On December 31st, we renewed a yearly Creek Road Runners tradition that we had to pull the plug on in 2020. Sixteen participants and two dogs showed up to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. We managed to get a decent group shot and keep a reasonable social distance.
On Sunday, Oct. 24, the Pike Creek Valley Running Club continued a long-standing tradition by putting on its signature 15K Delaware Distance Classic (DDC) event. Three Creek Road Runners ran in the 15K.
CRR Bill Rose finished the 9.3-mile course emanating from the Wilmington Riverfront in 1:07:14, coming in 42nd overall out of 141 runners and placing third among the 60-64 men, only a minute behind area standout and age-group peer Greg Cauller.
Taking second place among the 70-74s was 70-year-old CRR Doug Repetti, who completed the course in 1:22:06, placing 83rd overall.
In a rare local race appearance, triathlete CRR Bob Opila finished 95th in 1:26:00.
Pictured here sporting his circa 1990s CRR team shirt during the 5K DDC race is CRR Jim Bray, a former Delaware high school mile-record holder. He finished 29th overall and 2nd in the 60-69 age group in 31:43, demonstrating that he can still have some fun racing, even though he’s lost a little speed since high school (who hasn’t?).
On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the University of Delaware held its annual Blue Hens Homecoming 5K. Several Creek Road Runners took advantage of this local race, which is a parking-lot-and-dirt-path course on the Ag & Athletics campus.
Winning the race was 41-year-old CRR Andrew Weber, the younger of our fast-Webers duo, in 17:37. He had competition from another runner in his age group but won by a comfortable 15 seconds. Coming in third overall and taking first in the 20-29 age group was CRR Luke Nigro with a time of 18:14. Placing 12th overall and winning the 60-69 age group was 60-year-old CRR Bruce Weber. The elder Weber’s finishing time of 19:45 gave him an age-grade score of 80.3, which is considered “national class.” Congratulations to these three standouts.
Creek Road Runners took all three places in the men’s 60-69s. Placing second in that age group was CRR Bill Rose, who finished 18th overall in 21:03. Triathlete CRR Steve Tague placed 3rd among his age-group peers and 29th overall in 22:06.
Our lone female competitor was CRR Flora Poindexter, who finished second among the 60-69s (strong age group!) in 34:22.
Other Creek Road Runners finishers included CRR Dave Schultz (24:19), CRR Joe Dombroski (28:43), and CRR Shawn Alexander (29:06).
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.
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.
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.
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!
The 2020 pandemic Olympic Games came to a close on August 8, 2021. Now we can look forward to the 2024 games in just three years!
For many, the extra year of training and preparation for these games was a hindrance; for others, it was a blessing in disguise. There were certainly a lot of surprises along the way. It seems the rest of the world is catching up with the USA in many sports.
In particular, the men’s track and field team, with a few notable exceptions, did not have the broad success that most of us expected. The USA women’s T&F team performed better, relative to their competition.
Champion gymnast Simone Biles brought a stark new awareness of the mental aspect of this level of competition, dropping out of the gymnastics team competition and a few of her individual-specialty apparatus events due to her unreadiness mentally.
How difficult, both physically and mentally, it is just to get to the Olympic stage was highlighted in a pre-Olympics article in the New York Times, which focused on this subject and featured CRR Sam Parsons.
Parsons, who trains with Colo.-based Tinman Elite and was competing for a spot on the German national team in the 5,000m (his mother CRR Christina Parsons is German), had been battling a nagging injury leading up to the German trials. Unfortunately, with little more than a lap left in his quest to qualify, he had to pull out of the race—his Olympic dream deferred.
The good news, father CRR George Parsons tell us, is that his son is recovering well physically and is staying positive, despite the disappointment.
> See New York Times article
Another almost-made-it was Michaela Meyer, who won the NCAAs this year but finished fourth at the Olympic trials. Meyer was a former UD student of CRR Bill Rose.
Yes, the world does seem to be catching up to the USA in many respects. Could this be the natural evolution of globalism, or is there something behind this?
We’d like to think that the efforts of (self-proclaimed Creek Road Runners CEO) CRR Matt Robinson are making a difference for other nations that may not have the coaching expertise that we enjoy in this country. He literally coaches Olympic coaches.
This effort is funded by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Fund, which designates money generated from Olympic broadcast rights to sport development and education programs around the world.
In the runup to the Olympic Games this summer, Robinson was interviewed by a University of Delaware UDaily reporter for the following article.
> Read “Going for Gold”