Posted on January 17, 2011


'Ol Times at the Armory in NYC - 2007


What does the zip code of Cimas, Spain and I have in common? Well, the digits 15168. That is what I ran for the 5k at the Armory in NYC!

The Armory and I go back a long ways  since my days of running track for John Jay Senior High (’98-’02) and then moving on the Marist College (’02-’07).  I’ve spent many hours sitting in that building and I have also been involved in several memorable races there.

My training has been very consistent since the middle of November and I wanted to get a taste of competition to see where my run fitness is at. If you have followed my story last year, you’ll remember that my running sucked due to an injury! So, what better test than to run with a bunch of college kids at the Armory.

I called up coach Pete and told him to enter me in and seed me at 15:30-15:45. I thought on a ok day I could run 15:45 and on a good day I could get under 15:30. I forgot how Coach seeds.

15:15! I was nervous. Not because  I didn’t think I had a small shot at that time but, it put me on a the borderline  of having to run in the first heat, which would most likely go out at 4:45/mile pace and I’d have to hang on for dear life. Not what I wanted. I wanted to build throughout the race so I can get some confidence back in my running. With a few scratches I thought for sure I was going in the 1st heat but, I ended up being the 1st seed in the 2nd of 2 heats. Nice!

I was excited to race, a little bit nervous too but, overall, I just wanted to step on the track and get a hard effort in. Also, barring a complete disaster, maybe the current team members, who all entered Marist after I left in 2007 (SIGH, gettin’ old!), wouldn’t think that triathletes are all reject runners. Not to mention, Mike and Petra Trunkes, my good friends and colleagues, stayed till 10pm to watch me run. Needless to say, I didn’t want to run slow.

Below is Coach Pete’s words:

Jut was the big question mark. Sure, he is a professional triathlete these days, and we’re very proud of that. He’s always very, very fit. But even he was unsure of how his current fitness level would translate to the track for a 5km. He was in the slower section with Scrudato and O’Sullivan. I was hoping they would cruise at 5:00 pace for as long as possible. After some uneven early laps, Jut settled into 37s and eventually stepped out with a great negative-split effort.

Time turns elastic. Instead of 2011, it was back to the mid-2000s. We’re at the Armory. Jut’s wearing his Marist jersey. He’s running hard. He’s running tough. He’s looking at me from behind his glasses, wanting to hear that his splits are where they should be: 37, I say, right on, looking good. An almost imperceptible nod, and Jut increases the pace.

Just race. He puts his head down and races harder. Generations of Marist Running blend into one, once again, at a nearly deserted Armory.

Splits were:

4:57, 4:53 (9:50) , 4:53

1km: 3:07; 2km: 6:09 (3:02); 3km: 9:14 (3:05); 4km: 12:18 (3:04); 15:16.81 (2:58.81)

It was great warming down with the current Marist  guys who ran the 5k and hearing them banter in excitement about the time they ran or how their race played out. But, the best part was hearing them refer to me as “Jut”, which to me, it seems at least, only my closest friends call me. Although we don’t know each other very well yet, there was this amazing connection between us, which happens with endurance athletes who participate in the same race. Camaraderie. Respect. Appreciation.

After two easy days following the race I’m back to normal training and just finalized the details for my fundraiser. $5/ticket. 5 for $20. More details tomorrow.

MART: Marist Alumni Racing Team - Vanny '09

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