Monday, February 10, 2014

new balance indoor grand prix adventures

on saturday sarah and i headed down to boston for the new balance indoor grand prix. she had invited me a few weeks ago and i was excited to go! although im a runner, i really know nothing about indoor track elites. sarah name dropped a lot on the drive down and i was all "uh huh" and "yup" (thinking "huh?" and "who?") ok, i had heard of mary cain before. but that was pretty much the extent of my indoor knowledge (does she run outside too? hmmmm). and i also knew she was fast, but holy wow were these runners amazing! it was so cool to watch them make 4 minute miles look easy. yes... four. minute. MILES. brb just gonna go out for my 8 minute tempos...

before getting into all the speedy running events, some floor events were going on throughout the day- specifically the long jump, shot putt, and pole vault. i did the high jump in outdoor track but the pole vault is amazing... and crazy! one of the women, jenn suhr, is the current womens olympic champion, and is ranked #1 in the world! it was so cool to watch them.

the mens masters (40+) ran the mile, winning in 4:23. i dont think they broke a sweat. the guy who won turned 40 the day before the race, and one of the guys running was named peter brady. these are the things i picked up from the day.

in the new balance mens mile (under 40 years old i guess?), galen rupp dropped out shortly before the finish, and the winner ran 3:57. dude... a 3: freaking 57 MILE. again, so amazing to watch.

the mens 3000m was won in 7:34. lets see... 3000m is almost 2 miles. yeah... that winning time is almost as fast as my fastest "omg i want to fall over and puke" mile. ridiculous. 

womens 400m (quarter mile) was won by natasha hastings in 52 seconds. these ladies looked so badass, and i took a lot of pictures because their abs and arm definition made me drool.

then it was time for the womens 1000m. shortly before this race a man sat down next to me. mary cain had come out to warm up a little and people were cheering for her. he asked me "is this girl local?" no. shortly thereafter he looked at the board and saw it say "1000m". he asked "oh, 1000m. thats like an 800, right?" um no dude, an 800 is an 800. this is 1000m. who was this guy? we continued to cheer for mary as she warmed up, and again he asked me if she was local. i told him again, no. then i asked sarah where she was from because of course i didnt know.

getting a little pre race pep talk from her coach
(you've all probably heard of alberto salazar)

nbd, just gonna go crush my own world indoor record in a sec. let me just fix my hair.
(related: she is simply the cutest little thing ever)

friendly teammate competition

but look out, im gonna crush ya

winner- mary cain 2:35. incredible.

during a few minutes of downtime i creeped on the couple so intensely focused on the program...
oh hey guys! haha (eric and sara)

the mens 4x800m relay was next. i only took a few pics because i didnt think this was a huge event (nor did i recognize any names... shocking...) but of course this was one of the biggest races of the day. us all stars, nj/ny blue, brooks beasts, nj/ny red, and smtc... apparently theyre big news. cuz we watched the first and second place teams beat the freaking WORLD RECORD in this race, running the 2 miles in 7 minutes and 13 seconds. for realz... hardcore.

the last race of the day was the new balance womens 2 miler. another name i had heard sarah drop before was jordan hasay, apparently a speedy little thing who looks to be about 14 years old (i think shes 22? 23?) 

winner sally kipyego from kenya (2012 olympic silver medalist in the 10,000m) 
in 9:21, a new american record

this race was a good one to watch... the crowd got excited when across the track from where we were sitting we watched jenny simpson kick ahead of kipyego and sprint towards the finish line. she didnt run through a finish line tape like the rest of the races, however, and slowed down and stopped, thinking she had won the race. as she turned to her left she saw kipyego continue to run and realized the huge mistake she had made. math is tough.

she took back off and finished still finished in 2nd place, and still almost beat the american record. these girls are truly amazing. jordan hasay finished in 3rd. jenny said in her post race interview she was not intending on giving us all such an exciting show, that she felt like an idiot, but it is what it is. such a good sport about it all.

overall ill say that this day was amazing. watching these runners was certainly inspiring (dont worry, i have no intentions of ever running that fast!) i certainly lacked in a few areas of expertise, however. thankfully sarah was there to set me straight (and at least i knew the 1000m was not in fact an 800m. who was that guy?!) here are a few pics to preface this lovely story ive saved for last...

i have about 10 more that look just like those... thinking i was taking pics of the fastest runners out there, flying ahead of all the other runners. during one of the first races, i was watching as the lead runner was kicking everyones butts, thinking the race was going to be a blow out. then all of a sudden they came around the corner and the lead guy was gone! i thought maybe he had dropped his lead somewhere and was in the middle of the pack, but nope. he wasnt in the pack at all! i mentioned this to sarah, shock clearly in my voice, to which she responded... "yeah danielle. the pacer drops out" (duuuuhhhhhhh). 

huh? pacer?

of course i then continued to take pics of the "lead runners" in the following races, and even commented to sarah during a later race that "holy crap that lead runner is smoking them!" 

"danielle.... its a pacer"

wtf danielle? get with the program here. (ask sarah though, i cant remember shit lately. this certainly didnt surprise her). supposedly one of the pacers was asked to go out at world record pace and see if the pack would follow. they didnt, thus making it look like the "leader" was far out ahead. although slightly amusing, ill figure it all out someday. this whole experience was so cool, hopefully we will be able to go to something like this again!


  1. Exciting! I actually follow track pretty closely and watched this one on TV. I would have loved to have seen it in person.

  2. Awesome! I bet that was so exciting to watch in person.

    PS--dude...turn off your word verification. I had to enter it in like 10 times.

  3. ha! My oldest is just starting her first track season (and qualified for indoor state champs this weekend!) so I've been cramming on all things track lately. The pacer confused me, too.