The Inaugural Royal 5K Race is Off and Running

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The last five days have been busy in the running department. On Sunday the 12th, I raced at the Florida Senior Games in Fort Myers.  I consider myself to be a baby Senior (age 50 – 54) although that is not an official designation.  All of the athletes at that level deserve a lot of credit for competing.  As for me, after considerable waffling about whether to run the 800 meters and the 1500 meters, I went for both of them.  The tougher competition was in the 800 meter race, where I came in 3rd with a disappointing time of 2:35.  I was right with the two runners ahead of me at 550 meters and didn’t keep up with them down the heavy wind in our faces homestretch. I have to give them both credit.  The first place finisher came back 90 minutes later and ran the 400 meters in 0:56.  Wow.  The second place finisher has beaten me three times now and is my benchmark for improvement.

Two hours later I won the 1500 meters in 5:21.  Again, not a good time but a much better second race than when I did the same combo in early November.  Plus a serious competitor with fresh legs finished 7 seconds behind me after leading early in the race.  So, in summary, nice to win a gold medal, need to get faster, have a lot of work to do to get ready for the national meets next year. Thanks to my high school track teammate, Bob Sweeney. for acting as my manager/coach at all of my Florida track meets.

Thursday the 16th I ran the first edition of the Royal 5K in St. Maarten before attending the plaques and keys ceremony with the officers of Allure of the Seas and the government officials of St. Maarten.  Under cloudy skies the race went off without a hitch and I finished fourth out of just over 100 runners.  The actual time is irrelevant because the course was altered at the last moment, but my run equated to about a 19:30 true 5K.  The Royal 5K was the highlight of a week of running festivities on Allure of the Seas. During the race I ran with recent NCAA 1600-meter champion, Sean Jefferson, (whose pulse probably never got above 40) and after the race I had long conversations with Olympic marathon champion, Frank Shorter, and running guru Bart Yasso.  If you are a runner you know this is very cool stuff. This experiment was a joint effort of Royal Caribbean, ESPN, Reebok and Wildside Events.  We need to debrief and think through how to sustain a program of this nature.  The people who participated seemed to enjoy it immensely.

allure_running-blog

Other personal news items – in my 40+ years as a Philadelphia sports fan I don’t think there has ever been anything quite like the Phillies signing Cliff Lee.  Of course there have been other high profile free agent signings such as the Eagles‘ infamous signing of TO in 2004.  But the combination of how good Lee is, how much he was liked when he pitched for the Phillies in 2008, that he is joining three other major pitching stars and (last but not least) that he signed with the Phillies instead of with the Yankees, put this into orbit. If you don’t believe me, just read the chat boards. I haven’t seen a celebration like this since before a final exam at Princeton when the teacher announced that the two essays we needed to write (out of the original five possibilities) were the ones for which everyone in the class had prepared… except me.

Finally, Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott‘s child welfare transition team subcommittee of which I am chairperson is nearly finished with its whirlwind assignment; a total of 33 days, including Thanksgiving, from the formation of the team until the final report.  Although I have been involved in Florida’s system of care for about 8 years now, I never think I know what I should know to discharge such responsibilities. But I have learned a few things and I do believe there is value in bringing skills from the corporate environment to challenges that beset well meaning people in the nonprofit sector who are long on passion but sometimes short on the right kinds of experience. I very much appreciate the good relationship I have with George Sheldon, the Secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. And it is fulfilling to observe the obvious high esteem in which Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe is held throughout the state for the progress we have made to improve child welfare in our local community.

  • Fran lIBASCI

    Adam – the Royal 5K experience was amazing. You are right, those of us who participated had a wonderful time. I signed up prior to the cruise and was able to enjoy all the activites throughout the week. As you know we skipped Nassau and therefore there was no “fun run”. However, Josh and Frankie along with Sean, Bart and Frank conducted a track workout to emphasize interval training. During our laps around the amazing track they critiqued our running and provided valuable feedback. The remaining seminars were informative for veterans and newbies. Thank you for your leadership and for offering this wonderful healthy activity.

    I’d be delighted to participate in any formal feedback and debrief you might conduct.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      We’re very happy to hear you had a great time with us, Fran. We’re also glad to hear that the track workout and seminars were beneficial and helped provide you with valuable feedback. We will also keep your offer in mind and we hope to see you onboard with us again very soon.

  • tj cANDY

    Those are very impressive times to post for the 50-54 Age group! Well done. I too am in the 50-54 age group and have run many miles aboard ship when I cruise. My longest was 53 miles during a 7 day cruise aboard Mariner of the Seas.

    Running the longer distances have proved to be more friendly than those shorter distance as I ‘mature’. I ran my fastest marathon ever at the age of 50 (2:56) and I hope to improve as I learn to train even smarter and better with the miles.

    Thanks for sharing your story and bringing running and cruising together in this forum. For many of us, it’s been a great association all along.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you so much for your comment TJ, and running 53 miles, as well as making that great finishing time is also very impressive. We hope you continue to enjoy the blog as well as cruising with us for years to come.

  • http://www.cruisebuzz.net cruisebuzz

    Great job all of you that trained and ran in this race. Yea!

  • Jackie

    Adam, My husband and I are not runners but do admire those who are able to do so. However we are in the 60-64 age group and usually walk about 50-55 miles on every cruise we take. We feel that whatever venue you take is better than sitting around doing nothing. Plus we feel better if we should have that extra “wow” dessert.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      That is such a great feat Jackie. We also could not agree more. There are so many activities that our guests can enjoy on our ships, and we are delighted to hear you enjoy staying active during your cruise. Those 50-55 mile walks sure do come in handy when enjoying a dessert or two, but you definitely deserve it! We hope to see you onboard again with us soon. Until then, take care.

  • Joel Jager

    Adam,
    I would like to make the following suggestion with regards to an addition on Labadee.

    At the place where the old dock that used by the tender service; build a C&A facility. It all ready has pileons in place to support a comfortable building over the water. It could be another bar(&grill)with an outside area with plexi-glass floor to view the water. Also, you might consider special drinks with part of the proceeds to go to the Hatian Relief Fund.

  • Joel Jager

    Adam,
    I would like to make the following suggestion with regards to an addition on Labadee.

    At the place where the old dock that used by the tender service; build a C&A facility. It all ready has pileons in place to support a comfortable building over the water. It could be another bar(&grill)with an outside area with plexi-glass floor to view the water. Also, you might consider special drinks with part of the proceeds to go to the Hatian Relief Fund.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you for your excellent suggestion Joel. We’ve taken note of it and passed it to the appropriate department for review. Have a Happy New Year!

  • Jackie

    Adam, I have been searching for a cruise that would take us to the ports of Roatan and Belize City. However, I do not find one cruise that covers both places. I know that some other cruise lines do cover both ports on one cruise, but we would never switch cruise companies. Would it be possible to come up with a Western Caribbean trip that includes these two beautiful ports of call?

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, Jackie. We will take your suggestion under consideration when planning future itineraries. Have a happy New Year!

  • helen rutenber

    Good morning Adam. I hope that you and your family enjoyed the Holiday Season. This year I decided to celebrate with family in UK & Belgium and my daughter decided to visit friends in Australia (instead of us both being on my beloved Monarch). The trials and tribulations we have both faced with regard to snow and freezing weather across Europe, complete with cancelations and reschedules for me and now the tragic flooding in Australia (she might have to swim to airport) reads like a soap opera. But hopefully Patina should make it home this weekend so that we can cruise on Monarch on 10th. No more snow for me, will be making my bookings for next Christmas while aboard next week. My best wishes to all the RCL family for 2011 and I look forward to cruising many more times with the World’s nicest cruise line.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      It sure sounds like Mother Nature gave you a hard time, Helen. But it’s great to hear that you all are overcoming the obstacles with such a great positive outlook. We can’t wait to have you back onboard Monarch of the Seas, we just know that you’ll have another great time. Thanks for keeping us up to date and we will see you on the 10th.

  • Sharon Moneysmith

    Adam,
    My son David Participated in all the Running events on the Allure and had a great time. He and his college room mate Dennis were made very welcome by all the runners, this made their cruise extra memorable. David won the male Fastest Mile at sea, which was pretty special. We were celebrating Christmas since this is his last year at College–so his last Christmas Break. His first ever Christmas break (Kindergarten) he lost his first tooth on another Royal Caribbean ship!!

    Thanks for making this cruise extra special

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Sharon, congratulations to your son on winning the Fastest Mile at sea. We are glad Royal Caribbean has left such a wonderful impression on you and your family while helping to create such lasting memories. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely story with us and we hope we can continue to help build many more memorable experiences with you and your family.

  • fr. jose l. morras

    Dear Adam, I am Fr. José from Sapain. I have been from January 9th to 17th onboard Allure of the seas. It was like a dream. Every thing was perfect: crew, people, shows… but for me will be unforgetable the Catholic Mass celebrated onboard with more than 700 people. I have received a lot of letters giving me thaks but I want to give thaks to the Royal caibbean Company and the magnificent crew that in every moment help me and facilitate me all I needed to have this nice celebration in four languages. You will be always in my mind and in my prayers. God bless you.
    +José L

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you so much Fr. Jose. We are delighted that we could accommodate for your service. We do our best to offer all of our guests with the Royal Advantage in providing the most personalized experience onboard. We are so honored that we could be a part of your dream.

  • http://www.grammology.com Dorothy Stahlnecker

    Adam, my husband and I will be on Liberty of the Seas February 5th 2011. Joe is 65 and has bcycled over 100,000 miles in the last 20 plus years (five continents). Next year he will crew for (RAAM) Race Across America where single to teams travel from the West Coast to the East coast approximately 3000 plus miles on a bike (24/7). Thus we know very well the dedication and committment to being an athlete and still able to run a cruise line.

    So we look forward to taking our cruise on Liberty of the Seas this weekend and enjoy the Carribean (Our first time)and become Senior cruisers returning to your cruise lines more often. Nice reading your blog, I use to do it and have left it momentarily until I choose a new venue. My very best, we are so excited and hope our experience on your ship is wonderful. (I’m a litlle nervous) so wish me luck.

    Regards, Dorothy and Joe Smith

    formerly Dorothy Stahlnecker…

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Hello Dorothy, your husband sounds like quite the athlete. It’s great to hear he is so committed to his sport and that you are so supportive. We can’t wait to have you onboard this weekend, and there is nothing to be nervous about, you two will be taken care of by the best crew members in the business. We’re confident you will have an outstanding time experiencing the WOW. Also, welcome back to the blog. Feel free to comment and share your feedback any time.

  • http://www.usroadsports.com JAVI SANCHEZ

    Great too see fitness and vacationing being merged into what sounded like ONE AWESOME time. I’m looking forward to participating in one of these at some point.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      We are glad that you enjoy our cruising combo, Javi. We’re looking forward to having you participate in one with us next time. Keep reading our blog to stay posted on upcoming fitness event. We can’t wait to have you onboard.