Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oops - More Inside Loop!

Let's hope that Chris O'Brien's foot stress fracture heals well and allows him the time to train for the marathon in Ireland in 2012 that he's so psyched for.
Yves Roger was psyched to see the more than 60 PPTC runners at the Staten Island Half. For how fast PPTCers ran at this race and others as well, check out the Race Results page.
Remember some years ago when PPTC road tripped to Virginia Beach for the the Rock 'Roll race weekend events? This year it was rolling out of bed and making it to the Grecian Shelter area of Prospect Park for the 730am start of the Rock 'n Roll 10k on October 22nd. It was a grand day for PPTC indeed, in the park , on the roads, and on the awards podium, PPTC rocked !
The second session of the current speed training go-round saw the Thursday's group getting rained on big time at the Red Hook Track. The good news was that the workout rocked as usual with coach Tony and Charlene also getting very wet in the rain. No sitting in their car on the sidelines for these two. Can the indoor workouts at the Park Slope Armory in mid-November be that far away?
And speaking of indoor armories, the 2012 Millrose games will be conducted at Manhattan's 168th street and B'way Armory and not at Madison Square Garden come early next February
And speaking of changes in venue, by the time youre reading this, perhaps you realize that the meeting place for the PPTC monthly general meetings has been moved. As one member who prefers to remain anonymous put it, ''Well, at least you can now order up something besides physical therapy!" Many thanks to NY Sports Med for all their past hospitality. Hey, sustenance, sustenance, three cheers for liquid sustenance!!
Tom Tobin thought that driving the baggage car was probably a lot easier than running in the wet and sniffly conditions the day of the infamous ''last ten miles'' PPTC group run. Many thanks to Tom, Anne and all the others Mike thanked for making this PPTC annual event happen.
Tom Byrnes was not stranded in London hoping that some of the PPTCers on his email list would send him a few bucks to get home. Let's face it, sometimes you know when you've been hacked and when you're hacked , you're hacked. Thanks to MSN Support , especially Patrick in India, for all the help. If you're hacked and you're an MSN subscriber, call MSN support to get your password reset . This will give you the chance to reopen your email account and by changing your password from the reset, you'll have your email life back again.
But if I was stranded and broke, you would send money, wouldnt you? Well, I know who wouldnt but we'll let that be .

Inside Loop

Posted in December
Who ran what finishing times at New York couldn't include the valuable volunteer contribution of PPTC members and friends to the efforts of the United States Anti Doping Agency and its work with doping control for athletes whose finishing positions had been selected at random at this event. Thanks to PPTC's Wayne Bailey, Trey Heard, Sandra and Natacha Ferrari, and Marc McKennis. Up close and personal with PPTC were top finishers Geoffrey Mutai, Emmanuel Mutai, Firehiwo Dado of Ethiopia, and Ana Dulce Felix among others.
January 2012 will see another indoor track meet coming to Madison Square Garden. Not the Millrose Games but reminiscent of the days when there were actually three major indoor meets in the Metropolitan area, Millrose , Vitalis, and Mobil. As they say, back in the day....
Seeing Priscilla Muller starting her run into the wind on PPW and 1st street one Saturday in early November brought back some beautiful memories. We miss you Bob!
Citytri's Brooklyn Prospect Park Duathlon Sunday on November 13th found both Marc Crowther and Tom Byrnes on the awards podium stand taking home age group trophies. Thanks to the young men and women volunteers from the Lefferts Garden Association for helping Directors George and Alexandra Regan make this events a huge success. It almost seemed that the water cups wouldn't hit the ground before a vol would be there to catch it on the fly.
Lots of great suggestions on the open forum site for anyone looking for a spring 2012 marathon. Been there, done that, a marathon in the fall and then another in the spring. Training through the winter to use it before you lose it!
Word from Aunt Susan Tomasi off the beaten tredmill is that PPTCer Pete Tomasi has to hustle to cross the finish line with his son Harry in local races these days. I'm sure that if the clan was still living in Brooklyn, Harry would be a valued member of Sean Rice's Prospect Park Youth Runners!
Mid-November saw Tony Watson's Tuesday and Thursday speed workouts moving in to the YMCA's Park Slope 15th street Armory indoor track! Track is back! With the installation of seating on the upper tier of the facility, can an indoor meet be long off? Marc Crowther's interest in a not so invitational all comers mile seems to be looking good!
Will Abrams running with a group a chatty youth runners at the base of Lookout Hill puts Will back on the radar! Will's sub 3:08 at NYC put the smile on his face and I'm sure is a source of inspiration to the young runners he was training.
Lynda Mules was hooked up with the Prospect Park Alliance via the NYRR volunteering to clean up our park.This seemed to be an ideal option for the 9+1 marathon credit. According to the Prospect Park Alliance, the group got an "astronomical" amount of work done. For Lynda the highlight, though, was working along a stretch on the course duathlon. "I knew the event was taking place but was pleasantly surprised that I was able to cheer for the participants while I raked leaves." Linda seems to be saddling her ability to bike with her prowess on the roads into her thinking about a duathlon in the not so distant future...

Brooklyn Marathon runner Gary Wang ran the first half with Pieter, Tom, Mike, and Peter and they all looked great. Hope the second half went just as well. What a great race....a great atmosphere with lots of people cheering out there. I hope this is the first of many more. The Achilles Marathon in the park last run over 11 years ago evaporated after only two runnings due to logistical reasons so lets hope that this year's version of a Brooklyn Marathon continues in the park and perhaps is taken to the streets!

Meanwhile, in Philly, PPTC's Helen Dole ran a 3:07 and Matt Strawn a 3:15. Helen writes that she received at least twenty "Go Prospect Park!" or "Go Brooklyn!" along the Philly course. As she now has experienced for herself, PPTC is very well known beyond just the five boroughs! This was Matt's third marathon and he sees areas where he can pare down his time even further.

Thanks to PPTC Money Man Doug Olney for reporting in that for the first time ever, the Turkey Trot has sold out.The event reached the 2,500 participant limit the Monday before the race at JackRabbit Sports. I wonder who was the lucky 2500th entrant?
As Bill Rodgers once told me, see you on the roads.

News from Early Fall
PPTC ranting and raving about Chris O'Brien, Clair Dougherty and Stacey Ullman's completing September's Mighty Hamtpons Triathlon out on eastern Long Island's South Fork, a mile swim, 40k on the bike, and a 10k run. Welcome to the ranks of PPTCers who've tried triathloning for the first time Clair and Stacey.
PPTC sympathies go out to the family and friends of Dennis Trott. Dennis was one of PPTC's hard core ultra- marathoners back in the day. Rest in peace Dennis Trott. Let's keep Dennis and all the other deceased members of PPTC in our thoughts and prayers.
Past PPTC President Bobby Fisher's fall 2011 bike events included the Golden Apple Ride 65miles on 9/4, the Escape New York 66mile ride on 9/24, the Twin Lights Ride 75miles on the next day 9/25, the Pumkin Patch Peddle 62miles on 10/2 and The Tour de Bronx on 10/23. 'Lotsa' rides, 'lotsa' miles, but remember too, it's 'lotsa' fun! From a runner's point of view, cross training at its best. From behind the bar , of a road bike that is, the ride is what it's all about.
Great to see Richard Weaver firing up at NYRRC's Fifth Avenue Mile, one for his grandkids to be proud of! Go grandpa Rich!
There's a lot to be said for racing the smaller out of town marathons, avows Tyrone Sklaren. Venturing to Hartford in October, Tyrone found the event much more to his preference than races with casts of tens of thousands . The smaller field and more room on the road to actually see the route of the course ahead was much more to his liking. PPTC on the move in Hartford Connecticut! One thing about out of town races, if you go and wear the PPTC colors , on a singlet or a tee shirt, guaranteed that someone will step up out of the crowd and start the gab about having lived in Brooklyn, having parents or relatives who lived in Brooklyn, and maybe even having stopped by Prospect Park once.
On her Facebook page she says "I should never stop running, no matter how busy I can get from the move. I am a better version of myself when I run." We miss you CoCo!
Thanks to Bobby Fisher for sharing the news that at October's Brooklyn Triple Crown Award dinner PPTC won three of the four team awards presented, Open women, Masters women, and Masters men. Don't fight boys and girls over who gets to keep the trophy in their house until 2012's Awards dinner.

Harry's Handicap

The New Year is fast approaching and with it your best chance to beat runners you can’t catch or even see at other races – that’s right Harry’s Handicap and a chance for glory are back! Conceived over 40 years ago by PPTC founder Harry Murphy – this loop of the park prediction race is open to members and their guests and starts and finishes on the main loop at 10th Avenue near Prospect Park Southwest.
Check in at the Knights Of Columbus Hall on 10th Avenue between PPSW and 16th street from 8:30-9:30 AM. After the race come back for a pot luck buffet and please bring something! Non-Members are asked to donate $5. For members, this is all absolutely free. Free!
Please sign up now and predict your pace at In the tradition of Harry Murphy, the race directors reserve the right to handicap you accordingly.

Tyrone Slarken - from Injury to BQ

It was 7:00 a.m. Friday August 29, 2010; right before the Labor Day weekend. I was doing a fast tempo run around the outside of Prospect Park. Near Lincoln Road I tripped and *fell hard onto my left side. I tried to move, but the pain was excruciating. *A nurse on her way to work saw me sprawled on the sidewalk and called *911 - and my wife. The EMT’s arrived about 20 minutes later, and took me *to the Kings County trauma unit. I had a broken hip; one clean break in the *upper femur. I was operated on soon afterwards; a metal pin was inserted *in my leg connected to the bone with titanium screws.

After the operation the surgeon (a marathon runner himself) told me the *operation went very well. He said I could start running again in six months. *I left the hospital the next day, and the day after that I was at work. I used a walker to get around. I went to physical therapy three times a week before work, and the other days I did the therapy exercises on my own at home. In a couple of months I graduated to a cane, and I could go to the gym and take spinning classes. After a few weeks I didn’t need the cane, and I could walk on the treadmill, and around the park. I was cleared for running after the six months of rehab; I ran a couple of races in March-and I strained my hamstring. Six weeks more of spinning and walking, but it became clear what my running goal would be. I wanted to qualify for Boston again.

A fall 2011 marathon could qualify me for 2013 - when I would be 65-meaning a qualifying time of 4:10 - but I knew with the new qualifying procedures I had to run under four hours to make sure I got in. I followed Brad Hudson’s masters plan – three running workouts a week and one or two spinning classes plus weight and core training on off-days.

I ran a 1:49:43 half-marathon four weeks before my goal marathon - ING Hartford in October - so I had a decent shot at it - but I still had to do it.

Marathon day weather was good with temperatures in the 50’s. I stayed behind the 3:55 pacer for 22 miles, feeling pretty good. Then, suddenly, I wasn’t feeling so good. The mind was fine; the arms were pumping - but I felt like someone had tied 10 pound weights to my legs - and I was slowing dramatically. Every time someone passed me, and it happened quite a bit, I was afraid it was the 4:00 pacer passing me. It felt like the grim reaper was stalking me. But I kept on going (though I did not want to).

I crossed the finish line in 3:57:58. I was the happiest guy in the world. My journey was complete. The story of the broken hip was over. I was just a runner again.

Figuring out how I could run a little faster next time; maybe I should take Tony’s class again; maybe I could get a PR; a new age group for 2012; just a runner again. And it feels great.

Annual Awards Shindig

We are so excited to celebrate with our team members at the annual PPTC Awards Celebration which will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2012 7-10pm at the Abigail Brooklyn Cafe.

For the second straight year, this event will be an after-work reception in order not to interfere with weekend running activities. A reminder and more details about the venue, date and time will be sent via PPTC Bytes and posted online closer to the date.

The Awards committee is taking nominations for the following awards:

•The Bob Mueller Award for a member over the age of 50 who is a top runner and who has served the community (including at volunteering at least one PPTC event in the past year);*
•The PPTC Comeback Runner of the Year for a runner who battled injury and/or illness during 2010-2011, yet managed to race well during the past year;*
•The New Member of the Year to someone who has joined PPTC since July 2010 and contributed both in races and to improving our community; and*
•The Outstanding Single Contribution Award given to a club member who has improved club image, operations or provided a unique opportunity for member participation.

Please send your nomination with the name of the award, the member's name and a short explanation of why the person you are nominating should be considered to no later than January 15, 2012.

One final reminder: if you will qualify for the Run Brooklyn *(see the rules on, please enter your races in the *Member Racing History Database by January 15, 2012. *The raffle for the $100 cash prize will take place at the *Awards Celebration.

NYC Marathon Wrap-Up - From Mike Ring

According to NYRR’s records, 71 members of the Prospect Park Track Club finished the NYC Marathon this year! We had a few runners under 3 hours, many in over 5 hours, and dozens in between.

PPTC does a lot to get our members and our community ready, to the start line, and recovered at the end:

The "Last 10"
This run has always been available to friends of PPTC members, but for the second year in a row, we opened it up to the public.

Running the miles 16 -26.2 of the marathon is not as easy as it sounds when the City does not close the roads. The tricky part is getting from Manhattan to the Bronx. On Marathon Sunday, runners just take the road, but on any other day one has to use the pedestrian lanes. However because the Willis Avenue Bridge is still under construction, the pedestrian lanes are incomplete. So Cecil Burgin and I had to do a little reconnaissance in the week before the run. We took a pleasant walk over the bridge. We took photos and drew arrows. Then we walked back to Manhattan and had a nice lunch. Nobody got lost.

We had about 150 people RSVP that they were going to join us so we expected 300. However, the weather ranged from a cold mist to a 40° horizontal deluge, so only about 150 brave souls showed up. I got more than a few emails asking if our run had a rain date. My answer was “No and neither does the marathon." We almost lost one teammate to hyperthermia, but I think everyone who ran benefited from the run. We knew it could not be wetter and colder on marathon Sunday.

Transportation to the Starting Line
We also had our own transportation to the marathon start. For the second year in a row, we filled four buses, transporting 220 people from JackRabbit Sports on Seventh Avenue to Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island. With a little more marketing we probably could have filled another two or three buses, but enough is enough. We just made sure all PPTC people had the opportunity to sign up first.

Post-Marathon Reception
Our post-marathon reception was once again at PS 87. It is so great to have an indoor place to meet our friends and family. Even cooler is the fact that your teammates are there to give you a spontaneous round of applause when you walk into the room. This year we also arranged for post race massages, Camilo Brooks helped get out some of those knots. I thought he was going to tear me apart, but I do think my Monday and Tuesday were a little better because of him. He can be reached at 718 608 8520 or We also upgraded our reunion for 2011. Instead of having runners “sign in” on oak tag, we made a video, which will be shared when available.

There is one other thing that the general membership of PPTC might not know about the “reunion school”. It only cost us $80 to rent the cafeteria and the bathrooms. It seems that public schools are mandated to make their facilities available at a low cost to community groups. The Prospect Park Track Club is by definition a community group. I had a conversation with the custodian at PS 87 about this. Of the $80 we pay the Department of Education, the school gets about half of that to cover their payroll expenses which are actually about $250. The PPTC Board decided to make a $200 donation to the PS 87 PTA. It is the least we can do for our community,

We hope that all our runners and their supporters had a great time. We look forward to making next year’s event equally rewarding.

I would also like to thank all the volunteers who made this happen. Many people thanked me, but I would like to thank you.

Upcoming Events

As always, PPTC keeps you busy and on the run even in colder temps. And we also take some time out to celebrate our members' achievements from the past year. Hope you will join us!
January 1 - Harry's Handicap
A perfect way to kick off the new year and enjoy a potluck feast. And with the handicap - truly anyone can win! Registration will be at the Knights Of Columbus Hall On 10th Avenue Between Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Streets, 8:30 - 9:30 am. For more information on the history of this race, see page 5.

January 9 - PPTC Meeting

February 2 - Annual Awards Shindig
Join us from 7 to 10pm at the Abigail Brooklyn Cafe. See page 3 for info about this year's awards and how to nominate a team member.

February 6 - PPTC Meeting

February 19 - It’s the Cherry Tree Ten Miler and 3 Person Relay!
You know how it works – you either run three freezing cold (or unseasonably warm) loops of Prospect Park. Or you and two close friends choose to share the misery (or balminess) with a loop each.
And if you don’t want to get out and run it – we always need volunteers.

Rumors of funky headgear this year – what more could you ask for?
Well if you want to ask… may have the answers.

March 5 - PPTC Meeting*

Visit and look out for PPTC News Bytes for more info on all upcoming events

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me

We Needed a Bigger Truck
Michael Ring

I help out with a lot of races.  One of the behind the scenes challenges is getting the stuff there.  Ya know… Logistics.

A small race is not always easier.  They don’t always come with car permits, so we have to carry gallons of water and timing mats from the street to the nice part of the park where we want to start and finish our race.  Gigantic races like the Rock & Roll 10K came with Teamsters, so my job was easy.

Like this but all dinged up.
For races like the Turkey Trot we rent a U-Haul.  In the past we got a cargo van.  But even with the Bishop Ford people using their school buses the van was packed.  So this year I was going to get a 14’ truck.  This was going to make it much easier to gather up 20 cases of apples, 20 folding tables, about 50 signs, 2 big clocks 1 giant ladder and 3 big ladders, a few thousand cups and 6 giant apple pies.  I figured at 14’ truck would be fine.  I’m gonna pick up Anne (Mrs President) and head over to Costco.  But then Anne mentions that we are going to take Pat Meany (The First Lady) too.  “But it only has two seats”  “No problem,” Anne says, “I can sit in the back.”  No and No, not with all that stuff.  I get a 17’ truck, it has 3 seats.  I only costs a few cents more per mile and we were only gonna drive about 25 miles in 2 days.

Usually U-Hauls look like the ones in the photo.  They are a year or two old with less than 20, 000 miles and they run like new.  Not the truck they gave me.  I was covered in scratches and had almost a quarter of a million miles.  I was kinda glad, they would not notice the new dings I would put on it.  But the fact that the Check Engine Light was on should have tipped me off to a problem.  The U-Haul dude told me not to worry about it.   I shoulda worried.

After I picked up the First Lady and Mrs President we head over to Rothman’s to get 20 cases of apples we realized the truck is a clucker.  It doesn’t like to change gears and it was not only the check engine light. that was on.  All the gauges were in the red.  Whatever, all we gotta do is get to to Costco, Bishop Ford, and then Prospect Park.  No-so-good.  Just after I say “Wow we were actually going 30 MHP on Prospect Park South West, the engine stops.  The fact that it just started raining made it appear that smoke was coming out of from under the hood.

The the three of us abandon the vehicle in the left lane of PPSW just before Park Circle.  We called U-Haul and Tom Meany.  Before the service truck even got there the track teams from Bishop Ford began transferring the stuff from the truck into their school vans. (Yes, in the middle of the street… in the rain.)  Then the U-Haul dude shows up “Ya got gas?!!?!?”  “Yea, I got gas” He just turns the key and it starts.  He says it is fine, finish your move.  “But why did it stop?” “Don’t worry about it” he replies.  I am worried.

So we chug over to the Audubon Center at The Boathouse and unload the rest of the stuff.  We decided than to return the truck immediately instead of after the Turkey Trot.  Pat Meany (Bless her sole!) said “I will ride back with you, just in case you have any problems”  At the time I did not give that much thought,  If all went well she would have given up her ride home with her husband  walk back to 8th Ave from 4th Ave.  But all did not go well.  The truck stalled every time I took my foot off the gas.  When we finally made it up Flatbush Ave, it totally died in front of the library.  Again we called U-Haul and Tom.  This time it took 2 hours for a tow truck to come and thanks to Pat I did not have to sit there alone… in the rain… with a dead cell phone.  When Tom came to rescue us he was impressed with the quantity of steam his wife and I got on the truck windows.

Eventually a different tow truck guy shows up.  “Ya got gas?”  Not funny.  I tell him to take the thing away and I think I am done with U-Haul for a while.  Not so much.  Every 24 house for the next 4 days they call me, “When are you going to bring the truck back?”  I tell them the same thing, “You have it and when are you going to REFUND ALL my money you charged me to rent that POS?”  They have no clue.

On the Wednesday after Thanksgiving they finally figure out that they had their truck and they sent me a statement.  They are changing me for the 15 miles I put on the truck (maybe counting the miles the truck was on the hook) and insisting that they can not refund the insurance for 2 days.  They actually expect me to pay for the insurance on a truck that I did not even have on the second day. (BTW, insurance and U-Haul costs more than the daily rental rate)

So I walked over to the U-Haul place and introduced my self. The clerk looks me up on her computer and says “Are you finished with the truck yet?”  Ack.  I have to deal with a wall a bureaucracy to get my money back.  

I decided to say calm.  In reality it was not even my money, PPTC was going to reimburse me.  But that made me even madder.  This was a charity; they really should have given us the truck for free. So I walked into the U-Haul and asked for the manager.  She was there but busy.  After waiting on line I got to the clerk and said “No I do not need to rent anything, I just want to make sure I have all my facts straight before I get in touch with your corporate offices in Arizona.  When I was less than half way through my tail of woe the manager came over and instructed the clerk to issue me a complete refund.

But I did not believe it till I saw it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The 2011 Turkey Trot. Bogisphere (Update VIII)

Results can be found here.  Please send corrections to

Our own N. Wayne BAILEY took hundreds of photos,  (even a few of me and I did not even know he was there) click here to check them out

and our own Patricia added these 201 photos to this Snapfish album

We made it to NEWS 12,  (You would think the Prospect Park Track Club did not have any volunteers)

EMMAYNC  found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US.

We got a whole section in Runner's World's blog

Pixonomy made a Flickr slideshow

Roadrunning Guide described our race with no feeling at all.

and Cuttblaster gave the most detailed description of 5 miles I ever read.

and for a great 30 second video click here

and this?

Below is an entire news story from
Twelve-year-old Lauren Pitarresi, represenhting the New York Flyers, completed the Prospect Park Track Club Five-Mile Turkey Trot in 40:02. 
Beth said "Overall a fun race and one I think I’ll be looking forward to every year for the foreseeable future."   Beth, I hope to be there for you!

Our second place women reports that the pie was delicious!  Congratulations Mary!

Tom Meany and I gave good quote in this Currier Life story... "The soul-satisfying slog "

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to cross the Willis Ave Bridge and Enter The Bronx on October 29, 2011

On Saturday October 29, 2011 the Prospect Park Track Club will have a supported group run of the last 10 mile of the NYC Marathon Course.  This run is on open roads and sidewalks.  There will be no traffic control.  It is the responsibility of each participant to be aware of their surrounding.  It is strongly advised to not use any headphones.  

If you are participating in this run and have not already RSVPed please email, we need to know how many cookies to buy.

We will meet  start at 8am on the Right side of 1st Ave at East 58th Street, under the 59th, Queensboro, Koch Bridge.  This is near a supermarket and a Starbucks.  So if you need buy stuff or use the bathroom that can be done.

The Prospect Park Track Club will move your (TINY) bag from where we start to the parking lot at Tavern on the Green.  PPTC will also have have water, sports drink and other goodies on the left side of 1st Ave between 124th and 125th streets (that is actually under the Triboro RFK Bridge) and at the entrance to Central Park at Engineers Gate, 5th Ave and 90th Street).  We will also have even more goodies in the parking lot at Tavern on the Green.

On Monday, October 24 PPTC volunteers walked over The Willis Ave Bridge. Assuming the construction patters remain the same this is the route to cross from Manhattan to The Bronx.  Don't worry, on Marathon Sunday we run on the roadway.

Getting onto The Willis Ave Bridge is easy.  There is a clearly marked bike / pedestrian path on the LEFT side of the bridge.  Once over the Harlem River there is a clearly marked detour.  It leads to a STAIRCASE 

Then through a fenced in detour and run parallel to the bridge (the orange arrow is chalk, it might not be there on Oct 30.)

Cross under the bridge and make a left

Cross Bruckner Blvd.  (The construction guys said their heavy equipment will not be there on Saturday and the crosswalk will be passable)

Proceed on Willis Ave towards the Mobil Gas Station

Cross the street to the Gas Station and make a left.  You are now on the Marathon Route again.

Continue on 135th Street to Alexander Ave and make a right.  You could be following the Marathon Banners at this point too.

After a few blocks you will make a left on 138th Street (you are making a left at a Police Station)

Pass the Police Station

138th Street leads directly to the Madison Ave Bridge. The actual NYC marathon course goes around a block at Morris Ave. 

I honestly see no value in adding that "dimple" to this run.  I also see no need to leave Central Park and run on 59th Street and then reenter the park and Columbus Circle.  It will be really think with tourists on a Saturday morning and you want to leave some surprised for the big day.

The end of 138th Street looks like this

The bike / pedestrian path is on the RIGHT side of the Madison Ave Bridge

Proceed over the Madison Ave Bridge and make a Left on 5th Ave.

Again, if you are doing this with the Prospect Park Track Club, with another group or on your own, please be careful.  This is not a park.  This is not a closed race course.  This is the world of cars, trucks, bikes, dogs with leashes and baby strollers.  Be aware of your surroundings and be courteous.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2011 Prospect Park Track Club NYC Marathon Activities

On Saturday, October 29th Prospect Park Track Club is sponsoring a group run of the last 10 miles of the NYC Marathon course.  We will meet under the   at Engineers Gate).  At the “finish line” (the Tavern on the Green parking lot) there will be more goodies waiting for us.  This event is free and open to the public.  We just ask that you let us know if you are going to join us.  Please send an email to if you are joining us.

59th Street Bridge at  1st Avenue  and be ready to run by 8 a.m...  As usual this run will be supported by a rolling aid station.  There will be Gatorade, cold water and energy food waiting for us before we cross the Willis Ave Bridge (1st Avenue and 125th Street) and as we enter Central Park (90th Street).  For a details on crossing the Willis Ave Bridge and getting into The Bronx, click this

The importance of this run cannot be stressed enough.   Eight days later you will be running this same route after covering 16 miles.  You will have the memory of how easy and fun it was with fresh feet and how close the finish line is.  This is also a great run for someone who is not running the NYC Marathon:  It is a way to “have a taste” of the Marathon

On Marathon Sunday, JackRabbit Sports has joined us in transporting Brooklyn runners to the start.  Buses will be leaving from the front of their Brooklyn store,    Buses will leave promptly at 6 AM and will not wait.  JackRabbit will be open starting at 5 AM on Marathon Sunday. They will be providing goodie bags, a bathroom, a place to be warm and dry, and the opportunity to purchase any last minute items.  151 7th Avenue  between Garfield and Carroll and will take you to Fort Wadsworth.

The cost for bus transportation is $10 for PPTC members and $15 for “friends.”  All seats are prepaid and go quickly.  There are no walk-ons – reservations are required.  If you are taking the PPTC bus, you will need to be in front of Jack Rabbit Sports no later than 5:45 a.m. to be checked in.   Click here (or go to if you are holding a piece of paper) for a link to our no extra fee checkout  to reserve your place on the bus (The bus is sold out!)

After the race, we have our own Marathon reunion area.  You can meet your friends and family at PS 87, located on  West 77th Street  between Columbus and Amsterdam. It is just 2 blocks from the finish line.  We will provide hot chocolate, fruit, cold soda, bagels an indoor restroom with a place to change.  This event is free and open to PPTC Member and their “friends” who joined us on the marathon bus.  We just ask that you let us know if you are going to join us.  We will transport your bag of stuff from JackRabbit to our reunion area.

Questions:  or 718-595-2049

Nothing is better for instilling camaraderie and team spirit than running together - at a race, in an organized PPTC event, or on an informal group run. When doing any of these things is impossible, there are still a number of electronic ways that PPTC can communicate with members and members communicate with each other. The proliferation of these media have made it difficult for PPTCers to be aware of the different places that conversations about PPTC and running in Brooklyn take place. Following is a description of the different alternatives followed by a discussion about some ways in which the club is trying to make it easier for members to communicate and get information.

PPTC.ORG is our main website and the place to find announcements about big events on the club calendar such as the Turkey Trot, Cherry Tree, coached speed workouts, regular group runs, etc. The main site also includes links to (or embedded versions of) the club calendar, Facebook, Flickr (photos), Target Races, and the Open Forum. On tabs (found at the top of the main page) are the PPTC blog and the Member Race History page. If you are going to remember only one resource, PPTC.ORG is it because it will show you the way to everything else we have online.

"PPTC Bytes" is the name that the club uses for its email blasts to the entire club. If you are a member and the club has your email you should be receiving these. However, occasionally an email address gets skipped, so if you have never seen a "PPTC Byte" get your name on the list by sending a message to I think everyone knows how to use email by now, so there isn't much else to say about "PPTC Bytes."

The PPTC Open Forum is an unmoderated Google group that is available only to PPTC members at (first time you visit, you have to request permission from the group administrator). The discussions are on various running-related topics and are often very lively. There are a few ways to stay up- to-date with the Open Forum: members can elect to receive each and every email sent to the group, they can get a daily or weekly digest of the emails, or can elect not to receive email and browse the group at the following address [link]. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these methods of following the Open Forum, so experiment and see which is best for you.

PPTC also has its own group on Facebook with over 200 "members." For those of us who use the popular social network, this is a convenient place to make announcements, post questions, extend invitations for group runs or impromptu social events. Often, the information on Facebook is cross-posted to the Open Forum. The two media are also similar in that anyone can post to them and anyone can respond. One difference between Facebook and the Open Forum is that the Facebook group is open to non-PPTC members.

The PPTC calendar is visible as an embedded element on the main page by scrolling down to the "Race Calendar" heading. This calendar is an amazing resource that also includes the regular PPTC group runs, running events throughout the five NYC boroughs and in surrounding parts of NY, NJ and Connecticut. It is a Google Calendar (called "Prospect Park Track Club Events" if you need to search for it), so if you use the Google Calendar service or Outlook, it can appear in your own personal calendar i.e., without having to go to our home page. Another useful aspect of the calendar is that if you double-click on the individual event blocks, you will then see details such as the location of the race and, in many cases, a link to the website.

The PPTC Blog can be found at and is also the second tab on the top menu bar at PPTC.ORG. The blog is used to post online versions of the newsletter articles and sometimes for other notices that are linked elsewhere. When we update (see discussion below), the main site will include more blog-like elements and it may be possible to do away with the separate blog.

There a couple more online services which club members have been trying on an experimental basis:

PPTC has a group on Flickr, a popular photo sharing service at Anyone can join this group and upload photos, but in practice people have more frequently been sharing photos among "friends" on Facebook and sometimes with the PPTC group on that service.

There is also a twitter feed @ProspectParkTC which is maintained by member, Mark Crowther. Based on our recent survey of club communications, there don't appear to be many PPTC members using the Twitter service, but it is increasing in general popularity and influence, so this may be something that grows in the future.

PPTC is working to improve all forms of communication with and among its members. It recently conducted an online survey to understand which online tools you are finding most useful. Thank you to the more than 90 members who responded! One of the results of the survey is this article: we realized that many people are not aware of all the resources available. The club is planning to update the website in ways that will make it easier to use and better integrated with other online tools such as social media. If you have an interest in helping the club to communicate more effectively or a technical skill you can share, please contact me and we will find a way to get you involved.

Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series


Last year we were happy to have 35 or 50 runners. We did a good job and all the participants had a good time. (When I say good time, I am not judging their speed; I am saying they had fun.) I figured we could do the same good job for about 3 times that many runners and everyone would still have fun.

Just when I was thinking of how to make the public more aware of these races I met Steve Lastoe

(AKA: Steve at NYCRUNS.COM). We promoted the race series on his website and decided to try advance registration. About 20 people paid in advance for the entire series and our first race had 96 people. Yea! Our next race had more and our third race had almost 200!

But we had problems. The system we used to score the race that worked great for 50 or 100, did not really work at 150 or 200 runners. We were not able to accurately match the finisher’s times and their bibs. We added a finish line “shoot” so we could better gather the bibs but that had problems too. This is about to get very technical, so if you really want to know more or have any solutions please join the Race Committee. I also don’t want to dwell on the negative because the Summer Speed Series was a huge success.

It was a success on many levels.
It was a financial success. We have not finished counting the proceeds yet, but I think each race made more money than all of last years races.
It was a success for the runners. Many ran all of the races and reported personal records or improvements over the summer.
It was an organizational success. The Race Committee was able to adapt our method of scoring to provide quick and accurate results.

But it was really a success because of the volunteers who showed up without being asked and did things without being asked. For example: With the race to start in 5 minutes I realized that it would be a good idea to set up the finish line. I looked behind me to see that it had already been set up, but a volunteer that I did not even know was there. Or after I carried the clock, megaphone, and the timing computer to the start and realized I did not have a fourth hand to sound the air horn I looked around and saw two PPTC teammates with their hand out saying “Michael, Can we help you?”
What I am trying to say is that this very successful race series was the result of the hard and smart work of the volunteers from the Prospect Park Track Club. I might have been the “face” of the event” but this was truly a team effort.

Run Brooklyn

Run Brooklyn

To encourage team racing, and support of Brooklyn races organized by local groups and organizations, we are continuing PPTC’s "Run Brooklyn" awards for 2011.

PPTC members racing 6 scored Brooklyn races will be entered in a raffle for a $100 cash prize at the end of the year.

Rules for qualification:

To be eligible, runners must become PPTC members before July 1, and must race only for
PPTC in any races they enter.
PPTC’s database will be the official source for tracking races. Each runner will be
responsible for entering their own races.
Any Brooklyn based races that are officially scored will qualify.
Only 1 NYRR race in Brooklyn will be counted even if you ran several
The 6 races MUST include at least ONE race organized by PPTC.
Only 1 speed series race (ie. Al Goldstein Summer Speed
Series, Fort Hamilton Speed Series, etc.) will be counted, no matter how many you ran.

Sample Brooklyn races (not an exhaustive list): Brooklyn Marathon, Music That Heals 5K, Liz Padilla 5K, Irish Fair 5K, Dan's Run 5K, Hoban 5 Miler, Coney Island 4 Miler, PPTC Turkey Trot, Coney Island Turkey Trot, NYRR Jingle Bell

There will be 5 winners selected at random at the awards gathering held in early 2012.

Harry's Handicap

Forty years ago, our Club founder, Harry Murphy decided he would like to see less drinking by Club members on New Year’s Eve so he instituted a special New Year’s Day race with an added incentive: runners would be handicapped according to their ability. He assigned handicaps on one minute intervals from 12 minutes or so to zero or “scratch.” This was a race where you had an opportunity to beat runners you would never catch or even see after the gun went off all year long.

Harry knew how to handicap runners, mostly because he kept track of us all year over several years and also because he had a gift, which was never we passed on to his successors. Some members believed they could play on Harry’s warm sympathetic side, except on this day when he was Ming The Merciless. I remember Bob Muller showing up with a leg bandaged and on crutches, all to no avail. And sometimes some of us were genuinely under the weather or injured. Somehow Harry discerned the truth in assigning you a handicap or you were screwed.

Registration was held at the Caton Inn on Coney Island Ave., across from the Parade Grounds and later in a Park’s office in the ball field building across the street. The race was originally held at 8:30 A.M.! Harry was a sign maker so we had hand painted oilcloth reusable numbers. They were white five- inch swatches with green numerals. The pinholes were encircled with rust. Later we used a community room in the basement of Bobby Fisher’s building. Most recently, we have found a home at the Knights of Columbus Hall on 10th Avenue between Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Street.

Back in the day, Harry would take all the runners to the start and line them up across the road according handicap time. There would be 60 of us regardless of weather. This was before tights and Gore-Tex, most wore shorts. I remember races with temps in the high 30’s and rain blowing horizontally and Harry would go through the whole lineup twice before the actual start. Kurt Steiner, Harry’s sidekick, would be there dressed in a high hat & tails. He had officiated at the midnight run in Central Park the night before.

There were medals for the first 25 and those were treasured awards. Harry kept the results in a green hardcover book. Using the database, we are able to assess the runner’s ability prior to race day based on the minute/mile pace for a 5K distance. The advantages of the computer based system are that you know your exact starting time to the second upon registering. It minimizes time spent standing out in the cold.
The race is scored in a short period of time and we can use the same system each year.

The other part of Harry’s race is the party afterwards. One thing PPTC does well is party! Harry’s is a potluck feast with everyone bringing something to eat or drink. There’s lot of kibitzing and laughs as people toast the new year, among other notable events (and even some not-so-notable- events). Some finishers bring their bathing suits and head for Coney Island after the race to participate in the annual Polar Bear swimming event. Definitely optional. Most stay behind, keeping the fun going. Harry’s has also been an event that brings many long term members out, not to run but to renew old ties. It is a great way for new members to meet and greet in an informal way, put a face to a name and grab some of that team feeling.

I have been quoted as saying the Turkey Trot is the best way to start your Thanksgiving Day. Harry’s Handicap is the best way to celebrate and start the New Year with your running family. See you there! (Details regarding registration are being finalized so stay tuned. In the meantime, mark your calendar for Harry’s Handicap on January 1.)

9th Annual Turkey Trot

Yes this will be our 9th Annual Turkey Trot five mile race. In the past 3 years we have grown from 1,300 to 2,000 participants last year. This year we are capping the race at 2,500. There are several reasons for doing this.
One, the old adage the more runners will cover any additional costs incurred. Not true. In fact there is a point of diminishing returns in the expanding costs of supplying all the goods and services to put on a quality race.

Our goal is to have experienced runners put on a quality race for runners to enjoy. Quality, not quantity is our focus. We see the option of increasing sponsorship participation as a growth direction for the event.

Jack Rabbit Sports continues to be our most generous sponsor for the race, although we have and welcome other sponsors. We want to also acknowledge New York Methodist Hospital for their loyal sponsorship that has helped make this race possible. Bishop Ford Boys & Girls Track Team continues to be our partner. Their share of the proceeds continues to go directly to support their track team exclusively.

Additionally, Bishop Ford has decided to make the race a sort of homecoming community service event for track & field alumni, who serve as adult volunteers the day of the race. Their numbers continue to grow each year. Another pleasing sight is that some of those alumni are becoming PPTC Club members. One of our original goals in partnering with BF was to build a bridge between adult and young runners.

The race has become a growing Thanksgiving Day family tradition for many participants. For many of our participants this may be only race for them all year. It is also a great opportunity for PPTC members to volunteer, particularly, in light of our new volunteer rewards program where you can earn credit towards Club clothing, dues or race registration fees.

We are in the Park around 6:30 A.M. and out of the Park before 11. I get directly on the road to meet with my family in Dutchess County, usually beat the traffic, and I’m there for the 1 P.M. kick off. Either way I expect to see you all out there, there is no excuse to not be out there if you’re in or around town that day.

2011 New York City Marathon Activities

On Saturday, October 29th Prospect Park Track Club is sponsoring a group run of the last 10 miles of the NYC Marathon course. We will meet under the 59th Street Bridge at 1st Avenue and be ready to run by 8 a.m... As usual this run will be supported by a rolling aid station. There will be Gatorade, cold water and energy food waiting for us before we cross the Willis Ave Bridge (1st Avenue and 125th Street) and as we enter Central Park (90th Street at Engineers Gate). At the “finish line” (the Tavern on the Green parking lot) there will be more goodies waiting for us. This event is free and open to the public. We just ask that you let us know if you are going to join us.

The importance of this run cannot be stressed enough. Eight days later you will be running this same route after covering 16 miles. You will have the memory of how easy and fun it was with fresh feet and how close the finish line is. This is also a great run for someone who is not running the NYC Marathon: It is a way to “have a taste” of the Marathon.

On Marathon Sunday, we are happy to announce that JackRabbit Sports has joined us in transporting Brooklyn runners to the start. Buses will be leaving from the front of their Brooklyn store, 151 7th Avenue between Garfield and Carroll and will take you to Fort Wadsworth. Buses will leave promptly at 6 AM and will not wait. JackRabbit will be open starting at 5 AM on Marathon Sunday. They will be providing goodie bags, a bathroom, a place to be warm and dry, and the opportunity to purchase any last minute items.

The cost for bus transportation is $10 for PPTC members and $15 for “friends.” All seats are prepaid and go quickly. There are no walk-ons – reservations are required. If you are taking the PPTC bus, you will need to be in front of Jack Rabbit Sports no later than 5:45 a.m. to be checked in. Go to for a link to our Google Checkout to reserve your place on the bus

After the race, we have our own Marathon reunion area. You can meet your friends and family at PS 87, located on West 77th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam. It is just 2 blocks from the finish line. We will provide hot chocolate, fruit, cold soda, bagels an indoor restroom with a place to change. This event is free and open to PPTC Member and their “friends” who joined us on the marathon bus. We just ask that you let us know if you are going to join us. We will transport your bag of stuff from our bus to the reunion.


PPTCers Give Back

Every year, countless runners push their limits to cross a finish line and raise money for causes close to their hearts. The NYC marathon alone is on track to raise $26.2 million for charitable causes nationwide. PPTC'ers are also getting in on the action, dedicating their hard weeks of training to support meaningful organizations. Here are just a few:

Irene Camp is running both the New York City and inaugural Brooklyn marathons in support of a local organization helping our disadvantaged Brooklyn neighbors get their feet on the ground. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, The HOPE Program trains hundreds of men and women in essential job skills, helps them find jobs, and works with them to keep building their skills to maintain and grow in their careers. Irene isn’t doing this alone – she’s partnering with a colleague who is completing 2 century rides this fall. Together they will complete 252 miles for HOPE! Visit

Ed Filusch is running the NYC Marathon to raise $2,600 *on behalf of Autism Speaks! Click here or visit *

Jennifer Bolstad ran the Komen Race for the Cure 5k in Central Park on 9/18 to raise funds and awareness about breast cancer. Jennifer says, “I run with a group from the Young Survival Coalition, whose mission is to improve the quality and quantity of life for the 10,000 women under 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. YSC was instrumental in my recovery from breast cancer treatment when I was diagnosed at age 32.” Jen ran her best 5K since she was diagnosed, taking second place among survivors! Congratulations, Jen!! To contribute to YSC, visit

Kate George is running with Team in Training in honor of a close family member. “In 2009 my uncle was diagnosed with leukemia. We are a VERY close family. There was nothing I could *do except visit him in the hospital and run for TnT. I planned to run the marathon *in his honor but unfortunately he died that August, four months after we *discovered he was sick.

Before every practice, we have a mission moment and someone on the team *tells her story. I stick with TnT because although my uncle died there are a lot *of people out there sick and suffering and LLS is really helping.” Kate ran the *NYC Marathon in 2009 and the Lake Placid Half in June 2011 for Team in Training* – raising over $10,000 so far!

Nicole Importico is running her first marathon this year in support of Team for Kids! "I love the fact that they go into lower-income school districts and work with the kids on fitness and health. I see many of the kids in the TFK program running the numerous NYRR races in Central Park and Prospect Park and you see such joy on their faces when they're on the course. Visit

Ruth Gursky is running the Los Angeles Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on *October 30 in support of ASPCA “I am excited to be participating in the inaugural Team ASPCA race and honored to be raising awareness and funds to support ASPCA's programs.” Ruth’s first fundraising effort has been a huge success! She has exceeded her goal, raising nearly $5,000. But, you can still contribute and support the ASPCA and Ruth. Visit

Gary Purdy is running his first full marathon in Chicago on October 9th, raising money for BASICS International. BASICS makes a significant impact in the lives of children in Ghana, West Africa. Gary serves on the organization’s board and is excited to challenge himself for such a meaningful cause:

Charles Olson is fundraising for the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “For the past two years, I have participated in a bicycle race called the Furnace Creek 508. This is a 508 mile bike race through Death Valley and the Mohave Desert in California. Participants in the 508 are assigned Totems (usually the name of an animal), instead of numbers. I was given the totem Brooklyn Beast and hence my link address for my donation page:”

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trail Running in Prospect Park - Sunday, September 4

For most Brooklynites, trail running means taking the subway up to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx or hitching a ride to Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County.  However, there are a number of off-road routes that you can run in our own Prospect Park.  It's important to remember that running in the woods alone is not advisable - particularly in the early mornings or evenings.  For runners who would like to try a trail route (similar to the one indicated below), join the regular PPTC group run, this Sunday morning, September 4 at 9am.  As usual, the group will meet at Grand Army Plaza.  Membership in PPTC is not required to join the run.

Blue line indicates one of the possible off-road loops that trail-runners can choose within the confines of Prospect Park

Monday, June 20, 2011

How our members keep cool

Even though the temps haven't gotten out of control yet, we all know it's coming. So we asked PPTCers for their tips on running strong and staying safe in the hot summer months. 

Michael Ring suggests the Misty Mate Arctic Tie Cooling Bandana.  They "Keep your cool when the weather heats up. The Misty Mate Arctic Tie Cooling Bandana keeps you cool for hours when you're out in the sun or sand. Cooling crystals in the fabric absorb and hold up to 200 times their weight in water, keeping the bandana cool for hours."  Michael promises that they look less corny when you put them under your shirt.

I run my hair under the faucet/shower before going out for runs on super hot days. It keeps it 
cool for at least the first ten minutes. – Helen Dole

"Try Kardong's Way" D. Kardong a U.S. Olympic marathon competitor would acclimate to high heat and humidity by training at full intensity for a week to several days before a competition in winter cold weather attire. He claimed that this caused increased capillarization, and an ability to absorb and retain fluid intake during a race.I've tried it, and it does seem to work, but I would recommend that you closely monitor yourself while doing it; there is a potential for it to backfire and cause you to be overdepleted. - Paul Soskind

My beat the heat tactics are to get out for those long runs super early! 6 am is when i head out. I also freeze my water/gatorade bottles and those feel great on a hot day although they melt fast. Before a run I make a smoothie with frozen raspberries, frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, chai gel *, soy milk and a squeeze of agave. Put non frozen ingredients in first and blend on high. If anyone is heading out to East Hampton this summer and wants to check out a great shady trail run send me an email. This is a great long run spot through a pine forest that ends on a huge sand dune overlooking the bay and you will see more deer and wild turkey's then people. Happy Running! - Megan Dee

Ruth Gursky, Group Leader, Galloway NYC Marathon Training Program
 I begin with a message from my running guru, US Olympic runner Jeff Galloway: "Something to remember: even the most heat-conditioned athletes will record slower times in warm weather. The faster you run in hot weather, especially from the beginning, the longer it takes to recover."
So, if Olympians slow down in the summer, what should we 'mortals' do when running on our own or as part of a group during those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer?
* Run slower, especially as the mileage and heat/humdity index increase.
* Hydrate well before, during and after your runs...and bring along power bars and gels to provide energy and sustenance as long runs exceed six miles or if you're on the road in excess of one hour.
* Wear coolmax or other technical running clothes (no cotton).
* Wear a white (or light colored) cap made of coolmax (with ventilation holes in it) that will protect your eyes from the sun's rays and allow your head to expel heat. (NO canvas baseball caps that hold in the heat.)
* Apply sunscreen in advance, and bring along small tube in your shorts pocket or water bottle holder. This is especially important for those with fair skin, but even runners with darker skin tones can get sunburnt and sun poisoning.
* Take walking breaks, as needed.
* If you're feeling unwell at any time during a run, IMMEDIATELY tell your running buddy or seek help; if you’re running alone, have a cellphone with you. (I suffered minor heat injury while running just 4 miles in Riverside Park. It can happen to anyone at anytime!)
* Aim to run in the early morning hours or after the sun sets; avoid the midday, if possible (unless you’re on a treadmill in an air-conditioned room)!
Be smart and take good care of yourself at all runs are intended to prepare you to run longer distances; they're not supposed to kill you!
Keep on truckin'!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Fun – games for the kids and the kids-at-heart. First there’s the relay, complete with batons! Each runner/walker goes around the lake, a 1.74M loop, just enough distance to work up an appetite. Here are the details to get you set up for the relay: register at the Oriental Pavilion off Lincoln Road beginning at 9:15.

Names will be drawn randomly for the teams that will then take off at 10 a.m.

Bring a dish to share for what has become the Picnic Buffet and PPTC will provide hero sandwiches (including a vegetarian option) and beverages. Members and children up to the age of 12 are FREE as long as we know you are coming – so call the Club phone 718-595-2049 or send an email to and leave your name and how many will be coming. If children are in your group, let us know their ages so we can shop for age appropriate prizes. Invite your family and friends to come along; we ask $5 for these adult non-members. We’ll be wrapping up the “official” festivities by 1 p.m.but you are welcome to stay and enjoy the Park. See you on the 25th!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What you do not know because you are not me.

What you do not know because you are not me.

Michael Ring

On May 15th I ran the Run for the Red Marathon in East Stroudsburg, PA.  I blogged about it here, here and here.  I had a great time. Yea, a great time in two ways, I beat my goal by 8 minutes and I had an enjoyable experience.  But I also learned some things, so….  

What I did not know till I ran the Run for the Red.

·        When you zoom in on this elevation graph you would find a lot of little ups.  Nothing is all down hill in the Poconos.
·        At mile 23 I really did not want to run down again.
·        I did not need 2,000,000 people cheering me on to make me run faster.
·        I really appreciated those 5 people every 2 miles that waved from their porch as I ran by.
·        Sometimes it is really easy to convince every cell in your body that you are an Olympian.  One of those times is when you just ran 26 miles and you enter an arena and you run 400 meters on a track.  It also helps when they announce your name on the PA system.
·        I thought I would be able to grab a salt packet from a fast food restaurant along the course.  There were no fast food restaurants along the course.  In fact, I did not pass a store of any type till I was a half a mile from the finish.  (I lived)
·        Driving home alone was a real worry.  I was able to totally put that out of my mind till 5 minutes after I crossed the finish line.
·        The greatest gift a hotel manager can give you is a super late check out after you run a marathon. 
·        The entry fee of this marathon plus the cost of the hotel was less than the entry fee to the ING NYC Marathon.  (Never mind the 9+1 program)
·        Including the post marathon shower and the 102 mile drive, I was home by 4 PM.  That is a few hours earlier than when I run New York.

So, there is a lot more to the world of marathoning than big cities, or even suburbia.  A race in the “country” can be very nice.