Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Radnor Run

If you had a sadistic nature to you and had to design a race course, you would probably put the start at the highest point in the area and make it a loop so that the finish would be there as well. Welcome to the Radnor Run.

It was a beautiful fall morning, with sun shining and bright fall colors adorning huge Main Line houses. Kevin Forde, Tony & I headed up. . . and up and up to Willow Park and the staging area, which looked to have once been a mansion looking over an impressive property that is now a park. Immediately upon the start the course drops, but I hold back and hang with two Bryn Mawr store guys - Jason Bull and another I didn't recognize, who I figure are the ones who will provide competition. The downhill start means about 25 people jumped out ahead of us, but I stay patient and by the time we are out of the park and onto the roads it's the three of us and another guy I don't know, with a Delaware Running Co. singlet on, in the lead pack. Pace feels easy but its a hilly course, and I feel relaxed and, for once, like I am not in over my head. Jason drops off and the rest of us continue to work together through mile 1 (5:41) and mile 2 (5:14). The pace did not feel that different between the two miles, and I suspect these markers were not accurate, but I'm happy with how relaxed I continue to feel despite the ups and downs.

After mile 2 Bryn Mawr store guy falls back and its me and Delaware Store guy. Over hill and over dale, beautiful countryside but exhausting. We continue to work together for another half mile or so and he pulls out to a 50 or so meter lead. And for the rest of the race I'm staring at his back, unable to close the lead. In the meantime, there is nobody threatening my back, so miles 3, 4 & 5 cruise by in 5:31, 5:27 & 5:14 and I huff it up the homestretch, now uphill, for an easy second place finish in 27:09. Needless to say, I would easily have broken 27 had this course been a little more sane.

Believe it or not, this is a big PR. Five miles was never my best distance, and my previous best time, in 2003 at the Rockland Road Runners Turkey Trot, was an admittedly very soft 27:52 that should have fallen a long time ago. But for another comparision, there were two 5 mile races over tough courses that I ran this year - the Revolution Run in Valley Forge Park, right at 28 minutes; and the Media 5 miler, at 28:12. So another telling sign on how much my times have dropped. Dropped to the point where I'm waiting for someone to link my name with Balco labs. And this was a training through race, I did not go anything near Prefontaine here.

The main reason I ran this was because it was a Mid Atlantic USATF Grand Prix race, and as best I can tell (its complicated to tell exactly) I am in second place in the overall Grand Prix standings, which tally your times, adjusted for age, over a series of nine of eleven races going on throughout the year in the mid-Atlantic region. I am on the heels of David James, a 50 something year old Delaware guy whom I don't know. Before today, I needed to get at least 1.5 points more than he for each of the three remaining races on the GP circuit (including this one) to pass him. By my (unofficial) calculations I gained 3+ points on him today. So there are two more races - next weeks Ben Franklin Bridge run and the Rothman/Phila Marathon (you can choose your race) - left and my chances look pretty good for overtaking him. Mr. James must be watching his back rather nervously.

Tony ran the one-mile and, though it wasn't timed, he finished in the top 100 and got a medal for his efforts.

Somewhat eerily, given my indecision about what to do with my PDR check (frame it or cash it; see last Wednesday's blog entry), along with my second place finish I won a $75 gift certificate for the Frame Station Gallery, an art framing place.

Kevin, KJ and I teamed up with Elizabeth S. (w/ capital initials) and her friend Kristy in a team of convenience to get a team discount on the entry fee, and we won the team competition. This got us each a medal and a team plaque, which we gave to Elizabeth for her organizing the team.

I almost got my entry fees worth back in leftover Penn Maid yogurts that I took home with me.

And some photos:


Blogger Scott said...

Damn, you're fast! Congrats on a big PR.

6:46 PM  

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