Saturday, May 22, 2010

2 interviews by Paul Soskind

Interview with Frank: McAneneny  

P.S.: For 20 plus years you’ve been running. How did it begin?  

Frank: When I started, I lived on East 34th street near Church Avenue. I would walk to the park and jog around it. Then we moved to Marine Park, and joined Richie Pedrone and Tony Puglisi running around the oval. I remember when John Richardson and the Marine Park Track Club would put on mile races there although I didn't run competitively until 1991.

P.S.: What was your first competitive race?

Frank: The 1991 Brooklyn Half, which was almost 4 full loops of Prospect Park. PS. Wow, that was some baptism!,

P.S.:  So who told you about PPTC?  

Frank: Denis Sivack, who also ran in Marine Park. I met Bobby Fisher, and I joined in 1991.

P.S.: What do you recall about PPTC and the running scene at that time.? Frank: For one we had club meetings in Bobby’s basement, later moving to Circle’s near the theatre. I met some really great people and friends such as Julio Zavala, Bill and Kathy O Gara, and Aaron Koffler. The age group competition was much more intense then. While there were fewer runners, there were proportionately a lot more really fast ones.

P.S.: After 20 years, you stopped competing; why?

Frank: Running has always been to me 95% for health, and 5% competition. It's made me fitter, healthier, and more agile, and I want to stay that way. 20 years competing was enough.

P.S.: I have seen you recently in the park, what do you observe? Frank: First of all there are many, many more female runners. Lots of women are running after having kids, many are pushing their kids as they run; that's great! Also, when you come out now on weekends it almost feels like you're part of a race, so many more people are running, which is also wonderful!  

P.S.: What did the club do when you started out that we aren’t, but could be doing today?

Frank: On several occasions we chartered a bus to go to out of town races such as the Fairfield Half in Connecticut and the Jersey Shore; that would be nice now too.  

P.S.: You've always been encouraging and inspiring to all of us and like you we should keep in focus that we run for health, bonding with others and a bit of competition now and then, thanks for your thoughts.    

Interview with Mark Crowther

P.S.: Was your introduction to running cross country in the U.K.?

Mark: No, I didn't take up running until a few years ago in America. Rugby was my sport; I did a lot of zigzagging and dashing about as a lineman, so I had great conditioning.  

P.S.: So you never ran competitively in college?

Mark: No but I did run a great deal just to stay in shape for rugby. The only racing was against my dad who was pretty quick. Running was done in cricket and rugby, although I had a childhood infatuation about being another Steve Ovett.

P.S.: So when did you get serious?

Mark: In 2008 because I had more time, and was tired of booze and cigarettes; I gave the 2008 marathon a go, and have been training seriously since then. I took the club bus to the start, joined PPTC after the finish, and have become more competitive since then.

P.S.: I noticed you are one guy who doesn't loaf out there; describe your philosophy of training.

Mark: I believe in pushing to the point of pain; go out and find a  “rabbit“ to chase down; or try to blow past cyclists on an uphill.

P.S.: So what's your ultimate goal?

Mark: to run a sub 3 hour marathon.

P.S.: I'm sure with your intensity you will make us all proud when you achieve it. Thanks

Lets Go Running

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander everywhere.

It’s almost June so I figured I’d throw you a little Midsummer Night’s Dream – but flood? Fire? This sounds like last month’s Tough Mudder competition!  Whatever your inclination, time to check out this month’s events – so let’s go racing!

There’s plenty of action close to home this month, starting with PPTC’s very own Al Goldstein 5k Summer Speed Series – every other Wednesday evening (June 9th and 23rd) at 7 o’clock by the Oriental Pavilion.  And if your need for speed isn’t satisfied by that, there’s the Fort Hamilton Army Base 5k Series on Tuesdays, Staten Island 3m Speed Series (in Clove Lakes Park) on Thursdays and the X-C Summer Series in Van Cortlandt Park every other Thursday starting June 10th.

If you’re looking for something to do on the weekends there’s no shortage of 5k races all over – Kenny Dolan 5K in Prospect Park on the 5th, Doreen Scrimenti on Staten Island the 12th, Team Brickwell in Kissena Park, Queens and Michael Hanly 5K down on Shore Parkway the 13th, the Piper’s Pursuit out at Rockaway Beach and Good Shepherd here in Brooklyn on the 19th, Jeff’s Run on SI the 20th, and Cosme’s Coney Island 5k on the 27th

If you feel like running a few more miles (and traveling a little further afield) there’s the 7.1 mile Litchfield Hills Road race up in Connecticut on June 13th.  We met some of the folks from that part of the world on one of the Saturday group runs and they promised a warm welcome if anyone makes the trip.

For a little off-road action there’s the third race in the XTERRA LI Trail Series, back in Stillwell Woods in Syosset on the 6th.  It’s a fairly fast 4 ¾ mile course, not too demanding and ideal for anyone who wants to get a taste of what trail running is all about.

And last but not least… save the date, June 26th is the annual PPTC Picnic (including the infamous relay race).

Have fun – be fast….