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May/June 2012 - Level Renner

May/June 2012 - Level Renner

Ritchie in his college

Ritchie in his college days Photo by Erik Torres and running in general, where there may be days when you don’t want to run for any number of reasons, but if you show up and lace up, you will improve. We all have crosses to bear in life, but Tim’s feeling is that through tenacity, consistency, and passion, those crosses can be carried. The pace drops as we re-enter Watertown. We are lucky to catch the traffic light and manage not to break stride. As we race through the intersection, I’m struck not by a car but by what a humble, gracious guy Tim Ritchie is. He mentions to me on numerous occasions how flattered he is June 10, 2012 Rutland, VT Half Marathon 10K 5K 10K Relay This year’s 10K is the RRCA’s VT Masters’ Championship race All races are USATF certified that Level Renner is doing a piece on him. The only time he actually talks about himself (without me directly asking something) is an anecdote from high school while racing against Chris Barnicle (see future Level Renner article). When I press him for the major influences regarding his steady improvement, he speaks of a large group of supportive family, friends, Coach Kerr and Jesus Christ who he feels “has truly given me the gift, the strength, and opportunity to train hard, run fast, and love every moment of it.” (Editor’s Note: Ritchie ran 28:44 at the Stanford Invitational on April 6 to meet the Olympic Trials “B” qualifying standard. Let’s hope he gets the “A” standard at Payton Jordan. Ritchie recently participated in the BAA Invitational Mile. You can read his race report on www.levelrenner.com.) Kevin Gray is a regular columnist for Level Renner and a self-proclaimed running geek. Reach him at kevingray@levelrenner.com. Come join the celebration! Run with Bill Rodgers! www.crowleyroadrace.com The Crowley Road Race exists to promote cardiovascular fitness. We are dedicated to achieving our goals by educating the youth and adults of Rutland County and the State of Vermont through healthy lifestyles in providing the avenues to achieve youth and adult cardiovascular fitness. 20

Off Track It stands to reason that sooner or later just about every renner will become a little bored with standard training practices. Although I love intervals, hill repeats, and tempo runs as much as the next guy, (did I really just type that?), boredom can occasionally creep into my bi-pedal nirvana. We can try substituting short races for speed work or changing up locations and routes; however,sometimes it’s simply a case of needing some- thingdifferent. Image from Wikipedia.com Adventures with Presidents Now, as this spring is attempting to behave like summer, I feel like I’ve arrived at this point. Naturally, when I overheard fellow runner Mike Galoob discussing his “adventure runs” and dropping phrases such as “talus scrambling,” “Presidential bagging,” and “fastest known time,” I was obviously intrigued. It turns out he wasn’t referencing an exotic recipe or the punch line to a dirty By Muddy Puddin’ joke. He was in fact talking about the Presidential Traverse, a grueling “hike” (read: run) that starts in northern New Hampshire. The Presidential Traverse (or “Presi” for those that dislike extra syllables) has long been revered by hikers and fast hikers (read: runners) alike. Although small by western standards, to be fair, the White Mountains do offer up some trails and tribulations. Despite its many variations, the generally agreed upon minimum requirements of the traverse are (traveling north to south along the mountains) Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, and Pierce. A trek along this delineation would yield approximately 20+ miles and about 8,000 feet of total eleva- 21

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