Monday, July 31, 2017

Bain makes masters debut

Chris Bain ran his first race as a master at Riley's Rumble, hitting 1:18:42 on the hills of a town called Boyds.

Kerry Allen broke her course record, set the year before, in 1:26:56.

Charlie Ban edged out a runner for second in 1:17:12.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

FLASH: Line of storms brings tolerable weather to the Twilighter

The Crystal City Twilighter 5k has traditionally (and unfortunately) taken place on the hottest night of the year in the DC area. While the weather forecast leading up to this year's race implied the status quo would be in effect, a line of afternoon storms allowed temperatures to drop significantly in time for the start. GRC was able to take home the team title behind strong performances from Stewart, George, Luke, Steph, and Maura L.

 1. 1:21:06 Pacers Running//GRC New Balance ( 16:14)
 1 15:17 Stewart Reich M
 2 15:30  George Galasso M
 3 15:35  Lucas Meyer M
 4 17:21 Stephanie Reich F
 5 17:23  Maura Linde F

Ryan Witters and Kieran O'Connor were notably absent from the race results, which can be found here: 2017 Crystal City Twilighter

Alan Webb served as the night's MC in advance of his appearance at Pacers' Summer Runner Book Club. Many GRCers sought to take a photo with the American record holder, but storms returned as Alan read trivia questions at the awards ceremony. We'll have to make due with this photo of Joe in the same vicinity as Alan:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

FLASH: "Results" of FD8k found on Murphy Thumb Drive

Early yesterday morning, I just so happened to be milling around Patrick Murphy's former townhouse.

I had my reasons.

While there, I spied a garbage bag. For seven hours I methodically dug through banana peels, used diapers, and coffee grinds and discovered a thumb drive. Among some of the more incriminating evidence I found were these "results," purportedly from the 2017 Father's Day 8k. It appears as if Patrick manufactured these "results" before the race, but decided, at the last minute, to not run the race and leave town. It just so happens that Patrick will be back in town for the next few days. Perhaps he forgot to take something with him when he moved? In his haste, Patrick got sloppy.

It will be hard for many to see this, given Patrick's high stature on this team, but we must be transparent.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Emily finishes 19th at USATF Outdoor Championships

Amidst a weekend filled with world-class performances, Emily de la Bruyere finished in 19th place on Friday night in the 3000m steeplechase prelims. Her time of 10:06.3 was just off her PR of 10:02 from May, and it's not a stretch to say that she would have been under 10 minutes in better conditions. Trackside temperatures were ~95° at the start of the race.

Coach Jerry was impressed with Emily's effort. "Emily ran pretty much even splits, and handled the barriers extremely well," he reported. "She was very pleased with her performance, and I most certainly was too."

Surely this won't be the last USATF championship meet for Emily. With a few extra months of steeple prep under her belt for 2018, the sky's the limit.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FLASH: Emily de la Bruyere qualifies for USATF Outdoor Championships

Emily de la Bruyere is set to compete in the 3000m steeplechase on Thursday at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships. Her 10:02.36 performance from May shows that she's ready to compete in a national-level field, and those with insider knowledge won't be surprised to see her qualify for the finals. Coach Jerry provided additional context on why Emily is prepared to make some noise tomorrow night:

Picture"Emily was not planning to run the steeple this spring. She was invited to run what she thought was a flat 3000 at the IFAM meet in Belgium, and when she found out that it was actually a steeple, we were somewhat hesitant given the fact that she hadn't even seen a barrier in over a year.  But she was confident in her hurdling ability and decided to give it a go. We were both pleasantly surprised that the result was a big PR, and it didn't take long to realize that she might be able to qualify for nationals with that mark.  Emily has trained very well the last few weeks, and she's race sharp and ready to go.  This is a huge breakthrough for Emily, and for GRC, as Emily will be the first athlete to represent GRC at the outdoor champs."

Weather conditions in Sacramento have been oppressively hot over the past few days, and Thursday looks to be no different. While most would consider hot track-side temperatures to be detrimental, Coach Jerry believes that the situation could play into Emily's favor. "Given the likelihood of a slow pace and her excellent closing speed," Coach Jerry explained, "I think she's capable of pulling off a major surprise."

Monday, June 19, 2017

This one goes out to the Dads

Yesterday's Father's Day 8k featured a morning filled with camaraderie, friendly competition, and as always, warm appreciation for the fathers and father-figures in our lives. GRC's own Ryan Witters took a brief moment on the racecourse to give a shout-out to "all the Dads" that support GRC in more ways than we can count:

Witty finished in 1st for the sixth consecutive year in 26:47, while Lindsay O'Brien took the win on the women's side in 31:29. This was Lindsay's first race in over a year, so her victorious performance is surely a sign that she's going to round back into form quickly for the fall racing season ahead. Complete results from the race can be found on the Father's Day 8k website:

Prior to the FD8k, several GRCers flew westward to Duluth, MN on Saturday for both the Grandma's Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon. Sadly, it appears that Minnesota-born Kyle Wagener brought home a heaping helping of D.C. humidity for race day, and PRs in the longer distances will now need to wait until the fall for the crew. Highlights on the day include Graham Tribble's 1:08:56 in the half as well as Greta Stult's near-PR 3:00:13. As seen below, the Duluth News Tribune captured a great photo of Greta's last race stateside prior to a year-long stint overseas for work.

Each year we strive to ensure that the FD8k runs smoothly, but we'd be remiss if we failed to thank our sponsors, supporters, and friends for their continued support of our club. It's not just on Father's Day -- the encouragement we receive year in and year out from the DC running community is paramount to our ongoing accomplishments. Thanks to all for making this year's race a rousing success, and here's to great things to come later in 2017 and beyond!

The FD8k also serves as a time for remembrance and appreciation for our teammates Lauren and Nina, whose stories you can read here:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Some sad farewells and an impressive debut

The men's podium at Saturday's Lawyer's Have Heart 5k belonged exclusively to our Ivy League alumni. Newcomer George Galasso took the win in 15:35, followed closely behind by Mike P in 15:36 and Phil in 15:41. If recent history is any indication, it's likely this won't be George's last 5k victory in a GRC singlet. George joins GRC after a spring season highlighted by 3 victories during Pacers' Friday Night 5k race series. He's reportedly already set his sights on a sweep for next year.
Mike and George following their 1-2 finish
Hannah took the win in the 5k on the women's side in 18:14, while Shauneen finished the 10k in 37:53 for 3rd. For her efforts, Hannah was rewarded with a hockey stick signed by Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin. Hannah should sell her prize as soon as possible; its value is bound to decrease sharply once the Caps blow yet another shot at the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Outside of the District, Emily de la Bruyere took home a national title with a solo 16:48 5000m at the USATF National Club Track & Field Championships in New York. Hot temperatures couldn't deter Emily from victory, and hopefully she'll get a shot to compete on a larger stage nationally in the next few weeks. Further down I-95, the Reichs supposedly ran in the Run for Heroes 5k in Frederick MD. The race has a website, but no results, so we'll go ahead and assume that Steph and Stew ran reasonably well as always.

This weekend also played host to a farewell run for former GRC President, Patrick Murphy. Patrick's contributions to the team over the years are too large to list out in this blog, and hopefully it goes without saying that he'll be sorely missed. Additionally, it's likely that Phil and Hannah ran their final races in GRC singlets at LHH, since the Dartmouth duo is set for a move to the Bay Area within the next two weeks. It's never easy saying goodbye to friends, but the transient nature of the DMV teaches us to brace for departures at any moment. Happy trails to Murph, Phil, and Hannah!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer is just getting started, but these performances are red hot

June is a tough month for racing on the East Coast. The DC region's swampy humidity rematerializes seemingly overnight, so if one has an itch for a fast race, there's going to be some travel involved. Among recent trips to Belgium, Canada, and Oregon, our harriers have racked up a considerable amount of airline miles in pursuit of late- (or early?) season glory.

Furthest from our nation's capital, distance hurdling queen Emily de la Bruyere logged an eye-popping 10:02.36 in the 3k steeplechase at the IFAM Outdoor "Meeting" on 5/27. Emily d impressively held her own against a deep field despite having logged zero barrier jumps in over a year. Coach Jerry was particularly pleased, reporting that "to my knowledge, this was the first steeple ever run by a man or woman in a GRC jersey (which is somewhat surprising since we have 3 athletes who were Division I All-Americans in the steeple, and a 2-time Division III champion). [It] goes without saying this was a club record, and Emily has set the bar awfully high.  Well done!" Emily will take an honest crack at qualifying for nationals once she's back stateside later this month. She currently holds the 28th fastest US time heading into the second week of June.

Across the Canadian border, Outlaw completed the Ottawa marathon in 2:30:39 for 36th overall. Outlaw spent the majority of his successful spring campaign focusing on shorter-distance races, so his preparation for the marathon distance was admittedly limited. Coach Jerry explained further, "Outlaw's lack of high mileage showed in the last miles when he slowed to 6 minute pace, but he competed to the tape, and passed several competitors in the final 2k.  Outlaw had an excellent season, and I am more convinced than ever that he is a legitimate contender to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials."

Charlie Ban, who is known for his strong aversion to DC humidity, chipped away at his summer racing quota by running in the Eastern Oregon Half Marathon on Sunday and the Miles On Memorial 15k across the state on Monday. According to Coach Jerry, "the half was run in conjunction with the 'One and Only Spray Rodeo,' and befitting a race that is second fiddle to a rodeo it was not competitive, but Charlie got in a good solo effort on a challenging course, running slightly under 1:17.  Surprisingly, the 15k in Eugene was no more competitive than the half, and Charlie ran 52:34, and won by over 5 minutes." Hopefully Charlie brought home a pair of nice trophies to add to his impressive collection.

Closer to home in Fairfax VA, Jesse Carlin continued to sharpen up for the summer track circuit by running 2:12.03 for 800m at the PVTC All-Comers Meet. According to Coach Jerry, "It was a solo effort, as two men broke 2 minutes, and the guy behind Jesse didn't break 2:18.  Jesse is continuing to get race fit, and in more competitive fields at upcoming meets, she'll run much faster."

Monday, May 22, 2017

The May 13th - 21st GRC Update!

Two weekends ago the O'Haras usurped the Reichs title as "Most Valuable GRC Couple of the Week" with incredibly strong performances at the Delaware Running Festival. 

Dave got the win in a solo 1:15:14 while second place trailed behind by over 6 minutes!

Laura ran 3:18:31 in the full.  Laura was 4th, and she was also solo for huge portions of the race, so much so that she described it as surreal.  Not bad at all for her first marathon in 7 years!

At the Swarthmore Last Chance meet Jesse ran her first open 800 in over a year, clocking in at 2:11.84! Also at Swat, Stewart ran 14:41 for the 5k and Liz 4:50 for the 1500.

Over in France, Emily D ran 16:29 for 5k at the Meeting Fungana in Cergy, France. This puts Emily at Third on the GRC all-time list!

This most recent weekend, GRC had a stellar showing at the Brooklyn half marathon.

Both Kerry and Balmer boasted PR's of over 1:30! Kerry in 1:17.45 and Balmer in 1:09.17. Not to mention that Balmer tuned up for Brooklyn by winning the Capital Challenge on Wednesday in 15:23 for 3 miles.  Also at the Capital Challenge, new GRC superstar Abbie Atwood was second in 17:55.

Last but not least, Emily D ran a new club record of 9:32.1 in the 3000 at a small meet in Paris.  Emily is in great shape, and she's going to get a chance to prove it this weekend at an invitational meet in Belgium, where she's running the steeple.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Brace yourselves for this marathon of a blog post!

The long awaited results are in, folks!

Jerry impatiently checking his watch, wondering how much longer he has to wait to learn the results of the Pittsburgh Marathon!

Pittsburgh Marathon

Maura C ran her marathon debut in 2:54!

"It was a great marathon debut for Maura, who ran almost exactly even pace"
- Coach Jerry

It has been 6 months of hard training for Maura since transitioning to the marathon.  The GRC family is very proud of Maura and so thrilled to see all her hard work come together for her debut.

Broad Street Run

Back in the City of Brotherly Love, a handful of GRCers battled it out against the wind at the Broad Street run. Despite less than ideal conditions, Ben Franklin and the Quaker spirit helped all three GRC ladies along to PR's with outstanding results on the men's side as well.

Kyle can hardly contain his pride for the GRC ladies and their slew of PR's this weekend!


Outlaw  53:02

Greg  56:52

Kyle C  57:35

Maura L  59:11  PR, 5th GRC all time

Keely  64:09 PR

Greta  64:53 PR

Frederick Half

The Reichs decided to celebrate their friday night PR's with a well-earned lazy sunday.  Lazy sunday in the Reich household entails sleeping in past 5 AM and participating in the Frederick Half Marathon.  Naturally, Steph was the first woman to cross the finish line and second finisher overall, breaking the tape in 1:16:15

Here is a nice write-up in the Frederick News-Post about our dear Steph:

Hannah Inducted into the Vermont High School Sports Hall of Fame

Sorry Hannah, we couldn't let this accomplishment go unnoticed! Your ever-growing fan base would be more than disappointed.

Hannah Rowe spent a lovely weekend in Vermont centered around her induction into the Vermont High School Sports Hall of Fame. Her resume shined even among the impressive cast of Lakers players, Red Sox draftees, and lifelong coaches. In fact she was the youngest inductee, having been chosen during the very first year in which she was eligible. Admiring supporters from all aspects of her life were in attendance, and she delivered a powerful speech about how their support and advice allowed her to be so successful.

Special thanks to Phill and Bekele for tipping us off to Hannah's big accomplishment!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Steph continues her demolition of the GRC All-Time list

Friday night at the Kehoe Twilight meet was a fantastic showing for the GRC gang.

The Reichs both set PR's in the 1500 with Steph running 4:27 and Stewart running 3:56.  This was a big break through for Steph, as she had previously never broken 4:31.

GRC handily swept both titles in the 5k with Elena winning the women's race in 17:04 and Kyle running 15:15, with strategic pacing assistance from both the Reichs.

Stay tuned for photos from friday's races as well as reporting on one of the year's most highly anticipated marathons -- and I am not talking about the attempt to break 2:00!

Race results from friday night:

Women's 1500

Steph 4:27.82 CLUB RECORD

Alyson 4:46.03

Liz 4:50.04

Men's 1500

Stewart 3:56.94 PR

Luk 4:03.28

Women's 5k

Elena 17:04.8 

Men's 5k

Kyle 15:15.2

Tom 16:21

Women's 4 x 400

Jesse 58.9

Liz 66.9

Alyson 61.1 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Steph Captures Olympic Development Crown!

No fewer than four GRC athletes continued the lineage of Penn Relays success the team has had in recent years. The unavoidable fact that some of that lineage inevitably includes Mike Franklin does little to tarnish the overall reputation.

Steph captured the crown in the Olympic Development 10k race with yet another sub-35 clocking. This marks the 4th year in a row that a GRC athlete has won an Olympic Development race at Penn Relays.

Men's 5k:
Stew - 14:30.9 (5th in heat, .5 seconds off a PR)
Cabell - 15:18.03

Women's 10k:
Steph - 34:43.49
Maura L - 35:31.51


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.


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

  • 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

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

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)


Monday, April 3, 2017

Cherry Blossom Results!

Kerry--58:49 PR
Maura--59:56 PR
Greta--65:01 PR

Wertz--53:16, first master
Dave O--57:27

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


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

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:


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


5.  Alex  4:53.2

7.  Michael  4:05.3
14.  Joe  4:10.3


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: 

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:

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: 

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


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


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


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!