Monday, April 25, 2005

Commodore Barry Bridge 10K

The Commodore Barry Bridge runs over the Delaware River connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Some photos and a history of the bridge are here:

I like the google map overview:

And here is the start and finish area:

The race is an event I have done several times. The run is for the Conflict Resolution Center in Media. Several years ago I went through their mediator training course. I didn’t intend to be a mediator myself but wanted a better understanding of how the process worked and how police could best utilize the Center for the various disputes they encounter.

Yesterday (and today) saw a dramatic drop in temps. Not so severe as the Midwest but chilly, windy and overcast. I really only had one goal – to better my time from last year.

The run has three divisions 5K, 10K and walkers. The 10K runners get to traverse the whole bridge which I enjoy. It starts on the New Jersey side of the river and crosses to Pennsylvania. I tried to find some photos that give a sense of the elevation rise but this link was the best I could do.

and this view going from Pennsylvania to NJ.

The race is well organized and going over the bridge is great fun so I am always surprised that there aren’t more participants. (Oh and it has one of the best post race meals anywhere). There were a 104 in the 10K and 88 in the 5K. Perhaps the race is too close to Broad Street or maybe it is just too challenging.

The race starts just past the toll booth and the first mile and half is a steady climb up. I can never believe how far away the crest of the bridge seems. I actually ran the first mile well, perhaps too fast and then inexplicitly slowed down on the second – way too much since this begins the down hill. I can’t be sure but this portion seems longer but not so steep. The first mile was made even more difficult by strong, swirling winds that seemed to come for every direction but from behind. I got a smile out of the second place runner when I yelled at him – just one more hill. Part of my pacing problem was that I was not in contact with any other runner. After that one slow mile I believe I did pick pace up (relatively because I still had to climb to the crest again). This climb seems easier, less wind and a gentler slope. No one was passing me and I managed to pick off a few runners. The great thing about this race is you have a mile and half ending that is completely downhill. I ran it well and was only passed by two runners in the last .2. They were chatting away. Curse them.

Since I felt good during the whole race I was disappointed to see I was 35 seconds longer this year than last (49:11 vs 49:46). Last year I had a bit of a duel on my hands and I think that pushed me a bit. This year by and large and I ran “alone”. I was also surprised to see I was ninth in my age group – last year I was fourth. Of course as I get to the bottom of the group there are lots of speedy 50 year olds running. Interestingly this race seemed to attract a lot of older runners (14 of the top 20 were 40 and over).

Well on to Broad Street where my goal will once again be to better last year’s time.

Toll Area

Toll Area
Originally uploaded by ctbrunner.
This is starting area and finish area for the Commodore Barry Race.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Commodore Barry Bridge

Originally uploaded by ctbrunner.
This is the bridge that will host the run Sunday Morning. It is a 10K (6.1 miles). The run takes you over the bridge and back. I am hoping the rain coming tomorrow ends by Sunday morning.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

April Running

What beautiful weather - especially rewarding after a long, dreary winter. Set out on a ninty minute run on my usual weekend course. Many of the flowering trees are in full bloom so the course is particularly enjoyable. I took a photo of the boxwoods below. This house has been under renovation for most of the last year. The was a large evergreen hedge that was removed. The new homeowner must have great patience because these boxwoods will only mature many years from now.

New Hedge Posted by Hello

The daffidols below are a yearly treat. The blooms are already past their prime but still beautiful.

April Flowers Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Downna Shore

So after most of March had below average temps, the first seven days of April have been above average. Breezes off the ocean make for cooler temps at the shore, but bright blue skies make for lovely weather. I did two shore runs. Saturday I ran on the beach - first south toward Longport. A strong wind was blowing north to south. I enjoyed the push but knew it would be much harder heading back. It turned out to be one of the more fierce winds I have run into. I tried to run as close to the surf as possible so that there would be less sand blowing on me; fortunately the tide was going out so there was a good swath of wet sand. Probably because of the wind I had the beach mostly to myself. Many of the homes are still boarded up against the winter. Last year I wrote about the beach replenishment project along the Ventnor/Atlantic City beaches. Unfortunetely, along about a ¾ mile stretch of Ventor's beach the replenishment is gone. The photos are below. The dunes held but the sea carved out small cliffs ranging from a couple of feet to 9 or 10 feet high making the beach inaccessible in those areas. With the summer season six weeks away I wonder what the town will do - at high tide the water comes right up to the "cliff" hence no beach.

On Sunday I did a boardwalk run - it is that transitional time of year - many people walking seemed dressed for January whereas I was quite comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts. The Atlantic City portion of the boardwalk seems as tired and run down as ever. Caesars has some new development going that looks as unfinished now as it did last October and Showboat is undergoing some kind of renovation but right now just looks deconstructed. But it was such a beautiful day. On the way back a bicyclist came up beside me and we talked about weather, beaches and how crowded it would soon be. It was nice and I reflected how unlikely that scenario would have been on my normal Sunday route.

Have you seen the new feature on google maps - you can see a satellite image of any location. This is the photo image of part of Absecon Island.

The thin black line closest to the water is the boardwalk. To move up or down the beach just move your cursor. Left is south toward Longport and right is north toward Atlantic City.

It's always fun to get out on ever changing beach.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Max explores Posted by Hello

Poles Posted by Hello

Toward Atlantic City Posted by Hello

Tumble down the dune Posted by Hello

Toward Margate Posted by Hello

Max inspects the damage. Posted by Hello

This road will be hard to use Posted by Hello

Path to beach? Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Tyler Arboretum 10K

Gotta admit I am a pretty lucky guy. Today has seen heavy rains but when the Tyler Arboretum began it ended and we got the whole race in withour a downpour. Of course the trail was often a quagmire but that is part of the fun of trail runs.

I am pretty sure the weather cut down on the turn out because the field seemed thin. Well those who wimped out missed a fun event. Normally, I tried to keep my
feet dry but today that wasn't an issue since they were wet from the get go. No hesitation or rock hopping at the first stream crossing, I just plunged ahead. (Although I was startled by how deep the rains have made this normally tranquil stream.)

I have become quite familiar with the course from my Friday runs so about 80% of the course was home court. I wasn't fast but rock steady and ran up all the hills.

After the race a couple of runners told me that they had almost been knock over by a couple of deer but by the time I came by they were long gone.

One of the runners and one of the volunteers had done the Hat Run so we got to compare notes.

Isn't great that we get to run thru the woods, jump in puddles and get covered with mud.

P.S. I wrote about my missing Baltimore Marathon
shirt to the Hat Run race director and he sent me a
found Baltimore Marathon shirt - unfortunately it
wasn't mine. I mean what are the chances????

P.P.S. No t-shirt at today's race - they gave wool caps - this one I hung onto. The winners' medals were cool - blocks of carved wood.

Up Posted by Hello

Stepping Stone Posted by Hello

park view Posted by Hello

Foodl Line Posted by Hello

Finish Line 2 Posted by Hello

Finish Line Posted by Hello

Finisher Posted by Hello

entrance road Posted by Hello