Sunday, February 14, 2021

Volte Spirits Run High at Hoka One One Rocky Raccoon

It was cold out this morning, but hey, it won't be like President's Day, right?

Always have to find the positive in everything.  

That's the Volte Way, no?

Volte athletes - and a few of our friends - competed on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at the Hoka One One Rocky Raccoon series of races, produced by Tejas Trails at Huntsville State Park.

Three of our runners competed in the half marathon -- the third year that Tejas Trails has offered this distance, while two more ran the 50K.  (The event also had a 50-miler.)

Robert Gay, 44, led the way in 1:59:48.  

Todd Hunter, 52, finished just a little bit further back in 2:01:37 while Rob Myers, 55, froze time in 2:17:17.

Even with the masks on, the eyes reveal the smiles on the faces of Todd Hunter, Rob Gay and Rob Myers.  Congratulations gentlemen!
(Photo courtesy of Layton Gill)

While doing his best Ken Johnson impersonation, specifically running most of the race with his injured shoulder in a sling, Tim Russell completed his first ultramarathon, posting a fine time in the 50K of 6:38:54 while Robert Dempsey was close behind, timewise, in 6:50:57.

Volte founder Bill Dwyer, who captured the picture below of the two about a quarter mile from the finish, explained that Russell started later than Dempsey in Tejas Trails' socially-distanced start, caught up with him at mile 20 and they stayed together the rest of the way.

Tim and Robert look like they could go another lap at this point!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Layton Gill, who coaches both Gay and Dempsey, was in support of the full group the entire day, while Dwyer made the drive north after supporting runners doing their long runs in The Woodlands and was able to make it in time for Tim and Robert's finishes.

Bill reported that temperatures at the Park were in the low 30's to the low 40's throughout the morning and early afternoon, while Layton added that it was also damp and windy but he was also quick to note that the trails were in great shape, even after last weekend's 100-miler and 100K.

He said "everyone battled the weather conditions with great spirits."

Some of our Volte friends also got in on the action at the State Park.

Hempstead's Becky Nesbitt, who we see at many of the Texas 10 Series races, was the third overall female in the 50K in 4:51:00.

Seven Hills Running Club's Jason Wallace followed her across the finish line, fourth in a competitive 40-49 division, in 5:00:10.

While none of our Volte athletes ran the 17th annual Surfside Beach Marathon, Half Marathon or the Surfin' Surfside 5K, some more Volte friends got in on the fun down on the beach.

In the marathon, Seven Hills Running Club's Jacob Gautreaux was second overall in the marathon in 3:20:17.  

Houston's Suzy Seeley was the first overall female in 4:19:16.  Not every day you see a 61-year-old woman win a marathon, but that's no surprise from one of Houston's best all-time masters marathoners.

And with his 777th career marathon, our great friend Steve Boone, the 71-year-old co-race director of the New Year's Day Texas Marathon in Kingwood, finished in 6:09:45.  

His wife Paula finished the half in 4:36:44.

Speaking of the half marathon, Seven Hills president Steve Allen, 48, was 12th overall and fourth in his division with a mark of 1:49:33.

The Woodlands' Karrie Bellard, 56, who is prepping for Ironman Texas and is coached by Heather Jorris with Outrival Racing, was the third overall female in 1:53:09, just a minute and 23 seconds off the winner.

Local running and triathlon coach Jesse Miller, 39, of Spring stopped the clock in 2:09:02.

And Ken Johnson, who we profiled on our The Woodlands Marathon Photo Flashback on the Volte Facebook page on Saturday, completed the 10K - he said more like 6.5 miles - at the Do Stop 3-Hour Trail Run in Bremond.

"It was 25 degrees up there and the grass and trees were iced over," he said.  "Luckily, the highways were clear.  Only 18 or so runners showed up."

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