Roundup and Roundtable: March 19, 2018

One of my all-time favorite races was this weekend — Shamrock Virginia BeachKara Goucher was there using it as a training run and generally being super-awesome — check her Instagram for cute posts of Colt doing the kids’ run!

Nicole DiMercurio, left, and Joanna Thompson, after taking the top two spots at the Shamrock Virginia Beach half. Photo via ZAP.

In the Shamrock Anthem Half Marathon, ZAP athletes Nicole DiMercurio and Joanna Thompson went 1-2, with DiMercurio setting a course record and a PR in 1:13:15. Thompson ran 1:16:20; both are tuning up for Boston. Sarah Bishop was third in 1:16:40, Marissa Cummings was fourth in 1:17:26, and Kara’s training run landed her fifth in 1:19:09. Our own Hops was seventh in 1:20:22!

Over in the full marathon, which was my PR race for six years, Tami Ritchie picked up in the win in 3:02:28, Katie Edwards finished second in 3:02:49, and local Christin Newman finished third in 3:08:25.

In New York, a number of big names toed the line for the NYC Half Marathon, including a number of international runners. Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba won in 1:12:23, edging out Emily Sisson by 1 second. Serena Burla was fifth in 1:13:15.

And on the West Coast, we added several names to the OTQ list at the LA Marathon. Congrats to Christina Vergara-Aleshire (fourth, 2:34:25), Brittany Charboneau (sixth, 2:36:26), Joanna Reyes (eighth, 2:37:44), Heather Lieberg (ninth, 2:38:30), Brittney Feivor (10th, 2:40:38), and probably some more but the LA Marathon results page stinks.

And in non-racing news …

  • Shalane Flanagan is “obsessed with hip hop dancing.”
  • “The pursuit of an audacious goal is as worthy a lifestyle as I can imagine.” — Peter Bromka, part of the Bowerman Track Club Elite (amateur wing), writes about chasing the marathon OTQ in a piece that made me cry exactly 40 seconds into starting it, which might be slightly influenced by the fact I have a marathon in two weeks and just ran my last tune-up race.
  • THANK YOU to all our readers — Salty Running was named number 4 on the Feedspot Blog Reader list of the Top 100 Women’s Running Blogs!


Alright! Roundtable time. My race today required me to think about my gear choices, not just for today, but also for my upcoming marathon, because … pockets. What do you carry with you in a race, and how do you carry it?

Join us for #saltychat tonight at 7 PM EST. We will be taking your nominations for best race, local running store, women’s apparel company, and race fuel/hydration during the chat!

Started running in my early 20s and ended up running my first marathon 15 months later. Managed to break 3 hours in my 12th marathon. Pilates instructor passionate about the importance of your powerhouse in running and the mind/body connection. One husband, zero kids, mama to one Australian Shepherd.

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  1. Can we talk about Kara? I’ve been a fan for a while, but for the last couple of years (since the 2016 olympic trials, I guess), I’ve been wondering what’s she’s actually up to. I know she had some surgeries, but she doesn’t seem to have been racing – I can’t tell what this training run was in training for. Time to admit retirement?

    1. I think it would be really interesting to hear what her actual goals and plans are going forward, seems to be more a focus on the past without how that reflection relates to what she is working towards right now.

    2. IIRC… and I don’t THINK I’m making this up off the top of my head… I read a recent-ish interview where she talked about never officially “retiring” from the sport. She talked about one day running trail races/ultras and I think she knows as well as anyone she’s no longer one of the top American marathoners, but I don’t think she’ll ever hang it up entirely.

      1. Very possible Karen, I admittedly haven’t looked much into it for Kara. It’s always interesting how Pro’s (in any sport) approach the transition phase. Meb retiring but you know he will still run, pace races, and be a part of the community in some way but did declare professional retirement from competition (he too, will never officially retire from the sport completely). The former football players becoming sports analysts and anchors. Again, maybe I missed something about what is next for Kara, it would be interesting to read though. Like hey, this was a training run because I MAY try and see what I can do again in a competitive race or hey it was a training run for whatever happens but I’m focusing on how I can help the community since I’m not at ‘that’ level anymore. Just so many ways it could go, seems like she’s struggling to call that? (having never been a pro at anything, I can’t imagine how hard it is to accept that phase and not be living in denial forever…I’d totally struggle!).

        1. I agree — some definitely fare better than others. Just thinking of Kara, it would take a lot of mental fortitude to still train and race at a level way higher than your average talented runner could ever dream of, yet be called a has-been. I identify though, cause on a WAAAY lower level, I can’t imagine ever quitting running — I love it for its own sake. I want to keep running my entire life, even though it might be at times frustrating to not be as fast as I was in university, and to maybe never hit those times again. She’s obviously competitive but her love of running must be more intrinsic than extrinsic.

          Re: retirement, I read a great article a while back about the post-athletic career adjustment and difficulties of a few Olympic athletes who placed 4th, etc. You find yourself in your late 20s/early 30s with incredible life experience, but you’ve put off your “real life” for 10+ years with (in some sense) nothing concrete to show for it, and you find your peers far ahead in their respective careers. A friend of mine does work with Game Plan, a Canadian organization that supports high-performance athletes in their transition to post-athletic life/career. It’s all pretty interesting.

          Also, I found the article!

          “Q: Once you are back into the flow of things, do you have any bucket-list running goals you are still looking forward to achieving?

          A: Absolutely. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list, but these come to mind right away:

          – Run a flat and fast marathon
          – Do at least one more big race on the track
          – Make one more world championship track team

          I am also looking towards greatly increasing my distance and entering the world of ultra distances. I am hopeful and excited to see where my body can take me!

          Q: Several notable American runners have announced their retirement lately…Lauren Fleshman, Nick Symmonds, Meb Keflezighi. Has the thought of retirement ever crossed your mind?

          A: I can’t imagine announcing a retirement. I love competing and chasing goals. As long as my body holds up, I will continue to chase new goals that I am passionate about. Maybe in 2020 I won’t be trying to make the Olympic Team (or maybe I will…), but I am sure that I will still be working toward some sort of running goal.

          My career has become more purposeful and I don’t really see that passion ending. I totally understand why other people want to move on and pursue other opportunities. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me because I just love running and racing and the preparation of it all so much. I still love it, and if my body allows, I want to keep doing it.”

  2. SO many big races and results this weekend, I truly love this time of year when race season is firing up!

    What I carry during the race depends on distance obviously. But usually, gels, honey stinger chews (long races) and that’s about it. I am a huge fan of shorts with pockets (Saucony Bullet shorts are my go to- as they have side pockets that I lovingly refer to as my saddle bags for my gels etc), but I also am comfortable using a spibelt and typically have this on me for long runs, and marathon races where I need more gels etc.