Mark "The Machine" Newman does Ironman Kona10/22/2013
Kona, Kona, Kona- what can you say! Anyone who has not experienced it from any perspective (as an athlete, volunteer or spectator) should put it on their bucket list. It is a one-of-a-kind event that anyone involved with triathlons should be a part of in some capacity at some point. The town soaks the athletes in and doesn't let them go until the week is over.
I went out there 2.5 weeks before the race and was glad I did. I was able to get some quality training in. There is nothing like biking the course and getting the runs in during the weather conditions you will be facing during the race. My mental attitude going into the race was to just relax, have fun, and do the best that I can.
The swim was fine- no major problems. I would like to have been about a minute or so faster but I got held up in a lot of traffic a couple of times. Anyway, T1 was great and away we went on the bike. God was good to us this day because the winds that normally exist on the climb to Hawi were very light. However, coming back down the Queen K highway the legendary tradewinds were pretty significant in our face. It was also extremely hot as well. Anyway, the bike splits were still fairly fast and I was very proud of my bike effort. I averaged right at my goal power and speed.
So, as always, it comes down to the run. I knew I had lost a chunk of time on the bike, but that is OK and normal. I was only worried about one guy (who ultimately ended up winning my AG). I knew he could run well and he did. However, 2 miles into the run I had to stop thinking about catching him because I started having gastro issues and then an injury I had been nursing reared it's ugly head. After making multiple stops to try to 'settle things down' and then a couple of more stops to try and stretch out the injury I was able to get going. I now focused my efforts on making the podium (top 5). My older kids told me I was actually now running faster than most other guys. They had parked themselves out on Queen K and were texting with Deonna who was following the tracker. They saw me before and after the Energy Lab. At mile 24.5 they told me guys were walking and that I was close- they just weren't sure how close. It was time to make a decision- just finish, or do everything I could to pass everyone I could and hope to run myself into the top 5. I chose the latter. I knew of one guy in my AG who had passed me a few miles before. I passed him with a half mile to go. I also saw a few other 'older looking guys' that I did everything I could to pass just in case they were in my AG as well.
As it turns out the guy I passed with 1/2 mile to go was in fifth- so the effort paid off. I was VERY happy with the podium considering how bad the run was. I was also the first American in my AG. Even though I wanted better, getting a bowl was an outstanding way to cap off the year, especially after the win at 70.3 Worlds. I exorcised a lot of demons as well because I beat numerous guys who had had my number in the past. I also beat the number one ranked US guy in my AG and the New Zealander who knocked me off of the podium at ITU Worlds last year.
I, again, want to thank everyone for the texts, emails, phone calls and well-wishes. There have been some tremendous accomplishments by numerous team members this year, and I can't wait to see what next year has in store for everyone.
Submitted by Mark Newman
2013 Tour D'Esprit10/06/2013
15th Annual Tour D’Esprit
Another relay race is in the books. The Pilgrims have supported this race and the Haiti Medical Mission since the 2nd or 3rd year of it’s inception. The atmosphere at the event continues to be energetic and fun. This year was no different.
The men’s team had veteran team members who have come out year after year including Tim Verner, Vince Perryman, Frank Buscher, Glen Hudnall, Jim Slaba, Chuck Jones, Scott Peatross, John Geiger, Whitten Ortega, Gary McCraw, Joel Lyons, Michael Hecht, Danny Greer, and Steve Skinner. Other contributors included Chris Wiese, Aaron Edwards, Houston Wolf, Matt Lotz, and Jacob Ortega.
Some noted performances were put in by several CBU runners: Adam Sommers, Tyler Juniker, Jacob McNamara, and Brian Harris. This foursome covered 3 hours of the schedule with mile after mile of sub 6 min miles. This was after a morning college team practice of hill repeats. Great job guys.
The highlight of the men’s team performance had to be the efforts put in by The Skinner family: Steve and his two sons: Caleb and Will. They arrived shortly before 8am for Steve’s one hour commitment. After running his hour though, Steve was asked to put in a couple more miles since we didn’t have anyone to run for another hour. He quickly recruited his sons who are 8 and 10 years old. They would run one mile then another. After an hour reprieve by Matt, they began again to take the chip and put in mile after mile. They continued running for most of the next 4 hours. We lost track of how many total miles were put in among the 3, but it had to be close to 50: a remarkable family effort to help the men’s team win the men’s team competition with 177 miles!
The women’s team also had a great 24 hours. The women came together with only 18 runners to secure another win with 139 miles. The team members were Ann Juniker, Aida Wiese, Michelle Fredenburg-Mallory, Lisa Burnett, Angie Tackett, Shelby and Emma Cavagnaro, Kris Huff, Eva Rehkopf, Christine Cordts, Lori Sokoloff, Captain Padma Lyons, Louise Buisseret, Tammy Skinner, Valerie French, Erica Singleton, Jan Jensen, and Kayla Ortega.
Special recognition is deserving of Angie Tackett who put in 3 hours straight on Friday evening. Other significant contributions were put in by Ann, Michelle, Kris, Christine, Lori, Louise, and Erica. Each of these ladies ran more than one hour to put the team 11 miles ahead of the nearest competitor.
Submitted by Joel Lyons
Green Street MIle 201307/04/2013
29th Annual Green Street Mile – Tupelo
The caravan of Pilgrims started their annual journey from Memphis at 4:30am this morning. They arrived to a cool 70 degrees and cloud cover for the start of another Green Street Mile. Several first timers were part of the action this year. They included Will Skinner, Michelle Pleasant, Adam Sommers, and Bruce Keisling. Veteran John Geiger commented the conditions were the best in memory.
Many rookies took off way too fast again this year. Adam; however, bided his time. After mistaking the halfway mark as the three-quarter mark, he started his kick. Passing several runners, he caught all but one to finish runner-up in a respectable 4:56. Pleased but hoping to have run faster he was heard to say “Let’s do it one more time!”
Other good efforts were had by Ashley Spriggs and John Geiger. Both have come back from some recent injuries to log some decent times. Ashley’s 7:11 was good enough for Master’s champ and John’s 5:35 earned him an age group first place. Padma Lyons also nabbed a coveted unique age group champ award turning in an 8:10.
Other dog fights in the race were had by Steve Skinner, Joel Lyons, and Bruce. Holding back on the first quarter, easily 35 people were ahead of these three. Coming through the half a bit under 3 mins, they started making their move. Joel and Bruce inched ahead at 1200m. The kick started at the “CITGO” sign ( or whatever that gas station was). After passing 20 people in that last half mile they finished neck and neck. Joel (5:46) outleaned Bruce (5:47) to get 2nd in his AG while Bruce was 3rd in his. SteveO finished a little over 6 mins. Will Skinner the youngest Pilgrim finished nicely with a 7:08 mile. Dear old Dad SteveO had to tell him to slow up about 300 meters into the race. Will still gave a nice kick coming into the finish.
This small race is put on by a dedicated Tupelo Running Club who are always gracious and polite. They do a great job and try to put a little spin on their awards. This year they gave out Green Street inscribed mirrors for all overall, master, and age group winners. They were also nice enough to recognize our club and thanked us for making the 90 min drive down. So put it on your schedule next year and join the fun!
Submitted by Joel Lyons
Rain or Shine Come Run The 14th Annual Mug Mile on May 3rd at the Germantown High School Track04/24/2013
The Mug Mile celebrates the most coveted of all accomplishments that any middle distance runner desires, the Four Minute Mile. On May 3rd, the Pilgrimage Track Club will assemble a group of runners to commemorate this event by running the mile to get as close to 4 minutes as possible. Come out and be a part of the tradition. Club membership is not required and all times are welcomed.
This goal was once thought of as unattainable. Doctors and coaches alike thought that if someone breaking 4 minute mile, they would die of a heart attack shortly afterwards. In the Spring of 1954 three young men felt they were close to this goal, one from the U.S.A (Wes Santee), one from England (Roger Bannister), and one from Australia (John Landy). Only one could be the first and make their way into the record books.
The desire was to get all three athletes in the same race at the same time. This was difficult with Wes Santee having a duty to his University that out weighed his own glory, John Landy living in Australia where their season was opposite of the rest of the world and Roger Bannister studying to be a doctor.
Roger Bannister will forever be known as the man who broke the 4-Minute mile on that rainy day at Iffley Road Track on May 6th, 1954. After multiple attempts at the goal he finally accomplished this task and couldn't believe it even after seeing the clocks. Never again has the mile received so much attention for a goal that seems like everyone is breaking it these days.
Click here to Download the Mug Mile Registration Form The race entry is free of cost. Come be a part of history and run the Mug Mile.
Germantown Half Marathon and Mayor’s Cup 5K03/18/2013
Perfect conditions highlighted this year’s events: temps in the mid 50’s, cloud cover, and no wind (SteveO wasn’t too happy with the humidity, but not too much to complain about). Gary “Kong” McGraw took full advantage of it to be sure. Going for broke he put the hammer down and finished as the overall champ in the Mayor’s Cup 5K with a solid 6:01 pace (18:37). Not bad indeed for a 57 year old Grandmaster!
All Pilgrims came out with age group awards in this race. Awesome! Starting with the youngest: the Skinner boys didn’t disappoint. 9 year old Caleb won the 9 and under category while his 7 year old brother, Will, despite hitting the asphalt and suffering some significant abrasions to the knees and hand, placed 3rd. Tough competitors! Alison Sullivan, while coming back from some injuries pulled out a 3rd in the 35-39 division. Bruce Keisling and Aaron Edwards came in 1-2 in the 40-44 AG, while Sgt. Whitten Ortega got the win in the 45-49 division.
In the half marathon there was also some hardware and prize money taken by the team. Frank “the Tank” Buscher, crossed the finish line in 1:24:54; good enough for the Grandmaster title and $300! Great payday Frank. Kris Huff and Brenda Walton both brought home $200 for 2nd place in the Masters and Grandmasters respectively. Not too shabby.
In the age group competition, both Jim Slaba (40-44) and John Geiger (45-49) brought home 1st place titles. One of our newest members, Matt Lotz (45-49), while running his first competitive race in decades, finished in 2nd in a solid time of 1:26:41. Timmy “the pacer” Verner nabbed a 3rd place title in the 50-54 AG, while helping friend Sarah Harris complete one of her fastest halves ever.
Great day! Congrats to all the winners. Submitted by Joel Lyons
2013 Winter Off Road Series- Final02/17/2013
What a great XC series for the Pilgrimage Men and Boys. Running the full XC series which consisted of a 3k, 5k, 8k, and 10k were Bruce Keisling, Michael Barnes, Michael Hecht, Kells Hecht, Kirk Hecht, Caleb Skinner, and Will Skinner. Also, running the 10k XC only was John Geiger who placed 2nd overall today. Caleb Skinner placed 1st in the series for the 9 and under, his younger brother Will took 3rd. Kirk Hecht placed 2nd in the series for the 10 to 11 age, and his older brother Kells took 2nd in the 12 to 14. Michael Barnes who ran well took 1st in the series for the 40 to 44 age group. Bruce Keisling who ran a strong 3rd for the 40 to 44 age. Michael Hecht ran a nice series of runs but had to miss the 8k because of work obligations. This caused him to miss out on a podium stand for 3rd. Way to go Pilgrimage guys!!!
Rhodes College Mike Cody 4 Miler02/04/2013
This weekend the Pilgrims were out supporting the Rhodes College Track and Field fund raiser despite the potentially icy roads and cold weather. Sat. Feb 2th began with icy roads, and numerous road closures in the Greater Memphis area. Fortunately, come 9 am there was plenty of sunshine at Rhodes College. Over 160 people lined up to run this annual trip twice around the beautiful Rhodes' campus. The relatively flat course makes for a good tune-up to the Spring racing season.
Several Pilgrims were right in there in the mix, led by the veterans Frank Buscher and Joel Lyons. They were closely followed by one of our newer members, Houston Wolf. Caleb Skinner who has been running the MTRC XC Winter Series was out for a tuneup race with dear old Dad "SteveO". Caleb placed 2nd in the 14 and under age group. Running a very nice and fast race was Tyler Juniker in 23:51. The women’s contingent included Brenda Walton, Ashley Spriggs, JJ Jensen, and Shelby Cavagnaro who ran well in their age groups placing 1st or 2nd. Great race team. Good luck this year!
Submitted by:Steve Skinner
Photo Courtesy of:Jessica Suzore
Frank the Tank running Abroad in Germany12/31/2012
Happy New Year, Y'all!
Today I ran the last race of 2012 near my old high school in Germany. It was the Silvesterlauf (New Year´s Eve run) at Zollverein. The latter used to be a giant coal mine, which ceased operations a couple of decades ago. It´s now a cultural and artistic center, and - believe it or not - actually serves as a model for what they have in mind for the Sears Crosstown building in Memphis. As far as the race is concerned, the temperature was pleasant, but the wind was brutal. I finished in 38:48, placing first in my age group. The attached photo shows the awards ceremony, which is in dire need of some good old American efficiency. Also, I think that the course was about 150-200 meters short.
Submitted by Frank Buscher
2012 St. Jude Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay12/10/2012
Bruce Keisling put together a top notch Pilgrim team for the inaugural running of the marathon relay at the St. Jude events this year. Scott Peatross got things started with a 5K in 19:35. Jessica Tatum took the next 10K bringing the chip through 9.3 miles while keeping the team’s average to 6:56 mile pace. Next, Kelley Willis took the team to the halfway mark in 1:32:18 while never relinquishing the lead. Bruce then took charge through the hilly part of the marathon course. While enduring the unseasonably warm temps, Bruce managed to maintain the team average of 7 min miles. Whitten Ortega brought the team home in 3:03:38, good enough to win the event and beat the next closest team by about 24 minutes. Excellent job ladies and gentlemen!
In the marathon many Pilgrims participated and grinded through a tough race this year. There were stories of runners laying down to stretch, stopping to shoot the breeze, and upchucking at the finish line. Tim Verner finished in 3:30:20 to lead the Pilgrims. Vince Perryman wasn’t far behind in 3:31:38. Other finishers were Michael Hecht 4:12:07, LaDell George 4:36:44, and Houston Wolf 4:54:28. Angie Tackett led the Pilgrim women with a 4:17:13.
In the half marathon Atlanta based Pilgrim, Jeff Haushalter, ran another outstanding race. His 1:20:46 was good enough for runner-up Master. Alison Hammersla also fared well. She finished as the 3rd female master in 1:39:09. Other finishers were Adam Sommers in 1:35:15, Lori Sokoloff 1:42:38, and Shelby Cavagnaro 2:04:33. Marathon entrants who ended at the half were Jim Slaba and John Geiger, both well under 1:30.
Other noteworthy efforts were Jeff Haushalter’s 16 year old son, Grant who finished 3rd overall in the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K in 18:20. Joe Coffelt led the volunteer efforts at the start and finish line again this year. Danny Greer and Clint Powell also put in a full days work helping out.
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. All Pilgrimage Track Club members need to be signed up each year as members of the USA Track Field (USATF). The PTC is an official USTAF club thanks to Bradley Cordts, but each individual needs to sign up or renew their membership. Especially for those individuals that are running the 2011 Boston Marathon. Technically, if each person isn't signed up, they could disqualify our team from any of the team results. To sign up go to www.USATF.org Click on the tab that says "product/services", go to "individual memberships". If it's your first time fill-out the information that it asks for. Our Club Membership number is 159.