Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NETT Duathlon & Triathlon Season Recap

And now, here's Frank KJ with the NETT triathlon season wrapup for 2008:

This year marked the first year New England Track & Trail was listed as an official USAT club. As a result of that this was also the first time we participated as a club in FIRM’s Grand Prix Series. And Jerry did an outstanding job in creating some truly unique triathlon and cycling uniforms!

The FIRM Grand Prix Series is comprised of 10 triathlon and duathlon races between April and September. NETT participated in 6 of those races and scored enough to place 7th place out of 12 clubs in its first year. The following 11 people raced in at least one GP race: Paul Miller, Joe Hardin, Jerry De Zutter, Jim De Zutter, James De Zutter, Tina Wang, Mary Smith, Bruce Goode, Frank Kjaersgaard, Al Prescott (swimmer) and Norm Collard (cyclist).

Clubs that participate with at least 3+ people in at least 5 GP races are eligible for price money. Although we participated in 6 races we only had 3 or more people in 3 races so we missed the payout. If for example just 2 more had raced at Old Colony and 1 more at Webster we would have won about $200. Hopefully, we can add more people to the 09 roster and show up in bigger numbers.

Beyond the Firm Grand Prix Series, NETT multisporters were present at many other races:

-In the Kids’ category Alex (Paul’s daughter) and Audrey (Jerry’s daughter) entered the ranks of triathletes by participating in the FirmKids race.

-In the Teen’s category Katherine De Zutter finished 2nd in her age-group at Wrentham Halloween. And Nicholas used his swim skills to help Frank and Tina place 2nd relay team at Sudbury.

-Martin Bures took 3rd at WildCat before we really "knew" him. This guy can swim, he can run and he can bike. If he joins some rides with us and he will be moving way up in the ranks next season.

-Adrienne re-emerged on the duathlon scene at Wrentham Halloween – and took 1st place.

-Our pal Adam Brown and his better half Liz finished their first Ironman race with a strong performance at Ironman USA in Lake Placid.

-Karyn Miller-Medzon had some bad luck early in the season with injuries and never got to race in a triathlon. I have no doubt she will be on the circuit next year.

-Crazy Dave missed out on his usual one or two multisport races this year due to "scheduling conflicts", but did manage to coordinate a Mock Tri out at Walden that saw some first-timers like Mary Smith and Eri give triathlon a tri.

Many others purchased the new cool NETT multisport uniforms, some overcame their fear of swimming in open water and expressed interest in racing triathlon next year. DimaF and Karen Ringheiser attended a few Walden swims and boldly stated she is ready to make her Ironman and triathlon debut at the same race next season; how about we start you up with a few sprint races first Karen?

Congratulations to everyone on their accomplishments and looking forward to an exciting season next year.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NETT takes Wrentham by storm

It was a very good day for NETT at the Wrentham Halloween Duathlon with the men taking three of the top five spots and the women also taking top spots in their age groups.

First off, in the "what else would you expect?" category, Paul Miller won the race, for the umpteenth, finishing in 56:10. Jerry De Zutter put in a rock solid performance to finish second overall and Frank KJ just a bit back in fifth. Three in the top five! Jerry's brother Jim had a great race also, finishing in 1:21, sixth clydesdale!

And the NETT ladies just dominated their age groups. Adrienne Cyrulik finished 1st in the 30-34 group in 1:09, Tina Wang fourth in her 35-39 group in 1:11 and Katherine De Zutter, Jim's daughter, took second in the 0-19 age group!Here's Jerry's report on the race from the field:

"The day started very moist and rather windy, the wind died down at race time and the sun came out as we raced and warmed our bones by the time we left.

Paul and a relay team runner pulled away from the rest of the field in the opening 3 mile run. Frank and I were near each other early in the run, eventually separated by the agressive running of a combative lady (why do they have to be like that!!) which made me want to leave the comfort of our nice little group and forge ahead. I'm not sure if the speedy Adrienne and Tina duo ran near each other but their splits indicate they were able to keep each other in sight with Adrienne just ahead. Bro Jim was watching his daughter Katherine run away from him keeping in mind, I'll get you on the bike my pretty!! When I got to T1 I saw Paul leaving the transition on his bike and never saw him again til after the race. In fact I didn't see anybody the entire ride, well except for the guy who was in second and missed a turn very early on, heading out to Rt.495, bummer. Multiple accounts of wheel slippage by myself and others at speed during the 11 mile ride due to the wet leaves and twigs covering the roadways. Except for the back and forth battle between Jim and Katherine the rest of us maintained our NETT-relative positions. Other athletes challenged us but we beat them back! So, Jim was able to pass Katherine on the bike and got out onto the second run well ahead of her. And Jim was able to hold Katherine off to the finish but he now has a bad case of swivel head-itis."

And to top it all off, everyone looked great in their new NETT uniforms.

Black Cloud over Mayor's Cup

Despite the surprisingly sunny skies on Sunday, it seems NETT was covered by a big black cloud at Franklin Park.

After managing to get five hearty souls signed on to run the Franklin Park 5K at the Mayors Cup XC race, when all was said and done, only two Mini Ponies crossed the finish line, Dave Hannon and Janos Mako, thanks to a set of circumstances beyond our control (a car accident and a migraine headache).

But always the optimists, we here at the NETT news desk want to highlight the bright spots. First off, Janos Mako, aka the Hungarian Land Shark, ran a great 5K to finish up at 19:11, 10 seconds better than his time from last year and 7th master overall. We should all be that lucky, huh?

And in the boys' 11-12 year old race, Noah Miller-Medzon aka Little Skittles, blasted out a 6:52 for 1.1 miles to finish 21st out of 154 kids. Congrats!

Given that kind of bad kharma, maybe it's time we all go volunteer at a homeless shelter or something?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great results at Groton, Baystate

NETT sure showed some strong results at the Groton Trail Race this weekend. While results aren't posted yet, here's a quick report from Frank KJ:

Paul Young was 2nd overall and first master in 1:01:53. We came really close to the master's record but took a spill in the last mile. John (Aniken) Kinnee was 5th overall in 1:02:51, and a bit faster than last year. Frank KJ, 9th overall, 5th master in 1:06:43 (2:50 faster than last year - just missed 7 min/mile pace)

And finally Jennifer Schultis was on hand with a small EMS expo and Darn Tough Sock raffle.

Thanks for the report Frank. Meanwhile, up in Lowell on Sunday, there was some phenomenal results from some Mini-Ponies at the Baystate Marathon. Dima Feinhaus (a half-degree of separation) ran a phenomenal time of 2:54 and Karen Ringheiser did the same by clocking a 3:14. Also Jean-Dany Joachim clocked a solid 3:36 up Lowell.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wayland XC in Pictures

It was another strong showing for NETT on the trail at the Wayland XC Festival on Sunday with the women finishing third and men fourth. But sometimes pictures just tell the story better than results. So here's the Wayland XC race in photo essay form:

Eminem hugs the corner tight.

Good looking group!

Take no prisoners Mary!

Karen scampers along.

Dave takes second masters honor!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

NETT Women Cash in on Last Place Finish, Men Sprint to Faster Finish; Leave with Empty Pockets

It was another strong showing out on the XC trails of the Topsfield Cross Country Festival this year for NETT, with the women and men racing in extremely competitive fields. Here's Karyn Miller-Medzon's (Eminem)report:

"The women approached the 5k starting line this morning with the intrepid team of Karen Ringheiser, Adrienne Cyrulik, Liz Wagner, Tina Wang, Chrissy Durden, Deb Robertson, and Eminem (aka Karyn Miller-Medzon). The field was small (only 35 runners) but very fast. Merrimack Valley's Kara Haas won in speedy 18:40 and the top 10 women were all under 19:30.

Karen Ringheiser led the NETT team with a valiant 21:21 (19th) , followed close behind by Adrienne, with a 21:42 (22nd). Liz was next with a very balanced 23:23 (29th), then came Tina with 24:14 (despite having to retrieve her shoe from an oozing hill of mud). Chrissy and Deb were close behind with respective (and respectable) 24:30 and 24:46 (32nd and 33rd place). And then, finally, Eminem came barreling through the finish line with a 25:05 (quickly noting that the old adage "I might not be first, but I'm not last either" had to be amended--because she was, in fact, the last placing female).

BUT....last place finish aside, the NETT women placed 4th overall, and were handed a hefty check for $75, which paid for a delightfully deep-fried lunch at Woodman's.

As for the men, the field was larger, and incredibly competitive. But that didn't scare our manly men (who included Paul Young, Martin Bures, Frank Kjaersgaard, Adam Brown, Brian Scanlon, and Daniel Miller-Medzon). Jerrod Shoemaker won in a seemingly effortless 25:20 and second place finisher Kibrom Temelso finished nearly a minute later in 26-even. Paul led the NETT charge with 31:08 putting him in 38th place. Martin, Frank and Brian followed closely, all timing out in the 32-minute range. Adam was next, with a 33:41, and Daniel completed his first-ever 5-mile race (after a too-quick start) with a very respectable 37:12. (Unlike his mom, and despite being 15 and the youngest competitor, he didn't come last)!

The Youngstah (Paul Young) and the Youngster (Daniel M-M)

The men's team finished in 6th place overall--bringing them lots of congratulations, but no cash. Still, the kindly women of NETT generously decided to split their bounty with the men, and everyone had a great lunch following the race."

Congrats to ALL! ESPECIALLY some of the new faces we saw out there.

DaveM's team wins Greenway Challenge!

After a postponement due to weather and a lot of uncertainty Dave Mingori's team rallied last weekend to win the Greenway Challenge. Here's Dave's report:

Well, we won yesterday to make it 6 out of 8 years! Our final time of 4:18.24 was only 8 minutes slower than what I was projecting for a "best case" scenario. We beat our initially projected time by almost 20 minutes (we were anticipating 4:35). Our winning gap of 16 minutes was our largest of any win (although of the 2 teams that beat us last year, one didn't show and the other was DQ'd - see below). Results will only be posted by total time on the Greenway page. Split times by leg are not kept track of by race people, so we get splits taken by combination of individual participants and support people.

I personally was quite happy with my legs. Did the first 4.75 mile leg in 27:43 (5:49/mile). I started the leg in 2nd, overtaking the guy in front of me in the first 1/4 mile. Knowing the course helped as I knew where I wanted to back off the gas in order to conserve a bit for the final leg, then push the final rolling 3/4 mile on trail where I knew others would be tiring and slow down. My final leg is an extremely fast leg. Pancake flat on a bike path, following the river. Is actually a bit net downhill since the river loses some in elevation along that stretch. I ran 19:18 for 3.55 miles which works out to a 5K equivalent of about 16:51.

A little trash talking went on before that leg to get me pumped up. I knew we had almost an 8 minute lead going into the kayak section leading up to me. I knew our kayaker was pretty much unbeatable in the boat he had. So barring hitting a rock or something it was quite likely over. So only 22 minutes into the leg a 2-person racing canoe comes around the bend and people start yelling "what number are you". I know there's no way they should be in the race but I recognize the canoe from prior years, and it's a REALLY fast boat and paddler. Well it turns out it was team 2 who had been DQ'd in the very first bike leg (they beat us last year by 3 minutes). Not sure exactly what happened but I think their biker missed the start then cut the course trying to catch up. So one of the paddlers says "no, we're not in the race but if we hadn't been DQ'd we'd have won". I couldn't resist so I asked him how he could be so sure since they weren't actually racing (you know, tried the logic approach). He asked me if I was on Great Canadian and then said "you'd have lost".

Just at that moment our paddler comes into view. Now I'm in race mode and a bit PO'd at the guy as well. The adrenaline is now going quite nicely and I hit the mile in 5:15! Okay, maybe a bit too aggressive but just kept pressing, going thru mile 2 in 10:44, hanging on for mile 3, then going into overdrive once I could see the finish with 1/2 mile to go.

Here are our splits, rounded to nearest minute (except my legs which I personally had timed exact). Our paddler is my friend Mark who I won the Tuckerman 2-person with. We had a guy Mark works and trains with do the first bike leg and mtb leg. Our usual biker did the 2nd bike leg.
1) 15.7 mile bike in 42 minutes (22.5mph). Pack start with 2 pretty good hills in last 3 miles. Our guy basically hung with a pack of 7 or 8 then dropped the hammer on the final hills, gapping the group with one other rider, opening up 30-40 seconds in those last couple miles. His time also includes the transition time for the kayaker to get into the water, since we started the next split once our paddler was in. Subtract at most 40 seconds.

2) 4.5 mile kayak in 43 minutes, including a 250 yard portage (~ 2minutes out of the water). Accounting for portage and transition, he averaged about 6.7mph on the water. He paddles a 15' Pyranha down-river racer.

3) 6.8 mile mountain bike (our leadoff biker doubled up here) in 43 minutes. Very technical course, but he was still only 5 minutes off what we believe was the fastest time of the day.
4) 4.75 mile run in 27:43

5) 17.9 mile bike in 49 minutes (22.0mph). This was the most nerve racking leg as our guy flatted with 2.5 miles to go. He decided to keep going at that point rather than stopping to change the tube as the final run in was mostly flat and straight with just 2-3 tight turns toward the very finish. Maybe 2-3 minutes lost due to the flat. Had it happened earlier, he'd have had to stop and change it, so a bit of luck on our side there.

6) 4.2 mile kayak in 34 minutes (7.4mph). This is the leg we knew we'd crush people on as we had an extremely fast flat water boat. It was a 18.5' composite sea kayak. Same paddler did both legs.
7) 3.55 mile run in 19:18

So maybe a NETT team next year to mix it up?