Ragged Mountain will be opening at 10 this Saturday, October 20 (instead of 9), as our family staff will all be celebrating with President Ryan at the Community Bridges 5K. Thanks for your patience, understanding and support. Come join us!
From The Daily Progress
Hot and humid!
It’s the same old summer story and with it comes our seasonal drum-beating ritual of sounding the alarm to fellow outdoor exercisers to “hydrate, get out early, load up on the electrolytes and, above all else, be careful!” But what gets lost in this annual flurry of white noise rhetoric, especially within the bit about “being careful,” is one very important and simple rule: Slow down!
As a longtime coach who has tried his darndest to safely guide his athletes, of all abilities, through the challenges of brutal Central Virginia summers over the past 40 years, I have found this one basic tip to be the very best at helping my folks comfortably beat the heat. There’s not an exercise physiologist out there, including our wise UVa Department Chair, Dr. Art Weltman, who wouldn’t agree that dialing it back, along with proper hydration, are the two safest ways to navigate your way through these tough conditions. So, I tell any walker, hiker or runner that’s willing to listen to slow down their pace by anywhere from 30-90 seconds/mile and to listen to their body’s cues, as in “does this feel comfortable?” This and a good dose of positivity tonic, where the rule is that you’re never allowed to state the obvious, as in “It’s really hot out here!” Instead, I encourage my athletes to focus on the positive, like just how beautiful an area we have all around us to exercise in!
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Summertime has always been kid’s time and that holds true in our local running world. There are a variety of kid-friendly running events in the month of July. The Charlottesville Track Club will once again, for the 44th summer, be hosting their popular All-Comers Track Meets. Held every Thursday evening in July at UVa’s beautiful Lannigan Field track, these organized and fun meets treat kids of all ages to a variety of running events, from 100 meters to the mile. And all for the low retro price of $2! Go to charlottesvilletrackclub,org for more information.
And on Saturday, July 14 and 21, our new YMCA, along with yours truly, will once again be hosting “Saturday’s in the Park,” where parents and kids get to participate together in a variety of fun running-oriented games. Contact the Brooks Family Y for more information on these free family running games.
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For grown ups looking to run an autumn half or full marathon, the Charlottesville Track Club is, for the 26th summer, hosting its popular summer training program. Every summer, close to 200 folks join to either test the distance waters for the first time or to go for improving their time from a previous performance. All paces, from sub-7 minute marathoners to 15-minute half marathoners, participate in the weekly group long runs at a variety of beautiful courses around the county. Go to charlottesvilletrackclub,org or call me at 293-3367 for more information.
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It’s no secret that incoming University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and his wife Katie are avid runners, so it should come as no surprise that there will be a huge community wide 5K run/walk the weekend of his inauguration. The Community Bridges 5K Run/Walk is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, with all of the proceeds being donated to our wonderful neighbors at the CNE, and organizers are expecting this to be one of the largest Central Virginia running and walking events ever, as neighborhoods, schools, churches, families and businesses as well as UVa students, staff and faculty are all being encouraged to join Jim and Katie in participating, on foot, at this historic community event. Registration is set to open by mid-August.
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Females all over town are gearing up for The Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, our area’s largest participatory sporting event, which is set for Sept. 1. From Pam Whorley and her Pink Ladies Four Miler Training Program to the UVa Health Center’s “C-ville Walks” crew, everyone’s on their feet. Mayor Walker has energized a crew of city walkers, who have been dubbed “Get Your Healthy on with Mayor Walker,” and they too are excited about participating in this popular community event, which annually raises $300,000 for Breast Cancer research and treatment at the Emily Couric Cancer Center. Entries are currently open at charlottesvillewomen’sfourmiler
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Matt Haas and Jay Wildermann and their corps of Kiwanis and Charlottesville Track Club volunteers organized a dandy doodle of an Independence Day 5K, as close to 300 runners kicked off the Fourth with a run over the hills of Hollymead and, in doing so, raised thousands of dollars for our neighbors at Camp Holiday Trails.
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Two energetic and creative UVa students with strong athletic backgrounds, have been working tirelessly on creating a group running program for city and county school kids, grades K-8. Maddie Rennyson and Mary Blankemeir will kick off the “Run Your World, Kids” program this September at the Burley Middle School track, where kids of all abilities will, be guided on a weekly basis, for free, by a corps of experienced UVa student volunteers in learning how to have fun while properly running distances from 400 meters to the mile. For more information on this fun new community program, go to Runyourworld2018@gmail.com or at fb.me/runyourworld 2018.
Mark Lorenzoni has, on a volunteer basis, directed hundreds of community races and coached thousands of runners, of all abilities, for over 35 years. He can be reached at 293-3367 or follow him on Twitter at @coachzoni.
Thanks Cav neighbors for your support of our family business this school year. End of the semester special: 15% off shoes and a free “Run UVa” bottle with that purchase! Now through May 21.
Not only is Charlottesville's Erika Pieccea top-ranked masters pentathlete and heptathlete in the country, she's also a middle school teacher. Read Mark's article about her in The Daily Progress.
More than 50 area runners braved some of the most challenging weather conditions in the illustrious 122-year history of the Boston Marathon last Monday. They soldiered their way through heavy rains and 30 mph headwinds in frigid 38 degree temperatures en route to completing the iconic sporting event.
The effects of the horrific weather were felt throughout the field of 25,000, as more than 1,000 participants were treated for hypothermia. Even the elite runners felt the dramatic consequences of the weather. The overall men’s winning time was the slowest in 42 years, while the top women’s time was the slowest since 1978.
The great Kenyan gladiators who normally dominate the Boston leaderboard weren’t immune to the effects of the brutal conditions. Only one Kenyan male and female finished in the top 15 among their gender.
Scott Thomas, 26, was the top area finisher with a 2:51 clocking, while Alexandra Crabb was the first local female across the finish line in 3:07. Lauri Wilson was the highest age group finisher, placing ninth in the 55-59 division with a stellar 3:32.
Jim Ryan, the University of Virginia’s incoming president, clocked a speedy 3:11. One of the most amazing feats of the day was recorded by 54-year-old St. Anne’s-Belfield cross country coach Andy Beardsley, who pushed his best friend, Larsen Klingel, in a running wheelchair over the hilly 26.2-mile course through the pouring rain in an amazing 3:40.
Other impressive local times of note in the frigid conditions, were turned in by Emily Bascom (3:15), Jason Brown (3:01), Joan Bienvenue (3:28), Harry Landers (3:56), Sean Stanford (3:15), Cynthia Clark (3:34), Mike Citro (3:02), Jaime Kurtz (3:39) and Wade Foster (2:52).
March signals the start of our local racing season and, as a longtime coach, I find this time of year to be one of the most common for injuries, not only to those racing, but even more frequently to those simply looking to “ramp it up” after a winter layoff.
Here are some tips for the road, trail, track or treadmill, as it may be, to safely get you going again this spring:
1. Less is best! Start with shorter distances and less days/week than what you were doing when you were last regularly exercising. Many of my athletes start with a slow half mile, three days a week and they then build from there.
2. No heavy breathing! “Perceived Effort” is your best training partner. So, your effort, not your pace, should remain the same, no matter if it’s a long uphill or a steep descent.
3. Start slow! This is the best form of stretching, so make your first five to 10 minutes your very slowest of your outing. This allows your stiff body to ease into your run or walk.
4. Hydrate! Not only before, during and after your exercise, but throughout the day. It’s one of the most common causes behind fatigue and injury.
5. Core! If there’s one thing a runner or walker should be doing for cross training, it’s strengthening your mid-section, from gut to glutes. This helps to make you more mechanically and structurally efficient, especially for long-distance walkers and runners.
6. Nose over toes! Keep your foot strike under your frame so you hit your arch and not your heel first. So, as a rule, you should never be able to see your feet hit the ground.
7. Set realistic goals! Not only goals that are rooted in your ability and current fitness, but also ones that realistically and comfortably fit into your current lifestyle. This will not only help you stay injury free but also keep you from getting frustrated.
» Speaking of getting started, the Charlottesville Track Club will be once again be hosting its annual summer training program for those looking to run their first half or full marathon or to improve on a previous effort. Each summer, close to 200 folks of all abilities receive an individualized program and they train in pace groups for a fall event of their choice. Go to charlottesvilletrackclub.org for more information on this and the Women’s Four Miler Training Program, the CTC’s other popular summer group.
» Graduates of the CTC’s 10 Miler Training Program, many of whom started by coming off the couch at zero miles last October, will be racing in the granddaddy of them all on Saturday. If you or a loved one is racing, along with 2,500 other folks, I’d highly recommend checking out our race course tutorial, which gives you a hill-by-hill account of how to successfully navigate this legendary course. Go to cvilletenmiler.com to take the tour!
» Race Director Nicole Brimer and the Charlottesville Track Club are looking for race day volunteers for the 10 Miler. With several thousand dollars in proceeds being passed along to wonderful local not for profits like Building Goodness, this is a great way for your group to earn some community service hours. Please sign-up today on the race website.
» The Western Albemarle boys and girls did it again. The Warriors added the Class 3 Indoor Track and Field state championships to their double cross country state team titles from this past fall. This is simply an amazing team feat and, at the risk of jinxing them, I really do believe that they could make it a supreme hat trick by having both squads do the same at the outdoor state championships. Now wouldn’t that be something!
» While we’re talking indoor track, I’d like to call out some of our local athletes who raced their way to blue ribbons at the state championships: Western’s Zoe Clay (3,200 and 1,600), Joe Hawkes (3,200) and Julia Berg (1,000) and Albemarle’s Ryann Helmers (3,200). Helmers followed her Class 5 state win with a blazing 17:03 clock stopper in the 5,000 at the national meet in NYC. The Albemarle girls were second at the Class 5 championships, their highest finish in school history, and the lads from Fork Union Military Academy earned another state championship for legendary longtime Coach Winston Brown.
» Walking is one of the fastest growing sporting activities in America and Central Virginia has endless miles of public walking paths, practically right at our doorstep, to choose from. This winter has been perfect for trekking along these beautiful paths and the Lorenzoni family has taken advantage of these close-by hikes on a weekly basis throughout the winter. From in-town paths like Ivy Creek, the RTF, Monticello’s Saunders and Secluded Farm trails and the Ragged Mountain Reservoir to rural hikes like the Patricia Byrom preserve, Sugar Hollow and the endless labyrinth of paths along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. And just added to the trail mix are the beautiful new trails at Madison’s Montpelier. How lucky we are to have such wonderful and accessible ways to find instant peace and tranquility on foot.
» Monticello will play host to the 10th running of the most grueling 5K in town on April 28. Despite its tough, all-uphill climb, the Montalto Challenge is immensely popular, because it treats the finishers to 360 degree panoramic views of Charlottesville and the surrounding area. Many of the past participants claim the views at the finish are the single most gorgeous of any race in Virginia! Some other fun upcoming races of note are the Big Brothers-Big Sisters 10K and 5K, The Run for Autism 5K and The Run to Remember 5K for Hospice of the Piedmont. Go to raggedmountainrunning.com for a complete list of area not-for-profit runs.
» We are thrilled that Charlottesville will be breaking ground for a brand-new track in the coming days. The absorbent surfaced track will be a 400-meter oval with eight lanes and lights for night time running. We are so grateful to Juan Wade and the City School Board and for the administrative staff at CHS, like Rodney Redd, who have worked so hard to make this community venue a reality. Curtis Elder, the legendary longtime CHS coach who the track will be named after, would have been so happy. We’re just as excited that Orange County High School has raised the funds to do the same for their outdated track. For the Hornets, when completed, it will be the first time in six years that they will be able to host a home meet!
» The 2018 Kids Triple Crown schedule will kick off with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters 1K on a beautiful Free Union farm on March 31, with the Run for Autism Quarter Miler to follow on April 14. The Discovery Museum and Ragged Mountain’s Annual Kids clinic, hosted by the coach Bryan Fetzer’s UVa track and field team, is set for April 7th at the UVa track. This fun interactive clinic is free to kids ages 3-12 but you must register ahead of time with the museum.
» Our collective running community is mourning the tragic loss of one of our own, as we remember the life of Andy Yost. This remarkable and kind man was struck down by a drunk driver while out training for the 10 Miler on a rural road in Greene County. He will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and a large group of those same folks will be racing in memory of Andy at this week’s 10 Miler. We send our condolences to his wife, kids, and family of friends at this very sad time.
Mark Lorenzoni has been coaching community runners and directing local races, on a volunteer basis, since 1980. Follow him on Twitter at @coachzoni or go to coachlorenzoni.com