Thursday, April 28, 2016

FLASH: 3 Years in a Row

For the 3rd year in a row, a GRC athlete has won an Olympic Development race at the Penn Relays. Frances L. took the victory in the 5000m with a time of 16:50.94, putting her 3rd on the GRC top-5 list. Could this be the first year GRC walks away with two?

UPDATE 04/29: It was the first year with two victories, as Steph finished ahead of Coach Jerry's prediction in 34:12. She got a limited edition watch for her efforts.

On the men's side, Stew ran a 9 second PR for 14:49. Phil finished at 14:53.

Results can be found here:

Penn Relays Preview

Four GRC athletes are traveling up the Northeast Corridor this evening to take part in the largest track meet in the country, the 122nd Annual Penn Relays. More than 22,000 athletes take part in the yearly event, more than will participate in the entire Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, which starts in 99 days (who is counting?). Although this evening's events won't pack the Stadium as they will on Saturday for the USA vs. World and Calabar (Jamaica) vs. Kingston College (Jamaica) relays, GRC's enthusiasm for high-caliber competition against top collegians and post-grads remains high year in and year out. If there is any doubt, take a peek at the GRC top-5 lists, and you will see mark after mark run at Franklin Field.  

A GRC athlete has won an event at historic Franklin Field the past two years. Phil Royer, Stewart Reich, and Frances Loeb will try to match Frances Koon's 2015 victory in the 5000m. Stephanie Reich will try to match Mike Franklin's 10,000m victory from 2014. 
Photo courtesy of Penn Relays

Coach Jerry says that Phil "on a good night could move into the #2 slot on the all time list" and Stew is looking to "significantly improve" on his recent 5000m PR of 14:58. Frances L. is also knocking on the door of the GRC top-5 list. 

In the 10,000m, Stephanie will absolutely run a GRC top-5 time, and is looking to run a big PR. She has been peaking for tonight, and Jerry believes that "she has a real shot at running under 34:20."

The heat schedule is below, and the races are being streamed on FloPro via Flotrack. As always, we'll keep you updated with flash results and breaking news. Send 'em. 

Frances--5000 heat 1 8:50 pm

Phil--5000 heat 1 9:30 pm

Stewart--5000 heat 3 10:10 pm

Steph--10,000 heat 1 10:30 pm 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekend Results

Crystal City 5k
Pollen and high humidity slowed runners significantly compared to last week when conditions were close to ideal. That didn't stop the GRC women from storming back to their place of glory with a first place finish by Susan (19:19) and a third place finish by LTO (19:45). Susan's excitement about the race paled in comparison to her excitement about fallen cherry blossom petals.

Despite a hard first mile by a German Shepherd, Charlie and Kerry finished ahead of all dogs.

1500m Track Bonanza
Morgan State Legacy Meet: Kara, 4:54.31
Perry Ellis Invitational: Liz, 4:50.06
Widener Invitational: Luk, 3:59.79 and Kyle, 4:06.70

Pike's Peek 10k
Pat K placed 11th overall and second among masters in a time of 32:58.

George Washington Parkway Classic

Photo by MGP
GRC had a strong showing sporting brand new Pacers Running // GRC New Balance kits. Carlos scored the win in a time of 52:03, closing hard to hold off the second place finisher. Sam, Outlaw, and Evan captured spots three through five for a near GRC sweep. Kerry won the women's race in 1:02:20 and Mary Grace kicked off her marathon training with a 1:07:32.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Weekend Preview: April 22-24

GRC's spring season continues in full swing, with track and road races keeping this blogger busy throughout the weekend.

Crystal City 5k #4 (Friday)
This evening marks the fourth of five Pacers Crystal City 5ks. LTO will return to the 5k racing action and without a toddler in a stroller slowing her down, look for LTO to turn in a strong performance. cover girl Susan will run her first race of 2016 before maybe, actually leaving us for Hoboken. With these two ladies pushing the pace, there's a strong chance GRC can return to the top of the women's podium after being dethroned last week.

Saturday Track Action
Four GRC athletes will race the 1500 within one hour of each other at three different meets.

Fresh off her 1500 PR last week, Kara will take on the competition at the Morgan State Legacy Meet in Baltimore at 11:15am (live results here). At 12:05pm, Luk and Kyle will race at the Widener Invitational, both men taking a stab at the shorter distance after solid 5ks last week. At the Princeton Larry Ellis Invitational, Liz will race the 1500 for the second weekend in a row. Liz's race is scheduled for 12:30 pm and live video is available online for FloTrack Pro subscribers.

Pike's Peek 10k (Sunday)
Pat K will be the sole GRC runner at the Pike's Peek 10k in Montgomery County. Last year, Pat was the top masters runner at the event, which is known for its fast, downhill course.

George Washington Parkway Classic (Sunday)
On Sunday morning, a hearty crew of GRC runners will trek out to Mt. Vernon to run 10 miles back to Alexandria in the GW Parkway Classic, and maybe have some laughs along the way.

Laughs along the way. Photo by Swim Bike Run Photography.
Carlos is riding a streak of sharp race performances and will look to build on that momentum. Outlaw is in excellent shape and may notch a PR as he cruises into Old Town. Sam, Charlie, and Evan will use the Parkway Classic to supplement the hard training they've been doing in preparation for Grandma's Marathon. Breezy and Dave O round out the deep men's squad.

The women will be represented by Kerry and MGP. Kerry will use the race as a final tune-up before Broad Street next week, and MGP will tackle the 10 miler to kick off her training for a late June marathon debut.

Send em!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Runners Are Coming! 120th Boston Marathon FINISH

Good race day advice
GRC-expat Patrick Reeves 2:31:14
Graham 2:39:14
Bain 2:42:24
Balmer 2:48:16
Kristin 2:57:01
Julie 3:00:53
JARRIN 3:04:30
Patrick HUGE 3:05:02
Keely 3:08:05
Lavar 3:13:15
Catherine 3:16:05

Waves at the Half

Half Splits

Graham 1:12:22 "Graham just blazed by too fast for a photo"
Balmer 1:15:51
Bain 1:19:27
Kristin 1:23:30
Julie 1:25:06 "hammering away"
Keely 1:28:37 "looking great", very strong splits
Lavar 1:29:27
Catherine: 1:29:55

A Minuteman warns of the runners' approach
The 120th Boston Marathon is off with 30,000 runners en route from Hopkinton to Boston. Splits should be available every 5k. Reports from the field indicate that conditions are sunny and hot with a slight breeze.
Early Splits
Graham: 16:41, 33:50, 51:11
Balmer: 17:30, 34:57, 52:49
Bain: 18:43, 37:37, 56:27
Lavar: 19:06, 40:39, 1:00:49
Kristin: 19:36, 39:08, 59:05
Julie: 19:45, 39:27, 59:36
Keely: 21:15, 42:12, 1:02:41
Catherine: 21:27 (5k)


Sunday, April 17, 2016

RESULTS: April 15-16

It was a banner weekend for GRC on the track with athletes turning in strong performances at two different meets. Road action was a bit more low key in anticipation of tomorrow's Boston Marathon.

Bison Outdoor Classic
Birthday girl Steph dominated the 5000 at her alma mater in 16:32.04, setting a new PR and new GRC all-time #2. Steph led alone up front for the second half of the race and now will focus on taking on the competition in the 10,000 at Penn Relays.

In the men's 5000, Phil ran a vey strong 14:28.3, which is a slight improvement on his GRC best and #4 GRC all-time.  Luk ran a massive PR of 15:01 with perfect tactics, closing hard and just missing the sub-15 barrier. Kyle followed closely behind in 15:07.

Carlos ran his first competitive track 10,000 in 29:34, closing in 62 to score the second-fastest men's track 10,000 in GRC history. Carlos fought back from a rough patch during mile 4 to finish strong and nab fourth place.

In the 1500, Stewart refocused from a tough week to run a new PR of 3:57.2.

Hopkins Loyola Invitation
Hannah ran a strong 17:54 for 6th place in the 5000 in her first race since clubs. GRC's three competitors in the women's 1500 all ran well. Alyson made her 2016 track debut in 4:43.21, running a 74 last lap. Kara ran a huge PR in 4:43.59 in her first rack race in several years and only second 1500 of her life. Liz made a very promising GRC debut in 4:45.6, fewer than 5 seconds off her PR.

Crystal City 5k #3
Kerry and Dave talk strategy at the start line
It was a lovely evening at the third Pacers Crystal City 5k on Friday. Dave O led the men's team, using a ferocious kick to finish sixth in 16:30. Kyle Cooke followed closely behind in 16:52, a more than 30 second improvement from his finishing time two weeks ago. The GRC women's winning streak was snapped by blazing course-record performance by Susanna Sullivan. Kerry finished second in 18:02. Mother-daughter team LTO and Greta finished in an impressive 21:01.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Race Preview: Boston Marathon

Monday marks the 120th running of the Boston Marathon and GRC is sending a strong contingent of runners to the start line in Hopkinton, many for the first time.

Chilly Balmer and Graham will be making their Boston debuts. Both men have done the hard training and are in shape for big PRs. Balmer scoped out the course in 2014 and should know the importance of chilling hard for the first 10 miles of the race. The extremely experienced Chris Bain will make his annual pilgrimage along Route 135 for the 18th or 19th time (fact check?). Another veteran, Lavar, will also be toeing the line.

The women will be represented by a trio of Boston debutants Keely, Kristin, and Catherine, as well as veteran Julie. Keely, fresh off a half marathon best, is in fantastic shape and will look to obliterate her marathon PR with a sub-3:00 performance. Kristin has trained extremely hard in difficult winter conditions in Chicago and will also take a crack at her PR (GRC #3, 2:48:06). Although Chicago lacks the hills that are the marquee of the Boston course, Kristin used her visits to DC to seek out the hilliest routes, and is prepared to tackle the Newton climbs. GRC ex-pat Catherine has managed to balance training with a tough dental school schedule and is excited to run her first Boston. Last but not least, Julie will use her experience and love for Boston to power her way to Boylston Street. Julie's training has been interrupted by a nagging injury and demanding job, but if I know one thing, it's that Julie should never be underestimated, least of all in the Boston Marathon.

Conditions for the race look mostly favorable, although a bit on the warm side. The storied event will kick off at 9:32 am for the elite women and 10:00 am for the elite men and first wave of the other 30,000 runners. The race will be streamed online and broadcast on NBC sports.

Live tracking is available here. We'll have a live update running on the blog on Monday, complete with commentary from the field.

Bib numbers-
Balmer: 285
Graham: 106
Bain: 450
Lavar: 694
Julie: 1728
Keely: 4917
Kristin: 1180
Catherine: 10296

Send em!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Race Previews: April 15-16

Spring weather is finally here, but that doesn't mean the men and women of GRC will be stopping to smell the roses any time soon. In fact, it will be a busy weekend on the tracks and roads for the GRC harriers.

On Friday evening, Pacers hosts the third of five Crystal City Friday 5ks. Representing the men will be Dave O, Pat K, and Kyle C. Kyle will look to re-employ his start-line intimidation tactics that nabbed him fifth place in week 1 (as seen below). On the women's side, Kerry will attempt to live up to the high expectations set by the winning performances from Kara and LTO in previous weeks.

Photo courtesy of Swim Bike Run Photography
The track crew will divide and conquer on Saturday at the Loyola-Johns Hopkins Track & Field Invitational and Bison Outdoor Classic. In Baltimore, Hannah R will make her return to the track in the women's 5000 to build on her massively successful 2015 season. A few hours later in the 1500, Liz will make her GRC debut, while Kara and Alyson make their GRC track debuts. Ryan Witters will be on double duty for GRC, racing both the 800 and 1500. The unquestionable highlight of the meet will be the Mascot 100m Dash at 4pm. As of press time, GRC officials are frantically trying to clear mascot Bruno for entry into the race, where he would face the likes of the Oriole Bird and Poe from the Baltimore Ravens. Live results from Loyola-Hopkins Invitational will be posted here.

GRC mascot Bruno
Further north, a strong squad of GRC track stars will race at Bucknell in the Bison Outdoor Classic. Carlos will run his first competitive track 10,000 as a tuneup for a Trials qualifier attempt on the west coast in June. Insiders report that the club record could be at risk. Husband and wife duo Stewart and Steph will look to continue their streak of strong races. Steph, who is making her return to her alma mater is gunning for a PR and possible club record in the 5,000. Fresh off his first sub-15 minute performance, Stewart will be taking a break from the 12.5 lap race to compete in the 1500. Phil, Kyle W, and Luk will run the men's 5,000. Phil will be making his 2016 debut, which was delayed by a nagging injury. Phil was GRC's top man at Clubs and is undoubtedly on his way back up the pantheon of greatness. Live results will be posted here.

Stay tuned for results from these weekend races and for a preview of the 120th running of the Boston Marathon.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mercer PRs in Scranton!

Breuters Wire Services-

In what can only be described as one of the greatest running performances in Scranton, Pa running history since Michael Scott (seen below) completed the Dunder Mifflin 5K Race to End Rabies, Dickson Mercer finished the Scranton Half Marathon in 1:09:57, good for a 15-second PR and Fifth Place overall.
 This development is a big deal, as Mercer is very experienced at the Marathon and Half Marathon distances and this was a hard PR -- one that stood for seven years. This is especially true because parts of the race were hilly and on gravel surfaces. To improve performances, Mercer shifted his mindset recently to focus on racing, not times. But the less he thought about his times, the better his times got. Mercer credits a recent bloodbath of a workout at Dueling Ferries with giving him the confidence to negotiate the hills and stretches of gravel trails that comprised the court in Scranton. That he was in the money as of 12 miles -- prizes went five deep -- also helped to keep him focused. Said Mercer: "we were bunched up through 12, and I was pretty relieved to hit the track, with family in the stands, and have 5th. To me, I'm pleased because the effort felt pretty smooth, and I did this during a normal training week." The lesson here: you can't force a PR- do the hard training and stay relaxed and the PRs will come.

Coach Jerry Alexander said "Dickson is shooting for a PR in the full at Grandma's [in June], and his performance today shows that he's got a real shot at it, as he enters the heart of his training cycle in excellent shape."  

Friday, April 8, 2016

RESULTS: Friday, April 8

Frances Loeb opened up her first outdoor season wearing GRC blue at Towson University with a win in the women's 5000 meter run, clocking an impressive time of 17:42. Results here.

Meanwhile in Crystal City, Laura O'Hara celebrated a belated birthday by winning the women's race with a 59-second drop from the prior week's race. Charlie Ban ran 16:35, good for 3rd place. Crystal City results here. Charlie doubled back to win his age group at the Tenley Tiger Run in Tenleytown Saturday morning behind a sweep of Woodrow Wilson track athletes.

Race Previews: April 8

It will be a quiet weekend for most of the ladies and gentlemen in GRC blue, as a threat of unseasonably cold and rainy weather looms tomorrow. But the weather won't stop two of GRC's finest from lacing up their spikes and flats tonight for some racing action.

GRC's Frances Loeb will kick off her outdoor season this evening at Towson University in the women's 5000 meter run, scheduled for 7:20PM EDT. Closer to home, GRC stalwart Charlie Ban will strut his stuff in the second race of the Crystal City 5k Fridays series, scheduled to start at 6:30PM EDT.

Send 'em!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Boston Julie featured on Salty Running

The 120th Boston Marathon is two weeks away, and you can start getting pumped up by reading a great interview of Julie by Teal on Salty Running. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

RESULTS: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (UPDATED)

Running a race is not always about frolicking among spring flowers in ideal conditions. Despite its name and reputation, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is no exception. The 2016 edition of the race proved to be a grueling reminder of this fact.

Runners faced gusting winds and unseasonably chilly temps in the mid-thirties throughout the race. The forecast conditions prompted race officials to seriously alter the procedures and infrastructure of the event, which included minimizing logistical support structures, removing mile markers from the course, and cancelling the awards ceremony.

The following Instagram photo, courtesy of GRC's Lindsay O'Brien, sums up the conditions of the race pretty well:

A runner's nightmare. Photo courtesy of Lindsay O'Brien.
The conditions, however, did not deter GRC's finest and bravest runners from sending 'em in the wind around the Tidal Basin and Hains Point.


Carlos Jamieson led GRC on the men's side in a time of 51:17*, good for 14th place overall. The performance marks his official GRC debut. Carlos came ready to race, after withdrawing from an effort in the 5000 meter run on Friday night at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg.

Coach Jerry Alexander offered the following insight on Carlos' debut performance: "Carlos is a tremendous talent and he showed some of what he can do today.  His plan was to stick with the leaders as long as possible, then regroup and finish strong, and that's exactly what he did, running with the lead pack for about 5 miles, and then closing hard the last mile.  He's got ambitious plans this spring, and today was a good first step."

Among the women, Kerry Allen recorded GRC's first finish in a time of 60:12, good for 15th. Maura Carroll followed closely behind, clocking a time of 61:23 for 20th.

"Kerry ran an excellent race, and continued her breakthrough season," said coach Jerry. "When the conditions cooperate, she will run a huge PR at this distance."

Dave O'Hara made his highly-anticipated master's debut on his 40th birthday with a fifth-place finish in his age group, clocking a time 57:41.

Jerry Greenlaw finished 27th overall on the men's side in a time of 53:26. Following closely behind was Evan Jurkovich, completing his return to form in a time 53:55.

Paul Balmer and Chris Van Es finished 41st and 43rd, clocking times of 54:22 and 54:29, respectively. Impressively, Chris's ran a personal best by 17 seconds. Seb Devlin-Foltz also continued his return to the racing circuit, recording a time of 54:50, good for 45th place on the men's side.

Also on the men's side, Matt Hassett and Charlie Ban ran 56:36 and 57:54, good for 57th and 71st place among the men, respectively. Lavar Curley ran 59:19, while Brian Young finished in a time of 59:56. Finally, Kieran O'Connor completed our men's finishers in his first appearance on the roads since the Olympic Marathon Trials six weeks ago, tempoing the race in a time of 63:43.

Full results here.

Times were significantly slower than in years past (not including last year's short course). However, as today's conditions reminded us all, they are just numbers that are not always indicative of quality of effort and performance.

In other notable news, Sam Chelanga became the first American in 26* years to win the race on the men's side in a time of 48:26. Chelanga, a Kenyan native, recently earned his American citizenship after graduating from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he was a multiple-time Big South Conference Champion, NCAA All-American, and four-time NCAA Division I champion (twice in Cross Country; twice on the Outdoor track in the 10,000 meter run). Meanwhile, DC metro native Christo Landry finished 10th overall, in a time of 49:05.

Veronicah Nyaruai Wanjiru of Kenya won the women's race in a time of 53:12.

*Corrections: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated Carlos' finishing time. We apologize to Carlos for the error. Also, Sam Chelanga is the first American male to win Cherry Blossom since Chris Fox, 26 years ago in 1990, rather than 33 years as previously stated. Special thanks to GRC's reputable and published historian Red Fox Klim for pointing this out.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Race Results: April 1-2

Colonial Relays

Friday, April 1

Three huge PRs in Colonial Williamsburg!

Stephanie Reich placed 14th in the seeded, Championship section of the Women's 1500 meter run in a time of 4:31.17, good for a resounding personal best and her second number-two all-time GRC performance in the last eight days.

Steph's previous official personal best in the 1500 was 5:05.09; in the mile, she has run 4:59 on the road. Steph's new 1500 personal best theoretically converts roughly to a time of 4:52 for the full mile.

In the men's Championship 5000 meter run, Stewart Reich continued the Reich family's streak of success with GRC, breaking 15 minutes for the first time ever to run 14:58.6 for the twelve-and-a-half-lap distance. Joining Stewart in the 3.1 mile race around the track, Kyle Wagener turned in a time of 16:06.

Saturday, April 2

In the men's University 5000 meter run on Saturday morning, Luk obliterated his previous personal best for the distance by 34.01 seconds as he clocked a time of 15:14.16. Luk reportedly covered the third mile of his race in 4:53, before closing in 32 seconds for the final 200 meters.

Luk's previous best for the distance on the track was 15:48, run this January in the Terrapin Invitational at the Prince George's County Sportsplex. The 5000, however, has heretofore been largely uncharted territory for the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania native. At Franklin and Marshall College, Luk established his reputation as a middle-distance man on the track, most notably with times of 3:57 for the 1500 meter run, 1:53.25 for the 800 meter run, and a 52.27 for the 400 meter dash. Combined with his repertoire of speed, Luk's 5000 meter result demonstrates his potential range and an untapped level of aerobic fitness that bodes well for his performance on the track throughout the season ahead.

Full Results here.

Crystal City 5k Fridays

Friday, April 1

Kara McCartney led the women with a 1st place finish in a time of 18:45. On the men's side, Kyle Cooke ran 17:26 for 5th. Full results here.

Kara McCartney, 18:45 (1st Female)
Alyson McGonigle, 20:08 (5th Female)
Laura O'Hara, 20:19 (7th Female)
Emily Potter (plus stroller), 27:02

Kyle Cooke, 17:26 (5th Male)


FLASH: Klim Confirms MCM Entry

GRC legend Jake Klim, also known as the "Red Fox," has confirmed that he will end his brief retirement with a return to racing in the fall 2016 Marine Corps Marathon.
The Red Fox. Photo courtesy of
Sources have speculated for months that Klim has been carrying on the hard training for the race clandestinely. Klim dispelled rumors today as he shared a photo of his entry confirmation on Facebook:

A recent Instagram photo from our friends at the DC Capital Striders captured Klim on an early morning training run near the Lincoln Memorial.

Klim was not available for comment as of this posting. Stay tuned for details.