is back.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Parking at Bowdoin Park

Most of the time, we only talk about the weather at length when we are complaining about it. How about a round of applause for the month of September, which has provided us with incredibly perfect days for the majority of the month. Nicely done, late summer and early fall! Since we have the good fortune of working outside most of the time, it is worth noting the great weather; heaven knows we complain about it most of the rest of the year.

On Saturday, a group of men's track athletes helped park the multitude of cars that streamed into Bowdoin Park for the big high school cross country meet. Thanks to Nate Lungarini, Kyle Heubner, Nestor Taylor, Tim Johnson and Josh Siegel for doing a great job -- and doing it with such enthusiasm! Dragging college students out of bed early on a Saturday morning when there is not a meet to attend is not an easy thing. They should be lauded for this, especially since it was family weekend. Again, they did great work, and they did it with smiles on their faces and while having a lot of fun. I was filling in for Terry Horton in directing the cars to the orange-shirted men. It was a busy but fun job. Sure, there are rude people who do not like to be told where to go. But for the most part, everyone was cooperative of having to make the long walk down the hill to watch their kids run. Again, the great weather probably played a large part in that.

The reason for Terry's absence at the meet was an excellent one: He was among the first class of inductees into the Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. This makes two halls of fame for Terry, very worthy honors in both cases. It also should be noted that Terry is moving along quite well on his partially replaced knee. New knee. New birthday -- Terry turned 33 (times 2) last Wednesday. New Hall of Fame. It's been a pretty good month for him too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Morning walk

Regular blog followers might have noticed through previous posts that I am an early-morning jogger, with regular training partners that I meet at around 5:35 a.m. each weekday. My regular Wednesday morning partner is Patrick, and we often run the Farm Lane trail in Hyde Park for about 6 miles. Since today is Wednesday, it meant a 5:35 a.m. date with Patrick, but our morning was a little different this time. There was no Farm Lane, and there was no run. We went for a brisk walk on the chilly fall morning.

A few days ago, my buddy got into a serious car accident. He has a broken sternum and a slight concussion. No running for him for quite a while. But, he is cleared to walk. And so, we walked. Usually on our Wednesday morning jaunts, we would always factor in a 5-minute walking cooldown, and we would comment to each other how that was our favorite part of the run. Today, we got to enjoy the favorite part of the run for the entire walk, which we did for an hour. Sure, it was not the same workout; we barely broke a sweat. But I was thankful to have his company, and he was thankful to be walking and talking.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dutchess County Classic winners

From left: Kelley Gould, first place, 19-24 division, 5K; Chris Gould, second place, 50-54 division, 5K; Billy Posch, third place overall, half marathon (first-ever half marathon on a brutally difficult new course, designed by some schmoe track coach in tube socks). Nicely done to one and all. We are proud of you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Monmouth Invitational at Holmdel: Women's results

Here are the women's results. Our leaders had another strong day, but our depth was hurt by the absence of some key runners, who are working their way back into the lineup. Once we are at full strength, we feel our team could be very, very strong.

Monmouth Invitational
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Women’s team standings
1-Quinnipiac 31, 2-Marist 71, 3-Rutgers 93, 4-Monmouth 95, 5-Rider 110, 6-Fairfield 142, 7-Siena 182, 8-Manhattan 200, 9-LIU Brooklyn 294
Women’s individual results, 5-kilometer course
2-Kristen Traub 18:38.0
7-Michelle Gaye 18:50.1
16-Mara Schiffhauer 19:06.4
19-Christine Coughlin 19:28.8
30-Jenna Robinson 19:54.8
43-Kim Schwartz 20:10.1
50-Annie Gould 20:18.9
58-Brianna Freestone 20:31.5
62-Marissa Porter 20:39.0
63-Roxy Novo 20:40.8
72-Bryn Gorberg 20:53.6
75-Olivia Lappas 20:57.9
92-Mariah Christian 21:26.2
93-Bianca Luparello 21:29.2
94-Mariella Bilello 21:29.8
106-Jaime Durso 21:53.2
121-Christine Gambell 22:22.6
122-Jackie Bunce 22:23.2
133-Lizzy Peper 22:56.1
134-Shannon Gildea 23:03.6
139-Allison Dellicarri 23:32.9
140-Catherine Ferreri 23:34.0
144-Kristi Licursi 23:52.3

Monmouth Invitational at Holmdel: Men's results

Here are the men's results. Our depth earned us a second-place finish, which is gratifying. It was great to get on the Holmdel course. But our team is far from satisfied and we know we need to continue to improve.

Monmouth Invitational
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Men’s team standings
1-Monmouth 28, 2-Marist 66, 3-Siena 98, 4-Rider 100, 5-Quinnipiac 116, 6-Fairfield 125, 7-Manhattan 200, 8-Rutgers 216
Men’s individual results, 5-mile course
5. Ken Walshak 26:34.5
6. Johnny Lee 26:45.7
12. Steven Morrison 27:04.9
20. Steven Rizzo 27:20.8
23. Saad Baig 27:24.6
25. Mark Valentino 27:26.9
27. Pat Rynkowski 27:28.1
29. Pat Hickey 27:33.8
31. Ryan Colabella 27:37.1
37. Spencer Johnson 27:48.2
51. Joe Miller 28:03.7
57. Bryan Buttigieg 28:13.2
59. Charlie Ropes 28:21.7
66. Omar Perez 28:30.0
67. Stefan Morton 28:33.6
70. Brian Edsall 28:37.0
73. Mark Vuono 28:41.5
94. Eddie White 29:09.1
118. Jake Hensler 30:07.3
120. Ricky Willi 30:11.7
128. James Ball 30:36.0