Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Volte Rolls On Through Summer

We're still busy here in Volte USA.

While we might not be racing as much, we're definitely getting ready for fall marathons says founder Bill Dwyer.

"We're a month into our training for Tunnel Light Marathon, set for September 17," said Dwyer.  "Also, we're getting ready to kick off our Chicago and Marine Corps training the first week of July."

70.3 seems to be slipping into our vernacular here quite a bit.

As we mentioned in last week's report, George Rux is set and ready to go for Edinburgh Ironman 70.3 in Scotland this coming Sunday.

Later in the year, Mike Kuykendall will race Ironman 70.3 Augusta in Georgia.

This past weekend saw Derek Bailey competing in Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake - and legions of past competitors were jealous that Derek didn't have to face the "frying pan" heat that is typically the case just outside of Lubbock in late June.

Derek Bailey near Buffalo Springs Lake at Sunday's Ironman 70.3
(Photo courtesy of Teresa Bailey)
Derek, on Sunday, June 25, covered the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in 5:48:12, capped off with a 1:40:31 half marathon off the bike.

Volte friend Tyler Henthorn of The Woodlands finished in 5:27:27.

Some other friends in our community who also completed Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake included:

Conroe's Kent Morris - 5:22:59
Willis' Stuart Simmons - 5:49:00
The Woodlands' Karrie Bellard - 6:02:03
Conroe's Leslie Dupuy - 6:06:11

Volte friends Mary-Ellen Wilderman-Hay and Brad Hay headed to Bremond on Saturday, July 24 to run in the iconic Polish Pickle Run 5K.

Mary-Ellen was fifth in her age group in 24:04, while Brad stopped the clock in 27:45 -- one spot behind Goose's Acre Running Club member and Ainsley's Angels driver Geoff May.

And Volte friend Jon Walk got another double in.

On Monday, June 19, he traveled east to Lumberton to take part in the Sea Rim Striders Summer Run Series Race #3.  The 5K distance included three equal loops in one of Lumberton's city parks.

He finished the early evening race in 33:02 - a race in his 135th Texas city, town, census-designated place or unincorporated community.

Then he and his daughter, Waverly, while traveling to visit family in central Pennsylvania, took part in the seventh annual Cutters 5K in Williamsport, Pennsylvania -- home of Little League Baseball.

On the far right in the black shirt and the white hat, you can see Volte friend Jon Walk.
Although chip timed, but with no start mat, Jon and Waverly were wide at the start for their finishing time to be official.
(Photo courtesy of Williamsport Crosscutters)
The race started outside of BB&T Ball Park at historic Bowman Stadium and finished inside the park on the third base side after entering the field from beyond the first base dugout and included a lap on the warning track.

Waverly passed her Dad just less than a mile into the race and held a 14-second lead at the turnaround.

She finished in 29:36, good for fourth in her 20-29 age group (even though she was placed in the male division in error).

Jon finished in 30:18 - one of his better times of the summer so far.

Volte Continues to Run The World

Volte continues to go to what seems like the "uttermost parts of the Earth".

The number of results are fewer, but the diversity and breadth of events that Volte athletes and friends go to never seem to disappoint.

Hmmm ... where to start?  How about ... Scotland?

Paul Vita checked in there for the Glasgow Father's Day 10K on Sunday, June 18 and finished in 1:01:44, just under 10 minutes per mile.

No, Paul did not have to run around Glasgow with a traffic cone on his head!
(Photo courtesy of Paul Vita.)
He set the path for George Rux, who will be traveling to Scotland for Edinburg Ironman 70.3, which will be held on Sunday, July 2.

Meanwhile, in Huntsville - and also on Sunday, June 18, Jerritt Park traveled up Interstate 45 to race in the XTERRA Gator Bait 15K trail run at Huntsville State Park.

The score from this one was:  Huntsville State Park 1, Jerritt Park 0.

Giving Jerritt a pretty bad fall that took him a couple of miles of walking and jogging to shake off, Huntsville State Park limited him to a 1:55:18 finish.

The day before, Saturday, June 17, the fourth annual No Label Brewing First Street 5K in Katy played host to Brian and Laura Hanyzewski.

And it was Brian who flipped the script on last year's race results.

Laura made her way to the finish a year ago nearly three minutes faster than her husband, but Brian has the new family PR for this event.

Using a time of 25:49, Brian lowered the Hanyzewski best in the First Street 5K by 67 seconds.

Laura was inside of Brian's time a year ago with a mark of 29:15.

Off to the 50th state we go to where Penny Garza checked off her third career marathon - and one of the hardest states for runners trying to run a marathon - or half marathon - in all 50 states.

Penny battled, but finished the Anchorage Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, June 17.

As our friend Rick Cook would say, "It wasn't the time you wanted, but you finished."

Volte founder Bill Dwyer agreed.

Penny ready for the Anchorage Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon to be over!
(Photo courtesy of Penny Garza)
"Very proud of Penny for managing her marathon well enough to secure a finish," he said.  "She wasn't having a good day. She's so very tough!"

Penny said that the hills on the course took their toll on her.

"All of their hills make Flintridge look like child's play," she said.

Having fun, like a child, is Volte friend - and Pasadena Running Club member - Sabina Lorca.

That is, if you call running a marathon on three straight days fun.

It is, if you can take home seven medals in the process, right?

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 15 through 17, Sabina ran marathons around or near Bear Lake, which sits just east of Garden City, Utah.

She finished Idaho on Thursday in 4:50:38 and was the ninth overall female.

Wyoming came next on Friday and Sabina stopped the clock in 5:24:14, grabbing the number ten spot in the process.

And then on Saturday, she checked off Utah in 5:22:30 - and was eighth overall.

And how about THAT for bling!  Seven medals for Sabina!
(Photo courtesy of Sabina Lorca)
She won her age group in each of three races, including the top time in her age group for the Marathon Trifecta.  In fact, 53 runners completed all three.  Sabina had the 16th best combined time overall -- and was seventh among all females.

But Sabina told us that it came with a price.

"I must say I've never been in so much physical pain in my whole life! This was intense," she said.  "Happy that I won my age group each day though, so three extra medals for that and one extra for the trifecta. Happy I'm done!"

These finishes were good for states 15, 16 and 17 on her 50 States Marathon adventure.

Back in the Alamo City - San Antonio on Sunday, June 18, Faith Craig, who runs with us every Saturday morning, ran the Father's Day 10K - produced by her coach, Johnny Purnell - with her Dad, Tom Thomson.

And, of course, you never know where Volte friend Jon Walk will show up to run a race at.

He ran another Trinity 5000 Summer Series 5K race on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth on Thursday, June 15 in 33:32 and book-ended his announcing the No Label Brewing First Street 5K in Katy on Saturday, June 17 with the Run For Wellness - San Jacinto 5K on Sunday, June 18 in 30:53.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Smiles and Solid Finishes High and Low

Well now.  Let's see.

Marathon.  (And a BQ* to boot.)  Check.

Triathlon.  Check.

Trail 5K, 10K and Half Marathon.  All back to back.  On the same Saturday morning.  Check.

Trail 50K.  Uh huh, check that too.

So how about a half marathon at 6,667 feet elevation?

Yes, Ma'am, Bonnie Scholz checked that one as well.  And in a big way.

Venturing to the beautiful state of Montana with her sister from Pearland, Michele Hogan, the two competed in the Yellowstone Half Marathon in West Yellowstone.

The race is produced by Vacation Races and is one of eight events that are hosted in various United States National Parks.

Packet pickup at this race was like one that you've likely never encountered.

"They had a booth to sell bear spray and a truck with a stuffed bear telling people how to react if you come across one," said Bonnie.

Nope, can't say that we've seen a booth like that at the George R. Brown in January.

There was mud too.

She told Volte founder Bill Dwyer before the race, "It's pouring and about to drop to 35 or 40 in the morning so definitely going to be a "for fun" race!"

If you've ever had the chance to work with Bill, these pre-race kernels of advice - to Bonnie - are all too common:

"It’s a trail run!  Enjoy the day!!! Take what the course gives you - meaning faster on the flats and downhill’s and very easy or even walk on the uphill’s," he said.  "Don’t look at it as pace per mile but rather as a “smart flow” over what the course is at that moment."

With two 100-mile trail finishes to his credit, Bill also noted:

"Rain is the big equalizer," he added.  "You'll probably place now.  Have fun."

She did.

How does second overall masters female finisher sound?

It isn't called Big Sky Country for nothing!  Bonnie brought home big medals too!
(Photo courtesy of Bonnie Scholz)
Bonnie finished in 1:54 even, holding off Springboro, Ohio's Jenny Dandenault by five seconds and a couple of Montana natives another minute behind.

"Second place!  First time I've cried when I found out," she said.  "Mountain races are so intimidating, but I guess the little Conroe hill runs worked out."

And you can click here to see that Bonnie's kick made the difference between second and third.

The You Tube screen capture of Bonnie's five-second advantage between second and third overall masters female.
(Photo courtesy of Vacation Races and YouTube)
Michele covered the course in 3:23:03.

The race featured 1,891 finishers, with 1,266 of them being female.

While we're in Big Sky Country, Volte friend Sabina Lorca was 176 miles to the north in Helena, competing in the Governor's Cup Marathon.

We believe that this was Sabina's 14th state to finish a marathon in.
(Photo courtesy of Sabina Lorca)
The 34-year-old was the 13th overall female, finishing in 3:55:39.

Volte's crack research staff believes that is Sabina's 14th state to finish a marathon in (CA, VA and WA in 2011, IL and FL in 2012, NY and VT in 2013, LA in 2014, NE and SD on back-to-back days in 2015, WI and IN in 2016 as well as Texas and now Montana.)

Also on Saturday, June 10, Gabby Brockett and Naika Vargas ventured out to west Houston - Katy, specifically - for the fourth annual A Step Forward For Hispanic Women 5K.

Naika and Gabby were all smiles, while some of the competitors behind them needed a bit more shut eye!
(Photo courtesy of Gabby Brockett)
They completed the race, which had 186 timed finishers, in 29:36 and 30:03, respectively.

Gabby and Naika were the 20th and 22nd overall females.

On Sunday, June 11, Mike Kuykendall continued his preparation for Ironman 70.3 Augusta this fall by competing in the 12th annual Sylvan Beach Sprint Triathlon.

Mike is all smiles after more work is put in towards a successful IM 70.3 Augusta in the fall.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Kuykendall)
"Such a fun race today. Personal best swim and bike pace. Fast run too," Mike said.  "My first open ocean swim was crazy. 15 mph cross winds, waves and strong current kept pushing me of course and made my 500-meter swim 650 meters!"

He finished the 500-meter swim, 15-mile bike and 3-mile run in 1:43:32.

There to announce Mike's finish was Volte friend Jon Walk, but earlier in the weekend Jon kept up his pursuit of running a 5K in each Texas county.

Tarrant County isn't new to Jon, but he ran in the Trinity 5000 Summer 5K Series #2 in Fort Worth's Trinity Park on Thursday night on the way home from work.

He finished the out-and-back course in 32:56.

He drove Friday evening to Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County to run another out-and-back course in the Milk Run 5K that was part of the Hopkins County Dairy Festival.

Weather conditions were a bit more favorable and Jon stopped the clock in 30:34.

The following morning, he checked off Cherokee County in Jacksonville with a 31:47 finish in the inaugural Tomato 5 - Tomato Fest 5K in Nichols Green Park.

Jon finishing his third 5K in 37 hours with beautiful Nichols Green Park as a backdrop.
(Photo courtesy of Tomato 5 - Tomato Fest 5K)
He has now run a race in 72 Texas counties and at least a mile in 20 other ones to date.

Texas has 254 counties, in case you were wondering.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Volte Spotlights A New Local Triathlete

The guy that created CB&I Tri - The Woodlands Triathlon finally took to the water himself.

Sunday's Tejas Sugar Triathlon has been some time in the making for The Woodlands Marathon and Texas 10 Series race director Willie Fowlkes.

"I've always said that I wouldn't start doing triathlons until my soccer playing started to slow down," said Fowlkes.

Race directing isn't necessarily Fowlkes' first passion, even though his degree from St. Andrew's Presbyterian College is in Sports Management.

Soccer is.

Over the past year, Fowlkes, who played collegiately at St. Andrew's Presbyterian, has returned to the sidelines coaching youth soccer teams with Texas Rush and the Dynamo Dash Youth soccer programs.

"About a month or two ago, I went back out to play (in an adult soccer league) and the game all of a sudden had gotten a whole lot faster," he said.

And that sent him to the pool to get ready for his first triathlon.

Fowlkes' wife, Mandi, the mother of their three daughters, is a two-time finisher of Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas.

And she was in the field on Sunday, starting in a swim wave four minutes behind her husband.

"Jesse Robinson was teasing me that it was going to be all fun and games until Mandi beat me out of the water," Fowlkes said.

She didn't overtake him until about mile seven or eight on the bike.

"She rolled up on me - almost running me into a cone - and told me to, 'Keep drinking your Gatorade'," he added.

Fowlkes was eighth of 13 triathletes in his 45-49 age division as he covered the 500-yard open water swim, 10-mile bike and 3-mile run in 1:14:05.

Mandi was fifth in her 40-44 age group in 1:07:31, capturing four of the five disciplines only yielding T2 to Willie - by 18 seconds.

We're certain that we'll see more of Fowlkes - as much as his busy schedule will allow - competing in area triathlons.

Meanwhile, Volte Endurance Training continues racing into summer, but founder and head coach Bill Dwyer admits the majority of the group is already building towards early fall races.

Team Volte and friends at Run Houston Clear Lake
Sonia Dhopapkar, Kim Hamilton, Rebecca Haughney, Desna McDonald and Penny Garza
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"The next biggest event for Volte will be on Tuesday, July 4th at the Baytown Bud Heatwave," he said.  "Hopefully, we'll have enough runners to qualify a participant in the post-race sausage eating contest."

Volte was fifth - with nearly 20 runners already entered - in the race's last update through registrations of Monday, June 5.  Bay Area Running Club, Bay Area Fit, Texas Beef Team and Golden Triangle Strutters are the top four teams currently.

We looked in the USATF Competition Rules, but we couldn't find anything official on the axiom that when the race's fastest runners say "it's humid" ... that it's perfectly to OK to not accept a not-so-great time.

That was certainly the case for many runners at last Saturday's Heights 5K.

Women's overall winner - and 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials finisher - Lauren Stroud:  "Fun race but extreme humidity."

Yep, everyone is off the hook.

Jerritt Park led the way of our four athletes who ran the 5K.  He was fifth in his age group in 21:20.
Geri Henry and Penny Garza covered the out-and-back in 35:25 and 35:48, respectively.

Ruth Perez?  She was perfectly happy with her time of 27:44, as it put her on the podium with a third-place age group finish.

Some folks have lucky rabbits.  Ruth Perez gets on the podium when Penny Garza is at her races.
(Photo courtesy of Ruth Perez)
And she may want to start paying for Penny's race entry fees.

"I enjoyed this race because Penny brings me great luck," she smiled.  "She's my lucky rabbitt."

Volte friend Jon Walk tackled the 10K, which was the first time the race offered this distance, in 1:05:13.

Sunday saw another small group of athletes make their way to the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus to participate in the Run Houston Clear Lake 10K and 5K.

Desna McDonald knocked off the 10K in 1:10:12, while Volte friends Kim Hamilton and Rebecca Haughney ran together to stop the clock in 1:12:54.

"What a great surprise to see Bill out there this morning and then I got to meet some more Volte athletes," Kim said.  "If I didn't live in Katy, I would be a member already."

Penny Garza finished the 5K in 36:24 and Volte friend Sonia Dhodapkar, who traveled with the team to the Mount Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas at the end of April, was second in her age group in 23:39.

"Conditions were pretty tough with high humidity, but still a fun morning," said Dwyer.  "Great to see our Katy friends Sonia and Kim.

Penny Garza and Desna McDonald at Run Houston Clear Lake
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"The best part of the morning, though, was Penny going back out on the course to run Desna in.  People caring for others; just love it!"

Garza will be making the trip next weekend to Alaska for her third career marathon at the Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage.

Volte friends Walk and Ken Johnson also finished 5Ks on Sunday morning, June 4 no more than a mile away from each other.

While Walk finished the Run For Wellness - Heights 5K in 31:17 on the White Oak Hike and Bike Trail just outside of University of Houston-Downtown, Ken was participating in the inaugural USO Freedom 5K, which started and finish at St. Arnold's Brewery, and he took second overall in the 65-and-over age group in 39:40.

Later that evening, at The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K at Barbara Bush Elementary, Johnson wasn't done.

He ran the course in 38:30.  Fellow "run a mile a day" streaker Vincent Attanucci did so in 27:30.

Mayra Caamano at The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K
All official, even for the free race.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Lauren Hoffart early in her second 5K of the day at the TWRC Sunday Night 5K
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Volte was represented by Jerritt Park in 20:03, followed by Mayra Caamano in 23:41, Layton Gill in 25:48 and Lauren Hoffart in 29:58.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Volte Thankful To Be Active On Memorial Day Weekend

"No matter how you feel, live, or vote, there's no denying the sacrifices many have made so the rest of us can happily lose ourselves in a three-day weekend spending it however we choose."

This didn't come from some fancy, schmancy politician.

Rather from one of our Volte athletes that we believe sums up Volte's Memorial Day weekend of athletic pursuits so well.

Spanning the globe on Sunday, May 28, our reach was extended from Edinburgh, Scotland to Vallejo, California.

We're certain that Edinburgh was painted with Dodger Blue and Cougar Red as a result of the exceptional enthusiasm exuded by our sponsor Danny Braden of Fleet Feet Sports of Greater Houston.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, were overseas to take part in "the traditional distance of 42.195 kilometers" of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

"I must say it was a good day.  So proud of my wife," said Danny of her 6:41:42 finish while being the gentleman that he is without referencing his own 5:10:43 coverage of the course.

Back on American soil, Mike Kuykendall continued his build-up to Ironman 70.3 Georgia this September with a distance debut at the Silverlake Olympic Distance Triathlon in Pearland.

The race featured a one-mile open water swim, 18-mile bike and six-mile run.

Mike getting the work done on the bike in the beautiful Silverlake community in Pearland.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Kuykendall)
"I finished close to plan," said Mike of his 3:04:27 time.  "A couple of more Olympic distance triathlon races to work on technique and speed."

Being pregnant, Kate Semmelrogge Thomas admits that speed isn't necessarily in the books right now, but calls out an expansion in time when it's called for.

She competed in the Mare Island 5K in Vallejo, California.

"Another 5K in the books.  My official time was 41:11, but I lost three to four minutes waiting on a drawbridge to let a sailboat pass," she said.

And another first place finish.

"Turns out I was the only person in my age group.  First place again!" Kate added.

All about showing up.

Volte had a representative turnout at the Gleannloch 10K, 5K and 1-Mile race on Memorial Day in Spring.

The Volte team picture at Gleannloch on Memorial Day.
(Photo courtesy of Juan Flores)
"This race is getting a little better every year.  It has potential," said Volte founder Bill Dwyer.  "We had a small group and had a lot of fun."

Our athletes were five for five in the 10K race.

Robert Sweeney led Volte with a 45:10 first place age group finish.

Yaya Herrera and Lauren Hoffart joined Robert on the top spot on the podium of their respective divisions.

Yaya finished in 50:20 while Lauren stopped the clock in 54:32.

"I am so blessed to have an amazing group of friends to run with," said Lauren.  "If it weren't for them I don't know if this morning would have worked out the same."

Second-place age group finish for Judith; first-place effort!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Judith Albarran and Marta Mixa grabbed second place hardware with respective times of 53:54 and 58:04.

In the 5K, Jerritt Park captured first place in his age group in 20:22.

Laura Godfrey took almost 80 seconds off of her previous personal best at the distance with an impressive 21:44 finish.  She ran the BMI 5K two years ago in 23:03.

It earned her first place in her age group while Leanne Rosser took third in hers with a showing of 24:50.

Alfredo Gonzalez continues to be steady with a 38:27 performance.

In the untimed one mile, Brayden Park was fourth overall.

Volte friend Jon Walk took to the Texas highways over Memorial Day weekend and ran a race in his 69th and 70th Texas counties.

Saturday morning saw him competing in the 19th annual Ennis Polkafest Fun Run 10K where he ran the 6.37-mile course in 1:06 even.

He then traveled to Burnet, west of Austin, to do battle with a bunch of rocks at Reveille Peak Ranch as part of the Rogue Trail Series - The Ranch 10K.

Rocks hadn't formed at this point at the tough Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet.
(Photo courtesy of AzulOxVisuals, LLC)
"Hard way to get Texas county #70 in this morning," he said.  "Scenic? You bet. Challenging? That too. One of the toughest races that I've ever done. First 2.8 miles weren't that bad. The 2-2.3 miles (who knew the distance for sure) in the middle was lots of rock climbing. Humidity was high.

And he said his time was too.  1:44:45.  Ouch.

Jon and his daughter, Waverly, then went on Monday up to race with our friends with the Seven Hills Running Club at their Memorial Day 5K that started and finished in Ken Johnson's driveway.

Go Waves!
(Photo courtesy of Ken Johnson)
Dad didn't let the effects of two 10K's bother him much the first two miles, passing the marker in 19:49, but daughter - better at pacing - passed him shortly thereafter and finished in 30:10 while Dad was at 10 minutes per mile even in 31 minutes.

Waverly, who registered on Wednesday for her first marathon this January in Houston, ran the same course in 2014 in 34:49 and two years ago in 33:36.