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CRR Charlie Roth on his Penn Relays experience:

photo of Charlie RothCreek Road is still running strong!

I had a lifetime running highlight this past weekend. I ran in the Penn Relays [April 27]!

Some of the other dads from [my son] Alex’s high school team and I were watching them running last year at Penn Relays, and while watching some master’s races going on that afternoon, we said, “We could do that.”

So we started training (Sunday afternoons through the winter on an outdoor track), ran a USATF meet to hit the qualifying time, and competed in the age-50-and-over 4x400m relay Friday night. I anchored in 64.8, a bit off the 64.2 that I had done indoors to qualify, but not bad for a distance runner at age 50.

I am hoping that the track work can translate into a fast 5K at some point. I went 20:29 last month for my master’s PR, but I feel there is a little more there. We’ll see.

Excerpts from CRR Jo Baird’s Boston experience:

photo of Jo BairdThis year’s Boston Marathon, my third Boston and seventh marathon overall, was by far the most challenging not only physically, but mentally as well. At the start line, as we were lining up in our different corrals in my wave, they announced that these were the worst running conditions the Boston Marathon has ever seen (something I wish that they had told me after the race was over, rather than before).

During the race, there was steady rain and wind with an occasional gust that took your breath away and an occasional downpour that soaked right through your clothes. It definitely was both a physical and mental test…. Many runners still only wore shorts and a singlet, which was no match for these conditions.

Personally, I had a surprisingly good race. I started out the first four miles at a 7:04 pace…. I backed off…but checked my watch at mile eight and saw that my average had only dropped to 7:06. As we got to “Heartbreak Hill,” one guy who had been running around the same pace as I had patted me and said, “We’re in this together.” I had no idea who he was. We hadn’t said anything to each other the whole race, but it meant a lot.

Once I got to the top of the hill, where all the Boston College students were, I felt nothing but love as I looked down into Boston. The last five miles were almost a blur; as [I] got closer to Boston,…[t]he crowds were so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think, and I didn’t even feel myself increase my pace. My last mile was 6:56, because, as I turned right onto Hereford and left on Boylston, there was this indescribable feeling of emotions that I felt from conquering that day and being lifted up by my fellow runners and this amazing city.

Overall, it was a race for the books. It was one of those experiences I have no regrets doing but don’t really want to do again.

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