Sunday, August 3, 2008

July Racing and Not Much Roster Updating

2008 Team Roster Lack of Update
Not much to report on the team roster front beyond what Captain Erica added on July 17. At this point I think the next major updates will be to announce our twelfth runner and who is running what leg.

July Racing Updates
While the team roster is settling down the team's racing is powering up! Summer and fall are racing season and so the group has been fairly busy.

Captain Erica and Chris
Both ran the Missoula Montana Half Marathon on July 13. I was there too for the full marathon and I will add details about it below. The half marathon course starts in a suburb, heads into a wildlife area and then winds through town for about 11 miles. Finally it finishes on a bridge across a river. Overall, a very attractive course. Better yet the day saw just perfect racing weather. It was in the mid-50's at the start, and because it is Montana the air was dry! For those of us slogging through east coast humidity that is quite a treat.

Here is a shot of Captain Erica and Chris (at what may have been one of the world's smallest marathon expos) for packet pickup the day before the race.

Chris ran the race in 1:54:09 for an 8:43 pace. Way to go Chris! Busted through the two hour mark with time to spare, and all this after claiming a bit over a year ago that he would have to give up running due to various physical ailments. Not that anybody really believed him! His time put in 21/32 in his AG.

Captain Erica also pulled through with a sub-two hour race time of 1:58:54 for a 9:05 pace! Congratulations on a great run as well. That yielded her 29/79 in her AG. A terrific placement within the top half of the field.

Emily spent the month winning many of the town's summer series races outright and all of them in her AG! On July 5 there was the 3.05 mile race. There she was 1 OA with a time of 19:07 for a 6:15 pace! Wow! On July 12 there was the 3.78 mile race which she finished in 23:54 for a 6:17 pace and first OA. On July 19 she ran the 4.07 mile race in 26:36 for a 6:29 pace. That put her second OA and first in her AG. Finally she stormed through the July 26 4.68 mile race in 30:49 for a 6:33 pace. That left her fourth OA and first in her AG. She is just smoking! Last year I would often beat her in these races. Not anymore! Now I am lucky if I can even come close to seeing her finish. Expect to see Emily running one of the team's longest set of legs if not the very longest come race day!

Sue ran the same local series as Emily. As usual Sue spent the series winning her AG in every race! In the 3.05 mile race she finished in 21:07 for a 6:54 pace fourth OA and first in her AG. She skipped the 3.78 and 4.07 mile race to hang out with her kids in South America. Sounds like a pretty good excuse to me! :) Then she came back strong as ever in the 4.68 mile race with a 33:28 finish for a 7:07 pace, and 7 OA and (of course) first in her AG!

Cathy was waylaid with a virus this past spring the put a several month long end to her training. She is now trying to come back and has put in a game effort that includes running the local race series as well. Her first comeback race was the on the 4.68 mile course which she finished in 43:28. That is a good start and she will hopefully continue to run longer and stronger as the summer progresses.

Matt as I wrote in the Captain Erica and Chris section I too headed out to Missoula Montana to run on July 13. The marathon course, like the half marathon course, is point to point. The marathon, however, starts a bit further away in a place called Frenchtown. From there you spend about 12 miles winding through farms. Then it is up a hill through a wildlife area and then back down where you hook up with the half marathon course for the final 11 miles. I had one really nice surprise and that was Erica's mother Jeannie was at the race and agreed to run race support for me! Because of her I could carry less on the course and yet had even more flexibility in terms of what I could consume as the race went on. She was terrific! We had agreed the night before to meet at miles 12 and 19 and both times there was my favorite spectator! So thanks again Jeannie you made a great race day even better. My final time as 3:25:46 for a 7:52 pace. Not a PR but still my second best time ever. Placement wise I finished 5/35 in my AG so I cannot complain too much. Another nice surprise was a friend of mine who was also out for the HM came and met me at the 23 mile mark to run me in. Having a mobile fan base is always a big help.

Like Sue and Emily I too have been running in the local race series. Alas, unlike them I can never hope to come anywhere close to winning my AG let alone finish first OA! Sad to say, I have also generally seen my times deteriorate from last year. I am still hoping to catch back up to where I was pre-spring injury. Fortunately, there was some evidence two weeks ago that I may be on my way. In the 3.05 mile race I finished in 19:27 for a 6:21 pace and 7 OA and 3 in my AG. This was 3 seconds faster than I ran it last year, and I hoped a good omen for the Missoula Marathon the following weekend. (Of course, that finish still left me 20 seconds behind Emily!) Next I ran the 4.07 mile race in 28:09 for a 6:52 pace, 15 OA and 7 in my AG. This was well off my 2007 time of 26L38 and 6:30 pace. But, hey, at least I had a good excuse! Just six days prior I had run a marathon. It takes time to recover from these things! Last up was the 4.68 mile race that I finished in 30:56 for a 6:35 pace, 10 OA and 2 (yes second!) in my AG. I think that may have been my best AG placement ever! My finish time was two seconds faster than last year. You know, you take what you can get!