Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Volte Did Indeed Labor on Labor Day Weekend

While we had a number of runners competing before and after the Labor Day holiday, seems like our Nine Volte took a little time off during that time – and is now getting us caught up.

It was Volte girl power at the 15th annual Beneezy Purple Monkey 10K and 5K in Alvin on Saturday, August 31.

Our ladies went three-for-three in coming home with purple monkeys – the beloved prize for placing in your age group.

Purple monkey for you, purple monkey for you ... Volte even better than Oprah as Yvette, Amanda and Liah all place.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
There’s a poignant and notable story on the race’s website that is worthy of reading. 

You can find it here.

Amanda Jenkins ran the 5K and was first overall in a time of 18:25.  Liah Olsen took second in her age group in 27:35.

Focused and first is Amanda Jenkins as she bears down on the Purple Monkey 5K finish line.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Yvette Guerra got her purple monkey with a third-place age group finish in the 10K of 52:33.

Oh, and when we said “first overall” two sentences ago, it wasn’t just first overall female.  She was the first across the finish line – guys or girls.

In fact, in the 10K, the top two finishers were some of Houston’s best female races, Lauren Stroud and Chelsea Barr, beating the field and all of the men.

Our friend Vincent Attanucci from The Woodlands, who runs the race every year, was third in his age group with a time of 1:00:36.

Even though Erika Sampson woke up the next morning in Virginia Beach, Virginia a little bit under the weather, she still decided to run the Rock ‘N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon.

At their prices, anything less than having to visit the doctor, you run.

Erika finished the half marathon in 2:17:16.

Later that evening, a small group of ours came out for the monthly The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands.

Basking in 96 degrees heat, Jerritt Park slowed it down with a 24:10 finishing time while Sharon Mitchell followed in 31:54.

Making 96 degrees look easy for the Minnesota native Sharon Mitchell at the Sunday Night 5K.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Volte friends Curtis Barton, Vincent Attanucci and Ken Johnson also competed.  Curtis led the three in 27:02, Vincent – who likely still ran long Sunday morning – finished in 35:01 while Ken came to the finish in 46:21.

The heat wasn’t going to slow Jerritt down forever though.

The next morning, he and his son, Brayden, were off to Katy to run the Back to School 5K on Monday, September 2.

Dad beat son again as Jerritt finished in 21:36 and Brayden ran a solid 23:23.

Volte friend Sonia Dhodapkar won her age group in 22:34.

Two Volte friends – Reggie Bruhn and Ken Rademacher – competed the following Saturday at Ironman Wisconsin in Madison, the state’s capitol.

Bruhn, who is coached by TxTri’s – and one of the best people in our endurance sports community in Montgomery County – Sandra Sutherland, finished in 13 hours, 25 minutes and four seconds.

He swam the 2.4 miles in 1:33:04, biked 112 miles in 6:36:43 and ran the 26.2 miles in 4:53:42.

Ken finished his third career Ironman in 14:28:33 with the following splits:  1:37:34 (swim), 7:11:59 (bike) and 5:18:47 (run).

Volte friend Jon Walk was in Pennsylvania for Labor Day weekend and - in the spirit of fellow Pennsylvanian Jerritt Park – he squeezed in two races.

He raced a first-year event on Saturday, August 31 in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania – the Run For Their Lives 5K.

Mostly everybody got to run a little extra in this race as either the leaders missed the first veer to the left or a volunteer failed to direct them.

Jon figures he ran about 3.5 miles and finished in 32:30.

Two days later, before heading back to Texas, he ran in the Labor Day Pump and Run 5K in Tipton, Pennsylvania – a race that started less than a mile from his grandparents’ house.

A mix of cross country (on the way out), roads and trail (on the way back), Jon covered the distance in 32:44 after rains blew through the area in the night to cool things down on race morning.

Runners could reduce their time by bench-pressing their weight (or a percentage of it based on age) so many times before the race start.  To be sure not to embarrass himself, he passed.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Better Than A Four-Topping Pizza, Volte Runs Well in Four States!

Great weekend in Volte, USA.  Hope it was for you as well!

Our runners and friends raced close to home in addition to Illinois, Idaho and Washington state.

Mike Csikos and Kelly Hugo both earned age group awards in the Woodforest Charity Run 10K on Saturday, September 14 in Conroe.

Sunshine stopped the clock in 44:20, good for third, while Kelly’s time of 57:13 earned her second in her division.

Mark Amann led our Volte friends with a first-place overall finish, getting the win in 35:35.

Mia Cieslar and Dr. John Slate garnered hardware with times of 49:08 and 51:27, good for second and third places, respectively.

Vincent Attanucci finished in 57:23.

When you finish two Ironmans, you can pick your Volte label – whether it is Volte, friend or alumni.

They all fit interchangeably for Landa Wright, who was third in her age group in the Woodforest Charity Run 5K in 23:23.  Our Yvette Guerra followed in 24 minutes even.

And Volte friend Christina Gray finished in 28:14.

The same morning in Illinois, Michelle McGill posted yet another Boston Qualifier with a 3:50:25 effort at the Last Chance BQ26.2 Marathon in Geneva.

Michelle channeled her unique bib number (35516 - the time she needed and 16th time to beat it) into a bell-ringing finale.
(Photo courtesy by Tammy Grado)
It beat the new qualifying standard by four minutes and 34 seconds.

Brian Schultz was under the weather and didn’t run, but joined Tammy Grado and Kristi Chen – who flew in from Texas and New Jersey – to support Michelle and her effort.

On Sunday, September 15 in Boise, Idaho, Faith Craig’s dad, Thomas Thomson, was second in his 60-64 age group in the Jack & Jill Marathon.

That’s nice, right?

The nicest thing of all was a blazing time of 3:49:37, which was a qualifying time by 15 minutes and 23 seconds.  No worries about Thomas being able to sign up to run Boston!

Our founder Bill Dwyer led a group of seven, including five competitors, to the Tunnel Light Marathon – a Volte staple – in North Bend, Washington.

And the rain, sometimes heavy, yet delivered all day, didn’t dampen the spirits of our runners or friends.

Of six Voltes and friends, there were definitely four personal bests and four Boston qualifying times (maybe a fifth for 2020), but most importantly, 100% good times.

First across the line was Juan Flores, who clocked a four-minute, 39-second personal best time of 3:12:42 – a Boston qualifier by eight minutes and 18 seconds.

Juan Flores stalking the 3:15 pacer.  And it worked!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
A few minutes back was Juan’s friend, Josh Rivas, who finished in 3:16:25 – a PR of four minutes and 58 seconds in addition to a BQ by 3:35.

The biggest personal best of the group belonged to Holly Benson, who rolled out a 12-minute, 11-second reduction of her previous best that showed 3:37:35 on the clock.

That's a triumphant, 12-minute PR look from Holly Benson!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Two-time Ironman finisher Mandi Fowlkes – a long-time Volte friend – PR’d by three minutes and 26 seconds for a finishing time of 3:45:10 – a BQ time by four minutes and 50 seconds.

“Mandi is coached by Ashley Williams, a teacher and soccer program director at The Woodlands Christian Academy, who coaches cycling and triathletes,” said Dwyer.  “He did a really good job in preparing Mandi (for this race).”

Volte friend Meri Laydevant, who runs at the track at Knox Junior High and has a daughter that has completed our Friends of the Running Community Montgomery County Triple, will definitely be qualified for the 2021 Boston Marathon as she finished in 3:45:05 – four minutes and 55 seconds faster than her standard.

“She’s 44,” Dwyer said.  “So depending on her birthday she may have qualified for 2020.”

And 47 will be Trudy Regnier’s new favorite number for awhile.

With less than a minute to spare, Trudy did a great job in earning her BQ on Sunday!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
That’s the close margin - in seconds - that she can once again call herself a Boston qualifier as she earned the title with a time of 4:19:13.

Trudy did so bouncing back from an injury or two this summer.