Duluth, MN; Philadelphia, PA and Media, PA
The racing weekend began on an overcast, cool evening and ended on a hot humid morning. On Friday night, three members of the team lined up for the annual Media 5 Miler. Although the race is held in a picturesque town that also serves as the county seat, the runners had hills galore with which to contend.
The prize money at Media has been increased slightly in the last few years, enticing more quality runners to pen this race in to their calendars. Bryan Skelly led the way for the team on this evening, finishing less than a half minute behind former world class steeplechaser Elarbi Khattabi. Fighting the second finishing spot for PRTC, Bart tracked down Tim as the duo sped toward the finish line in the downtown area. Tim was just a few ticks behind, providing the team with a good one-two punch. Bart and Tim finished 5th and 6th respectively.
Many months (and one baby) later, Megan Gallagher tested the waters by tackling this undulating course. Her performance was positive, as she finished 11th overall in 33:08.
ON SATURDAY MORNING, Steve Gourley and Abby Dean did not have the same cool temperatures. Even more daunting, these two athletes were racing over five times longer than their teammates did the night before. The conditions hampered the entire field. And despite the fact that Steve had a good Spring, the conditions made his attempt at an OT qualifier in his inaugural attempt seemingly impossible. Still Steve persevered. Afterward, he reflected on his race:
“I ran alright through the half and up to about 16 or 17. I started to decline considerably after that and really tanked the last 10k. Primarily, I don’t think I kept up my mileage enough the last 6 or 7 weeks before the race. I also got very dehydrated and cramped up pretty bad around 21. My legs started to get pretty wobbly and the finish couldn’t come soon enough. I greatly underestimated how much water I should have taken in the night before and during the early stages of the race. It’s definitely a different animal that may take a few tries to get it right. I’m pretty sore now, but hopefully I’ll be able to get out for some easy runs later in the week.”
Abby did not run the exact time she was looking for either, but managed to keep her ‘cool’ on a humid day and turn in a rather impressive performance, all things considering.
FINALLY, A SLEW OF MALE PRTC RUNNERS and female member Renee Gunning took part in the Run 4 Your Life 5k on a hot and steamy Sunday morning. This race helps raise funds for research in to prostate cancer. The race was out-and-back, using the typical course used on MLK Drive. Despite its small size, the race had a solid field, particulary on the men’s side. Several runners jockeyed for the lead until the turnaround. Then Ryan Fennelly put more pace in to the race, utilizing his speed on the way back to the Art Museum. Tom Haxton broke out of a slump to givie Fenn the closest run for his money. In the end, though, Fenn had his second road 5k title in the month of June. Two other team members who had raced in Denver with Fennelly – Matt Byrne and Brian Skelly – also placed high in the race.