Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Volte Closes The Books on May with a Sylvan Beach Recap

Sylvan Beachers, we didn't miss you from last weekend!

The only one of Team Tri Volte that got shutout from the awards podium at the Sylvan Beach Duathon, Triathlon and Paratriathlon was the guy that was coming back from having surgery performed recently, Paolo Biagi.

That's a whole medal of courage of its own to overcome - and the deductible to go with it!

Team Tri Volte:  New competitors welcome - including the guy - Debut Darren - on the far right!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

In the longer Olympic distance race, which was a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run, Yaya Herrera finished in 3:09:31 to grab third overall in her age group.

Yaya to the finish!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Making his multisport debut was Darren Hadden, and he turned the Duathlon into a new athletic home if he wants to take up longer residence there.

He finished the 1.7-mile run, 20-kilometer bike and 5K run in 1:11:26, also picking a third place age group award.  

Even though they weren't in the same age division, he held off one of Houston's top veteran runners, Francisco "Paco" Garza, from catching him on the run.

Biagi was next across in 1:18:11 while Tammy Grado, putting to work the advantages gained from preparation for Ironman Texas, won her division in 1:27:30.

(Actually, preliminary results showed Biagi in third, but when the event producer acknowledged before the awards presentation that there were no separate overall and masters winners in the duathlon he got bumped down to fourth.)

Volte friend Nicholle Winger was second in her age group in 1:15:49.

And another Volte friend, Alejandro Bedoya, took second in his division in the Sprint triathlon, which replaced the 1.7-mile run with a 500-meter swim.

Thanks to Bill Dwyer and Roger King for supporting the team in La Porte.

Keeping with the triathlon theme, we bend the Alan Jackson tune in saying that Dana Formon and Gabby Westbrook were "way down yonder in the Chattanooga"!

The duo took on Iromnan 70.3 Chattanooga in Tennessee on Sunday, May 21 and did well.

Formon, who is coached by T3's Brian Tucker, stopped the clock in 6:33:15 while Westbrook, directed by TxTri's Sandra Sutherland, finished in 6:50:36.

Great job, ladies!

Volte friend Pam Meaux - one of our local female legends in running and triathlon in The Woodlands - was fourth in her 60-64 division in 5:44:37.

And in a light racing week otherwise, we kicked the tires on Run Houston! Clear Lake - also on Sunday, May 21.

Were we snoozing on Saturday, May 20?

No, we almost overlooked Jerritt Park in Spindle Tree parkrun 5K #70, where he took third overall and first masters in 20:43.

We take our readers back to Clear Lake.

Sherry Cameron led us off with a 39:38 finish in the 5K.

In the 10K, Jerritt logged a new personal best at the distance and finished first in his age group in 41:18.

Volte friend Josh Rivas was second in his age group in 42:20.  

He shared that his daughter Kylie ran her very first 10K ever and finished first in her division in 49:46.

And Jennifer Vieira closed the books on the race, doing well for Volte in 1:19:31.

Volte Thankful For The Freedom To Run on Memorial Day Weekend

We hope your Memorial Day weekend was restful and that you had time to spend with family and/or friends as well as reflect on those who gave their lives in service to our great, but always much to work on country.

Volte had a great group at the fourth annual Memorial Day 5K and 10K at Houston's St. Thomas High School, produced by Houston Running Company.

Four came home with some hardware as all of our athletes - including our friends there - chose to do the 5K.  

Seriously, who wants to choose to do the 10K when you don't have to, right?

Bling, bling at the Memorial Day 5K and 10K in Houston from this good-looking Volte crew!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Luis Murillo got the fanfare started with a third overall finish in 18:02, behind Houston Strake Jesuit graduating senior Jake Chandler and Hockley's John Brown.

Another third overall - this time the Master's division - went to the older Murillo brother, Juan, as he was 12th overall and five seconds out of second Master's with a time of 20:21 - behind Richard Oeschlin and Mani Walia.

Two spots behind in the wide 40-49 division, especially so with 502 finishers, was Chris Branch in 20:45.

Sixth overall female and first in the ladies Master's division was Judith Albarran with a nice time of 22:49.  

Judith Albarran putting the beat down on Tomball's Paul Hellen, thanks to Tuesday's track workouts!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

The next two ladies in the division figuratively escorted (finishing one spot ahead and behind) Luis and Juan's dad, Jose, to the finish, more than two minutes behind.

He crushed the 70-and-over division as he stopped the clock in 25 minutes even, more than 13 minutes ahead of second place.

Coach Rich Cooper and Sherry Cameron rounded out our team's efforts with marks of 30:41 and 37:13, respectively.

Volte friend Alejandro Bedoya got in the age group winning business with a near three-minute win in the 20-29 age group - good for fifth overall - in 18:59.

Christina Gray and Marta Mixa - our friends with Northside Running - ran well with times of 27:47 and 28:25.  

Marta headed back up Interstate 45 with a third place age group award for the keeping.

Longest distance of the weekend went to Steven Sfeir as he finished his second career Buffalo Marathon in 4:38:18 on Sunday, May 28. 

He ran it two years ago in 4:39:51.

Well done, Steven!

And that leaves us with the weekly Jerritt Park #roadto100 report.

Second overall on Saturday morning at the Spindle Tree parkrun 5K #71 in east Magnolia is where Jerritt dropped his first sub-20 minute parkrun with a time of 19:57 - just 13 seconds back of McCullough eighth grader (and soon to be The Woodlands freshman) Max Charbonneau.

Volte friend Ken Johnson of the Seven Hills Running Club finished his 17th career parkrun in 49:41.

If San Antonio wasn't far enough alone for Jerritt, well, this time, he packed up the family for adventures on Sunday, May 28 in Dripping Springs, with an 11 a.m. start at the Bell Springs Wine Run 5K.

On a hilly course, he threw down an impressive 20:16 - almost a minute and a half in front of 24-year-old Peter Mitchell - for the overall win.

And on Memorial Day, Jerritt got to race #40 of the year with another overall win - this time at the Seven Hills Running Club Memorial Day 5K in Huntsville.

The race, which is hosted from Ken and Marilynn Johnson's house in the Timberwilde subdivision, saw Jerritt crossing the finish line in 20:30.

Volte friend Becky Nesbitt from Hempstead won the women's race in 22:28.

Also in Austin on Monday, we had friends competing in the Memorial Day classic triathlon, the Ascension Seton CapTex Tri.

Volte alumni Kate Looney finished sixth overall in the Olympic division in 2:19:43.  

Two spots in front of her was local legend - and two-time Olympic Trials marathoner and multi Kona podium finisher - Peggy Yetman.

Scott Mayer, Volte friend from the Team Strive days and former Strike Force Racing team member, overcame a couple of bike flats and finished the Olympic in 3:00:59.

Kate's husband, Bob, competed in the equally popular Sprint race, and finished third in his 40-44 division (27th overall) in 1:11:40.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Volte Off and Running in May

When you get crazy goals, you do crazy things!

Alright, not really crazy, just committed - to drive three hours for a race on a weekday evening!

Race #32 for Jerritt Park was the May The Fourth Be With You 4-Miler hosted by the San Antonio Road Runners on Thursday, May 4, of course.

Thing is, it was something other than four miles.

We'll let Jerritt take over the storytelling:

"Runners go out about .35 mile and can choose which way to run the loop (one is the dark side and the other the light side)," he explained.  "Four of us go out and I’m the only one to take the dark side.

"Me and the leader cross at 1.5? and we both meet up again at 2.65 with .35 left?"

Jerritt said that it appeared that they forgot to mark some loop. 

"I turn around and got four in the 2nd and fourth guy stopped at 3.  I’ll take unofficially 2nd overall in 28.10."

Always better executed is the annual Woodforest Sprint Triathlon produced by The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation department and run out of North Shore Park.

Mike Kuykendahl led Team Tri Volte with a 1:38:49 finish over the 500-meter swim, 12.8-mile bike and 5K run courses.

Former Team Strive and Strike Force Racing athlete - and Volte friend - Scott Mayer posted a 1:12:11 finish while Nicholle Winger was second in her age group in 1:15:27.

Jerritt finished race #33 the same Saturday morning, May 6, in the 68th running of the Spindle Tree parkrun 5K.

He was second overall in 20:50, while Volte friends - and community legends - Vincent Attanucci and Ken Johnson ran the course in 30:52 and 47:03, respectively.

Then we had long, and comparatively short, the rest of the day.

Mark Embry ran the Wildflower 50K in Bastrop in 8:33:34.

Darren Hadden was called in to duty by his employer, ExxonMobil, to compete in the annual Corporate Track & Field Meet, this year hosted at Barnett Stadium in Houston.

Darren Hadden handing off to an ExxonMobil teammate, much like the way he works in tandem with many of the runners in our Volte group.
(Photo courtesy of Darren Hadden)

While his overall ExxonMobil team took first, Darren was on two separate second place relay teams.  He posted a 2:30 800 meters in the Masters Relay and then followed with a 5:30 in the 1600 meters Executive Relay.

Tabbed for one more event, he covered the 3,200 meters in 11:30.

Big group at The Woodlands Running Club Sunday Night 5K on Sunday, May 7 at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands.

Voltes 9, Friends 4 was the final score!

Jerritt Park was first overall - in his race #34 - in 20:39.  

Christopher Branch was second in 23:55, followed by Volte friends Edson Jones in 24:58 and James Spencer in 25:37.

Judith Albarran was the first female finisher in 26:53 and Paolo Biagi in his first race post-procedure was not too far behind in 27:39.

Volte friend Randall Ivins was next in 30:56.

Our Geri Henry led a small group in 45 minutes even as Volte friend Ken Johnson followed in 48:13.

Mona Draper, Kimberly Roth and Julia Di Paolo all finished together in 48:32 and Julie Purcell was close behind in 50:43.

A little bit lighter fare on Mother's Day weekend.

Volte friend Ken Johnson finished his 16th career parkrun in 50:10 at Spindle Tree parkrun #69 on Saturday, May 13.

Jerritt?  Well, that same morning, he travelled south to Houston's Rice University to take place in one of Texas' oldest races - the 54th annual LP Run, where you run as many laps as possible in 33 and a third minutes (33:20).

He covered a little of 19 laps for an official distance of 4.83 miles, which equated to a 6:54 pace.

Eunice Allen ran the Shoots & Ladders 5K produced by AMPT Running in Plano finishing in 29:32 - good for 108th out of 481 finishers.

And finally, who knew that the Kings were cookers?!

First place brisket in the Willis VFW BBQ Cook Off went to Roger and Robert King.

Probably not a long list of guys that can win a BBQ cook off and drop sub-3 hour marathons.
(Photo courtesy of We Two Kings)

Holy smokes!

Maybe we'll enlist them for a Volte Sausage Eating Contest or something like at the Bud Heat Wave on the Fourth of July!

Volte Closes Out April With a Little History-Making

So where did we leave off?  Ironman Texas?  

Ah yes.  Still great memories for all!

Actually the last weekend of April was quite historic in Volte, USA - and may have only happened - partly - because Jerritt Park was looking for more races.

Even though some of the veterans among us have known about it for quite some time.

Saturday morning, April 29, began with a good crew - Voltes and friends - at the 67th running of the Spindle Tree parkrun 5K in east Magnolia.

The entire Park family participated.  

Brayden led the way with a fifth place overall time of 18:27.

Jerritt was ninth overall and the second masters finisher - behind Kevin Baker - with a mark of 21:21.  Put it in the books for race #29 of the year.

Riley Park would make it to the finish line a few seconds before Mom, Kristi, did.  

Kristi stopped the clock in 26:35, while Riley dashed in at 26:23 - and now holds the fastest 10 and under time in Spindle Tree parkrun history.

Greg Broad rounded out our group with a time of 34:18.

Lots of friends getting in the action too as Lorena Rowell led the way in 24:25.  

Vincent Attanucci finished his 25th career parkrun in 29:08.  

Woodlands Fit runners Erika Lawton and Mariela Rodriguez covered the three-loop course in 31:39 and 36:59, respectively, and Ken Johnson finished his 14th career parkrun in 50:10.

The first bit of historic took place a little later in the morning in Eugene, Oregon as Keith Wiley ran the Eugene Half Marathon.

Keith Wiley putting the dot on Oregon at historic Hayward Field
(Photo courtesy of Keith Wiley)

Historic in the sense that the finish was on the track at Hayward Field.

Keith made the best of it with a 2:10:38 finish despite having one of his shoes literally fall apart during the race that slowed him down.

Never before this Saturday had a complete Volte team run in HARRA's Bayou Bash Relay.

It is a race that features four runners each doing a 2.2-mile leg - and it is typically against some of the best runners with many of Houston's long-time running clubs.

Team Volte Endurance was the second overall Mixed Masters team with a total time of 1:00:29.

Team Volte Endurance.  Volte's first-ever complete team in HARRA's Bayou Bash Relay
(Photo courtesy of Jerritt Park)

Jerritt Park paced the group with a split of 14:14.  Jane Cardnell and Rob Gay followed in 14:31 and 14:39, respectively.  

Kristi Park, with her second race of the day, posted a nice effort of 17:03.

That was race #29 for Jerritt, and #30 came the next day as he finished second overall in 21:13 at the League City-based Run For Kelsi 5K.

Friday, May 12, 2023

And Then, There Was Ironman Texas

What a busy, exciting week it was:  the 127th running of the Boston Marathon on a Monday and then - of course, in our own backyard, the 12th running of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas on Saturday.

Before we tell our Ironman stories, Volte saw other fine performances that weekend.

Darren Hadden ran along for the ride as his daughter, Brooke, took second in her age group on Saturday, April 22 in the Tomball ISD Superintendent's Fun Run 5K.

Youth was also served at the Spindle Tree parkrun 5K #66 as Brayden Park raced to a winning time of 18:53 while Dad, Jerritt, finished second overall in 20:33.  
Volte friend Vincent Attanucci finished in 29:02.
We'll start to see more triathlons and duathlons in our results soon and getting in on the fun was Angel Martinez-Interiano at the Xterra ATX Trail Triathlon.

He covered the 1,000-meter swim in Lake Travis, 25K bike ride and 8K trail run in Pace Bend Park in two hours, 53 minutes and 15 seconds.

Notching a likely PR with the non-standard 6K distance, Sherry Cameron ran the XKlusive 6K in Sugar Land in 46:39.  

Volte friend Paul Blutt stopped the clock in 28:39.

The following day - Sunday April 23, we had athletes in all three races at Vintage Half Marathon, 5K and 1K.

Two weeks, two pacing opportunities for Lillian Evans and once again, she nailed her effort.

Leading a group for the 2:25 time, just over 11 minutes per mile, Lillian took them through the course in 2:24:31.

She and Roger could open up Volte Run With Me any day now!

Our good friend Dee Akers from Team Strive (the old days) and Strike Force Racing was second in her age group in 2:44:02.
In the 5K, Jerritt Park finished his 28th race of the year with a ninth overall and first in division time of 19:50.

Volte friends Mark and Dawn Poole grabbed first place age group awards in 21:13 and 25:08, respectively.

And grabbing the win in the 1K was Riley Park in 5:02.

And now, Ironman.

Ironman Texas never disappoints.  (Well, almost never, but we'll get to more of that later.)

Yaya Herrera nearly squeezes Tammy Grado's finish out of her with excitement!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
It was a great day that most of our entire team, including some we haven't seen in awhile, was out to support and cheer on Yaya Herrera and Tammy Grado as they competed with many Volte friends.

Yaya finished her second Ironman in a time of 14:10:10 and Tammy was able to put behind her unique challenges from Ironman Texas and Ironman Waco behind as she registered her first Ironman finish in 15:43:28.

Just as awesome was knowing that Volte alumni Kate Looney, who started coaching for Michelle Truesdale's Mach 5 Racing, got both of our ladies to the water ready in all facets to complete their goal.

"Yaya hit a big PR with a 1:33 swim," said Looney. "A little over a year ago, she was just learning to swim."

Amazing ... knowing that Yaya is as tough as nails out there competing athletically.

Yaya Herrera - tough as a train - on the bike.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Yaya excited, off on the run!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

While the water has proved to be a little bit of challenge for Tammy (as it is and would be for many of us), we would have been celebrating Tammy's first finish in October 2021 if it weren't for poor information from a volunteer regarding the amount of time that the bike course would be open - because that - 2:01:37 - was Tammy's best swim of her three attempts.

Tammy Grado dialed in to finish what she started two years ago.  Well done.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

This year, after being over a little in Waco two weeks after Ironman Texas in 2021, Tammy made it out of the water in 2:14:52 - and was off for that 15:43:28 finish.

"Watching Tammy become a first time Ironman finisher brought tears to my eyes," Looney added.

Yes, we're not crying, you are!

Tammy Grado always knew that if she could get to the run, her chances were high that she'd get her Ironman finish.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Seven is a lucky number, right?  Well, that's how many friends of Volte who also finished Ironman Texas.

All you can say about Volte alumni Meredith Moss' performance is "Wow."  

It was her third career Ironman finish after finishing Ironman Texas and Ironman Arizona last year in 11:40:48 and 12:45:35, respectively.

This year, she clocked in at 11:00:05 - and is going to Kona to compete in the Ironman World Championship on October 14, 2023.

"I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity!" Meredith said on her Instagram page.  "The race is on my birthday this year!"

What-a-birthday present!

Bob Looney decided to finally make it a two-Ironman household.

"I had done 7 half distance races, needed a new challenge, and was finally ready to give the full distance a shot," said Bob as he gave E3's Jorge Amine Martinez the coaching reins.

He finished in 11:36:09.

"Congrats Bob on the hard work you put in training this go around!" said Kate.  "Definitely re-inspired to get at that full distance again after watching your performance! Proud of you!"

Want to talk about a walking billboard for inspiration, see Reggie Bruhn with Sandra Sutherland's TXTRI.

Reggie has energy we only wish we could have.

This was his sixth Ironman finish in the last four years and his 12:18:40 was a PR for him.

Waco's Nancy Goodnight is an incredible human force of nature - and a great friend to us here at Volte.

For the first time in a while, Nancy did not do a Boston-Ironman Texas double as she shared she came into Ironman Texas with a torn hamstring.

However, she's in the Ironman Texas Survivor race as she is one of seven athletes who have finished all 12 Ironman Texas races - and the only female.

And if you're competing in Ironman 70.3 Waco, she's your race director!

Having run and worked out with us for a season, Ken Rademacher is a good friend of Volte who finished at least his fourth career Ironman (three at Ironman Texas) in 13:45:09.

It had been five years since former Team Strive - and current Mach 5 Racing athlete - John Laskowski had done an Ironman.

He did a couple of 70.3's in 2019 and had a solid showing at Ironman 70.3 three weeks before in 5:40:36, but he joked with his coach, Michelle Truesdale, after she commented, "Welcome back to long course!" that "Long course didn't like me."

Us having known John for more than a decade, if not longer, it was a tough day for John - finishing in 13:50:36; however, John has one of the more humble, pleasant dispositions in the Bubble.

And closing it all out was The Woodlands' Ram Rajagopalan who finished his second consecutive Ironman Texas in 15:43:01, slicing 45 minutes off of his time from 2022 where he got it done in 16:28:57!

So who are we going to see in 2024?

Two guys that we won't see, unfortunately, are Barry Blanton and Jim Chiles.

Barry Blanton provided this kind of personal support to our hometown folks - and other athletes every year for 12 years.
(Photo courtesy of Barry Blanton)

After 12 great years of being the co-captains of Run Aid Station #8 - affectionately known as "Some Like It Hot!", and being the creators of the world famous Third Lap Bell, they are retiring from being captains there.

Many, many Volte athletes - and their families - have volunteered there and athletes have enjoyed the support at what could have been a lonely spot on the run course.

Teamwork makes the dream work.
(Photo courtesy of Barry Blanton)

Gentlemen, thank you for what you did for all of us the last 12 years!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Volte Has Four or More Runners Finish Boston for the 10th Consecutive Year

Forty-six different runners since 2013 have run the Boston Marathon under Volte's colors.

Some want to run Boston every chance they can.

And for others, it is a one and done career running achievement.

Both are OK.

However, Volte's become a place where if you're willing to dream and do the work, its coaches will help you achieve it.

Even when you yourself might not believe you can get there.

Everybody knows that Volte is going to have runners run Houston or The Woodlands - and the newest annual marathon stop at Tunnel Light, but there's been a growing expectation that Volte will have folks at Boston.

This year, we had 12 finishers.

Darren Hadden, Roger King, Jane Cardnell, Robert King and Rob Gay before the 2023 Boston Marathon  (Photo Courtesy of ... one of them!)

It is the third Boston Marathon that we've had 10 or more finishers -- with 10 in 2015 and a record 13 in 2018.

And we've had another 30 runners since the 2018 race who have held a qualifying time, but either elected not to run - or fell in a small gap of time where the time underneath the qualifying standard wasn't large enough for all who entered to take up the race's entries.

We're also grateful that there are runners out there who want to join us to help them make it back to be able to qualify again for Boston - or just get there for the first time.

Leading our group this year - and who has been a pleasant addition to the team the last couple of years - was Lu Bouanga.

We sure hope to see a lot more of Lu Bouanga at the Boston Marathon like this!

The former East Central University runner bettered his 2:39:00 personal best from his debut at Houston last January by 46 seconds with a Volte all-time best of 2:38:14 - bettering Ramon Rosales' time of 2:44:17 in October 2021 .

When Robert King first qualified for Boston - with his debut marathon time of 3:02:25 at The Woodlands two years ago, his first Boston that October was something that a lot of runners appropriately embrace:  a victory lap.

This year, after a sterling time of 2:59:57 at California International Marathon last December, Robert attacked the course for a Volte all-time top ten time at Boston of 3:08:16.

Darren Hadden was going to use the Legacy Capital The Woodlands Marathon as a training run and drop out around mile 20, but the day went well and he finished easily in 3:42:26.

However, he was fully ready to lower his former Boston times of 3:28:16 in 2013 and 3:21:30 in 2007 - and he did so in grand fashion by requalifying for next year's Boston Marathon with a time of 3:17:16.

After jumping in to help pace Jane Cardnell at Houston in January, Roger King finished his fifth career marathon - all in the last three years - in 3:18:27.

While the times look similar for Boston, Roger did not pace Jane in Beantown, but all the hard work - and teamwork within Volte - paid off for Jane as she opened up a new chapter of running with a dazzling 3:18:36 that allows her to go back to Boston in 2024.

Christopher Branch finished his second consecutive Boston - and ninth career marathon - in 3:32:03, followed by Christopher and Stephanie Reed, who ran together for a time of 3:36:07.  

Check yourself for a pulse if you can get excited about this picture of Christopher and Stephanie Reed!

It was their second straight year to run the course together and they shaved three minutes and 36 seconds off of last year's time.

Devyn Cook loves Boston, but it always hasn't loved her back in a reciprocal way.

Nonetheless, Devyn finished Boston for the third straight year and recorded her best time there with a 3:49:19 effort; however, she still desires to master it like she has Houston and The Woodlands -- the two locations that have accounted for the other 10 of her 13 career marathons.

With one more marathon than Devyn to her career credit (14), Judith Albarran finished her second straight Boston and lowered her Beantown best by 14 minutes and two seconds with a showing of 3:50:01.

Another with unfinished Boston business was Erika Sampson.

After a tough race a year ago, she finished this year in 3:56:46 - more than a 37-minute improvement.

Rounding us out was Michelle McGill, who finished her sixth Boston Marathon - all with Volte - in 4:09:20.  

In fact, Michelle is tied with former Volte athlete Derek Bailey for the most Boston finishes - six, which is two more than any other Volte.  

Laura Godfrey and Sandra Tezino have both finished Boston four times.

We had another 14 friends who made the trip to Boston.

Christine Berenz was so close to slipping under three hours as she finished in 3:01:52.  It was her second Boston finish, the first coming in 2018 in 3:31:43.  (Christine is coached by another Volte friend, ZDT's Michael Menster, who did a great job directing her efforts at this race.)

Last June, Michael Attanucci set the world on fire with a 2:58:58 at the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon - and he delivered in his debut Boston Marathon with a time of 3:09:23.

Samie Leigh is perfect as far as Boston Marathon qualifying times - 4-for-4 (Dallas, Houston, CIM) - and she requalified for 2024 with a debut Boston of 3:16:53.

Former Volte coach Adrienne Neal improved upon her time from her qualifying race - the 2022 Phoenix Marathon, where she ran 3:27:20 - to punch her Boston ticket for 2024 with a mark of 3:21:03.

Rip Reynolds and Kevin Baker finished close - in terms of time - with respective showings of 3:23:23 and 3:24:46.

With her third Boston finish - 2016 and 2019 being the other two, Sonia Dhodapkar requalified with a 3:41:51 - just 13 days before she completed the Boston 2 Big Sur double with a 3:53:50 in Carmel, California.

Josh Rivas finished his third consecutive Boston Marathon (2021-2023) in a time of 3:45:00.

Four more runners cracked the four-hour mark at Boston:  C. Stephenson-Lake in 3:49:48, Mia Cieslar in 3:54:58, Mary-Ellen Wilderman-Hay in 3:55:38 and Paul Blutt in 3:56:46.

Jetola Anderson-Blair and Nora Wilson rounded things out with performances of 4:12:06 and 4:39:35, respectively.

Along with our friends - and family, of course, Volte, USA is as good of a place to be as its ever been.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Volte Leveraged Great Mid-April Weather to Solid Racing Results

The second weekend of April - Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9 - was quiet from a racing standpoint as it was Easter Weekend.

When The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department moved Muddy Trails to February, it opened an opportunity for them to create the Run and Done 3.1 race that is held completely on The Woodlands Waterway.

The Park family took home a pair of second-place age group awards to add to their Easter baskets as Brayden finished in 17:16 while his Mom, Kristi, put down a time of 22:24.

Dawn Spoljaric led our Volte friends by denying Kristi a first-place award as she led their division with a time of 20:57.  Northside Running's Cristina Gray slipped in under 25 minutes in a time of 24:59, while one of The Woodlands' all-time legends, Jim Braden, 87 years young, won his age group in 39:10.

5 ... 3 ... 1 ... PR! for George Orebe at this year's Vintage Park 13.1.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Earlier in the following week, Chloe Kramer, the daughter of Volte's Mayra Caamano, ran her last high school race as she finished eighth overall in the 3,200 meter run in a time of 12:02.35 at the UIL 13-6A district meet that was held at The Woodlands College Park High School.

The following Saturday, April 15, Jerritt Park finished his 32nd race of the year with a second place overall finish of 20:52 in the Spindle Tree parkrun 5K #65 in Magnolia.  

Volte friend Vincent Attanucci completed his 23rd career parkrun in 28:58.

Running in just his second race in the last year or so, Randy Harris won his age group in The Mercy Run 10K in Carrollton (DFW Metroplex) in 48:35.

And with our folks taking in the entire Boston experience, a few ran the B.A.A. 5K as an easy shake-out run.

Erika Sampson led in a time of 26:19 while Judith Albarran and Christopher Branch finished together in 27:52.

Jetola Anderson-Blair led our friends in 26:59 and Allison Urvan ran with a friend in a time of 31:13.

On Sunday, April 16, we headed off into four different directions.

Jennifer Vieira ran with her daughter Megan Wittrop at the Austin American-Statesman Capitol 10K in a time of 1:32:55.

The Murillo family raided the prize chest of the Run For the Rose 5K in Houston as Luis, Juan and Jose all carted home first place age group awards.

Luis led with a time of 17:06.  Juan finished in 19:04 and Jose posted an always impressive 23:33.

Waverly Walk with a steady performance in the Vintage Park 13.1
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

A good group of four took to the trails in Huntsville State Park taking part in the Gator Bait Trail Runs.

Tim Russell won his age group in the 5K in 31:17.

And the 15K, well, it was more like 12 miles.

Jerritt Park took first place in his division in 1:47:24 followed by Rob Myers who was second in his age group in 2:03:11.  

Brittany Haddad rounded out our team in 2:08:50.

On the long course, Jerritt explained it this way:

"So I’m in fourth and miss a turn," he said.  "But then the lead pack misses a turn and then the whole rest of the field misses the same turn.

"I met up with the leaders and we decided to back track.

"We were nice and told the next 30 people they were going the wrong way.  We ended up running 12.4 miles!"

Only thing that Jerritt was really bummed about is that this year's Great Virtual Run Across Tennessee hadn't started yet and he couldn't count the bonus miles for that yet!

Volte wrapped up weeks two and three of April at the Vintage Park 13.1 and 5K, along Highway 249 in northwest Houston.

Rich Cooper was Volte's only runner in the 5K with a second place age group finish of 27:20.  Volte alumni, friend and Northside Running's Marta Mixa won her age group in a time of 27:59.

George Orebe led us in the half marathon with a first place age group finish of 1:35:21.  Mary Ann Miller followed with a time of 2:18:46.

Finishing her 23rd career half marathon, in her 30 halves by age 30 quest, Waverly Walk finished in 2:21:10.

It was super great for us to see Holly Benson, who came over from Liberty, to run as she finished in 2:26:23 - while being five months pregnant!

Lillian Evans and her runners are all smiles at about mile 6 of the Vintage Park 13.1
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

And Lillian Evans was right on the money leading the 2:30 group as a pacer as she crossed the finish in 2:29:07.

Our friends did well too.

Mark Amann was first overall in 1:14:09 and Than Dinh was the first men's masters finisher in 1:26:08.

First in his age group was Mark Poole in 1:37:45.

Dawn Spojaric posted a personal best time with a third place age group finish of 1:42:20.

Former Team Strive triathlete Courtney Grube ran the distance in 1:52:50 while Tabatha Poole also took home a third-place age group bottle of wine after her 2:07:33 effort.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Volte and Friends Open April With Eight Events in the First Weekend

April generally - except for those running the Boston Marathon - is the kickoff to the racing season, especially for triathlons, but also for many shorter distance races - half marathon and below.

It wouldn't be Volte unless we had some of our folks - and friends - starting to put feet to the pavement and trails for yet another year of fun.

Eight different events we were in just in the first weekend of April - Saturday and Sunday, 1-2.

Eunice Allen opened things up in Dallas on Saturday morning, April 1 with a 54:03, five-mile time in the Dallas Running Club's Breakfast Bash 5-Miler.

The 63rd running of the Spindle Tree parkrun on the Spindle Tree Jogging Trail in far east Magnolia - call it, The Woodlands, if you'd like - saw Jerritt Park finish his 21st race of the year with a fifth-place overall time of 21:43.  He was also the second masters finisher.

Volte friend Vincent Attanucci made the three-loop course in 29:28.

It's always "peace"ful, easy running for Lu Bouanga, right?
If not, well, he just makes it look that way.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Out west, Stephen Lopez finished his 40th career marathon at the Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon in Las Vegas, Nevada in a time of 5:44:01.  

It is the 34th different state that he has finished a marathon in.

Good guy - and Volte friend - Terence Baptiste also made the trip, cashing in his chips with a sparkling time of 3:20:12.

From downhill to flat as a pancake we go as we had a small group at the Brazos Bend Trail Run in Needville.

Luis Murillo won the 5K in 18:49 while Volte friend Paul Blutt registered a time of 23:18.

Appearing in Volte's results for the first time, Cheryl Edwards ran the 25K in 3:51:38.

Seventy-two years young, Jose Murillo - already in midseason form - won his age group in the 50K in 7:51:16.

Running in the longest distance, 50 miles, Juan Murillo was forced to stop after 43 miles and eight hours, 58 minutes and 34 seconds due to the hot and humid conditions the day challenged with.

Sis-boom-bah for Jerritt Park after he finished fourth overall a couple of hours after the Spindle Tree parkrun with a 22:19 finish in the Tomball (High School) Cheer 5K in Tomball.

Roger King and Jason Bodie
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

And he celebrated on Sunday, April 2, with another seven Voltes and a half dozen friends at the Art Car IPA 5K in downtown Houston.

Christopher Branch led our five age group winners with a time of 20:43, passing Park at about the two-mile mark, to take first in his division.  Jerritt was second in 21:05.

Judith Albarran and Julie White led the ladies with age group wins in times of 22:43 and 23:33, respectively.

Kim White rounded Volte's winnings out with a second-place age group mark of 22:05.

Paolo Biagi ran the distance in 24:26 while Greg Broad and Jennifer Vieira followed in 32:24 and 47:58, respectively.

Volte friends saw Josh Rivas take third place in his division in 21:20.  Paul Blutt timed himself in 24:32 as Erika Lawton completed the course in 28:40 and Mariela Rodriguez did so in 36:43.

Melinda Evans and Marvin Adamson rounded out our friends' efforts with times of 40:04.

Speaking of Ironman below, Dan Jordan is one of the few in our community to do both an Ironman and a 100-mile race.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

 Good group of Volte friends down on The Island in Galveston competing in Ironman Texas 70.3.

Volte alumni Kate Looney was the second overall female in 4:40:03.

Volte friend Alejandro Bedoya (TXTRI, Sandra Sutherland) and John Laskowski (MACH 5, Michelle Truesdale) both went sub-six with respective marks of 5:34:43 and 5:40:37.

"Mama Goose" Brandi Watkins turned in a steady performance of 6:43:58 while Kahn Grice and Gary Knoll finished the day with showings of 7:08:12 and 7:35:30.

We wrapped up April's opening weekend of racing at The Woodlands Running Club's Sunday Night 5K at Barbara Bush Elementary in The Woodlands. 

Even though he had run three races previously, nobody was able to catch Jerritt Park as he finished his 24th race of 2023 in 20:41.  Rob Gay was second overall in 23:02.

The first female finisher was Jane Cardnell in 23:24.

Christopher Branch edged Devyn Cook to the finish line in 24:22 and 24:33, respectively, while Paolo Biagi took it easy with a time of 26:01.

Rounding out our crew was Trey Taylor and Judith Albarran, who finished in 27:44 and 28:33, respectively.

Volte friend Ken Johnson of the Seven Hills Running Club stopped the clock in 47:27.