A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

High Rock Challenge and SIAC - A One Year Accomplishment!

Since I'm finally indoors from all the gorgeous days we've been having this week, several of us at the Staten Island Athletic Club (SIAC) finalized our group preparation trail runs for those who are interested in getting fit for the High Rock Challenge on April 28.

Yes, SEVERAL of us.

Last year was the first full year that I was with SIAC. When putting together these runs last year, there were maybe only two or three of us in SIAC that knew the trails well to lead these runs. I was hard pressed to lead these groups into the Greenbelt on almost all of the runs last year.

What a difference a year makes!

I can safely say that at least 8 of us in SIAC (I know there are more!) who know the trails of the Greenbelt enough to lead these groups now. We have enough people who are willing to lead runs on both Saturdays and Sundays leading up to the race; on those days where there isn't a run, we have a trail race somewhere on Staten Island.

And there's more!

We have people regularly running trails now that haven't been running before. There are people I know who just started running just the past two years that are now ready to tackle an ultramarathon. This is quite an accomplishment!

Thanks to Mark Vogt, the president of SIAC and the rest of the Board, the club has officially recognized trail running as an up-and-coming sport and has accepted us into their fold by forming SIAC Xtreme (siXac), a committee specializing in these events as well as triathlons and obstacle races. And you can't say enough about Matt Lebow and the terrific job he's doing in creating great trail races on Staten Island and putting our area on the map for trail racing. We are starting to receive people from outside of Staten Island who want to run and race on the Greenbelt trails. And lastly, you have to hand it to the folks at the Greenbelt Conservancy who allowed all of these great activities to happen on their home turf.

We came a long way in just one year!

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Speaking of which...here is the final schedule for the Saturday and Sunday runs leading to the High Rock Challenge. Most runs are 4 miles on up. All paces are welcome.

Saturday March 17 - On the Blue Trail at 8AM from the back of Petrides (Staten Island Blvd. off of Ocean Terrace) - Peter Priolo leads.

Sunday March 18 - Meet at High Rock Park (end of Nevada off of Rockland Ave.) at 8AM - Darren Corona leads.

Saturday March 24 - SIAC St Patricks 5K Race at Wolfes Pond Park (great tune up race for HRC).

Sunday March 25 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Katherine Callan leads.

Saturday March 31 - Wolfes Run 5K/10K Trail Race - Wolfes Pond Park.

Sunday April 1 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Darren Corona leads.

Saturday April 7 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Nancy Cofrancesco and Amy Lenza lead.

Sunday April 8 (Easter) - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Katherine Callan leads.

Saturday April 14 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Nancy Cofrancesco and Amy Lenza lead.

Sunday April 15 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Darren Corona leads.

Saturday April 21 - SIAC Scholarship Trail Race at Willowbrook Park.

Sunday April 22 - Meet at High Rock Park at 8AM - Darren Corona leads.

Saturday April 28 - High Rock Challenge!!!


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