Race Report: Scarsdale 15K

Who will survive the coming zombie invasion?

I’ll tell you who: masters runners.

The finish of the Scarsdale 15K today was a testament to two things: the value of running small local races if your goal is load up on cheap hardware from China; the dedication of racers who are on the wrong side of 40.

The top 10 finishers included the entire 50+ masters men’s team (positions 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8). The winner (Jonathan) is 53. The female winner (Emmy Stocker, who regularly beats me) is 51. Emmy’s racing pal, Frank Colella, also placed in the top 10, at age 47. He was second in his AG, which means another 40+ guy (I don’t know who) was also in the top 10. So, uh, let’s see…that means that at least 8 of the top 10 finishers today were well over 40 years of age.

Yes, it’s the youngsters who will make delicious, easily attainable zombie food while the rest of us dash off to the local gun shops and gardening centers to prepare.

Before the race I spotted Emmy and knew she’d beat me. Because she always does! I didn’t recognize any other women. This wasn’t a big race for me, meaning I wasn’t going in with any particular goals or concern for how I’d do relative to other people. I had a rough goal of wanting to at least break 1:09. I’d end up with a 1:09:37. While I wasn’t thrilled with that time, I was happy to place 2nd female and 16th overall.

The Scarsdale course is really tough. It trends toward uphill, most of it gradual, but there are a few short, steep ones thrown in. I ran the first 4 miles slightly too fast: between 7:00 and 7:10. I probably should have run 7:15 instead. My pace started to fall off after mile 5 and I’d end up with an average 7:22 pace. But given the course and the headwind in the last two miles, I’m pretty happy with that. I didn’t hit the tangents as well this time around, but that was primarily because the roads weren’t closed to traffic and I didn’t think weaving back and forth constantly was a good idea. My total distance was 9.44.

My effort was quite high, averaging 93%. It was a bit warm too, so I’m sure that pushed the HR up a bit. But I was able to run the last quarter (through a parking lot and about 300m of a track) at 6:17 (97%). So I’ve got something resembling a kick, at least when I’m finishing up on a flat section.

Emmy came in around 1:08, so the margin wasn’t that wide. I was in 6th place (F) for the first few miles, then managed to pass three women in pretty quick succession midway through the race. So I ran most of it figuring I’d get 3rd, since I’d seen Emmy and another woman ahead during the first mile or two. But apparently Emmy’s companion dropped out at some point, so I was surprised to get 2nd.

Jonathan won in 55:30, beating a youngster by about a minute. I saw him at the out and back toward the end of the race, when he had a little over a mile to go, running behind the lead vehicle and no one with him. That was a little thrill for both of us and he managed something approximating a smile when we passed each other.

Jonathan had teamed up with four other 50+ guys, including Joe, for the team competition. Apparently, decades ago, this race was larger and much more competitive. Team competition meant something. This year, they were told that they could just pick the fastest guys at the end of the race to define their team. What? But they entered their names beforehand and ended up taking half of the top 10 spots anyway.

I haven’t run this race since 2006, when I was at the very start of my racing “career” (cough cough). My time then was 1:25:something. I remember seeing the little, crappy silver-plated bowls AG winners got and feeling envious. Now I have my peanut bowl.

Suitable for serving nuts, olives or beer.

To be honest, I was nervous about racing 9+ miles. I’ve been racing distances half that length or shorter, for the most part. I did go out too fast and I need to not make that a habit. But I feel good about my endurance, and a lot more confident heading into the Long Island Half in three weeks than I would have had I not raced this one all out today.

I’ve saved the best for last. After I picked up my AG award, a woman came up to me and said, “I’m so glad you beat [name withheld]. She’s the biggest snob in Scarsdale!”

I didn’t press for details. Meaning I’m not sure if this person is the biggest running snob or the biggest snob overall. If it’s the latter, that’s quite an accomplishment, although the former is not too shabby either. Now I’m wondering what exactly you have to do to inspire such schadenfreude among your neighbors.

From Serial Mom, John Waters’ study of a June Cleaveresque serial killer on the loose in leafy suburbia:
Sloppy: Will you believe that god damn litter bugger?
Beverly: I have told her and told her. It takes ninety to a hundred years for a tin can to decompose, and she still won’t recycle.
Gus: Cost the tax payers millions of dollars last year. But she don’t care nothing about the national budget!
Beverly: I hate Mrs. Ackerman.
Gus: I hate her too.
Sloppy: I hate her guts. You know, somebody ought to kill her.
Gus: Yeah, give her a happy face, and then recycle her.
Beverly: For the sake of this planet, someone just might.

Also, Scarsdale High School has a picture gallery of distinguished alumni/alumnae, which I took the time to review since the awards ceremony took forever to start. Luminaries include: Richard Holbrooke, Tovah Feldshuh, Linda McCartney and an NPR contingent: Mara Liasson and Nina Totenberg.

16 Responses

  1. Congratulations, Julie! Fun silver stuff, too! Pretty cool that it’s such a masters-laden race, no problems with that, especially considering the speed of all you guys.

  2. Congrats. I’m reminded of the line in the recent Human Target in which our hero is defending the black sheep of the British Royal Family. “What do you have to do to be the black sheep in this family?” he asked.

    It’s a nice race, and I had a grand time. Too bad JS doesn’t blog. I’d be interested in getting his post-mortem.

  3. Second-to-last paragraph is particularly hilarious. FYI I didn’t race this weekend–did a speed workout instead. Gotta be prepared for our next race encounter!

  4. [...] (her race report) mentioned that he’d be at today’s race. They have a thing going on. And he [...]

  5. Very nice! Y’know, you can put potpourri in it, if you want to go Martha Stewart…

    (I have similar silver trophies from my horseshow days, and that’s what I’ve done with them. Depending on your perspective, this is either redeemed or ruined by the fact that they’re next to my display of Transformers toys.

  6. I’m just glad I don’t have to rewind my DVD rental of “Annie.”

  7. Mmm. Brainss….

    God job. So you and J. got two individuals and a team trophy? Nice.
    Snob? There are undercurrents in Scarsdale, by the sound of it.

  8. Nice race for the old timers! Peanut bowls are much more useful trophies than plastic running girls.

    Isn’t being the biggest snob in Scarsdale a bit like being the fastest runner in Scarsdale? Depends on who turns up.

    Tell JS blog writing is good practise for the obsessive stuff. There’s no such thing as junk words.

  9. I am deeply grateful for this post. Every. Single. Time. I hear Mara Liasson on NPR, I think to myself, is her name Mar Allyason? Maral Iasson? Marla something…? It’s like an OCD thing, I can’t help myself.

    Now I know.

    I’m also, of course, terribly impressed by the trophy. Really, really impressed. Makes me want to be a racer girl, too.

    • If you truly had OCD, you would have looked up her name long ago. You can’t fool me, sis!

      As for racing, crack open that subject and I’ll fly right in, whether you like it or not.

      You seemed to be on the path for doing some shorter races regularly before grad school hit. Maybe now that you’re nearly in the clear you can look into it again. Sure, winning cheap trophies is nice, but I think you need to make it a goal to do the See Jane Run race and beat that stroppy local runner bitch you’ve mentioned in the past (I guess every neighborhood’s got one).

      I wouldn’t advocate mixing marathon training with the launch of a new job/career…but you could train for 5K-10Ks or even a half without it taking over your life.

      Admit it. You really, really want to.

  10. get over yourself.

  11. [...] Race Report: Scarsdale 15K [...]

  12. [...] a bit dumb this week, getting carried away and running a bit too hard. But I felt so good after the Scarsdale 15K that I couldn’t stop my legs, which wanted to go. On Wednesday I gave in and let them do a [...]

  13. [...] Posted on April 27, 2010 by threlkeld Another light week in terms of mileage. Between the 15K race and then a following week of three workouts, I was feeling a bit beaten up going into this [...]

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