Sunday, February 7, 2021

Volte Benefits From Bridgeland 10 Change of Scenery to Conroe

When your group’s support crew is equal to or greater than the number of runners running, it is a pretty sure sign that an “A” race is on the horizon.

Even during a pandemic.

Just under 250 runners and walkers finished the four races of the Bridgeland 10 @Conroe - a move that was necessitated by Harris County not granting a permit to hold the race within its boundaries.

And Volte founder Bill Dwyer said that Willie Fowlkes and team hit yet another home run.

“They put on a smart race today,” he said.  “This is really kind of a scrimmage for what’s coming up at The Woodlands Marathon (in four weeks).”

Volte athletes will participate in one more dry run in two weeks on Sunday, February 21, 2021 when the Sienna 10 race will transition to Fort Bend County at the University of Houston-Sugar Land, the normal location for the USA Fit Marathon and Half Marathon.

Dwyer said his athletes benefitted from optimal racing conditions.

“Weather conditions were great,” he said.  “Low humidity, probably mid-forties, low wind and a familiar course.”

And three Volte athletes lowered their time from the first race of the Series, Conroe 10, in late November.

Cheering on the team was Juan Flores, brothers Roger and Robert King, Kristi Park and Aaron and Anita Register.

Darren Hadden, 45, led the team in the 10-miler with a new personal best, finishing fourth overall and second in the masters division with a time of 1:02:30 – just 17 seconds behind 52-year-old Steve Sievert of Tomball.

Hadden had it all today as he was fourth overall and the second fastest masters.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

He dropped his time by one minute and 24 seconds from Conroe 10 last year and earned Dwyer’s designation in a post-race interview with Volte TV as “the big star today”.

With an almost identical drop in time from Conroe was 19-year-old Maria Sanchez.

Sanchez is all smiles before sprinting to the finish as the second overall female in the 5-miler.
Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer

In just her second race in the Lone Star state since moving in from Florida, Sanchez was the second overall female in the five-miler in a time of 36:32 – bettering her Conroe 10 mark of 37:48.

Jerritt Park, dropping down to the five-mile distance after putting a heavy dose of miles in this week in one of his many virtual challenges in the last year, was third overall in 35:12 – just four seconds behind Cypress’ Jose Melendez for second and the top men’s finisher.

Park had a fine showing in the 5-miler today in Conroe.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

“Sunshine” Mike Csikos was smiling with a fourth-place 50-54 age group finish of 1:14:56 – nearly three minutes better than his Conroe 10 time of 1:17:41.

Gourav Kumar, in his first race since the USA Fit Marathon three weeks ago, stopped the clock in 1:16:05.

Second in her age group was Erika Sampson, who Dwyer explained that “she’s dialing in for The Woodlands Half Marathon”.

Sampson nailed it all today, including flashing the two "thumbs up" sign.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

“She ran the first half perfectly as a workout and raced the second half,” he added.  “Her coach Rich Cooper will be proud that she actually listened to him – again – and did perfect.”

She recorded a finishing time of 1:19:02.

The Park family wasn’t finished when Dad dropped down to the five-miler.  

Son Brayden ran the 5K in 24:04, good for eighth among all men – one spot in front of one of our friends, Alvaro Trejo, with the Tough Runners Club.

Daughter Riley went 8:48 in the mile.

Our friends at the Seven Hills Running Club had another big group out.

Couple of special shout outs to Strike Force Racing’s Dee Akers, who went 1:55:09 in the 10-Miler, while one of Dwyer’s former club members with the 1960 Runners – one of the first clubs he was in after first coming to Texas from New York, Paul Roche, finished in 1:48:11.

Volte friend Jon Walk finished the five-miler today in 48:50, just a little bit surprised that it wasn’t the same almost completely flat north and south course from when he announced the first three Conroe 10 races at the race site in 2013-2015.

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