Posts tagged Road Racing

Ruben Sanca’s Take on the 2014 Grand Prix

Yesterday, we heard from the USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix series female open winner Denise Sandahl of Millennium Running. Today, Whirlaway’s Ruben Sanca shares with us his thoughts on the 2014 series and the role it serves in his overall racing goals.

After joining the Whirlaway Racing Team, Sanca says he developed a new approach on how to meticulously plan his racing schedule so that both his team and individual goals were maximized. “Thankfully, the Grand Prix bid selection committee did a great job in creating opportunities for mutual success,” he said.

While he sat out the 5 miler to recover from a shin injury and decided to opt out of the marathon as he was training for the Twin Cities Marathon instead, looking back at the Grand Prix races he competed in, Sanca reports that “By far, the New Bedford Half Marathon has been my favorite race on the circuit. Dan McCarthy and his staff have done an outstanding job of embedding the race into the culture of the city of New Bedford. From organizational and logistical standpoints, there are very few or almost no noticeable hiccups. Crowd support is amazing and even the city mayor is involved. The welcoming atmosphere in New Bedford is like no other I have seen in local New England races. From year to year, the race is consistently well organized and I personally make a note to run it every year.”

Photo Credit: Jimmy Shelton of Greater Lowell RR

Photo Credit: Jimmy Shelton of Greater Lowell RR

Throughout the series, Sanca says that he was challenged by various teams and individuals. However, the orange singlets from Team RUN kept him on his toes, as he learned to stay mentally composed to confront the unpredictability of that team’s athletes.  And while he hasn’t formalized his 2015 racing plans just yet, the Whirlaway athlete looks forward to seeing the 2015 Grand Prix series, hoping to populate his racing calendar with most of its events, as he states “the blend in race distances creates an intriguing year of racing for any athlete.”

Not too far from taking the open male team title in this year’s series (finishing a close third), Sanca says that Whirlaway is certainly looking to be an improved team and in contention again for the overall title in 2015. Sanca personally looks to maximize his performance in each Grand Prix race next year, even if it means getting an extra point for the team. While he will be racing all distances, his eye is on attaining the Olympic “B” standard in the marathon.

 

* Thank you, Ruben, for participating in the Grand Prix series and sharing your feedback. Best of luck as you work toward your 2015 racing goals!

 

 

And the USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix Winners Are…

The USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix series came to a close in New Hampshire at the City of Manchester Marathon on November

Sandahl (left) picture with her Millennium Running teammates at the Ribfest 5 Miler after she and her team took the individual & team titles in the USATF-NE championship race.

Denise Sandahl (left) pictured with her Millennium Running teammates at the Ribfest 5 Miler after she and her team took the individual & team titles in the USATF-NE championship race.

2. When the points were tallied at the culmination of the seven race series – which included a 10 miler, half marathon, 5 miler, 5k, 15k, 10k and marathon – it was Millennium Running’s Denise Sandahl and Whirlaway’s Ruben Sanca who came out on the top as the overall open winners.

The first-time series winners both competed in five of the seven races – Sandahl coming in 16 points ahead of teammate Jennifer Mortimer and Sanca, beating out second place runner Dan Vassallo of CMS by 18 points. To learn more about their journeys to success and future racing plans, we chatted with the Grand Prix champions.

Today, we’ll hear from the women’s champion. Stay tuned for our interview with the men’s champion tomorrow.

Flashing back to the beginning of the year, Sandahl didn’t think she had a chance to be competitive in the Grand Prix series. It wasn’t until after winning the Ribfest 5 miler that she realized capturing the individual title might be a possibility. And she was right.

While illness and a scheduling conflict prevented her from competing in the entire series, Sandahl says of her five Grand Prix performances, the Ribfest 5 miler was her favorite – where her team took all three podium spots. With Millennial Running managing the event, it was a good feeling for Sandahl and her team to win at home.

Not only did she take the overall series title from an individual perspective, but her team accomplished its goal of winning the open team championship as well. Millennium managed to field teams for six of the seven races, despite being a small team, beating out Whirlaway by nine points. A major contributing factor to their team success, Sandahl says is that many of the women train together regularly and worked with each other during the races.

Sandahl added that it was her own teammates who tended to give her the most competition throughout the series – perhaps leading to their success this year. Looking ahead to 2015, Sandahl says she and her team plan to compete in the Grand Prix series again, looking for the same success.

She also plans to race the Boston Marathon next April. “In my wildest dream, I hope to qualify for the trials,” she said. “A marathon PR is a more realistic goal. As for team goals, In hope to contribute to our continued success.”

Lastly, Sandahl noted, “I’d like to add how grateful I am to my family (especially my husband, Adam, and sons, Caleb and Ian), team and friends for all the support they provide.”

 

* We’d like to thank Denise for taking the time to share her story with us, and we wish her and Millennium Running the best of luck in future races. 

Next Stop in the Road Racing Grand Prix: GMAA Labor Day 15k

Four races down and three to go in the USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix series. Next up: the Green Mountain Athletic Association (GMAA) Labor Day 15k on August 31 at 9 am in South Burlington, VT. And if you’re not on this list, it means you haven’t registered yet. Online registration closes on August 29 and race day registration will be held at South Burlington High School between 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. 

 

Need to know a little more about the race? First, it’s a USATF-NE Grand Prix championship, as mentioned. Teams and individuals looking to maintain or move up in the standings only have a few opportunities to do so, and this is one of them. For reference, the Grand Prix team leaders are currently:

  • Men’s open team: Western Mass Distance Project
  • Men’s 40+ team: Central Mass Striders
  • Men’s 50+ team: Whirlaway Racing Team
  • Men’s 60+ team: Greater Lowell Road Runners
  • Men’s 70+ team: Gate City Striders
  • Women’s open team: Millennium Running
  • Women’s 40+ team: Whirlaway Racing Team
  • Women’s 50+ team: Whirlaway Racing Team
  • Women’s 60+ team: Gate City Striders

Individual open leaders are Whirlaway’s Ruben Sanca and GBTC’s Nicole Casey. However, the standings across the board are close, with leaders only ahead by a point or two.

For added incentive to trek up to the Green Mountain state, keep in mind the $3,400 available in cash prizes. Here is the break-down of team, individual and age group awards.

Lastly, if you’d like a course description before departing for the race this weekend, Level Renner published a detailed preview of the 15k course that offers views of the Green Mountains, Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.

Will we see you there?

USATF-NE Athlete Q&A: Jeff Veiga

Team RUN’s Jeff Veiga was the winner of the third race in our Road Racing Grand Prix series, the An Ras Mor 5k on March 30 with a time of 14:39. The recent UMass Lowell graduate has been hitting some impressive times post-graduation, even after considering “hanging up the spikes” this past fall due to some nagging injuries. How has he managed to continue this success?

Learn about his strategy and international racing goals in our exclusive Q&A with Jeff.

 

Q: What was your strategy for the An Ras Mor 5k? Walk us through your race.

Photo Credit: Scott Mason

Photo Credit: Scott Mason

JV: Going into the race I didn’t really know much about the course. I hadn’t run it or even had a chance to look at a map. Strategy wise, I was just planning to go out with the lead group and hang on as long as I could because I hadn’t really tested myself beforehand and didn’t have the best idea where I was with my fitness.  But once the race started, I felt good so I just tucked in behind the lead group and tried to stay as relaxed as possible.

From early on, the lead group of Nick, Ruben (both of the Whirlaway Racing Team) and myself separated from the rest of the field. I believe shortly after 1.5 miles, Ruben and I started to pull away from Nick. After that, the two of us just went back and forth a few times until right before the 3 mile mark, where I threw in a surge to pull slightly ahead and then kick it in towards the finish line.

Q: How did you feel about your race result? (We’re impressed). How did it match up to your expectations?

JV: I didn’t really expect much going into the race. I thought I would definitely come away with a top five finish and maybe crack the top three if I was lucky. So to come away with the win and a good time I was definitely happy and surprised.

Q: Why did you decide to compete in the An Ras Mor 5k and can we expect to see you at any of the other upcoming Grand Prix series races?

JV:I decided to run the An Ras Mor 5k because it was part of the USATF-NE Grand Prix series and I wanted to represent Team RUN, as we had a chance to place very well in the team standings – which we did with a third place finish.

I do plan to compete in more of the Grand Prix races as long as they fit into my racing schedule, which is mainly targeted at running a fast 5K and possibly a 10k on the track.

Q: What is your training like right now – and is there anything in particular you’re training for?

JV: My training is going very well right now. I was hurt throughout the entire fall season and strongly considered hanging up the spikes if I couldn’t get healthy by the end of January. But after a few visits with Dr. John Donovan of Advantage Chiropractic, I was healthy again and running pain-free.  Since then, I have been steadily increasing my mileage, in hopes of continuing my career and competing at a high level.  Right now I am running about 95 miles per week, with one long run, one long workout and a little bit of speed here and there.

Having recently received my Portuguese citizenship, I am currently training to hopefully compete in and place well at the Portuguese National Champions in Lisbon, Portugal on July 26 and 27.

Q: Lastly, we know you’re a member of Team RUN. Tell us what it’s like being on the team and what aspects of the team compelled you to join?

JV: I’ve been a member of Team RUN for almost a year now. It’s really fun and we have a great group of guys, some which I actually train with on a regular basis – and we are all well supported by our sponsor Marx Running & Fitness in Acton, MA.  I had been working with the team’s coach Mark Coddaire, as he’s also the owner of the Marx Running & Fitness store, so I knew about the team and everything associated with it. It just seemed like the best fit for me at the time, and I feel like I definitely made a good choice.


*Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to share his story with us. We wish him continued success on all levels – from local to international! 

USATF-NE Announces All Terrain Runner Series

Today, USA Track & Field New England has announced All Terrain Runner (ATR), a new official series comprising races of varying distances, seasons and surfaces.  The series kicks off just next month on May 4 with a 10k trail race, before competitors race on the track, mountains and roads, closing with a cross country event in the fall.

USATF-NE President Tom Derderian described the idea behind the series, explaining that “Some runners race best on the track, some on the roads, some up mountains and over trails, and others on broad cross country courses. You know how you rank in the discipline you race in, but how do you rank if you combine all of these?  This is the running version of the decathlon.”

The complete 2014 ATR series includes:

  • May 4 – Trail: Sleepy Hollow 10k
  • May 5-July 20 – Outdoor Track: 5000 meters   *(USATF-NE members can submit their own result from any 5000 meter race run in a USATF sanctioned meet through our web form during this time frame. A competitor may complete several outdoor 5000 meter races; however only the fastest time will count in the final scoring.)
  • July 6 – Mountain: Loon Mountain
  • September 14 – Road: Lone Gull 10k
  • November 9  – Cross Country: USATF-NE New England Championships

With the Sleepy Hollow 10k just a couple of weeks away, those interested in participating in the ATR series can register for the first race here. Competitors can register on race-day; however the entry fee increases from $15 to $25 after May 2, and registration will close when the maximum capacity of 250 racers is reached.

With no team scoring component, the series offers scoring and prizes for individuals only. There will be a total of $5,000 available in awards. The prize structure, awarding monetary rewards to the top five male and female finishers, is as follows:

  • First – $1,000
  • Second – $500
  • Third – $250
  • Fourth – $100
  • Fifth – $50

Cash prizes will also be awarded to age group winners in the following age divisions: 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69. To be considered for a place in the final standings, competitors must complete four out of the five races, and participants who complete all five events will receive a special series t-shirt.

More details on the ATR series, including a formal landing page, are coming soon.

 

An Ras Mor 5K (2014 GP Race #3)

An Ras Mor 5K – March 30, 2014 – Grand Prix Race #3

Plc  Name                  ClubName               BGunTime  SAge DvPlPtsNEMChipTime AG %    AGPl Bib   Town
1    Jeffrey Veiga         Team RUN                14:39    M23  1   10 Y  14:39    88.05%  13   3     LOWELL MA
2    Ruben Sanca           Whirlaway Racing Team   14:40    M27  2   9  Y  14:40    87.96%  14   12    LOWELL MA
3    Nick Karwoski         Whirlaway Racing Team   14:53    M25  3   8  Y  14:53    86.67%  18   943   DERRY NH
4    Andrea Sorgato        NB Boston               15:12    M32  4   7  Y  15:12    85.82%  24   936   DORCHESTER CENTER MA
5    Brad Mish             BAA                     15:13    M26  5   6  Y  15:12    84.87%  34   839   DORCHESTER MA
6    Jonathan Charlesworth Greater Boston TC       15:14    M29  6   5  Y  15:13    84.92%  33   937   DORCHESTER MA
7    Nathaniel Jenkins     Central Mass Striders   15:19    M33  7   4  Y  15:17    85.58%  26   971   NORTH ANDOVER MA
8    Ryan Irwin            Greater Boston TC       15:21    M29  8   3  Y  15:20    84.33%  38   512   NEWTON MA
9    Christopher Kibler    Greater Boston TC       15:23    M24  9   2  Y  15:23    83.86%  47   530   TOWNSEND MA
10   Ethan Brown           Team RUN                15:24    M28  10  1  Y  15:23    83.92%  46   854   LOWELL MA
11   Ryan Gough            Greater Lowell RR       15:25    M30  11     Y  15:24    84.01%  43   506   LOWELL MA
12   Jonathan Joyce        Western Mass Dist Proj  15:25    M23  12     Y  15:23    83.86%  47   906   NORTHAMPTON MA
13   Justin Freeman        Team RUN                15:28    M37  13     Y  15:28    86.53%  20   853   NEW HAMPTON NH
14   Scott McGrath         Whirlaway Racing Team   15:29    M27  14     Y  15:27    83.50%  51   701   ANDOVER MA
15   Mike Galoob           UNATTACHED              15:31    M40  1   10 Y  15:31    88.06%  12   598   PEACE DALE RI
16   David Wilson          UNATTACHED              15:37    M23  15     Y  15:36    82.69%  61   590   BROOKLINE MA
17   Daniel Lewis          Greater Boston TC       15:37    M22  16     Y  15:36    82.70%  59   487   CAMBRIDGE MA
18   David Metzger         Greater Boston TC       15:38    M27  17     Y  15:36    82.70%  60   642   MEDFORD MA
19   Michael Carlone       Greater Boston TC       15:42    M22  18     Y  15:41    82.27%  68   542   WALTHAM MA
20   Scott Vander Molen    Western Mass Dist Proj  15:42    M25  19     Y  15:41    82.25%  69   795   MEDFORD MA
21   Eric Mendoza          Greater Boston TC       15:43    M29  20     Y  15:41    82.43%  66   531   DORCHESTER MA
22   Morgan Kennedy        Central Mass Striders   15:46    M26  21     Y  15:43    82.08%  71   477   GRAFTON MA
23   Christopher Magill    BAA                     15:48    M41  2   9  Y  15:48    87.24%  16   4     CUMBERLAND RI
24   Brandon Newbould      Whirlaway Racing Team   15:49    M32  22     Y  15:47    82.54%  64   661   NOTTINGHAM NH
25   Teddy Farley          UNATTACHED              15:50    M22  23     Y  15:48    81.66%  75   252   ACTON MA
26   Louis Saviano         Millennium Running      15:52    M23  24     Y  15:51    81.39%  82   682   SANDOWN NH
27   Stephen Gendron       Greater Lowell RR       15:53    M26  25     Y  15:51    81.39%  82   623   LOWELL MA
28   Caleb Evanter         Greater Boston TC       15:54    M26  26     Y  15:52    81.30%  85   793   DORCHESTER CENTER MA
29   Jesse Regnier         Western Mass Dist Proj  15:55    M26  27     Y  15:54    81.13%  88   907   NORTHAMPTON MA
30   Jason Ayr             Western Mass Dist Proj  15:59    M26  28     Y  15:57    80.88%  92   903   NORTHAMPTON MA
31   Scott Leslie          Central Mass Striders   15:59    M32  29     Y  15:58    81.66%  76   479   RUTLAND MA
32   Andrew Downey         Greater Lowell RR       16:06    M29  30     Y  16:05    80.39%  98   455   LOWELL MA
33   Scott Burger          Greater Boston TC       16:07    M23  31     Y  16:05    80.21%  104  222   WORCESTER MA
34   Kent Lemme            Gr Springfield Harriers 16:08    M47  1   10 Y  16:06    89.73%  9    311   WILLIAMSTOWN MA
35   Sonny Gamble          Western Mass Dist Proj  16:09    M26  32     Y  16:07    80.04%  111  970   Carlisle MA
36   Robert Espinosa       Greater Boston TC       16:09    M29  33     Y  16:07    80.22%  103  514   BROOKLINE MA
37   Benjamin Coughlin     Team RUN                16:09    M24  34     Y  16:07    80.04%  111  892   WORCESTER MA
38   Eric Williams         Whirlaway Racing Team   16:11    M49  2   9  Y  16:09    90.87%  7    683   CONCORD NH
39   Greg Putnam           Central Mass Striders   16:12    M44  3   8  Y  16:11    87.21%  17   481   STONEHAM MA
40   Gregory Picklesimer   Somerville Road Runners 16:13    M47  3   8  Y  16:12    89.40%  10   8     NEWTON MA
41   Hombo Lucian          Team RUN                16:18    M34  35     Y  16:18    80.48%  97   891   LOWELL MA
42   Brian Keefe           Somerville Road Runners 16:19    M24  36     Y  16:16    79.30%  124  120   MEDFORD MA
43   Samuel Fazioli        Whirlaway Racing Team   16:20    M22  37     Y  16:19    79.09%  128  670   SALEM NH
44   Bryan Mahoney         Community Running Assoc 16:22    M31  38     Y  16:19    79.46%  121  28    SOMERVILLE MA
45   Kevin Alliette        Whirlaway Racing Team   16:24    M32  39     Y  16:23    79.60%  118  739   METHUEN MA
46   Colby Chrusciel       Central Mass Striders   16:25    M21  40     Y  16:21    79.01%  130  478   TEMPLETON MA
47   Peter Omae            Team RUN                16:27    M35  41     Y  16:27    80.60%  95   890   LOWELL MA
48   Jason Garrity         Greater Boston TC       16:28    M27  42     Y  16:26    78.50%  139  930   TOPSFIELD MA
49   Steve Dowsett         Whirlaway Racing Team   16:29    M26  43     Y  16:28    78.34%  143  663   NEWBURYPORT MA
50   Alan Bernier          Central Mass Striders   16:30    M39  44     Y  16:25    82.92%  58   578   BRAINTREE MA
 (more…)

An Ras Mor 5k Photos

Today marked the third race in our Grand Prix series. Photos of the rainy but very competitive An Ras Mor 5k in Cambridge, organized by the Somerville Road Runners, can be found in albums by Scott Mason and Thomas Cole.

Come across any other photos from the race? Feel free to link to them in the comments section on Facebook. Thanks!

Photo Credit: Thomas Cole

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.

(more…)

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)

 

 

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