Sunday, October 31, 2010

The long, long, long, long way down

The moral of this story is simple: When all else fails, run a downhill marathon.

I mean, there are other reasons to explain why I was finally able to break out of the 3:40s rut with a 15-minute 59-second PR at the Ridge to Bridge Marathon on Saturday morning. I had lots of good race experience in a short span (it was my fifth 26.2 in a year's time). I used a new type of training program that treated me exceptionally well. The weather in the Pisgah National Forest was cold and crisp, just the way I like it. And I ended up, fortuitously, becoming a pacer for a first-timer; we pushed each other through almost the entire race -- in different ways.

So in a sense, it was the perfect storm for me. In the eye of it? One of the most serene, beautiful racecourses of any distance that I've ever set foot on, notable for late-season fall colors as far as the eye can see ... and a staggering 2,661 feet of total elevation loss.

Two-thousand six-hundred sixty-one feet is more than half a mile. To put this figure in perspective, that's 83 percent taller than the roof of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in downtown Chicago. Two of the most talked-about downhill marathons in the U.S. -- Tucson and St. George, in Utah -- don't drop as steeply, at "just" 2,200 feet and 2,563 feet, respectively.

Although it wasn't quite like falling off a cliff, Miles 6 through 14 are pretty much one continuous downhill (with a couple of unexpected rises), and the last four ...... actually, before I get to the finish, I should start at the beginning.

One year ago this weekend, I ran my first marathon -- the New York City Marathon -- on a nice cold day. I went out a little too fast, bonked in the Bronx and struggled through Central Park to a 3:49:55. Six weeks later -- on a nice cold day -- I never hit the wall and cruised to a 3:42:32 at Thunder Road. Confidence was high when I did the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March, but another too-fast start plus sun, heat and wind led to a big collapse and a 3:49:14. And then in June I struggled to a 3:43:54 in San Diego as the sun roasted me and thousands of other runners on Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.

I was learning things every time out, though. About pre-race meals. About staying relaxed in the early miles. About pacing strategies. When and how I need to take GUs. Hydration strategies. Running the tangents. Pain management. (I also learned that I'm not -- and never will be -- a warm-weather marathoner.)

For those first four marathons, I used some variation of the same training plan, one that had me running five days a week. For Ridge to Bridge, I adopted a program that had me running just four days a week. The difference, slightly oversimplified: When you run 50 miles a week divided five ways, with a long run of 18, your other four runs are eight miles each; when you run 50 in a week over four days, with a long run of 20, your other three runs are 10 miles each.

During my toughest week, I did 14 on Monday, a 12-mile tempo on Wednesday, 13 on Thursday, and 20 on Saturday. The benefits in my mind, then, are that a) the extra rest day allowed my muscles more healing, and b) the consistently longer runs during the week increased my overall endurance. Bonus: Unlike my other training cycles, I had no bouts with IT band syndrome or muscle strains or foot tenderness.

So ...... when my wife and daughter and I arrived at the Quality Inn in Morganton Friday evening, I was feeling as physically and mentally ready as was possible.

The Ridge to Bridge Marathon is a small race that's capped at just 300 runners, a field dwarfed by many local 5Ks. It's held almost literally in the middle of nowhere. Morganton isn't the middle of nowhere; it's a city of about 17,000 in Burke County, 75 miles northwest of Charlotte. But the Quality Inn, which served as the race hotel, is 40 minutes from the start in Jonas Ridge (population less than 1,300) and 30 minutes from the finish at Brown Mountain Beach (population less than 130, I'd guess). Both of those places qualify as the middle of nowhere in my book.

A few minutes after I walked into the hotel lobby -- about the size of my living room -- I ran into Alice Watson, Bobby Aswell, Todd Hartung and Chad Randolph, the Charlotte-area runners I was planning to carpool with up to the start the next morning. With my room keys I was given two Otis Spunkmeyer oatmeal raisin cookies, which I gave to my wife and daughter. (I'd eaten a plate of pasta and several slices of lunchmeat at home before we left Charlotte.)

At packet pickup down the hall, I was greeted by race director David Lee in a room maybe the size of my garage. No expo, no lines, just a handful of friendly volunteers, and a goody bag that included a long-sleeved tech tee and a pair of gloves with "Ridge to Bridge Marathon" stamped on them.

Lights out shortly after 10 p.m. (and 1.5 Michelob Ultras), and following a typically bad night's sleep, I crawled out of bed just before 5 a.m. After dressing, I ate one and a half bagels with strawberry cream cheese that I'd brought from home. (I should note that the hotel, in a nice touch, was providing a "breakfast medley bag" free to racers that had a muffin, a cereal bar, a banana and OJ.) When I stepped out the door at 6:10, it was just above freezing, and as I made my way around the building to the front, I noticed the windows and windshields of cars in the parking lot were frosted over. I wasn't going to have to worry about overheating today.

On the ride to Jonas Ridge, I chatted with Chad, Bobby, Todd and Alice about their respective goals and got an overview of the course from Bobby, who had run it in 3:05 in 2009 (with the swine flu!). Chad's wife Laurie and young son James were also good company. It was dark out for the entire 25-mile trip up NC-181, but the headlights of Chad's Honda Odyssey generally shone on a steep incline and my ears popped routinely.

We pulled into the staging area just before 7 a.m., still under dark (but perfectly clear) skies. The staging area is -- appropriately -- a shuttered gas station/general store owned by Marathon Oil. Several cars were idling in the lot, and there weren't any lines at the six portapotties, so most of us jumped out and used them ... then jumped straight back into the warm van, as the outdoor air temp was 30 degrees. When we saw the lights of the three coach buses, which were carrying a couple hundred runners who had parked at the finish, we hit the facilities again to beat the lines that would form a few minutes later.

Said hello to too many Charlotte-area runners to name between 7:30 and 8, but shortly before heading for the starting line, a young guy named Troy (I'd learn later his last name is Lee) introduced himself as being from Charlotte. He was running his first-ever marathon -- he'd written "Marathon Virgin" on the back of his singlet -- and didn't have a watch, so was hoping to tag along with someone shooting for 3:30.

To be honest, I was not super-excited about the prospect of having company, initially. I like running with friends, but I also enjoy solitude on runs, and marathons have typically been solitary experiences for me. Still, there was no point in being rude, so I lined up with Troy after shaking hands with some friends and acquaintances, and at 8:01 a.m., some 3,800 feet above sea level, 265+ runners set off down Mortimer Road.

I had preprogrammed my Garmin to pace me at 8-minute miles, which would bring me in at 3:30 (which would be a significant PR). My strategy was to keep myself in check early on, something I've had trouble doing in the past, then to keep myself from going too crazy on the long, swift plunge between Miles 6 and 14. Hopefully, I'd be able to keep on pace but not creep too far under it -- on such steep descents, that would mean I'd be hitting my pace but throttling back on the effort level. The aim was to put myself in a position to bring home the last 10K strong.

The short story is, it worked. Splendidly. Not just as well as I had hoped, but better. The long story:

Roughly four of the first 5.5 miles -- before the big long drop -- are on asphalt, and can best be described as rolling. There's a good descent around Mile 3, but this section is an out-and-back, so we had to come back up it in Mile 5. Most of Mile 4 is on an unpaved stretch of road that nearly touches the Blue Ridge Parkway before U-turning.

I was just trying to get comfortable in the first 30-40 minutes. There were plenty of people around Troy and me for the first few miles, some good-naturedly picking on me because I'm a "celebrity" and many remarking on Troy's "Marathon Virgin" status. I learned that he has previously done just two half-marathons, although his PR is 1:30, four minutes faster than mine. I also learned that his longest long run was 18 miles, and I immediately formulated the opinion that he was going to hit the wall -- like so many of us do. I kept that to myself, figuring I was probably a 50/50 bet to join him.

The scenery was breathtaking. The leaves were a little past their peak but still beautiful, and the quiet, peaceful roads provided an absolutely spectacular setting for 26.2. Fan support was non-existent, which is a drawback, but the vistas helped keep the mind active.

Miles 1 through 5 clicked off at 8:10, 8:02, 7:54, 8:01 and 7:55. Right on target. (At left: Mark Hinson of Charlotte, Troy, and myself. Photo by Jinnie Austin.)

At 5.5, we hung a left onto -- well, I don't know if the road even has a name. It's about nine miles, is wide enough for 1.5 cars, has dozens of blind curves, many switchbacks, no guardrails. It's basically a trail, albeit groomed so there are no roots or significant rocks. Some of the gravel was larger than pebble sized, but most of it was in the middle of the "road," so if you stayed to either side, it was like running on hard-packed dirt.

A side note: I'd originally planned to run R2B in a pair of lightweight trail shoes. But because most of my training is done in 7-ounce Saucony Fastwitch 4s, the 9.8-ounce Adidas AdiZero XTs consistently felt heavy-ish. I ran slower than I'd hoped in them at a 30K in September, and after a horrible tempo run in them three days out, I decided to take my chances and go with the Fastwitch. I had run one other marathon in these -- San Diego -- and finished with an achy left foot. After R2B, I had no foot pain at all.

The Fastwitch is a very light and very fast shoe. The trouble with the Fastwitch -- and I knew this could be an issue going in -- is that the soles are very soft, so if you step on small, sharp rocks, you'll feel it. Also, the soles occasionally grab onto pebbles; when this happens, it feels like there's a rock inside your shoe. (I in fact lost about 10 seconds around Mile 4 when I had to stop to dig out a pebble.)

On the unpaved section, it tended to be difficult to hit the tangents a) because Troy didn't seem to be focusing on them and I didn't want to constantly be running over him (we had so much time out there that in hindsight, I should have coached him on doing so), b) the road was open to traffic, and although there was very little on this stretch, when it came, if you were stuck on the outside of a turn, you had to take it that way, and c) it meant going across the middle and risking stepping on a sharp rock or picking up a pebble with my soles. I should say, though, that that early stone was the one and only that got lodged. (I should also say I wound up with just 26.21 on the Garmin in the end.)

The little bits of congestion that there were up top thinned quickly on the trail section. It was at this point that, despite my best pre-race efforts, I started to feel like I needed a pee break. But I ignored it at first, while Troy and I chewed the scenery and bantered with runners who passed by. We commented about the leaves and the view and how easy the pace felt and how much our quads would hurt later. The next few miles went by in 8:10, 7:49 and 7:54 as I tried to keep the brakes on. Many other runners did not, and I hoped that we'd see them later.

Around Mile 9, I finally decided to pull over. Troy said he'd hold the pace we were doing and I said I'd catch up. The first place I chose was occupied by a small camping party; the second did the job. It took a few minutes to run down Troy, and shortly after we hit one of the very few inclines in this stretch of the race. An unexpected surprise, but I suppose it was a nice break for the quads. Water stops were hardly plentiful -- maybe one every 2.5 miles -- but there was still a chill in the air and zero direct sunlight underneath the forest canopy. 7:51, 7:55, 7:55, 7:48, 7:52. Down, down, down, down, down. There were no timing clocks on the course, but I had us hitting the half at 1:44:05.

At the bottom of the unpaved section, about 14.5 miles in, we hit Edgemont Road and banked left for another little out-and-back of about one mile (so two total -- one out, one back). This was an asphalt stretch, and I was surprised by how hard it felt and how relatively fatigued my legs suddenly felt with the change in terrain. We went through the tiny town of Edgemont and I saw Chad and friends Joel Thomas and Mark Ippolito -- who were on their way to BQs -- coming back toward us. I wondered if I'd see them again before the finish line. Miles 14-16: 8:06, 7:52, 7:46.

Shortly thereafter, Troy and I were again on unpaved road, a little wider, a little dustier, a little less shaded, and with gentle rolls (no serious climbs, though). A few more vehicles here, but most were race fans and we never felt at risk. The sun was getting a little warmer, but it was still only in the mid-40s probably. Mile 17 was 7:51. Around Mile 18, we left Edgemont Road and turned onto Brown Mountain Beach Road, which would carry us along a rolling river with some rapids and smaller waterfalls. Very picturesque and pleasant, it was either on our left or our right for the rest of the journey. We crossed it four times if I'm remembering correctly. (As we ran onto the first one, I somewhat lamely joked to Troy, "'Ridge to Bridge,' right? This is the bridge. Can we be done??") Mile 18: 7:46.

At this point, I knew things were going well. I felt in control. I had been fueling well -- GUs at the start, at Mile 5, at Mile 10, at Mile 15 -- and drinking enough but not too much. My breathing was good, my legs felt (reasonably) good, I was still clicking off sub-8 miles and didn't feel like I was losing steam at all. There was no impending sense of doom, as I'd felt in San Diego and in Virginia Beach. Mile 19 was the fastest of the day so far -- 7:41 -- but I knew that anything could happen in the next hour.

Troy had fallen pretty quiet. I'd congratulated him when we hit 18 and he was officially into his longest run ever. We were steadily running people down, maybe a couple per mile. But I was getting worried about him, so I tried to be as encouraging as possible. "You're doing awesome, man. Let's just keep picking people off." When we hit the Mile 20 marker, I decided to start counting the people we were passing to myself. There weren't many out there, but it gave me something to do.

10K left. I felt good. 45-50 minutes to go. My legs were tired, but I could run tired. What I couldn't run through was The Wall -- when general fatigue takes over and energy-wise you're completely tapped out and the will to run evaporates. You can usually feel it coming. I didn't feel it coming. Troy did, I think, but I kept coaxing him. "Just hang on, man, you're running great. I can't believe this is your first!" 7:48, 7:44, 8:02.

With 3.2 to go we began a gradual descent that would take us all the way home. After a couple hundred meters, I said, "Just a 5K now..." He said he was thirsty and wondered if there was a water stop coming up. I said, "I don't know, but in 25 minutes you'll be able to drink as much as you want." 7:54, 7:45, 7:48. We were cranking. We came around a bend and although we could see just smatterings of a crowd, Troy must have known he was going to make it -- he held at his fist and I punched it and said, "Dude, awesome job."

And then we heard the beeping of finishers crossing the timing pad. I knew from reviews that we would briefly go out beyond where the finish was and come back, and we couldn't see the 26 sign yet, but it was in the bag at this point. I couldn't believe how fresh I felt. In the next second, though, Troy said, "I'm cramping up," and suddenly, he was gone. I'd gotten him about 25.7 miles of the way there. I felt terrible for him. At the same time, I suspected the race wouldn't be a total disaster for him. When you bonk or cramp at Mile 20, you feel despair. When you bonk or cramp at 25.7, with the finish line literally in sight, you'll be across in nine more minutes or less even if you have to walk it in, barring a real injury.

I dipped down into the parking lot of Brown Mountain Beach Resort and headed away from the finish, briefly, as I made a lap around it. Mile 26 clicked off at 7:39 (fastest of the day). I was about to sprint it in but stayed on pace when I got the faintest suspicion my own cramp was bubbling up. It didn't, thankfully, and I crossed the line just behind a guy I wasn't quite able to chase down. He would have been my 12th victim since the Mile 20 marker; only one person passed Troy and I.

My official time: 3:26:33 (7:53 average pace), 55th out of 265 finishers, with a negative split -- I ran the second half in 1:42:28. And my legs felt relatively good. One of the first people to congratulate me was Josh Baker of Valdese, who won in 2:40:06 (he also was doing his first marathon). About three minutes later, Troy crossed in 3:29:31. He looked both disappointed about the fact that he had cramped up, and overjoyed by the fact that he had done so well in his 26.2 debut. He also looked very thirsty.

There was plenty to drink, but even better, there was PLENTY to eat. A seemingly endless supply of Papa John's pizza, along with BBQ and burgers with all the fixings, and other assorted treats. I downed a bottle of water, then a Mountain Dew -- even though I normally do not drink soda -- then a slice of pizza, then a burger with slaw, then another slice of pizza. I mingled with other runners (too many to name, although congrats again to the winner, Josh; the aforementioned BQers; and sisters Jill Brashear and Jana Spencer, two other Charlotte runners who qualified for Boston Saturday).

But mostly I beamed with pride over my 16-minute PR, over the fact that I finally had busted out of the 3:40s rut I'd been stuck in for the past year. And I was thrilled to have pulled Troy along for as far as I did. Earlier today, he sent me a note that made me feel almost as good as the PR: "Could not have done that run without you. Thanks for being a great motivator. There were so many times after Mile 20 that I wanted to call it quits."

Up top I alluded to the fact that Troy pushed me as much as I pushed him, just in a different way. It's true. After my initial reluctance, I gradually got fired up by the prospect of pacing him to a solid time. There was never a moment when I wanted to throw in the towel, but I really wonder whether I might have slowed down if not for him. Even though he might have been struggling late, he was for the most part right in step with me, and sometimes even half a step ahead. I didn't want to let him down ... but I also didn't want him to beat me. (I figured that we'd cross the line together.)

I wanted to show him that I could do exactly what I was encouraging him to do. Stay in check early, maintain focus, pick people off late, finish strong. I did it. He basically did, too.

With a little help from a lotta downhill.

Not quite sure why I don't have a photo of Troy and me post-race, but here's one of me with newly minted Boston qualifier Mark Ippolito afterward. Photo by Chad Randolph.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ultra guy unites runners in Davidson area

Chad Randolph likes to joke that he and his friends started the Davidson Area Running Team nearly two years ago because they were interested in getting some cool T-shirts made up.

The T-shirts -- unveiled this summer -- certainly look good, and you can see the team logo used on them on the group's Facebook page. But what's truly cool about the Davidson Area Running Team (a.k.a. DART) is how Randolph and his cohorts have been able to establish a tight-knit running community in and around this tiny college town.

Currently, the informal group claims more than 40 members, many of whom get together for weekly group runs as well as special runs, such as the Davidson Run for Green half marathon preview held three weeks before the Sept. 18 race. Randolph, semi-retired at just 45, is listed on the Facebook page as the club's sole officer (he credits Dave Munger as his primary partner in crime).

The husband and father of one is known to many runners in Charlotte because he is a former part-time shoe guy at Run For Your Life-Dilworth and now fills in occasionally at the store in University City. Randolph also serves on the Davidson Greenways Citizens' Advisory Board and Davidson Lands Conservancy's Run for Green committee.

It's not uncommon to see him doing local races in his Vibram FiveFingers, or at ultramarathons regionally. In fact, in 2011, he plans to tackle his first- and second-ever 100-milers ... all within the first four months of the year.

Read on to learn more about DART, his passion for minimalist footwear and ultras, and how the heck he is able to be semi-retired at such a relatively young age.

Q. Everybody loves a good origin story. Tell me DART's.

Davidson is a small town with a fairly large number of runners, and you'll notice that when you go through town you'll see a handful of people running at any time of day. The town prides itself on being bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, and within its environs there are many running spots, such as the greenway, Fisher Farm, and Davidson College's cross country trail. Davidson Area Running Team came about as a result of a discussion between Todd Hartung, Jim Crotts, and me one day while we were running on the greenway nearly two years ago. Wouldn't it be nice if we were to put together a running club for the area that would encompass Davidson and the surrounding towns of Mooresville, Cornelius, and Huntersville? ... Seeing as they both had real jobs and I had recently retired from Lowe's, the job of putting together a vision, running group, and website fell to me.

Q. What's your longterm vision for DART?

I would like to keep DART small and local and yet less dependent upon one or two persons. Right now it's mostly me and Dave Munger updating the online presence and putting together the group runs. In the future, I'd like DART to be a clearinghouse for all things running-related in the Lake Norman area, including group runs, routes, races, stores, and gear reviews. I'd like to work more with some of the other local running groups such as the Charlotte Running Club, the Birkdale Runners/Walkers Group, and the University City Road Runners. I'm contemplating having DART put on a series of T-shirt races, a la Mangum Track Club, in the near future.

Q. When and why did you start running?

While I've always been athletic, playing basketball in high school and tennis in college, I never saw the appeal of running in and of itself. Back in the day, running was used as a punishment for making goofs in "real" sports. I credit two people for getting me into running. First was my brother-in-law Greg, who starting running in the early 1990s as a means of losing weight. He talked me into running with him even though I've always been pretty lean and didn't need to lose weight. After a couple of years of running four to six miles at a time with Greg, I was seduced by the dark side of running, namely long distance. Rickey Reeves of Millers Creek, N.C., talked me into running with him and his group. On Sundays, we ran 16-22 miles through areas of rural Wilkes County I'd never been through even in a car. Although I've gone on to running ultras, I still consider Rickey to be my mentor.

Q. And … when and why did you start running in Vibrams?

I'm known for being in the forefront of minimalist footwear and have been running mostly in Vibram Fivefingers for a while. This was before Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run" came out. The reason I picked up running in FiveFingers is pretty simple, and had nothing to do with curing any ailments or refuting the supposed evils of the big running shoe companies. Two years ago, I saw a guy wearing them at the starting line at the inaugural New River Trail 50K. Like any other runner, I'm always interested in trying new stuff, so I picked up a pair of FiveFinger KSOs and began running in them. Without trying to sound too preachy, I've found that they do enhance proprioception and make running more enjoyable. After several months of adjusting my stride and cadence, I started running in races and my times as compared to previous years' were slightly faster. I've run three marathons in FiveFingers (Hatfield & McCoy in 2009, Thunder Road in 2009, Boone marathon in 2010) and every one, though successful, was slower than what I might normally do. I attribute this to foot fatigue over time and distance, and now run in Nike Free or New Balance MT101 shoes on longer distances. For this Saturday's Ridge to Bridge Marathon, I'll be sporting a pair of modified Saucony Fastwitch 2 racing flats. I've cut about half of the heel off and made eighteen horizontal slits in the sole to provide more flexibility.

Q. What are your next big races? They're the 100-milers, right?

Yes, I'm doing the Iron Horse Endurance Run 100-miler in February 2011, followed by the Umstead 100-miler in April. I picked Umstead as it's nearby and it's on the bucket list of many ultrarunners. I picked Iron Horse because I didn't want to put all my hopes on the Umstead race. So I'm using a 100-mile race to prep for another 100-mile race. ... For both, my obvious goal will be to finish and my secondary goal will be to finish each in under 20 hours. I've been told by veterans that they're "easy" races in that they're non-technical -- flat, gentle surfaces. I'll get back to you on that. ... I enjoy longer races than shorter ones; after a 5k I usually end up falling asleep, whereas for a marathon or ultra I'm usually amped up the rest of the day.

Q. How do you stay motivated during long training runs?

I don't have a problem staying motived during long runs as long as the scenery isn't too boring. I tend not to wear headphones when I run, though I did wear them during the last nine miles of the Iron Horse 100K and that really helped pass the time, as it was dark and other runners were few and far between. (Randolph finished in 11:49 at the Florida race last February.)

Q. How do you balance a heavy training load with a family?

My wife Laurie is very understanding, and actually prefers that I run rather than sit at home and read running blogs. My son (James, 6) thinks it's my job.

Q. Describe what it is you love about running in general.

Running is a lifestyle akin to surfing. The clothing, the lingo, the attitude. To paraphrase Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, "All I need are some tasty roads, a cool breeze, and I'm fine."

Q. Describe what it is you love about ultrarunning in particular.

When I lined up for my first ultra, the Triple Lakes 40-miler in 2007, Laurie remarked that the people looked different. In what way? Crunchier, she said. Ultra races are generally low-key events frequented by low-key people. From the winners to the last-place finishers, ultrarunners are uniformly gregarious.

Q. You retired at age 41. What was your secret?

Nothing glamorous like cornering the tungsten market or something. When I started at Lowe's in 1990, it was one of a dozen regional home improvement stores and grew dramatically during the 17 years I was there. Equally importantly is that Laurie was at Lowe's for 18 years.

Q. Finally, what are your three proudest accomplishments as a runner?

The most emotionally uplifting experience was my first marathon, the Charlotte Run For Peace in January 1999, which was a point-to-point course from Davidson College to Queens College. When James was 6 months old, I began running with him in a baby jogger and I pushed him in runs and races -- mostly 5K and 10K races -- until last spring. I really enjoyed the time we spent together outside. The longest race I've accomplished, this year's Iron Horse Endurance Run 100K (62 miles), was the first race in which I was awarded a belt buckle as a finisher's award. You can bet that if I'm wearing pants I'm probably wearing that belt buckle.

For more info on the Davidson Area Running Team, click here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dilworth 8K canceled due to lack of interest

As some of you already know by now, the Dilworth Jubilee 8K and Fun Run -- originally scheduled for Saturday morning -- was canceled earlier this week.

Race director Scott Dvorak had been making an attempt to bring the race back to Charlotte; it had disappeared from the race calendar in 2009 after a 36-year run (the 8K had been billed as "Charlotte's oldest road race").

In 2008, the Dilworth Jubilee race drew 238 men and women. Dvorak said that as of Monday, he'd had only 80 entries for the 2010 edition.

"And I wasn't confident that I would get the 250 needed to be whole by this Saturday," said Dvorak, who owns the Charlotte Running Co. in Dilworth. "If I thought it would have at least been break even, I would've put it on, but I couldn't afford to lose money on it.

"It was a late decision by myself and the Dilworth Community Association to try and revive the race. I think the short time to market it, coupled with the 15k (the Lung Strong 15K in Lake Norman), hurt the numbers. I'm committed to trying it again next year, though. I'm hoping with more planning time and awareness, I can make a go of it next year."

On the bright side, Dvorak has the Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot on the horizon. He said he's expecting 7,000 participants for the Thanksgiving Day event, which has become an annual tradition for scores of local runners.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Largest Queens athletic event ever?

The Queens University of Charlotte cross country teams will host what could be the school's largest single-day athletic event when they stage the Royal Cross Country Challenge Friday afternoon.

Queens will host mostl of Conference Carolina's and the Southeast Region's Division II programs, in addition to Division I institutions such as Florida State, Georgia Tech, Elon and Davidson, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Asheville -- nearly 700 competitors and 35 teams in all.

The women's 5,000-meter "Gold" race starts at 3:30 p.m. at McAlpine Creek Park, while the men's "Gold" 8k starts at 4:15 p.m. Admission to this event, which also serves as the pre-conference and pre-region meet, is free. For meet details and a full list of competing schools, click here.

Both Royals programs are currently ranked nationally, with the men's team at No. 7 and the women at No. 22.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How'd locals do in Chicago?

A record 38,131 runners competed in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday and a record 36,159 finished, according to the Chicago Tribune, despite temperatures in the 80s.

Charlotte attorney Chad Crockford, 29, clocked the fastest time of the nearly 200 locals who made the trip, finishing in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 38 seconds. (Photo of him at right is from a local race, not from Chicago.) Mo Campbell, 24, was the top female finisher from Charlotte; she posted a 3:04:03, besting the mark she set as winner of the 2009 Thunder Road Marathon by 20 seconds.

The heat was definitely a factor on Sunday. Race officials raised the color-coded race alert gauge from yellow to red, meaning conditions were potentially dangerous.

Says Crockford: "I was just very lucky to reach the finish line before the wheels came off -- in that heat, it is really just a matter of when, not if. I thought the marathon organizers did an excellent job with additional water, sponges and cold towels on the course, but I would have much rather be running in 50-degree temperatures."

Here are the official results for the other Charlotte-area residents who completed the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (for complete results, click here):

Richard Sexton, 47, Concord, 3:15:14
Jeff Hoffman, 24, Charlotte, 3:15:36
Stephan Hightower, 37, Charlotte, 3:16:37
Kevin Croke, 28, Charlotte, 3:18:29
John Pasinski, 24, Charlotte, 3:19:42
Walter Kuhn, 35, Huntersville, 3:21:09
Bjorn Erik Norman, 27, Charlotte, 3:27:00
Josh Cooper, 27, Charlotte, 3:29:39
Paul Dougherty, 38, Charlotte, 3:30:53
Ted Shen, 23, Charlotte, 3:30:53
Lindsey Hikes, 28, Huntersville, 3:31:31
Sarah Fox, 34, Charlotte, 3:32:06
Josh Ammons, 25, Charlotte, 3:37:07
Amanda Fleishman, 31, Charlotte, 3:37:28
David Hanson, 40, Charlotte, 3:41:46
Carmen Schmitt, 25, Charlotte, 3:41:47
Brian Graboski, 35, Charlotte, 3:41:57
Rick Yuan, 24, Charlotte, 3:42:24
David Templeton, 43, Fort Mill, 3:42:47
Jessica Anson, 33, Weddington, 3:43:37
Reed Griffith, 33, Charlotte, 3:43:55
David Frost, 38, Charlotte, 3:44:03
Joshua Lemke, 28, Charlotte, 3:48:02
Sean Sharpless, 40, Matthews, 3:48:10
Jamie Vollenweider, 30, Charlotte, 3:48:52
Jack Thompson, 34, Charlotte, 3:49:27
Lisa Vogel, 39, Charlotte, 3:50:11
Robert Blackard, 31, Charlotte, 3:50:32
Rhett Benner, 39, Huntersville, 3:50:34
Kelly Stow, 26, Charlotte, 3:51:21
Bryan Massingale, 34, Denver, 3:51:58
Jay Reid, 41, Fort Mill, 3:52:15
Katie Lacks, 23, Charlotte, 3:52:58
Bob Metzger, 38, Charlotte, 3:53:26
Steve Brown, 39, Monroe, 3:53:30
Ashley Liebrecht, 26, Charlotte, 3:54:27
Stephen McCoy, 45, Huntersville, 3:54:37
Heather Wachtler, 27, Charlotte, 3:54:44
Scott Martin, 27, Charlotte, 3:55:22
Nick Eller, 31, Mooresville, 3:55:43
John McCormick, 29, Charlotte, 3:56:04
William Morton, 34, Charlotte, 3:58:37
Katherine Stewart, 31, Charlotte, 3:59:26
Kathrine Wall, 39, Matthews, 4:00:17
Jamie Dodge, 37, Fort Mill, 4:00:53
Katie Harbold, 35, Charlotte, 4:01:06
George Thigpen, 40, Mooresville, 4:01:54
Joel Canino, 26, Charlotte, 4:03:10
Kenneth McIntyre, 40, Charlotte, 4:03:17
Emily Frank, 24, Charlotte, 4:04:35
Todd Soderquist, 27, Charlotte, 4:04:41
Koine Kinyua, 48, Charlotte, 4:05:40
Lauren Arizmendi, 22, Charlotte, 4:06:34
Ian White, 32, Charlotte, 4:10:26
John Schmidt, 33, Charlotte, 4:12:27
Diedrich Oglesbee, 37, Charlotte, 4:12:31
Karen Wilmer, 45, Charlotte, 4:12:49
Joe Cox, 30, Charlotte, 4:15:00
Ronald Mitchell, 35, Charlotte, 4:15:33
Mark Arizmendi, 51, Charlotte, 4:18:03
Darren Schmolke, 44, Mooresville, 4:18:34
Caitlin McElwrath, 21, Charlotte, 4:19:14
Jennifer Cozart, 35, Charlotte, 4:20:13
Philip Brody, 32, Charlotte, 4:21:47
Erin Walsh, 30, Charlotte, 4:21:49
Laura Young, 25, Charlotte, 4:22:38
Laura Centofanti, 29, Charlotte, 4:23:39
Carolyn Parnell, 33, Charlotte, 4:23:39
Lori Morrow, 38, Charlotte, 4:24:22
Gina Swierczewski, 39, Charlotte, 4:25:00
Matthew Walt, 27, Cornelius, 4:25:03
Jamie Christhilf, 39, Charlotte, 4:26:28
Colin Bain, 39, Cornelius, 4:27:41
Jody Dennis, 41, Charlotte, 4:27:43
David Hall, 40, Harrisburg, 4:29:25
William Hunter, 47, Gastonia, 4:29:54
John Hall, 49, Harrisburg, 4:30:28
Nick Calarco, 38, Charlotte, 4:31:29
Amy Bradley, 44, Charlotte, 4:32:26
Eddie David, 48, Charlotte, 4:33:45
Karen Ferebee, 52, Charlotte, 4:34:26
Todd Benjamin, 31, Lake Wylie, 4:35:02
Ray Haile, 58, Tega Cay, 4:35:05
Thomas Wishon, 28, Charlotte, 4:36:58
Jason Sutton, 41, Indian Trail, 4:38:42
Katherine Peralta, 23, Charlotte, 4:40:29
Dominick Davis, 38, Charlotte, 4:41:07
Chad Cubert, 33, Mooresville, 4:41:21
Ambrin Lakhany, 27, Gastonia, 4:42:46
Gerald Luff, 35, Matthews, 4:42:46
Kelly Taylor, 37, Charlotte, 4:45:20
Brian Stanton, 35, Charlotte, 4:45:39
Kirsten D'Amore, 41, Gastonia, 4:47:51
Frank Van Den Boomen, 41, Huntersville, 4:48:13
Elizabeth Roop, 31, Charlotte, 4:49:45
Kim Webster, 34, Waxhaw, 4:50:53
Marcia Conston, 54, Charlotte, 4:51:11
Bill Miller, 54, Charlotte, 4:51:11
Derick Brumley, 27, Charlotte, 4:51:47
James Bullock, 47, Charlotte, 4:52:25
Karen Graboski, 33, Charlotte, 4:53:37
Michael Schank, 37, Huntersville, 4:55:14
Wendy Arias, 36, Charlotte, 4:55:25
Pat White, 35, Concord, 4:56:31
Kevin Montgomery, 39, Matthews, 4:57:06
Donna Caldwell, 49, Weddington, 4:58:25
Kate Smith, 29, Charlotte, 5:00:22
Elizabeth Bell Mitchell, 33, Charlotte, 5:00:32
Jason Mitchell, 30, Charlotte, 5:00:32
Kenneth Todd, 34, Salisbury, 5:00:33
William Deihl, 39, Matthews, 5:00:40
Greg Swierczewski, 37, Charlotte, 5:02:00
Matthew Matone, 39, Charlotte, 5:05:57
Gilbert Vinluan, 40, Charlotte, 5:06:34
Brooke McKay, 38, Charlotte, 5:06:44
John Taylor, 45, Huntersville, 5:10:19
Laura Rabell, 26, Charlotte, 5:10:32
Matt McGue, 46, Charlotte, 5:11:24
Karen Hunter, 43, Gastonia, 5:14:54
Susan Haile, 49, Tega Cay, 5:11:58
Erick Ray, 32, Charlotte, 5:15:05
Patricia Guevara, 35, Charlotte, 5:16:39
Tracy Roop, 35, Charlotte, 5:17:10
Robert Maucher, 30, Charlotte, 5:19:35
Pamela Pulver, 46, Davidson, 5:20:47
Mary Jo Becker, 54, Charlotte, 5:21:23
Justin Lichty, 30, Charlotte, 5:22:23
Joshua Sheffler, 28, Indian Trail, 5:24:15
Tammy Proffit, 51, Davidson, 5:25:41
Sara Lee, 53, Hickory, 5:26:00
Mike Taylor, 37, Charlotte, 5:27:21
Larry Hunt, 34, Charlotte, 5:30:46
Laurel Reisen, 35, Charlotte, 5:30:53
Greta Morcos, 28, Fort Mill, 5:33:55
Erin Boyle, 27, Charlotte, 5:33:57
Allison Boyle, 24, Charlotte, 5:33:57
E.J. Rabell, 28, Charlotte, 5:34:10
Jill Seale, 49, Charlotte, 5:35:48
Brad Baldwin, 35, Charlotte, 5:36:34
Janice Sachs, 47, Charlotte, 5:37:33
Denine Woodrow, 45, Charlotte, 5:37:47
Nicole Carosella, 33, Charlotte, 5:38:23
Brian Wallace, 36, Charlotte, 5:40:26
Susan Neel, 46, Charlotte, 5:41:18
Gwen Romeo, 32, Charlotte, 5:42:25
Lauren Adams, 27, Charlotte, 5:43:43
Donna King, 53, Charlotte, 5:43:51
Genevieve Mezinskis, 37, Charlotte, 5:44:04
Brandi Adams, 30, Charlotte, 5:46:34
Kimberly Matone, 39, Charlotte, 5:48:11
Harry Emerson, 57, Rock Hill, 5:49:17
Michelle Mazzulo, 50, Matthews, 5:49:38
Alecia Taylor, 27, Charlotte, 5:52:28
Paula Segura De Cortina, 42, Charlotte, 5:52:30
John Keane, 57, Charlotte, 5:52:33
Emily Keane, 22, Charlotte, 5:52:34
Mauro Coruzzi, 46, Charlotte, 5:53:41
Laura Alizzi, 37, Mount Holly, 5:57:18
Charles Sparks, 39, Charlotte, 5:58:52
Emily Kronemeyer, 30, Charlotte, 6:02:52
Adrienne Dillard, 37, York, 6:03:17
Brian Caldwell, 47, Weddington, 6:03:37
Dennis Coruzzi, 44, Charlotte, 6:04:11
Amy Moore, 39, Charlotte, 6:05:31
Tim Golden, 39, Charlotte, 6:08:18
Shantel Wiley, 29, Tega Cay, 6:10:28
Basil Lyberg, 33, Charlotte, 6:13:03
Matthew Deiger, 39, Charlotte, 6:16:49
Maurice Hikes, 39, Huntersville, 6:20:19
Candice Broadie, 45, Charlotte, 6:29:59
Krystin Jacobs, 39, Charlotte, 6:32:06
Tom Sullivan, 47, Harrisburg, 6:37:01

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nice girls finish first

It’s easy to forget that Kelly Fillnow is the best female triathlete in Charlotte.

If you’ve run with her, you forget because you’re usually too busy answering a question she’s asked you about your job or your family or your own personal running goals to remember the fact that she’s done a half Ironman in 4:25:39 and a full 140.6 in 10:16:12. (To put this in perspective for non-triathletes, these times are somewhat akin to coming in under your Boston qualifying mark –- by half an hour.) She genuinely seems more interested in YOU, refreshing considering so many elite athletes often seem so wrapped up in their own accomplishments.

And if she’s not showing interest in what you’re up to, the 27-year-old is smiling sheepishly about the fact that she is no good at changing a flat tire (true, best I can tell) or about how weak a swimmer she is (not true at all, at least from my perspective).

But Kelly Fillnow is indeed our city’s best, and she is on the brink of becoming even better: On Sunday, she’ll compete as an amateur at the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. And if everything falls into place, the next time she goes to Kona, she’ll go as a pro.

Kelly, a Pittsburgh native, arrived in North Carolina in 2001 when she took a scholarship to play tennis at Davidson College. She discovered she could run “after seeing the sport as torture during my high school years,” and wound up running for the Wildcats as a junior and senior while continuing to play tennis. She took a fifth year of eligibility at Duke University and ran both cross-country and track on scholarship for 2005-06.

Today, the 1:19 half-marathoner and 2:57 marathoner works as a nutritionist, trainer and life coach for Upgrade Lifestyle in Huntersville. Tomorrow ... who knows?

(Note: Kelly is featured on the cover of the current issue of Endurance Magazine, as you can see above. Photo by Kim Hummel.)

Q. What's your goal for Hawaii?

My main goal is to soak up the experience, as I never know if I will have this opportunity once again. My second goal is to race to the best of my ability. I know that there will be many black holes that I will have to overcome, but I am hoping to stay mentally strong throughout the very long day and cross the finish line knowing that I gave it everything that I have. I think those two goals are more important than any specific tangible goal. I don't think I will remember years from now what place I came in at the Hawaii Ironman, but I will remember the feeling of laying it all on the line when moments got tough. That will be the experience that I can share with my clients and my kids some day. (Follow Kelly's blog here.)

Q. You recently became eligible for pro status, right?

Yes. At my first 70.3 in Florida last year, I missed qualifying by about 30 seconds, and then qualifed this year at Lake Stevens (second amateur) and Augusta (first amateur, fifth overall).

Q. As a triathlete, what does "going pro" mean exactly?

It’s simply a classification that enables qualified athletes to race for prize money.

Q. So what’s the next step?

Once an athlete "qualifies" for the pro card, he or she has to apply for the card with the USAT. It is definitely a big decision to make.

Q. What goes into that decision?

The advantages of going pro include sponsorship opportunities, better starting times, better transition locations, the ability to sign up for a closed race a few days in advance, being able to race against the best of the sport, and of course prize money. ... The main disadvantage is getting your butt kicked. A way to qualify for professional status is by finishing third amateur in designated races with a certain prize purse. ... I initially thought that I would not apply for the card just so I could gain another year of experience as an age-grouper. I talked to a few of my friends who are professionals, and they also recommended waiting another year. However, after finishing in the Top 5 amongst the pros at my last half, I feel a bit more confident about taking the big leap to the professional world.

Q. Do you dream of making a living as a triathlete?

I already have a dream job (at Upgrade Lifestyle). There is nothing more satisfying then helping others achieve something they never thought was possible. I work with some clients to improve their nutrition, others training for triathlons, others trying to start an exercise program. Besides being so fulfilling, my job also offers me a lot of flexibility that enables me to get my training in daily. It still can be very challenging trying to balance my clients, my training, my social life, and proper sleep at times. I try to take life just a day at a time and to feel content in my present circumstances. I don't want to look too far into the future, or look back on my life with any regrets. I think that it is just important to enjoy the present moment and know that each day is such a gift.
Q. What prompted you to take up triathlons?

After running for Duke, I started working for Davidson College in sports marketing and did nothing competitive for a while. Then two of my friends asked me to try a tri in (2006). We all borrowed bikes, and got in my apartment pool a couple of times before the big day. I ended up having an absolute blast and got third female overall.

Q. Which is your favorite leg?

My favorite leg is the run because at that point everything is in your control. I feel a sigh of relief once I get off the bike because there are so many circumstances that are beyond my control during that portion, like mechanical difficulties.

Q. And you still struggle the most with the swim?

Yes, my weakest leg is the swim. The bike was easier to just pick up, but the swim is so technically based, that it will take patience to see extensive progress. I just started swimming and biking a couple of years ago, so I have a lot of room to improve in both disciplines. Malcolm Gladwell in (the book) "Outliers" describes how researchers have found that it takes over 10,000 hours to gain expertise in a certain field, so I still have hours upon hours of training to go before I get to that point.

Q. Do you think at some point you'll switch your focus back to running exclusively?

I had initially planned on switching back to a run focus during 2011, but recently decided to change directions and focus on 70.3s and Ironman races for 2011. I have found that you have to pick a focus; it is nearly impossible to simultaneously try to be the best that you can be in both sports. Because of the time that the sport of triathlon demands, when I have a family I will just be a tennis player who occassionally goes on pedestrian style trots.

Q. Your sister Meghan is also an extremely gifted athlete. How competitive are the two of you with each other?

We used to be extremely competitive when we were on the same soccer, basketball, gymnastics and softball teams growing up. I would not be the athlete I am today if it was not for Meghan. She has pushed me ever since I was a young girl, and we instilled in each other the value of hard work. If she had the same amount of time to train as I did, she would be competing at a higher level than where I am. Her schedule is not conducive to training. I am so proud of her; she just did her second half Ironman in 4:46 on limited training and finished fourth in our age group.

Q. You're one of the most humble "elite" athletes I've had the pleasure of getting to know in Charlotte. Have you always been so modest?

In high school and college I was definitely too modest in that I would intentionally put myself down in front of people. Since then, I have learned the proper balance of modesty, humility and quiet confidence. I think it is very important to choose humility in the face of success. What keeps me humble is realizing that the talents I have are all gifts from God. He is the one doing all the work, and I am nothing without Him.

Q. I know that Christianity also plays an important role in your life. Can you talk about how your faith guides you, both in life and on the race course?

My faith enables me to keep life in perspective and be content with where God has me in the present moment. God has given me a gift, and my number one goal is to praise Him. Christianity helps me to understand that I am not competing for other people, or to impress others, but I am competing to glorify God. Having this attitude gives me such a sense of peace when I am competing. I know that everything will work out the way He intends, so I can train and compete at a state of freedom and honor Him on both good and bad days.

Q. It seems like you’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have lots of good days. Can you talk about a time when the going has been tough for you?

One of the biggest adversities that I have dealt with was the frightening experience of learning that my dad has chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Watching him positively deal with his leukemia has really strengthened me as an individual. Oftentimes when I am competing and experiencing pain, I think about him and how he has dealt so positively with his setback, and the pain becomes infinitesimal. Pain is a temporary state and your mind can have so much power over the way your body feels. My dad is living proof of one of my favorite quotes, "What your mind can believe, your body can achieve."

Joining Kelly in Kona on Sunday are four other Charlotte-area athletes: Jenny Leiser (who works in the crime lab at CMPD) and Matthews resident Tanya Houghton, both of whom qualified in their first Ironman last year; attorney Mike Selle, who qualified for his second Kona six weeks ago in Louisville; and Ken Partel, 61, who is returning to Kona for the second straight year.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Charlotte woman wins N.H. Marathon

More great news, this time from New England: Charlotte's Kacey Faberman, a 25-year-old South Meck grad, was the women's winner at the small but scenic New Hampshire Marathon on Saturday; her 3:41:13 was a PR by more than 11 minutes.

Kacey said she chose the race -- which featured just 240 finishers and was held in the small town of Bristol, N.H. -- "for a couple of reasons, including enjoying a fall marathon in New England and visiting my 96-year-old grandmother, who lives in Holderness, about 16 miles from Bristol."

"I had a blast," she told me in an e-mail Monday. "Contributing factors included beautiful weather: 50 at the start with a nice breeze; breathtaking scenery: most of the miles were around Newfound Lake, along quiet country roads and the leaves are starting to change; and great people: both camaraderie along the route--especially with those who were doubling up and running the Peak Performance Maine Marathon the next day, the cheering spectators sitting out on their front porches and a super nice event organizer who placed medals around the necks of each finisher."

This was her fourth marathon; her previous personal best was a 3:52:52 at the Baltimore Marathon in 2008. She has only been running for a little more than three years.

"PRs are always awesome. I thought I was going to get stuck in a 3:50s rut, but this race certainly proved me wrong. I'd chalk it up to running more 5Ks in the past six months (10) than I ever ran before (two) and adopting a rescue dog -- Charlie Brown -- back in August who won't run slower than eight-minute miles and never tires out, even on double digit runs."

With victory came reward: "Not only did the director cut me a check -- enough to take my family out for lobster rolls and cover airfare and entry for next year's race -- but I also received a Newfound Lake afghan, a one-year subscription to New England Runner Magazine and a gift certificate for a Road ID. ... Small-town races are so cool."

But there were even bigger takeaways for Kacey. "I learned from the marathon this weekend that while setting goals based on time are important as far as planning your training goes, running with the goal of having fun and finishing feeling good are supreme ... and often more attainable!"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Locals shine at the Twin Cities Marathon

Great news from Minnesota: Charlotte's Caitlin Chrisman ran a 2:41:52 at the Twin Cities Marathon to easily meet the "B" qualifying standard (2:47) for the 2012 Women's Olympic Trials Marathon. It was Caitlin's marathon debut.

The 24-year-old former Wake Forest University track star, a Bank of America employee, was the No. 1 American woman and the eighth overall female finisher. Her performance was also notable because she pulled a negative split of 1:21:36/1:20:17.

In an e-mail to me this evening, Caitlin wrote: "This whole weekend has been quite magical. I honestly can't stop smiling about the entire experience. Minneapolis is a beautiful city, with friendly people, and a picturesque landscape. I had the rare opportunity to run in a pack with four other amazing women to work together to achieve our qualifying goal. The synergy that we created was unlike anything I've ever experienced and such that I will never forget. My goal was to have fun, and I surpassed that goal ... I had a BLAST! The support after the race from my family, friends, and fellow Charlotte runners served as the cherry on top." (To read more about her race experience, check out her blog here.)

Caitlin was among several locals who joined more than 8,000 participants in kicking off the fall marathon season at Sunday morning's race in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Here are official finish times for the 20 greater Charlotte-area runners who braved the cold temperatures to complete the 26.2-mile distance. (For complete results, click here.)

Bill Shires, 45, Charlotte, 2:40:02
Caitlin Chrisman, 24, Charlotte, 2:41:52
Mike Beigay, 32, Concord, 2:47:16
Adam Mayes, 30, Cornelius, 3:08:46
Aregai Girmay, 51, Gastonia, 3:09:18
Bryan Allf, 53, Gastonia, 3:11:15
Dan Hochberg, 47, Charlotte, 3:20:11
Gerald Hutchinson, 50, Charlotte, 3:26:56
Fred Levy, 49, Gastonia, 3:32:34
Cliff Weston, 47, Huntersville, 3:37:46
Eduardo Regner, 29, Charlotte, 3:49:26
Janea Sweet, 34, Charlotte, 3:59:46
Joseph Becquer, 47, Charlotte, 4:04:50
Rod Brostrom, 54, Huntersville, 4:06:38
Andy Beach, 40, Denver, 4:16:06
Gregory McDowell, 53, Charlotte, 4:30:34
Audra Hausser, 37, Charlotte, 4:45:40
Stephanie Sheridan, 27, Charlotte, 5:03:30
Anita Brown, 50, Davidson, 5:16:26
George Bryan, 60, Hickory, 5:34:31