2016 Titus van Rijn Reports

2016 Titus van Rijn Reports

The eighteenth annual Titus Van Rijn Hour featured 106 participants, from ten states and ranging in age from six to 75. Congratulations to all who participated, and thanks to everyone who helped organize Titus hours of your own.

Alicia Longyear ran 14,368m (~8.92 miles) to claim her second TVR title. Colin McGrath flirted with the 17km barrier, covering 16,960m (~10.54 miles) to capture the men’s crown. Alicia’s mark is #10 on the all-time TVR list and #9 on the F30-39 all-time rankings. Colin’s moves him up to #11 on the all-time list, and #5 on the M20-29 list. For TVR trivia hounds, note that both Alicia and Colin are Claremont High School cross-country alums.

Among the Masters (age 40+), Dan Mereis added another chapter to his remarkable TVR career, running 15,375m to claim the men’s masters title yet again. His 2016 mark (~9.56 miles) is #3 on the all-time M50-59 list; but perhaps more impressively, Dan now holds five of those top-10 marks. Others in this competitive category may be glad that he’ll run out of eligible years before he can claim all ten! On the women’s side, Meg Hoyt notched a TVR personal best (12,300m, ~7.64 miles) to outpace TVR legend Pam Smith by 90m and claim the women’s masters title.

Additional 2015 TVR performances deserving special recognition:

* Bob Abby (MN, 71) ran 10,820m (~6.72 miles) to improve his #2 position on the M70+ list.

* Stan Hup (MN, 61) gave the M60-69 #1 mark (held by Bob) a strong challenge, covering 12,700m (~7.89 miles) to establish the #2 all-time performance for that division.

*Kari Putterman (MN, 26) covered 13,918m (8.65 miles), earning a place on the TVR podium and establishing the #2 all-time distance in the F20-29 group.

A strong contingent of under-19 runners from Minnesota rewrote the Top 10 lists for men and women:

* Joe Neufeldt covered 15,500m to establish a new Men’s U19 TVR record. He broke the old mark, held by Diego Lopez of Citrus College, by 400m. Kenyon Nystrom (13,600m) and Edison Foster (13,400m) also joined the all-time top performances for Men U19.

* On the women’s side, Minnesota harriers claimed a remarkable six of the top-10 all-time U19 marks, led by Jessica Olson and Monique Theberath (12,000m), and including Maddie Bauer (11,600m), Chloe Garcia Grafing (11,500m), Isabel Hoyt-Niemiec (11,460m), and Marissa Thornton (11,200m).

Look out for these runners and their cross-country teams this coming fall!

Collectively, 2016 TVR participants covered over 1.11 million meters (692 miles). Cumulatively, TVR participants have strode over 11 million meters (~6,838 miles) since 1999.

As always, we raise a frosty glass of black cherry soda in salute to each of you. And we hope you’ll join us again next year.

Andy Roth & Mike Persick, TVR Meet Directors

* * * * *

From Philadelphia, Colin McGrath reports:

I woke around 6:50, fed the cat, drank coffee, ate a bowl of plain instant oatmeal mixed with a banana (my standard pre-race meal these days), and did a little reading. At around 8:40, I began my warmup trot to the Temple University Track, which is 2.6 miles from my apartment. The temperature this morning was in the high 60s. As I jogged to the track, I was already feeling the warmth of the sun. The weather this morning reminded me of the marathon conditions at Boston this year–which produced slower-than-usual times–only a bit more humid. I began the TVR at 9:10 am with the goal of maintaining a pace at around 5:35 per mile.

I stuck to the plan for the first three miles, but soon found the pace hard to maintain. I backed off after coming through my third mile in 16:50. For the middle part of the hour, I kept my pace in the low to mid 5:40s. Around mile 8, I found more pep in my step (maybe my body was finally waking up??) and brought my pace back into the high 5:30s. I managed to get my mile from lap 38 to 42 down to 5:22 and squeezed in a little less than half a lap before the hour ended.

This was a tough one! I ran the sucker on my own. Besides a random guy who shouted “You can do it” as he walked by the track as I was finishing lap 35, I had no support. It was just me and the eternal loneliness of lane one. I also think Boston was still sitting heavy in my legs. I found myself battling with my mind’s unproductive taunts (“You should stop now, there’s no reason to keep going, you’re slowing down, you’ll never make it all the way to the hour at this pace”). I convinced myself to keep going, but I’m not sure how. My experience during the final ten minutes felt absolutely primal. I slobbered on myself as I tried to spit out excessively viscous saliva. As soon as I stopped running, I barfed. This was my first bona fide vom from running since my junior year in high school. I finished eating my oatmeal around 7:30, so I’m thinking I just didn’t have enough time to digest.

In all, this was a delightful experience! I’m looking forward to next year. I’m moving to DC for the year and know some enthusiastic runners out there (including a tremendous ultra-marathon runner who doubles as an attorney in the DOJ civil rights division). I’ll try to gather more of a squad for the next TVR!

From Vienna, VA, Larry Huffman reports:

After failing to try the TVR for the past three years due to conflicts with recovery from or tapering for 100 milers, I decided to give it a shot this year after recovering well following the MMT 100 miler on May 14-15. I do little speed or tempo work, so I’m pleased with my effort on a warm, humid morning. The IBC Black Cherry Soda afterwards was delicious. Looking forward to next year.

Elizabeth Niemeyer reports from the Washington and Lee High School track in VA:

On June 5, 2016, a little before Noon (the worst time of day) I headed out for the track at my local high school. Since I wanted as many data points as possible, I mentally logged my laps, wore my Garmin, and wore my Fitbit. Based on the laps, I ran just under 25.5 laps (~6.35 miles [10.219 km]). Based on my Garmin, I ran 6.47 miles [10.412 km]. I discovery my Fitbit, however, only stores “steps” (not distance). So, I was left with only two data points. During the run, there were various kid-soccer matches on. Around lap 23, I overheard one of the fathers say (presumably about my running laps), “That seems really boring.” I responded mentally, “You are correct, mon frère. But I have the sweet nectar of a Black Cherry soda waiting for me at the end.” And upon finishing, I had my Black Cherry soda . . . in fact, I had two and decided Dr. Browns is the only one worth getting if you can find it.

From the Haverford College track, in PA, Andy Bove reports:

Mike Persick had gotten in his TVR over the weekend but was kind enough to stay late after work to take splits and offer encouragement. Conditions were bright and sunny, clear skies, warm but not hot by our standards. The solo effort was observed by a few casual Main Line joggers (I could easily have been mistaken for one of these, especially during the middle 30 minutes or so) and a broad-winged hawk floating above the campus.

Pat Foley reports from Northfield, MN:

This year the Northfield runners had a huge influx of new and younger runners when the cross-country team did an hour run on the Middle School track on June 13th.  The temperature was 65 degrees and there was a good breeze. It was the official start of the summer running for the team.  Admittedly, a rather curious place to train for cross-country.  Black Cherry soda was consumed so that they were given the entire experience.  I volunteer with the team and head coach Scott Peterson was kind enough to go along with the idea.

The Band of 10,000 Aches had their hour run at the Carleton track with an overcast sky and 60 degrees on May 28th.  The 10,000 aches is proving to be a very appropriate name for our group as injuries keep taking its toll.  It happened that two cross country runners heard about the run and showed up to run with the old guys. That’s how it spread to the rest of the cross-country team.

We, of course, ran a record number of miles this year…360.  And now have gone over 2.5 million meters in the 13 years we have done this.

Alan Kim reports from the Port Jefferson HS track, Port Jefferson, NY:

Accompanied by supportive wyfe and childe on a cool evening (8-9 PM, high 60s), permitting steady pace. Afterwards, the ritual bottle of Dr. Brown’s black cherry soda (original 1869 recipe, including Red #4 and high fructose corn syrup) was enjoyed by all, despite closeness to bedtime. Art historical references avoided for lack of interest.

From the Minnehaha Academy track in south Minneapolis, Sean Foley writes:

The Twin Cities chapter of the TVR had another successful run in 2016.  This year marked at least the 11th time the race has been run in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  We had great weather for the 2nd year in a row (mid 40s, sunny, slight headwind on the backstretch) on the Minnehaha Academy track in south Minneapolis.
Turn out was down slightly this year, but we did have several TVR first-timers which is always fun.  Unfortunately, we had our first incident of poor sportsmanship at the TVR, as one competitor, rather than congratulating a rival who finished ahead of her, said “I was only doing it as a workout” and then proceeded to run 8 miles back to her house.
Even with that incident, BCS (Black Cherry Soda) was enjoyed by (almost) all after the race as we discussed, yet again, how TVR continues to be the best value in road/track racing today!

From Minnehaha Academy—perhaps this year’s most popular TVR site—Randy Niemiec reports:

This was the 2nd running of the TVR at the Minnehaha Academy track in Minneapolis this year.  This edition was for a couple of runners who were competing in the high school track season earlier in the spring and one die-hard who wanted to improve her performance.  It stopped raining just as the girls finished their warm-up, so they had thoroughly wet, squeaky shoes, but the temperature was a reasonable 64 degrees.  We had a scare about 40 minutes in when some people arrived for what appeared to be a track clinic, but they were nice and continued to let us use lane 1.  The girls worked their tails off and enjoyed a black cherry soda afterwards.

From the South Salem HS track in OR, Pam Smith writes:

Instead of going all out, this year I did the TVR as part of my last long track run pacing session before the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24 hour run. My friend Dennis ran step for step with me except for a one-lap bathroom break. I was targeting 100M-world record pace (8:16), but we were a little faster than the target pace. Perhaps the excitement of the Titus van Rijn had us a little too fired up! No cherry soda for us at the end as we had several more miles to do, but I did indulge in a pack of cherry blossom Honey Stingers mid run.

Ten days later, I spent a full 24 hours running around the track. Anyone interested in how that went can find my report here: http://theturtlepath.blogspot.com/2016/05/91-of-perfect-race.html. Unfortunately, I was too wrecked after that run to take a more focused stab at the TVR before the deadline!

From the Woodland track in Seattle, Katie Galdabini reports:

I feel lucky to have had such a perfect day today to run—It was clear and cool in the low 60s, with just a little bit of sun coming in towards the last few laps. It was pretty quiet and empty on the track when I was there, except for a couple of people kicking a soccer ball around on the infield. I really loved having this hour all to myself (pretty rare these days!), just enjoying the quiet of the morning and being outside. This event is one of my favorite yearly traditions and I’m so glad you keep this going! The Thomas Kemper Black Cherry soda was great, much better than whatever brand I had last year.

From the Claremont High School track, in CA, Andy Lee Roth reports:

Inspiration comes in many forms. I had all but decided not to run TVR this year. Then I got a text from my father, letting me know that he and my mother had completed their Titus hour. Adding their results to this year’s tally made me realize that, as long as I was healthy, I had no good reason not to go the track.

Liz and I enjoyed a cool, overcast morning. I set off to Erykah Badu singing “The Healer,” had my usual mental low patch around 20-25 minutes, and finished to Mogwai’s mighty “Wizard Motor.” Along the way I thought about Dainin Katagiri’s teaching, “Whether we like it or not, time is constantly freeing us from our small territory.” Across this hour, not to mention eighteen years of Titus, I have found this to be true. Our post-run cherry “soda” was a homebrew of fizzy water and cherry juice that was truly delicious after the challenging effort.


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