The 2015 JRunners Relay Race Awards
The 2015 JRunners Relay Race Awards
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 Hagadol Gadol Yehiyeh Award AKA The Rookie of the Year Award – Ariel Lev, Team Till Monsey. A complete neophyte to the race and the club, Ariel took on Legs 5 and 7, which means he had scant rest in between. Nevertheless, he won Leg 5 outright – missing the leg record by less than a minute, and came in second on Leg 7, missing first by a half-minute. We have a feeling that now that he knows the lay of the land, he’ll return next year to conquer all.
The Cake Going the Distance Award – Mordechai Ovits, Team 2 Nuts, a Putz, & a Big Jerk. Mordechai ran three of ten legs for his team, winning two, showing one, setting a record for Leg 4, and totaling 19.5 miles, the most of any runner for the day (and a third of the whole course!). Oh, and he did it all at a 6:33 pace.
The Gunnery Sergeant Hartman Troop Rallier Award and the Lady Bing Sportsmanship Trophy – Shaina Nemtzov, Team The Guardians of the Galaxy Return. Team Brooklyn We Go Hard sent out a coalition of newbie runners onto Leg 6. Sara Ouzer separated from the pack, running solo, and taking on the longest run of her running career to date. Shaina attached herself to her side, hollered encouragement, and paced her until the end of the leg. Shaina, with plenty left in her tank, pulled back, and Sara arrived at the exchange ahead of her. By doing so, Shaina selflessly sacrificed her own chance at a great time, and an opportunity to break the leg record she’d set the year prior. In recognition of her selflessness, the race record keepers granted her the better official time on the leg, plus the two trophies granted here.
The Young Padawan Award – Mendle Reinitz, Team Brooklyn We Go Hard. Mendle was the youngest new competitor in our race at 17 years, 14 days. He took on Leg 5, and he did it very well. This, after his first triathlon just a few weeks ago. What will he take on next? I’m sure he’ll keep us in the loop with his Facebook collages. Now you’ll note I said new competitor, because Yoni Meiri, Team The Guardians of the Galaxy Return, was actually the youngest competitor for the 4th year in a row!!! At race time he was 16 years, 257 days, so he can have the Youngling Award.
The Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Award – Hershy Mandel, Team Till Monsey. Hershy took on two legs, and set new records on both with astonishing speeds. He scorched a groove on the earth with a 6:13 pace on Leg 3, which was the second-fastest pace on any relay leg ever (Mittel, 6:11, Leg 7, 2012), and laid down the law with a 6:23 on leg 9. Also, he was the life of the party, as he his every year, and he deserves an award just for that.
The More Powerful Than a Locomotive Award – Joe Bootin, Team Brooklyn We Go Hard. Dozens of runners participated in impromptu pushup contests at multiple exchanges and invited total strangers into the mix. The ringleader? Our man Joe, who started the tradition last year and will keep it going. Incidentally, after Leg 2, Martin Bodek, Yoni Meiri, Shlomo Rosenzweig, and Moshe Lewis engaged in a pull-up contest, but couldn’t invite strangers. We’ll monitor how that competition grows too.
The Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound Award – Yitzy Sontag, Team 2 Nuts, a Putz, & a Big Jerk. The distance of leg 10 keeps changing, but not the difficulty. Fresh off Battlefrogging across the planet, on a leg shredding, five-hill undulating course, he established a very impressive 7:23 pace, three minutes ahead of anyone else.
The It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! Award AKA The Emil Zatopek MVP Award (http://rw.runnersworld.com/pdf/groat.pdf) – Yossi Cohn, Team No Sleep. It’s too easy to give this award to a runner who was the fastest, or ran the most legs, or piled up the most miles, or impressed in one way or another. It’s time to shake things up a bit. Yossi Cohn should be recognized for putting together his 4th winning team of the 6 relays JRunners has staged. He kept his team on course, literally, with very excellent and specific pre-race instructions. To cap it all, he hosted a delicious BBQ at the end of the race. Much love as well to Dini Cohn, for getting the barbie going well before any of the runners showed up.
The LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out Award – Dov Gertzulin and Shalom Gelbtuch, Team No Sleep. You know the first lyric, don’t you? “Don’t call it a comeback/I’ve been here for years.” Apropos. Our race concluded in astonishing fashion. At the end of Leg 8, No Sleep was in 2nd by a hair, but Dov hit the course, and negative split every mile until his team built a 4-minute lead. Then Shalom was boots on ground and di his utmost to hold off Sontag, who was bouncing bullets off his chest as he Mountain Manned them thar hills. Gelbtuch held him off, and team No Sleep won by 58 seconds!!!
The Hillel the Elder S’char Halicha Award – Aaron Ross, Team In It For the Money. Aaron lives in Aberdeen, NJ, which, as far as we know, is on the other side of the Sambatyon somewhere. Even if it wasn’t the actual furthest place from which a relay participant sojourned, it was certainly the most trains, planes, & automobiles journey. He suffered through it because he heard how much fun the race was going to be, and from riding partways home with him, we learned that we met his expectations. Awesome.
The Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild Award – Avi Koplowitz, EMT. Probably unbeknownst to the runners, the jobs requested of the EMTs were not just kissing booboos, but also to chase down lost runners (which they did plenty of), and also to notify the pack of road hazards and remove them if they could. Whereas the runners encountered the usual city fauna, Avi blinked/brighted several deer out of the way at the front of the procession, ensuring a smoother journey for the runners behind him.
The We’ve Got The Runs Award for the Best Team Name – The team names were, in order of their arrival at the finish line: No Sleep; 2 Nuts, a Putz, & a Big Jerk; Till Monsey; Bodie’s Balls; Brooklyn We Go Hard; The Guardians of the Galaxy Return, and In It for the Money. This vote was put to the runners, organizers and volunteers via our Yahoo! group, but we received no votes, because apparently, Millenials don’t know what Yahoo! is! So we put it to a vote on the race’s Facebook page, and boom! The votes came in, and the winner was Bodie’s Balls. There are many plays on words and puns there were made during the race, and can still be made now, but we’ll leave that to others. All we can say is that everyone, ahem, really liked them.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Martin’s next award goes to the next person who buys his JRunners book (http://tinyurl.com/JRunnersBook) covering the 2012 edition of the relay (yes, he intends to write a sequel). Have a look at his other books: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom. Available on Kindle too: http://tinyurl.com/JRunnersKindleBook