Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Fan Club Races On

While the RTBR is over that does not mean the team has stopped racing. No, not as a team! Individually. I am hoping to post here about once a month the team's racing achievements in the prior month. So here is the September recap:

September 22: I ran the Flagstaff AZ Half Marathon (HM). This race has what every runner dreams of avoiding: a combination of hills and no air! It takes place at 8000 feet and has vertical climbs totaling 1100 feet! What did I sign up for? I finished with a new personal worst HM time of 1:48:03. But that was good enough for 8 out of 31 overall among the men and 3 out of 16 among men over 40. Did they hand out age group trophies? No! Sigh.

September 30 was a busy day for the team! Just in time for this month's recap we have:

Amy ran the Ann Arbor MI Big House, Big Heart 5K side-by-side with her daughter. Their chip time of 41:20 is pretty impressive for somebody in the middle of grade school!

Heather ran the Niantic Bay 5K. Not only did she run it in just 24:41 for a 7:57 per mile pace she WON her age group! (Stay tuned we may yet get a picture of that trophy to post.) Collecting the trophy turned out to be harder than you might imagine. First they handed her the third place trophy. Looking at the finisher list the race officials discovered the second place finisher was named Matt. Hmm, not too many women named Matt. So then they gave Heather the second place trophy. Only later, when the official results were posted, did she find out that she had actually won her age group. An email to the race director, a few days wait, and the right trophy (the BIG one) finally showed up in the mail.

Erica ran the Niantic Bay Half Marathon (HM) showing that fan club members can run long even without van support! She broke 2 hours with a time of 1:58:12! Better yet she knocked 22 seconds per mile off of the pace she ran the New Haven 20K on Labor Day with a final HM pace of 9:02 per mile! Congratulations Erica!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Overall Rosie Stats

The Rosie Ruiz Fan Club came in 64/154 in the Mixed Open category! That puts us in the 42 percentile from the top. Great running! Special kudos to the Green Line runners who toughed out a really rough 29 hours, 23 minutes, and 31 seconds yielding an overall pace for the group of 8:33. If you are wondering how good that is, our forecasted pace (based on actual historical race times) was 8:53. So we knocked a full 20 seconds from that! Had we run at our forecasted pace we would have finished 102 in our category, which is the 66 percentile and about where I believe we were initially seeded. A pretty impressive achievement all around!


Monday, October 1, 2007


The team owes Captain Erica a free lifetime metro pass for all the work she put into making it all happen! I am sure I speak for the whole team when I say we are immensely grateful for allowing us to experience the Reach the Beach Relay.

If you have never run a relay like this you cannot begin to imagine the time and effort a team captain needs to devote to the whole process. Like what?
  • Do you have 11 friends that can run a half marathon? Can at least two or three of those 11 run a marathon? No? Well start looking!
  • How many handy running compatible reflective vests, lights for those vests, and headlamps do you own? None? Get ready to go shopping! Not only that get ready to do some research too. Not all reflective vests are suitable for racing in.

  • Do you have a pair of 15 person vans in your garage? No? Ever wonder where you might be able to rent two? This is your chance to find out.

  • How familiar are you with the hotels near the vehicle transition areas? Not at all? Think a web based service will help? Think again! You need Grady's Roadside Inn not the Hyatt. Find the town on the map then go to a Yellow Pages website and type in motels. See what pops up and start dialing.
  • Do you like to shop for things like bottled water, sports drinks, and high carbohydrate foods that can supply 6 people over 36 hours of running? I hope so because you just agreed to stock two vans with the stuff!
  • Do you want your runners to be able to spot your van on course? Yes! How nice. Now go buy things to decorate the vans with.
  • Did you know there is a race handbook? Did you know your team is supposed to read it? Do you have a plan to get them to do so? As you might imagine it is very entertaining so your team should jump at the chance. Not!
  • Maps! Yes, your team needs course maps and if you are nice road maps that cover the whole route.

All of the above and more Erica took care of.

Oh one other detail. What do you plan to do if one of the vans breaks down after the race when it is ready to leave the beach? Well, the curse of the Green Line did not end with the race. When the group that had planned to drive it back to New Haven tried to start it up and leave the finish guess what? Nothing! It would not start. Erica's husband Chris was kind enough to drive six(?) of us to the Manchester Airport where we picked up a minivan for the drive home. The next day Erica and Chris managed to get an emergency repair job for Green Line. That got it started but the mechanic told them not to let the engine stop prior to reaching New Haven as it likely would not start up a second time. It could have been worse! The van did make it to the finish. Had it died midrace our adventure would have gone with it.

Here is the picture Erica took the next day of the Green Line at the finish. Sort of says it all.