Race Director’s Report (And Prize!) – 2022

Matt Baffuto at mile 6 on his way to shattering the course record. Eamonn Sullivan, who took 3rd, behind him.

I figured I was hoarse and coughing this morning after the race due to all the yelling I did. Maybe I shivered at night afterward  because we didn’t turn the house heat on yet? Sadly, that is not the case. I think you know where this is going, and it has nothing to do with coming up positive on a pregnancy test.  Just the other kind. If you were in close contact with me over the weekend, particularly indoors, keep an eye out for symptoms. And I apologize in advance if I inadvertently made anyone ill.

Now on to the race (and then the Race Director’s Prize). We had clear skies and temps in the high 40s to low 50s. Perfect running weather. No mud; My rain dance didn’t work.

And by the looks on your faces at the finish line, and the comments you made about it being “perfect,” I sensed that you were grateful for the rain dance failure.

For those that missed the champs crossing the finish line — almost all of you — we had not one repeat winner, but two.  That’s never happened before.

On the men’s side, defending champion Matt Baffuto crushed the course with a time of 1:15:16 —  a 5:45 pace!!! This bested the prior record of 1:17:54 held by 2019 champ Patrick Dooley (and runner-up this year), lopping a full two and one-half minutes off the course record.  Noteworthy that in coming in 2nd, Dooley also bested his prior record. Wowsa!

Following in 3rd, and just 14 seconds off the prior course record pace, was 19-year-old newcomer Eamonn Sullivan, who won the Leatherman’s Loop this past April.

On the women’s side, 2019 champ Joelle Reeves returned to claim her second crown, being one of only three women to ever crack the 1:30 barrier — and she has now done it twice. Lindsey Felling was runner-up, this being her third time on the podium and newcomer Nora Carroll grabbed third.

Was there any bigger story than the extraordinary accomplishments of those who took the overall podium?

Yes, yes there were.  You may not realize this, but we seemed to turn out a record number of volunteers this year. I have been blessed with outstanding volunteers.  You know this because you saw them.

You want a little peak into the kinds of things we need help with to put on this race? Designing shirts and medals, distributing them, placing (and removing) 13 miles of flags, registration and wave assignments, start/finish line set-ups, food coordination and set-up, tents and tables, placement of about 200 volunteers on race day, a treasurer to pay the bills, sending emails (our marketing!), three aid stations with water and medical (thank you Orange Theory and Girl Scouts!), transporting baggage, personal runner announcements as you approach the finish, music, municipal permits, four police departments, parking and signage, communications and results.

And food. Oh yes, and the food.  We are grateful to those that donated food so that you have something more than what other races give you. In this case, we had:

AJ’s BurgersBeechmont TavernSmokehouse; The Fresh MarketAthletic Brewing; and Amrita.

Let’s be realistic. There is no way anyone can put on a race like this  at such stupid-cheap prices without community support. (OK, there are none like this, but if there were.)

The numbers just don’t work. And that includes not just food donations, but the EMTs from Empress EMS, the wonderful staff of Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital and the therapists from Finish Line Physical Therapy.

And it includes financial support from Rye Subaru, New York-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute and newcomer to P2P, Century 21 – Marciano. (Looking for a home near the trails?) And, of course, for 14 years running, the premier running store in Westchester, Westchester Road Runner.

We also had communications, both online with a brand new and enthusiastic webmaster, Arun with a View Media, and on the trails with the ham radio operators from the Westchester Emergency Communications Association.

So yeah, a lot of people and sponsors  involved!

And now I have to pick one person from the staggering number of runners and volunteers to award the coveted Race Director’s Prize, given in my absolute and dictatorial discretion (<insert maniacal laughter>).

The award started when a runner turned a cartwheel coming down the home stretch, and has gone in the past to those who assisted injured runners, blocked cars trying to come onto the course, or simply inspired others.

Each of the last three races Lucille Renwick has acted as sweeper along with Scout. She encourages those in the back of the pack, keeps them going, and exemplifies everything about the spirit of the race. She is, based on the reports I get from others, the epitome of joyful enthusiasm while out there.

And so, by the powers vested in me, by me, because there’s no one to overrule a Grand Poobah, I award Lucille this prize (free entry into next year’s race.) Of course, since this is a different kind of volunteer — one who sacrifices her own race so that others can run —  she wasn’t paying to begin with. So if she elects to volunteer again next year in the same capacity, she may gift her free entry to any friend or relative she chooses.

Race date for next year is October 8th, once again falling on Columbus (Indigenous Peoples) Day weekend!!!!

And now, if you will excuse me, I will attempt to treat myself with chocolate chip cookies.  Because why not?

One last thing. Watch this lovely video of the race from Breen Brothers:

Paine to Pain 2022 from Breen Brothers on Vimeo.

2 thoughts on “Race Director’s Report (And Prize!) – 2022”

  1. My 11 years old daughter ran at the race but I noticed that you have her as a male,her name is ( Madeline Gutierrez) bib #296 and I noticed she was the only female and the youngest one of the race. I will appreciate if you correct that the k you.

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