Sunday, May 31, 2015

Club records fall up north

We had another hot weekend of racing here at the GRC, one week after summer's unofficial start. Even when DC's heat and humidity make workouts slow, legs sluggish, and temperaments cranky, training and racing do not take a hiatus for this adaptable team. Despite the dramatic return of summer, two club records came tumbling down, in addition to several other good performances both near and far.

After calling an audible on her race choice for the day when only one other person showed up to run the 1500, Susan Hendrick defied expectations to run a 2:16.01 in the 800 meters at the adidas Garden State Twilight Open Meet in New Jersey. Although such short distances are not typically in the GRC women's team's collective wheelhouse, Susan demonstrated true resolve in running an excellent time and setting a high bar as the new club record. Flexibility and versatility and are paramount here at the GRC!

At the same meet, Cabell Willis narrowly missed another 1500 meter PR with a first place effort of 3:53.94.

Frances Koons raced to a solid finish of 4:30.91 for the win at the New Balance Boston Twilight series meet #2, which is far from her PR, but also a new club record.

Closer to home, at the We've Got Your Back Race for Spinal Health 5k in Reston, Shauneen didn't back down in turning in a performance of 17:58, a win by well over a minute. She'll look to back up that solid race in a few weeks at the Father's Day 8k (register here!). Sean O'Leary also didn't hold back with a fifth place run of 16:37.

Although races over the next few weeks will be more sparsely attended than usual, the GRC will look to take every opportunity to heat things up and run some fast times. Stay tuned on the blog, because you won't want to miss a thing!

Dickson relishes heat before escaping to Scandanavia

Dix refused to wilt in the heat this morning during the Herndon Festival 10k, taking the lead from Charlie around four miles in and cruising to a 34:40 first place finish on a hilly but enjoyable looping course.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday workout, May 27


Cabell and Stewart kept the PR train rolling at the Loudon Street Mile, with Cabell placing second in 4:11.8, and Stewart fourth in 4:14.7. Cabell and Stewart ran negative splits, and passed several athletes in the last 800 in what was a successful and lucrative day for them both. Cabell is now officially a GRC Club Record holder in the newly minted Road Mile category, and Stewart is third on the all-time list (behind some guy named Witters, who ran 4:12.4 last year). Cabell is going to have a shot at setting a club record in a more well-established event when he runs the 1500 at the Garden State Track Club meet on Saturday. The way he's going, I wouldn't bet against him.


We're at BCC on Wednesday for our normal 7:15 start, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.


Monday, May 25, 2015


Running on what S. Mark Courtney called a "picture perfect morning" in Winchester, Cabell Willis and Discotheque Stewart Reich ran 4:11.8 and 4:14.7 to finish second and fourth at the Loudoun Street Mile. They were bookended by Pacers runners with a Georgetown undergrad in between. The course has a net downhill, so the times will not put Cabell and Stew at number one and four, respectively, on our all-time performance list, but it's a harbinger of things to come when they hit the track again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

FLASH: Wednesday night 800m fun

Who says you need a fully-attended track meet to run a PR? At the inaugural GRC Twilight 800m Invitational, Stewart and Cabell ran 1:55 and 1:56 respectively. See video below for proof:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wednesday workout, May 20


We had a some strong performances on the roads this weekend. On Saturday, Kevin continued his winning ways with a comfortable victory at the Germantown 5 Miler in 25:55. Unlike his recent races that were battles to the tape, Kevin was in control of this one from the gun. Charlie was second in a solid 26:25 two weeks after his huge half marathon PR. On Sunday, Shauneen won the Capital Hill Classic 10k in 37:18. Despite the relatively slow time, Shauneen ran quite well considering the temperature, and the fact that she had been feeling under the weather for a couple of days before the race. On the men's side, Wertz was third in 33:48. In the Wild Half Marathon in Wildwood, NJ, Teal and Kristin continued their buildup for Grandmas, with Teal winning in 1:21:21, and Kristin finishing second in 1:22:13. Teal and Kristin were not pleased with the times, but there's no doubt that the heat and humidity and lack of competition slowed them down considerably, and I'm confident that they're both on track for big PRs in Duluth.


We're at BCC on Wednesday for our normal 7:15 start, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Winners aplenty in mid-May

GRC runner won no fewer than four races over the weekend, highlighted, distance-wise, by Teal and Kristin's 1-2-finish at the Wild Half Marathon in New Jersey. Teal (1:21:21) spent time trailing only the male leader before finishing a close third overall with Kristin (1:22:13) finishing sixth overall. Another eight minutes and four seconds passed before the third woman finished, and their times both easily eclipsed the 1:25:20 record set in the inaugural race last year.

They might have run even fast if they had entered their plans on the team racing schedule.

Closer to home, Shauneen won the Capitol Hill Classic in 37:18 and Dave Wertz finished third in 33:48. Though a Saturday evening shower washed a lot of pollen out of the air, the resulting ambient humidity kept runners from having too much fun out there.

Saturday morning, Johnny Running and Charlie went 1-2 at the Germantown 5 Miler, running 25:55 and 26:25, respectively, on a hot morning.
Photo by Alex Reichmann

Chili Balmer climbed his way to victory in the Fountainhead Off-Road 10k in Fairfax County's Fountainhead Park.

Monday, May 11, 2015

FLASH: Cabell PRs again!

Cabell Willis has moved into third place on the GRC all-time list for the 1500 meters with a great showing at the Swarthmore Final Qualifier meet this evening. His time of 3:53.91, almost two seconds faster than his previous best, was good for 27th place in the high caliber field. This marks his fourth PR in four races, likely establishing a new GRC record for longest PR streak. Our interns will look into it.

Paul Balmer joins the PR parade with a run of 15:05.18 in the 5000 meters, an 8 second personal best.

FULL RESULTS - Swarthmore Final Qualifier

1500 meters

27. Cabell Willis 3:53.91 (PR!)

5000 meters

12. Paul Balmer 15:05.18 (PR!)
21. Stewart Reich 15:13.97
32. Dickson Mercer 15:22.91

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekday preview: Taking one last chance at Swarthmore

After a very quiet weekend, the GRC takes to the track tomorrow evening for the Swarthmore Last Chance meet. This meet has always been a successful one for the team, and with the endless fun sure to transpire on the GRC van ride up to Philadelphia, it's truly a win-win all around.

Cabell Willis will shoot for a third consecutive PR in as many races when he toes the line in the 1500.

The 5000 will feature many of GRC's best and brightest talents, including Stewart Reich, Sean O'Leary, Dave Wertz, Dickson Mercer, and Paul Balmer. Many will look to close their spring seasons with a fast time, so look out for PRs to fall on Monday night.

Finally, everyone here at at the GRC would like to wish all of the mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day! It is no easy task to sit patiently through all-day track meets for a few minutes of action, to run over hill and dale just to get a few extra cheers in during cross country races, and to comfort a tired kid on a long ride home after a bad race. We wouldn't be where we are today without the support of our moms along the way.

We of course also want to take a minute to celebrate GRC's resident mommas, Laura O'Hara and Shauneen Werlinger. Greta, Benjamin, and all of the GRC are lucky to have you around!

FLASH: Phil wins Maine Coast Marathon in 26.2 debut

Phil Royer ran 2:30:44 for the win, in his first marathon, ever, in his life. He commented that it was just "for fun" and "with a friend," but we all know that no one at the GRC ever backs down from a challenge.

After rounding out the day with some lobstah, Phil has no comment yet about whether he will continue his undefeated marathon streak with another attempt someday. Time will tell!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wednesday workout, May 6

There were so many great performances this weekend that I'm going to run out of superlatives to describe them. In fact, I could exhaust my supply of SAT words just talking about Frances's race at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford, where she made an outstanding track 10,000 debut in 33:17 which, it goes without saying, is a new club record. Indeed, Frances came through 5,000 in approximately 16:17, which is 10 seconds faster than her week-old club record at that distance. Frances was knocking heads with a world-class field, and it was beyond inspiring to see her fighting hard for the full distance. Frances's race is all the more impressive because due to a series of setbacks over the winter, she's only been training hard for about four weeks. Frances is very much on the upswing, and she's going to try to qualify for nationals in the 5,000 in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more great results from that plucky kid!

We also had some excellent results on the track at the Maryland Kehoe Twilight Invitational, where Cabell kept the PR train rolling by running 3:55.8 for 1500, which is 5th on the all-time GRC list. Until this spring, Cabell hadn't run a PR since 2012, and he's now making up for lost time with his third PR in his last 3 meets. Also in the 1500, Phil ran a strong 3:56.1, followed by Stewart in 3:59.9, and Balmer in 4:12.2. Stewart's overly aggressive early tactics cost him a shot at a PR, but he learned a valuable lesson about competing on this level, and we're sure to see a big PR from him at 1500 later this spring. In the women's 1500, Susan looked very good in winning her heat in 4:43.2, and she will run much faster later this season in a more competitive race. Tina's 4:53 is not indicative of her fitness, and she too will run much faster later this spring. Last but not least, Otto ran a very nice PR in the 5,000 of 15:23.7, aided by Phil's sterling pacemaking for 3800 meters. Otto has decided to matriculate at Galludet, and his time on Friday was well under the school record, so we're going to see him rewrite the record books in the next 4 years.

The action on the roads was highlighted by our women's crew at the Broad Street 10 Miler, where we had excellent performances across the board. Lindsay led the way in 59:21, followed by Teal in a huge PR of 59:24, Kristin in 60:16, and Maura in a big PR of 60:56. Because Lindsay has been dealing with a variety of injuries all year, she entered the race with the (modest for her) goal of breaking 60, and she was pleasantly surprised to be able to handle an aggressive early pace and finish strong. Teal probably would have broken 60 at Cherry Blossom had the course been accurate, and she left no doubt in Philly, running a 55 second PR, which places her 4th on the all-time GRC list. Teal's dramatic improvement at the shorter distances bodes extremely well for another PR in the marathon at Grandmas. Kristin's performance was a big step forward in her preparation for Grandmas, where she will be looking for a Teal-style breakthrough. Maura ran a 33 second PR as she continues to make a strong transition to the longer road distances. On the men's side, Jake ran a very solid 52:25, and while the time was not what he was hoping for, Jake competed extremely well, and he was pleased with the effort.

We had thee impressive performances at the half marathon distance. Sean Barrett ran 1:07:50 at the Orange County half, and he would have threatened his PR if not for the fact that he was obstructed repeatedly by slower runners in the full marathon, which started 40 minutes before the half. Sean continues his return to full fitness despite his grueling schedule, and he's going to take a shot at PRs in the full and half later this spring. In what was probably the best race of his life, Charlie ran a 45 second PR of 1:10:10 at the Pittsburgh half, much to the delight of his rabid hometown fans. Kieran ran a hard tempo of 1:10:24 at the Frederick half as he continues his preparation for a major breakthrough in the full at Grandmas.

In the shorter road distances, Kevin continued his domination of the local scene by winning the George Washington Birthday 10k in 31:15. Unlike last week when his 10 mile debut came down to the bitter end, Kevin was able to take the measure of his high-level competition early, and cruised the last 2 miles for a comfortable win. And speaking of domination, Shauneen crushed the field at the Run for the Children 8k, winning in 29:42, crossing the line more than 40 seconds ahead of the top man. Well done to all!


We're set for our normal 7:15 start at BCC, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekend Results: multiple PRs and one club record

Breuters Wire Services-

Results are trickeling in on this big week of racing. It turns out that horses are not the only creatures sending 'em this weekend.

Kehoe Twilight Meet

Women's 1500:
Susan Hendrick 4:43.28
Tina Morrison 4:53.79

Men's 1500:
Cabell Willis 3:55.82 (PR!)
Phil Royer 3:56.18
Stewart Reich 3:59.93
Paul Balmer 4:12.29

Men's 5000:
Otto Kingsted 15:23.70 (PR!)

Stanford Invitational
Frances Koons- 33:17. Club record for the 10k!

Broad Street 10m
LDO 59:21
Teal Burrell 59:24 PR!
Kristen Johnson 60:16
Maura Carroll 60:56 PR! (An impressive feat after an intense week of blogging).

Klim 52:25
Zak 57:19

Frederick half
Kieran 1:10:24. Send 'em!

Pittsburgh Half
Ban 1:10:10 PR! Quote: "Today's success is owing to the hard training," Ban may have said.

Orange County Half Marathon
Sean Barrett 1:07:50 5th OA!

GW Birthday 10K
Kevin McNabb 31:15 1st OA! (the latest in a string of victories in George Washington races)

Run for the Children 8K
Shaunnen 29:42 1st OA!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekend preview: Philadelphia in one corner, College Park in the other

Another busy racing weekend is yet again upon us. Weekdays sure do fly by when we have so many races to look forward to! Let’s get down to business, shall we?

This week’s theme is a tale of two cities. There will be two large events dominating the GRC racing scene this weekend, with our track group swiping their SmarTrips for the green line metro train to nearby College Park for the Jim Kehoe Twilight Meet on Friday night, and the distance group making sure to pack their EZ-Passes to appease the numerous I-95 tollbooths all the way up to Philadelphia for the 10 mile Broad Street Run. The GRC will be hoping for the best of times when the respective guns go off.

At Maryland, all six of our runners are attempting the 1500 meters. Talk about team unity!

GRC's women will be represented by Susan Hendrick and Tina Morrison. Learning from an incident a few weeks ago when she overlooked her life experience of racing on tracks for over a decade and chose to sport flats at the Hopkins-Loyola Invitational 5k, Susan has opted to pack her spikes for Friday's race. She was even able to remember to bring them to the track on Wednesday and acquaint them with her feet via some striding. Get ready for her to unleash the speed! Tina, on the other hand, has run a 1500 (in spikes!) already this season, so the pair will look to work together and end up with some fast times.

We are all hopeful for a reenactment of this shot on Friday evening.

On the men’s side, GRC’s racers include Phil Royer, Cabell Willis, Stewart Reich, and Paul Balmer. Phil and Cabell will both be bouncing back from their performances on the track at Penn just last week. If fitness is determined by the boldness of one’s clothing, Cabell’s fashion-forward white and red striped split shorts at the Wednesday workout this week indicate he is extremely fit. His recent string of PRs seem to indicate it as well! Paul and Stewart have already raced at Maryland this season, so the group may look to them for guidance and wisdom, as well as for their advice on where to find the mysteriously-placed starting line of their 1500 meter race.

This GRC battle will give the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight a run for its money as the most anticipated contest of the weekend, so hop on the metro and support the team!

Frances Koons will face a loaded 10k field at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford on Saturday night. This will be perhaps the most competitive 10k in the country this spring, and she is looking to use the undoubtedly fast pace and ample competition to take a shot at the USATF Championship Meet qualifying time of 32:58.00. While Frances’ spring season is young, she is hoping for a great showing with the aid of some of the nation’s best distance runners around her along with GRC-ers far and wide cheering her on at home.

On the other end of the spectrum, some distance runners who have not seen the likes of a track meet in quite a while will take to the street(s) of Philly for a fast and full 10 miles on Sunday morning at the Broad Street Run. Jake Klim and Zak Miller will represent GRC’s men, and Teal Burrell, Lindsay O’Brien, Kristin Johnson, and Maura Carroll will make up the women’s cohort. Teal, Lindsay, and Kristin are all in the thick of preparations for Grandma’s Marathon in late June (But they will be sure to not miss the Father’s Day 8K that same weekend! We are multitaskers here at the GRC.) so will primarily be using this race as another tuneup. Teal, the GRC’s token Olympic Trials qualifier, has shaved a lot of time off of her 10 mile PR in the last few seasons, but has not yet been able to crack the looming 60 minute threshold. She was on track to do so at Cherry Blossom until 0.61 miles were removed from the course, so she will do all she can to ensure that a sub-60 time is printed in ink following Broad Street. That she is so fit at this early stage of her very long season bodes extremely well for success at 26.2 miles in a couple of months. She also is trying to run faster than her brother, but we will consider that a secondary goal. Read more here on her excellent blog!

Zak is also nervous to run into the guy who wrote this Broad Street article found by Charlie, so let’s cross our fingers that they don’t meet.

Rounding out the GRC's weekend of action is Kevin McNab, who will be running the George Washington Birthday Classic 10k on Sunday morning. He will look to extend his undefeated streak to 2-0, and apparently also continues to prefer races incorporating the name of our first president. Honestly though, who doesn't?

And oh yeah, Sean Barrett will continue to singularly hold up our west coast chapter by running a half marathon in San Diego.

This will be another weekend for the record books, so hopefully everyone can keep up.

Send ‘em!