Navigation Menu+

The 2013 JRunners Relay Race Awards

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 by in Musings | 0 comments

The 2013 JRunners Relay Race Awards


Martin Bodek

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this year’s installment of the JRunners Relay Race awards. Shall we?:

The Luke Skywalker The Force is Strong with this One Award AKA The Zeh Hakaton Gadol Yehiyeh Award AKA The Rookie of the Year Award – Yitzy Sontag, Team 1. A newbie to the race and a last-minute recruit, he beat the competition on all three legs he was assigned. He also set the  pace record on all 3 legs he ran. He also won the Matthew McConaughey Best Abs Award. That’s a lot of hardware. He’s practically an EGOT.


The Sleeping Beauty Award – Eli Friedman, Team 3. The runners got into all sorts of deranged sleeping positions over the course of the race. Exhaustion meant that it didn’t matter. They took it where they could. They found themselves in the fetal position, on a parking lot tarmac in the rain, on the roofs of cars, on tree stumps, but Eli’s spot was the zaniest of all, right smack dab in middle of a busy road, protected by nothing, except for a Secret Service guy. Have a look:


The Crank Yankers Best Pranker Award – Team 1. And I quote a Your Pace or Mine team member whose name rhymes with Shmatt Shmatz: “We were driving on leg 25, we’re in the car. We passed Chaim Tepler, who was runnning it really well. He was coming down the hill and we wanted to see how far ahead the other guy [Yoni Hook] is. Looked like the other guy had 7-8 minutes on Chaim, but he was closing it to maybe five minutes. He looked like he was struggling, somebody was running with him. Mayerfeld. So it was Sontag’s idea to pop out and run past him. So I got out of the car, just before a turn so the two guys couldn’t see us, and I passed them at a sub-6 on a flat. I said ‘Coming through on your right.’ Mayerfeld said, ‘That’s encouraging.’ I did an extra mile just for fun at a 6:10 pace. I Didn’t tell anyone at the gas station. When the guy came in, he was bewildered to see me, saying I didn’t look sweaty or anything. We broke the news to him and had a good laugh. Turns out that after I passed him, he put more effort into the run and built up a distance between him and Chaim, who came in a few minutes later. They maintained their lead, but it was good fun, even though it might have cost us a bit.” Sound familiar? The same prank was pulled by Bressler’s team on Bodek’s team last year, and Bodek’s team achieved some form of vengeance.


The Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild Award – Chesky Rand, Team 2. Deer are here, deer are there, deer are truly everywhere. Dogs are ubiquitous too. Chesky had a lovely encounter with one that escaped from its property through a hole in its fence and chased after him. Chesky ran to a nearby home and begged to be let inside as the dog approached. The owner laughed him off and said to just let the dog smell him, which he did. The dog let him go. Yikes.


The Literal Bear Grylls Van vs. Wild Award – Team 3. The Cohnheads’ van was just ahead of its runner, Eli Friedman, on leg 28. Bearing, ahem, down on him was Martin Bodek. A baby bear darted across the road in front of them, and they jumped out to warn the runners about possible mama bear, then drove beside them and cleared the inside just in case Eli and Martin needed to jump in. Unreal scare, smart handling, good sportsmanship.


The Gunnery Sergeant Hartman Troop Rallier Award – Tzipi Puderbeutel, wife of Chaim Puderbeutel, Team 4. She ran Chaim’s entire leg (28) with him. All 5.2 miles. How sweet is that? She also deserves The Final Jeopardy! Award for every time she gets the spelling of her last name right. Her maiden name (Gottlieb) was much easier. Heck, anything is easier.


The Young Padawan Award – Yonatan Meiri, Team 2. For the second year in a row, Yonatan was the youngest entrant in the race, and readily took on leg 17 in both years. He was but a youngling last year, is a padawan now, and if his training goes well under his master – Ya-a-ko V’bress-ler – then he will next year be a Jedi Knight.


The Pai Mei View of My Foot Award – Moshe Sanders, Team 2. Moshe is pushing, what, 90 is it?, but you wouldn’t know it from his performances, placing twice (by 1 second on leg 6 and 10 seconds on leg 18) and showing once (losing only to the powerhouse that is Mordechai Ovits). He put everyone younger than him to shame, which was 92% of the field. His age-graded times must be shocking.


The Edmund Hilary Alpine Award – Jonathan Pittinsky, Team 1: Yonatan Meiri, Team 2; Shalom Gelbtuch, Team 3; Michael Appel, Team 4. The runners who accept leg 17 automatically win this award annually, mostly for not tearing’s their captain’s head off when the assignment comes down. The leg is just not fair. In addition to this accolade, Jonathan also receives the Tenzing Norgay King of the Hill award for showing everyone the way, mountaineering the leg faster than anyone ever before him. He demolished the old record by 29 seconds, setting a new bar with an 8:34 pace. We feel this record will stand for a long time. It is that impressive.


The Jeremy Lin Give that Man a Contract Award – Jay Klein, Team 2. Jay is not a runner, having had 4-5 runs under his belt lifetime before signing up for the race. He got faster with each leg, though and put in some very impressive times. Jay cannot say he’s not a runner anymore.


The Cake Going the Distance Award – Dov Gertzulin, Team 3. Dov ran four legs for his team, winning three, showing one, setting a record for leg 29, and totaling 21.6 miles, the most of any runner for the day.


The Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Award – Elik Hirsch, Team 4. The bullet? Moshe Sanders. Faster? Elik, by one single second on leg 6 on a pure head-to-head out of the “Runner Restart” system.


The More Powerful Than a Locomotive Award – Yoni Hook, Team 3. Leg 25 is designed to hurtle you forward with a 700-foot drop over 2.5 miles and a flat for 2.5 more. Runners come steaming into the exchange at high speeds. None steamier than Yoni, who looked like he had lost something valuable when he barreled in, partly because his eyes were peeled back from the unbelievable Maxell-blasting momentum.


The Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound Award – Avi Hornstein, Team 4.  The distance of leg 10 keeps changing, but not the difficulty. On a leg shredding, five-hill undulating course, he established a very impressive 7:49 pace.


The It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! Award AKA The Emil Zatopek MVP Award ( – Mordechai Ovits, Team 1. Dov was great, real great. Mordechai was greater. He won all four of his legs, never pacing slower than 6:45 on any of them, ran 12.5 straight miles at a 6:43 pace, set records on two legs, and missed the Going the Distance Award by 1.23 miles. He owned the race, he deserves it, despite his protestations that the MVP should not come from a losing team. Nonsense.


The Aaron Justius Worst Weather Forecast Ever Award – every local news outlet, who promised a monsoon for most of the run. They were wronger than this guy:


Congratulations to all the winners!


Martin’s next award goes to the next person who buys his JRunners book (, in gratitude to the sale making the book the best-selling of the four he’s published ( Available on Kindle too:

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *