Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekend Preview

This Sunday, Frances will race the two mile at the USATF Indoor Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track in Roxbury, MA.  Judging by the following from Coach Jerry, she's ready to roll: "After her low key tuneup at Princeton, Frances is ready to get after it in Boston.  She has not shown what she can do indoors yet this season, as she was sick in New York, and Princeton was a workout, but it should be all systems go on Sunday.  Frances has run indoor nationals several times, so she knows what to expect. Although the winter weather has been less than ideal for her preparation, she's looking forward to giving it a go."  Frances' race is live on NBC Sports Network at 5:09pm on Sunday, so you can follow along from home.  

Also on Sunday, Phil will race the Indoor Heps alumni mile at Harvard's indoor track, and there will be a big GRC crew in action at the Pacers St. Patrick's Day races in D.C.  Shauneen, Dave O., Stewart, Fridge, and Cabell are currently slated to run the 5k, and Mary Grace, Sean O., Charlie, Zak , and Breezy are slated to run the 10k.  Cabell and Zak will be racing in the GRC singlet for the first time.  

Best of luck (of the Irish and otherwise) to all GRC athletes racing this weekend.  


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Report: new jackets good in snowy weather

The Capital Weather Gang retweeted this photo by a Nathan Jones this morning

Coach Jerry's Recap: GRC at Princeton

While the weather precluded our team debut at the RRCA 10 Miler, the conditions were perfect indoors for individuals at Princeton.  It's a special day when every race goes the way we planned it, and we were 4 for 4 on Sunday.  Dickson ran a humungous 11 second PR of 8:52 in the 3000, and to put into perspective just how big a breakthrough that was, consider that Dickson is a marathoner who is not known for his leg speed, and who has not raced seriously on the track for 10 years.  He decided to take a break from the long stuff on the roads and run a full track season, and to say he's thrown himself into it would be a gross understatement.  Dickson ran with total commitment on Sunday, and he has set himself up to run times outdoors that would have seemed impossible two months ago.  On the women's side, we had an excellent GRC debut from Chelsea, who ran 10:27 for 3000.  This was Chelsea's first track race in 7 years, and her first serious race effort in almost as long, and she executed her race plan perfectly, and finished with a very hard final 200, proving that there's a lot more gas in the tank.  Chelsea is going to be an outstanding addition to our track group, and she will be setting her sights on GRC top 5 times in the 1500, 3000, and 5000 this spring.

The other two races that went according to plan were from Frances, who ran the mile and 3000 as a tuneup for the USATF indoor champs 2 mile on Sunday.  Frances started with a very controlled 4:53 mile, and followed that with an equally controlled 9:41 3000, closing in 33 for the last 200.  What impressed me most about Frances's day was not that she crushed the club record in the 3000 in what was nothing more than a workout for her, but that in both races she enthusiastically agreed to pace Division III athletes looking for NCAA qualifying times, and then spent time with both of the athletes afterwards to give them the benefit of her experience.  Frances's willingness to give back to the sport on a day when she would have been fully justified in worrying only about herself showed me why she's a perfect fit for GRC.  She's going to let it rip on Sunday, so be sure to watch the live broadcast (5:09 pm on NBC Sports Network) of what is sure to be a great performance.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

FLASH: GRC throwing it down at Princeton

Frances - 4:53.86, about 13 seconds ahead of second-place finisher

Frances - 9:40, a controlled victory
Chelsea - 10:26 (GRC debut)

Dickson - 8:52.7 (huge PR, was in the mix for the victory with a lap to go)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Mobot

Fosbury's Flop.  Bannister's Mile.  Shorter's Gold Medal. I, for one, would put the invention of the Mobot among these seminal track & field achievements.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cell Phone Field No More?

GRC SPECIAL REPORT --- The fate of the WMAL Towers Field, known affectionately in GRC circles as "Cell Phone Field," rests with the bigwigs at Cumulous Media, the owner of the property. According to local news reports, the "75-acre transmitter site in Bethesda was placed on the market earlier this week, the first step in what will likely be the area's largest redevelopment project in years." 

It's estimated that the green space could accommodate upwards of 300 homes and that the property, reportedly worth "hundreds of millions," is amongst some of the most coveted residential real estate in the entire country.

Of course, the property is also a major playground for dog walkers, neighborhood children and cross country aficionados.

Sean O'Leary, GRC harrier and lifelong Bethesda resident, remarked, "I can't even begin to estimate how many times I've run around that field. It's such an ideal training resource, with a great balance of soft terrain and gently rolling hills. I don't know who is more heartbroken from this news - me or the seemingly countless number of dogs that utilize the area as a communal bathroom."

Understanding the magnitude of the situation, Coach Jerry Alexander lamented, "we may have to find other options (for workouts) in the not too distant future."

To read more about the history of this field, please visit:

UPDATE: The GRC Treasurer notes that the club's coffers lack the necessary funds to place a realistic offer on the property.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Weekend Preview:

GRC Athletes Hit the Grass, Road, and Track

Tomorrow in the thin air of Boulder, Colorado Sean Barrett will race the USATF Cross Country Championships as a member of the Marine Corps team.  Sean, a cross country ace who has twice qualified for and competed in the World Military Cross Country Championships, has battled through injuries recently but is getting back into shapeAccording to Coach Jerry, "Sean is not expecting miracles on Saturday but he certainly will give it his absolute best effort, as he does every time he races."  In advance of tomorrow's race, running legend Kenny Moore wrote an article on cross country racing that not only features a picture of Frances competing in the GRC blue and white, but will probably get you pumped to run some cross country next fall if you read it.  Check it out here.   

Much closer to home, GRC will have a big crew at Sunday's Love the Run You're With 5k on the Arlington roads.  Sara, Shauneen, Kevin, Jake, Kyle, Charlie, and Sean O'Leary will all raceIt will be Shauneen's first time racing in the GRC jersey, and Coach Jerry had this to say about her debut: "Shauneen is Division III royalty, having won 4 NCAA titles at Amherst, including the amazing steeple, 5k, 10k triple outdoors in 2007.  Her expectations for Sunday are modest, as she gave birth to her daughter in November, but as she returns to full fitness, she will be a major contributor to our women's team." 

Last but not least, Wiggy, Dickson, and Stewart will race the mile on the indoor track at the Prince George's Sportsplex this Sunday.  It will be Stewart's first track race for GRC, and all three athletes will be aiming for high places and fast early-season times.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wednesday workout, February 4


Congratulations to Frances for her club record 10:06.2 2 mile at the Armory Invitational, which qualifies her for the USATF indoor championship in Boston on March 1. Frances's goal going into the meet was to get a nationals qualifier, and what seemed like a sure thing at the beginning of the week became an epic struggle when the head cold she had been fighting off took a turn for the worse on Friday. Despite being far from 100 percent, Frances got after it against a national caliber field, and even with severe difficulty breathing during the second mile, she fought to the finish and got her qualifier. With the mission accomplished, Frances will take some time to get healthy, and then it's back to work as she gets ready to roll at Nationals. Well done!


We caught a break on the weather and not only will the track be clear on Wednesday, it should be relatively warm, so don't miss the fun. We'll get going at 7:15 as normal, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.

Looking ahead, we will have practice on the track Saturday for those of you who are not racing on Sunday.

I'll send the women's workout separately.

See you Wednesday at BCC.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

NEWSFLASH: Frances Qualifies for USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships!

Yesterday at the Armory, Frances ran 10:06.2 in the Two Mile Run to punch her ticket to the USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston later this winter, despite fighting a head cold all week and having trouble breathing before the race. 

She was through the mile in 4:56 and ran solo the second half of the race, before throwing down a strong last lap to hit the qualifying standard.  Here's Coach Jerry's take on Frances' achievement: "Frances proved her toughness once again by achieving her goal of qualifying for nationals under very difficult circumstances.   At full strength and with four weeks of training under her belt, she will be ready to make some noise at nationals."