Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Results: MCM & Spook Hill


MCM

Kieran ran a truly courageous and determined race at MCM, and his 3rd place finish, in 2:28:07, while impressive standing alone, does not even come close to doing justice to his effort. Kieran ran his own race and continued to press forward mile after solitary mile solo for majority of the time. Meanwhile, a chase pack formed behind him, and Kieran's pursuers worked together to cut into his lead. Inevitably, all of that solo running began to take its toll and as the temperature rose, Kieran felt the effects of the effort. Kieran did his best to hold on, but when he was finally caught in the 25th mile, he had nothing left in the tank.  Kieran represented the team with great distinction. He'll be back, more determined than ever to improve on his 24th place finish from 2016 when he toes the line at the 2020 Trials, and we are looking forward to seeing some great marathoning from him in the years to come.

In other weekend results, Julie T was second at MCM 10k in 38:01. Julie is gearing up for the full in Phoenix in January, and this was an excellent rust buster. The hardest part of the day for her was running home with her giant trophy, which is the type of workout we could all get used to.

Spook Hill

Stewart and Stephanie went 1-2 in the Spook Hill Cider and Wine 4 miler, with Stew running 20:22 and Steph his nearest pursuer in 24:00. The course was hilly and the grass was high, so those were both strong performances on a spooky hill.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Results: Gettysburg College Invitational


This weekend we had strong performances at the Gettysburg College Invitational. The Guys got the team win!

Daniel led the way in 4th in 26:00, followed closely by Kyle in 7th and JLP in 8th, both in 26:07, Tyler in 17th in 26:34, Russell in 26th in 26:46, Lars in 28th in 26:50, Cabell in 36th and Wertz in 37th, both in 27:06, Greg in 39th in 27:09, Mitch in 52nd in 27:37, and Luk in 58th in 27:42. Daniel went with the leaders from the gun and while he couldn't quite hang on late in the race, he's developing a great base for track season. Kyle and JLP both stated a strong case for making the A team for Clubs. Russell bounced back quite well from his trail 50k last week, and Wertz hung tough with college kids literally half his age. Mitch made his official GRC debut, and the toughness that allowed him to progress from a non-varsity club-team runner to America East Conference scorer during his career at Binghamton will serve him well going forward.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Weekend Results: Army, Glory Days and Chicago

Army Ten Miler:

Apparently, Summer isn't over yet. Hot temps and high humidity made this weekend's races interesting, but the horrid conditions did not stop Lucas from turning in another outstanding performance, as he placed 6th behind 5 Army WCAP athletes, in 50:38. Lucas was not only with the leaders for well over half the race, he threw in some surges and tried to dictate the pace. While the pack dropped him around mile 7, Lucas came back strong in the last mile and was gaining ground on the athletes in 4th and 5th place, both of whom are Olympians. Lucas has some more big performances up his sleeve this Fall!

The men won the open team title at Army, with Stewart in 13th in 52:57, Luke in 15th in 53:18, Paul T in 54:40, Graham in 55:22, Tyler in 55:57, Sean B in 56:40, Chris in 58:02, and Kyle in 59:58. Those times are reflective of the horrific conditions (did I mention it was hot out there?) and our guys are fit, and will be ready to go later this fall.

The women also won the open team title, led by Kerry in 4th in 60:54, Steph in 9th in 61:43, Emily P in 61:55, Maura in 65:00, and Keely in 73:20. As with the guys, the brutal conditions caused very slow times, and when the women get a chance to show what they can do, they'll respond with some outstanding performances!

Glory Days XC:

We had a strong crew at Glory Days xc, with Jackie getting the win in 19:04 , followed by Emily K in 19:18, Chelsea in 19:23, Alexa in 19:37, Marianne in 20:16, and Angelina in 21:06. For the men, JLP got the win in 16:01, followed by Mitch in 16:16, Hashem in 16:17, Austin in 16:19, and Sean in 16:45. Jackie and JLP  are working their way back into shape after injury and have some good momentum going into the rest of their fall season!

Chicago:

Congratulations to Ryan S for an excellent marathon debut in Chicago, where he ran 2:29:16. The weather was not ideal in Chicago, and while Ryan was fit to run sub 2:26 in good conditions, he did extremely well to break 2:30 in the heat. Ryan ran even pace most of the race, and fought all the way to the tape, passing several guys in the last mile. Well done, Ryan!

Finally, Russell got the win in the Cloudsplitter 50k trail race in Virginia, in 4:50. What possessed Russell to want to run a 50k trail race is a mystery that may never be solved, but if you're going to run, you might as well win, so congratulations are in order.


Here's hoping Fall comes back soon...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Race Preview: Army Ten-Miler



Another busy weekend of racing is upon us, and one of those races is the much anticipated Army Ten-Miler on Sunday.

We've got a very strong men's squad led by Lucas, Stewart, and Paul Thistle, who will be making his GRC debut. Paul ran 49:38 at Broad Street in May, and while he's likely not quite that fit this early in his season, he is a man to keep an eye on going forward. Lucas will likely go out with the leaders, and he's got a real shot at the club record. Lucas is coming off a very strong race at Philly RNR a few weekends ago. If you want to learn a little more about this guy and get some good race advice for this weekend from Coach Jerry, follow this link https://www.runpacers.com/blog/people/elite-athletes/lucas-grc/
Stewart is in great shape and looks to land in the top 5 list. Graham, Mark, and Evan are tuning up for fall marathons.

For the women, Maura L is coming off an excellent race at Paul Short and is ready for a long-overdue breakthrough on the roads. Several of our women are prepping for fall marathons, including Emily P, Kerry, Julie, and Keely.

Stay tuned for results from Army Ten-Miler and our crew running some cross country at Glory Days invitation.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Weekend Results 9/30-10/1

Here are some great things that happened this weekend!

Navy Mile


5. Alyson McGonigle 5:03.60 (3rd GRC all-time!)
8. Emily Koehle 5:09.98 (5th GRC all-time!)
9. Erin Sicher 5:12.90
10. Jackie Kasal 5:15.30
12. Alexa Squirini 5:26.82
13. Liz Tawa 5:27.91

17. Daniel Trettel 4:20.09
20. Ryan Witters 4:27.45
22. Evan Jurkovich 4:36.45


Paul Short XC


Maura Linde 20:30 (5th place!)
Angelina Oputa 25:00

Austin Hayslett 25:32


Also, Kerry won the Leaf Peepers Half Marathon in New Hampshire in 1:26:09! Don't miss this in-depth article: https://www.timesargus.com/articles/graves-allen-win-leaf-peepers-half-marathon/

Friday, September 29, 2017

Weekend Preview[z]

[Disclaimer: All, if not some, direct quotes were neither stated by nor taken from associated individuals. All takes are mine and mine alone, and may only be reproduced with direct, perfunctory permission. Lastly, I reserve the right to flip sides on any stance I may take.]


Well there you have it folks, the month of September has come and gone.  And just like they used to say in the good old day[z], people may die but blogs live forever.  [Good luck to the October blogger that[z] following this month of pure, gasoline-fed fire blogging. You'll be as appreciated as all your snowflake take[z]]. 

On the docket this weekend is the Navy Mile Szn.  Measured at 1 mile down and back on Penn Ave, this is a fast course with even faster asphalt.  For the men, Daniel and Witty [and probably Stew] will be lacing the sneaks and putting one out there for the throng of spectators.  Representing the women are Erin, Jackie, Alexa, Alyson, and Emily K.  I'd be remiss to tell you that all GRC harriers are focu[z]ed with their eye on the prize.

At Paul Short earlier today, Maura L. continued smashing, completing the course in a timely 20:30 good enough for 5th place and a YUUUUGE PR.  While Austin rumbled and stumbled and grumbled a xc-esque 25:33 on the gra[zz]y course.  

Hammer it here for update[z].

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Weekend Result[z] [Updated]

From Coach Jerry

"We had a plethora of GRC debuts this weekend from members of our large and talented class of 2017.  In the 5k at Clarendon, Daniel Trettel led the way among the debutantes in 14:57, followed by Craig Morgan in a big PR of 14:59, Austin Hayslett in 15:30, Lars Benner in 15:34, and John-Louis Pane in 15:56.  On the women's side, Alexa Squirini ran 18:31, followed by Marianne Aguilar in 18:41.  In the D-II Showcase XC meet in Nashville, Russell Chase ran 27:01 for 8k on a challenging course on a hot day.  Daniel and Craig ran at the University of Maryland, and along with Lars, who comes to us from the University of Tampa, they will form the core of our new and improved men's mid-distance squad.  Austin, who ran at UMBC, JLP, who ran at GW, and Russell, who ran at Harding University in Arkansas, will be strong additions to our 5k/10k group. Alexa, who also ran at Maryland, will further solidify the mighty GRC women's mid-distance juggernaut, and Marianne, who ran at Florida State, will be a nice addition to our 5k crew.  Welcome aboard!

Back at Clarendon, Emily d had a solid rust buster, getting the win in 17:51, followed very closely by Chelsea in a PR of 17:51, Emily K in a big PR of 17:56, Erin in a post-collegiate PR of 18:18, Jackie in 18:36, Alyson in 19:02, Angelina in 19:36, LTO in 19:41, and GRC superstar to be Theresa Kennedy in 20:13.  The clear highlight was the return to form of Chelsea, who has not been fully healthy for the last 3 years.  It has seemed like every time Chelsea got back in shape, yet another injury popped up, and it has been a long and difficult process for her.  With her race yesterday, where she went stride for stride with Emily d all the way to the tape, Chelsea gave notice that she's back better than ever, and ready to make a splash this fall.

On the men's side, Kieran led the way in the 5k in 14:45, followed by soon-to-be GRC superstar Paul Thistle in 14:47, Kyle in a road PR of 15:01, Mark in a PR of 15:13, Luk in a road PR of 15:19, GRC superstar to be Mitch Abrams in 15:22, Wertz in 15:25, Cabell in 15:36, Evan in 15:38, Chris in 15:40, Zak in 15:55, Dix in 15:59, and Sean in 16:00.  Kieran led the way again in the 10k in 32:45, followed by Paul in 32:51, Mark in 33:47, Evan in 35:02, Zak in 35:05, Sean in 35:12, and Dave O in 36:22.  I was quite pleased with the performances from Kyle and Luk, both of whom are easing into the season, and they showed that they've got some big performances ahead.  I was also happy with Wertz's performance in his first race in several months.  By running the 5k hard and tempoing the 10k on short rest, Kieran, Mark, Zak, and Evan got in excellent workouts as they prep for their upcoming marathons.

In non-Clarendon results, Stewart and Stephanie ran the xc invite at Goldey-Beacom, Stew's alma mater.  Stew won by almost 2 minutes, going 26:05 on a very difficult course.  Steph ran the men's race, and was 28th in a field of 77 finishers, in 32:00.  Maura was 6th in the Pittsburgh Great Race 10k in 37:10.  Emily P ran 62:38 at the Virginia 10 Miler, which is a hilly course.

We had a routing interest at DCXC this year, as our two high school superstars were in action.  Nandini got the win in the junior race in 18:59, and despite struggling mightily with the heat in the last 400 and being wrestled to the ground by an overzealous, and quite possibly deranged red-headed finish line official, she was none the worse for the wear.  Ryan was 3rd in the senior race in 15:39, and he unleashed his big kick to great effect when he made the turn for home."

YUUGE result[z]

UPDATE

Check it out[z]


Greta raced the Semper Five "5k" in Kabul taking the overall bron[z]e in 21:56 which is probably in metric time so really more like 14:48.  According to source[z], the course was riddled with tight turns, construction and questionable accuracy [thanks obama].  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Weekend Preview[z]

[Disclaimer: All, if not some, direct quotes were neither stated by nor taken from associated individuals. All takes are mine and mine alone, and may only be reproduced with direct, perfunctory permission. Lastly, I reserve the right to flip sides on any stance I may take.]

Folks, today may be the first day of Fall, but you know what time of year it really is.  #fallracingszn continues to crush like an absolute savage as we look to the weekend ahead of fast racing, PSLs, and listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Before we get to the brigade marching down Wilson blvd., we've got a few other races to discuss. Stew is making a heroic appearance [in his own mind at least] at the Goldey-Beacom Invitational to beat up on some college flusies.  Steph, too is going to beat up on the same college flusies. Like seriously, she's running the men's race.  I'd be scared.

Emily Potter is taking her talents to Virginia for the 10 miler, while Maura is taking her lunch pail and blue collar to the capital of grit, Pittsburgh, to run the Great Race 10k.  All of this is going on while GRC-debutante Russel is making his low-key racing debut in Nashville.  Now to ward off any potential unwanted suitors, I have agreed to keep the name of the race anonymous until the results are posted, for young Russel's sake.

Closer to home is the monster Clarendon Day 5k/10k where Kieran snaked his way to a club record* a few years back [historians note that the former 5k road record was competed on a non-net downhill, USATF certified downtown Evansville course leading the race wire to wire].  Clarendon Day 5k/10k is known for its dramatic downhill start which typically translates to 5k PRs and 10k Why did I do thats.  Due to the volume of harriers and my lack of enthusiasm to create a [witty] writeup for everyone, the start lists are shown below.

Men's 5k: Daniel Trettel, Ian, dix, Chris, Cabell, Luk, John-Louis Dreyfus [Pane], Dave O, Craig Morgan, Lars Benner, Kyle W, Keep Austin Hayslett, The Sage, Wertz, and Pat K.

Men's 10k: Mark

Double [not the faint of heart]: Outlaw, Sean OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Kieran*, Paul Thistle, Jurkovich, and Zak

Women's 5k: Emily D, Alexa Squirini, Jessie, EMily K, Erin, Alyson, Jackie, Marianne Aguilar, Gina, chelsea, Elyssa, and Angelina.

Daniel, Craig, JLP, Austin, Lars, Alexa, and Marianne are making their debuts for the team. Let's hope they're better than mine.

Send me your result[z]

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Weekend Result[z]

Well folks, it's that time of the week. #ResultsSzn is officially in gear.  We've got YUUUGE results on the docket for ya.

First up is Lucas Stalnaker for his raucous showing at the Philly Half in a time of 1:05:26, good for #3 on the GRC all time list.  We haven't seen a debut like this since the szn premier of Lost folks.  And while young Lucas was not involved in a plane crash symbolizing the soul's dance between life and death, he was able to bring home 6th place honors and the covefe GRC Athlete of the Week.   Jerry noted that weather was less than ideal with the sudden onslaught of climate change and all, but Lucas ran strong and he ran smart with a bright future surely ahead.

Sticking with the Philly Half, Maura L. made her szn debut in 1:20:09, followed closely by Kerry Allen in 1:20:53.  The two had strong showings with a solid #fallracingszn ahead.  In addition, Sean B. ran all the way to a 1:12:21.  The humidity this year was as bad as years past. Thanks Obama.

Closer to home, GRC harriers saw strong performances in the Navy Half and Navy 5 Miler.  Kieran took home the win [what's new] in a solid 1:09:41. Ryan Spier made his halfszn debut in 1:09:50.  While he may be the less-handsome Ryan, he surely raced his way into our hearts. Graham galloped to a 1:12:21, followed by TKIV [Tom], Tyler, and Fridge, in 1:14:29, 1:15:03, and 1:18:43, respectively. On the women's side, we saw inspirational performances from Hallie Fox in 1:25:42, Keely in 1:26:31, and Teal, in her first race since the Olympic Trials [sweet brag Teal] with a 1:26:31.  Hallie made her debut to the tune of whoaaa, while Keely continues to mash and Teal rounds back into shape after introducing new life to the world [sweet brag again Teal].

In the Navy 5, Stew [24:50] and Steph [29:43] brought home wins to make it a Reich sweep. There hasn't been a Reich sweep since...well... since the last one.  GRC took home the #3, #4, and #6 spots from Mark [26:12], Luk [26:27], and Chris [plain Jane 27:10].  It should be noted that times were slow across the board due to the race coming in contact with stragglers from the half [thanks Obama]. You know what I say though, Darwin has a theory that.

The end of this week's results culminate in lifetime runner and friend Dickson, who raced at the 1st annual Henry Mercer Monmouth XC Invitational.  It's not everyday you get to run a race named after your father, and for your first born son.  So, good on ya Dickson.  You know what they say folks, nature vs nurture.  Nature always wins.  Keep that boy running Dix.


Till next time.

Giddyup

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekend Preview(s)

[Disclaimer: All, if not some, direct quotes were neither stated by nor taken from associated individuals.  All takes are mine and mine alone, and may only be reproduced with direct, perfunctory permission. Lastly, I reserve the right to flip sides on any stance I may take.]


Workouts officially moved on from AU and, for at least the foreseeable future, GRCharriers will be hammering the grit and the glamour of the National Mall.  But don't take my word for it, check out this lit instagram. Did Robby Andrews come to DC just to take in the sights? I don't think so folks.  

Let's get down to business.  We've got a YUGE weekend of competition as #fallracingszn kicks up a notch.  

1st on the docket is the very gorgeous, very wonderful Philly RnR [1/2 'thon] of the renowned Rock 'n Roll marathon series. Toeing the line will be Lucas Stalnaker, Sean B., and Graham Tribble for the men and Maura Linde, Kerry, and Emily D. for the women.  

Lucas, making his debut in the teal&white, is hot off a 5th place finish in the 10k at NCAAs last June.  Sources close to Lucas tell me he's "extremely fit" and "has a great, very wonderful, very big chance to make a big splash".  Sean B, as previously reported, is on a tear and looking to continue in the city of brotherly love [insert dumpster fire meme].  Graham's status is 50/50 but should he step to the line, competitors are likely to be enveloped in a sense shock and awe. 

Maura will be debuting in the half for 2017. If workouts are any indication, she's fit and prepared to fly, figuratively and possibly literally too [jury is still out]. Kerry has been crushing the #hardtraining and looks to giddyup smartly and efficiently.  And similar to Graham, if Emily D. races, there's no telling the damage it will do to competitor's psyches.

The other big, and I mean big folks, event going on is the Navy 1/2.  The lively bunch featuring Kieran, Outlaw, other Ryan [S], Charlie, Ian, Sean OHHH, Mark, Tom, Tyler, and the silent killer Dr. Fridge are looking to send it for the men while Steph, Julie, Hallie, and Keely plan to own. Just own.

Don't forget the Navy 8k goes off this weekend as well with Stewart, Luk, and Chris running the race into indiscriminate and politically correct submission. Stew looks to be a major factor fresh of the first sub-14 5k GRC has ever seen.  You might call that fake news, but just connect the dots folks. Luk has been getting his studies on in College Park, and just generally getting more hip by the hour, so it should suffice to say speed is the largest byproduct, and the natural 8k-er will bring style and pizazz to the event.  Chris...well its Chris. He'll complete the race in a vanilla, esoteric manner. Because of this, he's the top dark-horse candidate in the race.  He's a blue collar working man hailing from Wisconsin [or Minnesota, somewhere up there]. When the Eau Claire native brings his lunch pail, watch out. Grit and grind at its finest.

That's it for now folks. Hammer it here for your #fallracingszn updates.

Giddyup

UPDATE

Steph switches to Navy 8k to make Stewart earn his keep and Graham stays close to home as he traded in garbage for gold [philly=garbage for all you readers out there, mainly Wiggy].  Look for Graham lacing it up with the Navy 1/2 gang.  The key to both these races will be keeping a healthy, compact pad level.  Low man always wins.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Marathon Mondays

There is no more certain sign that #fallracingszn is upon us than GRC marathoners cranking out the hard training. What I present in this post is pictorial evidence of an oft-overlooked aspect of marathon training: namely, running under immense objects. Be sure to add at least 2x running under large objects (as demonstrated above) to take things to 11 this marathon season.

("Why include this nonsensical drivel when there exists a medium - in this case, Instagram - through which to photo-document the hard training?" is one relevant question the author has theoretically received. "What's Instagram?" is what he probably hollered from his porch.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

FLASH: Stewart Breaks 14?

If the results are to be believed, Stewart Reich has supposedly broken 14 minutes for 5k at this morning's Discover Downtown 5k in Columbia, MD. His reported time of 13:36 is a PR by 54 seconds.

Excuse me for editorializing here, but I think this is bull crap and I suspect foul play.

Exhibit A: Stephanie and Stewart raced and won the Market Street Mile yesterday in 5:01 and 4:16 respectively. I don't care if you're a Reich, running two races in a weekend is not conducive for a PR, let alone one of this magnitude.

Exhibit B: We all know that Patrick Murphy has continued to spend a good amount of time in the DC area since "moving" to Boston, and followers of this very blog may recall that "Murph" attempted to doctor the results of the Fathers' Day 8k, but seemingly got cold feet at the last minute. If anyone has photographic evidence of Patrick in Columbia this morning, please post on our Facebook page.

Let me be clear - I don't necessarily think Steph is implicated in all of this, but the question remains: what did she know and when did she know it?

DEVELOPING...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Weekend Preview(s)

[Disclaimer: All, if not some, direct quotes were neither stated by nor taken from associated individuals.  All takes are mine and mine alone, and may only be reproduced with direct, perfunctory permission. I reserve the right to flip sides on any stance I may take.]


You can smell it, I can smell it, and we're all getting the feels for the #fallracingszn.  Gone is the hard training of summer. The sun is officially relegated to a #beta with its shorter days and questionable temperature.  And #PSLs are back in a big way.  A witty man once said "Legends are born in July, but they're remembered in September".

We've got big races on the docket folks, but first make sure to be a hero and volunteer for Pacer's waterstops and DCXC.  Get. @. Sean O.

This weekend, budding superstar Gina McNamara makes her low-key debut in the Parks Half [marathon]. Speaking of the half, Sean and multi-Boston harrier Chris Bain will be looking to open #fallracingszn in a big way. Look for Bain to keep it steady and strong, unlike that snowflake, the Sun. And sources say Sean plans to "put one foot in front of the other" and see how it shakes out.  Bold strategy, bolder mindset but they don't call him the peoples' runner for nothin'.

The Reich duo [Stew & Steph], taking the summer harvest to the Market [Street Mile] Saturday and a low-key 5k in Columbia on Sunday.  The mile sets up well for the couple; fast pace and even faster post-race boomerang instastories.  Be sure to mash that refresh button Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, Kyle W will be snowshoeing back home in Canada, well as close as you can get without technically being in Canada.  He'll be prepping for harsh winter-like conditions at his college alumni race somewhere near a lake.  But you know what they say about the weather in Minnesota folks? If you don't like it, wait 5 min.

That's it for now.  Be on the lookout for more weekend previews later this month.

Hammer it here for updates and results.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Make Running Fun Again

It's a new month and a new szn folks. If you've been sweating out the summer, the wait is over. Put away your white [crop tops], and pull out the plaid.  The turn of the calendar brought with it cooler temps and shorter days and I, for one, am getting all the autumn feels.  *NOTE: this blog post reserves its right to revert back to summer due to any increase in heat/humidity next week.

We've got updates.

Sean B is running like a man on the run in Cali and he's "preparing for a great fall [szn]" per Coach Jerry. 21:37 at Balboa Park in San Diego is no joke! 

People have come out in the masses for water stop volunteers at Pacers races this fall [it is Fall Racing szn btw].  These are the real heroes folks.  We're still looking for a few more volunteers/heroes to re-hydrate the harriers for Clarendon Day 5k, Vets Day 10k, turkey trot, and Jingle All the Way.  Two things about H2O that never change: 1) it always flows downhill, and 2) It can't pass itself out at water stops.

-Obligatory reference to Sean O's DCXC email-

Yesterday was our last Wednesday Workout at AU, RIP in peace.  It is Fall Racing szn, which means we're moving to the Mall.  Be on the lookout for some lit content on Witty's instagram.

Reminder: Saturday workouts still at Cell Tower Field. Legends may be born in July, but they're remembered in September.

That's it for now. Just sit back, relax, and volunteer. Nats are up 18 games, Clubs is around the corner, and football is back! What a time to be alive.

Giddyup 'em,

-Witty

UPDATE

*Nats are up 18 games, they just called up MLB #4 overall prospect Victor Robles, Clubs is in the near future, and football is waaaaay back! What a time to be alive.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

FLASH: Klim married, assures wedding attendees his MCM training will not be affected

The Red Fox married Katie Mischenko today in Luray, VA.

Those in attendance report that Jake included a pledge to run the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon within his wedding vows.

Congratulations, Jake!


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tom Kelly leads GRC team victory at Annapolis 10

Noted 10 mile expert Tom Kelly led a strong GRC team victory at the Annapolis 10 mile run this morning. The GRC contingent ran strong races on the more-than-fair Annapolis course. TK took almost a full minute off his time from last year to lead the team in 4th place overall, and he was joined in victory by veteran marathon teammates Outlaw, Zak, and Chris.


 1. 2:49:22 Georgetown Running Club  (  56:28)
===================================
  1    55:34  Thomas Kelly             
  2    56:10  Jerry Greenlaw           
  3    57:38  Zak Miller               
  4 (  58:24) Chris Van Es 

In the women's race, author and noted idiot Kieran O'Connor sees that Laura O'Hara grabbed what he thinks is a top-20 finish with 70:23, and Kerry was hot on her heels in 70:52. If he missed any other competitors, please send all complaints to Jerry Greenlaw.

A post shared by GRC Running (@grc_running) on

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: http://www.fathersday8k.com/

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: http://www.grcrunning.com/in-memoriam.html

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!

Results

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

DEVELOPED

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

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.