Sunday, December 29, 2013

RunGirl's Fast and Fun for Volte's Lucky Seven

Some races, because of how well they’re put on and the people behind the event, are very popular, even though the numbers of finishers might not always seem to indicate that.

One of those that’s enjoyed by our Volte ladies -- and other female runners alike -- is the RunGirl Half Marathon, often held on the first Sunday in December at East Houston’s Duessen Park.

Its success is a testament to co-race directors Jana Landry and Carrie Godfrey.

And that loyalty can be seen in the following statistic:  Of the 683 official finishers of this year’s race – frequented by seven (7) of our Volte women – 15 had run it as an individual all four years, 82 were finishing for their third time and another 251 were posting their second finish.

Five of our seven ladies fell into this category.

Is this a Volte endorsement of a “must do” race or what?

Ruth Perez, 52, a member of our group program led by Volte coach Rich Cooper, is the only one who has taken on RunGirl all four years – and this year, she posted an event personal best of 2:11:54 that bettered her time of 2:14:51 in 2011.

She will be running her third Chevron Houston Marathon in three weeks after finishes in 2006 and 2007.  (Ruth has run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon five times.)

Cris Neumann and Naika Vargas are all smiles after bringing it in on a cold morning under two hours!
(Photo courtesy of Ricardo Vargas)
Another event PR was had by three-time RunGirl finisher Naika Vargas, who is prepping for her first Chevron Houston Marathon.

Naika, 41, broke the two-hour standard with a 1:58:06 time that beat her 2011 effort by six minutes and 51 seconds.

Jill Tresaugue, Llana Bingham and Stacy Roberson all ran RunGirl for the second time – and the first time in two years.

And true to earlier form, they all bettered their 2011 times at RunGirl.

Llana, 48, delivered the biggest time improvement of the trio – nine minutes and 11 seconds – to produce a finish of 2:20:35.

Two years before, Jill covered the 13.1-mile distance in 1:56:40.  Her goal – as well as Stephanie Wolf’s – was to keep it under a nine-minute per mile pace and finish under two hours.

“We were feeling so good that we kept up a faster pace,” said Tresaugue.  “I was shocked to get a (new) PR.  That wasn’t my plan for the day and I couldn’t have done it without Stephanie.”

Jill, 38, maintained a pretty even pace to produce a 1:53:19 finish.  She covered the front half in 8:38 per mile – 14th best in her division, but held it for an 8:40 per mile effort on the back half, which was 7th best in her age group.  A tell-tale sign that others went out too fast.

Jill will be running her first Chevron Houston Marathon next month after three previous Aramco Houston Half Marathon finishes (2010-2012).

Meanwhile, Stephanie, 45, recorded a 1:53:33 effort that earned her a fifth place finish in her 45-49 age group.

With Big Sur (Marathon) far off in the distance, Roberson, 42, picked up the pace (much like Fearless Champion) on the back half – lowering it from 8:26 to 8:18 per mile – to slip under the 1:50 benchmark and lead the group with a time of 1:49:38.

Stacy was one spot out of hardware as she finish sixth in the 40-44 division.

Cris Neumann, 36, rounded out our team’s effort with its fifth sub-two hour performance of the day – a 1:57:04 finish.

All in all, a fun day – and race – for all involved!

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