Monday, August 27, 2012

The 2012 JRunners Relay Race Awards

The 2012 JRunners Relay Race Awards
Martin Bodek

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 2012 JRunners Relay Race Awards. I am your host, Martin Bodek. Ryan Seacrest tried to land the hosting gig, but I beat him away and immediately signed a four-year contract with JRunners to continue my hosting duties. With that secured, I’ve got “Runnies” to hand out to some deserving recipients.

The We've Got The Runs Award for the Best Team Name - The team names were, in order of their arrival at the finish line: Team 4 AKA Sons of Mitches, Team 2 AKA Team 6-Pack, Team 6 AKA The Lean Mean Relay Machine, Team 5 AKA Smells Like Team Spirit, Team 3 AKA Death Zone, Team 1 The Kohanim/King’s Solomon. This vote was put to the runners, organizers and volunteers, and by an overwhelming margin (of 1-0-0-0-0-0), Sons of Mitches hoists the trophy.

The Abba The Winner Takes It All Award – Yaakov Bressler, Team 3. This awards ceremony will be quite short, because our very own Ironman has hogged up most of the available Runnies. To start with, he receives The Steve Prefontaine Guts Award for signing up in the first place to run six legs (5, 8, 10, 26, 28, 30) totaling 32.17 miles. To continue with, he receives The Pam Reed Extra Mile Award for actually finishing what he signed up to do! He also gets The Winston Churchill Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Give Up Award for putting an unbelievable amount of pressure on the next team on the course, despite his team going a little off course. He also gets the Princess Fergie Weight Watchers Award for dropping 5 pounds off his frame over the course of the day (Dehydration alert! Careful!). Due to this haul, Yaakov inherits MVP honors from last year’s recipient, Yitzy Mittel.

The Luke Skywalker The Force is Strong with this One Award AKA The Zeh Hakaton Gadol Yehiyeh Award AKA The Rookie of the Year Award – Yonatan Meiri. All of 13 years old, Yonatan was given 4 legs, and he did them. One of those legs was 17. He did that. Aw heck, let’s also give him the Children of Israel Na’aseh V’nishmah Award.

The Gunnery Sergeant Hartman Troop Rallier Award – Moishie Gamss, Team 2. Many of Captain Moishie’s teammates credited him with providing the proper motivation with a rousing speech during the closing legs, as they made gains on first while pushing third further down the pile. The substance of what he said is a closed-door secret, because what happens in the car, stays in the car.

The Scooby Doo Mystery Machine Best Decorated Van Award - Team 3. They deserve this award simply for trying so hard, especially for my attention so they could grab the award. Every inch of their car was covered with slogans and messages and streamers and…pirate stuff? Team 1 tried as well, but were disqualified due to a typo that I demanded be corrected. I absolutely will not tolerate such things.

The Crank Yankers Best Pranker Award – Team 3. And I quote a Death Zone team member: “As Levi Chitrik was flying across his leg, making up a lot of time on Bodie's team, we were driving Yaakov Bressler to the start of the next leg when we came across Jonathan Pittinsky. He hadn't noticed us yet, so that's when the evil thought came to me to have Bressler jump out and sprint right past him. The panicked look was priceless. Sorry, Jonathan.”

The Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild Award - Eli Friedman, Team 2. I came across deer, as did Joel Mandel on the same leg 10. Moshe Lewis happened across deer and a bear, Steven Gelbtuch swears he actually made eye-contact with a bear, YItz Ovits ran into skunks and an unleashed barking dog. Rats were also reported on the course. In the hierarchy of things, however, almost nothing beats actually being chased by an animal (being bitten, like Adam Orlow last year, is the upper echelon of achievement), which happened to poor Eli on his second leg. Hey, at least one can get an award out of it.

The Edmund Hilary Alpine Award – Chesky Rand, Team 1: Yossi Cohn, Team 2; Yonatan Meiri, Team 3; Shia Itzkowitz, Team 4; Yossi Pancer, Team 5; Yossi Sharf, Team 6. The names above were the runners of leg 17, designed for the few, the brave, the abnormally masochistic (or sadistic on part of their captains). They RAND hard, charging like PANCERs, but this is not a MEIRI leg.The route is hard as COHN be and difficult to withstand. The pain was SHARF for some, causing yelps of ITZK! OW! ITZ not for the faint of heart, or legs. Pancer could not continue on after injuring himself already on leg 7. Sharf aggravated a pre-existing condition and could not go on. Rand had that frightening thousand-yard stare. Cohn was left looking vacant. Meiri was thrown into it, not knowing what he was in for, but the young padawan (the youngest in the race) learned quickly. However, Shia Itzkowitz beamed like a cheshire cat, seemingly the only one entirely unruined by the difficult experience. He powered through it at an awesome 9:31 clip. He needed a taxi after 7.7 miles into the latest Lawrence Run, but he didn’t need a taxi this time!

The David Zinczenko Eat This, Not That Award – Zevi Jaffa, Team 5. Zevi Jaffa refused all offers of water, Gatorade, gels, and any other form of sustenance from his teammates. Instead, he demanded photographic and video footage of his runs. His reasoning, according to Aaron Panzok: “Water you can get after you finish running; pictures and video you have to capture the moment.”

The Faster Than a Speeding Bullet Award – Mordechai Ovits, Team 5. 20 miles in an aggregate 6:48 clip. Wow.

The More Powerful Than a Locomotive Award - Moishie Gamss, Team 2. 25 total miles at sub-7:00, and ran legs 6 and 7 back to back totaling 14.1 miles. Wowsers.

The Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound Award – Joel Mandel, Team 4.  Leg 10 at 7:08, a time that’s physically impossible. I know; I ran that leg; I ran my brains out and did it in 7:44. Joel’s time is astonishing. Wowserino.

The It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! Award! – Yitzchok Mittel, Team 4. On leg 7, Moishie Gamss was doing a greased-lightning 6:10 down one of the hills when Yitzchok passed him at the speed of light. Gamss called out, "Yitz, what are you doing? A 5:20?” The response: "Just about." Wowsenheimer.

The Speedy Gonzalez Yepa Yepa Handaleh Handaleh Yeeha! Award – Yitzchok Mittel, Team 4. Then Yitzchok finished the entire 7.7 mile leg 7 at a 6:10 pace. Wawaweewa!

Bodek out! (Take that, Seacrest!)

Martin Bodek is the beat reporter for Buy his books though ( as this gig pays him squat. Ironically, you can get the Kindle versions for squat (


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