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...

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