Monday, March 3, 2008

Race Report : Caumsett Park 50k

It was a beautiful day in Lloyd Harbor, New York for the 2008 USAT&F 50k National Championship. While temperatures were in the mid to upper 30s, the wind (as detailed in my Caumsett race preview) was fierce, at times gusting to around 20 mph.

Michael Wardian, the 2007 JFK 50-Mile winner, came to Caumsett with his signts set on setting a new 50k national record, but fell just short. Wardian took off from the start to win the 2008 title, finishing in 2:55:05 - an amazing 5:39 overall pace. 2006 champ Jason Saitta returned and finished second. Other top finishers of note were Marc Godale (4th), Leigh Schmitt (6th), Andy Jones-Wilkins (9th), and Phil McCarthy (10th).

On the women's side, Dana Parrot took the title in 3:50:42. Our very own Emmy Stocker finished 6 (1st in her age group and 3rd overall female !). Staci Rudnitsky and Meredith Murphy were also outstanding, winning medals for finishing 7th and 8th respectively.

On to my personal report......Meredith and her husband Eddie made the drive from Pennsylvania and stayed with us on Saturday night. A wrong turn cost them about an hour of extra driving, but once they arrived the 5 and 7 year olds were excited to have company (most likely because it meant they could get away with just about any type of behavior). We all decided on Chinese food for dinner, which may or may not have caused Eddie to experience some stomach grumblings during the early part of the race. With the girls in bed, we all ended the night with a viewing of Running Madness, a movie that focuses on the Western States 100 Endurance Run (which I failed to make through this year's lottery).

It was windy throughout the night, so I expected that race day would bring some nasty head-winds. The Caumsett course is well known for its biting winds that come off the Long Island Sound. We all awoke early Sunday morning. Meredith had a little bit of trouble with her first cup of tea, but by 6:15 AM we were in the car and headed for the race. We met up with ultra partner in crime Ira at his house, and made it to race check-in with plenty of time to spare. Pre-race was great. We met up with so many friends that we hadn't seen in a while.

After a quick pre-race speech by the infamous Nick Pallazo (Olga - I spoke with Nick after the race for a long, long time...I now have the real scoop on you ! Nick says hello.), the race was on. For me, the plan was to take each odd numbered lap at an "easy" clip, and each even numbered lap at around 90% effort. It worked pretty well for me, although at some point every lap felt the same. In the early goings I was well in route to a new 50k PR. Unfortunately, I fell about 8 minutes short, finishing with a chip time of 5:05:20 (good enough for 49th place overall and 9th place in my division). My lap splits (for the initial "short loop" and the 11 approx. 2.63 mile loops) were as follows :


Along the way we passed by Meredith and Staci a couple of times. They were looking great, running a very consistent race. Eddie seemed to be in a bit of a rut, at one point giving me the "I'm fine, I just can't run anymore. After finishing I caught up with some friends while waiting for Meredith and Eddie to finish. I talked a lot with Emmy and Frank, and think we'll meet up for some nice training runs soon. Meredith and Staci finished strong, winning USAT&F medals for placing in the top ten women - AWESOME JOB GIRLS !

Eddie came through to finish his 10th lap, who was in such a great mood and had so much energy that he was able to tell me (in hand signals) what he thought about me taking his picture.

With one lap to go, Meredith went back out to help Eddie complete the race. How great is that ? Wife finishes race....hangs out....goes back onto the course to help husband finish race. Now that is love ! Eddie came through in style, coming back from the depths of despair to set a new 50k PR of his own. Great job Eddie.

Race day was complete. The drive back to my house on the Long Island Expressway was, as usual, frustrating. Traffic was not too bad, but those New York drivers are awful. I believe that Meredith's fingerprints are firmly planted to my car's dashboard and overhead hand grip. Soon, we were home and our guests were headed back to Pennsylvania.

Overall this was a great race. The talent pool was excellent, the race was well organized and thoroughly staffed with volunteers, and there were plenty of friends (old and new). Congrats to Emmy, Meredith and Staci for amazing accomplishments. Congrats to Eddie for trashing your old PR and setting a new one. Thanks to Ira for the great company for 31.07 miles.

It took two tries at this picture. The first one was unsuccessful due to a non-observant intruder walking in front of the camera. Take two worked out just fine.

Happy running !


  1. Ahem. We won medals for 7th and 8th , respectively ;)

    Let's do that again sometime!

  2. Thanks for sharing the race report. I had a great weekend, both of us did, and i am glad you talked me into the race!!!!! I am looking forward to coming back next year already .

    ps. your girls are hysterical.

  3. 5:39 overall pace....Yikes to that dude...friggin flying.

    COngrats to u and Ira, great write up & pics.

    and wtf Eddie! He knocking out this Ultra's huh, Congrats Eddie for closing it out and for Meredith for getting in another training race & pacing Eddie at the end.

  4. Boy, looks complitely opposite on the weather front than what I had on Sat...and yeepi, I still hold a better time on this course than you do! OK, I wouldn't be able to reproduce it now, but it was fun to say:) Congrats to all of you for a good run, yay to Mer for pacing her hubby after a finish, and what exactly kind of scoop you have on me, may I ask??? Share, so I can be prepared to hit your other arm at Teton:)

  5. Whoooo Hoooooo! Awesome job homie! Lovin the finger pic, it's the only way to roll :P LMAO!

  6. olga said...
    And what exactly kind of scoop you have on me, may I ask??? Share, so I can be prepared to hit your other arm at Teton:)
    :) - only nice things, of course. He told me all about him pacing you at Western States your first 2 years.

  7. Excellent race report! Well done!

  8. Well done, and nice report. Thanks!

  9. Great job on the race! Look cold, brrrr!

  10. Way to go! Glad you had a great time! Again, I'm jealous!

  11. Oh my gosh - look at all that warm weather gear. I don't even know what that stuff is for :) ha ha.

  12. OOps. I'm lame. I mean COLD weather gear. I swear I'm not even drinking.

  13. Awesome job tony! Nice to see that there is no snow down there! WO HOO!

  14. great job anthony! as you said, this blogging can get addictive! i added your link to my blog :)

  15. That was great, thanks for sharing your report with us. When you mentioned a 5:39 overall pace I knew that was not Bob Gentile :P
    It sounded like a great weekend with friends and family, what a great wife your friend has to go out and finish with him.

  16. Congrats on the solid run! Looked like a good time.