In 2019, TVR competitors burned up tracks across the country and slaked their resulting thirstiness with all flavors of delicious black cherry soda.
Although a New York Times article on “virtual” running races reported that virtual events began in earnest “about five years ago,” with the advent of GPS watches and apps, this was the 21st presentation of the Titus Van Rijn Hour. The 2019 edition featured 118 participants from 11 states, ranging in age from 8 to 78. Highlights from this year included large gatherings in Tennessee and Minnesota, and some headline-worthy hour performances.
No track was hotter than the South Salem High School oval in Oregon on May 4th.
Don Gallogly led the way, breaking the magical 16km barrier to claim the men’s TVR title for 2019. His total of 16,190m establishes a new record for the M50-59 age group. The previous record was held by Dan Meireis, also running at South Salem that morning, who gave his own M60-69 record a strong challenge. His 2019 mark of 14,550m is #2 on the all-time list for that group.
At the same time, on the same track, Mariko Tokoyoda and Pam Proffitt Smith were also running very fast. Tokoyoda covered 13,540m meters to claim her first TVR title and the #8 all-time mark on the F40-49 list—just 100m ahead of Smith, a multi-time TVR champion and record-holder, whose 13,440m this year ranks ninth in that category.
Beyond the hotfooted Salem crew, six more runners established top-10 TVR marks in 2019:
- Michelle McLellan: 10,400m, #9 F50-59
- Rama Wineman: 5,200m, #2 W70+
- Lyn Roth: 3,263m, #9 W70+
- Simone Gaetani, 12,800m, #10 M19&U
- Bob Aby, 9,700m, #5 M70+
- Wes Wineman, 7,200m, #8 M70+
Collectively, this year’s TVR participants covered 1,085,648m (~674 miles). Cumulatively, TVR participants have strode over 13.77 million meters (~8,558 miles) since 1999.
Congratulations to all who participated, and a special thank you to everyone who helped organize Titus hours of your own.
Read on for reports from a number of TVR venues. For now, as always, we raise a frosty glass of black cherry soda in salute to each of you. And maybe we should all plan to meet in Salem, Oregon, for next year’s TVR hour!
Andy Roth & Mike Persick, TVR Meet Directors
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Don Gallogly reports from Salem, OR: A group of 7 of us got together this last Saturday (5/4) on the track at South Salem High School to run our hour. It was a beautiful, cool morning and we shared the track with people taking tests to become firefighters. They walked laps in heavy weight vests while we flew by in our singlets.
From the Duke University track, NC, James Umbanhowar writes: As a Northerner living in the south, I always relish cool days in the
spring. This year was a real anomaly: dewpoints in the high 30’s and
temps in the low 50’s made for a gorgeous evening at the Duke
University track. The conditions encouraged other users of the track
including both an adult and a youth track team. Even in lane 3 there
was a bit of dodging, but despite this, the best weather I’ve run in
North Carolina led to my best run in several years. I completed 33
laps in lane 3, plus a bit to get 13,690 m. I enjoyed a New York Seltzer brand black cherry soda as my reward. I hadn’t had a NYS brand soda since high school!
John Douglass writes: The 2019 Tucson Edition of the Titus van Rijn was held this morning, Memorial Day, at the UA Mall. Rather than jumping razor-wire fences around town for an “official” track, I think we’ve settled into the half-mile circuit on the Mall. The weather was cool at the start (60 degrees, perhaps an all-time low) and while many of us forgot hats or sun glasses, the sun felt good. I think we’ll all enjoy our Memorial Day a bit better for the run this morning.
From Arlington, VA, Elizabeth Niemeyer reports: The weather was ideal (low 70s, overcast, with a speck of rain). I had an hour-long interview with Alice Rivlin I’d been waiting to listen to and a bottle of black cherry seltzer chilling. And so I completed another TVR!
From the Green Lake track in Seattle, Leila Zelnick writes: It was a beautiful and busy day at the Green Lake track — partly sunny and around 60 degrees with a light breeze. I was paced in my second (and fastest! and first masters!) TVR race by none other than 3(?)-time TVR champion (and my husband) Greg Crowther. Minutes 0-42 were delightful; minutes 43-60 far less so, but I did enjoy the intermittent cowbelling from our 2-year-old son (and future TVR participant) Sam. While we did not have black cherry soda at the ready after the race, we indulged in a zero-calorie version later after the weekly grocery store run.
Sean Foley reports: We ran at the Minnehaha Academy track in south Minneapolis for the 6th year in a row. The gnats were pretty annoying before the race, but they couldn’t keep up with us once we got started! The adults started at 7:00 and the kids at 8:00. The kids actually had slightly cooler temps as some clouds rolled in during their effort. It was a nice day for early June in Minnesota, temps in the 60s with a slight wind. Even with the nice weather, only one of us (Nick Foley) was able to get a TVR PR. I guess that’s what happens when you get older and have run TVR a bunch of times! Maybe you should be able to multiply your meters run by some sort of age factor. 🙂 Even with the added cost of donuts to the go with the black cherry soda, TVR remains the best value in racing today!
From New York, Alan Kim writes: I ran in cool, cloudy circumstances at the Port Jefferson High School track on Flag Day Eve. A couple of ill-mannered runners blocked the inside lane for a while, but they skedaddled after a paltry 20 minutes. My daughter, Viviane, had trained to join me this year, but was felled by an Achilles inflammation. This entitled her to my full Black Cherry Soda, in my opinion, as well as hers. Next year we’ll try again.
Kirk Reynolds reports: With a spirited contingent of young and old(er) lap-runners, the Claremont, California posse ran its 2019 TVR One-Hour Run on blue Strehle track on Sunday, June 9, 2019. While the lack of a June Gloom cloud cover meant more perspiration, the bright sun and blue skies made for a day of beautiful sights and lung-challenging efforts that Titus himself would have called “breathtaking.” The shaded portion of lane 8 in the NE corner of the track proved irresistible to some of the kids after a few circuits. And the call for kid bathroom stops pulled some parents out of their oval repetitions. Kirk and Alicia let no distractions rattle them, save for Alicia’s gps watch that cheats her out of mileage. She ran in lane 2 for an hour, and great mathematical minds awarded her 176 more meters than Kirk’s lane 1 path.
From Minnesota, a hotbed of TVR activity for years now, Pat Foley reports: 12 of the Band of 10,000 Aches (BOTTA) lined up on the Carleton track on June 1st with the best weather we have had in a few years. 55 degrees, calm and no rain. The best I can say is that we all did our best. We will continue to plod along and vow to be in better shape for the 2020 event.
Fellow BOTTA runner Brian Cloherty writes: I’m pleased to report I was able to participate this year in the hour run. I completed my run today at Laird stadium. It was only on April 1st of this year that my left diaphragm came back and made running more than a 1/4 mile at a time possible. I can say I probably haven’t run for a full hour in many years. Well I suppose that is still true because I only ran 85% of each lap and walked to recover the other 15%. I was able to run a consistent pace and I might be a bit sore tomorrow. I was able to complete 10460 meters.
Joe Winegardner, also a BOTTA runner, reported from Colorado: I did my hour run on the track last Saturday. I ran on the Grand Junction High School track. I covered 26 laps, 297 meters. It got pretty breezy the last 30 minutes. If not for that, I would have probably got close to 30 laps. YEA, RIGHT-IN MY DREAMS. The last two miles were rough. I’ve been fighting upper left leg hamstring pain for a month. I didn’t run for five days before the hour run in hopes it would be ok. It was good for a bit over 40 minutes, but then the “wheels fell off.” I haven’t run since. Walked four miles with Sheila this morning and it’s still painful. Before this problem, I had almost five months of decent, albeit slow running, getting up to 25 miles per week. Gotta get this healed so I can get back to it.
Justin London (BOTTA) writes: This morning (Tuesday, 6.04.19) at 6:00 AM I commenced my one-hour run at the Carleton stadium (no exotic location this year). I started at six, as Tandem bagels doesn’t open until 7:00, and so I knew I would have to run the full hour—nothing else to do anyway. As I started I looked up, and noticed a group of turkey vultures circling overhead. I took that as an omen. There were light winds coming from the south west, so you had a headwind when you were running past the grandstand. I originally planned on timing each lap—my sport watch can count up to thirty laps, which is more than enough for me—but my time after the first lap was so slow and depressing I forgot to hit the split button. So I ended up timing 800s.
A final Minnesota report, from Northfield HS XC coach Nicole Porath: 23 Northfield High School cross-country runners and 2 of their coaches headed to the track on June 13th for their first Titus Van Rijn challenge. We had great participation, from our veteran runners all the way to newbie runners—all smiles and high fives as they ran around the Northfield Middle School track together. All agreed that this was the most fun they have had while running around in a circle for an hour, which they hope to top only when doing this again next year.
From another hotbed of TVR excellence, Netta Vogt reports: The Tri-Cities TN runners held the 4th Annual TVR 1-hour track run on June 2, 2019 at 3pm. It was 82 degrees and sunny on the track. We had our largest group this year. There were 30 runners, ages 8 to 75, who came out to do an hour on the track. I think that maybe one or two of our 70+ age group runners may have earned a spot on the All-time leader board. We all celebrated with the black cherry soda at the end. It was a good time for all involved!!
Matt Smythe reports: The Charlottesville VA 2019 TVR was held on June 15 from 8:05am-9:05am at Lanigan Field on the beautiful grounds of the University of Virginia. There were 3 finishers in this year’s race (100% completion rate), all competing (and ultimately tying) for first place. The weather was perfect (mid 60’s, breezy) for running around the perimeter track. All three finishers completed 4.70 miles.