Just Be Awesome . . .

Love the Cherries
There were no NYRR Races this weekend but there was a very popular 10 Mile Race in Prospect Park, Brooklyn on Sunday called the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Miler. Tim Decker made the Flyer men proud finishing in a blistering 1:04:54 (6:29 pace). For the Flyer women, really fast triathlete Frieda Edelmann finished in a fast 1:12:38 (7:15 pace). Great job you two!

Empire state of mind
Rachel Rowberry represented for the team in the Empire State Building Run-Up, dashing past the pack and finished eighth in the women's 50-59 age group in 25:39. I don't know what kind of pace per mile that is, but it's vertical and it's steep, and my butt hurts just thinking about it.

Aim higher
There was a huge turnout on Saturday for the Highbridge Long Training Run, which in a happy coincidence ended shortly before the weekend downpour began. An event doesn't succeed without volunteers to make it happen, and we are so appreciative to the teammates who gave up miles and/or sleep to make this run happen. Thank you to Andrea Mihalko, Anne Mullin, Beth Brennan, Elaine Rosen, Michelle Dempsey, and Yinglee Wong.

And a wonderful time was had by all
An event never happens without a whole lot of hard work in the background, and the Twenty-eighth Annual Awards Gala was no exception. With organization spearheaded by the all-volunteer committee of Elaine Rosen, Beth Brennan, Debi Unger, and Guy Simoneau, plus the emcee hosting by Guy Simoneau and Betty Yung (with a little support from Mr. President, Head Coach Brian Rosetti, and 2016 Flyer of the Year Debbie Panek), traditional skirling by Pat Duffy, photos by Bob Cowin, who came all the way from the great state of Tennessee to be with us on Saturday night, and an army of volunteers at check-in, this year's event was another glamorous success. Congratulations to our many deserving award winners and honorees, especially 2017 Flyer of the Year Muantawan Pei Arsrairas, whose bright smile lights up the room and whose speedy legs burn through miles like Jello.

On a personal note, I was the lucky winner of two raffle awards, post-marathon recovery coaching from Tim Decker and six months of unlimited yoga at Sacred Sounds, owned by Stephanie Tang. Since I haven't stretched in fifteen years and my normal marathon recovery usually consists of a spin class and more running, I'm looking forward to learning better habits and hopefully improving my longevity in the sport in the process. 2017 awards will be posted for posterity on the Awards Page in coming days (this means when someone has time to do it), so check back later in the week.

And while I was still figuring out how to get coffee without actually getting up
This morning, a great many of you turned out for the Gridiron 4 Miler. Not surprisingly, several of our performance award honorees distinguished themselves on the field once again. In the women's division, Marcy Withington, the women's Master Runner of the Year, placed first for the team, second in the 45-49 age group, and third Flyer overall in an even 28:00 (7:00 pace). Denise Iannizzotto, our female America's Fastest Runners honorree, placed second for the team, third woman overall, and third in the 55-59 age group in 28:39 (7:10 pace). Elena Riecke placed third for the team and sixth in the 20-24 age group in 39:44 (7:26 pace), followed by Ilse Abusamra in 30:28 (7:37 pace and eighteenth in the 40-44 age group). Susan Riskin placed fifth for the team and nineteenth in the 40-44 age group in 30:30 (7:38 pace).

In the men's race, men's Master Runner of the Year honoree Tim Decker placed first for the team and seventh in the 45-49 age group in 24:37 (6:10 pace). Jeffre Tente captured second for the team in 27:51 (6:58 pace), followed by Philip Giang in 28:16 (7:04 pace and thirteenth in the 50-54 age group). Mike Folger came in fourth for the team in 28:40 (7:10 pace), followed by Dave Kleckner in 29:00 (7:15 pace and sixteenth in the 50-54 age group).

Just one day earlier, a handful of Flyers turned out for the NYCRUNS Cocoa Classic 5K. Anne Mullin picked up a first place team finish and first in the women's 50-59 age group in 24:58 (8:03 pace), followed by Peter Lewy, second in the men's 60-69 age group, in 26:56 (8:41 pace). Carrie Barratt placed third in the women's 50-59 age group in 27:01 (8:43 pace), and John Whitfield landed in eleventh place in the men's 50-59 age group in 28:03 (9:03 pace). The venerable Papa Bear himself, Richard Garland, also known as the men's Super Veteran of the Year honoree, placed second in the men's 70+ age group in 31:51 (10:16 pace).

We don't do that relaxation stuff around here
You might think that we'd take a break now and reflect on the great end to 2017 and all the fun to come, but nope, we're doing a supported long training run next weekend. I'll be one day post-meniscus repair so if you run by my building, I'll poke you in a friendly way with the cane generously lent by Heather Marcellis.

The people have spoken
With no NYRR or NYCRUNS races this weekend, we'll pivot straight over to the election results. We're pleased to see Mr. President back for a second term, joined by incoming Vice President Elaine Rosen, Secretary David Ezra, Treasurer Bill Jones, and Member at Large Betty Yung. Congratulations to all winners, and thank you to everyone who ran. Even if you're not holding office this year, please stay active and engaged on the volunteer circuit. Without our volunteers, this would be a much less fun and festive place.

January blahs
The benighted month of January, with its post-holiday hangover feeling and the short days and cold nights, finally ends this week, just in time for the Annual Awards Gala! I look forward to seeing many of you with dancing shoes on, and indeed it'll be my last foray on the dance floor for a few weeks. I'm queued up for a meniscus repair the following week, so as long as I'm not running, I'm hitting the elliptical like it's my job. The good news is that starting the year on a low point makes the forthcoming high points that much sweeter.

The best party in Times Square this year
We still need plenty of volunteers for the Flyer Hydration Station supporting the NYC Half Marathon on March 18. Bring friends, family, random strangers from the subway, whoever wants to join in the fun! Sign up via the NYRR website, select Fluid Station #6, and choose "NY Flyers" from the "volunteering with a group" drop-down menu.

Faster for Fred
The first half marathon of the year brought 81 Flyers out to the start line on Sunday. It was a mostly Master scoring team for the Flyer men: Tim Decker finished first for the team in 1:32:53 (7:06 pace), followed by the ever-speedy Mr. President in 1:35:44 (7:19 pace). Jon Riecke placed third for the team and twenty-second in the 50-54 age group in 1:36:49 (7:24 pace), with David Ezra in for fourth in 1:37:38 (7:27 pace). John Rotchford captured the fifth and final scoring spot in 1:39:29 (7:36 pace).

In the women's race, Betty Yung placed first for the team, fifth Flyer overall, and twelfth in the 30-34 age group in 1:37:42 (7:28 pace). Veteran superstar Denise Iannizzotto came in second for the team and first in the 50-54 age group in 1:39:36 (7:36 pace). Mary Beth Ezra captured third for the team and eleventh in the 45-49 age group in 1:46:16 (8:07 pace), and Elena Riecke came in fourth for the Flyers and thirteenth in the 20-24 age group in 1:46:16 (8:07 pace). Jillian Hobson landed on her feet for a fifth place Flyer finish in 1:48:25 (8:17 pace).

Because no run is really complete without brunch after, there was also a big turnout at Big Daddy's for a tasty adventure in post-run refueling, ably organized by Debi Unger

Gifts for the Flyer in your life
Whether you're shopping for yourself or for S of your Flyer friends, take a look at the new cycling and triathlon apparel that's now available for pre-order. Wear your red, white, and black with pride all year round and in every sport you do. If you sleep in it too, we're not here to judge.