Happy New Year! With winter upon us, the Wild Rovers have holed up in their top-secret bunker (rumored to be deep underground, somewhere in the vicinity of Delmar’s Four Corners) to plan the 2019 racing season. Top of mind for all is USATF’s first annual Grand Prix Series Team Competition, followed by cash-purse team events and, of course, countless individual goals, ranging from 5K PRs to ultramarathon titles.
But first, a look back on the latter half of the busy 2018 racing season, during which the Rovers proved themselves a force to be reckoned with on the Capital District running scene. In early June, the team placed second overall at the blazing-fast Route 50 Mile (results here) in Burnt Hills, bolstered by impressive, sub-5:00 performances from Chris McCloskey (16th, 4:43), Noah White (18th, 4:50) and Paul Mueller (25th, 4:52). Chris Mulford and Tim Pendergast scored next—both under 5:04—and Andrew McCarthy rounded out the squad a few seconds later.
Just over a week later, Mueller and Pendergast (respectively) struck again, this time showing their off-road prowess as they nabbed the top two spots at theRensselaerville Ramble 8-Mile Rabbit Trail Run (results here), one of three low-key races traversing the rugged singletrack trails of beautiful Huyck Preserve.
Six Rovers celebrated America’s independence with a third-place team finish at Saratoga’s Firecracker 4 (results here). In his Rovers debut, Tucker Chrapowitzky (38th, 23:12:55) led the charge, followed very closely by Matt Gokey (40th, 23:17:56) and Chris Chromczak (50th, 23:50:97). Pendergast and John Deer both chased their way into the top 100 of more than 2,500 finishers, while Brenan Tarrier brought the team home.
Late summer and early fall were marked by impressive individual performances, starting in mid-August with Mueller’s decisive trail marathon win—by an incredible, 20-minute(!) margin—at the Thacher Park Trail Running Festival (results here). A month later, Chrapowitzky (1:22:51) turned in a solid solo performance at the rolling
ADK Distance Festival Half-Marathon (results here) around Schroon Lake, good
for 8th place overall. On October 7, White lit up the Mohawk-Hudson River
Marathon (results here) with a red-hot 2:49:13 in his debut at the distance—made even more impressive by warm temps and suffocating humidity—which landed him in 13th place overall. Two weeks later, Deer finished 4th at the Town of New Scotland 7.1M, setting a new PR along the way by averaging 6:21 miles over a course packed with challenging steeps.
The Rovers laced up their spikes and “got the band back together” long enough to win the throwback Saratoga XC Classic 5K (results here) team competition on the last weekend of October behind solid runs from Chrapowitzky (6th, 17:09), Chromczak (10th, 17:42) and Mulford (11th, 17:45). Deer (26th, 18:49) and Andrew McCarthy (32nd, 19:14) kept their heads down over the mixed-surface course in Saratoga Spa State Park, and brought home the W.
In early November, Peter Koch passed on running the Philadelphia Marathon, and instead applied his months of marathon training to an unofficial personal race, dubbed the Olde Delmarathon, around the streets of Olde Delmar on the same
weekend. For eight 3.3-mile laps, he was paced by a rotating cast of Rover teammates, including Greg Potestio, Gabe McGarry, Al Faller, Mulford, Gokey, Eamon Dempsey and Mike Austin (thanks, guys!) on his way to a 7-plus-minute PR, stopping the clock at 2:54:09 (unofficial result here).
The next day, the team capped off the season with a third-place finish at the MVP Health Care Stockadeathon 15K. Chrapowitzky (20th, 55:37) again led the Rover contingent—he would be voted the season’s MVR by his peers for hi race leadership—in a field of 1,300-plus runners, followed by Deer (34th, 57:58), Mulford (47th, 58:50), McGarry (80th, 1:01:38) and Chris Scoville (1:09:47), who critically filled out the squad in his team debut, despite being unwell (thanks for the sacrifice, Chris!).
Since then, we’ve officially welcomed four new members into the Rove for the 2019 season—Mike Austin, Gabe McGarry, Greg Potestio and Chris Scoville—bringing our roster to 22, adding even more versatility to the team, and setting us up for bigger hardware hauls in the coming year.
Finally, we’d like to thank our sponsors, Buenau’s Opticians, Four Corners
Pharmacy, Twisted Vine Wine & Tap, Sawyer’s Screen Printing & Embroidery and Normanside Country Club. Without your generous support, we’d just be “a drinking
team with a running problem.” Thanks to you, we’re a first-class running team with a drinking problem—not to mention sexy uniforms, eagle-eye vision, first-rate PEDs and, of course, top-notch places to meet and drink. Cheers to all of you, and to continued growth and success in the new year!