Monday, April 29, 2013

TUESDAY workout, April 30


Congratulations to Beth for her truly outstanding performance in the Eugene marathon, where she ran 2:49:30, for an astounding 20 minute PR, coming in second, and earning her the coveted GRC Athlete of the Week award.  In the last four years, Beth has transformed herself from a complete beginner into a legitimate Olympic Trials candidate through hard work, perseverance in the face of hardship, and the unrelenting belief that anything is possible.  Since joining GRC in 2010, Beth has had a series of major breakthroughs at distances from 5k to the half-marathon, but she has had a string of rotten luck with the marathon, which included several serious injuries and multiple surgeries.  Beth's persistence paid off in a huge way in Eugene, and her massive PR was well-earned, to say the least.  I could not be more proud of Beth, and I'm certain that her best performances are yet to come.  Well done!

Kerry ran 2:59:24 in Eugene, and while she was disappointed not to PR, I am extremely pleased with her effort.  Kerry was ready for a big PR in Boston, but she had the misfortune of getting sick shortly before the race.  She wisely cut her losses in Boston and regrouped for Eugene.  It's extremely difficult to switch to plan B in the marathon, and the fact that Kerry was able to run a more-than-respectable race under the circumstances bodes well for her future in the event.

We also had some excellent performances on the track.  Big City lowered his own club record in the 800, running 1:53.85 at Shippensburg.  With at least two more races left on his schedule, look for the club record to improve this season.  Catherine and Witty ran the 5000 at Penn Relays, and both of them ran extremely aggressively early, and paid for it late.  But they both showed that they are not afraid to compete at the highest level, and I expect them both to build on their performances at Penn by PR'ing at Swarthmore.


Practice in on TUESDAY at BCC.  We'll roll at 7:15, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.

The plan for practice next week is unsettled, so stay tuned for details.

Be sure to mark your calender for the team meeting/party for Drea on May 18.


The men who are racing at Maryland will do some variation on sets of 3 x 300.  Most of you will do 3 sets, with the idea that you will stay relaxed on the first two sets, and roll on the third set.  I'll go over with each of you what I want you to do.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Tuesday at BCC.



Sunday, April 28, 2013


Elizabeth Young captured Second Place in the Eugene Marathon this morning with a massive PR of 2:49:30!  This is over a 20 MINUTE PR!  Video taken at the finish line confirms a heroic effort on the streets of Tracktown.

10k 39:15
Half- 1:23:24
20 Mile- 2:07:58
Finish: 2:49:30.

Kerry Allen finishes in 2:59:24!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

FLASH! BIg City runs new GRC 800m Record

1:53.85 at the Shippensburg Invitational.

Young, Allen to run Eugene Marathon

Beth Young and Kerry Allen will hit the streets of Tracktown tomorrow morning to compete in the Eugene Marathon.  Weather conditions appear to be favorable and both runners are looking to notch a P.R.  The course meanders through the roads and parks of Eugene before finishing on the track at Hayward Field.  Results to follow.


Not backing down:

YOUNG: 5K (19:48) 10k (39:15)

ALLEN: 5K (20:11) 10k (40:13)


Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

TONIGHT: Campbell & Witty to Race Penn Relays

Two GRC athletes will have the chance to strut their stuff this evening at one of track & field's signature events, the ballyhooed Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Catherine Campbell, a Dickinson College graduate who has been setting personal bests all spring, and Ryan Witters, a byproduct of the American Midwest, will both be racing the 5,000m at Franklin Field.

Coach Jerry Alexander is optimistic about how his two superstars will perform.  

"Catherine has a great shot at achieving her goal of breaking 17:00," Coach Alexander said in a recent sit-down interview conducted by the Associated Press. "She's run a solid PR in each of her outdoor races this spring, at 1500, 3000, and 5000, and everything she's done has been geared towards a big breakthrough at Penn."

Alexander added, "She's rested, and ready to go."

Ryan Witters, who has been known to work upwards of 25-hours a day, had a huge breakthrough last year at Penn Relays when he slashed 20-seconds off his personal best.

"Witty had an amazing race last year at Penn," said Coach Alexander. "If he can get into a rhythm early, and unleash his big kick late, he will have another huge PR tonight."

Stay tuned for results.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wednesday Workout, April 24


It was a banner day for GRC at Pikes Peak, with PRs and fast times all around.  Indeed, there were so many excellent performances that I will not be able to do justice to all of them, for which I apologize, but that's a problem I'd like to have more often.  For the women, Lindsay ran a humongous PR and club record of 34:38.   Lindsay has now made the big time--anybody can be a 6-time All-American, but setting a GRC club record is truly something to write home about! Maura ran a very solid 36:28.  On the men's side, Joe Wiggy led the way in 30:31, which was a big PR. Wiggy is now officially back to full fitness, and we're going to see more PRs from him this spring.  We had additonal PRs from Jake in 30:52, Matt in 31:27, and Dave O in 32:26.  Jake's old PR was from 2010, and even during his recent string of success he viewed that time as out of reach, so this was a great accomplishment.  Matt bettered his PR by 44 seconds, and he is improving every race.  It took Dave O 37 years to break 33 minutes, and he's now done it twice in less than 6 months.  Outlaw and Dave Burnham ran road PRs of 30:48 and 30:54, their best performances in several months.  Outlaw has worked hard to come back from injury and this breakthrough was well-earned.  After this excellent performance, Burnham will no longer be able to rely on his "the baby kept me awake" excuse, as we now see he's capable of sub 31 on 3 hours of a sleep a night.  When he gets back to 4 hours sleep a night, we'll insist on sub 30.  Murph continued his late season surge with a road PR of 32:20.  Breezy and Scott both PR'ed in 34:44.  Well done!

Also on the roads, LTO ran GW Parkway, the second leg of her 10 mile triple crown.  Due to some logistical difficulties, she ended up treating it as a hard tempo, but she will be ready to go at Broad Street in 2 weeks.

We also had some notable performances on the track. Witty ran 3:57 for 1500 at Princeton, finishing with an outstanding last 800 off a very slow early pace, and showed that he is ready for a big 5k PR at Penn Relays. Susan and Meghan ran the 3k at Princeton, and although neither of them were pleased with their times, they are both well-positioned for a major breakthrough later this spring. Finally, Sam ran the 10k at Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, CA. Despite his best efforts, Sam was not able to achieve his goal, but the fact that Sam earned the right to compete in such a prestigious meet is a great accomplishment.  Sam will head back there next year to tend to some unfinished business.


The workout on Wednesday is at American University. There will be sufficient daylight to allow us to start at 7, so if you're driving to AU, meet for the warmup at the track at 6:15. If you're metro-ing, give Charlie a shout and he'll arrange a time to meet at his house for a bag-drop and run over to campus. 

For the majority of you who are not racing this weekend, we will have practice on Saturday morning at BCC, at a time to be determined.


The mens 5k track crew (ie the guys who did the workout on Saturday) will do 5 sets of 4 x 400, with a 90 second rest within the set, and 3:30 between sets.  The targets will be 70s on the first set, then 69s, 68s, 67s, 66s.  If anyone who ran Pikes Peak wants to do a maintenance workout, let me know, and we'll get it figured out.  If you ran Pikes Peak and you need a few days to recover, that's fine too, as we'll get after in on Saturday.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Wednesday at AU.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

PRs @ Pike's Peek!


UPDATE: LDO runs 34:38 and sets the women's club record in the 10k!

A slight tailwind out of the northeast helps produce fast time on the point-to-point 10k along Rockville Pike.

GRC places four men under 31:00...led by Joe Wiegner, the Twinbrook Kid who ran a PR of 30:31! 

Unofficial Results:

Joe Wiegner - 30:31 PR!

Jerry Greenlaw - 30:48 ROAD PR!
Jake Klim - 30:52 PR!
Dave Burnham - 30:54 ROAD PR!
Matt Hassett - 31:26 PR!
Patrick Murphy - 32:18 Road PR!
Dave O'Hara - 32:25 PR!
Brian Young - 34:44 PR!
Scott Koonce - 34:44 PR!

Lindsay Donaldson O'Brien - 34:42 PR!
Maura Carroll - 36:28

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Race Report from Boston

Andy Sovonick, otherwise known as Chicken Tender Runner, a friend of and former member of GRC ran the Boston Marathon on Monday as a guide for a visually impaired athlete.  His experience as a novice Boston Marathoner can remind us of what this special race meant before the events this week.  I recommend taking the time to read his post, and think about how you can give back to the running community.  GRC will likely volunteer guides at the Wilson Bridge HM this fall.  Stay tuned.

GRC To Race at Princeton (again)

Sean Barrett will return to Princeton tonight to race the 5,000m at the Larry Ellis Invitational.

"Sean did not run well at Princeton 2 weeks ago, and he's on a misson of redemption," said Coach Jerry Alexander. "His workouts have been superb and he's ready to pop a big race, and build his confidence before the 10k at Penn Relays next week."

Ryan Witters is entered in the metric mile, which will be held on Saturday.

"Witty is rounding into shape nicely. The level of competition should be perfect for him, and he's got a great shot at lowering his club record, which will be a great springboard for him for the 5k at Penn Relays."

Additionally, Susan Hendrick and Meghan Lockett will be racing the 3,000m. Coach Alexander was equally optimistic about their chances.

"Susan is using her misadventure at the Loyola meet last week as motivation to fuel a major breakthrough on Saturday.  As long as she doesn't get wanged by a pole vault standard, she's got a great shot at the club record."

Meghan has had a couple of aches and pains that have hindered her so far this spring, but she's healthy now and is on the cusp of a major PR.

Monday, April 15, 2013


UPDATE:  All GRC runners participating in the Boston Marathon have been accounted for and are safe. 

The Georgetown Running Club's thoughts and prayers are with all of those effected by today's explosions. 

GRC has accounted for its Boston Marathon runners

Stefan Kolata - 2:34:01
Ken Rayner - 2:37:13
Dickson Mercer - 2:37:24
Chris Bain - 2:40:40 
Lavar Curley - 2:50:07 - PR!
Mike Cotterell - 3:03:29

Teal Connor - 2:52:35 - PR!
Julie Tarallo-  2:52:50- a  18-minute PR!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Marathon Monday

The final stretch...results coming...

Kolata - 1:13:01 @ 13.1...2:33 pace
Rayner - 1:16:37 @ 13.1...2:34 pace
Mercer - 1:15:28 @ 13.1...2:34 pace
Bain - 1:20:33 @ 13.1... 2:41 pace
Curley - 1:24:16 @ 13.1...2:48 pace
Cotterell- 1:23:48 @ 13.1...2:50 pace 

Connor - 1:24:05 @ 13.1...2:50 pace 
Tarallo - 1:26:12 @ 13.1...2:52 pace

Kerry Allen drops out around mile 10. She was apparently getting sick last night.

Beth Young (who is on the ground spectating): the weather today is "perfect"

The temperature was 48 degrees at the start with a few clouds in the sky.

Dickson started in an inopportune corral, but that might turn out to help him in the later miles.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

RESULTS: Hopkins Loyola Invitational

Hilary May wins the women's 1500m in a time of 4:32.14, just 2-seconds off her PR.
Meghan Lockett - 4:45.1
Catherine Cambell - 4:50.16


Joe Wiegner cruises to an easy win in the 5,000m run running 15:24.74
Dave Wertz (2nd) - 15:31 - just a second off his PR (I think)
Matt Hassett - 15:41
Sebi Devlin-Foltz - 16:05
JR Roberts - 16:15


Susan Hendrick runs 17:58 in the 5,000m. Avril Ogrodnick runs 19:03


Ryan Witters - 3:57.39 (2nd)
Sam Luff - 4:00.47
Sean Barrett - 4:03.59


City - 1:57.8 in the 800m

Friday, April 12, 2013


The marathon can humble you.  It can also chew you up and spit you out.  And leave you at the front door of a house in Natick, dehydrated and sun burnt, asking to use a stranger’s cell phone.  Of the ten GRC men who set out to capture a prominent team placement in last year’s Boston Marathon, only three finished (this author was DNF at mile 10).  Among those who perished in the heat of last year’s “Boston Massacre” was Dickson Mercer, a 2:29 marathoner who, judging by his first place finishes at the arduous Frederick and Gettysburg Marathons, isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.  Mercer vowed to return, and hit a qualification standard only one month later in the unbearable heat and humidity of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.    

Come Patriots’ day, Mercer won’t be the only GRC runner with a score to settle.  Last year Stefan Kolata, a 2:25 man, gutted it out to finish the race.  This cycle, Mercer and Kolata have been working together, hitting 90 mpw and capping off their training with a 12-mile tempo run on the hills of Rock Creek Park, which simulated the rigors of the Boston course.  “Stefan is in great shape, and will take a shot at a PR,” says Coach Jerry Alexander.  “Dickson has had a string of bad luck for several marathons, but it looks like his luck is about to change for the better.  He’s in great shape, and as long as the conditions are reasonable, he should threaten his PR.”  Chris Bain will be joining Mercer and Kolata in Boston.  The 117th running of the Boston Marathon won’t exactly be Bain’s first rodeo; in fact, it won’t even be his 14th rodeo.  Bain has a Boston “streak” going, which he preserved despite last year’s miserable conditions to finish 143rd.  “Silent Thunder” is coming off an impressive third place finish in January’s RNR Arizona Marathon, where he ran with characteristic confidence – going out in 37:46 to finish in 2:36:50 – for a third place finish.  Lavar Curley will also toe the line.  Considering the abysmal conditions last year, Curley had a breakthrough performance, hitting a negative split and finishing 340th.  Alexander expects Ken Rayner, who will be running his first Boston Marathon, to grab a big PR.

Teal Connor, Julie Tarallo, and Kerry Allen are also looking to PR and Alexander expects that a high volume of goal pace work will pay dividends on Monday.  Throughout the winter, each woman did a series of long runs with progressively increasing goal pace segments.  And each hit half Marathon PRs this spring: Allen (1:21:05); Connor (1:21:58) and Tarallo (1:22:04).  These runners also included some speed work in their taper with Teal “the Real Deal” Connor hitting a 1600m PR at the end of an interval session.  If the conditions are right – and that’s a big “if” – look for each runner to continue her upward trajectory.

The Boston Marathon is as much a celebration of the sport as it is a competition.  And in that spirit, our very own Jake Klim helped to produce the Boston Running Film Festival, which will be held at the Hynes Convention Center from April 12-14.  Tickets are available here.

Good luck, everyone.  You deserve to have great races.  Make us proud.

GRC to Race at Hopkins/Loyola

GRC’s track crew will be out in full force at the Hopkins/Loyola Invitational in Baltimore on Saturday.  “While no one is going to confuse it with the Penn Relays, we enjoyed the low-key atmosphere at the Hopkins meet last year, and the competition is solid enough to challenge even our top athletes, so it’s nice for us to be able to stay close to home this week,” said Coach Jerry Alexander.  In action for the women are Hilary May, Meghan Lockett, and Catherine Campbell in the 1500, and Susan Hendrick and Avril Ogrodnick in the 5000.  Campbell is guaranteed her third straight PR, as she has never competed in the 1500, and she will use it as a tune-up for the 5000 at Penn.  May hopes to challenge her PR of 4:30.  “It will be interesting to see if Hilary’s newly developed strength in the 5k translates to the 1500.  I expect her to run well, and if that means a PR, all the better,” said Alexander.  Hendrick and Ogrodnick, former Georgetown teammates, will be running their first outdoor 5ks in several years.  “I’m really excited to see Susan racing on the track again.  She’s a tremendous talent, and she’s highly motivated to make up for lost time,” said Alexander.

On the men’s side, Chuck “Big City” Kacsur will run his specialty, the 800 meters, and will have company from Ryan Witters and Sean Barrett, both of whom are running the 800-1500 double.  Sam Luff will join them in the 1500.  In the 5000, Joey Wiegner, Matt Hassett, Dave Wertz, JR Roberts, and Sebi Devlin-Foltz will compete for GRC.  “Our top guys are using this meet as a tune-up for the major competitions later this month.  Sam is running the 10,000 at Mt. Sac Relays next week, and his goal is to get some turnover before heading out west.  Sean is hoping to run 2 PRs tomorrow, to be followed by a 5k PR at Princeton next week, and a 10K PR at Penn.  The way he has looked in workouts since he returned from Serbia (where he represented the United States in the World Military Cross Country Championships), I wouldn’t bet against him.  Witty is also looking to sharpen up for a big PR at Penn,”  said Alexander.  In the 5000, Wiegner looks to build on the momentum he started at Raleigh Relays two weeks ago, when he broke 15:00 in his first serious track race in almost two years.  “Wiggy’s comeback is right on schedule, and I expect him to take another step forward tomorrow,” said Alexander.  Hassett is also looked to follow-up on a strong performance at Raleigh, where he ran a PR of 15:25.  “Matt is ready to step up to the next level, and as a Loyola alum, he’s hoping to put in a strong performance on his home track.”

Report filed by Coach Jerry Alexander

Saturday, April 6, 2013

UPDATED RESULTS: Hendrick -10:03, Campbell 10:06!

**NOTE - this post corrects an earlier one in which the author (gulp) posted SEED TIMES instead of actual results. The author regrets this mistake!***

Susan Hendrick - 10:03 3rd
Catherine Campbell - 10:06 5th 

Friday, April 5, 2013

BIG City: 1:55.9

"City" runs sub-1:56 in his season opener.

The women are racing in Princeton later today.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GRC to Race Princeton, Cherry Blossom

UPDATE: Chuck "Big City" Kacsur will be racing the 800m dash at the Colonial Relays. "City" is the club record holder in this event.

The Georgetown Running Club has an exciting three days of racing on tap this coming weekend.

On Friday night, the club's fastest three harriers - Sam Luff (5k personal best of 14:15), Sean Barrett (14:19) and Ryan Witters (14:40) - will race the 5,000m at the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton. 
Luff ran a rust-busting 14:43 last Friday at the Raleigh Relays, but Coach Jerry Alexander is hoping his top harrier will run 20-seconds faster in Princeton.

"(Two years ago) Sam ran his 5k PR at Princeton," said GRC Coach Jerry Alexander, "and he's looking to replicate some of that magic on Friday."

Meanwhile, Barrett might be in the shape of his life.
"Sean is definitely looking to PR," said Coach Alexander. "His workouts have been outstanding, and he's race sharp and ready to go." 

Witters also hopes to set a personal best and capitalize off his 3:58 1500m performance from last weekend. 

On Saturday afternoon, Catherine Campbell, Susan Hendrick and Meghan Lockett will compete in the 3,000m.

Campbell is fresh off a personal best in the 5,000m (17:08) while Hendrick and Lockett finished first and second, respectively, in the 3,000m at last weekend's Maryland Invitational. 

"Catherine is hoping to keep her momentum going," said Coach Alexander, "and Susan is making her return to high-level track racing, and I'm really excited to see her back in action."

On Sunday, over a dozen GRCers will compete in the 41st annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in downtown Washington, D.C.

The weather forecast looks reasonably favorable, aside from a slight headwind on Hains Point.

The men's squad will be led by a quartet of harriers, which includes veteran ten mile specialists Jake "The Red Fox" Klim (50:56 personal best) and Jerry "Outlaw" Greenlaw (50:55) as well as up-and-comers Alex "Viking" Benway and Paul "Teen Wolf" Balmer. 
Said Coach Alexander, "Two of our young athletes, Alex and Paul B, will be extending themselves to the longer distance, and I'm looking for both of them to demonstrate that they have the ability to compete on this level."  

Dave O'Hara, whose recently set personal bests in 10k and 5 miles, Patrick Murphy, club president, and Lavar Curley, who is training for the Boston Marathon, will also be donning the GRC's royal blue singlet on Sunday morning.

The women's squad will be led by Lindsay Donaldson O'Brien. 

"Lindsay has looked great in workouts, and though this is relatively uncharted territory for her, I'm looking for her to have a major breakthrough." 

Joining Lindsay on the starting line will be Beth Young, Laura Turner O'Hara, Maura Carroll and Elyse Shimada.

"Beth is race sharp, having run a big 5k PR last week in Raleigh, and she's ready to not only break but smash the 60 minute barrier. LTO has looked strong in workouts, and though she'll be dealing with some allergy issues, she's looking to set herself up for a couple of big PRs later in the season," explained Alexander.

"Maura has never raced farther than a 10k," said Coach Alexander, "I'm excited to see what she can do." 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Wednesday Workout, April 3


It was an amazing weekend for the women, as all five of our athletes who competed on the track ran outstanding races.  The headline performance, which earned her the coveted GRC Athlete of the Week, was from Hilary, who ran a 43 second PR for 5000 meters at Raleigh Relays and set a new club record of 16:56.   Hilary's race was one of the best performance ever by a GRC woman, and she is just getting started at that distance, and has a lot of room for continued improvement this spring.  

We had two other excellent 5k performances in Raleigh, from Catherine and Beth.  Catherine, in her first race on the track in 11 months, ran a PR of 17:08, and she will surely break 17 this season. Beth took a break from marathon training to run the second track race of her life, and ran an 11 second PR of 17:41.   In the 3000 at the Maryland Invititational, Susan made her long-anticipated return to the track with a solo win in 10:11.   With some competition, Susan will run much faster this spring.  Finally, Meghan started her outdoor season with a PR of 10:17.   Well done!

The men were in action as well, led by Sam who kicked off his outdoor season with a comfortable 14:43 in Raleigh. Now that Sam has broken the rust, he will begin in earnest the assault on his club records in the 5000 and 10,000.  Also in Raleigh, Joe Wiggy made his return to serious racing with a solid 14:57, which bodes well for the spring, and Matt made his major-meet debut with a PR of 15:25. At Maryland, Dave Wertz kicked off the first full track season of his young life with a strong 15:33, and JR had a nice breakthrough of 15:54.   And last but not least, Witty ran a solid 3:58 1500. We'll be seeing much more from Witty this spring.


There will be workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday this week at BCC.  Most of you will go Wednesday.

BCC has a track meet on Wednesday afternoon.  If history is a guide, we may be forced to delay the start of the workout. I suggest that we convene for the warmup at 6:30 as normal, and assess the situation at that point. If it's clear that the meet will go beyond 7:15, we can delay the start of the warmup by a few minutes.


For the men, on Tuesday we'll have the Princeton 5k crew and the Boston crew.  The 5k workout will be 4 x 1200 with a 3:00 recovery.  The marathon workout will be 4 x mile with a 3:00 recovery.

On Wednesday, we'll have the Cherry Blossom crew, and the track group that is not racing this weekend.  The Cherry Blossom workout will be 2 x mile, 2 x 800, with a 3:00 recovery.  The track crew will do 2 x 2k, 4 x 1k with a 3:00 rest.  The track crew will get together for a workout this weekend, at a time to be determined.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you at BCC.