A Morning at Van Cortlandt Park

So me and Chris Hunt decided to show up at VCP in the Bronx at 8:30am on Wednesday, August 27th and see if we could dig up a story. I had started running at VCP a few morning a week to add some mileage and I figured with practice starting, we'd see some teams.

Also, since I'll be literally running around the XC courses this fall with video and still camera, I figured I had to get in shape. I started out with just the video camera and figure I'll add some repeats with the still camera next week.

First we ran into Jim Mitchell, coach of the Bronxville girls for the last 30 years. Mitch had his girls doing the famed "Back Hills" workout. We headed over to the bridge as his girls warmed up to get a glimpse at his secrets. Mitchell of course has won 6 NY State XC Championships and numerous National Championships. His girls 4xMile held the National Record for a few years and his 4x800m relay is always in the 9:20 or better range with a school record of 8:53. Getting a look at what he does in practice is always a treat.

Check out this video interview and story here

After we talked to Mitchell and Bronxvlle captain Tori Flannery, we headed back out to the flats (you gotta know the VCP lingo like "back Hills, "Flats", "Cow Path", "Freshman Hills", etc.). We ran into the HS team from Horace Mann (left) doing some loops on the flats.

After that we headed to the regular finish line out by the Tortoise and the Hare statue and saw our old friend Mike Barnow, the coach of The Westchester Track Club. Mike had his elite runners there doing loops on the flats and talked to us on camera about training at VCP, which he does every Wednesday morning.


While we were talking to Mike Barnow I saw a group of runners heading out towards the Cow Path, which is the entrance to the woods on most of the various race courses. I took my small nikon quick shot and ran and caught Fordham Prep's varsity boys.

I knew George Febles had to be near by, so I headed over to the 2.5 mile start and sure enough, I found Mr. Febles. George was the founding webmaster of ArmoryTrack.com and a huge part of NY Track and Field, as well as a fine coach in his own right who has won multiple National Championships. Below is a picture of his younger boys.

Also warming up by the start was Xavier, pictured below in a group shot and then circled up for a pre-run stretch.

Riverdale HS with coach Ed Jennings, a former Armory employee and a true friend of The Armory.

One thing that we were dealing with all morning was the fences that have been put up which seem to be affecting the start of the 5K and some other areas. Christopher Hunt will have a story on that coming Friday, but for now, just a few pics.