Monday, November 5, 2007

The Baddest Mother You Ever Did See

I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the east Africans of West Chester Track Club go toe-to-toe with the hither-come Canadians from The Guelph of Canada, wherever that is. It was going to be like the French-Indian war, what with foreign powers duking it out in New York and all. All we would be missing would be Daniel-Day Lewis running around and chucking tomahawks in a fringed shirt, but bjw was willing to fill in if I said the word. We even got the pre-race scoop from Speed River poster-boy Reid Coolsaet: he of the 13:21 5k. So I have to admit, I was at least a little disappointed in the competitive imbalance at the 4th annual Bad Boy cross country race, hosted by Manhattan Track Club. Read more after the jump.

To be sure, the hosts seemed to be missing some of their guys, notably Trials competitor Karl Dusen. But I think the biggest disappointment from a spectator's standpoint, at least, was the lack of loose-cannon, gun-slinger types, in town to watch the Trials and willing to mosey on up to VCP for a little 8k action. Dan Wilson made an appearance last year, but this year Josh Eberly (Brooks, formerly Hansons-Brooks) was the only unattached name of any national repute, which was a bit of a surprise given how many club guys were in town to support their teammates Saturday morning.

Nevertheless, if you look at all the alumni of the event, it's rather impressive for such a fledgling event. And really, I have to say that for a young event such as the Bad Boy, each year that you successfully get in the books in your early life, really is very much a step forward. One of these days, schedules will click, and we'll have New York's version of Mayor's Cup on our hands. It's something for the New York running fan to really get excited about.

We caught up with Reid Coolsaet of Speed River Track Club to preview the race:
1.Who is Reid Coolsaet in one word or less?

Ultimate goal - Beijing? How will you get there from here?
I'd like to make Beijing in the 5 and 10 and go for a top 12 there. After that I'll get after the marathon.

3. Tell us one thing about Speed River that we don't want to know.
The Speed River actually flows pretty slowly.

4. Would you rather lose your Canadian firearm freedoms, or eat a handful of uncooked ground beef?
I've never had problems acquiring illegal firearms but I've always had problems with uncooked ground beef.

5. Why Bad Boy IV?
I love XC races and I've always wanted to race the famed Van Cortlandt course. Guelph is hosting the AGSI National XC champs on Dec. 1st so I figure it would be good to get at least one XC race beforehand.. even if I'm not ready and I just ran all over Central Park watching the Marathon trials.

Thoughts on Van Cortlandt? Have you run there before? If so, how much faster than me did you run, and do you mind if I fudge it a bit so I don't look quite so bad?
This will be my debut at VCP. I'm not counting on a good time, only a good experience.

Are you one of those gingers who is unaware that you don't actually have a soul?
I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier.
Speed River won and handily. Speed River's Eric Gillis, a good, Jesuit-educated boy, took down his teammates and the rest of the field, stopping the clock in 24:44 - not a shabby time by any stretch. And though he only placed 2nd overall, for Coolsaet... it was a life-changing experience. He explains:
5d. How did your NYC/Bad Boy/VCP experience rate?
Running in VCP was a blast. It would have been nice to race that course when I'm really ready to race but there's just so many things I want to do I have to pick and choose when to peak and stuff. The event itself was run smoothly and the cash our team made helped out on the trip.
OK, so maybe not life-changing per se, but one can tell he will never be the same. The conditions were nice, though a bit chilly with some occasional breezing. The AGSI Championships that Speed River are hosting serve as both the club championship and Worlds qualifier for our northern friends. I'd be impressed to see the Canadian club that could take down Speed River. Our photos from the meet can be found here. Good photos from the meet can be found here.

Thanks to Reid for the interview. He can be followed (in an entirely legal way) here, and the exploits of Speed River can be gleaned here. Manhattan Track Club maintains the following webpage. You might find this to be a useful webpage, too.

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