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.

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