Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cooper's Corner: Houston Half Marathon

As I watched the weather all week, I started to prepare myself mentally for what the weather would be.

I have run in some pretty tough conditions before (Houston Marathon - Ice Bowl in 1997), but for the first time in my running career I contemplated not running.

Thankfully, the race organizers postponed the start one hour so I never had to make that decision.

The conditions at the start were not perfect, but temperature-wise it felt really good.

I had been sick all week and not done any running, so my expectations were not high.

Especially knowing that the adventure I faced was a fairly difficult course, but I also knew that for everything we do there is always a reason for it.

God presents us with challenges in order to make us stronger. So as I crossed the start line I decided I was going to run my race according to Coach Bill's race plan.

The first couple of miles were slow going as 5,000 runners set out on the out and back course.

My first miles were 9:49 and 9:23, but once I got out on to Allen Parkway I settled onto my plan pace of between 9:00 and 9:15.

At mile 5, I came through at just over 46 minutes and was beginning to feel stronger as I moved down the road. Of course I was soaking wet by this time because of the steady rain, but the conditions were ideal.

There is something about rain that forces me to focus. Every runner experiences it:  it is called running in the zone – and I was in the tunnel!

At mile 7, I came through at 1:05 and I knew that I could run hard so I picked up the pace. I love passing people and for the rest of the way nobody passed me.

Miles 8, 9, 10 were at 8:51, 8:36 and 8:59, and 11 and 12 came at an 8:34 pace.

As I came to the last mile I kept reminding myself that it was only four laps on the track and I blazed a 8:09 final mile. The final time was 1:58.38, which made me very happy.

The half marathon is probably my favorite distance because it is long enough that not everybody can do it, but it is also a distance that allows me to race, which is something I love to do.

As I finished up, "Amazing Grace" blasted in my ears.  Once again, God had given me the gift of a great race.

Hopefully in 12 weeks, I'll feel the same way running down Allen Parkway on my way to finishing my 11th Houston Marathon.

A huge thanks goes out to Coach Bill and Coach Mary for coming out to cheer me on Sunday.

I'm so happy I joined Volte.

See you on the road friends,

Coach Rich

Monday, October 28, 2013

Volte and Friends Weekend Results from October 26-27

Another busy weekend in Volte, Texas.

Mixed with tradition, rain, a little Iron and a dash of color.

It wasn’t just a little Iron to Tabitha Young, but rather a huge Ironman 70.3 finish in Austin on Sunday.

Tabitha, Hurry up and pop the top on your successful debut half Iron distance finish!
(Photo courtesy of David Young)
“After six months of intense training and a lot of weekend hours spent running, biking and swimming, Tabitha completed her first 70.3 race,” said her coach Adrienne Langelier.  “She started the day off with a solid 46-minute swim – first ever sporting a wet suit! – in a cold Walter E. Long lake and overcame fatigue on a hilly and challenging bike course to execute a well-managed and paced run.”

Tabitha’s time was 8:29:17, including “smiling all the way to a 2:59 (run) split,” according to Langelier.

She was supported by her husband, David, her mother – and sister-in law, her parents, her coach and fellow Voltes Kelly Green (after an 18-miler on Saturday) and Todd Snider.

“I couldn't have asked for better support.  As always, I'm overwhelmed with the gracious people God has placed in my life,” said Young.  “But David deserves the most props because he is the best husband, support crew, cheerleader anyone could ask for.”

Not to be left out was Langelier.

“She believed in me and tolerated me for the last 6 months,” she added.  “I'm so thankful that I can call her my coach and more importantly my friend.”

Mother nature – and its accompanying rain and lightning -- was nearly not the friend to 3,243 official timed finishers of Sunday’s Houston Half Marathon near downtown Houston.

After an hour postponement, the Houston Striders were able to execute a very good event, according to Volte founder Bill Dwyer.

“Conditions were good after the storm passed through, bringing cooler temperatures,” he said.

And it helped put the gnarly conditions two weeks ago from Ten For Texas in the rear view mirror.

“This is total revenge from the 1:15 in my 10-miler two weeks ago,” said Keith Wiley, who led the way with a 1:25:29 finish.  “It feels good to get the monkey off my back.  This is what being an athlete is about:  taking the good with the bad and re-group.”

While Sam Houston Park got deluged with rain, Volte coach Rich Cooper thought at 6:30 about simply regrouping another day.

Rich Cooper and Bill Dwyer celebrating Rich's sub-2 hour finish on Sunday.
(Photo courtesy of Mary Carter)
“As I was sitting in the parking garage, I really thought staying in bed would have been the right thing to do,” said Rich.  “Luckily, the race start was postponed an hour so we didn't start in a downpour, but we still got wet.”

Yet the conditions set Cooper up for a very good race.

“The hardest part about running a race is holding back especially when you feel good at the beginning,” Cooper explained as he turned in a 1:58:38 performance.  “That was exactly the case on Sunday.  Luckily, I did hold back and turned in a very strong second half of the race.”

Woodlands Fit coach Will Ott, who trains with Volte during the week, continues to setup well for the Philadelphia Marathon in three weeks with a 1:37:43 showing on Sunday while Paul Vita notched a 2:08:35 effort as well.

“Everyone did very well,” said Dwyer.  “Keith and Will both put the hot and humid-impacted Ten for Texas times behind them with very strong finishes.  I was very happy to see Rich run under two hours, which was the goal.  He executed his race plan perfectly.   Paul also did very well.”

Volte friends got in the half marathon act too on Sunday.

Three weeks removed from a solid 3:39 Chicago Marathon performance, Brian Schultz ran 1:42:21 on Sunday while The Woodlands Team In Training’s Brenda Munoz got in 12 miles in approximately 3:15 after being directed wrong early in the race by a police officer and then asked to cut short her distance as the event was forced to open roads according to its original permit times.

Major congratulations go to 78-year-young Jim Braden, who won his 75-and-over age group in 2:11:47.  Jim was one of three runners from The Woodlands who won their age group joining Pam Meaux (50-54 female) and Nora Wilson (55-59 female).

Embracing tradition on Saturday was David Odom.

Continuing his recovery from knee surgery, David recorded a time of 21:27 at Run The Woodlands 5K.

And bringing a dash or two or three of color to the entire picture was Nicole Mikelonis as she and two of her daughters ran in Sunday’s Color Run 5K at Minute Maid Park.

Nicole Mikelonis and her two daughters were colored in fun at Sunday's Color Run 5K.
A couple of our long-time friends were busy this weekend.

Team Strive founder and Finish Strong coach Kimberly Mac Namee was the third overall female in the USA Masters 15K championship at the Tulsa Run 15K on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The 42-year-old, who is prepping for January’s Chevron Houston Marathon, covered the distance in 57:45 behind Colorado’s Melody Fairchild and Pennsylvania’s Lori Kingsley.

Friends of the Running Community’s Jon Walk snuck in the fifth annual Devil’s Chase 6.66-Miler in Salem, Massachusetts on Saturday with a time of 1:06:56 before finishing his 50th career marathon at the Cape Cod Marathon in Falmouth.

He finished the gorgeous, yet hard and hilly course in 5:20:59 for a marathon in his 32nd state.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Volte Weekend Recap: Hills, Hills and More Hills

“V” is not only for Volte, but also for variety.  And variety, it has been said, is the spice of life.

Hills are too.  And Voltes had their dose of them this past weekend.

On a course that her coach Bill Dwyer states is at least 8 to 10 minutes slower than the one that she posted her previous best marathon time, Naika Vargas rocked the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco on Sunday for a 6-minute and 28-second PR.

Naika is all smiles at mile 15
Photo courtesy of Ricardo Vargas
With her 4:07:30 performance, she bettered her 4:13:58 time from earlier this year at the Fidelity Investments The Woodlands Marathon.

She said that she “felt strong” and Dwyer gushed that it was an “outstanding run”.

When the local running club calls itself the Seven Hills Running Club and they produce their own event, the 35th annual Huntsville Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon and 5K, you know that it isn’t going to be in the flattest part of town.

Yet this was a course that he said himself, “I know (it) well, so it was easy to know when to work hard and when to consolidate.”

And that’s the strategy that George Roffe used to post a third-place age group winning time of 1:09:26 in the Huntsville Quarter Marathon, which is 6.55 miles.

George Roffe letting it fly on one of Huntsville's trademark hills.
Photo courtesy of Trudy Regnier
“This race was beyond my current training,” he said.  “I’ve known some good things are coming my way, but thought it would take more time.”

He credited his quality performance, other than his coaching, on two things:  1.) leaving his watch “in the bag”, which he said was hard, and 2.) race management, adding “I made sure I put out effort on the up-hills, but not too much and I also let myself loose on the down-hills, but still enjoy an active recovery.”

And some promising times to come, says Dwyer.

“(This was a) very good effort for George,” he said.  “He’s well on his way to some quality events in 2014.”

Derek Bailey has had quite a bit of quality for 2013 and Saturday’s Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon was no different.

Derek shows us that Kansas City loves the Chiefs so much their port-a-cans are red too!
Photo courtesy of Derek Bailey
He finished his 20th career marathon – and one in his 16th state – with a time of 3:07:35, which was good for 45th overall, 42nd overall male and 12th in a tough 30-34 age group.

It was his 6th best marathon ever and his 8th sub-3:10 in his last 10 marathons (all in the last two years).

Derek is now gunning for his fifth consecutive Chevron Houston Marathon.

Speaking of gunning it, well, that’s just what Tammy Grado did as she harnessed her post-marathon fitness to win her age group Saturday at the Duck Dash 5K in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Only 40 seconds off of her 23:52 PR at the 2012 Bill Crews Remission Run, Tammy won in 24:32.

Ducking it up with Jep Robertson
Photo courtesy of Tammy Grado
“Duck it up!” she exclaimed.  “My trophy was a redneck wineglass.  Gotta love it!  It was my first time in Shreveport and it was fun meeting Jep Robertson.”

Robertson is one of the stars of A&E’s hit TV show, “Duck Dynasty”.

Llana and Tammy with their redneck wineglasses
Photo courtesy of Tammy Grado
Not left out of the fun, though, was Llana Bingham, who captured third in her age group in 27:07, and Tammy’s daughter, Cassidy, who finished in 34:04.

A lot of our Volte friends also saw action this past weekend and we enjoy sharing their successes as they often spend time with us as a group or at individual workouts.

Aida Madrid and Jovita Galicia, who join us on our Saturday long runs from time to time, also ran the Nike Women’s Marathon on Sunday and finished in 4:21:53 and 4:28:45, respectively.  They’ve also been participating in the Texas 10 Series events.

Also in San Francisco was The Woodlands Team In Training’s Kate Thomas, who while raising over $3,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also posted a 2:56:02 in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

Trudy Regnier grabbed first place in her age group at the Huntsville Quarter Marathon on Saturday in 1:02:43.

Friends of the Running Community’s Jon Walk added three cities in his quest to run a race in 100 Texas cities or towns with 5K finishes in Boerne (Friday night), Seguin (Saturday night) and Kyle (Sunday morning).

He said that he missed the “quad” on Saturday morning as the 10K that seemed to straddle the city limits of Schertz and Selma because he wasn’t prepared – clothing-wise – for the 52 degrees and stiff winds.

He now has 92 Texas cities or towns, since 2003, to his credit after finishes of 29:48, 29:42 and 30:12.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nine With Nine Volte: Curtis Hooper

Our mission is for our group to be a good community citizen, encourage all others (all the other groups etc) and Curtis is the embodiment of our mission ... just naturally.

He’s the one who keeps everyone loose. He adds enough comic relief that hard workouts and races are fun. He’s very sincere and caring. He would do anything to help anyone. We have strong Christian values and Curtis is at the center of this…and he allows others to grow (Rich, myself, others).

Curtis is Tough, Talented, Loving, Fun, Uplifting, Outgoing and Humble at the same time.

-- Bill Dwyer, Volte Founder, on Curtis Hooper

Curtis "Hot Foot" Hooper

Nine Volte:  What's your current "A" race and when and where is it?

Curtis Hooper:  My "A" race is unequivocally Rocky (Raccoon) 100.  February 2 in Huntsville State Park.  I will have my obit written and placed in your hand.

NV:  Curtis, Nine Volte aims to be a charge in runner's lives, not the holder of death.

There are many challenges in the world.  Some of which you've taken head on and succeeded at.

Why a 100-mile endurance run and what is the most important quality you believe will enable you to succeed?

CH:  If you are not living on the edge, you are just taking up space.  I am testing myself mentally with this run.

Do I still posses the ability to climb "the wall"?  I need to know ... and that will drive me.

NV:  Your coach is a veteran of two 100-mile finishes.  Describe your training so far, given that you're three and a half months from race day?

Additionally, do you have any tune-up races planned?

CH:  Three.  Don't take one away from him.  Pretty much like a marathon build up with the added bonus of every third week after a Saturday long, another long (run) is done on Sunday, at least 10 miles.

I was informed I have a six-hour training run in December and I am running a 50K in November.  One could see that as a tune up.

NV:  Yes, two Rockys and one Arkansas Traveller.  Nine Volte does leak a little here and there.  (Correction:  Volte founder Bill Dwyer confirmed that it was only two.)

Your faith is very evident in the athletic community.  Aside from God, who do you draw inspiration from to help you achieve your athletic goals and why?

CH:  I feel like I am talking to a computer.  

It is real easy to get inspiration from my fellow athletes of Volte.  Witnessing a first 20 miler a new runner has completed (Kelly) to the epic speed of Ken (Reiger), the dedication of Mayra (Caamano).  

The work ethic and desire is one and the same.  It pushes me.  No, it amazes and inspires me to become the runner I was gifted to be.  This family works hard, it is almost the password to get in.  

So yeah, my teammates are the only ones whom I derive inspiration from.  Period.

NV:  Better than talking to an abacus, don't you think?  No fun pushing around a bunch of beads.  I drain.  (Battery pun, get it?)

Where and when did you first start to run and why?  And what is the one most important thing that you've learned that you put to use the most?

CH:  "Shall we play a game?" (Computer movie reference, can you name it?)

Let's go way back, shall we?  My mom wouldn't let me play football until high school.  Soccer and swimming were my first loves. By the time I arrived to Junior High, I was a pretty solid swimmer.

I took a weightlifting class in the eighth grade.  We ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two loops around a huge field.  I would smoke everyone else.  The track coach happened to be in charge of the class.  He asked me to run track.  Third time I ran the mile, I ran a 4:58.  I hated to run, but loved to race.

I rediscovered running in 2007.  Hmmm... I have learned you can't fake the funk.  

If you want to see the results you are capable of, you must put in the work.  Racing these long events ain't no joke.  I have been exposed a few times in marathons as a slacker.  

It goes back to the dedication I have witnessed from Volte.  

One final statement concerning the last two questions, the most important thing I have been taught from running with Volte is joy and fun can and do accompany hard work and discipline. 

NV:  Matthew Broadrick stars in "War Games".  Thermonuclear War.  And batteries, amazingly, can't Google either.  :-)  

You served our country in the Marine Corps (and, as always, thank you for that service).  No doubt that it plays a very prominent role in your hard work and discipline.  

What one piece of advice would you give to a new runner that maybe hadn't fully developed those qualities? 

CH:  Well played and you are correct.  I appreciate your gratitude and am proud to have served.  We used to say this little nugget quite often in the Corps:  "Embrace the suck".  

Here's the dealo (yes, he used the word "dealo" ... Ed.), you must become friends with discomfort and pain.  To discover who you are in places few dare to go, deep inside, climb into the hurt locker and hang out awhile.  

We are all much more capable than we may think.  Wake up and feel what it feels like to live, test yourself.  In a round about way that should answer the question.

NV:  We learned earlier what your motivation for this upcoming 100-miler and preceding events is (and has been).  You completed the inaugural Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas.  The support at that event and a 100-miler are both incredible, but in totally different ways.  

How are you mentally preparing for not having those partiers on the Waterway, let's say, during your Ironman run, but simply, possibly only fellow runners with headlamps, folks serving you at aid stations and teammates at strategic locations during those early evening hours?

CH:  I tuned most of the folks on Waterway out. However when you lock eyes with one individual and you know when it happens, it does mean much.  

This is the dichotomy with my running, I love group runs but I need and value the solo run.  I think this mindset will play well for me out there in the dark.  The contact I will have, or at least I presume will be on a more intimate level, with aid station (worker) and runner alike.  

I have a good idea what your name is my computer-like friend.

NV:  If you learned anything from watching the Wizard of Oz, it isn't good to be Toto and ruin the surprise for all in the great City.  

We have two questions to go.  If somebody were to walk up to you and look at you, what is the one thing about you that people would notice the most and what might they miss or stereotype you wrong(ly)?

CH:  The Wizard is safe.  We all need him.  

Notice the most, now?  (Chuckling) The beard.  That is a great question.  

I would hope the first thing noticed would be my sincerity and need to make folks feel welcomed.  They may miss the intelligence and heart behind the clown makeup. 

NV:  Thanks for sharing with the world a little more about Curtis Hooper.  Final question:  What's your verse and why?

CH:  Matthew 10:27.  "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs."  To me a faith not lived out is no faith at all.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The New "Nine With Nine Volte" Section

Hi everyone, I'm Nine Volte, your awesome, energy-charged Volte Endurance Training blogger.

I hope that you're thoroughly enjoying the new Volte Endurance Training blog so far.

It is here for me to share with YOU the Volte story -- and the Volte family.

One of the ways we'll do that is by introducing you to various Volte athletes through a "Nine With Nine Volte" question and answer session.

It'll be an interview format designed to not only put a smile on your face, but give you the opportunity to learn more about the athlete than just their race times and accomplishments.

Each interview will be prefaced by Volte's founder Bill Dwyer with something special to note about that particular athlete.

"I am very blessed to have everyone that we have in our group," says Dwyer.  "One isn’t any more important than another.

"Everyone brings a personal strength to the table. We compliment each other very well.  And it isn't about running speed, but rather the positive encouragement to reach personal goals."

And with that introduction, our first "Nine with Nine Volte" subject will be 2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas finisher, Curtis Hooper.

Stay tuned!

Cooper's Corner - Ten For Texas

Saturday's race (Ten For Texas) was a first for me.  I've been a coach for a long time but never really had been put in a position to help other runners during a race I was participating in.

Volte has changed me.  I look at a group as a family.  We help each other out in times of stress:  "That's what we do!"

Volte is different than any training group in Houston:  We pray together, we train together and we race together.

In the grand scheme of things, Saturday was just another race.  What was the most important thing to me on that day was making sure my runner made it home safe.

The conditions were very difficult, but all of us finished.  And in the long run, we are all going to be stronger runners.

I love this group and the more I get to know everybody, the more I want to give back.

Now that Ten for Texas is over, the real fun starts as most of us will begin to focus on Houston in January.

Over the last couple of years, I have decided to not run the Houston Marathon because I didn't feel strong enough.  This time will be different because I know I not only have my coach behind me, but have a whole group there for me if I need them.

Keep it up team.

God Bless, Rich

Monday, October 14, 2013

Volte Christens Year Two at Ten For Texas

The Saturday evening before, Volte celebrated its first year of running, racing and training at the Blue Mug Café in The Woodlands.

A week later, Volte kicked off Year Two by sending 38 athletes to the starting line of the seventh annual Ten For Texas in The Woodlands.

The weather wasn’t kind, but people certainly were.

Sharing comments he received from the relative of an athlete he had coached many years ago who was watching her first race ever, founder Bill Dwyer noted that the following “summed up this year’s Ten For Texas:  Tough conditions, but everyone encouraged each other all day.”

“The kindness of runners for one another.  Incredible volunteers who hand out water and sport drinks. The people lining the streets cheering you on in the nicest way.  Police officers routing traffic and keeping the runners safe.  A great example of humans at their best.  The air is completely convivial, friendly, accepting, encouraging, celebratory.  It didn’t matter who you were, how you were built, what sort of time you were getting, you would be cheered in to the end, and given a medal for your accomplishment.  It was the nicest thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

Sadly, many runners take these things for granted during a race.

Dwyer is proud – and thankful – to note that this didn’t seem to apply to Volte athletes.

“It’s challenging enough to run 10 miles, but to add the oppressively warm and humid conditions made for a very tough day for everyone,” he said.  “What I was impressed with with our group (and I saw this with the other groups too) was how everyone pitched in to help each other.

“Cheering, running back out and encouraging other runners and taking care of each other at the finish.  It was amazing.”

If you’re scoring at home, it is LNRB – Leave No Runner Behind.  Even better than a 6-4-3 double play.

Ten For Texas, once again, was a deep field.  A record 2,168 runners posted official times on Saturday.

Debra Myers shows that she is happy to be one of the 2,168 finishers.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
PRs and age group awards weren’t plentiful, but perseverance was.

“My favorite part of today was seeing the sheer determination to finish on the faces of everyone,” said Volte’s Kate Looney, who operated a cheer station near mile 7 for the team (and logged 17 miles).  “I think most folks quickly realized it was not a PR kind of day and instead focused on doing what they could to finish strong.

“Some were very focused and serious and some had huge smiles, but clearly all worked hard for every single mile.  I sensed from each runner that the weather was not going to win that morning.”

Geri Henry did though.

On the strength of a 1:47:28 showing, Geri won her age group in her fourth consecutive 10-mile race.  Those wins are as follows:

1:44:19 – Texas10 Conroe, November 3, 2012
1:49:27 – Texas10 Huntsville, April 7, 2013
1:47:13 – Texas10 Katy, September 23, 2013
1:47:28 – Ten For Texas, The Woodlands, October 12, 2013

A year ago, Geri was third in her then 60-64 age group in 1:44:39 and would have finished second this year in that division.

Nicole Schoppe celebrating post-race with Erica Cahill.
(Photo courtesy of Erica Cahill)
Erica Cahill sported a time of 1:17:27 for second in her 45-49 age group while former John Cooper School and Valparaiso cross country and track and field athlete Justin Bui, who joined Volte this past week, was third in his 20-24 age group with a 1:18:21 showing.

Stephanie Wolf looking strong approaching the finish line
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Yet, nine Volte athletes improved their Ten For Texas time from a year ago.  Their 2012 times are in parentheses below.  (Note:  All individuals did not necessarily race this event last year.)

Brian Jackson – 1:14:51, Mike Csikos – 1:15:20, Keith Wiley – 1:15:54, Mayra Caamano – 1:16:06 (1:17:02), Erica Cahill – 1:17:27, Justin Bui – 1:18:21, Kelley Davis – 1:26:46 (1:27:41), Naika Vargas – 1:27:41 (1:31:32), Jennifer Rowe – 1:27:53, Criss Neumann – 1:30:51 (1:36:56), Stephanie Wolf – 1:31:01, Dirk Neumann – 1:31:04 (1:36:57), Jon Yarborough – 1:32:39, Gabby Coates – 1:34:10, Rob Myers – 1:36:35 (1:39:30), Kelly Whiddon – 1:36:41, Katie Jackson – 1:37:42, Jerritt Park – 1:37:44, Gina LeFavour – 1:37:51 (1:44:10), Stacy Roberson – 1:38:18, Jill Tresaugue – 1:39:23, Katie Marshall – 1:39:33 (1:45:52), Rich Cooper – 1:41:56, Marta Mixa – 1:42:52, Michell Bradie – 1:43:38, Rachael Wilcox – 1:43:47, Geri Henry – 1:47:28 1st AG, Sandy Jones – 1:47:43, Kim Biggerstaff – 1:49:32, Debra Myers – 1:49:33, Tabitha Young – 1:51:29, Llana Bingham – 1:54:19 (1:56:24), Leah Bolton – 1:55:34, Gabby Westbrook – 1:56:37, Alicia Yarborough – 2:00:16, Paul Vita – 2:01:23, Kelly Green – 2:19:07, Raquel Zamarron – 2:32:06

A year ago, Geri was third in her then 60-64 age group in 1:44:39 and would have finished second this year in that division.

Three of our athlete’s spouses (spouses names in parenthesis) posted finishing times on Saturday.  They included Koy (Nicole) Schoppe (1:23:04), Andy (Amber) Brock (1:34:47) and Andrew (Leah) Bolton (1:52:52).

In the middle of her buildup with our partner South Coast Endurance for November’s Oil Man Texas Triathlon half iron distance race in Montgomery, Krista Blevins still was able to pick up fourth single age record with a 1:10:01 age group winning performance.

Just behind her in the women’s 40-44 division?  Her SCE coach – and 2013 Ironman Texas finisher -- Christi Moore, who fashioned a Ten For Texas PR of 1:17:28.

Blevins’ single-age marks are as follows:

39 – 1:07:27, Krista Blevins, The Woodlands, 2009
40 – 1:05:56, Krista Blevins, The Woodlands, 2010
42 – 1:05:31, Krista Blevins, The Woodlands, 2012
43 – 1:10:01, Krista Blevins, The Woodlands, 2013

Last year, she dislodged Katie Deshotels from the spot while this year she bumped OutRival’s Heather Jorris.  In 2012, Jorris ran 1:10:58, but was finishing her 9th Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Blevins, the current RRCA 5-mile Texas state champion, had held the 41-year-old single age mark with a time of 1:08:36 until Kimberly Mac Namee blazed a time of 1:03:39 last year.

Blevins’ husband, Bert, a finisher at Ford Ironman Louisville this August with South Coast Endurance, recorded a Ten For Texas PR of 1:12:46.

Volte friends Chris Weir (Finish Strong) and William Ott (Woodlands Fit) finished in 1:10:20 and 1:25:50, respectively.  Weir trains with Volte’s Derek Bailey, who’s running the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday, while Orr joins Volte for mid-week track workouts.

It all comes back, though, to support.

At the bridge?  Enter Ellen Kurtz-Hammond.

“Wow!  Today was a flash back of Texas10 Katy 10.  Maybe worse!” she exclaimed.  “I helped people get over the bridge.  I stopped counting at eight.  I also ran two of our team in, Gaby and Geri.  Even though it was hot and humid I enjoyed every bit of it.”

In the middle of long runs?  Ken Reiger, Curtis Hooper and Randy Harris.

Driving in from Longview?  Tracie Jackson.

Marta Mixa?  She gives credit to her coach Rich Cooper.

Marta Mixa gets escorted to the finish line by her coach, Rich Cooper.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
“The race was difficult with the weather conditions.  Hot and humid are not my friends,” she said.  “However, my awesome coach Rich Cooper caught up to me around mile four.  He went ahead, but we reunited at a water stop and continued together for a while.

“He knew I was struggling so at mile 8 he waited for me and together we finished the race.  Rich, thank you for your encouragement.”

And thank you to all of you for yours!

Note:  Volte friend Waverly Walk, an 18-year-old freshman studying elementary education at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, not only sang the National Anthem before the race (which she does often) but she PR'd Saturday at the Poplar Forest 5K, which was partly on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson's family retreat in Forest, Virginia.  Waverly, who has been running in the afternoon heat and on the hills of Liberty's campus, finished in 34:17, a second before her father, Jon, who paced her to her first PR in seven years.

Chicago: The City of Volte Love

This year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon reveled in the following record-breaking numbers:  2:03:45 (men’s new course record), 2:19:57 (women’s new course record and fastest time in the world this year) and 39,115 (official finishers).

Volte – and friends - celebrated too.

The records were personal, friendships strengthened and journeys successful.

Tammy Grado, Brandon Sager and Michelle McGill are all smiles after Chicago PR's on Sunday
(Photo courtesy of Brandon Sager)
Earlier this year, Michelle McGill reeled off an impressive 3:44:39 PR at the Boston Marathon, which had lowered her 4:46:41 time by more than an hour from a 2008 showing at the Dallas White Rock Marathon.

Yet on Sunday, she conquered her second straight Marathon Majors course in Chicago to send her below the 3:40 barrier for the first time ever – including her 11th sub 4-hour time in her last 13 marathons -- with a shiny new personal best time of 3:39:05.

She said it was “an amazing race” and credited perfect weather, a great course and “my family and friends for all their support”.

It should also be noted that Michelle negative split the back half in 1:48:47 after going 1:50:18 for the first 13.1 miles.

Michelle’s complete marathoning history, according to, follows:

4:43:05 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 14, 2007
4:29:01 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 13, 2008
4:46:41 – Dallas White Rock Marathon, December 14, 2008
4:32:02 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 18, 2009
4:33:33 – Austin Marathon, February 15, 2009
4:23:09 – Dallas White Rock Marathon, December 13, 2009
3:58:27 – Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon, November 14, 2010
3:54:45 – Dallas White Rock Marathon, December 5, 2010
3:58:38 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 30, 2011
3:58:30 – Austin Marathon, February 20, 2011
4:02:32 – Nike 26.2 Women’s Marathon, San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2011
4:10:18 – Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon, November 13, 2011
3:54:15 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 15, 2012
3:49:23 – The Woodlands Marathon, March 3, 2012
3:53:57 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, December 2, 2012
3:47:36 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 13, 2013
3:48:55 – The Woodlands Marathon, March 2, 2013
3:44:39 – Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013
3:39:05 – Chicago Marathon, October 13, 2013

The PR’s, though, kept coming as steady as Chicago late 1970s chart toppers.

Screaming to the top of the PRs, though, was Tammy Grado’s seven minute-plus reduction from her initial breakthough time of 4:31:44 at last year’s Chevron Houston Marathon.

“Tammy was very consistent in her training for Chicago, which set her up for a successful day,” said Volte founder Bill Dwyer.

Sunday’s 4:24:09 by Grado was followed closely by Leanne Rosser’s 4:32:18, which was a couple of minutes better from her 4:34:35 showing in the City of Brotherly Love at the Philadelphia Marathon last November.

The duo ran together for the first 30 kilometers before Leanne gutted out a PR despite significant cramping in the last 7.6 miles.

Chicago, though, became the City of Volte Love.

Amber Brock ran the entire way with one of her best friends, Jami Kuder, to record a 4:39:43 finish.  Jami was credited with a time that was one second faster as she finished her 16th career marathon.

The Windy City welcomed Colleen Sager back to marathoning after the birth of her and her husband, Brandon’s, first child.  The 4:59:09 time was her fifth career marathon finish – all in different major U.S. cities.  Nothing small-time for Colleen!

Colleen’s complete marathoning history, according to, follows:

4:43:39 – Dallas White Rock Marathon, December 5, 2010
4:53:47 – Austin Marathon, February 20, 2011
5:12:20 – Nike 26.2 Women’s Marathon, San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2011
4:32:09 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 15, 2012
4:59:09 – Chicago Marathon, October 13, 2013

With the ING New York City Marathon on the horizon, Gabby Brockett got in not only a nice long run, but also shepherded Eileen Flynn and Marisol Maresca every step of the way to their first marathon finishes ever – in 6:22:54.

We’re blessed to have many friends here at Volte – and we enjoy celebrating our friends’ accomplishments as well too.

Brian Schultz and Lauren Hoffart from The Woodlands Team In Training program finished Chicago in 3:39:29 and 4:46:40, respectively.  It was Lauren’s first marathon ever.  Congratulations and Go Team!

Three years ago, Brandon Sager punched his first-ever ticket to Boston on the same day of that year’s Chicago Marathon on October 10, 2010 (or better known as “10/10/10”) with a 3:09-even showing at a small marathon in Wichita, Kansas.

Since then, that screeching noise you’ve been hearing has been Brandon’s nails on the sub-2:50 chalkboard.  He’s clawed away three 2:50-ish efforts in the last 19 months.

Like the others before him above, Brandon broke through the standard with a superlative 2:49:27 effort that saw his 5K splits varying no more than a minute from start (19:33; first 5K) to finish (20:32; last 5K).

“Thanks for all of the training support, Finish Strong Coaching,” Sager said post-race.  “And help with logging the miles, Ken Reiger, Chris Weir and Derek Bailey, The Woodlands Running Club and Volte.”

Brandon’s complete marathoning history, according to, follows:

3:38:06 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 17, 2010
3:09:00 – Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon, October 10, 2010
2:59:37 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 30, 2011
3:00:16 – Boston Marathon, April 18, 2011
2:53:22 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 15, 2012
2:55:15 – Marine Corps Marathon, October 28, 2012
2:52:52 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 13, 2013
2:49:27 – Chicago Marathon, October 13, 2013

Not to be missed on Sunday -- in a successful weekend by many -- was the effort of a great personal friend and inspiration to us here at Volte.

Team Strive founder and Finish Strong Coaching coach Kimberly Mac Namee, 42, qualified for the Chevron Houston Marathon as a local elite invited runner for the second straight year.

After winning the master’s division at this January’s Aramco Half Marathon, Kim finished third overall on Sunday and first masters – in 1:03:45 – at the Space City 10-Miler in Clear Lake to punch her ticket as the fastest 40-49 finisher under the race’s 1:10:19 qualifying standard.

She will be running the marathon for the first time at Houston since 2004 when she finished in 2:47:30 to qualify for the United States Olympic Team Trails that April in St. Louis, Missouri (where she ran 2:54:16).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Volte Team (and Friends) Results - August 2013

Friends of Volte, in monthly results summaries, will be italicized.

Bridgeland Sprint Triathlon (600-meter swim, 13-mile bike, 5K-run)
Sunday, August 4, Cypress, TX
Todd Lacoste – 1:23:37

Blues Capitol of Texas 5K (long course)
Saturday, August 10, Navasota, TX
Leanne Rosser – 34:23 3rd AG

Run The Woodlands 5K Series #319
Saturday, August 10, The Woodlands, TX
Kacey Bryant – 26:32

Dog Days of Summer 4-Mile
Saturday, August 10, New Braunfels, TX
Kelley Davis – 36:42 1st AG   2nd Overall Woman

TriGirl Sprint Triathlon (300-yard swim, 11-mile bike, 3-mile run)
Sunday, August 18, Humble, TX
Krista Blevins – 1:03:54 1st AG, Kate Looney – 1:09:30 3rd AG, Kelley Davis – 1:15:46, Nicole Schoppe – 1:15:58

TriGirl Duathlon (1-mile run, 11-mile bike, 3-mile run)
Sunday, August 18, Humble, TX
Traci Jackson – 1:03:54 1st AG

Slippery Rock University 
35th Annual Track & Field/Cross Country Reunion – Alumni 5K Race
Friday, August 23, Slippery Rock, PA
Jarritt Park -  22:32

Lake Houston 10K
Saturday August 24, Kingwood, TX
Trudy Regnier – 1:00:34

Lake Houston 5K
Saturday August 24, Kingwood, TX
George Roffe – 33:59

Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon
Saturday, August 24, Reykjavik, Iceland
Geri Henry – 5:24:19

Islandsbanki Reykjavik Half Marathon
Saturday, August 24, Reykjavik, Iceland
Ron Henry – 2:41:11

Volte Team (and Friends) Results - September 2013

While Volte established this blog in July and although we've already recapped specific performances from last month, here are the remaining team results from September:

Memorial Hermann Houston Towne Lake Triathlon
Monday, September 2, Cypress, TX

Olympic Distance – (1500-meter swim, 40K-bike, 10K-run)
Todd Lacoste – 3:14:35, Tabitha Young – 3:42:48

Sprint Distance Relay
- (400-meter swim, 20K-bike, 5K-run)
Team “BS”  (Big Smile)
Krista Blevins & Nicole Schoppe – 1:08:56 1st Division

Spa Girl Lost Pines Triathlon (300-meter swim, 10-mile bike, 2-mile run)
Saturday, September 14, Bastrop, TX
Geri Henry – 1:12:58

Bearkat Bash 5K
Saturday, September 21, Klein, TX
Randy Smith – 22:04

Running of the Bulls 5K
Sunday, September 22, Houston, TX
Geri Henry – 30:39 1st AG, Ron Henry – 34:24

Lonestar Sprint Triathlon (turned Duathlon due to high winds making for choppy water – 20K-bike, 5K-run)
Sunday, September 22, Galveston, TX
Derek Bailey – 1:02:17 1st AG, Kelley Davis – 1:15:23 3rd AG

Saturday, September 28, College Station, TX
Todd Snider – 52:54

Oktoberfest Marathon
Saturday, September 28, Spring Lake, MI
Bruce Rose – 3:19:18 1st AG

The Helping House 10K
Saturday, September 28, Nacogdoches, TX
Kelley Davis – 51:46 1st Overall Woman

Woodforest Charity Run 10K
Saturday, September 28, Conroe, TX
Randy Harris – 42:33 1st AG

Congratulations to everyone on their efforts and performances!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pacing, Racing and Training The Volte Way

As two of our core groups get ready for this weekend’s racing action in The Woodlands at Ten For Texas and in Chicago for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, Volte runners and friends were still busy this past weekend, albeit in much fewer numbers.

Kelli Medina, 35, of Montgomery, beat the midnight clock at Walt Disney World’s The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, which started at 10 p.m. 

She scared back the dark – and the clock - with a 1:25:37 time that was 17th in a 35-39 age group field of 1,002 female finishers.  (The race itself had 9,478 finishers, of which 6,132 were women.) 

The Woodlands’ Justin Bui, 24, who runs with Volte on Saturday mornings, was 8th in his 18-24 division with a time of 1:16:35.

Steven Lopez, 46, of The Woodlands, traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for Sunday’s Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and returned home with a 4:13:36 time for his efforts – a few minutes ahead of the field’s average time of 4:17:36, but his performance far exceeded average says Volte founder Bill Dwyer.

“He’s been battling injuries,” said Dwyer.  “He runs good when he’s not hurt and not well when he’s hurt.  Juliee (Sparks, his coach) has done a great job balancing his training and he just started feeling good the week before Twin Cities.”

Lopez shared with his coach that we was very happy with his time.

“I promised myself that I wouldn't race it given all the injuries I've had and I didn't want to suffer another one. So, given that I ran it like a training run, I'm happy with the 4:13 time,” he said.  “Also, it was hilly like Flintridge for the first 18 miles and then a steady climb to mile 26 followed by a fast downhill to the finish.  So, I'm happy that it went as well as it did!”

Sparks agreed saying, “I am so proud, and excited to see what he can do in a race!”

According to and its tracking of Steven’s career marathoning history below, you might say it’s pretty bright.

4:13:36 – Twin Cities (MN) Marathon, Minneapolis-St. Paul, October 6, 2013
4:02:55 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 13, 2013
4:26:20 – Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon, November 11, 2012
3:46:18 – The Woodlands (TX) Marathon, March 3, 2012
3:47:05 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 15, 2012
4:06:11 – Walt Disney Marathon, Lake Buena Vista, FL, January 9, 2011
4:48:55 – Walt Disney Marathon, Lake Buena Vista, FL, January 11, 2009

After an easy 8-mile training run Saturday morning with fellow Chicago Marathon teammates Michelle McGill, Amber Brock and Tammy Grado, Leanne Rosser resisted the temptation to push the pace Sunday morning at the Monster Mash Dash 5K as she helped her friend, Dawn Johnson, to her first ever 5K finish – just beating the rain that deluged Sam Houston Race Park shortly thereafter.

Odom and Caamano into the finish at Sunday night's The Woodlands Running Club 5K.
Later that evening, Dave Odom returned to racing after his knee surgery in March at The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K as teammate Mayra Caamano helped pace Dave to a new post-surgical PR of 25:15. 

More good things to come for Dave on his continued road of recovery.

Leading the TWRC Sunday Night 5K was Volte’s Jarritt Park, who jetted into the parking lot with a winning time of 21:22.  Marisol Maresca, who will be one of the many Volte runners in Chicago on Sunday, ran the 5K with her 8-year-old daughter Kaitlyn in 43:45. 

She was one of many youngsters, including numerous Volte children, that logged miles Sunday evening as part of The Woodlands Running Club’s Juniors Program.

Long time community supporter and Volte friend Jon Walk ran the first 2.5 miles easy with Leanne and Dawn before embracing the cooler temperatures and the rain that followed in recording a nice 1:31:41 in the Monster Mash Dash 15K as part of his preparation for the Cape Cod Marathon later this month.

Friday, October 4, 2013

When In Tahoe, It's OK To ... Relax! Even Running A Marathon!

You would think that after learning you gained entry to the 2014 Boston Marathon three days earlier - on your birthday, no less - you'd be revved up to aim for a personal best at any distance, even at altitude.

Our Kate Looney shares though a few lessons from the race that ... wasn't a race!

This past weekend, Bob and I headed out to the Lake Tahoe area to run in the Lake Tahoe Marathon as part of our 10th anniversary trip.  It’s been awhile since I’ve traveled to an area so stunningly beautiful that I started pricing real estate within the first few days of arriving.   (As a side note, alas, Tahoe is not Texas when it comes to affordability.  Surprise, surprise!)

We knew going in to this race that is was going to be for “fun” and not for time.  A starting elevation of 6400’ that hits 6800’ over a few very steep, long climbs was not going to set up particularly well for us flatlanders (unfortunately, Flintridge would not cut it for hill training).

Our non-running friends laughed, and probably thought us a bit crazy for running a marathon distance for fun.  Insert “loony” joke here.

Kate and Bob Looney representing Volte at the Lake Tahoe Marathon
(Photo courtesy of Captivation Photos)
Here are a few of my takeaways from this “fun” experience:

Relaxing instead of racing:  Part of why I enjoy running is the challenge of pushing a new limit, but over time I know I go through periods where that competitiveness steals my joy of running just for the sake of running.  I wasn’t nervous the night before thinking of splits or hitting a certain time or what I needed to run to do well in my age group.

Focusing more on my fellow runners:  We chatted with many folks along the course and met people from all over the United States and a few from overseas as well.  Everyone knew it would be a tough course and so we cheered each other on while climbing the Hill from Hell, which went on FOREVER, and congratulated each other after finishing our climbs.  We ran for a while with a kind gentleman from the LA area who probably had a very different worldview than we have, but it didn’t matter, we were just runners together trying to overcome the distance and enjoy it along the way.

Chatting with the volunteers:  It was a tough course for spectating because of the limited space along the road, but the aid stations were well-stocked and full of enthusiastic folks from Boy Scouts to a Halloween orchestra to a Stomp-style drumming band.  We took full advantage and walked through each one.   I waited on Bob to make a pit stop after we finished a long climb and chatted with a nice gal and her daughters from the Tahoe area for a few minutes who were super encouraging to a Houstonian totally out of place in the elevation and hills!

Appreciating the “little” things:  The gorgeous sunrise.  Giant pinecones.  Running along a stunning lake.   Beautiful towering trees.  Pretzels that never tasted so good at mile 18.  Bob slowing down for me after I took off too fast on a big hill (doh!!).  The kind lady with the stick roller at mile 24 who saw Bob was badly cramping and offered to let him use it.  And of course, the gorgeous views.

Stopping to take photos:  How many opportunities will I ever take to do THAT again?  Not many.

Realizing competitiveness is good, just not ALL of the time:  Ok, so I just talked about relaxing, which I DID do … for the most part.  If I’m honest though, there were many points along the way I just wanted to go, go, go. Funny how that happens when you’re getting passed, right? But, in holding back for this race, it just fueled the fire to run hard now for Houston and allowed me to get back in to that competitive-mindset for this next training phase without feeling burnt out.

We really enjoyed the Tahoe area and I hope to get back out there for another, perhaps longer, race in the future.

Run on runners!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Volte Goes Long in September

During the month of September, Volte athletes – as well as some of our group’s closest friends -- took to some longer distances, specifically the half marathon and marathon.

Derek Bailey kicked off the month on Sunday, September 8 with his 19th career marathon finish – and good for state #15 -- at the tough Bozeman Marathon in Montana.

Despite a net elevation drop of 264 feet, the entire race is run at over 4,830 feet above sea level and reaches its highest point at mile 12.

Derek was the 10th overall male – second in his age group – with a 3:14:53 time that snapped an 8-race streak of posting a Boston Marathon-qualifying time.

Bailey’s career marathoning history, courtesy of, is as follows:

3:14:53 – Bozeman (MT) Marathon, September 8, 2013
3:02:41 – Boston (MA) Marathon, April 15, 2013
3:06:48 – Georgia Marathon, Atlanta, March 17, 2013
3:08:03 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 13, 2013
3:01:34 – Chicago (IL) Marathon, October 7, 2012
3:06:35 – Sioux Falls (SD) Marathon, September 9, 2012
3:00:58 – Eugene (OR) Marathon, April 29, 2012
3:10:50 – Little Rock (AR) Marathon, March 4, 2012
3:08:19 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 15, 2012
3:21:33 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Denver (CO) Marathon, October 9, 2011
3:12:18 – Pocatello (ID) Marathon, September 3, 2011
3:18:19 – Vermont City (VT) Marathon, May 29, 2011
3:18:23 – Flying Pig  Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, May 1, 2011
3:22:18 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 30, 2011
3:27:55 – Mississippi Blues Marathon, Jackson, MS, January 8, 2011
3:33:11 – ING New York City (NY) Marathon, November 7, 2010
3:44:14 – Oklahoma City (OK) Memorial Marathon, April 25, 2010
3:43:53 – Chevron Houston Marathon, January 17, 2010
4:32:01 – Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio (TX) Marathon, November 15, 2009

Bozeman.  Salt Lake City.  Lake Tahoe.  Yes, we like to get a little high on our running around here at Volte.

Leanne Rosser read the literature of the second annual Big Cottonwood Half Marathon (and Marathon) -- held Saturday, September 14 thirty (30) miles south of Utah’s state capital – and took it to heart!

It read, “We are confident that you can set a personal record on this course regardless of where you have raced before or where you are coming from.”

Running in Texas humidity in the summer months is just like running at altitude – and Leanne executed with a blazing 1:47:11 – holding an 8:11 pace on the course that featured a net downhill of 2,800 feet with an average 5% grade coming out of the Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Just four days after a birthday present that included finding out she got into the 2014 Boston Marathon, Kate Looney and her husband, Bob, took part in the Lake Tahoe Marathon on Sunday, September 29.

Instead of racing, the couple, enjoying some vacation, took in all of the incredible scenery that the Lake Tahoe region has to offer on their 26-mile jaunt from Tahoe City to South Lake Tahoe.

Kate finished in 4:23:03 – a few minutes ahead of Bob, who crossed the finish line in 4:27:55.

A number of Volte friends got in some distance racing efforts in September.

While Gabby Brockett was busy on the course setting a new marathon PR (see Texas10 Katy post for more details), Conroe Oak Ridge HS and Sam Houston State graduate Melissa Poole, 29, of Newport News, Virginia turned in a 1:38:13 half marathon performance on Saturday, September 21 that was the 9th overall fastest time from an active duty female.

A year earlier, representing the United States Air Force, where she is stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Poole was the first overall active duty female finisher in the marathon in 3:20:11.

The following day, Sunday, September 22, thousands of miles apart, two of Volte’s great friends both participated in half marathons in beautiful locales.

Early in the morning in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Volte webmaster Dana-Susan Crews got back into the racing business and notched a 2:09:31 time in Rock ‘N’ Roll Oasis Montreal Half Marathon.

Later the day and a handful of time zones later, Superior Performance Massage’s Ray Arroyo, of The Woodlands, won his 55-59 age group – and was 20th overall – in the Maui (Hawaii) Half Marathon.  His winning time of 1:38:47 was 11 seconds faster than Maple Grove, Minnesota’s Dennis Henseler.

And, finally, Jon Walk kicked the tires on a new half marathon in Mansfield, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, on Saturday, September 14.  He reported that the Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Run With Heart Half Marathon - his 93rd half marathon finish - was recommended as a solid test for those running October marathons.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Volte Rolls A Shiny Quarter at Texas10 Katy

Our team of 25 had a quality day on Sunday at the inaugural Texas10 Katy despite threatening rain and lightning and oppressive humidity.

And what a great looking team it is!
With likely the second or third highest number of finishers in the 10-mile race, Volte may either remain in third alone or slip into a tie with the Cypress Running Club in the Texas 10 Series’ Ten Gallon Gup competition.

Based on our second-highest number of finishers at Texas10 Huntsville in April, we obtained 9 points, which left us in third place behind Huntsville’s Seven Hills Running Club (19) and TWRC (15).  Seven Hills and TWRC should both capture five points apiece, leaving them in the top two positions.

Cypress Running Club, which entered Sunday’s race two points behind us with seven (7), will likely obtain 10 points from Sunday as a result of their “hometown” showing.

Individually though, Volte took home nine (9) awards – four in the 10-miler and five in the 5-miler, including Ken Rieger’s overall win in 30:33.

It was the second straight Texas 10 Series race that a Volte runner won a 5-mile division.

Carrie Hyde, who missed out one spot on an age-group award on Sunday in the 10-mile race, won the 5-mile race in Huntsville as part of her build-up for this past May’s Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon.

Ellen Kurtz-Hammond, who dropped down to the 5-mile race, was eighth overall in 44:03, making her the fastest masters female - other than Hyde – to run a Texas 10 Series five-mile race so far.  She won the 55-59 age group as a result of the effort.

Sandra Jones smiling on the way in to a 5-mile age group win!
One spot behind Kurtz-Hammond was Sandra Jones, who stopped the clock in 44:04 to win the 40-44 age group while Cassidy Grado won the 15-19 division in 1:02:32.

Trina Jones rounded out our 5-mile hardware haul by finishing third in the 45-49 division with a time of 48 minutes even – 37 seconds better than teammate Llana Bingham.

Like Bingham, Darrell Jones was one spot out of the hardware, finishing fourth in the 40-44 division by posting a time of 48:42.

Two weeks after recording a 22-minute personal best 4:47:37 at the US Air Force Marathon near Dayton, Ohio, Gabby Brockett notched a recovery run time of 59:21 while daughter and mother, Faith Sanders and Mary Carter, rounded out our team’s efforts in the 5-mile race with respective marks of 53:44 and 1:00:18.

While Brian Jackson led us with a 30-34 age group winning, 10th place overall time of 1:08:24, Mayra Caamano followed up on her fourth place overall showing in Huntsville with a sixth place overall performance and 35-39 age-group win that included a nearly two-minute time improvement from April.

Caamano, behind South Coast Endurance’s Erika Park by a minute and 21 seconds at the halfway point, rocketed past her on the second loop to record a 6-second win over Park narrowing the gap between the two runners in the Series’ Armadillo Cup competition to three (3) points.

Geri Henry won her 65-69 age group for the third straight Texas 10 Series race with a 1:47:13 performance and she will join The Woodlands Running Club’s Stephen Smith as the only other runner to have 25 points in the competition entering the last two Texas 10 Series races of 2013.

After winning her own age group in the 5-mile race, Cassidy helped her
mom, Tammy, cap off a third-place age group performance in the 10-mile race.
Tammy Grado was Volte’s only other age group winner, placing third in the 45-49 division in 1:36:41.  She was one of five team members who ran on Sunday while prepping for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in two weeks.  Amber Brock led the way in 1:35:25, followed by Lauren Hoffart (1:41:47), Eileen Flynn (2:05:11) and Maresca Marisol (2:05:36).

The rest of our ladies included Hyde, who also missed an age group award by one spot like Curtis with a time of 1:27:43, Katie Jackson (1:38:48) and Amanda Williams (1:57:21).

In the middle of Rocky Raccoon 100-mile training, Curtis Hooper was one spot away from hardware with a fourth-place 40-44 age group and 17th overall time of 1:12:59.

Our Group Coach Rich Cooper dialed it in from the 410 area code for a solid finish!
Randy Smith bettered his Texas10 Huntsville by almost two minutes with a 1:18:45 effort while Group Coach Rich Cooper and Jon Yarborough, sporting bib number 316 as in "John 3:16", finished in 1:35:48 and 1:38:03, respectively.