The Red Hook Crit 5k was held Saturday night on a flat, fast course, with a pile of cash money for the winner. As such, some heavy hitters came out to play. City Coach was well represented, with Bonnie Averbuch running a PR of 19:08 in the women’s race, and Luke McCambley and Matt Duelka running 16:04 and 17:15 respectively in the men’s race. Congratulations all.
Saturday marked the end of the Run for the Rabbit campaign, as the six runners each completed the Hamptons Marathon. The six runners – Ali, Kim, Cipriana, Margaret, Ben and Anthony – have all trained with me for the last six month, since the big announcement at the NY Running Show. It was a very rewarding program for me, and I hope that it was equally satisfying for the runners and JackRabbit. The six runners combined to raise over $70,000 for their respective charities, and they all made it to the finish, so I consider it a positive day and a positive program. Here are some details.
Ben finished his first marathon in 4:00:xx. He ran a smart, disciplined race and finished strong. Ben was racing for Lifebeat.
Anthony crossed in 4:00:45. This wasn't Anthony's fastest time, but considering the many logistical obstacles that Anthony faced – and the $20,000 he raised for Uniting Against Lung Cancer. – I'd say this was a positive day for him.
Ali's time was 4:13:37, or approximately one minute per fan she had on the course. This was Ali's first marathon, and she ran smart race. Perhaps that was due to my threats – but whatever it was, I'm pleased with the result. Ali also raised over $20,000 for the Crohn's and Collitis Foundation.
Kim ran 4:17:03, and was also the winner of the fund raising contest, with over $20,000 going to the Ace in the Hole Foundation.
Cipriana first marathon took 4:51:37. A year ago Cipriana didn't run. Saturday she became a marathoner. Cipriana raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Margaret overcame numerous nagging injuries and finished in 5:14:37, while raising money for Teach for America.
Congratulations to all six runners. Full race results are available here.
The second annual JackRabbit Battle of Brooklyn was held Sunday in Prospect Park. It was a fun and productive day all around, with strong performances from the City Coach team as well as our JackRabbit Beginner Running class and the Run for the Rabbit crew.
For the team, Bonnie Averbuch finished 2nd overall among the women, and Jean Cassandra was 9th. Chris Solarz was 4th in the men’s field.
The Run for the Rabbit runners each ran well as they continue to improve on their way to their goal race at the Hamptons Marathon next month. It continues to be exciting to see their progress.
The Beginner Running crew also perfomed admirably. A few of them did the full 10-miler, while most opted for the three person relay. Regardless, it’s always rewarding to see folks enjoy their first race.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I ran dressed as George Washington, complete with powdered wig and a musket. It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, what better way to commemorate the original Battle of Brooklyn? I learned a few things in the process. First, someone needs to make wigs of more breathable, wicking materials. I was sweating like a pedophile on a playground. Second, muskets are heavy and unbalanced. (Insert joke here.) Definitely not ideal for running ten miles. Third, you get lots of love if you overlook the first two items and run the whole damn thing with your wig and musket.
For the record, the best comment of the day came from the race winner, Lauren Perkins, who shouted “that’s the spirit” (get it?) as she lapped George. I also appreciated the guy who asked “do you have a license for that?” George responded “I’m the father of your country, I don’t need a license for a gun”, to which he responded “I was talking about the wig!”
The photo gallery (courtesy of our friends J. Geoff Badner and Brian Cristiano) is available for your viewing pleasure. Special thanks to Gail Myers for the musket, and Paul Leone for George’s wig.
Though I am maintaining a Run for the Rabbit specific blog, I will occasionally cross-post and include the content here.
When I was first approached about coaching Run for the Rabbit, I was both impressed by the concept, and flattered that I was asked to be a part of the project. I love coaching athletes, and the added charity component made it that much more attractive. As I watched the screen tests and learned more about the runners and their respective charities, my excitement grew. The passion and sincerity of each of the six runners chosen were apparent. Then came the on-screen introductions and the press conference at the New York Running Show, and I just kept getting more enthused.
Now that the dust has settled and the cameras are off, it's time for me to do my job, and for each of the runners to get to work and do theirs. Though it may sound like nothing but a nice sound bite, my repeated statement that getting the six of them to the starting line healthy is my biggest challenge is quite true. So my goal – aside from trying to break the World Record for most horse references in a single blog post that's not about horses – is to occasionally pull back on the reins in order to have them healthy, mentally ready, and feeling like a thoroughbred in the starting gate on race day.I love that they're all eager and ready to do what I ask. Nothing is more frustrating than coaching an athlete who is unmotivated. If my runner isn't into it, it's deflating for me, and there's only so much I can do. As the saying goes, "you can't beat a dead horse". Well clearly none of these six is a dead horses. They're excited, passionate and ambitious. But from coaching perspective that presents its own challenge. If they overdo it, they'll be burned out and/or injured before their marathon on September 24. That won't help them, their charities, JackRabbit, or me. Without a doubt even the most disciplined athlete needs his/her coach to go to the whip on occasion, but it's clear that these six are not lacking in motivation. During my initial training meetings with the runners, I have tried to stress the importance of a structured training program that includes periodic recovery weeks, rest days and easy days, in addition to the more exciting stuff like long runs, tempo runs and interval training.
As the runners and I get to know each other, hopefully I will gain their trust and I'll be able to harness their enthusiasm and make sure that everything is focused toward peaking at the race. But ultimately, they're the ones who will have to do all the hard work. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
We ended the suspense and introduced the six Run for the Rabbit competitors at Friday's NYC Running Show. Each of the six is terrific. They're a wide ranging bunch in terms of experience, speed and background, but the unifying thread is that they're all excited, they're all going to be fun to work with, and they're all passionate about their chosen charity.
328 people with a wide variety of backgrounds, causes, and abilities applied to be a part of Run for the Rabbit. The winners will receive full support – including my coaching – for the Hamptons Marathon. To announce the campaign, JackRabbit selected footage from some of the sixty screen tests. Some of these people will be chosen as the six runners, some won't make it. Find out who the six runners will be at the JackRabbit NYC Running Show on April 22nd.