Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Awards Shindig!

In the words of Richard Weaver, “a good time was had by all,” at the annual awards shindig.  On Thursday, January 20th, fifty PPTC members gathered at Abigail on Classon for a little wine, beer, and yummy hors d’ouevres.  The cozy restaurant allowed for much mingling, but about an hour into the event, the real purpose for the evening took hold.       Is that “the real purpose”? Even if it is, perhaps we should not say it that way  “allowed for much mingling, and provided a friendly setting for the awards presentation.”

Club President, Tom Meany, began the awards ceremony by presenting the President’s Award to Geoffrey Vincent for his expert creation of the race calendar.  This tool has become so useful to our members that many were surprised to learn that it was actually new in 2010.  Way to go, Geoff!

The evening continued with Ami Hassler recognizing all of the members who volunteered throughout 2010. Certificates were given to about 75 people or 15 percent of PPTC’s active members.  We are very lucky to have such dedicated members!

Sarah Scott then took over as MC and handed out the Fastest Female and Male Runner Awards.  Helen Dole won the female award with such amazing performances as a 19:08 in the Lincoln Tunnel 5K, a 1:27:16 in the Staten Island Half, and a 3:08 flat in the NY Marathon.  Much like Helen, our male winner, Matthew Frey dominated in all distances with a 17:14 5K during the Summer Speed Series, a 1:21:11 in the NYC Half, and 1:18:43 a few weeks later in the much harder Brooklyn Half.  Matthew recently moved to Chicago, but was happy to hear of his award via email.  He will back running in the five boroughs for the Marathon.  Congrats to both these blazing fast runners!

The Bob Mueller Award was presented next.  This unisex honor goes to a member over age 50, who is a top masters runner and has volunteered for at least one PPTC event in the last year.  The award is voted on by the membership, and the nomimees for 2010 were Arthur Gonzalez, Mark Pendarvis, Tom Tobin, Charlene Kholer-Britton, Anthony Watson, Al Prawda, Gil Torres, Geoffrey Vincent, Patricia Perlo, and Yves Roger.  And the winner is Tom Tobin.  Tom logged an impressive 33 races this year, not including triathalons.  Tom particularly specializes in 5Ks where he generally runs under a 7 minute pace.  Well done, Tom!

Next Sarah recognized runners who had battled injuries during 2010.  While no runner specifically met the requirements for the Comeback Runner of the Year Award, Patricia Perlo, Coco Dartigues, Corre Kombol, Mark Crowther, Anthony Watson, Charlene Kholer-Britton, Rob Ploccica, Frank DeLeo, Maggie Deschamps, and Lynda Mules all suffered with ailments and still managed to race well.  The perseverance of these runners inspires us all.

The New Member of the Year Award was given to Yoshie Niitsuma.  Yoshie quickly proved her dedication to PPTC by volunteering for most of the Summer Speed Series races.  This is particularly admirable given the 100-degree temperatures we endured this past summer.  In addition, Yoshie tested herself as a runner with a 31:02 time in the Jingle Jog 4-Miler.  Thank goodness Yoshie joined PPTC and not some other Brooklyn club!

Next on the menu was the Outstanding Single Contribution Award.  This award is given to a club member who has improved club image, operations, or has provided a unique opportunity for member participation.  The nominees were:

Geoffrey Vincent for his maintenance of the race calendar.
Sarah Scott for working with EastBay to make PPTC clothing more accessible.
Ralph Yozzo for finding a lower cost alternative for registration for PPTC races and events.
Michael Ring for his work with the PPTC newsletter.
Richard Weaver for organizing the annual PPTC picnic.
Al Goldstein for transporting all of the baggage to the school after the marathon.

While all nominees were worthy, Michael Ring won for his tireless work with the newsletter.  Michael emailed award committee chairs, Ami Hassler and Sarah Scott, less than two hours after receiving his award to write an article for the newsletter about the gathering.  Now that’s dedication!

The next award on the agenda was the Most Races Award.  Our winner, Arthur Gonzalez, ran 58 races during 2010 - more than one a week!  Arthur, we’re not worthy!

Frank DeLeo was the recipient of the Ultra Runner of the Year Award.  Frank ran 326.95 miles in races this year with 216.39 of those miles being in races of marathon or ultra marathon distance.  What an amazing accomplishment!

Gil Torres then took over the mic to announce the Run Brooklyn winners.  In order to be eligible for this lottery-drawn and lucrative $100 award, a member must have run 6 Brooklyn races in 2010.  Our winners were Frank DeLeo, Maggie Deschamps, Amy Duquette, Charlene Kholer-Britton, and Yves Roger.  Congrats to you all.

The Most Inspirational Award was the final award of the evening.  Club President, Tom Meany, gave this honor to Sarah Scott.  Sarah puts in 70+ miles a week rain or shine, hot or cold (she really hates the cold), and continually represents PPTC well with amazing times like a 3:06 marathon in Phoenix or a 3:08:04 in NY, just a mere 4 seconds after amazing member Helen Dole.  Add to this Sarah’s work with the PPTC Board, PPTC Clothing Committee, and co-chairing this very event, and we would all be hard-pressed to find a member more inspirational than Sarah in 2010.  Way to dig deep, Sarah.

The evening ended with a little more wine and beer, a lot more socializing, and Abigail’s awesome mac and cheese, barbeque chicken skewers, healthy chard, and not so healthy brownies.  Indeed, a good time was had by all!

PPTC Team Racing in 2011

In an effort to increase PPTC presence at key Brooklyn, NYRR and other local races, Lynda Mules and Tom Tobin have stepped up to lead the women's and men's teams in 2011.  Lynda and Tom are developing details for a team approach to racing that will solidify PPTC as the dominant Brooklyn running club and a top club in the New York area.

PPTC can clean up at local races, as we've demonstrated in recent years.  Here are just a few examples:
  • Bed Stuy 10K, 2009:  PPTC won the women's overall; 5 PPTC age group winners.
  • Holiday 4M (NYRR), 2009: PPTC women's team took 2nd place; 14 top-ten age group finishers.
  • Jingle Jog 4M (NYRR), 2010: PPTC women’s team took 1st place;  we had 11 top-ten age group finishers, including 4 award winners.
  • Al Gordon (NYRR), 2010: PPTC women's team took 1st place; 12 top-ten age group finishers.
  • Bed Stuy 10k, 2010:  PPTC won the women's overall; 3 PPTC women in the top five overall.
  • Cinco de Mayo 5k, 2010:  PPTC women's team took 1st place AND placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall; men's team took 3rd place; 5 top-three age group finishers.
  • Brooklyn Triple Crown 2010 (combined finishes at the Kenny Dolan 5K, Cosme's Boardwalk 5K and Chris Hoban 5M): 7 age group winners.

While we do well at local races, we can have stronger team representation at NYRR Club Points races and improve our rankings in all divisions.  The NYRR Club Points series will be just one aspect of a focused approach to team participation;  members are equally encouraged to participate in key Brooklyn and other local races where our individual and team talents can shine, including Cinco de Mayo, the Bed Stuy 10k, and the Brooklyn Triple Crown series.   We also have the opportunity to participate in a new Interclub Challenge announced by NYCRuns which just happens to include our very own Cherry Tree 10 Miler.  

To keep key races on the radar, the list of races will be available on the PPTC website, distributed by email announcement, and posted on the forum.  

Here’s some of what we’re working on:
  • brief online survey for members about your racing interests and goals
  • email group for specifics about upcoming races
  • online ‘roll call’ for races
  • organize carpooling to events
  • highlight and celebrate individual and team accomplishments

PPTC is a strong and diverse team with talented men and women who win races, age group awards, and team events.  By focusing on key team races, PPTC members of all abilities and in all age groups can meet individual goals while having fun, increasing club presence, and spreading the word that PPTC is the best club in the borough and beyond.

Stay tuned for more details.  And email your comments, suggestions and questions to Lynda and Tom at


Thursday, January 27, 2011

What you do not know because you are not me January 2011

What you do not know because you are not me January 2011
Michael Ring

Last week I got to accept an award for a teammate who was unable to attend the Shindig.
“Top Male Fastest Runner.” It was a short corny moment. But when I got the plaque
home I realized how cool that was. Not the awards part, but the fact that I was in a room,
having a beer with athletes of that caliber. If my favorite sport was tennis or baseball or
figure skating the people who were at the top of the game would not even talk to me, let
alone drink with me.

It got me thinking about how I got into running and I realized I wrote this two and a half
years ago. We have a lot of new members so I figure I would rerun it now…

What you don’t know because you are not me June 2008

“Why did you run?” The question is often asked of me. My answers vary and
depend on the time of day I’m asked, my mood and how much I care for the
questioner. But, today I am not going to attempt to answer that question. This
month’s question is “Why did you start running?”

I think it was the fall of 1977. I started 9th grade at Sheepshead Bay High School.
Little league was not so good. My parents fought for me to play, but the couch
was really doing me a favor by benching me. I was usually picked last for any
pick-up ball game. So, gym class was really not the best part of my day. Stinky
locker-room, dodge ball, climb a rope or wrestle or sit ups on the gym floor, then
back to the stinky locker room. No, not fun at all.

A few weeks into the school year there were no mats in the gym, there were
some desks. All the coaches were there. They said that if you made it on to
any varsity team; 1) You would be exempt from gym, 2) Gym would actually be
moved to the last period, so you could just go home early and 3) You would get a
grade of 95 on your report card. This was good, very good.

There was a problem, teams had tryouts. I had to be able throw or catch a ball
or I had to be willing to pin somebody. This was not good. Then I saw the track
couch. I remember asking him what I had to do to get on the Track Team. Coach
Silverman said all I had to do was show up. (In PSAL Track the fastest runners
score points for the team, the slower runners do not affect the scoring, kinda like
Club Team Points in NYRC events.)

Show up I could do. I also enjoyed the fact that the faster kids actually talked to
me; they became my friends. (Also like the Prospect Park Track Club.)

I was never fast, but I learned that I could just keep going if I maintained a steady
pace. I actually enjoyed the cross country events, mostly in Prospect Park and
some in Van Cortlandt Park. I think the coach actually noticed me in 11th grade.
I remember that he took me aside and gave me an application to a 5 mile race in

Mill Basin. “This is a real race with grown ups,” he said, and “I just think you
might enjoy it.”.

The next day came the funny awkward meeting. Silverman probably talked to a
colleague and found out he had made a mistake. He told me that PSAL (Public
School Athletic League) runners are not allowed to compete in AAU (Amateur
Athletic Union, the predecessor the MAC, Metropolitan Athletic Conference)
events. He realized that he could get in trouble. The he nervously smiled and
said that this rule would only come into play if I score, if I finish in the top 3 in
my age category. I realized he was really trying not to hurt my feelings; he was
being realistic.

And I really liked running with the grown-ups. In my Junior Year in High
School, I joined the New York Road Runners Club. I ran races with sponsors like
Pepsi and Mazola and a race called the Hispanic Half (Is that politically correct?)
I eventually applied for the New York City Marathon. But that is a story for next

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Cherry Tree Ten Miler and 3 Person Relay

The 2012 Cherry tree will be Sunday February 19, the day before Presidents Day.  Click here for details

Do the Cherry Tree either as an individual "hard core" 10 miler runner, or as a member of a 3 person relay team.

Registration Fees

                                  Early                 Pre Registration                 Race Day
                               Before Feb-16        Feb-17,18 or 19             Feb-20

PPTC Members           $18                           $25                            $30
Non-Members             $21                           $25                            $30

Click here for results. Click here for a review of the Blogisphere.  Click here for a photo gallery (you can add your own too!) 

Click to enlarge

Bishop Ford High School                          :

View Larger Map
Start is 200 yards south of Center Drive on the inner loop roadway. Enter the park at Bartel Pritchard Square and walk south on the inner loop roadway. The finish is just inside Center Drive. Portosans located next to finish and in proximity to start.

This race will be time using D-Tag timing and results will be posted on

This race is capped to insure a quality event.  All registered participants will receive a race souvenir.
Baggage Check:
Baggage check will be available at the finish line. Please leave your valuables at home. PPTC is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
10M Awards:
  • Cash Awards for Top 3 10M Overall, men and women - $100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place

·       Top 3 10M in each age group:  Men/Women: 19 and under; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70+
·                   First PPTC Member, Men/Women
Relay Team Awards:
Top 3 Men, Women and Co-ed Relay Teams
Youth Relay Team Awards: (NEW FOR 2011!)
Top 3 Sum of age under 35, under 30 and under 25 Relay Teams

No duplication of individual awards.

A portion of the proceeds of this event will

In Person Registration & Early Pickup: 
  • Thursday Feb 17th 4-7 p.m. at JackRabbit Sports in Union Square Map (42 West 14th St (between 5th and 6th Aves).
  •  Friday Feb 18th, 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 19th, 3-6 JackRabbit Sports, Park Slope Map (151 7th Avenue (between Carroll St. and Garfield Pl.).

Race Day Registration and Pickup: Bishop Ford Cafeteria, 19th Street and Prospect Park West - 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. To ensure runners will get to the start line for the 10 a.m. start, registration will close at 9:30 a.m. SHARP!
Awards will be available following the race at Bishop Ford High School.  Unclaimed awards will be available at Jack Rabbit Sports Brooklyn util March 1.
Directions to Bishop Ford
By Car: BQE to Prospect Expressway - 10th Avenue Exit. Make right at stop sign. Bishop Ford is on the right. Registration is in the gym on 19th Street
By Bus: Bishop Ford is at the end of the B69 and B61 bus lines 
By Subway: Take the F train to 15th Street/Prospect Park Station. Walk 5 blocks to 19th Street.  Always check with before starting your trip F/G trains may not be stopping at Prospect Park.

New for Prospect Park Track Club members.  The first female and male member of our club will receive a 3 month membership to Harbor Fitness.  

Also, look for their trainers at the Start/Finish Line for some help with "warming up".

We would also like to thank the support of The New York City Chapter of TEAM IN TRAINING. Ever thought about doing a full or half marathon, triathlon, or 100-mile bike ride?  Join The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, the world’s largest endurance sports training program!  You’ll receive personalized training with the Team, airfare, lodging, and race entry; in exchange, you’ll raise funds for blood cancer research.  This season, choose from events including the Nautica NYC Triathlon, San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon, Mayor’s Marathon & Half in Alaska, the Ride to Montauk, and others!  Visit or email

We will be having an athletic clothing drive.  We are going to announce that any clean, used and usable athletic clothing and equipment can be dropped off at the Bishop Ford Cafeteria during the Cherry Tree.  This clothing and equipment will be drop-shipped to Belize to assist the Belize Amateur Athletic Association

Thanks to our newest partner in this race:  Cheribundi will be available at the finish!.  They say "cheribundi™ starts as Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan and New York orchards. We use a proprietary juicing process that was developed with Cornell University to make a drink that retains all the power and benefits of the nutrients and antioxidants found in the little round fruits. cheribundi™ has more disease-fighting antioxidants than other juices and has been tested in the lab and field by athletes and people who just work out. Because cheribundi™ is all-natural and not from concentrate, it's a feel-better and live-healthier addition to your lifestyle."
It will be available at the Bishop Ford High School after the race!

Before the race you can enjoy a sample of FRS healthy energy drink. "The advantage FRS Healthy Energy® has over other energy drinks is simple. Instead of using lots of caffeine and sugar to give your body a lift, FRS activates your body's own energy-producing mechanisms, so you can stay at your best longer without fear of crashing. In other words, you get the energy you need to turn possibility into reality, whether you're shooting for a championship or just trying to make it through your workout."

Any Questions, ask...

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The Gotham Girls Roller Derby held their yearly try outs last month. Over 120 women tried out for 8 slots. The first session consisted of 30 minutes of skating, testing skating skills  and speed. Amazingly but certainly not surprisingly , PPTC's Amy Duquette was one of 30 who made it through to the next round. This time, the ladies  had to skate for 2 hours and then  were required  to show all of their roller  derby skills, including contact,falling, and knocking others to the ground. According to Amy " It was the hardest 2 hours of my life, tougher than any race/relay/workout I've ever done. My inner thigh muscles were screaming while I was being knocked all over the place. After the first hour my confidence and pride was shot. Once you lose that it's all over. I NEVER considered dropping out of any race but I had to do everything I could not call it quits. It was the most intense and brutal experience of my life. I left with a bloody lip, bruised hips, thighs and butt and sorely wounded ego. The next day I put on my running sneakers and felt back in my element once again." Don't search  for the U Tube version of Amy's experience, word is that shes already burned the negatives.
Oh sure, while the rest of us were chilling to the bone and digging out  in Brooklyn , ask Majo Tinoco where she spent the last few weeks of December. Hope she packed the SPF 50!
Louie Rios sighting and not on the inside loop!, On the radar along Ocean Parkway and about Ave. T heading back home after his usual 30 miles in the park on Saturday December 18th.
After accompanying his son on the school’s grade six trip to Gettysberg Pennssylvania mid- December and being struck by the beauty and awe of the countryside there, Mike Ring went on line, searched to find a local race closeby, and is now planning to run the first inaugural Gettysberg Marathon in early May 2011.Mike mentioned that the race organizers actually assign your marathon course route according to the state where you live and register from. Mike is curently pondering how the United State of Prospect Park will play out.
Tom Byrnes and Bobby Fisher volunteered at Brooklyn’s Recycle a Bike’s Sweet 16 anniversary fund raising benefit on Wednesday December 15th at the Powerhouse Arena on Main Street in DUMBO. On the volunteering note, Tom Meany and Mike Ring stepped up to a  challenge at the CHIPS Christmas dinner at the CHIPS location  on 4th Ave near Union Street. Word around the inside loop is that Tom and Pat Meany will  soon  be talking to Rich and Kathleen Weaver as well as   Dave Lansner and Carolyn Kubitchek for tips on what  well- dressed grandparents will be wearing in the new year. Seems like there's a whole lot of grannies and grampys running around out there. 
December saw the search for water stops one can refuel at during winter long runs  beginning  in earnest. Carry a water bottle and, as Sarah Scott suggests ,you work your upper arms, memorize the locations of the rare water fountains that are kept on all year long, or bring some pesos and do your part to support the local economy and buy a bottle of something to drink along the route.
Not sure how many miles you logged on your long run through the streets, check out If you can remember the streets and the route you took, you can log on as a guest and use the site for free , dragging the cursor over the map to obtain the number of miles or k’s you travelled. works just as well for bike rides . Sometimes there seem to be glitches for ‘’guests’‘ using the site but with patience, you’ll find out the results you want.

Have you re-upped for another year with PPTC yet?  If you havent received your renewal membership email, let Mike Ring know. 

Have you heard that Gil and Irene Torres's son Chris will soon be appearing as one of the starring artists on the new TV show, NY INK , due to start shooting in early 2011.
 If you want to get a a tattoo on the TV show and startle all your friends and family , send an email to with NY INK in the subject window. Request artist CHRIS TORRES. And remember, these tattoos dont come off in the shower! 

For some, the agenda for 1-1-11 was running at Harry's and then speeding to Coney Island for the Polar Bears dunk in the surf. Who went? Who almost froze?Who still hasnt thawed out? Find out as you schmooze at PPTC's annual awards celebration on Thursday January 20th. Details on line !
I for one was amazed at David Chen's posting on Facebook  ''..ran 5.63 mi on 12/9/2010 at 5 22am , chilly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I' m sure there are other PPTCers who get up and out early, but David sure is in the lead pack. Back in the day I can remember getting up early to join the PPTC pack for some miles on the outside loop before work but I think the only time I ever got up and out that early was when I had made a mistake setting the alarm..
By December's end Tony Watson's Coached Speed sessions at the Park Slope Armory on 15th street will have been half done.   5 workouts down, 5 to go. As they say, whatever doesnt kill you , makes you stronger.
I'm sure you have but just in case you haven't,  get thee to . Maybe its stuff you already know but sometimes there's stuff that's fallen into the far reaches of the mind or  the depths of the memory  blurred by too much holiday egg nogg.   Doesn't hurt to check it out. 

And remember, hills hurt, couches kill ! See you on the run !