TVR 2012 Race Reports

2012 Titus van Rijn Reports

Congratulations to each of the 127 participants in the 14th Titus van Rijn Distance Classic.   Tracks around the country were smokin’ from Memorial Day to Flag Day this year, as TVR competitors continue to push further and further.

No track was hotter than Salem, OR, where Pam Smith ran 15,090m (~9.37 miles) to win her third TVR title and to reclaim the TVR women’s record from friend and training partner, Stephanie Snyder.  At the same venue, Don Gallogly (16,440m, ~10.21) captured his first TVR title, crossing the magical 16km barrier, and striking within 55m of the Men’s’ 40-49 record held by Bob Julian (from Ashland, OR).

In addition to Pam and Don’s performances, highlights of TVR 2012 include new age-group bests by the following participants:

  •  Eric Bergh (MN, 60) men 60-69 (12,670m) [Bob Aby (MN, 67) also eclipsed the old TVR mark with a run of 12,400m]
  •  Dan Mereis (OR, 54) men 50-59 (15,100m)
  • Molly Schreiner (OR, 27) women 20-29 (13,730m)
  • Ella Hall (WA, 14) women 19 & under (12,000m)
  • Liam Daily (WA, 16) men 19 & under (13,800m)
  • Collectively, TVR participants covered over 1,324,973m (823+ miles), a TVR season record, which brings the all-time accumulated distance to 6,692,940m (4,159+ miles)

Hall and Daily’s under-19 records give some indication of Washington’s Methow Valley as a hotbed of junior TVR activity.  Winthrop, WA runners now hold all ten of the top women’s 19 & under performances, while their male counterparts in the valley hold eight of the top ten 19 & under marks.  That said, an upcoming generation of Idaho juniors could play the role of Ethiopia to Washington’s Kenyan-like dominance in the 19 & under ranks. Inter-state rivalry or not, the junior results gives notice to veteran TVR competitors that the next generation is taking to the track with noteworthy fire.

Special thanks to everyone across the country who helped organize runs and report the results.  We look forward to next year.

Andy Roth & Mike Persick, TVR Meet Directors

On a personal note, 2012 featured the welcome return of three TVR stalwarts: Record-holder Greg Crowther and TVR co-founder Mike Persick heeded the oval’s siren call after previous years’ injuries kept them on the sidelines; Jay Anderson came back from triple bypass surgery in May 2011 to rejoin the TVR fray.  It’s great to have each of them back on track.  ~Andy

Hank Dart (Sun Valley, ID) reports:  There are but a few key spring waypoints on the route to the trail racing high season, and one of them for Sun Valley-area runners is the 60 minute time test on the track that is the Titus van Rijn 1-Hour Distance Classic.  With nowhere to hide from wind, clock, or peers, it provides an unvarnished picture of just where one’s mental and physical fitness lies ahead of summer’s plans.

So, under unstable skies, eleven brave runners toed the line, with events playing out pretty much true to form of previous years.  Despite taking the group around the first lap at 4:30 pace, Brad Mitchell – on a stripped down three run per week training schedule – settled in and took the overall with an impressive 15,700 meters (9.76 miles).  Liv Jensen – new to the 40 and over age group – took the women’s overall title with 12,580 meters (7.82 miles).  Full results and photos below.

Good will and black cherry soda were, as always, abundant at the after party.   The only thing missing – prodigal son AJW and his split side fish shorts.

 Jay Anderson (CA):  I was hoping for a little more than that but I’ll take it.  One thing I’ve noticed in the past year is that now I have to be very consistent and increase my workload very gradually.  I’m looking forward to the report of all the attempts and anxious to better this mark next year.

Erik Brooks reports for the Methow Valley (WA) contingent: On a sunny Saturday morning (slightly warm and breezy but overall very nice) 19 stalwart Winthropians took to the track at Liberty Bell High School.

Our group Titus results are as follows, but the “tale of the tape” tells a broader tale:

  • Grand totals: 167,730m — or 104.22 miles
  • 14 Black Cherry Sodas and 2 cantaloupes consumed.
  •  5 First Time TVRers
  • 11 TVR Personal Records
  • 29.32 The average age of a Winthropian participant.

In a separate but equal incidence, Winthrop resident Dan Kuperberg (48) extended his 45-minute wildfire fighting “pack test” to 60 minutes on Saturday afternoon. With a 30 lb. pack and no running allowed, Dan covered 4 miles in the allotted 60 minutes — chugging a lukewarm Redbull in lieu of the traditional Black Cherry Soda at his own personal finish line.

John (72) and Lyn Roth (70), also of Winthrop, recorded their Titus effort a few days prior, achieving 15 and 12 laps respectively. To my knowledge, no soda or Red Bull were consumed.

An excellent outing. A family affair. Thanks again for virtually hosting!

[Andy Roth adds: Be sure to see Ashley Lodato’s press coverage for the Methow Valley News, at]

Sean Foley (MN) reports:  The 2012 Minneapolis edition of the TVR saw the inauguration of a new site (Minnehaha Academy in south Minneapolis), our highest participation ever, and the first time some kids joined us.

The adults started at approximately 8:08 a.m. on the warmest day in the racing window (Sunday June 10).  It was 77˚ with a dew point of 59˚, rising to 81˚ with a dew point of 61˚ by the finish, which is when the kids started.  It was hot out on the black track!

It addition to being our largest field ever, it was also by far the most competitive!

Black cherry soda was enjoyed by everyone afterward.  Once again TVR proved to be the best value in racing today!

From Salem, OR, Pam Smith reports:  Participation in the TVR from Salem, OR runners has at least doubled in each of the last three years (1, 2, and 5 runners!) and I wanted to continue this exponential growth. However, I found it was quite a challenge to convince more than a handful of my running buddies that doing circles on a track for an hour would be fun. But the Salem Tri Club had a great reserve of endorphin-addicted sweat junkies to fill the bill. And so we were able to get ten idiots… I mean, athletes, from Salem (or nearby) to participate in this year’s TVR.

The majority of our group ran at Willamette University’s Charles Bowles Track on the evening of June 1. A few people had better things to do on Friday night than run round and round, but they were dedicated enough to take on the challenge solo at a different time. If nothing else, we suffered together in spirit, so I am submitting all the results together. Plus, I need them to get to my goal of ten people!

We are looking forward to Salem’s 5-year anniversary next year. But I am not sure we can find another 10 nut cases around here to keep up our growth streak!

Pat Foley (MN): The Band of 10,000 Aches (BOTTA) had a record 16 participants with seven of us running on Carleton College’s newly resurfaced track on May 5; the remaining nine ran at various times and places in groups of three or four.  The May 5th group had the black cherry soda but, sadly, the others did not.  So much for tradition. In our 9th running of TVR, BOTTA hoped to reach 1 million meters and we did as we have now covered 1,099,747 meters. Looking forward to our 10th running.

James Umbanhowar (NC) reports:  I want to thank Chris Huggins, my first return victim (um partner) after two years solo (I competed last year, but forgot to send in my distance).  I waited until the last possible day as I just started running in late May after spraining my ankle in April.  Luckily, the weather was very un-North Carolina like.  So, 7am June 14th, Wallace Wade stadium, 65 degrees and dry.  Huggins and I started off running around 1:45 per lap and eased to 1:48’s by the end.  I came up short 40m on my mad dash for 32 laps.  Huggins finished 10m behind, as he heard my 1 minute to go as two (nice excuse to lose the sprint), but we’ll give him the same distance as he ran on the outside of the lane for most of the hour.  We enjoyed a lukewarm Cheerwine, the cherry (black?) soda of North Carolina after the race.  What a way to celebrate my 40th birthday.

Will Kemper (ID) reports: With less training or focus than this great race merits, but plenty of Black Cherry Soda, Titus Record Holder Greg Crowther agreed to accompany me for an hour around the Boise High School Track.  We started at 7:40 AM on Saturday June 9th.  The temperature was perfect, very little wind, no one else on the track and one man sitting on the bleachers staring aimlessly across the field and raceway.

First lap at 6:40 pace soon settled into 6:50 pace through about 7 miles, slowed a little for a few laps and then got back down to 6:50 pace for the last mile or so.  Last full quarter all I could muster was a 90 second lap, which was not even close to enough to drop Greg who had run in lane 1.75 the entire way and had kept me occupied with tales from Seattle.

The hope had been for negative splits and a blistering 65-second last lap that would leave the record holder gasping (I didn’t really have hopes of leaving him behind, but I thought taxing him was possible) –alas the finish wasn’t there.  But the Black Cherry Soda was refreshing, the tradition comforting and the conversation divine.

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