Thursday, February 24, 2011

What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me, by Michael Ring

Packet pickup started on Thursday.  On Tuesday we scheduled delivery of the bibs and the D-tags.  Wednesday evening we were going to have a little assembly line party.  

Not so much. The bibs were not express-mailed to Brooklyn.  They were sent to Garrison, NY, 60 miles away.  Not good.  But the owner of the home it was being delivered to was in Rhode Island.  Very Bad.   We moved our assembly party to Thursday morning, the morning of packet pickup.

But where are the D-Tags?  It seemed Cronotrack just forgot to make them.  “No problem,”says the nice man in Indiana at 2:00 PM.  “We can make them now and ship them "Overnight-AM Delivery" to your home.” At 8:00  AM, the nice UPS lady rings my bell.

So we get the tags and the bibs together 5 hours before packet pickup starts.  And we see that the relay teams only have one number each.  We need three.  More FEDEX.  We make it work.

Oh, I forgot about the headbands, our giveaway.  At 8AM Thursday morning I get an email from the guy who ordered them for us.  "There is a problem with shipping them here.  We got 500 of them, but 1,000 are still in Columbia.  Not Columbia, South Carolina.  Colombia in South America! So in 10 hours Trail Heads makes, and ships another 1,000 custom headbands to us.  All’s well.  We also got a delivery of the 1,000 headbands that were stuck in customs.

Water to be returned!
We did not know how cold it would be so we bought too much water.  We actually returned 25 cases (6 gallons each) of water to Costco.

I am not even going to get into the insanity of getting a permit to actually have this event in Prospect Park.  No, I can not put that in writing.
My Donald Trump Moment.

But, nobody noticed.  We had over 1,300 people sign up for the event.  We collected piles of clothing to give to the young athletes of Belize.  We gave out samples of Cherry Juice and FRS drink
After the race runners got apples, oranges and massages.  We raised $1,000 for the Prospect Park Youth Running Club.  

My biggest kick was seeing how much fun the volunteers had.  It really make me feel good to get people to do something that they did not plan on doing and then seeing how much of a good time they had.

When I was almost done I put my name on the list and got the last massage.  My teammates came over and whispered last minute questions to me.  I thought this is how Donald Trump must take a break too.

And then I go on the read comments on blogs that look like this "Sunday was the annual Cherry Tree 10 Miler and Relay in Prospect Park.  This is a great race organized by the Prospect Park Track Club.  I highly recommend it, if you’re anywhere near Brooklyn in February.

I am so looking forward to February 19th, 2012.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I can't keep up the all the people blogging about the Cherry Tree (Update XVII)

Click here for a photo gallery (you can add your own too!) 

For one Race Director's point of view check this out.

I gave Majo a bullhorn.  Who knew?

Brooklyn Running gave credit where credit was due.  You are welcome!

Found some comments on the Runner's World forum and here too

3:59:59. Bitches banged out a 7:40 pace.  Boom

Some great photos form the Dashing Wippits can be found here and their pre and post race chit-chat can be found here

Adventureartist ran a 22:30 5K without training.

The Runner's Kitchen did not want to get up at 6 am to run. (I am used to that)

gzambran did not like that wind going up the hill.

Jennifer L  hat a PR by 8 minutes.

A-Diddy had a lot of equipment problems but a good time anyway

Peter Priolo thought our hill is a molehill compared to some trail ultras" but he would up sucking wind near the top.  Yea, that is why we call it Zoo Hill, because people make animal noises when they run up.

ALF2617 Noticed that our hills always come with a head wind.  But this runner took advantage of the downhills and broke 1:20!

Norma  was 12 minutes faster than last year!!  Wat to go!!!  (and took a great photo of some of Prospect Park's swans). and here.

Coach Cane reported on his whole team!

NSQ had many reasons to have a "glass half empty" attitude but instead took the glass half full approach!

The Running Laminator had a 16 mile worm up for our 10 mile race.  Well, he miss our race, I think he deserves an award for his effort.

@cdonahue twittered about the race.  (I am still trying to figure out how that works)

Kenny Baldo Had a huge PR and then went out to L&B Spumoni Gardens for some pizza.  Good choice!

Bridges Runner is a streaker.  We gotta start giving out new awards!

A-Ditty had trouble with here watch but a great time anyway.  This is what she wore. 

Frank conquered the weather.  He is Hardcore!  He also came back a week later and liked it so much he asked "why there are not more races in Prospect Park."

The Running Gourmad met an old high school buddy (Hay, you went to Lafayett, I went to Sheepsheed) and the race and then joined him for a dip at Coney Island. So much for everyone complaining about the cold.

Kanoshiro only ran the one leg of the relay but had a 18.26 mile day.  Like!

Dogpound used some  excitement the relay area provided to accelerate.

Kristan Lucas  warmed up by "warm up was disjointed- started with running from my apt to Duane Reade, into the subway, across the transverse in the park all while holding 5 bags of race materials."  Next year you can help me clean up after the race too.  

You can listen to people talk about the Cherry Tree here

We made the news in Staten Island

Tracy did not run.  That's OK, too.

Over and Across only mentioned it in passing.

The North Brooklyn Runners have a great slide show!

Jeen in Eat, Sleep, Run Disney thought three times up the hill "wasn't as horrible as I had imagined."  I will take that as a complement. But look at her blog.  She has a great photo of my butt.  Yes, I am the dude in the orange vest.

David Lin has another photo of my back in his blog. But this Photoshop is cooler.  -------->

South Brooklyn had a good showing! and they demonstrated their understanding of chip timing here.

seanv2 is back on the mend.  We are glad to provide the means for that.

The Wannabees and Former Track Stars posted some photos and videos.

TK understood that the first leg of the relay was about 2 millimeters shorter than the other two legs.

Coach JGB reports that Jack Jake did awesomely well

Hills are my Friends  filled in for a friend at the last minute and ran the relay.  She ran her own race and "went out last Sunday and ran my own “race”, taking it nice and slow" because she is newly ....... pregnant.  I am really happy for her.

I just found We The Runners.  He (I think) did the best he could and won his age group!!  Yay you.  That is whay we will keep this small.

Lindsey had a slight hangover so it took her 5 miles to be ready to kick butt.

It is November of 2011 and I just found this. It is an interview with me about the 2010 race!

It 2012 and I just found this from Frank in North Queens Runner.  He knows parking by Prospect Park is not so bad.

Give some paw to Sophie 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Braving The Snow

I am a seasoned snow runner, having had the good fortune to grow up in Wisconsin. I was visiting my family there when the Boxing Day blizzard hit the Northeast this year -- scheduled to return to Brooklyn on 12/26... rescheduled to 12/30. We had about 3 feet of snow on the ground in southwest Wisconsin and everything was functioning business-as-usual. So, ironically, I was not snowed IN Wisconsin, but I was snowed OUT of New York.

I took the extra time on the farm to put in some snow mileage, not only in my running shoes, but also on snow shoes and cross-country skis. In high school this was how I trained from the end of cross country season in the fall to the start of track season in the spring. I could count on a heavy covering of snow on the ground continuously from November to April. It's what I miss most about the place.

Every year I start dreading the winter as soon as the leaves start falling. You'll see me running in denial, I mean shorts, until the temperatures are well down into the 30s. But every year, winter running wins me over. This year has been no exception. When I make it out the door in my heavy layers, I revel in the surrounding silence amplifying the crunch of my shoes in cold, crisp snow and the sounds of my breathing; deep breaths of cold air that render the shape and volume of my lungs inside my chest. The heavily edited palette of the world makes the mundane magical; the sky is never more blue that when everything below it is coated in a diamond dusting of pure white snow.

This is no spring crush. My love of running endures through seasons and conditions when it holds no obvious appeal. I feel joy even as my eyelashes frost up and my fingers and toes get so cold they start to feel warm again. Let the fair-weather fitness enthusiasts, the gym rats and the couch potatoes say that runners are crazy. I suppose they're right.  By Jennifer Bolstad

     "A  Magical Ending "   It began as a dinner date  at a Mexican restaurant called El Charro  in Greenwich Village. It was snowing heavily that Friday winter eve in 1978, but my date and I decided the snowfall would add to the romantic mood. By the time I dropped her off in Brooklyn Heights the snow was tapering off; it had left a good four to six inches on the ground , it was well past midnight, and waiting for the infrequent bus or train back to Park Slope seemed a dubious option. So having finished the 1977 NYC Marathon, and in training for the Winter Series  I decided to run back home. The streets were silent. The snow, slowly whirling down,reflected in the street lights made me think of the movie Dr. Zhivago, I began to hear the theme from the movie keeping time to my every footfall  as I headed down Pacific Street towards Fourth Avenue. The silence was beautiful; my imagination saw covered tree branches as all sorts of forest creatures. The stillness was only broken by the sounds of my footfalls. The whole world was wrapped in a deep Winter's sleep. As I ran up the hill on Union street, approaching my destination I was gratified for the opportunity to finish off a wonderful evening with such a peaceful run through such pristine surroundings, but saddened that as I shook off the snow from my shoes and clothes it had come to an end. By Paul/Soave

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Inside Loop by Tom Byrnes and friends February 2011

Thank you all for taking a time out from shovelling and clearing your car out from under the snow to read this. Hey,  there are priorities!

Isnt it great to learn that the 2011 PPTC Awards Party went  so well ! In the words of Richard Weaver, “a good time was had by all." More details and the award winners on the PPTC blog and in this newsletter. The party, the awards ceremony, none of this  happens without lots and lots of behind the scene time and energy. Muchas gracias to all those who devoted their time and energy to making this happen.                     

Louie Rios sighting on the inside loop the last day of January, just back from the Bermuda Marathon weekend .

Bobby Fisher reports that he went south for  the Miami Marathon weekend  late january, having walked the Half.


The latest word about  Christine Boutross ( from Christine Boutross) is that as   
 a certified Personal Trainer she's working for the New York Sports Club in Cobble Hill.
For the past 2010 year she's  been one of the top 100 trainers for Town Sports International
which includes New York Sports Club, Boston Sports Club, Philadelphia Sports Club
and Washington Sports Club.For the 2010 year she's  been ranked #47 out of over 2,200 trainers. This ranking
means that she 's  trained a certain amount of sessions. For this year she's trained 1344 sessions.
Her certifations as a trainer include ACE, National Academy of Sports Medicine, Cancer Exercise
Specialist, TRX Susupension Training, Kettlebell Instructor and Corrective Exercise  Specialist.
and she's curently  in the process of obtaining her boxing certification.Christine's also  a Holistic Health Coach who works with runners and triathletes who want to improve their performance through fitness and nutrition. Her  website is
Thanks to PPTC vols who hooked up with USADA and their drug testing efforts at 2011's 104th annual Millrose games Friday nite January 28th at Madison Square Garden . Wayne Bailey, Doug Olney, Lynette Gonis, and Tom Byrnes.
  Sean Rice's Prospect Park Youth Runners were also on the Garden track at the Millrose games in the late afternoon's youth relay events . Don't have the names of the PPTC parents  who cheered on their  PPYR children but their voices cheering on  'da youts'  were certainly appreciated. Watch for the PPYR contingent  manning and womening  the Cherry Tree water stop !   
When the sun rose on February 2nd, the day's break heralded Groundhogs's day as well as the news of only a few more days left to train for PPTC's annual Cherry Tree 10 Mile and Relay XXX Race for the Hardcore . Almost weekly updates on the Cherry Tree will be appearing on the PPTC blog so check them  out! If you're in town, run 10, run on  a relay team , or volunteer!
And in the spirit of giving back and instead of throwing out your old, used,  or unwanted sneakers, after the Cherry Tree race, at Bishop Ford , PPTC's Harold and Gwelda  Fairweather are coordinating their donation and collection for forwarding for a whole new life in a whole new country , Belize!  So make room in your closets and  track down what's only been gathering dust.  If you haven't used 'em, lose 'em to Harold and Gwelda. The runners in Belize will certainly appreciate your help!
Mid month, the 15th to be exact, will also see the beginning of another 10 session speed workout with Tony Watson at the Park Slope Armory 's 200 meter indoor track. Be alert for emails and blog mention of the  up-coming registration. PPTC is on the track Tuesdays and Thursdays but check which workout nite is best for you.

 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 PPTC's  women's and men's teams in 2011.  Lynda and Tom are developing details for a PPTC team approach to racing that will further solidify PPTC as the dominant Brooklyn running club and a top club in the New York area. Hey, when we got it, we flaunt it!  PPTC runners in PPTC singlets at  the races  and on the medal stand is what we all want to see! 
Registration for 2011's NYC Five Boro Bike Tour opened February 1st.  If youre thinkling of this year's ride, register now!   Where else can you ride all five boroughs of NYC in one day - and with snacks and other cyclists? Although the ride is not until May 1st, this always sells out. Always. 
  Theres a limit to the number of riders and registration closes when the max  is  reached. See y'all there !
PPTC's sympathies and condolences to Kathleen and Richard Weaver on the death of Kathleen's  sister in late January.
The happiest and healthiest of Chinese new years, the Year of the Rabbit,  on February 3rd to PPTC's Chinese brothers and sisters. Anyone remember when PPTC would gather and go for a run and then hunker down at Mister Wonton' on 7th Ave. and Berkley Placef for a Saturday afternoon lunch?
Stay warm everyone. You may now resume your snow shovelling.

Some Stairy Statistics

A couple of weeks ago, the NY Road Runners Club sponsored the Empire State Building Run Up. (A belated thumbs up to Arther Gonzalez for his successful 18:36 ascent!). There was a little Blog conversation as to the best staircase to use to train for this event within the NYC Subway system. (Did you catch my pun?)

Today I went for a ride.

Smith and 9th Street is definitely the tallest subway station in NYC (It was built on over a drawbridge! What were they thinking?) From the Street to the platform there are 139 steps. The top section is 36 steps to either platform. You will not get in anybody's way if you are running up and taking the escalator down, and the air was fresh, but it is kinda run down. The view from the platform is legendary.

My next stop was the station at Lexington Ave. and E63rd St. It is known among commuters as a tough transfer. Here is a movie of someone running down There are 42 steps from the street, another 131 to the downtown platform and 36 more to the Queens bound platform. There might be a nice quantity of steps, but I would not recommend this for training. First, the stairs are spread out, meaning you have to cross the path of the people using the escalator to continue your run up the stairs. But the main reason not to run up these stairs is that it is usually a busy place.

The next stop on the F is
Roosevelt Island. I have been there once before and knew it would be a great place to train for a stair climb. From the subway level to the "mezzanine" there are 24 steps. Then there are 135 in a straight line. You can easily run down the escalator and do this as much as you want without bothering anybody. The air was fresh, even though the whole thing was underground.

These two pictures are from the Roosevelt Island Station, the view from top and the bottom.

My next trip was to New Jersey, to count the stairs at the Exchange Place station on the PATH. On my way to Exchange Place, I started counting the stairs at WTC station. I stopped counting; this is not a place to run.

The signage at
Exchange Place said it was 101 years old. To me it looked as new as the Roosevelt Island Station which is the newest in the NYC Subway system. There is only one set of stairs from the subway level to the street and there are 128 of them. Like Roosevelt Island, you can run up and speed down the escalator as much as you want without bothering anybody (except maybe during rush hour). I took two pictures. The first is the view from the top; you can see the Verrazano Bridge from New Jersey! I took the second from the bottom of the stairs after the PATH Police officer told me to put my camera away. (Don't tell)
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So, if you are not allowed to take pictures in a PATH station, I don't know what the cops would say about running up the stairs. But it looks like fun!!

On Tuesday, I will take a run in Prospect Park. I will count the stairs on big hill.