Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Virtual Race Series-Atlanta Track Club vs. Garden State Track Club-Race #3- One Mile Run

July 13, 2020. The Atlanta Track Club and the Garden State Track Club agreed upon a set of three virtual competitions, a 5K in early May, followed by a 10K in June and winding up with a 1 Mile Run in late June/early July. The winning team gets 10 points, and the 2nd place team 9 points, in each of the three races to determine the Overall Series winner.

They provided multiple Virtual awards, involving Men's 40's, and Men's 50's (for all 3 races), and  Men's 60's & Women's 40's (Race #1 only). All virtual runs were to take place during a time-window that allowed runners two weekends and the week between. The competition had several levels. There was team-to-team competition within each age division, and there was an Overall Club competition across all of the team competitions. They used road race scoring in that they added up times. Unlike the USATF Masters Championship,s where only the top 3 score, they scored as many as possible in each team/division competition, limiting the number to that of the team with fewer entrants. If ATC entered 7 and GSTC 6, then 6 were scored. They also reported the number of finishers scored by road (top 3 runners) and by cross country (top 5 runners) . They always added up times (road rules) rather than add up places (cross country rules). The team with the lower cumulative time, won the race and scored 10 points. The other team was awarded 9 points.

Recall that the earlier two races were split.

Race 1-5K ATC had a 9:22:38 winning total; GSTC score summed to 9:49:35. ATC took the series lead, 10-9.

Race 2-10K . GSTC took the win by a wide margin. GSTC 5:54:13 over ATC 6:19:24. 

With the 10K results, GSTC pulled even with ATC in the Overall Series Club Competition at 19 points each.The Club that wins the Mile takes the series.
Race 3-1 Mile  Atlanta’s M60+ and W40+ teams did not compete; they were engaged in other competitions or enterprises. There were great efforts from the 40’s and 50’s teams with the contest again very close.

M40+ GSTC’s Chuck Schneekloth, who won the USATF Masters Road Mile competition in Flint last year, recorded the fastest time by far, 4:32. 
Chuck Schneekloth shares the surprise at his amazing 4:32.4 Virtual Mile! Photo courtesy of GSTC

But ATC countered with Brent Fields and Brian Sydow, who finished 3rd at Flint, clocking almost identical 4:50 and 4:51 times. 
Brian Sydow running his Virtual 5K for the May competition Photo courtesy of ATC

But GSTC’s Dave Ferrugia and Shawn Williams were not far back at 4:52.6 and 4:53.4.  
Shawn Williams Navy t-shirt and Robert Riordan 2nd from right and their 'Cheer Crew' Photo courtesy of GSTC

Tommy Carroll finished off the ATC scoring at 4:53. With the exception of Schneekloth, who scorched one, the rest of the field was amazingly close. Second through 6th separated by just 3 seconds! GSTC takes M40+ honors 14:17 to 14:34!

M50+ ATC’s David Matherne posted the top time at 4:58. But GSTC’s Joe Hegge, Todd Wiley, and Mark Zamek were only a tick behind, clocking almost identical times at 4:59.6, 5:00, and 5:00.6. Jeff Haertel and Mike Strickland struck next for ATC with 5:06 and 5:08. 
GSTC takes this division in a close one, 15:00 to 15:10.

M40+ GSTC adds in the times of #4 runner Chris Sallade, 4:57, 
Chris Sallade and Son after Dad's successful 4:57 Mile Photo courtesy of GSTC

and #5 Jason Timochko, 4:59.68. 
And they are (socially distancing) off! Jason Timochko and Dan Reiser Photo courtesy of GSTC

ATC picks up #4, Jack Westrick, 5:02, and either Steve Bell or Fred Dolan, both of whom ran 5:04. This enlarges the margin to 27 seconds, GSTC 24:13 to ATC 24:40.  

M50+ ATC adds #4, Chip Hawkins 5:16, 
Chip Hawkins's enthusiastic 5K Virtual Run in May
Photo courtesy of GSTC

and #5, Dave Lee, 5:30, while John Hogan 
John Hogan at the track after clocking a 5:11 Mile. Photo courtesy of GSTC

and Stephen Katz contribute 5:11 and 5:41 for Garden State. The margin narrows but GSTC takes the division by 4 seconds, at 25:52 to 25:56.

GSTC’s Mark Zamek 57 5:00.65 took his second age-grading title in the series at 89.70%.

Mark Zamek cruising to a 5:00.65, despite a nagging achilles tendon, in the 85 degree heat that he loves! Photo courtesy of GSTC

ATC's David Matherne 55 4:58 and Jeff Haertel 58 5:06 claimed 2nd and 3rd with 88.98% and 88.89%. Chuck Schneekloth 43 was just off the podium; his 4:32.4 earned an 88.44%. Other notable marks included: Brent Fields 48 4:50 86.36% Joe Hegge 51 4:59.6 85.64  
Todd Wiley 50 5:00 84.83 Tommy Carroll 47 4:53 84.81 Brian Sydow 46 4:51 4:51 John Hogan 54 5:11.37 84.45 Mike Strickland 52 5:08 83.98 Chris Sallade 47 4:57 83.67 Jack Westrick 49 5:02 83.60% Steve Bell 48 5:04 82.38 Greg Oshust 58 5:32 81.93 Fred Dolan 47 5:04 81.74 Shawn Williams 42 4:53.4 81.49 Lester Dragstedt 57 5:31 81.48  
Lester Dragstedt running his Virtual 5K in May Photo courtesy of GSTC

Steven Segaloff 49 5:11 81.18  
Steven Segaloff getting it done on the track! Photo courtesy of GSTC

Jason Timochko 43 4:59.68 80.94  
Jason Timochko illustrating how not to recover from your sub-5-minute Virtual Mile Photo courtesy of GSTC

Chip Hawkins 50 5:16 80.53

Even though there was no outside competition, GSTC's W40+ squad ran their Virtual Mile Runs. Elena Rozhko 47 ran a swift 5:21 for an 89.71% age grade. 
Elena Rozhko races to a 5:21 Virtual Mile Photo courtesy of GSTC

The performance of Kim Aspholm 50 6:10 81.10 was also notable.

M40+ Each team had at least 8 M40+ runners. ATC adds to its M40+ top-5 score the times of #’s 6-8, Fred Dolan, Kevin Gibson, at 5:04 and 5:06, and either Chris Weiss or Aaron Totten-Lancaster, both of whom ran 5:09. That gets ATC’s 40+ up from 24:40 to 39:59. GSTC adds the times of their 6-7-8, Robert Riordan, Steven Segaloff, and Trevor Emmitt at 5:09, 5:11, and 5:16. GSTC’s 40+ total rises from 24:13 to 39:50. Now just 9 seconds separates the teams! 

M50+ With 50+ only the top 5 are scored, leaving ATC at 25:56 and GSTC at 25:52. 

ATC’s combined 40+ and 50+ scores add to 1:05:55, while GSTC’s combine to 1:05:42. GSTC takes the 1 Mile contest by a mere 13 seconds over 13 competitors each, an average margin of a single second.

With GSTC taking the 1 Mile Virtual title, that gives them 29 points in the Race Series to 28 for Atlanta!

It is a credit to both clubs that they mounted the competition and saw it through over several weeks and three different distances. The contest was close at every stage, adding to the suspense. I am sure it fired up both teams, and may have inspired a few more teams to think about virtual competition during this covid-no-races/no-championships period.

Note: Based on times, scores, and age grade percentages as reported by the Race Organizer, GSTC’s Mark Zamek, to Brian Sydow, ATC Coordinator, with your author copied.

What is up next?

The Boulder Road Runners are hosting a three-holiday virtual 60+ competition this summer over the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends. There are at least seven different clubs from coast-to-coast participating. The Independence Day week competition is done and will be the next race recapped on this blog.

GSTC is discussing the possibility of staging a competition between several Clubs as a Zoom 25K Virtual Relay. Each Club would meet on their own track at the same time, with a Zoom Coordinator [ZC]. All teams would exercise appropriate social distancing and the first runner for each team would start on their 5k at the same time. Each ZC would provide ‘play-by-play’ commentary. This wrinkle should make the competition more fun for everyone! Will they be able to pull it off? If they can, I will be happy to report it in this blog!


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