Race Reports from the Men: Brooklyn Half

Report from Phil Falk of the Open:

The Brooklyn Half was a banner race for CPTC. Our team fielded 117 (!) runners overall, out of the record-breaking 27,400 field (‼).

Runners set their alarms for 4:30am, and filed in to Prospect Park as the sun was rising at 5:45am, in order to make the 7:00am starting gun. We were greeted with near-perfect conditions for a late-May race. A propitious early morning shower, while people were filing into the corrals, cooled off the crowds and kept the pollen in check. Winds were calm, temperatures were mild, and the sun mostly behind the clouds during the race. The newly paved asphalt along the Ocean Parkway parkway added a spring to your step.

And man – we were fast.

Matt Rand

Photo: Andy Kiss

Our men’s team fielded the fastest half-marathon team ever in club history, with a blazing 1:08:35 average time.  Our scoring runners were smoking: Matt Rand (1:06:49), Edward Mulder (1:07:55), Michael Franklin (1:08:01), Matt Lawder (1:08:46) and Jeff Ares (1:11:22). These guys also ran the 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th fastest times in CPTC history.

Matthew Lawder

Photo: Andy Kiss

From Coach Tony:

As coaches, we also have personal goals and sometimes just like the athlete, it becomes a lifelong quest. Well this week, we achieved one of those goals. Our open men romped to a spectacular sub-1:09 average for 5 men!!!! This was without question the greatest performance at the half marathon distance in club history. Amazing performance!

Incredibly proud of those guys, and so many PRs and great performances up and down the line. Additional PRs from Connor Rose (1:11:50), Ryan Fitzsimons (1:12:06), Taylor Burmeister (1:12:30), Calvin Tan (1:14:24), Jeff Sarkisian (1:14:26), Jean-Baptiste Martenet (1:18:26), Dmitriy Krasny (1:19:37), Seth Green (1:19:48), John Paulett (1:19:50), and Thomas McIntyre (1:22:31).

Some comments from our runners:

Matt Lawder:

What a great day for the Racing team yesterday! Yesterday’s 68:46 was a PR for me (just barely beat my 68:48 from 2012). I was real happy to be able to beat such an old PR for me and get under 69 minutes for only my second time ever. Overall, great race and great team atmosphere with so many CPTCer’s out there!

Jeff Ares and Connor Rose

Photo: Nigel Francis

Jeff Ares:

Cold air overnight and a brief shower pre-start broke the warm temps we had Thursday and Friday creating great running weather for this time of year. After a crowded start the race opened up and I led a small pack up the hill to Grand Army. [On Ocean Parkway,] I tried to break away a couple times but wasn’t feeling it solo so dropped back to the pack. My legs felt pretty heavy and sore but I just kept trying to push it out of my head and focus on little marks ahead of me to break down the last bit. Rounding the last left turn I dropped my head and pumped as hard as I could up the ramp and down the boardwalk to try and stay in the 71 lows. Wanted to die when I crossed the line but after 5min of catching my breath and some water I felt surprisingly pretty fine. It was great to see 4 other CPTC guys there waiting and a handful more finishing right on my shoulder. While not what I wanted timewise, it was a slight PR and a great team effort so I called it a win for the day.

Eddie Mulder:

PR by 1:56 for me! Having CPTC teammates to work with throughout the race really made the difference and was a huge factor in the positive result.

Ryan Fitzsimons

Photo: Andy Kiss

Ryan Fitzsimons:

Ok so today was not really what I wanted but proved that I’ve got a lot of strength. My legs did not feel good from the line. I thought they would warm up and find a new gear but they never really did so I just tried to keep my foot on the gas as long as I could. In terms of racing I kind of messed up right at the start as I got cut off pretty aggressively and got separated from [my group] within the first 400 meters and then by the time I was in the clear the gap was just too big. This grew to probably 100 meters or more, and I was sitting in no man’s land behind them for the last 8 miles of the race. But I finished up at 1:12:06. For what it’s worth this is an 86-second PR as my last half was the NYC half in 2016 when I had to fully stop and ran 1:13:32. So this is a PR I can be decently proud of but still know that someday I could go sub 71.

Seth Green:

Last year, after Brooklyn, Thomas Barrett, John Paulett and I focused on qualifying for the NYC Marathon at this race, which meant going under 1:21. Starting in the fall, however, I realized we were in good enough shape to shoot for under 1:20, and at Brooklyn, we both did it, in 1:19:48 and 1:19:50, respectively. It was a perfect day race-wise, a light drizzle at the start and then overcast, reasonable temperatures, and not too humid. I ran about 8 miles of it with John, and we must have seen 30 CPTC people out there over the next 80 minutes. I credit the improvement to about six months of consistent Thursday night tempos with a solid crew who were all aiming for somewhere between 1:19 and 1:21, as well as consistent Saturday long runs with the 10 AM crew.

Thomas McIntyre:

My goal was to run sub 1:23 —NYC marathon qualifier for my age group. My previous PR was 1:32:03, so it seemed like it might not be realistic. But with Tony‘s coaching and all of the CPTC group workouts – We felt I was able to go for it. I ran confident and in control, and finished the day with a 1:22:29!

Jean-Baptiste Martenet: It was great! 3 minute PR, but with great conditions I decided to start really slow so that time would not escape me!

John Paulett: First time running Brooklyn and it was a fantastic experience. Chatted with several teammates pre-race, who had similar pacing goal and plan.  Seth and I exited the park, with Fred and several CPTC folks a few seconds ahead. First two miles on Ocean Parkway were fun, by mile 10 we started spreading out with Seth building a 5-10s gap. Miles 11 & 12 were tough with pace slowing slightly, but I just focused on not letting the gap increase. Ran a PR at 1:19:50, down from 1:20:55 at the NYC Half in March and 1:23:00 at Staten Island last fall. Since joining CPTC early last year, I have seen a big improvement thanks to the teammates and workouts (that 2x 4mi MP/HMP tempo has been great).  Looking forward to continuing to put in the work needed to drop down further.

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Report from Matt DeAngelis of the 40+:

(Thanks to Matt for taking on race reporting responsibilities this month – David)

On Saturday the weather conditions of the Brooklyn Half were almost a mirror of 2016, but the quality of the field couldn’t have been more different.   We run in a city that is arguably the most competitive in the US for road racing, we get to run against world class age group talent each and every race, it’s what keeps us hungry and coming back for more, and ultimately makes us better.

Looking at the overall 2016 Brooklyn Half NYRR results for M40-49 there were just 11 who ran sub 1:20 in 2016, and in 2017 there was an astonishing 19 – that is an increase of 72% YOY.  More talent, faster times – we are on notice it’s going to be a very competitive season of racing!

CPTC Masters held strong, with a 4th place finish on a day where we weren’t at full strength.   It’s a tough time of year as many are coming off marathon cycles, trying to find that balance between recovery and racing and others are battling through injury from the harsh training of the winter.   Our depth is definitely one of our biggest assets as there are always guys that step up when they get called to do so, this race was no different.  We are just 5 points out of first place, just three races into the season.

Unofficial team standings after Brooklyn;

 All In:

 Urban Athletics: 45

West Side: 32

NBR: 30

CPTC: 28

 

With two races deleted;

 Urban Athletics: 15

NBR: 12

West Side: 12

CPTC: 10

Brian Halusan

Photo: Jay-r Mojica

Our Scorers were:

Brad Kelley (1:17:01/85.34%/2nd 50-54)

Brian Halusan (1:19:16/80.11%/7th 45-49)

Stephen Curtis (1:19:17/75.72%/9th 40-44)

Race of the day honors goes to Brian Halusan, who is coming off a stellar Boston Marathon (2:48:18), as he ran his fastest half marathon by over 4 minutes and achieved a lifetime AG best at 80.11% according to NYRR database!   Brian is just two races into his career with CPTC, look forward to big things from him in 2017!

Stephen Curtis

Photo: Andy Kiss

Stephen Curtis is newly minted to 40+ (welcome!) as he had his fastest half marathon in 3 years according to the NYRR database and has started 2017 on fire!  We welcome the young fresh legs to this group and can’t wait to see Stephen make his mark among 40+ this year.

2017 Scorers

 Brad Kelley 2

Sean Fortune 2

Peter Brady 1

Jim McQuade 1

Brian Halusan 1

Mohammed Lahseni 1

Stephen Curtis: 1

 

Have run all three scoring races (the Daniel Ifcher Cup):

 Sean Fortune

Jim McQuade

David Greenberg

Daniel Ifcher

Larry Go

Michael Caggia

 

Larry Go

Photo: Andy Kiss

Some insight and other notables from the rest of our esteemed teammates;

Jim McQuade (1:20:22/10th 45-49/AG 79.01%) just ran 2:54:35 (2nd M45-49) in the NJ Marathon on April 30th and came back just 3 weeks later.  Wow!

Daniel Ifcher (1:20:36/11th 45-49/AG 79.46%), was another that made a quick marathon rebound from Boston Marathon, with a very impressive performance on the day; 

“I went into the race unsure of what the result would be.  It was a bit of an odd week lead up and morning, with the news of Dave Bosch, having run a lot with him over the years.  RIP Dave, we miss you.  So, I wasn’t sure how the race would turn out.  On the training front having run Boston a few weeks ago, I felt pretty good about recovery but not sure.  I ended up running 1:20:36, which is within 10 seconds of NYC Half this year… flirting with getting back under 1:20 in Master’s division.  I connected with a crew of Jim McQuade, Michael Basen, and Arjay Jensen, and it was nice to run as a pack for quite a bit of the race.  Jim leading the pack down hills, and the rest of us leading and trying to catch him otherwise. 

 Overall a good race for me, a few interesting data points – per the 5 splits, I ran the 2nd 10K faster than 1st 10K which is always nice (37:48 vs 38:28).  That is to be expected given the hills in the early part of the course.  And I set a new 15K PR, passing the mark in 57:12, which is a little faster than my PR from Ted Corbitt last year.  Now onto summer and shorter races! “

Tim Stockert continues to run his best at 50+ with an age defying performance in Brooklyn;

“I love the Brooklyn Half. It’s my favorite NYRR race every year and this year was no exception. I ran the race I wanted to run. My 1:19:31 was my fastest Brooklyn Half, my second fastest NYRR half ever, and my fastest half marathon in 6 years. I also managed to negative split the half by a few seconds. But more importantly, I was happy and grateful to run this race in honor of David Bosch, who was always next to me in every race that we ran together. What a great man! Thanks everyone for honoring him on Saturday. We are fortunate to have such a great group of friends and teammates in CPTC”

Michael Moffitt

Photo: Andy Kiss

Michael Moffitt:

“Yesterday was my first Brooklyn Half.  Not focused on the time since I am still recovering from injury but really happy to have been able to complete and being able to keep everything under control during the run.  Fun time with post-race drinks at The Steeplechase too!”

Matt

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Report from Chris Donnelly of the 50+:

The worrisome late week heat faded to more temperate racing conditions for Saturday’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. A favorite race for many of us, there was the added motivation that we were running in the memory of our teammate, Dave Bosch. As pre-race rain cleared, the welcome cloud cover helped keep things cool, offering near perfect running conditions.    

 I continue to be awed by the depth of our 50+ team, which not only placed second but posted an aggregate time, 4:03:17, that would have placed the squad on top by a wide margin in any prior year.  This has been a scoring race (back to 2010) and although CPTC has placed first many times, our 50+ men have never put a time on the board even close to this one. Yet again, UA put forth a phenomenal aggregate time to win, but we had our own accomplishments to be proud of at all levels of ability – PR machine Bob Markinson, for example posted yet another top time and a couple of runners who’s been absent of late were back in the fold.

Scorers for Brooklyn were Brad Kelley (1:17:01), Tim Stockert (1:19:31), and Michael Nolan (1:26:45). Runs by Brad and Tim both topped 80 AG% and were good for second and third place, respectively, among 50-54 men behind UA’s otherworldly Paul Thompson. Michael, too, cracked the top 20, coming in 17th in the 50-54 category. 

Brad Kelley

Photo: Nigel Francis

 Brad:

Big hi to everyone, it was a great day to run. I think I held back a bit between 7 and 10 and then ran the last 5k very hard ( 17:50 which is hard for me), but I probably missed breaking 1:17 by hiding behind runners to block the wind (wimp tactics) from 7 to 10. I heard Tony the human bullhorn a full 200 yards before we hit the 11 mile mark. Still, it was a great day overall tempered by sadness though due to the loss of one of our own, I met David once, my first race with the team, we went head to head to the line in the club 5 miler and talked a bit afterwards. I expected to see more of him again but our paths never crossed.  A great loss and from what people tell me he was truly a wonderful person. Puts things in perspective. 

Tim Stockert

Photo: Nigel Francis

Tim:

I love the Brooklyn Half. It’s my favorite NYRR race and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I ran the race that I wanted to run on Saturday, mentally and physically, and ended up with my best time ever in the Brooklyn Half as well as my 2nd best time in a NYRR half since 2011. I even managed to negative split by a few seconds! Huge thanks to my ultra training partner and husband, Nick, as well as my weight/strength trainer, Justin, for getting me to the starting line strong and fit. And thanks to all of my CPTC teammates on the course and along the route. I had so much fun out there and loved hearing everyone cheer and support each other. 

 I also want to personally acknowledge that I was proud to run this race in honor of David Bosch. I got to know David because in every race that I’d done with him, he was always next to me on the course. He was a talented runner and a gracious and supportive teammate. As I was running on Saturday, the black ribbon that I was wearing to honor David would occasionally touch my chin. It was at those moments where I like to think that David was running next to me and gently prodding me to stay strong. He was a good man and great teammate, and I will miss him dearly.

 Michael:

I must start off by saying how sorry I was to read about Dave Bosch. The black ribbons provided by Ken Tso and others were a great show of support by the team (I was unable to make the gathering after the race). I was pretty happy with my performance on Saturday. My training over the last 2 months has been a bit erratic but I felt good on the day and was able to hold it together. My 5k splits were fairly constant throughout; I hoped to be closer to 1:26 but wasn’t too far away. And Brad and Tim were phenomenal!  Gives me good motivation to train more consistently and try to get my times down (and my AG% back up). I’m looking forward to attending more of the workouts and the upcoming races.

 The scoring trio was backed by some solid performances in the 55-59 category. Steve Menlove, back in action for the Orange, crossed the line at 1:28:15 to take fourth place among men 55-59.

 Steve:

Well, I hadn’t raced in a year, due to various injuries and conflicts, so it was great to be out there again with the CPTC50+’s.  I’ve been training well for 3 months, and I expected to do better, but I can’t complain too much.  My quads were giving out in the final 3 miles, so I’ve got to work on that (maybe lunges?).  Kudos to Brad, Tim, and Michael for moving the bar WAY up.  (…and how about Paul Thompson with 1:12:01?!!!)

 Ron Romano, coming back from his recent Boston Marathon, ran 1:30:45, taking seventh place in the 55-59 category.

 Chris Donnelly, at 1:34:26, still managed to crack the top 20 among men 55-59.  

 Chris:

Not a fast time – I started pretty far back, ran the first part of the race too slowly, and spent the entire time passing folks. There were a couple of logistical mishaps I can shrug off now and laugh about. Finally got on track running down the hill in Prospect Park, locked in a reasonable pace for the second half and cruised down Ocean Parkway happily. Glad, too that they repaved a big stretch of roadway. The old concrete would have killed my legs, like running down the West Side Highway in the NY Half. So instead of crumbling like I did at the end of the earlier race, I managed to finish with dignity and post about a 1:15 negative split. This was something to build on after finally getting my workouts back on track over the last few weeks.

 Next up was long-time CPTC stalwart Stuart Calderwood, at 1:36:31.  For those of you who don’t know Stuart, you can see him in Central Park all the time, as a couple of years ago he took over NYRR’s running program. Edwin Hernandez, who recently aged into 50+ team, came across the line at 1:38:20. Bob Markinson was just a couple of footfalls behind, at 1:38:33. 

Bob:

“I had a good day.  The commute was perfect, and I cut over 2 minutes from my previous PR.”

Oscar Garcia closed it out for us with a  1:48:53, nearly one minute faster than his recent NY Half performance.

It was a special day with so many great performances on the team.  Congrats to all! 

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Report from Hank Schiffman of the 60+:

Each season runners cross age groups, join teams, while other get injured or recover. The 2017 Brooklyn Half in regards to the team point race differed markedly from the 2016 edition. The change is evident for 60+ men. Our CPTC men have been engaged in a wrestling match with Witold’s for 3rd place while Brooklyn and Taconic duke it out for 1st. Today we prevailed over Witold’s in this race by one minute. 60 seconds over 13.1 miles for 2 sets of 3 runners does not leave much room for statistical difference, but it amounts to 2 points one way or another in a tied race for standings.

The old, reliable scorers for teams are still running these races, it’s just that younger, faster runners have entered our cohort and are shaking things up. The cards are playing out differently after the dust has settled. Runners who dominated are not even making the top ten list in age groupings. Yesterday’s rising star find themselves out of team scoring position. More than likely they have lost their edge upon gaining an injury. The 60+ runner has the same number of parts as those in open, but all the parts are a lot older. Frank Handelman’s adage that the best runners tend to make it to the starting line might sound glib. It is actually a deep truth. The narrow path towards maximal conditioning for longer races is more precarious for the older runner. Mileage is the siren song of injury. Longer recovery time means fewer workouts. Being undertrained is a surer route to get to the starting line, but can prove to leave one to be unprepared for longer races; you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t. Thus the half marathon tends to engender a thinning of the ranks among super veterans. Which brings us back to the 2017 Brooklyn Half. Everyone of our 60+ men has had injuries in the past few years. Some ran this race with active infirmities; courage and wisdom spring from 2 different wells. 13.1 miles are a long way to voluntarily nurse a wound. These are grown men, they should understand consequences. As far as I know, all who were at the starting line saw it through to the finish. You can be sure there was a bit of suffering among our ranks in the borough of Brooklyn. It is lonely out on the race course when you are soldiering on. I suppose each of us wore some sort of hair shirt for David Bosch. We all have a need to connect to something greater than ourselves.

Only 2 60+ men out of the 410 men in the group ran sub 90 minutes. These 2 were among the only 3 men above 60 years old to have scored an AG over 80%. One of them was our first scorer, Alan Ruben. He also finished 2nd in his age group, behind the same individual, Steve Calidonna , who ran sub 90 minutes. Alan‘s time of 1:29:08 was just over a minute slower than his last year’s 1:27:55, but it was good for an AG of 80.06%, a 6:48 pace. I can’t account for the overall slower times for this race among this cohort. The conditions were very good. I can say for Alan ran a fine race.

This was Alan’s 18th Brooklyn Half, his first was in 1987. 1993 was his first for CPTC. His fastest was 1998, 1:11:39! In 2009 he reached his highest AG at 88%.

Hank Schffman

Photo: Jay-r Mojica

Our 2nd scorer, Hank Schiffman, 1:35.55, was a mere five seconds slower than last year and 55 seconds slower than Staten Island in October. His 1st in age group had more to do with a bad day by Brooklyn’s Jack McShane than anything else:

The race went well for me, with nothing more that I can think of that I could have added to the effort. The conditions proved favorable, the pace felt right, there was nary a hint of cramping or fatigue, I was sporting no injury. I was well-rested from my leg of Rock the Ridge as relay 2 weeks ago. By all reason, this race marks my level of competency, my 11th Brooklyn Half, only missing 2010 in the series. The fastest was 1:29:43 back in 2007, this was my second slowest against 1:37:39 in 2009, the outlier. 

Intellectually, in my mind, this appears to be NYRR’s finest team point race. In terms of satisfaction from the runner’s point of view, this and the Washington Height’s 5k appeal to me most. Coincidentally, both are run on Revolutionary War battlefields. 

Dennis O’Donnell, more than likely the only one of our finishers who can read Sanskrit, was our 3rd scorer. Fresh off his 4:03 in difficult conditions up in Boston, he ran this race sporting foot injuries. Capable of much more, he proved his speed running 1:12:08 at the Bronx 10 miler last year, just under 60 years of age. Dennis had to stop 4 times during today’s race, yet finished in 1:50:13. Dennis has run the Brooklyn Half 4 times. His fastest was 2014 in 1:34:03, where he earned a 75.72%.

Phil Vasquez was our 1st back up, at 1:55:16. This was his 3rd Brooklyn Half, having run his fastest in 1994 in 1:29:03, back when the race was run in the opposite direction.

Rick Shaver ran 1:58:54. He had run the Brooklyn Half only one time before. In 1987 at 31 he smoked it in 1:16:15, running for CPTC:

This is the third year that I entered both Brooklyn and the Gran Fondo on this weekend. Not cheap. Always hoped to run but the previous two years I ended up on my bike for 100 miles. I thought my knee would hold up for 13.1 miles this year so I ran and was happy to finish. 

I disappointed Hajo [a common friend]  this weekend by choosing to run as opposed to riding the GF. I’m laughing. Bottom line is running and that Marathon streak is more important to me.

How about those CPTC 1/2 marathoners!?! Great times. Back in the day I thought that breaking 1:12 was fantastic, but these guys are AMAZING!

Either / or was my plan. No G Fondo for me this year although I did ride today for a bit, but not at 5 AM.

Going back to the bike this week.

Dan Molloy ran 2:06:58 This was Dan Molloy’s third Brooklyn Half. His fastest was 1:48:48 in 2012:

I was really slow… but finished with dignity… and body worked pretty good… that means legs we’re ok… My mission was accomplished.

My consolation is that I was able to run 13 miles … so my approach to maintenance of the legs appears to be sound… now I can focus on getting fit again…

Bill Allert ran 2:40:34

This was Bill’s first Brooklyn Half; welcome to the city of churches Bill:

I was just doing a training run but still managed to ‘crash and burn’ at the 12 mile mark.  I ran over to say hello to Sid, who was cheering on the sidelines, and tripped and fell.  Had to walk it in the rest of the way…  My biggest concern is I may have exacerbated my already ailing hamstring.

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Beyond Brooklyn

Kevin McGuire, Alan Heblack and Catherina Centanni ran the Mendocino Coast 50k. Hal Lieberman, Alan Ruben, Catherina (again!) and I ran relay legs of Rock the Ridge 50 miler. Norm Goluskin is Board of Director of Mohonk Preserve, which presented the race as a benefit. Former CPCT member Jim Milne hosted our runners along with Norm

Dennis O’Donnell ran 4:03 at Boston under difficult conditions.

Yasuhiro Makoshi and Doug Labar ran the Run as One 4 miler.

Yasuhiro also ran the Japan Run while Sid Howard walked it.

NYRR has opened registration for races as far forward as the Staten Island Half, which is a team pointer, as well as the Bronx 10 miler, the 5th Avenue Mile, Percy Sutton 5k, Club Champs and the Queens 10k (open registration appears closed for Queens.) Register and race for CPTC the distance races that suit you. Two xc races at Vanny are open as well. 

 
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