Friday, July 14, 2017

Fun running pix challenge: Country roads, take me home

Rising junior Shea Bohan sent this photo of her and fellow rising junior Jordan Casey, on a run deep in the Adirondack woods. Jordan was visiting Shea's family cabin in the Adirondacks for the day, "enough time to get a in a nice run on some rolling dirt hills (not pictured)." Looks good enough to me!

Fun running pix challenge: Making waves with Mariah

Thanks to rising senior captain Mariah Christian for her contribution to the fun running pix ... her warming up for an aqua jogging workout with a few swimming laps.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fun running pix challenge: Nicki at night

Got the following photo and text from Nicki Nesi, time-stamped at the ungodly hour of 10:47 p.m.:

"Nighttime running is not as safe as you might think. Always wear reflective gear." -- a haiku by Coach Nicki (lol).

Good to see Nicki sporting the reflective gear. As a pre-dawn early morning jogger/walker, I know all about moving along in the dark for the majority of the year. Be seen, be safe.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fun running pix challenge: 'Dropping some NYC' with Christine

Thanks to rising senior Christine Gambell for sending along this selfie, with the following text: "On one of my typical running routes, the Hudson River bike path, with a great view of the One World Trade Center!" Christine is from upstate Tully, but she is in the city for the summer, interning and "exploring all the NYC has to offer." Good stuff. Also! For those wondering? The title of this post is taken from an old Blues Traveler song that I like.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fun running pix challenge: Soul searching with Jenna in Minnesota

Thanks to rising senior captain Jenna Robinson for sending along this contribution, with the following text: "Silently striding alongside some souls (aka the only rolling hills and grass I can find is within this cemetery...). You can also see the skyline of Minneapolis behind me!" Very neat.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fun running pix challenge: Horsing around

Rising sophomore and the team's official Animal Lover Denise Grohn contributed this photo via text with the message, "four legged running buddies are the best, followed by a heart emoji (💓)" Indeed!

Fun running pix challenge: Run, Roxy, run

In his weekly summer training email on Sunday night, Coach Chuck asked the ladies to submit "fun running pic challenge" photos to the group chat. Of course, being the non-iPhone technonerd that I am, I'm not on the group chat so I sent a follow-up email to have ladies text or email me photos. Rising senior Roxy Novo was the first to check in, with this 5:10 a.m. time stamped photo from this morning. I happened to be up at the same time for my Monday morning group jog, and I saw this same moon (uh, as opposed to another moon?). Roxy runs early before her internship and she was treated to both an awesome moonrise and a sunrise. Neat. Thanks for sharing, Roxy!

Run, Robby, run

Thanks to Rizzo (left) for sending me this awesome photo of him and Kennedy (right), flanking a jubilant Robby Andrews last week at Icahn Stadium in NYC. Robby had just run 3:35:25 for 1,500 meters, placing second behind Johnny Gregorek, and qualifying for the IAAF World Outdoor Championships. Robby’s connection to our program is through his dad, who was Kennedy’s coach in Manalapan (NJ), where Robby went to high school as well. Mr. Andrews is a great friend to the Running Red Foxes, and it’s an honor when he comes to cheer on Kennedy and the rest of our team. By the way, I guess Kennedy was celebrating his birthday on the night of this race too. Right around the same time last week, Alum Extraordinaire Marty McGowan sent me a link to this excellent article about Robby’s race. 

Repping our generation

He was my teammate, classmate and good friend for four years at Marist, and he also happened to be the greatest Marist runner of that era. Pete Pazik remains the only pre-1990s runner to have broken 15:00 for 5km – his time of 14:35 from the winter of1986 stood as the school record for a LONG time. Well. Thanks to a tip from another great 1980s-era runner, I found out that Pazik is still getting it done at the ripe old age of 53. At Sunday’s Boilermaker 15km race, 53-year-old Pete (the fast one, not me) won his age group – no small feat in a big race like that – with a time of 57:34, 11 seconds ahead of the nearest age-group competitor. For those keeping score at home (and I know you are!), that’s a pace of 6:10 per mile on the hilly 9.3-mile course in his hometown of Utica. Current team members Riley Hughes (59:17) and Emily Burns (1:03:01) were also there on Sunday, and teammate Dan Hillman (battling a cranky knee currently) was there to cheer them on. Here is a photo that Pete sent me of him greeting his 7-year-old niece along the course, at around the 10km mark. 

Happy new year

This blog seems to follow similar cycles each year. This time of year, the posts are sporadic as we are definitely in Summer Mode. But with the calendar turning to July recently, it is the signal of a new year for our program, as we are gearing up for XC preseason camp in a little more than a month. With our annual Lake George trip coming up, and with not much else going on, the posts could be very spotty. Don't worry. We'll make up for it once the season starts in earnest. As of June 30, we were on pace for a yearly post PR, but not posting for the first week-plus in July doesn't help the count. Alas! In the spirit of this blog, I only post when there is news or the spirit moves me to post. So if there are gaps, so be it.

The only bit of "news" we have is that our team BBQ is slated for Saturday, July 22 at the historic Cornell Boathouse on the Marist campus. We're aiming to start things at around 3 p.m. Anyone who is reading this is welcome to join us for what is usually a hot day of food and drink.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Bianca wins!

Congrats to very recent (2017) Marist Running Alum Bianca Luparello, who won her first post-collegiate race while attending the NATA (athletic training) convention in Texas. Bianca didn't want me to list her winning time, and we will respect her wishes. However! We are very proud of her, no matter what the clock says. She had a season-ending injury that curtailed her final season of track this spring. She is just getting back into running shape and clearly this was a good effort and return to the sport. She also connected with Marist Running Alum Andrea DiTrani down in Texas. Good stuff, and congrats Bianca!

All-time steeple list: Nicki and Britt!

Got an email a few weeks ago from Peter Larsson of Sweden, who compiles all-time performance lists for track and field (athletics). His cutoff for the women's steeplechase is sub-10:45, which means that two of our Marist Running Alums -- Nicki Nesi and Brittany Burns -- have made his fancy list! Click on this link: and scroll down to number 15513, and you will find our current school record holder (she's listed as "Nicoletta Nesi") with her time of 10:36.48. If you go down to 18286 on the list, you'll find Britt's 10:43.42.

Also! I just discovered that Nicki's other sub-10:45s are listed here:

17103, 10:40.46
18293, 10:43.43
18726, 10:44.51

Pretty cool stuff.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Adirondack Distance Run: Marist shines

Congratulations to 2017 Marist graduate and new Marist Running Alum Emily Franko for her strong victory at this morning’s Adirondack Distance Run 10-miler in Lake George. This point-to-point, rolling 10-miler starts in Lake George Village and finishes in Bolton Landing. Emily was first female and 10th overall in a very strong time of 1:07:18. There were 125 women in the race. 

Marist Running Alum and longtime Bolton Landing resident Luke Shane was second overall and ran a big course PR (by 41 seconds) with his time of 58:43 (negative split effort, with 5-mile splits a fancy 29:25/29:15). 

Graduation 2017: Scenes from the gym

Joey's graduation from FDR High School was Friday night. Because of the threat of thunderstorms, it was moved inside to the high school gymnasium, which was pretty warm and sticky. It was still a great evening, as Joey received his diploma from Mr. Pardy, the excellent FDR principal and former football coach at Marist. He did a great job with his speech. Generally, a memorable evening for him and for our family.

Graduation 2017: The 5 Fathers

This photo was taken at the top of Breakneck Ridge, as Joey and four of his best friends (they call themselves the "5 Fathers") hiked on the morning of their graduation on Friday. Fortunately, there were no "breaks" on Breakneck for Joey and his teammates and good friends, who all wore their Fireside Track Club singlets for the occasion. The name is derived from FDR's famous "Fireside Chats" as president. Good stuff.

Graduation 2017: Time flies

The day before our oldest son Joey's graduation from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, he went to visit his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kelly, who is still in the district but at a different elementary school. Here is the two-photo collage that Heidi posted on Facebook, of Joey with Mrs. Kelly on his last day of kindergarten back in 2005, and Joey towering over her as he prepares to graduate from FDR the next day. Here is what Mrs. Kelly posted as a comment: "Joey, your visit today meant the world to me! It's every teacher's dream to have former students come back and say hi. And to see you 12 years later graduating as valedictorian, just made my day! I'm so proud of you! Good luck in college!"

Reaching new heights

Here at Blog Central, we are all about numbers and records and record keeping. So when I got the following email and photo from my good friend and loyal blog/program follower Bob Sweeney, of course I had to post it. From Bob: "Do I become highest running alum? Summited Huayna Potosi in Bolivia last week. 19,974 feet.'' My answer to Bob would have to be an unequivocal and emphatic YES.

Call him Vin Domsel!

Got a text from former team member Dom Fortino, a fine ROTC soldier at Marist who is now spending an inordinate amount of time in the weight room, as you can see. He entered his first bodybuilding contest and got fourth place overall, earning some hardware. I'll be honest when I tell you that I had my battles with Dom because I felt he spent too MUCH time in the weight room for a distance runner, but now I wholeheartedly support that, given his new pursuits. His good friends and former teammates have called him "Vin Domsel" after Vin Diesel, and now you can see why!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Fossil" fuel propels Gregg!

Thanks to Marist Running Alum Gregg (“Bryan Buttigieg”) for providing the following write-up and photos from a rather unique road race that he ran, won and got an excellent prize for winning.

Hello, HI, greetings from Southwest Wyoming! This weekend is Fossil Fest in the small fossil town of Kemmerer, WY where I am residing for the summer. Events range from a dodgeball tournament, live music, and more. I was inspired by the spectacular showing at the Walkway events from Marist runners across the board to enter in the 5k this morning. I crossed the line with a winning time of 16:49.  I actually had to stop at the town triangle and yelled "is this way the finish?" And then some girl was getting a flag banner out of a truck to have at the finish line and she's like "Oh no he's gonna beat me to the line" and I'm like "don't worry I'll wait for you" … haha. Not too shabby for 6949 elevation and not much training. I guess my weekend hikes are helping out. 
Met some nice people in town and found out I raced against some sprinters from University of Wyoming (100-200 guys) so there is hope of Tim Johnson wearing that alumni jersey. Winning prize was a $25 gift card to Cabela's, I DIG IT! (Fossil pun). Hope all is well in Poughkeepsie and excited to see what the team has coming this year! Best, Gregg

End of school, part 2: Moving up day

With a few more half-days to go, our youngest son James is almost done with fifth grade. On to middle school in September for the little guy. And so ends a 13-year streak of having at least one child in the elementary school near our house. The journey started in 2004 with our oldest son Joey, continued with our daughter Natalie, and now it ends with James. Today was the “Moving Up Ceremony” at the elementary school. This rather curious activity “celebrates” the kids “graduating” from elementary school. They played “Pomp and Circumstance.” There were programs. There were awards. There was a class song. Parents cried and frantically snapped photos. Yawn.

Hey. Listen. We are proud of all our kids’ accomplishments, but moving from one school to another is not so much an “accomplishment” as a transitional moment, one that will impact our kid far more at the end of the summer than at the beginning of the summer. Was it bittersweet, the end of our elementary school days for our kids, we were asked. Heidi is a bit more of an emotional sort than I am, but in this case we were equal parties in neutrality. The ceremony started at 10 a.m.; somehow, in a miraculous oversight, I had had only one cup of coffee at that point. My yawns were for real. Anyway … Quick! What year did you “graduate” from the fifth grade? Yeah. I thought so. I didn’t remember, either, and not because I’m old. It’s because it doesn’t much matter. We’ll “celebrate” in a few weeks with a family outing at Citi Field to watch the now dreadful Mets. If “Pomp and Circumstance” didn’t make us cry, maybe Lucas Duda striking out a few times will. So long, elementary school. Time for a different bus route, different bus time and different bus destination. Check back with me in seven years, when we are done with school days for good. Maybe there’ll be tears then … but more than likely, there will be cause for great celebration. Especially if I’ve had my proper fill of coffee in the morning. 

End of school, part 1: Field Day, circa 2017

My fondest memories from elementary school had little to do with reading, writing and arithmetic. I remember Field Day being this time of year – often on Flag Day (which we celebrated with pride last Wednesday!) – and getting to be outside in the sun all day as opposed to inside a sweaty and warm classroom. There was also a big tug of war – usually between fourth grade and fifth grade? -- during Field Day.

So whenever we’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at our kids’ Field Day, we always jumped at the chance. This year, with our youngest son James in fifth grade, represented the last Field Day we would be able to be part of. Last Thursday was a warmish day with no rain – this spring has seemed quite rainy, hasn’t it? – so that was good. Until the Responsible Adults of the School started scurrying around with a sense of urgency, walkie talkies in hand. Everybody inside. Doors shut and locked. Windows shut and locked. Field Day is over. Apparently, there was “police activity” in the woods adjacent to the school, something about a domestic disturbance and a person of interest fleeing on foot. Kids and parents inside, doors and windows locked.

It’s 2017. Our kids are used to this stuff, aren’t they? Well. They are! I swear, it seemed the adults were more agitated than the kids. The kids moved steadily to their classrooms, as instructed, as they practice in various drills throughout the school year. The principal praised their behavior, as well she should, but again this is their world, our world. In 2017, a few minutes of outside fun getting preempted for a real-life drill will have to do for Field Day. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Walkway races: Together at the finish

Thanks to Edsall for sharing a lot of great photos from the race, including these two of the finish. Above: Kennedy, Palmer and Rivas forming a "tres amigos" finish in the half marathon. Left: Alums Christine Coughlin and Annie Gould heading toward the finish line in what would be identical times (1:34:16).

Walkway races: Spanning the generations

As it used to be with the now defunct Red Fox Trot 5km, the Walkway races accomplish two wonderful things for our program:

1-It’s a day in which our runners are like rock stars. Usually, we toil in relative anonymity throughout the year. We are always off campus and away from Marist. While we have success, it is always in the context of competitive, Division 1 running – so we are often simply bit players are a much larger scale. Don’t get me wrong: We are proud of everything our athletes have accomplished and will accomplish in the future. But, we are what we are. On a day like Sunday, when we have our athletes out en masse in a local road race, people notice the red and white runners zooming ahead up front. I hear similar comments throughout the year when local runners or local people see our athletes out on the Walkway or rail trails training. “Wow, they are going SO FAST and just talking like it’s nothing.” To older, mid-pack runners, collegiate athletes in our sport are superhumans. Rock stars for a day!

2-Events like this, in which many alums come back and share the starting line with our current runners, it creates an environment in which the span of Marist Running generations is narrowed. Although these men and women may never have been teammates during their four or five years at Marist, on this day they are most definitely teammates – sharing the same uniform, and sharing the same passion and love for the sport and the Marist Running tradition that bonds us through the decades, even all the way back to the Marty McGowan prehistoric era of the 1970s (sorry, Marty, I know you’re reading and I know you love it when I remind everyone how OLD you are!) But seriously: When I see and hear things like Nicki Nesi and Nick Webster running together in the early stages of the 5km … to Luke Shane going out of his way to congratulate Spencer Johnson on his 2:39:32 (Luke’s long-term goal has been sub-2:40 in the marathon) … to Dietrich Mosel turning around after Mass to personally introduce himself to Father Janczyk and congratulate him on his recent ordination … to many current young men who talk to Billy Hild (the son I never wanted) as though they were teammates for years … to me, that’s what it’s all about. And it’s why the Walkway race will continue to be one of our favorite days and weekends of the year. It is my sincere hope that alums keep coming back. 

Walkway races: Sprinter parents shine

He was perhaps the greatest overall sprinter we have had in our men’s track history. But more importantly, Tim Johnson was one of the greatest PEOPLE to ever inhabit our Marist Track world, and now that he is graduated, we will miss him greatly – as we do the entirety of the Class of 2017. So the text from him yesterday, reminding me that he would like a Marist Alumni Racing Team singlet in size Small, made me smile. (To his credit, he also praised the excellent Marist Running performances in the races on Sunday). 

His request for a singlet made me smile, because sprinters usually don’t request MART singlets. It also made me smile because it allowed me to give him good-natured ribbing about how he’ll have to USE that MART singlet in next year’s Walkway 5km race. Remember, 5 kilometers is akin to a marathon for a short sprinter like Tim. But alas, it was easy to poke him on this, since both of his 50-something parents were at the Walkway races and both ran the half marathon. Christa finished 16th out of 87 in her age group in a very solid time of 2:05:07. Richard was a bit further back in the pack, but they found me after the race, and both were smiling at the completion of a grueling 13.1-mile race. So yeah, Tim. If both your parents can come back and race the half marathon, you certainly can do the 5km. And yes: They’ll be a nice new MART singlet waiting for you.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Walkway races: Spencer wins the marathon!

Of all the races, obviously the marathon caused us the most concern with potential for heat-related problems. Recent alum Spencer Johnson handled it wonderfully in his marathon debut, with an inspiring and stirring victory by nearly 20 minutes. The roar of the crowd as he came down the finishing stretch was truly special. Spencer shared with me his splits, which were pretty good. He followed the pre-race strategy of taking the first 5-6 miles comfortable before settling into a faster pace. Once he got rolling in the middle miles, he did great. As most of us do, he struggled in the latter stages, but he was able to rally and get a sub-2:40, which is a great way to start his 26.2-mile racing career.

1-Spencer Johnson (alum/rising grad student) 2:39:32 (overall champion)
Mile 1: 6:04
Mile 2: 6:12
Mile 3: 6:11
Mile 4: 6:27
Mile 5: 6:05
Mile 6: 6:08
Mile 7: 6:06
Mile 8: 5:57
Mile 9: 5:48
Mile 10: 6:09
Mile 11: 6:10
Mile 12: 5:56
Mile 13: 5:56
Mile 14: 5:57
Mile 15: 5:57
Mile 16: 5:44
Mile 17: 5:37
Mile 18: 5:42
Mile 19: 5:46
Mile 20: 6:00
Mile 21: 6:05
Mile 22: 5:56
Mile 23: 6:18 *dropped my gel pack and turned around to get it
Mile 24: 6:14
Mile 25: 6:27
Mile 26: 6:11
Other Marist Running finishers
6-Henry Pratt (philosophy professor) 3:19:44 (second in M40-44 division)
11-David Swift (alum) 3:28:52
22-John Mckee (alum) 3:43:30

Walkway races: Group shot

Nice post-race group shot of some award winners, team members and alums near the podium.

Walkway races: Half marathon dominance

Although we did not have the top finishers in the half marathon, our combined current and former runners took 11 of the top 15 places. Memorable moments included teammates Rivas, Kennedy and Palmer crossing the line together, holding hands, and alums Christine Coughlin and Annie Gould also crossing the line together. Future Forever Foxes and Forever Foxes, mixing it up quite nicely in the results.

4-Dietrich Mosel (rising senior) 1:17:55
5-Alexander Hogue (rising sophomore) 1:18:09
6-Luke Shane (alum) 1:18:32
7-Omar Perez (alum) 1:18:57
8-Chris Rivas (rising sophomore) 1:19:26
9-Mike Kennedy (rising junior) 1:19:27
10-Palmer Weimann (rising junior) 1:19:27
11-Joe Miller (rising senior) 1:20:43
12-Billy Posch (alum) 1:21:44
13-Kyle Hannafin (alum) 1:23:08
15-Will Duggan (rising senior) 1:25:23
24-Anthony Ferreri (alum) 1:32:48
27-Christine Coughlin (alum) 1:34:16 (third overall)
28-Annie Gould (alum) 1:34:16 (first in 19-29)
46-Kelley Gould (alum) 1:40:31 (fifth in 19-29)
63-Lizzy Peper (alum) 1:45:29

Walkway races: 5k dominance

The first race of the day, the College to College 5km, featured fast times and dominant Marist Running performances. The downhill course brought out some snazzy finishing times, with overall winner and recent alum Stefan Morton breaking 15 minutes (14:59) and two-time defending champ and rising senior captain Steven Rizzo placing second in 15:13.

Our women swept the top three spots, with recent graduate Nicki Nesi (18:05) winning, followed by rising sophomore Ali Bartolotta (18:36) and rising junior Jordan Casey (18:38).

Here are the results from the Marist Running world …

1-Stefan Morton (alum) 14:59
2-Steven Rizzo (rising senior) 15:13
5-Nick Webster (alum) 16:28
6-Zachary Ropes (rising sophomore) 16:39
7-Father Jacob Bertrand Janczyk (alum) 17:02
8-Drew Burns (rising junior) 17:50
12-Nicki Nesi (alum) 18:05 (first female)
14-Alexandra Bartolotta (rising sophomore) 18:36 (second female)
15-Jordan Casey (rising junior) 18:38 (third female)
19-Matt Todaro (rising sophomore) 18:46
31-Boushra Belkhir (rising sophomore) 21:28 (third in 19-29)
36-Catherine Ferreri (alum) 22:09
37-Brianna Freestone (alum) 22:09
38-Michelle Gaye (alum) 22:10
90-Tom Todaro (father of current runner) 25:33
100-Alyssa Lafave (rising sophomore) 25:52

Walkway races: Watching and waiting

Thanks to good buddy Sean McMann for sharing this photo of rising sophomore Chris Rivas and me, as we waited in the hot sun for Spencer Johnson to finish the marathon.

Walkway races: Start photo

A Marist Running themed starting line, seconds before the race began at 7 a.m. ...

Walkway races: Mass with Father Janczyk

In what we hope is the start of a nice tradition, Father Jacob Bertrand Janczyk (aka Marist Running Alum Matt Janczyk) said Mass at the Chapel at 12:30 p.m. after the races. It was kind of surreal entering the beautiful chapel while slower marathon runners were straggling in to their sweltering, midday finishes. As we exited the chapel about an hour later (note photo from Selfie King Krys Wasielewski), the final marathoners were coming across campus to the finish. The air conditioned chapel was a welcome relief to all of us, and Father Janczyk said a nice, simple Mass for all of us. After having run a surprisingly fast race – seventh place overall, 17:02! Neat. 

Walkway races: Duggan in the hospital

Scary moment of the day was when rising senior Will Duggan staggered to the finish line of the half marathon, succumbing to major heat illness. Thanks to the prompt response of the medical team, followed by a trip to the ER for several bags of IV fluid, Duggan averted disaster. He was in pretty bad shape in the latter stages of the race. Thank God he is OK. And yes, he was credited with a 15th place finish in the race, despite being battered and bruised from a few falls in the final yards of the race.

Walkway races: Golf the night before

Several men decided to go golfing the night before the Walkway race. Here’s a photo that they sent from the golf outing under the hot sun, which they would again run under today at the races.

Walkway races: Packet pickup

This year’s pre-race packet pickup on Saturday was at Marist’s McCann Center Gray Gym. Here’s a snapshot of a few of us there, gearing up for Sunday’s race.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Walkway races: A few updates

1. The College to College 5k race starts at 7:15 a.m. now. Fittingly, it starts near a Stewart's Shop, on Creek Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Neat.
2. The pre-race packet pickup is tomorrow (Saturday) at the McCann Center's Gray Gym. From 1-7 p.m. It is strongly encouraged -- URGED, even -- to get your number at that time. If you wait till the morning ... well, that won't be a good idea.
3. Speaking of the morning: It's gonna be warm. Yes, even at the start. Hydration is always key, but it will be more key on Sunday. Start hydrating now. Especially if you are doing the longer races.

54 Perry Street

I did not grow up at 54 Perry Street. My parents moved to that address in 2004, well into the old-age retirement phase of their long marriage. The house where I grew up, where they raised our family (that was 84 Grand Avenue), that one got too unwieldy for their 70-something bodies. All those stairs, all those rooms. So, they moved about 1.7 miles to the other side of town, to 54 Perry Street, to a smaller, one-level, three-bedroom home more suited for an old, retired couple.

An address is just that, an address. So is a town, a city, a country … even a name. They are what they are. They come to life as we come to life; they are assigned meaning as we assign meaning to them. But just like a house becomes a home, an address begins to take on a life of its own; it becomes much more than directions for the mail carrier, or a location on Google Maps. And although my parents only lived in that house at 54 Perry Street for a shade over a decade, that home represented all my children knew of their grandparents, who they called Nana and Pop-pop. That was Nana and Pop-pop’s house. That was their safe haven in New Jersey; it was where they slept, padded around in their pajamas, watched Spongebob, ate ice cream, took baths. Similarly, for my parents, outside of frequent doctor appointments or less frequent trips to the grocery store, pretty much every waking and sleeping moment of their time was spent in the small confines of that home. They loved that home, and they personalized each and every room to that home.

Moving out of that home, and into assisted living, in December of 2015 was an emotional moment. My parents cried. They cried over leaving this home, but most likely over leaving the idea of having a place called home as well. The house remained vacant, with the unspoken (and very unrealistic) idea that perhaps one day they would move back there. Then, my father died last year, and with it the unrealistic notion that the home would be their home anymore vanished. After about a year on the real estate market, the home finally changes hands today. As with many things in life, this was not a sudden process; in fact, it was a cumbersome, dragged out series of events, many of which were annoyingly stress-inducing. But alas, after today, 54 Perry Street no longer belongs to our family. Our children, as well as the other grandchildren, no longer have that safe haven in northern New Jersey to call their own.

After removing the final remnants of stuff from the house yesterday, with the help of my good friend Krzysztof and his trusty hand-truck, the finality of today’s real estate closing hit me. After nearly 53 years on this planet, I no longer have a place in New Jersey that I can call home -- a place I can amble in unannounced, turn on the Yankee game, brew a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom, read the Star-Ledger or Daily Record, take a nap. For my parents, I imagine this is how they felt several decades ago, about 3333 Seymour Avenue and 681 East 239th Street. The phases and stages, circles and cycles, of life … they happen to all of us. Today, it’s my turn to mourn the passing of a street address: 54 Perry Street.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Walkway races: Mass with Father Janczyk

Recently ordained priest and Marist Running Alum Father Jacob Bertrand Janczyk will be returning to campus this weekend to race in the College to College 5K as part of the Walkway Marathon weekend of races. Later in the day, Father Janczyk will be saying Mass in the Marist Chapel at 12:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending, feel free to walk up the hill and meet Matt (as he was known in college) during and after Mass.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Walkway races: Some additional details

Looking forward to having many alumni and team members back on campus for Sunday’s Walkway Marathon races – marathon, half marathon, 5km. More than 2,000 runners are expected combined in all three races. In the Murphy’s Law category: After a seemingly endless string of relentlessly dreary weather (damp and cool), Sunday’s forecast is calling for above average temperatures and humidity. Of course! As they say: Hydration is key. But with a 7 a.m. start, the early summer warmth shouldn’t be too much of a factor in the shorter two races. Anyway! Here are a few race week notes for one and all:

1.      Packet pickup is on Saturday from 1-7 p.m. at the McCann Center. Please plan on getting your bib number at that time. Don’t wait till Sunday morning.
2.      There will be NO PARKING on the Marist main campus -- only Beck Lot and the East Campus. Everyone should plan accordingly, and plan to walk down to the start/finish area, leaving enough time to get there.
3.      We'll use the Cornell Boathouse as our team and alumni headquarters. Runners can leave their gear, etc., in there, and we'll get some extra bagels and drinks for everyone (although there will be plenty of food under the race tent). Not sure if we'll need wristbands, as we did last year. We’ll let you know on that later in the week.
4.      My special request: Please wear Marist team (or alumni) gear. We want to make a loud and proud showing for our program.
5.      Anyone NOT running may be asked to volunteer on the course (just on the Marist campus). Don't think we'll need too many, and it'll give them a good view of the race.
6.      As we did last year, we'll want to get a nice team/alumni group shot after the half marathon.
7.      Mr. Bucket (“David Swift”) will be having a post-race alumni/family/MAMs shindig at his house on Shamrock Circle. Should be fun. Text or email for details.

That’s all for now. More details may follow later in the week, if there are race updates. Look forward to seeing everyone in a few days.

Crew view

One of the perks of our track season being complete is the ability to attend athletic events of my children. I’ve made it to the past 6 or 7 Little League games for my youngest son James. And on Saturday, in her final crew race (regatta?) of the season, I went to see our daughter Natalie rowing for the FDR team, on the Hudson River. They had a good day. Her lightweight 4 boat won by a whopping 12 seconds and FDR won the team plaque for most points accrued on the day. And so concludes her unique three-sport odyssey for her freshman year – swimming in the summer/fall, bowling in the winter, and rowing in the spring. Neat. 

A different graduation

On Sunday, during the few hours over the past few weeks when it wasn’t raining or threatening to shower, we were up in rural Massachusetts for the commencement ceremony at Williams College. Our niece Emma graduated. It was a bit unusual being at another college’s graduation, after having been to so many of them at Marist (except this year’s … oddly?). The Williams graduation was smaller – graduating class of a little more than 500 students – but equally pretty and powerful. College graduations are memorable and emotional days for students and their families. Glad we were able to get up there. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vermont Marathon: Deedy's dandy debut

Congrats to Marist Running Alum Pat Deedy for his solid marathon debut at the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday. His post-race text included the following words: "Last 4 miles were pure pain." His splits (from screen shot he texted me here) indicate a pretty well-paced effort. Next up for Deedy = Boston. Nicely done, Deedy.

Extended family photo

With brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and various generations, it was a rare gathering of 18 close family members from as far away as Florida and Rochester and as close as Long Island for a family barbecue and fun day at our house on Sunday. Who knows when we'll all be able to get together again? So it was nice to capture this photo on an otherwise soggy holiday weekend.

Jenna's travels in Peru

Got some really great pix here from Jenna Robinson, who is traveling and hiking in Peru with her teammates and friends Alyssa L and Boushra. Here is a short note she included in the email with these photos:

Peru is treating us well! We are having a lot of fun and getting some good high altitude hiking in! Today we climbed Huaynapicchu, which overlooks Machu Picchu. It only took an hour to ascend, but it was quite difficult at 9,000ft! We have been staying in cusco most nights, which is at about 11,200 ft. 

WXC blog returns!

Coach Chuck has revived his Marist College Women's Cross Country Blog for the summer! Here is the link if interested!

Remembering a Brother

My phone blew up with texts and alerts on Saturday afternoon when news spread of the passing of founding Allman Brothers Band member Gregg Allman. Many friends and family members know of my affinity for the ABB and related groups. Gregg Allman was the cornerstone of the group and the jam band movement that many of us know and love. He had not been in good health for some time, so the news was not surprising, but sad nonetheless. The first time I saw Gregg Allman live was in the summer of 1986 or 1987 along the Poughkeepsie riverfront. At that time, he was playing with the Gregg Allman Band (the Allman Brothers Band would re-form a few years later). The first song they played was "Don't Want You No More" (a keyboard heavy instrumental), which bled right into "It's Not My Cross to Bear." These two songs were the first two on the first ABB album back in the 1960s. The initial sound of Allman's bluesy growl of a voice that afternoon is something I'll never forget. I would go on to see the Allman Brothers Band many, many times in the 1990s and 2000s. More times than I can count. Always, always, Allman was off on the left side of the stage (from the crowd vantage point), swaying his shoulders and his shoulder-length hair, playing the keys and singing that bluesy growl. Another great voice silenced, but the ABB's music will live on forever.

Graduation 2017

Sorry for the delay in posting this (and other things!). Getting into "summer mode," which means less frequency of blog posts. Thanks to Paul Toner (Zach's dad) for sending me this awesome photo of a group of senior men at commencement last Saturday. From left: Ginty, Edsall, Toner, Spencer, Stefan. We will miss this group of seniors, a very special class of 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A blessed weekend

During his college years, as a member of the track and cross country team (as well as the student body) at Marist College, he was known as “Matt” or “Matty” or “Janzo.” To those pictured here (his college friends and old coach), that’s what we still call him. But we’ll all have to slowly adjust to his new title: Father Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, O.P. It was a humbling honor and blessing to be in Washington, D.C., this past weekend to witness the ordination of Matt as a Roman Catholic Priest of Jesus Christ at St. Dominic Church, and also to be present for his first Mass as Father Janczyk, at St. Peter’s Church. This photo was taken at the Dominican House of Studies, where Matt lived, studied and worshipped for five years. It was a difficult decision to forego commencement at Marist on Saturday, but it was also wonderful to be there in DC for this blessed weekend. We are forever proud of Matt.

Alumni race report: Jillian peaks in Poconos

Extremely pumped and proud of Marist Running Alum Jillian Corley for her phenomenal marathon race at the Run for the Red Marathon in the Poconos this weekend. Jillian was second in the women’s race and 20th overall out of 569 finishers in a startlingly great time of 2:58:41 (6:49 pace). She ran negative splits, too: 1:29:56 for the first 13.1 miles and 1:28:45 for the second 13.1 miles. In the process, she proved that her Boston race in the heat (3:43:47) did not demonstrate her true fitness level. Nicely done, Jillian!

Alumni race report: Fitz sizzles in Brooklyn

Marist Running Alum Ryan Fitzsimons, now running for the Central Park Track Club, had a monster (86-second) PR at the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday. Fitz ran 1:12:06, placed 32nd overall and 14th in his age group, out of a total of 27,440 finishers. He averaged 5:30 per mile for 13.1 miles, and check out these fancy 5km splits:

34:29 (17:25)
51:30 (17:01)
1:08:26 (16:56)

Good stuff, nicely done!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Farewell week: Final senior selfie

On Thursday morning, I met with a group of graduating senior men for a few hours. I could have spent all day with them, and I didn’t want our time together to come to a close. I had a similar meeting with a group of graduating women on Wednesday afternoon. For the first time in recent memory, I won’t be at Friday’s or Saturday’s commencement; instead, I will be in Washington, DC, for the solemn ordination into Catholic priesthood of one of our former athletes. It is a special, one-of-a-kind event that I absolutely could not miss. Do I feel guilty about not “being there” for our athletes, after four or five years together? You bet I do. I will miss them greatly and dearly. While this one final selfie was indeed “neat,” saying goodbye to these men and women was far from it. We hope and trust they will stay in touch in the coming years and become loyal alumni. 

Farewell week: Who’s Who ceremony

The first of many celebratory events that we were aware of was on Tuesday afternoon, when several of our athletes were present to accept their entrance into Who’s Who In American Colleges and Universities. Among the track/xc athletes who were selected, the following are in this photo: Ashley Haynes, Bryn Gorberg, Molly Weeks, Brian Edsall. We are proud of them all.

Farewell week: Handing in the van keys

We’re getting toward the conclusion of Senior Week – the week of activities that culminates with the curiously named “Commencement Exercises,’’ also known as graduation, on Saturday (Friday for grad students). I get the idea of why it’s called “commencement” – yeah, you’re starting a new chapter in the rest of your life. I get that. It’s accurate. But a large part of me still yearns and longs for my college years at Marist, which concluded 31 years ago yesterday with my “commencement exercises” way back in 1986. So while it does “commence” the better part of the rest of your life, this is also a week of final farewells.

The first, and by far least meaningful, farewell was to our trusty track vans. Each year, the athletic department leases a fleet of vans. Three of them are assigned to our program. This year, we had a fancy Ford Transit van (Coach Erica usually drove that one), a standard issue white van (Toner was the main driver of that one, at least at 11 a.m. practice), and a curious looking gray van with a metal grate step up to the driver’s side door and another, sagging one, on the passenger side sliding door. This gray van had the most mileage on it and was the funkiest of the fleet. You guessed it, The Old Coach drove that one most days. In fairness? My creaky joints greatly enjoyed the metal grate step-up to the driver’s seat, so I put up with the annoying leather seats and the rather dubious interior odor.

On Wednesday morning, Coach Horton and I went by the Vassar Track one final time to pick up our hurdles. Upon returning to campus, I cleaned out all three vans. Included in the detritus of nine months of practices: Water bottles (empty, full, half-full), a lot of water bottles; granola bar wrappers; training schedule sheets; workout sheets; empty Ziploc bags from my go-to midday snacks of red peppers and celery; a stray sock; empty cups; snow rakes; a half-full gallon jug of water. Listen: From mid-August till mid-May, we spend most mornings and afternoons, and some weekends, driving these vans. They become part of our program. I’ve gassed them up more times than I care to remember; I have consumed (and spilled) my fair share of Stewart’s coffee; I’ve played Radio Woodstock, or WFAN, or more often been overruled for “better” music selections; countless bad puns have been uttered in those vans; seats have gotten sweaty, floors have gotten muddy; we’ve cleaned snow off the windshield and the roof. Basically, they have been OUR vehicles for nine months. So when I was done cleaning up, I handed in the keys and the snow rakes and thought to myself: It won’t be long before the next fleet of vans comes our way during preseason XC. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Updating the board, May 2017

With the outdoor track season complete, it's time to exhale and send a list of updated school records to the company that updates our record board in the McCann Center. Our invoice will happily be a bit more expensive, as a total of 10 new records were established (seven in women's track and three in men's track). Combined with our seven records indoors (five in women's track and two in men's track), that's a total of 17 school records established in 2016-2017. A fantastic tribute to the hard-working women and men in our program. Here are the updated outdoor track records, as sent to the company for production, for 2017.

100-meter dash: Ashley Haynes 12.44 2017
200-meter dash: Ashley Haynes 25.78 2017
400-meter dash: Danisha Craig 57.83 2017
3,000-steeplechase: Nicki Nesi 10:36.48 2017
4x100 relay: A. Haynes, C. Forrest, D. Boerke, D. Craig 48.76 2017
4x800 relay: S. Bohan, E. Burns, J. Robinson, D. Grohn 9:06.60 2017
4x1500 relay: C. Gambell, E. Burns, S. Bohan, M. Schiffhauer 19:00.29 2017
400-meter hurdles: Joe Cafaro 54.93 2017
4x800 relay: B. Henderson, D. Burns, S. Morrison, S. Morton 7:37.37 2017
4x1500 relay: S. Baig, Z. Ropes, S. Rizzo, S. Morton, 16:00.59 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

ECAC Championships: Day 2 results and splits

What a fitting way to cap a record-setting 2016-2017 school year for track and cross country – with another school record! This time, it was our outdoor 4x800 relay team of Shea Bohan, Emily Burns, Jenna Robinson and Denise Grohn that shattered the previous school mark by 3.31 seconds and earned two points with a seventh-place finish at the ECAC meet. The splits were fabulous: Shea led off with a stellar 2:15.51, Emily was next in 2:17.46, Jenna had a monster 2:15.57 and Denise anchored with 2:18.07. Even better? The class years for this particular relay combo = sophomore, sophomore, junior, freshman. Now, that’s neat! Two scoring spots in the meet – Nicki Nesi in the steeple and this relay – means we finished the meet with 4 points. For those keeping score at home, that’s tied for 42nd place. Again, very neat. A great way to head into the summer months.

ECAC Championships, Day 2
Sunday, May 14, 2017
William Weaver Track Stadium
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
400-meter hurdles
35. Debbie Boerke 1:03.83
3,200-meter relay

7. Marist (Shea Bohan 2:15.51, Emily Burns 2:17.46, Jenna Robinson 2:15.57, Denise Grohn 2:18.07) 9:06.60 *school record, old record 9:09.91 by Jenn Horner, Kristen Traub, Jenna Robinson, Janelle Solviletti in 2015

IC4A Championships: Men's results and splits, Day 2

The wonderful career of senior Stefan Morton came to a close with a career-best time in the 1,500-meter run at IC4As. Stefan placed 20th out of 40 entrants and improved his personal-best in the event by about 1.25 seconds. As you can see from his splits, he ran an even and tough race. We are not ready to see his career end, but alas all good things must come to an end. This weekend’s meet, in which we had the largest contingent in school history, is as much about the future as it is the present and the past. The majority of our athletes – including all runners in both 4x800 relays – return for at least one more season, in some cases more than that. And although our men’s relay had a mishap in which third leg Zachary Ropes dropped the baton, it was a good run for the year for our middle-distance crew – of which Stefan was a bit part. We will miss him greatly, but he left an indelible mark on the team.

IC4A Championships, Day 2
Sunday, May 14, 2017
William Weaver Track Stadium
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
1,500-meter run
20. Stefan Morton 3:54.87
Coach Pete splits, from start line: 62.2, 2:05.5 (63.3), 3:08.4 (62.9), 3:54.87 (46.47)
Official race splits, from finish line: 46.99, 1:49.68 (62.69), 2:53.07 (63.40), 3:54.87 (61.81)
3,200-meter relay
11. Marist (Brian Henderson 1:55.10, Drew Burns 1:54.41, Zachary Ropes 2:03.21 (dropped baton), Steven Morrison 1:55.71) 7:48.42

Saturday, May 13, 2017


IC4A/ECAC Updated Time Schedule
Weaver Stadium, Princeton
Sunday, May 14, 2017
All events final on time, slow to fast
All athletes must check in four events prior, and get hip numbers 30 minutes prior
Clerking has been moved to tunnel by the finish line
Rolling schedule starting at 9:30 a.m.
ECAC 4x100 relay
IC4A 4x100 relay
ECAC 1500
IC4A 1500: Stefan Morton
IC4A 110 hurdles
ECAC 100 hurdles
ECAC 400
IC4A 400
ECAC 100
IC4A 100
ECAC 800
IC4A 800
ECAC 400 hurdles: Debbie Boerke
IC4A 400 hurdles
ECAC 200
IC4A 200
ECAC 3000
ECAC 4x800 relay: Marist team of Shea Bohan, Emily Burns, Denise Grohn, Jenna Robinson
IC4A 4x800 relay: Marist team of Brian Henderson, Drew Burns, Zachary Ropes, Steven Morrison
ECAC 4x400 relay
IC4A 4x400 relay


Because of impending heavy rain and wind, the majority of today's Day 2 of the IC4A/ECAC meet has been postponed until Sunday. The only events being contested today are the hammer throw and the men's pole vault (moved inside). All track events will be run as a final on time, rolling schedule starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. All of our athletes -- Debbie Boerke in the 400-meter hurdles, Stefan Morton in the 1,500-meter run, and our men's and women's 4x800 relays -- will be racing on Sunday now. More details to follow ...

Friday, May 12, 2017

ECAC Championships: Women's results and splits

Nicki Nesi ended her remarkable career in red and white with a scoring place in the ECAC steeplechase. She admitted to feeling a bit flat and off her game, and her usual fluidity over the barriers was not there on this night. But she was still able to race tough and race well, charging into the scoring pack and earning two points for the team. She graduates with the school record in the event, as well as three of the four fastest times recorded in school history. Wonderful! In the 10,000-meter race, senior Elizabeth Wasserman concluded her strong long-distance career with a solid effort at ECACs. We thank her for her many contributions to the program throughout her three years here after transferring in. This was her second consecutive appearance in the ECAC 10km race.

ECAC Championships, Day 1
Friday, May 12, 2017
William Weaver Track Stadium
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
3,000-meter steeplechase
7. Nicki Nesi 10:40.46 *ECAC All-East scoring placement
709, 2:42 (83), 4:08 (86), 5:34 (86), 7:01 (87), 8:29 (88), 9:55 (86), 10:40.46 (45.46)
10,000-meter run
20. Elizabeth Wasserman 37:10.55
85, 2:51 (86), 4:18 (87), 5:44 (86)
7:13 (89), 8:41 (88), 10:09 (88), 11:37 (88)
13:05 (88), 14:34 (89), 16:02 (88), 17:32 (90)
19:02 (90), 20:33 (91), 22:04 (91), 23:33 (89)
25:04 (91), 26:37 (93), 28:09 (92), 29:41 (92)
31:13 (92), 32:44 (91), 34:14 (90), 35:43 (89)
37:10.55 (87.55)
5km splits: 18:17, 18:53.55
1600m splits: 5:44, 5:53, 5:55, 6:01, 6:08, 6:02

IC4A Championships: Men's results and splits

Our three men in the 10km battled gamely and had mixed results. Sophomore Mike Kennedy ran a strong and tough PR, going out aggressively and hanging on for a career-best time by five seconds. A great way to end what has been a positive second year of collegiate running. Neat. Dietrich Mosel went out with the lead pack, whose pace proved to be a bit too peppy for him and he paid the price. Live and learn. Palmer Weimann ran his second 10km in six days and literally suffered through it. Unbeknownst to all of us watching, Palmer felt a pull and a grab in his calf just five laps (5 laps!) into the 25-lap race. He winced and grimaced his way to a remarkable finish, considering this. Note that he actually INCREASED his pace AFTER his injury. He showed great toughness in gutting through this race.

IC4A Championships, Day 1
Friday, May 12, 2017
William Weaver Track Stadium
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
10,000-meter run
14. Mike Kennedy 31:16.81
73, 2:32 (79), 3:44 (72), 4:56 (72)
6:10 (74), 7:24 (74), 8:38 (74), 9:54 (76)
11:07 (73), 12:21 (74), 13:38 (77), 14:53 (75)
16:05 (72), 17:19 (74), 18:33 (74), 19:50 (77)
21:07 (77), 22:24 (77), 23:40 (76), 24:57 (77)
26:14 (77), 27:30 (76), 28:48 (78), 30:04 (76)
31:16.81 (72.81)
5km splits: 15:30, 15:46.81
1600m splits: 4:56, 4:58, 4:59, 4:57, 5:07, 5:07
19. Dietrich Mosel 31:37.16
72, 2:32 (80), 3:42 (70), 4:53 (71)
6:05 (72), 7:17 (72), 8:30 (73), 9:43 (73)
10:57 (74), 12:10 (73), 13:26 (76), 14:43 (77)
16:00 (77), 17:18 (78), 18:33 (75), 19:55 (80)
21:15 (80), 22:33 (78), 23:52 (79), 25:13 (81)
26:32 (79), 27:52 (80), 29:10 (78), 30:25 (75)
31:37.16 (72.16)
5km splits: 15:21, 16:16.16
1600m splits: 4:53, 4:50, 5:00, 5:12, 5:18, 5:12
20. Palmer Weimann 31:44.97
74, 2:33 (79), 3:46 (73), 5:00 (74)
6:16 (76), 7:32 (76), 8:47 (75), 10:03 (76)
11:19 (76), 12:34 (75), 13:49 (75), 15:03 (74)
16:17 (74), 17:31 (74), 18:46 (75), 20:02 (76)
21:20 (78), 22:36 (76), 23:55 (79), 25:16 (81)
26:33 (77), 27:54 (81), 29:12 (78), 30:28 (76)
31:44.97 (76.97)
5km splits: 15:40, 16:04.97
1600m splits: 5:00, 5:03, 5:00, 4:59, 5:14, 5:12