Race report: the Titus Van Rijn One-Hour Distance Classic

July 4, 2008

For some background on this race, see my very first post to this blog.

Here’s the report I submitted for the official race archives:

June 9: Warren Cornwall, Greg Crowther, and Will Kemper gathered at the Franklin High School track on an evening where local wind gusts reached 35-45 mph. Cornwall nonetheless logged 14,940 meters, a one-lap improvement over his 2007 tally of 14,540m, whereas Kemper (14,240m) failed to match last year’s mark (14,840m) despite maintaining an impressively high heart rate above 170 bpm for the entire hour. Crowther ran alongside the others, saving his energy for a more serious attempt later in the month. The black cherry soda was likewise held in reserve.

June 28: Crowther and Kemper returned to the Franklin track on a warm but calm Seattle morning while Cornwall competed in the Lake Padden Triathlon in Bellingham. Kemper was slowed by a respiratory infection and fell 200m short of his June 9th total. Crowther quickly ascertained that his 2006 performance (18,115m) was out of reach and instead focused on beating his 2001 result (17,360m), which he did — barely — by “kicking” at 5:20-per-mile pace for the final 10 minutes. Crowther found the Hansen’s Diet Black Cherry Soda purchased by Kemper’s wife to his liking, yet he was only able to drain a single 12-ounce can. Kemper, perhaps concentrating on fluid consumption for the sake of his cold, imbibed a full 24 ounces — possibly a new post-race drinking record among the Seattle runners.

Here is a summary of this year’s results by race co-directors Andy Roth and Mike Persick:

Congratulations to all 46 participants who made the tenth annual TVR Classic remarkable. This was far and away the largest group in the event’s history. (TVR has averaged about two dozen participants, each of the past four years.) Over 10 years, TVR participants have amassed 2,307 kilometers in distance (~1,434 miles), but notably nearly a quarter of that total (539 kilometers) is from this year’s run. At least four blogs now feature TVR . . . but participation seems to remain spurred primarily by word-of-mouth.

TVR 2008 featured not only large numbers of participants, but also top quality performances. Two runners exceeded 17-kilometers, with Greg Crowther (WA) just edging first-time TVR competitor Trevor Palmer (OR) for the men’s title. One the women’s side, the 2002 champion, Sarah Brooks (WA) returned to the victor’s podium. Bob Julian (OR) established a new TVR masters record for men (16,495m).

TVR continues to be a truly international event: This year, Haverford alum Walsh McGuire ran in Taiwan, and Phil Smith, who has a British passport, joined the competition.

On 12 June, Dire Tune (Ethiopia) ran 18,517m, but she failed to send in her results, so TVR officials determined not to count her performance. We also suspect that she neglected to drink black cherry soda afterwards, but we commend her on a fine performance anyhow.

Finally, here’s what some other blogs had to say about this event:



  1. hey greg. i've been training in the tetons… and i have been running with this great guy chris lundberg – who mentioned this race to me, i think he beat your time once or something? then you went the next day and beat the time he put up!?tomorrow he and i are running 32"ish" in the big hole mtns!

  2. Hart: That story is mostly correct. I entered my first TVR in 2001 and won with a total of 17,360 meters, then sat out the next four years. In 2006, Lundberg entered for the first time and covered 17,600 meters, a distance that would have been good enough to win in any other year. Unfortunately for him, I returned to action in '06 and logged 18,115 meters, thus thwarting his bid for TVR immortality.

  3. […] distance was 17,6115 meters. Thus, because of Uli, I was able to surpass my TVR distances from 2008 (17,420m) and 2001 (17,360m), though still falling short of my marks from 2006 (18,115m) and 2009 (17,920m). […]

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