Yes, we had smoked salmon at the finish line. To accompany a smorgasbord of other culinary choices. What? You were expecting just a bagel and banana?
Have you ever seen a race, let alone a trail race, treat you like that? I didn’t think so. OK, I’ll get back to the post-race party and food in a minute, but first let’s talk about the race winners!
And the winner is, for those that missed it (cue the drum roll!)…
…. the trail! Yes, folks, the trail itself took top honors as a result of being in excellent physical condition, despite the injuries Mother Nature attempted to inflict in the days before the race. Over and over I heard this at the finish line.
And you know why the trail was in top-notch shape? Because runners are using the trails, and when that happens, municipalities take notice and pump money into the resource. It’s a delicious cycle — the more people use them, the better they get. Yes, just like our bodies. Weird, huh?
Now long time P2Pers know that the winners of the race gets a special award in addition to the engraved tankard and the cool stuff they got from Salomon: They get to come back as my guest for as long as I’m Race Director. So the trail is invited to return as my guest.
Also invited back as my guests are our champions, Luis Francisco of Mahopac, NY and Laura Coogan of Brooklyn. (Boldface, just like the tabloids.)
Coogan ran a 1:31:50, racing easily to a win, missing the course record by only 8 seconds . She was followed to the podium by Kate Connolly (Portland, ME) and Amanda Tow (Bronx).
And the 44-year-old Francisco — who was 3rd last year in setting an age group course record, and took top spot earlier this year in the Leatherman’s Loop — swept his way on to victory with a 1:21:53, missing the 1:21:35 course record by a mere 18 seconds. He was followed by Troy Squire (Brooklyn) in 2nd and Richard Velazquez (Manhattan) in 3rd.
But wait, this story gets better for the speedsters!!! Coming inexplicably out of Wave 6 was Steve Crnic (Brooklyn), who must have passed hundreds of runners, because he finished in a chip timed 1:21:27! That’s a course record by eight seconds! Yes, all those exclamation marks are deserved!
Since our overall 1-2-3 is first to the tape, and our age-group awards are by chip, Crnic gets top honors in his age group but not the overall due to the discrepancy.
Interesting question: Would Coogan have broken the women’s record if she had someone on her heels to push her?
And how fast could Francisco and Crnic have gone if they went mano a mano out of the first wave? I don’t know, but I want to find out. Since Crnic set a course record, he is also invited back as my guest for as long as I am the RD. (I just made that rule up! You know why? Because I can, as I did for Matt Collins in 2013.)
That excitement, of course, was lost on the vast majority of you who ran in perfect weather, cloudy and in the 50s, and were then rewarded with clear blue skies and warm temperatures as you hit the finish line food tables.
I ordered that weather up special for you. You’re welcome.
Now, about those culinary delights. Since you were exhausted, you may have missed the names of the food purveyors we had out there. So, if you liked any (or all) of it, this is who fed you, so you can thank them with your patronage:
· The Smokehouse NY – Mamaroneck (smoked salmon). And New Rochellians take note, in just two weeks they open a new food emporium with healthy gourmet food, Got Thyme, right between Starbucks and CVS at the corner of North Ave. and Northfield Rd.
· Greenlife – Mamaroneck (smoothies)
· Simple Eats with Chef T (chocolate granola)
· AJ’s Burgers – New Rochelle (sliders)
· Texas Roadhouse – New Rochelle (pulled pork)
· Modern Restaurant and Lounge – New Rochelle (pasta)
· DeCicco Family Markets – Pelham (giant subs)
· H&R Bialys – New Rochelle (bagels)
· Hudson Milk (chocolate milk like you had as a kid, in glass bottles via old fashioned milk boxes on your doorstep)
Our water came in courtesy of Half Time Beverage, who would have loved to serve beer if we were able to get permission to do so. Side note – they held a massive international beer fest the day before.
Now before I get to the Race Director’s Prize, which I give out annually ever since I saw a runner turn a cartwheel down the home stretch in 2010, I want to thank our gold levels sponsors: There was New Rochelle Chevrolet, who not only had cookies and bananas at the finish, but had that smoking hot ‘Vette with the vertical doors and other pace cars. There was Montefiore Hospital New Rochelle and Transcare ambulance, both of whom would be just as happy if you were not forced to see them.
And there was Westchester Road Runner, where many of you picked up your race packets. They not only provided a place to meet you, but logistical support receiving, storing and helping to distribute a truckload of shirts, medals, bibs, awards and other race-related paraphernalia that we ordered. They have been a sponsor since the day this race was born.
And you’ll find links to our other sponsors, for whom we are very grateful, on our main page — REI, Dumont Center (rehab), Dr. Elisa Kavanugh (podiatric surgeon), Athleta, Push Fitness (personal training), PennyWise Consulting (Internet tech), Tony’s Kneaded Touch (massage therapy), Stop & Shop, Westchester Emergency Communications Association (ham radio operators) and M2 Asset Management.
Now on to the Race Director’s Prize! This is a prize for which there are no rules. I give it out on whim, with the “it” being a free ticket to next year’s race. Last year it went to a P2P veteran who was volunteering, Michelle Robotham (bold face!), who stopped traffic with her body when she saw cars pouring on to the course. And before that, to Erica Weisberg who added at least 15 minutes to her time when she stopped to assist an injured runner.
This year’s recipient is Lori Trimble, a P2P veteran who ran the legendary mud run in 2011. And she has now returned. Slower. What gives? Well, it seems that she recently donated a kidney to her brother. Oh. That. Then she returned to run this as her first race back. Not a 10K or even a 5K. This.
For her determination and selfless conduct, Lori comes back next year as my guest.
One last shout-out, since I started this recap by talking about the trail itself. The trail maintenance that you all appreciated came from The County of Westchester, The Town of Mamaroneck, the Village of Mamaroneck and the City of New Rochelle. Their parks staffs can take a very well-deserved bow.
Coming soon: Photos! And a page of race reviews from our runners.