Monday, April 24, 2017

Veritable Flood of Weekend Results:

This past weekend faced the usual onslaught of GRC success on the roads and track, as per the custom this time of year. Noted glutton-for-punishment Charlie Ban competed well in two Pacers contests over the weekend as rumors continue to swirl about a potential matchup over 26.2 with Klim in the fall. Shauneen continued her return to form with a strong run at Pikes Peek, while Liz notched an impressive PR in the 5k.

Pikes Peek 10k

Wertz 32:05
Sean  34:00
Kyle C  35:50

Shauneen 36:54

Pacers Crystal City 5k #3

Charlie 16:11

Princeton Larry Ellis 5000

Liz 18:07.7  PR!

Widener Invitational

Luk  15:34.1
Greg  15:35.7

Sunday, April 23, 2017

FLASH: Balmer Breaks the Tape in Parkway 10!

Paul Balmer reportedly broke the tape in the Parkway 10 miler this morning, clocking in at 52:45. Charlie followed in 53:22. Laura O'Hara clocked in at 1:12.02 for the 10 miler.

Balmer was not interviewed by the current author after his effort, but one imagines that if that had occurred, he would have said something like, "it feels good to be a winner."

In the 5k, Dave O'Hara registered a 4th place finish in 17:00.

DEVELOPING

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bain Completes 20th Consecutive Boston Marathon

Bain, right, with then coach, Jake Lombardi

Chris Bain, who has been a member of the GRC for nearly 10 years, completed his 20th consecutive Boston Marathon earlier this afternoon, running a time of 2:42:56.

Bain, now 39-years-old, ran his first Boston as a Harvard junior in 1998*—literally last century--and has returned to Hopkinton year after year becoming a “streaker” at the world’s oldest continuously running marathon.

“Silent Thunder,” as he’s affectionately known, has run Boston in a host of different weather: from cold torrential rains and nor’easter-like winds (2007), to heat and humidity unconducive for a 5k, let alone a marathon (2004). In 2012, conditions were forecasted to be so warm that the Boston Athletic Association offered registered runners the option to defer their entry to a future race. This, of course, would have put a nail in the coffin for Bain’s streak.

“I had a Boston streak to keep alive,” Bain told the Washington Times after the 2012 race. “It was really tough; a lot harder than I thought it would be. I went out at 1:18 for the half marathon and I thought that was conservative. I started feeling it at mile eight, a little chill, like the first sign of heat stroke.”

Bain, of course, did finish, running the second half of his race in 1:28. Bain’s fastest Boston—2:32:43--was run in 2008. He’s always broken the three-hour barrier and estimates his average finish time to be approximately 2:44 or 2:45, which might be a record of sorts, or a streak in of itself.

Bain lives in Cabin John, Maryland with his wife Shannon and three children--Seamus, Laszlo and Maeve.

*to put this in perspective, GRC’s Kyle “Spanky” Wagener was only four-years-old at the time and likely sill wetting his bed.

LIVE BLOG: GRC at 121st Boston Marathon

Follow along as GRC takes on the Boston Marathon today with live tracking at http://www.baa.org/individual.html:

  • Dave McKay #153
  • Evan Jurkovich (marathon veteran, Boston debutante) #255
  • Ian Blackwell (GRC debut) #271
  • Chris Bain (his 20th Boston!) #527
  • Mary Grace Pelligrini #11281
And our associates:
  • Patrick Reaves #104
  • Hilary Moen #14842
  • Robert Jarrin #5746
Update at the half:

  • Dave McKay: 1:13:01
  • Evan: 1:16:19
  • Ian: 1:18:39
  • Bain: 1:19:40
  • MGP: 1:41:59

Finish:
Dave McKay with a very impressive run! Dave finished in 2:27:45, good for 42nd place and just a few seconds off his PR. In rough conditions, Dave ran nearly even splits and finished strong.

  • Chris Bain finishes his 20th Boston in 2:42:56. 
  • In his GRC debut, Ian Blackwell runs 2:45:25
  • Evan finishes his first Boston in 2:48:03
  • MGP finishes her first Boston in 3:52:09. Make sure you check out her blog post on what the race means to her.
  • Reaves: 2:28:28
  • JARRIN 3:11:05
  • Hilary 3:18:06
  • Katie van Es 3:37:40
As someone who has suffered mightily in the heat and hills of Boston, I can say any finish at the race today is to be celebrated. Congrats to all the GRC runners. Grab a Sam Adams 26.2 and celebrate!

My Winding Road to Boylston: MGP on Boston

This Monday, April 17, 2017, you can find me toeing the line in Hopkinton for the 121st Boston Marathon--specifically wave 2, corral 4, bib 11281. For many people in Massachusetts, they may feel that running the Boston Marathon is their birthright. I will one up that to say that in many ways I owe my actual birth to the Boston Marathon as my parents first began spending time together when my mother was training for her first Boston Qualifier. Running with a cute Louisville medical student seemed like a good way to drop some extra time. She ultimately ran 3:17 to qualify with my dad pacing her through the last 15 miles, and--as they say--the rest was history.

Mary Grace's parents celebrating the Boston Marathon
Over the course of their running careers, my parents competed in a combined five and a half Boston Marathons. When the 100th Boston rolled around, both knew they would want to be part of this monumental event, and they were deliberate to register early qualifying marks. Their passion and pride for this race left an indelible impression on my six-year-old mind. As Patriot’s Day approached, “Make Way for Ducklings” was in heavy rotation for bedtime reading requests, and on race day, I happily shared with my kindergarten teacher (who was a runner) that my parents were competing in the 100th Boston marathon. That pride was enough to overcome some sheepish embarrassment when she shared this fact with the entire class at morning announcements.

This Monday it’s my turn to race and my parents’ turn to cheer. I’m so proud to have them here with me to support my efforts to join the family “Boston Club.” As race day draws closer, I realize that I haven’t just been training for the Boston marathon for the past few months; I’ve been preparing for this practically my whole life. And as rewarding as this milestone is, it is not without a dose of unshakable sadness.

This April is approaching the two-year anniversary of the death of my good friend and teammate, Nina Brekelmans, who passed away in a Washington, DC accident. Her death left me devastated, angry, and deeply in despair.  At the same time, I had been robbed of my usual way of coping with sadness--through running--as I had torn my ACL months before in a non-contact soccer injury. I was broken physically and emotionally, and more than ever I longed for the therapeutic rhythm of running to help me find clarity and process the unimaginable. And yet I could barely walk.

On the morning of Nina’s funeral, I was angry at the world. I indignantly shed the full-length leg brace that I had religiously worn for the previous two months and set out for a feeble jog. I wobbled through five minutes of a lopsided crawl before I broke out openly sobbing in the middle of Rock Creek Park. That would be the new normal for the next few months.

I flatly rejected that tragedy would define the end of Nina’s story. She was too good a person--too intelligent, too kind, too loyal--to see that disappear. And as I considered how to honor Nina’s legacy more globally, I knew a small part of that had to begin with me. Nina loved running. Though she came to the sport later in life, she took to running with an unmitigated zeal. In a small, personal way, I knew that I could honor Nina by carrying on with the sport despite any setbacks.

Over the following year, I threw myself into physical therapy and doctor's visits. I ultimately forewent surgery and accepted that, while I would be able to run moving forward, my future in soccer/skiing/tennis/any lateral sport would be over. When I grew weary or began to pity myself, I would often think of Nina and channel her courage to keep going.

And so I trained. I continued running weekly with the Georgetown Running Club (GRC). I entered road races that I wasn’t fit for and logged slower times than ever before. At the same time, I threw myself behind ways to publically remember Nina. I began organizing a memorial 5K at Georgetown University with GRC and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies--Nina’s graduate program--as a way to bring the community together.

Before her death, Nina was preparing to move to Jordan on a Fulbright grant to study the growing women’s athletics movement in Jordan and the broader Middle East. She aspired to create opportunities for women and girls to participate in running as a way to foster women’s empowerment. And to be honest, when Nina first pitched me this idea in the fall of 2014, I silently thought she was crazy. However, it turns out that she was really on to something. In the aftermath of her passing, I began to meet more of Nina’s friends both in the United States and abroad in Jordan. Without fail, people spoke of her kindness, superb command of the Arabic language, and true love for Jordan and its people. It seemed like there was a genuine desire to do something to really honor her life, and this sentiment would ultimately become the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls.

Nina's Run in March 2016
In March 2016, we held the 5K race at Georgetown, which helped reach the final fundraising goal for an endowed scholarship through the Arab studies program in Nina’s name. Similarly, that weekend launched the official start of the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls in Amman. At the end of five consecutive Saturday meetings, nearly 25 girls would participate in the camp, which focused on running and healthy living and included inspirational female speakers, snacks, and games. The camp was organized as a partnership between leaders in the Jordanian running community as well as Fulbright students in Amman. In late March, organizers decided to host our own race for the girls as a capstone event for the campers after another race was cancelled. Notably, this would be the first girls-only race in Jordan. I had previously booked a ticket to compete in that now-cancelled race, but fortunately the plans aligned and away I went for the Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls. To my astonishment, nearly 70 girls showed up to Sports City, the premier sports facility in Amman, for a festive race with esteemed speakers, music, and community support. It was fantastic seeing the girls’ pride as they showed off their finishers medals. Equally rewarding was seeing the positive support from mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers as they cheered on the runners to victory.

Participants in the Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Jordan
I returned from Jordan with a renewed resolve to see the camp and race continue. I was also inspired by the grit of our campers and knew that it was time for me to take the next step in my own running comeback. I would need a goal to sustain me through these challenges, and so it seemed like the time to chase the ultimate dream: I would qualify for the Boston marathon. Between April and June, I buckled down and trained, and in late June, I finished second at the Bay of Fundy International Marathon in Maine with a time of 3:20. I was going to Boston.

Mary Grace after qualifying for Boston at Bay of Fundy International Marathon
In the months ahead, things picked up for the camp and race as well. We incorporated as the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation and applied for 501(c)3 nonprofit status. The Foundation raised funds and was awarded a State Department grant to double the size of the camp and race. And all the while, I trained--though maybe not as much as I needed to.

Saturday, April 15 marked the final day of 2017 Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls. This year, our runners represented the full diversity of Jordanian society, including a large portion from refugee backgrounds. The campers diligently trained and learned weekly about nutrition, strength training, self-confidence, and role models. They heard from amazing runners in Jordan and the United States, including American Olympian Abbey D’Agostino, and enjoyed downtime with snacks and creative activities.

On Monday, April 17, I’ll run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston, which is truly a dream come true. On Tuesday, I’ll waddle to Boston Logan airport and catch a flight to Jordan for the second annual Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls on April 22.

This year has been a whirlwind, and there are so many people to thank who made all of this possible. To list them out individually would probably exceed the length of this already wordy blog, so I’ll do my best to keep it short. I’m grateful for Coach Jerry and my GRC teammates for encouraging my comeback and supporting me even when I lagged at the back of workouts. I’m thankful for a great medical team and close friends who believed in me and cheered for me even when things seemed unlikely. I’m forever indebted to the dedicated board members of the Foundation, our rockstar Fulbright organizers, and amazing coaches and volunteers in Jordan who are the day-to-day force behind the camp and race. And finally, I’m thankful for family--my own parents and the Brekelmans family--who have supported these initiatives on behalf of Nina since day one.

Today, you can find me in Boston wearing bib 11281 and grinning from ear-to-ear with a “Nina” patch on my GRC jersey. Two years ago on this date I was unable to walk and worried if I’d ever really run again. Now, I’m 26.2 miles away from joining the family “Boston Club.” I never imagined this would be the path to my first Boston marathon, but after all the adversity I consider just being here a victory.

If you’d like to learn more about the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp and Race for Girls, you can visit www.ninabrekelmansmemorial.org.

Friday, April 14, 2017

FLASH: GRC takes on Bucknell Bison Classic

GRC members will be looking to post quick times at the Bison Classic this evening. We'll have results as precincts continue reporting. Will the idiot author miss some results? A near certainty:

Men's 5k:
Kyle Wagener 14:58.50
(Having recently tasted sub-15 for the first time in a while, Kyle is now insatiable.)

Women's 1500m:
Steph Reich 4:31.19
(If I'm looking at up-to-date info, Steph was two hundredths of a second off her PR, #2 all time on the GRC list.)

Men's 10k:
Stew Reich 29:46.51
(Huge PR and #5 on the all time list)

DEVELOPING

Saturday, April 8, 2017

FLASH: Hacked Photo Shows Russian Meddling in Fathers' Day 8k!

Documents released by the anti-secrecy group "Klimmyleaks" have revealed a Russian plan to influence the results of the 2017 Fathers' Day 8k Race. A photograph obtained by a hacker using the alias "Klucifer" (no relation to former GRC Viceroy Jake Klim) clearly shows that the Kremlin is attempting to tip the scales in favor of race contestant Patrick Murphy (seen below), to the detriment of race rivals Ryan Witters and Joe Wiegner. The photograph, tantalizing entitled "Murph_Russia_Trip_With_FLYNN_FD8K," was reportedly taken from Murphy's computer. A website affiliated with the Klimmyleaks organization affirmed that neither Jake Klim nor Sean O'Leary, who looks like a younger version of Klim, were involved in the disclosure.

If you believe in fair play, democracy, and the American Way, then this blog encourages you to register for this year's Fathers' Day 8k and make your voice heard.  This year's race falls on June 18 and registration is available HERE

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cherry Blossom Results!


Kerry--58:49 PR
Maura--59:56 PR
Shauneen--61:42
Greta--65:01 PR
LTO--66:37

Outlaw--51:17
Graham--51:38
Kieran--52:06
Phil--52:18
Balmer--52:40
Wertz--53:16, first master
Charlie--53:45
Sebi--57:25
Dave O--57:27
Sean--57:45

Jerry reports:

We had 3 impressive PRs on the women's side. Kerry ran another strong race, and beat several national caliber women in the advanced start. Maura ran a PR of a full minute (sneaking under the big 6-0!), and continued to impress in her buildup for the marathon in Pittsburgh. Greta also ran a huge PR. For the men, Outlaw ran a very solid race, and Graham got in a strong effort. Wertz won the masters competition.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Murphy Registers for FD8K!

If you think that the 2017 Fathers' Day 8K race would come down to a duel between Ryan Witters and Joe Wiggy, you should think again. Following days of speculation that Patrick Murphy has been plotting a long-anticipated return to competitive running, leaked documents from transparency group Klimmyleaks (seen below) confirm that Murphy has indeed thrown his hat into the FD8K ring.

A race official with close ties to the FD8K, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, confirmed that the newly released documents demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that Murphy has indeed registered and intends to run.  Said the anonymous source, "it appears that someone entered Murphy's name into the registration section of the FD8K website, took a screen shot of the image, and posted the image on a blog." There you have it.

The race will be held on June 18 on the C&O Canal Towpath.  Registration is available HERE.  Stay tuned to this blog for the details of this rapidly developing story. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

The arrival of April can only mean one thing in the DC running community: the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. This jewel of the local running calendar is an opportunity to get the spring racing season going in earnest. Further, the sterling quality of the fields gives GRC road warriors an opportunity to test their mettle against great competition.

The GRC lineup for Cherry Blossom is Outlaw, Phil, Graham, Wertz, Dave O, Balmer, and Kieran on the men's side. Outlaw is in excellent shape, and could certainly PR. Outlaw has been running phenomenally this spring and will keep the train rolling at Cherry Blossom. Graham is tuning up for Boston and is looking for a solid performance to build momentum. The deep squad will be trying to place well in the team competition.


For the women, Kerry, Maura, Shauneen, Hannah, Greta, and LTO will toe the line. Kerry is in the best shape of her life, and coming off her win at RNR half, is looking to knock out a big PR.  Maura is in the final stages of her preparation for her marathon debut in Pittsburgh, and is looking to cash in on her fitness with a solid PR.  Shauneen is on the comeback trail after her second child in the fall, and looks to get her 2017 season off to a good start.


3 things to watch:

1) Outlaw on Hains Point - Outlaw has reportedly run a mile or two on Hains Point, and will be looking for a strong second half.
2) Kerry's focus after a whirlwind media tour - Will Kerry be able to maintain her composure after facing the glare of the media spotlight over the past couple weeks?
3) The weather - Sunday's morning forecast looks to be conducive to racing, with race time temperatures in the low 40s and light variable winds. Can GRC runners take advantage?

Send em

Friday, March 31, 2017

FLASH: GRC runner adds infant to family

Chris Bain and Shannon O'Neill broke a week-long dry streak for the team Wednesday when Maeve Penelope Bain was born. Her brothers Seamus and Laszlo are pleased to have her join the team, which just moved to Cabin John about 10 days prior.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PODCAST PODCAST PODCAST

Kerry with close friend Meb


Kerry Allen dropped  the bombshell that she was "really excited to win" to Rock 'n' Roll D.C. Half Marathon while a guest on Pace the Nation.

Other takeaways from her interview, which you can download here or on your smartphone (Kerry has an iPhone 6):


  • She really "likes to switch it up"in terms of where she runs
  • She works at some sort of shop at the Pentagon City Mall
  • #Cabell
Also, if you're listened to all of the episodes of Pace the Nation and are looking for something else to listen to, check out Stop Podcasting Yourself to kill time until Evan's Breakfast Table Podcast hits the airwaves.



Monday, March 27, 2017

FLASH: “I’m going to grab Wiggy by the frosted tips.” New audio reveals deep trash talk 





New audio appears to have GRC athlete Ryan “Witty” Witters talking strong smack about GRC expat Joe “Wiggy” Wiegner III leading up to the annual 2018 Father’s Day 8K in June.

In the audio clip obtained by GRC Blog from an inside source, Witty can be heard saying he’s going to “grab Wiggy by the frosted tips,” a reference dating back only a couple of years to when Joe  Wiegner III did, indeed, have frosted tips.

This is the latest development in a back-and-forth between Witty and Wiggy that started in January on Facebook. The exact date it started is difficult to determine due to how much Wiggy posts on Facebook. 

In the audio Witters is also heard saying, "I’m going to show him who's boss. He’s asking for it.” 

Witters ends his rant with, “we’re going to make GRC great again.”

Witters is the five-time reigning champion of the Father’s Day 8K and is a current GRC team member. Wiggy is currently running with Monocracy Running Club, which he joined after his move to Frederick, MD a couple years ago. 

The Father’s Day 8K is the GRC // Pacers - New Balance annual fundraising race put on by the team. This year’s race will take place on June 18th. More information on the Father’s Day 8K race can be found at http://www.fathersday8k.com/.


Evan Jurkovich contributed to this post.

Raleigh Relays!!


GRC//Pacers- New Balance (and more specifically, the Stew and Steph) had a great day at Raleigh Relays!

Stew ran a very competitive 14:30.4, for a 9 second PR, and ran in contention to win the heat for much of the race.

Although Steph was disappointed not to PR, she ran 6 seconds off her PR to finish 9th in 34:18 in an extremely competitive field. As Coach Jerry noted, it was still an excellent opener, and Steph is clearly in shape to crush her PR at Penn Relays.

It is worth noting that this is still a net PR of 3 seconds for them as a couple, which is something we can all be stoked about!!




Sunday, March 26, 2017

Whoa Nelly! …err, Josie! …I mean, Maya! Another baby for the GRC women’s team!



GRC marathon legend Teal Burrell, of Runner’s World, RunnerTeal, and running-on-Beach-Drive fame, along with husband Rusty, welcomed daughter Maya Easton Burrell on March 23 at 12:02 am.

Maya has shown an early interest in baking cupcakes and homebrewing, to her parents’ delight.

Congratulations to Teal and Rusty!

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

GRC Makes a most triumphant return to outdoor track!!

On this seemingly inauspicious if somewhat windy and chilly Saturday, after gorgeous weather for much of the indoor season GRC had a stellar beginning for our outdoor track season at the Maryland Invitational!

On the women's side, Maura Linde and Steph ran 16:39.81 and 16:39.85 to place first and second in the 5000m. In a testament to the amazing shape she's in, Maura ran a 20 second personal best while rehearsing for the Raleigh Relays' 10K this coming week. She and Steph have put in phenomenal winters of training, and it will be super neat to see what they can do this spring! Alex also made a strong debut in the 1500m, running 4:53!

The other half of the Reichs (Stew, not Broth), also ran a strong tune-up tempo in the 5000m of 14:54, pacing Kyle to a PR of 14:55! Luk and Wertz rounded out the men's 5K squad running 15:12 and 15:30 respectively.

Full GRC Results Below:

5000

1.  Maura 16:39.81
2.  Steph 16:39.85
4.  Frances 17:57

1.  Stewart  14:54.7
2.  Kyle  14:55.07
3.  Luk   15:12.04
7.  Wertz  15:30.9

1500

5.  Alex  4:53.2

7.  Michael  4:05.3
14.  Joe  4:10.3

3000

4.  Liz 10:17.8 


I think this may be misapplied because the races happened already, but nevertheless:

Send em!!!!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kerry and da boys crush RnR half!!!

Saturday was a freezing  excellent day for GRC//Pacers- New Balance at the RnR DC half marathon!!

On the women's side, Kerry Allen came away with both an overall win for the women's race and a 6 second PR. Along the way, she beat the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon winner. When reached out to for comment for this blog, Allen noted that she was aggressively rehydrating, and that Meb told her to run to win, so she did. Good advice from Meb!

Maura also ran a very strong race, coming in 4th in 1:22:11, as she continues her prep for a debut marathon in Pittsburgh! The men's spring marathon squad of Graham, Evan, David M, and Dickson all ran strong races, and Balmer ran just a second off of his PR of 1:10:59, which makes everyone think that we should get this guy on a fast course sometime soon. Kieran was a little worn down from weeks of travel, but is in good shape and will be back any day now.

Full results available at: http://www.runrocknroll.com/finisher-zone/search-and-results/?eventid=42 

Just across the river, at the 4 Courts 4 Miler, GRC also took 1st and 2nd for the mens race, with Luke in 21:05 and Outlaw in 21:30, and Amy Laskowske in 3rd overall to win the women's race in 23:30.

Oh yaaaaaa!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Preview: RnR Half Marathon!!!!!

GRC takes to the streets tomorrow at 8:30AM for the Rock n' Roll DC Half Marathon. On the men's side, competitors include Kieran, Graham, Evan, David McKay, Charlie, Dave O'Hara, and Balmer. Meanwhile, Kerry, Maura C, Julie T, Greta, and Mary Grace will comprise a dominant squad for the women!

The race is a hilly, challenging course, and it might be a somewhat chilly morning, but according to Coach Jerry it still looks like it ought to be a great day! Kieran is in excellent shape, and ready to run a strong race, as long as he doesn't stop to watch too many of the concerts. Graham, Evan, David M, and Dickson are all preparing for April marathons, and if training is any indication they should all run very strong races. Kerry is also in great shape, and should be in contention to win this year after a couple of runner up performances in prior years. Greta is aiming to run a PR, which looks increasingly within reach.

Finally, lest pre-race nerves be getting the best of anyone, Kerry met Meb yesterday, so this event has already been a huge success for GRC.


I'm too new to the group to fully understand the weight of this phrase, but here goes nothing:

"Send em!"

Monday, March 6, 2017

Victory @ St. Pats !!!

Outlaw sending 'em to the finish
Photo courtesy of Swim Bike Run Photography

Pacers//GRC-New Balance men turned out and crushed the competition at the St. Pat's day 5K/10K on Sunday! Coach Jerry was very pleased, and noted that Jerry "Outlaw" Greenlaw had the performance of the day, outkicking the competition to win the men's 10K in 31:46. Meanwhile, Kyle Wagener also ran an extremely strong 20 second PR (!!!) to finish 4th overall in the men's 10K in 32:34.

In the 5K, Graham Tribble ran a strong race for second place (15:22) in his first race under 26.2 miles in quite some time, and Luk also ran well in his first race since returning from injury (10th overall in 15:49). Strong performances from Cabell, Michael Palmisano, Charlie Ban, and Balmer rounded out the day and resulted in a deep and dominant performance from the squad.

Full results available at: https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-24453#

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Coach Jerry: "Millrose Games was fun!"

Although the above is not actually a direct quote, be sure to check out local wise guy  our phenomenal coach Jerry Alexander's reflections on an outstanding GRC performance by the winning women's DMR at the Millrose Games, the influx of superb middle distance runners into GRC lately, and the benefits of racing under distance!

Article available on the Pacers blog at: https://www.runpacers.com/blog/people/elite-athletes/pacer-running-grc-new-balance-team-millrose-games/ 

GRC is very proud of these rockstar women, and we look forward to an equally victorious spring!

Monday, February 27, 2017

GRC takes home overall team title at RRCA Club Challenge 10 miler

Men's Results:
1. Kieran O'Connor 52:37.12
2. Jerry Greenlaw 53:10.19
4. Phil Royer 53:31.11
5. David McKay 53:39.25
11. Evan Jurkovich 54:24.23
13. Lucas Meyer 54:34.59
15. Paul Balmer 55:02.24
18. Dickson Mercer 55:26.87
20. Patrick Kuhlmann 56:02.14
25. Zak Miller 56:55.13
30. Matt Hassett 57:55.73
62. Chris Bain 1:01:17.73

Women's Results:
3. Kerry Allen 1:02:00.27
5. Maura Linde 1:02:15.85
12. Maura Carroll 1:04:14.82
14. Hannah Rowe 1:05:04.90
19. Julie Tarallo 1:06:22.50
20. Keely Eckberg 1:06:33.91
23. Greta Stults 1:07:44.70
32. Laura O'Hara 1:10:12.34



Friday, February 24, 2017

FLASH: Luff bids GRC adieu, becomes Ex-Pat


Earlier today, in a somber ceremony witnessed by one, or perhaps as many as two people lurking on the interwebs, Sam Luff’s name was officially moved to the “Ex Pat” list on Georgetown Running Club’s website.

"I just dragged his name over, and that was that,” sighed Men’s Team Director Sean O’Leary, who also doubles as the team’s website guru. “There really wasn’t much more to it than that.”

Tonight, after spending nearly six and a half years on GRC’s roster, Luff, and his overloaded Toyota Matrix, will head west and begin the long journey to San Francisco.

“Sam and I started at GRC on the same day, and since then the team has expanded in ways neither of us could have imagined,” noted GRC Coach Jerry Alexander. “The team would be nowhere near where it is today if not for his prowess as a runner and administrator.”

While donning the GRC singlet, Luff recorded personal bests of 14:15, 29:37, 50:45 and 1:07:08, marks which any working runner would be proud to hang his hat on. At the time, his 10k performance was a club record and, more often than not, Luff was the team’s top finisher on the track, road and course.   

“For sure, Sam was our standard bearer as an athlete for at least two years,” underscored Alexander.

In 2014, after an uncontentious election, Luff became President of the GRC, and served in that role for three years. During his tenure, Luff helped ink a sponsorship deal with New Balance and local running giant PACERS.

Following a series of on-and-off again injuries, and subsequent recoveries, Luff made his 26.2-mile debut at Grandma’s Marathon last June, running an impressive 2:28:03 in less-then-ideal racing conditions – arguably his best race in two years. It’s unclear whether he’s run a step since then, but that doesn’t really matter.

“I'm sure going to miss him,” noted Alexander.

We all will.

Of course, he’ll always have a (running) home if he ever returns to the Washington, D.C. area.

Good luck, Sam!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Baby Young comes blowing down the road

Call her the draft, but don't call her Betty, Libby, or any other nickname for Elizabeth, the name that Harriet Ann Young's mother and aunt share.

The stork has once again turned back around and dive-bombed the GRC Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University Hospital, dropping Harriet off where mother Liz and father Brian can see the Duke Ellington Track from the window. She is 5 pounds, 13 ounces and 18.25 inches, and from preliminary photographs her head is much more proportional than her father's.

Early favorites for her first words are: "jabrone," "no-no" and "Jake Klim is running the Marine Corps Marathon."

Time will tell if Harriet will start off with the middle distances like her mother, Liz, or take a detour through collegiate rugby, like Brian, before dedicating herself to the hard training.

Breezy is now free to run the RRCA Club Challenge, as is Murph, who has pledged to run the race if Breezy was a father before practice on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

FLASH: Women's 3k record falls at Princeton!

The GRC women's 3k record was broken by not one, but TWO GRC athletes on Sunday 2/19 at the indoor Princeton Invitational! Steph and Maura L both went under the old record of 9:41.49, set by Frances Koons in 2015, and finished 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Well done, ladies!

The rest of the GRC track corps competed very well, turning in six top-5 finishes.

Women's 1000

5. Alex Morris 2:59.33

Women's mile

3. Frances Loeb 5:02.75 (#3 all-time!)
5. Liz Tawa 5:07.43

Women's 3k

1. Steph Reich 9:36.03 NEW GRC RECORD (and 13 second PR!)
2. Maura Linde 9:37.82 (#2 all-time!)

Men's mile

7. Tom Kelly 4:31.38
8. Joe LoRusso 4:33.64

Men's 3k

2. Stewart Reich 8:34.27 (PR!)
3. Michael Palmisano 8:35.30
4. Kyle Wagener 8:48.12 (PR!)


In addition to reading up on your favorite GRC'ers here on the blog, don't forget to also follow along on Instagram @grc_running. We have a rotating lineup of team members posting great content this season so you won't miss a moment of the action!

Monday, February 13, 2017

FLASH: LITTLE SUBURB JOINS GROWING GRC CHILD CORPS

Chuck "Big City" Kacsur, our 800 meter runner, fan favorite at Outlaw's school's career day, and  in-house branding department, now gets to fully enjoy the fruits of all of the Father's Day 8k design work he has done for the last seven years. He and his law-talking wife Kate are proud parents of Colleen Abigail, who was born Feb. 7 at 21 inches and 7 pounds, 14 ounces.

On a personal note, it is very cool to see the young Cal U intern who showed up to Pittsburgh Pharaoh Hounds workouts in 2008 grow into a just-as-skinny father eight-and-a-half years later.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Women's DMR Cruises to a First Place Finish at Millrose Games

It was an exciting weekend for Pacers//GRC-New Balance! The women's DMR continues to shine. They returned home triumphantly from New York City, after placing first at the Millrose Games - "the world's longest running and most prestigious indoor track and field competition" - with a time of 11:44. This time crushes the former GRC club record (set a few weeks ago at the Terrapin Invitational) of 12:22. We expect to continue to see great accomplishments out of these women in the weeks to come.

Alex hands off to Jesse in the lead
Alyson McGonigle led off with a time of 3:37.06, neck and neck with Central Park Track Club when she handed off the baton. Alex Morris took the lead after about 175m into her leg, handing off to Jesse Carlin in 58.8. The women led the race the rest of the way, with Jesse (2:13.87) and Steph Reich (4:54.27) running unchallenged. According to Coach Jerry, "Everyone ran great, and it was a total team effort."

Steph breaks the tape for the women's DMR
Meanwhile at the Boston University Valentine Invitational, Elena Barham ran a 3k PR of 9:45.9 - placing her 2nd on the GRC all-time list; followed by teammates Frances Loeb (10:10), Elyssa Gensib (10:23), and Liz Tawa (10:23).

Not to be outdone by the ladies, the GRC men also ran excellent performances this weekend. Kieran O'Connor placed first in the Pacers Love the Run You're With 5k with a time of 15:14, and Jerry Greenlaw brought home a win in the Run Your Heart Out 5k in 15:38.

Love the Run You're With Results:

Coach Jerry with the winning DMR


1. Kieran O'Connor 15:14
2. Graham Tribble 15:49
4. Zak Miller 16:55

Run Your Heart Out 5k Results:
1. Jerry "Outlaw" Greenlaw 15:38

Hilton Head Island Marathon Results:
Emily Potter (GRC expat) 3:17.04





















Thursday, February 9, 2017

DEVELOPING...


Wiggy has (Facebook) officially accepted the invite to the Father's Day 8k, instilling hope among the millennials that he and Witty will just go away.

This comes weeks after Wiggy outwardly expressed his plans to throw down on Witty's home turf.  After setting up a poll on GRC's Father's Day 8k 2017 Facebook page, Witty looks to be out for blood or at least Wiggy's boy band frosted tips.

Is Wiggy just a pup with all bark and no bite? The countdown has begun: 129 days

https://www.facebook.com/events/247647912352453/permalink/247665945683983/

GiddyupTM



FLASH: Susan hits the big time



Alongside the other noteworthy events taking place during the weekend of January 20 in the Baltimore-Washington area, GRC great Susan Hendrick was inducted into the hall of fame of Maryland’s Patuxent High School.


As this was Patuxent’s inaugural hall of fame class, athletes from the school’s full 20-year history were considered. There were eight individual athletes, one team, one administrator, and one coach selected. Besides our fair Susan, other inductees included two NFL players and a professional baseball player, which is impressive company.



Susan captivated her audience at the ceremony with a speech thanking her coaches and mentors for the honor and made sure to rub it in the face of her husband Nathan, who also was a track and field star at Patuxent, but only has one state title to his name, compared to Susan’s three.



Said Susan, “Nathan and I both really owe a lot to our track coaches and the athletic department there for setting us up for success.”

Susan’s high school accolades across cross country, indoor track, and track include three state and 29 conference and regional titles. Her accomplishments not only attracted the attention of Nathan, but also that of Columbia University’s track program.

During her time at Columbia, Susan was a middle distance and relay star, setting three school records and becoming a two-time Heps champion and many-time All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy performer. After graduation, she headed down to DC to complete her fifth year of eligibility at Georgetown while pursuing a master’s degree. She continued competitive running during her second year at Georgetown, supported by NYAC, and set PRs at 800m, 1500m, 5000m, and the mile, including running 4:17 in the 1500m, while balancing volunteer coaching on the side.


Susan was one of the first female athletes that fellow Columbia alum Jerry Alexander picked for his motley band of runners that eventually grew into the GRC team that we know and love today. She had a large role in the dramatic growth of the women's team after she joined the group in April 2011, recruiting several future GRC stars to the fold. A devotee of the classic Wednesday night workouts in Bethesda, Susan spent a few years focusing on longer distances, setting PRs at 8k, 10k, and 10 miles, when she suddenly remembered that she likes track better, settled for nothing longer than a 5k, and proceeded to snatch up the GRC records in the 800 and road mile.


Other GRC achievements include sharing some laughs with teammates while running a ten miler,


participating in Clubs a shockingly large number of times,

 

 and fulfilling the challenging position of Father’s Day 8k Cupcake Czar with gusto.



When a job opportunity presented itself in spring 2016, Susan decided to tackle a new challenge and left the DC area to head back up to New York City. She currently works in communications and public policy for Uber and lives in Hoboken, NJ with her husband Nathan and photogenic beagle Delta.



Outside of running, Susan enjoys celebrating Halloween, organizing going away parties for herself, and wearing more layers of workout clothing than is appropriate for the temperature.

Congratulations, Susan – both Maryland high school track and the GRC would not be where they are today without you!

 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

First down? More like first place!

Pacers//GRC-New Balance brought home two first place finishes on this Super Bowl weekend, along with several other impressive performances. Graham Tribble opened up the weekend in VA with a win at Potomac River Running's For the Love of It 10k in 32:58. Back in DC, Kyle "Spanky" Wagener brought home the Lombardi trophy at the Pacers First Down 5k with a time of 15:19. For the women, Maura Linde came in second place with a PR of 16:45. Thanks to Pacers for hosting another excellent race!

Greta, Kerry, & Maura L. 
Potomac River Running For the Love of It 10k
1. Graham Tribble – 32:58

Pacers First Down 5k
Women’s results:
2. Maura Linde – 16:45 (PR & 2nd all-time GRC)
3. Kerry Allen – 18:02
9. Greta Stults – 19:54
13. Laura O'Hara & Greta O'Hara 21:08

Men’s results:
1. Kyle Wagener – 15:19 (road PR)
2. Michael Palmisano – 15:22
5. Jerry Greenlaw – 15:39
7. Paul Balmer – 15:49
8. Charlie Ban – 15:53
10. Dickson Mercer – 16:04
14. Dave O’Hara – 16:47

Friday, January 27, 2017

FLASH: Wiggy Challenges 5xFD8k Champ Witty to a Mano a Mano duel

DEVELOPING....

In the far-flung alleys of Facebook, Ex-pat Joseph (Wiggy) Wiegner has incited warfare against aging, but still very much alive Ryan (Witty) Witters.  Not to be confused with Witty's ongoing war with New England's favorite harrier, Nate Jenkins.

Earlier today, Wiggy pushed a meaningful message concerning his educational institution, THE Lock Haven University track and field team. #SaveHaven.

Witty, alumnus of the University of Evansville Purple Aces which recently announced the return of a track and field team, immediately jumped at the chance to discern himself from the namesake he has so often been confused with.

He arguably bit off more than he...argued for.  Wiggy never one to stand down, stood his ground and chirped back, which prompted Witty to drop the ultimate "actions speak louder" not 1, not 2, not 3...counting his consecutive FD8k crowns (4 more than the vaunted Wiggy).

The rest is history folks.  #WiggyvsWittyFD8k17

Get your cupcakes ready. This is going to be lit af.

See it go down HERE

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

GRC'rs Featured on How They Work Hard and Run Hard

Sean Barrett, Kieren O'Connor, Kerry Allen, Emily Potter, and Brian Young were all featured in the Washingtonian on how they maintain busy lives and keep up with Marathon training at the same time.

Check out the Pacers Blog for more, along with some commentary from Coach Jerry Alexander: https://www.runpacers.com/blog/training/local-marathon-runners-news/

Monday, January 23, 2017

Terrapin Invitational January 2017





It was a banner day at the Terrapin Invitational, with many fine performances. Among the highlights was the women's DMR getting the win in 12:22.9. Alyson led off in 3:47.7 for 1200, followed by Kerry in 67.4 for 400, Jesse in 2:18.0 for 800, and Steph in 5:09.7 for 1600.

The time was not particularly fast for several reasons, including that it was the first race of the season, and we weren't expecting miracles; there was no competition, at all (we lapped the field); we were shorthanded due to the march, forcing Kerry to volunteer for the 400 (and she ran a heck of a good leg, but she's a marathoner); and Steph was doubling back from the 5000 with only about 30 minutes rest. More important than the time was the fact that we were out there at all. This was the first competitive relay in GRC history, but it won't be the last, as we are building an extremely strong women's middle distance squad, and we will see many more great performances from them in the weeks and months to come.


We've already got an extremely strong women's distance crew, and it showed in the 5000. Frances got the win by the slimmest of margins over a fast-closing Maura Linde, in 17:11.26 and 17:11.28, respectively, followed by Elena in 17:14.8, Steph in 17:20, and Kerry in 18:16. It was an outstanding GRC debut for Maura, a 2016 Syracuse grad who will be a major addition to our track group. Elena was within 2 seconds of her PR despite only working out once since Clubs, and we will see a parade of PRs from her in the weeks to come. Steph led most of the race before backing off to save a little strength for the DMR, and Kerry got in a very solid early season effort.

On the men's side, Stewart got the win 15:00.1, in a very controlled effort. After pacing the 5000 for about 2400 meters, Elyssa came back in the mile in 5:17.09, which puts her 5th on the GRC all-time list. In the 3000, Liz ran 10:30, and Michael was second in 8:47 after leading most of the race.

Women's 5000

1. Frances 17:11.26

2. Maura L 17:11.28

3. Elena 17:14.3

5. Steph 17:20.9

7. Kerry 18:16.9

Men's 5000

1. Stewart 15:00.1

Women's DMR

1. GRC 12:22.9

Alyson 3:47.7; Kerry 67.4; Jesse 2:18.0; Steph 5:09.7

Women's Mile

7. Elyssa 5:17.09

Women's 3000

6. Liz 10:30.8

Men's 3000

2. Michael 8:47.8

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016 GRC Team Awards

The team gathered last night for our annual meeting and team awards. See below for commentary on each recipient. Thanks for all of your support in 2016!

Women’s MVP—Stephanie Reich

Steph established herself as a national-class runner in 2016, recording numerous impressive victories, and running a seemingly endless string of huge PRs.  Among the notable races Steph won were the Penn Relays Olympic Development 10,000 meters, the Army 10 Mile (by over two minutes), and the USATF East Region Cross Country championship.  On the track, Steph ran PRs of 4:31.1 for 1500, 9:49 for 3000, 16:32 for 5000, and 34:12 for 10,000, and each of those performances is second on the GRC all-time list.  On the roads, Steph ran PRs of 4:56 for the mile, 16:42 for 5k, 56:29 for 10 miles, and 1:15:45 for the half marathon (on a hilly course, with no race-specific workouts, 36 hours after running a hard 1500 on the track).  Her 5k and 10 mile times are club records, her mile time is second on the all-time list, and her half marathon is third on the all-time list.  Steph capped off her year with a stellar performance at Clubs XC, where she placed 26th, the second best result in GRC history, and she led the team to a superb 6th place finish.  Steph is only getting better, and we’re going to see many more impressive victories and club records from her in the months and years to come.
Stephanie Reich
Men’s MVP—Stewart Reich

Stewart started 2016 looking to establish himself as a GRC A-team runner.  After a series of breakthrough performances at wide range of distances, Stewart finished 2016 as a threat to break numerous GRC club records in 2017.  On the track, Stewart ran PRs of 3:57.2 for 1500, and 14:39.5 for 5000.  On the roads, he ran PRs of 4:13.9 in the mile, 14:45 for 5k, 31:40 for 10k (less than an hour after running his road 5k PR), and 51:15 in his 10 mile debut.  Stewart’s performance at Clubs, where he ran a 10k PR of 31:15, is emblematic of his amazing improvement in a very short time.  At the start of the year his 5k PR, run on the track, was 15:04.  At Clubs, he went through 5k on a fairly challenging xc course in 14:56, and kept right on rolling.  The Navy Mile was one of the few races all year where Stewart did not run a PR, but he showed his potential for greatness when he went toe-to-toe with a national-class field, beat several four-minute milers, and finished 2 seconds behind a 2016 US Olympian.  Stewart is just beginning to scratch the surface of his talent, and his future is bright indeed.
Stewart Reich

Women’s Newcomer of the Year—Elena Barham

After graduating from Northwestern in the spring as an Academic All-American, Elena had an outstanding fall season for GRC.  Elena made an auspicious GRC debut, winning the Pacers Clarendon Day 10k in 36:16.  Elena capped off her the road portion of her season with a strong half marathon debut in Philadelphia, where she ran 1:21:14 on an unexpectedly difficult course.  Elena truly shined in cross country, placing 3rd in the USATF East Regional, and capping off her season with an excellent 76th place finish at Clubs, which ties her for 9th on the GRC all-time list.  Elena will be focused on the track this spring, and we’re sure to see a series of huge PRs from her.
Elena Barham

Men’s Newcomer of the Year—David McKay

David was an excellent cross country runner in college (as a senior at Luther College in 2008, he was 8th at D-III nationals), and in recent years his focus shifted to the marathon (in 2014 he ran a PR of 2:27:28), trail running, and ultras.  While David has not totally shaken the trail/ultra bug, as demonstrated by his crushing the course record at the Patapsco Valley 50k in October, he made a highly successful return to cross country this fall.  After getting his xc legs back under him at two early season meets, David had a major breakthrough at the USATF East Regional, placing 4th.  Even though the course in Tallahassee was far too flat for his liking, David finished an outstanding 100th place at Clubs.  With David’s excellent range and renewed affinity for shorter races, we’ll be seeing many great performances from him in the future.
David McKay

Nina Brekelmans Award—Mary Grace Pellegrini

Ever since Nina’s tragic death, Mary Grace has been singularly focused on honoring Nina’s memory, and she had gone to extraordinary lengths to make it possible to continue Nina’s mission of empowering women athletes in the Middle East.  Among Mary Grace’s many endeavors to further that incredibly noble objective are establishing the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation, serving as Race Director for the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Scholarship 5k, and travelling to Jordan to participate in the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp and Race for Girls.  While doing all of that to honor Nina, on top of working a demanding job, Mary Grace managed to find time in 2016 to train for her first marathon, and coming off a serious knee injury that greatly hampered her fitness, she ran an impressive 3:20 in her debut.  Mary Grace will look to improve on her marathon PR when she runs Boston this spring, and she hopes to ramp up her training when she heads off to business school at Michigan in the fall.  Mary Grace’s dedication to Nina, her dear friend and teammate, has been truly exemplary, and she has been an inspiration to all of GRC.
Mary Grace Pellegrini

Lauren Woodall Roady Award—Sam Luff

Sam has made an extraordinary impact during his GRC career, both as an athlete and as a team leader.  Sam was the men’s MVP in 2011, when he ran club records on the track in the 5000 (14:15) and 10,000 (30:13), and in 2012, when he shattered his own club record in the 10,000 by running the outstanding time of 29:37.  Despite taking a nasty spill mid-race, Sam was the 5th man on our team that placed 9th at Clubs XC in 2013, which was a major breakthrough for our program.  Sam persisted through a series of injury-plagued seasons, and made an excellent marathon debut in 2016, running 2:28:03 in very challenging conditions at Grandmas, establishing himself as a legitimate contender for the 2020 Olympic Trials.  In addition to his prowess on the track and the roads, as a long-serving GRC board member and three-term team president, Sam has been directly involved in the phenomenal success of the team.  Among his many administrative accomplishments, Sam assisted with the incorporation of the team as a non-profit, and was an integral part of the negotiations with Pacers that resulted in our affiliation with our generous sponsor.  While Sam is headed to San Francisco to seek fame and fortune, his influence on the team will endure long after his departure.
Sam Luff


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Coach Jerry: "Train to Celebrate the Wins"

Our rockstar coach, Jerry Alexander, wrote a Pacers Running blogpost chronicling our women's team's outstanding 6th place performance at the 2016 USATF Club Cross Country National Championships. Coach Jerry's blogpost gives the women's team well-earned press for their great accomplishment.