Sunday, December 18, 2011

We had to be happy with that- 2011 with the GRC

This year brought unprecedented growth and success for the GRC racing team, and in aggregate, its easy to forget that all of these great things happened in the past year. Sam Luff and Michelle Miller's copious contributions on and off the roads earned them MVP honors, and Ryan Witters and Anna Holt-Gosselin's consistent and compelling efforts made them clear rookies of the year.

Most importantly, thanks to a strong recruitment effort by coach Jerry Alexander, our membership swelled considerably. We added an entire women's team and welcomed back Laura O'Hara (LTO). The women's team now boasts Maura Carroll, Lisa "Chilly" Chilcote, Samantha "Kirby" Cole, Kristie Connelly, Kate Dart, Drea Garvue, Susan "Shendrick" Hendrick, Anna "Usain" Holt-Gosselin, Elizabeth Laseter, Michelle "The Butcher of Damascus" Miller, Christina Valerio, Beth Young, Elyse Shimada and just recently, Avril "East Canada" Ogrodnick.

The men's team grew too, most notably with the addition of Brian "Young Breezy," who has helped immensely with nickname generation. Matt "Hulk" Logan, Ryan "Witty" Witters and Jason "Shredder" Myers have intregrated well into the team, and we look forward to getting to now Clarke "Hairball" "West Canada" Lind and Will "Opie Cunningham" Rawson.

Sadly, we lost Matt Ernst, Jake Marren, Dirk de Heer, Carlos Hunt and Ian Hankins to the currents of life which took them elsewhere this year.

We also saw excellent additions to the staff at the Chevy Chase Running Company, Emily Norton and Lavar Curly. 

And we had a lot of laughs along the way!!

Onto reminding you about things you might have missed:

January
Feeling fine, fast in flannel 
Scott Koonce started the year off in style, PRing at the New Year's Day 5k.

Just terrible
The team did the absolute worst Sunday morning run ever on the Millennium Trail in Rockville, thanks to Jordan's first and last blog post.

Regulating his energy
Dave Burnham cruised to an easy victory in the Run to Read Half Marathon in West Virginia.

Ta ta, Ernie
Matt Ernst moved to Kentucky to pursue a life of Ironman training, horse racing and bourbon drinking. 

Indoor magic
Ryan Hanson ran 15:04 at the Maryland Indoor meet.

February
West Coast Wiggy
Joe Weigner started his year with the USATF 12k cross country championships in San Diego, where he finished 50th.
 

Love makes people do crazy things, like run 8:23
Ryan Hanson set a team record for 3k at the Boston University Valentine Invitational.
Damned dirty apes!
Outlaw broke 15 at the Love the Run You're With 5k. Earns a free pair of shoes for beating Bert which he never was able to redeem.



Boy George
Brian Young found a penchant for bringing awful weather with him to races, and he did so at the By George 10k, where 30+ mph winds greeted runners full in the face twice. It blew, to say the least. Karl led a series of GRC runners across the line. Pies all around! Like President Washington, I cannot tell a lie, they were delicious.


March
Here's a little something 'bout an Outlaw like me, never shoulda been let out the penitentary
Jerry Greenlaw finished 48th at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, which served as the USATF 15k championships.

Free Scores t-shirts!
Sam Luff won the Kelly’s Shamrock 5k with Dirk de Heer in pursuit. The GRC shows DC’s little sister Baltimore how running is done. Jake Marren returned to the racing scene.
 

Nice, gift certificates to the Glory Days Grill! What's that???
Karl Dusen set a team record when he runs 24:03 at the Van Metre Five Mile. Beth Young won the women’s race and some mad bank.

World Wide Web
Jimmy Daly debuted GrcRunning.com.

Before the sellout
Brian Young ran a 1:16 at the National Half Marathon for a big PR. Dickson led the team in 1:13. Wilson Komen placed third in the marathon.

April
A great month for the team
The GRC made the Cherry Blossom race one to remember, with six men breaking 52 minutes and Michelle Miller taking seventh overall for the women. A bevy of PRs resulted, with Karl finishing just a hair over 50 minutes. The mens team crushed Pacers in the team competition. Big races from Lyndsi Jerdonek and Beth Young gave Michelle a lot of backup in showing the rapidly-growing women's team is to not something with which to trifle. Future GRC runners Elyse Shimada and Lisa Chilcote took notice. You can relive the thrill by watching this video.
Panther on the prowl
Mike Cotterell finished eighth at the steamy St. Louis Marathon.

Rocking the suburbs
Great conditions helped push four GRC runners to PRs at the Pike's Peek 10k in Rockville, with Wiggy leading the charge in 30-friggin-40. Dickson, Wertz and Tender also hit their best marks. Michelle led the women, including Emily Dusen making her comeback race. Wilson ran 30:18.
JARRIN - DNS
Robert Jarrin made a daring, but successful, early morning trip from Boston to Washington to attend to the birth of his daughter, the appropriately named Iris Hopkinton. 

Bain finished his 13th Boston in 2:37:30, the same time as GRC alumna Caroline Whitem with Scott Koonce in 2:53. Koonce ran the 5k the day before with his daughter, Charlotte. 

Shattered Glass
Breezy's hometown performance at Toledo's Glass City Half Marathon, just under 1:17, showed that his improvement in long distances is here to stay.

Luffington, Luffington,
4 foot nothing and he's packing a gun,
He can't get a date and he cheers for Penn State,
he's fluffy, he's fluffy, he's fluffy
Luff Daddy had one hell of a week, running 14:15 at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational 5k and 30:14 in the middle of the night at the Penn Relays. Hanson ran 14:41 at Penn.

DJJJJJJJJJJ
Big City ran his annual race, hitting 1:55 for a team record in the 800 at the Shippensburg Invitational. Unfortunately, iPods weren't allowed at the race, but he managed to get by on the memory of the beats to the  California (of Pennsylvania) Raisins rendition of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." 

May
Poetic justice
In his first race in a year, Jake Klim blew away the field at the Race for Hope 5k in downtown Washington, running 15:57 in memory of his old friend and MCRRC mentor, Rob Magin. 



The North didn't win the Civil War, Dickson Mercer won the Civil War
Dickson cruised to victory in the inaugural Gettysburg North-South Marathon in 2:37. I'm not sure why he's so surprised it came out that way, though...

Frankly, that's a good race
Frank Fung took a big step forward when he broke the three-hour barrier at the New Jersey Marathon.

Run here while you can...
Wiggy runs 3:55 to win the 1500 at the Kehoe Twilight Meet at the University of Maryland, with Hanson close behind. The world gets the terrible news a few months later that the Maryland athletic department shortsightedly plans to cut the track teams. 

Then I stole his phone and sent illicit texts
Wiggy ran a fierce second mile (9:09 3200 split) in his PR 5k effort at the Swarthmore College last chance meet- 14:34, with Karl in 14:30. Dave Wertz set a big 5k PR in his first race ever on the track at age 35.


Tender isn't afraid of the guy in the wrestling singlet
For two reasons: 1) the guy isn't Dave Wertz 2) Andy ran away from him easily to win the Run for the Animals 5k.


Ahead of the Pack(ers)
Beth Young set a half marathon PR in Green Bay, apparently after her brother brought gale-force winds with him, which influenced her to forgo the full.

That might be enough to earn a live Q&A with the Washington Post
Lindsee Jerdonek friggin won the Columbia Triathlon. The whole thing! Matias finished second in the amateur race.


Brides and grooms everywhere!
Chris Bain married Shannon O'Neill and Jake Marren married Ella Thodal. 








June
They found the cure for obesity, at least
Michelle Miller and Wilson Komen won the National Race for the Cure.

XTREME SUCCESS
Wiggy and prodigal daughter LTO led the GRC team to a victory National Press Club 5k, which is later overturned by some questionable political work by a group of mercenaries who I believe do not represent the best interests of the field of journalism. Wiggy declined a pushup challenge from Tony Horton.

I don't know what this actually means
Matias finished 8th over at the Eagleman Triathlon. It involved swimming, going for a bike ride and jogging.

Grandmamas' boys
Diddy continued his MVP year leading the team at the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Minnesota, with Karl and Tex close behind. The little ball of fury ran 1:07:08 for his debut half.
Come for the cupcakes, stay for the chance to be in a video
Kate Dart won the Father’s Day 8k and Dave Burnham finished second for the men, ahead of the race’s largest crowd.  See Snowpath Productions' video here.


HOT POT OF COFFEE!
Wiggy headed back west for the Rock and Roll Seattle Half Marathon, where he ran 1:09.

July
Burly Man
Jason Myers set a huge PR at the inaugural All-American Time Trial 5k at Bethesda-Chevy Chase's track, earning the admiration of a certain cousin of a GRC runner shortly after.
Hot and sticky track
Tex showed he's not all about the marathon by running 4:24 to lead the GRC men at the Mid-Summer's Night Mile. The Red Fox ran his second race in two months and hit 4:27.

Undone by a technicality
Despite Texas Paul,Wilson and Dutch Paul going 6-7-8, and Lyndsay and LTO 9th and 11th, a registration snafu handed the GRC's team title to Falls Road Running at the Rockville Twilight race.

WHY EVEN KEEP HAVING RACES NOW?
Several idiots ran the Crystal City Twilight race, which featured no vampires but plenty of undead afterward. Participants blamed the bad weather on Breezy, something the race certainly wasn't, at 99 degrees (estimated conservatively).

Dirk departs, with difficulty
The dutchman packed up his running shoes, wife, cat and chihuahua into his BMW and drove off to Flagstaff.
August
What was that?
Competitors at the Friends of the W&OD 10k are left speechless when Anna Holt-Gosselin destroyed the field. Rumors started swirling that there was a new gunslinger in town. Lisa Chilcote set a PR at the Omega Centennial 5k.

Witty creates GRC racing team
According to the Princeton (Ind.) Daily Clarion, Ryan Witters reportedly started a training group in Washington, D.C.

Dylan Keith is a wild animal
In case he's not on your gchat list, be assured that still is the case.

Ural in big trouble
Outlaw's apparently brilliant, but erratic, strategy helped him vanquish both the Red Fox and Young Breezy during a heated game of Risk deep in Madison County, Va. during the 2011 GRC Training Camp. Then the football team came and beat them all up.

A marriage made in the pages of Triathlon magazine
Matias and Katie wed.


She ran for Jerry
LTO wons the NOVA Run for Jerry 5k in Bluemont Park. Suffice to say, this photo is not of Bluemont Park.

September
Speak softly and carry a big kick
Anna Holt-Gosselin showed the DC area what she can do at the Kentlands 5k. She then threatened Chris Bain, telling him she wants the nickname Silent Thunder. Young Breezy diffused the situation by bestowing the nickname Usain Holt on her. 

Michelle broke the statue because it did not pass muster
The GRC won again, this time at the Run, Geek, Run! 8k. Witty and Usain led the way with overall victories.

Just pay the guys already!
Karl and Kate put up great times at the Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. Dusen ran 1:06:54 and Dart speeds to 1:20:19, with Tex hitting 1:09:30. Amanda Rice ran an outstanding 1:14:39, despite stopping to extract three people's impacted wisdom teeth along the way. Logan ran 1:12:04 and Dickson 1:12:11.

It's Witty who sets the pace in this Arlington neighborhood 
Witters proved he's the big dog when he won the Pacers' Clarendon Day 5k.

Smoke 'em
The GRC men won Pittsburgh's Great Race 10k, with Sam leading the charge in fourth and Laura O'Hara finishing fifth among women.

October
Running through Antietam? That's more of a Klim move...
Charlie Ban got the half marathon monkey off of his back at the Freedom's Run races in Maryland, and shortly after died of the common cold.

Back to Minnesota
Minneapolis Paul ran 2:30:34 at the Twin Cities Marathon.


The Butcher of Damacus pillages the Wilson Bridge
Michelle destroyed the other Americans and finished third overall in the Wilson Bridge Half, running 1:19:42.

The Army Ten Miler
Diddy and Usain once again headlined great races for the GRC, this time at the Army Ten Miler. Wertz hit a big PR (just look at how much fun he's having!), and Amanda Rice kept her great fall going with a 57:16.

Don't get in the way of his jaw
Karl ran 2:26:26 to clock the fastest GRC marathon in 2011 in Chicago, then celebrated by gobbling up Peeps at Ruth's house.

He outpaced Load Reinhart
Matt “Hulk” Logan had one heck of a week, PRing in a second place finish of 2:33:31 at the Grand Rapids Marathon, and marrying Emily Keller the next Saturday. The race had a special significance, taking place in the town where the couple met while attending Calvin College.

Jack Manner, signing off
Jake Marren (left) and Ella (not Jarrin) depart Northwest Embassay Row for Vermont. On the way to his goodbye picnic, Towpath apparently drove through a chicken coop, by the looks of the amount of chicken he brought with him.

Engineering some success
Ryan Witters and Maura Carroll stuck gold with big PRs at the GTSI Charity 5k, with Maura winning in 17:58 and Witty comfortably breaking 15 in 14:51.

Shend-rick
Susan Henrick sent 'em at the AIDS 5k.

He's back, and running in a straight line
Jimmy "Dizzy" Daly made his comeback to racing after a debilitating bout with vertigo in the spring. He unluckily chose to race in freezing rain and snow... That guy can't catch a break... 


Thank God the snow stopped!
Brian Young snapped his bad luck with weather streak and ran a two-minute PR in fantastic conditions at the Marine Corps Marathon, escorted by Charlie Ban, Patrick Murphy and Chuck Kacsur. Lavar Curly fought some fierce knee pain during the race.

November
Something Witty
Ryan Witters debuted his blog. Observer had high hopes for it, but it turned out to be updated only slightly more than DC/Maryland TAKE TWO!!!!

I don't think he cares about adding any new states to his marathon list
Chris Bain ran 2:34:43 at New York. Pat Hughes shook off a great deal's worth of a year of injury frustration to get through the race.

Homecoming hurryup
Charlie Ban dusted off his eight-year-old 8k PR in time to shatter it at the Richmond Marathon's HCA Virginia 8k in 25:19. Jason Myers shredded his own PR by 20 seconds. Unfortunately, a strong elite field ensured neither GRC runners won any Dolla Billzzz.

Another GRC win at clubs tuneup
Strong races by Diddy, Witty, the Predator (Hanson, remember, we all voted on that?) and Usain led to a team championship at the Veterans Day 10k. Maura ran a solid 10k debut.

His 75th straight win there
Patrick Murphy won the MMRF 5k for about the fourth straight time. He goes on to run two solid 8ks over the course of five days, a harbinger of a strong fall for him.





The City of Brotherly love showed its affection for our sisters
Dart and Drea walked away from the Philly Marathon and Half with big PRs. Someone get me a photo, please.

December
National Class
The GRC's team performances at the USATF Club Cross Country meets were not marked by the great performances by Diddy, Witty, Usain and Maura, but by the sacrafices made by  athletes to ensure our teams scored. Breezy came off the bench, shortly after a marathon a little more than a month before, to help the men's B team finish 39th, and Lisa Chilcote selflessly removed herself from the masters race to help the women's team finished 19th. Murphy unleashed a vicious kick at the end of the race that left Shredder Myers aghast.
The men's A team finished 16th.

Man from Massachusetts rides off into sunset
Jake Klim retired after five years of coordinating GRC operations, plans to spend more time with his family of birds, a dog and, ooooh, ith a lady! Sam Luff replaced him on the very hypothetical "board of directors," and by this photo, you can agree that very little will change. His dedication to the team only intensified as he battled 19 months on injury, which, somewhat fortuitously, gave Emily a reason to talk to him. The only time you heard him complain as he toted water bottles, coordinated team activities or captured extra footage for videos was when he noted that my bicycle had no breaks.

6 comments:

Andy said...

This was an awesome recap Charlie, until the very last word.

Thanks for doing this.

Karl D. said...

Thanks for posting Charlie. Reading this made my day.

JA$ON said...

Good stuff Charlie!

Ancient Chinese secret said...

Nice post CB. Thanks for posting.

KLIM said...

Great post! Lots of happenings this past year and it seems as if you covered them all.

DM said...

2:37 ... Nice work Charlie. Thanks for the effort you put into this - and of course for posting that photo.