Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Cindy Conant running her fastest times at age 53

Fleet-footed Brian Flynn and Fuller brothers join local running scene
By Dave Frederick | Jul 11, 2014
Photo by: Dave Frederick Cindy Conant - not "running on empty."

Play 'til you drop - Soccer needs to eliminate the offsides call and get rid of the penalty shootout to decide a tie game. Why preserve the purity of soccer in regulation only to turn it into a carnival game to declare a winner? I know I don’t have soccer credibility and although I’m creative, I don’t think I could talk about 120 minutes of nothing for a 60-minute post-game show. Then again, I can talk about nothing with the best of them.

Money talks - Talking sports heads rattle on every day about NBA paychecks of LeBron and Carmelo and how much money they stand to make depending on where they sign. A bench player like Mike Miller, who was amnestied by Miami, commands a market salary of $5 million a year. The NBA sometimes allows a team to dump one bad contract on its roster - the player still gets paid but is waived and doesn’t count against luxury tax.  If you made $100K a year, it would take you 50 years to gross $5 million and be just like Mike Miller. The money paid to professional athletes is crazy, so why should any of us care?

Here she comes! - Three years ago on a Father's Day Sunday morning, Cindy Conant was sprinting down Wilmington Avenue toward the finish chute at the Rehoboth Boardwalk, the first woman in a 5K race. Tim Bamforth, race director, bellowed into the sound system, ”Here she comes, Cindy Conant, 50 years old with another Striders win! Cindy Conant, 50 years old!” I told Tim, ”Never announce ‘Here she comes, 50 years old’ when a woman runs down the street; it’s considered bad form.” Cindy, now 53, won the Firecracker 5K July 5 in a time of 19:30. On June 21, she won the Jungle Jim's 5K in 19:41. Cindy described herself as a nanny who does child care for a living, which explains the high level of fitness. She is also a retired librarian. Her husband, Carlton, works for the government. They have two adult sons and a 16-year-old daughter. “I’m not that regimented a runner," Cindy said of her training. “I go to the track on Tuesdays. On Thursday I’ll do a fairly speedy tempo run for maybe five miles. I didn’t run in high school or college, but this year at 53 I’ve had my fastest 8K [31:08], 10K [38:40] and 5K [18:53]." She ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, the year of the bombing, in 3 hours and 23 minutes.  I think it’s a confidence thing. Cindy has been running for 25 years, so she is not low mileage. In fact, she laughed that she puts in 60 to 70 miles a week as she rolls out the door and "kind of just runs" 10 miles. Responding to the nutrition question, Cindy laughed, “I eat a lot of junk. I have such a sweet tooth. I eat more than anyone else in my family."

Sterling drops the "P" word - Donald Sterling in civil court in Los Angeles is contesting his wife’s right to sell the Clippers, and when Shelly approached him in the courtroom, he said to her, “Get away from me, you pig.” Women in the courtroom gasped, most saying, “Oh no, he didn’t!”  The NBA said the league has the right to seize his team if it's not sold, and to me this all seems wrong, just because a crazy old man freestyles a racist rant into a sensitive microphone nestled in his girlfriend's cleavage. Sometimes you really can’t make it up.

Totally missed it - I’m an experienced sportswriter, and track and road runners are my particular passion. So when 30-year-old Brian Flynn won the Firecracker 5K in 15:02 I accuse him of “being all over the place” and not being fluid of form - which can happen when you’re popping a 4:50 mile at the end of the race. I never find out that Flynn is the head cross country and track coach at Bridgewater College in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, where he was voted Coach of the Year for men last season as the men won the conference for the first time and the women won their second title. Flynn has also been women’s coach of the year. The 30-year-old was a four-time all-conference runner while at Lynchburg and earned five ODAC titles on the track. “I’m in a high-mileage training block right now and a little bit tired, so I didn’t expect to run that fast," Flynn said. Flynn hopes to break 2:22 in a fall marathon and qualify for the Olympic Trials  even though he admitted, "That [time] really wouldn’t do anything.”

Snippets - Bud Hitchens, former Cape athletic director, got his first hole-in-one at the Rookery South. It was hole 21 - wait a minute - make that hole number 2!

The Bagel Bombers Baseball Club will be holding tryouts for its summer 2014 to spring 2015 baseball season for age groups U8 through U16 with age determined as of April 30, 2015. The first tryout is 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 20,  at Sports at the Beach. The second tryout is 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 27. Any questions, email agelof@comcast.net.

Lamont “Poochie” Hazzard has been rehired as coach of the Cape girls' basketball team for the 2014-15 season. Cape is also close to naming a new coach for boys' soccer. Go on now, git!

Brian Flynn recently ran a 15:02 5K and has been cross country Coach of the Year in the ODAC for Bridgewater College. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Mike Miller, 34, is 6-feet-8-inches, 218 pounds. He has 14 years in the NBA and commands a salary of $5 million a year. (Photo by: espn.go.com )
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