Thursday, December 29, 2016

3rd Takhe Kwahlals Just Days Away

43rd People's Choice Awards.  January 18, 2017.
89th Academy Awards.  February 26, 2017.

Sure, these might have been around for awhile, but they've got nothing on Volte's 3rd annual year-ending Takhe Kwahlal Awards show Saturday night.

Facebook Live this year maybe?  :-)

We thank the Hyde family for opening up its home the past two years and the torch is being passed to the Rossers.  (And please, leave the real torches at home.  We don't want to scare the roosters on the Rosser farm. ~NV)

Marta Mixa shows off her Takhe Kwahlal from 2015
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
To recap the past two years and to give you a guide of what to look forward to in Saturday's ceremonies, here's a list of all past Takhe Kwahlals:

2015 - Gabby Brockett
2014 - Kathie Reyer (for her work with Special Olympics)

Spirit (Big heart for others)
2015 - Debra Myers
2014 - Gabby Brockett

2015 - Sally Buckelew
2014 - Dave Odom

Most Improved
2015 - Tammy Grado
2014 - Bubba Priesmeyer

Outstanding New Runner
2015 - Landa Wright

Outstanding Sponsor
2015 - Lindsey Perkins, Fleet Feet
2015 - Debra Myers, Enfusia

Most Consistent / Coaches Dream
2015 - Jen Smith
2014 - Tammy Grado

Wingman (Helps others at training)
2015 - Jimmy Baker
2014 - Skye Taylor

Best Performance
2015 - Brian Jackson
2014 - Kate Looney

Workout Negotiator
2015 - Marta Mixa
2014 - Michelle McGill

Best Kick (Cheetah Award)
2015 - Rapha Mercado
2014 - Jerritt Park

Alternate Time Zone Award
2015 - Derek Bailey (Always early)
2014 - Mary Carter (Always late)

Best Selfie
2015 - Criss Meuman
2014 - Criss Neuman

Most Coordinated Apparel
2015 - Leanne Rosser
2014 - Leanne Rosser

Most Likely to Get Lost (With a direction card)
2015 - Tabitha Young
2014 - Carrie Hyde

Outstanding Host
2015 - Carrie Hyde

Best Volte Party Attendance
2015 - Michell Bradie

Grumpiest Morning Runner
2015 - Hope Jimenez

Workout Rebel (Different route than the group each week)
2015 - Ken Rieger

Most Likely to Ask What Time A Major Race Starts ... The Day Before
2014 - Rich Cooper

Takhe Kwahlal Awards are Run Community awards, translated from the Oneida Indian language from central New York close to where Volte founder Bill Dwyer was born and raised.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Santa Volte's Best of 2016!

So we put out the "What was your "A" race in 2016?" to all Volte runners and we're appreciative of everyone who took part -- and we want to have your race reports throughout 2017.

You don't have to be a great writer as we've got a pretty solid editor in Nine Volte.

We didn't want to take away from your message, but Volte founder Bill Dwyer, who we also dub "Santa Volte" (see below), gave us his thoughts of "A" events from 2016 -- Grandma's Marathon in July and Wineglass Marathon in early October.

Santa Volte bringing Christmas cheer year-round -- and from 2009, promoting the Bill Crews Remission Run
(Photo courtesy of Jon Walk)
Grandma's Marathon, Duluth, Minnesota 

"It was an outstanding trip with George Roffe, Trudy Regnier, Hope Jimenez (running her first marathon) and Rapha Machado."

"The University of Minnesota-Duluth dorms were outstanding and the hospitality of the staff there was off the charts."

"The whole town is very involved in making your stay in Duluth extraordinary."

"They have a nice expo and pasta dinner.  Hope was even interviewed by the local news."

"Everything was great, except the race day weather as the temperatures climbed into the high 80's making it very tough for all the runners."

Bill added that "the course (there) is NOT flat", "TSA won't let a 16-ounce bottle of shampoo go through security" (noting that Hope was nearly left behind) and "White Tail Deer and marathon start lines don't mix well."  He noted that no one was hurt.  (Editor's note:  That deer's been on the loose since the 2006 Freescale Austin Marathon. ~NV)

Wineglass Marathon, Corning, New York                

"Another outstanding trip and this time I traveled separate from the group to surprise everyone at the pasta party."

"Our crew included Hope Jimenez (who was the overall 5K winner), Michelle McGill, Tammy Grado, Kristi Chen, Jen Smith, Leanne Rosser (Half), Alan Ramsey, Carrie Hyde, Erica Cahill (now Coleman) and Penny Garza (support)."

"This event is not too far from where I grew up so just being there brought back a lot of memories."
"Hope, Penny and I traveled separate from the main group so we could surprise them at the pasta dinner.  We were successful with the help of our inside man Alan Ramsey."

"Nice expo,  and a beautiful town."

Bill also noted that they kept bumping into Runner's World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso ("very nice guy" he said) and he hung out with us Sunday night after the race.

"Conolies!!" was the first one-word sentence we've seen from Bill in quite some time.

He added that they met and visited with Runner's World cover finalist Rhonda Foulds, who he described as an "awesome woman", noted that Hope, Penny and Leanne & Jim Rosser (after Leanne finished her half) "were all outstanding" in supporting the rest of the team and that a "quick trip to Niagara Falls capped off a wonderful long weekend."

Bill did note that, as a runner, his "A" race -- "actually the only race" -- was Texas 10 Series 5-miler in Katy.  "Yes, I was entered", he said, but strong storms in the area caused for the event to be cancelled.

Santa Volte says he'll be recruiting a few folks in 2017 to take a few pictures while he's out on a course or two -- with a bib on!

One is likely to be the Baytown Bud Heatwave on the Fourth of July.

"I never ran the original version of this race before it went away," he said.  "Local race director Robby Sabban brought it back a few years ago (2011) and 2017 will be the last time it'll be run in Baytown as the title sponsor will be moving down the road to Mont Belvieu."

"While I will run a few events before, this is the one I want to check off.  It would be great to have a big group from Volte for this race."

With enough to earn Volte a seat in the race's annual Fourth of July Sausage Eating Contest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hey Volte, What Was Your "A" Race in 2016?

The holy grail of all runners, regardless of ability, desire, time, effort, commitment level or any other factor, is still an "A" race.

Even if we're struggling to get out the door, whenever we pin on a bib, we're always looking for the best -- at wherever we're at in life or in our running.

So, everyone's "A" race in a year in review like this isn't going to be the same.

From all of those factors above, we're all likely in different places.

But our own "A" race brings us together in a common spirit to do as well as we can, given those things above that might be described as limiters.

We put the question out - "What was your "A" race in 2016? - and here's what we learned from some of you.

A Good Nausea

None of us likes to puke our guts out, but as George Rux tells us, getting close to doing so might actually be a satisfying feeling.

George Rux in his "A" race of 2016 - Texas 10 Conroe
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"My best race in 2016 was the Texas 10 Conroe, thanks to Coach Cooper," he said.  "The tempo runs he required were especially grueling, but, they worked.  I was able to maintain my intensity with a negative split for the second five miles."

"Coach Cooper saw me about 200 meters from the finish and challenged me to “Catch that guy” ahead of me."

"It was a sprint to the finish and I think I just nipped him at the banner.  Immediately after, I felt the brief instance of nausea as I was handed water by one of the volunteers.  I knew I had “left it all on the course” -- which is another way to describe a memorably good race.

Encouragement Is Contagious

Jill Tresaugue said hands down her best race of 2016 was Ten for Texas.

"I was training very well, felt prepared and felt great during the race," she said.  "Weather was the best it has ever been for that race."

Jill's all smiled because of great weather - and Volte's world famous cheer squad!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"The best part was the Volte cheering section at Hughes Landing, which was the perfect spot for a pick-me-up on the way back to the finish line."

Bouncing Back with New Experiences

Dana Formon has been coming back from an injury this year, but a triathlon energized her like nothing else.

"Tri For Old Glory, an Olympic distance triathlon, was my first triathlon -- and I asbolutely hated every minute of it," she exclaimed.  "For some reason, though, I have three triathlons on my race schedule for 2017, so I guess I've been bitten by the bug.

"I plan on going back and improving my time and I liked the challenge -- once it was all said and done."

Maybe Dana will displace those two hats in the #1 spot in 2017 at Tri For Old Glory
(Photo courtesy of Seven Hills Running Club)
And 2017 looks bright, she adds.

"I ran the Run Thru The Woods 3-miler at a pace I was really proud of after spending four months without running because of an injury," Dana said.  "It’s still going to be a long recovery to get back to where I was before I got injured, but it leaves me optimistic that with Bill’s help I can really make 2017 a good year."

Faster and Stronger

Pays dividends for sure, as evidenced by Marta Mixa's year of a record number of races -- 18.

Set to do a triathlon at Cap Tex on Labor Day, she didn't let the swim and bike portions that were cancelled from the effects of never surprising rain in the capital city deter her efforts.

Marta didn't let the lack of a swim or a bike get in the way of run domination at CapTex.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"I ran my PR in the 5K here and placed second in my age group," Marta said.  "And it was in a year of PRs for me, placing first, second or third place in my division in many of the races - from the one mile to the half marathon."

A Race For One

Desna Jackson-McDonald learned in 2016 that the only person she competes against -- is herself.

That lesson came early in the year at the Chevron Houston Marathon.  And she made it to the start line without any help.

"I trained by myself," she said.  "I had to figure out everything by myself and in the end, I crossed by myself, albeit with only five minutes to spare as my official time was 5:55.

"(And) although I started cramping at mile 9, that did not deter me from completing the task at hand."

"The race taught me that I am mentally tough. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. It taught me to believe in myself and trust my instincts. It also taught me that in this life, it is my race and my pace."

Desna, we're excited for you too in 2017, especially with a bright smile -- and race gear!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
She's excited about what lies ahead for 2017, as she's getting out of what she puts into it.

"Last year this time I was anxious about Chevron. This year I am screaming, "Bring it on Chevron!", she smiled.  "With Coach Rich on my team, I can see the difference in my pace and attitude. I am getting faster and even though my pace is nowhere near qualifying for Boston or any of the other prestigious races, I am moving forward."

What we accomplish in each one of our minds is prestigious.

"Now I can run an hour and not feel exhausted. I wake up and look forward to running. I love my running life," she gushed.  "I love looking back at where I was and seeing the progress.

"Best thing I ever did was to hire a coach. It takes the guesswork out of my training. I just wake up, look at Training Peaks and run!"

About Those Training Plans

Rich Cooper counts entering them all as joy.

"It (all) starts with sitting down and creating the training schedule, as I slowly construct it, I envision that person getting stronger and stronger," he explains.  "Then it comes down to conversations at track or on Saturday mornings after the long run.

"A lot of times we have to encourage our runners or lift them up after a bad workout, but we also have to be tough and remind them to follow the training schedule."

Even though he led the Woodlands Fit program for many years, he says 2016 has been different.

Happy Coach, Happy Runners!  Great job this year, Coach Rich!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"I will never forget as it was my first one as a Coach. In the past my focus was on my races like Houston, Woodlands and the Texas 10 Series," he says.  "In a lot of ways it has been very gratifying as I have watched my runners I coach improve."

"So for me, my best races have been ALL of the races my runners have run."

"I love the process of watching somebody grow stronger and faster and when they achieve their race goals, it's such a great feeling. I compare coaching in a lot of ways to being a parent. You take somebody who has raw talent and determination and slowly shape and mold them to being a runner."

So Santa has been good to Rich this year.  He says it this way:

"The biggest thrill I get is when my runners say two words, "Thanks Coach."

And adds, "I want to say "Thank You" to all my athletes I have coached this year -- Marta Mixa, George Rux, Yaya Herrera, Jimmy Baker, Paul Vita, Desna Jackson, Claudia McMeeken and Andres Ruales. It's been such a joy coaching all of you and I want you to know that it has been an honor to be your coach!"

Volte And Friends Race In Christmas 2016

Racing near the end of any year always get a little light, but certainly no less fierce!

And Volte and friends didn't disappoint.

Claudia McMeeken ran with her best friend to the tune of 1:35:24 at Saturday, December 17's Houston's 12K of Christmas in downtown Houston just outside the Wortham Center and out and back Memorial Drive.

Not wanting to let any of that fitness gained for the last Texas 10 race a couple of weeks earlier go to waste, Alfredo Gonzalez covered the distance in 1:36:22.

Speaking of not letting things go to waste, our next group of runners didn't let 30-plus degrees temperatures and, at times, winds to match get in the way of a DNS at the Santa Hustle in Galveston last Sunday (December 18)

With a location change to the Galveston Yacht Basin from The Strand after local business complained to city government, the spirit wasn't any less festive.

The Hoffarts ran the 5K -- Lauren in 28:24 and Jared in 32:45.

As did Gabby Brockett, who paced a friend to a 45:58 finish.

"We thought about not even running it and staying back at the hotel with hot cocoa ... but, runners don't do that, right?" Brockett remarked.  "Let's just say, we were super happy to see the finish line!"

The bigger cup of post-race coffee goes to Andrea Zapalac, who really braved some of the stiffest headwinds of the day on the return south down the Seawall during the Half Marathon.

"I was a little sick and it was cold and windy.  Will never do it again in my entire life," she exclaimed.  "I did (though) beat my Cypress Half by eight minutes!"

Well, then, it was worth it!

I'm sure Carrie Hyde can even arrange for some Tim Horton's - aside from the hot chocolate at the track on Tuesday night (thank you!) - for the fine 2:22:09 showing for Andrea.

Our friends, Jon Walk and his daughter, Waverly, never seem to let a road trip - this one a drive home from Liberty University for winter break - get in the way of a race.

It is like, "Where are we going to be and is there a race there?"

The two ran the Lakeside Viking 5K in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday morning, December 17 in low 30 degrees temperatures.

And Waverly made up for a Thanksgiving Day 10K defeat to Dad in Lake Jackson by mastering the downhill in mile three.

With Dad trailing by only 10 seconds at mile two, Waverly, who trains on the hills in Lynchburg, Virginia in the fall, opened it up to finish in 30:04 -- a 51-second win.

The course manually measured to be 3.27 miles, which would equate to 28:34 (9:11) and 29:22 (9:27) 5K equivalents for the two.

It was Waverly's 13th state to run a race in while Dad recorded a finish in his 283rd north American city or town.

Coming in January, Volte's First Foreign Correspondent

Volte - and its friends - is already a culturally diverse and multinational training group with influences and experiences from all around the globe.

And starting in 2017, not of our choosing, we're going to do a little exporting.

Jen Smith and her husband Jamison, who works for ExxonMobil, are being transferred to Southampton, England for the next three years.

Alvin and Kristi Chen graciously opened their home for a going away party last Sunday.

Something from Volte to Jen (pictured above) to remember us by while across the pond!
Jen has agreed to send us a monthly report about her training - and possible racing - in England.

It's never good bye with us here at Volte, just "We'll see you later!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Volte Goes Sea To Shining Sea: Kalakaua, Kiawah, Tavola and ... Gators!

Pretty amazing that Volte made its presence known this weekend from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

As friends of Volte - Irma Torrea, Mary Garcia, Susan Marrero, Jean Hofschulte, Ivonne Vandanam and Angie Collins - were getting started on a 50-mile journey at 6 a.m. just south of Elm Lake in the middle of 4,897 acres of Brazos Bend State Park, Volte's Keri Amador and Steven Lopez were beginning to queue up for their races in Florida and South Carolina, respectively.

The 19th annual Classics by the Sea 10K in Jupiter, Florida, produced by the Palm Beach Roadrunners, would send its runners off at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

And almost 50 minutes later, Keri would record our group's first finish of the weekend with a 49-minute, 26-second effort.

"Beautiful morning for a 10K in Florida," she exclaimed.  "Not a PR, but good enough for second in my age group."

Hold that award up high and proud, Keri.  You earned it!
(Photo courtesy of Keri Amador)
Up the coast, a half hour later, Steven was off to explore Kiawah Island via nearly every major road of the gated beach and golf resort that was named for the Kiawah Indians.

On his journey towards a 50 States marathon finish, he put a check mark by South Carolina with a 4:44:16 showing in the 39th annual Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon.

As the clock reached the bottom of the 7 o'clock hour, friend of Volte Jon Walk would embark on the Brazos Bend Marathon - his first marathon effort in nearly two years.

Having signed up the afternoon before, he arrived at the State Park knowing that he would get a little more for his money as both loops were (at least) 13.78 miles long.

Jon would go on to finish his 53rd career marathon in 6:26:43.

Eight o'clock arrived and it would be Hope Jimenez and Letty Gonzalez's turn to run with the gators in the half marathon at Brazos Bend.

Even though Hope ran cross country in high school and college, it would be her first trail race, as well as Letty's.

The Brazos Bend trail got Hope's ankle, but not her spirit in the midst of a beautiful morning backdrop.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
A mile in, near disaster struck for Hope as she rolled her ankle, but she continued on to post a 2:46:06 finish.

Starting the sprint to the finish line, Letty looks ahead for continued success into the spring.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
It was steady Letty all morning long as she did great in notching a 3:49:32 time over the near 14-mile course.

Speaking of steady, Volte friend Waverly Walk, who took her PRs in the 10K and the Half Marathon down to 1:01:50 (9:58 pace) and 2:11:35 (9:59 pace) this fall, was 3rd in her 19-29 age group at the Farmville (Virginia) Jingle Bell 5K with a 30:04 showing on the hilly course in 25 degrees weather.

Right about the time the gators set a trap for Hope, the gun was being fired near the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center in The Woodlands to start the annual Jingle Bell Run 5K that supported the Arthritis Foundation.

A half dozen Voltes with the three J's taking home hardware.

Juan Flores led us all by stopping the clock in 19:06 to take home first in his age group.

J & J, Jon Braunersreuther and Jerritt Park represented at The Woodlands Jingle Bell 5K.
(Photo courtesy of Leanne Rosser)
Jerritt Park and Jon Braunersreuther followed in 20:03 and 22:25, respectively, to both earn second place awards in their divisions.

Leanne Rosser bedazzled with a time of 23:54, while nine-year-old Brayden Park and Andrea Zapalac shined by covering the distance in 25:25 and 27:53.

Just an hour after Letty finished, Dana Formon, coming back after having been sidelined with a foot injury, ran the Kalakaua Merrie Mile in 7:32 - in Honolulu, Hawaii!

Run down Kalakaua Avenue near Waikiki Beach, the race is named after King Kalakaua, who was the last reiging king of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and often known as the Merrie Monarch.

Our Volte friends then closed down Saturday with a six-pack of Brazos Bend 50-Mile finishes that spanned no more than 25 minutes apart.  Their times were as follows:

Irma Torrea 10:38:33, Mary Garcia 10:45:37, Susan Marrero 10:45:52, Jean Hofschulte 10:58:56, Ivonne Vandanam 10:59:43 and Angie Collins 11:03:23

First to the line on Sunday was friend of Volte Alvaro Trejo as the 6:30 a.m. start in Sugar Land for the 29th annual Fort Bend Kia soon brought rain.

Through off and on showers, Trejo, who runs for the Pasadena Running Club, claimed an 18.6-mile finish - featuring three loops of Palm Royale - in 2:29:23.

A half hour later, four Voltes shot off like rockets from Wolf Pen Creek Park in College Station at the sixth annual Baylor Scott & White BCS Half Marathon.

Randy Harris led the quartet in 1:39:04, while Brian Schultz was pretty excited about his 1:47:24 time.

"The BCS Half Marathon rocked today. Very well organized and a scenic view of College Station and Texas A&M University," he said.  "The weather was perfect. This is my fourth time running this race and I will be back next year. It is the ideal warm up run to the Houston Marathon."

Meanwhile, Wil Cole kept it under a nine-minute per mile pace for a time of 1:51:20.

"The hills in the second half got me," he said, but added "I still did a personal best."

Lauren Hoffart rolled out a solid 2:18:31.

All the way to east Montgomery County, Jerritt and his son Brayden kicked the tires on a brand-new race in New Caney -- the inaugural Tavola Reindeer Run 5K.

The double-loop course in Tavola Community was the scene of a pair of age group wins.

Dad took his award with a 20:30 effort while son earned his in 25:55.

That left an 11 a.m. Central - yes, 5 a.m. Hawaii time - 44th annual Honolulu Marathon start for Chris Shank (Dana's husband), Vita Galicia and her sister-in-law, Veronica Galicia.

Good times on the island of O'ahu as Chris Shank gets ready to record his second straight Honolulu Marathon finish.
(Photo courtesy of Dana Formon)
Chris improved his time by six minutes from 2015 with a finishing mark of 6:33:24 while Vita and Veronica enjoyed the day in 9:09:57 and 9:15:27, respectively.

So just maybe Volte this weekend was the "sea to shining sea" like Lee Greenwood sang about in God Bless The USA.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Volte Runners Dodge December Rains

Rain made its presence known throughout the greater Houston area -- as well as a good bit of Texas -- on the weekend of Saturday-Sunday, December 3-4.

A number of races cancelled for Saturday morning and less than three hours before its anticipated start time, the Texas 10 Series endured its first cancellation ever - since its inception in November 2012 - as a line of strong thunderstorms bore done on the Katy area Sunday morning.

Yet Volte and friends still managed to get a little racing in.

There was rain in the area of Constellation Field in Sugar Land on Saturday morning, but the H2O of choice were tears of joy from Penny Garza.

She belted out a 28:05 personal best at Run Houston Sugar Land 5K, which put her, as she noted on her Facebook page, “6th – SIXTH – in my age group” and added, “Normally I’m at the bottom.”

Nobody had a bigger smile in Sugar Land on Saturday than Penny!
(Photo courtesy of Penny Garza)
The 9:02/mile pace was her fastest ever, eclipsing the 10:48/mile pace at an Austin Thanksgiving Day race and more than nine minutes better than her previous best 5K time of 37:48 (which came on a hot, hilly course in Conroe at the Southern Star Brewing Company 5K).

The real tears came the following day, but racing always supersedes.

Braving windy, cold and wet conditions, Ruth Perez journeyed to northeast Houston’s Duessen Park for the 7th annual Run Girl 13.1 Half Marathon – and slashed times like … Penny Garza!

It is a race that Ruth hasn’t missed.  And here are her previous times:  2:15:51 (2010), 2:14:51 (2011), 2:25:28 (2012), 2:11:44 (2013), 2:15:48 (2014) and 2:21:03 (2015).

Ruth's smile is about as wide as Penny's!
When it is cold, rainy and windy, you'd run faster than you ever have in the same location too!
(Photo courtesy of Ruth Perez)
Put the number seven (7) on a roulette wheel somewhere because Ruth stole second in her age group with a 1:58:37 masterpiece.

They got a little wet in San Antonio too, but that didn’t get in the way of Brian Schultz posting a 4:15:39 time in the Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon.

John Trocko and Becca Holt recorded half marathon finishes of 1:40:11 and 1:40:06, respectively.

John Trocko and Becca Holt staying warm together in the Rock 'N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon corral on Sunday.
(Photo courtesy of Becca Holt)
Volte friend Sabina Lorca, who runs with the Pasadena Running Club, won her age group in the marathon with a Boston qualifying time of 3:30:12.

Finally on Sunday, Jerritt Park led a field of four at the final The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K for 2016 with a winning time of 21:12.  He was followed by Curtis Barton, Ken Johnson and Jon Walk.

A wire-to-wire TWRC Sunday Night 5K win for Jerritt Park.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Not that a Texas 10 Series race that morning would have stopped Jerritt from running the TWRC Sunday Night 5K, but he ran on fresh legs because of Texas 10 Katy’s cancellation.

Some of the most popular comments seen posted after severe weather made its way through the Katy area was as follows:

Derek Bailey: “Like I said the other day, running is becoming soft and weak”

George Rux: “Time to run my best 10-mile ever in my dreams!”

George Rux: (then later) “New PR! Slept until 9:05!”

Jerritt Park: “Hope...It’s a good thing this was cancelled so you wouldn’t have to beat me”

Hope Jimenez:   “Jerritt is one lucky guy. Next time Cheetah!”

Layton Gill:  “Glad I ran 20 yesterday”

After this weekend, Voltes, it will be five (5) weekends to Houston, 12 weeks to The Woodlands, 18 weeks to Boston and 20 weeks to Revel Mt. Charleston.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nine Volte's Two-Year Sabbatical Ends With Volte Thanksgiving Feast

Yes, the Mad Scribe has been dormant for awhile.

However, Santa Volte started handing out results packages as presents again.

We'll see if the Big Guy can keep churning them out.

Then again, that's where you the athlete comes in.

You race.  We write.  That's how this works.

So how did Volte get ready for Thanksgiving?  Father and son took home a little hardware, while one runner got a little high.

No, no, no, it is NOT what you think.  There is no such thing as a Volte controversy.

The former middle race of the Montgomery County Triple, the City of Conroe Turkey Trot 5K, held at Carl Barton, Jr. Park on Saturday, November 19, saw Jerritt Park doing his usual thing -- securing an age group award with a 20:58 finish.

It wasn't even the best in the family, though.  Dad was second while 9-year-old Brayden took first place honors with a 24:51 showing.  Nope, it won't be long.

Speaking of heights (yes, that kind of high), Juan Flores traveled to Mexico City to see the Oakland Raiders battle the Houston Texans for NFL Monday night football.

And like many of us when we travel, we find a race -- or two.

The day before the game, Juan churned out a 43:56 time in the Carrea De La Revolucion 10K, which was held at 7,200 feet above sea level.

And then the next day, he ran the TV Azteca 13K in 1:02:40.

Volte headed north back across the Rio Grande to kick off Thanksgiving.

And Yaya Herrera did so in style by winning her age group in the Rio Grande Valley Cycling Turkey Trot 10K in McAllen by 38 seconds with an effort of 49:53.

Yaya Herrera dazzles in the Rio Grande Valley
Near the Capitol, PR's are just a nice as hardware and a pair of Volte ladies grabbed them faster than a couple of turkey legs.

Debra Myers and Penny Garza clocked 5-minute and four and a half-minute personal bests at the Thunder Cloud Subs Turkey Trot 5-Miler in Austin.

Debra stopped the clock in 49:34 while Penny did so in 54:13.  Rob, Debra's husband, was a good sport in yielding the spotlight to the ladies even though he had a nice time of 42:59 himself.

The only other Volte athletes not racing in Montgomery County on Thanksgiving Day were Derek Bailey and Gabby Westbrook as they both were in Frisco to take part in the North Texas Turkey Trot.

Derek grabbed second in his age group in the 10K with a 39:32 performance while Gabby knocked out an impressive time of 24:08 in the 5K.

Thirty (30) Volte athletes or Friends of Volte took part in one of the three races at the annual GE Run Thru The Woods in The Woodlands.

Vita Galicia, Keri Amador and Naika Vargas are all smiles after this year's GE Run Thru The Woods
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Skip Moschell and Rebecca Holt picked up age group honors in the 5-mile race while Dana-Sue Crews and Tricia Driver took their place on the podum in the 3-mile event.  (Dana-Sue's daughter, Morgan, was home from college and beat Mom to the finish line by seven seconds in 24:03.)

Layton Gill crushed the 5-mile distance with a 7-minute PR.

Great to see our sponsor Lindsey Perkins with Fleet Feet of Greater Houston out running the 3-mile in 29:01 while her five-year-old daughter Emmerson grabbed the first-place trophy in her age group in the 1-mile race in 9:59.

The full team results are here:

Brayden Park - 7:19.

Dana-Sue Crews 24:10 1st AG, Tricia Driver - 25:43 3rd AG, Vita Galicia 27:15, Lauren Hoffart  27:27, Dana Formon 28:12.

Skip Moschell 32:20 2nd AG, Jerritt Park 33:37, Randy Harris 34:22, Rebecca Holt 35:14 1st AG, John Trocko 35:20, Larry Batton 35:34, Will Ott 36:10, Keri Amador 36:38, Landa Wright 36:58, Layton Gill 37:50, Jon Braunersreuther 39:09, Kelli Medina 42:08, Leanne Rosser 44:19, Marta Mixa 44:35, Jimmy Baker 49:27, Llana Bingham 49:28, Paul Vita 49:29,Rich Cooper 49:37,  Naika Vargas 50:48, Chris Shank 51:49, Geri Henry 53:45, Alfredo Gonzalez 56:05, Tabitha Young 57:13, Letty Gonzalez - 1:02:20.

The second race of the 11th annual Montgomery County Triple was the Friends of the Running Community 5K, held on Friday, November 25 at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands.

Sandra Tezino took first overall with a winning time of 22:39 while 11 other Volte athletes fell in line.

Yes, friends, this is what first place overall looks like.  Sandra Tezino with the FOTRC 5K victory!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
They included:  Layton Gill  23:12, Tim Russell 23:18, Alan Gastineau 24:35, Leanne Rosser 26:18, Marta Mixa 26:18, Lauren Hoffart 27:40, Richard Cooper 28:12, Jered Hoffart 31:08, Alfredo Gonzalez 34:06, Tabitha Young 34:57 and Letty Gonzalez 35:50.

The final race of the Montgomery County Triple was the regular Run The Woodlands 5K, produced by Luke's Locker, on Saturday, November 26 and six athletes got their Pine Cone Award after lodging the following efforts:

Jerritt Park 20:25, Marta Mixa 26:40, Layton Gill 27:38. Rich Cooper 28:45, Alfredo Gonzalez 34:30, Tabita Young 35:22.

Layton's effort came after running 15 miles before the race as he prepares for January's Chevron Houston Marathon while Linsday Perkins ran the entire way with Tabitha Young.

18 miles of intensity - Layton Gill-style - approaches the Run The Woodlands 5K finish line.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Thirteen (13) athletes this year earned the coveted Pine Cone Award by running or volunteering for all three Montgomery County Triple races -- with the City of Conroe Turkey Trot allowed as a replacement for either the Friday or the Saturday race.

They included Rich Cooper, Jerritt Park, Mike Attanucci, Vince Attanucci, Letty Gonzalez, Alfredo Gonzalez, Leanne Rosser, Tabitha Young, Martha Mixa, Layton Gill, Wade Durdin, Mary Carter and Denise Powers.
Happy Thanksgiving, Pine Cone Award Winners!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Rich Cooper ran his 10th Montgomery County Triple (there were only five finishers in the original 2006 that didn't include him) and had the 10-year award named after him so that is now known as the "Cooper Cone Award".

Coach Rich Cooper with his original "Cooper Cone" for 10 Montgomery County Triple finishes with coached athlete Marta Mixa.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer.)
And when 10K and 13K are not enough, 21K is.

Juan Flores wrapped up his Mexico City adventures on Sunday, November 27 with a 1:40:55 showing at the Marton International Puebla 21K.

Great racing.  Great training.  All building up for a spectacular 2017.

(By the way, I'm back! -- NV)