Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Volte Cheer!

Vol-te, o-te, o-te, o-te.  Vol-te, Vol-te.
Vol-te, o-te, o-te, o-te.  Vol-te, Vol-te.

Go Volte!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Volte Endurance Training Results from September 15-16, 2018

Cristian Neumann - 4:18:28
Dirk Neumann - 4:18:28
Jen Smith - 4:38:59
Lauren Hoffart - 5:27:43

PACIFIC NORTHWEST HALF MARATHON, Coburg to Harrisburg, OR (9/15/18)
Juan Flores - 1:36:56

Gabby Brockett -- 2:32:35

TOUGHEST 10K KEMAH (9/16/18)
Jerritt Park - 48:56
Volte Friend
Sabina Lorca - 51:40

TUNNEL LIGHT MARATHON, Hyak to North Bend, WA (9/16/18)
Adelle Beaumont - 4:07:23* (27)
Andrew Smith - 3:47:43 (47) PR by 42 minutes, per coach
Breezy Beaumont - 3:19:32* (24) BQ
Carrie Hyde - 3:53:17 (48) BQ Best time in five years
Drew George - 3:08:17 (53) BQ 5th best time of 38 finishes
Gabby Westbrook - 3:58:22 (34) PR first sub 4
Greg Nettleton - 4:10:58 (51)
Keri Amador - 3:30:57 (35) BQ/PR
Jill Tresaugue - 4:11:05 (43)
Judith Albarran - 3:59:04 (38) PR first sub 4 and 20-min PR
Laura Godfrey - 3:44:54 (43) BQ 3rd best time of 15 finishes
Laura Hanyzewski - 4:17:03 (40) 2nd best time of five
Layton Gill - 3:59:14 (38) PR first sub 4 and 30-min PR
Leanne Rosser - 3:56:10 (49) BQ 2nd sub 4-hour of 17 finishes
Letty Gonzalez - 7:17:07 (53)
Marta Mixa - 4:26:03 (61) PR by 7 mins
Mayra Caamano - 3:43:44 (40) BQ 2nd best time of 9 finishes (10, but TW short)
Meredith Moss - 3:18:56 (36) BQ/PR of 21 minutes
Michelle McGill - 3:51:37 (51) BQ 21st sub 4 of 34 finishes
Mimi Torrez - 3:50:26* (47) BQ
Rob Myers - 4:08:25 (53) PR of 33 minutes
Sandra Tezino - 3:38:23 (50; BQ/PR pacer Scott Sebelsky in front)
Tammy Grado - 3:56:47 (50) BQ 2nd sub 4-hour of 20 finishes
Tim Russell - 4:11:17 (48)
Todd Hunter - 3:30:06 (50) 2nd best time of 29 finishes
Yaya Herrera - 3:36:14 (43) BQ 2nd best time of 6 finishes
Volte Friends
Andy Brock - 4:20:47
John Trocko - 4:55:56
Kim Hamilton - 4:17:28
Rebecca (Holt) Trocko - 4:55:56
Sonia Jackson - 3:27:18

* Not certain as of 9/16/18 if today's time is a PR or not for Volte athletes

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dwyer Says Volte's Ready For Sunday's Tunnel Light Marathon

Volte Endurance Training founder and head coach Bill Dwyer is a pretty happy, go lucky type of guy.

So for him to admit that he’s just a little bit superstitious might come as a shock to some as he gets ready to head to North Bend, Washington as 28 of his group’s runners will run Sunday’s Tunnel Light Marathon.

“We also have seven very good friends of our group running with us,” he said.

Just don’t ask him for a forecast of what he thinks his group is capable of on Sunday.

Yes, he’s plugged all of his athletes’ numbers in the various marathon race time predictors, but his counter to the numbers is the impressive work they’ve put in the last five to six months.

Including some who have never before committed to training through the summer for an early fall marathon.

“Our group is in great shape and I’m very blessed to have such a great group to travel with,” Dwyer said excitedly.  “The weather will be good.  There has been light rain this week so the course will be a little extra fast.”

And the 42 degrees weather – even with showers in the current forecast - at the start of Sunday’s race in Hyak located on Snoqualmie Pass will be a welcome respite from the many miles trained by Volte athletes in shoes filled with humidity-induced perspiration.

“The historically good temperatures, great organizers and volunteers set up athletes for a good day,” he said.

This will be Dwyer’s second group to take to Washington state.

A majority of Volte's team that traveled to Tunnel Light Marathon a year ago.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Volte’s engagement with Tunnel Light began two years ago after Jen Smith – who will be running the Berlin Marathon on Sunday - moved from Katy to The Woodlands and shared with the group that a friend of hers had run the race in 2015 and posted a 14-minute personal best.

“It was immediately on our runners’ radar,” he said.

Laura Godfrey and Sandra Tezino both ran the race in 2016, each posting times of 3:39, qualifying for the Boston Marathon and recording a personal best.  (It was Tezino’s debut marathon.)

“With their success and trying to qualify some of our runners who had run The Woodlands short course, we had 20 make the trip last year,” he added.

Even though the course drops more than 2,000 feet over its length, Dwyer is loathe to call it a “downhill course.”

“Tunnel Light isn’t the same type of course (as the Revel races),” he said.  “(The drop) makes it a very gentle 1.5% downhill grade on a re-purposed railroad track.”

“It is more like a trail run, but a smooth and fast trail.”

He stated that – on average – Tunnel Light was four minutes faster than a flatter course like Houston, but data from MarathonGuide.com confirms that it is actually 20 minutes faster.

2012 – 4:16:33 (81 finishers) – Houston 4:24:52
2013 – 4:08:59 (195 finishers) – Houston 4:30:14
2014 – 4:07:48 (143 finishers) – Houston 4:28:50
2015 – 4:08:06 (438 finishers) – Houston 4:30:29
2016 – 4:08:12 (505 finishers) – Houston 4:25:45
2017 – 4:07:56 (427 finishers) – Houston 4:37:03
2018 – Houston 4:27:26

This year’s “Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon” race, held on the same course, but in early June, drove the average finishing time down – for that race – to 4:00:41 (with 504 finishers).

And it isn’t just the fastest of the fast that benefit, he said, but one thing’s important as with any marathon.

“Training is the key.  Everybody can benefit,” Dwyer noted.

Dwyer’s runners, who have prepared for Tunnel Light under three different Volte coaches including a few self-coached runners that joined in on group runs and workouts, really didn’t change its traditional marathon training approach.

“For the steeper Revel races, we’ll run League Line or Flintridge, use the downhill setting on a treadmill with additional core work,” he said.  “It is very hard in our area to train for an event that starts at 7,600 feet and ends at 2,500 feet (as with Revel Mt. Charleston).”

For those who have previously qualified for or are on the cusp of qualifying for the Boston Marathon for the first time, the race is held literally between the two weeks of registration for the 2019 race in Beantown.

“Those who qualify on Sunday will have three days to enter for 2019,” Dwyer noted.  “And historically it's the first weekend for qualifying for the next Boston (2020).

“We won't know that for sure until Boston announces that after the 2019 registration is completed.”

Volte’s roster (with their coaches) for Sunday looks like this:

Self Coached (Drew George, Sandra Tezino, Layton Gill, Leanne Rosser and Mike Coleman)

Coached by Bill Dwyer (Todd Hunter, Keri Amador, Laura Godfrey, Yaya Herrera,  Mayra Caamano, Mimi Torrez, Gabby Westbrook, Michelle McGill, Jill Tresaugue, Tammy Grado, Carrie Hyde, Laura Hanyzewski, Judith Albarran, Tim Russell, Erica Coleman, Rob Myers and Letty Gonzalez)

Coached by Leanne Rosser (Meredith Moss, Andrew Smith and Marta Mixa)

Coached by Mary Carter (Breezy Beaumont, Adelle Beaumont and Greg Nettleton)

Friends of Volte will include Andy Brock, John and Rebecca Trocko, Sonia Dhodapkar, Kim Hamilton, Katherine Kusik and Claire Smith.

Nine of this year’s group of 28 ran Tunnel Light a year ago – and five of those qualified for Boston.

And for some of the 19 that are new to Sunday’s race, their reasons are as varied as Texas weather.

Volte’s marathon leader with 37, Drew George, his were two-fold:  “to participate as a member of the Volte team and as a training run in prep for my Grand Canyon rim-to-rim crossing in two weeks.”

Mayra Caamano seeks to run a marathon in all 50 states.  Sunday’s race will be her fifth, with her Marine Corps Marathon counting as Virginia.

And for Letty Gonzalez, it’s a bit more than the run itself.

“I chose Tunnel Light this year as a challenge to myself.  The past year was a tough one on me as my Dad lost his battle with cancer in late January,” she said.  “Being part of a team, Volte, has helped me cope with my loss. 

“Everyone is supportive.  The pain of my loss does not go away but knowing that I have friends that care about me and what I’m doing makes each day a little brighter, and it also helps to have a coach that believes in me.”

In addition to coach Mary Carter, Dwyer said Volte’s team on Sunday will be benefit from a six-person support crew, which will include Alfredo Gonzalez, Juan Flores (who qualified for Boston at Tunnel Light last year), Jimmy Baker, Debra Myers, Llana Bingham and Jim Rosser.

“Most of our support won't be on the course as it's pretty tough to get around and you run the risk of missing people,” he said.  “We'll have support at the start, and at the finish and one person on the course.

“Support is mostly helping with the team dinner Saturday, keeping everyone calm, and getting to the shuttles on time Sunday morning.”

In addition to keeping mostly everyone calm, one of Dwyer’s masterful skills, though, is tapping well into the psyche and confidence of each of his group’s runners, making even the most recreational runner feel like an elite.

His basic advice for those 19 who haven’t run it before is course awareness.

“The Tunnel Light course has limited access so other than the aid station volunteers and a few adventurous friends and family there are not many spectators,” he said.  “It is also a hike and bike trail and is not closed off to the public so know that going in, stay on pace, and enjoy the scenery.”

And don’t stop – even though they might be tempted to do so before -- to give their coach a hug until after they finish – and have collected their medal.

Tammy Grado thought about it a year ago.

After driving her 4:24:09 in Chicago five years ago down to 4:04:41 two years later at Houston, she had overcome an injury or two and a disappointing (to her) 4:12:13 result in the fall of 2016 at Wineglass to smash through with a 3:51:37 at Tunnel Light last year.

However, the difference between her time underneath her age group’s qualifying standard and the registration cutoff for Boston was – one second.

Don’t stop, keep moving.

One second is something Meredith Moss knows a little bit about -- and has been thinking about for six months.

Sunday’s marathon will be her second.

Her first?

The Woodlands Marathon earlier this March where she finished in 3:40:01 – one second over her age group’s qualifying standard.

BQ, PR or a great race with even better friends, Volte’s primed well for its biggest out-of-town race experience in the group’s seven-year history.

Also on Sunday, three Voltes will be running the Berlin Marathon.

Joining Jen Smith, who is currently living in England with her husband and three kids, will be joined by statesider Lauren Hoffart and Criss Neumann, who lives in Germany with her husband.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Two Marathons, Two 5K's and a Multisport Event for Volte in Early September

Labor Day weekend is not the biggest to race on of the annual U.S. holidays; however, Voltes and friends found something to kick the tires on their training.

The first two weekends of September show two marathons, a triathlon and a pair of 5Ks.

Where there’s a 5K, there’s Jerritt Park.  (Well, and Texas 10 Milers too.)

At The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K on Sunday, September 2 at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands, Jerritt led all Voltes with a 21:34 effort while Faith Craig posted a time of 29:34.

Faith Craig running strong at The Woodlands Running Club 5K
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Volte friends finishing included Edson Jones (23:51), Mike Kelly (28:41) and a pair of “streakers” – that is, runners who run at least a mile every day, Vincent Attanucci (32:45) and Ken Johnson (40:16).

The following morning, Monday, September 3, at the Back to School 5K in Katy, Jerritt and his son, Brayden, ran the race in 20:50 and 23:35, respectively.

In Cypress, three of our Voltes, a pair of alumni and a trio of friends competed in a race at the Towne Lake Triathlon on Labor Day morning.

Mike Kuykendall and Hector Lopez completed the Sprint Triathlon – 450-meter swim, 12-mile bike and 5-kilometer run – in 1:30:00 and 1:40:41, respectively.

Hector Lopez looks like he brought Towne Lake to the run portion of the Sprint Triathlon.
(Photo courtesy of Towne Lake Triathlon)
It was Kuykendall’s sixth triathlon of the year, and the weather was in his favor.

“So grateful for cool race day temps after so many scorchers this summer,” Mike said.  “It began raining sideways transitioning from swim to bike and never let up.”

He was pleased noting a “good overall time considering the weather and shoes full of water.”

It almost looks like Mike Kuykendall is running on water.
(Photo courtesy of Towne Lake Triathlon)
In his great ability to laugh at himself, he noted that he added 100 yards to his swim because he thought he was swimming to the next orange buoy before realizing that it was a volunteer in an orange shirt in an orange kayak who filled their ride well.

Volte alumni Justin Bui was second in his age group in the Sprint Triathlon in 1:08:24.

Paolo Biagi competed in the Sprint Duathlon, which replaced the 450-meter swim with another five-kilometer run, and finished in 1:42:35.

Even though he competed in the Sprint Duathlon, Paolo Biagi couldn't dodge the rain.
(Photo courtesy of Towne Lake Triathlon)
Alumni and friends competed in Olympic Triathlon, which covered 1,500 meters on the swim, 24 miles on the bike and a 10K to boot at the end.

Alumni Kate Looney was first in her age group in 2:11:35.

Mandi Fowlkes led all of our Volte friends in 2:39:50 followed by Scott Farrand and Sabina Lorca in 2:49:25 and 2:58:15, respectively.

Back on the shuttle to Colorado was Drew George, who competed in the American Discovery Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs on Labor Day.

Half of bib #74 is 37 career marathon finishes for Drew George as he completed his third race in Colorado in less than a month.
(Photo courtesy of Drew George)
Stating that he’s been “forever humbled by the mountains,” Drew covered the distance in 3:50:22.

It was his 37th career marathon finish, which leads Volte. 

Derek Bailey and Michelle McGill are tied for second with 33.

And at the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon in Geneva, Illinois on Saturday, September 8, where he qualified last September for this year’s Boston Marathon, Brian Schultz finished what we believe to be his 25th career marathon in 3:50:11.

Volte Ran Long, in Far Away Places and Steep Distances in August

You can almost hear John Denver singing “Rocky Mountain High … Colorado” in this month’s Volte Endurance Training racing report.

If not for you, at least it’s certainly ringing in the ears of Dave Campbell and Drew George as the duo “raced across the skies” in Manitou Springs, Durango and Leadville.

Saturday, August 18 put the duo about 150 miles apart from one another as they participated in two of the sport’s classics – the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Leadville Trail 100.

Here are the basic Wikipedia descriptions:

The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon is a racing event that begins at the base of Pikes Peak, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and climbs over 7,815 feet to the top of the 14,115-foot peak.

The Leadville Trail 100 Run is an ultramarathon held annually on trails and dirt roads near Leadville, Colorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. First run in 1983, runners in the race climb and descend 15,600 feet, with elevations ranging between 9,200–12,620 feet.

Drew finished Pikes Peak in 8:07:21, one of 40 finishers from Texas where the average finishing time from the Lone Star competitors was 8:02:54.

Wouldn't you be smiling - like Drew George here -after being able to run up and down Pikes Peak?
(Photo courtesy of Drew George)
“It was incredible and the weather was perfect:  58 degrees at the start, 36 degrees at the summit and 71 degrees at the finish,” he said.

There was not a single bit of disappointment in his voice, despite having his right calf lock up at mile 18 and missing his footing later causing a crash out.

He reported that the last mile to the Summit took 40 minutes, 16 seconds – and running Flintridge all day, every day has nothing to do with altitude – while mile 25 was 8:53.

Dave, meanwhile in Leadville, got to run on Saturday and Sunday.  (Only 11 made it in under 20 hours as Leadville starts at 4 a.m.)

You'd flex your muscles like Dave did here at the Leadville Trail 100 last month.
(Photo courtesy of Athlinks)
He completed the arduous course in 28 hours, 32 minutes and 29 seconds.

He was 191st out of 376 finishers.  And with 712 starters, 47 percent of the race’s competitors did not finish.

Dave, though, was most greatful for his race support.

Dave is all smiles after finishing the Leadville Trail 100.
(Photo courtesy of Athlinks)
“The one thing that I take away is that it is not an individual accomplishment,” he said.  “I could not have done it without my wife staying up the whole race crewing for me.

“Taking care of anything I needed at the aid stations and the support along the way made it possible.”

And just when Drew couldn’t get enough of The Centennial State, a week later, he was in the field of the Thirsty 13 Half Marathon in Durango on Saturday, August 25.

Why the Thirsty 13?  Race materials say that there are 50 breweries in Durango.  Wow, even from this teetotaler!

Who needs a stinkin' medal?  A beer glass will do just fine for a second place AG finish for Drew.
(Photo courtesy of Drew George)
“This was a spur of the moment trip.  I was back three days after the Pikes Peak Marathon and the mountains were calling,” he said.  “The Thirsty 13 was sold out but the Race Director was cool and let me in.”

In thanks, he ran well, putting down a 1:40:06, good for second in his 50-54 age group and 45th overall.

“I hammered the downhills and walked all but one of the uphills,” he said.  “My legs felt good considering six-days post Pikes Peak.”

The race started at 8,000 feet and finished near 6,500 feet and he said that he got a “nice beer glass for the post-race brewfest in lieu of medal."

Paolo Biagi and Alfredo Gonzalez got the rest of August started for Volte at the Southern Star Brewing Company 5K in Conroe on Saturday, August 4.

Paolo logged a time of 25:48 while Alfredo stopped the clock in 41:49.

Second place age-group finishes went to our friends Mary-Ellen Wilderman-Hay and Ken Johnson in 24:23 and 43:12, respectively.

Sean Kusick led the remaining Volte friends in 20:07, while Cristina Gray and Brad Hay finished five seconds apart from the other with Cristina leading in 29:54.

The following morning – a 10-hour flight from Houston, Monica Morino ran the NB15K Buenos Aries in Argentina where she now calls home.

“I ran a PR (of 1:36:27) yesterday,” she said.  “The weather was beautiful, shiny and very cold.”

Her coach, Rich Cooper, made note of Monica’s development.

“Her story is amazing,” Rich exclaimed.  “Just over a year ago, she has improved from a 14-minute per mile runner to a 10:30 runner.”

From Buenos Aires to the Bubble, a host of Volte runners and friends ran – later that day and in much warmer climes – The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K.

Our Jerritt Park led the way with a time of 22:25. 

Volte friend Curtis Barton and Volte’s Faith Craig scored under 30 minutes in 28:59 and 29:48, respectively.

Getting ready for the Berlin Marathon, Lauren Hoffart ran a steady 30:40 while Marta Mixa followed in 31:21.

Lauren Hoffart and Marta Mixa make it look easy at the TWRC Sunday Night 5K.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Mayra Caamano and her daughter, Chloe Kramer, passed Volte friend Jon Walk just beyond Alden Bridge Park and outlegged him to the finish line by a second in 31:36.

Katie Gill and Jimmy Baker ran together for a time of 37:34, while Volte friend Ken Johnson finished his second 5K in as many days in 41:57.

Three weeks later at the Friday Night Lights community two-mile race at Bear Branch Sports Park in The Woodlands, Volte friend Adrienne Langelier celebrated her inclusion in Kara Goucher’s new book, “Strong: A Runner's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You”, with being the first female finisher in 13:08.

Jerritt Park ran the first of his two races in less than 24 hours with a 13:45 finish while his son, Brayden, wasn’t far behind in 15:11.

The next morning, Saturday, August 25, at Conroe’s Carl Barton, Jr. Park, father and son went 1-2 in the Running 4SFC 5K.

Jerritt led Brayden by two minutes as Dad was first in 20:50.

And in North Carolina, where she and her husband have moved for work, Dana Formon took second in her age group at the Small Hands Big Hearts Java Jive Jog 10K with a 1:00:23 finish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Volte's George Rux's Leadville Heavy Half Marathon Race Report

Registering for the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon was not under consideration until I responded to a dare from one of my good friends at Conroe Triathletes.

He is in his late 30s and still has the exuberance of youth.

He signed up for the full marathon. 

I was prudent enough to only sign up for the 15 mile “Heavy Half. “

Mountain trail races are quite different than normal road races.

I recommend all competitive runners try a mountain trail race at least once. 

The three major factors are 1) reduced oxygen concentration at altitude, 2) the slope increase/decrease and, very importantly, 3) the condition of the trail for traction and avoiding falls.

In retrospect, I did well dealing with the high altitude and the steep slopes; but, I was not competent dealing with poor footing on the trails and the steep declines. 

I was wearing bike gloves so I didn’t tear up my palms when I fell. But, I suffered contusion on my right leg and knee. It took many weeks to recover. 

It is unlikely I will ever take the risk of competing in a downhill mountain trail race again.

Since I was 9 ½ years into a 10-year age group, I knew a podium finish was out of the question.  However, I thought I could still finish in the top 25% and I based my race plan accordingly. 

My goal was to finish in 3:52 which was a pace of 14:30/mile excluding rest stops. 

Examining past results, I knew the crucial part of the 15-mile race was the three-mile final climb to the summit of Mosquito Pass. The organizers helpfully provided past race results by segment. 

Accordingly, I knew a 22 min/mile pace for the 3-mile climb has historically been competitive within the top 25% of my age group.

My check points were 14.2 min/mile up to the first rest stop, 12.7 min/mile from the 1st rest stop to the second rest stop and 22 min/mile from the second rest stop up to the summit of Mosquito Pass.

My goals changed just prior to the start. 
For old age groupers, friendship is more important than personal race results.

I saw my friend and we talked about his race strategy. 

He is a big guy having played football for Ole Miss and he was worried about finishing.  Amusingly, he had purchased a bottle of oxygen to carry with him on the run. 

I encouraged him to start very slowly to be prepared for a six-hour effort. 

The Marathon course and the Heavy Half course run together the first 1.3 miles.  I said I would run with him until the courses diverged.

As you may know, I keep good data using my Garmin.

For this race, the number of feet rise per 250 meters was especially of interest as I could compute the slope.  I did not obtain good data during the rest stops. I didn’t see any timing mats. 

The time at rest stops was much longer than expected as there were relatively few tables set up for water and food. It was generally necessary to wait in line.

At the opening gun, the two of us intentionally waited until we were last crossing the start line. We proceeded slowly with either a speed walk or slow jog. We averaged 16:35 per mile up an average slope of 4.4 percent. My pulse reflected the low effort at an average of only 104 bpm.

After the course separated, I started my hard effort.  My goal was to maintain a pulse of 130-135.  I averaged 131 bpm with a pace of 15:35 per mile up an average slope of 6.8%.

The first rest stop was at three miles.

Between this rest stop and the rest stop at mile 4.5, the course on this segment is rolling with 102 feet of gain and 160 feet of loss.  My pace was 11:43 per mile with an average of 130 bpm.

George on the switchbacks that led up to and down from Mosquito Pass
(Photo courtesy of Athlinks.com)
The final uphill segment was from mile 4.5 to the summit of Mosquito Pass at mile 7.9 was very steep averaging 9.4 percent.  I worked hard with an average pulse of 137 bpm and a pace of 21:05 per mile.

Traction on this segment was difficult. There were some segments where the single track trail had no dirt and it was necessary to run on loose rock.  (I’ve attached a photo from the organizers web site that shows how rocks often covered the trail.)

Rock cover was especially a problem near the summit as the race leaders were descending rapidly and those of us still ascending would step to the side off the trail to let the race leaders pass.
I maintained an average pace of 21:05 minutes/mile for the three-mile climb which was slightly better than my goal of 22 min/mile.  I was working hard and my pulse average was 138.

In all, I felt strong and was pleased with my effort and performance the first half of the race.  My goal was to finish the first half in 2:15 and I was slightly behind my goal completing in 2:28.

Given my intentionally very slow start, my excessive time at rest stops, and the poor footing, this was in line with my expectations.

My problems started with the descent. 

Foot placement on the narrow trail was a major problem.  Many individuals were still ascending and had to be avoided.  I rolled my left ankle twice due to the poor footing.

Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself.

My pace was slower than many of those behind me. Some individuals were running with walking sticks and I watched them pass me easily while they planted the sticks to provide extra balance.

My pulse was low as I was constrained by footing. When the course started to flatten out I increased my pace to try to catch up.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see whatever I tripped on and I fell hard.

Many athletes stopped to help me. One stayed with me until the next rest stop in about a mile.  I received medical care and, after a long wait under medical supervision, I prepared to resume the race. I knew my pace for time was over after the fall; but, I was still hoping I could finish fast on the long downhill from mile 11 to 15. 

Luckily, I saw my friend at the same rest stop. 

The Marathon and Heavy Half courses came together for the ascent up Mosquito Pass. 

Unfortunately, my friend had just missed the time cutoff for the ascent and the organizers did not want him to ascend the pass.

I said it was actually good news (at least for me) as we could finish the race together. We slowly jogged and walked the final 5 miles.

George returns to the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon start/finish line.
(Photo courtesy of Athlinks.com)
Linda was not especially impressed as I had texted her a picture after my fall. I promised to visit the medical clinic in Breckenridge after returning home – which I did.

I thought I was well prepared.  While I never plan to race a mountain descent in the future, there is a mountain race I have my sights on for 2019. 

It is the Pikes Peak Marathon and Half Marathon.

I did this race over 50 years ago and finished second in the 18 and under age group. I would only be signing up for the 13.1-mile race which would only be the ascent to the summit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

July Was Hot, But Volte Was Cool ... Running, That Is!

July was hot.

Actually, stinking hot.

Yet a few of us had the chance to roam and run in cooler climes, such as Madison, Montana, Chicago, Whistler, British Columbia and San Francisco.

Meanwhile, we still gathered for some warm-weather racing at home.

Many of our regular crew was out at the monthly The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K on Sunday, July 1 including a few folks who haven’t been out in awhile.

Volte’s overall and female leaders were the same – Jerritt Park and Mayra Caamano – in 24:01 and 27:41, respectively.

A pair of Volte friends – Curtis Barton and Vincent Attanucci – followed in 28:26 and 30:35.

Brooke Kramer rode alongside her older sister, Chloe, as she ran in with a time of 31:25.

If Noah had had an ark just for runners, the next six finishers would have finished right up the ramp - together.

Layton Gill and Tim Russell solved the world’s problems together in 31:42.

Juliee Sparks ran with her daughter, Audrey, in 37:59 and Jimmy Baker and Katie Gill watched out for traffic on the trails together in 39:08.

Jimmy Baker and Katie Gill getting ready to leave the Barbara Bush parking lot in the TWRC Sunday Night 5K.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Volte friend Ken Johnson closed it all off with a 41:59 finish.

Three days later on the Fourth of July, we had runners at both the Texas Bud Heatwave 5-Miler – and their new Michelob Ultra 5K – and the Run Wild 5K.

Laura Godfrey and Sandra Tezino were back collecting hardware at the Run Wild 5K as Laura grabbed third place in her division in 22:36 while Sandra won the gold in hers in 23:11.

Nick Brockett - for the second race in a row - got to the finish line before his Mom, Gabby, in 28:50, but she was more dialed in to running with Tammy Ninke as they both finished in 33:33.

Volte friends Mike Menster and Chris Weir ran near the front in 17:52 and 18:47, respectively.

The former time netted Menster first place in his age group.

Changes were in store this year for the Bud Heat Wave, a classic race that was restarted in 2011 by Running Alliance Sport after a 12-year absence.

Our founder Bill Dwyer closed the five-mile course down last year in Baytown before Wismer Distributing moved to Mont Belvieu along Interstate 10.

The move and the threat of rain – which became realized right at the end of the races – kept the race’s overall finisher numbers down, but the spirit of Volte runners were high in both the rebranded Texas Bud Heat Wave five-miler and the brand-new Michelob Ultra 5K.

Between both races, Volte saw seven runners take home hardware.

Tammy Grado led the way in the Michelob Ultra 5K in a time of 23:41 that earned her the title of first master.  Andrew Smith and Brayden Park were next across the line with finishes of 24:03 and 24:28, respectively, and it got them both a second-place age group award.

Our crazy bunch at the Texas Bud Heat Wave:  Llana Bingham, Andrew Smith, Leanne Rosser, Marta Mixa and Tammy Grado.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Chevron Houston Marathon ambassador Leanne Rosser posted a first-place age group winning time of 25:09 while Marta Mixa followed in 28:30 that made her the first grandmasters female.

Llana Bingham kept it right under 10 minutes a mile with a showing of 30:50.

Jerritt Park paced the pack in the five-miler with a time of 36:56.

Mimi Torrez and Yaya Herrera pushed each other as they both earned age group awards – Mimi second and Yaya third – with times of 40:11 and 40:26, respectively.

Tim Russell and Rob Myers finished in 43:56 and 45:52, respectively, while Hector Lopez and Monica Moreno rounded out our team in 48:39 and 50:06.

Sean Kusick led all of Volte’s friends in 34:27.  Sabina Lorca finished third in her age group in 40:46 while Tough Runners Club’s Alvaro Trejo stopped the clock in 44:29 while his wife Lusi posted a time of 48:45.

The following weekend, Lynn Smith traveled to Dallas on Saturday, July 14 to take on the Too Hot To Handle 10K course.

She finished in 1:41:34.

Last month, George Rux competed in Leadville, Colorado, whose marathon is in the highest incorporated city in America.

For our next act, Drew George put his feet down on the world’s highest elevation road marathon course in Madison, Montana’s Madison Marathon.

Drew George happy with his finish at the Madison Marathon in Montana.
(Photo courtesy of Drew George)
The start line sits at 9,250 feet above sea level, of which the highest peaks in 37 states are not as high as Madison is.

The race’s marketing material states, “…. you are almost guaranteed to get a PW (personal worst) because of the high elevation and the four to five-mile uphills and downhills that never dip below 8,500 feet.”

Drew, a multiple-time Boston Qualifier, didn’t call his 4:58:46 time a PW, but he didn’t seem to care.

“Beautiful course touching the sky,” he said.  “Serious up and downs!  No bears, snakes or dogs but tons of horseflies!”

So if you hear Drew humming the children’s favorite, “Shoo, Fly, Don’t Bother Me!”, you’ll know why.

The next day, Sunday, July 22, in Chicago, Illinois, Brian Schultz made his way to Chicago for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon where he ran a time of 1:52:55.

The scenery isn’t just good in Montana, but also in British Columbia.

Volte friend Jon Walk, who worked in Vancouver for a year and a half and ran races all over the province in 2006 and 2007, still says “B.C.” really also means “Beautiful Country.”

Fellow Volte friend John Trocko wasn’t just in Whistler, British Columbia to sightsee though.

He was there to compete in Ironman Whistler.

John finished in 14 hours, 51 minutes and 24 seconds.  He covered the swim in 1:13:30 (2.4 miles), the bike in 7:18:03 (112 miles) and the marathon in 6:07:32.

Maybe he can now go back in the winter for some of the best skiing in north America.

And we closed out July on Sunday, July 29 between Cypress and San Francisco, California.

Drawing the short end of the scenery stick was Mike Kuykendall, but that didn’t dampen his spirits or performance at the Cypress Sprint Triathlon.

Living the dream ... Mike Kuykendall.  Loving the competition brought through triathlon.
(Photo courtesy of Mike Kuykendall)
He knocked out the 550-meter swim, 13-mile bike and 5K run in 1:31:10.

“After three weeks of not working out, I did surprisingly okay and finished mid-pack, and had a fun time,” he said.  “The bike leg was my fastest average time ever in a race. Go figure.

“I was so anxious I forgot to start my watch and botched the transitions. (All) motivation to get back into my training regime.”

And new to our group recently is former Aldine Eisenhower and University of Houston runner Erika Sampson.

She ran the San Francisco Half Marathon in 2:21:52.

Welcome to Volte, Erika!

Monday, August 13, 2018

12 Races, 6 States and Germany in Volte’s June World

Volte’s an adventuresome bunch or far flung, or both.

We kicked off June with one of Houston’s classic – and fastest – 5K races – the Houston Heights Fun Run 5K.

It’s simple:  straight down Heights Boulevard, turn around and run back.

Make it to I-10 and you went too far.

Four of our athletes – and one of our Volte friends – placed in their age group.

Ken Rieger led with us with a time of 20:52, good for second place in his division.

One of our dynamic duos – Laura Godfrey and Sandra Tezino – finished within 13 seconds of each other and both also came home with second-place age group finishes.

Laura Godfrey and Sandra Tezino are all smiles after mixing it up at one of Houston's top 5Ks in the Heights.
(Photo courtesy of Laura Godfrey)

Laura crossed the line first in 22:42, while Sandra broke her age group tape with a new personal 5K best of 22:55.

Her previous best nearly four years ago when she ran 23:24 in the Running of the Bulls 5K on September 14, 2014 at NRG Stadium.

Ruth Perez came across next in 28:44.  Geri Henry won her age group in 34:18 while Penny Garza finished in 54:22.

Two of our Volte friends ran well in the 5K:  Michael Menster took first in his division in 17:40 while Chris Weir followed in 18:05.

Volte friend Jon Walk ran the 10K in 1:06:32.

The next evening at the The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K in The Woodlands, a large contingent of Voltes and friends ran the race at Barbara Bush Elementary.

Juan Flores led all Voltes in 21:53, taking the mantle for a month from Jerritt Park, who finished in 23:23.

Mayra Caamano and her daughter, Chloe Kramer, were the first Volte females to finish in 27:45.

Yaya Herrera ran with Mimi Torres and they both posted a time of 28:01.

Mimi Torres, Faith Craig and Yaya Herrera are angling to the corner before making the turn out of the Barbara Bush Elementary School parking lot.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Faith Craig kept it under ten minutes a mile in 30:20 as Hector Lopez and Monica Moreno followed in 31:01 and 34:10, respectively.

Waverly Walk ran with her father and Volte friend Jon in 35:24 and Katie Gill and Amanda Becker worked the course together in 37:50.

Curtis Barton led our Volte friend contingent in 28:50 and “Run Every Day” streakers Vincent Attanucci and Ken Johnson came in with times of 29:36 and 41:49, respectively.

Continuing his Rock ‘N’ Roll TourPass is Brian Schultz as he finished the Synchrony Rock ‘N Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday, June 3 in 1:47:09.

She didn’t find Johnny Horton there, but Leanne Rosser did find a road race on her vacation to Alaska.

Saturday, June 9 saw Leanne finishing the Alaska Run For Woman 5-Mile in Anchorage in 41:06.

The following day, back here in the greater Houston area, Mike Kuykendall and Volte friends Sabina Lorca, Julie Spain and Nilay Dinc all competed in the Sylvan Beach Triathlon.

Well, make it a duathlon.

A fish kill situation and a high-bacteria test result in Trinity Bay influenced race officials to cancel the swim portion and make it a two-mile run, 15-mile bike and three-mile run for all.

Mike grabbed third in his age group in 1:41:08, going 17:33 on the first run, 51:25 on the bike and 28:42 during the second run.

Sabina Lorca led our friends in 1:40:26 while Julie Spain and Nilay Dinc had comparable times in 1:56:34 and 2:00:22, respectively.

Houston has two major 5Ks on Father’s Day weekend and Volte had runners at both.

The No Label Brewing Company 5K out in Katy over the last couple of years has surpassed the Dad’s Day 5K, which has been a standard in Houston for the past decade.

Both this year were contested on Saturday, June 16.

Laura Godfrey was our only racer at Dad’s Day and she put down a 22:12 time for first place in her age group.

In Katy, it was another Volte family affair as the Brocketts – mother and son – competed.

Nick made it to the finish line before his Mom, Gabby, by recording a time of 30:35 while Gabby was 30 seconds behind in 31:05.

Where No Label was flat, the Leadville Heavy Half Trail Marathon was anything but for George Rux.

Leadville, Colorado is the highest incorporated city and the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States at 10,152 feet.

The halfway point?

Mosquito Pass.  13,185 feet.

George, like Volte friends Jim Braden (3:15:55 at age 71) and Jon Walk (5:40:40) did in 2007, made it to the top and back down into town.

Technically, the Heavy Half is a bit more -- 15.46 miles -- and George completed the course in 5:07:11.

Alright, now, Volte’s been to California, Alaska and Colorado.

Staying close to the West Coast was Marta Mixa on Thursday, June 21 as she raced the Goin’ for Owen 5K in Boise, Idaho.

Marta finished the race – a fundraiser for children with Dravet Syndrome – in 29:19.

And then we jet to the East Coast where Waverly Walk and her father Jon competed in races in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24.

Waverly ran the Westfield 10K in an even one hour and three minutes, while Dad finished the Westfield Half Marathon in 2:18:17.

It was a half marathon finish for Jon in his 46th different state, leaving just New Jersey, Rhode Island, California and Hawaii.

The next day, the two ran together in the Rumford Lions Scott Gorham 5K in East Providence, Rhode Island.

It was the last of the 50 states and D.C. that both of them had visited – Dad at 51 and Waverly at 23.

Waverly Walk might be a little excited about making it to her 50th and final state, Rhode Island.
(Photo courtesy of Jon Walk)
By crossing the finish line, it would mark the 50th state that Jon had run a race in.

They finished the race together in 32:08.

Waverly has now finished races in 15 different states plus the District of Columbia.

And we wrap up June in Germany!

Definitiv ein Grund zum Feiern

Check with the Neumanns Dirk and Criss – for the translation!

Dirk and Criss at the Stuttgart-Lauf Half Marathon in Germany.
(Photo courtesy of Criss Neumann)
They ran the Stuttgart-Lauf Half Marathon together in Stuttgart, Germany, about 80 kilometers from where they now live in Karlsruhe, in 2:05:12.

May Brings Beer, Brawts and Box of Rox to Volte and Friends

Beer, brawts and a box of rox.

That is what May handed to our Volte athletes and friends.

David Campbell signed up for … the box of rox, specifically Pandora’s Box of Rox held at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet.

Reveille Park Ranch is a bit of paradox:  beautiful, but body-bruising rocks.

Sure, there are trails and the race is put on by Tejas Trails, but interspersed among all trails are rocks that you don’t just run over.

They sort of run over you.

It is no place for screws to be loose as David took on the 50-mile race and finished in 10 hours, 38 minutes and 26 seconds, good for second in his age group on Saturday, May 5.

The Vita boys – Paul and his brother Mike – didn’t need any vitameatavegamin for their annual battle with the hills of the Steel City in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon the same day.

Mike led the way in 2:09:34 while Paul pushed through for a 2:29:31 finish. 

Below are their year-by-year results in Pittsburgh:

2018 – Mike 2:09:34, Paul 2:29:31.
2017 – Mike 2:02:49, Paul 2:24:49.
2016 – Paul 2:36:43.
2015 – Paul 2:07:06.
2014 – Paul 4:26:52 (marathon).
2013 – Mike 1:49:10, Paul 4:43:23 (marathon).

While Mike and Paul were surrounded by runners raising glasses of Yuengling and Iron City beers, Volte had a few and a crew of friends congregate at the home of St. Arnold’s for the Sanyo de Mayo 5K in Houston on Sunday, May 6.

Laura Hanyzewski led our Volte athletes in 25:27 while Jill Tresaugue was ten seconds behind.  Laura's husband Brian finished in 26:39.

Jill was in the middle of the five-member Tresaugue family 5K.

Ryan grabbed first in his age group in 18:04.  Jack was 12 seconds ahead of Mom in 25:25.

Husband Matt ran with their son Luke and finished a second apart in 27:59 and 28-even, respectively.

Volte friend Mike Menster was the first masters finisher in 17:58. 

Chris Weir was third in his age group in 18:26, while our friends at Fleet Feet – James Ingle and Mary-Ellen Wilderman-Hay – posted times of 21:23 and 23:51.

Tina Saims was third in her division, snagging a shiny PR of 23:58 to boot.  Husband Paul finished in 26:10, while Mary-Ellen’s husband, Brad, clocked a time of 29:37.

“Hot and sunny, but great party and awesome awards,” said Jill.

It was also hot, sunny and hot again in Waco for the Chip Gaines – wait, no, Silo District – Marathon that same morning.

Robert Dempsey survived a punishing course - in that runners were completely exposed to the elements the majority of the race.  He finished in 5:42:25.

Later that evening, and closer to home, nearly 10 Volte athletes ran The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands.

Jerritt Park was the overall winner in 22:10 while Mayra Caamano was the first female finisher in 24:34.

Crystal Foody putting her feet down at the TWRC Sunday Night 5K
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Mayra’s daughter, Chloe Kramer, was next in 28:55, while Crystal Foody and Jimmy Baker stopped running after 33:32 and 36:27, respectively.

Jimmy Baker with his best, "Hey Bill!", as he starts the second loop in the parking lot.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Amanda Becker and Katie Gill ran together in a time of 37:47 while Alfredo and Letty Gonzalez walked the course together.

Volte friend Ken Johnson covered the distance in 41:29.

The following Saturday, May 12, Kristi Park ran the Women’s Quarter Marathon in MacGregor Park in Houston, which relocated from Katy and its much cooler January date.

“I finished in 58:47,” she said.  “A little slower than what I wanted, but still under an hour (for 6.55 miles) so I will take it.  It was humid.”

That’s why Mike Kuykendall, Dana Formon and Volte friend Nilay Dinc opted for a little water in their athletic pursuits on Saturday, May 12 when they competed in the CB&I Tri – The Woodlands Triathlon at North Shore Park.

“First triathlon of the season in the books and it was a fun one!” said Mike.  “With just three swims and one bike ride this year, I only wanted to finish.

“But it was a strong day and I threw down a time 22 seconds shy of my PR for the distance.  Go figure.”

He covered the 500-meter swim, 12.8-mile bike and five-kilometer run in 1:31:21.

Mike was in and out of the water in 14:49, on and off the bike in 42:07 and finished the run in 29:42.

Dana was close behind in time in 1:32:18, although the two started in completely different waves.

She swam the distance in 12:34, cycled the bike in 47:05 and ran the 5K in 28:37.

Nilay stopped the clock on the North Shore Park bridge in 1:42:37 – 14:44 for the swim, 47:51 for the bike and 35:25 on the run.

Saturday, May 19 was Marathon Day in Volte, USA.

Volte friend Reggie Bruhn ran the Green Bay Marathon in Wisconsin in 4:05:59 – his third of 2018 to go with the Chevron Houston Marathon in January (4:04:34) and The Woodlands Marathon in March (4:10:59).

Meanwhile, a little farther to the west, Stephen Lopez completed his 24th marathon in his 18th state when he finished the Fargo Marathon in North Dakota in 5:08:56.

Since Ironman Texas in May 2016, he has completed nine straight marathons in different states.

On Memorial Day, Dana Formon, also a Seven Hills Running Club member, ran in the Club’s monthly race, which was hosted at Volte friend Ken Johnson’s house in Huntsville.

Dana Formon gets a little air time at the Memorial Day 5K in the Timberwilde subdivision in Huntsville.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
She finished the Memorial Day 5K in 27:45.

Bill Dwyer and Seven Hills Running Club officer Darren Grant, who was returning from an injury, walked the one-mile course together.

Friday, August 10, 2018

In Memoriam: Volte Alumni Shawna Kent (1977-2018)

“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” ~ William Penn

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. 

Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. - Corinthians 5:6-8  

The grief that accompanies the death of a friend is hard to express in words.

We learned Sunday that one of our Volte Alumni, Shawna Kent, just two weeks shy of 41, passed away while she was out on a run early Saturday afternoon near her home in The Woodlands.

She had recently started her training for what would have been her 13th marathon in January at the Chevron Houston Marathon.

"Shawna trained with us from August 2015 though March of 2016 training for San Antonio Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in December and The Woodlands Half Marathon in March," said Volte founder Bill Dwyer.

Shawna and Dana-Susan Crews warming up before a late summer 2015 track workout.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Bill shared her first ever e-mail to him, which was a little more than three years ago, July 27, 2015:

"I got your email from someone at Fleet Feet the other day. 
I recently moved back to the area. 
I have been doing full and half marathons the past 15 years. 
I am wanting to work on my speed. 
Fleet Feet suggested I contact you and you may have a group that would interest me. 
I currently run 25-30 miles per week and particularly working on increasing my speed as I train for the San Antonio full Marathon in early December. 
Any information I would greatly appreciate. 
Thank you, Shawna."

"Shawna was a very positive and super sweet person," Bill said.  "She was very proud of her daughters' gymnastics and talked about them quite a bit when training with us.

Shawna Kent finishing the 2016 The Woodlands Half Marathon along The Waterway.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
"She was very passionate about running and the running community and she was one of those personalities who "never met a stranger"."

Please keep her husband Arron and their two daughters, Olivia and Mallory, ages 17 and 15, respectively, in your thoughts and prayers.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, August 9 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands.

Volte was asked by the family via our founder Bill Dwyer and friend Jon Walk’s friend Rick Cook to provide a list of all of the races that Shawna had ever run.

We were humbled and honored to be asked and to serve the family in this way and wanted to list those here in memory of Shawna:


4:16:35 - Chicago Marathon, Chicago, IL, 10/9/2005
3:38:22 - Indianapolis Marathon, Indianapolis, IN, 10/20/2007
3:58:17 - Boston Marathon, Boston, MA, 4/21/2008
3:50:18 - Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, 5/4/2008
4:03:51 - Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, 5/3/2009
3:58:14 - Air Force Marathon, Dayton, OH, 9/19/2009
4:11:56 - The Woodlands Marathon, The Woodlands, TX, 3/3/2012
4:25:06 - Chevron Houston Marathon, Houston, TX, 1/13/2013
4:19:30 - St Jude Memphis Marathon, Memphis, TN, 12/6/2014
4:35:46 - Rock 'N' Roll San Antonio Marathon, San Antonio, TX, 12/6/2015
4:42:17 - Texas Marathon, Kingwood, TX, 1/1/2017
4:28:03 - BCS Marathon, College Station, TX, 12/10/2017

1:49:57 - Oneamerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Indianpolis, IN, 5/8/2004
1:48:53 - Oneamerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Indianpolis, IN, 5/7/2005
1:44:06 - Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, 5/6/2007
1:53:35 - Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati, OH, 5/1/2011
1:59:18 - Oneamerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Indianpolis, IN, 5/2/2015
1:56:46 - The Woodlands Half Marathon, The Woodlands, TX, 3/5/2016
2:12:07 - Huntsville Half Marathon, Huntsville, TX, 10/22/2016

0:25:50 - Get On The Stick 5K, Carmel, IN, 2/18/2006
0:30:15 - Michael Treinen Foundation Turkey Trot 5K, Noblesville, IN, 11/22/2012
0:33:07 - Graceworks Turkey Trot 5K, Franklin, TN, 11/28/2013
0:25:55 - Nashville Race for the Cure 5K, Nashville, TN, 10/25/2014
0:25:44 - The Lauren's burg Hill 5K, Lawrenceville, IN, 9/19/2015
0:27:50 - Michael Treinen Foundation Turkey Trot 5K, Noblesville, IN, 11/23/2017

Whether you’ve run or trained with Volte once or a hundred times, you’re always a Volte, an alumni or a friend.


Shawna and her smile will be missed.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Volte Showers April With Great Racing

The Brits that supposedly coined the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” may not want to utter those words around this year’s competitors of the Boston Marathon for some time.

Just April showers might have been OK, but heavy rain, 25 mph wind gusts and the coldest temperatures for the Boston Marathon in three decades made it, well … let our folks tell you.

“An unbelievable adventure,” said Brian Schultz.

Just a little excited is Tammy Grado!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
“What an unforgettable day!” exclaimed Tammy Grado.

Perhaps Sandra Tezino summed it up well.

“Today at the Boston Marathon we earned those medals,”  she said.  “I don’t know how I made it but I did! 

“A special thank you to the Boston crowds for coming out and supporting us despite the weather."

Debra Myers and Llana Bingham were part of our Boston Marathon support team.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Supporting our Volte runners on race day were Debra Myers, Llana Bingham, Mary Carter and Volte founder Bill Dwyer.

Of course, you know that Texans have their own unique sense of pride.

“We trained through Harvey.  We’ve got this” was heard in some quarters before the race.

“Tough, tough conditions,” said Dwyer.  “The positive?  Everyone will be telling stories for years about running the 2018 Boston Marathon in historic conditions.”

Our Volte finishers were as follows, listed in alpha, first name order:

Bonnie Scholz - 4:00:26
Brian Schultz - 3:57:06
Derek Bailey - 3:16:23
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Erica Coleman - 4:20:59

Juan Flores - 3:36:36
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Laura Godfrey - 4:23:28
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Michelle McGill - 4:04:54
Mike Csikos - 3:48:23

Yaya Herrera - 4:08:22, Sandra Tezino - 4:03:29, Laura Godfrey
(Photo courtesy of Laura Godfrey)
Shelby Williams - 3:30:29 
Tammy Grado - 4:26:16
Todd Hunter - 3:56:11

A majority of our team ready to race!
(Photo courtesy of Laura Godfrey)
Breezy Beaumont joined Volte a week after Boston, but ran the race in 4:41:06.  She and her sister Adelle will be joining us in Washington state in September to run the Tunnel Light Marathon.

Breezy lives in Massachusetts while Adelle calls New Hampshire home.

Every once in awhile, things don’t go the way we, as runners, hope that they will.  Kristi Chen started the race, but had to pull out midway due to hypothermia.

Four of our Volte friends also ran the 122nd BAA Boston Marathon. 

Rip Reynolds led the way with a 3:26:03.  Michael Donelan posted a time of 4:02:23, while Sabina Lorca-Acosta and Stephanie Stevenson conquered the course in 4:19:29 and 4:22:17, respectively.

It was Sabina’s 19th state to finish a marathon in.

Volte kicked off the month of April at The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K on Sunday, April 1.

Jerritt Park, as usual, led us in 22:07.  Randy Harris and Leanne Harris, not related, finished within a second of each other as Randy passed the finish line first in 24:18.  Amanda Becker and Letty Gonzalez rounded out the Volte efforts in 35:55 and 43:39, respectively.

Faster than the men, except for Jerritt, put a smile on Leann Harris' face.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Volte friends were led by Curtis Barton in 29:02 and Ken Johnson and Jon Walk ran the race together in 40:54.

Saturday, April 7 started in Needville’s Brazos Bend State Park where a few of our runners participated in one of the races at the Brazos Bend 50.

Getting started at 5:30 a.m. was Mimi Torrez, who officially joined Volte in May, as she was running the 100K.  A friend of Yaya Herrera, she’s training for the Tunnel Light Marathon with us. 

She finished in 13 hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds – 13th of 24 women that completed the 62-mile distance.

Robert Dempsey started his race at 7:00 a.m., but it really started three and a half years ago, he says, as he “started a training program with a crazy dream of someday being able to run a 5K.”

Pressed down and shaken together over that time, Dempsey gave – a training plan of running 5 days a week and a Saturday long run - and a “new milestone run” of 50K was given unto him.

Robert finished in 6:23:05, 46th of 73 males.

He credited his wife, Michelle, with supporting and encouraging him, especially on race day.

“She biked all over the park, standing in the wind and rain as temperatures dropped into the 40’s just to give a few seconds of cheer and encouragement as I passed by,” he said.

Dempsey, who lives in Magnolia, connected with Dwyer and Volte to specifically train for Brazos Bend.

Layton Gill and Robert Dempsey at Brazos Bend
(Photo courtesy of Robert Dempsey)
Coach Layton Gill got a pacer bib and ran the back 25K with Robert.

“It was my first experience with a pacer but now I think it’s the only way to go,” he said.  “It was so hard at the time, but looking back it was a really awesome experience.”

As a bit of a tune-up for the Boston Marathon less than two weeks to follow, Shelby Williams took the 187-runner field out in the 25K and defeated all comers with a time of 1:51:23 – three minutes and 37 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Sugar Land’s Sharif Aboelnaga.

It was the third best women’s time in the race’s five-year history.

It also was a TROT race – Trail Racing Over Texas, that is – and that meant our friends Jose and Luis Murillo were racing.  Jose finished the 100K in 13 hours, 19 minutes and 36 seconds, good for 30th overall, and Luis was sixth overall in the 50-miler in 7:31:55.

Back in “the bubble” that afternoon, seven of our runners competed in the Muddy Trails races, which are put on by The Woodlands Parks and Recreation Department through the George Mitchell Nature Preserve.

Jerritt Park took second in his age group in the 5K to lead us in a time of 22:12.  His son Brayden finished in 28:37 while Laura and Brian Hanyzewski covered the course in 28:52 and 29:24, respectively.

Kristi Park made it a family affair as she completed the 10K in 55:54 while Hunter Smith was third in his age group in 57:50 and Andrew Smith wrapped things up in 1:00:17.

Volte woke up first on Sunday, April 8 in Haines City, Florida.  That’s where George Rux was racing Ironman 70.3 Florida.

He grabbed his third third-place AG finish in 70.3 competition in the last four years with a time of 6:52:52.

George swam the 1.2 miles in 40:02, biked the 50-mile course in 3:24:52 and ran the half marathon in 2:28:17.

Randy Smith has had a few races where he felt like a train ran over him, but never has he been stopped before – during a race – by a train.

That changed during the Vintage Park Half Marathon that same morning.

His overall time was 1:46:44, but Randy estimated that he lost three minutes.

Over the last few years, the railroad has stopped – for security reasons – communicating ahead of time with races if it was possible to ensure that trains didn’t cross a particular route.

In the 5K, Amanda Becker stopped the clock in 37:58.  Volte friend and one of our original coaches Adrienne Langelier was the first overall female in 19:24.

At the Austin American-Statesman Capitol 10K, Texas’ largest 10K, Juan Flores ran with his 81-year-old mother Domitila Flores as they covered the distance in 1:48:15.

Marta Mixa also tackled the course in 1:01:43.

All the work requires ice cream and Blue Bell answered the call on Saturday, April 14 in Brenham.

In the Blue Bell Fun Run 10K, Marta came back the following week and took first in her age group in 1:02:13.  Amanda Becker and Lynn Smith finished in 1:11:09 and 1:47:02, respectively.

Alfredo and Letty Gonzalez competed in the 5K and ran the course in 41:18 and 46:49, respectively.

A quintet of Volte friends ran various distances.

Mary-Ellen Wilderman-Hay was second in her age group in 1:49:22 in the inaugural half marathon.  Jon Walk was a bit further back in 2:20:46.

A second podium finish for our Fleet Feet Sports of Greater Houston friends was garnished by James Ingle in the 10K as he was third in his age group in 47:16.  Vincent Attanucci and Brad Hay took on the semi-hilly course in 56:28 and 1:00:23, respectively.

Two days before the Boston Marathon, Volte friend Sabina Lorca-Acosta ran a marathon in her 18th state at the Rhode Island Marathon in Newport.  She finished in 4:16:16.

Monica Moreno ran the half marathon in 2:24:25.

Volte also competed in the second oldest race in Montgomery County on Saturday, April 21 when Brooke Kramer finished the David’s Dream Run 5K on and around the grounds of Woodforest Stadium in a time of 31:36.

She almost totally put the hammer down early on Volte friend Jon Walk, who finished in 28:48, but slowed down for awhile to visit with a friend that was also running the race.

Down in Houston, a trio of our ladies ran the West End Brew Run 5K where Ruth Perez and Geri Henry captured first place age group awards.

Ruth finished in 27:36, Geri in 32:17 and Penny Garza knocked out a time in a fun race in 50:19.
George was up before two weeks ago, but Julie and Louise Pearce were six hours ahead of us running the London Marathon!

Julie Pearce wrapped in the UK flag and a PR
(Photo courtesy of Julie Pearce)
Julie posted a new personal best of 5:00:42, eclipsing her 5:03:45 from the 2015 Chevron Houston Marathon, while Louise finished in 5:01:08.

“Bloody hot, bloody hard work and bloody marvelous,” said Julie, blending in the native tongue of the locals.  “Listening to what seemed like the whole of London shouting your name – bloody amazing.”

As long as they don’t put you on a balloon and fly you over the city, you’re good!

“Best.  Race.  Ever,”  is how Louise described the crowds that in some places were 15-20 deep.

“I choked up several times during the race feeling the love, support & encouragement from the crowd (anticipated >2 million people),” she said.  “We passed the Tower of London, “Chariots of Fire” and “We Are The Champions” playing out of peoples windows, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, deafening support, amazing race marshals & volunteers.”

As the Pearces were crossing the finish line in London, Lauren Hoffart and her mom were toeing the line in Bryan for the Wine and Roses 5K.

Lauren finished in 25:38 while her mom, Sherri Fox, ran it in 39:16 to earn a third place age group award.

Darcy McClinden and Amanda Becker headed south to Galveston for the Divas Half Marathon.

It was Darcy’s first half marathon and she put the two-hour standard on notice with a time of 2:05:53.

Darcy McClinden with a big smile after her first half marathon.
(Photo courtesy of Leanne Rosser)
“I have to thank my amazing support team. I want to thank God, my awesome husband Skip, my two beautiful children, all my friends, family, Volte runners and, last but not least, my coach, Leanne Rosser,” she said.  “Thank you for your time, support and encouragement.  I can’t wait for the next one.”

Amanda was thrilled with her finishing time of 2:42:33.

“Who says you can’t get better with age?” she exclaimed.  “My half marathon time this morning was better than when I ran my first half marathon at half my age!

“I’ll take it seven weeks after my first marathon.”

Volte founder Bill Dwyer competed before an audience of one on Saturday, April 28 in the virtual edition of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Calvin Spring Classic 5K with a finishing time of 38:24.

He was out to support Volte runners at Texas 10 Sienna on Sunday.

Amanda Jenkins sprints to a second place finish at Texas 10 Sienna.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Amanda Jenkins led us all in the marquee 10-mile race as she finished second overall – to Bree Schrader - in 1:04:34.  Mike Csikos and Jerritt Park were the first two men for Volte across the line in 1:12:9 and 1:14:22, respectively.

Greg Nettleton breaks 1:20 for his debut 10-miler.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Greg Nettleton ran his first 10-miler and broke 1:20 with a mark of 1:19:17.

Hunter led the Smith family with a time of 1:22:58.  Andrew stopped the clock in 1:26:38 while Alyssa finished in 1:49:21.

Happy family:  Alyssa, Hunter and Andrew Smith after Texas 10 Sienna.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Kim Joyce won her age group in the five-miler in 46:02 while Denise Powers was out of the hardware, but finished four minutes faster in 42:02.

Volte friends were led by Paolo Biagi with his 38:27 showing followed by Jon Walk in 51:37 and Dianna and Ray Sarno in 1:05:57.  Ray was first in his age group.

Brayden Park was first overall in the 5K race in 27:49 and then ran the Lil Texas Kids 1-Mile race.

Happy Volte crew in Oregon:  Leanne Rosser, Mike Kuykendall, Mary Carter, Richard Tong and Mack Miller.
(Photo courtesy of Jim Rosser)
Leanne Rosser completed the third best marathon of her career with a 4:06:45 finish at the Eugene Marathon.  It was her 16th career marathon finish.  Richard Tong was our other Volte marathon finisher in Oregon as he finished his fifth in 4:43:02. 

In the half marathon, Mike Kuykendall led us with a 2:10:28 effort while Mack Miller and Mary Carter followed in 2:19:46 and 3:24:40, respectively.