Friday, October 21, 2011

Fast Times at Albert-Daly Field in Crapolfest 5K

By Rick Platt

            Barrier-breaking fast times by Jennifer Quarles, Connie Glueck, Daniel Shaye and Joan Coven highlighted the third annual Crapolfest 5K Run October 8th at William and Mary’s Albert-Daly Field. There were 173 finishers in the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix event organized by the William and Mary men’s soccer program, in memory of Andy Crapol, former Lafayette High and W&M soccer star. Directed by former W&M soccer coach Al Albert, the race benefited the Andrew E. Crapol Soccer Scholarship Fund, which is now over $170,000 in just three years. “Crapolfest has developed into a wonderful way to celebrate Andy’s life and bring together family and friends of Andy and W&M soccer,” said Albert.
            Jennifer Quarles, 39, won the race over Connie Glueck by exactly one minute, 18:49 to 19:49, and broke the previous course record of 19:01 by CRR Grand Prix rival Karen Terry, who set that mark in 2010. It was Quarles’s fastest time in at least two years, her best in 2010 a 19:03 at the First Colony 5K. Quarles commented by email, “Yes, very happy to break 19. Was a goal for this year. I knew the course record was 19:01 so when I went through the first mile sub 6 and felt good I thought I’d try and break it.” Last year Quarles was runner-up to Terry in 19:42, so improved by 53 seconds.
            Elite triathlete Connie Glueck, 47, was equally thrilled with her PR race, breaking 20 minutes for the first time with her 19:49. Deborah McLaughlin, 45, was also impressive with her 21:05 for third place, benefiting from wearing racing flats for the first time.
            The top three women and men were all from Williamsburg. For the men, Daniel Shaye, 42, broke the 17-minute barrier for the first time in years with his 16:58, just five seconds off the course record of 16:53 by Todd Kessler of Newport News at the 2010 race. Greg Dawson, 46, challenged Shaye, but ended up a dozen seconds back in 17:10. Peter Christmas, 22, a 2011 graduate of W&M, was third in 18:12, just ahead of rapidly improving Ryan Doupe, 25, of Newport News (18:14).
            But the most impressive performance of the day came from Joan Coven, 70, of West Point, who broke the all-time Colonial Road Runners record for women 70-74 by just over three minutes. Coven ran a time of 25:42 for the Crapolfest 5K, smashing the previous CRR 70-74 record of 28:44 by Nancy Patron, then 70, at the 2006 Heritage Humane Society 5K at Ford’s Colony. What made Coven’s time even more impressive are the hurdles placed in front of her all year. Her only previous CRR race this year was the Jamestown Swamp Run 5K in March, where she ran 26:05, suffering a rare age-group defeat to Ann Hirn of Portsmouth, 25:41 to 26:05. Coven turned the tables a week later at the Shamrock 8K, winning the 65-69 age group, but then got injured a couple weeks later at the Monument Avenue 10K, where Hirn again prevailed.
            That injury turned out to be a tibial stress fracture, and Coven wore a walking boot from the end of April until the end of May. Resuming running, she had not healed, and re-injured the same stress fracture. Again the boot came back on, from the end of June (her 70th birthday month) to the end of August, while Joan and husband Glenn were in Raton, NM for the summer. She’s only been back training in running for just over a month, so the fast Crapolfest time was a surprise. She even took two walking breaks (of 30 and 20 seconds) during the race, to be safe. To put her 25:42 time in perspective, the Virginia state record for 5K for women 70-74 is 28:05 (by Tami Graf of Lusby, MD), but Saturday’s time won’t yet count, as state records must be run on a certified course. The upcoming Governor’s Land 5K is a certified course, so Coven will most likely get the state record at the Nov. 19th CRR race.