Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bickel Running Review of 2009

For the past 16 years I’ve been doing a personal Holiday Greeting that is kind of a quick year in review. Last year I did a “State of the Store” year end review. This year I figured I would create a Bickel Running Year in Review – kind of summing up the various running related things I have been up to. I intend to do a business one as well on my business blog. I’ll cover Coaching, the new Trail Project, the Moorestown Running Company, RunSignUp and my personal running. You can read about the business side of my life here.

Helping Lorenzo Eagles, Ethan Betten, Jim Brudnicki and Troy Pappas coach the distance runners in Cross Country and Track at Moorestown High School continues to be the most fun thing I do. 2009 was another great year. Track saw some great accomplishments by our runners. In particular, Ryan Wolff made it to States in the 1600. The only downside of Track season was Dave Ringwood getting injured with an ITB injury and had to miss his last season.
Of course Cross Country – MXC – is my favorite season. We had over 60 guys on the team this year. The great thing about XC is that everyone can do it and focus on improving. In many ways, this was one of our best teams. It just seemed that more guys pushed themselves harder and improved this season. We had great senior captains this year – Sam Weintraub, Joel Robinson, Brandon Greenwood and Tyler Ems. Weintraub, Greenwood and junior Anthony Horten traded the #1 spot. Sophomore Jack Inglis and Junior Paul Rothenberger showed tremendous progress and were in our top 5 consistently and will be key leaders on next year’s team. We went undefeated in dual meets, won the Liberty Division and finished 6th in the State Meet for Group 3 Schools. And we had a lot of fun! I can’t wait until next year!

One of the best things we have done as a team is to put on the yearly Moorestown Turkey Trot. It has turned into a real tradition in town – a way for people to connect on Thanksgiving morning, many collegians come back to reconnect with their high school friends, and a cool way to get a turkey finger puppet! It was a bit wet this year, but all 822 registrants went home happy and ready to eat turkey…

It is cool to see so many MXC alumni running in college – Holaday at Amherst, Healey at Rhode Island, Ringwood at Hopkins, Friedman at ‘Bama, Matteson at TCNJ.

Trail Project
Over the past several years the MXC team built our own cross country course (at no cost to taxpayers or to the school district) around the high school. As a follow-on to that activity a group of people got together to spread this idea throughout the town. We now have formal approval from the Township to build a 2.5 mile trail around the perimeter of the Swede Run Open Space land on Westfield Road. You can read more about this effort and our long term goal of creating a network of trails for walking, running and biking throughout Moorestown at We are actively fundraising. For more information, and to donate either go to the webpage, or send me an email at The plan is to build the trail this summer – and we will be needing lots of help from the community to spread the woodchips.

Moorestown Running Company
Last year I put together a longer blog just on the store - We continue on the same path we laid down last year. One of the highlights is the growth of the Moorestown Distance Running Project – which has dozens of runners now and winning and competing in many team competitions. Of course the real core of the store are the great people working there – Joe Halin, Ralph Harris, Ed Scioli and our new addition this year, Maureen Shockley. In spite of the bad economy this year, our customers continue to run and buy new shoes from us! Our business in the store is up 8% from last year. And we have expanded into some other areas to improve our service to the running community – Team Uniform Sales as well as Coaching Services. The net results is that we have finally broken even (although we did not pay down any of our debt yet). This is important because it is a sign that we are a viable business and will continue to be a part of the community for the long term!
This past year I finally scratched that itch to create a web service for online race registration. is the big guerilla in this market and I had used them both as a race director and runner and was just frustrated by the old technology, how hard it was to use and the expense. In the summer, Stephen Sigwart came on board to do the development. We got our first version out in time for the fall races and have had over a dozen use it so far and it looks really solid. In November, Marlise and a friend and Carolyn Schustrich made a trip to Florida to attend the Road Race Management Conference to get feedback from race directors. With the interested we have gotten, I made a decision to really invest in it and go forward. So Stephen, who graduated a semester early from TCNJ at the top of his Comp Sci class, is joining full time on January 4. In addition, my old running buddy from college, George Buckheit, is helping to reach out to race directors, managers and timing services. We have a lot of exciting projects planned to make things even easier and better for race directors and runners. The top of our list is a Partner Program to help timing services and race management firms better serve their races – getting more runners and making life easier and simpler for everyone. After that we will be coming up with some neat Facebook innovations and connections.

Personal Running
It has been a good year – no major injuries! I’ve gotten in over 1,300 miles. I ran a 18:52 5K (6:03 per mile pace) at the Haddonfield Adrenaline Run and a 31:28 (6:19 pace) for the Scott Coffee Moorestown Rotary 8K, which are the two races I kind of try hard in. I still have the nagging threat of my calf popping, so have to keep a lid on how hard I go… The other highlight of the year was the South Jersey Old Man Team Championship. My Bucknell friend Kevin Doyle challenged his Medford crew of old men against our MDRP crew. You can see our illustrious Championship Trophy in the store – we were victorious thanks to aggressive recruiting on our side! This coming year I am hoping to run a bit faster at my two races – we’ll see if I am able to up my training a bit and cut down my eating and drinking!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Once A Runner

I finally read Once A Runner after so many people said I had to read it, that I did. It was originally written in 1978 – when I was once a runner…

Wow! From a personal perspective, it seemed like it was about me. So many of the descriptions – from hard workouts to pre-race jitters to the camaraderie of a team and even to the college girlfriend – were what I lived. The total, unexplainable commitment to training and running fast is finally explained.

From a coaching perspective, I hope many of the guys on our team read it. It is useful to give a sense of the type of focus required to become a good runner. Even though it is fiction, it gives a glimpse into the life of a high level collegiate runner for those thinking about continuing their running career beyond high school. Even for the less ambitious runners, it gives some insight that will prove valuable in lowering your PR.

I am not sure of what I will do with this rekindling of memories. I am pretty sure my calves will not let me be “twice a runner” as John Denning or Bob Schwelm are doing now. But it kind of makes me want to give it a try and maybe shoot to run the Scott Coffee Moorestown Rotary 8K fast in June…

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Running Shoes for Charity!

We just created a website that will sell running shoes online and benefit Back on My Feet.

We got involved with Back on My Feet thru the efforts of Ed Scioli. He ran the crazy 20 in 24 relay last year. This year we had two teams from the Moorestown Distance Running Project run the relay and raise nearly $10,000! While at the relay Ed started talking about how else we could help out. is the result of that brainstorm. You can buy your shoes online and 20% of your order will be donated to Back on My Feet. It is a great way to help your running and help those less fortunate get back on their feet by running!

So go get that new pair of Brooks Adrenaline, Saucony Triumph, Asics Kayano or any of the other dozens of great shoes we have available.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coach is in Hall of Fame

Coach is one of the 2009 inductees into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

As I have written before, outside of my family, no one has been a more meaningful influence on my life. And that goes for countless other Bucknell runners who came thru his program.

I only wish I could feel the grip of his handshake again...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RunSignUp First Race a Success!

Here is what the first race director had to say about using RunSignUp:

"Without I’m not sure our 5k would have ever gotten off the ground. As a first-time race coordinator, marketing our event, as well as providing a platform for registration and payment, was a top concern. Before enrolling with I had less than five registrants over a one month period; in the days immediately following my registration with, I had over a dozen registrants through the site. This was a testament, for me, that the platform worked. I am 100% confident that because of, we were able to double our total number of anticipated registrants for our race. By providing a platform to register and pay before race day, we were able to secure much needed cashflow for the event and accurately estimate the number of registrants. From a time management perspective, after using I did not have to deal with paper registrations, manual checks and visits to the bank. I was able to divert my time elsewhere. I give the highest recommendation of to all race coordinators; it’s a must have tool for your arsenal."

Thanks for the nice words! Online registration for running races should be easy for everyone. And that is what we are totally focused on. - Up and Running!

RunSignUp went live on Tuesday. We already have 8 races that have posted and allow runners to signup online.

I am partial, but we have created a far simpler way for race directors to make it easy for runners to signup online for their races.

We are still working on refining things and adding a bunch of cool features that will make life for runners and race directors even better. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Running in College Program

Bretton Bonnet, the coach at Paul VI, is coordinating a seminar for high school runners and their parents to talk about the transition to running in college. You can learn more about it on his blog -

This is a great idea. While the idea of getting a college scholarship for running is outside the reach of most high school runners, the opportunity to continue running in college is within reach of many. It makes me so happy when runners from Moorestown extend their running beyond high school. And many have been pretty successful as I wrote in the blog last fall - some even appearing in the NCAA's.

The picture above is the start of the Women's NCAA Div III race in 2008. Below is a picture of some of the Washington University in St. Louis fans at last year's NCAA meet. As you can see, college running can be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - Alpha Ready!

We went live with the Alpha of today.

Right now we are focusing on just the user registration side (although we have most of the race creation and editing done as well). We just want to make sure we get this part right and are able to focus on it. So far today we’ve had about 100 people test it out and things seem to be going well. We are processing credit cards and Paypal transacjavascript:void(0)tions and are giving users a very simple way to cancel the transaction and not register.

Our little effort to make life easier for race directors of running races and their participants is off the ground!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A New Venture

Well, I am about to launch another new little venture. It combines my interests in running and technology.

The basic idea is a web service that makes it easy for races to allow users to signup online. We will go live with an Alpha version of the service in the next day or two (hopefully) for a local race that has agreed to test the service.

This is an old idea that I have been harboring for several years. I’ve used the big market leader,, as both a runner and as a race director for a number of years. However, they have become un-focused on the running marketplace. Their website is hard to use and certainly does not take advantage of Web 2.0 technology or approaches.

So our site will have focus on running races, it will be simple to use, and it will be much more cost effective than the alternatives in the marketplace. Hopefully people will like it and it will provide a valuable service to others. I’ll be blogging about this a lot over the next few months…

Thursday, May 28, 2009

MHS Honors Banquet

We just got back from the Moorestown High School Honors Banquet. It was cool seeing so many of Mollie's friends getting awards. I remember so many of them from grade school and to see them all grown up and doing so well is very exciting.

Another fun sight was seeing so many XC runners up there - Balch, Ben and Micah Friedman, Jospehson, Matteson, Ringwood, Shah, Thomas, Wilson and Wolff. I think it is safe to say Xc has the highest GPA of any team in the school...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Senior Farewell

It is that time of year – graduation. We are saying goodbye to a group of guys who have run thousands of miles and had a tremendous impact on our distance program. The core group of high performers who came in their freshman year have made an impact from the beginning. It brings back a lot of good memories and a sense of amazement that they have grown so much and are now off to their next phase of life…

I wanted to write some of my memories up about them, as well as provide some context for the younger runners in the program. It shows that tremendous growth can happen with hard work and focus.

Chris Balch – Balch came out his Sophomore year from Cross Country. He was tall, and to be honest a bit awkward in his running style. His VDOT at the end of that first season was 48. He ran a 5:30 in track his sophomore year. Balch improved his Junior year, but his real breakthrough came his senior year. I asked him after his great race at Sectionals on Saturday what made the difference. He said that at the end of Junior year Track he made a decision to work harder and get very specific about his goals. Since Cross Country season began he has been doing about 50 miles per week, up from 30-35. This focus and increased mileage, along with the fact that he has simply grown into his body allowed him to get to a 60 VDOT in XC and 63 in Track – with PR’s of 4:44 and 10:21 (worth probably under 10:10 since it was so hot at Sectionals). I look forward to hear how he does at Syracuse and with his triathlons. My bet is a guy who has learned to focus and work hard will have great success.

Ben Friedman – Ben came to the program with more experience than most runners on the team. He made an immediate impact his freshman year (60 VDOT), making the Varsity XC team and running on the 2nd place State Group 3 and 10th place Meet of Champions Team of 2005. Over the course of his 4 years, he has set the standard for hard work. Day in and day out – year round – no one works harder. He has been a steady fixture as one of the leaders of the team over that period of time. He leaves with being in the Top 10 runners of all time (65 VDOT) on all of the major courses we run on in Cross Country. And it is likely his total mileage in high school will never be surpassed. As he heads off to Alabama, I am sure his work ethic and perseverance will bring him continued success.

Micah Friedman – Micah was one of those freshmen who came out for the team with a deep knowledge of the sport. Like his cousin Ben, he was a consistent hard worker. He progressed a great deal between his Freshman (50 VDOT) and Sophomore years, however he was always held back by injuries. His Junior year (60 VDOT) he emerged as one of the leaders on the team and ran for the Top 7 in a number of XC meets. He went out for football his senior year and really added a huge amount of muscle – especially compared to the skinny guy he was when he entered the program. He was able to finish off his high school career running the 800 meter in track and setting PR’s his Senior year. Micah is off to Maryland, and I hope he comes back for some runs with the team when he visits home.

Andy Josephson – Like Balch, Josephson came out his sophomore year as a long and lanky runner. He has been one of the most consistent runners coming to the bench in all seasons and all weather. If I would stop by for a run on a cold winter day, and there were only 5 guys there, I could be sure one of them was Josephson. He has had great improvements, coming from a 49 VDOT to a 59 VDOT by consistently running. As he heads off to Lehigh, it will be strange to not see him at the bench…

Alex Matteson – Matteson came in as a freshman on a mission, and he leaves the same way. He had excellent success early (56 VDOT) and was a part of the Varsity 7 by his Sophomore year. He has been a consistent part of our core ever sense and will be one of those pieces we will miss next year. Matteson has great spirit, and could always be counted on to make the long training runs interesting in some way. He was also the type of guy you wanted on your team when you went to war. Matteson achieved the goals he set his freshman year, and is off to TCNJ. I am hoping he has continued success and becomes a core part of that program and a great engineer.

Dave Ringwood – Ringwood was a gift from Bishop Eustace his sophomore year. He was immediately part of our Varsity 7 reaching a VDOT of 59 that first year – demonstrating the raw talent he had. As one of the Captains his Senior XC season, he was a true leader. The Freshmen gravitated to his sunny disposition – claiming they wanted to make a T-Shirt with the 9 moods of Ringwood – all smiling happily. He had a great XC season running the second fastest time of any Moorestown runner ever at Holmdel (16:47). He had a setback in indoor with a hamstring injury and unfortunately in his first meet of Spring track developed a tight ITB and did not run his final season. I am quite sure he will have an impact on the Hopkins XC and track teams – both thru his hard work and his great natural leadership abilities.

Nirav Shah – Nirav was another one of the tall lanky guys who came out that sophomore year – convinced by the core group that running around town really was fun. I think he has had that fun. He left for a stint on the crew team, but came back to track his senior year. He’s improved from that freshman 48 VDOT to a 55 this spring. The thing I will remember most about Nirav is the fact he would bring Business Week on the bus to read. I’m sure that will pay off in his years at Villanova!

Dave Wilson – Even though Wilson did not join until his Junior year, he will be remembered as one of the key contributors in this class. Not a natural talent with speed, he put in 50-60 miles per week on a nearly year round basis to build a ton of strength. This past XC season he also figured out how to push himself to new levels of performance because he was so determined to earn his way onto the Varsity 7. He did just that and was part of the team that finished 6th at States. I will miss hearing him and Eagles discuss politics on our runs, and am sure he will come back after time at Washington & Lee to keep Eagles on his toes…

Ryan Wolff – Wolff probably encapsulates what our team is about as well as anyone ever has. I remember first meeting him at a summer track meet when he was in middle school hoping to run a 3:00 800. Since then he has been dedicated to improving himself and his team. His steady diet of 50-60 mile weeks for years has brought him to the heights he has reached this spring. In every single match-up Ryan was able to come thru – from the epic battle he had with Eric Morris at Burlington Township to this past weekend when he qualified for States. More than his personal accomplishments, he has always been the ultimate team guy. I’m sure he will make great contributions to Quinnipiac.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weekly Update May 21

May 21
This Past (2) Week(s).

I was lazy this past weekend in doing the Weekly Update. I have an excellent excuse as I was witnessing my daughter's boat win Stotesbury - you can read more at my blog.

It has been a great rush toward the end of the season on the track with a ton of PR's, and a wacky finish to the regular season for the team.

We raced at home against Pemberton in our last dual meet of the year Tuesday the 12th. While there was not a lot of competition from the other team, we had some excellent performances, highlighted by the 1600. 4 guys ran together thru the finish, with Matteson setting the pace and taking the win in 4:46, followed closely by Szumski in a PR of 4:46, Balch and Weintraub at 4:47. Not far behind was Ems with a PR of 4:52. It was very cool to see the pack running we use in XC applied to the track. Friedman led the 2 mile with a nice 10:10. Horton hung on for 6 laps and finished with a great debut time of 10:17. Robinson and Samocki ran together for solid 10:36 and 10:37 times - also PR's.

The younger guys went down to the Cherokee Novice Meet and laid down some very good times. Evan Nece continues to improve and ran another 4:57 showing his growing strength and consistency. Bennett made the Varsity qualifying time with a 4:59.99. Inglis had a PR of 5:01, Sheehan and Fowler also had PR's at 5:14 and 5:27.

Last Saturday was the County Open. Friedman ran a solid 10:01 and placed. Weintraub looked good for 6 laps, but his breakfast caught up with him. He still had a PR of 10:14 on a humid day. In the 1600, Horton ran a 4:44 with Balch closing well in 4:46. They have both become very consistent runners this Spring. Micah Friedman was our sole 800 runners on this Prom-heavy weekend in 2:10.

This past Tuesday was my favorite track meet - the Haddonfield Distance Night. It was a beautiful night again this year under the lights at the cozy track and almost everyone made the most of it with PR's. The list of PR's is long. The two highlights were John Stalle running a 2:01 and Dave Wilson breaking thru with a 18 second season best of 4:59.90 to qualify for Varsity. Also running PR's for the season and in most cases their career: Weintraub 4:37, Ben Friedman 4:39, Matteson 4:41, Robinson 4:42, Balch 4:44, Szumski 4:45, Ems 4:51, Samocki 4:56, Bennett 4:59, Wilson 5:00, Josephson 5:03, Shehan 5:10, Thomas 5:12, Reutsch 5:18, Fowler 5:23, Regan 5:30 and Quien with a 21 second PR of 5:43! In the 800 Micah Friedman also had big PR with a 2:05 and Horton had a super debut of 2:07 (but said he was not anxious to do this race again and would stick to the 1600).

This Coming Week
Friday and Saturday is Sectionals down at Buena. Friday Wolff, Weintraub and Horton will run the 1600. The top 6 will go on to States, and it will take a truly excellent race to make it. Saturday Friedman, Matteson and Balch will run the 3200, while Stalle and Micah Friedman will run the 800. This is a great meet to go down and watch - some great athletes and performances. Group 2 will be there as well, so it is an opportunity to see the Haddonfield runners. Colin Baker has gone 4:20 several times this season and has his eyes in a school record of 4:14. Of course Group 3 has the great Brett Johnson, who has run 4:12 / 9:15 this year and is fun to watch. And you can not count out David Forward to perhaps give Johnson a run.

It is the end of the season for most of you. Here is the schedule coming up:
Now - Hand in uniforms to Eagles.

Now - June 5 - Relax. You should run twice per week, three miles. Take some down time, but keep your muscles in tone so you don't get injured when you ramp it back up by running a couple of times per week.

Tuesday June 2- MXC Sign-up. Meet in Eagles Room at School. Get the word out to everyone and new people! We will be handing out copies of the MXC 2009 Program Guide to everyone! This is new for this year!

June 6 - Scott Coffee Moorestown Rotary 8K. Everyone should plan on running this for fun. It is our kick-off for the XC season - great teams are made during the summer!

June 8 - Captains Practice starts for the 2009 Cross Country Season. Meet at the benches after school.

Coach Eagles & Bickel

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Teamwork and Fulfillment

It was a good day at the river yesterday - a very good day. The Moorestown Lightweight 8 won Stotesbury, the largest high school regatta in the world.

Crew is often used as the example of the ultimate team sport. Seeing Mollie these past three weeks as the team has come together and build a bond, a trust, and a common commitment has been truly inspiring.

John Lloyd and Rich Henderson put this crew together three weeks ago to try to get a team that would take a shot at placing well at Stotsebury. They only had three days of practice together before City's. Dustin Baxter's back was questionable after an incident in gym class. Their rhythm was off, but as they steamed toward the finish, edging out Lasalle and making time up on St. Augustine's and St. Joe's, you could see a deep passion in this crew. They were digging every stroke in support of each other. 3rd place at City's was an amazing showing and this team started to have a feeling that they could do some very good things.

After that race, Marlise and I were talking to the other parents. There was lots of praise flowing for our kids. The boys parents were telling us the boys thought Mollie was doing a great job. They cautiously approached the topic of Mollie providing motivation during the race, and we said "Yes, we know. When she drops the F-Bomb they gain two seats on that stroke." Turns out that this was the topic of conversation at every dinner table - quiet little Mollie who does not use language like that all of a sudden hitting them with it in the middle of a race was an inspirational weapon they would add to their bag of tricks.

The two weeks between City's and Stotesbury was a time to try to get in synch and find the 2.66 seconds that they had lost by to St. Joe's. The first week of practices were going well and the team was growing in confidence. However, as Dustin's back got better, Tyler Lukridge started having the same pain in his wrist that required surgery and held him out for an entire Sophomore season. But there was no way he was going to miss this and he decided to row thru it.

On Friday during the Head Race Trials, the team managed the second fastest time of the day - giving them a good lane for the Semi's on Saturday morning. Mollie had been worried about this first race. If they did well, she felt the team would really get together. If they did not place highly, she was concerned that Friday night's Prom might be more of a distraction. As the team came back to the tent after the race there was complete agreement "We're going to eat and then leave. We need to be ready for tomorrow!" You could see it in their eyes. They wanted this - badly.

Saturday morning's Semi matched them up against St. Augustine's, with St. Joe's in the other heat. It was looking like even with the other 200 schools there it was going to come down to the 4 boats from City's - St. Joes, St. Augustine, Moorestown and LaSalle. In this semi St. Augustine beat Moorestown by a boat length. Was this part of the plan? Did the prom perhaps take something out of them? As they pulled the boat out of the water and walked it up, this team looked a little too relaxed and calm. They had developed a style of remaining calm and saving their energy for just the right time. It seemed they felt they were right on plan.

The final came down to St. Joe's in Lane 3, St. Augustine in Lane 4 and Moorestown in Lane 2. Sitting down at the finishing stands we had recruited the Woodbridge, VA team to cheer for Moorestown. When the announcer said Moorestown was in the lead at the 400 meter mark (1500 meter race), there was a buzz in the crowd. St. Joe's has won this event 10 of the past 12 years and had not been beaten this year. Could the underdog really play in their league?

As they hit the island, you could see it was neck and neck between the two boats, with St. Joe's holding an ever so slight lead. The team had built up calmly, with increasing intensity over the past two weeks. Mollie had taken the Tie-dyed T-Shirt off from the morning race and for the first time in her career had the black uni on - same as the boys. She had developed a knack for timing their sprint and the team had developed a knack for knowing how to pull hard to the finish.

As the two boats passed the stands, the roar was deafening. Our Woodbridge friends led an awesome chant of Moores-Town, and many in the stands joined them. Both boats were clearly all-out. Each boy pulling with everything they had - making sure they helped their team get to the line first.

They crossed and no one in the crowd knew who had won. It took several minutes and then word leaked out fast. I first heard them call the order for the boats to pull up to the dock (3rd, 2nd and then 1st). They called Lanes 4, 3, 2. Lane 2 - Moorestown! Just then, John Lloyd got confirmation that the team had won.

In the days before photo-finishes, they would have called this one a tie. But there was indeed separation - and Moorestown had won by .04 seconds. About 10 centimeters in a 1500 meter race.

On this day, this group of lightweights had pulled together as a team to accomplish the unimaginable. Winning the Stotesbury. Jimmy Currell, Dustin Baxter, Nik Tranchik, Jason Farber, Tyler Lukridge, Max Tennenbaum, Scott Shelley, Rohil Shah and of course Mollie.

On our ride down to Maryland, Mollie said "This is the happiest day of my life." Nothing quite like working and winning with a team...

More Photos
Video of Finals

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wanted: Running Web Wizard

We are looking for a new person at the store now that Marc Pelerin is leaving for California.

Moorestown Running Company is a specialty running store in Moorestown New Jersey.

We are seeking a motivated web designer and enthusiastic store associate.
You will work in our Moorestown store helping to build and design our website, doing customer marketing and helping runners and walkers select the proper equipment.

You will have the opportunity to serve the running community, work with passionate staff and an experienced technology consultant as you develop an expanding running specialty website and growing store. The applicant should have related experience in web design and development, working with tools like Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator. PHP and Javascript experience is a plus. A strong desire to learn and keep expanding your skills is required. In addition to web development, you must demonstrate a willingness to work with customers and learn about properly fitting customers with running shoes.

The qualified candidate has related education and experience dealing with online marketing and/or web design. Email your cover letter, application and examples of your web work to

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekly Update May 10

This Past Week.
There were two big stories this week – PR’s and Leadership. Let’s hit the PR’s first…

Wednesday was a dual meet against Rancocas Valley. With only a couple of weeks left in the season, we have started to taper and take advantage of all the hard work we did early in the season and harvest it with some fast times. And we did exactly that. PR’s by nearly everyone – Friedman, Wolff, Horton, Weintraub, Balch, Robinson, Miller, Nece, Ems, Samocki, Bennet, Lentz, Wilson, Thomas, Sheehan, Reutsch, Shah, Fowler, Regan and Spirgel. Special mention to Evan Nece who qualified for Varsity by going sub-5 with a 4:57 and a brilliant closing lap of 69 seconds. Several other guys are knocking on that door and will hopefully make it during the next two weeks…

The even bigger story was around Leadership. The distance squad is viewed as the elite of the track team, and quite frankly we did not perform to our potential the week before. Ryan Wolff and Ben Friedman set a course to correct that this past week to double in three meets – that means both a 1600 and a 3200 meter race and Willingboro on Monday, RV on Wednesday at the Divisional Meet on Saturday. One of these races is tough, two in a day is mentally and physically wearing. Try doing it three times in a week at a high level. And it was more than simply running the events – they wanted to show the type of effort necessary to earn the mantle of Leadership.

On Monday Wolff and Friedman finished 1-2 in the 1600 in a tight race with a very talented Willingboro runner. They came back in the rain less than an hour later to lead our team to a clean sweep in a fast time in the 3200. On Wednesday we faced our toughest opponent of the year, RV. The 1600 is an early event and it was important to get momentum on our side. Wolff and Friedman responded against tough competition with PR’s for a 1-2 that I consider a tie and showed the rest of the team what working together is all about. On Saturday they again set out to score big points in the BCSL Championship. This is a race that we won 2 years ago, and had last won over 20 years earlier – so not an easy meet for us. Wolff had an outstanding race in the 1600 closing hard with yet another PR and locking in 8 points with a second place against Bowden of NB. It was not a great race for Friedman, perhaps tired from his heavy mileage and hard races earlier in the week. We gave them the chance to bow out for the 3200 on this hot day (85 degrees), but they both wanted to come back and score points for the team. They both were true to their word, with Friedman getting a hard fought 5th and Wolff a 6th.

Their leadership was echoed by two emerging leaders on the team – Weintraub and Horton. Weintraub ran 3200 meters for the first, second and third time in his career this week – placing in all 3 races. Saturday’s race was certainly the highlight as he held his steady pace and confident stride to pick up a much needed 2nd place (again to Bowden). Horton’s first year running is also proving to be amazingly productive. On Wednesday he closed hard and got that important third place that set the tone for the team the rest of the day – points matter. Little wins here and there produce big wins for the team. Saturday’s race at the BCSL Championship highlighted his potential as he finished 4th in a PR of 4:39.96.

These great efforts helped produce a team win and Moorestown was crowned BCSL Divisional Meet Champions. Other highlights – Corey Pizzichello won the Triple, 2nd in the long, 4th in the 400 and anchored the 4th place 4X400. Connor Tuck won his third consecutive Javelin Championship at this meet. Danny MacBride picked up a 3rd and 5th in the 100 and 200. TJ Hagan and Nick Dee went 1-2 in the Pole Vault.

It was an impressive week for the distance squad. Eagles and I are feeling very, very proud of this squad.

The Coming Week

Tuesday we will split the team. Half will be at home at the Pemberton Meet and the Freshmen and Novice will travel to Cherokee High School to compete in a big open meet there. Both meets should offer a good opportunity to try to achieve some more PR’s. The bus will leave after school. The 1600 at Cherokee is fairly early, however the bus back will be late – maybe 9PM. So you may want your parents to come pick you up.

Thursday the Weight crew and Jumpers will go to Willingboro to finish out the rain-soaked meet from last week. If we win that one, we have a decent shot at the BCSL Regular Season Championship – something Moorestown has not done in about 30 years.

Saturday will be the County Championship at Maple Shade. We are limited to 3 runners in each event. We will announce the lineups later in the week.


1. Moorestown 104, 2. Rancocas Valley 94, 3. Burlington Township 86, 4. Northern Burlington 79, 5. Willingboro 78, 6. Pemberton 54.
100-METER DASH: 1. Jashuan Spady (Pemberton) 11.26, 2. Daquan Brown (Willingboro) 11.42, 3. Daniel MacBride (Moorestown) 11.57, 4. Sean Harper (Rancocas Valley) 11.65, 5. Vincent Pini (Burlington Township) 11.67, 6. Robert Cooper (Burlington Township) 11.78.
200-METER DASH: 1. Jashuan Spady (Pemberton) 22.80, 2. Daquan Brown (Willingboro) 23.20, 3. Kendall White (Rancocas Valley) 23.76, 4. Sean Harper (Rancocas Valley) 23.76, 5. Daniel MacBride (Moorestown) 23.88, 6. Robert Cooper (Burlington Township) 23.89.
400-METER DASH: 1. Kendall White (Rancocas Valley) 49.59, 2. Vincent Pini (Burlington Township) 50.73, 3. Alrick Pryce (Burlington Township) 51.49, 4. Eric Tyler (Willingboro) 51.62, 5. Corey Pizzichello (Moorestown) 52.17, 6. David Slaton (Burlington Township) 52.26.
800-METER RUN: 1. Eriq Morris (Burlington Township) 2:01.14, 2. Ayre Williams (Rancocas Valley) 2:02.30, 3. Eric Tyler (Willingboro) 2:03.30, 4. Rushain Jones (Willingboro) 2:06.83, 5. Brandon Trojak (Rancocas Valley) 2:07.15, 6. Wilfredo Gonzalez (Rancocas Valley) 2:07.15.
1,600-METER RUN: 1. Michael Bowden (Northern Burlington) 4:32.26, 2. Ryan Wolf (Moorestown) 4:33.89, 3. Dylan Kurowsky (Northern Burlington) 4:34.22, 4. Anthony Horten (Moorestown) 4:39.96, 5. Joe Fessenden (Burlington Township) 4:43.89, 6. Joe Dyas (Rancocas Valley) 4:44.05.
3,200-METER RUN: 1. Michael Bowden (Northern Burlington) 10:04.69, 2. Samuel Weintraub (Moorestown) 10:25.59, 3. Andre Dupuis (Northern Burlington) 10:27.15, 4. Tim Reardon (Burlington Township) 10:27.15, 5. Ben Friedman (Moorestown) 10:28.80, 6. Ryan Wolf (Moorestown) 10:49.04.
110-METER HURDLES: 1. Seth Robinson (Rancocas Valley) 15.51, 2. Nelson Zhou (Burlington Township) 15.63, 3. Jalen Walker (Burlington Township) 16.01, 4. Thomas Cordon (Rancocas Valley) 16.29, 5. Rich Nwanko (Northern Burlington) 16.66, 6. Khalif Wilson (Pemberton) 16.99.
400-METER HURDLES: 1. Oshane Rennie (Rancocas Valley) 57.40, 2. Justin Maxey (Willingboro) 57.6, 3. Nelson Zhou (Burlington Township) 1:00.14, 4. Abdur Shabazz (Pemberton) 1:00.34, 5. Jerry Pham (Northern Burlington) 1:00.43, 6. Trey Smith (Rancocas Valley) 1:01.27.
1,600-METER RELAY: 1. Burlington Township (Alrick Pryce, Eriq Morris, Vincent Pini, David Slaton) 3:21.79, 2. Rancocas Valley 3:21.89, 3. Willingboro 3:23.09, 4. Moorestown 3:32.57, 5. Northern Burlington 3:41.94.
LONG JUMP: 1. Tyree Leonard (Pemberton) 20-9 1/4, 2. Corey Pizzichello (Moorestown) 20-8, 3. Chad Dill (Northern Burlington) 20-0 1/2, 4. James Kinloch (Rancocas Valley) 19-8 3/4, 5. Anthony Phelps (Moorestown) 19-2 1/2, 6. Dashawn Watson (Willingboro) 18-6.
TRIPLE JUMP: 1. Corey Pizzichello (Moorestown) 41-3, 2. James Kinloch (Rancocas Valley) 41-0, 3. Anthony Phelps (Moorestown) 40-8, 4. Dashawn Watson (Willingboro) 39-5 1/2, 5. Jerry Pham (Northern Burlington) 39-4 3/4, 6. Tyre Leonard (Pemberton) 39-4 1/2.
HIGH JUMP: 1. Tyree Leonard (Pemberton) 6-0, 2. Jalen Armstead (Pemberton) 6-0, 3. Rashaun Houston (Willingboro) 5-8, 4. Melvin Moore (Northern Burlington) 5-6, 5. (tie) Luis Garcia (Burlington Township), Greg Trahan (Burlington Township) 5-6.
POLE VAULT: 1. T.J. Hagan (Moorestown) 13-0, 2. Nicholas Dee (Moorestown) 11-0, 3. Ram Singh (Northern Burlington) 10-6, 4. (tie) Kendey McCort (Rancocas Valley), Jordan Andrade (Northern Burlington) 9-6, 6. Joseph Margiotti (Moorestown) 9-6.
SHOT PUT: 1. Renard Hussey (Willingboro) 49-9 1/2, 2. Jordan Hunter (Burlington Township) 47-10 1/2, 3. Nick Kapsimalis (Northern Burlington) 44-8, 4. Traven Mable (Willingboro) 44-7, 5. Robert Pletcher (Rancocas Valley) 43-0, 6. Corey Grant (Moorestown) 40-11.
DISCUS: 1. Jordan Hunter (Burlington Township) 144-3, 2. Renard Hussey (Willingboro) 137-9, 3. Chuck Norris (Northern Burlington) 134-6, 4. Joseph Diblasio (Moorestown) 127-11, 5. Frank Capra (Northern Burlington) 127-4, 6. Anthony Sullivan (Moorestown) 117-1.
JAVELIN: 1. Connor Tuck (Moorestown) 166-0, 2. Ryan Kaylor (Rancocas Valley) 153-9, 3. Anthony Sullivan (Moorestown) 144-3, 4. Nick Kapsimalis (Northern Burlington) 143-10, 5. John Rafferty (Northern Burlington) 139-5, 6. Ronald Dash (Willingboro) 136-1.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weekly Update May 3

May 3
This Past Week

On Wednesday we went up to Northern Burlington, where they have an exceptional distance runner in Michael Bowden. In a rare occurrence, the teams tied 70-70. Moorestown actually won the Sprints, Field and Throws, however we came up short in the distance events. Bowden won both the 1600 and 3200, and NB took 1-2 in the 800 and a third in the 3200 – outscoring our Distance Squad 19-8.

Moorestown did have some very good performances. Weintraub and Horton ran great races in the 1600 to take 2nd and 3rd to Bowden with PR’s of 4:43 and 4:44. Horton held off a fast closing RV runner to take that important 3rd place and secure a point (we obviously would have lost the meet without that effort). Stalle again had a PR in 2:08 for a 3rd place finish. Matteson finished up our scoring with a strong 2nd place finish in 10:16 in the 3200 making sure he held off a tough NB runner who wound up third.

The meet was also a great opportunity for a number of PR’s. Robinson, Szumski and Samocki all PR’d in under 5:00 earning Varsity letters. Also PR’ing in the 1600 were Bennett and McDonnell – two new runners who continue to keep improving every week and having great attitudes. It was also nice to see Sheehan, Thomas, Fowler and Regan also notching PR’s in the 1600. That is 11 PR’s in one race – NICE! Also earning a PR was Ems, who is rounding into shape with a 10:46 in the 3200.

On Thursday night Wolff and Friedman went down for the South Jersey Relays Open 3200. Wolff ran a PR 10:01 and Friedman ran a 10:08, both good solid times.

On Saturday we traveled down to Buena for the South Jersey Relays. The Freshmen led it off with a DMR 2nd place in spite of a limping Jenai. Lentz ran a very nice 3:49 lead off 1200 leg, Nece looked good in his 800. There was really no competition for Inglis on his final leg as he held the team’s second place thru the finish line. Spirgel ran two freshman races – a sprint and the anchor on the Sprint Medley Relay about 15 minutes later and continues to show determination and a nice stride.

Our JV A DMR of Wilson, Thomas, Bennett and Samocki also earned medals. The JV B DMR of Reutsch (best race of his season in the lead off 1200), Regan, Shah (PR in his 800) and Jospehson was not far behind. The Varsity DMR looked very good with a solid 3:30 split from Szumski, McDonnell in 57 in his first 400, M Friedman in a solid 2:14 800 and Robinson in a PR 4:50 1600 split.

Our 4 X 1600 relay ran a very solid 19:13. Horton, Balch and Weintraub all had 4:45 splits, which was a big PR for Blach. Unfortunately Matteson’s calf injury returned during his leg. We are hoping he recovers quickly to build on the fine finish he had against NB earlier in the week.

Stalle anchored the Sprint Medley Relay with a big drop in his PR to 2:04. With his rapid improvement, we can only wonder where he will wind up this season, or what he could have done if he had run with us for a couple of years… Sheehan finished the day off with a nice anchor in the JV Sprint Med, and it is good to see him settling in after a rough start with injuries.

The Week Ahead
By the time this gets sent, the Willingboro meet will be over. As I write this I am hoping for a solid performance where the Distance team again rises to the challenge and provides leadership for the whole Track Team.

Wednesday will be RV at home. This will be a chance for all of the runners to set another round of PR’s hopefully! The meet will start at 3:45 with the Long Jump and Triple Jump, then move onto the running events. RV is the leading team in our Division this year, and the Distance crew will have our hands full to score as many points as possible. With Danny MacBride in the sprints, Corey Pizzichello in the Jumps and our Pole Vaulters led by TJ Hagan, we have a shot if things go right.

Saturday will be the Divisional Meet. Only three runners in each event, but I would encourage everyone to show up for this meet. If we have a good day, we could surprise some people… We will name who will run which events on Thursday after the RV meet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marathons & Penn Relays

This was a huge week for running. Two major events and a couple of personally major events.

The big news around town this past week was the success of all the local runners in the Boston Marathon pictured to the right. Moorestown Running Company's own Ralph Harris led the contingent with an awesome 2:59. His first Boston, his first sub-3, his first time in the medical tent where they had trouble finding his pulse, and his first time with blue lips!

The Penn Relays come to Philadelphia this time every year and, like Boston, reminds everyone what a great sport this is. Thursday is Distance Night - much lower key than the exciting Friday and Saturday races, but for real distance runners it is the ultimate. This year was made special by a number of things:
  • My roommate from college, Lee Edmonds, came down to see his son, Josh run in the 5,000 meter race. I had not seen Ed for several years - so it was worth it just for that. His son Josh runs exactly like him - the same shuffle, same out slow and finish tough. One of his other sons, Caleb, also joined him. There is definitely something about DNA. Josh ran a solid 14:33 - his goal is to his 14:12 this season to make Regionals. He should be able to since he was running on dead legs (a 10K the week before and hard workout on Monday).
  • Danielle Tauro, the multiple NJ State Meet Champion now running at Michigan pulled an impressive finishing kick out to win the 3,000 Meter race.
  • Jon Anderson, the former Cinnaminson runner now at West Point ran a fantastic race in the Championship 5,000 meter race. He sat comfortably in the top 7 until the packs started breaking up in the final few laps. It looked like a couple of runners had pulled away and he would fight for third or fourth. His last lap was one of the best I have seen - coming back on the leaders and barely edging them with total guts at the end. He ran a 13:58. There is a rumor going around he needs to run 13:50 to make an elite Army team that will allow him to race instead of going to Iraq. Talk about pressure...
And the week ended with my daughter Allison running her first marathon in Marseille, France. She just called and let me know about it. She felt great the first 13 miles running what she felt was slow (8:15 pace, 1:48 at the half). Then the marathon caught up to her in the second half of the race. She finished in a very nice time of 3:51, but she said she really felt like quitting a number of times. It was a cool and rainy and windy day, so the 1 kilometer back to the hotel was a tough one with her IT killing her, where she swore she would never do this again.

By the time she had taken a shower, she was thinking about her next one - after her Wash U running career is over... She wants to join a group like those pictured above and continue to have fun. And isn't that what running is all about...

MHS Weekly Update

This Past Week
We finally got on the track in a real meet this past Tuesday at Burlington Township. Our strategy was to try to train through this meet and run it with somewhat tired legs. The idea is to learn to run fast when you are tired, and then when you feel fresher, you can still run to the same level of discomfort - but run faster!

Ryan Wolff was the star again in one of the best races I have seen at Moorestown. Wolff and Friedman took the pace the first 3 laps in the 1600, and then with 200 meters to go Eric Morris, the BT star 400 and 800 meter speedster, took the lead. Morris is much faster, but Wolff refused to give up. As they strained neck and neck down the final straighway I thought about the countless miles that Wolff has put in over the past four years - the many 60 mile weeks and long runs. I thought I could see Morris tying up just a bit, and Wolff continuing to press forward in strong, meaningful strides. I could not tell who had won when they crossed the finish line, but the officialss called it for Wolff. It was great to see the guys congratulate each other - both had set PR's, both had pushed each other to a new level. It was great!

There were a number of outstanding performances. PR's were set by Weintraub, Horten, Balch, Inglis, Nece, Samocki, Ems, Bennett, Josephson, Jenai, Sheehan, Shah, and Spiergal. Several in that list really impressed. Weintraub has rounded into Cross Country form and beyond now. He just looks very strong. Horten continues to impress with a natural stride and competitive fire. I was happy to see Jenai and Spiergal come back and volunteer to run the 800 after setting PR's in the 1600. They are both new to the Freshman crew we had last XC season, and plan to run this fall - so the Class fo 2012 just got deeper and better!

On Saturday we did our Poker Interval workout. The guys pick cards to see what length of interval they are going to run - everything form 200 to 1200 meters were in the deck. The idea of this workout is to be able to change pace and react in a race setting and the handle the unexpected. It was a great workout that finished with the 1200 - the toughest one to get thru. It was good to see Joel Robinson start to reemerge after his Hawaian vacation.

This Coming Week
We are at Northern Burlington on Wednesday this week for a dual meet. We will have an easier day on Tuesday, so faster times are expected.

On Thursday, Wolff and Friedman will head down to the South Jersey Open 3200. This has a qualifying time of 10:15 to enter, so it will be a very competitive field. The race goes off around 10PM and is always fun to watch under the lights.

One Saturday, we will have the South Jersey Relays at Buena in the afternoon. Freshman races are at 1PM and others will be from 2-6PM to allow students to take the SAT and still run. Bus and race assignments will be announced this week at practice.

The BCSL Championship is only two weeks away, Counties is 3 week away and Sectionals is 4 weeks away. The Pennsauken Freshman Meet and the Haddonfield Distance Night are just over 3 weeks away, and typically the highlight for our JV runners. So it is getting to be that time of the season to get really focused and figuring out how to get as many PR's as possible!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MHS Track Weekly Update

This Past (2) Weeks
We held the Annual Moorestown Invitational in a Monsoon last Saturday. Thank you to all of the parents who volunteered and got soggy. As you know this is our only Spring Track fundraising event – and it was very successful with a record number of teams entered.

Wolff and Matteson had solid 5,000 meter runs with 16:43 and 16:47 respectively. Ben Friedman was sick that day but ran thru it in a tough 17:00, and was in bed a half hour later. Fortunately he is feeling better now… The 4 X 800 team was led again by Stalle with a solid 2:10. He runs like a freight train – with a huge engine. His ITB is feeling better now and we are trying to adjust his running schedule better to fit in with his competitive soccer schedule. He has the potential to run even faster by the end of the season and should be fun to watch.

Weintraub won the second heat of the 1500 with a 4:33 (translates to about a 4:52 1600) with a solid performance. Horten ran the same heat to a nice 4th place finish in 4:37 (a 4:56 1600 converted).

On Friday of this week we took the Novice and Freshman runners to the Bishop Eustace meet. It was a perfect day on a nice track and everyone responded with great performances. Leading the pack was Horten with a very quick 4:48 for second place in the Novice 1600. This gives him a VDOT rating of 62 – good enough to be in this past season’s Varsity 7 in XC. Very impressive. Also running a PR as a Novice was Fowler – putting up a 5:41 a couple of days after coming alive in a very grueling 12 X 400 workout on Wednesday.

The Freshmen continue to make giant strides. Nece and Inglis are still battling each other up top – they ran 5:01 and 5:02 respectively. This moves their VDOT’s up by 2 points from the cross country season – a great improvement considering it is still early in the season. The most pleasant surprise among the freshmen was Lentz. He has worked harder than any of the others over the winter and it has paid off. He ran a 5:04 – a real jump in performance level from XC. Sheehan is also starting to get healthy again and putting in some really strong workouts. His 5:35 will likely continue to improve. Quien also had a race that shows a lot of improvement since XC season with a 6:04.

This Coming Week
After an ill-fated attempt to begin the regular season at Willingboro, we hopefully will race on Tuesday against Burlington Township at their track. We invite all parents and guys who are not running this season to come out and watch. The meet starts at 4PM.

We are not entered in this weekend’s big track meet – the Penn Relays. However, it is something worth going to see. Distance Night is Thursday – always fun to sit by the water jump pit for the Steeplechase. Saturday is typically huge – with some of the Nation’s fastest runners competing in a stadium full of track nuts. Sit in the Jamaican Section to really learn how to cheer at a track meet!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

MHS Track Weekly Update

April 5, 2009
This Past Week

Welcome to Spring Track. The real season has begun as it usually does with the Hall of Fame Relays. Previous years have brought rain or cold, and this year brought the winds of up to 50 mph! Gusts blew Evan Nece into Lane 2, and nearly blew Anthony Horten off the track and onto the infield. Full meet results here. Our results are here.

It was a day of learning - how to get your cards, how to pass a baton, how to warm up for a race, and how long of a day these track meets can be. My estimates turned out to be way too conservative. I've written the actual start times down for next year!

If learning was the theme yesterday, then Ryan Wolff showed he was ready for graduation with honors. He ran a very smart third leg in a Moorestown best of the day 4:45. His opening lap of 67 let him catch the leaders of the race and then sat behind them to collect his reserves and save himself from the wind. His final strong, confident lap of 65 let him hand off to Ringwood dead even with Cherokee's Applegate. Ringwood showed his maturity by almost taking a step backwards to let Applegate take the wind. The Cherokee coach then instructed Applegate to slow the pace and force Ringwood to take the lead. By the 800 meter mark they were practically walking, but Ringwood did the right thing and just hung out behind him. I told Ringwood to go ahead and take the pace - it is the first meet of the season and I would rather see them get a decent run in. Applegate ended up drafting off of Ringwood and passed him in the final 100 meters.

We demonstrated a lot of depth, with 5 runners under 5:00 for the mile and over a dozen sub-2:30 800's. The DMR teams did nice jobs. Weintraub ran a solid 4:58 on his anchor leg to secure third place medals. Our JV B team was 3rd out of 10 teams, highlighted by a strong 2:16 (66-70) by Anthony Horten and a solid 3:40 by Chris Balch. The Freshman DMR squad got 5th place in the same race with Lentz, Jenai, Nece and Inglis all having a good learning experience. I am quite sure they will all run quite a bit faster by the end of the season.

Our Varsity 4 X 800 placed second to Northern Burlington in a very nice race for newcomers Jacob Miller and John Stalle. Both have been held back by injuries and really have not had a chance to put in a decent week of practice yet, but laid down impressive first time 800 times of 2:16 (63-73) and 2:12 (62-70). Hopefully they keep feeling good and make progress in their training and racing - they should be fun to watch.

Overall the distance squad earned 16 medals for four teams - 4 X 1600 Varsity, 4 X 800 Varsity, Distance Medley Varsity and Distance Medley JV. As Ringwood would say, "Nice."

Many of the runners had the experience yesterday of, as my Coach used to say, "A gorilla climbing on your back". Will McDonnell was a great example of this. He led off the JV 4X800 and took a commanding lead by the 500 meter point in the race, and looked just awesome. In the next 100 meters it was like watching an entirely different runner - one that in addition to his own weight was carrying a gorilla on his back. I applaud Will for having the courage to go out and test what he could actually do.

There are two things to learn from this. First, is to learn your pace over the next month as we increase our race-paced practices. Second, is to learn how to carry that gorilla calmly and confidently. That same gorilla was on Ryan Wolff's back as he came down the final straightway to hand off to Ringwood. He was fighting him off to make sure he put his teammate in as good of a position as possible. Something to keep in mind when you are in the final 200 meters of a race. And even if a championship is not on the line - it is your chance to move to your own personal next level.

This Coming Week

We will continue our Monday Long Run this week. We need to continue building our strength and foundation. I'm really happy with the increased mileage we are getting in.

Wednesday - Willingboro dual meet at their track. We will need all of the distance points we can get in this meet, as Willingboro has a very strong sprint and jump team. We will also be using this meet to determine who will run in the Moorestown Invitational (a Varsity only event). There are three spots in the 5K, 3 spots in the 1500 and 4 spots in the 4 X 800 meter relay. The meet starts at 3:45.

Saturday - Moorestown Invitational. While we only have 10 spots for runners, all runners are expected to come and volunteer that day to help out. We will have sign-ups for two shifts - either 8-10:30 or 10:30-closing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MHS Track Weekly Update

I am transferring my seasonal weekly updates to my running blog. These are notes I take on a weekly basis during Moorestown high school's XC and outdoor track seasons. Previous seasons are at

This past week
This was my first week back with the team. We are trying to do several things this track season. The first is try to raise the expectations of mileage on a more consistent basis. The basic thought is that for most high school runners, they basically run out of air in a distance race and that is the key thing holding them back. So we think that distance at an easy pace is the key to developing the cardiovascular system. We've done some simple things like the minimum run is 5 miles for everyone unless you are injured. Also the typical day is now 7-8 miles for the guys who have been around for over a year. For track workouts and races we make sure we do 2-3 miles before the hard work and 2-3 miles after the hard work. So today for example, most of the guys got in 7-9 miles on a track workout day.

On Monday we did our long run. This is about 9-10 miles for the group that will be leading us next fall. 6-7 miles for newer guys. We are going to try to fit the long run in once per week since we can not count on everyone doing it on their own on Sundays.

On Wednesday we had a scrimmage against Cinnaminson. Most of the guys ran the 1600. It was the last race they get to choose, and there seemed to be avoidance of the 3200... Ringwood and Friedman ran a nice steady 4:44 at an even pace. Matteson, Weintraub and Wolff were all around 5:00. Many of the guys from XC have slipped back from their VDOT level of the fall by 2-5 points. This makes them about 10-30 seconds slower for the 3200. This is mostly due to a lack of mileage over the winter. We need to make sure we do not make that mistake again this summer leading into XC season.

We did a solid VO2Max workout on the track on Saturday. This is work done at the 3200 meter pace. Today we did 6 X 800 at their 3200 pace with a lap jog between. This might be a little early for this workout, but I think there was a need to get the guys in a controlled environment where they could rediscover their ability to work hard and run together. It should build some confidence as we move into the racing season next week.

This Coming Week

We begin our season this week at the Hall of Fame Relays at Maple Shade. We will be entering teams in the 4 X 800, the Distance Medley and the 4 X 1600. We will make the specific decisions about who runs in which race later in the week.

We will be doing a long run on Monday and probably a threshold workout on Wednesday with long 400 meter striders on Thursday to get a little feel for pace before the Saturday meet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

John McDonnell Notes from Running Works Clinic

Coach of the Arkansas XC and Track teams, talk at the Running Works Clinic at Villanova. I figured I would share the notes I took and he provided:

- Relaxation. This is a key success factor. Top runners all run relaxed. Starts with the face and head - loose lower jaw. No head bobbing. Relaxed wrists - floppy even. Short arm stroke. Minimize movement from the hips up.

- Communication. Never set goals too high. He is not a "reach for the stars" coach. Also, as a coach make a habit of telling the truth to runners.

- Discipline. Told the story of kicking a kid off the team one year because he was not willing to put in the same level of preparation and work as the rest of the team. This paid off later, both with his team as well as that person wrote him a letter 15 years later thanking him for that life lesson.

- Weight. I covered this in another post - but it is another critical success factor.

- Runners with no speed. He feels too many distance runners with no speed spend too much time worrying about it and working on improving their speed. He believes this is a waste. Focus on developing the strength and then run the race to optimize to that. Told a story about one of his runners taking the lead at the half way point in a race and just pounding the finishing kick out of his competitors. He trained for strength, which was his strength.

- Concentration is a critical success factor. "This is a major problem with distance runners, especially in the longer races. A runner must concentrate to stay on pace during a race. Many things go thru a runner's mind during a race. I encourage our runners to fix their eyes on the competition. This helps them to concentrate and be ready for any changes of pace."

Here is the training cycle for distance runners at Arkansas. These are levels that very few can attain - so scale to your own situation:
Post Track - Take 2-4 weeks "off". He recommends that runners actually run 3 miles every other day or so to make sure they do not lose the flexibility and tone of the muscles and tendons. He has seen many runners take 2-4 weeks completely off and come back to get injured.

Summer - 50 miles per week. No speed. Just base work. The rest of the year is about 75-85 miles per week.

XC Start - August - Do 6 weeks of building a base. Begin doubles at 3 miles in the morning, moving up to 5 miles after 3 weeks. First 3 weeks is all distance. After the first 3 weeks, they begin to do strides (6-8 X200 on grass after their afternoon run). At the end of 6 weeks they are doing 5 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.

"Shoes can be a major cause of injury". They change shoes about every 5 weeks (400 miles).

XC - Getting Serious - Monday - 5-6 X Mile @4:40-4:45 on a hilly golf course.

Tuesday & Thursday - Weight session. After weight session, team does 8 miles at 5:20-5:30. Every other week they do oxygen debt running to simulate race conditions. First mile is 4:30, then drop so ff to 4:45-4:50 and then back to the 5:20 pace. This gets them used to going out quickly in races. "Nothing good happens in the back of the pack".

As they get closer to Conference, District, NCAA, they add 400 meter repeats on Wednesday afternoon. 12-16 X 400 on grass. Half are uphill at 68-70 and half are downhill at 62-64.

Sunday long run 14-18 at 6:15 pace.

Transition to Indoor Track. Makes sure they do not run too fast early in season. They do not do very much speed work. Work on Strength. "Strength is speed".

Likes downward ladders with increasing speed (start at 2000 meters and come down gradually to 200 meters)

Transition to Outdoor. For two weeks they just do easy mileage of 70-90 miles per week mostly on grass.
Next two weeks long intervals on grass. They go to the Texas Relays without any real track workouts!

After that they go to the track and the pace quickens much more than the Indoor sessions.

May and June - they cut miles and increase quality.

Example workouts for Elite (3:35) 1500 meter runner:
1. 1 X 800 @1:52 >5 min rest, 1 X 600 @ 1:24 >5 min rest, 1X500 @ 69 > 3 min rest, 1X400 @ 54.

2. 2 X 800 @ 1:52 >8 min rest, 1 X 400 @ 54

3. 600 @ 1:24, 800 @ 1:55, 600 @ 1:24, 400 @ 56 - all w 6 min rest.

4. 4 X 400 @55 >4 min rest, 4 X 200 @25 >2.5 min rest

5. 6 X 400 @ 55 >2.5 min rest

6. 8 X 400 @56.5 >3 min rest

7. 6 X 300 @38 >3.5 Min rest, 2 X 200 @24.5 2.5 Min rest

8. 8 X 200 @ 26-26.5 > 2 min rest, or @24.5 with 3 min rest.

9. 1 X 1000 @ 2:22 >1.5 Min rest, 1 X 500 @ 69

10. 12 X 150 @ 18 >2 min rest

11. 800 @ 1:50 ? 8 min rest, 400 @ 55 >4 min rest 300 @ 38

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scott Christensen Notes from RunningWorks Clinic

This past Friday I attended the Running Works clinic put on at Villanova. The first speaker was Scott Christensen. He has been the coach at Stillwater High School in Minnesota for nearly 30 years. His teams and runners have won many state titles. He has taken a special interest in developing 1600 meter runners and focused his discussion on that. Over the past 12 years, 6 of the MN State 1600 meter Champions have hailed from Stillwater. He also teaches Physiology, which gives him an extra depth of understanding of our sport.

I will just run down a list of the interesting points I heard:

- He did a study of the past several Olympics and found the closing lap for the 800, 1500, 5K and 10K were all about 52 seconds. For his state, the average closing lap for the 1600 meter state championship is 58. So if you can not feel comfortable running that closing lap at that pace, after the previous laps, you will not have a shot at being a champion.

- He also brought up the point that most runners are competing at too short of a distance to be competitive. 52 second 400 meter runners should really be running something more than the 400 - especially given the above stats.

- He maps out a plan of continual improvement in times from December until June. In his example, it went from 4:27 in December to 4:06 in June. His point is that if you are not at that level of conditioning at any point, then you will not be able to get to the next level the following month and meet the eventual goal. The athlete needs to have complete commitment to such high goals.

- He uses Jack Daniels based training guidelines for Threshold and VO2Max calculations for his runners.

- In high school each day is important for training. The types of training are:
  • Long Run - Important
  • VO2Max Run - Critical
  • Tempo Run - Important
  • Interval & Repetition Run - Critical
  • Strength Run - Critical
  • Recovery Run - Critical
  • Ancillary Work - Important
- Running under 20 minutes is useless. This is the minimal time to release Endothelin - the hormone-based chemical that helps to enlarge the heart so it can pump more blood.

- It is important not to work an athlete too hard so that they can come back the next day and have another useful workout.

- Lactate levels return to normal after 12 minutes of recovery. They drop faster with an active recovery (meaning that a runner should jog between). Giving 3 minutes typically drop the lactate level low enough that it will help in achieving the 24 hour recovery goal so the runner can do a decent workout the following day.

- Some effect from a workout 24 hours afterward, but the full effect is 20 days after.

- Peaking translates into a 2-3 % improvement. He is into having a big taper - working hard every 3 days or so with very easy running between and no real hard speed. The idea is to build up strength, hormones and enzymes by cutting back on the work level of the body.

- Some of his cornerstone workouts:
  • 4 * 1 mi @ VO2Max
  • 6 * 800 @ VO2Max
  • 8 * 60 sec runs on grass
  • 8 * 400 with 3 min rest
  • 8 * 500 with 3 min rest
  • 8 * 400 w 45 second rest
  • 15 * flying 30 meters with 3 min rest
  • 4 * 400 with 13 min rest.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Weight - John McDonnell's Comments

Jack McDonnell, the former great coach of Arkansas (coached a record 42 NCAA Team Championships and 105 Individual NCAA Champions), gave a great talk today at the Running Works Clinic. I will write up a bunch of notes from the day, but he presented his thoughts on a very controversial subject - weight.

This is a controversial subject because no one wants to suggest that athletes should lose weight - especially with so many people struggling with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. However, he stated that weight can be "one of the biggest factors in the success of a runner". He said he first noticed this when in Ireland where he grew up near a horse racing track and saw the difference Jockey wieghts made. He told a story of how a handicap race took a horse that was winning by at least 5 lengths to a second place horse simply by making him carry 5 pounds more (this for a horse that weighed 1,300 pounds!). He backed this up with examples and observations he has made watching his runners where a difference of 3-5 pounds was a major factor. Joe Falcone was a 4:03 miler at 120 pounds and a 3:53 miler at 115. Another runner was a sub-4 miler at 182-3 and a 4:10 miler at 186-8.

Of course I write this as I chew on an Oreo the night before the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5K that I intend to run tomorrow (I will the Oreos as an excuse when I run slowly).

This is a real complex issue. High School runners in particular are still growing and changing physically. They typically need to eat well to supply their bodies with the nutrients to keep them healthy and growing. On the other hand, many teenagers are simply eating a lot of empty calories. Many are overweight and still mal-nurished in terms of proper vitamins and minerals.

The science is pretty compelling. Jack Daniels and many others have documented the effects of the volume of oxygen consumed per kilogram as being the key to running performance. Doing the math, a loss of 3 pounds means an improvement of about 1 VDOT. This can be a 8-12 second difference for a high school 3200 meter runner.

I have observed a number of male and female runners who just naturally grew and gained weight as they went thru high school feel frustrated that there was something wrong with them as they either did not improve or perhaps moved backwards in terms of performance.

In my view, McDonnell did a good thing in talking about this sensitive topic. As he said at another point, telling the truth is a good way of remembering what positions you have established with your runners. Coaches, parents and friends need to find ways to helping those with eating disorders. They need to give runners the real logic and physics on why a 90 pound freshman adolescent girl becomes slower as she naturally develops into a normal 120 senior who can not run as fast. This is roughly a negative effect of -10 VDOT - about 2 minutes for an 11:00 2 mile. Rather than think there is something wrong with her, she deserves to know the truth.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Peter Snell Video

Robert Hill just sent me a video of Peter Snell -

I had the pleasure of seeing Snell talk a few years ago at the Running Works Coaching Camp. After winning 3 Olympic Golds, he is now a PhD exercise physiologist at a university in Texas studying running and athletics. Here are my notes from his talk...

Peter Snell is the 1960 800 meter Olympic Champion and 1964 800 and 1500 meter Olympic Champion. This guy was amazing. Trained by Lydiard. He is now an Exercise Physiologist (PhD) at Univ of SW Texas in Dallas. Here is his personal progression:

Age Performance
17 2:04/4:40
18 1:59
19 1:52/4:10 – This is the year he started working with Lydiard
20 ?
21 1:47/4:01
22 ?
23 1:45/3:54

He says his key was he started running distance when he met Lydiard and built strength. Took years to develop fully.

His weekly training schedule before Tokyo in 1964:
M – 10 moderate
T – 15 easy
W – 12 hard – either fartlek or interval work
Th – 18 easy
F – 10 hard (or easy if race next day)
S – 15 moderate
Sun – 22. At the beginning of this training cycle – 6 months before Tokyo he started at 16-18 and 7 min per mile pace. Right before Tokyo he was running about 6 minute pace.

He said he was training really hard before Tokyo. He ran an 800 meter race and the objective was to go out easy in 56 and then see how much he had left. He told us he went out in 58 and then could only manage to come home in 2:02. He was widely regarded as not being ready for Tokyo. Yet he tapered a lot (he was not specific here), and was very fresh for Tokyo. Must have worked.

When he did his fast intervals he did them fast. He would run 55 seconds 400’s. Like 4-6 of them. He would sit and rest between them for maybe 5-10 minutes.

He put up some Seb Coe workouts (plenty of rest between intervals):
- 4X400 @800 meter pace
- 4X800 @ mile pace
- @400 pace – 350, 300, 250, 200

He also put up a chart that predicted 800 meter performance:

200M 800 Target
24 1:50-1:53
25 1:55-1:58
26 2:00 – 2:03
27 2:04 – 2:07
28 2:09 – 2:12

Another fascinating slide (I gave him my email – hopefully he will send me his slides) he put up was about Fast Twitch Muscle use in distance running. He maintains that long distance running actually develops not only slow twitch muscles, but also fast twitch muscles. He has conducted a bunch of tests on this. You can determine if a muscle is used by measuring glycogen depletion. The slow twitch muscles show lowering of glycogen at 15 minutes of running and deplete at say 60-120 minutes. The more interesting is that the fast twitch muscles show some glycogen use at 30 minutes, but show a fair amount at 60 minutes of running and get fully depleted at 120 minutes.

His point is that running very long actually improves a runners fast twitch muscles and speed. He maintains the reason for his killer kick (we saw videos and it was awesome) was just as much his long Sunday runs as it was his speed workouts.

He was also not high on a lot of speed work because of the danger of injury. He had charts that measured Ph in muscles and had a bunch of reasons why doing intervals could be bad. He really put focus on intervals as something that was really only needed in the final 6-8 weeks of training. He did favor some fartlek and moderate pace stuff throughout the year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Race Marketing Services

The South Jersey Running Companies - Haddonfield, Moorestown and Mullica Hill - are starting to offer a set of services for Race Directors this year. Last year we built up our free Races Webpage to list nearly 300 races in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. We get thousands of hits every month on this webpage and have become "the" place for runners and triathletes to find a race.

This year we are kicking off a fuller set of services. You can see them on our new page for Race Directors. In short, they consist of:
  • Free Race Listing
  • Free Advertising Swap
  • Web Marketing - we create a webpage as well as do email and surveys and on-line registration for your race.
  • In-Store Registration - let's runners register for your race in our stores.
  • In-Store Packet Pickup - runners can pickup their packets before race day at one of our stores.
  • Complete Registration Service - we will manage all of the race registration and coordinate with your chosen race timer.
Since these are all new services (things we have some experience with, but the first time we are offering them on a wider basis), we still are looking for feedback and suggestions. So please feel free to contact us with suggestions or your unique needs.