Monday, January 5, 2015

HCS Racing Team Blog is Back!

Thanks for your patience!  As an apology for not posting in a while, please accept this gif of a penguin fetching a newspaper:
The 25 Most Important Penguin Gifs On The Internet

2015 promises to be a big year for the Striders!  Everyone's favorite race (The RRCA 10 Mile Challenge) is only seven weeks away and should be a good opportunity to see the benefits from this winter's training.  Good luck to everyone this week, we're going to have a few chilly days out there!

Wrapping up December of 2014:

Jason Tripp participated in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run 5k and walked or ran his way to the W in 18:50 which is either impressive or very impressive depending on his choice.

Mick Slonaker, Jess Ivy, and Tiffany Hevner represented the Striders at the Reston Run for Santa 5k.  Mick (20:22) and Tiffany (19:23) ran well, winning their respective age groups.  Jess kicked butt and snagged 3rd place overall in the female division.

A large contingent of Striders turned out for the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in Baltimore.  There were a handful of PRs set in addition to many impressive overall and age-group performances.  Julia set a racing team record for the 5 mile distance (with a victory to boot).  Carlos also took first place and was finally able to grab his first win on the course after many valiant attempts.  Great job everyone who ran!
Carlos Renjifo25:591st
Andrew Madison27:243rd
Jason Tripp29:4813th2nd (M40-44)
Ed Wilson31:1231st3rd (M50-54)
John Chall32:4761st2nd (M55-59)
Julia Roman-Duval28:501stPR, RTR
Tori Berard30:083rdPR
Dorothy Beckett36:571st (F55-59)

Peter Keating and  Conrad Orloff  made the trek up to the Lehigh Valley to run at XC Club Nationals.  They performed very well, with Conrad running 34:19 for 42nd and Peter running 35:02 for 69th on the grassy 10k course.

Mark Eagles wrapped up our year with a trio of performances at the Anniversary 15k (57:55 for 9th), the Rudolph Run 6k (21:24 for 6th), and the Seneca Slopes 9k Trail Race (39:22 for 7th).  Great job Mark!

Thanks for a wonderful 2014.  We hope 2015 will be even better!

Monday, March 17, 2014


This blog's manager has been absolutely horrendous at developing posts so far in 2014 but rest assured, that will change.  Unfortunately, there's been so many past performances thus far, I'm forced to summarize or else this would be a book...

This winter has been a nightmare for training.  Bitter cold, above average snow, and lots of wind have made it much tougher to log the miles and get in some quality work along the way.  However, with the conditions the way they've been, it has made it that much more satisfying to enter the spring racing season with a solid fitness level.

So here we go, here's a summary of results since the New Year:

1/26/2014BRRC GPS 8 MilerPhil Lang53:166th1st (M40-49)

2/2/2014Penguin Pace 5kConrad Orloff17:203rd1st (M40-49)

Nick Grossi18:475th2nd (M30-39)

Robyn Humphrey21:123rd1st (F40-49)

2/8/2014Mid-Maryland 50kAdam Wytko4:08:494th

2/9/2014Love the Run You're With 5kNick Grossi17:5922nd

2/22/2014Gasparilla 15kMick Slonaker1:01:5476th1st (M60-69)

February 23rd featured the first big team race of the year and I know it's everyone's favorite....RRCA Club Challenge.  The Georgetown Running Company (GRC) showed up for the first time this year which I was personally very happy to see.  They have many talented runners on both the men's and ladies side (though they didn't field a complete women's team this year) and should make this race much more competitive in the coming years.  Falls Road took the overall crown once again, with a narrow one point victory in the men's team race.  Conditions were near perfect for a late February morning.  As for us, the men's team took 3rd.  Mark led the way in 54:25, followed closely by Madison (54:32; PR) and Carlos (54:34).  David had a great race, running a PR by roughly 2 minutes in 57:05Steve was next in 57:41 with Conrad right behind (57:52, a PR)Craig (59:12) and Peter (59:51) closed out the sub-60 performances.  Dave ran a solid race in 60:56.  Phil clocked a 62:52 as he battles his on-going nagging injuries and Tunde was 64:28.

The ladies team was 2nd.  Tori led the way and had the race of the day, running 63:06 in her first 10 mile race EVER!  She has a chance to run around an hour at Cherry Blossom in a couple weeks.  Julia finished in 64:37, right in front of Jess (64:49).  Kelly ran 66:25, Tiff was 68:58, Robyn cracked 70 (69:40), and Dorothy wrecked her AG (75:51).

A few pics (courtesy of Denise Hyde):

Fast forward to March 9th, Mick and Tiff took to the streets of DC for the St. Patrick's Day 8kMick took 2nd in his AG in 31:39 and Tiff ran a PR in 31:17.  She's looking good for Boston!

Kevin, also returning from an achilles injury and training for Boston, clocked a solid effort of 76:04 at the Rock 'N Roll USA Half this past Saturday.

And finally, yesterday was the Kelly's Shamrock 5k in B-more.  Carlos led the way running 15:26 for 3rd.  Steve ran a PR (16:37) by a fraction.  Seth, who hasn't ran much as of late was next in 16:41.  Craig broken 17 (16:54), Jason in 17:15, Nick was 17:32.  Dave ran 17:44, Tunde ran 18:07, and Phil was right on his heels in 18:10 the day after an 18.5 mile long run.

Julia ran a NEW TEAM RECORD in 17:45 for 3rd!  Kelly had a nice day as well in 18:54 for top Master.  Vicki made her return to the racing scene winning her AG in 20:52, and Dorothy followed suit in 21:26.

I nabbed a couple race photos from Pete Mulligan:

Carlos rounding the last turn
Phil's finishing kick

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Racing Madness

The past couple weekends have been cold, blustery, and snowy.  Let's get to it:

Sunday, December 8th - Run with Santa 5k (Reston, VA)

A group of us braved the lousy weather and drove down to Reston for this race, put on by Potomac River Running.  It draws some pretty serious competition.  It was very cold, windy, and was snowing moderately the entire race.  On the men's side, Mark led the way, nearly taking a rear end dive at the first turn, finishing 7th in 17:03.  Tunde ran 19:23 for 3rd in his AG.  Mick won his AG in 20:04 and Bobby won his in 20:28.

Jess led the women's team, allegedly outkicking her husband, Jack, at the line.  She won her AG and finished just outside the $ in 4th with an 18:37.  Kendra was 15th in 20:36.

Our team took 2nd in the open division.

Some action shots:

Mark finishing
Jess getting ready to kick it past Jack

Tunde with zero feet on the ground

Mick with a snow beard
Kendra kicking it in
Bobby at the awards ceremony

Saturday, December 14th - Celtic Solstice (Baltimore)

This race is the biggest winter race in Baltimore and is very well organized by Jim Adams and Falls Road Running Store.  The good news was that the rain and snow held off so the roads were dry.  Too bad the hills were still there.  The first 2.25 miles or so are mostly uphill, though the course changed slightly this year back to the 'old' course from a few years back.  I personally found it to be a tad easier at the hills were more gradual.

Carlos ran for the win but had to settle for 3rd in 25:56.  Madison was next in 26:20 (his official time was shown to be 15 seconds faster but I know it is wrong) for 4th.  Mark grabbed 6th in 26:35.  David ran a nice race in 27:04 for 7th.  TJ, battling some lower back pain, went out hard but was forced to back it off but still ran a great time of 27:45 for 10th.  Jeremy appears to be 100% healthy as he clocked 28:33 for 13th, three seconds ahead of Kevin (28:36).  Chris was 16th in 28:50 and notched the top Master spot.  Jason, also still on the mend, cracked the top 20 with a 29:19.  Tunde ran an amazing race, getting his second elite team qualifier in 31:20.  WAY TO GO TUNDE!  Maurice won his AG in 31:32 as did Weems in 32:16.  Bobby was 60th in 32:41 and Mick was right behind in 32:46 for the AG win.

The women also cleaned house.  Julia ran with Sherry Stick for a bit but couldn't quite keep up.  She was 2nd with a PR of 30:18.  In her debut race, Tori ran a fantastic race taking 3rd in 30:41.  Kelly took the Master win, finishing 5th in PR fashion with a 31:57Robyn drafted off of Mick most of the race as she admittedly isn't in top form, but easily won her AG and finished 12th in 32:52.  In related news, Tiff is finally back running after tearing her plantar and her and Emily (also still getting fully healthy) ran the race at a comfortable pace and rockin' Christmas apparel!

A few photos:

Postrace group shot...Strider Blue aplenty

Emily and Tiff smiling at the camera, decked out in festive gear
 Reminder that our Annual Racing Team party is set for this Tuesday starting at 6pm at Feet First.  Our Annual Christmas Lights run is Wednesday at 7pm, starting at the Swim Center (bagel run start).  Finally, if anyone is looking for a low-key XC race or a tempo run, Phil is putting on his Rudolph Run 6k/Two Person Relay next Saturday at OMHS.  Race starts at 10am.  If you'll be around, come out and support Bullseye Running!  Click the Bullseye link in the upper left corner of the page to register.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

East Coast Turkey Trottin'

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and while I suspect all of us stuffed our bellies with delicious food and perhaps some beer and wine.  There were some good performances in various Turkey Day races up and down the East Coast:

Carlos took to the streets of Charleston, SC in a very competitive Charleston Turkey Day Run.  He was seeded #5 based on anticipated finish time.  After crossing mile 1, the leader, a near 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier was 20 seconds ahead of the chase pack.  Carlos went through the first mile in 4:51 then took over and finished 2nd in 15:32, collecting some $$$ for his efforts.

Carlos at the postrace awards holding his true gift
 In Charm City, Dave ran conservatively at the YMCA Turkey Trot 5k on a hilly course in Druid Hill.  He took tops GM honors, finishing 4th in 19:34.  Mick hit the streets of Brooklyn, NY in at the Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot 5 Miler.  He won his AG easily in 32:08.  Jeremy ran a solid 28:40 for 4th at the BCRR Thanksgiving Day 5 Miler.

On Sunday, John ran the Annapolis Striders' Cold Turkey 10k and won his AG in 39:27.

NEXT UP: Run with Santa 5k this Sunday then Celtic Solstice next Saturday...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spring Headline Race Registration - ACT SOON

Though Spring seems like an eternity away, it will be here before you know it.  There are two big races that require action very soon if you want to run them:

1.) Sunday, March 16, 2013 - Shamrock 5k - Baltimore

This is simply the fastest 5k (other than on a track) you will find in this area.  The first mile is 90% downhill then it's flat the rest of the way.  An added bonus is the race starts at 1:15pm meaning you don't have to set an alarm if you so choose and there's BEER at the finish line.  Registration is currently open and the price is $35 but goes up to $40 after Saturday.  This is a must-run, I don't care how fast or slow you are...

Registration Link

2.) Sunday, April 6, 2013 - Cherry Blossom 10 Miler - DC

This one's another must-do.  It's highly competitive, a flat course, and you can enjoy our Nation's Capital after the race as the race starts and finishes at the Washington Monument.  Due to its popularity, registration is completed via an open lottery.  The lottery opens Monday, December 2nd and close on Friday, December 13th at 11:59pm.  However, many of you can gain a guaranteed entry as a Seeded Runner if you can provide the coordinator a race result meeting the standard.  This means you do not have to sign-up for the lottery.  Carlos and I will be putting together teams again so let us know if you want in!

Entry info:

Seeded runner info:

Running a marathon at the Equator, Turkey Chasin', and Zoo Zoomin'...

As the holidays quickly approach and the Fall racing season comes to an end, we are welcomed with cold weather, strong winds, and darkness during just about any run...

Contrary to the cold weather, last weekend kicked off with Conrad beasting it out at the CISM World Military Marathon Championships in the Republic of Suriname, just north of Brazil.  He was representing the USA in a loaded field of 120 men.  This place is located just 4.7 degrees latitude north of the Equator.  From reading his race report, the gun went off at 0530 and it was already 80 degrees and 100% humidity.  Several countries brought 2012 Olympic athletes.  Conrad managed to negative split a 2:48:26 in the brutal conditions, grabbing 2nd American and 29th overall.  Winning time on the men's side was 2:24 and 2:32 on the women's side.  Average age in the race was 25, almost half of C-rad....#beast  Next year's race is in The Netherlands, so conditions should be much better!

Sunday featured the Columbia Turkey Chase, hosted by Suzy's RIP IT Events.  I've seen advertisements claiming this course is fast, but in my experience running those roads, it has its hills.  Jorge ran a big PR, coming in 2nd in 37:08 with Chris right behind him in 37:24.  In the ladies' race, Kendra and Emily went 1-2, crossing the line in 41:59 and 42:15 respectively.  Here are some action shots courtesy of Mick and Jess:

Jorge showing off his finishing kick
Chris all alone in 3rd
Kendra bringing home top honors
(A finally healthy) Emily smiling with her 2nd place finish
Meanwhile, John ran through the Baltimore Zoo at the Zoo Zoom 8k.  He grabbed the top grandmaster spot, finishing in 32:42 for 8th overall.

There's tons of options for Turkey Day races tomorrow morning and don't forget about the Prediction 10k Run at Jeffers Hill if you don't feel like racing but rather would just want a training run with company.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

FLASH: Grandmaster Marathon domination

It's been too long since the last post and the results have piled up so if you are curious, click the individual results tab to look them up.

We'll start with a clean slate from here on out...

We had some amazing performances from our grandmasters this weekend:

In Richmond, Weems made his marathon debut and clocked a 3:12:30, crushing a BQ despite battling lingering injuries.  Dorothy ran 3:34:40 and won her AG by 10+ minutes!!!

Meanwhile, earlier this morning on the streets of Philadelphia, the ageless one, Tunde ran a PR, breaking 3 hours for the first time ever...2:59:12!!

Tunde at Mile 25 with game-face ON! (Credit: Gina Morakinyo)
 Out west, our favorite Finnish Strider, Pekka Stenholm toed the line at the Saltair Half Marathon in Salt Lake City in wind and snowy conditions.  Times were quite slow as expected but he still finished 13th in 1:24:12.  Looking forward to seeing him and the family next weekend!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Why Ragnar when you can B-more?

Only a couple weeks behind once again...

Rewinding back to the first weekend of the month, we sent a group to take on Ragnar DC, an overnight relay from Cumberland to National Harbor.  he team consists of 12 runners, each running three designated legs.  The team is split into two vans, and the entire team only meets at major exchange points and the finish line.  This year was a bit different in that the Government shutdown closed three of the final six legs (legs 31, 32, 35).  This made the race roughly 186 miles total and the three cancelled legs had to double up and run with legs 33, 34, and 36.  Driving time to skip the cancelled legs was subtracted from the overall time since nobody was running on the course.

The Run4Beer team consisted of: David Horrocks, Emily Drew, Mick Slonaker, Yasuo Oda, Tiffany Hevner, Michael Mbugi, Jessica Ivy, Jack Ivy, Jorge Renjifo, Mark Buschman, Kendra Smith, and Ed Reynolds.  While I'll spare all of the details, we started with the last wave of teams at 2pm, only five started then.  During leg 7, Jorge's first, a sign was moved on the course that sent him and two other runners way off course.  He ended up running 5 extra miles and we were in dead last.  However, we fought over way back and ended up taking second overall with a time of 22:13:30.  The runners in Van 2 spent their first two legs running in the pitch black darkness along the C&O canal and rural roads outside of Frederick.  By the time we reached the final leg of the race, it was in the low 80s and very humid.  Crossing the finish line as a team was an experience, but we were then limited to two large pizzas (split by 12 people) and one cheap can of beer post-race.  Overall a fun experience but the race management left more to be desired.

Here's a few photos documenting the journey:

Van 1 before driving to the start
The ladies
Some the guys barely staying awake
Mark and Jess after crossing the finish line
Team photo at the finish line
 And here's a video courtesy of Yasuo:

Fast forwarding to last weekend, it was finally time for the Baltimore Running Festival.  We had several people running the various events.  Let's start in the Marathon.  Dave Berdan took the overall crown, winning in 2:30, eight minutes ahead of second place.  He is an absolute beast and did Corrigan Sports a favor but agreeing to still run a race with no prize money.  On the men's side, Nick had a tremendous performance, finishing 6th in 2:49:21.  Right behind him was Kent, who allegedly slept until nearly 7am and barely made the starting line.  His training is so erratic juggling four kids and long shifts at the hospital, but he still manages to get it done; 2:49:24 for 7th.  Jason had cramping issues but still ran a BQ (though slower than his qualifying time) in 3:03:47 for 35th.  Kevin also had major cramping issues, having to come to a complete stop at mile 26 and walk backwards across the finish line.  It was amazing to watch the determination he showed to finish the race.  Sometimes time isn't the most important thing, it's the effort exerted.  He clocked a 3:05:10 and will have redemption at Boston...I'll bet that!

In the ladies race, Julia, who only runs 3-4x per week, led the race for 22 miles before running into cramping issues herself, but ran 3:00:30 for a 5 minute PR and 2nd overall!!!  I'm telling you this woman could run an Olympic Trials qualifying time if she could put in a year of solid training!

In the Carefirst Half, Maurice led the way, crushing his AG per the usual, running 1:22:36.  John was 2nd in the AG, running 1:28:08.  Robyn had a solid run on the tough course, crossing the line in 1:31:36 for 2nd in her AG.

Finally, in the Team Relay, we had a men's, women's, and Master men's squad.  The team of Mark, Carlos, Tim Burns, and Izzy solidified 2nd place in a course best of 2:22:35 behind Falls Road who broke 2:20 for the first time in race history for the relay.  The HCS/BWAC Master's team of Chris, Dave, Peter, and Steve Kartalia showed age doesn't matter, finishing 4th in 2:32:34.  The ladies team of Caroline, Emily, Suzy, ad Jessica crushed 3 hours, finishing 2nd in 2:54:29 for a new team course in the relay.

Julia was all smiles after her 2nd place marathon finish
Pre-race group shot
Start of the Marathon and Team Relay