Monday, March 2, 2009

Are You Tuff?

We finally have some race results on the books, so I finally have some updates to provide!

It's been a relatively quiet start to 2009, but here's what's been happening:


I headed down to Miami in late January for the ING Miami Half Marathon. This was the absolute best destination race you could ask for. It's as if the race itself is an afterthought. A few of us headed down from Baltimore on a Friday and arrived to the amazing weather we expected in Miami. Our hotel in South Beach was right on Ocean Drive, and provided an awesome platform for our weekend of fun. We went out hard on Friday night, and spent most of Saturday on the beach and recovering. The race start on Sunday is at 6:15am, so the earliest race I've ever done - but I guess with potential for temperatures to get warm FAST, all the traffic stoppages and not to mention the fact there's a marathon as well necessitate the early start.

I felt less prepared going into this race than I did heading to Austin last January for their half marathon, but once the race started I felt good. My 5:37 2nd mile was a little too ambitious, and I had to slow down. It was pitch black as we ran over the bridge into South Beach, and then I was feeling the effects of the warmer-than-accustomed temps, so I slowed down. I took it easy for a few miles before starting to race again, and then caught up to a friend who was struggling, so I ran it in with him. My time (1:22:37) was slower than I was looking to run, but gave me some insight to my fitness. After the race we hit the beach again for an afternoon of drinking before our flight home.


Jackie Schmoll made a triumphant return to racing, running impressive, pre-pregnancy times again. In fact, she went back to back one weekend, running a 10k on Saturday and then a half marathon on Sunday. No doubt she'll be running PRs this year!

A park some of you Marylanders may be familiar with, Derwood Agricultural Park, was the venue for the biggest cross-country race ever hosted in Maryland - the USATF Cross Country National Championships. Toeing the line was 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medallist, Meb Keflezghi, as well as 2008 Olympic Steeplechaser, Anthony "Fam" Famiglietti. It was pretty sweet, and Tom Stott and I witnessed how fast they are first-hand. You don't realize how much faster someone can be than you until they pass you halfway into a 7.5 mile race.

Later in the month is our annual 10 mile Club Challenge, one of the most competitive and challenging 10 mile races around. Each year, the Maryland running clubs compete for bragging rights. This year, our team from Baltimore managed to steal the overall team title from perennial powerhouse, Howard County Striders. I recorded a 30 second PR, and Mike Prada was running what was technically his longest race ever. Tom Stott also ran a personal best there, so it was a good day.

And finally the most recent result...

Little Lizzie Reda, still a resident of St. Thomas, USVI, competed once again in the 8 Tuff Miles race on St. John. The race is hors-categorie, meaning it's so hard that you can't even classify it. She admitted her preparation was not as solid as last year, but she raced her guts out on race day and ran a really great time - and in the process picked up 10th place for women and 43rd overall. This is in a race of 780 people, so that's awesome. AND she was first in her age group. So a really great day for Liz. Congratulations!

In other news...

The phenom freshman high jumper, Dwight B (not going to attempt spelling his last name) won the ACC Title with a ridiculous jump of 7'2.25" - which I don't have to tell you is insane. Season best, and third best mark in school history.

Have you been watching Terps basketball? If you haven't, you've been missing a LOT! First, the men's team has made another run (hopefully not in futility) for the NCAA Tournament. After beating #3 UNC at home last Saturday, I was on hand for a valiant effort, albeit loss, to #7 Duke on Wednesday. Then just last night they hit the road and won in Raleigh, bringing them back to .500 in league play. With two games remaining, I feel that splitting the games, and winning a game in the ACC Tournament, should put us in position to earn an at-large berth. We play this week at home against #14 Wake and then close out the season on Saturday in Charlottesville.

The Lady Terps are sitting pretty at #4, poised to nab a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, assuming they don't blow it. They beat Duke the other night by about 20 points, and after a slow start to the season they're looking like championship contenders! And apparently after their victory over Miami last night, the ladies earned their first ACC regular season title in 20 years!

Men's Lacrosse stumbled early last week against Georgetown, but more than made up for it by defeating Duke, 11-8, this weekend in Baltimore. Terps are ranked #7 and Duke was #12. Another big showdown is on April 11 against Hopkins, again in Baltimore, so if anyone is around and wants to go, let me know.

And Terps Women's Lacrosse is back! #5 Terps took out #2 Duke this weekend. Great to see them on the warpath again.

Go Terps!