The core of distance running is going after it, again and again, hoping that in the end the work pays off with accomplishment and improvement. The current crop of CPTC 50+ harriers has been going after a national title for many years, hoping one year they could get on top. One year they were third, last year they broke through to second, and in 2018 they broke the tape in first, national champs.
The win did not come easily, since getting a five-member team to an away race is never easy. Families were asked to be understanding, employers had to be asked, and carpools and hotels had to be set up. But on Saturday, September 22 the orange set off for Delaware Park in Buffalo. We also had teams from the CPTC M60+ and M70+. Sue Pearsall held up the women’s team as an individual.
The course was a fairly flat grass affair, with some twisties but no major obstacles. It was a fast track, and the weather cooperated, at 62 degrees, dry ground and little humidity.
CPTC packed up for the usual rip roaring first 800, then Brad Kelley and Armando Oliveira pushed ahead. The event has a particular edge to it because each age group has its own race and almost everyone is on a team. So if a competitor is ahead of you, he is definitely in your age group and probably on a competitor’s team. No drafting like in road races – you have to get ahead and stay ahead.
At the finish, Brad and Armando came in 11 seconds apart, then Mark Lindrud was another 15 seconds back. It would be up to #4 and #5 men David Dorsey and David Greenberg to keep the point total low enough to be in contention. Subteam David kicked across the line within 75 seconds of Brad, then had to wait for the team results:
Genessee Valley Harriers 54.
The M60+, comprised of Charles Parchment, Hank Schiffman and Victor Osayi, was sixth, as was the M70+, with Hal Lieberman, Dave Delano and Frank Handelman.
Hank took home the only individual age group medal: A third in the 65-69.
From the finishers:
First off thank you to David Greenberg for organizing and generally being the one who pushes us to interesting places. For the record this was not a 5k course, it was somewhere between 3.2 and 3.25 according to multiple gps readings. now that that gripe is out of the way, to the race. This was and undulating course on grass, there were no backloop like hills that die hard vanny runners would know and love. Apart from some surprising wind this was a perfect day. After warming up with David Dorsey the gun went exactly at 11:30 and off we went. I passed through mile 1 in 5:37 running with teammate Mark Lindrud with a pack of about 8 or 9 old men spread out in front of me. There was a little downhill at about the mile mark and I made a little move going into no mans land for the next mile. according to my gps I ran mile 2 in 5:34 and by this point I was really hurting. I tucked behind Armando and tried to recoup, thinking I would try to kick it in from the same downhill portion I had used on the previous loop. though I was dead I pushed hard for about 100 meters on this downhill hoping I could use the momentum to get home. according to my gps mile 3 was in 5:36. I was trusting my gps but when mile 3 beeped it became painfully (literally) obvious that there was closer to 400 to go than 200. the last 30 seconds I was swimming and just concentrated on moving my arms to the legs would not stop. I hit the line and stumbled about 30 yards to the first shade I could find and lay on my back for about 10 minutes like a roach that had just gotten spayed with combat. 6th overall and most importantly WE WON the title with all 5 in in about 70 seconds so in the end it was all worth it. Afterwards the team 50’s to 70’s met for lunch and it was just a reminder of how classy the individuals are that we have on the team are. The 7 hour drive was painful but overall it was a great trip. GO ORANGE…
Armando took the lead in more ways than one.
Right before the start he charged us all with going hard when we smell the finish line!
I did just that.. out kicking 2 of the 3 guys who passed me on the first loop. That 3rd guy was just lucky we ran out of real estate!! LOL??
There are a few experiences in life that are deemed extraordinary and memorable! This was truly one of them!
I have only 2 regrets from Buffalo: not starting my kick earlier, and not finishing the poutine.