“Autumn’s sweet, we call it fall”
This fall season we had fun international marathons, good team cross country races, and some phenomenal performances at CIM! We’re also excited to have recently partnered with Rabbit and we’ll be debuting our new singlets this spring season. In related news, Mike fronted all of the money for these new kits, effectively making him the official team Don. All in all, it was a great fall season, with four new athletes making their first race appearance in an OZAC kit and many fresh PR’s. See chronological list and recap below:
Edmonton (EDM) Marathon - 8/9/18 - Mike (2:34:51, 4th place)
In August, Mike made the solo trek to Edmonton in search of a FukQual. As he’s run FukQual’s twice before on non-eligible courses, he was happy to find that the EDM marathon was AIMS certified. His dream finally came true in a primarily solo effort with superb pacing the first half (3:34/K), a brand-name surge the next 9k (3:24/K), the wall from 30-35K (4:15/K), and a final 7k of pure grit (3:52/K). Mike closed in an all-out “I will make it to Japan” sprint finish to grab the FukQual time of 2:35:00 and punch his ticket to the world’s hardest standard race outside of the US Olympic Trials. He also snagged our highest finish in an international competition - 4th overall.
Colorado College XC Invite - 9/8/18:
Seth 7th 25:51
Charles 28th 27:36
Micah 45th 29:00
Henry 46th 29:02
Don 48th 29:08
Old Zealand 4th out of 7 teams
Men from The Land made the annual trek to Colorado Springs to compete in the Colorado College XC Invite. As any Kiwi knows, there’s a certain magic in the shadow of the peen, with the gift of predicting future marathon pace over eight fairly unenjoyable kilometers, a fact that was demonstrated last year with 3 runners achieving the same average mile pace in this invite and CIM. With this pseudo-Yasso relation in mind, the Kiwis ran strong races. Seth led the team with a 25:51 fifth-place showing. He was followed by Chuck’s 28th place in 27:36. Micah, Henry, and Mike (fresh off of a two week post-EDM break) finished in a close bunch around 29:00, catching and burying a large group of collegiates and proving that old dogs may still have some new tricks. Although not officially scored, we did it ourselves and found that we took 4th of 7 teams.
Berlin Marathon - 9/16/18 - Henry 389th 2:42:43
Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail. On September 16th, 2018, Eluid Kipchoge was the hammer. On September 16th, 2018, Henry Wolf was the nail. Kipchoge went through the half in 61:06, a little behind pace for his goal. Wolf went through the half in 78:04, a little behind pace for his goal. Kipchoge picked it up the second half, flying to the finish in a world record, 2:01:39. Elsewhere in Berlin, as Kipchoge crossed the finish line, Wolf had been aboard the pain train for approximately 3K and was settling in for a long ride home. He eventually made it with the help of his longtime bud Brendan, who’d paced Tirunesh Dibaba for a while before getting hit with severe dehydration. Together they crossed the line in 2:42:43 and became Instagram famous from a Strava creeper shot documenting their misery.
Roadrunner Invite - 10/6/18:
Seth 13th 25:43 (Club record)
Garrett 47th 26:56
Don 63rd 27:27
Charles 77th 27:40
DP 97th 28:13
Eric 113th 28:51
Wolf 117th 28:56
Kraig 120th 29:01
Old Zealand 7th out of 13 teams
After nearly winning the damn thing last year, OZAC was back at the Roadrunner Invite hungry for a strong team finish. The field proved to be much more competitive than last year. The Kiwis still put together a strong team race, led by Seth’s new club record 25:42, good for 13th overall. He was flanked by Garrett in his debut performance in an OZAC kit, who ran an aggressive race to hit 26:56. Mike and Charles were not far behind, finishing in 27:27 and 27:40, respectively. David ran a very solid race, finishing in 28:13, one of his best efforts in XC at altitude. The final three featured two more OZAC debuts in a 10 second spread, with Eric running 28:51 and Kraig running 29:01. The debutantes were split up by Henry, who ran 28:56, fresh off two and a half weeks of post-Berlin recovery.
Indianapolis Monumental Half - 11/3/18:
Butcher 36th 1:10:51
Micah 44th 1:12:10
Don 57th 1:14:05
Three Kiwis headed back to the Land of Luck for the Indy Monumental Half Marathon, one just had to travel a much shorter distance. Butcher drove in from IL to run an impressive new PR, taking 36th overall. He ran perfectly even 5:25’s, splitting the 10K in 33:35 and netting a final time of 1:10:51. Micah wasn’t far behind, crossing the line in 1:12:10, his first attempt at the distance since college. Mike had a tough day, but still gutted out a 1:14:05.
Pumpkin Pie 5k - 11/17/18:
Seth 4th 16:03
Wolf 10th 16:31
Seth and Henry raced in the Pumpkin Pie 5k at Denver’s City Park. This race also doubled as the Colorado USATF State Championship. Seth took 4th with a 16:03 and Henry followed in 10th with a 16:31.
Mile High United Way Turkey Trot - 11/22/18:
Charles 5th 21:01
Boyle 23rd 22:25
Parkville Turkey Trot - 11/22/18 - Wolf 5th 16:19
MHK Turkey Trot - 11/22/18 - Nathan 3rd 17:00
Is it even Thanksgiving if you didn’t run a Turkey Trot? Four Kiwis represented the Land in three states. Charles and Boyle ran Denver’s Mile High United Way TT. Charles covered the 4 mile Wash Park course in 21:01, good for 5th overall. Boyle made his Mile High and OZAC racing debut, finishing a strong MJ 23rd place with his 22:05. Henry closed off his fall micro-cycle with a 16:19 5k at the Parkville (MO) TT, earning himself 5th place and prompting his girlfriend to tell her family that he won to make a better first impression. Nathan, in his OZAC debut, broke the team’s Kansas curse. His 17:00 at the Manhattan TT earned him 3rd overall, was a lifetime PR, and is the first documented good race for an OZAC athlete on Kansas soil.
California International Marathon - 12/2/18:
Charles 80th 2:22:32 (1:09:21 half & 32:46 10k for club records in those too)
Butcher 132nd 2:27:41
Chaz 199th (1st in division) 2:33:19
DP 230th 2:35:48
Don 582nd 2:51:10
Just like last year, the fall season closed out at CIM - all roads end in Sacramento. The beautiful course is the exact opposite of the typical Illinois gubernatorial route, instead starting at the prison and ending at the capitol. The running gods were smiling on December 2nd, and the fast field was blessed with excellent weather conditions. OZAC athletes took full advantage of this and there were a lot of fast times for the Land. After months of being beaten down by 100 mile weeks, Charles’ hard work paid off. He ran a huge time, crossing the line in 2:22:32, netting him 80th in a very strong field. During this performance Charles set three club records, one in the marathon, one in the half, and one in the 10k, as he went through 13.1 in near-OTQ-pace 1:09:21. Butch, clad in his shiny new 4%’s, Vaporflew to the finish, running a huge PR of 2:27:41, knocking over two minutes (but only 2%) off his previous best. For the third straight year, Chaz ran a great race at CIM, clocking a 2:33:19 to win the visually impaired division and put him in great position to make the Paralympic Team again in 2020. In perhaps the standout performance of the day, team captain David (or, as his mother calls him, DP) became the conductor of the PR Express. This well-oiled machine turned in a perfectly executed race, reaching the station in 2:35:48 to PR by more than six minutes. The 4% Gods giveth, and they taketh away. Although the Vaporflys turned Butch into Hermes, they turned Mike into Hephaestus (read a book, people!), casting him off Mt. Olympus and swelling his ankle to the size of a basketball, forcing him to limp to the line in 2:51:10.