Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Somehow, two-thirds of Americans got sucked into the gravity well of theoverfed, and came back out, McDonald's-plumped and super-sized. Everybodyknows what to do about weight gain - diet and exercise - but the chokepointis in actually doing it. Like Buridan's ass, who died in front of a bucketof food and a bucket of water because he couldn't decide if he was hungrier or thirstier, the morbidly obese stutter in the face of self-help.
Weight control is had not so much by doing everything right, but by notdoing anything wrong: donuts for breakfast; fast food lunches; night timesnacking; riding when you could be walking; hiring out DIY jobs when the exercise would do you good. It's a sure-fire way of going from breathing to a toe ticket, while adding to our record high weight-related medical costsof $147 billion.
If you want something done epically, you have to do it yourself. This year, Virgin Galactic took nine space tourists to weightlessness. For the rest ofus, there's Virgin Health Miles. Fit or not, you can exchange miles walked or ran for points that count toward gift cards to major retailers, e.g.,Target, Amazon.com. Learn more: http://www.virginhealthmiles.com/
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
For the past few years, runners participating in the Colonial Road Runners Wednesday afternoon interval sessions at Walsingham Academy have had to contend with about a sixth of a mile per lap of medium-sized rocks, used to cover the maintenance road from the far end of the track, along the woods line, and to the baseball backstop and dugouts. While run-able, the rocks were not fun to run on, and slowed down the pace for that section.
That inconvenience is now history. Back in March Walsingham agreed to purchase a dump truck-load of finely crushed stone, which was left in four large piles. The Colonial Road Runners agreed to provide all of the labor in moving the existing rocks to the side to provide an even base, then loading and dumping countless wheelbarrows full of the crushed stone, before smoothing out the finished running path.
Led by project coordinator Rick Platt, the regulars (with at least three work sessions) included Frank Caruso, Andrew and Mercedes D’Amico, Frank Faykes, Jim Goggin, Ian Hawkes, Ed Irish and Ann Jurczyk. Also putting in at least one work session were MacKenzie Carnes, Greg Dawson, Rex Hoover, Ashley Hoover, Steve Menzies, Paula Pickering and Daniel Shaye.
The finished smooth, flat surface is wide enough for two runners abreast, and is similar in condition to running paths at Noland Trail, Warhill, or Newport News Park. Try it out sometime!
So if you’ve been avoiding the Walsingham intervals in the past year or so, because you didn’t like running over the rocks, that excuse is gone! Come on out, and join us for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28th, in a ceremonial lap around the “short loop”, before the regular interval workout. Even if you can’t make the ribbon-cutting session, we hope as many of you as possible will become regulars at the Wednesday workouts on our new path.
Note that the October 28th interval session will be the last one at the regular March-through-October 5:30 p.m. starting time. With daylight savings time ending on Sunday, November 1st, all workouts from November 4th through the end of January will be at the winter starting time of 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I was wondering why the deer fly kept getting bigger and bigger, and then it hit me right in the eye. I was running in the middle of a flash mob offlying bugs, trying to keep my mouth shut and my speed up, but they were landing all over me, morphing my style into that of a frenzied hackeysacker. I finally smacked one, and pulled my hand back, horrified to see it covered with my own blood. That's when a fly hit my eye, with another going straight into my mouth, mid-"ow". I reached up, smearing red across my eyeand knocking out my contact lens, reducing myself to blind staggers and drooling, like I was fresh off a Haitian white powder binge.
Deer flies thrive in damp, wooded areas or fields during warm weather. They begin swarming at dawn for about three hours, and then again around sunset.They're attracted to forward motion, and can't be outrun. A fly will circle its victim's head and shoulders, delivering a painful cross-shaped cut that pools with blood. Insect repellants are ineffective, but attaching a flypaper-like Deer Fly Patch on your hat will help ease your run. Google Tred-Not Deer Fly Patch.
Running. Covering ground on 2 feet. It's a universal experience, one we runners all share... or do we?
When you and I think of running, we may think of lacing up our shoes and heading out for a half hour run, or even a race; but there are many faces of running. Here in the USA, running is a form of recreation, a type of exercise, a path to health and/or personal joy. When I lived in Kenya, I saw running used as both a career path and a road to national pride; but I also saw it used as transportation-- especially by kids traveling to and from school. In America, our transportation typically has wheels and a motor. This is not the case in the more rural areas of developing nations... and sometimes they don't even wear shoes (the legends are true).
Having diversified my athletic endeavors, I've discovered other faces of running. I wouldn't dream of lacing up my high-top basketball shoes for a 3-mile trail run; yet for basketball, they're a must. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined giving up a trail run for 1-3 hours of sprints up an down an 84-foot-long hardwood, indoor court... yet it's still my legs, running and bounding, that carry me. The experience has its differences from distance running, to be sure: No deer sightings, no spikes, no precipitation, and never a hill or bump. Even so, it's still a thrill and joy to experience my body, moving through space, my heart pumping and lungs expanding.
We runners are a diverse family. A sprinter or triple-jumper might in some ways have more in common with the basketball player than the 5000 meter specialist; yet can even the 5K runner compare him or her-self with the marathoner? And what of the ultra runner's experience? I've never "been there," yet I understand that going 50 or 100+ miles is very, very different from the half hour or even 2 hour runs I've known.
Some of you might argue that we runners are all a family, sharing in a unique life that is separate and distinct from what basketball players or others might experience... yes? But again, I wonder if our family is bigger than we think. Some runners are driven by the watch, or the scale, or by competition. Some live running as a primal joy, a mental health exercise more than a physical one; and still others live a desire to move beyond desire, to be one with the experience. If such diverse people, doing such disparate things, can all call themselves "runners," might our family be even bigger than we at first conceive?
Whether we run, or racewalk; whether we bound and race, or shuffle along; whether our shoes cover our ankles, or exist not at all; and even whether we run for reasons as different as spikes and trainers; we runners of all stripes share a bond. A distance run, or playing 5-on-5 basketball, both require that our own two legs carry us-- and no one else's. We can experience the forms of the run as our solo treasure, or build a community and social support network around the activity. Perhaps we can expand our family, even while we experience what is in so many ways an intensely personal experience.
I'll see you on the road... or trail... or track... or court... or wherever you choose to run.
Yours in running, health, & fitness,
-Dr. Daniel A. ShayeCertified Chiropractic Sports PhysicianFellow, International Academy of Medical Acupuncture
Do you have a question you’d like answered? Mail your questions c/o Performance Chiropractic, 1307 Jamestown Road, Ste. 103, Williamsburg, VA 23185; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; or visit www.performancechiropractic.com
Friday, October 9, 2009
Soccer and running were intertwined at the inaugural Crapolfest 2009 5K Run last Saturday, starting and finishing at Albert-Daly Field, the soccer stadium for William and Mary. The race benefited the Andrew E. Crapol Soccer Scholarship, and was organized by the W&M Tribe Club, with assistance by the W&M men’s soccer team.
Andy Crapol (1978-2009) was a Williamsburg native who played soccer for Lafayette High School, then at William and Mary under Coach Al Albert (the race director for the Crapolfest run). The 5K was a Colonial Road Runners event. Andy’s mother, Jeanne Zeidler, is on the Williamsburg City Council, and is the current mayor of Williamsburg. His father, Edward Crapol, is a professor emeritus in history at W&M.
Andy was diagnosed with esophageal cancer early this year, and died tragically within months. His wife, Allison Simmons Crapol, was at all the weekend events, including handing out the race awards.
There was almost $12,000 raised from the Crapolfest weekend events (also including a mini-golf tournament Saturday afternoon at Pirates Cove), and with $4,000+ in additional contributions made to the scholarship fund, that made for over $16,000 raised. The Crapol scholarship is now endowed with over $70,000.
There were 195 finishers in the 5K run/walk, and an additional 31 finishers in the 1 mile fun run/walk. The mini-golf tournament attracted about 125. There was also a W&M women’s soccer game Friday evening, and a men’s soccer game Saturday evening, where rival George Mason prevailed 1-0.
The top three overall men were Danny O’Callaghan, 37, of Houston (17:04), Gregor Kranjc, 35, of Williamsburg (17:13) and Daniel Shean, 26, of Williamsburg (18:07). O’Callaghan coached Brittany Lane, a junior starting midfielder on the W&M women’s team, for the Challenge Soccer Club in Houston, and came to the race with Brittany’s father, Brent Lane. Kranjc is a visiting professor in the same W&M history department as Andy’s father.
The top three women were Alaina Redd, 16, of Midlothian (and Cosby High School) in 20:53, Claire Zimmeck, 22, of Williamsburg (22:02) and Kristin Morgan, 24, of Williamsburg (22:48). Zimmeck was a two-time All-American for the W&M women’s soccer team, graduating in May.
The race course was mostly flat, and included a loop around Dillard Complex to start, then heading out the recreational bike path past the James City County Williamsburg Recreation Center, down Longhill Road to Ironbound Road at James Blair School, then back past the Plumeri Park entrance road to the finish at Albert-Daly Field, where refreshments were served and awards handed out.
Some of the notable runners, with soccer or W&M connections, placing in the top three of their age groups were Robert Bryden of Richmond and Greg Westfall of Manhasset, NY (both ’97 soccer grads); Scott Cooper of Toano (a coach in the Virginia Legacy soccer club); Sean Pieri (vice president for development for W&M); John Tuttle (W&M ’88, who was recently named one of the top 25 men’s soccer players of the CAA for its past 25 years); Gonzalo Abrigo (father of current men’s player Nick); Milam Walters (married to Andy’s older sister Heidi Crapol); Brent Lane (father of Brittany); Christine Connelly (wife of W&M associate head soccer coach Chuck Connelly); Brita Marmon (W&M assistant women’s soccer coach); and Karen DiNuzzo (mother of Michael on the W&M men’s team). Jonny Kamara, the second assistant coach for the W&M soccer team, who also coaches Virginia Legacy, would have been one of the top finishers, but he was accompanying his 3-year-old son Atticus to an impressive 39:23 time.
There were numerous other family members of Andy’s participating in either the 5K or 1 mile events, including Jeanne Zeidler, Ed Crapol, brother Paul Crapol, sister Heidi Crapol, aunt Marianne Crapol, father-in-law Robert Simmons, mother-in-law Patricia Simmons, and sister-in-law Kimberly Simmons.
Andy Crapol was best friends with Shane Emmett and the entire Emmett family since they were little kids, and all the Emmetts participated, including father Bob, mother Pauline, and brothers Shane, Casey (who designed the race entry form) and Quinn (designer and webmaster for the http://www.andycrapol.com/ website), and sister Molly (who ran barefoot).
Al Albert’s son Graham, also a former W&M soccer player, ran the first mile holding a soccer ball, then once the course opened up a bit, dribbled it for the final two miles of the race.
Full results can be found at http://colonialroadrunners.org/2009Crapolfestresults.txt.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
First, if you are running, the number goes on the front. And pin that bib to something you will be still wearing at the finish and in a place where, if a volunteer has to tear off the pull tag for you, they won't be also risking grabbing onto something you don't want them grabbing on to. The volunteers at the finish line need to see your number so they can record the order of finish. Bandit catchers need to see your number so they know you can go through the chute. Photo companies need to see that number when they take your picture in the big races so they can send you the offers to buy your picture. Do not take your dog or your baby stroller through the chute with you. Liability insurance ban those for one thing, and they jam up the chute and slow things down for another. If you have to pick one, pick the dog. Trying to veer a bigass stroller the size of a small SUV through the chute is like having your baby do the announcement on your voice mail. You think it's adorable, the rest of the world finds it annoying. By the way, USATF also bans headphones (iPods, etc.), but most race directors ignore that one. Music is a wonderful and inspiring thing. Your brain can produce it without the electronics. When you run with the music in your head, it leaves your ears free to hear things like birds singing and the engine of the car bearing down on you.
When you pin the number on, do not put a pin through that big hole in the pull tag. You will just slow things down again as a volunteer tries to undo the thing from your sweaty self (by the way, taking a shower before the race, too, is not a bad idea) while the line behind you gets longer. The hole is for the string and again is for getting the results in order. And don't pull that tag off before the chute. "Where is your pull tag?" "It's in my car." Arghhhhh.....
If you feel the need to throw up at the finish, aim as far away from folks as possible. Don't feel bad, lots of people heave, just try not to spread that competitive love around. There are better ways to share bodily fluids. Which leads to the next point. If you have to vomit or otherwise relieve your self during the race, again, move away from the people and try to find some quiet time and private space - preferably not somebody's yard. When you are out on the course, look before you blow your snot rockets and spit loogies. People don't appreciate getting hit with those. And if you are running into a stiff wind, like happens in VA Beach sometime, you could put your eye out. (And you will swear that despite running at top speed, the wind is pushing you backwards.)
George Sheehan wrote in "Running and Being" about some runners being annoyed by his groaning as he ran during races. If you find yourself running alongside someone who is wheezing what sounds like death on a cracker, don't get annoyed and mad. That just causes you to lose your focus. Use it as a motivator to go faster to get as far from the screeching as possible. And there is recent research that cursing and groaning can actually relieve pain and make you feel better. Just be aware of who is around you. You may feel better but they may be offended. Go figure.
Don't get too uptight about your number. If you happen to get the number 1 and you look at least semi-fit, people will most likely assume you are one of the top runners even if you have trouble beating your own shadow to the finish line. Take it in good humor. And next time send your registration in a little later. Don't have a hissy about the numbers 69 and 666. They are just numbers you will be wearing for a short time and not declarations of your lifestyle choice. And dammit, why don't I ever got those numbers.
When you get to the finish line, slow down. Do not run over the person in front of you or pass them. Remember those pull tags? This is where the tags get pulled and put on the stringer. You want to know where you finished in the order, don't you?
Runners who have finished and spectators need to be aware that they are still on planet earth with things like cars and trucks and later finishing runners. Get out of the road and get off of the course. It is hard enough trying to finish fast, sometimes with buses and cars in the way, but when there are oblivious people tooling around between you and the finish, it can make you want to go into linebacker or hockey mode. It will take a few seconds off your time, but from then on, people will get the hell out of your way. You may even be permanently assigned 666 as your race number.
Course marshals need to pay attention. Sometimes runners wind up in places far off the course, totally lost because a course marshal was chatting up somebody or was not where they were supposed to be and didn't guide a runner to make a turn. You find yourself looking around a campground wondering where in the world you are. And sometimes the lead bike or car doesn't know the route and takes a wrong turn and the leaders go off in the wrong direction. The upside to this is that runners who don't usually place have a better shot at placing. It is sort of like handicapping horses except the fast runners don't carry more weight, they have to run extra distance.
Race walkers need to walk. The USATF rule is this: "Race walking differs from running in that it requires the competitor to maintain contact with the ground and straighten their front knee when the foot makes contact with the ground, keeping it straightened until the knee passes under the body. Judges evaluate the technique of race walkers and report fouls which may lead to disqualification. All judging is done by the eye of the judge and no outside technology is used in making judging decisions." This is what it looks like:
Runners can walk and run, just like Jeff Galloway teaches it, but walkers only walk.
One thing nice about running races is that people are competitive but also cooperative as a rule. They want to do their best, but also encourage and cheer each other on. There is rarely the elbow throwing, heel clipping, leg entangling, roller derby aspect to it. Having said that, cutting in front of someone or riding on their heels is not good. Remember, the goal is fun and doing your best. There are times people blow their stacks and act like idiots for reasons that sometimes only they know. They may have been aggravated by trying to weave through a pack of folks running together taking up the whole width of the course. This is especially true when the course includes trails. Be mindful when some one is behind you and trying to pass. Yet another reason to fore go the headphones.
Don't stop at the water tables. Grab a cup and move along out of the way so other people don't run into you. And double knot your shoes while you're at it. Abrupt stops on the course to tie your shoe can result in untended acrobatics and road rash. And that's a best case result.
At the start line, slower runners and walkers start at the back of the pack. There always seem to be some slow runners and some walkers who have to start on the front line. It can make the faster runners behind them feel like they are stuck in the opening scene of "Office Space."
Be polite to your fellow runners. Running cranks up the sinuses. If you notice that your bud has something hanging from his chin or a booger like a stalactite hanging from a nostril, give him a discrete heads up. And a tissue if you have one.
Pack some Purell. You've hit the Port-a-Potties, you've run the race and wiped the mucous and spit you secreted with your hands and smeared that onto your sweaty outfit, and now you are digging into the goodies at the finish line. Clean your hands first, please. This is not a Hep A support rally. And leave some goodies for the folks who haven't finished yet. Good lord! I got to do some speed work to get to those bagels quicker.
Lastly, thanking volunteers is a good thing, congratulating other runners and walkers is a good thing. And remember, you are doing a good thing taking care of yourself. Running is good for your physical, mental and emotional health when you keep it in perspective. If more people took care of themselves like you, health care costs would be a lot lower and folks wouldn't be as likely to turn into screaming meemies when talking about health care reform.
You can get the official USATF rules for road racing etiquette at http://www.rrca.org/programs/education/raceetiquette.pdf.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Proprioception is our awareness of our body and how it moves. There are a few cases of people who have lost this awareness and only one individual who has taught himself to be able to walk again by retraining his brain. (http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/30683-one-step-beyond-loss-of-proprioception-video.htm and http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/05/05). Our bodies use V3 neurons to ensure coordination between the left and right sides (http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/how-the-body-maintains-balance-while-walking_100105195.html).
There are many coaches and teachers who teach various ways to run. Here is a sampling of a few:
Chi Running promises injury free running and increased efficiency. The inventor, Danny Dreyer, based the form on elements of tai chi balance along with the use of gravity in the tilt of the body in running. You can read more at http://www.chirunning.com/shop/home.php.
The Alexander Technique is used not only for walking and running, but dancing and other ways of moving. The emphasis is on as awareness of your body and how it moves and to learn to move more comfortably and without pain. (http://alexandertechnique.com/)
The last technique we will look at is Nicholas Romanov's Pose Method. (http://www.posetech.com/) There is an emphasis on relaxation and mid foot strike and there are drills to improve performance.
One thing to keep in mind, when you change form, you stress your body. Ross Tucker of the Science of Sport wrote in 2008:
"...what the Pose running study at UCT showed me a few years ago is that if you change the landing of the foot, you predispose the athlete to injury - that study took a group of runners and within two weeks had them all running on the midfoot (please don't write in to say that Pose doesn't mean midfoot, because Romanov was the coach and he was happy with their technique!). Two weeks later, they all broke down with Achilles tendon injuries!Why? Because sitting where you are right now, if I was to walk into your office or your home and take you outside and ask you to please run landing on your forefoot or midfoot, I can pretty much guarantee that the way you would achieve this is to point your toe down...you're probably doing this as you read this - contract the calf, and point your toe away from your body, like in ballet. Now imagine your body weight landing on that contracted calf muscle 85 times a minute for 4 hours. That, simply put, is a recipe for disaster.However, if you can gradually change your landing, then I do believe that you can shift your footstrike. But it's a gradual process. And more important, what is the point? There is no evidence that heel-strikers are injured more, no evidence that mid-foot runners are faster and perform better than heel-strikers, and so the ultimate question is:Why would you want to change your foot landing to begin with? Science has little to offer you in support of this. And so my advice, having read this far (well done!), is to forget about the possibility that you're landing "wrongly", and just let your feet land where, and how they land, and worry about all the other things you can when you run!If there is one thing you change in your running, don't focus on your footstrike, but rather on WHERE your feet land relative to your body. Because if you are over-reaching and throwing your foot out in front of you, that's a problem, but what happens when the rubber meets the road is less relevant!" http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html
Investigate techniques, find what works for you, and one thing consistant through these techniques is balance and relaxation.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Running activates hundreds of genes throughout the body, with a mother lodehappening in your butt. Here, they dictate the intricate workings of thelargest muscle in the human body, the gluteus maximus. The butt itselfprovides the ballast needed for stability, so we can accelerate while balancing our forelimbs and trunk on our hindquarters.
Daniel Lieberman of Harvard University studied the activity of this muscle in volunteers during a walk and a jog. "When they walk, their glutes barelyfire up, but when they run, it goes like billy-o," he said.
Our big butt muscles are part of the evolution that separates us from our less cheeky primate cousins who never had to chase game for long distancesin order to survive. We evolved to run. It's a theory that holds true today,and explains why so many of us are able to cover the distances of a marathon and beyond.
Engage your natural ability and invite non-runners to fire up their glutes on Friday, September 18th, during the Road Runners Club of America's 4thAnnual National Run@Work Day. The RRCA will provide brochures and posters,and will post your Run@Work Day event for FREE on the RRCA Calendar at http://www.rrca.org/
Sally is also an artist. Her art work can be found at Parlett's Cards, Stationery & Gifts in Williamsburg, Gallery at York Hall on Main St. in Yorktown, Gallery on the York on Rte 17 in Yorktown, Peedles Gallery and Gifts at 404 Wythe Creek Rd in Poquoson, and Rooms, Blooms, and More in Hilton Village on Warwick Blvd. in Newport News.
For comments, questions and resource referrals, she can be reached at email@example.com. © by Sally Young
by Dr. Daniel Shaye, Chiropractic Physician
Adapted from an article originally appearing in The Health Journal, January 2008 edition
Our previous column laid the groundwork for "newbies" looking to complete their first 5K or 10K. (Part 1 is at the end of this column.) Here are some additional guidelines and tips to help you successfully achieve your goals:
A good coach is invaluable. He or she will answer your questions and help you out the door when you're not sure you really want to do this today. Consider joining a running club (and don't imagine they'll turn you away because you're slow or a beginner). If you've got a support crew in the form of friends or family, so much the better. You might appreciate having someone to carry your stinky clothes or to drive you home on event day.
Listen to your body.
If something hurts, back off; and if it keeps hurting, get it checked out. If you have a hard day, take an easy day or a day off. And finally, take it easy on the pills. Don't mute your body's warning signals.
Make rest an ally, not an enemy.
As we noted above, walking isn't a sin. Similarly, a day off can be a day to recover and come back stronger. Sleep can be time ill used, or time to heal, center and reinvigorate. For all the cyborgs reading, essentially you'll need to recharge. For all the humans out there, use walking, rest days and sleep to do the same.
You can go too fast, but you can't go too slow.
"Too much, too fast, too soon" is the top mistake new runners make. Chart your running and walking, or keep a log. There's plenty of time for you to focus on reaching your full potential, regardless of your age. Oh, and say hello to the tortoise for me, will you?
Let's say you were planning on running your first full mile today...but your allergies are especially bad, or you stayed up too late last night. Modify the plan. Perhaps tomorrow is a better choice. Life and running each have their challenges, their literal and figurative inclement weather, injuries and such. When it comes to your schedule, feel free to adjust your plans to suit changing circumstances. However, don't change your habits on event day. Race day is not the time to try out a new pair of shoes or energy drink.
Water and food are your "gas." Learn to use them wisely.
Prepare for the course.
If the course is hilly, be sure you're physically and mentally up to the challenge. Also, don't run all your miles on the treadmill. Make race day a logical extension of your training - the more you prepare for the actual event conditions and course, the more likely your success.
Support a cause.
Your event entry fee will typically support a cause such as a hospice, the Humane Society or a scholarship fund. You might enjoy running for your own glory, but why not add to the joy by helping others?
Be ready for weather.
Is your event day likely to be hot? Train for it. Cold? Dress for it.
Tell your doctor what you're up to. If your doctor is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine or a similar organization, so much the better. Don't self-diagnose, and consider having your doctor "clear" you to run. And while I'm mentioning safety, be smart. A single female running alone in the dark wearing earphones is a recipe for disaster.
Don't forget to enjoy. Running can be fun! When you hit your finish line, you'll have done something very special. Don't be surprised if your finish line turns into a new starting line, a gateway to new experiences and vistas you once couldn't imagine for yourself.
I'll see you on the trails, my friends.
Yours in running, health, & fitness,
-Dr. Daniel A. Shaye
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician
Fellow, International Academy of Medical Acupuncture
Do you have a question you’d like answered? Mail your questions c/o Performance Chiropractic, 1307 Jamestown Road, Ste. 103, Williamsburg, VA 23185; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ; or visit www.performancechiropractic.com
So, You Want to Run a 5K? (part 1 of 2)
Adapted from an article originally appearing in The Health Journal, January 2008 edition
So you've got this idea in your head - you'd like to run a 5K, and someday maybe even a 10K. Maybe you're motivated to lose a little weight. Perhaps you'd like to thumb your nose at the passage of time (when did we get so old?). Perhaps you'd like to be a part of the camaraderie; after all, 31,000 people completed Richmond's Monument Avenue 10K last year. No matter why you've decided to run, I'd like to offer some advice on training for, and completing, your upcoming race - safely.
A 5K is 3.1 miles. If your stride is three feet long, that's 5,456 steps. I've written articles on running fast, but our goal here is simply to get you to - and preferably, past - the finish line. For the novice runner, step one is to forget about time. Note that I used the term "novice." If you've never tried a 5K or 10K, you're a novice runner; and if your last run was years ago, you'll need some time for your body to catch up to your ambitious mind.
As to forgetting about time, let me be more precise: Forget about your finishing time. That being said, you will need to learn about pace. You'll need to learn what your body will and will not do; and you'll need to learn to save your energies, even when you're feeling good and full of beginner's enthusiasm. Remember that on the big day of your goal event, you might get sucked into a pace that's faster than you intended; beware the high price of starting too ambitiously. As Socrates counseled, "Know thyself." (It is not known how Socrates fared at the 5K distance.)
Here are some guidelines for successfully completing your first 5K or 10K:
Set a goal.
Pick an event that excites you, challenges you, or both. Maybe your friend is doing a particular run, or perhaps you were inspired by seeing Aunt Sue complete a race last year. Regardless of which event you choose, leave enough time to prepare. If you're truly starting from scratch, you might want to choose a race that allows you 10, 15 or even 20 weeks to prepare. You can do it! You'll just need enough time. A bonus benefit of setting a goal: You've committed yourself. If you feel like chickening out, something as silly as a potentially squandered $20 race entry fee might be the little nudge you need to line up on the big day.
This is a trick borrowed from financial planners. If you want to hit the retirement "finish line" with $1 million in the bank when you're age 65, you'll need to save according to a plan. Similarly, if you want to run and reach a 5K finish line 10 weeks from now, you'll need to build up your aerobic "savings account." On event day, you'll only be able to spend what you've saved up. Let's say that today you can't run more than a quarter mile (a single lap around most tracks) without stopping. Ten weeks from now, you plan to run a distance equivalent to 12 and a half times around the track (i.e., a 5K). In eight weeks, you should be able to run up to two miles (eight laps) without feeling like it's the end of the world. Certainly by four weeks you should be able to handle three to four laps without stopping. If you look at the steps needed to reach your goal, and find the steps unreasonably steep, either adjust your goal (maybe a 5K is more reasonable than a 10K for this Spring) or push it back to give you enough time to reach it.
Don't be afraid to run slowly, or even to walk. One way to build up to running a mile is to mix brief periods of running with recovery periods of walking. As you progress, your need for walking breaks will diminish. As your aerobic systems develop, you may even surprise yourself by carrying on a conversation while running!
Get the right gear.
Your feet are the only part of your body to touch the ground when you run. Consider going to a specialty running store. Ask questions, and try before you buy. Also, consider custom orthotics for your shoes.
In the next installment of this column, we'll explore the value of working with others (including a coach); as well as some rules for fueling, preparation, safety, and more. Until then… happy running!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
at Walsingham Academy track
Jamestown Road, Williamsburg , Virginia
The Colonial Road Runners club is sponsoring a free race walk clinic on Saturday, July 18, 2009, given by Rich Higgins. Rich Higgins has been coaching race walkers with Team Flash, a local AAU affiliated track and field club, for several years. He is also the Head Coach at Walsingham Academy for Track and Field, and Cross Country.
The clinic will cover proper race walking form, basic technique, and exercises to develop better speed and conditioning. All ages are invited to participate.
To register, or for questions on this clinic, please email or call:
Rich Higgins at Rhiggins21@cox.net
Phone: 757-784-6934 (cell).
What is Race Walking?
Race Walking is a track and field, or road racing event which involves fast walking under specific rules and guidelines. Done correctly, it provides great cardiovascular exercise with low impact to the joints. The techniques for race walking can be used by all walkers looking to increase the effectiveness of their workouts, regardless of their intent to compete in judged competitions.
Directions to Walsingham Academy - From William and Mary, drive up Jamestown Road (past Lake Matoaka) to the traffic light at John Tyler Lane . Walsingham Academy will be on your left. Go left into the school grounds, and drive 3/4 of the way around the horseshoe-shaped school entrance, then take a right (just past the upper school), and continue straight to the back parking lot, adjacent to the Chismer Athletic Complex. After parking, take the gravel path (alongside the Chismer Gym) to the track.
From Newport News/Hampton and Interstate-64, take Rt. 199 West to the fourth traffic light, and take a right onto Jamestown Road . Go a quarter mile to the next traffic light ( John Tyler Lane ), and take a right into Walsingham Academy , following the above directions to the Chismer Gym parking lot.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Colonial Road Runners have a collection of some of the best 50+ runners in the nation, and that was in evidence last Saturday at the Ford’s Colony Run for Shelter, organized by Housing Partnerships, and which included an 8K run, 5K walk, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run, starting and finishing on the Ford’s Colony roads adjacent to D.J. Montague Elementary School.
For the second consecutive CRR Grand Prix race, a runner with more years than there are playing cards in a deck was the overall winner. At the Salute to the Military “Red, White and Blue” 5K on May 16th, Stephen Chantry, 54, of Williamsburg became the oldest runner ever to win a CRR Grand Prix event. Chantry was there again at Ford’s Colony for the 8K, but it was teammate Pete Gibson, 53, of Murfreesboro, NC, who won in 28:38 for the 4.97-mile distance, with Chantry next in 29:23. In addition to winning the race, Gibson broke Chantry’s race 50-54 age group record of 28:43 (from 2005) by five seconds.
Third overall was Matt Gordon, 22, of Falls Church (29:34), four seconds ahead of Menchville High sophomore Graham Wilson (29:38), who recently won the Peninsula District individual tennis championship. Gordon, a recent graduate of Longwood University, where he was on the cross country and track teams, was in town visiting the Chantry family, as he is dating Steve’s daughter Jacquelyne, a Longwood sophomore. Jacquelyne, 20, was fourth overall for the women in 37:01, as part of her summer base training.
The top three women were Jennifer Quarles, 37, of Williamsburg (32:52), Mercedes (Castillo) D’Amico, 51, of Newport News (35:36) and Joanna McCandlish, 27, of Williamsburg (36:22). Quarles won her third CRR race of 2009, to go with three runner-up finishes, and is leading D’Amico, 57-53, in the women’s overall Grand Prix. Connie Glueck (37 points) and McCandlish (30) are third and fourth.
For “JoJo” McCandlish, in her second year coaching the Bruton High girls’ tennis team (her top player was runner-up in the Bay Rivers championships), it was a memorable weekend, starting with placing in the top three overall for a CRR Grand Prix event. The next day she was thrilled to win the first triathlon of her life. In a field of 449, including 206 women, at the HHHunt Power Sprint Triathlon in Richmond, a combination of a 300-meter pool swim, 20K bike and 5K run, McCandlish won by three seconds with a time of 1:04:00, with her run (21:56 for 5K), the strongest leg in a come-from-behind victory.
It was her third double weekend in the past five weeks. In late April, McCandlish was fifth at the Walsingham Academy 5K Run on Saturday, and was eighth in her age group at the next day’s National Duathlon Championships in Richmond, qualifying for September’s World Championship Duathlon in Concord, NC (as did Williamsburg’s Adam Otstot and Connie Glueck). Three weeks later, she was sixth at the Red, White and Blue 5K on Saturday, before another Sunday multi-event in Richmond.
Besides Gibson, there were three other age-group records broken at the Ford’s Colony 8K, all for runners over age 50. Jim Thornton, 55, of Seaford, was fifth overall in 30:09, erasing the previous men’s 55-59 record of 30:36 by Williamsburg’s Rick Platt in 2007. Then Yorktown’s Dale Abrahamson, four days after turning 60, ran a 34:23 to better the previous record of 34:50 by Bob Spencer, then of Williamsburg, in 2005. The final record was by Mercedes D’Amico, who was not aware of her age-group mark, but was cheered in to her 35:36, just three seconds under the previous mark of 35:39 by Williamsburg’s Linda Kidder in 2008.
One of the most noteworthy performances of the day, though, came from Tim Campbell, 47, of Virginia Beach, third for men 45-49 in 34:50. The Ford’s Colony 8K was Campbell’s 100th consecutive CRR Grand Prix race, long ago breaking the previous mark of 66 by Lee Hall’s Ned Berg, with no other CRR runner more than the 30’s for consecutive races. Campbell, battling some hamstring problems this year, which have slowed his times, plans to stop at the even 100 races, taking off the next CRR event, the Warhill 5K on June 27th. To celebrate his memorable feat, the CRR had a post-race party with a personalized cake.
There were 116 entrants, with 94 finishers in the 8K and 5K, which started exactly 10 minutes apart, but went in opposite directions, before joining forces for a common finish. The 8K was a long, hilly loop of Ford’s Colony roads (St. Andrew’s, Ford’s Colony Drive, and Blackheath), while the 5K was an out-and-back on St. Andrew’s to the swim and tennis club, and back. There were an additional 8 finishers in the 1 miler. Steven Shapiro, 55, of Hampton (28:14) won the 5K walk over Scott Stakes, 46, of Portsmouth (29:57) and Walsingham Academy track and cross country coach Rich Higgins, 55, of Williamsburg (32:52). Multiple CRR past Grand Prix walk champion Cindy Steger, 49, of Williamsburg walked her first CRR event of 2009, winning in 38:08. Konrad Steck, 10, of Williamsburg (21:51) and Wendy Kuhn, 36, of Williamsburg (27:25) were first for the 5K fun run.
Pete Gibson finishes first at Ford's Colony 8K
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
At age 54, Williamsburg’s age-group superstar Steve Chantry became the oldest runner ever to win a Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix race Saturday morning at the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance- sponsored Salute to the Military “Red, White and Blue 5K” at the Cheatham Annex base in Williamsburg.
Chantry completed the certified (VA-07011-RT) 5K race course in 17:25, just three seconds ahead of Robert Schabron, 34, of Smithfield (17:28), with Warhill High senior Kyle Ashley, 18, of Toano (17:39) in third.
Williamsburg’s Jennifer Quarles won her second CRR race of 2009, to go with three runner-up finishes this year, and has a narrow three-point lead, 47-44, over Mercedes D’Amico, in her quest to win her fifth CRR women’s Grand Prix title. Quarles, 37, won in 19:31, a dozen seconds ahead of Laura Shannon, 46, of Williamsburg (19:43), the CRR Grand Prix champion in both 2007 and ’08. Shannon was running her first CRR event of 2009. In third was Mercedes D’Amico, 51, of Newport News, in 20:44. In fourth (20:53) was Connie Glueck, 45, of Williamsburg, two days after her birthday that moved her into a new age group. Glueck, the Grand Prix runner-up in both 2007 and ’08, is now in third place in the 2009 standings with 37 points.
For the men, after six CRR Grand Prix events, Bruton High track coach and teacher Mark Tompkins leads with 39 points, followed by Steve Menzies with 25. Menzies, like Glueck, is age 45, and also was fourth overall on Saturday with a time of 17:43.
In a race that recognizes and supports the active duty and reserve military personnel in the area, as part of Armed Forces Day, there were also special awards given to the top three military men and women, as well as the Commanders Cup given to the military branch that had the five highest finishers. That title in 2009 went to the Army team, who place their five scorers in the top 17 overall (of 168 official finishers), and included Chris Roach of Newport News (6th, 17:50), Craig Hymes of Yorktown (7th, 17:53), Jeremy Logan of Newport News (10th, 18:32), Joshua Dover of Ft. Eustis (14th, 19:29) and Brian Hakes of Williamsburg (17th, 19:52).
The Army team scored 30 points by standard cross-country team scoring, followed by a tie for second between the Air Force (56) and Navy (56), with the Coast Guard a close fourth (68). The Marines did not field a team. Leading the Navy team was Greg Dawson, 43, of Williamsburg (18:20, 9th overall), who was recently promoted to captain in a ceremony in Norfolk on May 1.
The top three military men came from three different branches, as race runner-up Robert Schabron of the Air Force (17:28) was first military, Justin Murray, 24, of Matawan, NJ and the Coast Guard was second military (17:47), and Chris Roach of the winning Army team was third (17:50). They were 3rd, 5th and 6th overall. The women’s military division was not as competitive, as Tami Spellman, 38, of Lebanon, IL and the Air Force won by almost five minutes with her 23:39 time. Second and third for the military women were Jess Aloisio, 25, of San Diego and the Coast Guard (28:16) and Kelly Thorkilson, 30, of Newport News and the Coast Guard (30:01).
Breaking Cheatham Annex 5K race age-group records were Kyle Ashley (men 15-19, 17:39), Robert Schabron (men 30-34, 17:28), Tom Ray of Kitty Hawk, NC (men 75-and-over, 30:22), Mercedes D’Amico (women 50-54, 20:44), Joan Coven of West Point (women 65-69, 25:10) and Pauline Ely of Hampton (women 70-and-over).
Both the men’s and women’s winners in the 5K race walk set race records, Steven Shapiro, 55, of Hampton (28:42) for the men and Linda Janssen, 47, of Virginia Beach (34:19) for the women.
Trailing Shapiro were Tom Gerhardt, 57, of Chesapeake (29:53) and William Lipford, 56, of Hampton (30:05). Second and third for the women were Heidi Sleasman, 36, of Virginia Beach (39:07) and Jayne Henn, 53, of Williamsburg (40:18).
In addition to the 168 finishers in the 3.1-mile event, there were 17 finishers in the one mile fun run/walk, led by Pamela Lovett of Newport News.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
You can reach all three at:
In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performance
Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital
In Motion at Williamsburg is located at 5700 Warhill Trail - the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex - http://www.thewisc.com/.
Annual Presentation - click here.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
8th Annual Jamestown High School Swamp Run 5K
Saturday, March 14, 2009
By Rick Platt
Bruton High School track coach Mark Tompkins, 33, of Williamsburg, and Alyssa Mathe, 25, of Durham, NC, a visiting physician’s assistant student, in Williamsburg for eight weeks, were the winners of the eighth annual Jamestown High School Swamp Run 5K, held March 14th on the Greensprings Trail and the grounds of the high school.
Tompkins, who holds the race age group records for both the 25-29 age group (16:00 in 2005) and the 30-34 age group (16:12 in 2007) was timed in 16:31 this year to win by exactly 1 ½ minutes over one of his former runners from when he coached at Walsingham Academy—eighth-grader Kurtis Steck, 14, of Williamsburg (18:01), with Paul Smartschan, 29, of Midlothian third in 18:07. The precocious Steck demolished a very significant record, the previous Swamp Run 14-and-under record of 18:37 (in both 2005 and ’06) by current Jamestown star Colin Mearns, third individually to teammate Andrew Colley at the 2008 Virginia state AA cross country championships, the team title which was won by Jamestown, 61-104 over Blacksburg. The Eagles went 1-3-6 individually at that state meet last November, with Colley (15:02), Mearns (15:28) and CRR member John Holt (15:48).
Although Tompkins switched schools last fall to take on the teaching and coaching position at Bruton, Steck still has a very fast runner to train with, to help make him faster--Adam Otstot, the new distance running coach for the Walsingham track team. Otstot, a former William and Mary graduate assistant coach, holds the overall course record for the Jamestown Swamp Run, the 15:44 he ran in 2007 (also the race 20-24 age group record). Making for even more of a small-world situation is that Swamp Run co-race director Barb Buerhle (along with fellow co-race director Jim Winthrop, both Jamestown High parents) taught Otstot his freshman year at W&M (spring 2001) in a one-semester physiology lab course for the W&M Kinesiology Department.
The women’s course record is 18:24 by Alison Holinka, then of Williamsburg, in 2002. About a half minute off that mark was women’s winner Alyssa Mathe (18:57), who had been in Williamsburg for just two weeks, before finding out about the race from Greg Biernacki, the doctor for whom she is working as a physician’s assistant student in primary care rotation at the Riverside Williamsburg Family Medicine office on Route 5. Biernacki also ran this year’s Swamp Run, a 27:36 for 10th in the men’s 45-49 age group.
Mathe will be in town through the end of April. A high school star from Colorado, she attended Duke University (class of 2005), where she was mainly a track runner (2:09.5 for 800 meters, and 4:35.7 for 1,500 meters), but also ran an 18:05 for 5K cross country. In 2007 she was in this area, running a 1:31:27 at the Shamrock Half Marathon. Mathe easily broke the previous Jamestown women’s 25-29 record of 21:34 (by Emily Reuter in 2008) with her 18:57. Second in 19:55 was four-time Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix women’s champion Jennifer Quarles, 37, of Williamsburg, with Lafayette High distance star Becky Dobosy, 17, of Williamsburg third in 20:31. Dobosy’s Rams teammate, freshman Heidi Peterson, had won the 2008 Jamestown Swamp Run in 19:46, the race 14-and-under record. With her 20:31, Dobosy broke the race 15-19 age-group record of 20:48 by Edie Nault of Poquoson in 2007. While she didn’t get a record this year, Quarles, like Tompkins, holds two Jamestown records, the women’s 30-34 (18:52 in 2006) and the women’s 35-39 (a 19:38 in 2007).
There were a record number of entrants for Jamestown this year, the first CRR Grand Prix event of 2009, with 201 finishers in the 5K run/walk, and 19 finishers in the 1 mile fun run/walk.
Two Jamestown High 14-year-old freshmen, D.J. Moniak (18:18) and Patrick Shannon (18:50) were also under 19 minutes, with Moniak also under the previous 14-and-under record of 18:37 by Mearns. For one relatively small town like Williamsburg to have three 14-and-under runners under 19 minutes on a trail course is remarkable, mostly likely a testament to the Team Flash youth program, which has spring and summer workouts at the Jamestown High track.
One of the CRR Grand Prix sponsors, Daniel Shaye of Performance Chiropractic ran his first CRR race in a couple years, winning the men’s 35-39 age group in 19:48, one day before his 40th birthday. Shaye is also the CRR vice president, and the sponsor of the CRR’s computerized race results software, administered by Jim Bates.
Other Jamestown age-group records were set by Andrew Polansky, 81, of Williamsburg (men 80-and-over, 35:50); Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, 51, of Newport News (women 50-54, 21:41; with Carol Talley, 54, of Toano also under Talley’s old mark of 23:57, with a 23:04); Linda Whittaker, 59, of Williamsburg (women 55-59, 24:34); and Pat Eden, 77, of Williamsburg (women 75-and-over, 46:08). Polansky also holds the race 75-79 record of 27:46 (in 2003).
The race walks were won by Steven Shapiro, 55, of Hampton (28:57) over Scott Stakes, 46, of Portsmouth (29:53); and by Ann Manciagli, 73, of Williamsburg (39:30) over Lori Sherwood, 44, of Portsmouth (39:41) and Sandy Conte, 54, of Williamsburg (39:48).
The 2008 Jamestown men’s individual winner was Derryn Bray, 23, of Poquoson (16:21). Smartschan was also third for the men in 2008, with nearly the same time (18:00) as in 2009 (18:07).
5th Annual College of William and Mary
Mason School of Business
Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler
Saturday, April 4, 2009
By Rick Platt
A great competitive field, and the nicest weather in the five-year history of the second coming of the Yorktown Victory Run, led to a wholesale rewriting of the record book at the April 4th College of William and Mary Mason School of Business Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler, a scenic and historic running tour from Newport News Park, through the park trails and Bikeway, then on to the Yorktown Battlefield tour roads, before finishing in view of the Yorktown Victory Monument. The race was a Peninsula Track Club event from 1976-1990, then a Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix event starting in 2005, revived by Daniel Shaye and Performance Chiropractic.
The top three men and women overall all broke race five-year age-group records for the CRR event, and race winner Derrin Pierret, 24, of Williamsburg also bettered the men’s all-time course record. The previous record was 44:03 in 2005 by Mark Tompkins, then 29 and living in Newport News. The top three men all were under the previous record. Pierret, a Bucknell graduate and William and Mary computer science graduate student, was first across the line in 43:05. Andrew Budiansky, 18, of Williamsburg, a W&M freshman from Leesburg, and Pierret drove down together, as they are teammates and training partners with Team Blitz, a W&M student workout and racing group, founded years ago by CRR member and former W&M student Bert Jacoby, now teaching in Fredericksburg.
The Team Blitz duo ran together through 3-4 miles, Budiansky prefering to lead, but Pierret pulled away midway through the race. Tompkins, a few yards back for much of the race, caught Budiansky in the final stretch to take second. Tompkins, now 33 and from Williamsburg after coaching and teaching first at Walsingham Academy, and now at Bruton High, was second in 43:45, with Budiansky third in 43:48.
In March Pierret had won the Ali’s Run 5K in Williamsburg (16:23), and had a fourth-place 16:07 for a 5K in Nashville, TN, one spot out of the prize money. In late February he ran 9:07 for 3,000 meters at a Bucknell alumni indoor meet. Last year he ran one CRR race, a win at The Vineyards of Williamsburg 5K (15:55). His 5K PR of 15:32 came at October’s Hilton Village 5K in Newport News. In November 2007, he won the inaugural Blue Talon 5K in Williamsburg.
Budiansky broke into the top 10 at February’s Anheuser-Busch Colonial Half Marathon, where he was the top local finisher with his ninth-place 1:15:11. Last October, he was third overall at the on-campus W&M Homecoming 5K Run, with a PR 16:27. In high school, at Loudoun County High, he ran 9:48 for 3,200 meters. His best 10K came on New Year’s Day in Leesburg, a 34:35 on a hilly course. In contrast, the Yorktown Victory Run in mostly flat, and this year’s race had little wind, with temperatures in the 50s to start, ideal for racing, but warming up to the 60s for the post-race luncheon sponsored by the Mason School of Business Alumni Association.
Pierret broke the previous race 20-24 men’s record of Alexey Popov by over eight minutes; Budiansky bettered the men’s 15-19 mark of 2008 race winner Ian Tupper of Norfolk (45:54); and Tompkins erased the men’s 30-34 mark of 45:42 by Doug Marshall of Newport News (but now Mathews).
Similarly, each of the top three women overall broke Victory Run age-group marks. Jennifer Quarles, 37, of Williamsburg won in 53:41, just bettering her own women’s 35-39 age-group mark of 53:46 from 2007. Quarles, a 4-time CRR women’s Grand Prix champion, has the overall course record for women, the 50:39 she ran in 2006 at age 34.
Runner-up Jami Peterson, 27, of Williamsburg, the cross country and track coach at New Kent High School, was close behind in 54:11, bettering by just over three minutes the previous women’s 25-29 mark of 57:13 by Ashley McWilliams, a former W&M MBA student. Peterson had a 6:28 opening mile, close to Quarles, but dropped back after a 6:50 second mile. Two weeks earlier, Peterson had set a marathon PR, placing 11th overall for the women at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in a time of 3:16:22.
Third overall at Yorktown was Rebecca Pierson, 22, a W&M senior from Princeton, NJ, majoring in finance, who ran 54:56 to better Lynn Hurd’s women’s 20-24 mark by almost two minutes. Pierson ran distance for West Windsor-Plainsboro High School in Plainsboro, NJ, but a partial tear of the Achilles tendon kept her from trying out for the W&M team. Instead she is on the W&M club cycling team, and was one of the bike leaders for the recent Anheuser-Busch Colonial Half Marathon. In high school, she had bests of 19:22 for 5K cross country, 5:35 for 1,600 meters and 2:29 for 800 meters. She plans to work full time for Ernst & Young in Northern Virginia after graduation, but will continue with some research this summer at W&M. She has done occasional campus 5Ks, about 3-5 per year, with times in the 19’s. A run-bike duathlon is planned for late April in Richmond.
Other age-group records were set by Langston Shelton, 62, of Grafton (53:58, bettering his own men’s 60-64 mark of 56:31 from 2008); Winston Collins, 68, of Newport News (57:18 for men 65-69); Dick Pierce, 70, of Rescue (1:04:54 for men 70-74, despite running the 8-mile course backwards, from finish to start, as a lengthy warmup, and bettering the previous record of 1:05:17 by Tom Ray of Kitty Hawk, NC).
For the women, new age-group records were set by Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico (57:02 for women 50-54, smashing the previous record of 1:02:53 by Toano’s Carol Talley in 2008, with Talley also under her old record with a 1:01:18); and by Ann Hirn for women 60-64 (1:12:29).
The race depth was unprecedented, as nine runners dipped under the 50-minute barrier, also including Allen Horner, 38, of Fort Belvoir (48:29), David Lockard, 40, of Hampton (49:21, a few weeks after his 40th birthday), Jim Thornton, 54 of Seaford (49:23), Greg Dawson, 43, of Williamsburg (49:43), Matt Popowicz, 26, of Suffolk (49:45), and John Scott, 45, of Newport News (49:57). Last year only two runners were under 50 minutes.
Tom Gerhardt, 57, of Chesapeake won the men’s walk in 1:24:06, while Linda Janssen, 47, of Virginia Beach won the women’s walk in 1:32:55, bettering the women’s race walk record of 1:35:38 by Cindy Steger of Williamsburg in 2006.
The race was again organized by the W&M MBA first- and second-year students, with the beneficiary again Kiz’NGrief, a support organization for children age 3-18, who have lost a loved one to death.
Pete Gibson, Joan Coven, Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, Langston Shelton, Jim Bates, Mark Tompkins and Linda Whittaker All Run National-Class Age-Graded Times at Queens Lake 5K
Queens Lake 5K Run to Support Avalon
Saturday, April 11, 2009
By Rick Platt
An impressive number of Colonial Road Runners ran times considered national-class on an age-graded basis at last Saturday’s Queens Lake 5K Run to Support Avalon. The CRR Grand Prix event at New Quarter Park event had 140 finishers in the 5K run/walk, and an additional 20 finishers in the 1 mile fun run/walk.
Pete Gibson (87.66%), Joan Coven (85.59%), Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico (83.65%), Langton Shelton (82.94%), Jim Bates (82.06%), race winner Mark Tompkins (81.22%), and Linda Whittaker (81.10%) all age-graded over 80%, considered national-class.
The top three overall men and women were Bruton High School track coach Mark Tompkins, 33, of Williamsburg (16:04), Pete Gibson, 52, of Murfreesboro, NC (17:06) and Bruton senior William Reinagle, 18, of Williamsburg (17:27). The top three women were Morgan Stumb, 21, a William and Mary junior from Boulder, CO (18:48), Connie Glueck, 44, of Williamsburg (20:16) and Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, 51, of Newport News (20:29). Reinagle (76.45%), Stumb (78.72%) and Glueck (78.06%) were among an additional nine runners over 75%, and there were a total of 26 runners over 70%, considered regional class.
In the race walk division, there were four more finishers over 70%, based on the separate race walking age-graded tables. Steven Shapiro, 55, of Hampton won the men’s walk in 28:58 over Tom Gerhardt, 57, of Chesapeake (30:32) and Richard Luzinski, 63, of Wiliamsburg (36:02). For the women it was Ann Manciagli, 73, of Williamsburg (38:51) over Karen Schenck, 54, of Charleston, WV (41:30) and Marilyn McGinty, 72, of Williamsburg (41:38). Over 70% walk age-graded were Manciagli (75.98%), Shapiro (73.88%), Gerhardt (71.40%) and Pat Eden (70.21%). Eden, 77, of Williamsburg was sixth for the women in 45:02. McGinty just missed 70% with her 69.78%.
On a percentage basis, 5.0 % of the 140 Queens Lake finishers ran times considered national-class, and 21.4% ran times considered regional class, an unusually high percentage for a local road race. In comparison, the recent Shamrock Sportsfest races in Virginia Beach in March had just under 0.7% (108 total of 15,727 finishers in the 8K, half marathon and marathon) running a national-class 80% or better, and that race, with over $25,000 in prize money, attracts many national- and international-class professional road racers.
Why are Williamsburg runners and CRR races so special on an age-graded basis? The reasons are many. First, the popular Queens Lake 5K certified course (VA-08018-RT) is mostly flat, and very fast, with few turns, and a very scenic New Quarter Park venue. And there are many incentives at all CRR races to encourage peak performance, including the 14-race CRR Grand Prix Series for 2009 (with the best 10 races scoring), the separate CRR Age-Graded Grand Prix Series (organized by Jim Bates, details in this newsletter), and the regular awards for each race.
In addition, the CRR compiles five-year age-group records for every CRR race. It also publishes an annual Course Record Analysis in the club newsletter, determining who are the best overall and age-group runners in the club’s history, and with an extensive statistical analysis.
At Queens Lake, three runners broke race age-group records. Castillo-D’Amico ran 20:29 to better by almost a minute the previous women’s 50-54 mark of 21:26 by Williamsburg’s Linda Kidder in 2008. With his 19:41, Langston Shelton, 62, of Grafton was also almost a minute under the men’s 60-64 record of 20:44 by John Essery in 2001. And Pat Eden established a women’s 75-and-over mark with her 45:02.
Gibson (17:06) came close to Steve Chantry’s men’s 50-54 record of 16:40 from 2006, when Chantry was attempting to break the Virginia state record of 16:29 for that division. Joan Coven, 67, of West Point (25:05) was close to her own mark of 24:31 for women 65-69 from 2007.
Williamsburg’s Linda Whittaker, at age 59, just a month shy of her 60th birthday, had the second fastest 5K of her life with a 23:30. Her PR came at Queens Lake in 1999, at age 49, a 23:07. Battling lupus, Whittaker did not race from 2000 until the Fourth of July 2005 Yorktown Freedom Run 5K, where she ran a 23:31. So her Queens Lake time was her best in 10 years, impressive for someone about to turn 60! Much of her training is on the treadmill, as it’s softer than the roads.
Also better than 75% age-graded on Saturday were Graham Wilson, 15, of Newport News (17:30, 79.55%), Wyatt Cutchins, 53, of Newport News (19:36, 77.10%), Greg Dawson, 43, of Williamsburg (18:11, 76.78%), Terry Imbery, 51, of Yorktown (19:33, 76.05%), Robert Wilson, 61, of Toano (21:25, 75.56%) and Jack Lovett, 39, of Newport News (17:59, 75.34%).
This year’s race again was organized by, and benefited Avalon, the women’s shelter in Williamsburg, with assistance by Jim, Geri and Ryan Elder of Colonial Sports, who designed and printed the race T-shirts.
Jim Bates announced this week the details for the 2009 CRR Age-Graded Grand Prix, which will begin with the Walsingham Academy 5K on Saturday, April 25, and end with the Governor’s Land 5K on Saturday, Nov. 21. There will be at least $100 in cash awards distributed at the annual CRR banquet.
Run easy, run free!