We might be stretching things just a little, but just go with Nine Volte here.
There's probably a good half dozen to 10 races in Texas that you should do before your running days are over.
One of them is the Polish Pickle Run 5K in Bremond.
For the uninitiated, that's pronounced "Bre" - as in free and Memorial Hermann Ten For Texas women's winner Bree Fontentot - mond (like in pond).
After the pandemic cancelled the 2020 version and lack of organizing interest nearly wiped this year's race, moved from the last Saturday in June, off the books, the race's numbers took a severe hit.
In 2019, just under 600 runners, including 94 in the Clydesdale and Fillie divisions, finished the race, but this year only 258 crossed the finish line.
Yet, we had our people there.
Kim White won his age group in 22:17 while Julie Stevenson was the first female Senior runner in 23:42.
Our friends got in the "winning" act too.
One of Volte's original coaches Adrienne Langelier was the women's overall winner in a time of 18:54.
The remaining three friends also earned podium spots - on their way to a weekend double of races.
Erin Gowton won her age group in 25:59 while her husband Jimmie was third in his in 29:20.
Ken Johnson won his division in 43 minutes even.
That same day in Paris, not France, but east Texas, the Murillos were tearing up the Paris Pair Trail Run.
Juan won the 50K race in 4:42:28 while his brother Luis was first in the 25K in 1:38:39.
Their father, Jose, covered the 25K distance in 2:27:38.
Sienna, the vehicle produced by Toyota, is named for the Italian city of Siena in the Tuscany region.
And Sienna Plantation had similar roots, according to the siennatx.com website.
There it explains that "Lillian and Stella Scanlan - two of seven unmarried daughters who had inherited the substantial estate of Thomas H. Scanlan, the former Mayor of Houston from 1870-1873 - dismantled and utilized materials from their family mansion at 1917 Main Street to build a plantation house in 1937 following a dispute with the City of Houston over the removal of a giant oak tree along the road. They named the property Sienna Plantation, for Siena in the Tuscany region of Italy and possibly because St. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of single women."
We had a light crew that ran well at Texas 10 Sienna on Sunday to kickoff the 2021-2022 Texas 10 Series.
In the 5K, Jane Campbell finished second in her age group in 24:07 while her son Simon, just seven years of age running in the 14-Under category, also earned a second place age group award in a time of 31:04, which was a new personal best for him.
Coach Rich Cooper was the only Volte athlete to run the five-mile race, doing so in 45:43.
|Kicking it into another gear, headed for the finish, was Volte coach Rich Cooper
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Darren Hadden led the way in the marquee event distance - the 10-miler - with an age group winning time of 1:02:38 - just two weeks after a sterling showing at the Tunnel Light Marathon.
He was followed across the line by Jerritt Park, who won his age group with a new personal record time of 1:09:09.
|A personal best kind of day for Jerritt Park.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
Imagine a guy who works for one car company running his fastest time in a race that's the name of a car of a competitor. Maybe that's why he ran so fast there!
Rob Gay rounded out our team, stopping the clock in 1:19:27.
We had ten friends -- five at each of the two longer distances - run on Sunday too.
In the five-miler, Alvaro and Lusi Trejo finished in 48:18 and 52:21, respectively, while Ray and Dianna Sarno ran together in 58 minutes even.
Ray won his division while Huntsville's Ken Johnson was second in his in 1:13:21.
Mark Amann won his sixth straight Texas 10 race, his third straight Sienna 10 and eighth Texas 10 race in history -- with a winning time of 56 minutes even.
Lu Bouanga was third overall and won his age group in 58:32.
Erin and Jimmie Gowton completed their weekend double of races -- a half marathon with a 24-hour break in between -- with performances of 1:36:55 and 1:48:25, respectively.
Randy Bradley got his 10 miles done in 1:39:38.
A good sign for the Texas 10 Series, aside from the 1-mile race, which was not timed, the race had 383 finishers among the three distances, which was third among the six races (starting in 2016) in Sienna Plantation.
The inaugural year was the largest with 539 finishers and the 2019 running, also run in September, was second with 482.
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Catching up with our younger athletes, Madi Hanyzewski and Brooke Kramer-Caamano competed for their schools in the Knox Junior High Invitational on Friday, September 10, 2021.
Madi, the daughter of Brian and Laura Hanyzewski, finished the two-mile distance in 15:14 while Kramer-Caamano, the daughter of Mayra Caamano, was just three places behind in 15:32.
Jack Tresaugue, the son of Volte friend Jill Tresaugue, was eighth in the boys' two-miler in 12:40, while Miles Delzer, the son of Ronnie and Stefanie Delzer, ran the distance in 14:55.
The Woodlands High School freshman Stoya Laydevant, who ran with us during the spring and summer at track on Tuesday nights, has gotten off to an impressive start of her high school cross country career.
After finishing 10th in the 4000 meters at Friday Night Lights on August 27 in 15:41.3, Stoya has added a pair of fourth-place overall finishes at Atascosita on September 3 and the Region III Preview meet in Huntsville on September 18 in 19:18 and 19:14.3, respectively.
In between, she recorded her fastest 5K time of 19:13.8 at the Garmin Milesplit Invitational in a very deep, competitive field.
On Saturday, September 11, 2021, Brooke Hadden, the daughter of Darren Hadden, ran the two-mile distance at the Magnolia Run The Pound Invitational in 19:50.3, bettering her season-opening time of 20:23 the week before.
And this past Saturday, Chloe Kramer-Caamano was ninth overall in the two-mile JV race at the Texas A&M High School Invitational in a personal best time of 13:23.