Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RE: Wednesday workout, April 30, LOCATION TBD--SEE BELOW


It was a banner weekend for GRC on the track at Penn and on the roads at Pikes Peak. The headline, as you all know by now, is Mike's victory in the 10,000 meters at Penn Relays. Mike ran a perfect tactical race, and there was never a moment of doubt in my mind that he would win.  It would be difficult to overstate the gravity of Mike's victory, but rather than prattle on about it, suffice to say that this is the first, but surely not the last, major championship won by a GRC athlete. What makes Mike's victory even more special is that he had several factors working against him, including a demanding work schedule that required him to work a half day on Thursday, and deliver a presentation on Friday morning. Mike drove up to Philly on his own on Thursday, arriving at 5 pm.  His race started at 11 pm, and after a short awards ceremony and warmdown, he grabbed a couple of hours of sleep on his brother's couch, then drove back to work in time to arrive at 8 am, and give his presentation at 10 am.  Post-graduate running has a set of challenges that college athletes do not face, but in his first year out of school, Mike has proven that he can thrive as a runner despite these challenges. We'll surely see Mike continue to improve in the months and years ahead.  

Luke and Tina also ran very well at Penn. In his first race on the track in 3 years, Luke ran step for step with Mike for the first 8,000 meters, and although he could not find the extra gear to go with the leaders when the pace quickened, Luke held on for an excellent 29:45. Tina ran a PR of 17:46, and while she paid for the aggressive early pace in the last mile, Tina proved that she has made a successful transition to the longer distances on the track.

At Pikes Peak, Lindsay carried the flag for the women with an excellent 34:57, good for second place. Lindsay is in great shape and will look to rebound quickly and shoot for a PR at Broad Street on Sunday.  Outlaw lead the way for the men in 30:46, and he is well on his way back to PR shape.  Speaking of PRs, we had huge ones from Paul Balmer in 31:09, Dave Wertz in 31:30, Dave O in 32:18, and Jonny in 32:22.  Tex Paul did not PR, but ran a very solid 31:11.  Among these excellent performances, the one that stands out for me is Dave O, who continues to make huge improvements despite his advanced age and the minor distraction of having a newborn at home.  Last year at Pikes Peak, Dave was thrilled to break 33 for the first time.  He's now knocking on the door of sub 32, which is a testament to his determination to excel no matter how many reasons there might be for him to slow down.


If you're around on Friday night, come out to the Maryland Twilight meet at College Park.  There will be several races featuring GRC's finest, starting with Cecilia's shot at a USATF A qualifier in the 800 at 6:30.  The 1500 is at 7:20, and that's another race you won't want to miss, so come on out to show your support for GRC on Friday night!


It's a safe bet that we will be able to practice at BCC tomorrow.  The games scheduled for tonight have been cancelled, and it's only supposed to get worse tomorrow, so it's extremely unlikely there will be a lacrosse game getting in our way tomorrow.  Unless you hear from me otherwise, plan to meet at BCC at 6:30 for the warmup, and we'll roll at 7:15. The backup plan is American University.  BCC on a rainy night is certainly preferable to AU, as that run back to the metro from AU in wet clothes would be less than pleasant, so with any luck, we'll be able to use BCC.

Wherever we practice, it's going to be a small turnout, as the Maryland crew will do their workout tonight, and some of the Pikes Peak crew will need to take the night off to recover.  Thus, rather than publish a workout, I'd like to get a headcount of who plans to show up, and we can then customize the plan for those of you who will be there.


Monday, April 28, 2014

PHOTO: Post-Penn Relays 10k

The results still need amending, but here is photographic evidence of Mike's club-record setting win last Thursday in the OD 10k. That watch looks gooooooood.

PHOTO: GRC Expat Reaves Breaks 2:30

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Support BCC Rescue Squad's 8k on May 4 in Downtown Bethesda

The Race Directors of all the great american road races -- Mary Whitenberg, Dave McGillivray, Patrick Murphy -- will all tell you that these events cannot happen without large volunteer medical staffs. One volunteer medical unit that serves our running community is the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, a non-profit volunteer EMT department. You may not even realize that they are out there, but if you are reading this blog, then the chances are that you have run a race supported by BCCRS volunteers, such as Marine Corps Marathon, Parks Half, Pikes Peek, and our own Lauren's Run. In addition to supporting public events, the BCCRS responds to a large portion of emergency calls throughout Bethesda and Northwest D.C.

BCCRS is a non-profit organization funded almost entirely through private donations and this weekend will provide runners with the opportunity to show our appreciation for their efforts. On Sunday May 4 at 8:00 a.m., the BCCRS is holding an 8k race in Downtown Bethesda to raise money for their organization. Details on the race can be found here. We as runners benefit from their good works and I encourage everyone looking for a race to attend or volunteer.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sunday Run

For those not running Pikes Peak tomorrow, Luke and I are meeting at the Line for about 90 minutes of quality trail running @ nine AM. Come join us, and good luck to those racing!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mike F: "Reports of my DNF have been greatly exaggerated"

Despite results saying otherwise, Coach Jerry reports that Mike Franklin took the win last night in the Penn Relays Olympic Development 10k. "Mike not only finished, he finished ahead of everyone else", Alexander reports. "Mike ran a superb tactical race---the plan all along was to run with the leaders, and move with 1k to go, and he executed the plan to perfection. He could have run faster if the pace was more aggressive, but it was a race, not a time trial, and he did everything right."

Luke also ran extremely well, finishing second in his first track race in 3 years. He ran stride for stride with Mike from the gun, but his road-centric legs didn't quite have the gear over the final laps.

Unofficial splits for Mike:

5k- 14:53
8k- 23:46
10k- 29:30-29:31 (~61 last quarter)

Official Results:

Luke M - 10k - 29:45

Tina M - 5k - 17:46

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Penn Relays Preview

Its the 120th anniversary of the Penn Relays this year, and the organizers have kindly set up a slew of GRC vs the World events at tonight's Distance Carnival to commemorate the momentous occasion.

Popping off for the GRC squad are Tina M. and Susan H. in the OD 5k. Former Quaker (in the athletic sense) Tina Morrison makes her return to Franklin Field at her new distance of choice. She ran on many a relay team during her time at Penn, but this is her Thursday night debut.

Next up is GRC fan favorite Ryan Witters in the 5k. After a string of solid 1500s, Witty looks to lower his 3.1 PR on Penn's big stage. Coach Jerry muses that "though this is Witty's third trip to Penn, he still gets the starry-eyed look of a small town boy hitting the big time."

Anchoring GRC home is the dynamic duo of Luke Meyer and Mike Franklin in the 10k.  This is Luke's first track race in 3 years, and Mike's first Penn Relays, so both are looking to do big things. The race is in no danger of becoming a traffic jam, but if conditions and pacing are right the 29 minute barrier could be in jeopardy.

We'll post results as they come in, and maybe some updates from the obligatory post-race Wawa trip.

Send em

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday workout, April 23


It was a huge weekend for GRC, on the roads of Boston and on the track at Princeton.  
The lead story is the excellent performance in Boston by Julie, who despite missing a significant amount of training due to a persistent injury, and going into the race with very low expectations, ran 2:53:14, which was only 24 seconds off her big PR from last year.  Due to her injury Julie was not even close to being fully fit, and if she can run 2:53 off of a compromised training cycle, there's no telling what she can do when her training goes according to plan.  It was the other end of the spectrum for Kerry and Teal, both of whom had excellent training cycles, but who did not perform up to their expectations when the gun went off.  There will be plenty of time for analyzing the results later, but for now suffice to say that I'm extremely proud of both Kerry and Teal for doing the hard work necessary to put themselves in a position to succeed, and I'm certain they will have better days in the future.

The men in Boston were lead by Matt Rand's PR of 2:32:51.  Matt showed today that he has a world of potential, and we will be seeing much more from him in the months ahead.  Dickson and Murph were not so lucky, as their results were not what they were hoping for.  The marathon is a cruel event, and even with the perfect training that Dickson had the number of bad things that can happen during the course of the race is limited only by the imagination.  Dickson and Murph are experienced marathoners who are not going to let the race get the better of them, and there's no doubt they'll be back to settle the score next year. 

Not to be lost in the excitement of Boston were some outstanding performances at Princeton.  Cecilia ran yet another humongous PR, and this one was the most impressive of the bunch (at least so far), as she ran 2:04.82 for 800, a PR of 1.38 seconds, which is a major improvement at her level.  To put into context just how impressive this race was, Cecilia was only 1 second behind Ajee Wilson, who was ranked number three in the US in the 800 in 2013.  The way she's going, Cecilia will be a candidate for a top ten ranking herself this year, despite having almost no experience in the 800, running all of her workouts solo, and working full time.  We also had two very nice races in the 1500, as Hilary ran 4:37.4 for 4th in the unseeded section, and Witty ran 3:56.6 for 2nd in the unseeded section.  Hilary is improving by leaps and bounds each week, and with at least two more shots at the 1500 in a GRC jersey, she will have a real chance to not only lower her club record but also to run a PR before she heads back to California for business school.  Witty's race was slower than he wanted at 800 and he made a strong move to take the lead from there.  He ran an excellent last 400, and his race bodes very well for Penn this week, and beyond.  


We will be at BCC on Wednesday for our normal 7:15 start, but there will be track conflicts in the coming weeks, so be sure to pay close attention to the workout emails for times and locations.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Boston finishing times

Matt Rand 2:32:51
Dickson Mercer 2:38:39
Chris Bain 2:51:10
Patrick Murphy 2:54:29
Lavar Curley 2:57:37
Scott Koonce 3:07:43

Julie Tarallo 2:53:14
Teal Burrell 2:58:39
Kerry Allen 3:01:35

GRC alumni
Patrick Reaves 2:29:31
Kenny Rayner 2:45:51
Frank Fung 3:07:08
Robert Jarrin 3:13:12
Jordan Snyder 3:28:45

Boston half

Expat Reaves - 2:29:49!

Matt Rand 1:43:04
Dickson Mercer 1:47:51
Patrick Murphy: 1:55:56
Chris Bain 1:58:52
Lavar Curley 2:01:12
Teal Burrell 2:02:08
Julie Tarallo 2:02:29
Kerry Allen 2:03:55

GRC alumni
Patrick Reaves 1:45:24
Kenny Rayner 1:50:33
Frank Fung 2:09:42
Robert Jarrin 2:16:00

Matt Rand 1:11:40
Dickson Mercer 1:14:05
Patrick Murphy: 1:17:58
Lavar Curley 1:22:37
Chris Bain 1:23:09 
Kerry Allen 1:24:19
Teal Burrell 1:24:22
Julie Tarallo 1:35:10

GRC alumni
Patrick Reaves 1:13:56
Kenny Rayner 1:15:36
Frank Fung 1:30:04
Robert Jarrin 1:34:53
Jason Dwyer No time

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Long Weekend Results

Yea, in the running world this is an especially long weekend.

Patriot's Day Boston Fun-Run

Matt Rand 2:32:51
Dickson Mercer 2:38:39
Chris Bain 2:51:10
Patrick Murphy 2:54:29
Lavar Curley 2:57:37

Julie Tarallo 2:53:14
Teal Burrell 2:58:39
Kerry Allen 3:01:35

GRC alumni
Patrick Reaves 2:29:31
Kenny Rayner 2:45:51
Frank Fung 3:07:08
Robert Jarrin 3:13:12

Princeton Invite

Cecilia 2:04.83  PR--this was a magic show.  Cecilia ran an amazingly strong last 150, and finished within 1 second of Ajee Wilson

Hilary--4:37.47  4th in unseeded 1500

Witty--3:56.6  2nd in unseeded 1500

CNU Captains Classic
Heather -- 4:47 1st in the 1500

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boston 2014: a team undeterred

The eight GRC runners set to toe the line in Boston on Patriots' Day could have found any number of reasons not to run the race. The brutal winter conditions made training difficult. Some runners are nursing injuries which have yet to heal. And one need not look far to find a faster course. But for these runners, the lure of the 118th running of the Boston Marathon has proven too much to resist. Patrick Murphy wanted to run so badly that in June he registered for a last second maraton just to hit a BQ. Julie Tarallo and Scott Koonce are racing despite nagging injuries. And Dickson Mercer, Teal Connor, and Kerry Allen, who are as fit as they have ever been, will be giving it their all on Heartbreak rather than holding out for flatter courses. These runners chose Boston because it is a special event and nothing is going to keep them away from this race. 

In all, Kerry Allen, Teal Connor, Julie Tarallo, Dickson Mercer, Patrick Murphy, Scott Koonce, Lavar Curley, Chris Bain, and Matt Rand will be lining up. These runners are repeat players in Boston and their spring racing schedule reflects a healthy respect for the rigors of the course. Almost every runner tested their mettle this spring at challenging events such as the RRCA Club Challenge Ten Miler and the Rock and Roll USA Marathon.

For the women, Kerry Allen and Teal Connor are looking for big PRs. This spring, Allen hit signficant PRs at ten miles and the half marathon, culminating in a second place finish at RNR USA. Teal missed a significant amount of training after a big PR at Boston last year, but she is back at it and looking to make a big leap forward. "I don't like to make predictions about times in any event where the weather is such a major factor," says Coach Jerry Alexander, "but I do know for sure that Kerry and Teal are in the best shape of their lives, and capable of running much, much faster than their current PRs."

After finishing in 2:37 last year, Dickson Mercer, a cerebral runner with a 2:29 PR, is hoping to solve the mystery of Boston. Mercer's training this cycle has been completely marathon specific, and from the standpoint of his fintess, he is capable of dipping south of 2:30. Murphy started the cycle with modest expectations, but things have been coming together for him lately and he is in a position to have a great race. Koonce, Curley, and Rand tuned up on the treacherous hills of Columbia, Maryland during the Club Challenge and are looking to have big days. Chris Bain (seen above running with Murphy in 2008) has shown remarkable consistency over the years and is determined to keep his decade-long Boston streak alive.

Good luck and run strong, everyone. Right on Hereford. Left on Boylston.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wednesday Workout, April 16


We had several strong performances on the track this weekend, led by our Princeton duo of Mike and Cecilia.  At the George Mason Spring Invitational, Cecilia placed second in the 400 in a PR of 53.88.  While the time itself is extremely impressive, it's even more noteworthy because Cecilia ran a big PR in her principle event while training for the 800.  Mike won the 5000 at Mason in a very controlled 14:23.1, the third fastest time in GRC history.  A slow second mile doomed Mike to a time that was pedestrian by his lofty standards, but his dominant move with 1k to go left no doubt that he is fit to run much, much faster.

At the Johns Hopkins Invitational, Heather ran a seasonal best 1500 of 4:41.43, putting her third on the GRC all time list, and then doubled back in the 800 in 2:26.  Tina was slowed by the affects of a cold, but ran a solid 4:43.99 in her first 1500 in seven years.  On the men's side, Chuck ran 1:56.83 for 800, and Tex Paul ran an evenly paced 4:06.6 1500, followed by the 800 in 2:00.51.  Tex would have broken 2 minutes (had he not misjudged the finish line) which is an impressive feat for a marathoner who has done minimal speedwork.


We're at BCC this week, but because it's spring break the building will be locked, so the bathrooms will not be available. 

As of now, the track at BCC is clear for next Wednesday, but that could change, so be sure to pay close to the workout email for practice times and locations.

I will have practice on Sunday morning for anyone who wants to get in some quality before Penn, Pikes Peak, or whatever you've got coming up next.

See you out there tomorrow.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunday Long Run @ Riley's Lock - 9am

Dickson and I are meeting at 9am tomorrow for a long run at Riley's Lock. He's only running 13, because he's running some race in Boston next weekend, and I'll be running 15-16. 

75% of the run will be on natural terrain/towpath.

Let me know if you're interested...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shop Run -- 9 a.m.

There will be a shop run from the Georgetown Store tomorrow at 9 a.m. Some of the Boston guys want to stay on the dirt and are doing 13 or so. I'm doing fewer. Post up or show up if interested.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wednesday workout, April 9--at AMERICAN UNIVERSITY


It was quite a weekend for GRC, with many outstanding performances at Cherry Blossom and on the track, led by national-caliber efforts from Luke and Cecilia.  

Luke ran 48:46 at Cherry Blossom, which was a club record by 21 seconds.  Luke's 10th place finish in the USATF Championship is almost surely the highest placing by a GRC athlete in a national championship, and his race is unquestionably one of the finest ever in a GRC singlet.  And there's more to come, as Luke is now officially back to full fitness, which bodes extremely well for this spring and beyond. 

Not to be outdone, Cecilia ran an 800 PR of 2:06.2 on her home turf at Princeton.  To put this performance into context for the distance types in the crowd, Cecilia achieved the B standard for the USATF outdoor championships. That accomplishment is all the more impressive because Cecilia has run the 800 less than ten times in her career. 

There were many other highlights, including PRs at Cherry Blossom from Kieran (50:30), Evan (52:09), Dave Wertz (52:46), and Kerry (60:44).  I was particularly pleased with Kerry's run as she prepares for a major breakthrough at Boston, as well as Dave's relentless progress towards true elite status, despite his advanced age.  There were also impressive performances at Cherry Blossom from, among others, Lindsay as she works her way back to race fitness, Outlaw who is returning to his pre-injury form, Paul Balmer who continues his successful transition to longer distances on the roads, and Jake who ran very well despite curtailed training due to injury.

On the track at Princeton, Susan bounced back in a big way from her disappointing race in Raleigh by running 10:08 for 3000 and challenging for the win.  Hilary continued to race her way into shape with a solid 10:20.  We're going to see much more from them in the weeks to come.
In international news, Nina made a victorious half marathon debut, winning a race in Jordan in the very impressive time of 1:21:45.  Well done to all!

Practice this week is at American University.  There are no lights at AU, so we need to get rolling at 7:00. If you're driving to the track, meet for the warmup at 6:15.  For those of you who are metroing, meet at Sam's house at 6:15 for the run over to AU.  If anyone needs information on logistics at AU, let me know.

We will continue to run into conflicts at BCC for the next few weeks, so be sure to check the workout emails carefully for times and locations.

I'll see you at AU on Wednesday for a 7:00 start.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jack Manner's comedic brilliance

UPDATE: Meyer Sets GRC Club Record at Cherry Blossom, 7 GRC Men Under 53:00

UPDATE: In his debutante performance, GRC's Luke Meyer ran 48:45 for ten-miles this morning at Cherry Blossom, which was a club record by over 20-seconds. Meyer placed 10th in the US 10-mile championship and took home $200 for his trouble.

The GRC "sent" 7 runners under 53:00. 

Kieran ran even 5:03 pace throughout the race and recorded a personal best of 50:30, the 4th best performance by a GRC athlete.

Jerry Greenlaw (AKA "Outlaw") went out hard and never quit and covered the race in an impressive 51:44. Outlaw hit 5 miles in 25:40 then prayed. His prayers were answered. 

Evan Jurkovich, Paul Balmer and Jake Klim ran together for more than half of the race before the pack broke up just shy of 6 miles. 

In women's action, Lindsay O'Brien found her groove after what she referred to as a frustrating spring and broke 60-minutes.

According to preliminary results, both the men and women won their respective team competitions and, in turn, took home $1000 each.


Luke M. 48:45 
Kieran  50:30
Outlaw 51:44
Evan 52:09
Balmer  52:12
Klim 52:32
Wertz  52:46

Lindsay 59:53
Beth 1:00:40
Kerry 1:00:44
Maura 1:01:35
Julie 1:02:45

Earlier in the weekend, GRC hit the track:


Big City runs 1:56.1 for the 800m on Friday.


1500m - Witty runs a 3:56.79 for second in the unseeded section

800m: Cecilia - 2:06.20  PR, 4th place

3,000m: Susan 10:08.1 for  4th place, Hilary - 10:20, Tina - 10:28


1500m: Heather - 4:49 4th place

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mercer on Boston

Check out Dickson Mercer's comments on the signifance of the Boston Maraton in general -- and this year's race in particular -- in this piece in American University's magazine. Mercer, who will toe the line this Patriot's Day (as he did in 2013), said of last year's attack: "I think it made me more resolute. I know that it's just a race, but in terms of repaying what Boston gives to you on that day, I don't know how to do that other than go out and give the absolute best effort I can, because the Boston fans really appreciate and acknowledge that."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday Workout, April 2


GRC Spring Break 2014 in Raleigh had it all!  Beth led the way with a PR of 17:36, and while she was hoping to run much faster, it was a very hard effort that will lead to bigger and better things.  Tina ran a PR of 17:50, breaking 18 for the first time, and showed that she is ready to make the transition to the longer distances on the track. Tex Paul made a successful return to the track after a long absence, running an evenly paced 15:09. Susan and Fridge ran hard but had off days ,and they will both run much, much faster later this spring. In the 1500, Heather ran 4:44 in a massive heat where she was forced to run most of the distance in lanes 2 and 3.  She competed extremely well and will also run much faster in the weeks to come. 

Closer to home, we had excellent performances from Mike and Hilary at the Maryland Invitational. Mike won the 5000 in 14:29 in a controlled tuneup for an all-out effort at the distance this weekend on familiar turf at Princeton.  Mike executed his race plan to perfection, and he is fit to take a shot at the club record on Friday.  Hilary was second in the 1500, making a successful return to the track after a long injury layoff.  Hilary is looking to regain her record-setting form of 2013, and she is well on her way to doing just that.

On the roads, Outlaw, Jake, and Lindsay did their final preparation for Cherry Blossom at the Van Meter 5 miler. Outlaw ran a very strong race, dueling with a crew of professional Ethiopians for more than 3 miles, and showed that he is ready to challenge his 10 mile PR on Sunday.  Jake and Lindsay ran most of the race solo, which did not lend itself to fast times, but they got in the hard effort they were looking for.

Finally, David Roche showed his dominance on the trails, winning the Mile Run Trail Challenge Half Marathon in Milton Pa by over 12 minutes, setting a course record of 1:31 on a course with a 4,000 foot elevation change.  Well done to all!


We'll be at BCC on Wednesday, but our start time may be delayed by a high school track meet.  In the past this has been nothing more than a minor inconvenience, and I am confident that the crack BCC staff will have the meet running like clockwork, so with any luck we'll be able to roll no later than 7:30.  

As always, if you have any questions, give me a holler.  I'll see you Wednesday at BCC.