January 2012 AFMDC Leaderboard

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Here’s who’s out in front after the ARC Decker Challenge. The times given are cumulative times from all three Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge races.

Overall Female Lisa Buckley 3:28.37
Female Masters Rose Martinez 3:35.02

Overall Male Joseph McCellon 2:35.54
Male Masters Jim Moore 3:10.00

Women’s Age Group Leaders
15-19 Courtney Reich 3:35.17
20-24 Erica Stoltenberg 3:34.54
25-29 Deidre Skrundland 3:33.05
30-34 Ashley Butler 3:39.22
35-39 Lisa Buckley 3:28.37
40-44 Angelica Kelley 3:44.52
45-49 Rose Martinez 3:35.02
50-54 Cynthia Burton 4:18.09
55-59 Barbara Fellman 4:11.03
60-64 Reenie Smith 4:47.28
65-69 Judith Reader 5:26.08
70-74 Margene Beckham 6:28.18

Men’s Age Group Leaders
10-14 Sutton Lindsley 6:02.17
15-19 —–
20-24 Kyle Higdon 2:44.41
25-29 Daniel Thompson 2:54.19
30-34 Joseph McCellon 2:35.54
35-39 Scott Merritt 2:56.26
40-44 Jim Moore 3:10.00
45-49 Marvin Hope 3:11.11
50-54 Gordon Alexander 3:11.46
55-59 Dan Wood 3:22.27
60-64 Frederick Taylor 4:29.56
65-69 Walt Tashnik 4:03.52
70-74 Michael London 4:19.15
75-79 Keith Mason 5:37.41

AFMDC UPDATE
3M: It's not just about the tape

One of the best race goodie bags a runner can get comes from the 3M Half Marathon: electrical tape, Post-it notes, insect repellent, Scotch tape, lint removers, and all sorts of cool stuff (Runner’s World magazine gave the haul a “Best Schwag” award in 2008). There will be a technical fabric shirt again this year, along with an option for women’s sizes as well as men’s. And for the first time, 3M will have an expo featuring 15 different vendors before runners hit the streets on January 29, 2012.

But as cool as all that stuff is, the best reason to sign up for 3M is the course. It’s a point-to-point route, run from Austin’s northwest sector at Stonelake Boulevard through the city to downtown. There are some slight changes this year. Due to construction at Waterloo Park, the finish will be located near the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. (If you’ve been wondering why the course map was unavailable on the race website, it’s because it was pending final approval from the City of Austin, though the course has been USATF certified.) The old course has a net downhill of 4.8m/km, and many runners have set their fastest half-marathon times there. The course records are “smokin’ hot”: 1:01.05 for the men and 1:09.35 for the women.

The problem runners have with 3M is the very thing that’s so wonderful about it: that fabulous, fast course just begs to be raced, but not every runner on the course benefits from racing it. Who in the world doesn’t? For runners who are working the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge (AFMDC), the course presents an interesting training decision. For the half marathon track, 3M is the middle of three half marathons to complete. For experienced half marathoners, the first 13.1-mile race (Decker) may have merely been a tune-up for fast times at 3M, with a big finish at the Austin Marathon Half in February. However, for those new to the half marathon distance, Decker may have been a rough entry into a new longest distance, and they should make sure to have recovered adequately from the ups and downs around the Travis County Expo Center. In addition, new half marathoners should cast a wary eye at yet another maximum distance race in a few short weeks (the Half at the Austin Marathon). Those three races can be a big load on a body that is just getting accustomed to running 13.1 miles.

For AFMDC runners on the marathon track, the 3M race is in an interesting position, whether you’re a first timer or an experienced marathoner. Safe runners will look at 3M as a venue to practice marathon-goal pace, perhaps even adding mileage before or after to make it simply another long (and fully supported) training run. Many coaches suggest that runners target their marathon-goal pace for the first ten miles and then allow themselves a faster race pace in the final 10K (with a stern admonition not to blow anything out in the process). For an experienced runner who recovers well, the temptation to race 3M and then rest up for the marathon afterwards is truly hard to resist.

Whatever the skill level or goal, runners in the AFMDC need to take a minute to reflect on just how 3M fits into their overall plans for completing the series. It’s hard to resist pushing the effort when faced with an open, downhill road, and surrounded by throngs of runners gunning for a new personal record while still keeping in mind the larger picture—to finish a multi-race endurance event with a great cumulative time and a healthy body.

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