Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Top Men's Times in 2013


Below is a snapshot of how the men of GRC performed in 2013:

800m
1. Chuck Kacsur - 1:53.85 (Shippensburg Invite) *CLUB RECORD*
2. Ryan Witters – 1:56.43

1500m
1. Joe Wiegner – 3:55.2 (PA Distance Festival)
2. Ryan Witters – 3:57.39  (Hopkins/Loyola
3. Sam Luff – 4:00.47 (Hopkins/Loyola) *#4 GRC ALL TIME* 
4. Sean Barrett – 4:03.59 (Hopkins/Loyola)
5. Tom Kelley - 4:08.55 (NB Twilight Meet # 4)

3,000m
1. Sean Barrett - 8:28 - (Columbia)  *#3 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Dickson Mercer - 9:02 (DCRR Meet)

5,000m (track)
1. Ryan Witters – 14:31 (Swarthmore)
2. Sam Luff – 14:43 (Raleigh Relays)
3. Joe Wiegner – 14:57 (Raleigh Relays)
4. Sean Barrett – 15:03 (Princeton)
5. Matt Hassett – 15:06 (Swarthmore)

8k/5 Miles
1. Ryan Witters - 24:39 (Run Geek Run 8k) *#5 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Kevin McNabb – 24:40 (Alexandria 5 Miler)
3. Sam Luff – 24:48 (St. Patrick’s Day 8k)
4. Mike Franklin - 24:52 (Navy 5 Miler)
5. Kieran O’Connor 25:17 (Navy 5 Miler)

10k (road)
1. Mike Franklin - 30:17 (Run for the Parks)  *#3 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Luke Meyer - 30:26 (Run for the Parks) *#4 GRC ALL TIME* 
3. Joe Wiegner - 30:31 (Pikes Peek 10k) *#5 GRC ALL TIME* 
4. Jerry Greenlaw - 30:48 (Pikes Peek 10k)
5. Kevin McNab – 30:52 (Run for the Kids 10k)/Jake Klim – 30:52 (Pikes Peek 10k)

10 Miles
1. Luke Meyer - 50:21 (Army Ten Miler) *#3 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Sam Luff - 51:31 (Army Ten Miler)
3. Jake Klim - 51:41 (Broad Street Run)
4. Paul Balmer - 51:58 (Army Ten Miler)
5. Alex Benway – 52:03 (Cherry Blossom)

13.1 Miles
1. Kieran O'Connor - 1:06:51 (Wilson Bridge Half) *#2 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Sam Luff – 1:08:57 (Phoenix RnR)
3. Evan Jurkovich – 1:09:22 (USATF Half Champs)
4. Dave Burnham – 1:10:03 (Navy Half)
5. Matt Hassett – 1:10:07 (Navy Half)

26.2 Miles
1. Evan Jurkovich - 2:30:42 (Twin Cities Marathon) *#5 GRC ALL TIME* 
2. Stefan Kolata - 2:34:01 (Boston Marathon)
3. Ken Rayner - 2:35:11 (Lincoln Marathon) 
4. Charlie Ban - 2:36:04 (Three Bridges Marathon) 
5. Chris Bain – 2:36:50 (Phoenix RnR)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Riley's at 9

Patrick and I will meet at 9 am Sunday at Riley's Lock on the towpath in MoCo. Runs in the 9 to 16 range can be easily accommodated; if you want to run 24, I would advise getting in 8 beforehand. The route we do is mostly natural surface (towpath, dirt roads) plus a road section. Directions are on the Where We Run page. Let us know if you plan to join.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Active Life Article: GRC Places 9th at Club Cross

FROM: http://www.activelifedc.com/running/georgetown-running-club-places-9th-at-the-national-club-cross-country-championships/112565

Describing the course as “just absurdly difficult, the most difficult I've ever seen,” Georgetown Running Club (GRC) Head Coach Jerry Alexander had some trepidation as his men’s team lined up at the National Club Cross Country Championships last Saturday in Bend, Oregon. Alexander had no doubt in athletes’ ability to run well – the veteran coach had confidence in the fitness and talent of his top men and the addition of several elite standouts to the team in the past year bolstered his faith in their potential. But Alexander knew that the unpredictability of running at altitude (Bend is at 3,600 feet) and the strong field of elite competitors made his goal of finishing in the top 10 seem like a long shot.

Despite these challenges, the GRC men outperformed all expectations, finishing 9th overall in the team competition over the 10,000 meter course. Led by Kieran O’Connor (46th place overall, 32:36), with GRC teammates Mike Franklin (61st, 32:49), Luke Meyer (72nd, 33:05), Kevin McNabb (75th, 33:08) and Sam Luff (105th, 33:39) rounding out the top five scores, the team bested a number of other elite teams, including the Boulder Track Club and the Boston Athletic Association. Also competing for GRC on Saturday were Paul Balmer (118th, 33:59), Paul Guevara (160th, 34:27), and Sean Barrett (214th, 35:19).

Alexander could not have been more pleased with the outcome of the race saying, "It was truly a great performance from our guys. After we saw the course on Friday and realized how incredibly challenging the race was going to be, our plan was to stay conservative early, and let the race come to us.” GRC runner Sam Luff echoed this statement about the conditions, describing the course as “Made up essentially of five brutal loops with hills, hay bales, [and] technical descents. We knew we had the GRC’s best-ever assembled team, but had that wild card in terms of the course.”

 Fortunately, a significant amount of hard work and consistent training over the past year had prepared the team for the challenge. “We had enough confidence in our fitness that we knew that we'd be able to move forward in the second half of the race, and that's exactly what we did,” says Alexander. “Each of our guys picked off runners every loop, and thanks to our tight pack, we were able to meet our goal of finishing in the top 10. It was a team effort all the way, and one that we are very, very pleased with.”

In addition to the talent and efforts of the GRC men, all of whom hold down demanding full-time professional careers outside of running, credit must be given to Alexander and his skilled coaching of the team, which he began leading in 2010. GRC runner Luke Meyer, a two-time Olympic Trials competitor who joined the team after moving to Washington DC in September, says, “I'm really proud to have finished 9th with the team. It definitely would not have been possible without Jerry giving the team so much time and energy, and without the guys on the team practicing together and working hard together. It's much more fun to work hard with company, and it's inspiring to run with teammates who are so excited to compete and work hard so that we can all run faster.”

GRC runner Sam Luff, a four-time Club Nats competitor for GRC, felt extremely proud to represent the team at the competition, saying, “I think the team’s performance speaks to the work that everyone (not just those running last weekend) has put into the club, both in terms of actually running but also growing the club as an organization. Obviously Jerry’s commitment and unwavering optimism has also helped drive the club in a positive direction.”

Luff has a story of his own that he can share for years, after biting the dust on the last mile of the race in what has now become “the crash seen round the world.” Captured in an epic photo by John Swenson of SwensonPhoto, Luff took a dive after catching his foot on the bottom of a technical descent. A former collegiate steeplechase runner, Luff took it all in stride, saying, “As far as my now infamous tumble, the pictures probably make it seem more dramatic than it actually was. I am no stranger to falling in a race. In fact, I actually ran my PR in a race where I wiped out in the water pit, so I knew it wasn’t a big deal and I just popped up and continued on my way. I got a few raspberries for my troubles, but they stung a little bit less in lieu of our great team performance.”

Says Alexander, “Even for the guys who stayed on their feet, the temptation to give up on the race was there because of the brutal conditions and the difficulties associated with the altitude. But none of them did, because they knew that their teammates were counting on them.”

Now that GRC met its goal of cracking the top 10 at Club Nats, the bar has been raised for next year, when the meet will be close to home at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For 2014, Alexander’s goal is for both the men's and women's teams to finish in the top five. With the team’s talent, depth, and experience, and under Coach Alexander’s guidance, this should be an achievable feat.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Operation Wild Pitch

Charlie Ban's secret marathon mission - Operation Wild Pitch - is officially declassified.

He won the Three Bridges Marathon this morning in Charlottesville in 2:36:04 on a hilly course. He opened with a 6:03 and basically ran miles between 5:33 and 6:10 the rest of the way. Dave Hryvniak led early; Charlie caught him around 9 and he later dropped out.

This race was actually supposed to be held a week earlier but was postponed for weather reasons. Charlie, I believe, decided to run it on Tuesday-ish.

He won this medal and, like everyone else, a cup of turkey soup.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

FLASH! GRC MEN FINISH 9TH AT CLUBS!!!


After 6 tries, the Georgetown Running Club Mens Cross Country Team brings home a top ten finish at the USATF Club Cross Country National Championships!  GRC beats Club Northwest by a single point.

Official Results:

39 - Kieran O'Connor - 32:36
52 - Michael Franklin - 32:49
62 - Luke Meyer - 33:05
65 - Kevin McNab - 33:08
93 - Sam Luff - 33:39
(103) - Paul Balmer - 33:59
(137) - Paul Guevara - 34:27
(182) - Sean Barrett - 35:19

Spread:  63s
Average Time:  33:04

Coach Jerry: what a day! I cannot tell you how pleased, and how proud of the guys I am. I wish you were all here to share it with us....we beat Boulder Running, Austin Team Rogue, and BAA, all of which are legit pro teams, so it was a great performance. kieran was a beast out there, and the fact that he caught Kwiatkowski in the last 800 was outstanding. mike ran strong, luke hung on tough, kevin ran perfect tactics (moving up the whole way) and sam hung on tough even though he fell on the last lap. kevin tore his feet up in spikes that didn't fit properly and had to get medical attention.

Luff hits the dirt (or the mud)!

"I captured a runner in the elite men's open race biting the dirt on one of the steepest hills of the course at the USATF Club XC Championships in Bend OR. The course was really tough and treacherous. The guys in the men's open race were flying down this hill. I got lucky and captured this guy right when he hit the ground. He was able to pop up and keep going".
(C) http://swensonphoto.smugmug.com/USATF-XC-championships/i-JP4H6DK




 

Live Results from Bend

Twitter reports c/o Sebi (https://twitter.com/GRC_Race_Team):

Klim note - 50+80+80+80+100 = 390, which would have placed 12th in 2012 and 12th place in 2011

Finish
Kieran first GRC man in 50th or so. Mike, Luke, Kevin in the top 80, Sam a few places back from 100th. The GRC top 6 beats German Fernandez!

8k
8k in, Kieran and mike right around 50. Luke, Kev and Sam close behind.

4k
At 4k our front three are around 70th, Kevin has moved up close to Sam in about 100th
Mike just outside the top 50. Needs top 36 for a guaranteed ride home from the airport.

2k
1 loop in we have Mike F, Kieran and Luke in about 80th, with Sam and Paul B a few seconds back. Good spread and they look smooth.

800m
GRC well positioned in the top 100 a half mile in.

Friday, December 13, 2013

GRC Ready to Race in Bend!

Follow the GRC Race Team at Clubs here: 



Coach Jerry: The course is the most difficult I've ever seen. The start is literally up a mountain, the footing is very iffy in many spots, and there are many tight turns. We've got a race plan of hanging back early, then moving late, the guys are fired up...

REPORT: Bend's cross country course was described late tonight as a "bleeping bloodbath" by a member of the GRC. "The course is (expletive) crazy," said the anonymous GRCer, "crazy hills, challenging terrain, mud, et cetera." He added that yesterday the course had to be "snow-blown clean."

Asked whether this bodes well for the GRC, the teammember said "it's a total wild card."

RELATED: some on the team noticed the altitude.  





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

GRC ready to race at USATF Nat'l Club Cross in Oregon




video


FLASHBACK: GRC TV in Lexington, KY


On Saturday, the men of the Georgetown Running Club will lace up its spikes and attack the grass at the 2013 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships at the River’s Edge Golf Course in Bend, Oregon.

“Clubs (as the race is known in most running circles) is a very important race for GRC,” said GRC Coach Jerry Alexander. “It's the one time each year when we can test ourselves against peer clubs in a championship race, and where everyone, from milers to marathoners, gets on the starting line together.”

This year, GRC will undoubtedly be sending its best team ever:

-       Luke "The Blond Whale" Meyer
-       Mike "Risky Business" Franklin
-       Kieran "Rube" O’Connor
-       Sam Luff "Diddy"
-       Kevin "Johnny Running" McNab
-       Sean "Syd" Barrett
-       “Oregon” Paul Balmer
-       “Texas” Paul Guevara
-       Matt “Fridge” Hassett

With so much talent this year, Coach Alexander admits this is a good problem to have. “We have six very strong guys up front, and enough depth that it's difficult to predict their order of finish.”

Luke Meyer is a very accomplished cross country runner - an All-American at Yale - and was 7th at Clubs in 2009.  

“The fact that Luke is not our clear number one runner says a lot about our depth,” Coach Alexander said. “Mike Franklin has been our top guy most of the fall, and he's looked great in workouts the last couple of weeks, and it would surprise no one if he were our top man.”

Sean Barrett is a very strong runner and ran a fantastic race at World Military Cross Country Championships in Serbia this past March.  

“The worse the conditions, the better Sean likes it, so he could be up front for us as well,” Coach Alexander explained.

Sam Luff is back to full fitness, and is always a threat to be our top man in any competition.

“Sam has had his sights set on Bend since the summer,” said a frequent training partner, “he’s looking for redemption after the team’s performance last year, for sure.”

Kevin McNab was a very good cross runner at Texas A&M, and has broken 30 on a hard course. “He could certainly pop a big race at Bend,” Alexander said.  

The wild card in the group is Kieran O’Connor, who has not run a cross country race since high school! O’Connor did, however, run a fantastic race at Wilson Bridge Half Marathon (in which he broke 1:07) and has been setting personal bests all season.

“Kieran has been pushing the pace in workouts for several weeks.  I would not be shocked if he is our top man on Saturday.”  

The GRC also got quality depth from Paul Balmer, who is returning to his home state and will have the support of family friends at the course, Tex Paul, who is an experienced cross runner and Matt Hassett, who continues to make great improvement every season.

Although all of the above 9 harriers will be racing, only the top 5 finishers from the Georgetown Running Club will score.

However, simply getting to the starting line will be a feat within itself for the GRC. The team will fly into Portland, Oregon on Thursday. Then, on Friday, they’ll ride two mini vans three hours into the Oregon interior and review the race course. On Saturday, the team will race and the next day begin the long arduous trip back home.

“It’s going to be a very long trip for us,” Coach Jerry admitted, “but we feel like we're ready to make a statement about how far GRC has progressed in the last year.”

In addition, the race is at altitude and the conditions promise to be robust.  

“I’ve heard it is going to be a challenging course as well,” added Sam Luff, who also serves as the team’s vice president. “Obviously given the stories surrounding Max King (course designer and World Mountain Running champion), I would expect nothing less.”

Luff has been perusing the entry lists, and he admits, “It looks like it will be a pretty deep field.”

“Our goal is to finish in the top 10, and despite what appears to be a deeper field than recent years, I think that goal is realistic,” Alexander said.

Although Bend could receive rain on Thursday, the weather on Saturday calls for partly cloudy skies and a slight wind. The high is forecasted to be 40 degrees with a low of 25.

The men’s race will start at 12:45pm Pacific (3:34pm Eastern). Race results will appear here and on GRC’s Facebook feed shortly thereafter.




Sam Luff, on left, and Luke Meyer, then running for BAA.  © Mike Scott


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remembering Lauren

Lauren Woodall Roady
October 20, 1985- December 8, 2012

At our team gathering last December, a grieving teammate offered some comforting words. The pain we all felt in losing our dear teammate and friend would not always be so very acute; eventually, he said, we'd be able to look back on our time with Lauren with a smile and be grateful for the time we had together.

As we approach the anniversary of her death with heavy hearts, let's do our best to think of Lauren and smile. We will always hold her close to our hearts and remember her for being a thoughtful friend, devoted teammate, and spirited competitor. The challenge, as time passes, will be to preserve the little memories of Lauren: the laughs we shared, the  conversations we had, the things in everyday life that remind us of her.

In that spirit, we are collecting and sharing memories of Lauren. Her teammates have posted a few memories below. Feel free to post more in the comments. It can be anything, no matter how seemingly random, silly, or simple. It will be there to remind us of the moments that made Lauren who she was, to preserve the memories that might otherwise slip away, and, above all, to allow us to collectively look back on our time with Lauren with a smile.

*****

- At clubs, she told us that she was having trouble figuring out what her parents wanted for Christmas because they were always together -- so she could never get one parent alone to ask what the other parent wanted.

- I also liked how diligent she was and how she was so good about eating healthy and getting enough sleep.  When we were in Lexington, Lindsay and I would stay up late watching house hunters and law and order SVU, but she would take her hearing aids out before 10 pm and fall asleep immediately -- she told us that the nice thing about needing hearing aids is that when you take them out, nothing can wake you up.

- Lauren was passionate about food and eating as local/organic as possible. She went to the farmer’s market every weekend to get the best meat, fruit, and veggies for the week and always talked about the latest recipes she was making- I remember she was particularly excited about a thai peanut soup she made when it started getting colder. I admired her patience to make trickier, more time-intensive recipes, like the bread she baked every Sunday. She also had the best restaurant recommendations- I have had many a good meal, thanks to her!

- She told me that, while her honeymoon was incredible, the best day of her life was her wedding day because she and Peter were surrounded by such an amazing group of family and friends.

- I remember one rainy day before practice a group of us girls popped into BCC to use the restroom. The grumpy janitor started to yell at us from down the hall but Lauren charged bravely ahead and we all followed her into the bathroom. Later, when someone mentioned how mean and irrational the janitor had been, Lauren shrugged, laughed, and said since she wasn’t wearing her hearing aids that day she hadn’t even noticed him.

- Lauren loved nothing more than a good book and a fire in the fireplace. She mentioned on several occasions that one of her favorite places in the world was in the library in her childhood home, in front of the fire, with a book. Last November, she and Peter spent the night at a bed and breakfast in Virginia (a wedding gift) and they spent hours Sunday morning in front of a fire, reading the NY Times. That, to Lauren, was perfection.

- Lauren always used to cook on Sundays. She told me about how much food she would make for the week. It sounded incredible! I remember thinking I could never be that organized or have so much talent in the kitchen.

- In one of Coach Jerry’s infamous tempo/long run workouts, I lead the second-to-last mile and she was on tap to lead the final mile. We came through on pace, but very tired. Still, Lauren took off like a shot and I struggled to maintain contact. When I glanced at my watch 200 meters into her lead, I noticed we were at least five seconds ahead of pace. It took another 150 meters to communicate to her to slow down. At this point, she put on the brakes so fast, that I struggled not to trip over her. We almost ended up in a heap in the infield. Both of us finished that workout on target. I think this demonstrates that she never, ever was fully aware of her own amazing running talent.

Breezy: 2:42:24 at CIM!

Brian "Breezy" Young recorded a huge personal best this morning at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA.

"I finished with nothing left in the tank just as Lauren (Woodall Roady) did at the USATF Cross Country Club Championships one year ago," Young said after the race while pointing to the memorial patch on his singlet.

His pace was extremely consistent: 


START00:00:007:00:07 am--
5.9M00:36:537:37:00 am06:16
HALF01:21:378:21:44 am06:13
20M02:04:079:04:14 am06:11
FINISH02:42:249:42:31 am06:10
Avg. Pace06:12

"I've been working with Brian for more than 4 years, and he has worked hard every single practice for that entire time, said GRC Coach Jerry Alexander. "This major breakthrough is well-earned, and I couldn't be happier for him."

Beth, Brian's Irish twin, remarked: "We all thought Brian was crazy when he did a 20-miler at 6:10 pace in the weeks leading up to the marathon, but it turns out the hard training paid huge rewards."

DEVELOPING...

Dave Wertz PRs at Jingle All the Way 8k

Wertz ran 25:39 for 8th place.

Look for more photos of Dangerous Dave at www.swimbikerunphoto.com

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Breezy poised and ready to send it at CIM tomorrow

Brian Young aka Breezy is ready for a massive marathon pr in Sacramento tomorrow morning where he is lining up to run the California International Marathon.  Breezy recently ran the Richmond half in November, where he managed to pr despite running through the eye of a squall.  Breezy is no stranger to Old Testament-like weather patterns, having attempted marathons in the heat of Boston and the gale force winds of Green Bay.  Conditions in Sacramento look favorable and Breezy is ready to take advantage of temperate weather and a net downhill course.  Breezy is familiar with the west coast, where he spends a fair share of his day job prosecuting fraudsters, and is ready to throw the book at his previous marathon pr of 2:48:50 (2012) on the streets of Sacramento.

DEVELOPING . . .

Brian, pictured below, sending it circa 1995:


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

GRC Wins Turkey Trots from FL to VT

Turkey Trot Results from the GRC:

Jake Klim is a three-peat champion at the We Gather Together 5k in Sandwich, MA.

Justin Snair placed 2nd in the Arlington, VA Turkey Trot with a time of 16:05.

Julie Tarallo takes the W at the Tiger 5 Miler Turkey Trot in Easton, MA with a time of 31:15.

Chuck Kacsur placed 2nd in16:38 at his local 5k.

Kerry Allen won the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot in Clearwater, FL in 17:58.

MGP won the Moorestown cross country race in NJ in 19:40.

Paul Balmer won the Zach's Place Turkey Trot in Woodstock, VT in 16:11.

Sean Barrett won the San Antonio Road Runner's 4 Mile Turkey Trot in 19:35!

In Alexandria, Kevin McNab placed 4th on the Alexandria Turkey Trot with a time of 24:41. Sam Luff was 6th in 24:56. Tex Paul was 25:53, Dave Wertz was 25:59, Dave O was 26:48 and Charlie Ban ran 27:29. LDO was 4th in 29:18.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunday Run at Edward's Ferry

Karl and I are meeting at Edward's Ferry @9am for 10-15 miles...most of which is on natural terrain. Comment if you're interested or if you want a ride there from North Bethesda.

Friday, November 22, 2013

For anyone NOT running the XC workout tomorrow, Dangerous Dave and I are meeting at B-CC  8:00 am sharp for a tempo cut-down.

May your wildest dreams come true.

-Witty

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Meyer Leads GRC at USATF 12k Champs


Luke Meyer continued to impress in his debut season with the GRC, leading the men at the inaugural .US National Road Racing Champs in Alexandria, VA.

The following results exclude the "elite" field:

2. Luke Meyer; 36:56; GRC
5. Alex Benway; 38:21; GRC Ex-Pat
9. Mike Franklin; 38:56; GRC
11. Wilson Komen; 39:15; Hard Training
13. Jerry Greenway; 39:31; GRC
14. Matt Hassett; 39:43; GRC
19. Dave O'Hara; 40:54; GRC

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sunday Spectating

Sam and I are meeting at the LB Johnson Memorial on the GW Parkway tomorrow at 6:35am.  We will run south for 5.5 miles and see the team twice...then run back to our cars. We will add on as needed at TR Island after.

Comment if you're interested. If you do show up, please be on time.

PRs in Richmond!

Half:
Charlie: 1:11:52
Breezy: 1:16:15

Full:
Bain: 2:49:22

More later (maybe).

--------------------------------------------------

In Washington, DC ---

GRC Sweeps at Run! Geek Run! 8k!

1-Witty 24:39 PR (meet record?)
2- Sean 25:20
3- JR 26:21

1-Maura 29:25
2-Susan 30:27

Monday, November 11, 2013

To Lend a Helping Hand

Since it's inception in 2010, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon has served as the Visually Impaired Half Marathon Championships, where the blind sometimes lead the visually unimpaired athletes.  The event offers a chance for competitive, visually impaired (VI) athletes to take center stage and earn coveted prize money.  Over the past few years the Georgetown Running Club has put it's best foot forward to help make the VI Championships a success by volunteering as guides for the VI runners.  This year was no different.  GRC once again, stepped up to lend support.  However, this time the club did not just find itself guiding competitors.  Due to a last minute schedule change, the VI coordinator slot was empty less than a week before the championships.  That is where I stepped in.

I've been wanting get involved since I saw Dickson Mercer and Chicken Tender Runner (Andy Sovonick) lead their VI athletes to outstanding finishes in prior years.  Being the (self-proclaimed) mid-distance runner that I am, I could not trust myself to guide these exceptional athletes the full 13.1.  So the VI coordinator position offered a special opportunity to interact with the VI athletes during a majority of the race weekend, before and after the race.  Duties involved assisting the athletes to the pre-race VIP dinner, an EARLY morning round up on race day and helping them back to the hotel after many ran their half-marathon PR's.

This year we saw the VI course record go down as reigning champ, Aaron Scheidies, set a personal record with his guide, the ageless wonder, Dangerous Dave Wertz.  Dave was THE guide of the day, leading Scheidies from Mt. Vernon to the finish at National Harbor.  It was an exceptional feat considering the number of turns in the last two miles that required heavy communication from Dave, who had just ran over 10 miles at a (not so modest) 5:50 min/mile pace.  When Dave volunteered to guide Aaron the fall, he planned this race schedule accordingly.  With the, now infamous, government shutdown, Dangerous Dave was forced to make a decision between asking Aaron to find a replacement or drop his fall race plans and reschedule to make the VI championships.  He made the right decision and raced into history with Scheidies.  Next time you run into Dave, be sure to thank him for his unblemished record of selflessness.

When all was said and done, I was glad to be a part of such a unique, fun and rewarding event.  It is opportunities like this that help us realize the bond that ties runners together.  Through running we are connected without bounds and without limits.  At least now I know what I'll be doing during the 5th Annual Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon.

One last thought; I'd like to send a big thank you out to all Veterans who have served and continue to serve our country.  God bless you.

-Witty

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kieran's 1:06:51 is #2 on GRC Half Marathon Leader Board!


UPDATE: Kieran O'Connor ran 1:06:51 at the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon this morning, which was good for 4th place (1st American). It was a huge personal best and a major breakthrough. The top American male was local sensation Kieran O’Connor of Washington, DC, who placed fourth overall and was the only non-Ethiopian in the top eight. The 26-year-old ran 1:06:56, earning $900. 

From the race's press release: "O’Connor was out of contention for the win early on, but stayed steady throughout the course and picked off stragglers. Meanwhile, ahead of him was Gebre, Gelaw and Mesfin, who was 12th in 2012 London Olympics 3000m steeplechase, 11th in 2011 World Championships and 19th in 2008 Beijing Olympics. The trio passed through five miles in 24:33 and it virtually became a three-man race onto the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and into National Harbor before Gebre’s potent move."

Lindsay O'Brien ran 1:18:53, a PR, and placed 7th (2nd American). Kerry Allen was 8th with a time of 1:23:56.

Meanwhile, across the Potomac, on Hains Point, Paul Balmer continued his improvement and placed 2nd in the Veteran's Day 10k with a time of 31:55. JR Roberts was 5th in 33:30 while miler Tom Kelly placed 11th in 34:34.  





DEVELOPING...

Friday, November 8, 2013

GRC to race Vets Day 10k and Wilson Bridge Half on Sunday

The Georgetown Running Club will compete in two signature races this weekend – The Wilson Bridge Half Marathon and the Veteran’s Day 10k. 

Kieran O'Connor, Lindsay O'Brien, and Kerry Allen will all be chasing half marathon personal bests at Wilson Bridge. 

"Kieran is ready for a major, major breakthrough," boasted Coach Jerry Alexander. "His PRs are not even close to reflective of his fitness level." 

In fact, Kieran has run numerous PRs in workouts this fall, often more than once in a night--and when the stars align for him on race day, which they have not so far, with the missed start at Navy 5 and the postponement of Wilson Bridge, he has the chance to make a serious statement. 

"Lindsay appears to have put her lingering injuries behind her," said Alexander, "and she's also fit to run a major PR." Alexander added, "Kerry is coming off a big PR at Army, and there's every reason to think she'll keep that train rolling on Sunday." 

Dave Wertz will be guiding Aaron Scheides, the visually impaired superstar who Dickson Mercer guided last year. Ryan Witters is the Visually Impaired Race Coordinator, which is a major position, and will require him to commit pretty much his entire weekend to the race. 

"I'm extremely proud of GRC's continued commitment to the visually impaired athletes who travel from across the country to compete at Wilson Bridge," said Alexander. "The GRC Board and I are always looking for ways the team can give back to the running community, and this is a perfect opportunity for us to do that. The elite visually impaired athletes like Aaron need someone fast enough to guide them, and we've got the athletes to do it, and the willingness to help."

The lineup for the Veteran's Day 10k on flat, fast Hains Point is "Oregon" Paul Baumler, JR Roberts and Tom Kelly, plus Mary Grace Pellegrini and Elyse Shimada. Jake Klim is a "maybe". 

"I'm looking for Paul to make a statement at Vets Day, said Alexander. "Paul is trying to claim one of the uncommitted spots on the GRC A team at Clubs, and a strong performance on Sunday would go a long way for him in that effort." 

Tomorrow, on Saturday, Kevin McNabb and Heather Jellen will toe the line in the "Nearly Naked Mile." 

"Heather is out to defend her title. Her workouts have been strength-oriented, but she's got enough speed in her legs to run a fast mile," said Alexander. "Kevin has been laying low for a couple of weeks with a sore hamstring, but he'll be ready to roll on Saturday." 

DEVELOPING…