In what has become a tradition over the past several years, the PRTC squad transforms one of their December year-end long runs into a half marathon race. However, this is not your typical race with entry fees, shirts and adrenaline pumping music along the course. While there are not any handwritten rules, there is a gentleman’s agreement to stick together for most of the race even waiting for competitors if a 20 second bio-break is required. This essentially makes the first 10 miles largely ceremonial (i.e., near 7 minute mile pace) similar to the opening miles of the Champs-Elysees ride to the final loops of the Tour de France. But once the runners start approaching the final wooded section prior to West River Drive, the pace significantly picks up.
This year, Geraint (Davies), Joe (Binder), Kevin (Brandon), Nate (Ennist) and Paul (Matuszak) took part in the run. The big move made in this year’s race took place at the tip of the triangle turn on the Belmont Plateau course. Joe began the surge with Kevin and Paul following until the intersection of Montgomery Drive and West River. However, Joe was able to dial it up to another notch and ripped the closing 2.5 miles in a blistering pace to finish in 1:21:17. Kevin and Paul finished a distance second and third in an identical time of 1:22:41 — with Paul citing “a moderate to heavy (prior) night of drinking” and “strange sounds coming from the digestive system” as the main culprit dragging him down over the final stretch. Geraint and Nate, who both logged a number of miles prior to the group run, did not finish the race as both had to peel off early to avoid running too many miles a week away from Club XC Nationals.