Tag: Mike Giberti

Hall & Coates Heat Up The Kitchen

Nashua Soup Kitchen 5k Opens 2014 New Hampshire Grand Prix

The New Hampshire Grand Prix road racing series kicked off with a bang as the Nashua Soup Kitchen Road Races (5k & 10k results) took place this past Sunday. Just like the USATF-NE Grand Prix Road Racing Championships we cover on a consistent basis, the New Hampshire Grand Prix is a competitive series between running clubs. The difference is that it is only RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) member clubs in the state of New Hampshire will count in the team competition and individual standings. The scoring of the series is also done a bit differently as the top three from each club in the set age divisions will score points for their club. The series has typically been a two way battle between the Gate City Striders and the Greater Derry Track Club and the team results of this first event proved no different. The unofficial results have the Greater Derry Track Club leading the Gate City Striders by a one point margin (177-176).

Despite finishing a distant third in the team standings, it was the Upper Valley Running Club out of Lebanon, NH that happened to provide the fastest male individuals on the day. Former Dartmouth runner Alex Hall took the victory in a time of 16:41 with his teammate Rob Edson second across with an impressive 16:58 at age 50. On the women’s side, Gate City Strider Raelynn Crowell-Coates was the top finisher in 19:51 with her teammate Gabrielle Dionne finishing second in 20:19. There was also a 10k race ran alongside the 5k, but it wasn’t a part of the NH Grand Prix. Tyler Doveno (Nashua, NH) and Greater Derry Track Club member Meredith Axisa (Bow, NH) took the victories for the 10k race in 36:36 and 41:19 respectively. We managed to get some video coverage of the event along with a short interview with 5k race winner Alex Hall.

The next scheduled race in the New Hampshire Grand Prix is the Pack Mondanock 10 Miler in Wilton, NH on May 11th, 2014. The race also happens to be a part of the USATF-NE Mountain Series.

Treadmill Running to the Extreme

By Mike Giberti

The month of March typically comes in like a lion as they say. But in terms of running in New England, March kicked off with a new world record. Back on March 1st, 2014, Concord, MA native and former Tufts University athlete Tyler Andrews hammered down the world record for a half marathon on a treadmill in the Marathon Sports store on Boylston St. He needed to beat the time of 67 minutes, 29 seconds, which he had already done on the roads more than once. Marathon Sports was clearly attracting the attention of the city as many folks who walked in between 10AM and 11:07AM expecting to purchase gear wound up supporting Tyler as he attempted to break a world record. With all his hard work and the cheers and support of those who witnessed it, Tyler managed to cover the 13.1 miles in 67’18”, breaking the world record by 11 seconds.

How does it feel racing on a treadmill as opposed to the roads? Which do you find easier?

I think that (like all things) there are upsides and downsides to running very hard on a treadmill. When you run on a treadmill you don’t have wind or hills or bad weather to deal with, which is a huge help. You also have a lot more control; you can set the pace exactly as you want and it’s perfectly consistent. The biggest difference that I noticed in terms of pacing is that the machine is setting the pace, as opposed to your body setting the pace. When you go out and run a race, you’re generally running by feel. And then, when you get tired you naturally start to slow down.

What I found—and this actually helped me—is when you are running really hard on a treadmill you have to actively slow down. You have to press a button to make yourself slow down instead of your body naturally slowing as it would on the roads or track. For me, there was a long stretch in the middle of the record where I was feeling pretty bad, but I kept going mostly because I really didn’t want to have to push the button and make myself slow down. Instead of the effort staying the same and the pace getting slower, the pace is staying the same and it’s just getting harder and harder to maintain. This can be really beneficial because it can help you push through the hard spots.

Finally, it can be tough to run a race without any other competitors! Running against the clock is always hard - whether you’re running for a National Championship qualifier on the track or a fast time on the roads or a world record on a treadmill. Running solo is always tough. But for me, I had a huge group of supporters that were there cheering me on and that gave me a ton of strength, so I don’t think I ever really was alone!

If your record gets taken down at any point in the near future, would you do this again to try and recapture the crown?

It’s certainly a possibility. This run was first and foremost a fundraising event for STRIVE (www.strivetrips.org) – the organization for whom I work and who sponsors me as an athlete. We were raising money to support the development of a community center we’re building in rural Peru as well as student scholarships, so that was another great motivation for me to have!

So, to answer your question, I think I could take another shot at the record if I had another great cause to stand behind. Right now, I’m just focused on the Boston Marathon next month, though, so I haven’t thought too far past that!

How exactly do you manage to handle 150+ mile weeks (at altitude too)? Most of the highest volume runners out there will top out at just over 100. Did you run close to or at that kind of volume while at Tufts?

For me, volume has always been an extremely gradual but consistent buildup over the course of about six years. I didn’t start running until fairly late (senior year of high school), at which point I met my (still current) coach, Jon Waldron. I ran on my own under Jon’s tutelage until I transferred after freshman year of college to Tufts to run in the NCAA. At that point, I’d built up mileage consistently and injury-free from basically nothing to about 80 miles per week over the course of those three years.

At Tufts, I was fairly lucky in that I was given a good amount of freedom when it came to running a lot. My coach at Tufts was definitely more conservative when it came to running very high volume, which I think was reasonable given the extremely demanding life of a varsity student-athlete (I was a mechanical engineering and astrophysics major, so I had a fairly demanding course-load beyond athletics).

Still, I put a ton of time and effort into my training (which includes all the things NOT running as well – getting enough sleep, eating well, recovering well between hard runs, etc.), so I was able to continue pushing the envelope and seeing what my body could handle. I peaked in the 100 miles per week (MPW) range as a sophomore, 120 MPW as a junior, and 130 MPW as a senior. Most of these really big weeks would be during summer/winter base phases when I wouldn’t have as many obligations with regards to school, so that made it a bit easier to handle.

And each year, I continued improving and found myself both handling and even enjoying running these very high-mileage weeks (I remained injury-free through college with the exception of a sprained back sustained while moving a dresser). Since I both saw positive results and enjoyed the process, I knew that I wanted to keep pushing myself when I graduated. And it only seemed natural to try to raise the volume a bit more again as I started to look at half marathon and now marathon.

So now, I’m running 140-155 in my build-up to the Boston Marathon and feeling great. A lot of what I’m doing right now in my training is new as this is my first marathon and so far my body seems to be responding really well. I guess that’s the most important thing I can say about surviving or even thriving in a very high-mileage program: you need to listen to your body and understand your limits. I’ve had a lot of times over the last few years where I’ve felt I was right on the edge of doing too much and getting hurt, and so I backed off. If you know yourself well enough to do this and really enforce it and not be afraid to say “no, this is too much,” then you’re probably ready to tackle something new.

What are your goals for Boston? Will you be starting in the elite wave?

I was invited to debut in Boston, which is a huge honor for me (both as a runner and a Bostonian!). As this will be my first marathon and Boston is notoriously difficult – due to unpredictability in weather and the challenging course – my goals are a bit more conservative. Mostly, I just want to race well and learn from the experience. I’m sure this won’t be my last marathon, so any lessons I can take for next time are going to be valuable.

In terms of specific time goals – when my coach and I started planning a marathon for this spring, we’d originally talked about running a flatter course and going for a good debut time. Based on my 20km (1’02’13) time, we thought something in the 2’16-20 range would be a good goal. So, my marathon paced workouts are based around that goal pace (~3’16-18/km), but that’d be more applicable on a course like Chicago or London. In Boston, I’d expect it to be a bit slower (even in good weather) and I’ll mostly judge my success on how I feel I competed with the other runners.

If you go into Boston with a tip-top fitness level and the weather and road conditions are ideal, do you think a trials qualifier is possible?

I certainly think it’s possible, but I wouldn’t hold that as the only mark of success. I am in very good shape right now – what I consider “new ground” fitness. I recently did a workout which Canova often uses for his marathoners. He has his guys run 40km hard in the middle of a big week of training (so no taper), where the time for 40km tends to be a decent predictor for tapered marathon time (for example, Wilson Kipsang did this workout and ran 2’03’2x before running the marathon WR, also 2’03’2x). Anyways, I ran 40km in 2’15’49 in the middle of a 150 mile week last weekend. Since this is my first rodeo, I don’t know how exactly that’ll translate to race-day (for example, my run was at sea-level, compared to Canova’s guys who generally do this run at around 8000ft), but it’s definitely something I have not been able to do before, which is really exciting.

So, I wouldn’t count anything out. I probably won’t go out super-fast with eyes only on a USOT qualifier, but if everything comes together on race day, I wouldn’t count it out. 

Tyler will be repping his blue and green Strive Racing uniform and sporting bib #115. The Level wishes Tyler the best of luck in his training for the Boston Marathon. Be sure to look out for him on race day and give him some support!

For more on Tyler’s record run, check out his blog entry Race Against Time.

An Ras Mor 5k: Women’s Footage

Here is the footage from the women’s race at the An Ras Mor 5k on Sunday. That is Larissa Park that you see crossing the line victorious here. The Somerville Road Runner ran a 17:36, leading a tight pack of four across the line. More to come, including the Zapruder film from the last turn of women’s race, the men’s race footage, and a complete race recap.

Race video by Mike Giberti. Cover image by Scott Mason Photo.

New Bedford Half Marathon Raw Footage

Raw footage from the New Bedford Half Marathon. This video shows the start and then a good amount of the field coming through Mile 5. Leaders at this point were Ruben Sança (the eventual winner) and Nick Karwoski, who both run for the Whirlaway Racing Team.

More to come later, including video from just before Mile 13 and then the finish. Video from the start courtesy of Mike Giberti.

Records Fall at BU Last Chance Meet

By Mike Giberti

Giberti Blondin BU

40+ world record setting 4x800m team: L-R it’s Winslow, Berra, Blondin and Williams. Courtesy of Mike Giberti

For track and field athletes and fans around the Boston area, the BU Track and Tennis Center was once again the place to be. On Sunday, the BU Last Chance Meet took place to give collegiate athletes one more chance to qualify for nationals this indoor season. But it turned out to be much more than just that. Highlighting the meet were new American and NCAA Records in the 1000m along with two World Master’s Records in a special 4 x 800m relay event at the conclusion of the meet.

David Torrence (Nike) raced to a phenomenal 2:16.76 to sneak under the national record for the distance by a second with Nate Brennan (Saucony) right on his heels to run 2:16.81. Brennan set a new Canadian national mark with that time. Finishing in a “distant third” (said with tongue firmly in cheek) Rich “Dicky P” Peters ran one of the best races of his life to garner a new NCAA 1000m record with his 2:18.55 on his home track. What better feeling than breaking records and seeing other records get broken at a track within walking distance of your apartment?!

The new American Record was impressive, but as was stated earlier there were also two 4 x 800m teams that shattered master’s World Records a few hours later. As a last second addition to the meet, the Greater Boston Track Club hosted a special 4 x 800m relay section at the end of the night to give two Master’s teams a chance at breaking World Records. And they did just that! A Men’s 40-49 team consisting of Ed Winslow, GBTC’s Chris Blondin, Mark Williams, and Nick Berra won the relay and crushed the previous age group record with a 7:49.90. They ran splits of 1:59.91, 1:59.69, 1:55.75, and 1:54.93, respectively. The second place team was a Central Park Track Club squad who went 7:55.13 to break the Men’s 35-39 age group record. These records don’t get broken very often as it’s not easy to get the best master’s athletes in the world to all fly in for one short race. And it was well worth seeing it happen here in New England.

Giberti Huddle BU

Huddle congratulates while Stites and Balouris celebrate. Courtesy of Mike Giberti.

Other great aspects of the meet included current American Record holder Molly Huddle (Saucony) getting a 15:13 5k race in while dragging two William and Mary girls to D1 Qualifying times in the event. There was also a super-heated Men’s DMR between Villanova and Georgetown. The Villanova team broke the facility record with a 9:28.06 and the Georgetown team was not far behind in 9:29.16, ranking themselves 3rd and 6th in the nation, respectively. There were also two sub 4 minute miles and a sub 8 minute 3k. Check out the full results here.

Collegiate Mt Running Champs

Another championship event is coming to New England. Well, maybe it’s not another event but it certainly is a new and exciting wrinkle to an already great race:

The Collegiate Running Association announced today that the first Collegiate Running Association Mountain Running Championships will take place on July 6, 2014, at the Loon Mountain Race, hosted by acidotic RACING, in Lincoln, New Hampshire. A total of $6,000 will be distributed to the top 5 college finishers in the Men’s 12k and Women’s 8k race. [full release here]

When I was in college I don’t think I was even aware of mountain racing. Exposing collegiate runners to this exciting facet of our sport  is a big step in the right direction.

By now most of you have already heard, but the Olympic Marathon Trials will be held in LA on February 13, 2016.

In winning the bid, LA MARATHON LLC proposed a February race date that accommodates an NBC broadcast and ensures athletes optimal time to recover should they choose to run in the 2016 Olympic Trials for Track & Field in June.  The LA Marathon will follow a day later, on Feb. 14, 2016, providing a weekend festival that celebrates road racing on all levels. [full story here]

Excellent stuff as always from Toni Reavis. One little nugget that scared me in the article was a quote from Frank McCourt, who apparently owns the LA Marathon. It wasn’t the quote that scared me, more the fact that he owns it. If it’s anything like his tenure as the Dodgers owner then the race could be in trouble.

Early this week we put up a post on the Boston Prep 16 Miler. Once again, Mike Giberti has come through with some video. That guy is everywhere!

Finally, wrapping up this round up is an excerpt from a blog post by Organic Runner Mom about her experience at the Boston Prep 16 Miler.

At this point I just wanted to finish and new it would take some guts and determination to get to the finish line. Even though I was feeling tired at this point I wanted to stick to the plan of picking the pace up for the end of the race. Somehow I dug deep and dropped my pace to between 8:15-830 as planned. [full post here]

Organic Runner Mom is part of our blog network (just need to find time to update the blog page!). If you’re interested in sharing your blog with the Level Legion then let us know! That’s it for today’s round up.

Zillmann Conquers the Level Renner 1000

level renner 1k zillman mason gbtc
We enjoyed our experience sponsoring the 3k at the GBTC Invitational last year (the first ever Level Renner 3k) that we wanted in again this year. Only this year Saucony found their strong and we could only keep it on the level, so Saucony got the 3k and we took over the 1k. That’s okay, because although we generally cover the long distance guys & gals, we embrace the opportunity to put our mid-distance brethren in the spotlight.

Unfortunately we couldn’t be there this year due to scheduling conflicts, but lucky for us Mike Giberti was there. Not only did Mike cover the Level Renner 1k, but he ran the damn race too! That’s keeping it on the level.

That horse out in front is none other than Ryan Zillmann. Ryan ran a 2:29.44 for the win.  Garrett O’Toole was out in front for most of the race but Ryan played his hand right and was able to  overtake Garrett in the last 200m.

For a little more about the race, here’s an interview with the Citius NY athlete Ryan himself:

Our field reporter extraordinaire Mike Giberti ran a 2:41.18 and finished 7th. Other notable performances on the day:

Women

Invitational Mile: Sydney Fitzpatrick, New Balance Boston - 4:52.35
Invitational 3k: Katrina Spratford, NE Distance - 9:49.51

Men

Invitational Mile: Alex Wallace, New Balance Boston - 4:12.17
Invitational 3k: Dan Vassallo, Central Mass Striders - 8:34.05

What the Rupp?!

As I drove home from work Thursday night, I could see my cell phone in its mount continuously lighting up. Uh oh, something big must be happening. Rupp was in town to make a run at the American indoor 5k record at BU. I was there last year when Rupp nearly broke the American mile record, and was pissed I was missing this attempt. Not only was able to witness a great race followed by an impressive workout in 2013, but I also had the chance to photobomb my own picture with a few legends (you read that right). None of that would be happening this time.

On the track tonight was Rupp, along with Sam Chelanga and Cam Levins. Cam was going for the Canadian national record. Not to be forgotten was Ruben Sança, who was looking to take down his own Cape Verdean national record. A couple of national records were at stake and the right ingredients were in place for it: a loud crowd, a fast track and people to run with.

IMG_3051For various reasons, none of the Level Brain Trust could be there but we have our ways of getting remote updates. Joe Navas was getting texts from Mike Merrill and relaying them to the rest of us. I was excited when I saw the news pop up but, being the safe driver that I am, I couldn’t even respond.

Sure, it’d be better to actually be there, but Joe sums it up nicely with his texts about being cheap and great journalism. It brings a special character to what we do. We’ll get by the best we can with what we have to work with, even if it is just off the cuff screen shots and rough video. It’s the underground, baby!

Joe and I are on Whirlaway along with both Ruben Sança and Nick Karwoski. I was happy when I saw their results, but also shocked. Their times were so fast that I had trouble processing them. I’m not trying to say that I had some special foresight and knew the times were off, not at all. It was more like ‘Holy shit my two Whirlaway teammates are running sub 13:45 indoors?! Are you kidding me? I need to step up my game!’

IMG_3052But sadly there was an error in the results and in this day of instant information it spread pretty quickly. With all that going on, the 8% battery life on my phone slipped my mind.

When the dust settled, Ruben did not lower his national record of 13:56. Instead he ran a still very fast 14:14.79. Right on his heels was Nick in 14:17.80. Wow. The grand prix series will be pretty competitive this year if these guys can keep that up! Too bad they had to calm the fervor a bit post race, but it’s not like anybody’s going to be disappointed in those times.

The results have since been updated, but it might take some time for everybody to see that the initial ones were not accurate.

Up front, Rupp, Chelanga and Levins were out in their own world. As has already been widely reported (and seen live by many of you), Levins ended up getting a new Canadian record of 13:19.16 and Rupp set a new high water mark for Americans with his 13:01.26. In the aftermath of Rupp’s new AR it’s easy to overlook the fact that Sam Chelanga also went well under Lopez Lomong’s old AR of 13:07. Chelanga ran a 13:04.35 and looked very strong the whole way.

Rupp Sanca BU results

This ended up being one heck of a results tease.

Thanks again to Mike Giberti, we have video of the race available for all to see here:

Special thanks also to Mike Merrill, Kevin Alliette, and Joe Navas for their instant updates and making that drive back home more interesting.

Fram, Hammond Take It To The Wire

BU Mini-Meet #3 was held on Saturday January 4th. With all the races out there now it’s very easy for results to get lost in the laundry list that is Coolrunning or in the various social media news feeds. Luckily this one picture from Chris Spinney grabbed our attention:

Hammond Fram Spinney BU Mini Meet

Fram beat out Hammond…just barely. Courtesy of Chris Spinney.

That is a shot of the climactic finish from the 3,000m dual between Whirlaway teammates Paul Hammond (white singlet) and Craig Fram (red singlet). The senior runners have long been a fixture on the roads around New England. Hammond placed 5th overall in the season standing for the USATF-NE road racing grand prix (50-54 age group), while Fram was 8th in the 55-59 bracket.

On Saturday, Fram just edged out Hammond at the line by running a 9:37.87 to Hammond’s 9:37.92. Thankfully Mike Giberti was there with the camera rolling and captured not only this dramatic finish (in which Fram’s effort and momentum took him down to the ground), but Mike also got the whole race. Here it is in all of its glory.

Other notables from the day (that we picked up on from social media activity):

BAA’s Anthony Crudale ran a 9:48.8 and GBTC’s Kevin Sheehan ran a 9:53 for 3k in that same heat. Look for both of them in the video above.

 

 

Have footage from any workout or race? Let us know, we’d love to share it!

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