Race Reports from the Men: Queens 10k

Report from Greg Cass and Phil Falk of the Open:

A flat 10K is hard to find in NYC.  Typically, a NYRR 10K means a standard Central Park loop – certainly familiar, though not necessarily “easy” or “fast”.  When the Queens 10K was added to the Club Points Series this year, many CPTC racers circled the race as an opportunity to attack a flat course over the 10K distance, even if it did come with the challenges of getting out to Flushing Meadows for a 7:45am Saturday start.  But although the course was flat, the competition was deep, and the starting temperature of 67 degrees was reasonable, a heavy cloud of humidity made for tough racing conditions (and unfortunately probably offset most of the terrain benefit).  The Open Men ran / swam hard and came away with its familiar 3rd place.

Phil Falk

Photo: John Le

Cap’n Phil Falk came through first for the Open Men, clocking a 33:25 on a steady but slightly negative split, adding to his impressive 2017 campaign.  Next up was Asher Fusco, a second behind at 33:26, a PR and his first time scoring for CPTC since joining last year.  Asher got off to a fast start in non-scoring races in late 2016 before a series of injuries kept him on the sideline for an extended period of time, so it’s great to see him back in Orange (and back to PR levels)!  Jeff Ares was next in 33:57.  Special thanks to Jeff for jumping into the race – a week out from his wedding, Jeff expected his Queens entry to be a NYRR donation until he was talked into racing the night before the race – great for the team and an impressive effort to boot.  Greg Cass was next in 34:28 – although not a well-executed race, some positives / progress after a 9-month period of training / injury struggles.  Rounding out the scoring team was Fritz Huber in 34:40, battling through the tough conditions in his final stages of marathon preparation – good luck at Gold Coast!

Asher Fusco

Photo: John Le

Next up is Team Champs on Saturday, August 5.  It’s always a fast race and also particularly important for scoring as it’s worth double points.  Hope to see many more of you out there for that (and for the races that hit in quick succession after that – 5K on 8/26, 1M on 9/10, 10M on 9/24, and 13.1M on 10/8).  As always, great work racing and thanks to the support on the course.

Outside of the NYRR circuit, Ryan Fitzsimons completed his first triathlon in Sleepy Hollow recently, placing 5th overall and winning his age group.  Unsurprisingly, Ryan outperformed at the run, notching the quickest split in the entire field.  Nice work Ryan, congratulations!  After giving his body a different stimulus with triathlon training through summer (next event is in August), Ryan expects to hit the streets of NYC for the Marathon this November.  Good luck!

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Report from David Alm of the 40+:

It was humid, it was early, and for most of us, it was far away. But we still turned out, and delivered fast enough times for 3rd place in the M40+ division, more than two minutes ahead of NBR, who bested us in the Brooklyn Half. This marks our third 3rd-place finish at a team points race for 2017, after the Washington Heights 5K and the Healthy Kidney 10K. We placed 4th in Brooklyn.

As of now, we’re neck-and-neck with NBR to take 3rd Place for the year. Our unofficial standings have us tied with 38 points, but with two races deleted, NBR’s got us by two: 22 to our 20. This can change, in our favor or against it, in a flash, so we need to keep at it. 

We’re likely to gain some ground at Team Champs, given that we’ll score five deep and depth is our greatest asset in any tight contest with another team. Saturday’s race is a case in point: We had eight men finish under 37:45 in Queens, whereas WSX and NBR each had only three, and UA had five. Those eight for CPTC were Matt DeAngelis, Brad Kelley, Mohammed Lahseni, Stephen Curtis, Brian Halusan, David Alm, Tim Stockert, and Daniel Ifcher

We also welcomed our newest member, Joe Oleary, who joined CPTC this year and ran his fastest NYRR 10K (and second-fastest 10K ever) on Saturday, finishing in 39:54. Joe writes: 

Had a great time racing with CPTC for the first time at a NYRR race! I wasn’t necessarily looking to PR – I’d just PR’d with my first sub 40 (39:30) at a NYCRuns race on Roosevelt Island three weeks ago – but I wanted to hit sub 40 again and to do it with a negative split this time. The humidity made this a challenge but I was able to do both – a 20:07 for the first 5K and 39:54 finish. It was great to see so many CPTC runners out there, and having Tony at the 6-mile mark reminding me to pick it up like with the final sets of 300s at the track on Tuesday was a huge push!

Our scorers for 2017 thus far:

Brad Kelley 3

Sean Fortune 2

Mohammed Lahseni 2

Peter Brady 1

Jim McQuade 1

Brian Halusan 1

Stephen Curtis 1

Matt DeAngelis 1

And what was I saying about depth? Vying for the Daniel Ifcher Cup, for the most points races run, we have many contenders:

Daniel Ifcher 4

Sean Fortune 3

Brad Kelley 3

Jim McQuade 3

David Greenberg 3

Mohammed Lahseni 3

Larry Go 3

Micheal Caggia 3

Nick Garramone 3

Gerd Zeibig 3

Back to Queens:

Although the humidity weighed a lot of us down, the long straightaways and minimal hills facilitated some fast running — even if we did feel like we were running through quicksand by the end.

Matt DeAngelis

Photo: John Le

Our top finisher and one of CPTC’s stars, Matt DeAngelis (34:53), writes:

It felt great to be back racing with my teammates and proud we came through with a 3rd-place finish. This was my first Queens 10K and my first competitive 10K in two years. I had taken a good long break off after Boston, so wasn’t sure where my fitness was coming into the race. I was happy overall with my performance, felt like I worked hard throughout the race to stay competitive. It was a good start to the summer racing season for me and look forward to more team races this summer! Go M40+ Orange!!

Trailing Matt by a little under a minute was the formidable Brad Kelley (35:44), who’s struggled a bit with plantar fasciitis in recent months, costing him some time on the roads, but not so much that he didn’t run a characteristically blazing race. He writes:

I have done many lonely training runs on this course, being a Queens guy, so it was kind of strange seeing this many runners on my home turf. There was a great vibe at the start and since I don’t get to train with the club often it was great seeing so many familiar faces. Overall given work, family, and never ending PF in my right foot, I was happy with my effort. I ran 5k splits of 17:54 17:50 so pretty even and it was a full effort start to finish. Coach T (aka the human bullhorn) helped me get sub 36; his energy is infectious. Wonderful talking to folks after the race, and props to all who sweated it out, age and time take a backseat to effort.

Next was the consistent, ever-dependable master of the negative split, Mohammed Lahseni (36:29), who writes:

I ran easy the two first miles, and then I started gradually pushing a little harder. By the last mile I was working even harder and maintaining good form and with Tony‘s encouragement, I started sprinting to the finish line. I am looking forward to some faster times.

Behind our scorers came the aforementioned follow pack, which included Tim Stockert, who turned 50 this year and is still racing in peak shape. Moreover, Tim just ran a 50-miler with his husband and fellow CPTC 40+ runner, Nick Garramone, three weeks ago.

Tim writes:

Before the race even began, I knew it was going to be a tough day but I kept thinking, “How hard can this be? The course is so flat. And Nick and I just finished a 50-miler three weeks ago so running six miles should be a breeze!” Whoa was I wrong. The first two miles were strong (perhaps a bit too fast); however, after that, the answer to “how hard can it be” became very clear. I pretty pleased overall with my time and place which got me a 3rd place in the 50+ category but, wow, the humidity zapped me after mile 2. Fortunately, there was a lot of CPTC orange out on the course which helped motivate and push me to keep going. David Alm was my jack rabbit for the entire race and, at the end, along with Tony‘s enthusiastic cheers of encouragement, David helped push me across the finish line a little faster than I had intended to go. Thanks David

And, yes, Nick Garramone and I did a 50-miler in New Gloucester, Maine, over Memorial Day weekend, an emerging annual spring tradition. It was a beautiful course and a beautiful day and we happily finished about an hour faster than the 50-miler we did last year in Virginia. We finished 34th and 35th overall out of 138 participants in a time of 8:38:09. I would be lying if I didn’t say that my legs and body were still a little tired from that race even three weeks later but we’re both easing back into shorter distance racing nicely. And if anyone is considering doing an ultra race in the near future, we can highly recommend this race, the L.L.Bean Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms. It’s a fun, well-supported race in a beautiful part of the country.

Again, next up is the big one — Team Champs — so be sure to keep up the good work this summer (hint: intervals, intervals, intervals). Let’s let our depth speak for itself on August 5th. If you haven’t signed up already, why not? (That’s a rhetorical question, btw, and the link is to the registration page. Register!) And while you’re at it, you might as well also register for the rest of the points races on the calendar: Percy Sutton (8/26), 5th Ave (9/10), Bronx 10 (9/24), Staten Island (10/8), and Ted Corbitt (12/9). NYC Marathoners, you know who you are.

Have great summers, everyone, and run well. 

David Alm

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Report from Chris Donnelly of the 50+:

CPTC’s 50+ men shrugged off last weekend’s oppressive 91% humidity at the Queens 10K to capture second place – yet again – behind UA, with both teams posting times as competitive  as we’ve ever seen in the NYRR 50+ club points race.

With Queens slotting in as a new addition to the club points schedule, the CPTC scoring trio, Brad Kelley (35:44), Tim Stockert (37:37), and Steve Menlove (40:12), posted an aggregate time of 1:53:38, carving three minutes off the team’s aggregate time posted in April’s Healthy Kidney 10K. Moreover, Brad pulled double duty, scoring for our 40+ team as well. And once again Brad and Tim took second and third place in the 50-54 age group, behind the indomitable Paul Thompson.

Brad Kelley

Photo: John Le

Brad was clearly pleased to be finally racing in the borough that’s been his home for 25 years (you can read his comments as part of the 40+ team report), while Tim had this to say:

Before the race even started, I knew it was going to be a tough run. However, because it was such a flat course and because I’d been logging tons of miles over the past several months in preparation for a 50-miler that my husband (Nick Garramone) and I did in May, I was convinced that a 10K would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong! The first 2 miles were strong but after that, I struggled to hold on for the rest of the race. Fortunately, David Alm was in front of me the entire way and, with Tony‘s cheering at the end, they both offered motivation to stay strong through the finish. Overall, I’m very happy with my time (37:37) and place (3rd in the 50-54 category behind, once again, Paul Thompson and Brad Kelley) but I had to do some serious self-talk after mile 2 to hold on for the rest of the race. Congrats to everyone who ran on Sunday!

 And Steve offered this brief report:

My race went OK (not great).  I set out at an optimistic pace and faded.  Anyway, it was good to be out there with my teammates in Orange.  Congrats to everyone who ran!”

And it was great to see that Peter Allen back in action, taking 10th place among 55-59 men with a 41:32! Peter, of course, has a long racing history with the team stretching back to 1990 and has completed three NYRR 10K races since December. This race was his best age-graded performance of the three.

There was Marc Mizrahi, coming back from an injury and gearing to run the NYRR Team Championships rolling in next, at 42:07. As well, speedster Mikal Scott from our 50+ 4×400 squad was out there too, testing out a longer road race and finishing in 42:52.

 Finally, Queens was definitely representing. In addition to Brad, we had Edwin Hernandez (44:48), Toshiki Ikehata (46:29), and Oscar Garcia (50:15) out there as part of the CPTC effort. Well done guys!

 So that’s four race completed and four straight second place finishes behind UA and we’re looking forward to the same kind of spirited competition for the rest of the year. Next up is the double points NYRR Team Championships 5 miler on August 5. 

Ch

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Report from Hank Schiffman of the 60+:

Hank Schiffman

Photo: John Le

Oh the grandeur and spectacle that once was Rome. Thou art vanished like Ozymandias by Shelley.

Remembering the last World’s Fair, Flushing Meadows Park is now reduced to looking a bit shopworn,  with the tawdry appearance of Central Park 30 years ago.  Yet it proved a fine place to race a 10k.

Like Central Park’s Drive, this race course gently turns around Meadow Lake obscuring the fact you are following its shore. The race was not over till the fat lady sang; the circle around the Unisphere in the last 800 meters. In that finish stretch coach Tony belted out, “300 meters to go, you know what to do.”

Our 60+ men did well in the cool and humidity. We took 3rd, only 62 seconds behind Brooklyn RRC. We were 3 minutes and 22 seconds ahead of 4th place Witold’s. 1st place Taconic were so strong that the same 3 runners bagged 5th place in the 50+ division. Although less vertical than a 10k in Central Park, times were generally slower than the Healthy Kidney. My hunch is the high humidity ate into speed.

What was more surprising? That our super start Yasuhiro Makoshi, 45:19, a solid 75.15% on a complicated injury recovery, ran and scored for us, or that Peter Allen also showed up, not yet 60 years old, but wiry enough to claim the same time as our 1st scorer, Alan Ruben, 41:32 (wife Gordon 41:15!) good for 4th in age group behind the murders’ row of the 3 Taconic quick steppers and 79%. 2nd scorer, Hank Schiffman, 43:46 was good for just cracking 80%.

1st back up, “fresh” from the Mendocino Coast 50k, Kevin McGuire, 49:25, just under 70%, 5th in age group. Nipping at his heels in 52:45, Phil Vasquez, a tad under 65%. Looking like he was competing in a swim meet rather than a foot race, Rick Shaver, 55:11, NYC Marathon streaker and poster boy for ongoing knee issues. The word is trooper. Rick is made of tough stuff. And as we look at our bandy little cadre of 60+ men we probably have had, or are currently sporting the 10 most popular running injuries.

These were not easy conditions to race. Surely it could have been worse. Who needs that! Looking at AG% scores, there was not much in the way of grade inflation. The thought of catching a subway before 6am is not for the faint of heart. Impending rain in the forecast did not make things any easier, but the course was quite nice and the company superb.

Hank

Photo: John Le

 
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