Monday, February 28, 2011

End of Camp with Surprise Win!

Local Runners at Home in Gasparilla 8K

Published: February 28, 2011

TAMPA - When Brianne Gaal returned recently to her alma mater, St. Petersburg's Northside Christian, to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame, something a little disturbing dawned on her.

She realized that some of the students there may not have been alive when, under her maiden name of Brianne Harrington, she was winning nine state titles in cross country and track between 1994 and 1997.

"Some of the students were calling me 'Ma'am' or 'Ms. Harrington,'" said Gaal, 31 and living in Cary, N.C., with her ex-pro triathlete husband, Marty. "That's a little weird. It made me feel so much older than them, even though I still feel like a little kid inside."

To see her win Gasparilla's 8k race Sunday, Gaal still looks and runs a lot like that skinny but incredibly gifted Northside kid from the 1990s. Thing is, Gaal had no plans on being the first woman across the finish in the race's first year. Her winning time for the approximately five-mile distance was 32 minutes, 34 seconds - just over 6:33 per mile.

Taking second was 37-year-old Rae Ann Darling Reed (33:26) of Bradenton and third was St. Petersburg's Christina Noordstar (33:57).

A veteran of several of Gasparilla's 5k races and a former standout for the University of Central Florida, Gaal said she entered Sunday's 8k as a finale to a triathlon training camp she was staging with some of the athletes she coaches with Marty, who took part in Sunday's half marathon.

Next thing she knew, Gaal saw Noordstar, who is also an accomplished runner/triathlete, and caught up with her. Then Gaal passed her and found herself breaking the tape at the finish line.

"I'm really surprised I won," said Gaal, who works as a financial analyst. "I'm surprised that I felt that good after a ton of runs, bikes and swimming in the ocean."

The men's 8k winner also was surprised with his victory. For Joshua Prevatt, however, it was his fourth race of the weekend as he was completing the circuit for the Michelob Ultra Challenge involving all four of the Gasparilla events.

Prevatt already had run the 15k and the 5k on Saturday and less than two hours before the start of Sunday's 8k, completed the half marathon to earn seventh place overall. The 26-year-old Brandon resident crossed the 8k line in 28:06, well clear of second-place finisher Anthony Calingo of Tampa, who finished 34 seconds back.

When asked what he did between the two races, Prevatt laughed and said, "I warmed up for a couple of miles to stay loose."

He noted he was riding the high he got from the half marathon.

"My half marathon time (1:15:35) was only 45 seconds off of my PR (personal record), so I thought why not go for it. I am running the Fort DeSoto half (marathon) soon and will be going for 1:14. Today's results are encouraging."

As with the women's winner, Prevatt is local, having run for Riverview High. He led his cross country team to the state meet his senior year (2001) and ran at the state track meet the following spring as part of the 4x800-meter relay team.

"But then I took a couple of years off after high school," he said. "I'm just now really getting into (distance running and racing)."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy February 9th

Time is flying, have I not updated in awhile again?

We hosted our Master’s team party this past Saturday night. We weren’t supposed to, but the original host was out with the flu. Marty yelled from upstairs on Friday night, “Bri, we’re having the master’s party here!” Typical freakout ensued with shouts back to him, “NO! We can’t have the party! The house is a mess! It’s too small! I’m not ready for this! Too much to do!” Saturday went like this: work, craptastic run, cleancleancleanclean, Party! Which of course was very fun.

Sunday found us at Kari’s superbowl party cheering for the Steelers. I’ve never been a Steelers fan but I am a Kari fan and want to keep our friendship (and my life) so I am now! We actually stayed up for the entire game this year, not sure when that’s happened recently.

Sources beyond my control have been keeping me from getting a bike ride in. I had planned on riding the trainer last night, but our pump broke and caused my tire to go flat. I ran out to get a new pump but by the time that was all done it was getting late and I still hadn’t eaten dinner. New plan: ride trainer in the morning. So I got up at the butt crack of dawn only to find the bolt that tightens the trainer spinny thingy (technical term) to the tire was completely stripped. Luckily, Kurt Kinetic has some awesome customer service and one little email has granted me a replacement bolt that’s been dropped in the mail. Doesn’t fix my riding problem for the week but I’ll get outside this weekend and cut my losses.

Here's a picture to make this post more interesting. The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus train was stopped behind our house for at least a half hour the other day. Hope a clown didn't escape.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fun Weekend and Other Stuff

This past weekend I did some of this:

And some of this:

We had some crazy warm weather all of the sudden - skiing was fine and luckily they had a lot of snow but the next day it was 60 degrees! In the mountains! Then yesterday it got up to almost 70 and it was awesome running in shorts and a t-shirt. It's not to last as today it got cold again. Boo.

BUT in just a few weeks we'll be down in Florida for our annual training camp! Can't wait for that.

Did you guys here the Thorpedo is going to stage a comeback? Here's a not so great article about him which also details other athletes who have retired and tried to comeback only to fail spectacularly. Let's hope he prove's them wrong. I like the guy. Ian Thorpe to try for London 2012.

And here's a nicer article about his comeback. Thorpedo is in the pool again.