Monday, July 12, 2010

More of What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me! By Michael Ring

More of What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me! By Michael Ring

On a Friday morning I woke up early and did the run I often do on a Saturday morning. Starting at Grand Army Plaza, I ran down Union to 4th Ave, and then headed over to 3rd Street to cross the Gowanus Canal. Then I took Smith and Court over to the Brooklyn Bridge. I crossed into Manhattan at Chambers St and made a left at the Hudson, hugged the water till I got back to the Brooklyn Bridge and came home via the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I do this run (or a variation of it) about 2 or 3 weekends a month. It is the "usual run" of the Prospect Park Track Club.

Since I left the house at 6 am instead of the usual 8 am I did not think automobile traffic would be an issue. I was wrong about that; rush hour was starting when I was running home.

The one major obstacle faced on my run was the people. Just as I was running towards the Battery, the Staten Island Ferry was arriving. The hoard of commuters turned my run into a stop. As I fought my way against the minions, a guy giving out free newspapers said to me, "Hey, you look like a jogger. Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, but then I have to tell you that I am not a jogger." He wanted to know why he can run for 45 minutes on a treadmill but he can't really run outdoors for 5 minutes. So, I explained that on a treadmill you are just spinning your legs, you are not making the effort to move your body forward, that running on a treadmill is like running down stairs. The treadmill is softer than any outdoor running surface and it is probably in a nice air conditioned gym. I told him that unless you set the treadmill at a serious incline, it is mostly a waste of time.

I saw the light bulb go off in his head. In under a minute I was able to teach this man something, "So why can't I call you a jogger?"

"My grandmother was a jogger; it was about the jogging suit and running in circles. Runners are training for events; events where someone says "GO!" and there is a clock at the end. I am a runner. Joggers jog, runners train."

The commuters had all gotten on the subway so he wished me luck on my next race

Club Team Championship August 7!

Club Team Championship August 7!

Where does the time go? Here it is, time to make plans to flaunt your colors and be a part of the NYRR Club Team Championships in Central Park on Saturday, August 7tht, the annual five miler where local teams show off their team pride. The start time for men is 8 a.m. and for women, 9 a.m. It is a double points race in the competition for a position on the leader board among local clubs throughout the five boroughs.

A word of caution, especially for new members who are unfamiliar with the Club Team Championships: this race is for everyone. As an inclusive Club, our strength and pride is in our numbers and we want to have lots of members showing up to run, to cheer, to smile for the team picture. There will be the PPTC after-race buffet of light refreshments and a chance to talk running. Look for the banner. We are usually on the left side of the 102nd St. transverse on the east side of the park. However, the course has not been announced so we are keeping our options open. More information as it becomes available.

If you are driving to the race and have room in your back seat or trunk for food or supplies, please call the Club phone or send an email to You know the old saw – many hands. . .etc., etc.

Here are some more details from the NYRR website:

Only members of established and NYRR-recognized running teams (that’s us!) may enter this race; NYRR membership by itself is not enough to qualify. In addition, entrants must have completed at least one NYRR scored/qualifying race between January 1 and August 7, 2010 for the team for which they will be scoring. Furthermore, if they have competed for another team, you may not have competed for that team until 90 days have lapsed,

Teams for the NYRR Team Championships are comprised of:
• Open: 10 men/5 women (scored by time)
• 40+: 5 men/3 women (scored by time)
• 50+: 3 men/3 women (scored by time)
• 60+: 3 men/3 women (scored by time)

Note: there are no shirts or other souvenirs for this race.

Post Race

Awards will be given in team categories (see above). The only individual award will be the “Nacho” award in memory of José Ignacio Ramirez, given to the first male and female masters finishers.



Let’s keep Carole Rondinelli and family in our prayers upon the recent death of her dad Anthony. He had a good run and we hope that the fond memories of times past will be a comfort for Carole and Ron Rice.

Tommy Hart is trying to get his timing down. He’s waiting until after his Fort Hamilton Summer 5ks are over late August, the Utica Boilermaker races are history, and his stock of running magazines are all lined up before he gets his knee replacement op late summer. Good luck Tommy!

PPTC scrambles, sets up the clock, and manages to make it happen grass roots style. Not that large of a turnout the very wet nite of the second Summer Speed Series 5k thanks to the rain but those who came, ran, and conquered. When the going gets tough, the tough get up and go home? Those who stay, run and race.

Glad to read that Jason Horowitz is shaking things up a bit, changing his approach to training as well as tweaking his carb and protein intakes. The proof for Jason will be down the road when he finishes that fall half marathon he’s planning to race.

Lovely to hear that Irene Torres’s family reunion went so very well. With over 110 Tiernans turning out at Holy Name’s Shepherd’s Hall on a Saturday mid-June, the best of times were had by all.

Need a new couch because you slammed the armrest so hard during the USA-Slovenia Wolrd Cup Soccer game that it broke? Happens to many of us. Hey, put it on Craigs List along with the used running shoes that you have stored away in your closet.

Bobby Fisher’s completed his 10th Century on the Ride To Montauk Saturday June 19th. He’s ’s also completed a recent tour through northern New England that left him saving his pesos for his next big trip. Biking 50-75 miles a day, a support van in case bikes need repairs, camping in tents, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks provided, hey, what a life!

Speaking of PPTCers who bike , both Gillant Phillips and Doug Olney have had recent up close and personal experiences with the pavement. Both are on the mend but both realize that while biking one has to be hyper vigilant about the condition of the roadway surface and drivers who aren’t paying attention to sharing the road .

PPTC was all over the roads at the NYRRC’s Mini with Maggie DesChamps leading the fast feet. Check the race results for the glorious details! Many thanks to PPTC’s Maria K Green and PPTC friends Asteria Howard and Maria Arias for volunteering with USADA and drug testing at this NYRRC in Central Park as well.

Geoffrey Vincent’s first place finish in age at the XTERRA LI Trail Series race in Montauk was the clincher - now he can start planning his trip to the National Championships in Oregon in September. Way to go Geoff!

Following extensive research and consideration, USA Triathlon announced today that beginning in 2013 the use of wetsuits exceeding five millimeters in thickness will not be permitted at USAT-sanctioned events. Anyone with a 5mm thick wetsuit still interested in still looking like characters from the “Pillsbury Dough Boy Meets The Teletubbies” can still do so but not in a USAT sanctioned triathlon.

PPTC’s David Chen bringing home the hardware from Dragon Boat races in July . Way to go David!

Big congratulations to Sarah Scott for winning the Kona, Hawaii Half Marathon Sunday, July 27th!

The photo of Sarah wearing a PPTC singlet holding her hardware on the awards podium with the race director and USA 70’s Olympian Frank Shorter was a classic ! PPTC rocks!

Sure it’s hot and yah, it’s humid too. Now stop complaining and get out there and run some. See you on the roads.

It Took 30 Years, But It Was Worth It! By Tom Meany

It Took 30 Years, But It Was Worth It!

By Tom Meany

PPTC has been engaged in dialogue with the Prospect Park administration around safety issues in the Park for 30 years, even before there was an Alliance.

Our premise has always been that if Park users do not perceive their experience as being safe, then it’s not a good experience.

On Wednesday evening June 23rd, PPTC was asked to present the main agenda item at the Prospect Park Alliance Community Committee meeting; “Development of a Master Plan for Education and Enforcement of Park Rules.”

This was the first time all uniformed Park service personnel (Parks Enforcement Personnel: PEPs, NYPD: 78th & 71st. Pct.’s) were asked to be part of a team in developing a Park safety plan.

All of us have had the experience of witnessing the results of cyclists and/or runners/pedestrians not being aware of or just not complying with Park rules. I’ve been hit three times by cyclists; my wife has been hit twice.

To not address these issues would have been immoral and unethical. We have been knocking on this door for 30 years and now it appears we have a foothold.

An Alliance Community Committee Operations Committee meeting is being scheduled this month to include the uniformed Parks personnel, representatives of the cycling community; Transportation Alternatives (TA), plus representation from the running community; PPTC, to develop a Master Plan.

The preliminary discussion at the 6/23 meeting indicated a need for an ongoing, long term civic educational approach, starting with elementary school children, regarding the rules of the road. It was also agreed that after a period of education and warnings, that enforcement, in the form of ticketing needs to take place.

We all know why the pooper scooper law, as well as the smoking ban in public buildings, has been so effective: violators are ticketed & fined.

I envision the main thrust of our role as one of educating the public and not seeking to punish cyclists or runners/pedestrians. At a fairly recent Club Board meeting, one of our Board members suggested I ask the Alliance about the option of runners invoking” citizens arrest” procedure for cycling violators We have all been frustrated by the daily abuses we witness. The new bike lane on PPW already has its challenges.

I believe our patience and perseverance will pay off in the long run.

We have a great Club that only gets better when you step up and volunteer. I promise your membership will be a more enriching experience when you respond to that arm reaching around you that says; “You’re very special and we need your help? Share your special gifts: The Summer Speed Series, The Club Championship, Marathon activities, The Turkey Trot, The Cherry Tree, Clothing Committee, Technical Committee, Communications Committee, etc.