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.

No comments:

Post a Comment