Ridge & Midvale, Philadelphia, PA
What better way to send off 2006 and welcome in 2007 by … running a race on Kelly Drive?
Yes, we didn’t say runners were the brightest people. Race directors Bart and Veena put together this first edition of the New Year’s race. The five mile course started at the 3.5 mile mark of the Schuylkill River (heading toward Boat House Row) and turned around at the 1 mile mark.
The adrenaline ran high as thousands of spectators lined the course. At the gun, a solid pack of four leaders emerged – Skelly, Bart, Matty, and Ted. The first mile was covered in 5:03; however, Skelly almost peeled off the course soon after that because he saw a $10 bill on the grass next to the path. Bart was running on PR pace, even though he claimed that someone held his shirt and pulled him backwards at the gun. Bart is known to be a bit of a liar, so race director Veena (a.k.a. Bart’s fiancee) put no stock in to his story.
The lead pack picked up the pace, passing two miles in 10:02. Running sub 5 pace was extremely impressive considering the super strong winds and driving rain. At the turnaround, Matty and Ted looked to up the tempo. Despite a deep women’s field, Renee also hit the turnaround in the lead. Of course, none of these interim updates could be related to the people waiting back at the finish line, as Bill fell asleep next to the turnaround cones. Thank goodness Abby woke Bill up to go home.
During the second half of the race, Spencer was also moving nicely, despite the fact that he tried to sap Ted’s energy on the long warm-up run. In the end, Matty wound up winning the day. He pushed in front of Ted at the three mile mark and held on for the win. “I don’t want to sound like a sore loser or anything, but I swear Matty didn’t run all the way down to the turnaround. This is b&*(*!” Ted was heard saying after the race. Callinan plans to appeal to USATF Mid-Atlantic. In the women’s race, Renee scored her first bit of road race prize cash in eons. “Actually,” Renee stated afterwards, “I don’t think I have ever won money at a road race, so this is really special!”
The race organizers were extremely generous with their prizes, which included money, champagne, and cookies in the shape of runners and the number 5! A special kudos goes out to Celeste, the race guest from New Hampshire! We hope you enjoyed yourself, Celeste.