Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Volte Set Off Its Own Fireworks on the Fourth

Who knew our athletes and friends were licensed to shoot off running fireworks this past Fourth of July weekend?


Our Volte friends got the party started on Saturday, July 3 at the Wings of Freedom 5K and 10K, held just outside of Karbach Brewing Company, located near 290 and 610 West.

In the 5K, Kevin Baker continues to put to good use his Wings On Your Feet training from two-time Olympic Marathon Trials finisher Lauren Stroud as he was second overall in a time of 18:30.

Cristina Gray was second in her age group in 26:28.

Mark Amann won overall in the 10K in 34:56, while Erika Park was the third overall woman in 43:56, jumping into the race at the last minute.

The following day, Sunday, July 4, the results started to roll in from the East Coast.

Darren Hadden celebrated his running freedom with a crackling new personal best of 17:21 – good for first Masters – in the Hilton Head Firecracker 5K in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

He was 10th overall out of 874 finishers and first in his 40-49 age group.

Just a day after running 18 miles and hopping on a plane to a state near and dear to The Woodlands Marathon race director Willie Fowlkes.

Erika Sampson had 1,254 finishers in her age group at her race.

And she was 10th in it -- at what is annually one of the largest road races in the world, the AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Her time was 45:46.

Making his annual trek there, our friend Vincent Attanucci ran it in 1:00:18.

Closer to home, a few of our friends ran the Run Wild 5K in Houston with Paul Blutt winning his age group in 19:38, Cristina Gray running it in 26:13 and Debbie Tripp finishing in 44:45.

Volte took one of its biggest groups to the Texas Bud Heat Wave in Mont Belvieu since it moved there after the 2017 race from the historic environs of Baytown.

Five-for-five were our runners on the podium in the standard 5-mile distance.

Four second place age group awards and a first overall master’s female!

Volte founder and coach Bill Dwyer wasn't sure what the outcomes would be given that many on the team had completed their marathon long run - to the tune of 18 miles - the day before.

"This is a very easy fall back week for our fall marathoners," he said.  "So they had the green light to run the race.  I was very pleased with the results we got."

Christopher Branch grabbed the first one with a just under 7-minute per mile pace time of 34:54.

Kim White followed in 38:11 while Holly Benson, who made the short drive west, was close behind in 38:23.

Kim White showing that he can still go step-by-step with the youngsters.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Judith Albarran was nine seconds behind Holly, but grabbed the first overall masters for the ladies while Julie Stevenson’s 45:55 was good enough for second in her division.

Our friends had good races too.

Josh Rivas was the fastest in 34:43 – good for second in his division, while Beto Alvarez finished in 35:05.

Sabina Lorca won her age group in 38:45 while Jose Murillo was second in his in 42:50.

Woodlands Fit’s Randy Bradley led a remaining six-pack of our friends with a good 47:10 showing.  Alvaro and Luci Trejo scored times of 49:56 and 53:16, respectively.  Erika Lawton got the job done in 51:16 while Geoff May finished in 52 minutes even.  

And Mariela Rodriguez rounded out the Woodlands Fit contingent with a mark of 55:10.

In the Michelob Ultra 5K, Rob Gay led the group with a masters winning time of 21:06.

Isaac Rodriguez was second in his age group in 24:03 while Paolo Biagi and Tammy Grado came in at 24:20 and 24:21, respectively.

Tammy was the second overall female.

Rob Myers (in the forefront) and Brittany Hadded (in the foreground in red) share smiles during Sunday's Texas Bud Heat Wave Michelob Ultra 5K
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Tim Russell and Rob Myers certainly chewed the fat on the course to the tune of 29:36 and 29:37 times, respectively.

Brittany Haddad ran the distance in 31:50, while Debra Myers, Llana Bingham and Cathy Russell all enjoyed themselves on the course with times of 50:33.

Cathy Russell, Llana Bingham and Deb Myers are happy that there's liquid refreshments at the end.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

The amazing Jim Braden, one of our Volte friends for the longest time, won his 85-and-over division in 39:18.

And two of Rob Gay’s nieces, Olivia and Ella Lowrey, ran the 5K.

Olivia was first across the line in 35:54, but Ella went home with the hardware as she was first in her division in 37:55.

And to close out the weekend, The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K still had to go on, even if there was not just one or two, but three athletes running.

Volte had the overall winner in Devyn Cook in a time of 22:59 while Seven Hills Running Club members Curtis Barton and Ken Johnson rounded out the top three in times of 26:42 and 46:57, respectively.

We look forward to what the rest of the summer training and racing seasons bring out of our athletes and friends.

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