When Bill Risch signed on with Run SMART Project last June, his goal was to break 3:30 in the marathon in 2009. The first step toward that goal was to have a solid race at the Houston Half Marathon. Coming off a stress fracture in June meant that Bill’s road to a January half marathon was going to be a long one. Bill leaned a lot about patients in his first few months with Run SMART Project. And it just paid off with a 1:38:48 half marathon! I would say that Bill’s well on his way to that sub 3:30 mark.
Congrats to Bill Hoffman and Collin Martin for two solid performances today in the NYC Marathon. Hoffman finished 251st in 2:46:24 and Martin came in 572nd clocking 2:55:17. Both runners deserve credit for staying healthy throughout the year and running steadily throughout. I’ll be posting pictures of these handsome devils soon, so please check back soon.
For the second year in a row the Chicago Marathon saw some unseasonably warm weather. And, for the second year in a row Run SMART Project athletes set personal bests. Alex Gardner and Everett Hill set out for big results, and though the conditions didn’t allow for the kind of times they were hoping for, both set new PRs.
I spent the morning of the Chicago Marathon at home in Flagstaff, furiously hitting the “refresh” button on the race tracker. I took down every 5k split and calculated the mile pace. Both Alex and Everett were on their planned pace through 30k… As the 35k splits appeared I knew something was off. The pace had slowed, but I knew there was still a chance that both could pick it up. What I didn’t realize was that around this time the temperature had reached 84 degrees!
Alex crossed the finish with a new PR of 3:54:15. And Everett crossed with a new PR of 4:08:23. They may not have accomplished their goals on this blistering day, but as we all know PRs don’t come easy. Congrats to both on a fantastic effort.
The Run SMART Project had a solid showing by several athletes at the Philly Distance Run on Sunday, September 21. Bob Lenehan, Erin Stout, and Avi Kravitz traveled out to Philly together with a common goal of setting new personal bests. With Erin and Avi crushing their previous PRs, and Bob having a very respectable day after over a year away from racing, all three went home satisfied with their efforts.
On May 4th Lisa Mire and Melissa Bell lined up for the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, OH. Both women traveled from Charlotte, NC with the intention of setting a personal best at the distance, and so they did.
Lisa ran near even splits throughout the race to set a new PR of 3:17:38. The time bested Lisa’s previous marathon PR by 5 minutes 21 seconds.
Melissa went out at a slightly faster clip, coming through the first half of the race on 3:10 pace. Though she started to feel the fast early pace around mile 16, Melissa stayed tough and finished in a very strong time of 3:19:12. Melissa bettered her previous marathon best by over 20 minutes.
The race was not without its share of drama this year. As it turns out the course had to be rerouted due to an “early morning fire emergency.” The course ended up being .2514 miles long. The times above reflect Lisa and Melissa’s adjusted times. We’ll call the extra quarter mile a cool-down.
This past week in Frederick, MD Run SMART coach, Ben Koch, made his first racing appearance in almost two years. He’s been slowing climbing his way back into shape as of late and decided to test the waters with a local 5k race. Apparently, the water seemed nice as Koch strolled through the rolling course in 15:59 besting second place by roughly 90 seconds. Ben has been coaching for Run S.M.A.R.T. in the D.C. area for about two years. He’s currently training for the NYC marathon this November. I’m hoping to tag along that day as well!
Jeff Weatherhead finished 6th overall and first in the 50-59 age group Simsbury River Run 5k. It was Jeff’s first road race and second race of the year. He has been concentrating on building a strong base to prepare for a full summer and fall of racing. Jeff’s official time was 18:57. Full results can be found here on Cool Running.
Jeff’s next races will be a 1500 and 800 at the Connecticut Senior Games on June 7th. He is currently doing hills and tempo work with a long term goal of being a top finisher at the USATF Master’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oregon this August.
There’s no question that Everett Hill’s favorite distance is the marathon. In fact, this past winter I asked Everett if he would be interested in training for some shorter races this spring… His response was, “Vince, I’m a marathoner.” By the end of the discussion Everett came around to the idea, and the change of pace (and distance) has proven to be fruitful experience.
Everett started with a strong 7K on April 19th and followed it up with a 10K on the 26th. Despite great showings at both events, Everett felt that he had another one in him. He finished the series with a 5K PR this past weekend, running 24:31. Everett has dropped his relatively high mileage in exchange for some shorter speed sessions throughout the spring. The goal remains the marathon and Everett will be uping the mileage late summer.
When Avi Kravitz signed on with the Run SMART Project he had the goal of making the Boston Marathon qualifier by 2009. Having come in with a PR of 3:27, Avi dropped his PR to 3:10:32 at Chicago this past fall. This granted him the Boston qualifying mark for 2008!
You would think that just to run Boston would have been enough, but Avi had other plans. The quest was now to run as fast as possible at Boston. Avi dedicated himself to improving upon every small detail. By working on his training, nutrition, flexibility and core strength Avi saw small but gradual improvements in his fitness that would help carry him to this elusive new PR.
One month prior to Boston Avi knew he was in the shape of his life and ready to run, but as his coach I was getting a little nervous. I was afraid that Avi was ready too soon. His workouts were faster than prescribed and he was using words like “great” and “easy” far too often. I feared he was on the verge of peaking early. Two weeks later my fears were confirmed. I received an email from Avi, stating that he was feeling tired and sluggish. We backed off the workouts, but the fresh legs Avi had become so accustomed to hadn’t returned. A week and a half before the race Avi was still feeling tired and flat. My advice at this point… “Take two days off.” Avi resumed training a couple of days later and kept the positive attitude that had brought him so far.
The finial result was another PR. Avi managed to drop over 19 minutes off of his time in Chicago, finishing the race in a very impressive 2:51:12! Coming through the first half in 1:26:07, Avi negative split Boston’s tough second half closing in 1:25:05.
Run SMART client, Phil Manning, finished his first 10K of the season on Sunday, April 20th. Phil completed the race in a time of 44:04, running the second half of the race in 21:50. The 21:50 was good enough on its own to better Phil’s previous 5k best. Phil is currently training for Cleveland Half Marathon on May 18th.