Monday, July 28, 2008

August Races

Apologies, this is somewhat truncated, and I truly believe I've missed some. My goal, also, is to put all the area races (i.e. nearby NJ/LI/CT races on one page, rather than having you have to head out to sites). If I can find time this week, I'll repost with a longer list. At very least, you have a chance to consider the somewhat slim pickings this month.

Upcoming Races in August

Aug. 3 Sgt. Keith Ferguson 5K, Brooklyn Bridge

Aug. 5 Fort Hamilton 5K

Aug. 12 Fort Hamilton 5K

Aug. 13 PPTC Al Goldstein Speed Series, 5K, Prospect Park

Aug. 14 Van Cortlandt Cross Country 5K

Aug. 16 NYRR Team Championships (Clubs Only), 5M, Central Park

Aug. 19 Fort Hamilton 5K

Aug. 26 Fort Hamilton 5K

Aug. 27 PPTC Al Goldstein Speed Series, 5K, Prospect Park

Aug. 31 Nike Human Race 10K, Randall’s Island

Aug. 31 Henry Isola Cross Country Classic, Van Cortlandt Park

Link to Long Island Races

Link to Connecticut Races

Link to New Jersey Races

And a few to keep in mind in September

Sept. 6 Celic Run, 4M, Staten Island

Sept. 21 Liz Padilla Memorial Run, 5K, Prospect Park

Sept. 21 Chris Hoban Memorial 5 Mile Run, Bay Ridge

Sept. 28 Tunnel to Towers Run, 5K, Red Hook

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Brooklyn Highlights at the Nike Half

Some standout performances at today's race:

Oleksamdr Holovnytksyy was the top Brooklyn male (34th overall) with a 1:10:29

Beth St. John was the top Brooklyn female (41st among women) with a 1:26:12

Inkul Yoo was the first overall finisher among men 60+, with a 1:28:32

Samuel Skinner took top honors among men 65+, with a 1:37:45

Deborah Barchat finished 2nd in the 55-59 category for women, with a 1:44:01

42 people from Brooklyn broke 1:30 (net time). 94 people broke 1:40.

A lot of other great times; I'd guess, just on some preliminary number crunching, that probably 700-800 people from Brooklyn finished today (give or take a 100). Wonderful job, everyone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Elite Field at Nike Half

Here's a link to the elite field scheduled to run in the NYC Half tomorrow (or is it Nike Half :-) ). Some top runners for both men and women. Also of note - the one runner listing Brooklyn as a hometown: Kelly Chin (with a personal best of 1:20).

Nike Half and the Numbers

Seems to be a bit of a kerfuffle in the way NYRR has arranged the number pickup for the Nike Half tomorrow.

Rather than the standard race, during which other runners can pick up your number (a key help given the fact that we're all time-stressed as it is), NYRR is mandating that runners pick up their own numbers at Niketown (and bring photo ID to boot).

That wouldn't be so bad, except for this issue (from the NYRR Web site): ``Please note: Absolutely no race numbers or ChampionChips will be available on race morning.''

That means, if you're from out of town, or, perhaps from Brooklyn (we like to think of ourselves as independent sometimes - then again, ever try to get friends of yours who live on the upper East side to take the train to Brooklyn - it's like a foreign country), you have to go into Manhattan *TWICE* to a) get your number and b) race.

On one hand, it protects race-number swapping. On the other .... what's the big deal about this race? NYRR runs at least eight half marathons a year - the highlight of this one, among other things, is the huge entry fee (at $70 or more).

Suspect there's going to be a fair amount of griping about this one, especially if you were relying on someone else to get your number. Make sure to get into Manhattan by 5 p.m. today if you're running and haven't already got your stuff. Best of luck everyone.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Thursday Evening

Ahh, yes. Being injured stinks. A bothersome knee sidelined me this week after a 10-mile run last weekend. After being depressed the first part of the week as I limped up and down the stairs (so much for the October marathon I'd hoped to do), and not wanting *anything* to do with running, I'm refocused on cross-country in the fall (and maybe the Philadelphia marathon.) Hence the lack of blog posts.

With some free time, and renewed drive (I see a lot of time in the gym the next week or so), some thoughts on this Thursday evening, which is blessedly less humid than many of the previous few days ....

-- The somewhat overpriced Nike Half Marathon takes place this weekend. For those of you who aren't running (and best of luck to those who are), or won't be able to head into Manhattan to see it, the race will be broadcast live on Channel 7 (ABC) - race starts at 7 a.m on Sunday. Somehow, it doesn't quite have the gravitas of the NYC Marathon (or many other marathons), though it will be interesting to see how the coverage goes.

- NYRR is offering a 14-week marathon package ($350 members, $399 non-members) for those who want to get some professional training along with their prep work for the November race.

- Mark Friday evening, Aug. 23 (Eastern time), on your calendar. That's when Ryan Hall will bid to become the next Olympic marathon medalist from the U.S. I just received Sports Illustrated in the mail today: While they have plenty of picks in the sprints, the U.S. may only get one medal in the distance events (Lagat, silver, 1500), according to their experts. The women, led by Deena Kastor, are on Saturday evening, Aug. 16.

- Results from the PPTC Speed Series (July 16) are linked. Note the July 30 edition is a MAC Grand Prix event, so should be a fair number of top local runners in the park that Wednesday evening. Entry is only $5.

- I'll get an August/first part of September race calendar posted this weekend. I'm also working on a fall marathon/long race calendar (not just in New York) as well as a fall cross country calendar.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Dies in NYC Triathlon

The New York Times is reporting one death from this morning's triathlon. Swimmers also apparently were welcomed by jellyfish before having to battled the heat and humidity for the bicycle and running portions of the race.

One part I find interesting is the comment from the race director, Bill Burke, about an athlete's responsibility as they compete in a race. (Note, the context was about people preparing for the race, and not linked to the man's death.)

“Athletes in this event push themselves, but athletes also have to understand that they need to be prudent and understand that on a day like this, they’re probably not going to get a personal record today.”

It's something to keep in mind as you get your long training runs in for the fall marathon, or seek out the summer races.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Largest Half Marathons

The August issue of Runners' World contains an ad from Skins that purportedly lists the top half-marathons in the U.S. over the coming year.

Not surprisingly, the ones sponsored by New York Runners appear on the lists - Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Grete's Gallop, More and the Nike Half. One omission is the Queens Half, which had 3,589 finishers last year. It's possible it didn't make the cut - it's also possible that because NYRR has been messing around with the date, Skins didn't immediately see it on the schedule.

Park to Park Results Posted

Results from this morning's race in Central Park have been posted. "Only" 3,989 finishers - I'll need to check, though that's among the smaller totals this year.

Brooklyn's own Oleksander Holovnytskyy was the top overall finisher, clocking 31:31 for the 10K course.

New Entrance for Manhattan Bridge

After what seems like a decade of construction (might be less ... might be more), the pedestrian entrance on the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge now consists of a little park, complete with benches and shady trees (no water fountain that I could easily see, but may have missed it).

From a running standpoint, it means a nice area to gather and meet people as you plan a workout. And it's another example of how the greening of waterfront is starting to take shape and make things simply more pleasant to be around.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Ways of Getting Home

One of the great things about running with folk is that you get to tap their knowledge. Just because you've done something one way dozens of times doesn't mean it's the right way, or the best way.

Case in point: a training run with some folk that took me from Prospect Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, along the east side and then back over the Williamsburg Bridge, before heading back to the park. I tend to hug the water and go back into Dumbo first; this time, I took Hall Street, and then Underhill after reaching Atlantic, to get back.

The map below shows yesterday's route.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Thursday Evening

Some thoughts percolating following an evening run from work in Manhattan to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade (about 7.75 miles).

-- Running down 1st Avenue in Manhattan and then along the East River ... is not the most enjoyable run in the world. It's OK once you get into the park area, but the first part, which is on busy roadways and then crowds you close to the FDR, is getting kind of old. (True, much of the West Side Highway run is also close to the highway ...)

-- You can see all four NYC Waterfalls from the Manhattan side ... yet, the one based on the Brooklyn piers wasn't functioning tonight.

-- It's worth checking out the movies that are held in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo on Thursday evenings. It took me a second to realize that, no, massive trash hadn't washed onto shore, but it was a huge crowd watching tonight's offering: "Stand By Me." It's a personal favorite, and not just because of the running component: Wil Wheaton, running across the bridge, desperately trying to beat the train. (Yeah, I've done that. Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

-- Running across the Brooklyn Bridge during a beautiful summer evening: It's crowded, like weekend crowded. Still, the views, and the sense of belonging, makes it worthwhile.

-- Later on this evening, was leafing through the Road Runner Sports catalog and looking at the watches. Most of the options from Timex and Nike include wristbands that can't be replaced (except by sending them back to the companies). After duct tape held my Timex Ironman together for a few months, the band finally disintegrated, and I'm temporarily wearing my $10 Kmart special that continues to do the basic job. Open to any suggestions to prolong the watch, which is now just serving as the morning wakeup alarm.

-- How's the marathon training going? July is a key base month before you get into August and September ... (I'm negotiating with my knee about how many times a week I can run.)

-- Are you excited for the Olympics? In spite of all the politics, NBC hoopla, etc. -- it's just great to be able to watch the top U.S. runners -- no, make that the top runners around the world -- strut on center stage and get the due they deserve.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Recent Race Results

The July 4 Pepper Martin classic on Staten Island can be found here.

The July 2 Al Gordon Speed Series 5K can be found here.

The June 29 Cosme 5K on Coney Island can be found here.

Park to Park Run Date Changed to July 13

This posted on the NYRR Web site ...

Due to a Bon Jovi concert in Central Park on July 12, the New York Park to Park race has been changed from Saturday, July 12, to Sunday, July 13, at 8:00 a.m. Registered runners who do not contact NYRR by 11:59 p.m. tonight will remain entered in the New York Park to Park race on the new date of July 13, 2008.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Go Forth on the Fourth

Sitting here, waiting for the Red Sox-Yankees to get out of rain delay (and wondering whether the raindrops in the Bronx will be hitting Brooklyn anytime soon), so time for a quick roundup:

-- I've added a few things to the blog, including a link to all the categories (I may go back and re-edit, given the number of single category items) that will make it easier to find things, such as Race Calendars. I may stick up a Web site with a permanent race calendar and links to results, so people (and myself) can more easily find things: More on this later.

-- I've also added a list of local-area blogs -- this is a work in progress, and I'll be adding more as I go back and figure out which ones should be added (so please, drop me a note in the interim).

-- Didn't make it over to Staten Island this morning for the 5-miler there. (Do I sleep, or do I race?) Sleep won out. I don't see results yet, but when they come, the Staten Island Running folk will be sure to have them.

-- The Men's 10K Olympic trials starts at 12:20 local time tonight, and will be broadcast on USA. Lots of runners with local ties (or appearances at local races), including Matt Downin, Abdi Abirahman, and of course, Meb (he gets single-name status). My solution to watching the 5K: setting the watch alarm and crashing on the couch, then trying to figure out what the heck I was doing up with only an hour of sleep. Thankfully, my young daughters have given me practice.

-- Hope folk were able to take advantage, and had a day off today: I'm doing a hard tempo run today, long distance on Saturday, and then a run in Prospect Park on Sunday (in, as in, not on the loop, but on the grass, trails, whatever). Happy grilling!