Q: What is your favorite running trail?
A: It’s not really a trail. And I’ve only run there once. But one of my favorite runs of all time has been my run through Parc Jean-Drapeau, an island of the middle of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal’s Old City. You can see several interesting sites on your run including the Casino Montreal, the futuristic biosphere dome built for the 1967 World Expo, and the rowing venue from the 1976 Olympic games. But the highlight of my run was the chance to run on the racing circuit used for the Formula One and Indy Car races. I only ran part of the course (and in the wrong direction on top of that). Next time, though, I’m going to run a qualifying lap to see how my time compares to the times of the best drivers in the world.
Q: What is your favorite SLR trail (if different from favorite running trail)?
A: The Normanstone-Klingle route is one of my favorite SLR running trails. The climb up Normanstone is a tough workout. And I definitely have a devilish grin on my face when I hear people griping about the hard climb.
But I also enjoy the “undiscovered” quality of the Normanstone Drive. Of the tens of thousands of people travelling everyday along Massachussetts Avenue, how many know about this route less than 100 yards away that follows a babbling brook up through the little valley?
Another bonus: The temperature in the summer always seems 5 to 10 degrees cooler in the summer along this section.
Q: What SLR trail should Max and other course planners never have charted and exposed unsuspecting runners to?
A: Who the hell is this Max guy?….I’m going to join the bandwagon of runners complaining about out-and-backs on the Mt. Vernon trail. In the summer, it’s too exposed to the sun, especially without any water fountains. In the winter, it’s too exposed to the wind. How is it possible to do an out-and-back running into the wind in both directions?
Q: What’s on your race schedule this year?
A: So far this year I’ve targeted only two races: Columbia RRCA 10-Mile Challenge and Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. Going forward, I plan to participate in Tom’s Run in June. After that I will run most of the races in the Bunion Derby. And I will probably run the Quantico half-marathon in the fall.
Q: What’s your favorite marathon?
A: It’s easy to choose my least favorite marathon: Baltimore Marathon (2001). While technically accurate, a course with a mile long climb at mile 20 should not be described as ‘net downhill’!
It’s a much tougher call to decide my favorite marathon among the other three that I have run. Marine Corps (2000) was my first, and Chicago (2003) was my best. But I think that Pittsburgh (2002) was my favorite.
I had not fully recovered from the CCT Fat-Ass 40-Miler, so I did not have a goal time for Pittsburgh. Instead, I simply enjoyed: the skyline of the city, the bands at almost every mile, the Galloway option at miles 20, 21, 22, …, and my mugshot on the Jumbotron in Heinz field.
Another highlight of the weekend was the performance of two other SLR regulars. Both Tom Stone (3:22:29) and David Bowie (3:59:??) ran PRs in this race.
Q: What would you say was your most memorable race?
A: Clarksville Lakefest 5K (1988?).
Although I was only a youngster myself, some young punk started talking trash to me the night before the race. He also volunteered that he hadn’t been training that hard since he had been in a car accident. I’m not sure why, but his trash talk really pissed me off, so I decided that I was going to push the pace early to break him. Instead, I nearly broke myself. At about the 3k mark, I was beginning to slow, but I still heard “his” footsteps just behind me. Eventually, “he” passed me.
But it wasn’t “him”. Instead, some “old” guy was passing me (although that “old” guy probably wasn’t much older than I am now). I decided that I wasn’t going to get beat by an “old” guy and managed to keep him within striking distance. While the “old” guy was braking on a downhill stretch, I made my move with less than 1K to go and kept pushing through the brutal uphill finish.
I’m not sure whether or not I won the race, but I do know that I beat the “young punk” and the “old guy”.
Q: My Run from Hell, or the Run I Should Never Have Embarked Upon, is….?
A: One of my worst runs in recent memory is the reverse Rock Creek Loop that SLR ran after Hurricane Isabelle (sp?) blew through town. I wanted to get my last really long run before beginning to taper for Chicago. Ideally, I wanted to run about 22 miles and finish the last 4 or 5 miles at marathon pace. Alas, it was not to be. My first mistake was trying to keep up with Sarah Lee and Joanna Schmickel, who were training for Richmond. We were running around 8:30 or better, much quicker than the 9:00 pace that I should have been running. I managed to keep pace for about 10 or 11 miles, before I realized the error of my ways that is now so apparent in hindsight. After “letting” them go and being passed by another pack of SLR regulars, I settled into a much more sustainable 9:30 pace for the next 5 or 6 miles. I should note that the trees that had fallen across the trail probably helped my time as much as they hurt it, since I was able to catch my breath a bit scrambling around, over, under, and through the branches. With about 5 or 6 miles left, I decided to finish at marathon pace. Unfortunately, I could sustain the effort only for about a mile and a half. After scrambling through some more fallen trees and a couple of miles at close to 10:00 pace, I decided to walk the rest of the way home.
Q: What’s your best marathon time?
A: Chicago (2003) – 3:36:23.
Q: What is your average mile pace during SLR runs?
A:Anywhere between 8:00 and 10:00 depending on how good I’m feeling and how far I’m going.
Q: What’s the best running shoe you’ve ever worn?
A: No opinion.
Q: What do you currently run in?
A: Brooks Trance NXG.
Q: How many pairs of running shoes do you use per year?
A: 4 to 5.
Q: What is the funniest thing about your current job? (No need to divulge any classified information :))
A: My office location. Even though I’m more or less of a grunt, at one time my office suite included the offices for 1 EVP, 3 SVPs, 1 VP and 2 Directors.
Q: What’s the worst job you have ever had?
A: Food prep for the Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester NY (1995).
During my time in grad school at the University of Rochester, the Ryder Cup came to town. Although I waited in a long line at the post office one midnight to mail my application (think April 15th times 100), I failed to get any tickets to the Ryder Cup. Instead, I volunteered to help in order to get to see some of the golf live and in person.
Basically, I served as a “gopher” for the professional chefs serving the hospitality tents. Among other tasks, I stocked the freezer and sliced vegetables. But the worst task I had was preparing the sausages. Uncooked sausages are not appetizing to begin with and cooking them doesn’t help that much. The chefs simply grabbed them out of the steaming water, but I kept scalding myself when I tried. After preparing hundreds of sausages that day, I haven’t eaten a sausage since.
Q: Name your favorite pizza.
A: Ham and pineapple
Q: What is the most recent book you’ve read?
A: My Boys Can Swim. Suzie and I are expecting our first child in late August!!!
Q: Who is/are your favorite Nobel prize winner(s)?
A: No informed opinion.
Q: If you were a car, which car would you be?
A: What car am I? Probably the car that I currently drive Mazda Protégé 5. It’s sporty, fun to drive, practical, but a little bit underpowered (Does the analogy of a pet looking like its owner apply here?).
Or what car do I want to be? Probably Peter Solzberg’s Subaru Impreza WRC04. Solzberg just won Rally New Zealand in this car. Suzie and my in-laws went with me to watch a couple of the stages of this year’s rally. It’s hard to believe how aggressively these guys drive their cars. Going in excess of 100 km/hr on a gravel road and accelerating toward a 90 degree turn less than 40m away is mind-boggling to me.
Q:Caribbean Cruise or Appalachian Trail Hiking? Why?
A: Hiking in the Caribbean: Why not have the best of both worlds?
Q: Preferred Starbucks espresso drink?
A: None, but I do have a glass of chocolate milk for breakfast every morning.
Q:Top three movies ever seen?
- Smokey and the Bandit
- American President
- Live and Let Die
Honorable Mention: Animal House, Love Actually, Caddyshack, and Breakfast Club.
Q: What’s your preferred (or least repulsive) Gatorade flavor?
A: Orange or Fruit Punch is preferred. Sometimes I even drink Gatorade with meals.