Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Volte Likes It Hot, Hot, Hot

Five race results the last two weeks.  Four out-of-state.

Why?  Well, we like to travel, don’t we?

We can't help it that there aren't as many races close to home being produced.

Yes, we know it is hot out, but we're still training - albeit wisely. 

Our Tunnel Light Marathon group is less than two months from their date with running destiny.

Others are building their base before they kickoff their late fall and winter marathon and half marathon goals, dreams and aspirations.

Two Sundays ago, July 16, Jerritt Park and Brian Schultz put down near identical half marathon times in Erie, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois.

The two ran the Presque Isle Half Marathon and the Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon, respectively, in 1:43:31 and 1:47:15.

Jerritt Park keeping some of the top runners in his imaginary rear view mirror in Erie, Pennsylvania.
(Photo courtesy of Volte Endurance via Run Photos)
It was Park's first summer half marathon, while Schultz posted his best half marathon time since November 6, 2016 when he ran 1:46:36 at the Fort Myers (Fla.) Half Marathon.

Last Saturday, July 22, Marta Mixa continued her navigation of the western part of the United States as she was visiting her daughter in Canoga Park, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Los Angeles.

Marta pulled a “Juan Flores”.

“I had heard of many trails to run around the LA area and happen to find this race,” she said.  “I signed-up on the spot for the 10K.”  

Marta Mixa before she got a bit dirty on the LAPD Foothill Division Fitness 10K course.
(Photo courtesy of Marta Mixa)
The Los Angeles Police Protective League produced their first fitness run – the LAPD Foothill Division Fitness 5K and 10K -- to benefit a youth program and station in the Foothill area.

Running on a hilly, dusty and sandy, rocky trail, Marta was 13th overall – and second among all females – in 56:07, just under two minutes behind the women’s winner.

Our only athlete competing in-state the last two weekends was Mike Kuykendall, who continues to work on his racing skills as he builds for October's Ironman 70.3 Augusta in Georgia.

Sunday, July 23 found Mike in the broiler - and the frying pan (yes, it was that hot) - that was Waco for the Olympic distance of the TriWaco Triathlon.

“I saw three heat stroke victims and six being treated for heat exhaustion,” he said.  “Fifty-seven dropped out and 46 were disqualified for trying to cut the swim course short.”

Mike Kuykendall staying cool and focused on the run during Sunday's TriWaco Triathlon
(Photo courtesy of Candis Kuykendall)
TriWaco was the longest race to date – the official Olympic triathlon distance of 1500-meter swim, 25-mile bike and 10-kilometer run – for Mike as part of his eight-race journey to race day in the Peach State.

“It was the kind of race that builds character,” Mike said of his next-to-last wave start, which pushed him into the 90 degrees temperatures on the run.  “My goal was to finish and learn new tips, which I did.

“I focused on technique, staying hydrated, fueled and only cared enough about the time to ensure enough padding to advance to the next leg.”

And he raced across the famous Waco Suspension Bridge to a 3:51:06 finish.

Next up for Mike will be the Towne Lake Triathlon in Cypress on Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

As we get closer to his debut at the 70.3 distance, we’ll share more of Mike’s triathlon journey.

There’s a journey and then there’s vacation.

Sally Buckelew and her family were wrapping up theirs last weekend in San Francisco where she tackled the San Francisco First Half Marathon on Sunday, July 23.

The smile - or the wince perhaps - says that Sally Buckelew is glad the SF Half Marathon is over!
(Photo courtesy of Sally Buckelew)
“When I gave myself permission to enjoy it instead of racing – because who races at the end of their vacation anyway, the pressure was off and I smiled the whole way,” she said.

Except maybe for a few grimaces up the some of the city’s famous hills in Golden Gate Park, which were at the end of the race.

Sally finished in 2:03:55 while Volte friend Krystal Salinas covered the distance in 2:19:20.

Kind of looks like a whale, doesn't it?  :-)
(Image courtesy of The San Francisco Marathon)
“The first 10 miles there was a good combo of uphill and downhill,” she said.  “But miles 11-13 were all uphill into Golden Gate Park.  My legs were definitely ready to be finished.”

And a guy who saw a lot of legs that were truly toast was Juan Flores.

He traveled to Castle Rock, Georgia for the finish - and to support runners - of the Last Annual Vol State Road Race, a 314-mile scamper across Tennessee.

The highlight?  Getting to meet race director Gary Cantrell, aka Lazarus “Laz” Lake.

“After I watched his documentary (on the Barkley Marathons, I told myself that I would have to go to one of his events, even if it was just to spectate.  So I did!” said Juan.

Laz and Juan or Juan and Laz?
(Photo courtesy of Juan Flores)
“He gets great satisfaction watching people suffer,” Juan added.  “However, he also gets the same amount of satisfaction when a runner is able to complete one of his events.”

Pushing Brian Schultz, Juan and others for traveler of the year might be Volte friend Jon Walk.

Aside from running near identical times (a difference of .44 seconds on a pair of 32:07s) in back-to-back Thursdays at the Trinity 5000 Summer Series in Fort Worth, he added a pair of in-state 5K finishes in Zapata and Hico.

The 5th annual PFC Ira “Ben” Laningham IV 5K in Zapata County on Saturday, July 15 saw Walk stop the clock in 29:42 for a race in Texas county #73 followed by a 33:21 on a multi-terrain course in Hico for the Old Settler’s Run To Remember 5K

The latter race leaves Walk one race shy of finishing a race in 300 different North American cities, towns or census-designated places.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Where Volte Races: 2017

Total Races:  136
Total States:  16 + DC (TX, CA, LA, MA, GA, FL, MT, ID, AK, OR, PA, MD, NV, IL, CO, MO, UT, NY)
Total Texas Cities or Towns:  25 (Houston, Austin, Baytown, Cypress, Victoria, The Woodlands, Conroe, Sugar Land, Katy, San Antonio, Huntsville, New Caney, College Station, Bulverde, Surfside, Boerne, Mission, Montgomery, Buffalo Springs Lake, La Porte, Pearland, Spring, Galveston, Needville, Smithville, San Felipe, Seabrook)
Total Countries:  5 (Austria, England, Scotland, France, Singapore)

ABB 5K, Houston, TX, January 14
Advocate Health Care Spring Chance BQ.2 Marathon, Geneva, IL, April 22
Anchorage Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon, Anchorage, AK, June 17
Aramco Houston Half Marathon, Houston, TX, January 15
A Step Forward For Hispanic Women 5K, Katy, TX, June 10
Austin Half Marathon, Austin, TX, February 19
Bath Two Tunnels Hilly Ticket Half Marathon, Bath, Somerset, UK, May 14
Bayou City Classic 10K, Houston, TX, March 18
Baytown Bud Heatwave, Baytown, TX, July 4
Benevolent Missions International BMI 5K, Conroe, TX, May 6
Big Little JC 5K, Cypress, TX, May 7
Big Little JC Kids 1K, Cypress, TX, May 7
Big Little JC Kids Duathlon, Cypress, TX, May 7
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA, April 17
Brazos Bend 50K and 25K, Needville, TX, April 8
Bunny Bolt 5K, Denver, CO, April 15
Candy Cane Fun Run 5K, Cypress, TX, January 7
Canyonlands Half Marathon, Moab, UT, March 18
Carlsbad Half Marathon, Carlsbad, CA, January 15
CB&I Tri - The Woodlands Triathlon, The Woodlands, TX, May 13
Chevron Houston Marathon, Houston, TX, January 15
Christmas in July 5K, Houston, TX, July 8
Citizens Medical Center Run Against Cancer Half Marathon, Victoria, TX, February 25
Cleft Smiles 5K, The Woodlands, TX, February 4
CHS Alumni Association 5K, Conroe, TX, April 1
ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run 10K, Houston, TX, March 4
Conroe Tiger Band Color Fun Run 5K, Conroe, TX, January 28
Crescent City Classic 10K, New Orleans, LA, April 15
Diva's Half Marathon, Galveston, TX, April 23
Du The Polar Bear Duathlon, Cypress, TX, January 29
Dynomite Dash Half Marathon, Lincoln, MT, July 2
Eugene Marathon, Eugene, OR, May 7
ExxonMobil United Way 5K, Spring, TX, April 1
Fort Bend Kia Half Marathon, Sugar Land, TX, January 29
Glasgow Father's Day 10K, Glasgow, Scotland, June 18
Gleannloch 10K, 5K and 1M, Spring, TX, May 29
Go! St. Louis Marathon, St. Louis, MO, April 9
Green 6.2 and 5K, Houston, TX, April 15
Heights Run 5K, Houston, June 3
Hells Hills Trail Run 25K, Smithville, TX, April 1
Hot Chocolate 15K, San Francisco, CA, January 8
Impact A Hero 5K, Sugar Land, TX, May 20
Independence Day 8K, Houston, TX, July 1
Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake, Buffalo Springs Lake, June 25
Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2
Jail Break Run Half Marathon, Baytown, TX, February 25
Katy Half Marathon, Katy, TX, February 11
Kids Running For Kids 1-Mile, The Woodlands, TX, February 4
32nd annual Lone Start Cystic Fibrosis Tower Climb and Run, San Antonio, TX, January 28
Louisiana Marathon and The Half at the Louisiana Marathon, Baton Rouge, LA, January 15
Love. Run. Marathon., Huntsville, TX, February 18
Mare Island 5K, Vallejo, CA, May 28
Maryland Half Marathon, Fulton, MD, May 13
Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas, The Woodlands, TX, April 22
Missoula Marathon, Missoula, MT, July 9
Muddy Trails Bash 10K and 5K, The Woodlands, TX, April 1
Murdick's Fudge Run The Chop Challenge 5M, Tisbury, MA, July 4
No Label Brewing First Street 5K, Katy, TX, June 17
OSIM Sundown Half Marathon, Singapore, March 25
Osterreichischer Frauenlauf 10K, Vienna, Austria, May 21
Paris Marathon, Paris, France, April 9
Pathfinder Pediatric 2K Family Run and Walk, The Woodlands, TX, March 3
Peachtree Road Race 10K, Peachtree City, GA, July 4
Piney Woods Trail Fest 20-Miler, New Caney, TX, February 4
Republic of Texas Half Marathon, College Station, TX, February 26
Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon, Las Vegas, NV, April 29
Revel Mt. Charleston Half Marathon, Las Vegas, NV, April 29
Rhythm and Blues Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon, Houston, TX, February 12
Rock 'N' Roll Dallas Half Marathon, Dallas, TX, March 19
Rock 'N' Roll New Orleans Marathon, New Orleans, LA, February 5
Rock 'N' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA, March 26
Run For Wellness - Heights 5K, Houston, TX, July 2
Run Houston Clear Lake 10K and 5K, Houston, TX, June 3
Run Houston Minute Maid Park 10K and 5K, Houston, TX, April 1
Run Houston Sam Houston Race Park 10K and 5K, Houston, TX, January 1
Run The Woodlands 5K, The Woodlands, TX, April 8
Run The Woodlands 5K, The Woodlands, TX, May 13
San Antonio RoadRunners Endurathon 25K, Bulverde, TX, January 21
San Felipe Shootout 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, San Felipe, TX, March 25
Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon, Seabrook, TX, March 18
Seven Hills Running Club Resolution Run 10K and 5K, Huntsville, TX, January 1
Seven Hills Running Club Memorial Day 5K, Huntsville, TX, May 29
She Is Beautiful 5K, Santa Cruz, CA, March 19
Silverlake Olympic Distance Triathlon, Pearland, TX, May 28
Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim, Conroe, TX, April 8
Soldiers Helping Soldiers 5K, Mission, TX, July 8
Southhampton Half Marathon, Southhampton, United Kingdom, April 23
Stars and Stripes 5K, Concord, CA, July 4
Sun & Ski Sports Flash Mob Summer Series 3M #4, Cypress, TX, June 28
Surfside Beach Half Marathon, Surfside, TX, February 4
Sylvan Beach Sprint Triathlon, La Porte, TX, June 11
Team Run Boise Half Marathon, Boise, ID, July 9
Texas Independence Relay, Gonzales to La Porte, TX, March 25-26
Texas Star Triathlon, Montgomery, TX, July 9
Texas 10 Boerne and Lil' Tex Kids 1-Mile, Boerne, TX, January 29
Texas 10 College Station and Lil' Tex Kids 1-Mile, College Station, TX, March 26
Texas 10 Sienna, 5M, 5K and Lil' Tex Kids 1-Mile, Missouri City, TX, April 30
The Woodlands Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, The Woodlands, TX, March 4
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #1, The Woodlands, TX, January 1
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #2, The Woodlands, TX, February 5
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #3, The Woodlands, TX, March 5
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #4, The Woodlands, TX, April 2
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #5, The Woodlands, TX, May 7
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #6, The Woodlands, TX, June 4
The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K #7, The Woodlands, TX, July 2
United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, New York City, NY, March 19
United Airlines Rock 'N' Roll D.C. Half Marathon, Washington, DC, March 11
UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Pittsburgh, PA, May 7
Vintage Park Half Marathon and Kids 1K, Cypress, TX, April 9
Walt Disney World 5K, Lake Buena Vista, FL, January 5
Walt Disney World 10K, Lake Buena Vista, FL, January 6
Walt Disney World Marathon, Lake Buena Vista, FL, January 8
West End Brew Run 5K, Houston, TX, Apri, 22
XTERRA Gator Bait 15K, Huntsville, TX, June 18
Yellowstone Half Marathon, West Yellowstone, MT, June 10
Zydeco Half Marathon, Lafayette, LA, March 12

(Volte Sponsor)
Edinburgh Marathon Festival, Edinburg, Scotland, May 28

(Volte Alumni)
BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Half Marathon, Phoenix, AZ, February 25
The Chilly Dash 5K, Holyrood, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, February 25

(Volte Friends)
American Legion 5K, Jersey Village, TX, March 25
Bear Lake Marathon, ID, June 15
Bear Lake Marathon, WY, June 16
Bear Lake Marathon, Garden City, UT, June 17
Big Blue Wave 5K Glow Run, Temple, TX, January 27
Burn Your Half Off Half Marathon, Chattanooga, TN, July 9
Cowtown Half Marathon, Fort Worth, TX, February 26
Cutters 5K, Williamsport, PA, June 24
Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, Pittsburgh, PA, May 7
Ennis Polkafest Fun Run 10K, Ennis, TX, May 27
Father's Day 10K, San Antonio, TX, June 18
Governor's Cup Marathon, Helena, MT, June 10
Heights Run 10K, Houston, TX, June 3
Hot Chocolate 15K, Dallas, TX, February 4
John J. Eikenburg Law Week 8K, Houston, TX, March 11
Kilgore to Longview 11-Mile Race, Longview, TX, February 11
Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers Bold In The Cold 15K, Grapevine, TX, January 21
Lookin' Good Shamrock Strut 10K, Houston, TX, March 26
Love. Run. Marathon. 10K and Half Marathon, Huntsville, TX, February 18
Mardi Gras 5K, Angleton, TX, January 28
Memorial Park Conservancy Brunch Run 4M, Houston, TX, April 1
Milk Run 5K, Sulphur Springs, TX, June 9
Miracle Match Marathon 10K, Waco, TX, January 22
Modesto Half Marathon, Modesto, CA, March 19
Polish Pickle Run 5K, Bremond, TX, June 24
Ponchatoula Jaycees Strawberry Strut 10K, Ponchatoula, LA, April 9
Rogue Trail Series - The Ranch 10K, Burnet, TX, May 28
Run For Wellness - Heights 5K, Houston, TX, June 4
Run For Wellness - San Jacinto 5K, Houston, TX, June 18
Run The Grove 5K, Houston, TX, April 22
Run The Village 5K, Spring, TX, March 25
Santo de Mayo 5K, Houston, TX, May 7
Sea Rim Striders Run Series Race #3, Lumberton, TX, June 19
Seabrook Half Marathon, Seabrook, TX, March 18
Seabrook Half Marathon, Seabrook, TX, March 19
Shannon Trail Series Race #3 15K, San Angelo, TX, February 18
Texas 10 College Station 5M, College Station, TX, March 26
The Sports Fantatic 5K, Kennesaw, GA, July 8
Ties and Tennis Shoes 10K, Kingsville, TX, February 24
Tomato 5 - Tomato Fest 5K, Jacksonville, TX, June 10
Trinity 5000 Summer Series 5K #2, Fort Worth, TX, June 8
Trinity 5000 Summer Series 5K #3, Fort Worth, TX, June 15
Trinity 5000 Summer Series 5K #6, Fort Worth, TX, July 6
USO Freedom 5K, Houston, TX, June 4
wazUPwidis 3.25-Mile Urban Run and 1,000 Stair Challenge, Roanoke, VA, February 4

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Volte's Most Unselfish Finisher Crosses The Line in Baytown

Each week, the results of Volte Endurance members and friends come in and the writer dutifully scans them looking for a theme to craft a story of accomplishment.

We occasionally have someone finish a race out of the country.  This report, that was George Rux in Scotland.

Almost every week somebody else is racing out of state.

Sure enough, California, Georgia, Massachusetts and Montana will be accounted for in this writeup.

But one thing this week was unique:  founder Bill Dwyer had a bib on!

And he finished!

Threatened - in a fun way, of course - with receiving a sheared off can of Budweiser if he didn't (there's a fun story behind that people), Bill was the last finisher of the last Bud Heat Wave five-mile Fourth of July race to be held in Baytown.

The race's organizer, in conjunction with its title sponsor's move of its Budweiser distributorship, will hold next year's race in nearby Mont Belvieu.

"I'm just glad I finished," Bill said.  "With work currently super busy and helping my wife with her mother at home, it's been very slow going trying to get into some sort of shape.

"I really needed a couple of more months, but this was the last Baytown version ever and I have never done this event."

Running Alliance Sport, the race's producer, arranged for Gabby Brockett to stay with Bill the entire way - and surprise him with it on race morning.

"Throw the time out," he said.  "I just enjoyed the course a little longer.  Great event!  Next year Mont Belvieu!"

Twenty-six Volte members, including Bill, finished the 28th annual Baytown Bud Heat Wave -- the large numbers coming from a push to put a group member in this year's fourth annual Ditta Meat Sausage Eating Contest.

Alvaro Trejo and Jerritt Park exchanging a few-pre Sausage Eating Contest pleasantries!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Facing some formidable competition, including three-time defending champion Gordon Christie, Jerritt Park and Volte friend Alvaro Trejo - of the Tough Running Club - gave it their best.

Alvaro was third behind Christie, who won it for the fourth time, and the Golden Triangle Strutters' Jonathan Symons.

"We're already planning for next year's Sausage Eating Contest strategy," said Dwyer.  "We just might incorporate it at track every other month.

"We'll even be brand specific, using only Ditta Meat Sausage."

Volte placed four on their respective's age group's podium -- and three repeated from a year ago.

First a year ago, Chris Weir led our group with a time of 30:47, good for second in the 30-34 division even though he bettered his time from the year before by 16 seconds.

Brian Jackson improved a spot in the 35-39 age group, finishing in 33:46.

Signing up just before online registration closed, Laura Godfrey captured the 40-44 division by 1.9 seconds with a 38:57 effort.

Laura Godfrey needed that strong push to the finish - as she won her division by only 1.9 seconds!
(Photo courtesy of Mary Carter)
Sandra Tezino defended her 45-49 title from last year - even shaving a couple of seconds off her time from 2016 with a mark of 39:05.

Exactly a minute behind Jackson was Juan Flores whose first Heat Wave went down in 34:46.

Park finished his third Bud Heat Wave in 37:44 while Greg Nettleton and Landa Wright made their debuts in the race with showings of 39:25 and 39:34, respectively.

Three runners got in under nine minutes per mile – Yaya Herrera and Tim Russell ran Baytown for the first time and finished in 42:31 and 44:45, respectively, while Leanne Rosser finished in 43:46 – the second best time of her four Bud Heat Waves.

Between nine and ten minutes a mile were Layton Gill (45 minutes even), Lauren Hoffart (45:32 in her third Baytown), Judith Albarran (45:33) and Jon Braunersreuther (46:30).

After singing the National Anthem for the third year in a row, Waverly Walk slashed more than four minutes off her time from a year ago in her third Bud Heat Wave.  She finished in 50:45 while Llana Bingham took more than two minutes off of hers with a 53:09 effort.

Katie Gill just missed coming in under an hour with a time of 1:00:21 while Christine Falzon, Jimmy Baker and Penny Garza all crossed with near identical times.  Falzon stopped the clock in 1:02:49 and Baker and Garza were one and five seconds in arrears.

Geri Henry ran her first Bud Heat Wave in 1:09:06 while Billy Carter finished his fourth in 1:09:50 and Alfredo Gonzalez his third in 1:15:17.

Many of our Volte friends ran Baytown with us.

Finish Strong’s Michael Menster won his 45-49 age group for the second straight year, improving his time to 30:50 from last year’s 31:08, while Alvaro Trejo ran his first Heat Wave in 38:50.

Mary Ellen-Wilderman Hay with Fleet Feet – The Woodlands and coached by StraitSpeed was third in her age division in 41:06 while her husband Brad was just five seconds behind Waverly Walk in 50:50.

Rachael Stewart, Landa Wright’s sister, finished in 53:42 as she ran with her friend Maygen Ritchie.

Volte wasn’t only in Baytown for the Fourth of July.

They make the bibs bigger in Massachusetts as Mike and Erika Coleman are all smiles on a beautiful east coast Fourth.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Coleman)
Mike and Erika Coleman were in Tisbury, Massachusetts for the Murdick’s Fudge Run The Chop Challenge 5-Miler where Mike finished in 40:02 while Erica was just 12 seconds behind but she took second in her age group doing so.

Volte alum Todd Snider, who calls Atlanta, Georgia home now, ran in the colossal Peachtree Road Race 10K where he covered the distance in 1:16:22.

Volte friend Vincent Attanucci made it in under an hour in 58:54.

Peachtree is one of the largest races in the world.  Last year, they had 56,993 timed finishers.

And Kate Thomas, with a baby due soon, probably completed her last 5K of the year as she finished Concord, California’s Stars and Stripes 5K on the Fourth.

Two days before on Sunday, July 2 and across the pond, George Rux finished Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh.

He took third in his age group with a time of 7:24:59 even though he called it “a T-shirt race” finish.

He called the experience “memorable”, but explained his definition above this way:

“When you’ve already spent several hundred dollars (or in this case Pounds Sterling) to register for a destination/vacation race months ago -- and you develop a running injury, you might as well show up and walk if necessary to finish and earn your Finisher’s t-shirt!”

Uniquely put, but very true.

Lincoln, Montana, meanwhile, was beautiful, Marta Mixa said.

Marta looks like she could go 26.2 after her finish netted her the first place AG medal around her neck.
(Photo courtesy of Marta Mixa)
She was there – also on Sunday, July 2 - to run the fifth annual Dynomite Dash Half Marathon where she won her age group in 2:23:39.

“The weather was perfect,” she said.  “The first seven miles are uphill and the last six are downhill.  This is the second time I’ve run this race and will definitely be doing it again.”

There’s no truth to the rumor that JJ Walker was the race announcer.

But Jon Walk was with a number of others on Sunday evening, July 2 for the monthly The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K.

Jerritt Park, Todd Hunter and Faith Craig all finished for Volte while Volte friends Walk and Ken Johnson also made appearances.

Todd Hunter makes the Sunday Night 5K look easy.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Park burned a few extra calories for Baytown with a 21:47 finish.  Hunter and Craig followed in 22:48 and 26:20, respectively.

Walk, who had run the Run For Wellness – Heights 5K early that morning in 30:25, notched a near identical time of 30:24 while Johnson, who’s approaching 1,000 career races, came in at 38:27.

And then we finish with Gabby Brockett.

Gabby Brockett and Bill Dwyer at mile 1 of the Baytown Bud Heat Wave
(Photo courtesy of Gabby Brockett)
We saved the best for last, right?  Of course.

Or maybe that she needed her own paragraph.

Gabby took second in her age group on Wednesday, June 28 at the Sun & Ski Flash Mob Summer Series #4 3-Miler in Cypress in 29:41.

On Saturday, July 1, she finished the inaugural Independence Day 8K in Houston’s Meyerland area in 49:35.

And then, the next morning, she covered the same Run For Wellness race that Jon did in 38:57 with fellow Texas Beef Team member Loan O’Brien.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Show Up, Run And Win: Flores Leads Volte

It was the late Rodney Daingerfield who made popular the saying, "I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out."

Juan Flores was in the hometown of the late Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry - Mission, Texas.

And like many of us do when we're out and about, he found himself at a local park to get a run in.

Leave it to Juan, he shows up at the Mission Hike and Bike Trails on Saturday, July 8 where in an hour the first annual Soldiers Helping Soldiers 5K is to get underway.

Race day registration?  They had it.

Cash?  Yes, the man of many adventures had some with him.

And 19 minutes and eight seconds past eight a.m., Juan was the first of 131 official timed finishers, beating Edinburg's Joe Villegas, who was second, by a minute and 17 seconds.

Our main man, Juan Flores, capturing a first place finish after just looking for a place to run.
(Photo courtesy of Guillermo Luna)
"Pleased with my effort," he said.  "My altitude hiking in Utah paid off."

A first place finish in July - anywhere - is like Christmas.

Wait, that was a race.  In Houston.

The second annual Christmas in July 5K, which started and finished at the Salvation Army in downtown Houston, had representation by Gabby Brockett.

Running her fifth race in two weeks, giving folks like Jerritt Park, Ken Johnson and Jon Walk a run for their money, she finished in 38:10.

After her half marathon the Sunday before in Montana, Marta Mixa made her way west to Idaho.

She ran the Team Run Boise Half Marathon in 2:13:42 and couldn't get over the scenery.

"Beautiful world God created for our enjoyment," Marta said.  "(It was a) great morning to run a half marathon on a scenic route near Boise, Idaho."

Speaking of Montana, that's where Stephen Lopez and Volte friend Mary Kerschbaum were on Sunday, July 9.

They were running a favorite for runners chasing a marathon in all 50 states -- the Missoula Marathon.

And they both fit that bill.

Steven stopped the clock in 4:53:47 and Mary - and her brother, Robert Svehla, who finished Ironman Texas in April - did so in 5:51:15.  (Robert finished ahead of Mary in 5:26:03.)

"The course was excellent, but was too hot to race," said Stephen, as he completed his 19th marathon in his 14th state.  "So, this was another long run.  Excellent scenery and the people on the course were extremely friendly."

Steven will add Pennsylvania in October and Alabama in December.

Mary had similar remarks as Steven.

"Missoula did not disappoint with a beautiful course and lots of local participation - with sprinklers," she said.  "They cut the course time down to get runners out of the heat.

"I was well under the time cut off and so happy to complete my 20th marathon in my 16th state."

And closer to home, we had a trio in the Texas Star Triathlon in Montgomery on Sunday, July 9.

The 300-yard swim, 10-mile bike and 3-mile run is fast becoming a favorite of locals and doubled this year as the Texas State High School Triathlon Championship.

Todd Hunter, Volte alumn Justin Bui and Volte friend Liza Clark all participated.

Bui was first in his age group in 57 minutes and 59 seconds.

A day after an 18-miler and having signed up on a whim, Todd completed his first-ever triathlon in 1:09:41.

"Overall, I really enjoyed it," Todd said.  "I was disappointed with my swim struggle, but I definitely want to do another."

All smiles after her first triathlon, Liza Clark is already looking to train for the next one.
(Photo courtesy of Liza Clark)
Liza was happy it was over - claiming the 50-kilometer trail runs that she's done have been easier, but she added that she "needs to train for another (one)."

She finished in 2:03:40 and is a Galloway - The Woodlands member who works at Fleet Feet and runs with us on Saturday mornings.

And, of course, Volte friend Jon Walk finds a race, or two or maybe three.

On his way back to Houston Thursday evening, July 6 from his current work assignment northwest of Fort Worth, he ran his third Trinity 5000 Summer Series 5K on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth.

Running in temperatures in the mid-90's, Jon covered the out-and-back course in 32:34.

On a minor league baseball trip to Georgia and Tennessee last weekend, he ran The Sports Fanatic 5K in Kennesaw, Georgia on Saturday, July 8 in 31:34 followed by the Burn Your Half Off Half Marathon in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sunday, July 9 in 2:33:17.

Jon has now run races in 297 North American cities or towns.