Race Reports from the Men: 2018 Brooklyn Half

Report from David Alm of the 40+:

We placed 3rd in last weekend’s Brooklyn Half, right behind West Side and Urban Athletics. The soft rain and low-50s temps enabled some blazing-fast times — thanks, in no small part, to our coaches and the enthusiasm of our on-course support, as well as the new morning workouts (see below).

We also further solidified our 3rd Place standing for the year, with NBR a ways behind, but we shouldn’t get cocky. I often train with those guys and they’re formidable. 

2018 Standings:

West Side: 45 

Urban Athletics: 36 

CPTC: 30 

NBR: 21 

Our scorers, again, included two guys from the 50+ group who graciously lent their speed to our division: 

Brad Kelley

Brad Kelley, 52, says team support helped him kill the course in 1:16:27 (86.73%). Sid [Howard] I heard you loud and clear, sorry I was too tired to high-five as I ran by,” he says, ” Tony, as usual, put enough in my sail to help me on very distraught calves the final 5k, the human bullhorn was his usual enthusiastic self at mile 10. Chris D I saw you too thanks for the big ‘go Brad.’ All told a good day considering exhaustion from work and rain which I hate hate hate. Any time you get an old guy pr it is time to celebrate as you never know when the giant drop off will hit. For all who cheered or ran thanks, I didn’t think I had a 1:16.27 in me at 52…”

Newcomer Mark Lindrud, 50, and a former standout at Columbia in 1980s and early ’90s, ran his first race with CPTC on Saturday. Mark hadn’t run a large race in New York since the 2000 NYC Marathon, “so the whole corral system was new to me,” he says. His 1:16:58 (84:66%) marked quite the return. “I ended up starting back further than planned but worked my way through a lot of people,” he says. “It was nice to have several people along the route cheering on CPTC — especially on the long stretch of Ocean Parkway where the mile marks couldn’t come fast enough,” he says. “I’m looking forward to more racing now that I’m getting back in shape.

Jay Sullivan, 40, ran a PR in 1:18:43, but says he wasn’t sure what to expect going in, having run a PR in Boston just four weeks earlier. He credits the CPTC morning workouts with sharpening his half speed. “I did have two weeks of good workouts with the morning crew but workouts are not races,” he says. “The weather set up nicely (not hot) and we arrived at the start with about 30 minutes to spare. My plan was to run by feel and get through the park. I jumped into the 1:20 group led by Nobu and kept pace until about mile 10. His plan was to finish the group around 1:19:30 so with three miles to go I knew if I dug deep my PR was in reach. Dropped a couple 5:35 miles at the end and came in about 25 seconds under my PR at 1:18:43. Long season that started with NYC Marathon to NYC Half to Boston to Brooklyn. Happy to take a little time and decompress until I prepare for Chicago! Special shout out to the morning crew who I have been chasing for the past 9 months.

Just as important as scoring, though, is running a PR, and we had some significant ones on Saturday. 

Joe O’Leary

Photo: Andy Kiss

Joe Oleary PR’d by almost two minutes, in 1:26:51, bringing him several notches closer to his long-term goal of sub-1:25, the QT for the NYC Marathon, largely thanks to team support. “Seeing Tony at mile 10 was a huge boost,” he says.He yelled, ‘OK, MAKE EM PAY NOW!’ so I turned it up to 6:30 and drove it home. Didn’t start struggling until mile 12 or so, which was a huge boost, as I hadn’t really raced a half marathon in two years (I’d been focusing on longer, and shorter distances) and I was wondering if I’d fall off early. But I did the math in my head and knew I had a sub-127 if I fought for it, so I held on. Given how good I felt for the bulk of the race, I figured I could have found another 30-45 seconds somewhere, but I’m very happy with my result.

Duncan McVerry not only PR’d in the half, with 1:23:53, but also ran his fastest 10K and 15K on Saturday. Duncan says his PR was “massive — over two minutes, which was better than my A goal,” adding, “Very happy. Don’t know where to take it from here.” 

Robert Peszkowski broke 1:40 for the first time, finishing in 1:37:56Robert says the rain made him run “a little faster” than he normally does. “Around 5k, I came upon the 1:40 pacesetter, and I felt like I could have passed him but decided to instead follow. Did second half of the park with that crew. Shortly after mile 9 another guy from the group and I began pacing ahead. We kept pushing each other all the way to the 20k mark where I found some additional energy and surged ahead.

We have just under a month before the Queens 10K, so get those intervals in, and I’ll see you all at Flushing Meadows.

Best,

David

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Report from Chris Donnelly of the 50+:

Brad Kelley and Rolanda Bell

Photo: Nigel Francis

CPTC 50-plus teammate Nigel Francis took this great photo that captures so well the opening miles of last weekend’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. Rolanda Bell is in the foreground and Brad Kelley – on his way to a 50+ club record – is just behind, looking incredibly focused. It’s raining so hard that droplets and spray are visible through the entire field of the photograph, as if they’re running through an endless sprinkler.  The real point, readily apparent on their faces, is that our athletes came to play, shrugging off the weather and delivering dynamite performances at all levels of ability.

And for CPTC’s 50+ men that meant a well-earned first-place team finish, a string of age group PRs, and an auspicious debut from our latest recruit. And, of course, we fielded a deep team at the starting line that extended across the entire team with the open men third and open women second, the newly ascended 40+ women going gold, and 40+ men in third, boasted by our top 50+ scorers. And our 60+ men grabbed second place, though we’ll soon sort that out as a string of birthdays reorder the 60+ playbook.  

Worries stoked by the pre-race downpour were quickly put aside, even for those of us on the sidelines, as Coach Tony Ruiz reports from his Mile 10 vantage point:

I went from despair as I was driving into Brooklyn in the pouring rain — to exhilaration as I was nearing mile 10. The leaders were not running fast (well this is relative of course) but our first two guys looked engaged and focused. Ryan [Archer] and Matt [Rand] set the tone, and from there I sensed that the rain did not totally destroy the day. I kept trying to calculate splits in my head and so many 10 mile splits seemed fast…and they were! 

Runner by runner, you guys were making the Coach proud:

I knew that many runners were having a PR day, and in many cases, I sensed that there were breakthrough efforts! Brad Kelley gave me a surge when he pounced by! Rolanda kept the surge going and then after that, I was just full of adrenaline! The fans on the sidelines were impressed with our crew and kept marveling at how fast ‘your athletes’ are. From that point on, it was hard to stay focused because it was like an interview room! (Not to mention that as always, I was playing Course Marshall) I know that I’m biased, as I will always call Brooklyn home, but this is without doubt my favorite race of the year and all those PRs help to justify my feelings about the Brooklyn half marathon! It brings out the best in our runners and I was wet and wild but I’d do it all again!

Hitting the Coney Island boardwalk, Brad Kelley and newcomer Mark Lindrud placed first and second, respectively, in the 50-54 age group; Brad’s 1:16:27 was good for the CPTC 50+ club record, while Mark’s debut in orange, at 1:16:58, vaults him all the way to third place in the club’s 50+ half marathon top 10 list.  Michael Nolan closed out the scoring effort with a 1:23:22, good for eighth place in the race’s 50-54 age bracket.

Brad Kelley

Such great support on a wet day. Did a negative split (36:45 10k 35:45 10k) not unexpected due to the course but my calves almost gave out and I am lucky to have finished. I improved my old guy 50+ PR by about 30 seconds so I feel very lucky. Big thanks to Tony, Sid and Chris D who cheered me through the final 5k. Congratulations to all who competed, this club has such a history, I am blessed to be a part of the group. 

Mark Lindrud

Mark Lindrud’s been away from the competitive NYC running scene for years:

…the whole corral system was new to me.  I ended up starting back further than planned but worked my way through a lot of people.  Other than the first couple of miles I had run the most of the course as portions of other races.  It was nice to have several people along the route cheering on CPTC – especially on the long stretch of Ocean Parkway where the mile marks couldn’t come fast enough.  I’m looking forward to more racing now that I’m getting back in shape. 

Michael Nolan

Michael Nolan:

Despite the rain it ended up being a good day for me.  I’ve been fighting a cold for a few weeks but felt ok in the morning so was hoping for an improvement on my time in the NYC half.  After starting a bit slowly (avoiding other runners and trying to miss the puddles) I settled in to a decent pace and was able to keep it going.  Hearing Tony’s shouts of encouragement and seeing you a bit later helped me keep focused, and I was very pleased to cross the line with a PR. Looking forward to the next races.

David Greenberg

Photo: Andy Kiss

David Greenberg, too, took a top ten spot in the 50-54 age group with a 1:24:17. More importantly, as he put it:

I’ve had a rough running spring so far, with travel, a bruised rib, work and all the weather we’ve been dealing with. Glad to be able to get out in tough conditions and put in what felt like a solid effort in another win for the team. A big welcome to Mark Lindrud – looking forward to racing together. 

David Dorsey

Photo: Andy Kiss

But not every race went according to plan, David Dorsey noted: 

My original goal was to run a 1:22-1:24 but the sudden ankle issue on the Monday prior disrupted all that. My new goal with the weather in mind was to run sub 1:26. Felt great till mile 9 then I became the tin-man rusting! Thank God for Tony at 10 and Chris at 12. I straighten up my act and ran hard that last 5k. Looking ahead to Queens and the remaining points races!😄

From my vantage point at mile 12, CPTC runners just kept coming, and so impressively. The rain had stopped and I know how hard those lonely five miles can be on Ocean Parkway. Yet CPTC exhibited team work. More often than not our runners rolled by in tandem, or in packs. You guys were so inspiring.

David ultimately crossed the line at 1:25:01, just outside the top ten among men 50-54. Don Favre, meanwhile, landed in seventh place in the 55-59 age bracket with a 1:29 flat.  Don and Charles Parchment (1:33:57) are poised to transition onto the 60+ squad. Charles tells us: 

Friday’s my birthday, May 25 graduation time. I will be 60 years old thanks for the privilege running in the 50 plus.

Charles notes that he was happy with his race and is looking forward to contributing to the scoring effort in in his new age group.

And just a month after charging through extreme weather marathons in Boston and London, Ron Romano was back for more. A little light rain in Brooklyn had nothing on those polar opposite outings, and Ron turned in 1:32:46 effort, good for 14th in the 55-59 age group.

Like a lot of runners, Bob Markinson was enthusiastic about his race:

Great to see so many teammates on this otherwise dreary day!  Returning from a hip injury, I achieved my primary goal to finish pain free.  The 1:47 (8:10 ave pace) is my slowest on this course, as I started conservative, but managed a progressive sub-8 pace tempo for the final 10k, which I found encouraging. Looking forward to better times ahead!   Thanks for cheering, Chris & Tony

Oscar Garcia closed it out for CPTC with a 1:54:26, besting his NYC half time by nearly a full minute. Fantastic, Oscar!

So…this is where we are, knowing it’s so early in the season. Three races in the CPTC 50+ men have a commanding lead over UA, 42 to 28, with Taconic, Brooklyn Road Runners and NBR in the mix at 24,22, and 21 points apiece. To paraphrase Patton (the movie), “all victory is fleeting.”  

Let’s look ahead instead. the Queens 10k is sold out. It’s our next points race and if you want to wrestle a couple of folks for the available team bibs, contact David Greenberg ASAP. Please prioritize the team championships race (5 miler) in late July; it’s not just double points, it’s the single most important show of team support you can make. Before we head into the fall long roads extravaganza, remember we’ve also got the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K in August and the Fifth Avenue Mile in September. 

Anyhow, it’s just have fun with it. See you at the workouts and some of the shorter road races (this year)….

Chris D

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Report from Hank Schiffman of the 60+:

The worst aspect of this year’s Brooklyn Half was not running in the rain; it wasn’t windy or very cold. It wasn’t waiting for the start; I could have been a bit more prepared, but the rain was gentle. The kicker was the confusion at baggage pickup; chaos displaced logistics. The rain picked up and wind finally arrived. The only thing standing between hypothermia and me was the Mylar sheet and a large dose of patience, rapidly running low. My line did not move. The UPS helpers meant well, but they were playing chess one move at a time.

Between puddles/running water and the crowded field one had to accept wet feet, not that the constant rain left any other options. Job number one was paying attention to avoid running on painted surfaces and metal. None the less, accidents happened. Amanda was bowled over by a guy wearing earbuds. 

Meanwhile, my 2 favorite masters: Colleen McGurk and Brad Kelley keep knocking the ball out of the park. Talent, dedication and humility rain or shine. Hey, and Barbara Byrne isn’t any slouch either. She cast a long shadow today. Which is not to say our 60+ guys aren’t evolving. Art Palmer, after a few setbacks is kicking out the jambs with 3rd in the tough 60-64 age group. Yasuhiro too is coming back, 3rd in 65-69. Both were what my old coach used to call super stars. If my memory serves me, both are linked in their history back when NYRR cancelled the NYC Marathon following Sandy. They both ran the Philadelphia Marathon and won their respective age groups. But subsequently they’ve hung in to see their way through injury. When they were hitting on all cylinders they, like super star Alan Ruben, they run national class. All 3 are taking the long view, one day at a time, focused on improvement over the time.

New to our 60+ crew, Noel Labat-Comess finished 8th in his age group, just behind Alan’s 7th. Gary Gosselin, back in the hunt, Dennis O’Donnell, low on mileage but game for the nasty weather, and Bob Haig, who is making a habit of running team pointers, rounded out our Brooklyn Crew.

Noel:

And, yes, they really did bollocks up the bag return. To make things a little worse a woman passed out at the front of our “line” (being generous with that word).

Dennis:

I ran 1:45:38, a tad over 8:00 minute pace, which is what I was shooting for.  I was afraid I would blow up in this, my first long race in 8 months, if I pushed too hard.  Still I managed a number of 7:30 miles on Ocean Parkway, which  is a sign of better things to come.

Silly person that I am, I also ran the Wall Street Run 3-miler on Thursday night, which may have taken a few minutes off of today.

Art:

After repeated injuries and illnesses over the past few years, I ran my fastest half-marathon since the 2014 NYC Half. Obviously, I am pleased, although soggy. Some credit for my result goes to Amy Kvilhaug. I could see her just a bit in front of me as I exited Prospect Park and she inspired me down Ocean Parkway.

As to why Alan passed me on Ocean Parkway like a man in a hurry when I knew he was in a faster corral?

Alan:

I was in the AA coral. I was also in the portosan until a couple of minutes before the start. When I came out, all the waves had moved up so took a couple of minutes to cross start line after the gun.

Weather was not an issue during the race, I wore my usual singlet and a hat that I discarded at the 10 mile mark. I ran a very well-paced race, each of the three 5M/5M/5K segments 10 seconds per mile quicker than the previous. It’s just that that pace was slower than I would have liked/hoped, but it reflects where I am these days plus being only 5 weeks after Boston.

Gary:

Nice age group placement.

It’s good to see the rising talent on the club.

Art Palmer 1:30:23, 79.69%

Alan Ruben 1:34:26, 76.28%

Noel Labat-Comess 1:34:25, 75.45%

Hank Schiffman 1:38:07, 78.71%

Yasuhiro Makoshi 1:3840, 75.93%

Gary Gosselin 1:42:54, 71.37%

Dennis O’Donnell 1:45:38, 68.19%

Robert Haig, 2:15:09, 58.34%

With these honors in CPTC Masters Top 10 Lists:

3rd: M60-69 Art Palmer 1:30:23

6th: M60-69 Noel Labat-Comess 1:34:35

Thus:

Taconic RR 4:33:36

CPTC 4:39:24

Brooklyn RR 4:53:31

Which puts us in 2nd overall.

As Johnny Depp, aka Captain Sparrow, said after a stupid stunt that almost ended him, “Did you see that? Because if you didn’t, I’m not doing it again.” Not quite. We will keep running these, weather be damned. Races like this one are never a sure bet. We do them because we measure ourselves by training and sowing the results, for better or worse. That said, half marathons are like Martinis, they are best served dry.

Lastly, our 60+ men took 2nd place in the Japan Run with Yasuhiro Makoshi 27:33, Dennis O’Donnell 29:20, and Bob Haig 38:00.

Hank

 
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