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President’s Corner: Spotlight on Summer Events, Aubrey Blanda, and Jackson Bangs

August  President’s Corner:  Spotlight on Summer Events, Aubrey Blanda, and Jackson Bangs

Our club keeps busy all summer!  Be sure to check out the newsletter and various postings for any updates.

Of special notice:

–As many as 8 ERC teams will be participating at the River to Sea this Saturday August 2nd.  Be sure to follow their progress on Facebook and other sites during the day.

–As mentioned last month, I can’t say enough about the refurbished Orange Reservoir in West Orange.  We are having another club run there on Wednesday August 13th, 7:30 p.m.  We hope you can join us.  See information elsewhere in the newsletter and postings.

–Check out the information about “Speedwork Sessions” from Paul Giuliano at the August 6th “Clinic” Session at the Verona Track.   See information elsewhere in the newsletter and postings.

–Thanks to Mick Close and Fleet Feet for organizing the upcoming “Ten Hill Challenge” on Sunday August 17th, 7:00 a.m.   See information elsewhere in the newsletter and postings.  (Additional thanks for the recent “Trail Mix”.)

–A “shout out” to ERC Organizer Desmond Duncker and everyone who ran and volunteered at the “Interclub Challenge” last Sunday July 27th. Congratulations to our fellow clubs.

–A “shout out” to Tom Eaton, his family, Fleet Feet, and the many volunteers at the Youth Track Series.  It was a great third season!  Special congratulations to the kids who participated!

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Aubrey Blanda and Jackson Bangs are two regular participants in the ERC.  In recent years, Aubrey has had great success with marathoning and ultramarathoning.  Jackson is a newer member who puts a lot of emphasis on running hills.  Both members describe the fun they have with our club when answering our three questions.

Aubrey Blanda:

What is your favorite ERC activity/race?

My favorite ERC activities are always the group runs. Whether it’s a Sunday morning run with the Fleet Feet group, meeting up for a trail run, or gathering for a run hosted by one of ERC’s wonderful members, the comradery can’t be beat! Plus, you get instant training partners who push you to be a better runner.

What training advice would you give to fellow members?

I think that above all else, consistency is key. You don’t need to be a slave to miles or speedwork to improve as a runner, but you do need to get out there as often as you can, day after day and week after week– with a reasonable amount of rest, of course.

What are your personal running goals for the year?

I feel so very lucky to have tackled some big goals over the past few years; I’ve qualified for and run Boston three times, I’ve completed a fifty mile race, qualified for Marathon Maniacs by running two marathons six days apart, and completing my first 100 mile race. So I’m looking forward to regrouping in the next few months, and then working on getting some speed back in my legs. I would like to qualify for Boston again in 2015, and run another 100 mile race. But honestly, as long as I can be out on the road for a few miles every day, I’m pretty happy!

Jackson Bangs:

What is your favorite ERC activity/race?

My favorite ERC event is probably the one that introduced me to the club and a lot of the people in it: the Monday night Pub Runs at Just Jakes.  They always draw a good crowd, including a lot of new people.  They are also fun because runners with different paces get a chance to talk after the runs.

What training advice would you give to fellow members?

In terms of training advice, my main training concept is to listen to your body.  Running is the one thing that I don’t plan out much.  I never follow strict plans, and I’m a bit infamous for not paying attention to paces or distances on satellite watches (I didn’t even have one until a few weeks ago).  I generally run 5 or 6 days a week, but usually keep most runs between 4 and 6 miles.  If I feel good, I run faster and maybe farther… if not, then I slow down or take a day off.  When I ran my first marathon last spring I didn’t ever pre-plan more than the mileage of my long run each week.

All that being said, I have kept a running log for 8 years straight, so I can go back and look at trends later.  I usually keep weekly mileage between 20 and 35 miles; it’s easier to fit runs that length into my schedule, and it also prevents me from pounding my legs too much.  These miles are generally fairly hard though, often above talking-pace.

One thing that I have changed recently is the amount of hills I work into my runs.  I have found that this pays huge dividends in races.  (Credit to the LoPresti’s for leading me over so many hills while marathon training; that’s what got me into it).

What are your personal running goals for the year?

I am actually still thinking about what my goals for this coming year are.  Last year I had a lot of big ones—I got back into long distance racing, with my first Half Marathons since college, and then I trained for and ran my first full Marathon.  I really enjoyed the training and the race itself, but after a long recovery from that race, I am still trying to decide when I want to do my next one.  For the time being, I have enjoyed running shorter races—5k’s, 5 milers, etc.  I’ve been logging some of my fastest times in years, so I might focus on improving my racing at these distances and trying out some local races I haven’t done yet for a few months.

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Verona Labor Day Classic

Verona Labor Day Classic

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