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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Metric...Everybody's doing it....

The Fall racing season has officially kicked off with a bang and it will only get better from here...

Last Saturday featured the Striders' 37th Metric Running Festival, formerly the Metric Marathon and 5k.  The event was pushed up to September from November in hopes of better weather and to reel in those in the middle of fall marathon training.  The weather was....well...summer like with the humidity and proved to be the demise for several of us.  The 5k was eliminated and replaced with a two-person relay, each running 13.1k (or 8.14 miles).

In the full Metric, Kyle Stanton took off from the start and never relinquished the lead, running a very comfortable 1:36:29, despite taking off for 5 days before the race due to a bad ankle sprain.  Mark was 2nd, making a comeback to the racing scene after a 4-month hiatus, clocking 1:37:52.  Adam ran a great race, running with Mark and Kyle for the first 4 miles or so, running a PR on the course, finishing 3rd in 1:38:58.  Nick had a good one as well, also PR'n in 1:45:52 for 6th.  Jason was 7th in 1:48:11, as he sets his eyes on yet another Baltimore Marathon in a week and a half.  Tunde ran 1:51:20 for 12th.

In the ladies race, Kelly had a nice debut at her longest race distance ever, finishing 3rd in 2:03:07.  Robyn wasn't far behind, grabbing the top Master spot and putting in a nice kick after being told there was wine at the postrace party (total lie) in 2:04:06 for 4th.  Dorothy crushed her AG again, finishing 8th in 2:11:12.

In the relay, John and Weems won the Masters crown in 1:49:04.  Tiffany and Lisa (member of -PR- Racing Team) couldn't quite keep up with the Falls Road ladies, but ran strong in 1:54:19.  Kendra and Mick were 3rd in the open mixed division, despite the fact Mick aggravated his hamstring and had to walk for about a mile, but still managed to shuffle across the line.

Here's some finish line pics (courtesy of Mike Fleming):

Mark (2nd)
Adam (3rd)
Nick (6th)
Jason (7th)
John (1st Masters relay team)
Tiffany (2nd Open Women relay team)
Tunde (12th)
Kelly (3rd)
Robyn (4th)

Dorothy (8th)
 Meanwhile, Maurice ran the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial 5k, winning his AG in 18:48.

Sunday (9/22) featured a couple winners.  Jeremy made an appearance at the Savage 7k, winning in 24:39 as he continues his comeback.  In Stratford, CT, Kevin ran the Fall Frolic 30k as he tapers for the Baltimore Marathon, winning in 1:57:52.

Now to this past weekend...

Adam, a week removed from the Metric Marathon, was at it again at the Akron Marathon.  He (and I) believed he was definitely in PR (sub-2:44) shape for this one.  Not sure about the course or the weather, but he fell a bit short, running 2:51:45 for 20th.  Keith re-entered the results at the Bachman Valley Half in Westminster, running 1:25:31 for 3rd on a very tough course.  Over in Germany, Seth was able to avoid chugging down pre-race beers at the 40th BMW Berlin MarathonWilson Kipsang set a new world record at 2:03:23.  Seth had a tough summer with injuries and a long bout with the flu but finished in 2:51:15, only a few seconds off his PR on this course from 2011.

Finally, there was the Race For Our Kids 10k in Baltimore which has a nice little pot of winner's $$$.  Chris led the way in 36:44 for 5th and 1st Master.  Dave grabbed top grandmaster in 37:15 and Maurice won his AG in 38:04.

This weekend features the Ragnar DC relay from Cumberland, MD to DC then Baltimore Running Festival next weekend.  Time to roll out!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baby Renjifo is Born!!!

On Thursday evening, our team captain, Carlos, and his wife, Issel, welcomed their daughter into this world...

FLORALEI LIM RENJIFO, 8 lbs and 5 oz

Mommy, Daddy, and baby are all doing well.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Last Minute BQ? No Problem!

Let's go back to August 31st, where Phil ran marathon #47 in his quest for 50 by age 50...the Marquette Marathon on the UP of Michigan.  He clocked yet another sub 3 performance, finishing 9th and winning the Master's division in 2:58:47.  #stud

Tunde took on the challenging hills of Ellicott City at the Labor Day 10k and ran a solid 39:20, good for 4th on the men's side.  That same day, Maurice showed his endurance at the Charm City 20 Miler and finished 13th in 2:16:55.

Last Saturday, Adam ran the Bagel 2 Beer Marathon which is a challenging course through Columbia that finishes at Ram's Head Tavern in Savage.  He won it in a training effort at 2:53:27.  He's a freaking machine!!!

Sunday September 8th was the big day for a few Striders...their last chance to get BQ before registration opened for the 118th Boston Marathon at the Lehigh Valley Marathon.  I haven't talked with anyone so I can't speak to the difficulty of the course but I understand it's primarily run on a packed surface trail.  Madison led most of the way but was overtaken by Centennial HS alum, Brian Harvey, who flew past him running 5:10 pace for the last 10k to win in 2:31.  Madison was 3rd in a solid 2:38:24.  In the ladies race, Tiffany showed all of her hard work over the past several months paid off, running a HUGE PR in 3:10:31, while also breaking the top 10, finishing 7th.  Robyn needed a 3:55 to get her BQ and crushed it without a doubt in 3:34:29.  It is also worth noting that Madison's better half, Mairin, killed it in her marathon debut!  Going from no running to Lehigh in 12 weeks, she ran a 3:15:16 to punch her ticket to Boston next year!  WAY TO GO EVERYONE!

Meanwhile at Centennial Park, we had a one through five sweep on the men's side at Police PacePeter won in 17:00, Nick was 2nd in 17:45, Chris 3rd in 17:55 taking top Master, Dave won his AG in 18:12, and Tunde was right behind in 18:15 to round out the top 5.  John finished 18th in 19:45.

The Four Horsemen (left to right): Peter, Tunde, Dave, and Chris
Finally, we had a crew travel to Rockville to take on the Parks Half MarathonMick claims he crashed a bit over the last 5k but still managed a good run in 1:30:46 for 2nd in his AG.  Bobby wasn't far behind in 1:32:57, winning his AG and a little $.  Jess was right on front of Mick and pulled away at the end, crossing the line in 1:30:29, for 15th in the ladies race.  Emily had a successful race, as she continues to recover from recent injuries.

Happy postrace Parks crew (left to right): David, Bobby, Jess, Jack, Emily, and Mick
Maurice ran the Run To Remember 5k and won it in 18:34.

Now to this weekend...

Conrad proved once again that age is only a number, competing with the local young guns the likes of GRC at the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in DC.  He crushed the course, running 1:15:30 for 11th and top Master.  Looks like sub-2:40 at Marine Corps is looking good!

Caroline decided to strap on her trail shoes as she ran the VA Happy Trails Women's Half.  No clue about the terrain or elevation gain, but her time indicates it was a tough one.  She finished 10th in 1:52:50.  Maurice was at it again, doubling up with a 24:18 at the White Marsh 4 Miler yesterday and 17:58 BRRC Executive Stampede 5k this morning.

In Philly, a few fellas partook in the race formerly known as the Philly Distance Run...the Rock 'N Roll Philly HalfCraig had a huge day, clocking a PR in 1:16:03.  Tunde clocked a 1:25:12 as he prepares for Baltimore.

Next weekend features the Columbia Metric Running Festival.  If you aren't racing, please help out!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

A New Strider is Born

I would have posted this sooner but I just returned from vacation today.  I'm happy to announce that Steve and Kerrie welcomed a new bundle of joy to the world on Wednesday...

MEET JULIUS FORD OLENICK...7 lbs 9 oz of cuteness

Dad and son
 My guess is that he will be a heck of a runner one day, as Mommy was a top-notch collegiate runner at Maryland and Daddy isn't too shabby himself.


Carlos and Issel are next on the docket...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Annapolis 10 Miler Results

This past weekend, a number of racing team members kicked off their fall racing season at the Annapolis 10 Miler.  Known for its tough hills and generally unfavorable running conditions (read: hot and humid), the race is typically treated more as a rust-buster than a goal race.

To the runner's great fortune, this year's race was notably cooler than previous years, making the humidity more bearable.  Whether this break in the weather resulted in faster times is debatable, but a quick survey of people crossing the finish line seemed to indicate that most looked less miserable than in years past.

The female racing team contingent was very light this year, with only two women competing for the Striders.  Emily Drew, recovering from an injury sustained earlier this summer, was most happy about finishing the race injury free.  In a few months time, she will be back to her old self and will be setting some more personal records.  Dorothy Beckett, on the other hand, was in her usual top form, finishing in an impressive 1:15:04 and handily winning the Female 50-55 age group.

On the men's side, Carlos Renjifo and Andrew Madison ensured that the Annapolis crown remained with Howard County for another year, taking the top two spots with times of 53:53 and 54:44, respectively.  The masters men put on a dominant show, sweeping the top age group prize for each of the five categories between 40 and 65.  Finishers included:

  • Chris Chattin (24th, 1st M45-49, 1:00:27)
  • Jason Tripp (25th, 1st M40-44, 1:00:36)
  • Dave Berardi (28th, 1st M50-54, 1:01:55)
  • Weems McFadden (1st M55-59, 1:05:37)
  • John Chall (2nd M55-59, 1:07:16)
  • Mick Slonacker (1st M60-64, 1:07:48)

Shout outs also go to fellow Striders David Toller (6th, 57:59) and James Blackwood (54th, 1:04:33), who train with us and finished well within the top 100.

A few races pictures:

Post-race: All smiles

 Waiting for the awards

 Andrew and Carlos show off their prizes

Jason: 1st M40-44

Chris: 1st M45-49

Dave: 1st M50-54

Dorothy: 1st W55-59

Weems: 1st M55-59

Mick: 1st M60-64

More pictures are available (here) and (here).
Full Results are available (here)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baltimore Marathon Supported Course Run - Saturday, September 21st

For those of you who are going to be weenies and not participate in or help out at the Striders Metric Running Festival like you should, Falls Road is hosting a supported run on the Baltimore Marathon course the same day for those signed up for the race or any other fall marathon for that matter.  Here's some details:

The 20-mile course run will be held on Saturday, September 21. There is a 10-mile option for half-marathoners, and the 20 miles may be modified shorter or longer depending on your specific training plan. The run is almost entirely on the Baltimore Marathon course. Details and registration are at

Sssssooooo it's been a while...

Well, it's been six weeks since the last post.  I guess it's official I may be the worst blogger this planet has ever seen.  Since I have so many results to recap, I'm opting for a list in lieu of a book.  Most notably, Adam set a new team record at the lovely distance of 100 miles at the Burning River 100 in 21:05:21Keith also put together a hell of a weekend in July winning a 3-day stage race which included a 50k, 50 mile, and marathon. We have a decent group running the A-10 this Sunday so good luck to everyone racing!

Now for the results:

7/4/20136th Annual Smiles for Sophie Birthday Bash and DashNick Grossi17:055thPR, 1st (M30-39)

7/14/2013Pikesville Miles That MatterMaurice Pointer18:3715th2nd (M50-59)

7/12-14/2013Blue Blazes Ultra (3-day stage race)Keith Levasseur4:07:37

Keith Levasseur10:08:06
50 mile

Keith Levasseur3:43:57
27 miles; Overall event winner

7/14/2013Utica Boilermaker 15kRobyn Humphrey1:04:4245th4th (F45-49)

7/27/2013Crystal City Twilighter 5kCarlos Renjifo15:5612th1st (M30-34)

7/27/2013Cricket Baltimore Road RaceChris Chattin17:355th1st Master

7/27/2013Burning River 100 Mile Endurance RunAdam Wytko21:05:2123rdPR, RTR

7/28/2013Hadassah Check It Out Challenge 8kMaurice Pointer27:261stGM PR

8/3/2013Casey Cares Foundation 5kNick Grossi17:217th2nd (M30-39)

8/10/2013Charles Street 12Maurice Pointer1:17:5417th1st (M50-59)

Robyn Humphrey1:22:153rd

8/10/2013Tom Ausherman Memorial 5 MilerChris Chattin29:1223rd1st (M45-49)

8/18/2013BRRC Too Hot To Trot 10kWeems McFadden38:347th