Posts tagged New Bedford Half Marathon

A Grand Prix Update

With two of seven races behind us in the USATF-NE Grand Prix Road Racing series – the Jones 10 Miler and New Bedford Half Marathon – where do we stand?

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Exclusive Interview: New Bedford’s USATF-NE Champions

An update on our USATF-NE Grand Prix Road Racing series is coming soon. In the meantime, we caught up with the USATF-NE winners of our most recent Grand Prix race, the New Bedford Half Marathon: Ruben Sanca of the Whirlaway Racing Team and Andrea Walkonen, currently unattached.

Hear what they had to say about their latest wins, current training and what the future holds for each in the world of racing.

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New Bedford Half Marathon in Photos

More than 2,800 runners came out this past Sunday for the 37th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon, which is also the second race in our Road Racing Grand Prix series.

A few photographers were on-site to capture the race for us — check out the race photos by Thomas ColeKrissy Kozlosky and Scott Mason.

If you come across any additional photo albums that we missed, feel free to link to them in the comments section on Facebook – thanks!

Ruben Sanca (left) and Nick Karwoski, both of Whirlaway Racing Team (Photo Credit: Krissy Kozlosky)

(L-R) Ruben Sanca and Nick Karwoski, both of Whirlaway Racing Team, placed first & second respectively in the New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday   (Photo Credit: Krissy Kozlosky)

 

 

Your Grand Prix Leaders

As we approach the second race in our Road Racing Grand Prix series this weekend — the New Bedford Half Marathon — we have two individuals leading the overall series.

The first and only race so far, the Jones 10 Miler, took place late last month in Amherst, MA. The challenging, hilly course didn’t stop Eric Ashe and Erica Jesseman from taking the top spots for the open male and female USATF-NE competitors. As your current Grand Prix leaders, we wanted to hear a little bit from these two local athletes about what it took to take the titles, and where we can expect to see them throughout the year.

 

Eric Ashe, B.A.A. — Male Open USATF-NE Grand Prix Leader

Eric Ashe (left), following the Jones 10 Miler - Photo Credit: Tom Derderian

Eric Ashe (left), following the Jones 10 Miler – Photo Credit: Tom Derderian

Eric chose to compete in the Jones 10 Miler because it’s part of the Grand Prix series and he wanted to score points for his team, the B.A.A. He also knew there would be some solid competition, and it would serve as a good preparation for the upcoming Boston Marathon he’s currently training for.

“I used the race as a good workout for Boston,” Eric said, noting he did a  longer warm-up than usual (6 miles) and went right into a 4 mile cool down to get his mileage in. “It was definitely a good indicator of how training is going, as my legs weren’t too beat up after the race,” he said.

It’s the first time Eric is really focusing on the marathon and he reports that his training is going very well. He says he’s in the best aerobic shape he’s ever been, which clearly showed in his last race, where he completed the 10 mile course in 50:43 —  that’s 5:04 per mile pace, and overall 7 seconds faster than second place finisher Ruben Sanca of the Whirlaway Racing Team.

We can expect to see Eric on the starting line at the New Bedford Half Marathon, where he plans to approach the race in the same manner as the first Grand Prix race, which is to go for the win but also use it as a workout for Boston. Looking ahead to April, Eric says: “I’m excited for what is to come at Boston as long as I can teach my body to hold up for 26.2 miles, and if I can stay healthy and consistent.”

For more on Eric’s training and racing, check out his NPR blog and this recent feature article on him at the same media outlet. Considering his early Grand Prix lead, it appears Eric may be the one to beat in the 2014 series.

 

Erica Jesseman, Dirigo Running Club – Female Open USATF-NE Grand Prix Leader

Erica Jesseman, post-race in Amerhst, MA - Photo Credit: Tom Derderian

Erica Jesseman, post-race in Amerhst, MA – Photo Credit: Tom Derderian

Erica joined the Dirigo Running Club in the summer of 2011 after graduating from the University of New Hampshire, attracted to the club’s fun and laid back environment — and living in Maine, it was most convenient for her too. For the Jones 10 Miler race, Erica had a similar approach as Eric, envisioning it as a great workout. She was most excited to compete with her Dirigo teammates Sheri Piers and Kristin Barry, who are Erica’s main training partners and mentors. Also training for Boston, she knew this race would serve as a nice preparation.

Her approach was to go out comfortably and controlled. “I knew I needed to run my own race; I didn’t focus on anyone but myself and my paces,” she said.  Her approach obviously was the right one, as she came into the finish at 59:33, which is 5:58 per mile pace.

Leading up to the race, Erica had been training through a tough winter like many of us, after suffering from IT Band Syndrome in the fall. Despite the conditions and bouncing back from the injury, she’s managed to hit 80-90 miles per week, many of them on the treadmill and hilly long runs outside on the weekends. “I haven’t been hitting my highest mileage during this marathon training cycle,” Erica noted, “it’s been more quality over quantity.”

Where else can we expect to see Erica in race results? Next on the calendar is the New Bedford Half Marathon, and in April she’ll be lining up for the Boston Marathon.

 

Congratulations to both Eric and Erica on their early leads in the USATF-NE Grand Prix series. Stay tuned for Sunday’s race results in New Bedford, to see how they fare as they look to continue their winning streaks while training for the Boston Marathon.

Sarah’s Streak – Going for her 100th Consecutive Grand Prix Race

Photo Credit: Scott Mason

Photo Credit: Scott Mason

The 37th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon on March 16th marks the second race in the USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix series. But for Whirlaway‘s Sarah Prescott, the race signifies much more. In fact, once she crosses the finish line, she will have completed her 100th consecutive USATF-NE Grand Prix race.

A runner since 1978, Sarah started entering Grand Prix races in 2000 when the club team she was a member of participated in the team competition. Motivated by seeing her name in the standings, she never looked back. Throughout this time, not only has she been a consistent name in our race standings, but she’s even found her way to the top of the results page many times too. She placed sixth last year in the series for the women’s 45-49 year old age group, and finished fourth the year prior.

Showcasing her range, in 2013, Sarah ran 36:11 for the 5 miler, 1:36:14 for the half marathon and 3:53:49 for the marathon. Considering the variety of distances included in the Grand Prix, Sarah’s training must prepare her for all sorts of races. This is why she has tailored her training based on the Grand Prix race schedule each year.

In addition to the series typically offering some races in her neck of the woods in New Hampshire, Sarah also says the Grand Prix boasts a good combination of distances and locations, while fostering camaraderie and team competition, which she enjoys with the Whirlaway Racing team.  While there are no official rankings for her streak, she says “Looking at available stats, next behind me is Christopher Chetsas (a fellow Goon Squad founder) with his streak of 6 consecutive Ironrunner years. My streak has been 14 consecutive Ironrunner years, plus one race in 2014.”  

So what’s next for Sarah? “Just keep running!” she says.  “I’ve done more than I ever imagined being able to do and feel incredibly fortunate for all the wonderful people I’ve become friends with… how could I ask for anything more?”

Reflecting on her favorite Grand Prix moments, Sarah adds: “There are so many wonderful memories, it would take a story itself!  Cape Cod Marathon was always extra special, first time I qualified for Boston Marathon and some really fun post-race parties.”

We would like to extend our congratulations to Sarah for her dedication to and successes in the USATF-NE Grand Prix series, and wish her continued success, especially at the upcoming New Bedford Half Marathon!

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