by Tom Steenkamer, Team Coordinator
The Pike Creek Valley Running Club recently completed a highly successful season of competition in the Mid-Atlantic USATF Grand Prix (road) and Off-Road (trail) race series.
Grand Prix Series
In the Grand Prix series PVRC finished with our best performance since 2009 finishing in 4th place out of the 14 regional clubs competing in the road series. An exciting finish to the season at the Philadelphia Marathon weekend produced our highest club total age score for the year and propelled PCVRC past rival Greater Philly TC into 4th place. The club narrowly missed finishing in 3rd place as South Jersey AC held onto a 5 point advantage over PCVRC in the final points total. The Grand Prix season finale club standings are posted on the MA-USATF web site.
Improving from our 6th place finish in 2011 was no small feat to accomplish in this very competitive club challenge series. The club’s success is attributed to our dedicated and expanding roster of club members who shared in this accomplishment. During the 2012 season we had 36 club members (10 women, 26 men) participate in the road race series.
The highlight of the road racing season was the addition of Hugh Campbell who set US national 85+ age group records in the both the 5k (USATF Syracuse National Championship) and the 8k (Philadelphia Rothman) distances. In the season closing Rothman 8k, Hugh was granted “Elite” athlete entry status due to his performance in Syracuse and proceeded to rewrite the recognized age group record by over 3 minutes. Congratulations to Hugh for his record setting season!
Individuals receiving recognition for highest age grade performance across the 9 race series (6 best races) are:
Women – Beth Howlett (10th), Sherri Hermann (12th)
Men -Tom Steenkamer (4th), Dan Simmons (10th), Lee Kauffman (13th)
Many club members received age group recognition for finishing in the top 3 of their respective age groups for the series:
Women: Sarah Rusk, Lynn Knothe, and Beth Howlett.
Men: Chris Steenkamer, Mike Digennaro, Jay Coughenour, Greg Cauller, Epi Comacho, Dan Simmons, Vic Zowlak, John Schultz, Don Monagle, and Hugh Campbell.
In the Off-Road competition PCVRC finished in third place for the second year in a row. The Off-Road series consists of 8 races over varying terrain, occasional obstacles (hills, rocks, roots, streams, and perhaps a bit of mud) on distances ranging from 5k to 15k. The club championship for the trail series includes results from all of the season’s races; there are no bye weeks or removal of low scores as in the Grand Prix series. Therefore it is essential to finish each race with a full team. (5 total and at least 1 female) PCVRC once again had solid team support throughout the season with participation from 31 members consisting of 23 men and 8 women.
One of the highlights from the off road season was the Evansburg Challenge 10 mile run held on 10/28 at Evansburg State Park in Collegeville, PA. The race was shortened to a 15k this year due to poor conditions, aka pre-Hurricane Sandy. The course is routed around the Skippack Creek (crossed at the mid-point) and through numerous shoe sucking mud holes of the finest red clay Pennsylvania has to offer. For the second year in a row the PCVRC team was dominated by women toughing it out on the sloppiest trail run of the season. Way to go, ladies! (Top AG scores for this race were provided by 4 women and 1 man.)
The following individuals were recognized for age group performances (top 3) in the trail series:
Women – Lisa Jalot
Men: Rich Syzmanski, Tom Steenkamer