New York City, NY; Washington, DC
On Saturday, March 17th, New York City was supposed to play host to not only the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but the USATF 8k Championships as well! This race was especially significant because the 8k loop that would be used in Central Park would be the same one that will be used in November for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Unfortunately, a late Winter blast of ice and snow delayed the race until Sunday morning. Ted Callinan and Matt Byrne had made their way to the hotel headquarters on the Upper East Side by Friday, so they were anxious to start racing. By Sunday morning, the path in Central Park was clear, although host New York Road Runners chose a smaller, alternate loop to assure that the group could properly clear every step of the course. The air was still very cold, but the sunshine made people optimistic about this race which featured a national caliber field.
At the start, the men’s field was out quickly. Our guys put themselves into the mix right away. The 1.7 mile loop had two distinct sections to it, the first being very quick, and the second feeling significantly slower. Ted and Matt ran in different points in the pack but found each other racing close by one another late in the third and final loop. At the finish, Matt edged Ted by two seconds, as both our guys put in a strong showing at this deep race. Despite different race strategies, the results were extremely similar.
“I just felt like I couldn’t get going at the beginning,” Matt noted afterwards. But as is characteristic of this guy with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, Matt said that he felt like he “closed strong on the last lap.” Conversely, Ted attributed his troubles to the latter stages of the race, paying for a quick start in the first mile. “I was out in 4:36, which I knew was just a little too fast on that day. But it’s not like you can turn around and run it again. You just have to go with it,” Callinan clarified. Still, our Irish boys ran solid efforts on St. Patty’s Day.
Meanwhile, Bryan Skelly laced up his flats for a significantly longer race on Saturday, March 24th. Presumably, Bryan saw the chance to race a small, quality marathon close by that would fall right between indoor and outdoor track. This was certainly enticing to the assistant coach of LaSalle University. Moreover, with Winter strength, Bryan could run the race conservatively and assure a positive experience with the marathon.
That’s just what Bryan did. Bryan ran the National Marathon in Washington, D.C. and finished 2nd overall! Bryan’s placing earned him a sub 2:30 clocking of 2:29.02. We’re sure this will give Bryan the confidence and strength to run a much faster marathon next time out.