Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Volte Represents In First Major Events of 2022: We Are Houston 5K and Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon and the Legacy Capital The Woodlands Marathon are the two biggest events for Volte on an annual basis.

The Boston Marathon, Tunnel Light Marathon and the BCS Marathon would be second tier events, but only in terms of the number of Volte athletes participating in them each year.

The hope of a great year of running always finds the Houston Marathon as its jumping off point.

For the last many years, Houston puts on the We Are Houston 5K the day before the main event.

This year, it was run on Saturday, January 15 and starts on the north side of Discovery Green in downtown Houston and finishes on the south side, just in front of the Americas Hilton.

Many will run it as part of the event's Houston Double, where you earn a second medal for running the 5K on Saturday and the marathon or half marathon the following day.

Erika Sampson led us with a time of 26:02 while 12-year-old Theodore Bodie wasn't too far behind in 26:40.

With bling on his mind, Mike Kuykendall took it easy, had fun and punched out a time of 35:50.

Our Jason Bodie's wife and daughter, Lea and Olivia, finished together in 48:49.

Volte friends also got in on the 5K action.

C. Stephenson-Lake, two weeks removed from her win at the Texas Marathon in Kingwood, put down a time of 22:36 to grab third place in her age group, while Sonia Dhoapkar and Urica Chevis posted times of 25:41 and 29:54, respectively.

While we've missed the Trejo family at Texas 10 Series races, it was good to see them in the results as Lusi took the household bragging rights with a time of 32:58 while Alvaro finished in 38:54.

Meanwhile, the Rivas family also had some running fun.  Kylie, 13, got third in her age group with a mark of 23:24, while Vicenta did great too, running it in 34:06.

In the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, we had 19 Volte athletes finish - with six personal bests - and 10 of our friends.

Slicing eight minutes and 30 seconds off his time at last year's The Woodlands Half Marathon was Paolo Biagi, who posted the fastest time of our bunch in 1:42:04.

Can't miss Paolo Biagi here running tall to lead Volte in the Aramco Houston Half Marathon
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

In close pursuit was Rob Gay, who bettered his Huntsville Half Marathon effort from a year ago by three minutes and 38 seconds with an effort of 1:42:46.

Erika Sampson and Lillian Evans were the next two to the finish line with times of 1:44:53 and 1:46:29, respectively.  

Lillian lowered his best time ever by 54 seconds from her Aramco Houston Half time from two years ago.

The personal best wave continued in a big way as Auggie Campbell lowered his Aramco Houston Half time from 2020 by five minutes and 42 seconds to 1:48:10.

Just under an hour and 50 minutes was Sandra Tezino's showing of 1:49:38, while Tammy Grado and Carlos Rodriguez were a shade over.

Tammy had her best half marathon effort ever with a time of 1:50:35 as she took down her previous best from The Woodlands Half Marathon in 2020 by a minute and 55 seconds, while Carlos had a mark of 1:50:44.

Pretty appropriate that two good friends - Michael Gayle and Scott Haney - stick kind of close together out on the course as Michael finished in 1:55:49 while Scott was not too far away in 1:57:56.

Stephanie Stevenson finished her second career Aramco Houston Half Marathon with a time of 2:00:04.

Bettering not only her personal best at the distance but also her previous time in the Aramco Half was Sue Griffis.

Nearly deciding not to run it the day before, after a great training cycle, Sue Griffis
proved that her efforts were worth it with a 2-minute, 38-second PR!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

With her 2:03:16, she dropped her time by two minutes and 38 seconds from the Run Girl Half Marathon in December 2012 - and shaved more than 28 minutes from her 2:31:46 time in the 2011 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

Dan Jordan finished his fifth straight Aramco Houston Half Marathon with a 2:09:04 that was more than five minutes better off of his virtual Aramco Half effort with a year ago.

Double Legacy runner Rich Cooper added another half marathon finish to get him to 11 overall -- and 22 marathons or half marathons at Houston.

His time of 2:14:19 was his best at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon since 2015.

Also working her way to Legacy status is Sherry Cameron as she finished her eighth Aramco Houston Half and this year's time of 2:32:56 was the best of all of them.

She also finished the marathon at Houston in 2015 in 5:44:31.

Trudy Regnier ran her first Aramco Houston Half Marathon since 2008, finishing in 2:37:22.  She has run four Chevron Houston Marathons and three Aramco Half Marathons.

Completing her sixth Aramco Half in the last eight years was Naika Vargas, running the distance in 2:39:04, while Mike Kuykendall completed the Houston Double with a 2:55:34 half marathon performance.  That finish leaves Mike two away from becoming a Legacy Runner.

And Isaac Rodriguez had his third half marathon finish in the last four years with a time of 3:07:30.

Lots of our Volte friends also ran very well.

Rip Reynolds and Stoya Laydevant earned age group placements of second and first, respectively, with times of 1:29:19 and 1:34:11.

Stoya's parents, Meri and Pierre, finished in 1:48:52 and 2:10:03, giving the family 17 combined finishes at Houston since 2015.

Meri has run four marathons and three half marathons, while Pierre and Stoya have run five half marathons each.

Kahn Grice finished his 18th Houston event with a 1:42:04 half marathon to give him four 13.1-mile finishes to go along with 14 marathons.

Likewise, Sonia Dhodapkar has a lot of finishes as she polished off her seventh straight Aramco Half in 1:43:42, the last three all coming in the 1:43-minute.  She finished the marathon also in 2014 and 2015.

Former Rice Owl Erica Falcon ran her first Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 20 years as she recorded a time of 2:02:22.  Her 1994 cross country team was inducted into Rice's Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this year for winning the 1994 Southwest Conference cross country championship - the first for any women's program in Rice's history.

Alvaro and Lusi Trejo finished in 2:22:10 and 2:48:33, respectively, while Woodlands Fit's Mariela Rodriguez finished her second straight Aramco Houston Half Marathon with a time of 2:49:36.

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