Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chevron Houston Marathon Legacy Runner Notes

So I'm using borrowed data here, but it is very well put-together data.

Data that started as an effort to take all of Jack Lippincott's results books of the early years of the Chevron Houston Marathon and put it into a very usable form.

The individual that spearheaded the gathering, OCR scanning and programming of the databases and subsequent website was done by a good friend of mine, ultramarathoner and Chevron Houston Marathon veteran himself, Dalton Pulsipher.

It resides on the Internet as HoustonResults.com.

I discovered yesterday that there are four links to be able to download the current lists of marathoners and half marathons who have run 10 or more of each event as well as those who have run 5-to-9 of one or the other.

I took those clicks on the Information Superhighway!

These are the following numbers in each category:

+  1,572 marathoners have run 10 or more Chevron Houston Marathons  (1,225 men, 347 women)

+  4,213 marathoners have run between 5 and 9 Chevron Houston Marathons (3,154 men, 1,059 women)

+  97 half marathoners have run 10 or more Aramco Houston Half Marathons (48 men, 49 women)

+  1,740 half marathoners have run between 5 and 9 Aramco Houston Half Marathons (805 men, 935 women)

That's 7,622 entries for a total of 59,582 official finishes.

1,832 of those 7,622 -- 24% -- finished one of the two races last year.  1,482 did the marathon while 350 ran the half marathon.

73 of those 97 half marathoners that are now Aramco Houston Half Marathon veterans ran the race in 2015.

There are three runners who are veterans at both distances:

Nathaniel Collins (24 total finishers - 14 half marathons and 10 marathons)
Joann Luco (22 total finishes - 12 half marathons and 10 marathons)
Sammy Balch (20 total finishes - 10 half marathons and 10 marathons)

Another 178 have five or more finishes in both events.

Jay Murry, who last finished the half marathon in 2013, is the next one that is eligible to enter this group of "double veterans" as he recorded 16 marathon finishes through 2014 and crossed nine half marathon finish lines through 2013.

The five most number of combined finishes - where the runner has five or more in both events - are as follows:

Gerald Meyers (31 total finishes - 25 marathons and 6 half marathons)
Phillip Smith (30 total finishes - 25 marathons and 5 half marathons)
Margaret Montgomery (29 total finishes - 24 marathons and 5 half marathons)
Robert Thompson (28 total finishes - 23 marathons and 5 half marathons)
Stephen Sawchak (27 total finishes - 20 marathons and 7 half marathons)

Speaking of "Who wants to become a Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon veteran?", there's 348 - 286 marathoners and 62 half marathoners - that have nine (9) official finishes in that respective distance.

Almost 40% of those runners (including me) finished that same distance last year.  134, to be exact - or 38.5%.

Youngest in the Marathon 5-to-9?  Jenna Loredo, who finished her 5th Houston Marathon last year at the age of 17.  Twenty-year-old Auston Douglas is the youngest male with 6 marathon finishes.

The youngest half marathoners in the 5-to-9 pool are Connor Hannigan and Carrie McIntyre, who both finished their fifth Aramco Houston Half Marathon in 2014 at the age of 16.

So who are the youngest marathon veterans?

Raymond Tam and Elaine Ver Halen.

They were 25 and 31 when they finished their last Houston Marathon, respectively, in 2015 and 2014.  Raymond has 10 marathon finishes while Elaine has 11.

Brett Davis ran this year's marathon (2015) at the age of 31 for his 16th finish while Chris St. Jean ran his 12th Chevron Houston Marathon - also this year - at 32.

There are also 24 runners age 70 and over who are veterans at either distance -- and all of them finished last year's race.

The oldest of the marathoners are Boris Balic and The Woodlands' Jim Braden.  Both were 79 when they finished this January.  Boris has 33 finishes to his credit while Jim has 19.

Two females - Sally Sims and Ute Eisele - are also in that category.  They are both 71 and Ute last year ran her 10th Chevron Houston Marathon to become a veteran.

Four half marathoners - the oldest being Hans Meyer at 79.  He has finished 11 half marathons while Collins has 14 (at the age of 78) followed by Michael Chicka's 13 and Sesh Bala's 12.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Findlay Township Semi-Great Race 5K Event Report

Those of you who know me well and/or have for a long time know that I'll jump into race just about anywhere I can.  Solely for the fun of it and the experience of running some place new.

In the midwest, there's a lot of races on weekday evenings, especially in small towns.

So I looked just this past week to see if there were any such events between the Pitsburgh International Airport and Parkersburg, West Virginia, where I would run in the News and Sentinel Half Marathon for the fifth time.

Sure enough, there was.

And it was within five miles of the airport.

And within an hour and a half of when my plane was scheduled to land.

That part was fairly easy as we landed early, but bags coming to the carousel from United took longer than it normally does.

Getting my rental car from Enterprise and out of the garage, I was in Findlay Township and Clinton, Pennsylvania no later than 6:15 p.m.

By 6:45 p.m., I had signed up -- just $10 (Wow!), changed clothes, cleared my times from my last race (after writing them down) and headed to the start line with plenty of time.

The race was the Findlay Township Semi-Great Race 5K and it is part of the 40th annual Findlay Township Fair in The Woodlands, held in "woodsy Clinton Park".

And woodsy is a good thing.  It was really nice.

While there seemed like a few more at the start, there were 165 official timed finishers.

This race had a "hometown, old school" feel to it, which was great.

No need for a lot of announcements.  The gun was fired and we were off.

The first half mile ran through where they were holding the Fair on a paved trail.  Then the first couple of hills came.

It was basically an out and back with rollers.  You ran across State Highway 30, which was backed up with traffic in both directions, out to about the 1.8-mile mark and then haded back to the Park (just off a place that you passed on the way out).

Regarding the traffic:  Sure there had to be some mad people in those lines.  I probably would have been, especially if I had somewhere to go.

The time wasn't great (33:21.78), but work has been kicking my butt the last few weeks.  The last time I had run was last Saturday when Waverly and I completed the Lynchburg Half Marathon in Virginia together.

The miles went by in 10:44.21, 10:54.74 and 11:42.83 in the last 1.1.  I mapped it back here at the hotel in Marietta, Ohio a little while ago and it turned up 3.12 miles.  Perfect.

Totally worth doing and I would encourage it for anybody that happened to be in the greater Pittsburgh area whenever they hold it in the future.

It was my 39th race of 2015 and the 128th North American town or city outside of Texas that I've run in since 2003.