Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Fast JRunners Health Awareness 5k Zoomed by Quickly, in a Speedy Hurry

The Fast JRunners Health Awareness 5k Zoomed by Quickly, in a Speedy Hurry
Martin Bodek

“Awareness” was the key word at the 4th Annual JRunners Health Awareness 5k.

Firstly, JRunners was well aware of the cold temps that were likely for the start of the race, but as the week before to the race went on, the forecast kept getting better and better. What started with 32 degrees and pelting rain ended with 43 degrees and windless comfort beneath a gentle sun.

Secondly, JRunners’ message of health seems to have spread a bit further, as several newcomers – with their speedy legs in tow – from various locales pre-registered and/or showed up on race day to jump into the mix.

Thirdly, so many runners were aware of their waistlines – as the race was smack dab in the middle of Chanukah – that dozens of them showed up to run their second race of the holiday, having already run Turkey Day races three days prior.

When all was said and done, and the coffee was poured, and the MCs were done bantering, and the course was laid out perfectly (this was JRunners’ first exactly-measured 5k; previous races took up all of the Prospect Park 3.35-mile loop), and the JRunners tattoos applied, more than 130 runners toed the line, several setting PRs all over the place.

The winner of the Male race was Shmuel Gross, 26, of Brooklyn, who set a PR by 8 seconds with a 17:16 showing, pulled to his mark by pacesetter Jane Vongvorachoti, who laid down a 16:36.

Stefano Piana-Agostinetti, at 17:27, took second place, and Jeff Church (who joked at the awards ceremony that he felt naked because he forgot his Yarmulka; no worries, JRunners gave him honorary Jewish membership for the day) took bronze with a 17:43.

Age group hardware went to Avi Mayerfeld (4-12), Sruly Friedman (13-19), Yaakov Bressler (20-29; he placed 4th, was MC for the day and did a bang-up job), Mordechai Ovits (30-39; he ran to the race from home, ran the race, went for another two park loops, and ran home), Sender Krutov (40-49), Chaim Wicentowsky (50-59; he’s your humble reporter’s aba), and Nathan Maltz (60-69).

The winner of the female race was Connie Fried, 25, of Brooklyn, who mashed her old PR to a pulp by 45 seconds, sparkling with a 21:57 finish as she busted the tape (literally. JRunners did that for the first time, nice touch) in full stride.

Dena Nierenberg, 22:26, of Runner’s World writeup note, came steaming in at second place, while Rivky Orlow, wife of marathon negative-splitting genius and volunteer-supreme Adam, came in at 23:03 to claim the bronze.

Age group victors were Elisheva Dusowitz (4-12; one of 12% of the female race contingent with the same surname), Yael Dusowitz (13-19; that name sounds familiar), Leora Kreitzman (20-29), Phyllis Klein (30-39), Baila Miller (40-49), Yocheved Yaeger (50-59), and Ruth Liebowitz (70-79; Ruth sure is something and is the hardest core Jewish female runner known. Her 2013 tally: 41 races, including four half-marathons, six marathons, a 50k, and a 60k. It should be noted that she’s 71. Wow.)

Jane Vongvorachoti (spelled the name correctly twice now! Woohoo!) herself summed up the day perfectly with a post to the Jrunners Facebook page:

“Thank you so much for a great race! Events like this one really embrace the word "community." I love the embrace of helping others achieve their best! Thanks so much again! Amazing race you all put on!”

JRunners thanks you, Jane, as it does the runners who turned out, the volunteers who helped out, the race timing by Steve at Eagle Timing, whose professionalism was without doubt, and our MC, who deserves a big shoutout.

The results of the male race: http://tinyurl.com/4HA5KMen

The results of the female race: http://tinyurl.com/4HA5KWomen

Join JRunners (https://www.jrunnersclub.org and https://www.facebook.com/JRunners) weekly for their Wednesday Night Runs at 7:05 PM in Prospect Park, in April for their next 5k, in August for their next 200K relay, and several other events that will be staged in between. Stay tuned.

Martin put together a whole book about the 2012 JRunners Relay Race, and is in middle of putting together the followup for the 2013 Relay. No, he’s not writing a book about the 5k. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/JRunnersBook