Monday, March 15, 2010


Geoff Vincent

Fuggetabout it - this is Brooklyn, it ain’t the Waste Land and we have plenty to do besides reading poetry – so let’s go racing!

In case you hadn’t noticed, Spring is upon us at last, and there’s plenty of trail action if you want to check out how the season is progressing in amongst the trees (and don’t mind getting dirty in the process).

April 10 is the XTERRA Bethpage Trail Run on Long Island – 5K in Bethpage State Park (I ran their season opener in Syosset and had a blast in spite of the ice and snow still on the course).  As an extra incentive, they give cash awards to the first three males and females. The same weekend, April 11, is the Urban Environmental Challenge up in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx – it’s a 10K that claims to be the only true trail race in NYC.  I’m not going to argue if that’s what they want to say – somebody go run it and get back to us.

April 25 is the Leatherman’s Loop up in Westchester.  The race reached capacity on January 1st when online registration opened (a total debacle that should stand as a cautionary tale for all race directors due to crashing servers and all manner of ills).  In spite of which it’s a great 10K trail race (two river crossings included) so if you want a fabulous introduction to going off road, post yourself a reminder for 2011!  And think fast thoughts for the PPTC contingent running this year – I know of Brad, Kathleen, Lynda and myself – did I miss anyone?

If you want to stay clean and run on pavement, there’s stuff for you, too.  First up is the 13.1/New York 5K: Walk or Run for Haiti Relief on April 3 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.  If you’ve never been to Flushing Meadows, now’s your chance – if nothing else you’ll get to see all the junk left over from the 1964 World’s Fair (think alien space ship in “Men in Black”).  A flat course, but somehow I never got a good time there – see what you can do and - most important - help raise funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Feeling the need for some hills and a day out of the City?  Check out the Orange Runners Club Hudson Valley 15K on April 11.

Back in Prospect Park on April 18 there’s the Dow Live Earth Run for Water 6K.  Be part of a series of 6K run/walks happening over the course of 24 hours in 192 countries. The same day is the JFK Rotary Club 5K Runway Run – see if you can run fast enough to achieve take off speed! 

The last weekend in the month there’s the Beach to Bay 5K in Brick, NJ on April 24th  and on the 25th there’s the Alley Pond Striders 5 Mile Challenge out in Queens.  This was my home turf back before I discovered the joys of Brooklyn running.  The old Vanderbilt Motor Parkway is a cool place to run and an interesting piece of history.  I recommend this one if you have transportation.

Teasers for May… Cinco de Mayo 5K in Prospect Park, Long Island Marathon, Buckley’s to Kennedy’s 5K, Brooklyn Half-Marathon, our own Al Goldstein Speed Series kicks off on the 26th and up in the Bronx the VCTC series starts on the 27th.  So many races, so little time…

You’ll find the information for all these and more on the calendar at If you have questions or comments, or races you’d like to see added to the calendar you can email me at


Michael Ring

With about 24 hours notice, I was asked to “teach” an after school program at my kids’ school.  I put “teach” in quotes because the class was called Running and it was for first t graders.   I agreed, as long as my fourth grade twins could be considered my “teaching assistants.” (They think they are teaching the class.)  I did not get any help with curriculum but the after-school coordinator told me all the parents expect is that their children come home a little tired and hopefully uninjured.  OK.

On the first day of class, I brought my latest finishers medal from the NYC Marathon.  I thought it was give me some credentials.  It went beyond that.  They passed it around like it was an artifact from King Tut’s tomb.  They thought I won the race.  “No, no,” I explained, “you get this for finishing.  All you have to do is try your best and get to the finish line and you get a medal.”  I spontaneously added that everybody will get a medal when they do their best in this class. 

I decided to give out the medals before the last class because the kids had all just watched the Olympics.  They were so excited.  For the first time in eight weeks I was able to get them to stand still and be quiet.  I channeled Count Jacque Rogge and spoke about the honor of sport and the glory of competition.    They loved it.  They all felt the Olympic Sprit as I draped the medals over their necks. 

Then I shared one of my traditions.  I told them they had the RIGHT to wear the medal for the rest of the day and the next day if they wanted, because they had EARNED it.  The expression on their faces when they showed off their medals to their grown-ups was priceless.  Better than any Credit Card TV ad.

But, I have a confession, dear teammates.  I “borrowed” these medals from our inventory to be used at the Summer Speed Series.  Lock me up.


Paul Soskind  

P.S.: Was running your primary sport?
David: My main athletic focus has been Dragon Boat racing.
P.S.:  How is it different from running?
David: It involves about two minutes of maximum effort with an incredibly high level of pain thresh-hold.
P.S.: So why did you start to run?
David: I thought running would help me build endurance for boat racing.
P.S.: Did It?
David: Yes, although at first I hated it.  I had no real endurance when I started, but since October I've lost 25 pounds and enjoy running very much. I've gotten faster, gained lots of endurance and see it as another sport I can do well in.
P.S.: Well, I know you’re doing great because when we talked at Coogan's Bluff you
mentioned you had done an 18 mile training run the day before.
David: Yes, now I have goals in running.  They are to get faster and do a marathon.
P.S. What did you think of the Coogan's course?  
David: Way more challenging than the Park, but I love challenges.
P.S.: Why did you become a PPTCer?
David: I looked at the programs that several clubs offered and PPTC had two group runs, speed coaching and very supportive people. Everyone was very friendly and encouraging. Thanks to PPTC, I'm calmer, more focused, and less impulsive and have made many new friends.
P.S.: Thanks for your very unique story.