The Rammelkamp’s are quite possibly the most talked about twins in the running world in quite some time. They are right up there with Jorge & Eduardo Torres, Ryan & Brian Hall, and Dathan & Nathan Ritzenhein. Okay, maybe a couple of those twins are fabricated. There was a struggle to come up with a list there. But the Rammelkamp’s are real and they are to be reckoned with. We’ve already interviewed Thomas, and now as we continue our Vermont City Marathon invited field coverage, we turn our attention to Derek Rammelkamp.
Town: Centereach, New York
Originally from: Miller Place, NY
College & Year: Wagner College (2011) / Stony Brook University (Currently attending)
Occupation: Graduate Student
Club Affiliation: none
Recent Race Highlights:
- 10th Place NU Hartford Marathon, October 11, 2014 (2:30:09)
- 6th Place Atlantic City Half Marathon, October 13, 2013 (1:13:41)
- 72nd Place Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon, September 15, 2013 (1:12:41)
- 1st Place RXR Long Island Marathon, May 5, 2013 (Marathon Debut - 2:32:10)
Marathon PR: 2:30:09 in 2014 at 2014 NU Hartford Marathon
Half Marathon PR: 1:10:55 in 2013 at 2013 Revel April Fools Half Marathon
Here we have our interview with Derek:
How did you survive the winter?
The winter was tough on all of us here in the northeast. By now, I’m accustomed to it. I’ve adopted the attitude of “If you go outside and don’t die, the weather is nice.” There are definitely days where it’s just not feasible to get a run in outside, so the treadmill is unavoidable if you want to maintain your training. The key for me is wearing a lot of layers. Thankfully I always get a lot of new running gear for Christmas (thanks Mom)!
Have races results been good so far this year?
This year has been great! I ran two races in preparation for the VCM. On 3/22 I ran a local 5k, Go for the Green 5k in Smithtown, NY. Unfortunately it was snowing that day, but the race went on as scheduled. I ended up winning with a time of 17:00. This was much slower than my goal time, but considering the snow and ice on the roads that day, a win’s a win I guess. Next, I ran the Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon on 4/12 with my brother Thomas. I finished 3rd in a new personal best time of 1:10:40, edging out Thomas by 20 seconds. Winning some prize money and getting a personal best was a big confidence booster coming into the VCM.
First time at VCM? What does it mean to be a part of the invited runner field?
This will be my first time at VCM. Hopefully not my last! Being in the invited field will be a great experience. I am very thankful for the opportunity to compete at the VCM. The invited runners program is definitely appealing to us semi-elite runners looking for support and a little prize money. In the past the VCM has put together some very competitive fields in their invited runners program which is a testament to the quality of their race and a main reason I decided to compete this year.
What goal are you aiming for at VCM?
Realistically a 2:27 marathon is within reach given my training and fitness level (although I’ve been known to underestimate my fitness). My goals are usually more on the conservative side. If I can leave the weekend with a personal best time, I’ll be more than satisfied.
What’s your favorite distance?
As I’ve gotten older, the distance keeps increasing. Although I’m training for the marathon, it requires a lot more patience and discipline. The half marathon is more fun in my opinion.
What is your biggest strength as a runner?
Without a doubt I thrive on consistency and pacing. Whether it’s a training workout or race day, I’m rarely off my pace. After 10+ years of running my mental clock is right on.
How would you describe the competitive relationship with your brother?
When we were younger in HS and college we were much more competitive. As we got older, I guess we put our egos aside and try not to focus so much on the “who beat who” aspect of running. It’s definitely an advantage for the both of us on race day to have someone who is so similar to you running the same race. Mentally, it helps having him there on race day to calm the nerves and focus. Losing to Thomas in a race is never fun, but if that’s the case, I’ll definitely congratulate him.
How often do you guys compete at the same bigger races?
So far we’ve run two full marathons together (I’m 2/2, looking to go 3/3). We try to plan a race schedule in the spring and fall where we can both compete together. It’s fun having him there on race day, it also helps split some travel costs. We try to make a mini vacation out of our races.
Fill in the blanks…
Thomas beats me at Fantasy Football (every year)
I beat Thomas at 26.2 mile races (maybe 3 times a charm for Tommy?)
Rammelkamp v Rammelkamp, Round III (for the marathon at least). Entertaining interviews by both and we’re sure to see tough races from both as well. For those who missed it, our interview with Thomas was published earlier this week and is worth a read. Good luck to Derek as he goes for the 3-peat. Good luck to Thomas as he tries to shake things up.