The first open water swim(OWS) of the year has become our favorite day of the season. We’ve tried to make the Memorial Day weekend an annual “First Dip.”
It’s been a bit of time since we’ve been able to update our athlete’s successes; but they have been off to a tear to start the season. Even though we have cut our roster back for the year; things have been busier than ever. At the end of the day; it’s about doing our best with the resources we have available and being grateful for the opportunity to partake in our sport.
John Wilson- A beautifully executed race plan that included running a negative split, yielded JW with a half marathon performance of 1:39. His comments included how “awesome” he felt at the end and that this will be the way he runs all his races going forward. (Coach’s note: It took a while; but he’s “seen the light.”) He finished 161st overall out of 2035 athletes. 13th in his AG out of 113. Well done!
Shawn Vogels- He also ran a great race at the Martian 10k with a perfectly run progression pace of slow at the start and gradually building faster miles as he went. His Heart Rate chart showed a nice build up and held within 2 beats for the entire second half. He also completed his first Olympic distance race in Kalamazoo and came home 29th overall. Shawn is preparing for the sprint race at USAT Age Group Nationals this summer.
Eric Buckhave- Eric is back for his 5th season with the coach. We like to start his season each year with a duathlon to get the race legs under him. This year at the Dooby Du in Toledo; he finished 15th overall with a solid 4th place AG result. His goal for 2013 is a solid race at USAT Age Group Nationals.
Bill Pinches- Bill is my resident statistician and for good reasons. He has seen great improvements in our working together the past 3 years. This year he started out with a new baby and a PR at the Hawk-I tri in Lansing. He improved 3.5 minutes over last year’s best and moved up to 10th in his age group of 56 athletes. He is now inside the top 20% of overall finishers.
Duane Amato- Our resident grand master, and a guy who loves to race, turned in a great performance at the Michigan Senior Olympics in the triathlon event with a Silver medal and a 3:00 PR in the same event over the past 6 years. Great Job!
Kali Dent- She’s been off to an awesome start of the year running for her high school track team. Her strength is primarily the 1600m and 3200m singles. But her relay team set a new record in the 4×800′s. Kali has been running track in anticipation of competing in triathlon this summer, on her way to the draft legal, USAT Junior Championships. She’s a huge threat to take it all. The coach is lucky to have someone this gifted on the roster. She finished first place at the Michigan Valley track regionals in the 1600m with a new meet record of 5:06 and another meet record in the 3200m with a 11:03. She also came home with a second place in the 800. (We’d consider that a pretty successful day) At the Michigan High School state track meet she went 5:10 at the 1600m and an 11:04 in the 3200m. This girl has some speed!
Alex Russeau- I’m officially dubbing Alex our team Road Runner, “Beep-Beep”. (I’m showing my age). After Clermont, we have taken a break with Alex to let him focus on becoming “husband” Alex with a June wedding. However, he has been in a run specific mode this spring with smokin’ fast times and PR’s after MSU. Irish Jig 5k ran a 15:16 for 4th overall. Martian 10k with a PR of 31:10. Shamrock Shuffle 8k(Chicago) ran a 24:11. Dexter to Ann Arbor(his first ever half marathon) ran a 1:08 for 2nd overall. He ran a 29:50 at the GINA indoor track meet in the 10k. (Another PR) He blew out the field at the Dooby Du with a 5.5 minute overall lead for an overall first place finish. We’d say that’s a good start to the year.
The Coach- Slugged out a 5k on Belle Isle to establish some run zones for this spring and came home with a 7th place overall. He forgot how much those short runs hurt. Although he was able to reclaim his family bragging rights over his sister in law. That is a darn good day.
The season came upon us in March at the Draft Legal Challenge in Clermont, Florida. This is an exciting time; in addition to taking the family to Florida for a week; we got to witness our future-pro-to-be, Alex Russeau, in his sophomore attempt at going for an elite card at the USAT elite development race. This race is capped at 75 men; in addition to a separate women’s race. The beauty of having raced the event last year, is we knew what to expect; in addition to what appeared to be a more qualified field this year. The weather was perfect at mid 70′s with low humidity.
The thing we know about this format of racing is it’s all about the swim and run. It ain’t about the bike. We had really put an emphasis on Alex’s swim this winter with the hope of a first or second pack exit on the swim. Being the first open water swim of the year; we came out a bit further back than hoped; but within shooting range of the leaders. The bike requires lots of surges and burning matches; compared to non drafting format. Alex took his share of pulls in the third pack; but they weren’t able to close the gap to the leaders. He came in 24th after the bike and then unleashed his weapon; the run.
Alex had the fastest run of the day and the only runner under 16 minutes for the 5k. His run would have put him in the top 10 for the pro level race; run on the same course; later in the day. He closed the gap on the run and finished 7th overall; less than 60 seconds off the top spot. Had the race been a tad bit longer; he was rapidly closing on the overall winner.
Overall; he was pleased with his performance for the first race of the year and a 5 minute improvement over last years race on the same course. (This years time would have won last year) We are off to a great start for the year as he pursues his professional triathlon license. Alex is part of USAT’s Collegiate Recruitment Program as a former runner at MSU.
So far, so good.
Long time GRC athlete, Eric Buckhave, kicked off his season at the Dooby Du duathlon with a 1:30 improvement over last year. 15th place overall.
Collegiate Recruit for USAT, Alex Russeau, has been off to a flying start. He was OVERALL winner at the Dooby Du duathlon by over 5 1/2 minutes. He also recorded a 20 second PR at the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k in a time of 24:05. He also ran a 29:48 at the Gina Relays in the 10k amongst a bunch of active college runners. This is a 1:20 PR at this distance.
Shawn Vogels had a perfectly executed race at the Martian 10k with a well run, negative split in 50 minutes.
Duane Amato took 2nd in his AG at the Kalkaska 5k.
Junior standout, Kali Dent, is tearing up the high school track scene and has won various races at the 1 and 2 mile distance. Can’t wait to see how she does at Regionals.
The Old Coach ran the Belle Isle Spring 5k and came home 7th overall. (First Master)
Previous clients; Joe Stepulla wrote he nailed the Mount Clemons Half Marathon with a perfectly executed negative split. His comment was “I love passing people at the end; not getting past.” Geraldine Lupini went and won Masters Women at the USAT Duathlon qualifiers at Powerman Alabama.