In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer — Albert Camus
The long winter/spring season featured a diverse mix of kiwis racing short and long courses on the road, indoor, and outdoor track. A number of PRs were lowered by athletes not afraid of going to the well, taking out a shovel, and digging that well even further. Chronological results and recap below:
Frosty's Frozen Five Mile - 1/26/19 - David P (28:36, 2nd place)
David kicked off the wintry season with a solid tempo effort at Frosty's (not the Wendy's kind) Frozen Five Mile.
Colorado Invitational 5k - 2/2/19:
Garret 15:56 24th
Mike 16:18 29th
David P 16:40 36th
Following tradition, a trio of kiwis made their way to Boulder to race the 5k at the inaugural indoor track meet. With dreams of sub 16, Garret accomplished this goal, with Mike and David holding on as long as they could.
Mountain Lion Invite - 2/9/19:
Mike 4:46 17th (Mile)
Mike 9:54 13th (3k)
In preparation for the legendary Illinois Club Relays, birthday boy Mike did the Daily Double, wagering all his points. His mile was right on goal pace, but like a car stuck at the bottom of a canyon, he simply ran out of gas in the 3k. Official reports from kiwis present confirm that this brand new indoor track facility was solid, but were unable to comment on the led pacing system (https://twitter.com/UCCSTRACK/status/1061459710291861504)
Snowman Stampede Half Marathon - 2/23/19 - Garret (1:18:13, 1st place)
Despite snowy/icy conditions along his favorite Mary Carter Greenway, Garret "took the bull by the horns" and won the half marathon, crushing the nearest competitor by over 4 minutes. His prize was a full-sized snowman, which promptly melted from the strong Colorado sun.
Illinois Club Relays - 2/23/19:
Mike 8:55 13th (3k) PR, Club Record
Mike 4:41 35th (Mile)
In what would be his magnum opus of the season, Mike took on the daily double once again. This time however, he was able to come away with a big unexpected PR & club record, but still performed like the car in the canyon in his second race of the day. He was later quoted as saying, "I just ran the 3k like a marathon."
Carthage Final Qualifier 5k - 3/1/19 - Mike (15:53, 1st place, Club Record)
Wrapping up his Midwest tour, Mike made his way north of the (IL-WI) border to Carthage College, trying to take down that 9 year old PR of 15:32. A foolish takeover of the pace after 1200 meters propelled him to the front, back on pace, but this move would prove too aggressive. Despite this, he was able to establish a new club record for the indoor 5k.
Atlanta Olympic Trials Marathon Course Preview 8.2 Miler - 3/2/19 - Brett (44:14, 38th place)
Friend of Old Zealand Brett Lustgarten (sporting his new Rabbit-branded OZAC jersey) took on the hills of Atlanta as part of his prep for the 2020 Olympic Trials. He was quoted as saying, "It's super hilly. Just constant up and down with no flat stretches."
Jerry Quiller Classic 3k - 3/16/19:
Chaz Davis 9:20 9th
Chris Christoff 9:36 11th
Returning to the track for the first time in over a year, Chaz and Chris ran smart races, building throughout and maintaining good form. Despite the high level of security at this near-IAAF Platinum level track meet at CU-Boulder, fans were still able to enjoy the race and cheer on competitors.
Runnin' of the Green 7k - 3/17/19:
Garrett Lee 23:28 1st
Matt Chu 25:24 14th
Daniel Holligan 25:55 20th
Packing on a mini long run prior to the race, Garret once again used his tactic involving bulls and horns to dominate this scarcely raced 7k distance. Relative newcomers to the group Chu and Dan put in solid efforts to crack the 26 minute barrier.
Kit Mayer Invite 10k - 4/13/19 - Henry (34:36, 18th place, PR)
In his last hard effort before the "hometown glory" marathon in Chambana, IL, Henry took to the Golden track at Mines. By strict order of coach David, Henry stuck to a first 5k at 104% marathon pace then went into decimation mode, clicking off 5:25s. This well executed strategy led to a big PR for Wolf.
Boston Marathon - 4/15/19:
John Butcher 2:37:16 267th
Leo Palomera 2:45:33 681st PR
Matt Chu DNF
On (New England) Patriots Day, Butcher and newcomer Leo took to the streets of Boston in search of decent marks. As a result of significantly better weather this year, Butcher went for that elusive FukQual mark of 2:35, cruising the mostly downhill first half in 1:17:02, but ultimately succumbed to the Newtonian Hills, coming home in a personal best course record. Hot off his best training cycle ever, Leo grinded his way through the hills and came home with a 5+ minute PR. Plagued by a tight glue, Matt Chu made it halfway through the streets of Boston before having to drop out.
Nature's Bakery Invite 5k - 4/20/19 - Chaz (16:49, 3rd place)
Continuing the namesake of the tour, Chaz attempted to get an altitude 5k PR on the Golden track of Mines. Hit by the strong-burning sun, Chaz gritted his way through the race (and most of the field).
Illinois Half & Full Marathon - 4/27:
John Butcher 1:11:05 9th
David Proffitt 1:13:48 15th
Brett Lustgarten 2:21:49 4th
Henry Wolf 2:38:13 13th PR
In the Chambana Half, both Butcher and David were able to put up their 2nd best times ever for the distance. Meanwhile, in the full, Brett chased after some Kenyans for nearly half the race before getting stuck in no man's land. Henry ran conservative early on in the race, once again following the advice of coach David, and came away with a 44 second PR.
London Marathon - 4/28/19 - Garret Lee (2:24:38, 19th, PR)
Following his greatest training season ever, Garret traveled across the pond to decimate his marathon PR. That he did. Aggressively hitting the halfway point in 1:11:17 (only 30 seconds off his PR), Garret tried to continue that pace, but wound up just under 2:25, a 13+ minute PR and the top mark for the Belgrave Harriers (UK).
Eugene Marathon - 4/28/19:
Kyle King 2:18:04 1st PR
Chris Boyle 2:29:06 9th PR
Capping off the biggest racing weekend in team history, Kyle King and Chris Boyle made their returns to both the marathon and their college stomping grounds for the Eugene Marathon. Both had exceptionally stellar performances and finished in the top 10, with King taking the overall W and posting the team’s first OTQ in 2:18:04 (largely due to a half split timing mat being off by 0.3 miles), and Boyle coming through strong in 9th with 2:29:06.
Bellco Colfax 5k - 5/16/19 - Chris Christoff (16:33, 3rd)
Continuing his season of returning, Chris hit the roads for a 5k in conjunction with the locally known Colfax Marathon. Attempting to stick with the leaders as long as possible, he found himself in the dreaded no man's land in this small race, but held onto his third place spot.
BolderBoulder 10k - 5/27/19:
Charles Remillard 33:54 43rd
Chris Boyle 34:25 58th
Chris Christoff 34:46 76th
David Proffitt (aka Runner Unknown) 35:35 107th
Dan Holligan 36:27 174th
Several kiwis (+ friends of Old Zealand) compete at the world famous BolderBoulder 10k on Memorial Day. Despite the usual slip and slides, beer bongs, and polka faces, the crew put in solid efforts, led by Charles (in his first race back since CIM last December).
Portland Track Festival 5k - 6/8/19 - Chris Christoff (15:37, PR 31st)
To wrap up the tour, Chris ventured out to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, to compete in the prestigious Portland Track Festival. Running fairly consistent splits through the race, Chris closed hard the last 400 and came away with a brand spankin' new PR.