2015 Titus van Rijn Reports

IMG_0004The seventeenth annual Titus Van Rijn Hour featured 87 participants, ranging in age from 8 to 74.

In her second TVR, Kristin Heilmeier (VA) ran 15,000m to earn the women’s TVR title and establish a new F20-29 TVR record. Uli Steidl (WA) ran 17,835m to establish a new M40-49 TVR record and claim his first undisputed TVR title. (Steidl and men’s record-holder Greg Crowther ran together and shared the crown in 2013.)

Additional 2015 TVR performances deserving special recognition:

  • Dan Meireis (OR) ran 15,400m and now claims the top three positions on the M50-59 all-time list.
  • Hannah Oscarson (MN) ran 13,320m to set a new record for women 19 and under.
  • A strong contingent of Charlottesville, VA thinclads—including women’s champ Heilmeier—added no fewer than eight new age group marks to the all-time TVR performance lists.
  • John Roth (WA; 6,165m), 74, is now the TVR’s most senior participant.

Collectively, 2015 TVR participants covered 981,018 meters (~610 miles). Cumulatively, TVR participants have strode over 9.86 million meters (~6,131 miles) since 1999.

Congratulations to every one who participated this year. Special thanks to the folks who organized TVR events across the country and reported the results. We raise a frosty glass of black cherry soda in salute to all of you. And we hope you’ll join us again next year.

Andy Roth & Mike Persick, TVR Meet Directors

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John Douglass (AZ): A brief report on last Saturday’s (May 9th) TVR run, Tucson edition. Unlike most years, it was beautifully cool during this year’s run at Catalina High School, with a starting temperature of 56 degrees. So cool, in fact, a number of us showed up in long sleeve shirts, almost unheard of for undertaking TVR in Tucson in May! Those Upstairs were looking favorably on TVR, as for the first time in a while the gates were already unlocked when we arrived – no barbed wire to jump over! All told, the Tucson crew ran a total of almost 62,000 meters, quite an accomplishment. Everyone had a good time and we enjoyed Ash and LA’s homemade black cherry soda mixture after the run.

Will Kemper (ID) reports: After a year full of regret for missing last year’s race my daughter and I were back on the track at Boise High on 5/14/2015.  We started at 6:25 with clear skies, light wind out of the southwest and around 70 degrees.  We had lane 1 to ourselves for all but the last 5 minutes.

After advising Perry, my 10 year old, to start out slow, I went out trying to run 7:00s and ended up at 6:37.  Perry’s first mile came in at 10:49, then she dropped to just about 10:00 and continued to pick it up and by the time she hit 4 miles she still had 20 minutes to go and was throwing down 2:10 laps (followed occasionally by some slightly long water breaks).

I kept the pace under 7:00 until the last 10 minutes, when it slipped.  Ah, being old and out of shape. The big difference at the end was I was just hoping it would be over and Perry just wanted to make sure she would have enough time to get over 6 miles. It did end (so I was happy) and she got well past 6 miles.

We choose Americana Black Cherry Soda, and it was the first time I could remember enjoying the post race drink. Long live the TVR!

Doris Lee (Rockville, MD): Reporting from my very own HS track where during my 4 years there in the late 80s, I never broke 2 min for the 400m.  100% humidity, cloudy, 70 degrees at 7 am.  Ran around a middle-aged men’s soccer game sponsored by the Chinese community.  Did my regular Sunday long run and enjoyed my very first black cherry soda ever, which I had to learn from Jeremy is different than cherry black soda.

Elizabeth Boyd reports: Under warm, humid conditions and a progressively darkening sky, we gathered at the Liberty Bell High School track in Winthrop, WA for the 2015 running of the TVR One-Hour Run. Keeley Brooks (10,400m/PB) busted out a 6:50 mile to get us started and finished with a spectacular final 400m. Sarah Brooks (9,070m), noting on her first lap that “it didn’t feel like this 10 years ago,” ran smooth and steady anyway. Andy Roth (10,750m), recovering from knee surgery a few months ago, as well as 6 hours of coaching and body work with Winthrop PT Andrew Nelson, ran very consistently, slowing only once to cheer Keeley through her speedy mile. John Roth (6,165m), representing the Senior Master’s category, maintained his usual steady pace; and Erik Brooks (12,400m) seemed to run crazy splits – some fast, some slow – but still captured top distance for the day. I decided early on that I would be satisfied if I could finish three miles; happily, my 200m run/200m walk pattern got me through 4 miles and a little beyond (7,610m).

As the clock ran out, the skies opened up with hail so we hurried to the stands to enjoy our black cherry soda. It was an appropriately dramatic ending to our run, with so many of us battling injuries and other demons. A post-run birthday party at the Brooks’ featured a delicious double-chocolate cake with fresh raspberry frosting and topped off the afternoon in fine style.

Andy Jones-Wilkins (VA) reports: On June 2, 2015, 24 runners tackled the Charlottesville Edition of the Titus Van Rjin Hour Footrace. The evening was cloudy and cool with light 5 MPH winds from the north. The pace went out quickly and stayed that way throughout the event. The celebratory Black Cherry soda flowed smoothly following the event as did the post-race celebration at the local watering hole, Beer Run.

From Pat Foley (MN): The Band of 10,000 Aches completed its 12th running of the TVR distance classic.  Most of us ran on the Carleton track May 16.  Good weather, so no excuses except we are getting older, we’re injured, and probably don’t have as much fire in our belly.  In our first year seven of us ran and I was last with 12,500m. This year 12,500 would have been the third most out of 17 runners.  Oh, well.

We followed the run with the black cherry soda and Girl Scout cookies.  The cookies will probably continue until I have no granddaughters in Girl Scouts.

I walked/ran about 4.5 miles.  I was going to tell my grandkids the distance I covered to give them something to shoot for.  Didn’t need to as 8-year-old Nick ran 5.5 and 11-year-old Bridget ran 4.25.  My only consolation is Nick is nearly nine.

I have added Joe Winegardner’s report from CO; mainly because it is funnier than mine.

Joe Winegardner (MN, via CO): I’m reporting my results of the one-hour “distance classic”.  I ran this morning at 7:10am on the track at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction under a clear, beautiful, deep blue Colorado sky.  The temperature was 48 degrees at the start with a slight breeze. I had nice views of the Colorado National Monument and the Bookcliff Mesa surrounding Grand Junction.

I shared the track with Sheila who got bored after 50 minutes and doesn’t understand why in the hell we do this; a fat little kid, his sister and mother who had a damn dog on a leash; and three old ladies walking. I guess it really wasn’t much different than running with the BOTTA boys after all.

I covered 29 laps and 25 meters.  I submit that due to the altitude (4,750 feet), I be given an altitude adjustment.  I would guess 2-3 laps would be fair, but I doubt that will be approved by the games committee and Commissioner Daymont.

From Arlington, VA, Elizabeth Niemeyer reports running TVR while lapping several on-going soccer matches, with very supportive parents. The tricky part was of course finding the black cherry soda for the victory toast, but it turns out Walgreen’s carries an accurately named “black cherry flavored sparkling water beverage with other natural flavors.”

Katie Galdabini (WA): I ran in Seattle, and was lucky to have a Relay for Life going on while I was running—it made the laps go by faster having all of the other people there, and having music over loudspeakers and seeing all of the balloons and tents up. The best moment for me came in my last few minutes when the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams came on the loudspeaker—right now that is a song my 2-year-old daughter (Little Elizabeth!) really loves and always wants to dance to after her bath each night.  It really helped pick me up and made those last couple of laps feel a lot more fun. 🙂

Kirk Reynolds, Claremont, CA, writes: Running under stunningly sunny skies, eight Southern California residents, with equally sunny dispositions, completed the 2015 Titus van Rijn One Hour Run in fine fashion on the blue oval at Pomona College’s Strehle Track on the morning of June 14.

The Claremont group featured teachers, counselors, professors, lawyers, ne’er-do-wells, a Track & Field News magazine correspondent, coaches (plus various combos of the aforementioned professions), and—at the crack of 10am—stopwatches beeped, Strava apps were launched, and, new this year, the display clock clicked to life, launching the runners around the oval.

The Alicia and Dave duo immediately set the pace, with Alicia peeling off 7:00 miles early with Dave, and then dropping down to 6:30s midway through. Hearing Alicia’s pump-up music on her handheld phone gave warning that she was coming up from behind to lap you again. Dave’s tall figure cast imposing shadows, Andy’s purposeful gait reminded us that this was his second TVR run this year, Erica’s metronome-like laps were inspiring, Matt overcame foggy sunglasses from an overabundance of perspiration (the makeshift headband headed off the forehead waterfall), and Kirk wondered if he should do this more often to actually get in shape. Meanwhile, Liz and Terry circled the outer lanes and provided much-needed verbal encouragement while tallying their own meters.

Following the hour, the promised black cherry soda came out, along with a Tupperware container of ice cubes. From somewhere, a vat of popcorn appeared, as did three cute kids and a grandpa, all fresh from church, to join the heathens in celebrating the completion of another TVR. There was so much popcorn and black cherry soda, plus baseball with the kids, that the celebration and cool-down actually lasted longer than the TVR run itself. The display clocked was finally clicked off after two and a half hours.

From Seattle, Trish Steidl reports: Sunny, but windy morning.  My legs weren’t moving and the wind wasn’t helping.  I did “negative split” (or positive distance), which was nice. I finally started to feel better right around 30 minutes in and picked it up a little.  A lady came to the track to do some workout circuit and she’d run one lap and then do some core.  I ran “with” her on two separate laps.  The second one she was racing me the last 100m (her last 100m) and that one I ran my fastest lap without even realizing I had picked up the pace.  I wish she had kept running because it was a lot more fun with her there.  Big thanks to Glenn Tachiyama for being our all-around helpful guy—gave us water, cheered us on, timed us, and took pictures!

Uli Steidl writes: My original goal for this year’s TVR race was to break Greg Crowther’s all time record of 18,115m. I was on pace for the first 5k, averaging 5:19 for each 1600m segment. After that I started to slow down, running mostly 5:26-5:27 miles until I brought it back down at the end to 5:20. But by then I was 250m behind pace….

I think the 3 reasons I didn’t break the record are: 1) I did a half-ass track workout the evening before the race (1600, 800, 800, 800, 1600) at 5:16 pace; 2) it was moderately warm and somewhat windy; and 3) main reason: I probably wasn’t quite in shape to do it in any case. It was a good tempo effort, though. Thanks to Glenn Tachiyama for taking pictures, and for crewing!!!! And thanks to Trisha for getting me out there to run it in the first place!

From the Durham Academy track (NC), James Umbanhowar reports: Summer came early and the best I could do for good weather was to run with some hazy clouds that kept the solar radiation relatively low. Temperatures were in the low 90’s with pretty high humidity.  Given the conditions, I tried to be as “Zen” as possible and not count laps in my head nor look at my watch for the time remaining. Being alone did not help for not miserably focusing on the lap number, so I was happy when my friend and past competitor Pat Morris showed up to finish the last half an hour or so with me.  I didn’t look at my watch until 2 minutes and 30 secs remained.  I was getting pretty terrified that I had forgotten to start the timer and didn’t want to run indefinitely. The distance this year was shorter than before, but given the awful conditions I was pretty happy to run the whole time.

From the Twin Cities (MN), Sean Foley writes: May 31, 2015 marked the 11th annual Twin Cities-edition of the TVR.  We returned to the Minnehaha Academy track in south Minneapolis for the 2nd year in a row and the 3rd time overall.  This year had the added bonus of the Minneapolis Marathon passing a few blocks away, so we were the recipients of some residual cheering.

The 2015 version saw the absence of several regular participants from the past due to injuries (“40s-itis” is how it was described by one person) and scheduling conflicts.  We were able to more than compensate for these absences with lots of new blood, including the Sinturel family who have high hopes of bringing the event home with them to France next year.

We had great weather this year —  temperature in the mid-50s with a nice low dew point and a bit of a breeze.  The ideal conditions led to some strong performances, particularly from the younger runners.  Black cherry soda was enjoyed by all afterwards (see attached photo).  Once again, TVR set the standard as the best value in racing!  We’ll be back next year!

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