2009 Stories
Fast Tracks Running Club
This page was last updated on: September 16, 2009
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2009 New Year's Run - NYC
New Year's - January 1, 2009
Central Park - NYC

It’s true. Four of your own fellow, intrepid, really cold Fast Tracks members wended their way up the NJ Turnpike to represent our club in the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park. Stacey R, not pictured, was already up there waiting for the event to start. You should note, however, that the four of us in the photo, Paige, Jen, Jim and Stacy are shown staying warm in an East Side Billiard hall. The ladies made money hustling the locals in pool, then we headed out for the run before they figured out what happened. I had nothing to do with it. J

Three of us made it for a 7 miler in VF this morning. Still really cold in the “south”.

Although 2009’s run was announced a bit late you should mark your calendars now for next year’s event.


Jim McHale



Paige, Jen, Jim, Stacy A. in NYC
2009 Marathon & Ultra Marathon Stories
2009 Broad Street
2009 Lehigh Valley 1/2 Marathon
Broad Street
May 3rd, 2009


It would be remiss of us not to recap yet another Fast Tracks event today...and it is debatable whether running Broad Street or tailgating (albeit in the pouring rain) was more rewarding...too many Fast Trackers to mention who ran and many who PR' d / spectated / or just set-up the tents / grilled the burgers / drank the Bloody Mary's (thank you Stacey R.) all with the hope of the Phillies NOT being rained out (see Tom C's e-mail for commentary on the Philly weather ~ game canceled)...to update everyone Jeff and Dave (the med students who locked their car with it running)...did locate a spare set of keys...and I suggest we make them honorary Fast Track members especially as Jeff intends to be an Orthopedic Surgeon (need I say running injury....)

A very special acknowledgement to Andi and Harry for their guidance, support and encouragement of all the new Fast Trackers running BRQAD STREET  for the first time...well done!

So we put another memorable day in the Fast Tracks repertoire....

For those running across the country...travel safe!

Debbie Z.
Click here for pictures . . .
Lehigh Valley 1/2 Marathon
May 3rd, 2009

Good morning all,

Elisha Waz, Dena Rocchio and I ran the Lehigh Valley half yesterday. Fortunately, the the rain held off until we reached mile 11, and we finished in drizzle before the heavier stuff started. We all had PRs.

A running story
I know that people usually only send out running stories about impressive races like marathons and ultra marathons.  Well, this story is about a little seven-mile run over an amazing bridge in the Florida Keys.  So, this is not a story about the blood, sweat and tears of running a marathon, or even a half marathon.  This is more of a life story.  Let me start out by saying that running has been in my family for years.  My Father was a runner, and at the age of 6 I watched him complete his first marathon in 1979 in Philadelphia.  I ran my first 5K with my Father in Northeast Philadelphia where I grew up, and I have been hooked ever since.  Back then, running marathons was really for elite athletes, and I was pretty proud of my Daddy for being so “cool”.  He didn’t have fancy running shoes or technical shirts, but he ran his fastest marathon in under 3:15, nearly grasping a Boston qualifier.  Sadly, he never did get to run the Boston Marathon.

I ran my first marathon when my husband was in Iraq.  I needed something to keep me occupied; another place to focus my energy.  Unfortunately, by the time I even thought about running a marathon, my Father’s knees were shot, and he couldn’t go the distance with me.  I know it has always bothered my Father that we never got to run a marathon together, and makes him sad when he sees me cross the finish line & he isn’t there with me.  In 2005 he ran the last 6.2 miles of the Philadelphia Marathon to me, and that was an awesome experience.  I was able to get a picture of my Dad & I crossing the finish line of a marathon together, even if he didn’t run next to me all 26.2 miles.

This past weekend my Dad & I ran the Seven Mile Bridge Run in Marathon Key, Florida.  My Father grew up in Florida, and still has family there, so we decided to travel there for a long weekend, some fun time with family and a beautiful run.  The morning of the race it was chilly, believe it or not.  Since my Aunt works for the bank that sponsors the race, my whole family is very involved.  My cousin was at the two-mile marker with a ham radio in the event of a medical emergency, my Mom & Aunt were on the hump of the bridge handing out water, and my Uncle was at the five-mile mark blasting music & getting the runners pumped up.  There was a 30mph tailwind, and it was overcast.  The weather was perfect.  We finished the seven miles in 64:09.  The race itself was uneventful, but the memories I made with my Father this weekend were unforgettable.  And my Dad can still kick my butt even in his 60’s.   Just remember that life is too short, and good time spent with the ones you love is so important.

I attached a picture of my Dad & I at my first 5K, and a more recent one from the bridge race.

Tina Devlin

20 in 24 Race Report
20 in 24
Philadelphia, PA
July 18 - 19th

What a fantastic weekend of running! The weather could not have been better. Warm days, cool night and the sky was clear and beautiful. Our club was well represented. We had two relay teams and one other team had strider/fast track members, the midnight run and the pajama loop as well as a number of runners running as lone rangers.

The race was extremely well supported and well organized. Lloyd hall was the perfect venue for just hanging out in between laps, taking a nap or just catching up with friends. The race is multiple laps of the 8.5 mile loop which is run clockwise from Lloyd Hall over to the west river drive, over the falls bridge and back on Kelly drive the midnight run and the pajama race ran counterclockwise). Four aid stations greeted us around the loop with all kinds of foods, drinks and plenty of smiles no matter the time of day or night that one passed them by. Some of the volunteers were out the whole 24+ hours working their stations. As you know the race is a fundraiser for the Back on My Feet program and it netted over $100,000 for the program. Many of us got to meet and run with the members (as they are called in BOMF) and those were very memorable miles.

I am not one for numbers and times and I will leave that for others to fill in but I'd like to point out a few observations. First,  the Germans as wonderful as they are now have something new to brag about. They are all ultra marathoners. Let's see who else can match that!  The fast tracks gold team completed all their laps this year with very limited amount of mishap. I had the occasion to see Bobbie with curlers in her hair at 5:30 in the morning and she looked adorable (used within a racing context of course). Keith came to visit with us and cheer us on and it was special to chat with him and see how good he looked after his race.Ethel was out there pounding out lap after lap despite the blisters that were causing her so much pain and after having just run the western states (a draining event). Perla was out  with her beautiful family and this time running as a lone ranger and she did great.Let's talk about inspirational, let's talk about Jen Erickson; who seems to be able to run through anything (she is fighting MS) with a smile on her face and just straight on perseverance. The gold relay team members Tom, Donna, Marissa, John and Jim when not running, were giving us support and encouragement. Bill Miller while running with another team was over quite a bit checking on everyone and offered us his tent outside if we needed some R&R away from all the noise. I did not get to spend much time with the other relay team Peg, Charlotte, Lance, Kim and Nate who were stationed outside but I did get to see some of their runners from time to time and they looked like they were enjoying themselves as well. Howe can you help not have fun at this event? It is just one big party. Music, lots of runners and pizza at midnight!!!

So I have saved the most memorable experience of the race for last. I was privileged to spend over 24 hours with Sarah German and got to know her and see what a strong runner she is. I thought I was the ultramarathoner guiding her through the race and was I mistaken. Her tenacity and running power was inspirational and kept me going. Of a personal nature, my son's ability to move his schedule around and fly in for the weekend to spend time with me at the race is something I will always cherish.

So, all in all this is one hell of a great event something for everyone in addition to fully and completely supporting a great cause. Philadelphia, Fairmont Park, friends, the lights on boathouse row and the quiet of 3 a.m. are a combination we should all get to experience.

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support.



The Sunset Challenge Olympic Distance Triathlon
The Sunset Challenge Olympic Distance Triathlon

After much consideration, I have decided that this race report will be presented in the form of a report card. As a teacher, I usually give grades to others. Today, I give them to myself.

Marking Period: July 18, 2009


Timeliness: C+
I like to be early to races so I have plenty of time to set up. On this particular morning, my Wawa stop took longer than planned. They were out of blueberry donuts. Looking back, I really should have a plan B for that type of situation.

Preparedness: D-
When driving into the parking lot, I realized that I forgot my bike helmet. Hmmm, not racing today. I managed to borrow one at the last minute from a true American hero. I also forgot my bike pump and Gatorade.

Swim: A+
Even though we normally don't give A+'s here at Triathlon University, I feel like I deserve one. Swam fast (for me), sans wetsuit, through much seaweed.

Bike: C
Why won't my shoe clip into the pedal? After what felt like forever, I finally discover my cleat is broken. I clipped in only after jumping up and down on the pedal for a few minutes. Someone really should be filming me. I must be hysterical.

Transitions: B
Not stopping to reapply lipstick really saved me a lot of time.

Run: B-
Legs cramped before I even left transition, but finally found a rhythm after a half mile.

Overall Course Grade: A+++++++++++ (looks like an eBay review)
Won my age group!!!! (it was a small class. I won't say how small.)


Diamond Half Ironman
Delaware Diamondman Half Ironman
Sunday, September 13th

Hi everyone:

What a day! Four Fast Track members ventured to Bear DE to compete in the Delaware Diamondman half Ironman yesterday. Three were doing that distance for the first time. Three guaranteed PRs, so I had to step up and make it four.

The day started out overcast and cool, which was perfect. The swim was a simple out and back for a 1.2 mile total. To get to transition, though, there was a 1/4 mile run, which was grueling after the swim. The 56 mile bike route was flat except for the biggest bridge I have ever seen in my life. The bridge was bad on the way out and horrible on the way back when we were faced with strong headwinds and increasing fatigue. The half marathon run was pleasant along the canal connecting the Chesapeake and Baltimore's Inner Harbor, but the sun came out and it became brutally hot. Still, with our sights set on the finish nothing could stop any of us.

Deb Z, Kerry and Sylvie were all magnificent. All three took third place honors in their age group.

Thanks to Ethel for cheerleading the group at every turn.

Special mention: it was to see Milo biking along the way. What a pleasant surprise.


Jim McHale

+1 484 467 7120

Thanks Jim for that nice race report!

I just wanted to give a special BIG CONGRATS to Sylvie.  Not to downplay the rest of our achievement in completing this half ironman but the rest of us had been working on our tri "skills" by competing in a number of tri events over this season.  We had our routines down and were ready to go the distance. 

About 2 months ago, Sylvie said to me "Hey I think I want to do that Half Ironman with you in Sept, can you send me the information?"  And so I did and she signed up.  At that point still semi-injured from her before Boston injury Sylvie and I started doing mini brick workouts on Friday mornings taking the runs slow so she wouldn't get injured again.  Sylvie didn't have a pool to practice her swimming in so when she would go to the beach on the weekends you would see her swimming from one jetty to the next (out with the dolphins!).  Eventually, she was able to join me at Bally's for a little while due to a nice promotional deal.  She worked on her swimming - having some difficulty due to a shoulder injury in college but worked through that.  She is a very strong swimmer! 

Sylvie had previously done a tri but YEARS ago - prior to moving to the East Coast. (from what i've been told).  So we'll treat it as her first time, certainly her first time at such a LONG distance!

So if you see Sylvie, give her a big CONGRATS for not just finishing any tri but for finishing a Half Ironman Tri with only a couple of month's worth of determination and training!  Not to mention placing in her division!!  WOW!

Congrats Sylvie :-)

For those who are on Facebook, Ethel has posted some great pictures from the Half Ironman.  She'll get them to Tom to put onto the Fast Tracks Website as well.


Harrisburg Half Marathon
Harrisburg Half Marathon

Those of us who protested the PDR by running the Harrisburg Half need to report in. Stacey R. placed first in her age division! WAY TO GO!! I finished fourth in my age division. I think track work had a positive effect in my performance. Thank you, Joan.

For those of you who are looking for an alternative to PDR next year, this is a nice race. There were about 1150 runners in this event yesterday. Cost, even for late registration, was $45. and there was race-day packet pick-up. Nice, scenic course, mostly along the banks of the Susquehanna River.

John Pauley