>> Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Here are the final results for the 2012 Minnesota Distance Running Association's Grand Prix Series:

That's right!.... I won!

Older, more experienced runners have been telling me all season that the winner is the most consistent. (Many runners told me that multiple times.) And I was able to be consistent this year.

There's a few things to note, and this first one is the biggest:

1. Ben Merchant could have shown up to the race on Sunday, had a nice "jog," and beat me. I won't re-post everything I said before, but CLICK HERE to read my post from last month about the 4 ways I could win the series. The first one was "Ben doesn't show up." Ben didn't / couldn't race, and in doing so, he let me win. There's no way I can compete with someone who can run a 4:27 mile, a 15:36 5K, a 32:43 10K, and a 2:38 marathon all in the same year! (And word-on-the-street is that he was hoping for a much faster time at that marathon.)

2. Kirt, Eric, and Rick (2nd-4th) all gave me a good run for my money. Scott, Nathan, and Michael (11th, 13th, and 32nd) all beat me at least once at a race, and they all could have beat me if they had finished 10 races. Patrick (28th) would have beat me FOR SURE. Even Brian in last place could easily out-score me if he raced the whole series (he MUST have been pacing someone to get those 24 points).

Enough poo-pooing. Here are some good things:

1. I'm just really happy I was able to race 12 races MOSTLY INJURY-FREE! Last year, I signed up for the series but only finished ONE race before my nasty heel injury:

2. Two months ago (in this post) I said, "I'd be lucky to break 9,600." Well I was the 2nd Grand Prix racer at Sunday's 6K, and that bumped my Grand Prix total from 9,586 to 9,623. I'll take it!

3. I thought winning the Grand Prix just gave you "bragging rights." My brother-in-law asked on Facebook what I won, and I said "I think just a firm handshake..." But the MDRA commented on that post and said "You win some really great stuff, you will just have to wait to find out at the 2013 MDRA Annual Party in January!" Sweet!!

4. I'm SUPER proud of Jeremy for finishing 11 races and earning a "complete" score! I don't know if I've told this story before: Jeremy was a student in one of my classes at the U of M a few years ago. Either 1.5 or 2.5 years ago (after he was my student), we bumped into each other while both running along River Road. I didn't know he was a serious runner. We stayed in touch, and I told him about the Grand Prix series earlier this year. He joined in after 2 races, and he ended up finishing 7th OVERALL (3rd in the "open" 34-and-under category) as the YOUNGEST series member!! CONGRATS JEREMY!!

Jeremy's "super photogenic" finisher's photo from the New Prague Half Marathon.
(I want to look that good when I PR.... teach me your ways, Jeremy!)

5. I just have to smile at Kirt Goetzke finishing in 2nd AGAIN. (If you're a distance running in Minnesota, you HAVE to know of Kirt - he races ALL the time!) He won it all in 2009, but he was second in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Sorry Kirt! :)

6. I set a few PRs racing this many running races this year, but I thought I'd set more. My only "real" PR is my 1:20 half marathon. My other PRs are "default" PRs because I hadn't raced that distance before: I raced my first "road" mile, my first 25K, and my first 6K CC race. I was about 15 seconds off my 5K PR which I THOUGHT I might be able to get this past year, but I was really surprised I couldn't set a new 10K PR this year - I'd only ran ONE 10K before this, and I raced 2 this year. The first 10K this year was wet and cold, and I didn't race the first half strong enough. The 2nd 10K was HOT, and everyone was off their goal times by 60-90 seconds.

Just more for my records than anything else, here's how I did at all of the Grand Prix races (check out my FULL "race reports" in the sidebar). Below is the race, my place among Grand Prix racers, my time, and then how much faster I could have been to earn some more points (to show how close some of the races were). And I've noted twice where I could have been a little slower and LOST a few points too:

• Meet of the Miles: 3rd in 4:54.
• Securian Half Marathon: 5th in 1:25:23. 0:08 +33 points (would have gained 2 spots!).
• Human Race 8K: 4th in 29:17. 0:02 +12 points.
• Get in Gear 10K: 3rd in 36:52. 0:30 +13 points.
• New Prague Half Marathon: 1st in 1:20:56.
• Brian Kraft 5K: 3rd in 17:28.
• Rice Street Mile: 3rd in 4:56. 0:01 +17 points (0:04 slower -18 points).
• Run for Blood 5K: 3rd in 17:49. 0:07 +28 points.
• Rochester Half Marathon: 3rd in 1:25:45.
• Victory 10K: 4th in 38:02.
• City of Lakes 25K: 4th in 1:39:53. 0:50 +23 points (0:08 slower -22 points).
• Rocky's Run 6K (CC): 2nd in 23:25. 0:20 +30 points.

So right now, I'm just thrilled!!! It's been a GREAT year!!!


Travis 2:24 PM, November 06, 2012  

That's pretty awesome man, you should be uber proud! Consistency is hard to attain!

Colin 2:27 PM, November 06, 2012  

Congratulations, well deserved!!

Greg 3:11 PM, November 06, 2012  

Well Deserved! I know I offered, but who took Ben out? Do we need to be looking at the police blotter for Nancy Kerrigan?

Erika 3:18 PM, November 06, 2012  

Congratulations! That's quite an accomplishment - kudos to you!!

Nobel4Lit 3:36 PM, November 06, 2012  

Great job!! Now if someone asks, "Did you win?" you know what to say!

Alicia Kons 6:02 PM, November 06, 2012  

Great way to follow up an injury year! Congrats and hope you are able to keep it up :)

Ken L 7:54 PM, November 06, 2012  

Nice work! And the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers are all "old" like me! There's hope!

Carolina John 2:06 PM, November 07, 2012  

That's really amazing. Great job Steve!

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