Delaware Crimson?

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photo of Sam Parsons with Harvard runners

Last month, CRR Sam Parsons ventured to Cambridge, Mass., and hooked up with the Harvard University men’s running team. So, why was the Newark native and Tatnall School and NC State grad with the Crimson? Well, it probably had something to do with Harvard’s recent (and not-so-recent) Delaware connection.

In the above photo (submitted by CRR George Parsons, Sam’s dad), Parsons is kneeling, front and center in the gray hat and bright red shirt. Behind him and to his left, sans shirt, is Andrew Avila, a Harvard sophomore from Newark, who ran for the Charter School of Wilmington.

Parsons, a professional runner with Boulder, Colo.–based Tinman Elite, knows former Harvard runner and Charter School of Wilmington standout Kieran Tuntivate (not in the photo), who now runs for the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Ore. No doubt Parsons and Tuntivate had kept in touch while Tuntivate was running for the Crimson.

photo of Bruce Weber
1984 photo of Harvard runners

CRR Bruce Weber, a Harvard alumnus and local ambassador for the school, helped Tuntivate familiarlize himself with Harvard and its running program several years ago as he was making up his mind where to do his college running. Weber submitted his own archival tribute to the Crimson runners of yore, of whom he was a key player when he was an undergrad. In this photo from 1984, Weber, who is Dean of the Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware, is second from the right.

Nice Blue Hen synergy, eh?

Memorial for CRR co-founder Bob Bennett

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Joan Bennett asked that Creek Road Runners be made aware of the upcoming memorial service, as Creek Road Runners were such a part of the second half of the life of her late husband, CRR Bob Bennett.

A service of Celebration and Thanksgiving
for the life of CRR Robert “Bob” Bennett
will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 9,
at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church,
276 South College Avenue
Newark, Delaware.

A reception will follow in the Parish Great Hall.

Bob passed away on March 16, 2020, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. See story that was published at the time.

From the sunbelt…in first person

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photo of Barret Michalec

CRR Barret Michalec touched based recently, sending in some of his thoughts and experiences from living and running in Arizona, where he moved about a year and a half ago.

I’ve been running here and there since moving to Arizona. I live in an area called Fountain Hills. It gets its name from the famous Fountain, and, of course, [there are] rolling hills…which I have learned about first-hand in my running. The heat is the kicker, can’t really get out any time after 9 a.m. in the summer and even late spring, but during the “winter” and “fall” it’s pretty fantastic running.

I haven’t been training or anything but saw a run that looked fun. It was a trail 15k in the local mountains…AT NIGHT! I hadn’t done much trail running because of the snakes and wildlife and fear of getting lost, but I figured I would be able to see all the other headlamps of fellow runners at this thing. It was super awesome. A bit scary, a bit like “They allow us to do this?!” 

I ended up finishing in 1 hour and 20 minutes and came in 3rd [among] all men (4th overall out of 60+ [finishers]). What struck me was the age of the top—all over 40. Trail running must be something different out here—different crowd, different techniques/tactics. I couldn’t use my long strides because of the rocks and loose-footing areas on the uphills and downhills, and there are a lot of twists and turns, so you have to really focus…especially at night.

There were folks there for a 75k, 50k, and a 25k! NUTS! Maybe [I’ll do] the 25k next time though….

Barret, thanks for the update, and stay cool out there.

Gun or chip: a timing paradox

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There are many who relish the accuracy of chip timing, as a measure of exactly what their time was for a particular distance. Indeed, the technology that has become commonplace in competitive running is a great thing. For many purists, however, trying to compare races run “pre-chip” with those using chip timing is an undeniable mystery—very much like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit but very different from one another.

“gun or chip” graphic

Creek Road Runners, from its earliest days (“prehistoric” in terms of timing technology—e.g., the use of a stopwatch), has held to a standard of posting “gun times,” as opposed to “chip times” for just this reason. It is fair to compare gun times over the years, though they don’t necessarily reflect accurate time over the stated distance. Who’s to say what one’s chip time would have been in a race of tens of thousands back in the day, if it took up to a few minutes after the gun went off just to get to the starting line?

Today, nearly all race organizers/timers do what is easiest and most efficient in posting results, i.e., using chip times, which is totally understandable. However, how do race directors decide who earns awards in various competitive categories? This can be quite paradoxical.

photo of Bill Rose

Speaking of paradox, CRR Bill Rose competed in the Grape Stomper cross-country 5K this summer at Paradocx Vineyards in nearby Pennsylvania. Finishing eighth overall, Rose won his age group. The paradox involved here is that Rose’s chip time was actually faster than the competitor who finished just two seconds ahead of him and who walked away with the award for fastest men’s masters runner—a more prestigious accolade, to be sure.

Upon further inspection, there were a number of inconsistencies in how runners were ranked—most placed strictly according to chip time, and yet some weren’t, like Rose, who turned in a 23:13.

photo of Mark Deshon

CRR Mark Deshon remembers a 5K several years back, at the finish of which he was certain to have won his age group, having not seen his main rival at any point during the race. Upon checking the results board, he had placed second, not first. How might this have happened? Well, he found out that his competitor, who gladly accepted the age-group win, actually had a faster chip time but had spent too long in the Porta-Potty and had gotten to the starting line about 45 seconds after the gun had sounded.

So, this illustrates a problem with competitions, which are essentially what “races” are. One can complain about Creek Road Runners’ stance with respect to not posting the faster (i.e., chip) time in its race results articles, but we’ll argue that when the gun sounds, the official clock begins, no matter where you are in relation to the starting line—even if you’re still in the Porta-Potty!

Tague places 15th at Nationals

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photo of Steve Tague as a cyclist

OK, so headlines can be deceiving.

Even so, on August 6th Newark’s CRR Steve Tague placed 15th among his 158 age-group (60-64) competitors in the Olympic-distance triathlon at the U.S. Triathlon Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That’s top ten percent!

The second of four Delaware finishers, Tague completed the .75K-swim, 40K-bike, 10K-run event in 2:23:43, placing 460th out of 2,737 overall and 360th among 1,521 men.

Tague’s swim time was 23:57, his bike time was 1:06:53, and his run time was 49:04. Transitions in between each were 2:28 and 1:21, respectively.

Having improved three positions from his 18th place in his previous attempt at nationals, he is confident that he can do better next year.

Congratulations!