This page is intended to immortalize the words of
Central Park Track Club people. As is customary for this
web site, everything is supported by factual details (dates, places,
witnesses, photographs, audio-visual clips, etc.). This page will
grow over time, but obviously that will depend on your contribution
of new stories.
Jack Brennan, 1949-2002
#1400. Jack Brennan
On February 17, 2002, Central Park Track Club founder Jack
Brennan passed away due to a sudden illness. A series
of tributes from Frank
Handelman, Peggy Brennan Bermel, David Blackstone,
Bob Glover, Jack Brennan (TRRC), Stuart Tucker
and Alan Turner is published elsewhere on this website.
A common theme about Jack is that he had a wicked sense of humor.
Here are some snippets:
- Why he joined the Central Park Track Club ---
"I joined CPTC because Dave Blackstone begged me to.
He would call me repeatedly at night, ply me with alcohol, send
me flowers; I finally couldn't take it anymore and I gave
- Team awards --- "Actually I used to give
out the humorous awards. And I once gave myself an award
for being the outstanding member of the team. My feeling
was that people might perceive that there was some bias in me
giving myself an award, but, well, if they didn't like it they
could do the awards the following year. In fact, they did
- Fritz Mueller's opinion about orange-colored
uniforms: "Fritz is a man of few words --- at least few that
I can understand, so I've never really heard him voice his displeasure
with the orange uniforms."
- But Jack's masterpiece was his 'interview'
with teammate Fritz Mueller. As wicked as that piece
was, it was also obvious that Jack would not have put it that
kind of effort if he was not genuinely fond of Fritz.
In turn, his teammates also treated Jack Brennan
with their own wicked sense of humor:
- Mary Gibbons Feinstein: "In the '70s,
the Central Park Track Club women's team --- Jane Breene,
Pat Ellis, Hermine Bartee, Gail Swain, Caryl
Hudson, Kaarina Uutenin, Nora Cheng, Weeize
Sams, Johanna Coletta, Yvonne Rosen, Marie
Wicks, Liz Levy and a few others --- was generally
segregated from the men's team in those days with their own training
schedules and venues, although Jack Brennan used to hang
around after our workouts offering stock tips, unsolicited training
advice and general palaver."
- Frank Handelman: "The men had Thursday
night group runs in the mid 70's, which were great fun, where
we'd meet at 90th and Fifth and do six miles. Every week
it was a race; we didn't want it to, but that was when John
Kenney was coming along, and Jerry McCarthy and Jack
Brennan. Actually, Jack couldn't run six miles so we
lost him, but the rest of us would do those workouts in about
#1399. WHO: Cat Goodrich
WHEN: Saturday, February 16, 2002
SUBJECT: Best excuse for absenteeism
WHAT SHE SAID: "I'm getting married next week."
COMMENT: Okay, so this excuse always works but it had better
not used too often
#1398. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: Saturday, February 16, 2002
SUBJECT: Worst excuse for absenteeism
WHAT HE SAID: "So I was doing my evening run around Stuyvesant
town when someone jumped out from behind a tree and yelled 'GIMME
YOUR MONEY!' Just as I expected, it was Brian Barry
looking for ice cream money (see Famous Saying
#1374). He said, 'I was going to run the 15K this
morning. But I thought that since I had to get up for work
all week already, there was no reason for me to get up on a Saturday
#1397. WHO: Alayne Adams
SUBJECT: Why she ran 18:17 (CR) to win the 1996 Tot Trot
5K while pushing a baby carriage
WHAT SHE SAID: "When the baby is screaming at the top of the
lungs, you are strongly motivated to finish as quickly as you can!"
#1396. WHO: Houston Chronicle
WHEN: February 7, 2002
WHAT WAS PUBLISHED:
Former Houstonian part of record-breaking
Many Houston-area runners will recognize the name
of a 1983 Cy-Fair High School graduate who is part of a Central
Park Track Club team that recently broke the 4x800 relay American
indoor record for women ages 30-39.
Kim Mannen, 36, who moved to New York to
attend cooking school, was a Houston Fit coach for the blue group
in 1995 and 1996 and also competed in the Rice All Comers meets
and races. She ran the Houston marathon three times, along with
marathons in Chicago, New York and Boston, with a marathon personal
record of three hours and 20 minutes set in New York in 1996.
Two years ago, she flew home to Houston to run
her favorite race - the Conoco 10K - with her father. On Jan.
24, during the Central Park Track Club's Thursday Night at the
Armory, Mannen and teammates Devon Sargent, Sue Pearsall
and Julia Casals ran the official time of 10:34.2 in the
4x800 relay, beating the previous women's 30-39 record of 11:01.44.
"I was so excited," Mannen said from
her home in New York. The Central Park Track Club men's team in
the 60-69 age group also set an indoor record the same night with
an official time of 10:15.2
Kim Mannen: "Nice to be remembered
at home and not forgotten." Nor will she ever forget
the Central Park Track Club (or vice versa).
ART CRITIC DEPARTMENT (by Noah
Perlis): "Very nice job on the Kim Mannen homage
collage, but you make it sound like her running days for CPTC are
over! I hope she has a few good years (many actually) left to go
in her running career."
MISSING PERSON POSTER:
Jesse Lansner once asked, "Who is Kim Mannen?
I need to give her the ticket money for the Millrose Games."
Apart from the literal description "Kim is the red-haired Texan
with the big smile," there are now 19 photos of her face, 1
photo of her leg and 1 photo with her three accomplices
#1395. WHO: Tony Ruiz
WHEN: February 7th, 2002
WHAT HE SAID: "On the road racing schedule, there are
four NYRR races coming up --- the Snowflake 4 Miler is a women's
scoring race and also our traditional winter club rally race; the
Al Gordon 15K is a men's scoring race; the Coogan's Salsa &
Blues 5K and the Brooklyn Half Marathon are scoring races for men
and women. I don't want anyone to feel that they have to run
all four races. This is not in your personal interest.
Our club has sufficient depth that these races should not be problematic
with respect to fielding a competitive team on any weekend.
There is no need for you to imitate Alan Ruben, who has indicated
to me that he will run all four races. Alan is an exception!"
HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE: According to George
Wisniewski, "In 1994, I set up Alan's Boston Marathon by
getting him to run another marathon just a few weeks before.
He went ahead to win the George
Washington Birthday Marathon. I don't think that I
could have done it with anyone else."
#1394. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: January 29th, 2002
WHAT HE WROTE: "On January 24th, a women's 4x800m team
from the Central Park Track Club consisting of Devon Sargent,
Kim Mannen, Sue Pearsall and Julia Casals ran
a time of 10:34.2 to break the existing American record of 11:01.44
held by the Atom Track Club team of Best-Morris-Sterret-Vega set
on March 23, 2000 in Boston, MA. Three days later, at the
Boston Indoor Games, Regina Jacobs set the world indoor best
time of 9:23.38 for two miles. Does the fact that this solo
runner ran over a minute faster than a relay team of four other
runners in her age group diminish their accomplishments?
My first comment relates to the notion of record
setting. Organized athletics have kept accurate records during
the last century. The first Olympics marathon was won in the
then record time of 2 hours and 58 minutes. The notion that
some day a woman would run a marathon in 2 hours and 18 minutes
was obviously unimaginable back then, and that woman's time would
have been good enough to win the 1956 men's Olympics marathon.
So what is regarded as a phenomenal achievement at one point may
be not so impressive later. However, we do respect the accomplishments
of all the Olympic marathoners because they ran in very different
environments (e.g. social mores, amateur/professionalism, competition,
nutrition, training, knowledge, tactics, etc). Therefore,
any type of record ought to be considered in light of its circumstances.
I have always stated that it did not matter whether
our team finished first, second, or 29th in a race. In our
thirty year history, we have won enough team and individual medals
and trophies to fill up warehouses. Our criteria of success
are whether we have successfully provided our runners with an environment
to train regularly and effectively and to compete individually and
collectively, especially with certain aims and goals in sight.
In the light of this set of criteria, I would claim
that the relay effort was immensely successful. Whether that
existing record was 'soft' or not, our team showed that we had the
organizational and individual wills to put in the hard work to train,
to arrange for the time and venue and to run the race. For
the runners, and for their supporting teammates and coaches, it
was an unforgettable evening. There may well be other teams
which have faster runners, but the fact is that none of them have
gone through the process to go after this record. To those
who lay back and claim that they could have done better if they
had bothered to try, we say, "BRING IT!" Track &
field would be healthier and more vibrant if they do ..."
#1393. WHO: Sid Howard
WHEN: January 24th, on a night when our Men 60-69 4x800m team
of Jim Aneshansley, Dan Hamner, Norman Goluskin
and Sid Howard set a new World and American indoor record
WHERE: As quoted in Runner's World Daily
WHAT HE SAID: "I want people to know age has no barriers in
completing a task. No record means as much as a team record."
#1392. WHO: Frank Handelman
WHEN: January 24th, 2002, on a night when our Men 60-69 4x800m
team of Jim Aneshansley, Dan Hamner, Norman Goluskin
and Sid Howard set a new World and American indoor record
and our Women 35-39 team of Devon Sargent, Kim Mannen,
Sue Pearsall and Julia Casals set a American Indoor
Age Group Record
WHERE: The Armory Track & Field Center, New York City
WHAT HE SAID: "That team that we founded thirty years
ago turned to be a f***ing nice little team ..."
WHAT HE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE QUOTE: "I was
misquoted! I never ever use asterisks when I speak!"
#1391. WHO: Adam Newman
WHEN: January 22nd, 2002
SITUATION: After the indoor track workout, a veteran was complaining
about how much easier such a workout was ten years ago
WHAT HE SAID: "Just think! In another ten years'
time, it will get a lot worse than this!"
#1390. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: January 22nd, 2002
SUBJECT: Digital camera recommendation
WHAT HE WROTE: "As of this date, this website carries only
6,500 digital photos of varying quality. Twice this past week,
we were asked for recommendations with respect to buying a digital
camera. Since this opinion is being solicited from the same
person who writes most of the restaurant reviews, the prospect of
getting any reasonable advice is probably grim to begin with.
Indeed, we could not provide recommendations to those people.
In the history of this website, we have so far used five different
digital cameras. Four of these are various models of the Sony
Mavica and one is a Sony Cybershot. The Sony Cybershot is
a nice stealth camera that would be terrific if we were photographing
a vase of flowers; unfortunately, we are trying to take race photos
and this camera is a total waste of our time. So far, we have
used the Sony Cybershot successfully only for the workouts, when
we catch people standing around unawares (note: the lens can be
bent around the corner, so we could be standing at ninety degrees
angle or looking down at the ground innocently while we photograph
The Sony Mavicas work great for the races, because it has a powerful
20X (our first model in 1998 was already 10X) zoom lens. For
races, most digital cameras do not have fast enough shutter speed
to catch people in motion, so that people often show up in a blur.
The Sony Mavicas let us cheat by using the lens from a longer distance
away to aim and get ready long before the subjects approach.
The best illustration can be found at the Peter
McArdle Cross County Race where we could spot our runners
coming towards us from a mile away.
If your interest is in taking racing photos, the Sony Mavicas are
a good (but expensive) proposition. However, the Sony Mavicas
are useless in other environments, such as indoor scenes with imperfect
lighting. So if you tell us that you are interested in documenting
art paintings, then we will tell you not to buy the Sony Mavicas.
There are many other manufacturers out there, but we cannot speak
competently of the performance of their models. All we can
know is that the particular Sony models that we have used have a
wide variety of performance characteristics. So we can only
suggest that you check whomever has experience in your intended
field of application to get some informed opinions."
#1389. WHEN: January 20th, 2002
WHERE: Central Park, New York City
OCCASION: Upon learning that the Chicken Soup Loop 10K was turned
into a fun run due to snow conditions
WHAT Josh Feldman SAID: "Only in New York."
(Note: Josh's last race was a win in the Snowball 20K in St.
Louis in 10 degree temperature, strong windblasts and a 715am start)
WHAT James Siegel SAID: "What is a fun run? Running
and fun do not go together!"
WHAT Harry Morales SAID: "A fun run that was not cancelled?
I guess they are not giving out refunds ..."
WHAT Kevin Arlyck SAID: "The NYRR recommends people
to call in to check race status. When I called this morning,
the message was that the race was on. If I knew that this
was going to be a fun run, I would not have come."
#1388. WHO: Noah Perlis
SUBJECT: Photo appearing for Thursday Night at the Armory
WHAT HE WROTE: "New photo discovered! From last
year's 10,000m relay - leading off in poor form. Did your
global surveillance team miss this or .......are you being judicious
and considerate in omitting the reference.....nah!!!"
FOOTNOTE: Judiciously not mentioned in the
letter of complaint was that team's result:
"Central Park Track Club, DQ"
#1387. SUBJECT: The State of the Union
speech: the Central Park Track Club website
and 2000 annual website
REPORT: Let us begin with these basic summary statistics:
|Total number of home page visits
|Total number of hits
|Total number of page views
|Average number of hits per day
|Average number of page views per
|Average number of user sessions
Yikes ... where do all these people come from!?
After all, how do we explain that an intranet site for a club with
less than 200 dues-paying members can get 746 user sessions per
day. If these people (and only these people) are supposed
to deliver 5,858 hits per day, their arms would have fallen off
from the constant mouse-clicking!
But whereas in past years, we may have been puzzled
by this phenomenon, we know that things have been different recently.
All you have to do is to take a look at our middle distance runners'
workout and you would know that this group has blossomed from about
5 people to 30-40 regulars. For this, we have to thank
our coach Devon Sargent for her tireless efforts in recruiting
the runners and forging the program. The greater implication
is that this is not necessarily just for the good of this particular
club, but for generating interest in track & field as a whole.
Proof: For the middle distance runners'
workout of January 9th, 2001, we have the names of Erik, Isaya,
Devon, Kim, Sue and Jim. That would be six people in total.
One year later, for the middle distance runners'
workout of January 3rd, 2002, we have these names:
- Group 1: Craig C, James O, Pat L, Sid,
Josh Fr, Patrick, Frank, Kevin, Craig P, Steve
- Group 2: Naomi, Darlene, Lauren, Devon,
Bola, Chris S, Sue P, John G, Noah, Mary R
- Group 3: Eve, Marie, Anna, Brian, Sue
K, Julia, Sara, Marty, Helene, Mary D, Amy A, Jim A
- (4 miles + strides before tomorrow's race): Erik,
Isaya, Hugh, Chris P, Charlotte
- Not present: Kim (Houston), Toby (Kenya), Sonja
(Germany), Lee (Spain), Jose (?), Jim O (off), Mindy (off), John
- Timer/coach: Devon
That makes forty-six people on the roster!
Somewhere back there, we know minimally that the following people
are also avid (or they ought to be!) middle distance runners ---
Stuart, Alan R, Tom P, Tom H, Josh Fe, Rob, Paul S-S, Tim, Michael
R, David P, Stephen S, Steve P, Frank M, Victor O, James, Paul B,
Kevan, Bill D, John K, Brian M, Jeff W, Stacy, Margaret A, Margaret
S, Kate, Katie, Andrea C, Leah D, Shula, Stephanie, Sylvie B, Sylvie
K, Shelley, Rae, Alayne, Etsuko and (if Sid succeeds) Heather!
#1386. WHO: Noah Perlis / Craig
SUBJECT: Practice makes perfect?
WHEN: Armory Practice 12/26/01
Noah: Craig, I read on the website that you recently
broad jumped 21 feet. Is that a misprint?
Noah: Congratulations, that's 4 feet better than your best last
year. That's an incredible improvement. How did you do that?
Craig: I practiced my form. I take off at that sign behind you,
80 feet from the line. I planted my feet in the right place and
I got good height on the jump and just sailed.
Noah: That's great, but I hope you don't expect to increase another
4 feet this year (to 25').
Craig: Why not? You can't be part of my entourage!
#1385. WHO: Pliny the Younger
TO WHOM: Tacitus
WHEN: A.D. 79
BACKGROUND: One of the gems on this website is the road
runners' workout description. Although its origin
was quite humble, it has become our most popular page behind just
our home page, race results and photo gallery. This page is
more than just a listing of the number of 800m repeats done on a
particular day, for it is also a historical document and social
commentary of our community, inside and outside of this club.
The historical archive can be read over and over again, forever
hermeneutically revealing more dimensions about our people.
So, without further ado, we'll give you the most appropriate classical
quotation in Latin (with an unfaithful English translation being
|Unum adiciam, omnia
me quibus interfueram quaeque statim, cum maxime vera memorantur,
audieram, persecutum. Tu potissima excerpes; aliud est
enim epistulam aliud historiam, aliud amica aliud omnibus scribere.
||I will say no more,
except to add that I have described in detail every incident
which I have witnessed myself or heard about immediately after
the event, when reports were most likely to be accurate.
It is for you to select what best suits your purpose, for there
is a great difference between a letter to a friend and history
written for all to read.
#1384. WHO: Devon Sargent
SUBJECT: What to do if you're a little late to practice?
WHAT SHE WROTE:
It's gonna happen. You're running late to practice.
Even so, you still need to warm up!
The Bare MINIMUM Warmup: 1 mile jog + 4 strides.
I would rather you miss the first interval, then
for you to try to "warm up" during
the intervals. It's too easy to get injured without a proper
PROPER Warm UP: 1 1/2 to 2 mile jog, stretching,
4+ strides & light drills
This should become your routine before all intervals and RACES.
NOTE: for races, you may need additional stretching
and/or a couple extra strides.
If possible, run the warmup jog CLOCKWISE, i.e.,
the opposite way you run on the track. This
helps prevent injury.
SUPPORTING EXHIBIT: Movie
(Strides before the December 18, 2001 workout)
(New York City Hall reception: Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Gordon Bakoulis, top New York City finisher
at the 2001 New York City Marathon)
(photo credit: David Monti)
#1383. WHO: Gordon Bakoulis
WHERE: Running Times, January/February 2002
TITLE: Racing for Renewal
WHAT SHE WROTE: "No living American will ever forget
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I began the day with a run, and
ended it wondering how I would ever again summon the energy and
passion for something as seemingly inconsequential as road racing.
Many runners shared this sense of the futility and pointlessness
of pinning on a number to take in something that thousands will
never enjoy again.
I was scheduled to run the Philadelphia Distance
Run on Sunday, September 16. I checked to see whether the
race was still being held --- many sporting events in and around
New York, where I live, were cancelled --- and finding it was still
on, thought hard about whether or not to go through with my plans
to compete. I was in great shape, and Philly was to be my
final race before my fall marathon, Twin Cities on October 7.
I did a light speed workout on Thursday to see how
it felt to run hard. Although my Wednesday run had felt awkward
and wooden, Thursday's set of 300s were light and zippy, imparting
a ready-to-go sensation. I talked to my husband, who
was also signed up for Philly, and he admitted to having no enthusiasm
for the race. "I'll just be going through the motions,"
he said dully. Several of his teammates had bagged their plans
to accompany us.
I lined up Sunday morning with no idea what to expect.
I started farther back in the pack than usual and took little notice
of the elite field. As the horn sounded I was wiping tears
from my eyes, brought on by a moving tribute to the victims of the
terrorist attacks, two of whom would have been with us on the starting
line. I really never stopped thinking about the disasters
in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania during the next 13.1 miles.
Like many Americans, the events of September 11 were in my consciousness
continually for weeks afterward, and are still seldom far from my
Yet I had a fantastic race that day in Philadelphia,
running faster for the distance than I had in six years. I
don't know why, though the simple fact that I was fit probably explains
at least 95 percent of it. Did my overwrought emotion contribute,
either positively or negatively? I know that I felt better
during and after the race than I had anytime in the previous five
No one can tell another person how to feel and what
to do in the wake of tragedy, whether personal or global.
Tegla Loroupe elected to run the 1995 New York City Marathon
within days of the death of her sister, and defended her title.
Other runners I know, who lost friends and family in the World Trade
Center disaster, canceled their plans to run this year's New York
City Marathon and other races. I respect both decisions.
Each runner must do what feels comfortable and right.
As I search to define the role of running in this
altered world, I've been helped most by reaching out to connect
with other runners. These days I run --- and race --- to seek
solidarity, to show gratitude, and to affirm that I am still here.
Seen in this light, running feels far from a trivial pursuit."
#1382. WHO: David Smith
SUBJECT: How to avoid getting your personal information published
on this website
WHAT HE SAID: "When you have a name like David Smith,
there will be 5000 hits when they enter your name into the search
COMMENT: Wrong! Google.com yields 149,000 hits for 'David
COMMENT: When you have a less common name like Lauren Eckhart,
you get only 54 hits, most of which come from this website including
some gems such as this.
Alas, David Smith is still invisible ...
#1381. WHO: Noel Comess
WHEN: December 1, 2001 Club Awards Banquet night
WHAT HE SAID: "Although I have not done any running at
all today, I feel like as if I had just done a twenty-mile hard
COMMENT: Why? The food for 130 people was cooked at
his apartment by him and other volunteers, and it was not just putting
frozen dinners into the microwave oven ...
#1380. WHO: Marty Levine
WHEN: 2001 Peter McArdle Cross Country 15K
WHERE: Van Cortlandt Park
After parking my car at the Mobil station on Broadway
I was jogging across the street with my shoes untied. I
stopped at a bench to get ready and a cigar chomping stranger
asks: "Are you running in the race today?"
I replied "Yes, why do you ask?"
The cigar chomping stranger said: "You
don't look like a runner!"
"Oh," I said, "What do I look like?"
He replied, "Well you know, most runners
and lanky and thin."
I then said to the man: "And what do I
"Do you really want to be insulted this early
in the morning?" he asked
"No," I replied, and proceeded to jog
to the start with motivation to go on another diet!
#1379. WHO: Mindy Solkin
SITUATION: Mindy Solkin is the recipient of the 2001
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) "Community Service
Award" for her service to runners and sports medicine professionals
in New York City.
WHAT SHE WROTE:
How do you thank the thousands of people who have
given you the opportunity to build and live your dream?
How do you thank a city that has enabled you to
pursue a career as a professional running coach?
How do you thank a sport? I believe that having
"passion" is the answer to these questions.
Webster defines "passion" as "an
intense emotional excitement" and "the object of any
strong desire". And so my strong desire to impart intense
emotional excitement to the runners who I've coached, in the sport
that I love, in the city that offers the opportunity to do this,
has given me the ability to offer passion to people's lives, while
enriching my own.
Through the art of coaching and the science of
running, I have added years to my life and life to my years. And
it is this relentless spirit that will continue to empower people
to pursue their dreams on the open road and the winding trail,
as they seek "passion" along the way.
#1378. WHO: Stuart
SUBJECT: MAC Open/Masters Cross Country Championships,
November 18, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:
How to Train Intelligently and Avoid
Racing Too Often
I met John Prather,
an excellent Arizona master runner, at a Thursday CPTC workout about
a year ago. I've seen him just that once, but we've turned out to
have a lot in common, so we pass on our training successes and injury
laments via e-mail. A few days after the NYC Marathon, I wrote John
that I'd decided not to run the next weekend's cross-country race,
and he was pretty tough on me; he'd always wanted to run the legendary
Van Cortlandt course, and his sensory nerves were connected to his
own quadriceps rather than to mine. I earned back some respect by
telling him that I'd be racing three loops of Van Cortlandt's lovely
hills in the Pete McArdle 15K two weeks later, and that I might
also run the Race to Deliver 4-Mile in the intervening weekend.
As that next weekend approached,
I realized that a good training run in Van Cortlandt would be more
valuable to my preparation for the 15K than a race would, so on
Sunday morning I reluctantly got on the uptown 1-train. I kept looking
at my watch, thinking, "Okay, the four-mile starts in ten minutes...they're
on the line...they're definitely running now...well, I missed the
I got to Van Cortlandt
and jogged across the big field. I thought I'd do three loops of
the hills, something like that. As I neared the trail, I came upon
a finish-chute and a couple of bored-looking officials sitting in
chairs next to it.
"Hey, what's the race?"
I asked. I was picturing some little kids' age-group thing.
"Oh, it's the MAC Championships.
The women should be here any minute now."
"Did they already have a men's race?"
"No, no, they're lining
up right now--they start in a couple of minutes. You get on over
A couple of minutes! A
desperate debate started up in my head. "Of course I should
run! (But I'm wearing sweats, training shoes...I don't have my singlet)--Oh,
come on, what am I going to do, watch? (But I wasn't supposed to
be running a race today...)" This was interrupted by a
gang of New York Harriers jogging to the start, among them the always-friendly
Liam Kinsella, who I pray never loses his Irish accent:
"Eh, Sturrrt, let's gooo--ye'r runnin'
the race, arrrn'tcha?"
I seemed to have no choice.
I took off my sweats--I was wearing those Race Ready shorts covered
with pockets! I looked like Paul Stuart-Smith! It couldn't
be helped. I stashed my stuff in the MAC van and did a stiff-legged
pickup over to the Broadway side of the park. Suddenly I was happy--I'd
get to race without ever having gotten nervous.
I did the usual size-up-the-field
survey: "Okay, Liam will win it; Steve Marsalese
will be within seconds of me one way or the other....I can beat
this guy with the basketball shoes....Hey, wonder who the masters
are in here..."
As I took my spot on the
line, a very fit-looking man jogged up in a pair of spikes. I thought
I'd see if I could make out his age on his number-tag. I leaned
out, took a glance-- His shirt said "PHILADELPHIA MASTERS."
"Runners, take your marks!"...BANG!
A bunch of young college-track
types took off fast. Liam cruised through them up toward the front.
The Philadelphia Master was about ten yards ahead of me; Steve materialized
beside me on cue. We went around the field--I was running on instinct,
my mind still saying "They're having a race here today?"--and
into the hills; Steve and I started threading through the fast starters.
We saw Liam catch the first of them. I said "Liam's got it,"
and Steve said "We'll get all these guys."
We passed Philadelphia
on an uphill. His spikes made a noticeable crackle on the trail;
I'd know if he was nearby. Steve started running the uphills depressingly
well. I hung on as we passed a couple more twenty-year-olds. We
were in fourth and fifth now, Liam leaving his last two rivals for
us to shoot at. The hills started to be The Hills, and I started
to be a very unprepared competitor with training shoes and a flapping
T-shirt and numerous other excuses, and I started to dread the sound
of those spikes.
Steve got away. "Yeah,
well, I beat him in the marathon. Hey, I just ran a marathon! That's
a REALLY good excuse!"
Long steep downhill to
the fence, wild banked turn at probably four-minute-mile pace, then
into the last uphill, a long slog back to the bridge over the parkway.
I reached a short stretch of asphalt street, ran about three seconds
Clack, clatter, clack.
Over the bridge, last big
downhill, jolt-jounce-bounce, "Hope there's no big rock
under these leaves..." I caught up to the fourth-place
guy--a smooth-striding kid of about 22, probably some 800-meter
runner--and he held me off. "Ah, let him go, who cares,
he's no master!--No, chasing him will help; don't let him go!"
We rolled out onto the
last flat stretch--it's a lot longer than it looks, probably a 600--and
the kid just cruised away from me. "Damn, your legs can
feel dead at the ends of these things....Don't get discouraged!
First master, first master..."
After about a half-hour
of perceived time, I reached the end of the quicksand-pit that the
trail had miraculously become. I stopped my watch, looked
at it. 18:04--man, it didn't seem THAT slow! Looked back.
Philadelphia was just crossing the line.
I was the MAC Masters Cross-Country
Nearly as important, I've
met the stringent Arizona race-scheduling standards. But thanks,
really, John. You, too, Liam.
Three times around that thing next
#1377. SUBJECT: Victor Diaz,
at the Armory
in the mile race,
Among those who perished on
American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor on November 12,
2001 was Victor Diaz, who was a member of the Central
Park Track Club in 1997-1998 and then became a member of the
A.U.R.A. International team. He was a top M50-54 local
competitor at 400m/800m/mile and XC. Victor had gotten
married earlier this month and was on his way to see his bride
in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This is very sad,
and he will be missed by his friends in the running community.
From Frank Handelman:
"There seems to be no end to the shocks we are enduring
this fall. Like everyone else in the city, I've gone through
enormous mood swings and did so again on Monday, when Flight
587 went down. I had spent much of Saturday driving around
the Rockaway peninsula, while visiting one of my senior citizen
clients. Then I felt the guilt of feeling relief, that this
appears to be (can it be said this way?) just a normal crash.
And now to learn it's personal, with the loss of Victor
Victor and I trained together when he ran
with the CPTC, and stayed close after he left. I raced against
him all the time, as we shared an age group and did the same
events. I always feared his finish, with his long, effortless
strides eating up the ground. I particularly relish the memory
of the masters nationals in 1999 in Orlando. He was the most
tenacious of competitors, and the most gracious and friendly
of teammates and rivals. I will miss him tremendously at the
Armory this winter.
May we all be sure to count our blessings
and appreciate our lives this Thanksgiving."
Originally, we thought that we had only one
photo of Victor on our website. From Jeff Kisseloff:
"It's no accident that I'm in that photo
with Victor. We used to good-humoredly push each other in
races all the time. We'd laugh because I'd always go out fast
and finish up slow, and he'd do the opposite, so we'd usually
come together at some point. When I was training at the Armory,
we'd almost always would pair off. He was a sweet, warm
guy, who always made the hard work challenging and fun."
From Jim Aneshansley: "I learned
of the death of Victor Diaz at the Armory this evening.
In previous years I had given Victor a lift home to
Brooklyn after practice and I had expected to see him this
evening...... For those who knew Victor this is a shocking
loss. We will miss his gentle heart and competitive spirit.
For those who didn't know Victor,.... you missed a warm
and generous man.
For the record, Victor never left the club,.. he simply elected
to stay with Howard when the coach controversy erupted. Although
Victor was an intelligently outspoken advocate of Puerto Rican
independence, he didn't believe that politics and the sport
of running belonged on the same page. He opted out of
the controversy by staying where he was with Howard at AURA.
Victor was a very private and introspective man who
really didn't need the social camaraderie of a running club.
As a dedicated athlete he 'marched to his own drummer',
successfully following a program based on Arthur
Lydiard's philosophy for periodised training. He
built his seasons intelligently from base to race and knew
his abilities and how to peak at the Nationals each winter
and summer. Victor knew how to run track ,...training
healthy and racing close to his competitive limit. I
never raced on the roads with Victor but I am told he competed
there with the same strength of character.
I'll also admired Victor's inner qualities as a human being.
Those who remember him will agree that he had a hard
exterior with a lean, hard body and a face to match
it. His look belied the gentle man inside. In
many hours of conversation I found him a skilled listener
and emotionally available on any subject. As a runner
and as a human being Victor was 'world class'."
#1376. WHO: Bola Awofeso
SITUATION: Do you wonder how we get photos from those out-of-town
races? What does it take?
WHEN: November 16th, 2001 (two days before the Philadelphia
WHAT HE WROTE: "I plan on being in Philly this Sunday --- if
I can catch the 6 a.m. train."
COMMENT: If you were really checking the results,
you will note that the photos appeared just after noon that day.
How did that happen so quickly? Isaya Okwiya said,
"I was staying with a friend who lives right across the museum.
So I just rolled out of bed to watch the marathon. Afterwards,
I got the photos and emailed it through hotmail.com and then I went
back to bed again."
#1375. WHO: Susan Sontag
WHERE: Introduction to One Hundred Years of Italian Photography
WHAT SHE WROTE: Photographs are not windows which supply a
transparent view of the world as it is, or more exactly, as it was.
Photographs give evidence --- often spurious, always incomplete
--- in support of dominant ideologies and existing social arrangements.
They fabricate and confirm these myths and arrangements.
How? By making statements about what is in
the world, what we should look at. Photographs tell us how
things ought to look, what their subjects should reveal about themselves.
Photographs taken in the nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries rarely fail to make visible the markers of status.
We associate this with posing. The process itself took time:
one couldn't take photographs on the run. With posing, whether
in a studio portrait or in pictures of people taken on the sites
of work and recreation, there can be a conscious construction of
what is seemly, appropriate, attractive. The way most old
photographs look expounds the value of uprightness, explicitness,
informativeness, orderly spacing; but from the 1930s on, and this
cannot only be due to the evolution of camera technology, the look
of photographs confirms the value of movement, animation, asymmetry,
enigma, informal social relations. Modern taste judges the
way workers in the old photographs of building sites and factories
were stiffly posed to be a kind of lie --- concealing, for instance,
the reality of their physical exertion. We prefer to see the
sweat, in informal, unposed-looking shots in which people are caught
in a movement --- that is what looks truthful (if not always beautiful)
to us. We feel more comfortable with what features exertion,
awkwardness, and conceals the realities of control (self-control,
control by others), of power --- revelations we now judge, oddly
enough, to be "artificial."
COMMENT: Remember these words the next time
you come out of the portosan and see a camera in your face ...
#1374. WHO: Brian Barry /
WHEN: November 16, 2001, 10:45pm
WHERE: Stuyvesant Town, 14th Street & Avenue C
Brian: "Hi, what you are doing at this time of night?"
Roland: "Oh, I'm running a couple of loops before I go to bed.
What about you?"
Brian: "I'm going to get a pint of ice-cream ..."
#1373. WHO: Roland Soong
SUBJECT: The Central Park Track
WHEN: November 14, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "The busiest pages on this website are
the race results, the workout descriptions and the photo gallery.
These pages interest people because the information are frequently
updated --- usually several races every weekend, two workouts per
week and an average of one photo album per week. Actually,
our most frequently updated page is not any of the aforementioned
pages, but the Central Park Track Club booklist. On that page,
we publish the list of all items, mostly books, that have been sold
in chronological order (most recent one at the top) through our
Amazon.com affiliate program. This booklist may be updated
several times a week. The stated reason for publishing this
list is to 'let you know what your friends have on their minds these
days' and the revenues are only of minor concern.
But that is not the complete story. Even a
cursory examination of the book list would reveal that there is
a distinct slant towards Latinamericana. This is because we
share the Amazon.com affiliate ID with our sister (formerly, parent)
a major Latin American portal. In fact, we cannot tell which
site generated the sale of a particular item, but we suspect that
most of activity is being generated by the other website because
of the strong Latin flavor of the books sold. On that other
website, there is a large number of recommended booklists on specific
topics, such as:
In each case, the purpose is to collect a body of
published references on an important subject and placed them in
context on a public website. Then we sit back and watch the
hits accumulate over time. These are evergreen content pages
that persist because they remain the major references on those subjects.
So it is that when we see someone has purchased the major books
on the Guatemalan civil war, we feel as if we have influenced someone
to examine an important piece of history. And when someone
purchased books on machismo or racism, we feel that we have
possibly made some contributions towards people's understanding
of prejudices. Such are the little delights in our lives that
we are sure that you will permit us to indulge ...
P.S. Now about the person who purchased Leonard
Cohen's The Future. What are you trying to do?
Are you trying to read my mind? To get inside my head ...?"
From Brian Barry: "I'm the one who purchased Leonard
Cohen's The Future. Great Album." Roland
Soong sent this note of admiration: "Well I'll have to
give you a lot more respect from now on ... I had marked you for
a country music hick ..." Brian Barry accepts
with a barb: "That's the problem with you liberals --- you
think you've got the market on everything, including taste in music.
Actually I'm a rock n roller with a twist."
#1372. WHO: Roland Soong
SUBJECT: Those ~900 home page visitors to our website on the
day after the 2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT HE WROTE: "It was a mystery to me how our 66 finishers
could have generated interest from such a high multiple of visitors,
until one of them (who shall go unnamed) said to me, 'You know,
I love to go to the website and read my splits over and over again.'"
#1371. SUBJECT: How do you know that
you may have had a bad marathon?
WHEN: Tuesday workout after the 2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT: "You know that you may have had a bad marathon when you
see a clean-shaven Kevin Arlyck and you swear that he had
a moustache on marathon day. Were you really hallucinating
#1370. WHO: George Hirsch
TITLE: We'll Keep On Running
WHERE: Runner's World, December 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:
On Tuesday morning, September 11, the president
of the United States woke up early in Sarasota, Fla., and went
for a hard 4-1/2 mile run before visiting an elementary school.
That same morning my wife Shay joined me on my walk to work as
she does every day. It was a crisp, crystal-clear day in
New York after a summer of typical heat and humidity, and I was
looking forward to my run at lunchtime.
That run never happened.
Like each one of us, I vividly recall --- and
will forever recall --- how the unspeakable tragedy unfolded.
I was beginning my day in the Runner's World publishing office
on the east side of Manhattan when we heard the first report about
a plane flying into the World Trade Center. The news sent
us to the TV in our conference room, where we spent the next few
hours watching in horror and disbelief.
The disbelief turned slowly to harsh reality,
as we realized that a tremendous blow had wounded our city and
country. Eventually I left the office, heading for home
through a world far different from the one that had seen the day's
sunrise. That innocent world now seemed shattered.
As I walked, I passed thousands of New Yorkers
trudging northward in quiet, calm groups. We all looked
up when military jets screeched overhead. I've lived in
New York most of my life, and have learned to accept the sound
of sirens piercing the air as no more than background music in
this busy city's cacophony.
But I'd never heard such a persistent wailing.
At the same time, thick clouds of smoke loomed over lower Manhattan.
When I reached home, the telephone was ringing.
It kept ringing all night. Friends from around the world
were calling to express their concern and offer their support.
We heard from Idaho and California, and also from England, Italy,
and South Africa. Everyone agreed that he or she had never
witnessed such a wanton, destructive act.
For the rest of the day and night, we watched
TV, trying to make sense of the senseless. An e-mail from
Joe Henderson told us of friends, two of Dr. George
Sheehan's sons, who'd barely escaped the tragedy. Tim
Sheehan was still on the subway heading to his job in the
North Tower when it was struck. Michael Sheehan escaped
from his 55-th floor office in the South Tower, helping an elder
woman negotiate the last 15 flights of stairs.
The next morning, I jogged to office through holiday-quiet
streets. The National Guard in camouflage fatigues directed
traffic as fire trucks and ambulances hurtled by. Very few
New Yorkers reported to their offices that day, so I was surprised
to find Claudia Malley, our publisher, and every member
of our New York staff at their desks. I can't say that we
got much accomplished on Wednesday, but we all felt better being
together as colleagues in our work family.
At midday, I ran to Central Park, my city's refuge
and my own country club for the past 35 years. Unlike the
city streets, the park was bustling. Parents with strollers.
Lovers hand in hand. And runners --- lots of runners.
Apparently many of us needed to leave our apartments, houses and
offices to find something familiar in this unfathomable new world.
The experience reminded me of how running has
helped me through other tough stages of my life. As I settled
into a relaxed, comfortable rhythm, I recalled that I'd also gone
out for a run the day after my father died many years ago.
I needed to go off by myself to sift though my thoughts and emotions
while doing what comes naturally. I did the same after
my mother passed away. My daily runs have always brought
me a sense of calm and peace.
Note: George Hirsch and Claudia
Malley are members of the Central Park Track Club.
#1369. WHO: Guenter Erich / David
WHEN: November 4, 2001
WHERE: Just past the New York City Marathon finish line
WHAT David Obelkevich (MILL) SAID: "Hey, Guenter, did
you break four hours?"
WHAT Guenter Erich (CPTC) SAID: "I shitdipped (4:00:47)
, but my chip did (3:59:13)!!!"
#1368. WHO: Kai Michaelsen
SUBJECT: His Marathon PR
WHAT HE SAID: "You ask me what my marathon PR was? That
is actually a difficult question. The simple answer is that
my best marathon finishing time was 2:48. But the fact was
that I had reached the 26 mile mark in 2:39, whereupon I collapsed
a few steps later. It took me 9 minutes to cross that finish
line, because I was so disoriented that I was running the wrong
way when I got up and I was arguing with someone who tried to point
me in the right direction."
#1367. WHO: Michele Tagliati
mia maratona del 2001
WHEN: November 5, 2001
York City Site
WHAT HE WROTE: "Ero nato da pochi giorni quando Abebe Bikila
conquisto' a piedi nudi la maratona olimpica di Roma e forse non
e' una coincidenza che la maratona abbia sempre colpito la mia fantasia,
sin da bambino, quando leggevo la storia del mitico Dorando Pietri.
Ma da quando vivo a New York mi sono ammalato di "maratonite"
acuta. O meglio cronica, visto che quest'anno ho timbrato il mio
decimo cartellino: dieci maratone in dieci anni, comincio a sentirmi
Quest'anno pero' era una maratona diversa. Ci siamo
svegliati tutti molto presto, salutati da una giornata incantevole,
con un sole mite, senza umidita' e una brezzolina rinfrescante dietro
ogni angolo. Alla partenza si respirava un'atmosfera particolare,
impalpabile, la consapevolezza di essere parte di qualcosa di piu'
importante della solita maratona. Dopo l'undici di settembre ben
poche cose sono di routine a New York. Persino una bella giornata
di sole finisce per ricordarti il cielo senza una nuvola di quello
sciagurato mattino di fine estate. Ma ieri per la prima volta dall'attacco
al World Trade Center, la citta' si riuniva intorno ad una delle
sue creature piu' simboliche, il serpentone multicolore che incarna
la natura internazionale della Grande Mela e la consacra ogni anno
capitale del mondo podistico. Confesso che le note di "God Bless
America" mi hanno fatto venire la pelle d'oca sulla linea di partenza.
Ma il colpo di cannone della partenza ha fatto svanire
ogni incertezza. E dopo il lungo ponte di Verrazzano, sul quale
non puoi fare a meno di notare la silhouette mutilata di Manhattan
sulla sinistra, ci siamo tutti immersi nel bagno di folla di Brooklyn.
Sara' stata la bella giornata o i pantaloncini a stelle e striscie
che mia figlia mi aveva regalato una settimana fa, ma la gente era
piu' calorosa quest'anno, piu' rumorosa, piu' vicina alla corsa.
Le bande musicali che costellano il percorso avevano piu' ritmo,
i colori erano piu' vivaci. Era come se gli spettatori avessero
bisogno di tuffarsi in questo rito gioioso per scrollarsi la paura
di dosso, almeno per qualche ora e forse, chissa', per i mesi a
Intanto le miglia si succedevano festose. Ecco la Brooklyn Academy
of Music che segna l'ottavo miglio, la sequenza multietnica di Bedford
Avenue, il fascino post-modern dei magazzini industriali nel Queens
subito dopo la meta' maratona, il silenzio del ponte di Queensboro
che precede il boato della First Avenue. Sara' perche' abito su
First Avenue, ma i cinque chilometri dalla 59ma strada al Bronx
sono la parte piu' bella e incredibile della maratona di NY. Nonostante
la stanchezza cominci ad affiorare insidiosa, migliaia e migliaia
di voci urlanti ti fanno letteralmente volare. Ti senti quasi ubriaco,
forse sono gli zuccheri che non arrivano piu' al cervello, ma gli
esperti la chiamano "First Avenue High". E forse hai bisogno di
ubriacarti un po' prima di affrontare il "muro" del 20mo miglio
nel Bronx. Gli spettatori diventano meno numerosi, l'incitamento
piu' sparso e tutto d'un tratto ti rendi conto in che pasticcio
ti sei andato a cacciare. Le gambe si fanno pesanti, i piedi cominciano
a dolorare e facendo qualche calcolo ti accorgi che mancano ancora
dieci chilometri! La corsa si snoda per qualche chilometro attraverso
Harlem, ma pochi hanno voglia di ammirare il paesaggio a quel punto.
Il sole si riflette sull'asfalto disegnando una linea d'argento
che - punteggiata di corridori - tira dritta fino a Central Park,
la terra promessa . ed il Parco ti aspetta nella sua bellezza impareggiabile,
quel verde brillante e riposante allo stesso tempo e di nuovo il
frastuono assordante del pubblico che ti prende per mano per le
ultime sospirate miglia. Vestendo la maglia arancione del mitico
Central Park Track Club mi godo qualche incoraggiamneto extra, ma
c'e' ne e' per tutti e per ore di seguito. Piano piano comincio
a crederci, anche quest'anno arrivo in fondo ...
Mancano due chilometri, un chilometro, ecco Central
Park South, la statua di Cristoforo Colombo sullo sfondo, la curva
trionfante che ti riporta nel Parco per gli ultimi cinquecento metri.
Ancora una salitina e puoi vedere l'orologio sulla linea d'arrivo.
Non importa se ci metti due ore o cinque, a quel punto ti senti
vincitore. E la gente ti tratta come tale, con un entusiasmo incredibile
e inesauribile, fino all'ultimo metro. Getti le braccia al cielo
per la foto sotto al traguardo ed il sorriso sostituisce la smorfia
della fatica sul viso. "Ce l'ho fatta!" Quest'anno in particolare
abbiamo vinto tutti e New York ha trionfato con noi.
Technical note: For all you people
who don't know the language of Dante Alighieri, Altavista.com
offers the following machine translation. Of course, Michele
Tagliati cannot be held responsible for this atrocity.
"I was been born from little days when Abebe
Bikila I conquer. on foot knots maratona olympic of Rome and perhaps
a not and coincidence that the maratona has always hit my fantasy,
sin from child, when I read the history of the mythical one Gilding
Stones. But from when alive to New York " maratonite "
are sickened to me of acute. Or better chronic, inasmuch as quest.anno
I have stamped mine tenth cartellino: ten maratone in ten years,
I begin to sentirmi a veteran.
But the gun shot of the departure has made to
vanish every uncertainty. And after along bridge of Verrazzano,
on which you cannot make less than to notice silhouette the cripple
of Manhattan on the left, there are all dipping in the bath of
crowd of Brooklyn. Sara. be the beautiful day or pantaloncini
to stars and the strips that my daughter had given me a week ago,
but people were piu. warm quest.anno, piu. noisy, piu. near the
race. The musical bands that stud the distance had piu. rhythm,
the colors were piu. lively. It was like if the spectators they
had need of tuffarsi in this joyful ritual for scrollarsi the
back fear, at least for some hour and perhaps, chissa., for the
months to come. While the miles succeeded festose. Here the Brooklyn
Academy of Music that marks l.ottavo mile, the multiethnic sequence
of Bedford Avenue, the fascination post-modern of the industrial
warehouses in the Queens endured after the goal maratona, Hush
of the bridge of Queensboro that precedes the roar of the First
Avenue. Sara. perche. dress on First Avenue, but the five kilometers
from 59ma the road to the Bronx are the beautiful part piu. and
incredible of the maratona of NY. In spite of the fatigue it begins
to emerge insidiosa, migliaia and migliaia of urlanti voices they
literally make you to fly.
Quest.anno pear tree was one maratona various.
We have waked up all a lot soon, greeted from one charming day,
with a mild sun, without umidita. and one brezzolina refreshing
behind every angle. To the departure it was breathed un.atmosfera
particular, impalpabile, the knowledge of being part of something
of piu. important of the usual maratona. After l.undici of september
very little things are of ruotine to New York. A beautiful day
of sun even ends for ricordarti the sky without one cloud of that
sciagurato mattino of fine summer. But yesterday for before the
time dall.attacco to the World Trade Center, the citta. one gathered
around to one of its symbolic creatures piu., serpentone the multicolor
that incarnates the international nature of the Great Apple and
it consecrates it every vital year of the podistico world. I confess
that the notes of God Bless America. they have made me to come
the skin d.oca on the starting line. Perhaps you feel yourself
nearly drunk, are the sugars that do not arrive piu. to the brain,
but the experts call it First Avenue High.. And perhaps you have
need of ubriacarti a po. before facing the muro. of 20mo the mile
in the Bronx. The spectators become less numerous, scattered l.incitamento
piu. and all d.un drawn you become account in that pie six gone
to you to hunt. The legs are made heavy, the feet begin to dolorare
and making some calculation you notice that still ten kilometers
lack! The race snoda for some kilometer through Harlem, but little
have want to admire the landscape to that point. The sun is reflected
sull.asfalto designing a line d.argento that - punctuated of runners
- it pulls straight until Central Park, the promised earth. and
the Park waits for to you in its unparalleled beauty, that new
shining green and resting at the same time and of the deafening
din of the public who takes to you for hand for the last ones
yearned for miles. Dressing the orange mesh of the mythical Central
Park Track Club I enjoy some incoraggiamneto extra, but c.e. ne
and for all and hours of continuation. Slowly slowly I begin to
crederci, also quest.anno arrival in bottom...
Two kilometers lack, a kilometer, here Central
Park South, the statue of Cristoforo Columbus on the background,
the triumphant curve that you filler in the Park for last the
five hundred meters. Still a salitina and you can see l.orologio
on the d.arrivo line. It does not import if you put us two hours
or five, to that point you feel winner. And people deal to you
like such, with an incredible and inexhaustible enthusiasm, until
all.ultimo meter. Jets the arms to the sky for the photo under
to the goal and the sorriso replace the smorfia of the hard work
on the ace. Ce l.ho made!. Quest.anno in particular we have gained
all and New York has prevailed with we.
#1366. WHO: Vincent Trinquesse
SUBJECT: 2001 New York City Marathon
WHAT HE WROTE: "In 1999, I watched. In 2000, I volunteered.
In 2001, I did it. I remember the best cup of -hot!- Coke
I ever had at mile 20 when the pain in my knee (tendonitis) started
to drive me crazy! Thanks Stacy (Creamer)!"
#1365. WHO: Yves-Marc
Courtines (and Larry Thraen)
WHEN: November 1, 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "I was in Chicago last week. At the time,
I was wearing a marathon shirt. Some guy started to talk to
me, and asked me if I run marathons. I said that I am currently
injured, but I belong to a team with many marathon runners.
He said, 'Oh yeah, which team do you belong to?' I said, 'The
Central Park Track Club.' He said, 'Really! I am a member
of the Central Park Track Club too!' I said, 'You know, someone
on our team ran 2:59:59 at the Chicago Marathon a couple of weeks
ago.' He said, 'But I am that person!' This world is
#1364. WHO: Stefani Jackenthal
WHAT SHE WROTE: They don't need no stinkin' cabs! New York
City kayakers prefer to chase wakes from frantic commuter ferries
on the Hudson River. And from the river, the fish-eye's view of
the scenic skyline can't be beat. Although home storage is not often
an option, the concrete jungle has a few havens to store and rent
kayaks. The most notable is Manhattan Kayak Company (MKC), owned
and operated by Eric Stiller. Based in a barge on the flanks
of the Hudson (Pier 63 at 23rd street), MKC offers instruction and
guided tours of varying lengths. A popular short tour (1.5 hours)
explores the historical USS Intrepid Navel warship-turned-museum.
Ultra-paddles (7-9 hours), such as a circumnavigation of Manhattan
(28 miles) are also available for strong strokers as is a three-hour
weekender to the Statue of Liberty. And, when the pod of a dozen
or so sea kayaks reaches the choppy water at Lady Liberty's base,
paddlers are awestruck. While they stare upward at her daunting
torch and book, fascinated tourists point down to the tiny bobbing
kayaks as if looking into an aquarium. Now that's entertainment.
For more information on the Manhattan Kayak Company, call (212)
924-1788, or go to www.manhattankayak.com.
#1363. WHO: Michele Tagliati
WHEN: October 30, 2001, upon seeing a
photo of an Alessandro Del Piero jersey in Venice
published on this website
WHAT HE WROTE: "Del Piero who? Francesco Totti
rules in New York City (and Roma). See attachments."
#1362. WHO: Paul Stuart-Smith
/ Roland Soong
SUBJECT: Serpentine Running Club's Last Friday of the Month
5K series in London (UK)
SUB-TITLE: How nagging is more effective than coaching
Paul Stuart-Smith, Saturday (September
1): "16:47 - 7th place."
Paul Stuart-Smith, Monday (October 1):
"16:34, 2nd overall. Slowly getting back to full fitness
Roland Soong, Tuesday (October 2): "Gotta work up
one more spot next time ..."
Paul Stuart-Smith, Tuesday (October 2): "I'm working
Paul Stuart Smith, Friday (October 26):
WHEN: October 18, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "As you know, I now live in Boston
and run up here. I work for Newsweek magazine as
the Boston Ad Sales Manager.
In this week's issue (8/22/01 cover date --
ANTHRAX) there is a picture of Tony Ruiz on page 67.
Small world -- eight million people in NYC and someone I know
gets pictured in the magazine.
Hope all is well with the team. Please say hello for me."
COMMENT: This photo was taken on the morning of September
11, 2001 in the area of the World Trade Center area.
Two days later at our workout, coach Tony Ruiz said,
"I was an eyewitness to the second airplane crashing
into the World Trade Center. It was a devastating sight.
After seeing something like that, I must say that running
is very low on my list right now. Nevertheless, I am
here today and I just want to run a loop with my friends.
Then I want to go home to my son, who still finds it hard
#1360. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: October 18, 2001
SUBJECT: Those 192 persons who are delinquent on their club
dues on this day
WHAT HE SAID: "Unfortunately, there is not much that
we can threaten them with. For example, if we say 'Your race
results will not be published on the website until you've paid up,'
then some people will definitely not pay!" Ditto for
the 'no photographs' threat."
#1359. WHO: Richard Shadick,
Ph.D., Director of Training, Pace University, Counseling Center
TO WHOM: NYU Cole Center-Triathlon Club e-list (forwarded
by Shula Sarner)
SUBJECT: Coping with 9/11
WHAT HE WROTE: "Ann Snoeyenbos thought it might
be a good idea to have someone in the field of mental health comment
on the effect of experiencing the WTC attack on training might be.
As a psychologist, and a triathlete, I think this is a great idea.
Here are a couple of issues to consider. What we
all have experienced is a highly traumatic, abnormal yet historic
event. Depending on the level of exposure one has had (e.g.,
watching it on TV, seeing it in real life, being at ground zero),
our minds and bodies will react, for a while. We may have
experienced a whole host of reactions, physically and emotionally,
from anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, nightmares, exaggerated startle
responses, loss of appetite, sadness, among many other things.
There are some symptoms particularly relevant for this
listserve: lack of energy or motivation to do things we normally enjoy
(assuming you enjoy training) or boundless amounts of energy, increased
appetite and little need for sleep. Thus you may not have any desire
to train or you have been training very hard, non-stop since the attack.
These are all common reactions and to be expected. (If you are
not aware of any reaction at all, remember numbness and avoidance
are reactions too.)
Here are a couple of suggestions:
1) Try to get back to a normal routine-first eating
and sleeping, and then training. Don't worry about training until
your eating and sleeping is normal. Missing some training time
is not going to hurt us, after all isn't this the off season?
2) Don't overdo it. While it is adaptive to work
out anxiety and fear through exercise, it is important to not over
exercise especially since your body is already stressed from the
attack and may be prone to injury.
3) Cut yourself some slack. You are going
through an extremely traumatic, historic event and you should
not expect to be at 100% during this time.
4) You should be alarmed if symptoms linger or
if they get worse. If this is the case, seek professional help.
#1358. WHO: Blair Boyer
WHEN: October 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "You should never tell people like me
about other's people mileage. Last weekend, I found out that
Alan Ruben covered 34 miles on Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend, for me, 22 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday
for 35 miles total. Of course, I probably took a couple more
hours longer to do this than Alan did."
#1357. WHO: Alan Bautista, Sid
Howard, Roland Soong
WHEN: October 9th, 2001, after the track workout
WHERE: East River Park
TITLE: Play in one act
Alan: Roland, I'll have to ask you
for a favor. Could you post a message on the website to
ask whoever took my orange jacket by mistake to return it to me?
Sid: Oh my, how is that possible? This kind
of thing cannot happen on this team. Is it one of the new
Alan: No, it is an old one.
Sid: I don't understand who could have taken it.
Alan: Sid, you are wearing an old jacket. Is
Sid: Hmm, this jacket does feel a bit big on me.
Let me check my bag. Oh my, my own jacket is in the bag!
So I did take your jacket by mistake!
Alan: Sid, those pants also look big for you.
Did you take my pants too?
Sid: Oh my, my pants in the bag too! So I took
your pants too. I don't know how this could have happened.
I usually leave my pants outside, but this is the only time that
I ever put them into the bag. I must have forgotten, and
I picked up the clothes that were lying next to it ...
Alan: Roland, you don't have to post that message now.
Roland: I won't post a message, but I'll sure write
this incident up.
Sid: I hate to be reading this ...
WHERE: Central Park, NYC
WHEN: 10:47am, October 7th, 2001
PHOTO: Taken at that very moment
WHAT HE SAID: "Yes, you are quite correct --- I was registered
to run in the Chicago Marathon today and it is obvious that
I won't get to the starting line on time. By the way,
I am also registered to run in the New York City Marathon too,
and I won't get to that starting line either.
Why do I register for these races that I don't
run? Hmm. I think it is my mission to give these
races a couple of hundred dollars to show my support ..."
FOOTNOTE: Will the Honolulu Marathon
be the next race that he won't run in ... ?
QUERY: Yes, this is a free world ---
James can choose to enter and not to run those races.
But the big question is, Will he be wearing the race t-shirts?
#1355. WHO: Michele Tagliati
WHEN: September 30, 2001
WHERE: Central Park bridle path, in the middle of a long marathon
WHAT HE SAID: "It is a sign of the times when people
produce GU to share, instead of marijuana to smoke."
COMMENT: An alternate explanation is that
one can never be sure that who is a narc on this club ...
#1354. WHO: Peter Gambaccini
/ Alan Bautista
WHEN: September 27, 2001
Dr. Alan Bautista,
who races from 200 meters up to 5-K, is an emergency medicine
physician in the Bronx who is in Naval Reserve. On September 11,
"I was feeling what everyone else was feeling. I need to
do something." He ended up going down to the Trade Center
in his naval uniform so I could get where I needed to go and wouldn't
"I got a small
crew, and they gave us a litter and some ropes and some axes and
some fire extinguishers. I said 'okay, we gotta get in there.'
I wasn't even scared." He was actually putting out fires
at 7 World Center before he was warned it was about to collapse.
Bautista made his
way to nearby Liberty Plaza, across the street from the now destroyed
South Tower of the World Trade Center. "Trauma is kind of
my specialty. I had packed a 45-pound medical kit issued to me
by the Navy three days before the incident; luckily I had it with
"We found someone
in the pile of rubble," notes Bautista." His name was
Lenny. I would like to know his last name and who he was. He was
in civilian clothes; to my knowledge, he might have been the last
civilian pulled out of the wreckage (other than rescuers). They
think he might have been from the 70th floor, because the girders
around him said 70. I was running back and forth with my pack
- I'm training for the Fifth Avenue Mile and I'm trying to get
in shape. He had a broken arm, broken leg, and a broken foot and
a couple of ribs, but he was alive and talking. We stabilized
him, put him in a splint, put in an IV to give him fluids, and
put a hard collar on him to protect his neck, and we shipped him."
"And that was
it. We waited for the next one and the next one and they never
came. Once I found my usefulness over, I left. There were too
many chefs, as it were."
Bautista the reservist
is now on High Alert. "I want to go," he affirms. "I
don't want to be stuck on some base in Idaho. I want to be deployed.
I want to be where I'm need, where I think I can be of best use.
The scary thing is, I'm not scared. I was at the World Trade Center
on Day Zero, and now I may be on the other side of the world.
They aren't too many people who've had the opportunity to be in
#1353. WHO: Peter Gambaccini
/ Stacy Creamer / Stuart Calderwood / Irene Jackson
WHEN: September 26, 2001
Stacy Creamer, winner of this year's Central Park
Triathlon and the Race to Home Plate 5-K in the Mets' Shea Stadium,
is one of the leading fiction editors in the country. She works
at the Putnam Publishing Group, about a mile north of the World
Trade Center site.
I just got a book, a 600-page manuscript, from a new author of
mine who just finished it two weeks ago," she said. "And
it opens with a missile attack on the Department of Agriculture
in Washington by Osama Bin Laden. I don't think we're going to
be able to publish this book."
At Putnam, she says,
"we went through a whole list of jacket art and things we
had to change. Some things we've had to postpone."
Creamer had got
a slow heading to work on September 11. She'd paused to vote in
the Mayoral Primary to select a successor to Rudolph Giuliani,
then she and boyfriend Stuart Calderwood got on the subway headed
to her office.
They soon began
encountering switches from express to local trains and other disruptions
"By now I'm
really fuming, because I'm getting to work well past what I thought
was an acceptable time," recalls Creamer. "At Christopher
Street, they stopped for a long time and made some garbled announcement
that I couldn't hear. Stuart said 'I think we should give them
a break, they just said two trains crashed at the World Trade
"Then a guy
next to us said 'no, two planes crashed.' And even at that moment,
I thought two air traffic controllers had sent planes crashing
into the Tower," remembers Creamer. "It didn't make
sense to me at all."
"We came up
at Christopher Street and one of the towers had already collapsed
and the other one was smoking. I never knew from which downtown
perspective you can see them or you can't see, but Stuart, who
loves the Towers, said 'No, one of them is gone.'"
to work and never left until 4:00 p.m. "My boss thought we
should stay. She was more concerned that the streets would be
hectic and crazed," explains Creamer, adding "I have
a stress fracture, so the prospect of walking 120 blocks wasn't
very thrilling. And I felt very safe. Later I talked to people
who thought there would be anthrax or more stuff. I figured whoever
it was shot their wad. I wasn't concerned."
Nearly two weeks
after the World Trade Center tragedy, she concedes, "sometimes
I walk down the street and I still can't believe it. That it didn't
happen, I was just having some fantasy."
For so many New
Yorkers like Creamer who escaped physical harm, the September
11 attack still has deep personal resonance. "I love it here
so much and I want so much to be part of the rejuvenation and
the rebuilding," she affirms. "I have been spending
money like mad. I hung the flag from the New York Times
in my window, and the 'I Love New York, more than ever' page from
the Daily News. I'm more pro-New York than jingoistic."
had his own perspective on the World Trade Center tragedy when
he came to his next workout with the Central Park Track Club.
"The disaster made the importance of our team very clear
to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened, the first
normal thought that I had was there could be people on our team
down there," he told his teammates. "And then, coming
to this meeting, I realized that our team was the group of people
I wanted to see the most, and that I depended on the most right
now." Calderwood thanked everyone "who came up to me
and made me feel like part of something this good."
The Sunday after
Tuesday's events, CPTC stalwarts met in Central Park, for a kind
of a memorial run, reports longtime club member Irene Jackson.
"We had about 30 people, and we picked up others along the
way. It was really nice. Everybody hugged each other and was glad
to see that everybody was alive," said Jackson. While Jackson's
club has over 400 members, none were lost on September 11, and
the most active members didn't report losing anyone close to them.
"We all were commenting that we seemed to have been passed
"I don't know
how other people feel, but training for the [New York City] marathon
seems like a really frivolous activity right now," submits
Jackson. "I can't get my head into it."
#1352. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: September 27, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "A couple of people have complimented
me about how the website has handled the World Trade Center events.
In my opinion, I deserve no credit when all I did was to try to
be very low-keyed. Although the objective reality was there
for all to see, the interpretation of those events is still personal
and controversial. I felt that this website is not the appropriate
forum to deal with such issues.
Now, however, a recent event has suggested to me
that this running club may not be insulated from what is happening
in society at large. At the last team workout, someone recounted
an incident in which one of our teammates said, 'I hope the team
doesn't blame me for all this.' Understand that I (and everyone
of you) would regard this person as one of the sweetest persons
on this team. Why would he say that? He said, 'Because
I am of Arab descent.' I cannot tell you how much it hurts
me to hear something like that.
The four plane crashes were allegedly committed
by 19 individuals who died in the process. There may well
be others who acted as leaders and accomplices. At this time,
we can reasonably attribute guilt to a small circle of conspirators.
Neverthess, there is now a mass hysteria directed against entire
classes of people (to wit, Arabs, Muslims, Afghans, Sikhs, etc)
that number in the billions. It is not for me to insist on
this website that Americans should go out and study up on weighty
matters such as the concepts Islam and the sects, the definition
of an Arab, contemporary Middle East peace politics, OPEC and oil
politics, the Palestine-Israel relationship, the India-Pakistan
relationship, Algeria's fight for independence from the French,
the Crusades, the history of the involvement of the British Empire,
the USSR and the CIA in Afghanistan, the CIA and the Shah of Iran,
Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafy and his green book, the Iran-Iraq war,
Sadaam Hussein and the Persian Gulf War, the Kurds in Iraq, the
concept of terrorism and its historical origins, Edward Said's concept
of Orientialism, etc, before they take up positions. Regardless
of how much knowledge we amass, there will never be a consensus
on the interpretation of facts.
But I do know that what we say may have an impact
in our personal relationships. Blanket statements and assertions
about entire classes of people may turn out to be hurtful to people
whom we personally know, respect and would never associate those
#1351. WHO: Toby Tanser
WHEN: September 24, 2001
SUBJECT: MAC XC 5K, Van Cortlandt Park, NYC
WHAT HE WROTE: "Well, after last
week's episode, where I did not arrive at the race of my destination
after a 3-hour drive, I was determined to make the Sunday's race
at Van Cortlandt Park. Why? Because I needed some speed
like a tiger needs his stripes. So I get up at the required
early hour, I take the cross-town bus, and jump on the #2.
Ouch, however a glance at the map and I see I can run across to
VCP up somewhere near the top.
At the 149th Street I hear the driver say 'transfer
to the #4.' Ah-ha, Houdini pop out the door and I went over to the
4 platform. Already my time schedule is taking a wave to the wild
side of the burners . but I know all about MAC meets so I press
on unperturbed. The train runs its course and a general look at
the map shows me just head East. Off I go across a golf course,
a few accelerations to avoid Percival and his tweeds when I come
to a huge fence - the monster is about 12 foot with spikes on the
top. So I run along the fence looking for a break.
There is an old guy who looks like Captain Birdseye
dragged through a haystack selling golfballs so I ask him, "Where
is Van Cortlandt Park?" The guy just laughs and says 'Far,
far away.' I ask him if I can get round the fence and his
answer is simply unacceptable, "No!" - I run along the
fence till frustration turns me into a crack unit commando man.
I scale the fence, get Jesus spikes in my hands and throw myself
over the other side. I am now in the bush, and we are talking thick,
thick growth. It was an overgrown jungle worse than any Rambo movie,
but as luck would have it I can hear cars. Thinking it must be Broadway,
I set off with a skip in my foot and spider webs broken in my hands.
The thorns tear at my flesh and clothes, I get stung more times
than a beekeeper with a pot of honey on his head in the hive of
Finally I get through to the edge of the forest
. and there is a 25-foot drop wall down to a highway. I have had
enough, I'm risking all - I have been in the bush lost for 20-minutes
and the other side of the highway looks like Van Cortlandt Park!
I shimmy down the wall dropping onto knees that
have no give, wow it still hurts thinking about it, then dance like
a dodging bullet across the busy highway to .. another Golf
Course! I cannot believe it, I do the same fence scouting, and get
the same result. Another climbing job - only this time I get
stuck in the ivy on the way down. I am very nearly upended.
By this stage, I would give up if only I could, but I am in the
middle of who knows where, and it is still conceivable that I can
make the race. I look with the head of an owl, and all I can
see is greenery, this is what country life must be like. On
the new fairway, and this must have been a 56 hole course, I start
running up to the golf carts and asking the drivers for directions,
I get them (from a Dutch man who sells Gold, and imports Grants
whiskey), and have to surmount another flipping fence. This
one was rusty - so at this stage I have thorn scratches all over
my legs, rust marks over my clothes, and I am getting bored with
the lack of progress!
Then finally I see some runners, not golfers!
One final fence, a mere 8-footer, and I arrive just in time to see
David Pullman of CPTC go running by. Then comes Century-Man,
so I jump in and run with him for a while. I cannot believe it,
although being a literal bookshelf of time late, I have just
missed the start again.
I had absolutely no intention of running the Fifth
Avenue Mile next week but am seriously considering it as then at
least I will be able to find the start of one race, as I
am just 3 minutes in travel time away from East 80th Street &
TECHNICAL NOTE: Originally, we asked
people to look for Toby's story on his website. Roger Liberman
filed this report, "I could not find the story on Toby's website
easily on the browser, so I thought I would send the page to the
printer so that I can read it at leisure. I went and made
myself a cup of coffee. When I got back, it was still printing.
Eventually, it stopped at 121 pages. I now have the entire
stream-of-consciousness version of Toby's life in print."
Actually, Roger is lucky because he got only one-fourth of the contents
on that website.
FOLLOW-UP QUIZ: Now
Toby is by no means the first famous CPTC runner who got lost by
taking the #4 train. As a true test of how well you know our
website, do you know who the other famous person is?
ANSWER: Click link
and the person is in the photo at the bottom
of the page. [The principal in this other story said, "I
knew the answer immediately!"]
FOLLOW-UP QUIZ TO FOLLOW-UP QUIZ (from Toby
On picture #23 of that link
(1) the athlete in the front of that picture
(2) the club for which he competes
BONUS: the neighborhood where he lives
This person is famous, because he is one of very, very few athletes
to get in the photo gallery of CPTC without a name recognition!
You have until September 30th, 2001 to submit an answer to email@example.com
. The first one to turn in correct answers to all three question
gets our standard prize: a copy of Toby Tanser's book.
If no one gets all three, then it goes to the first person who gets
the first two questions right (easy! --- the website guy solved
it in two minutes).
QUIZ RESULT: There was only one entry,
which happens to be correct, coming from Henrik Ingvarsson
in Sweden: "I know who that man is! His name is Richard
Kingstad, his club is called Jamtrennarna and he lives in Stockholm,
Sweden. The club Jamtrennarna is located in the village of Brunflo,
near to the city of Ostersund, in the middle part of Sweden. A good
runner!" How did Henrik come to enter this contest?
"I´m a runner myself and I do often visit your homepage to
see what happens in your club and of course also follow results.
I´m a bit jealous about your club, you seems to have a very nice
club! Where I live, I´m more than happy at the times when I do not
have to run alone, but that does not happen too often ...
I know Toby since his stay in Sweden, therefore I also like to follow
his results. When I saw the quiz, it was hard for me not
to know who Richard Kingstad is. He comes from Östersund
(not far away from where I live) and in a district (and country)
where there are few runners. It is hard not to know who the
runner is. RK is a very good runner, indeed! At last;
Thanks for an interesting homepage and take care!"
HOW THE WEBSITE GUY GOT THE ANSWER HIMSELF:
"He began by reaching for his old copy of New York Runner
to look up the race results, and found the name Richard Kingstad
(SWE) just ahead of CPTC's Eric Aldrich, who was right behind
in that photo. Next, he used Google.com to look for the name
'Richard Kingstad' and found a bunch of race results with
the affiliation Jamtrennarna BIF.
In turn, he searched for Jamtrennarna BIF thru Google.com
and arrived at the Jamtrennarna
BIF website (webmaster: Richard Kingstad).
There, he found the very same photo in the photo
gallery! All of two minutes, indeed."
FROM THE QUIZ SUBJECT HIMSELF: "Thank
you for your message! Indeed very interesting that I´m a subject
in N.Y.C. Give my regards to Toby if you meet him (I
know him well since his time in Sweden). By the way I´m running
in NYC Marathon November 4th. Staying at Olcott Hotel, maybe
we´ll meet eachother in Central Park? Take care, Richard Kingstad,
Runner´s World Sweden."
"Do you know who I am?"
#1350. WHO: Frank Handelman
WHEN: September 23, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "The answer to this week's mystery guest is
Phil Passen, my friend and close competitor who sometimes
works out with us at the track. And shadowing Phil is CPTC
stalwart Adam Newman. Now, for my prize for solving
this puzzle, I'll take
(a) a free subscription to 'Long Distance Log'
(special prize from me to CPTC member who can name editor of this
long-forgotten, much revered running mag, Jack Brennan
and Dave and Lynn Blackstone not eligible);
(b) a months worth of free special pizza on Tuesday nights at
Two Boots; and
(c) (seriously now) a copy of Toby Tanser's book.
On reflection and re-reading this submission, it
occurs to me that I have really lost it at last after 40-plus years
of chasing my own ass around a track. If you want to go ahead
and print this anyway, I am not responsible . . ."
Technical note: Unfortunately, this was not
really a contest since the 'answer' can be seen if you just position
your mouse cursor over the photo.
September 20, 2001 website notice: "200,000:
This visitor count was reached on September 13, 2001. It took
exactly 13 months to go from 100,000 to 200,000. The identity
of that 200,000th visitor is not yet known at this time."
#1349. WHO: John Scherrer
WHEN: September 21, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "Is there really a question as to whom the visitor
NOTE: Attachment enclosed.
#1348. WHO: Rae Baymiller and
Peter Gambaccini (for Runners World Daily)
TITLE: A Brief Chat with Rae Baymiller
WHEN: September 18, 2001
Rae Baymiller was perhaps the most extraordinary
age group long distance runner of the late 1990s. She set a 55-59
world age group record of 2:52:12 at the 1998 Chicago Marathon,
along with other U.S. marks for the half-marathon (1:23.36), 20-K
(1:18:44), and 10 miles (1:02:39). Earlier, in 1994, she set 50-54
age group records for 25-K (1:38:39) and 10 miles (1:02:01) and,
in 1993, the half-marathon (1:19:40). She ran her best marathon,
a 2:51:44, at Twin Cities in 1994 at age 51. Now 58, Baymiller
is coached by fellow New Yorkers Jerry Macari and Dan
Hamner. She is a fashion, products, and interior designer--and
a grandmother. Her goal at November's New York City Marathon
is to become the oldest Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier in U.S.
Runner's World Daily: Your New York City
Marathon goal is an ambitious one.
Rae Baymiller: Very. I have the world record for the age
group in the marathon, but I really wanted to break 2:50 to qualify
for the Olympic Trials. But then I found out from David (Monti,
NYC's elite athlete coordinator) that it's now been changed to 2:48.
So it's very ambitious, and I'm the first to realize that. I'll
go in to break the 2:50, and halfway through I'll see how I feel
and change in midstream if I feel good, and go for negative splits
to get that 2:48.
RWD: In past marathons, did you negative
split, or at least feel stronger in the second half?
RB: I haven't been as mechanical about running. I would go
through marathons and not even watch my own clock and see what I
was doing every mile. I was blase about it. Now I think it's time
to start to be responsible. So to answer your question--not really.
I always go back to that one marathon (Twin Cities in 1994) where
I was doing so well and I got dehydrated and ran a 12:00 mile at
the end (to finish in 2:51:44).
RWD: For your 2:48 goal, is New York City
the best course to run?
RB: Probably not, from what other people have told me. I've
only done it once, and it's a wonderful marathon. But it's also
a demanding marathon. Yet I think if you have those good runs, why
not? I am from New York now. If it's a bad run day for me, I would
turn around and go after another marathon next year. But I'm determined
that I have to do this.
RWD: What happened with your running after
all your records in 1998?
RB: In 1999, I was injured. I tripped on the stub of a signpost
that was in the ground. My knee just went bonkers. They thought
I had fractured the kneecap, actually. It turned out I hadn't, but
I had to baby it for three months. And last year my mother died
from cancer, and I was constantly going back to Minnesota, so I
RWD: And what's happened in 2001?
RB: Dan (Hamner) was going to Australia for the WAVA Championships.
I thought I would tag along and do the 800 meters, just to get back
in competition. I got a silver in that event (for a 2:40). I hadn't
been involved in any track since 1994, so this was a great experience
for me to go back and be in a whole different ball game. Then I
went to Red Bank, New Jersey, for the George Sheehan Five-Mile.
My pace was 6:03; I was in fourth behind two Kenyans and an American
in the open. They announced my name as I passed the four-mile mark,
and there was a little incline, and all of the sudden my leg went.
I was so dehydrated that I ended up on someone's lawn with oxygen.
That was the week it went to 101 degrees.
My running this year is very good and I'm very pleased, but it's
been this kind of mixed bag with things that I've never experienced
RWD: Speed is the element that really dissipates
with aging. What are you doing to keep that from happening?
RB: I'm learning more about pacing and I think that's wonderful.
If you have good help along the way, somebody that will listen and
really watch you, and if you work at it, I think sometimes we can
move away from the "typical" a little bit. The last time
I ran that Sheehan race, I'd averaged 6:08. So that (five-second
improvement) this time made me feel good.
RWD: You've been described as "driven."
Were you surprised to discover that quality in you, and do you know
RB: I was totally shocked. My family and friends at first
laughed and said "you're so undisciplined"--before my
first marathon. It's a quality I didn't even know was there. And
yet I'd seen it in work--when you love something and do everything
you can to have it come out as you planned. When my mother was dying,
she was such a gallant fighter and never complained. I looked at
her and was amazed. If I've gotten strength and determination, I
think it's come from her.
RWD: You had an established adult life before
you discovered this sport. How has that life changed?
RB: The negative has been that it took its toll on my design
career, truthfully. At first, I was not a good juggler. When I started
to compete, I really loved it and it just took over. But I don't
look back and regret it, because I think I had to do things that
way at the time, and it gave me so much in return.
But I am very curious, and I believe people need to repackage themselves
as they go through life a little bit, and take what they've learned
and apply it to something else. I'm fascinated by aging and longevity
and our unfit population. A comment was made to me years ago that
you move through life with one vehicle, and if you don't take care
of that, what have you got?
As we age, I see people who don't do anything for fitness. I might
take my experiences and find some opportunities there. I'm doing
a couple of mission statements about it. I'd like to become a kind
of spokesperson for longevity and fitness. I'd like to develop an
idea for a mobile gym that you can travel with; it's basically with
you 24 hours. It's another way to do design.
#1347. WHO: Kim Mannen
WHEN: September 18, 2001
WHERE: East River Park track
WHAT SHE SAID: "For the five weeks, I have been recovering
from ruptured plantar fascia. Yesterday, I went to see my
doctor. He said, 'Put out your hand.' Now, I thought
that was a most peculiar request since I had a foot problem, so
why did he want to see my hand? Nevertheless, I put out my
hand. He gave me a slap on the wrist and said, 'You have been
bad. I know you have been sneaking in some running last week,
and it must have been more than one day. How many times was
it?' So I told him that I ran four times, but they were really
light runs, beginning with 1 mile, 2 miles and so on. He smiled
and pronounced me fit to officially run again. His summary
was, 'It is like you just had surgery, except that you did it all
yourself.' Yes, it is good to be back on the track."
#1346. WHO: Valentine Low
WHEN: September 18, 2001
WHERE: Evening Standard (London, UK)
for Revenge Drown Peace Calls
WHAT HE WROTE:
Just one word screamed out from the front page
of the New York Post. "WAR" it said, in big bold capital
letters, as if there could never be any doubt. On the face of
it, there is no doubt. President Bush has talked of the United
States being at war. An opinion poll for the New York Times suggests
that 85per cent of Americans want military action against the
perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack, and even if it
means innocent people getting killed, 75per cent say they are
War: it is what America wants. But on the streets
of New York, where there is hardly anyone who was not affected
by last week's carnage, do they really want war? Is war the answer?
Certainly it is not hard to find New Yorkers who
are keen for President Bush to pursue a military solution. Some
are like the cab driver who said he wanted to "bomb 'em all".
Even innocent women and children? "Sure," he said. "You
got a problem with that?"
But it is not just the rednecks, not just the
die-hard militarists who favour a swift armed response; even those
who come across as moderate, liberal types have been transformed
into hawks in the last week. Take Noah Perlis, an advertising
executive who was jogging in Central Park yesterday morning with
his daughter Rebecca, a law student. He was quite clear
that he wanted military action, even if it was at the cost of
"The anger is so great that most people would
not give a second thought to sacrificing American blood to achieve
our goals," he said. "Americans have given a lot of
blood in situations that have been less personally invasive. Vietnam
was half a world away and we gave plenty of blood there, God knows.
Then there has been action in Europe and Somalia.
"How can we be any less determined when they
strike within our shores? I just hope that any action we take
is judicious, effective and minimal. I don't want us to blow holes
in the sand, I want to accomplish something.
"The potential is there for worse calamities
if we allow this terror to go unchecked. Next time it could be
biological, or chemical, or nuclear."
Rebecca, 24, was less sure. "Something definitely
has to be done. I just don't know if it should be war. I just
don't want any more Americans killed," she said.
WHAT Noah Perlis WROTE: "I was jogging
with my daughter Rebecca to join the group at 9am for the CPTC run/jog
in the park when we were stopped and interviewed by a reporter and
photographer from the London Evening Standard. They took a
picture of us and I was wearing my old orange club tee with the
full CPTC name across the front. I thought they might print
the photo but I fooled them - they thought I wasn't a redneck.
In their haste, they forgot to look under my collar for the sunburn."
#1345. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: September 16, 2001
SUBJECT: The aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks
WHAT HE WROTE: "On September 11, the dominant landmarks (the
World Trade Center Towers) in the New York City skyline were demolished
by airplanes hijacked by terrorists, leading to an estimated loss
of 5,000 lives. For anyone living in New York City, this must
be the single most cataclysmic event in their lives. Yet the
coverage about this event on this website has been minimalist.
My reticence in doing extensive reports (e.g. near-real-time
report of events, or a team roll call) comes from a sense of proportion.
Many times in the past, John Kenney has described running
as being at most the third most important priority in our lives,
after family and work (and even lower for our triathletes); today,
some may want to elevate the nation to top priority. In view
of the circumstances, I believed that people should give attention
and comfort to those who are dearest to them and to those who are
in need, especially those who have suffered losses. That was
essentially my message.
But this is not to say that people on this team
do not care about each other. I have also received many e-mail
messages about the team and individual team members. I am
especially grateful to Jonathan Cane for providing me with
information on our FDNY/NYPD members, who are the bravest and the
finest. At this time, I believe that we had no casualties
on our team, but that is just a small blessing in the larger context.
At the Thursday night workout, Stuart Calderwood
made these remarks: 'The disaster made the importance of our team
very clear to me in two ways. When I realized what had happened,
the first normal thought that I had was 'There could be people on
our team down there.' And then, coming to this meeting, I
realized that our team was the group of people I wanted to see the
most, and that I depended on the most right now. I'm
very grateful to Tony and Roland and Alan and everyone else here
who came up to me and made me feel like part of something this good.'
Perhaps another way of expressing my message is
this --- the Central Park Track Club may not be the most important
thing in your life, but you can count on us being there. We
have been there for you for the last 28 years, and we will continue
to be there for you. As all of us struggle to return to normalcy,
it is reassuring to know that there is at least one constancy."
#1344. WHO: Francis A. Schiro
WHEN: September 14, 2001
SUBJECT: Alan Bautista
WHAT HE WROTE: "Dr. Alan Bautista, a proud member of
CPTC and dear friend of mine, answered the call to duty Tuesday
morning. Having heard about the catastrophe, Bautista donned
his US Marine (reserve) lieutenant major uniform, grabbed his medical
pack and headed into Hell. Leading a group of Marines at ground
zero, Bautista was personally responsible for saving at least one
person by giving immediate emergency medical care where needed most.
I myself made it down to try and help and I cannot tell you the
bravery my dear friend Alan demonstrated by this heroic act.
Where others were scared to go, Alan pushed forward and went to
the aid of those in most need.....CPTC should be proud to have a
man of this character as a club member. God bless Alan as
he is on military stand-by status and may soon be called to serve
his country further."
#1343. WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: September 11, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "First among our
top 10 favorite photos of year 2000, we showed the above
photograph with this caption:
Our first favorite photo is not of any team member. This
is a photo of Manhattan viewed from the Staten Island ferry.
At the start of the new millennium, we lived and ran together
here in this city. Many of us came from far corners of the
world and, in time, some of us will be scattered to other far
corners of the earth, but just remember that once upon a time
we were in this most gorgeous and vibrant of all places --- New
As of this morning, the two World Trade Center towers that dominate
the New York City skyline have been demolished by airplanes crashing
into them. At the personal level, this is a strong reminder
of the fragility of our lives. Today we are here, tomorrow
we may be no more. We should cherish all our moments.
At the collective level, we realize that no place in the world can
really said to be totally safe. While we as individuals or
a small group of individuals may not be able to bring about world
peace, we can each try to reduce the pain in the world each in our
#1342. WHO: Nathan Klejman
WHEN: September 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "Now that I've gotten a brand new orange team
jacket, I think I'll start running with the team again."
#1341. WHO: Stacy Creamer, van
driver in the 2001 Hood To Coast Relay
WHAT SHE SAID: "Well, our twelve runners may have been
speedy because they averaged 5:54 over 194.8 miles, but I am even
speedier --- I got pulled over for speeding at 41 mph in a 25 mph
#1340. WHO: Tony Ruiz
WHEN: September, 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "When I was a fourteen year old, I could run
a 2:01 half mile but I looked much older. Therefore, I had
to bring my birth certificate to track meets. Now that I am
forty years old, people are demanding to see my birth certificate
because they think that I can't be that old. What gives?"
#1339. WHO: James Siegel
WHAT HE SAID: "At the school where I teach, there
is a computer room. One day, I was there looking at the club
website. A student came along and he was really impressed
by what he saw. He said, 'Oh, there's Mr. Siegel running in
#1338. WHO: Roland Soong
WHAT HE SAID: "As of September 2001, this website contains
more than 5,700 photos. This has to be the singlemost formidable
collection of photos for any organization on the World Wide Web.
Inevitably, people have informed us that our photos have appeared
elsewhere without our permission. Many photos have appeared
in personal websites, which may be construed as fair use.
Some photos have appeared in mainstream media for commercial purposes,
including the use of completely misleading captions. Frankly,
we don't care about those 'infringements of intellectual property.'
If we cared, our whole website would be plastered with copyright
notices, our photos would carry our proprietary watermarks and we
would retain copyright lawyers. But money was not the reason
that we got out there to take pictures in all sorts of conditions.
We did it to make people happy, and shaking people down for money
is not going to make us or anyone else happy (except maybe the lawyers?)."
WHO: Bola Awofeso
WHAT HE SAID: "Nothing is worth more than our teammates' appreciation
in the form of either
(1) 'Thanks for taking my picture!'
(2) 'Please don't take my picture!' (usually
at the top of Cat Hill); or
(3) 'Where the hell are our photographers?'
And by this time, even people on other teams would yell at me to
take their photos during the races. Who do they think I am?
Do they think I work for the New York Road Runners Club?"
WHO: Bola Awofeso
WHAT HE SAID: "It is good to know what people really
care about. These days, when they see me run a race, they
don't ask me how I feel or how I did. Instead, they ask, 'Oh,
no. You're racing! Then who is going to take pictures?'"
#1337. WHO: Eve Bois
WHEN: September 3, 2001
WHERE: East River Park track workout
WHAT SHE SAID: "What are those birds flying over the track?
Are they vultures? Does this have anything to do with the
workout planned for today?"
#1336. WHO: Brian Barry
SUBJECT: Global Surveillance System report
WHAT HE SAID: "On the Club Championship weekend, my brother
Kevin wanted to know if I was going out to Long Island.
I told him that I would not be coming, because there was the Club
Championship race in Central Park. On that Saturday morning,
Kevin went out to the beach and there he saw ... none other than
Central Park Track Club ex-president John Kenney lounging
comfortably! He walked up that him and said, 'Hi, John!
Skipping out on the Club Championship, hey?' At that moment,
the boyish-looking John Kenney looked distinctly like a schoolboy
caught cutting class!"
#1335. WHO: James Siegel
SUBJECT: Winning the One In Nine 5K on August 23, 2001
WHAT HE SAID:
Before the race: "I didn't tell anyone
on the team that I was going to race out there. If I had said
something, other people might show up."
During the race: "When I went into the lead, I thought
that someone must be trying to mess with my head."
During the race: "I ran as hard as I could. Simply
put, I could not have gone a second faster."
After the race: "I ran at essentially the same pace
as the race last weekend. But I finished in 125th place at
the Club Championship then, and I finished first today. What
a difference a week makes!"
Many days after the race: "I can't believe how
much grief I got from people about this." (Note:
... but he enjoyed every bit of it ...)
#1334. WHO: Ross Galitsky
SUBJECT: TRIVIA QUIZ (8/16/2001):
In this 2001 New York City Triathlon photo,
who is the person between J.P. Cheuvront and Ramon Bermo?
Please (1) name the person and (2) explain why he is "famous"
on this website. First correct entry will receive a copy of
non-triathlete Toby Tanser's Train
Hard, Win Easy: The Kenyan Way. This contest
is open until August 25th, 2001, midnight. Exclusions:
The principal himself, J.P. Cheuvront, Ramon Bermo
and their surrogates are prohibited from entering.
WHAT HE WROTE:
1. Jonathan Wells
2. Famous Saying #339
Additional comments: Jonathan Wells
is an integral part of NYU TriClub, partaking in foolishness with
Scott Willet, Ramon Bermo, G'mo Rojas, JP
Cheuvront and others in such events as Assault on Mt. Mitchell,
mucho triathlons, open water swims, and racing as a swimmer and
runner in the relay team at the Odyssey Double Iron Triathlon.
Enough?! I want my book now.
#1333. WHO: Stefani Jackenthal
York Daily News
WHEN: July 19, 2001
SUBJECT: Auditioning for "Survivor" series in New
WHAT WAS WRITTEN:
Contestant wanna-be Stefani Jackenthal,
an adventure racer and triathlete from Manhattan, was one of the
more physically fit among yesterday's crop.
Like others around her, Jackenthal said she wasn't
deterred from applying for "Survivor" by the fact that
first-season ex-castaway Stacey Stillman has sued producer
Mark Burnett, charging him with persuading others to vote
"I honestly think, who cares," said
Jackenthal. "It's a made-for-TV game. I think that they need
to do whatever they need to do to make it appealing to viewers."
#1332. WHO: Ray Clarke
WHEN: July 27th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "Hello - I am a runner from central Virginia
who will be in NYC in early August for a visit. I have the urge
to run in Central Park, but do not know if there are any unsafe
places or obvious paths, etc. Can you give me any advice?
I will be staying in the theater district and would probably have
to walk to the park. Many thanks."
WHO: Roland Soong
WHEN: August 5th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "The Central Park police precinct is the safest
one in the whole of New York City. Why? Because the place
is flooded with cops, for the reason that even a purse snatching
will make the newspaper headlines whereas murders and lynchings
in slums will not get reported anywhere. If there is a rule,
the southern part of the park is safer than the northern part.
If you want a recommendation, I would suggest that you take a took
at the map at http://www.centralparktc.org/centpark.htm
. From the theater district (which is on or about the upper
west 40's), you can walk or jog up Seventh Avenue and enter at the
southwest corner of the park (Columbus Circle). Follow the road
up north to West 86th Street and jump on the reservoir path
for a loop and head back (either down the same road or else down
the east side this time). That would be about four to five
miles. The best time to run is in the morning or the evening (it
is hot in the middle of the day). It is even safe to
run after dark during the summer (for the same reason --- too many
cops lurking in the bushes)."
WHO: Ray Clarke
WHEN: August 19th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "We just got back home (Charlottesville, VA)
this afternoon from NYC visit. Ran the big loop on Saturday
morning, along with many of the NYRRC members (an apparent
organized race which I might have tried to sign up for had I known
-- oh, well, it was fun anyway) and a bunch of cyclists. Thanks
for your input. I was perfectly comfortable and look forward
to doing it again in the future. Enjoy the roads."
#1331. WHO: Tony Ruiz
WHEN: August 21st, 2001
SUBJECT: Track etiquette
WHAT HE SAID: "Let me say this --- at each and every
track workout, there is always someone that I had to yell at for
standing in lane one and not paying attention to oncoming runners.
I'll have no sympathy for you if you get run over."
COMMENT: Try this visualization exercise ---
you're on the Long Island Expressway ... would you stop in the middle
of the road and daydream?
#1330. WHO: Kim Mannen
WHEN: August 16th, 2001
WHAT SHE WROTE: "During the USATF Eastern Regionals,
I ruptured my plantar fascia and I am on crutches. I hope to run
the Fifth Avenue Mile, but we'll see what doc says. I guess
I am not 18 and invincible anymore."
#1329. WHO: Aubin Sullivan
SUBJECT: The Central Park Triathlon (400m swim in Lasker pool,
2x6 mile loop bike, 5 mile run)
WHAT SHE SAID: "This triathlon is a runner's triathlon
because the swim and bike are relatively short. (pause).
That is why I don't do this triathlon."
WHAT HE SAID: "When I attended the 2001 International
Congress on Parkinson's Disease in Helsink, Finland, I made
a special trip to visit the bronze Paavo Nurmi statue outside
the Olympic stadium.
I will say that I did not see many runners
while I was there. There is a beautiful lake that is
rather like the Central Park reservoir. At 10pm in the
summer, when it was bright outside, I saw no more 10 people
running there. Where do those famous Finnish runners
#1327. WHO: Toby Tanser
WHEN: Cycling in Central Park
WHAT HE WROTE: "I rode my bike with a cycling team last Sunday.
They were trying desperately to drop me --- I had tennis shoes and
a backpack. We did two loops of the park averaging 30 mph.
When they finally realized that I was not going to be dropped easily,
they asked me if I wanted to join their team ... that is, if I got
a 'real' bike (since I was riding a mountain bike at the time).
I mean, what a thing to say!? I felt like telling them
if I had been on a 'real' bike, I would not have been pedaling so
slowly as to keep pace with them. This city has an elitist
mindset, with very non-elite results."
#1326. WHO: Frank Schiro
WHEN: August 14, 2001, after stopping someone in the middle
of the street
WHAT HE SAID: "When I get on the Internet, I only need
to get to the Central Park Track Club website. Everything
that I want is there."
#1325. WHO: Peter Gambaccini
WHERE: New York Runner, July/August 2001
SUBJECT: Frank Handelman
WHAT HE WROTE: Frank Handelman reiterates, "You
absolutely cannot think about your times when you were a younger
runner. Someone who was a 2:35 marathon at 30 who starts running
again at 40 should put of their minds that they are a 2:35 marathon
runner. They're not." He asserts, "I am what
I am now. And I love it." Handelman was winning
NYRRC road races in the last 1970s and was a top age group 800-meter
star in the late 1990s. He has made running comebacks before,
and currently is in the midst of another one, after bunion surgery
in the year 2000 and a subsequent 16-pound weight gain.
He may not set any lifetime bests,
but he is nevertheless "always on a quest to improve.
I believe any runner can be faster than the year before. Not
necessarily five years before, but I firmly believe I can be better
at 57 than I would have been at 56 [his year out of racing] or than
I was at 55."
The comeback from "ground zero"
is as exciting to Handelman as it is daunting. "Now I'm
starting out at age 56, I haven't run for four months, and before
that I had four months of barely running because my foot was so
sore. The more impossible the assignment, the better I like
it." He ran 2:15 in the 800 at 55 and wants "to
come back and do the same thing at age 57, having blow this year."
What he will require is patience and
a willingness, for a spell, to be far less than the runner he once
was. "The first thing I did when I started out two weeks
ago," he said in late April, "was a reservoir lap [1.57
miles] in 19 minutes. I might as well have been walking, but
I put myself through the motions of a jog.
"I'll go many, many months without
contemplating racing. It'll take a long time for the weight
to come off, because if you try and push hard while you have extra
weight and no flexibility, you'll injure yourself again."
"Every time I come back, I have
to do something different to stay even with the past," Handelman
has found. On one occasion, he added weight work. Now
it's "better nutrition, better stretching, and drinking more
And Handelman realizes that his attempt
to come back as an 800-meter racer is "all obstacles.
And I'll do it. I know I'll do it." There are so
many approaches and attitudes that can guide a successful, meaningful
return to running. Almost everyone can find their "second
wind" as a runner.
#1324. WHO: Rob Zand
SUBJECT: Manhattan Half
WHAT HE WROTE: "I pushed a bit on the first loop, conjuring
up the image of Alan Ruben and hammering the downhills and
some of the uphills too. A pack of 8-10 was whittled to 2
by the second loop - myself and Tomas Vasquez. He passed
me to begin the loop, but it wasn't a definitive move and I had
him by the Great Hill. Here again I pushed the downhill and
worked as best I could to 90th on the east side where a long straight
flat stretch leads to a downhill, all of which I hoped to use to
discourage any challenges over the last mile."
#1323. WHO: Peter Gambaccini
WHERE: New York Runner, July/August 2001
SUBJECT: Jonathan Weilbaker
||WHAT HE WROTE:
In road racing, far too much attention is lavished on dogged
souls who have compiled 20-year streaks without missing a single
day of running. Far smarter, saner, and more intrepid
are the men and women who have found their running sidelined
for any number of reasons --- serious injury, pregnancy, professional
pressures, lifestyle changes, or just plain ennui ---
but have resolutely resolved to renew their competitive running
careers. The prospect of dedicating one's self to getting
strong and speedy again can seem chillingly daunting.
But a wise approach can mean a "second stage" to a
running career rich in its own fulfillment. There's even
a chance that you'll be faster than you were before you enforced
Jonathan Weilbaker is an extraordinarily
vivid case-in-point. Weilbaker, remembered for marrying
Pat Tuz at the 1994 New York City Marathon, was already
a 2:44 marathon when, in 1987, nausea and double vision led
him to get an MRI that revealed he'd had "some sort of
stroke." During five hours of surgery removed an
egg yolk-sized piece of Weilbaker's cerebellum. "Basically,
it left me unable to walk," recalled Weilbaker.
Relearning walking was the first "step" in his journal
back. Even after such a dire situation, Weilbaker realized,
"I'd always defined myself, at that point in my life,
as a runner." It was a post-stroke priority, "a
way to quantify your comeback. It's a real measurement."
The weights and stationary bike he did to
recover strength and coordination "may have taken my
running to a new dimension and kept me interested," Weilbaker
believes. In any case, four years after the stroke,
at the 1991 Twin Cities Marathon, he clocked a 2:39, a personal
best by five minutes. "It was a pretty amazing
story. I think about it probably every day. I'm
glad to be out there."
#1322. WHO: Sid
SUBJECT: How he got the second-place silver medal in the 800m
at the World Veterans Championships in Brisbane, Australia, 2001
WHAT HE SAID: "The seven people in front of me were involved
in a mass collision and they fell down. One of them got up
and continued, and that was the one that I couldn't catch."
AFTERMATH: Upon receiving several more requests
at the next workout to explain what happened at the World Championships,
Sid Howard finally realized, "At this point, you can
print anything on the website and people will think it's true."
While it is true that the Central Park Track Club website must be
the top running club brand name (what other club can claim 2,500,000+
hits per year?), we need to define what that means. In marketing
terminology, the brand is a promise to deliver a product or service
at a certain level. We will carefully shy away from the statement
"At this point, we can print anything on the website and people
will think it's true" and embrace instead the statement "At
this point, we can print anything on the website and people will
enjoy reading it." That is the promise of the Central
Park Track Club brand. The difference is subtle but important.
Example: Audrey Kingsley chose not to believe our
Dash & Splash 5 Miler initial results: "When did
James Siegel turn 29?!?!?!" but we are sure that she had
a good laugh at this astonishing idea. Yet another example:
the same Audrey Kingsley declined to believe that Tony
Ruiz will be running in the "Hood-to-Coach Relay"
on August 24, 2001, although we swear that we can hear her roaring
laughter from all the way downtown.
#1321. WHO: Julia Kristeva
WHERE: New York Times, July 14, 2001
WHAT SHE SAID: "I think there are three things worth
doing in the world: to think, to heal and to write."
COMMENT: Can we add running?
#1320. WHO: Jesse Lansner
WHEN: July 25, 2001
York Times, Letter to the Editor
WHAT HE WROTE: "While some people may seek out T-shirts
from places they have never been or events they did not participate
in ("Can't Afford Hawaii? Get the Shirt," news article,
July 21), there are those of us who still earn our T-shirts the
hard way. As a local triathlete, I have yet to meet a runner,
a swimmer or a cyclist who would wear a shirt from a race he did
not participate in. Even those of us who may never win a trophy
can wear our free race T-shirts with pride."
A RESPONSE FROM OUR TRUEST WEBSITE FAN: "I've
been running since 1984; have raced lots of times and, regardless
of whether I've run the race or not, I ALWAYS wear the T-Shirt --
with PRIDE. Life's too short. Get a life!! Signed Anonymous Avid
Runner With a Life!!!"
#1319. WHO: Peter Gambaccini
WHERE: New York Runner, July/August 2001
ARTICLE TITLE: "Comebacks Happen"
WHAT HE WROTE: One runner and writer whom we'll call Tim (although
his name is actually Peter) had a road racing career divided into
two halves, and did virtually everything differently the second
time around. Tim, in decent shape from racquet sports, began
running at age 27 with the not-so-illogical idea that if he ran
faster in practice, he'd be prepared to do the same thing in competition.
He zipped through solo workouts of eight or nine
miles at 5:45 pace, even unaccompanied sub-16:00 5K's in practice.
He never did interval or track sessions, and only showed up at this
team's road sessions to socialize ... and then go his own way.
The approach got Tim down to 24:35 for five times.
But at 33, he was starting to level. Marginal improvements
might still be possible, but he's already surpassed his aspirations.
He was done. On a not unrelated note, he met a woman who liked
to buy expensive Champagne by the case.
Tim was gone from running for about two years, by
which time Miss Champagne had taken her bubbles elsewhere.
He came back with rather modest intent, but didn't like the disdainful
reactions he got from teammates for being slower than before.
Taking an "I'll show 'em" attitude, he resolved to be
his team's best runner.
But he could no longer thrive as a voluntarily lonely
long distance runner. Tim's own internal motivation wouldn't
suffice. It was time to leech off --- uh, get reinforcement
from --- his teammates. Two kindred souls showed up for weekly
road sessions with the same unspoken dogged mission as Tim.
And he started showing up at the track, abetted by his coach's genius
workouts and his certainty that even if ran so fast that he passed
out, enough teammates would be around to revive him. Tim's
times fell just short of his first "phase," but he had
much more fun, and he was back on top again at 37.
#1318. WHO: Eddie Coyle
WHEN: July 24, 2001
York Daily News sports report about the Run to the Home
Place 5K (annotated for your convenience)
A HIT AT SHEA
used a late surge to move past Arsenio Ortiz and win
the Fifth Annual Run to Home Plate 5K at Shea Stadium and
Flushing Meadow Park on Saturday.
Tanser, who was in third place with 200
yards to go, won in 15:46. Ortiz finished second.
"I saw the leader was tiring, picked
it up and knocked and passed both him and the bronze medalist,"
Stacy Creamer was
the top woman finisher in 19:13 - four seconds faster than
the women's course mark.
"I was half a mile back in the parking
lot and picked it up," said the 41-year-old Creamer.
Both Creamer and Tanser ran at Shea for the first time.
Tanser said he is eyeing the NYC Marathon
on Nov.4. He had been knocked out of the NYC because he
didn't run the required number of races after running it
five years in a row. He planned to ask for reinstatement
but the NYRRC beat him to the punch, admitting its error.
Ryan Fey, 7, ran the minor league 5K in 31 minutes
and beat his father, who ran with him, by one second.
The Manhattan half-marathon is slated for
Sunday, Aug.5, in Central Park, the fourth race in the five-race
series that ends at Staten Island Oct.14. Tanser is eyeing
both races, as is Creamer.
HITS AT SHEA
This is the Sixth Annual edition of the race,
not the Fifth. Upon information and belief, Toby
Tanser led this race from start to finish. The official
times reported by the NYRRC were
Toby Tanser, 15:47
Arsenio Ortiz, 16:06
Matt Chaston, 16:19
Let us suppose that Toby Tanser was
in third place with 200 yards to go, and suppose that he covered
that distance in 37 seconds (about 5 minute/mile pace).
If Toby were even with Matt at 200 yards to go, then the latter
took 37 + 32 = 69 seconds (=9:12 minute/mile pace) to finish.
Meanwhile, Arsenio took 37 + 19 = 56 seconds (= 7:28 minute/mile).
High unlikely for those two, indeed ...
Last year, Alexa
Babakhanian won the women's race in a time of 18:39,
which is definitely faster than the purported 19:17 course
record indicated in the report. Creamer did go from
third to first in the last quarter mile, but nobody could
have come from 'half a mile back in the parking lot,' which
is about half a mile from the finish.
Tanser did not run the NYC Marathon for five
years in a row, but he ran last year in a time of 2:26:57.
Last year, he ran a total of 27 NYRRC races, many more than
the NYRRC-published qualifying number of 9 races. If
27 races were not sufficient to qualify, then not many other
people could have qualified. Toby has not applied to
this year's marathon yet, and so he could not have been erroneously
rejected, nor could he be reinstated by the NYRRC.
While it is likely that Tanser will run those
two half marathons, Creamer will be "eyeing" them
--- but only very literally, as a spectator. She avoids
half-marathons at all costs in favor of staying sharp and
#1317. WHO: Laurie Jones / Roland
WHEN: July 18th, 2001
WHAT SHE WROTE: "Hi, remember me??? I was just
checking out the CPTC website. Looks great and certainly brings
back some fond memories. Just wanted to let you know my email
address so that you can include it on the roster. Hope all
is well with you. Please give my regards to everyone. Who
knows, I may even make a workout one of these days? Take care."
WHAT HE WROTE: "We have definitely not forgotten
here. A quick check of the website reveals that you
were mentioned on six pages, including some race results. but this
is my favorite reference to you: Trivia
Quiz #7 (see question#7)! P.S. Your email has been
added to the directory."
#1316. WHO: John Prather
WHEN: July 19, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "I attended WAVA, and sought out some of the
CPTC folks that I'd hear about -- especially Sid Howard and
Craig Plummer. Also along was my wife Fran, a New Yorker
herself so no stranger to bantering, witty repartee, and all-out
Anyway, following the steeplechase, Fran and I sat
with Craig in the stands to watch relays. I went to get a
beer, then brought half back to Fran in a styrofoam cup. A
few minutes later, another athlete brought Craig a muffin or cupcake
or something, and he kindly offered a bite to Fran. When she
refused, he said, 'Oh, you can take a beer from your husband but
you can't take a piece of cake from a black man?!'
We thought it was funny, anyway.
John Prather (Just a small-brained land mammal)"
#1315. WHO: Audrey Kingsley
WHAT SHE SAID: "Don't panic! This is NOT the new official
team backpack. It is just my personal demonstration of team
#1314. WHO: Harry Morales / Gregory
Volume 2, Number 4, 2001
HM: Do you subscribe to any particular theory of literary
GR: I am very cautions about theories that lie outside the
natural sciences, where there are fewer unknowns. Having started
out in physics in college, I learned to be skeptical of quick solutions
and observations. I don't think that there are any theories
to be had about translation, or about anything artistic and literary,
for that matter. Most of what is called theory nowadays in
those fields is a developed notion or sometimes even wishful thinking.
I have always maintained that the proof that translation is an art
is the fact that it cannot be taught; you can teach a craft, but
you cannot teach an art. I have given courses in the making
of translation, but most of what we did was to examine the work
of translators and that of each other. I found that I could
tell the students what not to do but could not tell them
what to do."
COMMENT: Gregory Rabassa is a renowned
translator, including works like Gabriel García Márquez's
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Hopscotch by Julio
Cortazar and The Posthumous Diaries of Bras Cubas by
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. Based upon his answer,
we would have liked to ask, "Dear Mr. Rabassa, have you ever
coached runners? You can't tell them what to do and you can't
tell them what not to do!"
#1313. WHO: Norman Goluskin
WHERE: Running Times, September 2001
SUBJECT: New York Road Runners' Running Partners
WHAT HE SAID: "My experience is that the lessons of running
are the lessons of life: perseverance, teamwork, that it is going
to hurt to get results."
Amy Sheeran in the orange jacket
#1312. WHO: Blair
WHEN: July 10th, 2001
SUBJECT: The new orange team jacket
WHAT HE SAID: "The jacket will be custom-made for us.
Now you know these jackets usually have a label (such as Pearl Izumi)
which can be used to hang the coat. In our case, we have designed
the following label for ourselves. I hope that Sid Howard
is not going to sue us for copyright infringement ..."
#1311. WHO: Roland
WHEN: July 9th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "As the self-appointed unofficial historian
of the club website, I have been compiling race results for our
teammates over the past four years. Obviously, I appreciate
those races that make their results readily available. This
weekend is rather typical.
At the top end, I was able to report Matthew
Newman's final results just minutes after he crossed the finish
line of Ironman Europe in Roth, Germany. Actually, his intermediate
splits were posted throughout the day. This is about as good
and exciting as being there with him.
For the big club scoring race in the Bronx, the
results were available on the NYRRC website around noon time, just
four hours after the 8am start. This is remarkable because
the last finisher of the race crossed the line after 3 hours and
20 minutes, and the race result listing included net and clock times
plus overall and age group positions for everyone. (Of course,
we had our photos up before the NYRRC website does). Is it
small wonder that distance runners are the largest segment in our
On the not-so-good side, the WAVA Veteran Athletics
Championships had an interesting-looking website that promised rapid
posting of the results and a newsgroup to exchange information.
Unfortunately, the website carried no race results for the first
three days, and the newsgroup only had a list of complaint messages
from all over the world. This is the worst case scenario:
to promise something, to fail to deliver and to provide a public
forum for people to vent their disappointment. Here are some
comments from the newsgroup:
July 5th: "Where can I get some WAVA
July 5th: "Results are posted overnight
on the web site. Regards Jacey Octigan Event Manager"
July 6th: "If results are posted
'overnight', there must be some awfully long nights 'down under.'"
July 7th: "And the winner is ???????????????
Will we ever know? And I thought YOU AUSSIES were on the ball."
July 8th: "Hey, when can one see
the results??? While the European championships were held
in Finland, you could see them right the next day! What
a pity!!! I am looking from Germany, and I am sad I can't see
my dad's results!"
July 10th: "When there were earlier
inquiries about the lack of posted results, we were advised by
Jacey that their emphasis in Brisbane was on making sure that
the athletes that were there were having a good time rather than
on posting results. (This was after she had said that results
would be posted "overnight.") I presume that means
that the computer folks with the results must be out wining and
dining the mates. Thank goodness for the occasional emails
from my buddies over (down) there, or I would be clueless.
It should be a requirement that organizers be able to use HY TEK
and post to the web within two days of event completion.
Actually, it only takes about 15 minutes, if they just DO it.
Certainly, it takes less time than it takes our rep to retype
results and email them back to myself. Who knows why it takes
so long? Just like Durban!"
June 14th: "Just to add my voice to
the rest: the results service from Brisbane has been disgraceful:
late and (where I've pressed the download button) inaccurate and
jumbled. Surely it can't be too difficult: someone fills in a
grid as the results come through and then types them in (if full
results take too much time, then just medallists or finalists
to start with - the details could come later). With a half-competent
typist, it should take under an hour to type in one day's medallists.
I'd like to know: which WAVA official was responsible, and why
we were promised a next day service that never happened."
On the really bad side, the local track & field
organizations are in total disarray. The MAC website's latest
outdoor track & field race result is for the June 25 meet (that
is, for the year 2000). The USATF/NJ Masters Championships
results of 6/24 are unpublished so far.
It would be a cliché to say that the popularity
of a sport is a function on how well the organizers interact with
the participants. In an ideal world, the organization will
provide customized information and feedback with all those who are
interested. In practice, it is impossible to conduct this
with tens of thousand of different people. This is where a
club like the Central Park Track Club comes in. We are a self-organized
group of individuals who are interested in specific sports.
Our club is small enough that we know each other by name and face.
We provide communication and support for each other. We are
most effective when sports organizers provide detailed information
to us, which we can repackage, enhance and direct to our members.
This is what makes that particular sport meaningful to all of us.
But when we have no information, this will curtail our interest
severely, and not by our own choice."
#1310. WHO: Shelley Farmer
SUBJECT: Her photos in the July/August 2001 issue of Sports
Illustrated for Women
WHAT SHE SAID:
(1) "You should try applying an inhaler
while you ride a bike!"
(2) "It was not exactly easy to jog back and forth for
the photographer while I was wearing the breathing mask! All
the time, a crowd of curious onlookers had gathered around to watch
me doing this."
(3) "The push-up photo was in conjunction with a reader's
question: 'My coach told us that doing push-ups with your legs extended
can damage your ovaries. Is this true?' Well, apart
from that question, let me tell you this --- don't let that picture
deceive you because I never do push-ups on my own!"
#1309. WHO: Graeme Reid
SUBJECT: NYRRC Summer 10K, June 30th, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE: "Lesson 1 - Never trust
Jerry Macari to register you for a race!
In any case, given the pathetic time reported for
the person named Graham Rasulo in the race, there is obviously
no link at all to me and I will sue anyone who even dares to think
such thoughts. There is no way I would be beaten 2 weeks running
by that carthorse James Siegel and if I was, I would give
up running forever. The pictures on the website which may
appear to be of me are either taken at a different race or you superimposed
my face onto some very slow runner. If all possible references which
may link me with this race are not removed from the website immediately,
legal action will be swift!"
CLARIFICATION: All reported results and photos (including
this NOT a picture of
Graeme Reid) on this website refer only to the individual
named Graham Rasulo. Any resemblance to any other existing
individual is purely coincidental.
Sandra Olivo, Eden Weiss
WHEN: June 28, 2001
WHAT HE WROTE:
"It meant a great deal to me to receive Alan
Ruben's heartfelt letter of concern, sympathy and support
due to my "arthritis of the hip" condition.
I've been thinking about writing to the club for months, but
frankly was too depressed to do so. I started getting a pain
in my left hip last July, one week after completing a glorious
60 mile week of running at the Maine Running Camp, on the
amazingly beautiful carriage trails of Acadia National Park.
After gradually cutting out: the long runs, the racing ( my
final race was the Club Team Championship), the speed
work and reducing the weekly mileage, to no avail, it was
"painfully evident" that something was seriously
After seeing two orthopedic surgeons and
taking a stretching course with Jim and Phil Wharton,
I was advised to cut out the running or I'd face hip replacement
surgery. The second orthopedist I visited , had been a 2:36
marathoner in his prime and had run in the low 2:50's in
his 50's.(Dr. Larry Katz in Rockland County). Ostensibly,
he knew something about runner's conditions and injuries.
He said :"If it hurts while your doing it or the next
day, it's the wrong form of exercise for you. Fall
in love with the pool and the bike ! " He also
told me that the hip I have now, is the best one I'll ever
have. What bad news! You know how much I love to run, this
was like getting a "running death sentence"! Having
completed 23 marathons since 1978, and over 350 races, how
could I accept this?
I decided to take off from running for an
"extended period" (I could not and would not close
the door completely). I got back into the pool ( I
had been the captain of my H.S.swim team "a million
years ago' and done triathlons from 1985-1988,without falling
off the bike). I also bought a new "wind trainer"
( a little torture device that converts a real bike into
an exercise bike). I now do these workouts about five
days per week and have begun to ride laps of Prospect Park.
It's nerve wracking for me riding to the park, without getting
hit by a car !
Sadly, I've gained 15 lbs., had to have
my pants "let out" and buy new ones. Now I look
like "a normal person" and doesn't that suck!
Oh yes, the pain went away in my hip. I'm taking chondroitin
and glucosamine to try to rebuild some cartilage in my hip.
As you know, there's nothing like running and if there is
a way back, I'll find it. If I can run just a little,
I'll try some triathlons. I miss the people in the
club (especially at the speed workouts and the races) more
than I could ever express in this letter. I may show
up one of these days as a "timer", but it's too
painful to do it as yet. In a way, I do feel like
a part of me died. My wonderful girlfriend, Valli , my amazing
daughter, Kyra and my caring friends sustain me with their
love and understanding. My job of creating job opportunities
for people on probation continues to be challenging and
rewarding. Enjoy every run and race , as we never
know when we have run our last one!"
#1307. WHO: Olivier Baillet /
WHEN: June 21, 2001 road workout
WHAT Olivier SAID: "I'll be in a race on Saturday, but
I am not running."
WHEN: June 24, 2001
WHAT Roland WROTE: "I figured that you must have been
on a relay team in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on Saturday,
but they don't list relay team members. Of the teams listed,
I figured that you would be on a team with a French name.
So I guess that you were most likely on Les Poissons Volants
since you are less likely to read Rimbaud. Was I close?"
WHEN: June 25, 2001
WHAT Olivier WROTE: "Good catch, once again, I was in Les
Poissons Volants. BUT WHAT DO YOU MEAN WITH THAT RIMBAUD
STUFF ?????? You're upsetting me..."
WHEN: June 27, 2001
WHAT Roland WROTE: "There was another team with a French
name --- Le Bateau Ivre, named after that incomprehensible
poem by Arthur Rimbaud that all French students are required to
memorize. You should know by heart ...
Comme je descendais des Fleuves impassibles,
Je ne me sentais plus guidé par les haleurs :
Des Peaux-Rouges criards les avaient pris pour cibles
Les ayant cloués nus aux poteaux de couleurs ...
COMMENT: On that day, Jesse Lansner swam for Le
Bateau Ivre ... we would not have been able to guess that one.
#1306. WHO: Zebulon Nelessen
/ Roland Soong (timer)
WHEN: June 19, 2001 track workout
WHERE: East River Park
WHAT Zeb SAID: "Is the reason that you want me to move
to the faster group because you don't like me."
WHAT Roland SAID: "Not at all. It's all about self-preservation.
You are so far ahead of the slower group that I have to wait a long
while for the other people to pass and then I have to kill myself
to sprint across the field to call your split."
#1305. WHO: Blair Boyer
SUBJECT: The art of cheering
WHAT HE SAID: "I know that sometimes the cheering can
be annoying to the runners. That is why I just say 'Go!' and
I don't say 'Looking good'."
#1304. WHO: Brian
TO WHOM: Roland Soong
WHAT HE SAID: "That was a very nice picture that you
took for Toby Tanser's page."
COMMENT: "Ahem ... which picture do you mean? The
picture of Toby Tanser? The picture of the Central
Park reservoir? Or both?
#1303. WHO: Graeme Reid
WHEN: June 20th, 2001, after having just returned from a vacation
in Mykonos (Greece)
WHAT HE SAID: "You can take a
photo of my tan anytime!"
COMMENT: Actually, we were more interested
in that trophy for our first-place Masters team at the Boston Marathon
#1302. WHO: Ramon Bermo
WHAT HE WROTE: "In the June 2001 issue of Metro Sports,
I read, 'Alan Rubin, member of the Central Park Triathlon
Club ...................' One by one, and little by little,
everybody moves to the dark side !!!"
The full text is as follows:
Alan Rubin (sic), member of the Central
Park Triathlon Club and one of the top masters distance runners
in the region, loves to combine athletics and socializing.
"It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the
Central Park Track Club to both my running and my social life,"
he says. "CPTC provides the solidity and discipline needed for
my competitive running. The club's two coached speed workouts
per week allow me to train at a higher level than I would ever
be able to on my own.
"The camaraderie on our club and the team competition
provide a great motivational boost in the local races, which definitely
translates into improved performance," Rubin adds. "The icing
on the cake is having a great bunch of intelligent and well-adjusted
friends who form a large part of my social circle."
Will the real Alan Ruben stand up and deny
any connection to this impostor Alan Rubin? And how
do we know that this is an impostor? Here is the sure give-away:
"intelligent and well-adjusted friends ..."
#1301. WHO: Margaret Angell
WHAT: Her biography as listed in the 2001 club election ballot
WHAT SHE WROTE: "I started running in 1988 when I followed
my older sister onto the track team in middle school. I finally
got serious about running in college where I ran the mile and 800m.
In the summer of 1999, I was startled to find a man talking to me
while I was huffing up the Harlem hills. This man ("John
the Fireman") told me about this fantastic running club.
I took the bait and joined the Central Park Track Club in September
1999. I ran my marathon PR of 2:56:58 at London in 2001."
COMMENT: Actually, it seems that one has a
choice of writing something oneself, or let someone else weave a
story, as in:
- Craig Chilton: "Craig has helped
spear-head the Canadian infiltration of CPTC that has helped to
revitalize our club."
- Erik Goetze: "During the past year,
Erik has also been The Poster Boy for our ambitious, fun-loving
middle-distance track squad."
- Audrey Kingsley: "Audrey ran her
first marathon in 1997. According to Coach Tony Ruiz,
Audrey didn't become a good runner until she joined CPTC later
QUESTION: Who is the anonymous ghost writer?
Why is he/she not writing for this website?