August 2017

River City Running Club



August Newsletter

Upcomming Races

August 10 Pursuit for a Cure 5K Arcadia, WI
August 12 Paavo Nurmi Marathon Full, Half Hurley, WI
August 19 Running of the Beef 5K Arcadia, WI
August 19 Goodview Gallop 5K Goodview, MN
August 19 Kornfest 10K, 2M Holmen, WI
August 26 Lion's Club Run/ Walk 5K La Crosse, WI
August 26  Wausau Marathon  Full, Half, 5K  Wausau, WI 
September 8 Superior Trail Races 100m, 50m, Full Lutsen, MN
September 9 Apple Dumpling Day Full, Half, 5K Elroy, WI
September 9 No Frills Marathon Full Minocqua, WI
September 10 F.I. is Going to the Dogs 5k La Crosse, WI
September 16 Run to the Edge 5k La Crescent, MN
September 16 Mini Donut Half Marathon Half, 5K Onalaska, WI
September 22/23 Goose Bumps Run 24 Hr, 6 Hr La Crosse, WI
September 24 Fox Cities Marathon Full, Half Menasha, WI 
September 30 Maple Leaf Road Races Half, 5m, 5K La Crosse, Wi
September 30  Driftless Trail Races 50k, Full, Half, 10k   Hillsboro, WI



Call for volunteers and pacers – Mini Donut Half Marathon - September 16, 2017 at 7am at the Onalaska YMCA.
Come out to support a local race and represent the River City Running Club
as a pacer or volunteer along the course. If you’re interested, please contact the club president. See the race webpage for more details:
Keeping Going to Keep Going
For the past nine months, I have been doing something I didn’t think I
could do. I was continuing to run whatever amount and whatever intensity
was comfortable through the duration of my third pregnancy. I didn’t think
I’d actually keep running until and past my due date. But, the farther
along I got, the more important it seemed for me to keep going and the
more unreasonable it seemed for me to stop. So, on I ran.  And I came to
the surprisingly simple realization that I could keep going as long as I
kept going.
Perhaps you have come to this realization in the midst of a hot, sweaty
long run, or lousy streak of winter weather in February, or a time you’ve
suffered an illness or injury or time in your life that limited your
ability to run. In any case, keeping going may be the solution to keeping
So, at 41 weeks pregnant, I’m still waiting on the new addition to our
family and newest member of the running club. But, I’ll keep going and I
hope you all will too through the month of August and beyond.
Happy running,
Sloan Komissarov
President, River City Running Club
Marathons, Aging & Some Data
David Bange
Although I’d been intending to do something like this for quite a number of years, I finally got around to it.  Might have been while sitting indoors listening to it rain.  And rain.  And rain some more.  
First, some background.  It’s no surprise to anyone that runners get slower as they age, regardless of how much or hard they train.  It’s also apparent that the number of runners in an age group also declines with age — for example, fewer runners compete in the 45-49 age group than in the 40-44 age group.  In the oldest age groups, the numbers really decrease.  Other than in the really big races, someone could usually place, in say the 65-69 age group, by simply entering and crossing the finish line.  At my age, I figure that my entry fee is more or less buying a T-shirt, a couple of bananas, and a medal.  
I suspected that two things were true.  First, I thought that the best race times would remain about the same up to maybe age 40, and then decline at a steady rate after that.  Second, based on searching race results for years, I estimated that the number of entrants would drop by about 50% per age group, starting with the 45-49 group.  But those were just speculations, and I’ve always wanted to get actual data from the internet.  I was wrong on my first assumption:  it turns out that racing times show a clear, but steady decline starting at age 25, and then drop precipitously after age 60.  My hunch on the decline in the number of entrants in age groups was, actually, pretty much on the mark.
Here is what I did to get some data.  I looked up the most recent race results for both men and women from four important marathons:  Twin Cities, Chicago, Marine Corps, and Los Angeles.  To estimate how race times for the best runners declined with age, I looked at the top 5 finishers in each age group from 25-29 to 80+ and calculated the average clock time.
Here’s what I found:
25-29 2:23:15 2:51:25
30-34 2:28:22 2:58:12
35-39 2:37:25 2:59:20
40-44 2:42:15 3:13:24
45-49 2:45:56 3:19:45
50-54 2:52:02 3:25:00
55-59 3:00:57 3:41:10
60-64 3:18:10 3:53:25
65-69 3:43:04 4:19:20
70-74 4:09:47 5:12:30
75-79 5:22:50 6:15:28
80+ 6:38:55 7:27:27
As you scan the data, it’s pretty clear (at least to me) that the first drop of more than a few minutes occurs at 60-64, after which the drops grow rapidly.  Keep in mind that these averages are from small samples, and a couple of them were skewed by an occasional extraordinary performance.
Now for the number of competitors by age group.  I found it interesting that the Twin Cities Marathon has by far the fewest entrants, but the quality of the top runners is markedly better than either Marine Corps or Los Angeles.  Of course, Chicago drew the top-level runners by far.
Age NO. of MEN NO. of WOMEN
25-29 6781 6181
30-34 7069 6587
35-39 7259 6148
40-44 6950 5612
45-49 6355 4194
50-54 4575 2696
55-59 2945 1400
60-64 1573 571
65-69 687 213
70-74 271 73
75-79 65 12
80+ 20 4
Two final observations.  First, I was surprised that in each age group, the men outnumbered the women.  I expected as much for the older groups, simply because so many of the really old guys began running back in the 70s, and have simply kept doing marathons.  In those years, significantly fewer women were entering races, let alone competing in marathons.  I had expected to find more women than men in the younger age groups, which is now the case for shorter distances.  My second observation is on the oldest runners.  Very, very few men or women over the age of 79 complete marathons.  The large majority of the 80+ finishers (12 men and all the women) were in the Los Angeles Marathon, where there appears to be no strict time limit.  The oldest finisher in my survey ran Los Angeles -- he was 88 and his time was almost 9 hours.  In Chicago, 7 runners over 80 finished, the oldest being 84.  The only other over-80 runner was 83, in the Marines Corps Marathon.  
I hope that readers of this found the statistics as interesting as I did.  As I always told my students, you can learn a lot by studying numbers. :-)

July 1, The Firecracker Races, La Crosse, wI

Firecracker 4 Mile      
Taylor Gibson 24:05 (2nd Overall) Leonard Pitt 29:59
Scott Tyink 24:41 (1st 50-54) Bonnie Stubbendick 32:21
Jamie Mannion 24:50 (1st 55-59) Darick Bloom 33:57
Randy Gibson 25:01 (2nd 55-59) Cory Clark 33:57
Jamie Dahl 26:39 (2nd 45-49 Tanya Pitt 35:35
Angie Smith 28:05 1st 50-54() Michelle Pitt 36:03
Jim Stenulson 29:40 (2nd 60-64) Bob Rusch 36:43
Will Pitt 29:40 Stacy Suchla 41:48
Liberty 1 Mile      
Leonard Pitt 6:40 Bonnie Stubbendick 7:56
Will Pitt 7:16 Michelle Pitt 8:24
Tanya Pitt 7:30    

July 8, Mad Half Marathon, Wakefield, VT

Sara Strassman 1:47:06 (1st Overall)