NYC Marathon a one-of-a-kind ex­pe­ri­ence

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - Steve Schal­lenkamp Run­ning

This past week­end, the 48th New York City Marathon took place.

This race was started in 1970 and had 127 en­trants. It was run en­tirely within the con­fines of Cen­tral Park (4 loops). The de­ci­sion to move it out of the park and de­sign a course that en­com­passed all five of the city’s bor­oughs has al­lowed it to grow into a mam­moth spec­ta­cle.

It has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of run­ners world­wide. This year’s race had more than 52,000 fin­ish­ers. It is now one of the world’s six great marathons. The other five are Bos­ton, Ber­lin, Lon­don, Chicago and Tokyo.

The vast ma­jor­ity of run­ners who ran N.Y. say it is a run­ning ex­pe­ri­ence beyond com­pare. They laud the or­ga­ni­za­tion of it, but save their most lav­ish praise for the en­ergy and sup­port of the crowds who line the streets. They comment on how it is a tour through the di­ver­sity that makes up NYC.

Run­ners are fas­ci­nated by all the “ur­ban vil­lages” they get to ex­pe­ri­ence. The race hu­man­izes the city and tears down stereo­types.

Kim Caruso, who ran on the Fleet Feet Pough­keep­sie team, said “the cheer­ing crowds were in­sane and one sec­tion in Brook­lyn was deaf­en­ing.” The ex­cite­ment and the en­ergy of it all (along with her train­ing) helped pro­pel her to a 36 minute per­sonal best time. (4:21:19).

This year’s race was run un­der per­fect marathon con­di­tions. It was cool with tem­per­a­tures in the low 50’s and no wind.

The men’s race was a bat­tle right to the end as Kenyan Lelisa De­sisa (2:05:59) out­lasted Shura Ki­tata (2:06:01) by a mere two sec­onds. Ge­of­frey Kam­woror, the 2017 cham­pion took 3rd in 2:06:26.

The fastest women were Mary Kei­tany (2:22:48), Vivian Cheruiyot (2:26:02) and the 2017 cham­pion, Amer­i­can Sha­lane Flana­gan took 3rd in 2:26:22. The big news of the day was the depth and com­pet­i­tive­ness of the Amer­i­can women.

Amer­i­cans took four of the top seven spots and 11 of the top 18. This bodes well for Amer­ica’s hopes in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Ja­pan. The U.S. Olympics Tri­als in 2020 is shap­ing up to be the deep­est and most com­pet­i­tive field ever.

New Paltz’s Har­bert Okuti had the best per­for­mance of any­one from the area. Okuti, a na­tive of Uganda, ran for Iona Col­lege and is coached by Mike Barnow, who lives in Al­ligierville.

When I first met Okuti, he was a miler. Un­der Barnow’s tute­lage, he has made the trans­for­ma­tion into a world class marathoner. In N.Y., Okuti came in 16th and ran a per­sonal best 2:16:53.

Other lo­cal run­ners who re­ported their times were: Omar Perez (2:56), Dier­dre Dwyer (2:59), Lisa Loughran (4:11), Danielle Mazzella (4:38), Dave Walker (4:39), Kath­leen Laux (4:40), Mary Roosa (4:41), Jen Braun (4:51), Colleen Kor­tright (5:02), Cyndy Borzu­mato Cobb (5:24), Jo Black­more (5:44) and Laura Kee­ley (6:10).

More marathons

In Oc­to­ber, at the Ber­lin Marathon, a new world best was set by Eliud Kip­choge of Ethiopia. Kip­choge ran an amaz­ing time of 2:01:39. This time broke the record by 1 minute and 18 sec­onds.

This per­for­mance was the big­gest drop in 41 years. Kip­choge was the 2016 Olympic marathon cham­pion. His pace was 4:38 per mile. Kip­choge stands 5’6” and weighs 115 pounds. In­ter­est­ing.

The ex­ist­ing world best marathon for women is 2:15:28 run by Eng­land’s Paula Rad­cliffe in 2003. The Amer­i­can records are Khalid Khan­nouchi’s 2:05:38 (2002) and Deena Kaster’s 2:19:36 (2006).

At the Rhode Is­land Marathon, Sauger­ties’ Rachel Mey­ers ran a per­sonal best time of 3:14, break­ing the 3:20 bar­rier for the first time. Valerie Stote, run­ning her first marathon, clocked a 5:49 at the Marine Corps Marathon in DC.

Shawn Beres­ford ran the Chicago Marathon in 4:05 and the Marine Corps in 3:51. At Hartford, Doug Need­ham ran 3:25.

In my last col­umn, I men­tioned how more and more run­ners in their 60’s, 70’s and now 80’s are run­ning and com­pet­ing.

I know if I look at my race times now, they seem slow com­pared to what I once ran. How can an older run­ner eval­u­ate their per­for­mance ob­jec­tively and main­tain mo­ti­va­tion to keep push­ing and train­ing?

Thank­fully, the World As­so­ci­a­tion of Vet­eran Ath­letes (WAVA), the gov­ern­ing body for Masters (over 40 year old) ath­letes, has a sys­tem called “Age Grad­ing.”

Us­ing sta­tis­ti­cal data based on ac­tual per­for­mance of run­ners of all ages, they have come up with ta­bles that at­tempt to quan­tify per­for­mance re­gard­less of age and sex. The ta­bles take your per­for­mance and come up with a per­cent­age rat­ing.

This al­lows some­one to see what their rat­ing is com­pared to any­one of any age.

If a 35-year-old man runs a 17:15 5k, his rat­ing would be 74.72%. If a 63-year-old man runs a 20:56, his rat­ing would be 76.95% and if a 41-year-old woman runs a 20:33, her rat­ing would be 73.56% by com­par­ing the rat­ings, you can see who had the bet­ter race. In this case, it was the 63 year old man.

The rat­ings are also cat­e­go­rized into four broad classes.

Rat­ings above 90% are con­sid­ered world class, above 80% is na­tional class and above 70% re­gional class. Rat­ing un­der 70% is called lo­cal class. This sys­tem al­lows you to com­pare your per­for­mance against any­one.

The ta­bles also have data that equates your time to what you would have done in your prime run­ning years.

For ex­am­ple, I could take my best 5k from my 30’s and com­pare it to my per­for­mance in my 60’s. The raw time will of course be slower, but the quality of my race might be the same or bet­ter. This al­lows you to com­pete against your younger self and stay mo­ti­vated.

Nowa­days, all the ta­bles are in com­put­er­ized age grad­ing cal­cu­la­tors and are easy to use. Many race results now in­clude age grad­ing per­cent­ages and some races even give awards based on them.

With age grad­ing, a mom can now “race” her teenage son on equal foot­ing.

Cor­rect­ing The Record

In my last col­umn about area Turkey Trots, I said the Phoeni­cia Turkey Trot was a ben­e­fit for the Phoeni­cia Li­brary. That was true in its early years, but it is now a fundraiser for the United Methodist Church Food Pantry.

Also, an­other turkey trot in the area is the Blue Moun­tain Turkey Trot. It hap­pens on Thanks­giv­ing morn­ing and starts at the Grant D. Morse School in West Sauger­ties. It is an un­timed 5k fun run or­ga­nized by Theresa Baker and the On­te­ora Run­ners Club.

The event is free and open to all. They rec­om­mend that you bring a food item to do­nate to the Sauger­ties Food Pantry. More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.on­te­o­rarun­

Rein­deer Ram­ble

Just a re­minder not to miss the 35th Rein­deer Ram­ble. This 5k is or­ga­nized by the YMCA of Kingston and Ul­ster County. The race is on December 2nd and is great fun. It is a nice way to start the holiday sea­son.

For more spe­cific de­tails on each of th­ese races and more, check the race cal­en­dar.

Cal­en­dar, results

Race directors, please sub­mit in­for­ma­tion for the race cal­en­dar to sports@ free­manon­ In­for­ma­tion should be in the form of a con­cise email with im­por­tant de­tails high­lighted and in­cluded in the body of the email. No race flyer PDFs.

Race results should be sub­mit­ted di­rectly to me at ss­

Steve Schal­lenkamp has been ac­tive in area run­ning cir­cles since 1966 as run­ner, race di­rec­tor, vol­un­teer and coach. He is a mem­ber of the On­te­ora Run­ners Club and pres­i­dent of the Shawan­gunk Run­ners Club.


New Paltz’s Har­bert Okuti, right, runs along­side Bernard La­gat dur­ing last Sun­day’s New York City Marathon.

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