Saturday, November 27, 2010

What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me by Michael Ring I’m Sorry

What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me by Michael Ring

I’m Sorry

A few years ago our “NYC Marathon Program” was fading.  We were filling only a single bus to the start, the crowd at the last 10 mile run was thin and the “reunion school” was not so full.  The PPTC board was considering dropping the program.  It was a lot of work and if nobody wanted it, then why do it?  For purely selfish reasons, I took over the project.  I wanted to run the last 10 miles with my friends.  I wanted to take a bus from Park Slope to the start of the Marathon and I wanted my family to wait for me in a pleasant place.  I did not want this program to go away.  But to keep it from being cancelled, I had to make it bigger,

So I opened it up to the public.  This year about 150 – 200 people ran the last 10 miles with us.  We also sold out four buses with 55 seats each.  I am told our reunion school had a party atmosphere, but I honestly don’t remember that because, after running 26.2 miles, I was too numb to notice.  Also about 40 people joined the Prospect Park Track Club in November.  So, I am happy.  Our NYC Marathon Program will continue.

Why am I apologizing?  Because three weeks after the marathon, a man walked up to me and said, “My wife wants to kill you.”  This is not what I expect to hear at 9am after I drop my kids at school.   He told me that I took his wife’s bag off the bus at Fort Wadsworth.  Oh, crap!

The last thing I did as an organizer of our marathon activates was get off the bus at the start.  As I got off I wanted to take any trash off the bus that might have been left.  In one of the front rows there was a plastic bag filled with the stuff one would want at the start of a marathon.  It had a few protean bars, hand warmers and Vaseline.  I asked the few people left on the bus if it they had left it and they said they had not.  I assumed that someone who had just gotten off the bus had left if behind.  I got off the bus quickly and called out, “Did anyone leave this on the bus!”?  Nothing.  I repeated this as I quickly walked away from the bus. But it was apparent that I was not going to find the person who had left this bag in the masses of humanity exiting the buses in the toll plaza.  Later I shared the snacks and hand warmers with the people I was sitting with on the cold grass under the Verrazano Bridge.

It turns out the owner of the bag was in the bathroom on the bus. 

I am sorry; I thought I was doing the right thing.

Great Running Performances: Mary Decker vs. Zola Budd: 1984 Olympics, 3,000 Meters.

Great Running Performances:

Mary Decker vs. Zola Budd: 1984 Olympics, 3,000 Meters.

By James Israel                                                 

            Mary Decker competing against Zola Budd in the 3,000-meter final at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles had an inevitable feel to it: two running champions – one from southern California, the other from the hinterlands of South Africa – outdoing each other for months, dominating their sport, and culminating in an Olympic match race.

            The two competitors could not have come from more disparate circumstances.

            Mary Decker was a winner, and a world class runner, very early on. Born in New Jersey, she with her family moved to California, and that became her home base. By 13, she was ranked first in the world at women’s 800 meters; at 14, she won the 800-meters competition in a Russia-US track meet in Minsk. Later that year, she had world record times in women’s 1,000 meters and 800 meters.

            Then, chronic injuries that were to plague her for the rest of her career began: a leg stress fracture would force her out of the 1976 Olympics. Ms. Decker continued to experience a range of leg maladies for the next few years, but by 1982, it appeared she was defiantly healthy again: during that year, she set six world records, from 800 to 10,000 meters. And, despite all her achievements, she was only 23 years old.

            The Los Angeles Olympics beckoned in a couple of years, and she was the heavy favorite to win the 3,000M race. There was seemingly no other woman on the circuit who could offer real competition to her.

            Then, out of the blue, Zola Budd appeared. She was born and raised in South Africa, still under apartheid rule at the time. Running barefoot, Ms. Budd in 1984 broke the world record for the women’s 5,000 – 15:01:83. Finally, Ms. Decker had a worthy opponent. There was one huge problem, though: South Africa’s apartheid racial policies compelled the world to ban the country from Olympic competition. Ms. Budd was essentially banished from international distance running.

            Great Britain, though, came up with a solution: grant Zola Budd British citizenship and she could then compete for England. Sure, it was absolutely a ‘rush’ job, but, no matter, very quickly Ms. Budd was running for good, old Union Jack. Through the din of all the international politics, she continued to excel in competition: in July 1984, she set a world record in a women’s 2,000 meter race.

            The great confrontation in Los Angeles between these two titans, to the delight of track fans everywhere, was finally going to happen.

            Did all the pre-race hoopla pan out? Zola Budd and Mary Decker were certainly central figures, but not in a manner fans predicted:

            Ms. Budd led the 3,000M race through 1,700 meters, followed closely by Ms. Decker and the Rumanian Maricici Puica. Half a stride behind, Mary Decker tapped Ms. Budd’s left foot, throwing Ms. Budd off stride. Maintaining a tight second, Ms. Decker then clipped Ms. Budd’s left calf with her left shoe, as Ms. Budd was attempting to attain a rail position. That collision caused Ms. Decker to stumble, lose her balance, and fall away onto the curb and track infield. She was done – injuring her hip and unable to even get up, she was memorably lifted up by her then discus-throwing boyfriend, Richard Slaney. Zola Budd, obviously distressed at what just happened, and booed loudly by the crowd, faded by the end of the race to 7th. [Ms. Puica won the race.]

            Today, no one can attest with certainly who was to blame for the collision: some say it was Ms. Budd’s fault, others, Ms. Decker’s. In a just world, either of these superb runners should have won that race: Zola Budd living out an irresistible Cinderella storyline, or Mary Decker fighting through a series of devastating injuries. Ironically, though, Mary Decker’s collision with Zola Budd in Los Angeles will always be one of the most memorable events in track history.

From the editor.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The 2010 Turkey Trot Results, Photos and Blogisphere (Update XI)

Click here for the results of the 2010 Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot

Click here for excellent photos. (Sample below!)

We got some nice coverage in The Tablet

Do you think Over and Across had a fun time? (Hint, the title of her blog post is Most Fun Race Ever!)

We even got Twittered .Lucky13Queen got a PR!

The new kids on the block liked our Hot chocolate.  Your are welcome South Brooklyn Runners

Tracy improved her pace by a minute per mile.  YEA!

Michelle wanted to see how far she could go without walking, so she ran 3 more miles.

Scott ran a perfectly executed race!

To Badwater still made it to the Jet's game after the race

Daniel  had his "fastest race over 3.5 miles ever." Good for you! 

The Brooklyn Beast had a bonding experience with Beast Jr.

Early Morning Run did not hear our pre-race announcements (note to self - We need a bigger PA system next year)

Morissey returned to shave a minute of of his time from last year!

The Wellness Wire thins that arm warmers will be a trend among non-elite runners.

Dumbo Books of Brooklyn came out just to watch and took some great photos

Nick Berra thought our course was mostly flat.  He also finished 8th.  At that speed he probably just did not notice the hills, or the lake, or the trees.

Beth shattered her "stretch goal" 

Annual Turkey Trot held at Prospect Park

Annual Turkey Trot held at Prospect Park
(11/25/10) BROOKLYN - Thousands of people worked up an appetite for the Thanksgiving feast today by participating in the annual Turkey Trot at Prospect Park.
Some 2,000 people, as well as some four-legged runners, took part in the 5K race. Mike Ring, of the Prospect Park Track Club, says more people pre-registered for the event this year then ever before.
Organizers of the run say around $7,000 is donated to the track team of Bishop Ford High School.
"It helps us become a better program," says Jonathan Pineiro, the captain of the Bishop Ford High School track team.
Fitting for the holiday, the first three runners who crossed the finish line

Monday, November 22, 2010

But they said there'd be a tent! - Sarah Scott

"But they said there'd be a tent!" "Sarah, there is a tent.  See?  The half-open white thing over there with the coffee in it?"

I thought I'd be set.  This year, I was ready.  I brought a comforter, towels, throw-aways, lots of warm gear that I'd check.  And NYRR had clearly stated that there would be a tent, unlike last year, when I spent the hours before the race huddled over my legs, shivering convulsively through the scattered rain.  The thought of the tent had given me courage when I heard about the downgrade in weather conditions for the wait and the start. (and yes, I did just say downgrade: not everyone loves a high of 45 and crosswinds for a race, much less the 3+ hour wait!)

But there wasn't really a tent, more like an enclosure for the coffee and energy stuff they were giving away.  So me and my compatriots hiked over to the lean-to and huddled up between a table and a trash can. 

But we had the comforter.  And we had bathrooms.  The bathrooms were the highlight of the local elite waiting area last year.  Me and my nervous bladder could visit the facilities as much as we wanted, with no wait!  And this year, it started out the same.  In fact, I appeared to be the first to have used this bathroom since it had been sanitized, an experience I've never had before!  Quite luxurious for being in a field with 40,000 plus people with too much coffee in their systems!

The coffee wasn't Duncan Donuts and we had no bagels, or hats, but you could sneak off into the other sections to get those.  And most of us, it appeared, already had developed neuroses about what we eat before a race, as evidenced by the strange assortment of food I saw being consumed while we waited. 

But, nearing the time when we had to be in our corrals, the fact that they seemed to have let a lot more people into the local competitive area raised its ugly head.  There were massive lines for the rest rooms.  And none in the corrals.  You can imagine what might have ensued. 

The start is fantastic.  And makes it totally worth it, still.  To be able to start the NY marathon and run your first mile in something like your intended pace, without having to weave too horribly much, is awesome.  But the rest isn't so grand. It is still less crowded than the other areas but, for me, crowd means more warmth.  And you can always tune out the chattering person next to you.  I know: I have been the person tuned out before!  But I think they should either let less people in (even knowing that I might not be let in, as a result), or put up more bathrooms.  Because the bathrooms were the only other major draw. Plus, there is something insincere about labeling a location as 'local elite' and then having almost everyone around you be from out of state.  I know that 'local elite' could also just signify that the people in this area are people who might win or place in local races, and not signify the runners who might win or place in smaller NY races.  But in a city like New York, where more races are run by people to whom you can't even relate because they run so fast you might question whether they are really human, where there are so many people that one can feel isolated and separated from the others in the city, it seems important to have a place to recognize the mere humans who have jobs and other priorities, who run like mere mortals but who give a more human, approachable, and community face to running in the five boroughs.

Off my soapbox, now.  The bathrooms are still pretty darn groovy.  And the start. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010





A unique event ,  the JackRabbit Indoor Triathlon Series  gives athletes of all levels a chance to race a triathlon during a New York winter. Swim for 10 minutes in a pool , bike for 30 minutes on a spin bike, and run for 20 minutes on a tredmill  to  see how far you can go! Already in its seventh season, the Indoor Triathlon is a great way for experienced triathletes to compete and stay fit during the off season and is also a great introduction to the sport for beginners. Jack Rabbit puts on a number of these events at YMCA’s throughout the city, check it out!  
PPTC’s  Mazel Tovs to Jesse Lansner and Elizabeth Call who were married on the Boardwalk at Coney Island by Surrogate Margarita Lopez-Torres on October 9, 2010.   2010 is a great year for Jesse’s parents Carolyn and Dave; first their son  Noah  and Devon Martin who were married in 2008  had a daughter Blythe on May 23 and now Jesse and Elizabeth’s marriage.

Sorry to learn that Tyrone Sklaren broke his hip recently  Word is that he’s rehabbing  at full steam and spinning furiously to stay in shape.

On the radar, Diane Clarke !  And  can you believe her son Dwayne is ten years old!

The Rally to Support the New Prospect Park West!  Thursday October 21 at 8am at GAP and Union ,   Wayne Bailey, Mike Ring in his PPTC jacket and camera in hand, ,PPTC friend  Joanne  Guralnick toting left overs from a recent Peter Luger’s dinner in her bike sack,  Tom Byrnes, and lots of others who gave me the look that said ''I know you but can’t put your name with your face.'' ……..heard though  that some PPTCers  don’t like the new PPW bike lane configuration…

Bobby Fisher wrapped up his season with Sunday October 24th’s’’ Tour Da’ Bronx’’ biking  the more than 45 miles
of  ‘’scenic’’  Bronx terrain.

Saturday October 30th, 42 degrees in central Park according to the weather reports, tons of  runners, PPTC members, friends, and guests, all assembled at 59thstreet and 1st Ave for PPTC’s annual ‘’last ten miles of the NYC Marathon Run !!  How did it go?  Ask anyone who was there! Patti Perlo said it all when she  expressed her many thanks to all those PPTC members for their time and energies in making this happen..Diana, Cecil, Julio, Anne, Krishna, Doug, Veronica, Megan, and Richard.   

Congratulations to the winners of this year's Brooklyn Triple Crown
awards. Winners were picked by adding their combined finishes at the
Kenny Dolan 5K, Cosme's Boardwalk 5K, and the Chris Hoban 5M.
Representing PPTC among the winners were:
Maggie DesChamps (2nd), Danielle Hansen (3rd) and Marvlyn Baptiste
(4th) Women 40-49 group.
Charlene Kohler-Britton (5th) Women 50-59.
James McFarlane (4th) Men 50-59
Gil Torres (2nd) Men 60-69
Mickey Newman (3rd) Men 70-79 
In addition to the individual awards, PPTC also took 1st place in the women's open team and men's master's team. We could have also taken 1st in the women's master's team but it was reported that there was some inconsistency in our team division.  Don’t have all  the details about that but stay tuned. Congrats to everyone who participated and to all our winners!

Thanks  to Joe Leahy , the Brooklyn Shamrocks, and the staff and family of Buckley’s restaurant, Nostrand Ave and Ave S,  for putting on and inviting PPTC to  the um-teenth  annual pre-NYC marathon pasta dinner on Thursday November 4th.  PPTC was in the house! Word is that we will be invited back in 2011 given the fact that this year PPTC members did not start any fights, attempt to steal any silverware, did not attempt to walk off with anyone else's coat or leather jacket, and did not instigate any food fights.

Late breaking news is that PPTC ‘s two coached training sessions under Tony Watson will join Sean Rice’s Prospect Park Youth Runners as well as the Midwood HS fast females at the 15th Street Armory this coming winter season. Not all on the 200m track at the same time but all under the same roof as the winter storms and frigid temps kick up outside.  

As they say in Atlanta Georgia, Happy Daylite Savings time y’all.  See you on the roads!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NYC Marathon Results (Unofficial)

Congratulations to all PPTC participants in the 2010 ING NYC Marathon! PPTC finishers according to the ING NYC Marathon site were:

First Name Last Name Age Team Finish 13.1 mi Minutes
Time per Mile
MIKE GOETTIG 38M PPTC 2:59:20 1:27:12 6:51
HELEN DOLE 28F PPTC 3:08:00 1:32:53 7:11
SARAH SCOTT 33F PPTC 3:08:04 1:32:54 7:11
DANIEL ERKER 31M PPTC 3:08:56 1:26:41 7:13
CHRISTOPHER O'BRIEN 41M PPTC 3:14:10 1:29:18 7:25
MARK CROWTHER 39M PPTC 3:18:40 1:33:42 7:35
MICHAEL ABRAHAMS 41M PPTC 3:20:19 1:32:56 7:39
TODD PORTNOFF 39M PPTC 3:24:47 1:37:21 7:49
VICTOR HASEMAN 37M PPTC 3:29:52 1:44:12 8:01
EDUARDO CARBAJOSA 45M PPTC 3:30:54 1:44:23 8:03
GERARD LUNA 37M PPTC 3:38:00 1:44:10 8:20
PIETER VAN HATTEM 36M PPTC 3:38:27 1:44:21 8:21
REBECCA GORGES 28F PPTC 3:40:23 1:43:19 8:25
FRANK DELEO 57M PPTC 3:41:12 1:47:12 8:27
FRANK BRODERICK 58M PPTC 3:41:45 1:46:58 8:28
JESUS BRACAMONTE 25M PPTC 3:44:54 1:42:22 8:35
TOM TOBIN 56M PPTC 3:48:07 1:45:33 8:43
PAULINE SHAPIRO 31F PPTC 3:48:20 1:50:58 8:43
MARCIA BROWN 53F PPTC 3:49:46 1:45:58 8:47
KATIE MULADORE 27F PPTC 3:50:46 1:43:26 8:49
LYNDA MULES 38F PPTC 3:58:46 1:51:07 9:07
MEGAN DEE 41F PPTC 4:06:55 1:59:37 9:26
YOSHIE NIITSUMA 38F PPTC 4:14:09 2:04:44 9:43
KATHRYN DOWNER 30F PPTC 4:25:24 2:03:35 10:08
ALAN FEDERMAN 47M PPTC 4:28:03 2:10:42 10:14
AL PRAWDA 63M PPTC 4:28:30 2:05:01 10:15
KATHLEEN SULLIVAN 50F PPTC 4:38:10 2:11:05 10:38
TINEKE DE VRIES 42F PPTC 4:40:38 2:13:25 10:43
MEGAN HOGAN 29F PPTC 4:43:18 2:15:54 10:49
JEANINE MOSES 33F PPTC 4:51:57 2:17:28 11:09
FRANCES SPANGLER 40F PPTC 5:00:32 2:21:59 11:29
ROBERT UNDERWOOD 38M PPTC 5:03:39 2:26:51 11:36
SAMANTHA BLOOM 33F PPTC 5:04:52 2:25:07 11:39
MICHAEL RING 47M PPTC 5:08:51 2:28:40 11:48
PATRICIA PERLO 60F PPTC 5:22:05 2:25:28 12:18
SONJIE FELICIANO SOLOMON 40F PPTC 5:27:33 2:39:28 12:31
TRACI LESTER 44F PPTC 5:44:23 2:30:50 13:09
MAJO TINOCO 34F PPTC 5:47:28 2:32:08 13:16
CHI IREGBULEM 37F PPTC 6:13:07 2:48:35 14:15
RAUL GONZALEZ 62M PPTC 6:22:44 2:49:50 14:37
JANET GOTTLIEB 56F PPTC 6:24:43 2:58:15 14:41