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.

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