We love to add a new bridge to each Summer Series. This time, our friend Vinnie, Head Coach of Team MHRC, was adamant that it needed to be the Triboro (or is it spelled Triborough? Or is it the RFK?). All we know is we've checked it out before; its WAY up town, a bitch to get to, and a little narrow (read: slightly scary). BUT Vinnie is one persuasive dude. He persisted. And once we scouted the course, we were sold.
Vinnie is SUPER passionate about urban running and growing our community. Under his leadership, Team MHRC has grown quickly and is now a big part of the urban running scene. Have you checked out their IG? We wake up EVERY Tuesday with FOMO just looking at their track workouts! We sat down with Vinnie, to see JUST what he loves about his team so much, why these fun smaller races belong on your calendar, and why our next race course is going to BLOW YOUR MIND!
As Vinnie says "Lets Play Running"!
TELL US ABOUT TEAM MHRC! WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER RUN CLUBS / CREWS IN THE CITY?
The team originally was created in early 2015 with MHRC Coaches Scott Carvin and Corinne Fitzgerald. It was an invite-only team to pull runners from the indoor treadmill classes and create a team competition. After seeing a need for something different and for a way to Mile High to connect on a larger scale, it became much more inclusive.
I took on a team rebrand in late 2016 and reimagined Team MHRC as a way to expose the those falling in love with running via Mile High Run Club to the massive and colorful community that is the NYC running scene. A lot of them just discovering running via NYRR's 9+1. Not only were we able to introduce new runners to the awesome community, but we were able to find and nurture veteran and collegiate athletes that might have put their racing days behind them and introduce them to the growing club/crew scene.
Team MHRC was recreated around the "let's play running" idea. We run the gamut on skill level but what drives everyone is the love of the sport (and confetti cannons and beer).
THE COACHES FOR TEAM MHRC ARE ALSO COACHES AT MHRC. TELL US THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE STUDIO AND THE TEAM.
All of the coaches at Mile High are seasoned athletes (RRCA, former D1, WR holders, podium finishes, etc) and have used treadmill workouts in their own training. A lot of the runners joining the team find out about us by initially taking a class at the studio. We wanted to combine the two worlds and show that the things learned on the street and track can directly benefit your time on the tread and vice versa. There is a lot to be gained by running and training in a controlled environment when you don't have to battle the elements (or traffic and tourists). Having said that a lot of the runners that ONLY know group fitness gain that camaraderie, practical form training, and they learn what the expansive and ever-growing community has to offer.
We meet up every Tuesday morning at the MHRC Noho studio (one of the benefits of starting from a brick and mortar institution is use of showers, lockers, water, etc. pre- and post-run). Usually we'll hit up the East River Track. Scott Carvin and I (Coach Fitz is out on injury) lead our runners through track-style form drills and dynamic warmups followed by track repeats or any number of relay-style workouts. At any given workout there are 5-25+ runners so there's always someone around your pace to run with/against. We jog back and chat about how much running hurts and everyone goes about their day. Or we drink beer at 8am. Don't judge.
WE'VE SEEN TEAM MHRC AT A NUMBER OF URBAN "UNSANCTIONED" RACES LATELY! HOW DO YOU SEE THESE SMALLER RACES FACTORING INTO A TYPICAL RUNNER'S SCHEDULE OF PLANNED 5Ks AND 10Ks, WHILE TRAINING FOR A LARGER RACE?
I do have to say I like to blur the lines of what constitutes a "serious" race. As far as I see it, every run and every race has to serve a purpose for the athlete. With a lot of our runners training for Chicago, NYC, Berlin, etc., and with the onslaught of smaller (more fun?) races popping up seemingly every week, it's easy to get distracted. But I think it's important to ENJOY the sport while maintaining proper training and keeping the big picture in mind. One 5k 14 weeks out from your "A" race isn't going to make or break it. GO PLAY RUNNING.
ARE ALL YOUR TEAM MEMBERS SO SPEEDY? IS THERE INVITATION NEEDED TO JOIN TEAM MHRC?
We're stoked to have some pretty speedy people on the team. We have some former collegiate athletes and one of our OG members just won the Harlem Mile a few weeks back. Some of our runners are just finding their own hidden talents as they crack out consistent :58 400s on the track. Having said that there is zero requirement for joining up. There are very modest yearly dues (for beer mostly) but that's it. Love of the sport is the only thing we ask- just be cool and cool towards others.
YOU DO A NUMBER OF #TTB THEMED BRIDGE RUNS!
Haha so I ran the second ever TTB and that just sparked something in me and it's (obviously) stuck with me ever since. Not only do I have "Take The Bridge" style runs in-studio where I take runners on any number of "bridge" repeats- incline and speed intervals, but also Team MHRC will occasionally hit Manhattan or Williamsburg Bridge. Since these are in close proximity to the Noho studio, they're perfect for our morning workouts to get our runners that practical experience. Some have never run the bridges before and those mornings are some of the most awesome- kinda discovering it for the first time. When we "take" a bridge for a workout, our coaches talk the runners through the tactics and proper form (and mentality) for running the incline and decline efficiently. Form above all else. The speed will come.
SINCE YOU LIVE NEARBY, AND RUN THE TRIBORO BRIDGE DAILY, WE WORKED WITH YOU TO CREATE A SUPER SPECIAL COURSE FOR THE NEXT RACE. ANY WORDS OF ADVICE TO THE RUNNERS?
In the words of my own Mr. Miyagi, Joe DiNoto, "know the route, keep it clean". This course, like TTB:Boston, is going to spread the field and make for an awesome finish because it's not just a simple up-and-over. One advantage for this course is going to be the energy from the crowds at the checkpoint and finish. Triboro is seldom run but offers (IMO) some of the best views of Manhattan.