Building off the enthusiasm we’ve seen from several months of individual virtual races in this socially distant world, CRC in August raised the stakes with a virtual dual meet against our cross-river rivals, Brighton Bangers. The meet consisted of three track events: mile (1,609 m.), 3200, and distance medley relay (DMR) with legs of 1200 m., 400 m., 800 m., and 1600 m. The team-oriented format and relatively rare race distances for the club on the track changed up the pace (no pun intended) and drove a 2020 virtual race participation record: 32 CRCers. Many raced two or even all three events and did so rocking the always-snazzy CRC kit.
For Jen Caban, it was the first time she had ever raced the 3200 m. distance–or any distance between one mile and the 5K, so that was interesting for her. The August virtual dual meet was Alissa Hofmann’s first race with CRC. She also said, “This was my first ever official mile race so it is an automatic PB for me, at 6:42. Two weeks before I tested a time trial and had run a 7:00min/mile which was the fastest mile before the dual meet.” And Wes Mather noted the meet was a creative and fun idea–and he even made friends with some of the Brighton Bangers after seeing them out on the track several times. He added that it was cool that CRCers participated from across the country (shout-outs to Matt Pennock in Texas and David Kennedy in Pennsylvania!).
I personally enjoyed spectating Team Pikachu at Harvard’s McCurdy Track (#QuarantineActivities). Paul Olson, Andrew Avitabile, and Sam Markson raced their legs (with Erik Edgar remote), events that turned out to be secondary to the main event that followed: Paul’s young son Anders racing his own 400. In his team-name-inspiring Pokémon t-shirt, he blazed a 2:00 400 despite stopping after the first 100 to check out the interesting steeplechase pool.
But more than anything, the dual meet showed how much of a team sport running can be–especially within CRC. We see it at the USATF NE Grand Prix races when we score as a team and it was evident here as well, even if virtually or from a distance. I hope you experienced the same feeling of camaraderie and encouragement that comes from a group effort as I did. The race was an exciting distraction from the weirdness of this year since March and a reminder of what we have to look forward to when the world returns to normal.
Finally, major credit goes to the Shoko Okabe for taking the lead on organizing the event with her friends from Brighton Bangers. The race wouldn’t have happened without her. Thank you, Shoko!
See below for the final score and race results, and check out the CRC Instagram for pictures (again–looking good in the CRC kits!).
Now that we’re beginning to meet up in person for workouts, we will regroup to decide what racing will look like in the club for the remainder of the year. In the meantime, enjoy the cooler weather as you ease back into workouts and keep your eyes peeled for new race updates.
On behalf of the CRC Race Committee,
Kyle and Shoko
Full results are located here: .
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