Just wanted to end 2017 with a quick look back at my running achievements during the past year.
My most important running milestones in 2017, of course, were running in the first two marathons of my life — first, the New Jersey Marathon on April 30 and, then, the Philadelphia Marathon on November 19.
On top of that disappointment, I had to prepare for the 10-mile Broad Street Run the following weekend. Two days after the New Jersey Marathon, I went for a 5-mile workday run during lunch and began experiencing excruciating pain in my right knee at about mile 3. I stretched it out a bit and was able to continue, but it kept on happening during my runs that week.
I tried to doing some things to mitigate the knee issue (ice, stretching, massaging, etc.) and had to resign myself to the fact that I may — for the first time — be unable to finish a race.
The next race I did was one that I wasn’t sure I would do until about a month before the event, and that was the Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon, a sprint-distance tri held each year not too far from where I live. Amazingly, even though I didn’t do any open-water swim training and squeezed in only two or three training rides on the bike, I still finished 76th overall in the event with a personal-best time of 1:21:21. Somehow, despite the 1/4-mile swim and 11.2-mile bike ride preceding it, I ran what was likely one of my top-10 5K times to set that PR with a time of 25:49 during the run portion.
At that point, I turned my attention to training for the Philadelphia Marathon, with the lone exception being one last short race — the WXPN Musicians On Call 5K in early October. Even though the course may have been short by a bit, I finished that race in 23:39.69 — and then got to stay for the ever-popular post-race 80s dance party!
Then it was back to the Philly Marathon. Sadly, I was only able to get in two really long-distance training runs — a 16-miler and an 18-miler — leading up to the race. But I had done a lot of pacing work on my shorter runs and felt ready to vindicate myself from the disappointing marathon debut in April. I just wanted to finish in less than five hours.
And despite wet, brisk conditions and ridiculous, swirling 40+ mph wind gusts, I managed to do just that, finishing in 4:51:22.
So that was my year in running. Oddly, except for the Hightstown Triathlon (the event I made a last-minute decision to do each of the last two years), I don’t have any events lined up yet for 2018. But I’ll be running somewhere. Just trying to figure out what races to do.
Jason Thompson, a senior out of Rider University, was selected by the Sacramento Kings last night with the 12th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. Projected to go later in the first round, Thompson’s stock rose to the point where he was taken as a lottery pick by the Kings.
Geoff Petrie, the Kings’ president of basketball operations, on selecting Thompson with the No. 12 pick…
We had considered a small at 12, but as the draft went on, we felt the best place to go was to go big. He was the number one pick at 12 for us if we were going to go big. He is a 20 (point) and 12 (rebound) guy and there was only one other guy like that, and that was (Michael) Beasley. He gives us another young forward that I think will compliment the rest of the people we have such as Spencer (Hawes).
When we first met him he was 6’2’’ in high school or maybe even junior high and was playing point guard. He said ‘but I have these big feet’ so when he got to college he was around 6’4” and then grew to 6’10”. Again, when you see him make plays he really runs well and is really comfortable when he makes plays with the ball. I think that some of that is because he got an early start playing a position that was more of a size for his body at that time.
It is such a gradual process as you work through all of the different players that work into all of the other information and reports you have on people. At some point you have to make a choice. I think we made a good one.
He is a more mature kid and his game is more developed. It is part of our process of trying to rebuild our front line, plus we have other areas we need to work on too, but we can’t do that with just one player, unless Magic Johnson just so happened to be there at number 12, but he wasn’t.
Kudos to the Kings for taking Jason at No. 12…and for their web site staff for putting the following splash page up just minutes after the team made the selection (click image to enlarge):
Well, it’s not the NCAA Tournament, or even the NIT…but the Rider men’s basketball team (23-10, RPI #110) will get a chance to play at least one more game when the Broncs visit Old Dominion on Tuesday night in the first round of the inaugural College Basketball Invitational tournament.
I’m not sure if this CBI tournament is going to last beyond this year. Any tournament that has teams declining home games because of money issues and then invites Cincinnati (13-18) to play has some real issues. But it’s giving Jason Thompson and Rider a chance to keep playing, which they deserve.
My alma mater, Rider University, and the New Jersey political scene lost a true giant today when David Rebovich, professor of political science and managing director of Rider’s Institute for New Jersey Politics, died after suffering a heart attack while teaching a class. He was 58.
Rebovich, called “The Answer Man” by the New York Times, was a media favorite for his knowledge of the New Jersey political scene. It seemed I heard his voice in a sound bite two or three times a week on radio station NJ 101.5 FM, discussing a wide array of topics dealing with politics in the Garden State. He also generated a ton of media hits for Rider.
Last year, Dave was listed as the 16th most powerful figure in state politics by PoliticsNJ.com (for which he also served as a columnist).
I had the pleasure of creating the first version of the Institute for New Jersey Politics’ Web site back when I was the content coordinator for Rider’s Web site. He was just a cool guy and he really enjoyed talking about the wacky world of Jersey politics.
Dave was also dean of Rider’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences back when I was a student, and he helped me out with some paperwork a few times.
I would like to offer my condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues at Rider University.
Junior T.J. DiLeo scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Cinnaminson High School boys basketball team to a 69-63 home win over A.P. Schalick in a South Jersey Group 2 quarterfinal playoff game.
Head coach Mike Fries* had his team focus on taking care of the basketball in preparation for the contest. “We practiced the last three days on our passing, not turning the ball over and making crisp, hard passes, and it worked,” said Fries.
Worked indeed. The Pirates turned the ball over just three times in the second half.
Cinnaminson, the No. 4 seed, will travel to top-seeded Collingswood on Friday for a South Jersey Group 2 semifinal matchup. Collingswood cruised past No. 9 seed Pleasantville, 84-62, in another South Jersey Group 2 quarterfinal contest played Wednesday night.
Let’s go Cinnaminson!
(BK note: Mike Fries is among my circle of friends from my days at Rider.)