A Father’s Day of Rays and Fun in the Sun
It was the cheeriest atmosphere possible on the sunniest, most pleasant day that could possibly be expected. This was highly apropos because the official title of the race was The Father’s Day Half AKA The 2nd Attempt at The 6th Multiannual Unsanctioned JRunners Half Marathon. That first attempt was rained out due to a cyclonic, typhoonic dragon-breathed monsoon. This was better, much better.
Helping to buoy (as if they needed it) the Unsanctioned-record crowd of 13 (despite losing some participants to missed alarm clocks, sinus headaches, other races, and bikes) was a great support crew, who deserve thanks and props:
Yaakov Bressler encouragement, photography.
Mordechai Ovits encouragement, pacing.
Yisroel Pupko encouragement while running clockwise, which is the wrong way, but not when you’re giving high-fives to your mates along a racecourse.
Prospect Park porta potties.
The excellent times put in on a tough course were barely the story, which was bolstered by all the other energetic little stories that happen along the way when
you get a whole bunch of friends together in one place:
The director forgot the chalk (just about the most important thing you need on a course with zero cost and budget) at home, despite proclaiming a few days prior
that he’d located his stash of them at home. Yossi Pancer came through in a pinch, then The Fates shined their countenance upon him and he emerged victorious,
improving on his previous half-marathon (Superhero, in Morristown) time by 1:02.
Matt Katz, our de facto Gatorade table stop, enjoyed similar improvement as well, besting his previous half (the 4th Unsanctioned) by 0:49.
Adam Orlow stalked Martin Bodek for miles before slingshooting past him – and Moishie Gamss later – to hold onto, and maintain, his bronze medal finish.
Moishie Gamss did not medal, but only because of that last item on the props list mentioned above. He’ll have to wrap up a little faster next time. He nevertheless, like seemingly everyone else around him, improved upon his last half-marathon time by 0:41.
Martin Bodek showed up gunning for a PR, which would require him to run 7:33 per mile. His first mile was 7:32, his last was 7:28, but in between got wonky. Still, he did the home stretch in 6:33 and ran 7:40 per mile for the race, leaving him quite satisfied with his 3rd fastest half out of 26 lifetime. He is currently shopping for a pacer for his next half.
David Friedman showed up with his wife, Faige, who was one of two ladies in the race. Both PRed significantly: David by 5:48, Faige by 0:15.
Chaim Tepler particpated in his 2nd lifetime half. The first? The 1st Unsanctioned! He missed his PR by just 2 seconds! We’ll stage another one immediately just so he can put himself in position to do some PR-smashing.
Scott Smith broke the JRunners backpack half-marathon record. He was rucked up with personal supplies, plus his tallis and tefillin, because there was nowhere he could leave them in the park. Matt could leave his Gatorade on the curb, but there’s a slight difference in the replacement value for these items.
Connie Fried, Yonatan Meiri, and Shlomo Rosenzweig formed a jolly blue giant triumvirate, enjoying each other’s company and laughing it up all over the park, even synchronizing their potty breaks before continuing along the course. All had reasons to take it easy, which facilitated the company they kept for each other: Connie was using this as recovery run (for the Mini-10k the day prior), and Yonatan and Shlomo because this was the longest run of the year for them, and they didn’t want to murder themselves. Yonatan actually beat Shlomo by the thickness of a single pectoral striation (muscular types – like Yonatan and Shlomo - will know what I’m talking about).
Finally, Jerry Gross enjoyed his 3.915 loops around the park, and when he pulled in to the finish line, enjoyed the biggest-margin PR of the day: 8:50! Nice going!
Yossi Pancer 1:34:47
Matt Katz 1:37:57
Adam Orlow 1:39:02
Moishie Gamss 1:39:39
Martin Bodek 1:42:44
David Friedman 1:43:44
Chaim Tepler 1:48:27
Faige Friedman 1:53:45
Scott Smith 1:54:20
Connie Fried 2:00:29
Yonatan Meiri 2:07:49
Shlomo Rosenzweig 2:07:49
Jerry Gross 2:10:08
Turns out the half wasn’t the only one in town, as NYCRUNS staged their own Father’s Day Half Marathon along The Belt. No JRunners participated though, because ours was so much better.
However! Just a few feet over from Brooklyn was yet another half, The Rockapulco Run in Queens, in which a JRunner did indeed participate, in the visage of Moshe Lewis, who missed his PR by seconds due to (the underrated difficulty of dealing with) strong winds, but nevertheless placed 9th overall! All participants got kosher cheesecake! Yum!
Moshe Lewis 1:38:37
The borough of Manhattan didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, so she put on the Portugal Day 5-miler in Central Park, where Joel Mandel took first among club racers for the 3rd time this year and climbed back to the top of the JOTY board. It is also believed that, for the first time in JRunners history, the ladies took the 2 and 3 spot among the club participants. Happy Father’s Day to them too!
Joel Mandel 33:15
Rebecca Schwartz 37:40
Judith Sambol 37:51
Avi Blisko 42:54
Eli Friedman 42:54
Jacob Granek 56:54
Finally, over at the LI Gold Coast Sprint Triathlon, Michael Appel was trying a tri for the first time (others have used this one as their maiden voyage as well!). He didn’t just try, he did, and he did very, very well.
Michael Appel 1:33:40
Happy Father’s Day everyone! Yes, the ladies too, and the future fathers. It was a great day, wasn’t it? Let’s have more like it.
Beat Reporter, JRunnersClub.org
P.S. The official results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/14/ny/Jun15_Father_set1.shtml