***

FWRC Three Amigos Four Mile Run

Run on June 25, 2017

By Harry Hall

Men’s Race

Fun Run Start Sergio Hernandez’ workout program won’t make him any friends with his fellow runners.

Despite limited running opportunities, Hernandez, 43, won the Three Amigos four mile run Sunday June 25 at Ft. Worth’s Trinity Park in a time of twenty-four, minutes, forty-six seconds.

Based on his training schedule he shouldn’t be beating anyone, he barely trains.

“With my work schedule,” he says, “sometimes I get off at 5:00, sometimes 10:00.”

Hernandez And it’s not an office job. For the last 11 years, Hernandez has worked west of Ft. Worth, on a 7,000-acre ranch that specializes in raising deer and cattle.

His training is practically non-existent. Many weeks, his racing miles might exceed his non-racing miles.

However, he can frequently be found at the Trinity 5000 summer series races, where he typically runs in the mid-19:20s. In fact, his Three Amigos victory was his first run since the previous Thursday night race.

So if you want to run with him, it will probably be during a warm-up or cool-down.

Women’s Race

Esperanza Lopez’ 25:40 at the Three Amigos’ Four-Mile was good enough for second overall, first female finisher, and a PR.

Lopez “I felt okay out there,” said the 26-year old PE teacher in the FWISD, “but not great. I’m not sure why. I always train here. I see my friends, and the (Trinity) River. For many runs, we have lots of shade.”

Lopez is a racing veteran, as she ran at Brewer High School, and later at Texas State in San Marcos, where she majored in Kinesiology. She says her training has been a consistent 50-miles per week, before she increase mileage to begin gearing up for February’s Cowtown Marathon, where she will look for a big PR.

“In 2016, I ran Boston in 3:18,” she said, “My PR is 3:14 which was in Houston. I’m hoping to break three hours at Cowtown.”

Photos courtesy of Harry Hall.

***

GPHNS 5k for Fairness - a Successful and Professional Inaugural Event

Run on June 17, 2017

By Fiona Green

Overall Winners This weekend I participated in a 5k in Grand Prairie that left a lasting impression. I was attracted to the race by the fact that it took part in Mike Lewis Park, where Jeph Abara often held his low-key, no-frills races, and the low $10 registration fee was an added bonus. Despite humid conditions over 120 runners toed the line, a solid turnout for an inaugural event. The course was a simple out and back along the park trails, relatively flat except for a slight incline at the halfway point.

Food Truck For the first time in my racing life I had a wardrobe malfunction. Well technically it wasn't a wardrobe malfunction but more a bib issue. Several race day registrants had received bibs which had been printed on a label sheet, the idea being that you would simply peel off the backing and stick it on your chest, bra, shorts, wherever. Having reservations that this would stay in place I cleverly secured it with safety pins. After dousing myself with water a mile into the race the paper became soggy and tore free from the pins, causing the bib to flop over and dangle precariously over my stomach. I persevered for a while then, realizing I risked losing it altogether, removed it and ran with it crumpled in a ball, planning to unfold it just before the finish line. Needless to say by the time I reached the finish line it was a fragile, soggy mess but kind volunteers carefully reshaped it and noted my time. It was all very entertaining!

Twenty minutes after the race, results were texted to runners' phones, a pretty impressive 'extra' for a first time event. Participants enjoyed a selection of post run beverages but the most popular items were definitely the delicious complimentary chicken and beef kebabs provide by a local foodie truck. Boxed medals were awarded to age group winners while Overall and Masters winners received trophies and prizes (a sports bag with BBQ tools, an umbrella and a frisbee!) Did I mention the entry fee was only $10? This event was great value for money.

Kabak Patrons Race director Patrick Cornelius explained the race was not organized as a fundraiser but to help promote Fair Housing. According to the race website 'The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and the presence of children.

Taking the overall title was Grand Prairie resident Don Robertson who clocked 19.03, 36 seconds ahead of 39 year old Jason Bogardus. Robertson doesn't race often but couldn't resist the opportunity to test his speed in a hometown race. On the female side, 29 year old Victoria Munoz took the top spot, finishing in 21:08, 22 seconds ahead of runner up, 25 year old Amy Deeble. Munoz is a triathlete who only runs around 3 days per week. She has inherited her love of triathlons from her father, Juan, who took part in the recent Escape From Alcatraz in San Francisco.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

***

Wounded Warriors Military Miles

Run on June 11, 2017

By Harry Hall

Carson Vickroy

Men's Race

Carson Vickroy hopes to help the Kansas Jayhawks' Cross-Country team to the NCAA National Championships this fall. The Coppell Cowboys graduate took a significant step toward that goal when he won the June 11 Wounded Warriors Military Miles 10k held in Las Colinas (Irving), TX.

The incoming senior covered the course in thirty-four minutes, twenty-two seconds. Coming in a distant second was Ramiro Benitez in 35:25.

Hummer "The race went about as I expected," said Vickroy, who is a meteorology major and hopes to become a TV weather forecaster, "I got the time I wanted."

While running for the Cowboys, Vickery clocked a 4:22 1600 and 9:17 for the 3200.

He says he's just coming back from some time off after track season, and that his summer work has just started.

"I'm going to build my miles to 60-70 per week," says Vickroy, An All-Academic Big 12 selection, "and I'll also look to run another 5k or something."

He believes in both his running and his career. In the race results, he's listed as, "World's Fastest Weatherman."

Stephanie Allen

Women's Race

Stephanie Allen only took up running six years ago, when the fitness instructor was looking for some variety in her routine.

Today she runs, and frequently wins local road races.

Most recently, she added the WW Miles in 42:19, placing 10th overall.

"I always run the Dallas Running Club Half-Marathon in November," she says.

In 2015, she took third in that race's 30-34 a/g with 1:44.19

She maxes out at about 35-40 miles per week, doing some intervals and fartleks. In the summer, she cuts back to 25 a week so she can spend more time with her daughter.

Allen has run one marathon, clocking a 3:43 at the 2014 Big D Marathon.

She is also a member of Team Maddie.

Photos courtesy of Harry Hall.

***

Garden of Eden 5k - good for the soul

Run on June 10, 2017

By Fiona Green

Mayor Price Racing connects us. There is something about running together and sweating up a storm with hundreds of other runners that make us feel part of something unique. While the appeal of large, professionally organized events is undeniable there are other low key events that are quite simply good for the soul. For the past few years I have participated in the Garden of Eden 5k in Fort Worth. The event is organized by a very cheerful group of individuals who always create a unique and memorable experience for everyone who participates. Race coordinator, Brenda Sanders Wise, has so much energy that if was possible to harness it, she could possibly generate electricity. Sanders Wise makes a point of learning everyone's name and hugs and welcomes returning runners like long lost friends. At only $10 race entry fees are among the lowest in the metroplex, the 3 loop course is accurate and participants are chip timed. As an added bonus Fort Worth mayor, Betsy Price, regularly takes place in the event, providing runners with an opportunity to meet a local celebrity.

Brad For several years the race was organized by Jeph Abara who, like Sanders Wise, specialized in intimate no-frills races and knew all his regular runners by name. There was a moment of silence before Saturday's race to remember Jeph who passed away last December. He is still very much in our minds and hearts. Bradley Gardner gave an emotional tribute to Jeph prior to the race, remembering a special man whose actions and positive outlook on life made the world a better place.

Laura Gardner went on to win the race in 22:10, three seconds ahead of overall female winner, Laura Nelson. Nelson who was running her 7th race in 2 weeks, shows no sign of slowing down as she gets older. She was cheered on by her granddaughter, Milani, who at 2 1/2 years old, ran the kids' mile, showing she has definitely inherited some of her grandma's genes.

Anyone interested in a low key race with lots of support and atmosphere really needs to check out this race next year.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

***

Soggy Conditions at Run The Rails

Run on June 3, 2017

By Fiona Green

Run the Rails Winners Waking up on Saturday morning to heavy rain, I briefly considered not racing but realizing that this might be an indication I was getting soft in my old age I dragged myself out of bed to support the Run the Rails 5k in Saginaw. The rain was still pretty heavy when I arrived at the race site and I worried that if the event was to be cancelled I would be forced to partake of a greasy breakfast with my husband. Thankfully this was not the case although organizers explained that the route would be modified due to bad flooding on the trail part of the course. This decision was agreed upon by race organizers and local police to ensure the safety of runners. Shortly before race start runners were packed into the gym and informed of the shortened route. We are still not quite sure of the exact distance of the new course. Race organizers estimated that the distance was approximately 1.9 miles but some runners measured it as being closer to 1.74 miles.

The top finisher was 19 year old David Torkington of Keller who covered the distance in a speedy 9.05, almost 30 seconds ahead of runner up Joseph Herlin who clocked 9:33. Torkington, who is studying English and philiosophy at Texas A & M, aspires to be a philosophy lecturer and writer. He specializes in the mile and 800m and plans to run several mile races throughout the country over the coming months. He takes his love of running from his father, Mike, who was a fierce competitor in his youth, specializing in longer distance events including the marathon for which he holds a PR of 2:18.

Run The Rails Trophy On the female side 36 year old Stephanie Allen led the way, finishing in 10:54. Allen is an exercise physiologist who works for Woodlands Medical as a rehabilitation specialist. She has always been athletic and was a competitive cheerleader and gymnast in her younger days but at age 30 running became her new passion. She feels fortunate to have been mentored by local running legend Jessica Smith who helped her devise an effective training schedule.

Following the race runners had the chance to win one of dozens of door prizes donated by local companies. Overall and Masters winners were awarded beautiful crystal trophies which looked like raindrops, a fitting design given Saturday's weather.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

***

Firemen's 5k

Run on May 27, 2017

By Harry Hall

Gabe Gabriel Zambrano needed a break. After two early spring half-marathons, he was drained. At Cowtown on February 26, the 23-year old clocked a 1:08.41, good enough to make him the first American finisher. However, four weeks later, at Dallas' Rock n Roll Half, he could only record 1:14.45.

He took some time off from racing, but piled on the miles.

The work paid off. On May 27, Zambrano easily won at Ft. Worth's Arborlawn United Methodist Church Firemen's 5K, covering the course in 15:20. Second went to Martin Chavez in 16:57.

Gabe "After some 60 mile weeks," said Zambrano, who ran 9:30 in winning the 3A state 3200-meter champion while running for Castleberry High School, "I built up to upper 90s and 100 per week, as I'm getting ready for my marathon debut in September or October."

Women's Race

"It was really hot out there," said Firemen's 5k women's winner Esperanza Lopez after winning the Firemen's 5K in 19:02. Angela Eusery took second in 20:23.

"It's a downhill course. I was hoping for an 18:30, but I didn't feel good," said Lopez, 26, "I just couldn't move anymore."

Gabe Like Zambrano, Lopez is a veteran distance running. In college, she competed for Texas State University, where she set her 5k PR of 17:40.

The Ft. Worth ISD teacher is hoping to increase her mileage from her current level of 50 miles per week to where she can improve her marathon time from 3:14 to a sub three.

In December, she has scheduled the Dallas Half-Marathon, then plans on hitting Cowtown in February 2018.

The Firemen's 5K was started by Gary Stevenson in 1999 to honor the memory of Phillip Dean and Brian Collins, two firefighters who lost their lives in a fire. Money from the race go to The Compassionate Friends, the WARM Place, and the Firemen's Scholarship Fund.

Photos courtesy of Harry Hall and Movin' Pictures.

***

KOC Memorial 5k & 15k

Run on 27, 2017

By Fiona Green

15kOA Warm and muggy doesn't even begin to describe conditions for those racing in the metroplex on Saturday, May 27. As luck would have it, I had decided many weeks ago that I would run the Knights of Columbus 15k, organized by my friend, Charles Seefeldt. Proceeds were to go to the St Jude's Children's hospital and Charles always puts on a professional race. I started telling friends of my big plans weeks in advance so by the time race week arrived I felt I couldn't possibly back out despite the fact there was talk of some kind of weather advisory that day.

Heading out the door in the morning to be greeted by stifling conditions forced me to come up with a plan - take it easy, respect my body's limits and finish unaided. It wasn't just my mind that liked this plan. The race ended up being a 'first' for me as this was the first time I have ever walked in a race. I didn't just walk once but several times, only for a few seconds each time, but I did walk. Walking during a race was for me a somewhat surreal experience and I almost felt like I was cheating. At this point I would like to apologize to anyone who overheard me unprofessionally express my frustration with some choice words which are not usually in my vocabulary. Apparently when I overheat and try to run, I have an unusual coping mechanism which involves cursing aloud.. Thankfully this stopped when I crossed the finish line.

It was certainly a race to remember and I know I am not the only one who felt this way.

5kOA The overall winner (who also beat all the males) in the 15k was 30 year old Amanda Moore from Richardson. Moore wrote about the race in her blog, describing how she "alternated focusing on breathing and focusing on turnover both of which were a challenge", things which normally come naturally to seasoned runners. She had been hoping to cover the course in close to an hour but instead had to settle for 1:09:30, three minutes ahead of the top male finisher, 48 year old Sergio Nunez.

In the 5k 26 year old Keith Kotar ran a speedy 17:49 to claim the top spot. His regular time for the distance is in the sub 16 minute range but he also was affected by the heat and humidity. Kotar, a pro athlete, is the running coach at Nolan Catholic High school in Dallas. He also recently started the Fort Worth track club where he works with runners as young as 5 who share his passion.

Fiona At Saturday's race one of Kotar's high school runners took the top female spot in the 5K. 17 year old Alison Bryant covered the course in 19:49, almost a minute slower than her PR of 18:56 but good enough for the win. Runner up Magaly Soto took 2nd place and scored the Masters title with her 20:29 finish. Bryant hopes to continue running in college where she plans to study kinesiology. Her next big event will be the junior Olympics in July where she will compete in the steeplechase.

Overall and Masters winners for both races were presented with cash prizes.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

***

Honor Connor attracts Fast Crowd and Changes Lives

By Fiona Green

Over 800 runners showed up for the annual Honor Connor 5k and Smile Mile on Saturday, May 20. It was a very close race with 14 year old Martin Chavez of Dallas edging out 16 year old Paul Anderson of Argyle by a mere second to claim the top spot. Anderson, incidentally, was runner up in the Buffalo Boogie 10k last week where he finished 2 seconds behind his friend, Jordan Gledhill. Both Chavez and Anderson were excited at having the chance to push each other as the competition helped them both score new PRs of 16:44 and 16:45 respectively. Gledhill finished in 16:54.

Chavez The top overall female disappeared before the awards ceremony but is listed as 26 year old Haley Krentz from San Francisco.

The Honor Connor event has become much more than just a race. (I actually wrote that line before visiting their website which makes the same statement.) As per the group's website "The Honor Connor Run honors the life of Connor Gage, a 15-year old freshman, who died tragically at a lake birthday party in 2012. Connor is a wonderful son, brother and friend, who is greatly missed. He's known for his big smile and his love of running. Connor loved to golf, hang out with friends, play chess, wakeboard on the lake, travel. In a nutshell, Connor lived BUOYANTLY. The LV Project was founded by the Gage family to help others LiVe buoyantly, too."

Award Winners Over the past five years they have touched and enriched the lives of thousands of individuals at home and abroad. Their foundation also strives to help prevent drowning accidents by increasing awareness of the risks involved in water related activities. At Saturday's race participants donned life jackets for an aerial photograph as they tried to enter the Guinness book of records for the photo of the largest number of people wearing life vests. No word yet on whether they reached this goal...

Honor Connor is an incredibly well organized event that has something for everyone and always leaves runners looking forward to next year's event.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green and Paul Starks.

***

Tracy’s 5k Against Melanoma

By Harry Hall

Jesus Lopez runs about 40-45 miles per week, and enjoys racing even though he doesn’t really train for any specific distance, although he says he does enjoy 15k to half-marathons.

That might not sound like a recipe for winning races, but he can claim a half-marathon PR of 1:28, which he set last October in McKinney.

Lopez It was also good enough for him to take first place in the 5th annual Tracy’s Run Against Melanoma 5K held on May 20 on Ft. Worth’s Trinity Trail near the Martin House Brewing Company.

Lopez took the lead almost from the start, winning in twenty-minutes, twenty-two seconds, easily outdistancing Christian Ovales’ 21:51.

“I felt good the whole race,” said Lopez, who works construction in Dallas, “but the wind bothered me a lot.”

For much of the race, the runners ran into a 20-25 mph north wind.

Although he’s happy with his victory, Lopez says he’s sticking to his laid-back training and racing program, saying, “I’m not sure of my next race.”

Women’s Race

Unlike Lopez, Emily Thompson trailed leader Elizabeth West until approximately a kilometer remaining. Thompson prevailed with 26:32, with West close behind, 26:56.

West “I was surprised to get this win,” said Thompson, “I stayed on Elizabeth until late. The wind didn’t really bother me.”

Thompson doesn’t really run a lot. She’s an active member of Camp Gladiator training near her home in North Richland Hills.

“I do the boot camp five days a week,” she says, “it involves more strength, body resistance and power lifting. I run five miles on Saturday. I take Sunday off.”

For her part, West was happy with her runner-up spot.

“I just wanted to win my age group,” which she did.

Thompson is gearing up for the 12 mile Tough Mudder Run in Dallas September 30-October 1. In addition to the distance, the race requires the participants to beat approximately 25 obstacles.

Photos courtesy of Harry Hall.

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Buffalo Boogie Celebrates 25 Years

By Fiona Green

Boys It was a very close finish at Saturday's 25th annual Buffalo Boogie 10k and that's exactly how 16 year old friends, Jordan Gledhill and Paul Anderson, had planned it.

Hannah Marion Gledhill took the overall title in 35:46 with Anderson finishing just 2 seconds later. Given the mile long incline at the end of the course these were pretty impressive times. The two athletes who are students at Liberty Christian High school in Argyle, train together on a daily basis and motivate one another to excel. They have just finished their track season and will soon be starting cross-country training which will increase their weekly mileage from 50 miles to around 60. Both gave credit to the excellent staff at their school who make sure they stay in top physical shape so they can realize their potential. Gledhill can also thank his father for passing on his speed genes as he once held the Michigan state record in the 800m. The next race for Gledhill and Anderson will be the Honor Connor 5k in NRH next weekend.

Twenty-nine year-old Hannah Marion took the female overall title, finishing in 43:02, almost 30 seconds ahead of runner up, 36 year old Stephanie Allen. Marion, Communication Director for Blue Print consulting group, currently trains around 30 miles per week and is thrilled that she is now running injury free after suffering some setbacks over the past couple of years. Two years ago she qualified for Boston but was unable to run due to injury. She and her mother still made the trip to Boston but she admitted it was tough to watch other runners live out their dream while she stood on the sidelines. She is thankful to have found a therapist offering ART, which has made a huge difference in her running.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

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Playtri's Cinco de Mayo Event Offers Ideal Race conditions and Shopping Opportunity

By Fiona Green

Aaron Emerich In contrast to the wind that greeted runners last weekend, conditions at area races were perfect this Saturday, May 6, with no wind and the temperature at race start in the 60s. The Playtri Cinco de Mayo Run, Walk and Roll 5k and 10k in McKinney offered athletes a relatively flat course which included a section on trails through Craig Ranch.

The event raised money for the Neuro Assistance Foundation which is dedicated to assisting spinal cord injured and disabled people in the community by providing mobility equipment, vehicle modifications, home modifications and technology. Both the 5k and 10k were preceded by a handcycle event which allowed runners and athletes participating in the handcycle division to offer one another words of encouragement throughout the race.

Andrea Bohmfalk and family Winning the male division in the 10k running event was 43 year old Aaron Emerich of Mckinney who ran a speedy 38:22, just 2 seconds ahead of Masters runner, Franco Froylan Jiminez. Emerich was happy with his win and mentioned that this might be his last race until the fall. In the past few weeks he has participated in several longer distance events and feels his body is ready to rest and recharge.

It was also a close race on the female side between Miko (Elizabeth) Anderson and Andrea Bohmfalk. The two took turns leading throughout the race with 32 year old Bohmfalk eventually pushing ahead to win in 44:37, just 4 seconds ahead of Anderson. Like Emerich, Bohmfalk enjoys longer distance races, particularly the half marathon for which she has a PR of 1:38. This was actually her first attempt at the 10k distance. She manages to balance running with raising 4 children who range in age from 1 to 7. Her husband's supportive role was easy to see from his T-shirt which read "0.0. Somebody's got to watch the kids."

Saturday's event started and finished at the Playtri store which offers a wide range of apparel and equipment for runners and triathletes. Following the race several runners (myself included), looking to reward themselves for their performance, took advantage of a sale on merchandise.

Photos courtesy of Fiona Green.

***

Dallas Cowboys Draft Day 5k

By Harry Hall

Men’s Race

Tomas Moreno loves football, and especially the Dallas Cowboys. And that was motivation enough for the thirty-four-year old to join three friends to make a two-hour trek from Longview, TX to Frisco, Texas and run in the April 29 inaugural Dallas Cowboys Draft Day 5K.

He made it a worthwhile trip as he won the race in sixteen minutes, twenty-eight seconds, well ahead of early leader Clint Bell, who finished in 16:59.

“I passed him about a mile and a quarter,” said Moreno, “but I was hoping to break 16 minutes.”

All of the runners faced temps in the low 80’s and a stiff wind that seemed to swirl around the course, which was held at the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters.

Moreno and his three companions are part of Longview’s Animals Running Club.

In addition to training together, the group organizes weekend racing trips. This year, the group will travel to the June 18 Banff Marathon in Alberta, Canada.

“I’m shooting for 2:45,” says Moreno, “my PR is 2:51, but to prepare I’ve been doing lots of ultra-races, 100ks, 100-milers and 50 mile races.”

Women’s Race

Two road races; two victories.

That’s what Angela Moore has done this spring. On March 18, the 21-year old University of Dallas student placed first overall in the Dallas Rock n Roll 5k with a nearly one minute PR of 19:41. Then followed that with another PR of 19:09 in winning the Draft Day 5K.

However, she had to battle the same windy conditions as all the other 1,500 runners, and felt the wind

“I thought I could run around 18:30-18:40,” she said.

Unlike her male counterpart, Moore stormed to an early lead, and built it through the race, putting her well ahead of runner-up, Lauren Smith of Frisco.

That tempered her enthusiasm for her PR, although later she added, “Under these circumstances, I should be pretty happy about this.”

The incoming senior says she will continue training though the summer in preparation for the fall cross-country season.

The pre-and post-race highlights included appearances by Dallas Cowboys, the cheerleaders, a live feed from the NFL Draft, and lots of post-race activities for families.

***

Perfect Race Conditions in Keller for Heels and Hills and Him

By Fiona Green

Zac Sartin The Heels and Hills and Him event held in Keller on Sunday, April 23, was a huge success with over 500 runners showing up to pound the pavement for 5k, 10k or 15k. Conditions were perfect - cool and wind-free, the type of morning every runner dreams of.

The race starts were staggered to avoid congestion on the trails with the 15k runners starting at 8 a.m., the 10k starting 10 minutes later and the 5k shortly after that. The 10k overall winner was 36 year old triathlete, Zac Sartin of Roanoke, who covered the course in 44:04. Sartin is a real estate investor and part time single father who juggles his busy schedule to train for half marathons and half ironman events. His 10K PR is an impressive 37:40. Sartin's diet is a key component in keeping him strong. Despite his slim physique he explained he consumes 'tons of fat' to teach his body to use it as fuel. His future goals include running a 3 hour marathon and competing in the world championship Ironman.

Fiona and Rhonda I was unable to speak with the winners of the 5k and 15k but did speak with some other impressive runners. 53 year-old Rhonda Foulds not only ran the Boston marathon on Monday, but also completed a half marathon the day before her Sunday 10k. She wondered why her legs felt heavy at the start of the race then remembered the two races she had already completed in the past few days! The Jenkins family from Midlothian made an impressive showing as all three finished in the top 10 in the 5k. This was the 3rd race of the weekend for 42 year old Jace and his sons, 10 year old Grady, and 8 year old Graham. Jace clocked 21:23 while Grady and Graham finished in 22:59 and 23:20 respectively.

Dallas Athletes' event organizer, Janet Dixon, mentioned that Keller is becoming a popular location for races as city council members are very receptive to hosting sporting events in the area. She explained that she had received feedback from many local runners who appreciated the opportunity to race close to home without having to travel to Dallas or Fort Worth. Over the past 16 years Dallas Athletes has donated over $500,000 to charity. Their next big event, the WW Military Miles Half, 10k and 5k, will take place on Sunday, June 8, in Irving.

Photos courtesy of Colleen Filak.

***

Ultra Expeditions Wild Canyon Ultra

By HB Wise

Start A significant temperature drop from the day before made the Wild Canyon Ultra much cooler than some of the participants expected. There were two starts for the four distances that were run. The 100k and 50k runners started at 7 AM with the sun just peaking over the horizon. Eight AM saw the larger group running the 25k and 10k distances.

View All of the runners were treated to stunning views of the Caprock Canyon State Park as they dropped into the canyon within the first half mile. The run also offered a chance to greet some of the local wildlife including the parks bison and prairie dogs. Located just north of Quitaque, Texas the park is home to the Texas State Bison Herd, and is the state's largest herd.

The finishing times ranged from just under an hour for the 10k to 20 hours 16 minutes for the 100k. Robin Phelps and Bryan McKenney were the top female and male finishers in the 100k with a time of 13:49:37. We are just guessing but they probably ran together! While listed as DNF for missing the time cutoff, Wid Keeling finished all four laps of the 100k in 20:16:32. The 100k was the only distance with DNF's as only four runners were able to complete the four laps in the allotted time.

BisonPrairie Dogs Of the 22 starters in the 50k Caleb Denton finished first overall with a time of 3:59:16. Peggy LeGrand was the first overall female at 5:17:58. Trent Early took top honors in the 25k with a time of 2:30:24 and the overall female was Angi Velasquez at 3:07:52. In the 10k the top two male finishers were Geoff Richards 59:27 and his son, Wynton, at 1:08:02. The overall female honors went to Rosa Elizondo at 1:18:25.

Local DFW runner Vijayan Nair was one of the runners surprised by the weather. He was in Lubbock for work and decided to sign up for the run at the last minute. He was underdressed for the 45 degree temperature, but thought he would be OK once he started running. It must have worked out as he took third overall in the 10k with a time of 1:11:54.

***

Acton Nature Run

By Gary Pulver

Kristyn Langdon Cool and cloudy skies were certainly welcome at the 9th annual Acton Nature 5K Run in Acton, Texas, just outside of Granbury. The race started and ended at Revolver Brewing and participants received a souvenir Revolver glass filled with a complimentary beer after crossing the finish line. The race attracted some fast runners, families, walking couples, and many local participants.

David and Matthew The race was an out and back so I was able to view all of the faster runners as they headed toward home after the turnaround. The male winner clearly outdistanced his competition. He was 18 year old Dylan Goosen who finished in 17:34. Following him were 33 year old Walters Morrison in 19:52 and 42 year old Matthew Mills in 20:00. Matthew was also the Male Masters Champion. 34 year old Kristyn Langdon paced the ladies in 21:17. I noticed when I saw her at what was about the two mile point that she overcame a sizable lead in the second half of the race. 17 year old Tara Lynne was second in 21:32 and 30 year old Cameron Martin was 3rd in 22:06. The female masters winner was 46 year old Gina Mordica who finished in 22:58.

Stroller Prizes were advertised as medals for the age groups and "trophies" for the overall and masters champions. As you can see in the photos, their trophy was a very cool orange Yeti like beverage container. Yours truly had some stiff competition in the 65-69 age group and finished in 4th place out of nine entrants.

Pictured are Kristyn Langdon proudly displaying her trophy, 55 year old David Holtsford who finished first in the 55-59 age group in 21:25 with Matthew Mills holding his trophy, and Matt Stasiek, 42 year old with his stroller and two daughters that started out in the second wave and managed an incredible time of 22:35 pushing that stroller for second place in his age group.

***

Oral Cancer 5k

By Harry Hall

Dominic Bugarin could have enjoyed Saturday off. He'd just completed a long and successful track season for Springtown Middle School, where the 14- year old eighth grader had won all of his pre-district races ranging from the 1600 to 2400 meter.

Bugarin and Collins But his parents asked him to run in the Oral Cancer Run/Walk held Saturday, April 15 at Dallas' Bachman Lake.

The incoming freshman joined in and took advantage of the situation by winning the event in an unofficial time of twenty-two minutes, fifty-eight seconds (No official times were recorded).

T-Shirt Back Dominic is one of the more active youths you will see, as in addition to track, he competes in football, basketball, and cross-country.

"This was my first road race, and my first 5k," he said after his victory, "I just wanted to come out and run. I felt good the whole way."

Run he did, taking charge from the beginning, and coasting to an easy victory.

He understands the challenges he will face next year competing at a high school level.

"I plan on running almost every day with some of my teammates this summer," he says.

WOMEN'S RACE

T-Shirt Back Heather Collins doesn't train a lot, only a few miles three or four times a week, but her regimen was enough to win first place in an unofficial time of 27:40.

The 26-year old ran the 800 and 1600 for Stuttgart High School in Stuttgart, Arkansas. While her training is limited, she says, "I'll always maintain some type of running program."

When she graduates from Dallas' Concorde Dental Hygienist in December, she plans on moving back to her native Arkansas, where her husband Hunter will have already begun taking classes at the University of Arkansas.

Hunter, who placed second overall is currently serving in the Army at Ft. Hood. He gets out in the fall, and will move to Fayetteville, where he will study civil engineering. He also plans on signing up for the reserves.

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Blue Bolt 5K/10K Color Run

By Gary Pulver

Clear, windy skies greeted runners on Saturday for the third annual Blue Bolt Color Run in Granbury. The race, run by Paluxy River Children's Advocacy Center, gets more popular every year. Volunteers were many and spirited. Runners were fast on the newer route which started out on some back streets off of Hewitt Park rather than the main road leading into the Granbury Square as it had in the prior two years.

Gary Pulver First in his age group The one mile color fun run was first and thanks to the fire department, the kids in this race were already colored from head to toe before starting their run. The 10K start followed and the 5K was ten minutes after the 10K start. The races went through some lovely shaded neighborhoods and also traveled the trails of Granbury parks.

25 year old Cameron Singleton clearly outdistanced the field in the 10K finishing in 37:41. Official results list an unknown runner in second and I heard this number called many times for the person to identify themselves. Perhaps this runner just does not wish to be included in the medals. At any result, behind this unknown runner was 46 year old Mike Leach who finished in 42:36. Some middle age lady runners outclassed the 10K field with Gina Mordica, 46, finishing in 46:20, JoAnn Galindo, 42, in 50:56, and Lupe Cocita, 50, in 51:38.

Running Bear Running Club Youth was served quite a bit more in the 5K as the lady winners were 22 year old Audrey Shelton in 21:33, followed by 27 year old Karissa Hunter in 23:01 and 32 year old LeeAnn Tarpley in 24:25. For the men, 17 year old Brandon Hutto finished in 18:47 followed by a pair of 30 year olds, Jeff Chalifoux in 19:19 and Alex Baker in 20:50.

Pedestals were set up for the medal presentations and this 69 year old (who finished first in the 65-69 year old division) surprised the crowd by climbing effortlessly to the top of the podium after receiving his medal. He related that he does not come in first that often so was not going to pass up this opportunity. The 2nd place finisher in this age group was not going to try the climb until seeing me but he made it. Pictured is yours truly on the podium and six members of the Running Bear Running Club who represented the club well. You can see Gina Mordica, number 689. Kudos again to all of the volunteers with special recognition to the High School ROTC students who accompanied some of the final runners across the finish line (as they did for me two years ago).

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Fast Times at the Hot Diggity Dog Jog

By Fiona Green

Keaton Forsyth The Hot Diggity Dog Jog 5k and 1 mile fun run held on Saturday, April 1, were just two of several activities organized by Turtle Creek Veterinary Clinic in Greenville to promote awareness of canine cancer. Runners had a few incentives to motivate them with the top male and female being awarded a Fitbit. As an event sponsor had provided a 3rd Fitbit this was awarded to the top runner over 40. Needless to say this was won by a a male runner. This is not a complaint, merely an observation.. It seems lately the fast guys are getting all the perks while the women are left suffering from 'chopped liver syndrome'... As an added incentive, the top male and female runners covering the course with their dog, were awarded 6 months of free dog food, courtesy of Royal Canin.

Afton Noon There was a battle for the overall spot with 17 year old Keaton Forsyth of Royse City finishing a hair ahead of 27 year old personal trainer, Aftan Noon, who ran the course with her dog, Jade. Jade, a Pit/ Pointer mix, showed up out of the blue one day when Noon's husband, a track coach at Commerce A&M University, was out for a run. As attempts to find her owner were in vain, the couple decided to keep her. Noon, who has a 5K PR of 17:13, hopes to drop her time to the 16:30 range and is currently looking for an agent who can help her realize her goal of taking her running to the next level.

Race times on Saturday were particularly fast due to a course mix-up which effectively reduced the distance from 3.1 miles to 2.75 miles. Forsyth and Noon clocked 16:04:04 and 16:04:05 respectively. If Noon had pinned her race bib onto Jade's harness that probably would have given the duo the edge!

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Music Miles 5k

By Fiona Green

The Music Miles 5k in Keller on Saturday, March 25, attracted a far larger crowd than organizers had anticipated. Almost 800 runners, many of them high schoolers, lined up in front of City Hall to run the race which featured live entertainment by bands from several area high schools. Surprisingly, it wasn't a high school runner who topped the field but a father of one of the students who confessed he rarely ever races. Johnson Aranda Seeing him at the start line, however, there was no question that he would be a contender. 40 year old Johnson Aranda is lean, fast looking, and he also happens to be Kenyan! Aranda, who covered the course in 18:21, has lived in the area for several years and frequently runs in his neighborhood, usually logging between 6 and 15 miles. It never occurred to him to race, however, until he heard about the Music Miles 5K, an event which benefits local high school bands including the one in which his son plays. When asked if he had considered adopting a training program he laughed, explaining that, at 40 years of age, he considers himself old. I quickly explained that 40 is not old and is the time when some runners actually peak! Hopefully we will see more of Aranda in the months to come.

Race organizers recognized the top 3 runners in the race and these individuals were awarded prizes. Unfortunately the top females were not recognized and were simply given age group awards. This was presumably an oversight by the organizers who were unaware that it is the norm to recognize the top females as well as the top males in amateur and professional sporting events. Hopefully things will be different next year.

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Paint The Campus Purple

By Harry Hall

Connor Wilkins says he doesn't train much. He rarely races, but he did compete at the March 25 Paint the Campus Purple held at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Funds from the race went to the Safe Haven of Tarrant County Women's Shelter and the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation.

Wilkins covered the 5k in nineteen minutes, seven seconds.

The 24 year old says his last race was here a year ago, when he said, "I won my age-group, but someone beat me."

They didn't today. Wilkins stayed with the pack for two miles, but said, "The pace was slow, and I pulled away the last mile."

Wilkins competed for the TCU track team and earned a scholarship after graduating from Shawnee Mission High School in Kansas, where he ran a 47 second 400 and a 1:54 800. As with many long sprinters, he moved up in distance where he eventually ran a 4:12 mile for the Horned Frogs.

He graduated a couple of years ago, and now he's working on a post-graduate accounting degree at UTA.

Despite his easy victory, Wilkins says he's unlikely to become a frequent presence on the area road race scene. "I was just looking for a fun run, and support my friends with Alpha Chi Omega."

Women's Race

Maddie Bennett doesn't sit still much. She can't afford it. She teaches Physical Education at Arlington's Workman Middle School, where she maintains a typical middle school coaching schedule: cross-country, track, volleyball, and basketball.

But the 22- year-old still manages to get in some personal workout time as evidenced by her 24:42 victory.

Latching on to Benji Mathew early in the race, the two maintained a consistent pace through the race.

"No one passed us the whole race," she said, "I was surprised I won."

Her amateur athletic plans are up in the air right now, although she says she actually prefers cycling and is shooting to ride in the August Hotter 'n Hell Race in Wichita Falls.

Like her male counterpart, she came to support Alpha Chi Omega, of which she was a member before she graduated from UTA last year with a degree in Kinesiology and Pedagogy.

After the race, she headed to nearby Sam Houston High School, where her seventh grade track team was competing later that day.

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Rock n Roll Dallas 5k

By Harry Hall

ok Jonathan Cantu, didn't know what to expect at the Dallas Rock n Roll 5K.

"I started out in a pack of four or five," said the 15-year-old Bishop Dunne High School freshman, "and that 6:18 felt slow."

So he accelerated.

"By mile two, I knew I had it won," he said.

He finished in eighteen minutes, five seconds, a half-minute up on Samuel Espinosa.

Cantu has a mile PR of 4:52, and after winning district, took 14th at last fall's Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) State Cross-Country Championships.

But in the ensuing months, a foot injury, bronchitis and the flu slowed him.

"My coach wanted me to run two 5ks over spring break," he said, "so last week I did the St. Patricks' Day Run in Dallas. I had a foot problem, but it was nothing serious. Today it didn't bother me at all."

Cantu's goal is to run a sub-4:50 mile at the district meet in early May.

Women's Race

Angela Moore needed a test.

The University of Dallas junior hadn't raced since last November when, as a member of the Crusaders' cross-country team, made Unites States Small College All-American (USSCA).

A foot injury set back her back, but a shoe change and some treatment from Dallas podiatrist Dr. Allan Sherman got her going again.

Moore rebounded, and on only about three weeks of training, she took first place in the March 18, Rock n Roll Dallas 5k with a time of 19:41.

"I got caught in the middle of the first corral," she said, "and I lost about ten seconds at the front. I had to walk and dodge some runners. Still, I'm stoked. I wasn't expecting to win."

But she led almost wire-to-wire, beating runner-up Angela Eusery by just under a minute.

Her time was a significant improvement over her 20:39 former PR set at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Track Championships in 2015.

Accident Doesn't Deter Atherton

Maddie Atherton wore a cast on her recently broken arm, but she wouldn't let that keep her from completing the Dallas Rock n Roll 5K.

Besides, her dad Mike told her, "You're doing it."

In fact, they were both going to do it, together.

It's almost impossible to tell Mike Atherton something can't be done.

Eight years ago, Mike lost both of his lower legs and left arm in a boating accident. He hasn't let that deter him. He's returned to water skiing, and Saturday he, along with Maddie, completed the Dallas Rock n Roll 5K in 1:00.36.

"I wanted to run the whole way," he said, "I started strong, I thought about not getting tired, but I ended up doing a run-walk."

"Finishing this race," he said after, "shows my family not to give up."

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FWRC Chasing Leaks

By Fiona Green

Top Women The third annual Chasing Leaks 5k, organized by the Fort Worth Runners Club on Saturday, March 18, offered yet another family friendly event on the Trinity Trails. The activities started with a 1k fun run, followed at 8 am by the 5k. The overall winner, 36 year old Jose Mejorado, is no stranger to the podium and has won several overall awards in area races. His time of 16:43 was almost a minute ahead of runner-up, 18 year old Jarod Sweetland.

On the female side friends,Lindsey Quebedeaux and Katie Cunningham, took the top 2 spots. 28 year old Quebedeaux finished in 19:27 while Cunningham finished a few steps behind in 19:36. The results list the overall winner as Lindsey Maxwell but the young athlete recently married and has a new name!

Fiona and Friends Quebedeaux, who has a PR of 19:17 for the 5K, studied exercise and sport science at the Texas State University in San Marcos. She takes her speed from her father, Jeff, who was a 400m speedster in his youth. He explained he was once offered a running scholarship which he did not accept, a decision he sometimes regrets.

Quebedeaux was Cunningham's marathon coach and helped her achieve an impressive performance in the Little Rock marathon in Arkansas 2 weeks ago. The 21 year old finished 2nd female overall in that event in a time of 3:12.01.

Some other noteworthy performances by local leak chasers on Saturday include those of 70 year old Linda Landrum who clocked 27:30 and 80 year old Ken Brewer whose 29:02 is one of the fastest times for an 80 year old that I've seen in a while.

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Runners Enjoy Beer and Hills at Shannon Brewing Company 5k

by Fiona Green

Daniel Patiño Saturday marked the Shannon Brewing Company's third annual 5K race in honor of St Patrick's Day. The event once again attracted a large crowd who came to embrace the hills and enjoy the post-race beer and pancakes. Daniel Patiño of Dallas breezed through the course in 17:19 to take the overall title, almost a minute ahead of runner up 47 year old Scott Oden. Patiño ran the mile distance in high school but quit racing after his senior year and just started competing again last year. He would love to test his sped at a mile race but in the meantime he has his sights set on the Statesman Capitol 10k in Austin on April 23 where he hopes the talented competition will help him run a sub 6 minute pace. The young athlete likes to incorporate swimming and weight training into his weekly schedule and he always makes sure to include stretching and a proper cool down after each run.

Allissa The female overall winner was 21 year old Allissa McClain of Irving, a chiropractic student at Parker University. McClain had to fight for her win, trading places throughout the race with 38 year old Jill Kudasik. She finished in 21:22, 13 seconds ahead of Kudasik. In addition to running between 30-40 miles per week McClain likes to mix things up a little by cross training with biking and swimming.

Robert While we are used to seeing 20 and 30 year olds taking the top spots at local races, there are many impressive performances by runners of all ages that go unnoticed. 8 year old Kendall Lowe scored a PR of 23:26 yesterday, good enough for 3rd place in the 14 and under age group. Another impressive performance came from 74 year old Robert Moderow of Irving whose time of 25:14 easily earned him a spot on the podium. Moderow took up racing 3 years ago and loves the race experience. He acknowledged that at one time a sub 30 minute 5K might have been sufficient for an age group win but commented that the times for runners in his age group are getting faster.

Shannon Running Club Anyone in the Keller area interested in knocking out a few miles with a fun group of runners might consider joining the Shannon Running Club for their Thursday evening social runs. The group meets at the brewery, rain or shine, every Thursday evening at 6 pm. Following their runs, runners can indulge in a refreshing adult beverage.

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Miles For Mission 5k

By Fiona Green

Saturday's Miles for Mission 5k in Keller yesterday took place under overcast skies which was unfortunate for those of us who are solar powered when it comes to racing!

Rose Family Photo of Rose family courtesy of Catherine Engstrom.

Although the course was described on the event website as flat and fast it actually included several inclines through the neighborhood and was estimated to be a little long according to some GPS wearers.

13 year old Travis Rose, running only his second 5k, outran the competition to claim the overall title in 20:48. The young athlete, who attends Indian Springs middle school in Keller, is blessed with fast genes thanks to his parents. His mother was a sprinter who specialized in the 100m, 400m and 4x100m relay while his father, Richard, was a speedster himself in his youth and ran a 5k PR of 18:37 while in the Marine corps.

Travis is on his school's track and cross country team and currently logs around 15-20 miles per week. He also has a passion for soccer and plays both school and club soccer on a regular basis.

Judy Richards Photo courtesy of Alana Solodow.

The overall female winner was 17 year old Catherine Richardson of Mansfield. Unfortunately Richardson disappeared shortly after the race before I could speak with her.

Instead of awarding the traditional overall and masters awards organizers chose to give trophies to the top 3 overall male and female finishers and medals for age group winners.

Following up on my article regarding Jessica Smith and Team Maddie last week, I had an interesting encounter at Saturday's race. A sweet lady named Judy Richards approached me and thanked me for wearing the Team Maddie shirt, asking if I knew a donor or a recipient. She then explained that she herself had received a kidney donation 18 years ago and was now living life to the fullest. The shirts really do raise awareness and make a difference!

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Cowtown 5k

By Fiona Green

Thousands of runners took to the streets of Fort Worth this weekend for the popular Cowtown events. On Saturday almost 3000 runners enjoyed a new 5K course which was less challenging and faster than the one run in previous years.

Bell & Smith Local runners once again took top honors with 37 year old Clint Bell scoring his first Cowtown victory in a time of 16:24, almost 2 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. Bell was thrilled with his first overall victory at Cowtown. In previous years he had achieved a 2nd overall placing in both the 5k and 10k events and had twice finished 5th in the half marathon.

On the female side 39 year old Jessica Smith of Trophy Club outran the field to notch another Cowtown victory in 19:22. She also was the female 5k champion in 2013 and 2014. The win was important for Smith as it helped her draw attention to 'Team Maddie'. Team Maddie t-shirt Maddie is Smith's 14 year old daughter. She was diagnosed at two weeks old with Methylmalonic Acidemia, a rare metabolic disorder that has had a profound impact on her daily life, requiring regular hospital visits and dialysis treatments. Last September Maddie received a liver and kidney transplant which has greatly improved her health. While waiting for a compatible donor the Smith family embarked on a mission- increasing awareness of the importance of organ donation. They did this by designing colorful 'Team Maddie' race singlets which are now being worn by running friends in the metroplex and beyond. As photos of runners wearing the singlets regularly pop up on Facebook word has quickly spread about Team Maddie and the importance of organ donation. Jarod Sweetland The family's efforts and Maddie's courage were recognized in Austin earlier this month when a resolution was passed by the House of Representatives.

Signing up to be an organ donor only takes a few minutes. If you are not already registered as a donor you can do so online here.

Also pictured is 17 year old Jarod Sweetland, one of the top male finishers, who clocked an impressive 35:51.

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The Cowtown 10k

By Harry Hall

Colby Mehmen entered the 2017 Cowtown 10K just to see where he was with his conditioning. Turns out, he's in pretty good shape.

Colby Mehmen Running in his first race since his victory in December's 2016 BMW Dallas Half-Marathon, Mehmen he won in thirty-minutes, fifty-two seconds.

Although he led nearly start to finish, he battled Kebede Diriba and Jonathan Swiatocha through the early miles, but before pulling away the second half for a relatively easy win.

"I was shooting for a 30:30," said the 22- year old, "but I really wanted to see what my fitness level was."

Colby Mehmen

Since his half-marathon victory, Mehmen had received ART treatment Dallas chiropractor Logan Sherman for treatment of knee and achilles problems.

"It felt so much better today," said Mehmen.

Swiatocha, who placed third in 32:02, just behind Diriba said, "We were all together for about 3-4 miles, but then I lost track."

But Mehmen didn't know that.

"I thought they were right behind me the whole way," said Mehmen, "I didn't know I had the race won until the end."

While Mehmen felt minimal competition in his race, his female counterpart, Serkalem Biset Abrha won by approximately 600 meters.

The Ethiopean native led from the beginning and easily won in 35:57, approximately two and a half minutes in front of Ft. Worth's Elizabeth Norman.

"The course was pretty easy," she said, "and there wasn't a lot of competition."

Abrha moved from her homeland to Albuquerque, New Mexico about four years ago to train with other Ethiopians.

"I like it there," says the 29- year old, "I like the altitude and the hills."

She must like Cowtown as well. She set her sights on the next day's half marathon. (She placed second o/a with 1:17.15).

Abrha set her marathon PR of 2:31 at the Twin Cities Marathon in October 2015. Following the Cowtown half-marathon, she plans on the March 19 Los Angeles marathon where she hopes to run 2:28.

For their efforts, Mehmen and Abrha each picked up $500. The second and third place finishers took home $400 and $300, respectively. As first Texas finishers, Mehmen and Northern also picked up an additional $250.

The field of just over 3,400 were greeted with a sunny sky, temps a few degrees above freezing, and little wind.

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Kickstart My Heart

Gary Pulver

Runners were greeted by perfect race conditions in Glen Rose at the Kickstart My Heart 5K/10K and 1 mile fun run Saturday morning, February 18. Race director Lisa Anderson and RunSignUp showed that they both were up to the task in organizing and running an excellent race. This was the third running of this race and Lisa definitely has a knack for getting perfect weather.

Alexis Mims, Overall 5k

The top three 5K male and female winners were all teenagers. Alexis Mims was first in 21:39 while Elizabeth Gutierrez was 2nd in 24:03 and Jocelyn Mims 3rd in 24:16. All three ladies are 14 so I have a suspicion that Glen Rose may have a formidable cross country team. 13 year old Tristan Whitt was the overall male champion at 21:13 followed by 17 year old Brandon Hutto at 23:51 and 15 year old Orrin Hunter at 23:57.

Rick Villa

The top 10K finishers were not as close as last year when we had a 0.3 second difference between the first and second lady finishers but some excellent times were run. Leading the way was 45 year old Rick Villa in 43:31 followed by 47 year old Tom Troyer in 44:01 and 23 year old Trevor Hanson in 44:48. 22 year old Audrey Shelton won the ladies division in 44:10 followed by 30 year old Ana Banuelos in 47:29 and 43 year old Jody Hinton in 48:14.

The Running Bear Running Club out of Granbury was well represented and garnered a bunch of age group medals. Yours truly has been rehabbing a knee for four months and decided that this race was a good one to give it a try and things went well and he finished in 2nd place in the over 60 division in the 5K. Pictured is Rick Villa, overall 10K winner.

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The Wildcat 5k

By Harry Hall

For Dax Davis, winning the February 18, Wildcat Stroll 5K was just a warm-up for more demanding athletic contests.

"I like the spartan races, or those with Nay SEAL obstacles," said the 21-year old UTA Business Management major.

Dax Davis

Davis' time of nineteen minutes, thirty-five seconds was an easy winner on the flat course, which started at the Birdville High School Honor Course in Ft. Worth. The race helps raise funds for the Fort Worth Dunbar Wall of Fame.

Not only did he win, but Davis achieved his goal of a sub-20, giving him a good idea of his conditioning level before he refocuses on other racing challenges.

"I knew I'd win at the halfway point," he said, "the early pace was a bit slow, but I built a pretty constant lead."

Davis says he enjoys the challenges of the spartan races, and hopes he can inspire other amateur athletes his age to enter them.

"I started doing spartan races after high school, said Davis, who attended high school in nearby Lewisville, "I don't see a lot of 20-somethings in these type races, and I hope I can inspire younger amateur athletes to enter them."

For Dana Gage, the Wildcat Stroll represented her first ever overall road race win.

"I've been running four or five years, 20-30 races a year," she said after her 28:10 victory, "I'm not a big competitor."

Dana Gage

While many might challenge that last statement, she and her family does serve a larger role in the sport.

At virtually every race, she wears a version of "Honor Connor," shirt, in memory of her 15-year old son, Connor who died in a swimming accident in 2012, the same day the FW Christian freshman ran in his first cross-country meet. On May 20, Gage will be race director for the 5th annual Honor Connor 5K and Smile Mile.

"He was always smiling," she says.

She says the race helps promote water safety. It's scheduled for May 20, 2017.

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Families cart off top awards

By Fiona Green

jodi and greg thiompsonTwo races this weekend saw the male and female overall winners come from the same family. In Dallas, Andrew Cook and his daughter Natalie took the top spots at the DCFA Form Follows Fitness 5K at Klyde Warren Park. In Arlington, husband and wife team Jodi and Greg Thompson easily outran the competition at the Eagle's Flight 5K in River Legacy Parks.

It was a close race for the couple but in the end Greg, pushing their daughter Sydney in her stroller, edged out his wife and finished in 19:19.

Jodi, who was last year's overall female winner, was a little disappointed with her time of 19:30 but explained she recently had suffered a bout of flu and wasn't back in full form. Her best time for a 5K is a blistering 16:45,which she ran in her final year at Baylor. Unfortunately, she tore a hamstring shortly after that race and was never able to resume training like she used to.

She now runs around 25 miles a week while pushing her daughter in her stroller. Greg, who also was a runner in college, has raced only one 5K on the track in his career. His time for that race was an impressive 16:09. He doesn't race too much these days but still runs two or three times a week to maintain his fitness.

claire edstromThe speedy pair first met in 2009 while participating in mission trips abroad with a group called Athletes in Action, a campus Crusades organization. Prior to leaving on their respective missions, participating athletes met at a training camp in Xenia, Ohio. Greg then went on to Guatemala with a group of track athletes while Jodi went to Kenya with a group of distance runners. They stayed in touch after the trip and were married a little over a year later.

18-year-old Claire Edstrom, the third female to cross the finish line, was ecstatic with her time of 23:25 as it marked a PR for her. The photo to left shows Claire's joy as she rounded the last corner and saw the time on the clock.

 

 

 

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Feb. 18 Highlights

By Charles Clines

It would be difficult to complain about Saturday morning’s (Feb. 8) weather as early temps in the 50s made it good for  running and walking. The nice weather is expected to carry over into the Cowtown weekend, too, though winds might be gusty on Sunday.

* A race name of Sugar Rush sounds as if it’s my kind of race (I do like desserts). So, I probably should have participated in Arlington. The 5K winning times were relatively slow, but only some 24 seconds separated the top three finishers, including overall female Julie Sandoval, 31, of Arlington. She was third, behind winner Griffin Kubik, 23, of Fort Worth and Jonathan Suarez, 30, of Arlington. The next three finishers were in their 50s – Rusty Hodapp, 47, of Mansfield, David Lane, 59, of Arlington and Clint Copeland, 51, of Colcord, Okla. The seventh place finisher was 64-year-old Joop Van Englen of Fort Worth with a 25:26.2. The masters runners dominated the 10K as Hector Delgado, 48, of Plano led the way with a 45:35, followed by Ryland Holmes, 41, of Grand Prairie (48.55.5) and Barry Johnson, 56, of Arlington (49:44.9). Sylvia Krywalski, 31, of Grand Prairie was the first female with a 51:03.8.

* Female masters runner Rachel Fox, 43, of Flower Mound was the first across the finish line at the Heart & Soul 5K in Farmer’s Branch. She finished with a 20:46.22. Male winner Dejuan Cuthbertson, 35, of Charlotte, N.C., was second to finish with a 22:07.82.

* No doubt the most impressive and exciting race was at the DCFA Form Follow Fitness 5K in Dallas. Andrew Cook, 36, Brent Woodle, 32, and Clint Bell, 37, battled over the 3.1-mile distance with Cook winning with a sizzling 15:03. Woodle, who is training for the Boston Marathon in April, came in only six seconds later and Bell, long-time competitor in the DFW area, finished with a 1:28. Cook is a former Texas A&M standout and a former Olympic Marathon Trials participant. He has won numerous local and several national races. Woodle also plans to run the Cowtown Marathon this Sunday in what he terms as a progression run and not an all-out effort, according to his weblog. Cook’s 13-year-old daughter Natalie won the female overall award with an 18:02, beating 11-year-old Samantha Humphries by nine seconds. The Humphries twins continue to add to their award collection as Natalie was the female runner-up with an 18:28.

* Teens dominated the Kick Start My Heart 5K in Glen Rose. Tristan Whitt, 13, of Walnut Springs won with a 21:15.37 and female winner Alexis Mims, 14, of Glen Rose came in next with a 21:39.29. Mims twin sister Jocelyn came in sixth with a 24:16.91. Following her was 51-year-old Robert Lane with a 24:33.23. The 10K was somewhat different as masters runners were first and second. Winning was Rick Villa, 45, of Glen Rose with a 43:33.78, followed by Tom Troyer, 47, of Granbury with a 44:04.31. Female winner Audrey Shelton, 22, was third with a 444:50.58.

* More young sisters took home awards when 12-year-old Tatina Papadopoulos won the female overall award with a 23:01.1 at the Run For Rover 5K in Carrollton. Sophia, 10, won the 5-10 age division with a 42:39.9. Dad John, 40, was fourth in the 40-49 division with a 26:27.4.

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Besides runners attracted by the suds,
Heroes Race benefited a worthy cause

member of the fwpd

By Fiona Green

sylvia and joe alcala
elizabeth deegar

The third annual Heroes Race at the Martin House Brewery on Saturday, Feb. 11, attracted an enthusiastic crowd who came out to race, drink beer and support a great cause. The event was organized by husband and wife Joe and Sylvia Alcala (pictured top left), who wanted to create an event that celebrated local heroes. Aware that heroes play different roles in the community, they choose to celebrate different individuals each year who may not always receive the recognition they deserve.

This year we were introduced to 37-year-old Austin Underwood, a chef with Down Syndrome who realized his dream of running his own restaurant, Underdawgs, a foodie truck that sells gourmet hot dogs. Underwood benefited from vocational training at a college in New Mexico for students with special needs and would now like to pay it forward and allow others to have the same opportunities he has enjoyed. Proceeds from sales of his hot dogs will go toward opening a vocational school for individuals with special needs.

Windy conditions led to slower times than usual for most race participants but helped them work up a thirst for the brewery's delicious beer. (Pictured above are members of the Fort Worth Police Department)

andrew torresThe overall male winner was 18-year-old Andrew Torres of Frisco (pictured left), who clocked 19:41. Torres wasn't close to his PR of 16:40 for the distance but explained his legs were still tired from a mile

time trial he ran earlier in the week. His time for the mile, incidentally, was 4:55. The young athlete is looking forward to competing in Australia this summer when he participates in the Down Under International Games June 27-July 3. In order to participate, he needs to raise $4,700. He already is halfway toward his goal. If anyone would like to support Torres, visit www.downundersports.com.

The overall female winner, 35-year-old Elizabeth Deegan doesn't race often because her two young children keep her pretty busy. Elizabeth (pictured above with her family) only runs around 15-20 miles per week but credits her speed  to her three weekly sessions at Orange Theory, which target strength and endurance. Deegan's time was 22:29.

Following the race, runners were able to enjoy complimentary beers and/or healthy energy bars from Whole Foods. If they were so inclined, they could hang around a little longer and participate in the brewery's yoga with beer session followed at 2 p.m. by a brewery tour and beer tasting.

Proceeds from the race benefitted Big Brothers Big Sisters  (www.BBBSTX.org) and Boot Campaign (www.bootcampaign.org.) J Anthony Group underwrites this race so that 100 percent of registration fees go to the organizations.

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Feb. 11-12 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Warmer weather moved in for the past weekend, but not enough to make running too uncomfortable for the participants at the several area races.

* On Sunday (Feb. 12), there was a fairly close battle for the second and third overall places at the Fort Worth Runners Club’s Valentine’s 5K. While Jose Mejorada, 36, of Fort Worth had no serious challenge by winning with a 17:40.1 (17:39 chip time), C.J. Morgen, 18, had to hold off Wade Braun, 52, of Keller to take second with an 18:21.6 (18:20.2). Braun came in at 18:57.4 (18:56.6), about 20 seconds in front of 13-year-old Josue Mejorada, son of Jose. Another father-son duo finished close to either other, too, as Jose Loyola, 47, and 12-year-old Alex posted times of 2:17.9 (19:56.9) and 2:27.9 (20:07). Masters runner Laura Nelson, 51, of Grapevine had no trouble winning the female overall award with a 22:06.5 (22:05.1). Another notable time included that of 67-year-old Jim Sansone of Arlington, who posted a 23:45.4 (23:43.5)

* And while mentioning father-son runners, 39-year-old Michael Stewart and 13-year-old Moses Stewart finished second and third at Saturday’s (Feb. 11) Cupid’s Chase 5K in Dallas. Michael clocked in at 21:26, a second in front of Moses. Jordan Nawapano, 25, won with a 19:47. Ashley Yates, 25, of Plano and Heather Laraba, 25, of Plano chased each other for the female overall award with Ashley winning with a 26;54, five seconds in front of Heather.

* The 11-year-old Humphries twin girls of Flower Mound finished first and third at the Heart & Sole 5K in Dallas. Even though Samantha Humphries and Ryan McClintock, 32, of Forney were clocked with 19:25 times, Samantha was given the overall nod. Nicole Humphries was third with a 19;51.

* At the It Takes 2 5K in McKinney, 12-year-old Brenna Zerby was edged for second place overall by 24-year-old Mohamed El Sured. He finished with a 19:53.2 while Brenna was a shoelace behind with a 19:53.56. Kudos to long-time area runner 65-year-old Linda Kelley of Dallas for finishing 24th overall with a 25:08.

* Teenagers took the top two spots at the 31st Haltom Stampede. Martin Chavez, 14, of Dallas won with an 18:14.4 (18:38.8 chip time), nipping, 16-year-old Jacob Ismir of Fort Worth, who finished with an 18:27.4 (18:26.8). The female race also was close as Veronica Rios, 14, held off Laura Nelson with times of 2:26.0 (22:16.1) and 22:30.2 (22:28.4). Nelson, as mentioned above, won the overall female award at the FWRC’s Valentine 5K the next day with a faster time. Also notable is that Scott McKissick, 68 of Irving, overcoming physical problems the past couple of years, ran a 29:50.6 (29:49.9) and also competed in the FWRC run the next day, posting a 28:15.6 (28:11.9). In that race, wife Frances, 54, who also had to overcome some health issues in recent years, won the masters award with a 23:56.6 (23:51.8). She won her age division at Haltom with a 23:42.8 (23:38.3). Another notable performance at Haltom was by 71-year-old Don Grimes, who zipped in with a 23:24.7

* Erin Verden, 18, of Corsicana not only won the overall female award at the Cupid Shuffle 5K in Midlothian she also was first across the finish line with a 20:51.8 (20:50.1). Another female, Alyssa Noel, 17, of Ennis was second with a 21:21.1 (21:19.2). Male winner Scott Barham, 43, of Corsicana was third overall with a 21:58.6 (26:13). And kudos to long-time area competitor 65-year-old Linda Kelley of Dallas for posting a 25:08 to finish 24th overall.

***

Teens dominate Fillie Trot

By Fiona Green

5k winnersToeing the line at the Annual Fillie Trot at Oak Grove Park in Grapevine yesterday I felt like I had accidentally stumbled into a high school meet because the majority of the participants appeared to be speedy, bouncy teens. I managed to quash painful memories of high school races where I had consistently finished last, reminding myself that it was only a 5K and that I would soon be finished and enjoying the post race coffee and snacks.

The overall male and female winners (pictured above) feb4-neringawere students at Grapevine High School. Claiming the top spot was 16-year-old Ryan Shumaker,who breezed through the hilly course in 17:13. The young athlete, who has a PR of 16:22 for the distance, was happy with his victory but explained that he and his teammates had actually been treating the race as a training run. An animal lover,  Shumaker is sometimes accompanied on his runs by one of his two black Labs.

On the female side, 18-year-old Lauren Edwards scored another overall victory, covering the course in 19:14. Lauren has an impressive PR of 17:50 for the 5K, which she achieved when she finished second in the state meet last year. Her time set a school record. Edwards plans to study engineering in college although she hasn't yet decided between OU and UT.

A fun fact-- Lauren and her family adopted a cat from our rescue group a couple of years ago. While she doesn't train with her cat, her win helps prove the point I made in a previous article that owning a cat can make you a faster runner! (Editor's note: While this is the opinion of Fiona, it isn't based on fact unless the cat is big (tiger?) and is chasing you. Or maybe the editor will get a cat just to see if owning one works.)

feb 4-charles mcilroyAnother speedy cat owner is Charles McIllroy of Weatherford, who at age 54 ran a 10K PR. McIllroy (pictured holding bib from Dragon Dash), who seems to be on a roll at the moment, finished second overall at the Dragon Dash in Fort Worth on Saturday with an impressive 37:30 (36:54 chip time). Winning the overall title in the race was 35- year-old Richard Garcia, who clocked 36:39. On the female side, 33- year-old Neruinga Kaulinaite (pictured with blue mascot) claimed yet another overall title in 45:10 (44:34 chip time). Her win was all the more impressive considering she had run 18 miles the previous day!

Many thanks to Charles McIllroy for the photos and info on the Dragon Dash.

***

Feb. 4 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Runners and walkers were greeted with a chilly Saturday (Feb. 4) morning with temps in the mid-40s for most of the area. Not many runners complained about the cooler morning, though. Maybe some of the spectators and volunteers did, though sipping Hot Chocolate in Dallas were keeping warm..

* The finish for the overall female award at the DRC Love The Loop 5K was about as close as it can get. Natalie Callister, 27, of Dallas held off 11-year-old Samantha Humphries of Flower Mound to win by one second – 19:02 to 19:03. Samantha’s 11-year-old sister Nicole wasn’t far behind to finish with a 19:35. Callister was the third overall finisher. In the chase for the male overall award, masters runners finished first and second. Joshua Thompson, 42, of Dallas clocked an 18:11 while Tommy Smith, 51, came in 47 seconds later. Sheila Natho, 51, of Dallas won the masters female award as the first three finishers were 40-and-older. Natho, who was first female on Jan. 28 at the Plano Pacers Fresh Start 5K, won with a 20:35. In the 15K, Alberto Castro, who won at least three overall awards last year, won with a 57:22. The 36-year-old from Dallas won by about 38 seconds over Aaron Pearson, 26. In the female race, 13-year-old Tracy Duty of Dallas won with a 1:13:12.

* The chilly morning was seemingly perfect to participate in the Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K in Dallas. William Moore, 55, of Dallas made another bid to win the overall male award, but couldn’t quite overcome last year’s runner-up, 15-year-old Pete Johnson and finished 10 seconds behind with a 53:20. Moore won the Plano Pacers Fresh Start on Jan. 28. In the 5K, former UT-Austin standout runner Allison Mendez was the first across the finish line, clocking an impressive 17:44. Masters runner Scott Olden, 46, won the male overall award with an 18:17.

ACA Flannel and Fleece

By Harry Hall

Matt Garcia has reason for optimism in the upcoming track season. The 15-year-old Arlington Martin freshman placed first in the "Flannel and Fleece" 5K, held January 28, 2017 at Arlington's River Legacy Park.

5k Start

5k Start

The 5k and accompanying one mile fun run was a benefit for the Arlington Classics Academy Athletic Department.

Runner's finishing times indicated the flat course was a good bit short. However, Garcia's time of fourteen minutes, thirty-nine seconds was a vast improvement over last year's victory.

"Last year, I ran somewhere around 18 minutes," he said.

Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia

Garcia led early, and then fell back with a small pack of three other runners before pulling away at about two miles for an easy victory.

"My main concern today was going out too fast," he said.

While running as an eighth grader for ACA last spring, he set his mile PR of 5:01. He's shooting for a sub 4:50 this spring.

For Ashley Espinosa, winning the F and F 5k was her first overall female victory. However, for much of the race, she was dogged by a cross-country teammate, who beat her in their last competition, which was the cross-country state championship last fall.

"I'm excited about winning this race," said 13 year old Espinosa.

She and ACA teammate, 11 year old Desiree Reinwand battled for the lead before Espinosa pulled away late.

Espinsoa and Reinwand

Espinsoa and Reinwand

At the state meet, Reinwand beat Espinosa by about a step.

"I haven't run since cross-country season ended," said Reinwand, "but we're always super-close. But I'm pretty happy about this since I haven't run for about a month."

Both girls will be competing for ACA in track this spring, and both will concentrate on the 800, mile, and possibly some relays.

Most runners were associated with the school, and participation rose considerably over 2016.

"Last year, we had about 240 entrants," said race director and ACA cross-country and track/field coach Teresa Froese, "the money goes to the awards banquet for our three sports, cross-country, basketball and track/field."

***

Jan 28-29 Highlights

By Charles Clines

* 31 years separated ages of the winner and runner-up at the Heroes For Hope Half Marathon in Fort Worth on a chilly Saturday morning. 46-year-old Jose Loyola won with a 1:33:40 and was followed by 15-year-old Connor Fewell with a 1:36:04.

* Although the challenging half marathon course is always the feature of the Lake Benbrook Half Marathon & 5K, it was the shorter race that proved the most exciting as 47-year-old Steven Bradley of Aledo held on to win with an 18:44.8. As at the Heroes for Hope, the runner-up was much younger as 15-year-old Jordan Hagood of Hudson came in second with an 18:50.1, about five seconds in front of Kurt Hare, 31, of Fort Worth. The race for the female award wasn’t so close as Britt Darwin-Looney, 37, of Arlington won by  about four minutes with a 21:29.

* After a 13.1-mile duel, Masahiro Takaoka, 33, of Dallas crossed the finish line first at the Too Cold to Hold Half Marathon in Dallas on Sunday. He beat Alfonzo Gozalez Jr. of Lancaster by 19 seconds.  Michelle Eversman, 35, a visitor from Eden Prairie, Minn., won the female race with a 1:31:02 while 16-year-old Grace Plain of McKinney came in second with a 1:32:48. The half had 322 timed finishers. While 32-year-old Brent Woodle of Carrollton ran away with the male 5K overall, the female race was somewhat closer among younger runners. Alyssa Harris, 13, won with a 19:53 while 16-year-old Isabel Borrego followed with a 20:34. The 5K had 1,025 timed finishers. Emily Field, 36, of Dallas and who had numerous female overall awards in 2016 and already has one this year, added another in the 10K, taking the female race with a 40:40. Steffi Jones, 17, of Richardson was runner-up with a 41:38. Also notable is that 11-year-old Riley Nedrow of Lewisville was eighth overall finisher with a 39:03, which was second in his age division to 14-year-old Jacob Ricks of Flower Mound, who had a 38:47. There were 439 timed 10K finishers.

Candace Matthies, 27, of Snyder won the female overall at the Texas Half on Jan. 15 and added the female 5K overall award Saturday at the Mansfield Run with Heart. She clocked in at 19:15.1. Richard Garcia, 35, of Fort Worth won the male overall title with a 17:12.1.

* William Moore might be 55, but the former Dallas Marathon winner and Olympics Trials qualifier, can still burn up the roads. He won the Plano Pacers Fresh Start 5K by zipping to a 17:21 and beating Jeremy Kieser, 36, by 30 seconds. Also, masters runner Sheila Natho, 51, of Dallas and winner of numerous awards last year, won the female award with a 20:29, six seconds in front of Elizabeth James, 27. Also brothers Elijah and Judah Alexander-Macias enjoyed a rewarding day as Elijah won the 10K with a 36:01 and 11-year-old Judah finished fourth overall in the 5K with an impressive 19:01, sandwiched by a second each way by 14-year-old Jeremy Kieser and 47-year-old Paul Barker.

* Another masters runner who shows little signs of slowing from his heydays is James Jackson, 50. Also winner of several awards last year, Jackson, 50, sped to a 16:07 finish at the Hypnotic Donut Dash in Dallas for second overall and he needed all his leg speed as 15-year-old Tanner Henderson came in only five seconds behind. Winning was William Ritter, 32, with a 15:54. He's an assistant cross country coach at Bishop Gorman in Tyler. Also, masters runner Lora Stickney, 45, won the female race with a 20:34.

***

A Running Icon Loses Battle With Cancer

By H.B. Wise

Jeph starting the race Jeph Abera, a North Texas running icon, lost his last battle with cancer last week. He was hospitalized on Christmas day and passed away on December 27th.

Jeph was born and raised in Nigeria and ran high school cross-country there. He attended college in the US and received advanced degrees from Ohio State and the University of Pittsburgh. Jeph retired from American Airlines where he helped to plan their routes. He also taught math at Tarrant County College.

Jeph was an ardent race promoter and for several years was partnered with Ricky Cox. In 2010 Jeph founded Assist Systems to focus on low-cost, no-frills races. He produced several of his own races each year along with helping others produce races. He had a long standing relationship with The Runner Shop in Pantego and took over production of the Arlington Winter Run when Don Zetnick passed away.

Many of the races Jeph produced benefited his charitable interests. He was the chair of the Outreach Committee at St. Alban's Episcopal Church and supported women's shelters and local elementary schools with proceeds from his races.

Another of Jeph's avocations was his calendar. This grew from his participation with the newsletter of the Arlington Runners Club. Jeph routinely emailed his calendar to hundreds of runners. He listed races throughout the world, but focused mostly on North Texas.

Jeph was a recreational runner and walker until his first official race, the Burelson Firecracker 5k, in 1985. In 1996 he participated in the Centennial Boston Marathon. He continued running and racing until his battles with cancer made it hard for him to run. His love for the running community drove him to continue producing race until his last race on Christmas Eve.

His race on January 16th, the MLK Day & Dream XIV 5K at River Legacy Park in Arlington will be renamed and produced in Jeph's honor. The race will be produced and sponsored by Cox Racing Systems, Clines Running Corner, and several others in the running community. All net proceeds will be donated to Jeph's charities.

His memorial service will take place on January 28, 2017 at Shepard of Life Lutheran Church at 10:30 AM.

***

From last to first in four years
at Bold in the Cold 5K

By Fiona Green

winzen and florcruzThere was a pretty special moment on Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Bold in The Cold 5K at Lake Grapevine. The overall male title was won by 14-year-old Antonio Florcruz from Southlake, who cruised through the hilly course in 17:44, almost a minute ahead of runner-up, 25-year-ld Alex Gonzalez of Cedar Hill.

Four years ago at age 10, Florcruz ran this race with his father, Arturo, and apparently finished dead last. Instead of being discouraged, he persevered and continued to run and race, improving every time he ran.

The young athlete was featured on this site last year after breaking his school's mile record. He is definitely an inspiration and proof that hard work and dedication bring results! (Florcruz is on right in photo; grand masters winner Ron Winzen is on left)

14-year-ld Allie Lyda was the top female in the 5K, finishing in 19:44. Lyda, from Flower Mound,  is coached by Matt Celone, who took the Masters title in 19:33.

In the 15K, Ryan Barrow, 28, of Denton breezed to victory with a 52:55.8. Interesting to note that 55-year-old Jeff Kirk of Grand Prairie was the third overall finisher with a 59:00.2, less than a minute behind Jachary Winger, 23, of Roanoke, who posted a 58:25.6. 50-year-old Lesley Burke of Mansfield won the female race with a 1:04:09.7, just a few steps in front of Rachel Fox, 43, of Flower Mound who had a 1:04:14.6.

***

Jan. 21 Highlights

By Charles Clines

* Clint Bell, 37, of Dallas continues to impress as he zipped to the overall award at The Resolution Run in McKinney on Saturday morning (Jan. 21). Bell won with a 1:18:19. Tete Ukpong, 31, of Allen was runner-up with a 1:20:54.4. The female winner was 42-year-old Sue Luck of McKinney with a 1:35.44.3.  In the 5K, another masters runner, 42-year-old Phillip Lewis of Prosper won the male 5K overall award with a 20:50.4. On the other end of the age spectrum, 12-year-old Olivia Bos of Frisco won the female overall award with a 23:14.3. Kudos also to 9-year-old Wilma Blitz for her 25:30.4. Also hats off to 78-year-old Bill Blackburn for winning the 61-and-older division with a 26:06.7.

* At the Hotcake Hustle in Addision, masters runner Colleen Casey, 43, of Grapevine held off 14-year-old Nevaeh Pantoja of Dallas to win the female overall award, clocking a 20:24. Pantoja finished with a 21:02. The race for the male 10K overall award also was fairly close as Kyle Johnson, 16, of Corinth came in with a 37:31 and runner-up Justin Arnosky, 28, of Richardson finished with a 38:07. Nice effort by 85-year-old Charles Key of Dallas, finishing with a 1:15:24. Wally Capps, 76, of Farmers Branch won the 70-over division with a 1:00:47.

***

The Texas Half Marathon

By Harry Hall

*Note: The Editor is responsible for the late publishing of this report. We appoligize to the author, the race organizors, and the readers for our tardiness.*

Andrew Cook, has accomplished a lot in his many years as an athlete and later as a high school track/cross-country coach at Flower Mound High School. The 35 year old has even qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Andrew Cook Andrew Cook

But there's at least one more line he wants to add to his athletic resume.

"People always ask me if I've run Boston," he said after winning the rainy and chilly January 15, 2017 Texas Half-Marathon in Irving, TX in one hour, nine minutes, thirty-five seconds, "and I want to do that."

He won the Texas half by more than 10 minutes.

Next on his agenda is next month's Cowtown Half-Marathon, with a goal of another time in the 1:10 range, all as preparation for the historic April 17 race.

He says he's been getting in about 80-100 mpw, but he'll be cutting that about in half after track season ramps up.

But he no illusions about setting a PR.

"I have to be realistic," he says, "with limited training, I think a 2:25-2:30 is possible."

It was easy to spot 27-year old Candy Matthies at the Texas Half. The Snyder, Texas resident wore a "No ALS" symbol on the back of her blue singlet along with the phrase, "Miles for Coach Mike Martin."

Candy Matthies' t-shirt Candy Matthies

Martin was Matthies' high school track coach who is now in Grand Prairie, TX. Since March, he's been battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The disease causes muscles to eventually stop working, while leaving the mind intact. British scientist Stephen Hawking has battled the disease for more than 50 years. There is no cure.

Matthies captured the women's division of the Texas Half Marathon with 1:31.35, roughly a minute slower than her PR of 1:30.41 set at last month's BMW Half-Marathon.

"I felt good today," she said, "at the turnaround, I thought I had a pretty big lead."

While she was pleased with the win, her greater concern was for her 67 year old coach, whom she made the 3 ½ hour drive from Snyder to Grand Prairie to visit.

She says "He's been a good friend who has been there for me."

Winning the accompanying five mile race was 28 year old Justin Arnosky with 29:57, while Sheila Natho, 51 paced the women with 34:44.

***

MLK run was emotional
as it honored the late organizer Jeph Abara

By Fiona Green

lopez and esperanzajohn valentine

Running the MLK Day & Dream XIV 5K in Arlington on Monday (Jan. 16) was an emotional experience for many of the participants. For years this race was organized by Jeph Abara, a pillar of the Arlington community, who used the proceeds from his running events to help those in need.

After Jeph passed away late last year, organization of the race was taken over by the Cox family, which operates Cox Racing Services. They decided to honor Jeph at the event. After the race, popular locl runner Ricky Cox and several others shared memories of a very special man whose energy and enthusiasm for life was contagious.

Jeph's wife Karen also spoke about her husband of 48 years, mentioning that for Jeph, the most important race was the human race. Since his passing she had discovered more about his charitable endeavors through individuals who shared their stories of how Jeph had impacted their lives. She mentioned plans to create a foundation in his name, which would continue his mission of improving the lives of the most vulnerable in the community. There also are plans to name part of the trails at River Legacy Parks in his honor. More details of this will be given when they are available.

Leading the racing 5K crowd was John Valentine of Arlington (pictured), who cruised to victory in 19:59. Khis was much slower than John's usual pace as he usually runs his 5ks in the low 15s. Immediately after the race he headed off in search of food. Having played with his band until the wee hours of the morning, he explained he was in desperate need of a good meal.

The first female finisher was 22-year-old Marisol Lopez of Fort Worth, who clocked 22:24. Lopez, a former college runner, is hoping to increase her distance and run a half marathon in the summer. She was cheered on by her 25-year-old sister Esperanza, who ran a PR of 3:14 at the Houston Marathon on Sunday under some challenging conditions. (Lopez and Esperanza are shown in photo with a young spectator.)

It is worth noting that 54-year-old Frances McKissick was the 5th female finisher, less than 24 hours after running Sunday’s marathon.

***

Jan. 15 Highlights

By Charles Clines

* Andrew Cook, 35, ran away from all challengers to win the Texas Half Marathon in Irving on Sunday (Jan. 15), cruising to a 1:09:35. His nearest challenger was Samuel Belcher, 24, who finished with a 1:19:55. Cook doesn’t make many appearances at area road races, but the former Texas A&M standout, either wins or challenges at the events he does enter. Candace Matthies, 27, of Snyder, won the female race with a 1:31.35. She was 14th female at the BMW Dallas Marathon last month when she was clocked almost a minute faster. In the 5-Mile race, Sheila Natho, 51, of Dallas added to her impressive female overall awards by winning with a 34:44.  Last year, she had at least 11 overall victories and 12 masters victories. Justin Arnosky, 28, of Houston won the male award with a 29:57.

* Masters runners ruled at the FWRC’s Einstein 10K on Sunday (Jan. 15). Wade Braun, 52, of Keller was first across the finish line to take the male overall award. Braun finished with a 39:51 with 13-year-old Josue Mejorada of Fort Worth close behind to finish with a 40:28.8, about 30 seconds in front of Victor Palma, 41 of Crowley. Laura Nelson, 51, of Grapevine earned the female overall award with a 46:30.1, nine seconds in front of runner-up Maria Garcia, 44, of Arlington, who was four seconds (chip time) in front of Kimberly Wang, 13, of Keller.

***

Magaly Soto scores another Jiggle Butt Victory

By Fiona Green

magaly soto and team

With the temperature hovering around 16 degrees Saturday morning (Jan. 7),  several area races were canceled. Organizers of the Jiggle Butt Run in Arlington, however, were undeterred by the elements and decided that the show must go on. The event, which is for women only, always attracts a large, energetic crowd. This year was no exception although some preregistered runners opted to stay home due to concern over road conditions in their area.

After careful consideration, race organizers made the smart decision to modify the course slightly to avoid having runners encounter icy patches on the route. This change effectively reduced the distance to 2.84 miles and led to some impressive times, especially for the overall winner, Magaly Soto. She covered the course in 17:40. This was the 40-year-old's 5th Jiggle Butt victory as she won in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016. Her team, the Wimbledon Wildcats, also won the prize for the fastest team. The name Wildcats' was no doubt picked as Magaly often spots bobcats on her training runs in River Legacy Parks.

Incidentally Magaly also had the distinction of being the only participant wearing shorts at Saturday’s race, taking the expression 'crazy runner ' to a completely new level!

(Magaly is in the middle of photo and is surrounded by her Wimbledon Wildcats)

***

Jan. 7 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Well, the DRC’s January Frigid 5K and 10K certainly lived up to its name on a cold (in the teens) Saturday morning (Jan. 7). If fact, the event had to be canceled because of icy conditions. However, more than 200 brave females participated in the Jiggle Butt 2.84-mile run in Arlington. Magaly Soto, 40, of Arlington led the way with a 17:40.4 while Cora Turner, 47, of Alvarado earned the masters award with a 19:29.5. I’m not going to question the sanity of the 267 finishers, but … well, yes I am. I'm guessing they probably weren’t too upset over the shorter-than-5K distance so they could find some warmth afterward.

***

Cox Running offered double-dip opportunity

By Fiona Green

chris and andrew colbyCox Racing Services offered runners a chance to double up Dec. 31 by participating in the New Year's Eve Double 5K and Half Marathon on the Trinity trails on Saturday morning and afternoon.

Some speedy times were posted in the morning 5K with 26-year-old Keith Kotar clocking 16: 36, almost a minute ahead of runner-up 15-year-old Tanner Anderson. 

I didn't have a chance to speak with Keith as he disappeared shortly after the race. The overall female winner was 23-year-old Ivet Hernandez (pictured left), who covered the course in  22:46, almost 30 seconds ahead of runner-up and Masters winner  Kristy Deavers.  Hernandez, who usually races 10Ks and challenging Spartan races, plans to increase her distance to the half marathon in 2017. 

ivet hernandezCrossing the finish line in an impressive  1:25, the winner of the half marathon uttered  words familiar to many Masters runners, "I'm getting too old for this." 50-year-old Chris Colby (pictured with son Andrew).

Colby is relatively new to running, starting about 6 1/2 years ago at the urging of his children, who are now college runners. Until then, he weighed around 190 pounds and wasn't particularly active, although he did play indoor soccer once a week. He now weighs almost 50 pounds less and, despite the fact that he doesn't race often, has managed to qualify for Boston four times. His wife joked about the amount of Boston Marathon apparel he owns, saying if it doesn't have the unicorn on it, he won't wear it! Incidentally, she was also wearing a Boston Marathon baseball cap. 

Their son Andrew is impressed by his father's success and mentioned that this was the first race where he had been beaten by him. Chris pointed out that Andrew hadn't actually trained for the event and that the true test of who was the faster runner would be at the Boston Marathon this year. Andrew finished fourth overall  on Saturday in  1:31:23 while sister Brittany was the third female in  1:44:48.

Incidentally Chris ran a  2:58:26 at the St George Marathon in Utah this year.

(Photos courtesy of Catherine and Claire Elizabeth Engstrom)

***

Dec. 31-Jan. 1 Highlights

By Charles Clines

The last day of 2016 was somewhat breezy, blowing us into the New Year, which started off with an early morning rain and stopping in most places before runners stepped to the starting lines. Maybe it was a good sign and running events will enjoy good weather for most of 2017.

* Three events were featured on New Year’s Eve, including the first races of the New Year’s Eve Double in Allen and the Cox Running Services Double Races in Fort Worth. In Allen, there were some double award winners, including Scott Brannan in the 5K. The 51-year-old Californian won both days with times of 19:26 and 20:46.7. Luis Chavez, 23, won the half marathon both days with times of 1:16:06 and 1:15:27. Just guessing but it appears the female half marathon winner on the first day, Toni Elmer, 33, finished about the same time as her husband David, 37. Toni posted a 1:45:02 and David a 1:44.35. Ryan Brown, 25, tried to repeat in the marathon after winning the first day with a 3:12:01, but was runner-up on New Year’s with a 3:38:28. Jason Hammel, 39, won with a 3:34:31. Notable too is that 58-year-old Dave Emerson was fourth overall on New Year’s with a 3:41:37 after running a 3:29:13 and a ninth place overall finish the day before. The Double Races in Fort Worth featured 5K and half marathon events in the morning and evening. The other event to close out 2016 was the Plano Pacers Holiday Hustle 3K, 8K and Junior Sprint. The 3K had overall duels in the male and female divisions. Behnam Torabi, 45, won the male overall award with a 10:31, 10 seconds in front of 15-year-old Sharan Venkateahwar. Sarah Ahmadi took the female award with a 13:18, only two seconds ahead of Aiming Harrington. But the 55-year-old Harrington did win the female masters award.

* Besides the Double in Allen, runners and walkers greeted the New Year at two other events. The Resolution Solution in Fort Worth, which offered free entries to 10 and under and 70 and older participants (and sparking wine at the finish), had a close finish for male runner-up honors. Bryan Ruiz, 29, edged Robert Morrow, 33, by about five seconds with a 17:46. Chris Wallace, 22, had control of the race and with a 16:30.28.

***

Teen, Kenyan get early rewards
by winning Christmas Spirit Classic

By Fiona Green

johnson family

 

A sizable crowd showed up for the 6th annual Christmas Spirit Classic 5K in Mike Lewis Park in Grand Prairie on Saturday, Dec. 25.

Leading the crowd was 15-year-old Pete Johnson of Plano, who blazed through the course in 16:19. The young athlete, who finished among the top 10 freshmen in the state this year, has a PR of 15:54 for the 3.1-mile distance. He currently logs around 50-60 miles per week but hopes to start increasing his mileage.

Johnson, who is the youngest of four brothers, was joined by his mom, dad and two of his brothers (pictured above with Pete on the left). He hopes to run in college and is considering either Oregon or Stanford.

veronica ashbrookThe female overall winner had a little more experience and miles under her belt. 47-year-old Kenyan, Veronica Ashbrook of Alvarado (pictured left), covered the course in an unofficial 22:02, having already logged an 11-mile training run that morning. She finished a step ahead of me, which gives me a story to tell anyone who will listen about the day I almost beat a Kenyan. 

Ashbrook, who moved to the U.S. 12 years ago, is working on her endurance while adding some shorter races to help her qualify for Boston. She hopes to run under 3 hours, although the qualifying time for her age group is 3:55. She regularly wakes up at 3:30 am so she can squeeze in a run before work. Ashbrook credits her dedication and discipline to her upbringing in Kenya, which instilled in her the importance of working hard to get results.

Saturday's event was just one of many charity events organized over the past few years by Jeph Abara. Jeph has faced many health challenges recently but has refused to let them slow him down. His commitment to helping the community, even while dealing with his own issues, is humbling and his charity races have made him an integral part of the local community. We wish him health and happiness in the coming year.

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Some Like It Cold Although
It Was Actually Quite Warm

By Fiona Green

max randolphneringa kauinaiteThe 4th Annual Some Like it Cold 5K and 10K in Fort Worth on Saturday, Dec. 17, didn’t really live up to the event’s name as runners enjoyed relatively warm temperatures for this time of year. Organizers and participants were fortunate that the race was not on Sunday when temps dropped to the low 20s, which would have caused many, no doubt, to enjoy an unscheduled rest day.

In the 5K, the overall male winner, 27-year-old Max Randolph of Dallas, didn’t have much competition as he breezed through the course in 16:45, more than two minutes ahead of 14-year-old Michael Dinkins of Weatherford.

Randolph (pictured top left), a tech rep for Nike, has a PR of 16:08 for the distance. Formerly a swimmer at Georgia Tech, he is also an accomplished triathlete. In the 10K, the overall winner was 19-year-old Dee Russell, whose time of 37:45 was a minute ahead of runner-up Charles McIlroy of Weatherford, who at age 54 ran an impressive 39:03 to claim the masters title.

dee russell and motherRussell, a student at Texas tech, was accompanied by his mother Stephanie (pictured left), who ran the 5K. Stephanie covered the 5K course in 40:29 and was proud of the fact that her son lapped her. She had thought it might be fun for them to finish together but realizes that in order for this to happen, either he needs to slow down or she needs to increase her pace!

Leading the females in the 10K was 33-year-old Neringa Kaulinaite, who has already claimed several overall titles this year. Kaulinaite (pictured top right) was disappointed with her time and mentioned that she had run 14 miles at a 7:04 pace the previous day.

Many other runners also experienced slow times, perhaps a result of the winds and high humidity. Finishing behind Kaulinaite was masters winner and local running legend Frances McKissick who, at age 54, is still showing the younger runners how it’s done. (Editor's note: Fiona won the overall female 5K award).

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Dec. 17 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Saturday, Dec. 17, would have been a great day for running, golf or almost any outdoor sport as the temperature began in the 50s and climbed ito the 70s. The racing calendar, though, had slim pickings for runners. However, all were fortunate that these events were not a day later because of the massive cold front that dropped temperatures into the teens and low 20s in the morning with brutal high winds.

* While Fiona Green wrote about the Some Like It Cold, certainly a misnomer this year, there were a couple of other notes on a day with few “highlights.” John Winstead, a 55-year-old from Trophy Club, finished third overall in the Some Like It Cold 5K, posting a 20:22.6, eding edge longtime competitor Mark Miller, 38, of Carrollton. Miller, who ran a 20:27.7, had been set back by injuries for several months before returning to competition several months ago. Some youngsters also turned in some notable times as 8-year-old Jason Humlik finished with a 26:40.5, 8-year-old Carley Couch crossed the finish line at 26:57.1 and 7-year-old Graham Jenkins logged a 27:21.9. Also, hats off to 70-year-old Leon Minton of Willow Park for placing 47th among the 278 5K finishers with a 27:38.8. And 69-year-old Dick Hartnett, another longtime competitor, was 49th with a 27:53.9. The oldest finisher was 80-year-old Ole Lorenzetti of Fort Worth, who has been a familiar participant for several years.

***

Three-time Cowtown winner Keith Pierce
nabs first Dallas Marathon victory; defending champ
Logan Sherman comes in second

Former Ursuline High School soccer star runs away
with PR win in women’s marathon


dallas marathon runners

DALLAS (December 11, 2016) – Keith Pierce, 36, of Lewisville, Texas, led from start-to-finish on a cool, windy morning at the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon, finishing in a winning time of  2:29:27. Pierce, who coaches cross country and track at Denton Ryan High School, held off a late surge from 2015 Dallas Marathon champion Logan Sherman, who finished in second place with a time of  2:30:39.

For Pierce, the victory in Dallas carried a special significance: this was the first victory in four tries at the Dallas Marathon for the competitive Texan who is a three-time winner at the Cowtown Marathon and two-time winner of the Austin Marathon. Pierce opened an early lead on the marathon field, carrying a  5:30 mile pace through the first half of the race before slowing in the final 10 kilometers. Sherman, seeking to join a select group of two-time Dallas Marathon winners, closed a gap on Pierce late but couldn’t pull even with the eventual champion as they raced through the streets of downtown Dallas toward the finish line. Pierce credited a consistent training regimen, the support of his wife and family – including 5-year-old triplets – and the hometown crowd for his BMW Dallas Marathon victory. He plans to run the Boston Marathon in April. 

In the women’s marathon, Jordan Snyder stuck diligently to her prerace pacing strategy and set a personal best of  2:59:17 to win the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon. The 25-year-old New York resident grew up in Dallas and was a standout soccer player at Ursuline Academy and then at the University of Notre Dame. Snyder, running in only her fifth marathon ever, bested the BMW Dallas Marathon field by nearly 10 minutes, accomplishing her primary goal of running a sub-3:00 marathon. She was joined by family and friends at the finish line, celebrating what she called an unexpected victory made special by the hometown crowd support along the course. The self-coached Snyder plans to take a little time off before returning to competition next year. Dallas-native Magaly Soto finished second overall in the women’s race in  3:08:25, also earning the female Masters marathon win.

20,000 participants in the 46th BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon and Behringer Relay enjoyed a lively course experience from start to finish. An energetic countdown created a memorable race start for participants, bands and neighborhood cheer zones lined the entire 26.2-mile course with entertainment and a happening post-race party carried on far into the Dallas afternoon.   (Photo above is courtesy of the BMW Dallas Marathon)

Rio King, 74, extended his streak of most consecutive Dallas Marathons completed, finishing his 41st consecutive – and 42nd overall – Dallas Marathon in a time of  5:58:27.

BMW Dallas Half Marathon

First to cross the finish line for the day was Colby Mehmen, a 22-year-old former Stephen F. Austin runner, with a time of  1:05:09. Mehmen, who finished second in last year’s half marathon, blazed out to an early lead and never looked back, winning by more than five minutes. University of Georgia alumni, Nicole Dimercurio, 25, was the first female half marathon finisher, with a time of  1:19:10. This was Dimercurio’s first time running in Texas and her first competitive win.

Behringer Relay

The overall winner in the 2016 Behringer Relay was Team Cricket Wireless A with a time of  2:28:59. The five-person Behringer Relay follows the same 26.2-mile course as the BMW Dallas Marathon.

Pro Relay Challenge

Five HOKA ONE ONE elite athletes participated in the second annual Pro Relay Challenge, which partners the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers and FC Dallas on five-person relay teams with one elite runner, racing to win bragging rights and a donation to the fastest sports team’s foundation. The Texas Rangers, led by HOKA ONE ONE 1500m runner Kyle Merber finished first, with a time of3:08:08. Merber, the American Collegiate record holder, battled the wind in a small pack of HOKA runners out front including Colby Alexander, Stephanie Schappert and Nicol Traynor. Former Olympic medalist Leo Manzano, running with the Dallas Cowboys team, ran the fastest relay split of the five HOKA athletes.

Last Woman Running

Despite serving as the last official participant to cross the starting line, Colleen Coyle, the 2016 “Last Woman Running” passed nearly 3,500 participants to finish the half marathon in a personal best of  1:59:34. For each half marathon participant passed, Coyle raised money for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Total donations due to fundraising and her race day efforts exceeded $10,000.

Columbia Business School Executive Challenge

The Columbia Business School Executive Challenge crowns the fastest c-suite executive or business leader competing in the BMW Dallas Marathon. The 2016 male and female winners were Christopher Jackson of Wynne Jackson Inc. and Coral Wilkens of Rockwall Independent School District.

For more information about the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon or Behringer Relay, visit www.bmwdallasmarathon.com.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
MEN’S MARATHON:        
Keith Pierce: Age 36, Lewisville,  2:29:27
(2) Logan Sherman: Age 30, Dallas,  2:30:39
(3) Aaron Sherf: Age 27, Norman, Okla. 2:34:09
(4) Jose J. Mejorada: Age 36, Fort Worth,  2:39:09
(5) Cole Decker: Age 23, Wichita, Kansas,  2:43:07

 WOMEN’S MARATHON: 
Jordan Snyder: Age 25, New York, 2:59:17                 
(2) Magaly Soto: Age 40, Arlington, 3:08:25
(3) Anna Hailey: Age 36, Gardendale, TX,  3:10:37
(4) Lindsey Meyer: Age 31, Omaha, Nebraska,  3:12:02
(5) Shizuko Watanabe: Age 38, Dallas,  3:14:43

MEN’S HALF:      
Colby Mehmen: Age 22, Princeton, TX, 1:05:15

WOMEN’S HALF:               
Nicole Dimercurio: Age 25, Blowing Rock, N.C.,  1:19:10

BEHRINGER RELAY:          
Team Cricket Wireless A,  2:28:59

COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL EXECUTIVE CHALLENGE:   Christopher Jackson, Wynne Jackson, Inc., 2:59:02
Coral Wilkens, Rockwall ISD, 5:07:48

PRO RELAY CHALLENGE:
Texas Rangers,  3:08:08

LAST WOMAN RUNNING:              
Colleen Coyle,  1:59:34

***

Canines accompanied many runners
at the Holy Family Santa Paws 5K

By Fiona Green

benson and katelynabby and david lewisIt was a chilly morning on Saturday, Dec. 10, but that didn't stop runners from bundling up and hitting the road at various local events. The Holy Family Santa Paws 5K in Irving attracted a small but cheerful crowd, many of whom were accompanied by their canine companions.

Taking the overall spot in the 'humans only' 5K was 41-year-old Jace Jenkins, who covered the course in a speedy 18 minutes. Jace and his sons race every weekend and have been featured in a previous article on this site. His time was significantly faster than his usual times, a fact attributed to a short course.

On the female side, the top woman was 15-year-old Abby Lewis who ran with her father David for most of the race, finishing in 19:22. Abby has been running since she was around 5 years old and has a PR of 19:55 for the 5K distance. David, a veteran runner and frequent racer in the Metroplex, coaches track and cross country at McArthur Hgh School in Irving.

The cute Lab pictured is 10-month-old Benson, one of the many canines participating in the fun. Benson is being trained by Katelyn Mcilhaney (also pictured) as a seeing eye dog.

***

Dec. 9-10 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Here's an overlooked note from last weekend: Antonio Lopez, 33, of Hurst had to hold off Emily Field, 35, of Dallas to win the Chocohlic Frolic 10K in Grand Prairie on Sunday, Dec. 4. Field, who has won at least 14 female overall awards, finished only four seconds behind Lopez’s 36:47. Lopez now has won at least seven overall awards. Sheila Natho, 50, of Dallas who now has at least five female overall awards and nine female masters awards, won the female race with a 20:32.

* It was a chilly Saturday (Dec. 10) morning, but 278 finishers were timed at the Oncor Dallas Mayor’s 5K. Max Randolph, 27, of Dallas easily won with a 16:13. Female winner Tina-Mari Meyer, 29, of Dallas was the second runner across the line with a 19:48. Also, hats off to Don Grimes, 71, of Lantana for zipping in with a 23:53, which was not only good for winning his division but also for placing 24th overall.

* Brendan Frayne, 38, of Allen had to keep plugging to win the Jingle Bell Run 5K in Garland. He won with a 17:09.86 but Alberto Castro, 36, helped push him, finishing with a 17:37.81.

* Gabby Thies, 14, of Keller and Yana Reynolds, 15, hooked up in a duel for the overall female award at the Reindeer Romp 5K in Fort Worth. Thies, who runs for Timberview Middle School in Keller, won the battle with a 22:53, and Reynolds, who runs for Northwest Nelson in Trophy Club, came in just behind with a 23:06.

* 12-year-old Enrique Borrego of Garland nabbed an easy overall victory at the Shamrock Jingle Bell Run 5K in Dallas. Borrego, who runs for Prince of Peace Middle School, won with an 18:46. Runner-up Jason Weinland, 50, came in at 20:51.

* Often runners have no idea how they are placing in their age divisions, so it has to be somewhat frustrating to finish and discover you missed out winning by .4 of a second. Don’t know if the top two runners in the 35-39 male division knew of their standing at the Frosty 5K in Frisco, though, but that’s what happened when Garrett Fox, 36, won with a 21:36.1. John Carlisle, 39, was just an eyelash behind on the chip timing with a 21:36.5. And congratulations to 76-year-old Chuck Altman of Frisco for his 29:50.6 effort.

* On Friday (Dec. 9), the Reindeer Romp in Denton challenged runners with a 4.2-mile course. While Zachary Winger, 23, easily won the male overall award with a 23:56, the race for the female overall award was somewhat closer as Johanna Drews, 16, won with a 30:40 and was closely followed by Jenna McKenzie, 13, with a 30:59. Drews runs for Krum High School and was a regional qualifier this past season, and McKenzie is a runner at Harpool Middle School in Argyle.

***

Young runners take top honors
at a more mild Santa Scurry

By Fiona Green

logan mitchellRunners participating in the annual Santa Scurry in Keller on Fridayevening (Dec. 2) enjoyed some mild temperatures compared to previous years although a light drizzle prior to race start meant road conditions were a little dodgy in parts.

Taking the overall title for the men was 15-year-old Logan Mitchell of Keller (pictured) who clocked 17:28, 30 seconds ahead of runner-up, 16-year-old Cameron Klein, who finished in 18:02. Mitchell has won several area races in the past few months and seems to get faster with every race.

On the female side there was some excitement with the top three runners finishing within eight seconds of one another. 35-year-old Anna Amann, who recently moved here from Minnesota, led for most of the race but with 800 meters to go, 12-year-old Aubrey Bunger of Fort Worth produced a finishing spurt that moved Amann to second place.

The awards once again had a festive theme as Santa hats were presented to overall and age group winners.

The race is part of the city's Holly Days celebrations, which include a tree lighting ceremony, parade, choir performances and activities for the children

***

By Charles Clines

The weather turned from mild to wet and chilly Saturday morning (Dec. 3), but plenty of hardy runners and walkers splashed through the inclement conditions to “enjoy” the morning. Besides this past week’s highlights though, I have some leftovers that I didn’t mention from Thanksgiving that I believe deserve mentioning.

* Nov. 24-27 leftovers – The CooksAndrew, 35, and Melissa, 37, won the overall awards at the Double Oak Turkey Trot. Andrew sped to a 15:27, but was in the cross hairs of Terry Fenske, 22, who finished second with a 15:54. Melissa crossed the finish line with an 18:00 to win by 29 seconds over 13-year-old Rachel Sutliff.
At the Cox Running Club’s Thanksgiving Day 10K in Fort Worth, Michael Deavers, 40, held off female winner Christina Ledesma, 30, to cross the finish line first with a 40:43. Christina followed with a 40:55 and Austin Ledesma, 29, was third with a 41:37. Emily Field, 35, who seemed to be winning the overall female awards weekly earlier in the year, took home two awards in one day. She won the female 5K at the Carrollton Runners Club’s 5K with a 19:09.26 and took the mile (beating everyone) with a 6:00.05.

Dec. 3 Highlights

* Elise Welch, 15 and a student at Ursuline Academy, posted her fastest time in several recent 5K races to win the female overall award at the Christmas Classic Run in Dallas. She zipped to a 19:27 to finish second overall behind Luke Halterman, 27, who won with an 18:52. Also among the top half of the finishers, dad Chris Fulmer, 44, ran with daughter Lauren, 10, to finish with times of 25:57 and 25:48 for 16th and 17th overall, and both won their age divisions.

* Grant Tiff, 18, of Fairview and Clint Bell, 37, of Dallas hooked up in a race for the overall award at the Rudolph Run in Dallas. Tiff won with a 16:28 with Bell finishing with a 16:35. Preston Tiff, 16, was ninth overall with a 20:04. Finishing just in front of him was female winner Katlyn Phillips, 37, of Allen with a 19:55. Female runner-up was 12-year-old Brenna Zerby with a 20:38.

* In the two-mile race at the Zetnick Arlington Winter Run, two young runners took the first and second female awards. Ellie Davidson, 12, won with a 13:26.8 while Hanna Pryor, 13, came in with a 13:50.

* It was a fairly close finish at the Jingle Bell Run in Fort Worth at Patrick Schuster, 44, held off 17-year-old Ben Stadthagen to win with an 18:25. Stadthagen came in with an 18:55.  The female race also was relatively close as Neringa Kaulinaite, 33, won with a 20:28 and runner-up Hannah Boatright, 16, came in with a 20:41.

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Natho, Mehmen score course records
at the Plano Pacers 15K

By Fiona Green

sheila nathocolby mehmenThe Plano Pacers always offer a great event in a scenic location at a reasonable price. This Saturday's (Nov. 26)15K also offered some added excitement as two course records were set. On the female side 50-year-old Sheila Natho set the club's record for women in the 50-54-year age group, clocking 1:06:43, enough to also earn her the overall female title.

When watching Sheila in the last mile, it didn't seem she was being pushed to her limit as she was smiling and waving, clearly enjoying the moment. Natho also holds the club's mile record for the 50-54 age group, which she accomplished in June with a time of 6:03. Showing she is competitive at all distances she also holds the 3K record for the  40-44 year age group.

Colby Mehmen turned in another amazing performance in the 15K to shatter the club's record of 48:27 held by Andrew Cook. Mehmen ran a blistering 46:16 and most likely would have broken 46 minutes if he hadn't run a little long at one of the turnaround points.  Mehmen holds the club's 15K\ record for the 13-15 age group and also for the 16-19-year age group.

Last month he set the club's 5K course record, covering the course in 14:41

Mehmen, 22, who ran for Stephen F. Austin, posted a short video of Saturday's race on YouTube. You can check it out by clicking on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j8JizvXw4w&sns=em

Incidentally, when Mehmen's time is age graded he has a score of 105.8. Any score over 100 ranks an athlete as a national competitor.

For those preferring a shorter race, there also was a 5K. This race was won by Matt Galvin, 24, in 15:59. Topping the female field was Isabel Borrego, 15, in 20:32.

***

Nov. 26 Highlights
By Charles Clines

* A couple of high school teens battled for the overall male award at The Believe Run 5K in McKinney on Saturday. Jonathan Cantu, 14, who runs for Dallas Bishop Dunne, prevailed with a 16:43. Jeremy Carlo, 16, Allen High School, was just behind with a 16:47. 12-year-old Brenna Zerby earned the female overall award with a 19:54. Cantu has been to the winner’s circle at least three other times in area road races this year. Zerby was second female at the North Texas Turkey Trot in Frisco on Thursday.

* Emily Field, 35, of Dallas won the 5K  female overall award at the Carrollton Runners Mile & 5K and was overall finisher in the 1-Mile. She zipped in with times of 19:09.26 and 6:00.5. Ryan Loehding, 44, of Carrollton won the male mile with a 6:07.34 and won the 40-44 age division award with a 20:46.14.

* I don’t know, but doesn’t it seem the winners seem to be getting younger. At the Autumn One-Tenth Marathon (2.622 miles) in Grand Prairie 11-year-old Bailey Horak of Little Elm won the overall female award with a 22:26 and 14-year-old Martin Chavez of Dallas won the male overall award with a 14:10. Chavez also won the One-Tenth Marathon on Jan. 2.

***

Good turnout at first Keller's Turkey Trot,
but early results scrambled

By Fiona Green

female winners

Thanks to near perfect race weather the inaugural Keller Turkey Trot 5K and 10K on Thanksgiving Day attracted over 1,300 runners. Arriving at joel potterthe race site  I was worried I might not have time to register asdressed for turkey day the line for registrations was pretty long, but somehow the volunteers managed to process everyone in time.

After the race, though, there was confusion with the results due to some duplicate bib numbers. Halfway through the presentation of the 10K awards it was announced that organizers would mail awards to the winners as the times of some of the 5K runners had appeared in the 10K results.

The 5K male winner was 18-year-old Joel Potter II (photo left). Potter, a student at Keller High, ran a speedy 16:23. He has a PR of 15:36 for the distance and hopes to soon break the 15-minute barrier.

On the female side, Alexandra Chan was the first to cross the finish line but wasn't given the overall award because she hadn't registered for a timing chip. I spoke with her parents before the race  and they explained she just wanted to take it easy.  When I grow up I'd like to be just like Alexandra!

The updated 10K results show 57-year-old Jana Ryan of Keller (second from right in top photo) winning the 10K (this is correct) , in 45:32, narrowly beating 36-year-old Carrie Gaston of Rockwall in 45:45. It was a close race on the male side as less than a minute separated the top two finishers, 43-year-old Chris Oles of Keller and 43-year-old Salvador Moreno. Oles ran a 38:45 while Moreno finished in 39:18. (Photo at bottom left are participants dressed for Thanksgiving.)

 

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Nov. 24 Highlights
By Charles Clines

Thanksgiving Day was another great, cool morning for running and thousands participated in the various events, no doubt trying to burn a few calories before stuffing them back on later in the day. At the YMCA Dallas Turkey Trot, 5,525 finished the 5K and/or 8-mile and relays. The Fort Worth YMCA 5K and 10K Turkey Trot had 1.912 finish, 939 completed the Arlington Turkey Trot, and 1,570 were timed at the Cox Running Club Thanksgiving Day 5K,10K and Half Marathon, There were other Thanksgiving Day runs in the area, so there were a lot of calories being burned.

* In Dallas, Mark Pinales, 23, a former All Big 12 runner from UT, held off the challenges of Eric Ojeda, 24,  and Austin Roth, 26, to win the 8-mile race. He zipped in with a 40:21 while Ojeda, a former All Sun Belt Conference runner at  UT-Arlington came in at 40:43 and Roth, 26, another former Big 12 runner at UT and the son of Jeff, among the top runners in the area when in his prime,  checked in with a 40:59. Ingrid Mollenkopf, who ran for North Texas University and competed in this year’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles, won the female race. The 27-year-old zipped around the course with a 48:09. Runner-up was 14-year-old Allison Mopsik of Austin with a 49:38. Former Southlake Carroll runner Johnny Kemps, 19, won the 5K, speeding in with a 15:28, 10 seconds in front of JT Graass, 19, a former runner at St. Mark’s in Dallas and who was on the high school relay team at the 2015 Dallas Marathon, which beat winner Sherman Logan. Holly Archer, 23, an English-born runner and a three-time All-AAC at SMU won the female award with a 17:13. Two of her SMU teammates, Justine Anthony, 22, and Shanoah Souza, 23, were the next two females. Anthony had a  17:35 and Souza a 17:48.

*  In the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot, there were close duels for the overall 10K male and female awards. Brent Paulsen, 33, of Fort Worth prevailed in the male race by clocking a 33:52 with Joe Capuchino III coming in second with a 34:28. In the female race, Samantha Ottman, 15, won with a 39:42, 13 seconds in front of Tara Upshaw, 25. One of the younger finisher was 11-year-old Kaitlyn Moore. She ran a 52:19 to finish 207 overall. Also, 10-year-old Joshua Pendergraft clocked a 52:21 to finish 211th overall. While Trevor Gilley, 22, of Fort Worth had the 5K overall award  pretty much in hand with his 15:15 finish, the battle for the next two award spots were closely contested. Jacob Pickle, 21, of Southlake  finally took the runner-up award with a 16:08, a second in front of Brandon Sotelo, 23, of Fort Worth, though their gun times were both 16:09. Close behind them were Tyler Forder, 20, (16:16), Whit Dennis, 14 (16:34) and Colby Caldwell, 19, (16:38). In the female division, Avery Culpepper, 19, of Tulsa won with an 18:04. Katarina Bouton, 21, held off Kaitlyn Tharp, 19, to take second 19:03 to 19:11. The male masters winner was Chris Culpepper, 46, with a 19:03. Just assuming that’s Avery’s dad.  Another young runner placed high on the finisher’s list as 9-year-old Ike Anicho of Fort Worth was 129th overall with a 22:50. Not too far behind was another 9-year-old, Andy Geiser, whose 23:34 put him at 156 overall. And 7-year-old Graham Jenkins ran an impressive 26:12 to place 296th.

* At the Arlington Turkey Trot, John Valentine, 24, of Arlington sped to a 16:01.87 to win the overall award. Grayson Barber, 17, of Grapevine challenged and finished with a 16:18.98, about 10 seconds in front of Trevor Montgomery, 19, of Whitney. Courtney Kriegshauser, 21, of Southlake prevented Magaly Soto, 40, of Arlington from growing her large collection of overall female awards by logging an 18:35.36 to win. Soto came in with an 18:51.52.

* One of the closer finishes for a female overall award unfolded at the North Texas Turkey Trot in Frisco as Sophia Liles, 17, a senior at Plano High School edged Brenna Zerby, 12, of McKinney by two seconds with a 19:47.

* A couple of duels for overall awards also unfolded in the Mansfield Turkey Trot 5K. Kevin Caverly, 39, held off Ashton Prejean, 39, for the male award with times of 18:28 to 18:59. In the female race, Anara Ickes, 17, took the award by holding off Tana Monroe, 31, to win with a 22:18.1 while Monroe came in with a 22:25.1.