Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Verona 5K Review

     June 7th was my first time running the Verona 5K and unfortunately it will probably be my last time. You will never hear me say a race was “bad”. I understand that there is a lot of hard work that goes into putting a race together, so small town races are not going to be the crème de la crème. Disappointed would be the best way to describe my feelings toward this race.

      I arrived at 8:00 am in order to register. The cost was 25.00. You received your bib number and a shirt. Even if you preregistered that is all you got, it’s not like I missed out on something by waiting to register. The cost of a race’s doesn’t bother me when I know the money is going toward a good charity or the money is being used for the awards. However this was not the case here, the money was going to the borough. Ok, so I can see you want to make your borough better and a race is a good way to get people involved and raise money, so I can see where their heads were at on this. I will get back to the awards in a bit, but first the race.

      As I stood at the start (a spray painted line marked start) I could see a DJ set up to the right of me with the mic in his hand. The DJ announced the race was about to start and gave us a countdown. When I say countdown I mean countdown. It started at 10 minutes then he would announce every minute. Most races I run usually sing the National Anthem, nope not here. The last minute he basically counted down the whole minute before saying ready, set, and go. Only problem was he had a long pause on go so people jumped the start, while some of us got hit from behind. Finally we were off running. The course was a very fast and flat course. Only one problem, at one point during the first mile you ran down the main road and turned around. That road is a 4 lane road and they had 1 lane shut down for us runners. It wasn’t too bad except you had to be careful to stay in the cone’s or you would be running into oncoming traffic. Once you got through this point you stayed on the main road and ventured to the next block. There was no lanes shut down on this part of the course so you ran on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t care except they forgot to tell the stores on that road. Or at least it looked that way. While running I almost ran into a woman who opened a door and walked right in front of me. Also you had to dodge other pedestrians that were just out on the sidewalk at that time. Thankfully you were only on this road for one block. Once you turned off you stayed on back streets for the duration of the course. There were 2 water stops. One was around 1.5 miles and the other was around 2.7. Basically the water stop was the same just on both sides of the street since it was kind of an out and back type course. Once again I understand how hard it is to do a race so it made sense they did it this way. I remember seeing the number 1 painted on the road to let us know we hit the mile marker. I looked but never saw the number 2, however I did see a 2.5 mile mark. This is a small thing and I don’t worry about it too much but I did hear people asking where are we. Also no mile splits were being yelled but I was wearing my Garmin, so this didn’t affect me too much. As I rounded the bend to the finish another runner and I decided we were going to sprint and see who had more left in the tank. I crossed the spray painted line that said “finish” ahead of the guy and stopped my watch. There was a make shift chute made of cones ahead that we were told to walk through. Now when I crossed the line I looked at the clock and stopped mine and both said 22.58. As I walked into the chute to have the lower part of my bib ripped off so they could keep track of the places (this was not chipped time), I heard a guy yelling times. I didn’t pay much attention but later realized he timed us until we were in the chute. So I am not sure what the exact time was. The make shift board they made after the race had me at 23.05.

     After the race all I could think about was water. I looked for a table but only found one with apples and bananas. I did notice a man sitting on a cooler watching racers finish and later found out that he was sitting on the water. Don’t worry about me good sir I will pass out while you press your ass on the cooler to get comfortable. I did a cool down run after getting some ass water. I was going to leave but figured why not stay around and watch the awards. They gave awards for the top 3 males and females 19 and over and the top three 19 and younger. Now I have won numerous awards so not getting one doesn’t bother me, even though I was second in my age group. There was a kid who was 14 who finished in 6th place. He had a great time and did awesome only to find out that second and third place were 2 high school cross country teammates who were under the age of 19. 5Th place was also a cross country runner that was in high school, so no award for the young man that ran his ass off and got 6th. I happened to have parked my car next to kid and his father and after talking to him I could see he was sad that he didn’t get anything to show for his effort. I told the kid don’t worry about some cheap award, that he would be getting plenty of them soon enough. I honestly felt bad for him. When I was that age the award meant the world to me.

     Overall on a scale of 1-10 I would give this race a 4. Fast course but very unorganized and charged more than most small town races that give out more.


  1. Oh my! This post had me laughing, what with the counting down, the spraypaint marked lines, running on the sidewalk, and the ass water. Ha! You had a great time, but too bad they screwed that up too.

    1. Glad you found some humor in to.. I walked away that day just shaking my head. It's crazy because oakmont which uses part of the course is so organized.

  2. Ass water! Great line.

    For a race that was raising funds for the town (or borough), you'd think they would drum up support from the local shops, get them involved rather than having them annoy the runners (and probably vice versa, too).

    I'm with you, it takes quite a bit to organize a race so I don't want to be too tough on them, but plentiful non-ass water is pretty basic

    1. I mean is that too much to ask for? I don't want go on a scavenger hunt for water after I ran a race..