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.

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