Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cinco de Mayo Race

Finally got sent a .pdf application, which I can forward along to anyone who wants to see it. The race takes place on Sunday, May 4 at 11 a.m. The course starts and finishes near Bartel Pritchard Square over at 15th and Prospect Park West, and you can sign up that day from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. So, if a 5K will help get rid of the lactic acid from the Brooklyn Half the day before, go for it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

USATF 5K Series in New York

Folks, USATF is starting a 5K points series here in New York (I'm going to rant in a bit about the lack of publicity, or maybe my ignorance, but not yet):

It's four races in New York at different settings: Icahn Stadium (2), Prospect Park and Van Cortlandt Park. The first one is on May 10, part of the New Balance NYC Qualifying Challenge, with other races to follow. The top 6 male and female finishers get medals and points, the top three in each category get cash prizes at the end.

Here are the dates:

May 10: Icahn Stadium - track
June 22: Icahn Stadium - track
June 30: Prospect Park - road
Sept. 28: Van Cortlandt Park -X/C

Just found out about it, so don't know if there are age categories (from the Web site, it doesn't look like it), and I'm curious about the Prospect Park date, which is a Monday, which if it's tied to PPTC, doesn't line up (their race is on Wednesday that week).

** Quick UPDATE: The New Balance Web site lists the Prospect Park race as *July 30* not June 30, which makes a lot more sense. So I'll try to get that clarified.

Upcoming Races

Here's a look at some races in and around the area. Some, like the New Jersey Marathon/Half, have already closed (so something to keep in mind for next year). Still don't have confirmation on the Cinco de May 5K, though I'm fairly sure it is being run on Sunday, May 4 (trying to get more details, so if anyone's got them, please let me know.). Recurring races were made in a previous post, so they aren't listed here.

May 3: Brooklyn Half Marathon (Very flat until the final loop of Prospect Park)

May 3: Long Island Festival of Races 5K

May 4: Long Island Marathon/Half

May 4: Cinco de Mayo 5K, Prospect Park (Still need confirmation!)

May 4: New Jersey Marathon/Half

May 10: Jersey City 10K (Very flat 10K, just across the river from Manhattan)
May 10: Long Island Greenbelt Run (A well-supported trail run, either 25K or 50K)

May 11: NYRR Mother’s Day 4M/10M (The 10M is women-only)

May 17: Healthy Kidney 10K (One of the few 10Ks in Central Park put on by NYRR - remember when the 10K distance used to the *the* race?)

May 18: NYPD Memorial 5K Run

May 18: Harbor Fitness 5K Run (Bay Ridge)

May 18: Forest Park 4 Mile Trail Run (Queens)

May 18: Gilda’s Run 15K

May 20: AHA Wall Street Run (This 5K race is for a great cause. That said, don't expect to run it for time - it's overcrowded, may have the course shortened for various security reasons, and last year featured a water stop in small side street, which created a massive bottleneck. On the flip side, you get a chance to trample the Wall Street folk who think it's a bright idea to walk in the middle of ongoing foot traffic).

June 1: Riverdale Ramble 10K (Pick a race in the Bronx ...)

June 1: Kenneth Dolan 5K (... or in Prospect Park)

There are likely more area races which I haven't come across - please append them to this list or send me an e-mail and I'll update and repost. Happy racing!

Recurring Events This Spring and Summer

May marks the start of a number of different races series, listed below. Most have minimal entry fees, with the level of competition determined by who shows up. I've listed the first race date as well a link to more information (where available)

Fort Hamilton 5K (every Tuesday starting May 6)

This is a weekly 5K race held at the Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn.

Tuesday Night Speed Series (every other Tuesday thru June, starting May 6)

Events vary, but it's on the track at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island.

Al Goldstein 5K Speed Series (every other Wednesday, starting May 21)

One almost-full loop of Prospect Park, starting almost opposite the Prospect Park Zoo (meaning you get the hill out of the way quickly)

VCTC 5K Cross Country (every other Thursday, starting May 22)

A chance to get off the roads in the middle of the week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Just Messin' Around

We've all got our favorite running routes, treks that we do once, twice, three times a week. You incorporate the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the Williamsburg Bridge, Prospect Park, the Coney Island boardwalk ... you name it. They are tried and true, and you can run them without thinking.

So let me make a case to stop doing that, especially when you've got the time on the weekend to explore. Look at places like MapMyRun.com and the USATF Web sites for different route suggestions, or take an alternative approach from point A to point B.

Let me give you an example:

One of my favorite routes is to go over the Brooklyn Bridge, loop down into Battery Park and then head back up down (crossing over via Chambers Street either at the beginning or the end) before heading back into Brooklyn. Almost always, I'll stay on the West Side paths or the East River parkway.

During the weekdays, even in the early mornings, the Wall Street area is pretty crowded. On the weekends ... not so much.

So note the following route. Haven't a clue whether the streets I took today are the same ones I mapped out -- but that isn't the point. From Bowling Green, we just headed north, taking turns more or less to get us in the direction we wanted to go. And if you've got non-New Yorkers with you, it's a great way to give them a little slice of life in our fair city.

Volunteers Needed for Brooklyn Half

NYRR is looking for volunteers for next weekend's Brooklyn Half Marathon. Remember, if you're trying to gain entry to the 2009 New York Marathon by running 9 qualifying races, you also need to volunteer for one event, so this may be an opportunity to get it out of the way early. Other races are also available. For more information, go here.

For Some, Walking is Better

Missed this earlier in the week: The New York Times has a photo of Bay Ridge's Limei Alice Tan, a winner of several racewalking events, as part of a slide show on walking shoes here. According to the article, she walks 20 to 25 miles a week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Learning to Run the New York Marathon

New York Road Runners is holding a lecture next Wednesday, April 30 to introduce runners to the New York Marathon. Experienced runners will share their thoughts and talk about the following:
  • Setting a training schedule: when to start, how to build up mileage
  • Training strategies, including crosstraining
  • Planning your tune-up races
  • How to avoid injuries
  • How to stay motivated
  • Stretching routines
  • How to improve speed
  • How to avoid first-time marathoner mistakes
  • Good places and routes for long runs
  • Training programs and group runs
The event takes place at the Robert Wagner Middle School, 220 East 76th Street (between Second and Third Avenues), at 6:30 p.m. More information is here.

Kenny Dolan Run

Ahh, the warm weather, the shorter haircut (a springtime rite of passage), and now, the flier in the mail reminding me about the Nineteenth Annual Kenneth Dolan Memorial 5K Run.

This year's edition is June 1, at 10 a.m. in Prospect Park. The price is an affordable $15 beforehand, $20 on race day. Lot of prizes, including the first person to cross the finish line wearing a Farrell's T-Shirt (no word if you have to hoist a drink there beforehand).

And there's also a Pee Wee Run for different age groups, ranging from 100 to 440 yards.

For information, contact Louis Vazquez at 212-860-1899 x 101 or go to the Web site.

And who is Kenny Dolan? From the race application:

"Kenny Dolan was alive for a brief 23 years. Yet in that time, he not only brought a tremendous amount of joy to a great number of people, but more importantly, he taught them how to laugh, love and have fun. Tragically, on March 14, 1990, Kenny passed away as a result of an automobile accident. The Kenny Dolan Memorial Fund at Iona College has been established from this race to assist some student in need of financial support for his or her education. It is in this spirit that Kenny will be remembered."

Separately there is a Kenneth Dolan Memorial Fund Raiser on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Third & Long at 523 Third Ave. (corner of 35th St.) in New York. Donation is $20 a person.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston Marathon Results

Below are the results for the 73 runners listed from Brooklyn. These times are from the BAA Web site, so are still preliminary and subject to change. Congrats to everyone who ran today!! And remember ... 52 weeks until Boston 2009.

Name (Time)
McGilligan, Hugh P. (2:44:37)
Mulia, Adam (2:50:58)
Kravitz, Avi (2:51:12)
Alm, David G. (2:56:34)
Stamp, Scott C. (2:57:00)
Perez, Calletano (2:57:48)
Miller, Alexander C. (2:58:45)
Nzeutem, Francis (3:03:36)
Bookman, Todd J. (3:04:45)
Joyce, Sarah (3:05:05)
Dow, Mary (3:05:11)
Yozzo, Ralph E. (3:05:54)
Krebs, Peter J. (3:06:43)
Wong, Paul (3:07:23)
Bobadilla, Leonardo (3:08:28)
O'Rourke, Peter (3:11:19)
Diaz, Hernan PhD. (3:11:41)
Artigliere, Marcus K. (3:13:32)
Lambert, Wade (3:14:50)
Duffy, Shawn (3:15:18)
Saint-Amour, Jim (3:17:19)
Chatfield, Jessica (3:17:36)
Cohen, Molly (3:20:25)
Gudzowska, Justyna P. Esq (3:21:05)
Ripley, Ralph (3:23:13)
Trias, Luis (3:23:30)
Stevens, Citabria B. (3:24:19)
Fyodorova, Anna (3:25:55)
Magnotta, Robert A. (3:26:07)
Garcia, Danny L. (3:26:43)
Blausey, Daniel (3:27:24)
Ocsay, Hugues F. (3:27:31)
Tulchin, Rachel (3:28:26)
Williams, Evan (3:28:28)
Ottaviano, Joanne H. (3:28:38)
Aisenbrey, Jessica (3:30:38)
Yu, Peter (3:32:02)
Stricker, Elizabeth M. (3:32:49)
Shah, Samira (3:33:39)
Gagne, Raymond (3:35:54)
Cohn, Dari L. (3:36:48)
Kerrs, Jonathan (3:38:14)
Ogrodowicz, Mark (3:38:30)
Beerman, Kenton (3:38:41)
Drake, Ascha K. (3:41:04)
Roth, Lisa A. (3:41:10)
Weier, Carla (3:41:55)
Mathewson, Lisa M. (3:44:56)
Gomez, Brooke (3:45:29)
Kang, Steven (3:45:38)
Cordes, Jill L. (3:49:50)
Konecko, Sebastian (3:50:32)
Yanek, Cheryl K. (3:50:34)
Chillag, Ian A. (3:51:04)
McIntyre, Eric C. (3:52:43)
Kourtchikov, Mikita (3:53:11)
McElreath, Timothy J. (3:54:21)
Marcoux, E C. (3:56:16)
Turndahl, Cara (3:58:13)
Van Hoose Briggs, Frances E. (3:59:05)
Preudhomme, Eugene A. (4:00:49)
Lewis, Larry D. (4:03:29)
Harte, Robert G. (4:03:43)
Dong, Elaine (4:04:05)
Buchal, Jan (4:04:33)
Stapelmann, Jami (4:06:04)
Prawda, Al (4:07:06)
Halica, Craig P. (4:11:09)
Latoszek, Tadeusz (4:15:31)
Land, Greg (4:39:54)
Erdmann-Sager, Diana R. (4:51:49)
Chang, Lee B. (4:55:13)
McAuley, Jenna C. (5:40:17)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Corral starts at Adidas - how'd it go?

Anyone run the Adidas 4-Miler today using the new corral starts? If so, how'd the race go?

Results from today's race are here ... more than 5,800 runners this morning on a beautiful day to race.

Awesome Race in Boston

Don't know how many of you were able to catch the Web cast on the NBC Olympics page this morning (and put up with some of the inane commentary), but the race was well worth it.

What I find interesting is the two completely different race strategies, both of which worked given that the ultimate goal was not to win but to make the Olympic team by finishing in the top 3.

Lewy Boulet, who ultimately finished second, orchestrated a gutty, unplanned, front-running strategy to make the Olympic team. Kastor, on the other hand, ran the second half marathon three minutes faster than the first half - a great example of using negative splits to hit a goal.

Lots of coverage everywhere, but here are a couple of places to start if you want more info ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sara Hall in NYTimes

Nice piece this morning on Sara Hall in the New York Times, looking at her decisions to race the 1,500 and some of her training strategies. Oddly, it appears in the Fashion and Style section ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Boston Marathon 2007

Nice piece in the Boston Globe the other day about last year's horrendous (wonderful?) weather that almost got the race canceled. I was up at the Urban Environmental Challenge that weekend and slogged through the streams that the course had become ... and had a blast. A lot different for a marathon, of course - my dry cleaner (a sub-3:15 marathoner - and no, I didn't find out about his running talent until he passed me during a race) talked about standing at the starting line and getting completely soaked before running a step.

This year's weather forecast looks, dare I say it? Perf ... (nah, that'll jinx it, but with a high of 52 degrees in Brookline on the latter part of the course ... )

Monday, April 14, 2008

91 Entrants From Brooklyn in Boston

According to the Boston Marathon entry database, which is searchable by city, 91 runners from Brooklyn will be toeing the line at next Monday's race. Best of luck to all.

Think the NYRR Races Are Getting Crowded?

I don't know whether to be worried or psyched to see these numbers (these are the number of finishers in some recent NYRR races, taken from the race results Web site):

2006 Scotland Run 10K: 5,126
2007 Scotland Run 10K: 5,720
2008 Scotland Run 10K: 6,928

2006: Thomas G. LaBrecque Classic: 5,384
2007 Run as One, TGL Classic: 5,721
2008 Run as One, TGL Classic: 6,103

Next week marks the start of the corral system ...

Recent Race Results

Some results from the races over the weekend (and the weekend before):

Run As One, TGL Classic
(4 miles)

JFK Runway Run (5K): Anthony Watson, of the Prospect Park Track Club, finished fourth overall and first in the 50-54 category.

North Face Endurance Challenge
(multiple distances)

And from last weekend:

Urban Environmental Challenge (10K)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Waking up to the Morning News

Both good things and bad things on the national running front this morning:

-- Martin Lel won the London Marathon, with Ryan Hall finishing fifth in 2:06:16, which I believe makes him the second-fastest American (behind our own Khalid Khannouchi).

-- The New York Times has a front-page article alleging that the doping problems among U.S. track athletes runs deeper than previously disclosed. The article is very weak on details, and the evidence presented in it is pretty sketchy - the most prominent name, however, is Maurice Greene. What's frustrating about Greene is that despite several different attempts (and methods) to get a comment over the past two weeks, he just doesn't respond.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Correction: Fred Lebow Movie Debuts April 27

Obviously my excitement about this movie got to me. Contrary to an earlier post in the blog today, the new Fred Lebow movie "Run for Your Life" will have its world premiere on Sunday, April 27.  The earlier dates I mentioned are times when you can start buying tickets, depending on whether you are an American Express cardholder, a resident of downtown Manhattan, or a member of the general public (that would be me.)

More information is available at http://www.fredlebowmovie.com/

Apologies for any confusion.

Brooklyn Biathlon This Weekend

Lest I forget ... (OK, I did forget, even though I have a friend competing), the 18th annual Brooklyn Biathlon will be taking place this weekend.

Competitors will be skiing through the forest and shooting at targets with rifles ... wait, wait, wrong definition.

This one is the running/biking one - sponsored by the NY Triathlon Club. Race starts at 8 a.m. on Sunday, so casual runners that morning should be aware of the increased traffic in the park.

For those of you who are interested in biking/running races, there's another duathlon on Sunday, May 11 on Mother's Day, including a shorter youth version.

Water Fountains Coming Online

The NYC Parks Department is starting to turn the water fountains back on. Haven't been to Prospect Park in a few days, so can't say whether they are back on there (can anyone chime in on this one?), but the water fountain in Cadman Plaza Park before the Brooklyn Bridge entrance (always a popular stop) is back. The fountains on the Promenade haven't gone back on yet, though there's a working one in Pierrepoint Park that's there year round.

Brooklyn Bridge Needs Repairs

Work isn't supposed to begin for another couple of years, but Popular Mechanics is out with a list of 10 bridges that need work now. According to the article on its Web site (part of an overall package):

"Officials don't fear a collapse of the Brooklyn Bridge–the main span appears to be sound–but some of the approaches to the structure have been marred by rusting steel and deteriorating road decks for many years."

It's hard to imagine the city shutting the bridge down given the transportation problems that already exist. Still, down the road we may find ourselves having to spend more time running over the Manhattan Bridge (which tends to be a popular choice for bikers and runners during the summer anyway, given the mass of tourism on the Brooklyn Bridge).

Races This Weekend

In Central Park, NYRR is putting on the 4 Mile TGL Classic (the full name is much, much longer) on Sunday at 9 a.m. This is a NYC Marathon qualifier as well as a club points race, so count on there being thousands of people. To put in perspective, the Scotland Run at the end of March had 6,928 finishers.

Closer to home ... well maybe closer to home, depending where you live .. is the annual JFK Runway Run. The 26th annual 5K run takes place at 9 a.m., and you can sign up on the day of the race. And, get this: Free Parking! (when's the last time you could get that at JFK Airport)

On Saturday, the Bear Mountain Endurance Challenge is taking place, with races ranging from 10K to 50 Miles. The conditions look, well, wet for the competitors on a trail that's going to be unforgiving at best. The race is already closed out (though it did give me a chance to go up to the North Face store on the Upper West Side at 73rd and Broadway). Around 30 people from Brooklyn have signed up for the various races, with most looking at the 10K and the half-marathon.

Long Island has a few races this weekend as well, for those of you looking for some alternatives. This includes the Jack Dowling Half Marathon on Sunday in Eisenhower Park, and the NYIT 5K Run in Old Westbury.

Happy racing!

Fred Lebow Film at Tribeca Film Festival

A film looking at New York running guru Fred Lebow, called "Run for Your Life" will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month. According to the Web site, tickets ****may be bought on various dates in early April, before it opens on April 27.***


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Running on TV

So, you've just done 10 miles, you're inspired to all heck, and you want to watch how some of the top runners do it via video. Here are a few places to look in the coming month (especially if you have a high-speed Internet connection):

** RUNNING, a monthly show, airs on the YES network in our area. The schedule is posted here for April.

** The U.S. Women's Olympic Marathon trails will be broadcast on Sunday, April 20, on an NBC Webcast. (Apparently the men's Webcast didn't go so well, according to the comments posted on various message boards, so let's hope this goes smoothly). A highlights show will appear on MSNBC the following weekend.

** WCSN will broadcast live coverage of both the London and Boston marathons this year. The online network is always a source for track video, though mostly international at this point. (This site will satisfy your fix on even the most marginal sports, such as curling.)

** RunnerSpace has a bunch of video, including recent college meets (if you go there now, you can watch the American college women's 10K record being set). It's a promising site, and gives top college runners some national exposure.

Note there are places that I'll highlight in future posts, though if you have other suggestions, please post them as a response to this. Given the dearth of coverage within the national TV arena, there's now a variety of different places you can go for online video to watch parts, or all of races.

Admittedly, watching a race on TV can be less interesting than watching paint dry, especially if the announcers haven't a clue what's happening - at the same time, if you know the players, and are patient and wait for the right moment ... bam! Think about your last race: You're focused on a particular runner, who is ahead/behind you in the final 800 meters. There's been a dance the entire race, and now it comes down to this ...

Think Ryan Hall and Brian Sell in the recent Olympic trials marathon, which (the sad death of Ryan Shay notwithstanding), was a great race to watch, because you got to see how the runners made their case to make the team. I'm hoping the women's race is just like that.

Running isn't going to surplant even the NHL (go Bruins!) on national TV. But now you have some options ...

Upcoming Races

Some area races to keep in mind as you plan your schedule (note, I figure most of you have seen the NYRR schedule, so not listing those here except for the Brooklyn Half). No particular endorsement here, just something that gets you out of Central or Prospect parks. Some road, some trail, all are still open at this writing as far as I know:

Sunday, April 13: JFK Runway Run (5K)
Saturday, April 19: Jersey Shore Relay
Saturday, April 26: High Rock Challenge in Staten Island
Sunday, April 27: Tavern's Cup 4 Mile Run in Bay Ridge
Sunday, April 27: Alley Pond Strider 5 Mile Challenge in Queens
Saturday, May 3: Brooklyn Half Marathon
Sunday, May 4: Long Island Marathon/Half Marathon
Saturday, May 10: Long Island Greenbelt Run
Saturday, May 10: Newport 10K in Jersey City

Missing from this list is the Cinco de Mayo 5K, usually held in early May - I can't immediately confirm details on it or find a link, but will update when I can.

What a Day!

Wow, what a day for running. While there have been some days with temperatures like this, they haven't necessarily fallen on a weekend. So while running from Prospect Park into Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights this morning, and then throughout the day, I saw lots and lots of runners - more than I've seen at any point this year.

The good weather has been a long time in coming (I personally like the 40 degree runs, but it's been a long time since we've seen consistent 50+ degree temps here). With the spring road racing season now fully upon us (more than 6500 runners at last weekend's Scotland 10K!!!), take an opportunity to target your spring races and get ready to rock.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Boston Qualifying Races

Thinking about qualifying for the Boston Marathon at some point? The race you run bears some thought - for example, the New York Marathon is a hillier course than others and runs a fair amount of temperature risk.

MarathonGuide.com released a list today of marathons that had the biggest percentage of finishers qualify for Boston in 2007. Please note two caveats: First, the hot weekend in October that burnt out Chicago and Twin Cities means that both races aren't truly considered (Chicago is flat, flat ... and flat). Also, smaller races may have heightened percentages. So, like everything involving statistics, take them with a grain of salt and use the information here to adjust your own knowledge (or not).

Best of luck to everyone in Brooklyn who is participating in this year's race.

Brooklyn Heights Gristede's Fire

Not quite a running post, but a fire engulfed the Gristede's in Brooklyn Heights this evening (a place at one point where I bought my Gatorade, so we'll make a very weak transition). Walking by it, I saw lots of smoke, no flames, which may be an indication of an electrical fire.

Photos are posted at the Brooklyn Heights Blog, and they'll likely keep track of the cause. No injuries reported yet - hopefully everyone made it out in time and no firefighters were hurt.

Run the Lincoln Tunnel

Ever think that, given the opportunity, you could run through the Lincoln Tunnel faster than it takes to drive through it (such as today, when I spent 30 minutes of my life in stop-and-go traffic). Well, here's your opportunity. The annual Lincoln Tunnel Challenge will be held on Sunday, April 20 at 9 a.m. - an out-and-back course starting in New Jersey. Pre-registration fee is $20, more on race day.

According to the Web site:

"The South Tube will be closed and thoroughly cleaned the night before the event. The tunnel is continuously ventilated; with the inside air changed every 90 seconds. No traffic will be allowed in the tunnel until post-race."

I wouldn't recommend watching Sylvester Stallone's "Daylight" the night before ...

ING Georgia Marathon - Boral Finishes 8th

File under: Local runners hitting the racepaths outside of our fair city - two of them were in Atlanta this past weekend. Jacek Boral finished 8th in the ING Georgia Marathon, recording a time of 2:28:45 and winning the Male 30-39 category. Ami Hassler sped to a 4:06:29.

City Coach Training Weekend

City Coach is hosting a three-day training camp, May 16-18 in Rhinebeck, NY. The weekend will include 2-3 professionally coached coached workouts per day, video swim analysis and daily workshops. Head to City Coach for more details.

Urban Environmental Challenge

Looking for a great trail race this weekend? Look no further than Van Cortlandt Park, where the Van Cortlandt Track Club is putting on the Urban Environmental Challenge 10K that wends through the trails of the park. Last year's rendition was the same weekend as the Boston Marathon - and the major storm that ripped through the region, meaning that half of the trails were under water (making the race a total blast). Sign up through Active.com or on race day.

Scotland Run Results ...

are here. Top Brooklyn male was Edvard Gapak in a blazing 31:30, taking third. Top female was Victoria Ganushina, who sped over the 10K course in 38:48, good enough for eighth.