Monday, May 23, 2011

Race Preview- Corporate Challenge 3.5 Run

A casual glance to the information bar on the right side of your screen (you may have to scroll down a little) will show you the line-up for my season. Earlier this season, the events were run focused, because, well that was pretty much all that was offered. Now that its getting warmer (so some extent of the word), the multisport events are gradually taking over. Next up, assuming you can read (an easy assumption since this blog doesn't contain many pictures), would be the Keuka Lake Intermediate Distance Triathlon. Yet, further continuing my 'you can read' hypothesis, you'll remember that the title of this post says 'run' and notice that it does not indicate a triathlon. This is a surprise race preview post. What gives?

I'll tell you what gives. Pondering. She gives. She gives lots of great ideas mingled with some sketchy ones. Check out the pictures on my followers (and, by all means, add yours). Pondering is the cute-brunette chick, third from the left, holding some sort of male human (unconfirmed as of this writing). A few weeks ago, Pondering had this "great" idea. She floated an email to a select few of her colleagues stating that we should run the Corporate Challenge 3.5 running race. There are a few runners in my school, most of them students. And, does a po-dunk school like ours qualify as a 'corporation?' After some research by someone not me, sure enough, we qualified.

There is a good possibility that the 'challenge' portion of the event has nothing to do with exercise. My guess, which was confirmed in our case, was that the real challenge was two-fold: 1. Finding at least 4 gullible morons to do the event. 2. Finding someone to be the team captain. We almost failed at both. I qualified at item 1, but was wholly too busy for option 2.

Based on the original response to Pondering from those on the list, we had a verbal commitment to satisfy challenge 1. After much cajoling, the PE teacher of the group took the reins and created a team. I, personally, procrastinated in paying the fee for the race, in hopes that they (the others qualifying for challenge 1) would forget about it. Sadly, Captain PE was persistent and I signed up on the day before the deadline. I was teammate number 2 (behind Captain PE). Two morons were paid up and might have lived up to the word should the others not anted up. We needed 4 for a team. Captain PE is smart and he expanded the list of potential runners to include the entire working staff. Even closer to the deadline, there was a fury of activity and our team expanded to 6, most of whom were on the original email.

Cast of Characters
Captain PE- As a former wrestler, he's turned runner. He has a 13.1 and a few turkey trots on his running CV. He's an avid reader of Tri-Banter but has not joined the site nor commented on the web-based forum. He has sent in comments directly to me via email, which I've always appreciated. His emails rarely include his training plan so I have no idea what kind of shape he's in. Since he's a PE guy, I can calculate that he walks around a lot more than me, which may aid him in his quest for corporate gold. That and he owns many more swishy pants than I.

Pondering- She is possibly the busiest woman I know coupled with the highest aspirations. Balancing between 2 children, husband, work and graduate school, she still finds time to host 3 blogs (here, here, and here) while keeping in shape. She takes advantage of my pro bono coaching services as she tries to sort out her running dreams in conjunction with all of the rest of her life obstacles. Pondering will once in a while comment on the blog.

Little Red Haired Girl- If Charles Shultz had ever actually drawn the affection of Charlie Brown's desires, he could have use LRHG as a template. She had formerly taken advantage of my coaching services, which enabled her to complete her first 13.1 a year ago (not that she actually followed my advice or plan). Since she ticked that item off her list, she hasn't done much structured running. Her most intense workouts involve chasing her children, whom are adorable (they've got their mommy's genes). She is an avid member of her local fitness club's Boot Camp.

The Real Runner- The guy looks every part of the runner. Further, he wants to be a triathlete, but allows things like his lack of real swimming skill to get in the way of awesomeness in that sport. It doesn't bring him down and he's always curious about my training in hopes that he'll resume his. He's well over 6 feet tall and roughly 160 pounds (granted, I've never asked him to weigh in). The RR, when he's in shape, puts me to shame. He's currently coming off an injury which has limited his personal training schedule. Even in his out-of-shape form, I am still concerned that he'll smoke me on the run. 

The Soccer Mom- You know those hyper-competitive women that play soccer on the weekends. That's her, umm, without the soccer. I don't know if she's even interested in soccer but she looks the part. When I coached her, she wanted a Jillian in-your-face attitude that she thrived on. She's not in that great of shape compared to a year ago. In her defense, she's been working a lot harder on the 'mom' portion, having recently given birth. This race will be the come back to running race post pregnancy in a way that will put Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliff to shame. Soccer Mom has one 13.1 and several 5ks under her belt.

The Banter- This guy is a multisport fanatic and a horrible runner. It is unsure why anyone would want this snail of a clod on their running team. With a few Ironman races and many triathlons, he has forgotten how to run fast at short distances, or long distance. Okay, he's forgotten how to run fast. The Banter is coming off a long weekend of training, his legs are ready to fall off, and will probably go for a bike ride before the race. At most, this is a C-priority with the sole intention of having a good time.

The Race
Now, the CC run is a national event, possibly coming to a city near you. It's coming to mine on a Tuesday night. More races should be held during the week with a race time of 7:00 pm. Screw this Sunday morning before 8:00 business. This is the way and time to have a race!

The event raises money locally this year for the Child Care Council. The course is USATF Certified 3.5 miles located solely on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. According the the race site, the course is "subject to change." I'm not sure how that fact impacts certification.

Gleaned off the picture and description of the event, it seems that the run will be held mostly on roads and feature, based on rough estimates, somewhere between zero and 8 feet of climbing. A year ago, there were just over 9,000 runners representing over 400 companies. There are 3 main competition categories: Men only, Women only, and Mixed. We are in Mixed Competition.

As I look over the results from last year, I see that the woman who beat me in Flower City Duathlon and Flower City Half Marathon finished 3rd amongst the ladies. I thought she was unbeatable, by me and in her gender, evidence that there are bound to be some fast runners in this race, and bringing out the area's finest. There were many men finishing under 19 minutes. I cannot do that for 3.1, let alone 3.5 I'm not sure I'm worthy.

I know that I have no chance on winning this race, or being competitive. My only hope is that I can record a decent time. Upon registering for the event, the race director asked us to submit a possible finish time, rounded to the whole minute. I chose 24 minutes, which is just faster than 7 minutes per mile. Do I think this is possible? Yes, but borderline. I have not held that pace for an extended period of time for many years but I plan on going for it. I'll let you know how I and the rest of the cast did. Wish us luck.


  1. We are quite a cast... Kind of like Gilligan's Island! Nice profile write ups... Can't wait to see the outcome tomorrow!

  2. We rocked the house!