Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Volte Proves You Can Run Home

Many of us that live in and around The Woodlands and Spring have come here from some place else.

For example, Volte's founder Bill Dwyer hails from New Hartford, New York.

As we're in race week for the sixth annual Fidelity Investments The Woodlands Marathon, we all have a tendency to call it and the Chevron Houston Marathon as our "hometown race".

This past Saturday, February 25, Volte's Tammy Ninke proved that you could go home again and run a true "hometown race".

Volte - and Tammy Ninke - is right in the center of a great day in Victoria County.
(Photo courtesy of Tammy Ninke)
An early 1990s graduate of Victoria High School, Ninke wasn't sure what to expect of an area not known for too many races.

It was her mother, however, who lives in Victoria who first saw the announcement of the new event - Run Against Cancer - created by local healthcare provider Citizens Medical Center.

"Since my Mom is a cancer survivor, I thought to myself, "Sure, why not?" she said.

A half marathon and a 5K was available for experienced and new runners alike.

It was 13.1 miles for Tammy as the race started on the downtown square in DeLeon Plaza and was an out-and-back course to Riverside Park, where runners covered just under eight miles of the race within.

The weather, despite some stiff winds, was perfect and Ninke felt her time just about matched it as she finished in 2:03:15, good for fourth in her age group.

"I enjoyed the cool sunny weather, but the wind was a little much in spots," she said.  "It blew me sideways once or twice and was not so nice going up a hill, but what a great day for a half marathon race in my hometown."

The first-year event saw 223 runners cross the finish line in the half marathon and another 529 in the 5K.

Ninke, whose husband Tom enjoyed a round of golf Saturday morning and had other family members into visit during the weekend, wasn't the only Spring native there.

Volte friend Jon Walk ran a race in his 67th Texas county by posting a 2:15:44 finish of his own 14 hours after running a short Ties and Tennis Shoes 10K (5.94 miles) in Kingsville on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville in Kleberg County.

His 58:48 overall (1:01:30 equivalent) was good for fourth overall -- out of six total runners.

Actually, Volte and friends made the half marathon distance its theme to close out the month of February.

Derek Bailey got the only PR of the weekend on Sunday, February 26 with a second-place overall finish at the Republic of Texas Half Marathon (the original Armadillo Dash) in College Station.

Bailey ran 13.1 faster than he ever has.  Must have been the Aggie port-a-cans!
(Photo courtesy of Derek Bailey)
Bailey covered the distance - including bonus mileage of approximately 100 yards, which cost him about 30 seconds - in 1:26:02.

"I couldn't have caught first place even if I didn't get lost on the course," he said.

Kind of hard to get lost when the turnaround point of your race is the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge, which brings together the cities of Baytown and La Porte via State Highway 146.

Jimmy Baker was there for the seventh annual Jail Break Run, which started at Lee College in Baytown, on Saturday, February 25.

Part of a record crowd of 771 finishers, Baker, who will be helping Volte founder Bill Dwyer at the finish line of Saturday's The Woodlands Marathon, finished in 2:21:15.

Volte friend Ken Johnson of Huntsville's Seven Hills Running Club was first in his age group in 3:01:01.

Out west, Volte alumni David Odom, who now runs with "The Workout Group" in Arizona, ran the BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Half Marathon on Saturday, February 25 in 1:37:24.

David provided great support to a member of his new running team.
(Photo courtesy of The Workout Group)
He paced one of their group's members to a second place age group finish and a "huge" personal best by running a 7:44 pace for the first 6.9 miles and then putting the hammer down over the last 10K with a 7:08 pace.

Dave is gearing up for 39th running of the Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans on Saturday, April 15.

The following day, Volte friend and former president of The Woodlands Running Club Tony Allison completed the 39th running of the Cowtown Half Marathon in Fort Worth.

Tony made it in under two hours in 1:59:29.

And Volte alum Colleen Sager is coming "home" and she celebrated by getting in one final race north of the Border.

Saturday, February 25, she ran The Chilly Dash 5K in Holyrood, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada and placed third in her age group by stopping the clock in 24:35.

Her husband Brandon's job is bringing their family back to The Woodlands area.

It'll be good to have the Sagers back in our community soon.

If we don't see you at the Expo, on the course or coming across the finish line of Saturday's The Woodlands Marathon, our wish is that you run well, smile often, make a new friend and celebrate your fitness as part of this weekend's activities.

(Oh yeah, send us your pictures -- and your race reports.  Please.  ~ NV)

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