Wednesday, November 10, 2010

UPDATED: Mini Ponies run Wild in the streets of Manchester

Yes, the herd of Mini Ponies took to the roads this weekend at the Manchester City Marathon with some great results. But why not let some of the herd tell the story themselves.

First off, Eri "Muscles" Verter's report:

"This was my first official half marathon. My goal was to break my Derry performance which was 7:16 m/h avg. I don't know if it was waking up to an adrenaline rush from Dave's phone call of "Are you almost here Eri?" or was my hard training with you guys, but I shattered it with a 7:02 pace (according to official results and 6:59 according to my watch). I was a bit faster on the second half which tells me that I was efficient in my energy conservation. It was a lot of fun to do it with so many people that I knew. Doris's signs and shouts of "Go Eri" and Ben's "Go Muscles" shouts definitely helped me a lot mentally while I was running. Thanks to some competitive people at the end I finished my last mile with 6:22 m/h and kept my impassibility since mile1-2. The next challenge will be this year's Derry 16 miler at the end of Jan."

Oh yeah. We got tickets to the GUN SHOW. Muscles finished 44th overall in 1:32 for the mathematically challenged.

Next up, let's get Chris Smith's take on the day:

"My day started off with a little adrenaline rush. I rolled over in bed looked
at the clock to see how much more time I had to sleep and to my surprise the
alarm should have gone off twenty minutes prior. I jumped up but figured I still had plenty of time to get to Manchester by 8:00 to meet Ben with my number. Had breakfast and was on the road by 6:40. I had already made up ten minutes. Got to Manchester, no trouble finding parking, to the hotel, find Dave, Doris and Mary. Eri… woke up more than twenty minutes late. Ben and Cindy show up then Eri(followed by the NH state police). Dave, Cindy, Mary, Eri and I head to the start as Ben and Doris tactically plan out their viewing/support route.

Being a smallish race I am able to line up near the front Dave a couple rows back. I don’t know where everyone else ended up. The first mile was mostly downhill but a little bit of a head wind to contend with, I still think it was a little short though, I had a ~5:40 split. I settled into my pace. The course was littered with these annoying hills, up and down. Some of the down hills where so steep they were tougher than going up. Overall I felt good throughout the race. My time does not reflect it though but it was one of the more difficult half’s I have run.

After it was quickly back to the car for some warm clothes then some hot soup and hot chocolate and hot chocolate and. … ok maybe I had more than my share but did I mention it was cold. I then find Cindy and Eri and we then spot the familiar pink hat of Mary. She looks like she has not even gone for an easy jog. I’m starting to suspect that she may have just gone back to the car and taken a nap. Now we wait for Dave. The only one crazy enough to do the full marathon. The clock ticks 2:54 and here he comes with a smooth stride but looking a little rough around the edges. Dave was bloody with a dazed look on his face as he finished. Crazy may have beat the hills of Manchester but they didn’t go down with out a fight."

Thanks Chris. For the record, Chris was 11th overall in the half in 1:24 (sixth master--stacked field eh?)

Now let's get Big Ben's unique take on the day.

Some folks know that I scratched from the Marathon, after pulling a calf muscle during a track workout on the Tuesday before the race. I’m a moron. I know most of the team was all worked up about oversleeping and whatnot, but I woke up on time. I ate a leisurely English breakfast of blood sausage and grilled tomato, dry white toast, and tea. I quit coffee the previous Friday.I might start up again, I’m not sure.

At 7:15am my beautiful wife Cindy told me to get in the car, and we flew down to meet the team for our 8am rendezvous. I wasn’t worried about anything until 7:45 when I looked at my phone, which was set to silent, and noticed that I’d missed a call from Crazy. I was immediately worried something was wrong, so I handed the phone to Cindy. Cin’ called Crazy, he was in our designated meeting spot, we caught up with the group about 5 minutes later. No big problems.

After we handed out the number bags it became apparent I hadn’t made sure there were pins for the numbers. My bad. It was stressful time for me. Chris had a whole bunch of pins. I felt a lot better.

We took some photos. We all checked out Mary’s new ring. It’s pretty impressive. I have a picture. The gun went off and Doris and I drove out to the 7 mile mark. It was really cool. Everyone looked awesome. I almost missed Cindy running by because I went to take a wiz. Doris had me driving her car through Manchester, because I knew the area. She’s a great new car. It’s a stick shift. I learned how to drive on a stick shift…in 1985. It still works.

We drove around some more, saw those guys at the half finish, then drove back out to get some Powerbars to Crazy. We saw him at 23 and 24, then back at the finish.
We had a great conversation with the volunteer at mile 23. He was stationed right next to a fresh dead squirrel, I covered it with leaves so Doris wouldn’t have to look at it. A group of spectators showed up a little later and stepped in it. I apologized, but I thought it was really funny.

Doris got really mad at me because I farted while we were outside waiting for Dave at mile 24, and the wind blew it at her. I felt bad, but I thought that was really funny too. Then we saw everyone back at finish. Doris probably won’t hang out with me any time soon, but I think she still likes me.

I’m really impressed with everyone’s performance. The half marathoners all exceeded THEIR own expectations and they all looked fantastic coming through. Crazy Dave ran a ballsy race, it’s a hard course, it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, and he ran all by himself for the last half."

Thanks Benny. In terms of numbers, the orignal ponyette Cindy Winther busted out a 1:49, obviously unflusterd by the fact that her husband sat the race out with a genital injury.

As brother Chris alluded to, Sister Mary Smith sailed through a 1:42, unphased by the extra piece of equipment she carried on race day (I'll let her tell you that one!). Congrats to her!

HUUUGGE thanks to Big Ben and Little Doris for their support on the course. Afterwards it was time for Mexican food and the biggest glass of beer you ever saw a bloodied marathoner drink!

And in the full marathon, Crazy Dave made his less-than-triumphant return to the road marathon after a LLLOOONGGG layoff to post a 2:54, clearly paying the price for adopting the "Ricky Bobby" race strategy. If you ain't FIRST YOU'RE LAST!


Anonymous said...

Dave, you cracked the Top 10! Great job. I had a chuckle at the "genital injury" comment. A former XC guy who also wrote up the XC results for The Chelmsford Independent use to get just as creative with comments and nicknames, always bringing a chuckle to those in the know! ;-) Ahh the good times and good memories!! banana # 3

Frank said...

Nice job guys. Darn I wasn't the first to comment - now I will forever be last!

Anonymous said...

UPDATED: The gray Tempo! Enjoyed your perspective, as always, Ben! banana #3

Anonymous said...

If you aint first your last! 10th!
You loser!
-funny stuff-