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

Monmouth Invitational at Holmdel

Just arriving back from beautiful Holmdel, NJ, site of today's Monmouth Invitational and the MAAC Championships later this fall on Halloween. There was a results snafu so we left the meet not knowing how we did. We just received the results via email and are sorting through it now, so we will post complete results soon. Long story short: Our men placed 2nd to host Monmouth, and our women placed second to Quinnipiac. A solid day for both programs.

Quick impressions: Holmdel seems like an awesome course. Tough but true XC. Not as brutal as advertised. But still pretty slow. Hey. XC is about beating people. PRs can be found elsewhere. Glad we got our eyes and our feet on this course before MAACs. It will make us better prepared, physically and mentally. So. That's good. As always, our family support and tailgate was tremendous. It never gets old and the food is always great. The love is even greater. OK. Let me get to these results and post them soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Directions to Holmdel Park


Take the Garden State Parkway local lanes to Exit 114. After the exit, go west on to Red Hill Road (Southbound, turn right onto Red Hill Rd; northbound, turn left onto Red Hill Rd.). Follow the brown signs to Holmdel County Park and Historic Longstreet County Farm. At the second light, take a downhill right on to Everett Road (which changes to Crawford’s Corner). Go left after passing Lucent Technologies on to Roberts Road and then right just before the park on to Longstreet Road. Turn left into Holmdel Park and follow signs to the lower or middle parking lot. The starting line and team check-in will be near the shelter in the lower parking lot.

Hope to see you there ... 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Steven Morrison wins MAAC Runner of the Week

Freshman Steven Morrison was named MAAC Runner of the Week. See the details here and here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saturday tailgate at Holmdel

For those parents and friends interested in participating in the team tailgate at Holmdel Park for Saturday's Monmouth Invitational, Kathy Gould is organizing. Please reach out to her via e-mail at kathygould@optonline.net. Hope to see you there.

Race times: Men's 5-mile at 10 a.m.; Women's 5km at 10:45 a.m.

Slipping away

I'm still watching. As the New York Yankees season quietly slips away into irrelevance, my TV is still turned to Channel 70 or Channel 9 to watch them play. This is the definition of diehard fan. You die hard. They are not mathematically eliminated. Even if they were, I would still watch. It's habit, and it's my company. Soon enough, we will be in the cold, cold winter with no baseball to watch. So. I'm still watching.

This is the end for the most iconic player of our generation, Derek Jeter. I take special note to watch each of his at-bats, which more often than not end in weak ground outs. Some say that this is no way for The Captain to go out. That may be true, but I would say, "Why not?" Scripts don't always end prettily in real life. You don't always go out on top. In fact, that's rarely the case. The greatest of them all, Babe Ruth, ended his career and hit his last home run for ... the Boston Braves. Sometimes, you just fade away, and so it is with The Captain. I will miss watching No. 2 play, and I will miss the Yankees when the season mercifully comes to a halt up in Boston next Sunday. But rest assured, through it all, I'm still watching.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A yummy LEAP of faith

Thanks to senior Alexia Santiago for sharing a photo of many members of our women's track and XC family, who participated in a LEAP event last night in which they made s'mores. Nicely done, ladies!

Introducing our newest staff member(s)

On Monday, our sprinters began their official fall practicing with some hills down at North Field. It also ushered in the beginning of our newest staff member, assistant coach Alex Cuesta. Let it be known that the previous sentence may be the last time I use Cuesta’s first name in a post. He is Cuesta. His mother calls him Cuesta; thus, he is Cuesta. Cuesta will be working with our sprinters; he worked with that group on a volunteer basis last spring with great success, and now we have him on as an official assistant coach. We are thrilled to have him on board with us.


Cuesta arrived a few minutes late, as he had to bring his loyal companion (pictured here) to get groomed. The cute little dog is named Sienna – yeah, I gave him grief that he would name a pet after a MAAC rival school, but at least he had the common sense to spell it differently. And yeah, Cuesta is one of THOSE GUYS – he arrived in his car with Sienna on his lap. You know. The drivers with their dogs on their laps. Sheesh. But! We will forgive Cuesta, because he was a loyal athlete for our program and he is now a loyal member of our staff. We welcome him (and Sienna) back to the journey.

Me, myself and Richard Neer

On most of our cross country and track trips during the fall, winter and spring, we travel via JTR Coach Bus and one van. The JTR busses have a capacity of 55 people. We usually travel with about 60 athletes, plus or minus a few. Do the math. We need the van. And I’m the van driver. Always, the van driver. I am not complaining about this. I’m not a great bus passenger; I can never get comfortable on there, and I’m usually complaining that it’s too cold. I’ve got my coffee. I’ve got my talk radio. I’m good.

About the talk radio. You see, back in the day, when Phil and I started this journey back in 1991, we rarely had busses. We almost always drove vans, to practices and to meets. So, these early morning Saturday van trips are something I have been doing for longer than our current athletes have been alive. These early morning van trips to meets are generally very quiet. With a few exceptions through the years, our passengers grab a bagel or a banana at a quick food stop, eat a little and sleep a lot. So, it’s just me and the road and some sleeping runners. However, I have had one constant companion on all these endless Saturday mornings behind the wheel of the van: Richard Neer.

Richard Neer is a legendary broadcaster. As a kid, I remember him as a rock n roll DJ on WNEW-FM, that iconic NYC rock station that our generation remembers so well. Since WFAN (sports talk radio) was founded in the late 1980s, Richard Neer has been the Saturday morning host – at least as long as I can remember. He is the perfect Saturday morning companion. He talks sports, and mixes in music and movies on occasion. Unlike most gasbags on the air, Neer is understated; he lets his callers make their usually inane comments without interrupting. He doesn’t yell or pontificate. He makes nuanced points. He sees shades of gray where others see black or white. I love that, and he has gotten me through thousands of those sleepy, early-morning miles on the way to meets.

So Saturday, on the way to Stony Brook, it was Richard Neer and me, as my athletes were splayed out and sleeping in the back. As always, he was great company, providing a slightly different slant on the loud chatter surrounding the Ray Rice Situation. He made me think, he made me laugh, and he made me stay awake on the LIE. Thank you, Richard Neer, for all the quality miles through the years.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wolfie, in pictures


Thanks to Carol Hensler for sharing these photos from Saturday's meet. As always, our family support was strong on Long Island.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wolfie meet: Women's results

Here are today's results for the women. We ran up against some high-powered competition, and most of our ladies ran extremely well. I have included the 2013 race times on the same, long course for perspective. Many women ran much faster than last year. This bodes well for the immediate future, and we are pleased at the progress to date. Good stuff.

Here is Coach Chuck's commentary on GoredFoxes.com:
“Today represented a great test and challenge for our team to see where we stack up against three of the premier programs in the Northeast,” Marist women’s cross country coach Chuck Williams said. “The overall improvement from last year’s performance to todays was significant even without a couple of our key runners competing. We look forward to next week’s meet as we race head-to-head with fellow MAAC competitors in a preview of the championship course.” 

Wolfie Invitational

Stony Brook University
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Women’s team standings
1-Providence College 40, 2. Stony Brook and Columbia 47, 4-Marist 89
Women’s individual results, 5,200-meter course
6-Kristen Traub 18:55.29 (2013 time: 19:17.97)
14-Michelle Gaye 19:16.75 (2013 time: 19:32.24)
22-Mara Schiffhauer 19:37.35
24-Christine Coughlin 19:49.29 (2013 time: 21:42.31)
30-Nicki Nesi 20:06.95 (2013 time: 20:17.82)
34-Janelle Solviletti 20:16.70 (2013 time: 19:57.60)
36-Jenna Robinson 20:25.07
37-Kim Schwartz 20:31.76 (2013 time: 21:41.84)
42-Annie Gould 20:49.23 (2013 time: 22:01.76)
47-Bryn Gorberg 21:07.32 (2013 time: 21:19.17)
48-Marissa Porter 21:13.90
51-Roxy Novo 21:41.30
52-Olivia Lappas 21:42.93 (2013 time: 22:25.72)
53-Mariella Bilello 21:53.48
54-Brianna Freestone 22:11.38 (2013 time: 20:59.89)
55-Jaime Durso 22:11.77 (2013 time: 21:32.25)
56-Jackie Bunce 22:56.56 (2013 time: 23:21.22)
58-Christine Gambell 23:08.90
59-Shannon Gildea 23:25.84
60-Kerri-Anne Flynn 23:44.57
61-Catherine Ferreri 23:53.53 (2013 time: 24:19.82)
62-Allie Dellicarri 23:58.62 (2013 time: 23:33.53)
63-Kristi Licursi 24:34.51 (2013 time: 24:28.01)

Wolfie meet: Men's results

Here are the results from today's meet on the longer Stony Brook course. Weather was perfect. This course is not that hilly, but also does not run particularly fast due to its terrain; in other words, a perfect, early-season meet. On average, you can lop about 20 seconds off these times to get the more traditional 8km mark. By that metric, this was a very solid early-season meet for us, especially for the freshmen running the longer distance for the first time. We sat out three potential varsity runners in Ken Walshak, Saad Baig and Ryan Colabella. Otherwise, everyone ran, and most did well. For number crunchers in the blogosphere, I have included the 2013 times for those who ran last year. It’s interesting to note that we had exactly eight runners complete the course as fast or faster than our lead runner from 2013, when we also sat out selected runners, albeit a few more than today. So, that is a positive sign.

Wolfie Invitational
Stony Brook University
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Men’s team standings
1-Providence College 26, 2. Columbia University 30, 3-UConn 102, 4-Marist 107, 5-Stony Brook 132
Men’s individual results, 8,100-meter course
30-Steven Morrison 26:15.30 (freshman)
34-Johnny Lee 26:29.19 (2013 time: 27:11.07)
35-Mark Valentino 26:30.15
36-Steven Rizzo 26:30.95 (freshman)
43-Pat Rynkowski 26:47.71
44-Pat Hickey 26:48.71 (freshman)
48-Spencer Johnson 26:58.17 (2013 time: 27:36.72)
53-Dietrich Mosel 27:08.80 (freshman)
57-Joe Miller 27:21.86 (freshman)
58-Bryan Buttigieg 27:27.61
61-Pat Ginty 27:32.76 (2013 time: 27:55.13)
63-Brian Edsall 27:38.00 (2013 time: 27:16.26)
68-Charlie Ropes 28:05.27
69-Stefan Morton 28:05.85 (2013 time: 27:39.54)
71-Omar Perez 28:16.81 (2013 time: 28:00.88)
72-Mark Vuono 28:21.91
73-Jake Hensler 28:24.02 (2013 time: 27:08.80)
75-Eddie White 28:33.31 (2013 time: 29:54.60)
76-James Ball 28:34.43 (freshman)
77-Ricky Willi 29:00.63
79-Ian Dorset 29:40.72 (2013 time: 27:32.64)
80-Justin Tampellini 30:06.22
81-Will Duggan 30:14.51 (freshman)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Directions to Stony Brook

Here are the directions to the meet on Saturday, courtesy of Stony Brook Coach Andy Ronan:
Best route for a bus is to take the Long Island Expressway to exit 62 (97 north), Follow 97 North to 347(Nesconset Highway), take a left on 347, drive a 1/4 of mile and take a right on Stony Brook Road( Hess gas station on corner), go approximately 2 miles, take a left on to Development Drive.   (Stony Brook University Research and Development park)
 Follow road for 3/4 of a mile, course and parking will be on your left.  

Don't let Bus driver convince you to use his GPS, you will not end up at the course.

Vans/Cars can take  Northern State Parkway(Bus cannot) to 347, follow 347 east, turn left on Stony Brook Road, then follow  the directions above.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What's next: Stony Brook

Our XC schedule kicks into gear on Saturday at the Wolfie Invitational at Stony Brook University. Women's race at 10:30 a.m.; men's race at 11:15 a.m. Note to all family and friends: Louise Valentino will be commandeering the Marist XC Tailgate. Please e-mail her at val109@optonline.net to coordinate. I say this all the time, but it is worth repeating: We never, ever, take the tailgates for granted and we are always, always, grateful for the family atmosphere it fosters.

Red Fox Trot, 2014: Who's on 2nd?

The final race results list the Big Man (Joel Moss) as the second-place finisher in Saturday's race. But the photo, provided here by Kathy Gould, shows a different story as Billy Posch appears to be striding across the timing mat before his good friend, former teammate and loyal training partner Joel. It would have been fitting if it went Billy and then Joel. Get it? Billy Joel! Sing us a song, you're the Piano Man ... OK! I'll stop there.

Complete race results, with tons of Marist Running Alums in the listings, can be found here

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Red Fox Trot, 2014: What it's all about

Great photo of Marist Running Alums along the Hudson River, after Saturday's race.

Red Fox Trot, 2014: Appropriate roles

Thanks to Hild for posting this screen shot on Facebook of two coaches in very appropriate roles: Chuck, in the driver's seat, ready to mash on the accelerator in leading the race cart. Old Man, hoping for a sip before inevitably spilling coffee on his shorts. I bailed early so I could walk up the hill and actually have some of the coffee.

Red Fox Trot, 2014: Feelin' good about feelin' old

The 15th place finisher today was a 42-year-old from Shelton, CT, named Brian Ordway (pictured above, in the Marist Alumni Racing Team uniform). Doc, as he was known back in his college days. Brian won the 40-49 age group and ran a respectable time of 18:17.01. He won the 40-49 age group. Middle-age guy, in what is generally a competitive age group. Here's the thing: I coached Brian in college, at Marist, in the early/mid 1990s. And now he's in the 40-49 division. Wow, man! That's a long time. 

Red Fox Trot, 2014: Cement trucks and sweaty hugs

Definitely the warmest day for the Red Fox Trot 5K in race history this morning. Extremely humid! The feared low turnout was quelled by an excellent late registration period and of course our loyal alumni participation. A total of 218 finishers completed the race -- a bit lower than normal, but still well above average for a normal Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club event.

As part of the race organizing committee, my job is to set up the course with cones and markings, and have our athletes out there directing runners and cheering them on. As Chuck and I quickly scanned the course to make sure everyone was in place, we were met by a very unpleasant surprise: Construction (ongoing, always, forever, unceasing, constant, at Marist) near the front of the Lowell Thomas building. When I kindly told one of the workers that we had a couple hundred runners coming by in a few minutes, he shrugged and said there were five trucks' worth of cement coming, and Marist knew about it, and we're going ahead as planned. Hmmm. Cement trucks and road races don't, uh, mix. The head of security was notified, a truce was drawn, but just to be safe I stayed in the vicinity of LT so as to ensure none of our back-of-the-pack participants had any unwelcome encounters with 10-ton vehicles. I chatted it up with the worker guys, who were impressed with the top finishers but not so impressed with the walkers. "Hell, I walked from my truck to here this morning, what's the big deal?" I was in no mood to get into a dissertation on the benefits of road races; I was just happy the trucks stopped long enough for all 200-plus to get past safely.

Afterwards at the finish line, it was a steady stream of sweaty hugs from alumni runners -- some of whom had not been back to campus for years. As the race gets older and our program continues to age as well, the Red Fox Trot will always be a destination for our athletes. As I told many of them as they arrived in the morning, "welcome home."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ice-ly done!

After practice 2.0 this afternoon, I asked Tino (Mark Valentino) and Charlie (Ropes) to help me empty out the trunk of the van by dumping what was left in the coolers onto the lawn. As you'll see in this video (if this works, it might be the first video I have uploaded to this blog?), Tino decided to dump some ice on his head instead. There was no "challenge" involved in this, and I'm sure it was refreshing for him to do this after plowing through the Farm Lane workout in what felt like 150 degrees.
video

Bricks

We have just completed about as hot and as humid a week of practices in recent memory. In the process, our cross country athletes have continued to work hard in this early-season, strength-building phase of our training. I'm not one of these coaches that likes to brag about workouts, and I will not give up many details here in terms of who was leading and what their splits were. But I will say this: Our women's team and our men's team put in some high volume work in some tough conditions this week:

--On Monday, the women did a 4x2km tempo workout at the New Paltz Rail Trail. The heat and humidity were oppressive and just starting to build on this Labor Day morning. Just standing around was tough. I could not imagine running in that nonsense.
--Today (Friday), our men did a 8 to 10 x1km workout at Farm Lane in Hyde Park; about a dozen guys did all 10, while a majority of the men opted for the still very solid 8 intervals. The original venue was to be Bowdoin Park, but I felt our men would have baked under the relentless sun with no shade down there. So we made the quick adjustment to the shaded but still steamy Farm Lane.

In almost all cases, our athletes completed the workouts strong and with no complaints. I don't get excited about individual days or individual workouts, but today and Monday -- and even the shaky Tuesday tempo -- were positive steps. Each workout, each run, each "thing" that we do as athletes and coaches, are like bricks in a building. Collect enough bricks, put 'em together with precision and care, and you've got a structure of which you can be proud. That's what we're working on. One brick at a time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kristen Traub: MAAC Runner of the Week

Congrats to our own Kristen Traub for winning the MAAC Runner of the Week for last week, on the power of her victory at our home meet at Vassar Farm. Here is the official release from the MAAC office. Nicely done, Kristen!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Practice 2.0

One of the benefits of split men's and women's practices -- men at 11 a.m., women at 2 p.m., for the distance squads -- is that if there are class conflicts with one of the slots, athletes can go into the other slot. So it will be with the men's team, as several guys have class during our midday practice time. The solution? Practice 2.0 ... come down at 2 p.m. It makes for a busier day and more van time for the old coach, but it gets the job done. Today, Practice 2.0 was Practice Hot.0, but we got through it with a big tub of Gatorade and a little bit of shade.

Summer: Still here

Welcome to September. Shorter amounts of daylight. Cooler evenings. Hint of fall. Maybe even some leaves changing colors ... NOT! Holy hotness, Batman. Real feel approaching 100 degrees. High school XC practice? CANCELED. Modified/junior high cheerleading practice? CANCELED. Jury is still out on Town Fall Ball practice, which is supposed to start at 5:30 p.m.

The Marist cross country teams practiced in the summer swelter. The men had to do a long tempo run. Some handled the heat well. Many others did not. This has nothing to do with toughness. This is brutal. Heat kills. Tomorrow's another day. Hopefully cooler.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mid-life crisis. In three parts.

Start of 12-hour run. If it looks like I am going slow ... I am.
This morning, I officially turn 50 years old. The big 5-0. Eligible for AARP. The Back Nine. Over the Hill. Old Man. Ripe for a mid-life crisis. Yeah. All of that.

Oh. About that mid-life crisis. A lot of guys I know have turned 50 over the past few months and years. Here is a summary of some of their mid-life crisis checkpoints upon approaching or hitting the half-century mark:
--Purchase a muscle-car or a sports car. You know. An old-school Corvette, Camaro, Mustang. Maybe a small BMW or Mercedes. Something like that. This task takes first place in my unscientific research on male, mid-life crises.
--Purchase a motorcycle. A close second. Was an intriguing idea for me, until Heidi rightfully squashed it.
--Purchase a boat. A pretty close third.
--Make other radical changes to their lives, usually having rather destructive effects on their marriages or other family relationships. Fortunately, this comes in last, but it does happen.

Well. Not being a mainstream sort of guy, I have chosen none of these paths during this rather torturous run-up to my 50th birthday. (Side note: The outpouring of support, excitement and party planning that have surrounded this birthday has been greatly appreciated and it has made this otherwise introspective milestone a lot of fun, and I look forward to celebrating this big number with many of you in the coming hours and days). Rather than the traditional, checking account draining activities that usually accompany a man turning 50 or otherwise pondering mortality around this age, I have chosen a different – and literally very well-worn, as you will see shortly – path. This summer, I have returned to participating in (note that I did not say “running” for fear of annoying the purists out there) ultra marathons. But rather than doing the lung-searing and extremely challenging 50- or 100-mile trail races at altitude (like my friend Bob Sweeney did so well a few weeks ago out at Leadville), or any of the other extreme type events like the Spartan Death Race or Tough Mudder or stuff like that, my ultra experiences of late are limited to timed ultras on fixed/closed loops. If it sounds a bit repetitious and mind-numbing, well yes, it is.

Somehow, some way, I have forged a niche on these endless loops and amazingly I have become somewhat competitive (relatively speaking) in these races. I like routine. I like repetition. I have a gift for going really slow but not slowing down and never, ever stopping (except for short bathroom breaks). Hey. Don’t worry. I’m not going to give you play-by-play of my run/walk/run/walk endless laps. It’s like NASCAR -- only a lot slower, a lot older, and much less noisy. But, for those keeping score at home, I will tell you that I ran three ultras in three months this summer:

1-The Broadway Ultra Society Joe Kleinerman 12-hour run in Bayside, Queens, on June 7, held on a loop that was just shy of 1 mile (0.9704 of a mile). My goal was to cover at least 50 miles to celebrate 50 years. I was able to reach that goal in about 10 hours and 30 minutes, and I staggered to a final mileage total of 51.43 miles, earning a small plaque that was given to all finishers completing at least 45 miles.
2-The Broadway Ultra Society Pajama Romp 6-hour run in Astoria, Queens, on July 26, held on a hilly loop that was 1.2762 miles. I covered just less than 26 laps, 33.1 miles, and got a nice trophy for placing in the top-10 overall. This race ended at 11 p.m., so the biggest challenge was not so much slowing down as it was staying awake out there.
3-The Sweltering Summer Ultra 8-hour run in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on August 9, held on a dirt track measuring exactly .3553746428 of a mile. This event (note that I don’t call them “races”) was my primary focus all along, having done the 6-hour version of this event in 2013, really enjoying it immensely, and lighting that long-dormant ultra spark in me. This year, I was fortunate to cover 125
laps (44.42183035 miles) and earn a nice trophy clock (pictured here) for being the top master’s finisher.

So. Yeah. That’s a lot of laps and a lot of miles, a lot of tedium, and a fair amount of fatigue and certainly some ugly toenails. Many runners embrace entering a new age group so they can get a rejuvenated competitiveness by being the young person in the group. That ship has long since sailed for me, a slow guy in races of mainstream distances; I’m just not all that good anymore.

But sometimes, slow and steady and never stopping has its benefits. Keep moving forward. Stop only when necessary. Keep moving forward. Stop when necessary. Keep moving forward. These are pretty good lessons to learn around your 50th birthday.