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President’s Corner: Spotlight on Rob Allen and…..Team Bacon…………

President’s Corner:  Spotlight on Rob Allen and……Team Bacon……

by Paul Maloney

Yes, in our thirty years our club had certainly developed our own culture and vocabulary.  For example, long time and former Grove Street runners have built up their egos by breaking the “4 Minute Hollander Mile” or being “Hebronized” after running 8-10 miles.  If a “hosted run” takes place at my house, the odds of it raining or snowing certainly goes up.  Many of us remember having a club meeting in the parking lot at Tierney’s because Peter Tork from the Monkees was appearing in the upstairs room on a mutually scheduled night.  We can go on and on with old time stories.

We now have a newer story!  One of the important new groups of our club has been “Team Bacon”.  As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we were going to hear from the leader of “Team Bacon”, Rob Allen.  Rob discusses the “Team Bacon Origin” and answers our three questions:

The Not So Secret Origin of “Team Bacon”

Since I’ve been teased in the last newsletter as “the force behind Team Bacon”, I believe I should address that briefly.

It all began as a goof!

I was new to the Fleet Feet community, as were several others, but my feet weren’t firmly rooted yet to consider them family as I consider them now. About a dozen of us began running consistently together with similar pace (8-9ppm) and similar goals.  We increased distances, training for spring half and full marathons, all while having total fun together on our runs, encouraging and coaching each other all the way through  (FYI… the first marathon Team Bacon ran together was Disney in winter followed byThe Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and NJ Marathon in the spring… Of course a pig/bacon theme had to fall in somewhere!)

On December 24, 2011, without any affiliation to a club, we embarked on our long run when not 5 minutes into the run, we all smelled it through the air…. Bacon! The remainder of the the run that day, and just about every run after that, consisted around bacon conversations… nicknames, recipes, beers to pair up to bacon dishes (now referred to as the the Bits & Brew Crew), and all around fun. Well, other Thursday night Fleet Feet runners and Sunday long runners began to take notice, joining our ranks, dubbing us Team Bacon. Before long a Facebook page was created and managed by yours truly and at last count, we had 100 followers. Since then the page was taken down and a closed group called Team Bacon Runners was created to be much more interactive and shared by all. There is so much more to the story but you’ll just have to ask for us by name and come out for a run with us.

This past year, most of the founding members (about a dozen) if not all have joined Essex Running Club and are very happy we have done so. As friends of ERC previously, we are now as well known as the Grumpy Grovers and the W.E.T. Warriors, two other well know Essex Running Club groups!

Having consulted with a few “Founding” members of TB, we’re all in agreement that one of the best qualities of Team Bacon is our total sense of non-exclusivity, very much the same way ERC diverse and welcoming.

Team Bacon can usually be found at the Fleet Feet Thursday and Sunday runs, 8:30-9:30ppm depending on the training that time of year.

Many Team Bacon members are currently preparing for the Chicago Marathon in 3 weeks and are currently tapering.

Just ask for a side of Bacon with your run and I’m sure you’ll be pointed our way!

Now, just a little about me.

       1.     What is your favorite ERC activity/race?  

My work and family schedule restrict my ability to attend a lot of activities. However, among those I’ve attended, I would have to say Sharon’s Run for Oats. It’s a great, challenging course with good eats and company to follow.

2. What training advice would you give to fellow members?  

Listen to your body, listen to your training, listen to your environment/surroundings, listen to the runners around you that you call a training partner or friend… odds are in your favor that you’re not the only one who has had to struggle with a bad race, a training injury or trying to hone in on the right training plan for you. Knowing who to approach when struggling, or changing my training for a new endeavor/ just trying to improve on my current goals, is one of the best ways to apply all that listening. Don’t obsess (too much)… remember why you run and what your motivation is, that’s what will drive your personal success in doing what you love to do, and here, that’s running. Specifically, I have found through a few varied training cycles, that my best recoveries and best improvements were from the “Run less, Run faster” FIRST method from the fuhrman institute.

          3. What are your personal running goals for the coming year?

Having had a very tough year of training and improving, I have struggled at each of my goal races. I have run/walked both my goal marathon and all of my halfs this year and would like to stop continuing that trend. Therefore, training focus will shift onto more strength training and functional movement exercises, as well as going back to what I originally enjoyed most… trail running.

I plan on using my endurance training, combined with my love of the trails to attack the 50k distance at the FebApple 50 in February this year. In January, I will prep with either a 13.1 or 26.2 at NJ Trail Series’s Watchung Reservation run Winter Ultra event to raise money for the JBWS. If schedules and planning permits, I will ultimately work toward the Northface Endurance Challenge-Bear Mtn in May. I’ve also decided to not focus on a spring marathon as I’ve done the New Jersey Marathon the past 2 years. I will instead focus on a fall marathon, most likely Bucks County. I’ve heard great stories of personal success and aesthetic enjoyment of this course from a few runners.

Thanks TB and Rob! 

 Consider yourself at home….one of the family….one of us!


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NYC Marathon Bus

NYC Marathon Bus

Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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