OK, it looks like at least one Creek Road Runner has been itching to get out and compete in real organized races with physical participants.
Despite some nasty conditions, CRR Doug Repetti got out this month and won his age group in two 5Ks.
Repetti competed on Feb. 7 in the Touchdown 5K in Glasgow, Del., even though it was snowing and the flat course was snow-covered and slushy. He won the 70-79 age group in 29:45 (without falling once on the slippery surface) and finished 31st overall.
Less than a week later, on Feb. 13, he drove to Delaware Indian River Park near Bethany Beach to run the Surfin’ Snowman 5K, which included out-and-back lengths of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. Even though it was raining and very windy, Repetti finished 28th overall in 26:43, taking the very senior 70-and-older age group.
Well done, Doug. Hope you have better weather for your next 5K.
In an exclusive article published in the News Journal this week about the most influential Delawareans in seven categories, CRR Charlie Riordan was one of the 15 individuals highlighted as being most influential in science and technology.
Not just a runner, Riordan, who joined the University of Delaware faculty in 1997, “oversees the university’s research office, six university-wide research institutes, and ‘core’ facilities.” Under his leadership, “more than 1,500 faculty, staff, and students have been approved to return to their research work since early June. Riordan is an internationally renowned inorganic chemist” (and all-around nice guy).
Creek Road Runners congratulate him on this recognition.
For CRR Jim Fischer, it can seem like a bit of a redemption story, though not of his own choosing.
You see, Fischer had coached the University of Delaware’s DI men’s cross-country and track-and-field teams for three decades in his previous coaching life. That came to a gut-wrenching end in 2011, as UD erased its men’s running program over the course of three years while he was at the helm. Something about Title IX, despite all the good he was doing for the young athletes, most of whom happened to be great students as well.
“It really hurt me,” Fischer admitted. “It was not only that that’s what I loved. It was also that it wasn’t a valued program to [the UD administration], and that hurt even worse.”
Well, after having had his job eliminated at UD, Fischer took positions with Delaware Technical & Community College and then Sanford School, respectively, before getting an opportunity with the Ursuline Academy—an all-girls’ school most famous for having produced WNBA superstar Elena DelleDonne. In the five years Coach Fischer has been at Ursuline, the school has won the past three girls Division II state cross-country titles, displacing the perennial juggernaut Tatnall School. Prior to his arrival, Ursuline hadn’t won that coveted state title since 1998.
Now, Coach Fischer has been honored as the 2020 Delaware Coach of the Year for these latest accomplishments, just another in a series of awards for one who is already a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Minnesota, Coach Fischer has been a Creek Road Runner, as well as a member of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club, since coming on the scene in Delaware back in the ’80s. He has always been an advocate for running and racing and has for decades now been holding community workouts on Tuesday nights, helping runners of all abilities to improve and/or meet their goals.
Hearty congratulations, Coach, from Creek Road Runners!
Two other runners, CRR Bill Rose and his daughter Ally also made it out to Fair Hill yesterday to help close out 2020 by running the “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New” 4.67-mile trail loop.
The elder Rose had done ten of these annual runs from 2006 to 2019. This was his 11th. This was Ally Rose’s fourth, having participated in 2015, 2017, and 2018. She missed the run last year because she was on a plane to China. Fortunately, she was back this year and really wanted to run it again, if for no other reason than to keep her dad honest!
They wondered if they would see other CRRs while there. They didn’t, so, in essence, it became great father-daughter time—finishing stats unimportant.
“We thought we would be running in the rain, but the rain ended just before we started,” Bill commented. “With no rain and no wind, we were overdressed for the 46-degree temperture. The uphills on this course get bigger every year. We had a very nice run, even though there were no doughnuts or sparkling cider at the finish. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!”
Rose plans to organize the 2021 run, to include the doughnuts and bubbly.
The novel coronavirus has certainly changed the behavioral landscape in 2020, particularly in terms of event cancellation. The Creek Road Runners annual trail run, traditionally held on Dec. 31, was no exception.
Not to be completely deterred, however, was CRR Mark Deshon, who, along with four other “millennium men,” began this holiday tradition in 1999. In an effort to exercise (or is it exorcise?) away the effect of all the holiday food that is ever-present and so tempting while sheltering in place, he decided to make good on the last decent-weather day of the year (Dec. 30) by engaging in a duathlon pilgrimage, biking to and from the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area and running the course.
The 4.1-mile bike—4.67-mile run—4.1-mile bike effort was both a challenge and a good way to close out what had been a great year of training for Deshon. With some transition time in between, mostly to change gloves and headgear, his times were 17:52, 40:26, and 15:35, respectively.
The wind from the southwest was substantial, accounting for the big time difference on the bike, while the “monster” of New Muenster hill gradually slowed him to a survival jog.
Deshon missed the company of triathlete and CRR Steve Tague, with whom he had been bike training since May. Tague was also trying to take advantage of the good weather by finishing a deck-building project.
Another year, another trail run in the book, and another year of “wringing out the old.” And, yes, the old was completely wrung out in 2020. Time to ring in the new!
For a sample chronicling of past years’ events, check out the following: