Monday, November 11, 2013

The 2013 Giralda Farms 10k: Gettin' a Pr, gettin' paid, and beating rivals

Among the many Road Races in NJ, the Giralda Farms 10k and 5k is one that I had yet to take part in.  I've been racing on the roads regularly since 2005.  Given the USATF-NJ Long Distance Grand Prix series schedule of Championship races for the Open age group, Giralda has just never made the list for me.
The race offers open unrestricted prize money. Which, until this year, I have not felt certain of having a shot at.  This touches on a subject that affects a very small number of runners, how much money is enough to get you to a race you wouldn't otherwise bother with?
Moments before the start of the race. Photo compliments of Thinnmann.
If the money you win is the same amount of money as the entry fee you paid, you're not really winning anything. Trying to look at this as "glass half full" irritates me slightly.  I think that race organizers have been trending toward stinginess in this, or laziness in attempting to convince sponsors to help out with this end of things more.  I mean, it's a sport, we're competing.  It's not a poker tournament, "getting your money back" is just...lame.
That all said, knowing the scene a bit, given months of solid training and improved fitness, and lack of a fall marathon, it seemed like a good time to give this race a shot. It paid off! 3rd place, $100.  I had to beat some fast guys to do it too!  David Nash, Atilla Sabahoglu, Ben Clarke, Dominic Kiralyfi, Rich Burke, and none other than Abdelaziz Rochdi (wait, that's Youssef Rochdi! yea buddy, we know it's you, what's with the fake name and now you're suddenly 35 when last year you were 29? BUSTED!! What's your game? This guy has some splain'n to do!)

I'd heard that this course was hilly, yup, no lie, it is, take a look at the cousre profile here.

Note, I measured it long with this tool, I might have erred slightly.

As for the 10k and running it: I wouldn't rate this as a day I felt great, but I had my mind set on competing hard. The first mile is almost entirely downhill, so much so that, you almost don't truely benefit from it because you sort of need to put on "the brakes" or you'll just pound it out of yourself early. I was in 3rd after 30m and remained there the whole time, gradually fading away from Mennitt.  At 1 mile I was at 5:15, feeling controlled, the winds were rough and from there I couldn't exactly get rolling.  Through 4miles I was on pace for roughly 33:10, at 5miles I was still holding steady in 26:42.  I was saving something for the last 1000m which is uphill. I did not anticipate, nor could I avoid a sea of runners who were running a much slower pace on this loop course. Having done my very best to manuever it, and having to shout a warning ahead just once, I finished strong in 33:14 officially. A pr by 17seconds.

This is less than what I expected for this day, but the winds were gusting around 20mph. So I'm pleased with the effort for the day.
But again, 1-PR+$100+beating a few guys I have never beaten on the roads before= a good day.

So, the GSTC men swept 1-2-3 in the 10k, and in the 5k, 1-5! The Women's Master's 40's team finished 4th, which is great! A year ago, GSTC didn't have 4 women in their 40's! Also, the GSTC Wmn's 50's team was 7th (yes, 7th scores points in the Club Grand Prix Championship)!  There were many great achievements at this event for our club and I'm sure there were also many among the other running clubs in our great state!

There was an avid crowd of supporters and running fans, the Rose City Runners were the organizers of this event. I know a number of them, all good people!
Here are some scenes from the 10k action!

L to R Atilla Sabahoglu of CPTC, Mike Anis, Stephen Mennitt, Chris Croff.  Croff blasted to the lead immediately, Mennitt gave chase, and I tried to keep them in sight. In the end it was Croff, Mennitt, Me, and Sabahoglu was eventually 8th.

Somewhere in the 2nd mile of the race I believe, being chased by David Nash and Atilla Sabahoglu

Taking flight toward the finish line! Beards enable flight, it's true.

No idea why I can't get this rotated in the right position. But here it is, a nice new mug to remind me of a great running club in Madison, NJ. The other side of the mug has the name and date of the race on it. Now, It can live in the cabinet with my Ashenfelter 8k mugs!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, glad I am not the only one that saw that name and age change from Abdelaziz. Congratulations on the PR, the cash is always a nice bonus!