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!

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