Running, we give so much to you; our time, our talent (in varying degrees) and our love. Every once in a while we're reminded why we dedicate ourselves to this sport. This fall that reminder has come from Bill Benson, a Long Island weekly race competitor, who has broken the American Standard for the 95+ AG this season in both the 5k and 4 mi. distances.
Bill just perfectly embodies all that is good about running.
At, yes, 95 years old, Bill can be found out on the race course almost every weekend. If he's not racing, then he's volunteering. I can't count how many times I've rounded the last corner to the finish line to see Bill there with a huge smile, ushering us in. Bill can be found at the local park, slogging out the training miles just like the rest of us, and I say training, because this guy has GOALS.
This weekend Lynbrook Runner's Stop had the extreme pleasure to be able to present Bill our team uniform as he accepted his 1st place AG award at Fly With the Owls 2014. We're absolutely sure that you'll get as much enjoyment out of his thank you letter as we did.
What a wonderful surprise! An old man who finished last in the 4 mile race getting such a wonderful gift from you.
It did make me feel better that I had bettered the All American Standard for age 95 by 11 minutes. The Standard is 1:35 and I ran 1:24. So finishing last was not too bad a feeling.
There's so much to love about running! It brings us good health, good friends and strong bodies. Running outside pumps fresh air into our lungs. Running groups bring joy and bolster self esteem for their members. Of course, you can make all of these things happen for yourself and help them to happen for your friends without running, but we can't think of a better way!
Some of the great stuff from the Runner's Stop community in the last 6 months have been the Girls on the Run spring 5K at Hofstra, our LIRRC summer Wednesday night 5K's in Eisenhower Park, participating in the AAU and LIFT Junior track meets, supporting Eva Casale running 7 Marathons in 7 Days to benefit LLS, the Sacred Heart Academy 5K, taking our buses of runners to the NYC Marathon again, and the SWNassau Run Series, which culminated with the Lynbrook Fly with the Owls 4 miler today!
We can only share so many images on this blog, but if you'd like to see more of the fun, visit our Lynbrook Runner's Stop Facebook page!
Our beloved Bill Benson will be celebrating his 95th birthday as he did his 90th, with a run and celebration picnic in Hendrickson Park on June 22. Bill still races, recently completing the Fly with the Owls 4 miler. When he's not racing, he's volunteering; a favorite spot is ushering runners towards the finish of the Ocean to Sound relay. Most importantly, he always has a smile on his face and an encouraging word for others.
Another local inspiration is Runner's Stop employee Patti Drake who took up running just 4 years ago and decided to do her first marathon this year in Rome, a trip that she took by herself. Some people won't go to the movies by themselves, while others will take a plane to a foreign country alone to try out 26.2 for the first time!
We were very lucky to have the High School winter track Nationals close to home this year at the New Balance Armory in Manhattan. We had an embarrassment of local talent, but we have a real soft spot for the Garden City relay team which included Laurel Fisher, Caroline Ferri, and the Gerland sisters. Jennifer Gerland won the Lynbrook Fly with the Owls 4 miler in 2009 with a time of 25:02 in a 6:16 pace when she was 12. Two years later it was her sister Stephanie's turn; when she was 12 she took 2nd place in the Heart and Sole 5K with a time of 19:38 and a 6:20 pace!
Finally since we just celebrated National Autism Awareness Day, we couldn't write this post without sharing the beautiful story of the Schneider twins. Profoundly autistic, those of us on the local running scene have watched these boys turn into engaging young men, surrounded by so many friends. They can be found enjoying a road race almost every weekend and both recently completed the New York City Marathon; Alex coming in as the first Achilles runner at 3 h. 14 min., while Jamie characteristically took more time to take in the sights along the course.
Lynbrook Runner's Stop is a very proud sponsor of Girls on the Run. This program is for girls from 3rd through 8th grade and is geared toward coaching self confidence and self esteem in a 10 to 12 week program that culminates with a 5K. This December we were thrilled to be able to sponsor the first race dedicated solely to Girls on the Run in Nassau count Long Island, at Adelphi University. Enjoy the photos and consider starting a program in your own area!
Everyone knows that you have to have a plan for the marathon. Your training, your nutrition, your clothing ... But don't forget that a well thought out Recovery Plan is critical for getting back to healthy running! Check out Hal Higdon's advice below, and take today (and tomorrow) off if you just ran New York!
I woke up today and decided that it was a red New Balance day; last year's shoe launched for the canceled Marathon. This reminded me of Sandy for sure, but also was a clear indicator that Marathon Season is definitely upon us! Runner's Stop employee, Jan Kasal, has Chicago 2013 in the books; and our friends Dee, Ingrid, Eileen, Casene and Ron are back from Hartford CT; but the ING New York City Marathon is just 5 days away and it's starting to feel a little bit like the Night Before Christmas.
'Twas the night before NYC, Not a runner was sleeping, they just couldn't be, The shoes were placed by the front door with care, In hopes that a PR soon would be there; They tossed and turned in their beds, While visions of post run feasts danced in their heads;
We've just checked the weather, 52 degrees and mostly sunny. That should be great news for about 95% of the participants, so start dreaming and enjoy the taper!!
The crisp air is here to encourage us to commit to those long training runs for the fall marathons and half marathons. But before we move on too quickly, let's congratulate 61 year old Kathy Martin for setting a new age group world record for the mile at the USATF meet in Valley Stream in a time of 5:44! The Long Beach boardwalk is back and Chris Koegel christened it for us with a very wet 5K at the Robert McAvoy Memorial Run. The big news this season on Long Island though, has to be the amazing growth of the Black Girls Run group. It has been such a pleasure to see this group of amazing ladies inspire each other and the rest of us along with them. Speaking of inspirational, Rolanda Bell of New Balance gave BGR a clinic at the store to teach correct running form. We had a great time trying to imitate her, but with a 4:46 mile on record, not many of us (any of us) could ever catch her! The Black Girls Run web page looks very slick, but the daily training are anything but. It's all about finding friends and running partners in your local neighborhood to keep you motivated and safe. Look for these ladies in their black and pink gear at local races, and if you're considering joining, we give the strongest recommendation!