Sunny, blue skies, albeit brisk temps and a somewhat stiff homeward headwind, greeted 170 runners at Sunday’s Save Our Switchbacks (SOS) 7.5K race from the Parkway Chalet through Valley View Golf Course, Roscoe Conkling Park, and the South Woods Trail. New race director and board member Jerry Tylutki organized a great experience for all participants, with swelled sponsors’ support, and opportunities to contribute, less than a week after the Boston Marathon bombings, to “The One Fund.” In keeping with the Club’s new custom of providing novel awards, Jerry distributed white pine saplings for planting, courtesy of The Arbor Foundation, to all age-group winners, apt awards given the race’s proximity to Arbor and Earth Days. (Profits from the event continue to benefit the SOS Project of maintaining and upgrading the switchback trails / Utica Roadrunners’ development runs route, which were in terrific condition considering our winter snows and spring rains.)
Participation at the Club’s “half-Boilermaker” and second race in the 2013 Grand Prix series was up from last year’s remarkable growth, with eighteen more Utica Roadrunners among the 68 finishing (40 males and 28 females). Notable performances on the steeply-hilled course included Stephen Paddock finishing second overall in 28:42 (and with the Club’s top age-graded performance at 71.4%), and Cory Battles, third place overall in 29:03. Fifth through seventh place overall were Utica Roadrunners Thomas Joslin, Paul Humphrey, and John Draper. Leading Club women were Meghan Furner, first place female and thirteenth overall in 33:01, and Justyna Wilkinson, second place female and eighteenth overall in 33:53. Also remarkable is that Utica Roadrunners occupied twelve of the top twenty places overall. (That figure would have been even greater had some members renewed their memberships by March 31st in time to be eligible for Grand Prix points. You can find all the race results, both overall and age groups, at Jerry’s timing company http://tnttiming.com/results/ Grand Prix standings and race reports are available both in the Club’s monthly newsletter, SpliTimes, and website www.uticaroadrunners.org
Three more Grand Prix age groups became occupied after the SOS, with the men’s 60-64 leading the way in participation with ten gents. With double golds thus far and eying year-end “Super Sevens” medals (first-place in best seven races) are Mary Ann Wilkinson, Ashley Fess, Bob VanDenbergh, Bruce Palmer, and Cory Battles, with more certainly to come as the series plays out. Moreover, twenty-nine members are still in contention for Grand Prix-mier awards (i.e., participation in all twelve GP races). Also, if you are among the two dozen Utica Roadrunners who haven’t claimed your awards handed out at our annual banquet, they will be available at our weekly development runs’ registration beginning Wednesday, May 8th.
Next races in the 2013 GP are the Rome Art and Community Center’s 5K Run and walks on Saturday, May 11; the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half-Marathon on Sunday, May 19; the Kirkland Art Center 5K on Saturday, June 1; and our Club’s second sponsored race of the year, the Summer Sizzle 5 Mile at SUNYIT on Sunday, June 9. Hope to see you in Rome at the RACC on the 11th. Until then, may everyone stay strong, train safe, and race swift!
~ Ted Lenio, 4/22/13
(N.B. Due to late additions to Grand Prix eligibilities and members’ age-group adjustments, standings were recently recalculated and updated.)