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JRunners Turn Out, Drop In, Tune Up, and Rock On

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 by in Musings | 0 comments

Eight JRunners toed the line at the ING NYC Marathon 18 Mile Tune-Up. Everyone had a superlative day, the weather was perfect (though we could have stood to shiver just a bit more at the start), a really good time was had by all, and some had amazing stories to tell.

Mordechai Ovits took gold among the group, and he – oh heck, I’ll let him speak for himself. This is his runningahead log:

“Great weather. Did the first 2 laps with Dov Gertzulin, then torched the third lap. Started late and back in the corral, so I was very slow the first few miles due to crowding. Had a huge negative split; each lap was about 2 minutes faster than the last one.Took 6th in age group, probably could have taken 2nd or 3rd (6:35, 6:36) if I’d started on time from the front and paced evenly. It was more fun to pass the lead female than I should probably admit. ;-)”

His pace for the race calculates to a 2:55 marathon. We think he can do it, with ease.

Dov Gertzulin – Mordechai Ovits’ new F(ast)FF – beat the lead woman as well. That didn’t sound right. We’ll say Mordechai and Dov refused to be chicked. The competition between these guys is just getting started.

Joel Mandel paced a friend for the first mile, then took off, and took bronze for the day. When he finished, he looked for more friends to pace, and found Martin Bodek, whom he slingshotted (slungshot? slingedshooted?) to the finish line.

Moshe “God Save the Queen” Lewis took first in the Vibrams category with a sterling 2:16:49 performance. He ran the last 13.1 miles faster than has ever run a half-marathon. How about that! He also came up with the greatest PR of the day: 20:57!

Yisroel Pupko ran a great, strong race, changing leads with Bodek for the first 4 miles. At the same moment, Yisroel needed the gentlemen’s facilities and Bodek spotted Mandel. Yisroel found what he needed and Mandel couldn’t be caught. Yisroel passed Bodek later for good in the second half of the race.

Glenn Pfeiffer clobbered his own Tune-Up PR by 6:52 despite admitting to a bit of post-Yom Kippur overhydration.

Martin Bodek ran his tenth lifetime Tune-Up, and ran his second fastest time ever. He saved his fastest mile, 7:37, for last, getting an assist from Mandel. He had a rootin’-tootin’ good time, that went scary for a brief interlude. We’ll quote his runningahead log as well:

“I ran 3 near-perfect Central Park lap splits: 50:00, 49:33, and 50:00. But I finished in 2:30:51. What happened to the missing 1:18? I got a story for you: At mile 11, a lady on a Citibike, bolted through the crowd of runners, heading to her right. At the same time, a a casual male runner was moving to his left towards the pack of racers. They were mindful of us in the race, but didn’t see each other – and WHAM! They collided. He was a big dude, 6’4” at least, and she bounced off him like he was rubber. She collided with the pavement, and her head bounced off it, and a spray of Kool-aid colored blood ejected from her head. I ran over to her with a bunch of other runners. She was saying, “Oh, oh, oh,” while the guy was busy apologizing. I told her she has a laceration behind her left ear, and that we were going to get her help. An NYRR volunteer ran over and placed the call. I spotted an ambulance, ran over, told the medic the situation. He grabbed his bag and bolted for her. When I was saw him crouching over her, tending to her, I continued on my way. Real life, fresh, neon blood is absolutely terrifying.”

Avi Blisko ran an excellent race as well, mashing his PR by 8:43. The man’s a tall, fast dude, and Pupko and Bodek discussed petitioning NYRR for a weight-related category. Avi would take us all.

Your Tune-Up leaderboard:

Name                    Time      Pace      PR?

Mordechai Ovits               2:00:27  6:42        3:51

Dov Gertzulin    2:01:12  6:44        10:38

Joel Mandel       2:07:17  7:04        13:29

Moshe Lewis     2:16:49  7:37        20:57

Yisroel Pupko     2:26:32  8:09        10:38

Glenn Pfeiffer   2:27:01  8:11        6:52

Martin Bodek    2:30:51  8:23        Consolation: 2nd fastest of 10 lifetime

Avi Blisko             2:37:48  8:46        8:43

Meanwhile, way over at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon, Jonathan Pittinsky clobbered his PR by, get this, 7:41. He finished in 1:38:44 and probably did the whole Rocky thing to celebrate. Wow.

Martin won’t be writing a book on the Tune-Up, but he has written one about the JRunners Relay. Have a look: and


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