Thursday, December 27, 2012

Experiences Galore: A Look Back at 2012

There have been years in the past that I have been busier, but 2012 was still a pretty fun year - especially after working through some personal challenges that I allowed to keep me from performing by best for (and eventually costing me) two race directing assignments.

You won't read about a plethora of PR's here.  That simply isn't my main focus, and which some people don't get that it isn't.

A ton of different experiences?  You bet.  Absolutely.  Let's take a look:

Races completed:  37 - 6 halves (or better), 4 10K's, 14 5K's, 5-, 7- and 10-miler.  Duathlon.  (Technically, the 7-miler is really a DNF at a 14-miler, but it was the middle of a three-race, 14-hour effort.)
Marathons completed:  9 - Houston, Philadelphia and Bryan-College Station were not new states.
New states:  6 - Mississippi, Kansas, Alaska, Nevada, Montana, Maine.

This leaves me with a marathon in 30 states and a half marathon (or better) in 37 states.

DNF's:  2 - Rocky Raccoon 100 and Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in Louisville.
Races announced:  17
Races as official media:  6 - U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, The Woodlands Marathon, Ironman 70.3 Texas, Ironman Texas, Ten For Texas and Run Thru The Woods.
Race directed:  1 (BMI 5K)
Race support:  1 (Run For Hans 5K)
Races spectated:  5 (First Light Marathon, TriGirl Super Sprint Triathlon, City of Conroe Turkey Trot and a couple of others)

Waverly sang the National Anthem at:  13.

I'm very fortunate that I get to work with some of the best race directors in the business.  They include (in no particular order):

Robby Sabban (Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon and Half Marathon, Baytown Bud Heat Wave, Toughest 10K Kemah, Toughest 10K Galveston and La Porte By The Bay Half Marathon)

Willie Fowlkes (The Woodlands Marathon and Texas 10 Conroe)

Juris Green (Nike South and Nike Cross South Regional)

Steve and Paula Boone (Texas Marathon and End of the World/Day After the End of the World Marathon)

Rich and Amie James (Gusher Marathon, Pleasure Island Bridge Half Marathon)

Bill Gardner, Run in Texas (Galveston Sand Crab 5K/10K)

Kelly Dietrich and Angel Nicks (Muddy Trails 5K/10K and CB&I Sprint Triathlon*)

Kevin and Jana Landry (Galveston Marathon and Half Marathon**)

Roxanne Davis (Kiwanis Kids Triathlon, Conroe YMCA Trail Run 5K and Run Thru The Woods)

* Withdrew from announcing CB&I Sprint Triathlon because of some personal ethical conflicts.
** Will return to announce the 2013 event after missing 2012 because it fell on the same weekend as Rocky Raccoon.

If you asked me to rate my top 10 memories of 2012, I'd be hard-pressed to limit it to just that many.

The following, however, and in no particular order, seemed to stick out:

1.)  Covering the last three miles of the Chevron Houston Marathon with Waverly.  Always a highlight.  2013 will mark the eighth straight year that we'll do so.

2.)  Having Bill Dwyer and Waverly supporting me during my Rocky Raccoon 100 attempt and Jim Braden driving up from The Woodlands to cheer me on during my second loop.  Jim's a class act and a multisports legend.

3.)  Having Joan Benoit Samuelson's daughter, a representative for Nike, tell me at the Nike Cross Regionals that, "By the way, you're doing awesome!"  That is, speaking of my race announcing.  Receiving kind words from Coach Dan Green during Nike South was especially an honor, though, too.

4.)  Providing logistical support for the Run For Hans 5K and Beth Whitehead in her effort to honor Hans Weberling, who passed away earlier in 2012 from nueroblastoma.

5.)  Three races in 14 hours in Louisiana the last weekend in November.

6.)  Running the Panhandle Half Marathon in Lubbock with my good friend, Leanne Rosser.

7.)  Running Outrigger's 5K in Seabrook and the Extraterrestial Full Moon Midnight Marathon in Rachel, Nevada within 24 hours.

8.)  Three races in two weekends in Alaska, including a pretty decent marathon.

9.)  Watching Waverly sing the National Anthem in front of large crowds of 5,000 or more at The Woodlands Marathon and Run Thru The Woods.

10.)  A solid 4:48 marathon in Portland, Maine at the end of September.

11.)  Seeing Kimberly Mac Namee's return to road racing with wins in Texas City (overall), Lake Houston (overall), Toughest 10K Kemah (overall), Ten For Texas (masters), Houston Half (masters) and Run Thru The Woods (masters).

12.)  Waverly's finish line pictures at The Woodlands Marathon - as credentialed media - being used on

13.)  The U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon experience.

14.)  Working any Running Alliance Sport event with a great volunteer team and being able to be a part of donating $85,000 to charity in 2012.

15.)  Getting to meet Camille Herron and Jeffrey Eggleston at The Woodlands Marathon and reconnecting with Michael Wardian after seeing him at Western States, Boston and even a 5K in Washington, D.C.

16.)  The road trip with Bill Dwyer to Mississippi and Alabama for me to run the Mississippi Blues Marathon and watch Adrienne Langelier and Rebecca Massie compete on a relay together the following day at the First Light Marathon in Mobile.

17.)  Flawless race announcing performance at Texas 10 Conroe, perhaps my best of the year even with handling Nike Cross Regionals and interviewing Leo Manzano.

18.)  And, yes, even an hour and a half in the medical tent at the Bryan-College Station Marathon, but more importantly, my best friends waiting to make sure that I was OK.

Additionally, a few friends - Tony AllisonGeri Henry and Susan Rouse - completed their 50 state journeys this year all of The Woodlands.

And its been good to see Bill get his Volte Endurance Training group off the ground and start to be successful.

Plus there were some things that I was fortunate enough to be able to do and be involved in that either nobody knows about or very few do, and I prefer that it stays that way.

If I slighted anyone, my apologies.  It wasn't intended.  I could probably come up with something positive from every event that I was involved with or attended, but that would take a few extra hours.

Lots of fun in 2012 and lots in store for 2013.