Tag: 10k

Vassallo Continues Hot Streak, Earns Title

Dan Vassallo is in pretty good shape. Pat Rich, who is pretty quick himself, came into the shop the other day talking about a recent 5 mile race where Dan bested him by over a minute. That race was the Backshore 5 Miler back on May 9th in Gloucester, MA. Vassallo won that won handily with a 24:52 solo effort (Rich ran a 25:56 also by himself for second place). Because of performances like that, people were listing him as their pre-race favorite. Here’s our Q&A with the 2014 USATF-NE outdoor track 10,000m champion.

Did you focus your training with a fast 10,000m in mind, or is this a byproduct of training for another peak race?

NB Twilight Vassallo Derderdian

Vassallo cruises alone in the dark, courtesy of Tom Derderian.

I have not really been training for a 10,000, as I’ve just been trying to maintain a good base for a fall marathon and peppering in a few workouts to stay sharp for whenever I feel like hopping into a race.  I PRed in the 10 mile in Virginia in April, and after that, I scoped out the Twilight Meets.  I was happy to see that the meet with the 10,000 didn’t conflict with weddings, bachelor parties, or a 5K road race in June that is pretty important to me, and thrilled to discover that it fell in the two weeks in between the spring MBA and summer MBA semesters – so I could sleep more than 5-6 hours a night.  I guess I’d been focused on the race since I found out it would work with my schedule.  I did a few 10K-specific workouts, but nothing that would take away from my base training.  I felt I had an outside shot at running sub-30:00, but a more realistic expectation of running around 30:15.

This was a pretty big PR for you. When was your last attempt?

My last honest attempt at a 10,000m PR was in April 2011, and I was unable to run what I wanted to.  Since then, as you know, I pretty much spent two years being injured and accumulating ping pong balls.  My 10k PR was at Lone Gull in 2009, when I ran a 30:39.  In fact, most of my PRs were in 2009.  Jess Minty, who also flirted with a 10K PR Saturday, has a pretty similar story, and I think we are both equally thrilled to finally be back to where we were five years ago.

How long were you with eventual winner Byrne?

I warmed up with Jake, and I knew that if the rabbits were going to do 71s, it might be disastrous to stay with the rabbits for an extended period of time.  Also foolish, though, would be trying to run 72s by myself.  So I stayed at the back of the single-file lead pack for maybe seven laps until I couldn’t hold on anymore.  There were a couple of other guys who fell off the pace later, and they fell off harder than I did.  I’m really happy to see Jake run under thirty, as I think that’s his first time under that mark.

What did you think of racing in the dark?

NB Twilight Outtage Derderian

Checking the results by the light of the race clock, courtesy of Tom Derderian.

Running in the dark was cool – much cooler than running in the dark all winter.  I guess it gave me the opportunity to feel the way my college teammates felt during the 4×800 Blackout Relay.  It probably didn’t have an impact on how fast I ran one way or another.

What does it mean to you to be NE champ?

I’m a little bashful to admit that I didn’t even know this was a championship race – just knew it was an opportunity to run a fast 10,000.  But it’s really just another reminder for me about how nice it is to be healthy and running close to my potential every once in a while.  This is probably already my best year since 2009, as I’ve been able to get almost 2,000 miles in so far, PRed three times (10 mi, 5 mi, 10K), and have only run one bad race.  What really matters, though, is whether I can keep this going until November 23rd in Philadelphia.

What’s next?

Next is the Cabot Trail Relay in Nova Scotia with sixteen of my closest friends from Maine.  Depending on how much abuse Smokey Mountain puts on my legs, there may be a few more races in June.  At least one.

Lastly, what were your splits?

No idea what my splits were.  I don’t think I ran any laps slower than 74, and I know my first mile was 4:44.  My five-mile split may have been 24:09?  I just remember calculating how slow I could go while still catching my old PR.

You know you’re in good shape when you’re figuring out how slow you can run and still get a PR. Dan’s time for this race was a 30:16.3.

Nash Takes 10,000m Crown, PR’s

Here’s our Q&A with Melissa Nash, the Bentley grad and 2014 USATF-NE outdoor track 10,000m champion. Melissa ran a 34:36.9 en route to the win on Saturday in a race that was held in the dark due to a power outrage at the track.

Is this your first NE championship?

No, this is not my first NE championship. I have won the 5k indoors twice (2011 and 2013).

Did you jump into this race or is track your focus right now?

Minty Nash NBB Twilight Derderian

Nash leads Minty as they fly around the track in the dark. Courtesy of Tom Derderian.

Track is my current focus and I did have this race be my main focus for the season so I am extremely happy my training came together. Now, I will switch gears and try to run a PR in the 5k in a few weeks.

What is your 10,000m PR?

Previously, my 10k PR was 35:19, which I ran last year at the NBB Twilight meet. Now it is 34:36.9.

It looks like you and teammate Jess Minty worked together. Was that part of a plan going in?

Jess and I were very fortunate to have a pacer through the first 5k, Viviana Hanley from Harvard, then after that we worked through the field until I pulled away with 1.5 miles or so to go.

What did you think of racing in the dark? Do you think it negatively impacted your time?

The dark actually wasn’t an issue for me. I am not sure if I was just really focused on the laps, but I didn’t really notice the darkness until after finishing. I could never see the first place woman, but I was running for time and knew she was too fast for me. With a 43 second PR, I think I would be greedy in saying that it impacted my time.

What does it mean to you to be NE champ?

Being NE Champ is a great feeling and having these championship races recognizes that track in New England is still relevant.

What’s your preferred race: road, track or XC?

XC is my favorite season as the courses and conditions challenge you in a different way.

Congrats to Melissa! The inquiry about racing in the dark wasn’t just a goofy question. One quick look at the results shows that 5 of the 9 women didn’t finish the race (including the pacer). That’s a very high percentage. Did the dark have something to do with that? Did some of them not even start? Did they take a wrong turn in the dark? Hopefully no one got hurt and it was just a fluke thing.

Club New England Championships Kickoff with a Bang

Club New England Championships Kick Off With a Bang

by Mike Giberti

Minty Nash NBB Twilight Derderian

Jess Minty & Melissa Nash, courtesy of Tom Derderian.

Yesterday evening, the second New Balance Boston Twilight Meet held at the University of Massachusetts Lowell featured the 10,000 meter event, which was also run as part of the USATF-NE Open and Masters Championships. Despite a delayed start due to a power failure and having to hand time and lap count every athlete individually, the 10k was the race to watch. The overall men’s winner was Iona’s Jake Byrne, who executed an astounding even-split clinic to cross the line in 29:42.9h, good for 43rd in the NCAA D1 East Region. Dan Vassallo (CMS) was the USATF-NE Champion in 30:16.3h. On the women’s side, former North Carolina State distance standout Andie Cozzarelli took the win in 34:15.2h with the top Club New Englander being New Balance Boston’s Melissa Nash in 34:36.9h. The rest of the USATF-NE Open and Masters Championships will be contested at Regis College on June 29th, 2014.

Dan Vassallo is all smiles after setting a PR and being crowned USATF-NE 10,000m champ (the crown will be forthcoming). Photo by Jim Pawlicki.

Check out the full meet results here.


Fairchild Nabs Masters Title

Melody Fairchild capped off a busy week of racing by winning the James Joyce Ramble 10k, which also served as the USATF masters 10k road championship. Melody ran a 35:15 and pretty much cruised to the win.

Full recap here.

Galoob Captures First National Title

Mike Galoob (Peace Dale, RI) won the 2014 USATF national masters road 10k title at the James Joyce Ramble on Sunday, April 27, 2014. The 40 yr old ran a 32:37 in securing his first national title, and had to hold off a ferociously surging Peter Hammer in the end. Mike was also sporting the new Level Renner singlet for the first time. What a way to christen it!

Full recap here.

Sang Returns to Racing at Holyoke

In his return to race action for the first time since November, Amos Sang didn’t look too rusty. Sang finished 5th (31:27) at the Holyoke St Patrick’s Day Road Race, coming in just ahead of his training partner Glarius Rop (6th, 31:43). Amos attributed the absence to a toe injury, and also kept him from doing much speed work. For a guy who hasn’t been doing speed work, that was a pretty quick race.

Sang was able to get out with the leaders, but just after halfway through it was Mengistu Nebsi and Ayele Feyisa that stepped up and broke it open. Mengistu went on to win in 29:42, while Ayele was second in 29:47.

Overall the race was a little slower than last year. In 2013, Alistair Cragg won in 29:20, with second and third following in the next eight seconds (Philemon Terer and Zach Hine, respectively). Even Sang was behind his time of 31:10 from 2013, but his lack of racing and speed work explains that.

Western Mass is has a wolf problem, and evidence of that was the streets running blue with WMDP members. The squad placed 6 in the top 29, led by Kevin Johnson who ran a 31:56 tempo effort. Kevin Quadrozzi (9th, 32:14) was just behind him and had quite the adventure.  Kevin’s shoe came untied in the first mile, and then he cramped up pretty bad the last two miles. Running low 32 through all of that is not too bad.

Fellow wolf Andy Messer (12th, 32:50) came in soon after, and for Messer it was surprisingly his first time doing the race even though he lives right over there. Video below contains an interview with Messer that follows the Amos Sang and Kevin Quadrozzi segments.


Lone Gull 10k: Duncan Finds His Rhythm

Sean Duncan (WMDP) and Olympian Steph Reilly continued to tear up the USATF-NE Grand Prix series with their wins at the Lone Gull 10k on Sunday in Gloucester. Both runners shot out to the lead early and held it, but ran a little conservatively and weren’t quite sure of what to expect in terms of competition.

Sean knew there were runners in the field that were capable of giving him a run for his money, especially with Nate Jenkins lurking somewhere out of sight. When he felt a presence coming up on him later on, there was some surprise to see that it wasn’t Jenkins but instead newcomer Nick Karwoski (Whirlaway). Nick surprised a few people that day, including many Whirlaway teammates who didn’t see a welcome email but were shocked to see an unknown giant in a Whirlaway singlet chasing down Duncan at the end of the race. The element of surprise wasn’t enough and Nick wasn’t able to reel in Sean. Sean’s 30:50 was good enough for a seven second cushion, and added even more points to his series total.

With only two series races left (30k & marathon), Sean appears to be in command. In fact, coupled with his win the prior week at the WMDP XC Festival, he now leads in two series (road and xc). It appears that 2013 is Duncan’s year. It’s not over yet and it may be premature to celebrate, but I think it’s okay to start the celebratory dancing. Just a little bit. Maybe for 16 seconds or so.

Steph Reilly also has a commanding lead in the grand prix standings and further asserted her dominance on Sunday. Reilly cruised through the streets of Gloucester and comfortably ran a 34:58. Her next closest competitor was Jess Minty of New Balance Boston, who ran a 36:27. Steph is more focused on coaching her Bryant University team right now and is just trying to get through this phase unscathed. You wouldn’t know it from the way she’s racing.

Binney Mitchell (GMAA) and Christen Doneski (Whirlaway) were the top masters. As far as teams go, Central Mass Striders took the titles in both men’s open and masters. Having Jenkins and Dan Vassallo finish 3-4 is a great way to start the day. The New Balance Boston women claimed the open team title, while Whirlaway was able to score the masters team title.

For more on this event, check out:

Race pics by Ted Tyler
Race pics by Krissy Kozlosky (featured image on the main page is hers)
Full results

*Sorry for the video quality. For some reason YouTube isn’t uploading it in HD. We hope you can enjoy the dancing and the interviews without that video quality. We’ll try to fix and re-upload later.

Level Renner 10k - Interviews

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Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

It took a few days to get these videos together, but there seems to be a whole lot more pressure doing them when they are for your own race. We’ve come a long way since we shook the world by posting our first videos back in February of 2012.

With talent like Ruben Sança and Glarius Rop in the field, we knew there was potential there for a couple of fast times. I just don’t think we imagined that they’d run this fast. Incredible.

We were equally excited about the ladies that signed on for the first event. Kyle Feldman was still working her way back into top form after battling an injury, and Lindsay Willard bypassed some much needed rest from her busy racing schedule (while also overcoming an injury) to come duke it out in Brockton:

Lastly, we have Rat Royalty. Peter Wallan is/was the editor and publisher of the glorious Hockomock Swamp Rat.  We actually started up Level Renner to help fill the void left when Wallan retired from publishing his journal.  Here’s what he has to say:

For a full write up of the event,  you’ll have to wait for the next issue of the Level Renner magazine. It’ll hit your inboxes within a matter of days, so make sure you’re on our subscription list so that you get it while it’s fresh (and are eligible for this month’s gear giveaway). And be sure to check out the website for Scott Mason Photo and Krissy Kozlosky; they both continue to contribute high quality work to the Level. They support us, so please consider supporting them.

Courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky

Courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky

And The Winner Is…

GreaterBostonRunningCo_Logo copy
Daniel Nash is the big winner of our latest contest. Daniel won an ASICS prize pack, courtesy of  ASICS and Greater Boston Running Company - Newton.


For those that need a refresher, this was the gist of the contest:

This month the LEVEL has teamed up with The Greater Boston Running Company and ASICS for a head to toe ASICS prize package including shoes & clothing. All subscribers are entered to win, and more chances to enter will be coming so keep checking in on the Level website and all of our social media channels.

Daniel is new to the Level and just ran the first annual Level Renner 10k. We surprised Daniel with the announcement just after he finished the race. We had no idea what he looked like, only knew that he was number 287. Once he caught his breath, he was able to bask in the glow of victory.

As you can see to the left, Daniel also got himself his very own Scott Mason Photo race pic. That alone is worth celebrating.

This contest was featured in our last monthly subscriber email. If you didn’t win, don’t worry, your next chance is coming up soon. Thanks again to all who came out to support us yesterday at our first event. It was so great to see so many familiar faces and to get know some new faces. We’re already thinking about 2014 and are looking forward to making it a better race.

Here is a brief interview with our latest contest winner:

Sorry for that video quality. Youtube won’t seem to let us upload in HD at the moment. We’ll have to try to fix it later.

North Andover July 4th Road Races

It was a hot one in North Andover! Mark LaRosa is new to the neighborhood and decided to run the race at the last minute. This only gave him a couple of minutes to warm up. Luckily for him, warm ups and cool downs seem to be only ceremonial on days like that.

There were two races, a 5k and a 10k. The 5k went off first at 8:30, where it was already unpleasantly hot. The course took the runners up Johnson Street (Johnson Hill), as if to let them know that they needed to get ready for a tough one. Taylor Roberts was up in the front of the 5k pack, along with a couple of other runners. Taylor would end up taking the lead later on and holding it for good. Winning times for the day were 16:50 for Taylor and then 21:45 for top woman Katrina Martyn.

Katrina runs for UMass Amherst (going into her senior season) and is the daughter of Whirlaway stud Doug Martyn. It wasn’t the first big hill that she found to be the toughest, but a stretch near the end: “The Salem Street hill was brutal at the end because it was entirely in the sun and I was already pretty tired, but my sister and I run up there a lot so I was used to it.” The course itself is easier on the way back than it is going out, so that just goes to show how brutal the sun was. Katryna has been busy racing since school got out for the summer. She ran the Run to Remember (1:38) back in May, and although she’ll miss some races in August due to some European travel, she plans on getting in some more longer races or a few 5k’s before heading back to school.

In the 10k, it was the aforementioned LaRosa who would go on to win in his first race in his new home. It was a familiar scene up front through: BAA vs WMDP. Mark took the honors for his Unicorns, while lone wolf Scott Vander Molen was runner up about 30 seconds back. The top lady of the day was Clara Kelly of Boxford.

For a few more pics and a video clip, check out our Instagram, Twitter and Vine accounts.

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