This profile of Robert Cipriano first appeared in our March/April 2012 issue. FYI: Cipriano is still racing hard as evidenced by his latest performance at the Amherst 10 Miler.
Robert Cipriano, a man who had a sterling year in the 50+ age group in 2011 which included domination in his age division in the New England Runner Pub Series and killer times in Boston, Cape Cod, New Bedford, and Stowe, did not race in high school. Instead he chose the team sports: soccer, baseball, and basketball (team captain). Shoulder injuries led him to rowing in college. Of crew he says, “I wasn’t very good but I was generally able to outrun most of my team during winter conditioning.” Yes, the seed of running had been planted in those conditioning runs, and he eventually started to jog more consistently years later in dental school. He recalls, “I remember my apartment overlooked the George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River and I decided to one day run across the bridge…it was exhilarating to be running 225 feet above water and was a real escape from the demands and monotony of dental school.”
After crashing and burning in his first marathon (1986 NYC; 3:17) on 30 miles per week, Robert ran recreationally until 2002 when he joined the Somerville Road Runners. With them things started to click. He says, “The late Steve Burton, our track coach at the time, became a friend and encouraged me to ‘use the club’ for support and motivation, and through some hard work and more importantly with the support of other club members, I was able to make running a part of my life…I was no longer running alone but I was running with teammates and this energized me then and still does today.” He really hit his stride in 2011, and he attributes that to not only avoiding injuries but more importantly to the “excellent competitive training atmosphere” that SRR provides.
The consistent training and hard work all came together for Cipriano at the Cape Cod Marathon this past October. Running much of the race side by side with Jon May (unofficial SRR long run coordinator) and Joe O’Leary (SRR track coach), Cipriano and his teammates won the master’s team division, all finishing within seconds of one another. Cipriano won the senior division outright with a time of 2:43.42 breaking the senior course record (formerly held by Reno Stirrat) by over 2 minutes.
For 2012 Robert is looking forward to running a few races with his 21 year old daughter Chiara and 16 year old son Miles as well as the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series. In October he plans on going out to Chicago for the marathon with a group of his SRR teammates. One last note on Cipriano: he doesn’t use a training log. In his own words, he refrains from the journal “just to challenge the hardcore numbers guys out there.” Cool. The Level likes that.
PR’s as a 50+ Runner
5K – 16:48 Super 5K 2012
5M – 27:51 Carver 2011
13.1 – 75:51 New Bedford 2011
26.2 – 2:41.23 Boston 2011
To read from our March/April 2012 issue, click here.
To read from our March/April 2017, click here.