Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wednesday workout, July 1


While it was a relatively quiet weekend, we had some strong performances at the Freedom 4 Miler. In his first race since his ill-fated 10,000 at Penn Relays, Matt Rand was second in 20:53. Sean O put in another solid performance, placing fourth in 21:33, and Dave O was seventh in 22:19.


The team meeting/party is July 17 at Charlie's house. Please plan to attend, as we have important business to discuss, great spring performances to celebrate, big fall plans to make, and frescas to drink.


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

It appears we'll have yet another decent night to run, so we'll continue to keep the volume up and the paces reasonable.

I'll see you out there on Wednesday.


Friday, June 26, 2015


Last night, during one of her nightly stares into the sky at 15th and T NW, Kerry saw a meteor at roughly 9:20.


As reported to the American Meteor Society, there is some question as to the presence of a "Frag." Though her experience level is recorded as "1," it is apparent that the number serves as a ranking. When did you see your last meteor? I thought so...

DEVELOPING: several people confirmed this sighting, I says

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Grandma's Marathon: BREAKING: 3 MASSIVE marathon PRs!


Our marathoners all set HUGE PRs at Grandma's Marathon!! Kristin ran 2:48:06* for a TEN minute PR (and the #3 spot on the GRC All-Time list), Kieran ran 2:20:47 to PR by EIGHT minutes (taking the #2 spot on the All-Time list), and Outlaw ran 2:26:50, a FIVE minute PR!! A truly awesome day for GRC marathoners! Details and play by play below:

*all times are unofficial.

Our distance crew is taking on Grandma's marathon this morning. Stay tuned here for updates (or check out @runnerteal on Twitter for more minute by minute analysis/general nonsense.)

Weather conditions: cloudy and rainy, but cool. So far thunderstorms are holding off. All our racers are agreed the rain beats DC's humidity. 

10K splits:

Kieran - 32:44 (on pace for 2:20:33)
Outlaw - 34:39 (2:28:47 pace)
Kristin - 39:16 (2:48:40 pace) 

Half splits:

These marathoners know what they are doing! After conservative starts, they are all settling in and cranking down the pace. 

Kieran - 1:08:54 (2:17:47 pace, aka OTQ pace!)
Outlaw - 1:13:35 (2:26:49 pace) 
Kristin - 1:23:09 (2:46:17 pace) 

20 mile splits:

Kieran - 1:45:28 (2:18:09 pace) 
Outlaw  - 1:51:51 (2:26:32 pace) 
Kristin - 2:06:46 (2:46:03 pace) 

Finish (unofficial):

Kieran - 2:20:47 (~8 min PR!!!, #2 GRC All-Time!)
Outlaw - 2:26:50 (~5 min PR!!) 
Kristin- 2:48:06 (~10 min PR!!!!, #3 GRC All-Time!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weekend Preview: Grandma's Marathon and Father's Day 8K

Over the river and through the woods (and halfway across the country), to Grandma’s Marathon the GRC racers go.

After slogging through high mileage weeks in even higher humidity, a hardy group of GRC distance specialists is eager to reap the rewards by heading west to Duluth, MN for the Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon this Saturday. Luke "The Blond Whale" Meyer, Kieran "Rube" O'Connor, Jerry "Outlaw" Greenlaw, and Kristin "Snakes" Johnson are all in excellent shape and ready to use the notoriously flat and fast courses to go after Olympic Trials qualifying times and huge PRs.

Kieran and Outlaw at Cherry Blossom. Photo by Cheryl Young
Luke is looking to make a third trip to the Olympic Trials by qualifying for the marathon with a 1:05 half marathon. After racing the Garry Bjorklund Half last year, he is back with a vengeance. An excellent spring training session should help him stake claim to the standard.

In the full marathon, Kieran is ready to nab a trials qualifier by going after the 2:18 standard. Kieran is in the best shape of his life and has looked great in workouts; “He has a real shot at qualifying,” says Coach Jerry.

After making promising marathon debuts in 2014, Outlaw and Kristin are ready to show the marathon who’s boss. With lessons learned from their debuts combined with recent training, their times are ready to fall in a big way. Coach Jerry says, “Outlaw’s training was excellent, and he’s looking at running a big PR.” Kristin is in great shape, running some superb workouts this spring after a PR-filled fall. Coach Jerry states what those who have run with Kristin know first hand: she is ready for a major breakthrough.

Yours truly will be on location in Duluth to bring the breaking news of breaking PRs and OTQs so stay tuned Saturday morning!

On Sunday, back along our own river and woods, GRC is hosting the 6th annual Father’s Day 8K. Celebrate Father’s Day with a flat, fast run along the C & O Towpath, a family-friendly atmosphere, and a finish jam-packed with homemade treats (some of which may be literally jam packed) and amazing raffle prizes! Sign up today!

A few dozen reasons to sign up for the 8K.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

FLASH: GRC debutante Hannah Rowe shows the most heart at Lawyers

Photo by Lavar Curley

On a classically muggy summer morning in DC, Hannah Rowe made her GRC debut a good one, winning the Lawyers Have Heart 5k on Saturday in a sensational time of 17:35. Shauneen Werlinger was nipping on her coattails with a second place effort of 17:42. Both of these ladies have earned a spot in the GRC top 5 all-time with these excellent performances.

The GRC men also showed the humidity who's boss with a 1-2-3 sweep. Luke Meyer ran 15:46 for the win, followed by Sean O'Leary in second with a time of 16:35, and Dave O'Hara finished with a solid third place run of 16:59.

Up next for the GRC is Grandma's Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon on Saturday, June 20. The GRC contingent of Kristin Johnson, Luke Meyer, Kieran O'Connor, and Jerry Outlaw will hope for a bit less humidity in the northern town of Duluth, Minnesota as they'll all be striving to hit the personal bests for which they've been training hard all season. Stay tuned for a race preview this week!

Duluth News Tribune honors Nina and welcomes the GRC to Grandma's Marathon

The Duluth News Tribune has written a stellar article about Nina Brekelmans and the GRC in anticipation of the events of next weekend.

Georgetown Running Club members come to Grandma's Marathon mourning death of teammate by Louie St. George

Kristin Johnson, Kieran O'Connor, Luke Meyer, and Jerry Greenlaw will represent the GRC at Grandma's. Kristin, Kieran, and Jerry will run the full 26.2 miles, while Luke will run the half. Both races will take place Saturday morning in Duluth, Minnesota.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Our teammate Nina

After making her mark in Kentucky, Mexico, New Hampshire, Egypt, Jordan and Washington, D.C., Nina Brekelmans was about to head back to the Middle East, ready to take on the world when a fire in her Dupont Circle rowhouse June 3 claimed her and a neighbor. She was 25.

She had finished her Master’s in Arab Studies at Georgetown less than three weeks earlier and her parents, who are living in China, were on hand for commencement.

She was due to return to Jordan, to work on a Fulbright grant studying women’s athletics as a means of encouraging confidence and self esteem. Her high school friend and GRC teammate Mary Grace Pellegrini said that on the verge of her new life, Nina was primed to change the world with her energy, talent, intellect and raw determination.

“She was at a happy stage of her life,” Mary Grace said. “She had a sincere and deep love for the people of the Middle East. It’s where she felt at home.”

While in Jordan during part of a one-year language and cultural immersion fellowship (she started in Egypt until civil unrest prompted Americans to leave), she won her first attempt at a half marathon at the Dead Sea, taking home some prize money, meeting members of the royal family and generally being treated “like a star,” Mary Grace said.

“She was an absolute dynamo,” she added. “And she was so proud to wear her GRC shirt on the podium.”

About the half marathon, she said, "for once in my life, I am quite pleased with the result, as well!"

That gave some insight into the standards that she set for herself. Despite taking up the sport in earnest only a few years before, and having won the Cross Country on the Farm 5k in 2012 in Derwood, Md., she was only starting to be satisfied with her performances when she won on a competitive stage.

Nina came to competitive running later in life than most of her teammates. While an undergrad at Dartmouth, she rowed on the crew team, but a run at home in Louisville during a semester break with Mary Grace opened a new door for her.

“I told her ‘Nina, you’re running really fast, you’re in great shape,’” Mary Grace said. “I told her she could probably walk on to the team at Dartmouth. She played soccer (and tennis) in high school but would have been one of our best cross country runners.” 

So Nina showed up to the Dartmouth home invitational, cheered on by professors, friends and crew teammates who knew they’d lose her from the team if she ran too fast. She did, and became a harrier for the Big Green. 

“Her career at Dartmouth was limited by injury, but she ran some very solid times in college,” said GRC Coach Jerry Alexander. The highlight of her collegiate career came in Boston, where she ran a 9:56 3000m. “She was essentially a very talented beginner when she joined GRC in the fall of 2012.  She was really committed to continue her development with GRC, and was training extremely well.”

Injuries plagued her throughout her running career, but they only affected her body. She remained determined throughout and committed to her teammates both new and old. She beemed with pride when she had a chance to watch college teammate Alexi Pappas race in Alexandria last fall at the .US National 12k, and even though she loved her experiences in Egypt (before relocating to Jordan during her language fellowship), she regretted missing out on celebrating teammates’ successes.

“It's been really fun to follow your racing results and see massive PR after PR. Wish I were there to enjoy these moments with you!” she wrote to her teammates.

Mary Grace remembered her as a devoted and genuine friend. 

“Nina would remember things about people that they’d just mention in passing,” she said. “She knew I had a great race at the Penn Relays, and she found a poster for the meet while visiting her brother at Penn and gave it to me."

That handoff meant carrying the vintage poster with her across the eastern United  States over a few weeks. 

"That’s the kind of thing she’d do for her friends. She was a wonderful friend and so sincere."

And despite those injuries, she was determined to do something with her running. As she left for Cairo she told her teammates she wasn’t going to let inconveniences keep her from the sport she had grown to love.

“I do plan on training in Cairo,” she wrote at the time. “Through the heat, pollution and traffic, and probably getting shouted at.”

That was typical Nina.

“She was always challenging herself,” Mary Grace said. “To excel at academics, to go after the most competitive scholarships in the country, to learn another language. With Arabic, she was really on another level, truly exceptional.”

That future was going to take her away from D.C., but not before she made an impression on her teammates.

“Nina was very, very proud to be part of GRC,” Jerry said. “She was willing to do whatever it was going to take to hang with the girls, and she was a great teammate in every sense of the word.”

I'd hear her wheezing as she'd push to keep up with her far more seasoned teammates and initially thought it was an indication of some weakness, but I realized quickly that it was indicative of her strength and focus to do what it took to be a better runner, to push herself harder.

We’re left to only imagine where she would have topped out and the impact she would have had in the Middle East and beyond.

“She was ready to go out into the world and make a difference,” Mary Grace said. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wednesday workout, June 3


Frances set another club record on Saturday, running 4:30.9 for the win at the New Balance Twilight 1500 in Boston. Despite the record, Frances's race is not one that she will remember fondly, to say the least, as she was injured in the final 100 meters, and the injury will preclude her from reaching her goal of qualifying for nationals. Frances is understandably disappointed by the premature conclusion to what had been a very, very promising season, but she's overcome much more significant setbacks than this, and she will be back better than ever, and will proudly represent GRC at the Olympic Trials in 2016.

In happier club record news, Susan ran 2:16.01 for 800 for a very close second place in the Garden State Track Club meet in New Jersey. Susan's performance was impressive on several fronts, including that this was her first 800 since 2009, her training has not been at all geared towards a race that short, and she didn't even know that she was running the 800 until about an hour before the gun went off. In yet another excellent performance during his breakthrough season, Cabell won the 1500 at the GSTC meet in 3:53.9, and while Cabell fell short of the club record, he's taking one more shot at it tomorrow night in Philadelphia, and if the conditions are conducive, he's got a great chance to put his name at the top of the list.

On the roads, Shauneen continued her winning ways at the We've Got Your Back Race for Spinal Health, running 17:58. Sean O'Leary ran 16:37 for 5th place, and while they both hoped to run faster, the course was extremely challenging, and the heat and humidity didn't make things any easier. Finally, Sean Barrett gave it a go at the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Realizing that it was not his day, he turned around at the 5 mile mark to head back to his car. Sean's description of what came next is worth sharing. "Thankfully, a good 25-30 people felt the need to inform me that I was running in the wrong direction. As if the tens of thousands of people going the correct direction was not enough of an indication."


The men are at BCC on Wednesday for our normal 7:15 start, so meet for the warmup at 6:30.

It's ladies night on Tuesday, and we'll also get going at 7:15, with a 6:30 warmup.