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The 2016 JRunners Relay Race Awards

Posted on Sep 1, 2016 by in Musings | 0 comments

The 2016 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 Hagadol Gadol Yehiyeh Award AKA The Rookie of the Year Award – Levi Groner, Team Jewsain Bolts. Of all the newcomers to our relay race, the only one in the crowd who won his leg outright who was not a seasoned veteran, was Mr. Groner, who took Leg 4, with its steps, and tunnels, and ramps, and turrets, and mountain range, decisively. Then he placed 2nd on Leg 10 to Ariel Lev, a serious mountain man. Great performance, and welcome aboard!


The Cake Going the Distance Award – Paul Kentor, Team Walter Sobchak. Paul took on a workload of four whole legs, and thanks to going just a wee bit wayward on one of them, added some mileage to his load as well. In total, he ran precisely 20 miles, which means he ran 35.6% of the course all by himself. His time results were unreal as well. More on that a little further below.


The Lady Bing Sportsmanship Trophy – Team The Abonimable Slowmen. The Slowmen faced a serious issue in the days leading up to the race. Their runner for Legs 1 and 2 came down with an injury, and he had to be replaced quickly. They secured a runner for Leg 1 and for Leg 2, a runner was borrowed from another team, about whom we’ll have much to say shortly, because he got lost, and took forever to get to the next exchange. They were, therefore, very late coming in to the major exchange at CNBC, and the director had to release the next wave before their runner came in, docking them major time. Despite all this, nobody on the team complained about their circumstances even once. They dealt with the blows and rolled with it, happy to participate. For their class and character, the director asked us to grant this annual award to them. Gentlemen, thank you for your exemplary and example behavior. As a complete aside, Binyamin Lipsky, team captain, secured a medal and safety gear sponsorship from Tech613. Thank you, Binyamin!


The Tour de Brooklyn Award – David Roher, Team The Abonimable Slowmen. That lost runner we just mentioned? He has a name. Now mind you, he donated this leg last minute, and also note that I asked permission to grant him this award, which he accepted beamingly. David was doing well, until he went right instead of left on Eastern Parkway, then wound up on the dividing line of whatever turf war is going on between Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, then turned a 7.7-mile run into a 12-mile adventure. He must’ve forgotten he wasn’t on his bike. David smashed the record for most lost runner, fully 4.3 miles off course. This will stand for all time, because, we hear, rules are being implemented to prevent something like this from happening again. They involve the use of bloodhounds.


The Young Padawan Award – Mendle Reinitz, Team Another Runner in the Night. Mendle was the youngest competitor in our race at 18 years, 20 days. He was actually the youngest for the 2nd straight year (Yoni Meiri holds the record for being youngest four years in a row!). After he completed Leg 1, he proceeded to escort the runners on his bike, all the way to the finish line. He also secured a sponsorship of water bottles from CH Cycles. He also was involved in planning and recruitment. For all the above, Mendle also receives this year’s Gunnery Sergeant Hartman Troop Rallier Award.


The Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Award – Mordechai Ovits, Team Cirque De Sore Legs. Mordechai Made a laughingstock of the leg records for the first two legs. He creamed the Leg 1 record by three whole minutes, than mashed the Leg 2 record by eleven big ones, giving his team a 14-minute lead going into Leg 3 (You can tell we do advanced mathematics). He did this while eschewing water, and we could see his parched and peeling lips as he approached the exchange. Next time, his team is wrapping a Fontus device to his leg (Don’t ask us what it is; google it). Imagine the results then!


The More Powerful Than a Locomotive Award – Sruli Baum, Team Cirque De Sore Legs. Sruli won the pushups contest 51-50, then immediately won the scaffolding pullups contest 16-8, then later, despite his lack of sleep and familiarity with the course, captured silver and bronze on his legs. Also, he lugged eight lbs. of halvah with him to bring as a gift to the race director, who salivates when he hears the words “halvah from the shuk.” Sruli concluded his tour of duty with the IDF just a few days before the race, and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his service.


The Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound Award – Joe Bootin, Team Another Runner in the Night.  Joe Bootin took on Legs 4 and 10, then peeked at the roster and noted that Martin Bodek was doing the same two legs. He placed a wager that the best aggregate time between them would be the victor. Loser would um, subject himself to depilatory machinations. Neither was prepared for the nose-to-concrete hills of Washington Heights and both were murdered into walking stretches in the Monsey Hills. Thanks to Martin’s getting a wee bit lost for long enough to lose three minutes to Joe on Leg 10, Joe wound up aggregating a time 48 seconds faster than Martin. Enjoy the shave, Martin.


The It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! Award AKA The Emil Zatopek MVP Award ( – Paul Kentor, Team Walter Sobchak. As mentioned, our praise for Paul begins with him laying down the most track of the night, but it doesn’t end there. On the leg he got lost on? Paul calculates he lost 10 minutes (That darn Schlosser St. Where *is* it?). If he wouldn’t have gotten lost? Easy first place. Moving along, he took on Legs 8, 9, and 10, yes, consecutively, and he smoked the field on 8, missed gold by 25 seconds on 9, and finally ran out of gas (According to him) on 10, where he *still* narrowly missed silver by 15 seconds. Meaning, he piled on the most mileage, “medaled” in the last three legs, and could have taken another gold on a fourth. For these reasons, Paul Kentor is your MVP Relay 2016.


The LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out Award – Dov Gertzulin, Ariel Lev, Hershy Mandel, Yoni Hook, and Yossi Cohn, Team In It To Win It AGAIN. The champions once again, were well-built by Hershy Mandel, who put his money where his mouth is. First, on Leg 3, he took a 14-minute deficit behind Cirque De Sore Legs, and beat its next runner by 22 minutes, handing over an 8-minute lead to Yoni Hook, who would increase the lead for his team, who would expand on that the rest of the way. In the 2nd half of the race, both Dov Gertzulin and Ariel Lev would take gold in each of their two legs (With Ariel breaking the Leg 10 record), establishing a new relay course time record. Then Yossi knocked everyone out with a crazy-delicious barbecue.


The Hillel the Elder S’char Halicha Award – Menachem Kay, Team Jewsain Bolts. Menachem, one of our race rookies, hails from Joburg, SA (That’s Johannesburg, South Africa for those who don’t speak abbreviation), and is a Comrades veteran. Get this crazy itinerary: He arrived on a 16-hour flight the morning of the race, to attend his niece’s wedding Thursday night. Clearly, he was thinking, “Gee, how do I spend the time in between?” Naturally, he chose our race! Nice choice! Also, he had to show up for wedding pictures just hours after the race. Sunday morning he ran another 20k, and was on another 16-hour flight at 7 AM on Monday. This guy had the sleep schedule of a Color War general. Wow. And Mazel tov!


The Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild Award – Eitan Kurtz, EMT. Probably unbeknownst to the runners, the jobs requested of the EMTs (Fore: Eitan Kurtz, aft: Tuly Krausz) are not just kissing booboos, but also to chase down lost runners (Which they did plenty of), and to notify the pack of road hazards and remove them if they could. Fore gets them out of the way, aft tells us if something is gaining on us. Whereas the runners encountered the usual city fauna (We had live skunks and dead rats this year), Eitan blinked/brighted several deer out of the way at the front of the procession, ensuring a smoother journey for the peloton 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: In It To Win It AGAIN, Jewsain Bolts, Walter Sobchak, The Champs of 2014, 2015, and 2016! BAM!, Cirque De Sore Legs, Another Runner in the Night, The Abonimable Slowmen, and Hakhel Speedsters. We put it to public opinion on the race’s Facebook page (We tried putting the vote to the JRunners Yahoo! Page, but millennials don’t know what that is), and the votes came in for Cirque De Sore Legs, by a squeaker over The Abonimable Slowmen. The same guy came up with both names, so he’da been happy no matter what.


Congratulations to all the winners!


Martin’s next award goes to the next person who buys his JRunners book ( covering the 2012 edition of the relay (Yes, he intends to write a sequel). Have a look at his other books: Available on Kindle too:


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