Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fort Bend Kia Half Marathon Race Report

Race #5 new to me in 2017 (Goal is 50)
Race #7 to finish in 2017
Race #9 to be in attendance for in 2017 (7 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)
128th career half marathon
6th best half marathon in raw time, 2:13:05.
Best ever half marathon in age-graded time, 1:57:42

Simply put, Sunday, January 29, 2017 was a great day to race and I'm fortunate enough - financially, schedule, etc. - to have been able to take advantage of it.

My regular routine is all about making the logistics work in my life and things kind of came clear so that I could race the Fort Bend Kia Half Marathon - part of the Memorial Hermann USA Fit Half Marathon.

There are a few half marathons that I want to do a little later in the spring and the best way - to me - to stay ready is to run them when possible.

This race, which features primarily a flat course, has either typically been on a weekend where I had a conflict with another race that I was running or announcing.

Last year, I announced races on both Saturday and Sunday of the last weekend of January.  The reasons why are, sadly, other stories.

I knew my good friend, Bill Dwyer, of Volte Endurance Training, was maybe not going to go to the first race of the Texas 10 Series in Boerne, due to family responsibilities.

And once I saw one of his runners, Criss Neumann, was going to run it, I was all in.

I registered Wednesday evening before online registration closed and picked up my packet the next day at Finish Line Sports in Sugar Land.  Got a nice even #1800 bib number!

Fast-forward to Sunday.  Up at 3:30 a.m., left the house at 4:15 a.m., picked Bill up by 4:35 a.m., stopped and got something quick to eat off University Blvd. in Sugar Land at around 5:30 a.m. and was parked shortly thereafter.

Race start time was 6:30 a.m.  A little odd, but actually perfect, to be honest.

The streets that the first two miles are run on are lit well enough that you don't have any issues seeing the ground below your feet.

Given the temperatures, somewhere in the low 40s, I stayed in the car until about 6:15 a.m. then made our way to the start line.

Saw Felix Lugo and Kevin Kline, then after the National Anthem, jumped in the corral and off we went.

Kingwood's Karen Berglund deduced I was in front of her and husband Ron and I waved, knowing that they were running the marathon (as they had done five times before at Sugar Land), as I wanted to get off to a good, clean start.

Pace felt a little fast for me for a half marathon, especially since I was able to keep Criss in striking distance for three or four miles.

Mile 1 - 9:44.64
Mile 2 - 9:46.11

I saw Bill before the corner as we turned on to University and told him that mile 1 was 9:44 and that it was too fast.  I tried to slow it down, but the pace - given the weather - felt pretty good too.

There wasn't a lot of wind, but when I needed to grab a quick breath and stopped to walk for a few you still didn't want to stay still for long.

Mile 3 - 10:06.70
Mile 4 - 10:05.37
Mile 5 - 10:01.71
Mile 6 - 10:09.32

Along the way, I saw RaceShots.Net's Lance Phegley, who commented on my Liberty Flames technical shirt selection, as he was behind his camera.

For me at least, when you're trying to hammer away at a steady pace which gets you close to some of the fastest times you've run at the distance before, the incline of a few of the bridges felt worse than what they really were.

Plus, I cheer people on when I see them - going the other way (David Raines, Steve Maliszewski, Leno Rios, Victoria Webster, Bennie Perez and Daniel Bucci) - at which time I tend to inherently pick up my pace throwing me out of rhythm a little bit.

The turnaround came just before mile 7, around which time Pearland's Donna Palmer - a steady, solid 4:15-4:30 marathoner - and Houston's Richard Oeschlin, both of whom do the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon that I announce, came upon me.

Mile 7 - 9:52.44

Donna asked me how things were going and I think I stated that all was good.

Knowing though that I had just gone through the last mile fairly fast, I thought that I would run with (or behind) them a little bit to get into more of a steady pace.

Mile 8 - 10:17.17
Mile 9 - 10:06.54

I did - for a mile it seems, but again the way that the weather was it was hard to not try and push the pace a little bit.

Mile 10 - 10:32.91

I wouldn't say that the wheels came off, but it proved to be the slowest mile of the race and this included the first of two short out and backs off of University.

The first one took us out to a "cheater mat" at approximately the 15K point.  I guess mile 9 was on the way out to it, but when you made it back to University the immediate left-hand turn was up the incline of the bridge.

Just on the other side of the bridge and beyond it was the mile 10 marker.

Mile 11 - 10:14.79
Mile 12 - 10:31.67
Mile 13 - 10:26.95
Last .1 - 1:08.43

From there, I knew I had have one of my better times ever if I could just keep it all together.

I think mile 12 included a shorter out-and-back in the parking lot of the park where the Snowdrop Ultra 55 is held each year.

Also, pretty much everything after the first turnaround - into the finish - was on a wide path and off of University Drive itself, which I'm surprised that it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

Saw Bill taking pictures to the right as I got ready to make the final left-hand turn to head towards the finish on the campus of the University of Houston-Sugar Land.

Legs look solid, if nothing else does!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
The funniest thing (in a very good way) of the day, though, was Hugh Fraser's finish line call.

Since I didn't get out of the car until late, I didn't stop over and see Hugh - who has spelled me a little out at Kingwood a couple of years ago when I ran with Waverly, Jack McClintic and one of the Zarate brothers (likely Greg) before the race.

So as I cross the announcer mat, which Run Houston Timing has working well now it seems, I hear Hugh call the two runners in front of me and he goes, "Jon Walk."

And then in a bit of a surprised, excited tone:  "Jon Walk.  Who announces marathons around the state and country."

Well not quite the country, Hugh, but I waved back overhead in appreciation.

It put a big smile on my face.

Kind of like Patty Godfrey, who was handling the post-race awards ceremony (and doing a bang-up job doing so) on Sunday, did giving me No. 1 at her Frontier Fiesta 5K on the University of Houston campus two years ago.

I appreciate the love from the running and triathlon communities and something Bill and I had a good laugh about on the drive back to Spring.

Saw and talked with Peter Manry, who told me he heard Keith Schreiter and I on the radio (from our public service programming spot we did with The Bull 100.3 FM) that morning.

Also had a chance to talk with a local runner (who it took me a while to get her last name announced right over the years) about her faith - which is being attacked - and what the latest immigration issues mean to her.

So I came away with much more than a good time, knowing that the 2:13 was pretty solid and of which I was really pleased with the effort.

Of course, I wondered (seriously, not for long) if I had rested and not done two 5Ks the two days before if I might have gotten closer to 2:10.  Who knows?

The bottom line, though, is I had fun doing the other two and I was able to support a couple of different efforts in different ways and those are good things.

Ten years ago, I had folks in the community criticizing me for as much racing as I did - the quality vs. quantity argument.

To me, if I had something to prove or to specifically achieve, like those individuals did, maybe they might have been right.

Variety is the spice of life, right?

These are my best eight half marathon times all-time:

2:09:45 - 9/11/10 (43) - Elroy Tunnel-Trails Half Marathon, Elroy, WI - 74
2:09:58 - 3/18/06 (39) - Wheatfield Half Marathon, The Dalles, OR - 24
2:10:57 - 12/11/10 (43) - Schlotzsky's Jingle Bell Run Half Marathon, Temple, TX - 76
2:12:06 - 1/29/06 (39) - 12th annual 3M Half Marathon, Austin, TX - 23
2:12:26 - 1/28/07 (40) - 13th annual 3M Half Marathon, Austin, TX - 31
2:13:05 - 1/29/17 (50) - USA Fit Half Marathon, Sugar Land, TX - 128
2:13:17 - 1/31/15 (48) - Minden Run For St. Jude Half Marathon, Minden, LA - 103 (2:13:21)
2:13:45 - 2/9/14 (47) - Biggest Loser Half Marathon, Mobile, AL - 94

The two fastest weren't necessarily on cold days, like the following six were.

The race in Oregon had come after doing four marathons in five weeks, which included my 4:48 marathon PR.

However, as I came into the finish on Sunday, I remembered the effort in Mobile, Alabama, which was the first race after Holly, my sister, had passed away three years ago.

And the day was similarly cool and clear too - and even more flat than Sugar Land.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mardi Gras 5K Race Report

Race #4 new to me in 2017 (Goal is 50)
Race #6 to finish in 2017
Race #8 to be in attendance for in 2017 (6 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)

Second race of the weekend took me to Angleton, Texas, south of downtown Houston and off Highway 288.

As I stated in an earlier Facebook post, when an United States Olympic Trials Marathon finisher asks you to come out and run her race, you do your best to try and get it on your calendar.

Whenever Lauren Smith Stroud decides to give up running competitively, she can have a pretty good career as a race director.

She did a fantastic job today.  I didn't stay for any of the post-race festivities, but as a racer she got the race started on-time and had a certified course that was extremely well-marked and coned off.

The race was manually timed because of the smaller crowd, which is no big deal as the process to capture those times and runners was sound.

However, this is an event - the Mardi Gras 5K produced by the Angleton Parks and Recreation Department -- that really should grow.

It is basically a flat course with a handful of turns.  MapMyRun.com had 17.19 feet of elevation gain, but I couldn't tell you where that even was.

Here's the course on MapMyRun.com -- Mardi Gras 5K.

Style points would be that maybe the mile markers were a little off, but otherwise from an event production standpoint there's really nothing that you can find fault with.

If you registered before race day, I think the price for a long time was $20.  There was a Kids' 1K that was sparsely attended, which is a shame.

I registered race day for $25, which isn't bad at all (given the nature of our sport these days).

Mile 1 -- 9:25.20
Mile 2 -- 10:21.62
Mile 3 -- 8:34.35
Last .1 -- 1:14.83

Total -- 29:36.00

The funny of the day goes to a lady right before the start.  She asked, "Are you Dr. so-and-so's PA (Physician Assistant)?"  I went, "Ah no."

I know at times that I look official, but not this Saturday morning - or any other for that profession.

At about the halfway point, a man and his son were running and asked if I knew what pace I was running.  I think I replied something to the effect, "As fast as I can and then hold on!"  I said that it felt like about a 9:20 pace.

After we made the right hand turn on to Downing and got to the mile marker, he said, "You were right.  9:20."  I got there a few seconds after in 9:25.

From there, we ran south on Downing and then west on Miller to get to mile 2.

That came in at 10:21 and I thought, "Wow.  The wheels are coming off."  But the temperature was great.  51 degrees.

Nonetheless, I kept plugging away.  A taller gentleman my age and a woman that I saw inside the Recreation Center were running in my general vicinty.

We traded off a little bit down Downing, on Miller and through turns on to Willow, Cedar and then Valderas, but I needed to pause for a quick breath coming down Valderas and could catch neither of them.

Mile 3 was 8:34.35 and the last .1 was 1:14.83.  When I'm running about a 9:20 pace, that last tenth of a mile is basically 56 or 57 seconds.  So that marker was a little off, or the finish was off.

When I talked to Lauren after the race, she thought it was long (like at 3.16) and when I measured it on MapMyRun.com, it was 3.17.  (I don't do Auto Follow Roads and I'm very deliberate and try to mark the tangents where possible to get the shortest possible distance.)

So to go 29:36 at 3:17, that's a 9:20 pace and equates to a 29-minute even 5K.

So I'm really pleased, thirteen and a half hours after another 5K including a drive back from Temple and a drive to Angleton to have essentially run better.

At my age, I'll take it.  :-)

Big Blue Wave 5K Glow Run Race Report

Race #3 new to me in 2017 (Goal is 50)
Race #5 to finish in 2017
Race #7 to be in attendance for in 2017 (5 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)

Every runner has a story, right?

And you're probably wondering why I would go all the way to Temple to run a "Glow Run" 5K on a Friday night.

The original reason is because I was going to run a double in that part of the state.

Not every race site that lists races has them all.  So often times, I'll just Google the date and the words "5K" and "Texas".

Doing so, I found a 5K - that was timed like this one was tonight - in Copperas Cove for Saturday morning.  It would have been a Texas city of town that I had not yet run a race in.

Interestingly, it was called the 5K to the Polar Bear Plunge and would have included a dip into one of the city's swimming pools.

But different plans for Saturday morning have intervened.

So knowing that I was going to be doing a lot of driving this weekend, I went out to George Bush International Airport, rented a car and was headed to Temple at about 1:30 p.m.

I got into the area right about 5 p.m. and within the half hour had made it to Jefferson Elementary School where the fourth annual Big Blue Wave Glow Run 5K powered by Amos Electric was being held to raise money for the Temple Education Foundation's "I Teach Temple" program.

The race day entry fee was $35.

Pro-Fit Event Services was timing the race and I was able to register at a laptop where volunteers then grabbed a bib and matched it to the record that I had just created.

I went across N. 3rd Street to park in Walker Park as I was told that I wouldn't be able to exit the parking lot in front of the school for awhile.

I had my North Dakota State University tech shirt over top a white long-sleeved Space City 10 Miler tech shirt as the temperature at race time was 51 degrees.  I also wore a pair of thin white gloves, enough to keep my hands warm.

Exiting the parking lot would be a slight incline as was the right-hand turn and westerly initial direction of the course.

I went back inside the elementary school to study the map -- and after the race I grabbed a copy so that I could map it on MapMyRun.com to see if the distance was accurate.

There was a warm-up, which caused for concern as to whether the race would start on-time.

However, there wasn't any pre-race agenda.  I did let an individual with a microphone to remind individuals that the course wasn't closed to traffic.

The course was basically at out-and-back, running north and south.

I had no idea how the streets were, what the lighting situation was going to be, etc.  Just head out and see what the course gave us.

Most of the major intersections were either lit with rented lighting and/or there were volunteers manning many intersections.  (After the race, I did advise race leadership that participants should - in the future - be advised to carry a flashlight, wear a head lamp or have some of those keychains with the thumb lights as the streets were dark enough where they would have helped some.)

Mile 1 was 10:10.35.  Ugh, I thought, but I was thinking that the mile marker might had been off because I was rolling pretty good.  [And the MapMyRun.com elevation showed a decline from about .7 miles to right around or just past the mile 1 marker.]

We got to the very south end of the course, which was near a high school soccer field that was just about ready to have a match begin, and then started to head back north.

When we got to mile 2, I was at 19:32.47 and 9:22.12 on the second mile.

That's when I knew that I thought that they were off a little bit.

There was a female runner in close proximity that I was trading back and forth a little bit with.  After passing the mile 2 marker, there would be a pair of left-hand and then right-hand turns.

After we made it through both of them and had crossed Shell Avenue heading north, I figured I pretty well had her.

Over a half mile, there was a 23 foot climb.  Nothing substantial, but enough your legs could slightly tell.

I also knew from running a little bit of the course before the race that the last two-tenths of a mile or so would basically be downhill.

The last .22 miles, according to MapMyRun.com, had a 29-foot drop and I did my best to exploit it.

The last bit was 10:33.01 for a 30:05.48 finish.  (Timer had me for 30:04.9)

I knew given how I've been running that it seemed long and MapMyRun.com confirmed it.

It measured at 3.18 miles, which made for an equivalent 29:23 5K.

And that is what I expected to see based on how I've been running.  And, oh, the female, who was eight years younger than me, didn't catch me, but it was close -- 3.2 seconds close.

It turned out that I was second in my 10-year age group, but I grabbed a Subway 6-inch ham sandwich, talked to the organizer and gave her some feedback (all positive) and then started to make the drive back to Spring.

Although it seemed as if there were more runners, only 74 received an official time - which was 25 less than a year ago.

Excellent smaller race that you hope to see grow.  Good, friendly people and a really nice course.  The link to the course on MapMyRun.com is here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

USA Fit Marathon and Half Marathon 6- And 7-Time Finishers

7 Finishes

Bobbie Browne (M 2009-2011, 2014; HM 2012-2013, 2015)
Debora Vida (HM 2010-2016)
Denise Smith (HM 2010-2016)
Katherine Miller (HM 2009-2010, 2012-2013; M 2014-2016)
Keith Cox (HM 2010-2016)
Nancy Dunn (M 2010; HM 2011-2016)
Peggy DeMarsh (M 2011; HM 2010, 2012-2016)
Randall Smith (M 2009; HM 2010-2013, 2015-2016)
Robin McConaughey (HM 2009-2010, 2012-2016)
Sara Pressel (HM 2010-2012, 2014-2016; M 2013)

6 Finishes

Barbara Hansen (HM 2010, 2013, 2015-2016; M 2012, 2014)
Barry Davis (HM 2010, 2012-2016; M 2011)
Becky Walker (M 2009; HM 2010-2011, 2014-2016)
Benno Dunn (HM 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2015-2016)
Billie Kennedy (HM 2010, 2012-2016)
Cindy Cox (HM 2011-2016)
Don Womble (HM 2009-2014)
Donna Allotta (HM 2010-2015)
Edward Campos (M 2013; HM 2011-2012, 2014-2016)
Ellen Chu (M 2009-2010, 2012-2013; HM 2015-2016)
Fulin Han (M 2011-2016)
Ilse Bekker (M 2010, 2012; HM 2009, 2013-2014, 2016)
Joyce Walter (M 2011-2012, HM 2013-2016)
Kelva Kelly (HM 2011-2016)
Margot Campos (M 2013; HM 2011-2012, 2014-2016)
Marie Thompson (HM 2011-2014; M 2015-2016)
Michael Fleming (HM 2010, 2012-2016)
Nancy Holcomb (M 2011; HM 2012-2016)
Nanette Willis (HM 2010-2014; M 2015)
Philip Cohen (HM 2011-2016)
Scott Balin (HM 2011-2014; M 2015-2016)
Teresa Levine (HM 2011-2016)
Timothy Beally (HM 2010, 2015; M 2011, 2013-2014, 2016)
Yong Beally (HM 2010-2015)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Memorial Run Finishers Numbers (2013-2017)

After moving the race from December to January for its fourth running (and landing on the same weekend as the Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk in Port Isabel), the 2018 - and fifth - edition will be a week after the Chevron Houston Marathon on Saturday, January 20 for the 5K and Sunday, January 21 for the Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay.

2013 (December 15) - 256 (138 men / 60 women / 58 relay)
2014 (December 14) - 345 (138 men / 102 women / 105 relay)
2015 (December 13) - 288 (113 men / 71 women / 104 relay)
2017 (January 15) - 202 (91 men / 55 women / 56 relay)

Half Marathon
2013 (December 15) - 619 (323 men / 296 women)
2014 (December 14) - 901 (424 men / 477 women)
2015 (December 13) - 689 (331 men / 358 women)
2017 (January 15) - 578 (261 men / 317 women)

2015 (December 12) - 130 (55 men / 75 women)
2017 (January 14) - 142 (55 men / 87 women)

Source:  athleteguild.com

Monday, January 23, 2017

3M Half Marathon Finishers Numbers (2003-2017)

2017 - 5,167 (3,007 women / 2,160 men)
2016 - 5,300 (3,133 women / 2,167 men)
2015 - 5,500 (3,240 women / 2,260 men)
2014 - 4,613 (2,657 women / 1,956 men)
2013 - 5,020 (2,917 women / 2,103 men)
2012 - 5,004* (2,848 women / 2,012 men), 144 relays
2011 - 4,277 (2,603 women / 1,922 men)
2010 - 4,283 (2,420 women / 1,863 men)
2009 - 4,159 (2,248 women / 1,911 men)
2008 - 4,454 (2,312 women / 2,142 men)
2007 - 3,448 (1,704 women / 1,744 men)
2006 - 3,003 (1,504 women / 1,499 men), 68 relays
2005 - 2,629 (1,273 women / 1,356 men), 62 relays
2004 - 2,580 (1,188 women / 1,392 men), 60 relays
2003 - 2,922* (1,262 women / 1,383 men), 31 military, 137 clydesdale, 27 filly, 82 relays

* indicates the total is not just made up of the women and men's individual runners.  relays count as one finisher.

Sources:  cadencesports.com (2014-2016), mychiptime.com (2017, 2009-2010), wetimeraces.com (2012, 2013), active.com via 3M website (2012, 2006, 2005), run-far.com (2004, 2005)

Choco Loco 10K / 5K Finishers Numbers and Overall Winners

2016 - 161 (102 women / 59 men)
2017 - 242 (152 women / 90 men)

Open - Male
2016 - 36:48.8, Justin Arnosky, 27
2017 - 38:44.6, Steve Maliszewski, 44

Open - Female
2016 - 43:06.5, Dawn King, 52
2017 - 45:27.1, Misha Luciano, 26

Masters - Male
2016 - 41:16.7, Thomas Bradley Edwards, 45
2017 - 39:36.9, Steve Morrell, 53

Masters - Female
2016 - 45:32.9, Catherine Santamaria, 42
2017 - 46:58.2, Eileen Aubert, 51

2013 - 478 (316 women / 162 men)
2014 - 431 (281 women / 150 men)
2015 - 431 (300 women / 131 men)
2016 - 444 (295 women / 149 men)
2017 - 506 (343 women / 163 men)

Open - Male
2013 - 14:50.8, Ben Zywicki, 24
2014 - 17:50.0, Rafael Romero, 29
2015 - 17:37.5, Adolfo Gomez, 32
2016 - 18:13.1, Luke Williams, 27
2017 - 18:34.4, John Robertson, 43

Open - Female
2013 - 17:39.7, Allison Urvan, 36
2014 - 20:23.8, Victoria Webster, 29
2015 - 19:55.8, Victoria Webster, 30
2016 - 19:02.7, J Tobin, 36
2017 - 19:28.1, Laura Mathews, 23

Masters - Male
2013 - 18:36.0, Cornelio Garibay, 44
2014 - 17:58.2, Peter Mullin, 63
2015 - 18:27.3, Steve Maliszewski, 42
2016 - 19:33.6, Brian Smyth, 61
2017 - 19:57.4, Manny Sanchez, 59

Masters - Female
2013 - 20:07.8, Martha Long, 44
2014 - 22:45.6, Ellen Roy, 41
2015 - 21:36.8, Melanie Bell, 46
2016 - 21:00.0, Rebecca Marvil, 57
2017 - 21:29.9, Melanie Bell, 48

Source:  eztoregister.com

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Miracle Match Marathon 10K Race Report

Race #4 to finish in 2017
Race #6 to be in attendance for in 2017 (4 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)

This morning's Miracle Match Marathon 10K in Waco was not a new city or county in Texas for me to race in, nor was it a new race to me.

I ran (or maybe battled is a better term) the half marathon two years ago.

The race director, Nancy Goodnight, bills this as the toughest marathon in Texas and I can't say, given my knowledge of the state's races, that it is an unfair assessment at all.

It might even qualify for the half marathon as well.

The 10K?  Maybe not.  The first two miles of this race are fairly flat as you depart from the side of the Hilton Hotel and Waco Convention Center, near the banks of the Brazos River, and you head east - under Interstate 35 - over and onto the Baylor University campus.

You exit the campus, cross a foot bridge that has a little life to it and run around Mc Lane Stadium, where you pass the mile 3 marker on the north side of the stadium.

Right after the return pass of the bridge, you pass the mile 4 marker, make a left hand turn and then make a sweeping upside down U-turn that brings you back in the westerly direction.

You run on a path the parallels the Brazos River where you pass mile 5.

The last 1.2 miles is definitely the most tough part of the course.

You know that you're going to finish coming across the famous Waco Suspension Bridge.

So, if you haven't run it before, you're thinking:  "How are we going to get back up there?"

Well, it was either three or five ramps up to the ground level, near where we started.

You then head west, where the half marathoners go straight towards Cameron Park (lucky them!) while the 10K'ers (that was me today) made a right-hand turn over a flat, paved bridge that took you to the north side of the Brazos.

Off the bridge to the left you went, a slight downhill, to the right for a short out-and-back, back under the bridge, and then up another ramp (not as difficult as those on the south side of Brazos, but a ramp nonetheless) before making the left-hand turn to come across the Suspension Bridge.

Always seems to be an added degree of difficulty with this race.

Today, it was some pretty ferocious high winds that blew from west to east.

And most of the time today, they simply sucked the wind out of me.

As given the description above, you can tell it is definitely not a PR course.  The bottom line is that your legs will know it if the rest of your body happens to sleep through it.

Speaking of sleep, I didn't sleep too well last night, but I don't think it affected my racing.

If anything, the hard 15K yesterday might have.  But, all in all, a good test, especially since I've got a couple of half marathons that I want do to this spring.

Offset - 27.52
Mile 1 - 9:39.50
Mile 2 - 9:53.30
Mile 3 - 10:06.63
Mile 4 - 10:14.75
Mile 5 - 10:09.65
Mile 6 - 9:28.47 (Mile marker was slightly misplaced.)
Last .2 - 3:14.57 (10:35/mile the last 1.2, but I slowed to set up crossing the finish too!)

Total - 1:02:46.87 (10:06/mile)

There's no way I would have broked 10 minutes/mile.  Fresh legs, cool temperatures and no wind.  Probably, but not by much.

It was in the low to mid 50s today.  I thought for a minute to wear a top, but opted for my short sleeved Liberty Flames technical shirt with thin gloves.

Couple of things of note:

1.  The medals are fire service-inspired.  Thin pieces of metal that are hand cut by a Waco fireman who has personally donated stem cells through the Be The Match program.

1a.  Race shirt was great:  "Thrashing quads since 2004".  I can't speak about post-race food and festivities, etc. as I needed to leave (see below), although I'm sure they were excellent.

2.  One of the things, besides extremely efficient race day packet pickup, that I don't recall being highly touted is the proximity of the Waco Convention Center to the start line -- and it being open the morning of the race.  Case in point:  If I my bowels get out of sync and I didn't go before I left my home or hotel, I will figure out a way to hold it (as I'm just not a fan of port-a-potties for that function).  Today I did and the WCC was more than perfect for a clean, non-congested environment.

2a.  I stayed either inside or close to the building to protect myself from the cool temperatures and winds until about a minute before the start of the race.  #winning

Those who I encountered along the way on the 10K course (volunteers, law enforcement, etc.) do an incredibly great job for Nancy, but she does a great job - with a team - of doing right by them and showcasing the area and community incredibly.

Speaking of being on the course, I noted the following:

1.  Saw Houston's Andrew Rennie, who was running the marathon today, somewhere around the mile 1 marker.  I had jumped out to a quick 9:40 first mile and he went with me around the mile marker to talk, but I talked him into letting go because a.) I speed up when I engage in conversation and b.) he needed to slow down to pace himself for the remaining 25.2.

1a.)   Also saw a gentleman with a Space City USA 10-Miler technical race shirt and ABB 5K gloves.  He didn't engage.  Why?  Headphones.  :-)

2.  I circled McLane Stadium with a few "Go Flames!"  Baylor will likely beat Liberty pretty badly in September, but one can pray and dream, right?

3.  Just after passing mile 4, a gentleman said to me (can't make this stuff up), "I hope you're not in my age group."  I told him that I had raced a 15K hard yesterday so that I'd probably crash before we made it to the finish.  (I beat him, but a.) I figure there were others ahead of us if we were in the same division and b.) I saw him on the out-and-back on the north side of the Brazos River.)

4.  I won't put this because I don't know that I want to manage the incoming fire, but let me say this:  Sometimes during a race I get a target and today, I beat mine.  (It had something to do with what they were wearing.  It was out-of-place for the race today.)

I made it to Waco late yesterday afternoon as I didn't go to my planned second college basketball game of the day.  The game at the University of Texas-Dallas (against Louisiana College) was over around 2:45 p.m. and I just couldn't see hanging around the Dallas area until the game at Paul Quinn College started at 5:30 p.m.

I was tired to begin with and if I had, I would not have made it into Waco until about 10 p.m.
And what I paid for a hotel in Waco, I wanted to use it -- as I went to bed early (around 9:30'ish), but I woke up around 4:30 a.m. being unable to go back to sleep.

After the race, getting a bite to eat and making it back to the hotel to shower, I was able to enjoy services near downtown at the First Baptist Church Waco.

It is a historic Texas church and had a marker outside of the building, although I didn't take a picture.

Here, though, is the text on that marker:

Organized in 1851 by the Rev. Noah Byars and charter members, the First Baptist Church of Waco worshiped in the meetinghouse of the First Methodist Church until their own sanctuary was built at fourth and Mary Streets in 1857. It was destroyed by fire in 1877 and was replaced by a larger building. The present house of worship was erected on this site in 1907. Historic figures affiliated with First Baptist Church have included five generals of the Confederacy, former Governor of Texas Pat M. Neff, and Dr. B.H. Carroll, pastor from 1871 to 1899 and later founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Dr. J.M. Dawson, pastor from 1915 to 1946, resigned to become the first executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, Washington, D.C. From 1886, when Baylor University moved to Waco from Independence, Texas, the university and First Baptist Church have enjoyed close association. Every Baylor president since 1886 has maintained active membership here. Many of the faculty, administration, and student body of Baylor University traditionally have provided vital links in the fellowship. Several Baptist churches in Waco owe their origins to former members of this congregation. 

Great message about patience and kindness by Pastor Matt Snowden.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

LGRAW's Bold In The Cold 15K Race Report

Race in Texas city or town #126
Race in North American city or town #285
Race #2 new to me in 2017 (Goal is 50)
Race #3 to finish in 2017
Race #5 to be in attendance for in 2017 (3 finish, 1 announce, 1 media)

I think it has been well established that I like to race somewhere new.

I thought about running Rob Goyen's Horseshoe Trail Run in Hitchcock at Jack Brooks Park (which would have been a new city), but I needed to get out of town.  (And it turned out that with some recent rains that runners were having fun in the mud -- ah, not my type of fun!)

Plus I figured out that I could see three new Texas college basketball gymnasiums or arenas this weekend.

So off to the Dallas Metroplex it was.

I saw Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College - now known as Randall University and is out of Moore, Oklahoma - take on Dallas Christian College in Farmers Branch in NCCAA women's college basketball action last evening.

Randall University took the win 68-61 in a hard fought battle.

The female national anthem singer was one of the best I have ever heard.  Incredible.

Prayer before the game and after.  What was so incredibly neat about the latter is that in a gymnasium that was getting ready for the men's game, you couldn't have heard a pin drop.

I actually pulled the trigger on this race late.

I signed up for tomorrow's Miracle Match 10K in Waco for $43.20 on December 31, 2016, but got in the Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers (LGRAW)'s Bold In The Cold 15K for $38.00 even on January 10,2017.

The race was held at Oak Creek Park in Grapevine, which turns out to be a race in my 126th Texas city or town.

Pre-race communications established that race day packet pickup was between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and that parking might be a little tight -- and it was.  The last few cars looked as if they were going to get parked in Lake Grapevine!

The thing about LGRAW is that it is a top-notch Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) club that has some appearances of an older, legacy club, that is, back in the 1970s and 1980s.

The race starts were simple - not big productions like some are.

The 5K was all chip finish.  No timing mat at the start.

The 15K had a timing mat at the start, but no big announcements -- and they fired an actual starter's pistol.  Awesome.

The course went two miles out to the east and came back towards the start.  Roads without traffic in the Park as well as trails made up the course.

We passed by the finish at about mile 4.3 or so (estimate) and normally that's a demoralizer for me, but the weather was pretty good.

The car temperature read 50 degrees and I actually went against karma by wearing the race technical shirt that I had just received at packet pickup because it was long-sleeved and all I brought was my Park City Marathon, short sleeve race shirt.

At one point, I seriously thought about stopping to take it off, but was glad that I didn't because I didn't recall the temperature ever feeling like it picked up at all.

There was a negligible to slight breeze, but nothing that really stands out.

When we headed to the west, we ran off to the north for a little loop to add some distance and then did an out and back that brought us back to the finish.

The USATF certified course had a total climb of 395 feet and total elevation change of 789 feet.  I relate it to Huntsville State Park, but without the tree roots.

Mostly changing with some flat spots, but the course kept you working.

I probably ran more hills than I have in awhile, certainly because of the cool temperatures, but still walked a little.

With it being cooler, I was able to continue to work on a faster foot turnover where I could and I think it paid off for a 1:36:14 finish -- good for a 10:19 pace.

This would be a 2:15:21 half marathon if I could hold it -- and that is exactly in the range I want to be going forward (even though I'm getting older.)

Saw and talked to Your Sporting Image's Karen Thibodeaux and then saw RRCA At-Large Director Kelly "K2" Richards at the mile 3 mark and then again just past the mile 9 mark.

Kelly is and has been a great contributor to the RRCA for a long time.

I would certainly recommend this race for anybody.

If you're reading this, you're likely to have not run many 15Ks, if at all.  So it would be an automatic PR, but it is a good test of a road course with some small to mid-range rollers that you can keep churning through.

Somebody could come with you that wasn't as active and do the 5K.  LGRAW is a very friendly club that is welcoming to adults and children of all abilities -- and many were out there enjoying the morning.

As a finisher's item, in addition to the long-sleeved, technical shirt that they gave out for registering, LGRAW gave out a head band with ear covers.

Additionally, the mile markers seemed to be spot on and in some places, there the miles had half mile markers too.

I certainly look at races with an event producer's eye - and there's nothing really that I could even think of to complain about.  :-)

Offset - 19.73
Mile 1 - 9:55.01
Mile 2 - 10:16.93
Mile 3 - 10:05.99
Mile 4 - 10:18.43
Mile 5 - 10:31.32
Mile 6 - 10:28.19
Mile 7 - 10:24.93
Mile 8 - 10:26.80
Mile 9 - 10:22.50
Last .3 - 3:24.06

Total - 1:36:14.16 (10:19 pace)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

16 Joined The 20 Chevron Houston Marathon Club

This past Sunday, 16 runners completed their 20th Chevron Houston Marathon.

An additional 47 finished their 21st to 24th Chevron Houston Marathon.

The fastest male of this group of 63 was Houston's John Yoder, who co-led Sunday's 3:20 pace group in a "make it under" time of 3:19:44.

The fastest female was the fastest of them all, Barbara Stoll, also from Houston who stopped the clock in 3:17:33.

All 63 runners are listed below with their gender, age and finishing time:

24 - Anthony Mireles, M, 62, 4:50:39
24 - Darryl Anderson, M, 52, 5:56:50
24 - Eddie Espinosa, M, 54, 4:29:30
24 - Irene Binash, F, 59, 5:04:00
24 - Jeff Nash, M, 55, 4:14:27
24 - Kathryn White, F, 49, 4:45:31
24 - Matthew Padon, M, 48, 3:23:18
24 - Michael Holcomb, M, 62, 5:51:27
24 - Roger Souders, M, 58, 3:49:36
24 - Thomas Steets, M, 65, 5:46:00

23 - Billy Mathias, M, 50, 4:41:19
23 - Dalton Pulsipher, M, 39, 4:25:17
23 - Doug Earle, M, 64, 4:53:37
23 - Elva Lafuente, F, 51, 3:45:20
23 - Grant Hodges, M, 60, 5:41:46
23 - Jim Buchwalter, M, 59, 4:48:10
23 - John Yoder, M, 45, 3:19:44
23 - Marc Phillips, M, 68, 5:27:40
23 - Philip Ballmann, M, 57, 4:38:56
23 - Ronnie W Watkins, M, 61, 5:01:09
23 - Steve Hasson, M, 50, 4:31:56
23 - Suzy Seeley, F, 57, 3:39:50

22 - Carole Uttecht, F, 61, 4:10:28
22 - Dale Lee, M, 61, 4:17:23
22 - Edward Montana, M, 45, 4:51:12
22 - Fred Hall, M, 60, 5:42:55
22 - Gary Marsh, M, 63, 5:31:31
22 - Mark Nash, M, 57, 5:15:16
22 - Milburn Breazeale, M, 67, 5:18:58
22 - Robert Dunn, M, 50, 4:58:04
22 - Robert Simon, M, 53, 5:09:19

21 - Benjamin Mayer, M, 49, 5:13:40
21 - Brad Moore, M, 48, 4:57:20
21 - Carl Richard, M, 59, 5:55:11
21 - David Martinez, M, 50, 4:26:34
21 - Elaine Bobigian, F, 66, 5:19:49
21 - Estella Tam, F, 60, 5:47:23
21 - Harry Sokolow, M, 60, 5:28:13
21 - J Carlos Medrano, M, 67, 3:58:46
21 - John Henneman, M, 61, 5:14:10
21 - Jonathan Tydlacka, M, 36, 3:36:31
21 - Marty Applebaum, M, 54, 4:37:07
21 - Michael Luna, M, 56, 5:26:07
21 - Michael Root, M, 53, 3:43:15
21 - Nicolas Meza, M, 65, 5:25:52
21 - Timothy Nielsen, M, 50, 3:39:33
21 - Victor Aguirre, M, 65, 4:44:23

20 - Alberto Mendoza, M, 49, 3:42:15
20 - Barbara Stoll, F, 55, 3:17:33
20 - Chris McWatt-Green, M, 66, 5:22:33
20 - Claire Greenberg, F, 54, 4:27:39
20 - Dale Kelley, M, 55, 5:07:28
20 - David Torres, M, 55, 3:53:29
20 - Deb Clifford, F, 56, 5:31:37
20 - Gloria Mahoney, F, 66, 5:04:10
20 - Holly Stewart, F, 46, 3:25:56
20 - Jacqueline O Brien-Nolen, F, 51, 3:57:15
20 - Kathleen Kress Hanson, F, 56, 5:17:04
20 - Keith Booth, M, 63, 4:59:25
20 - Leslie Medley Russell, F, 50, 4:17:26
20 - Marlene Hicks, F, 51, 4:36:52
20 - Matthew Denio, M, 60, 5:27:42
20 - Robert Fanning, M, 55, 4:45:48

Sources:  chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

10 Runners 80 And Over Finish 2017 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Before Sunday, there were 35 times where a runner age 80 or greater finished the Aramco Houston Half Marathon as an official finisher (under four hours chip time).

The most finishers in a single year came last year when six - five men and one woman - crossed the finish line just outside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

On Sunday, January 15, 2017, a record 10 runners did so.

Their times - and their current age, hometown and the number of Chevron Houston Marathons and/or Aramco Houston Half Marathons they finished - are as follows:

2:28:15 - Jim Braden, 81, The Woodlands (20 marathons / 4 half marathons)
2:38:28 - Don Henderson, 81, Galveston (1 marathon / 4 half marathons)
3:02:06 - Ray Boytim, 84, Spring (35 marathons / 2 half marathons)
3:02:19 - Kay Duplichan, 80, Rockport (8 marathons / 8 half marathons)
3:06:09 - Lee Miksch, 80, Cypress (26 marathons / 4 half marathons)
3:08:42 - Phillip Smith, 81, Houston (25 marathon / 9 half marathons)
3:28:47 - Marsha Smith, 81, Houston (4 half marathons)
3:35:56 - Jim Healy, 83, Houston (27 marathons / 5 half marathons)
3:35:58 - Nathaniel Collins, 80, Houston (10 marathons / 16 half marathons)
3:51:30 - Hans Mayer, 81, Houston (8 marathons / 13 half marathons)

Braden's 2:28:15 is the second fastest behind Luciano Garcia's 2:27:03 five years ago in 2012 as an 81-year-old out of Victoria.

The top 10 men's all-time Aramco Houston Half Marathon finishes at 80 and over are as follows:

2:27:03 - Luciano Garcia, 81, Victoria, 2012
2:28:15 - Jim Braden, 81, The Woodlands, 2017
2:32:32 - Dan Allensworth, 81, Galveston, 2011
2:32:55 - Luciano Garcia, 80, Victoria, 2011
2:38:28 - Don Henderson, 81, Galveston, 2017
2:39:07 - Pete Alberts, 81, Houston, 2016
2:45:20 - Luciano Garcia, 82, Victoria, 2013
2:47:14 - Harold Gillespie, 82, Houston, 2005
2:47:28 - Fred Peirce, 82, Spring, 2011
2:48:04 - Fred Peirce, 81, Spring, 2010

The top 10 women's all-time Aramco Houston Half Marathon finishes at 80 and over are as follows:

2:59:46 - Marsha Smith, 80, Houston, 2016
3:02:19 - Kay Duplichan, 80, Rockport, 2017
3:09:18 - Shirley Gilliland, 80, Temple, 2011
3:10:49 - Shirley Gilliland, 81, Temple, 2012
3:22:31 - Marcie McCaskill, 81, Webster, 2006
3:25:01 - Marcie McCaskill, 80, Webster, 2005
3:28:47 - Marsha Smith, 81, Houston, 2017
3:40:58 - Addie Kephart, 80, Atascocita, 2009
3:46:13 - Wren Bump, 82, Webster, 2007
3:54:59 - Addie Kephart, 83, Atascocita, 2012

Nathaniel "Skippy" Collins is the only runner to complete every single Aramco Houston Half Marathon that's ever been produced (2002-2017) - and may still be the only athlete to be a legacy marathon and half marathon runner.

The total number of Aramco Houston Half Marathon finishes for runners 80 and over year-by-year are listed here:

2004 - 1 (Male)
2005 - 3 (2 Men / 1 Woman)
2006 - 2 (1 Man / 1 Woman)
2007 - 2 (1 Man / 1 Woman)
2009 - 3 (2 Men / 1 Woman)
2010 - 2 (Male)
2011 - 4 (3 Men / 1 Woman)
2012 - 5 (3 Men / 2 Women)
2013 - 2 (Male)
2014 - 2 (Male)
2015 - 3 (Male)
2016 - 6 (5 Men / 1 Women)
2017 - 10 (8 Men / 2 Women)

The cumulative number of Aramco Houston Half Marathon finishes at age 80 and over are listed here:

5 - Bernard Blumenthal, Pasadena (2010, 2012-2015; 85)
3 - Harold J Gillespie, Houston (2004-2006; 83)
3 - Jim Healy, Houston (2014-2015, 2017; 83)
3 - Luciano Garcia, Victoria (2011-2013; 82)
2 - Addie Kephart, Atascocita (2009, 2012; 83)
2 - Edward Burns, East Gwillimbury, OH (2015-2016; 82)
2 - Fred Peirce, Spring (2010-2011; 82)
2 - Hans Mayer, Houston (2016-2017; 81)
2 - Marcie McCaskill, Webster (2005-2006; 81)
2 - Marsha Smith, Houston (2016-2017; 81)
2 - Phillip Smith, Houston (2016-2017; 81)
2 - Ray Boytim, Spring (2016-2017; 84)
2 - Shirley Gilliland, Temple (2011-2012; 81)
2 - Wendell Londeen, Huntsville (2007, 2009; 82)
1 - Dan Allensworth, Galveston (2011; 81)
1 - Don Henderson, Galveston (2017; 81)
1 - George Bashen, Montgomery (2005; 80)
1 - Jim Braden, The Woodlands (2017; 81)
1 - Kay Duplichan, Rockport (2017; 80)
1 - Lee Miksch (2017; 80)
1 - Nathaniel Collins, Houston (2017; 80)
1 - Pete Alberts, Houston (2016; 81)
1 - Richard Soller, N. Bend, OH (2012; 84)
1 - Wren Bump, Webster (2007; 82)
1 - Zeno Boehmer, Nacogdoches (2009; 80)

Sources:  chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com

55 Now Have 25 Chevron Houston Marathon Finishes or More

While results, as of Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 12 noon are still unofficial, the following 51 men and four women finished their 25th or greater Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday.

Their gender, age and finishing time is listed below.

43 - Jack Lippincott, M, 70, 5:36:24

40 - Rick McMahan, M, 63, 5:17:41

37 - Arlen Isham, M, 72, 5:55:27

36 - Charlie Viers, M, 75, 5:56:13

35 - Stephen McNeil, M, 59, 4:44:24
35 - Boris Balic, M, 80, 5:59:13

34 - Roger Boak, M, 68, 3:57:19
34 - Robert Eury, M, 68, 4:35:35
34 - Maria Camacho, F, 61, 5:14:04

33 - Tony Allison, M, 61, 4:43:33
33 - Rudolph Rendon, M, 69, 4:42:55
33 - Manuel Gonzalez, M, 71, 4:59:09

32 - Will Hrachovy, M, 68, 5:12:36
32 - Susan Rouse, F, 58, 4:27:14
32 - John McClung, M, 56, 5:16:03
32 - Jesse Smalls, M, 70, 5:12:43

31 - Robert McDowell, M, 66, 5:57:17
31 - Larry McPhillips, M, 65, 5:28:31
31 - J P Reed, M, 60, 5:02:44
31 - Don Padilla, M, 67, 5:57:07
31 - Charles Moore, M, 62, 4:42:07
31 - Brian Jenison, M, 57, 5:32:58

30 - Steve Boone, M, 67, 5:59:40
30 - Richard Evans, M, 60, 5:17:49
30 - James Tuscany, M, 63, 5:28:08
30 - Gene Wilson, M, 63, 4:55:21

29 - Robert Hoekman, M, 75, 3:57:50
29 - Michael Johnston, M, 60, 4:48:30
29 - James Simmons, M, 66, 5:46:21
29 - Charles Scheibe, M, 62, 5:46:19

28 - Paul Cooley, M, 66, 5:06:05
28 - Fred Steves, M, 75, 4:43:09

27 - William Schneider, M, 64, 4:39:00
27 - Robert Hughes, M, 67, 5:29:09
27 - Rich Fredrich, M, 59, 4:16:11
27 - Randall Keith, M, 58, 4:03:40
27 - Lupe Gomez, M, 63, 4:25:39
27 - Leslie Hale, F, 64, 5:37:12
27 - John McKenna, M, 60, 4:44:58
27 - Joe Pierce, M, 60, 4:24:34
27 - James Thurmond, M, 70, 5:23:45

26 - Terry Green, M, 62, 5:39:07
26 - Ralph Rohena, M, 64, 4:29:01
26 - Michael Danke, M, 48, 5:51:35
26 - John Colico, M, 57, 5:50:07
26 - Jesus Pequeno, M, 49, 4:45:08
26 - Gunnar Sanden, M, 76, 4:23:03
26 - Carlos Reyes, M, 53, 5:10:12
26 - Bob Kirkpatrick, M, 55, 5:53:46

25 - Larry Lindeen, M, 76, 5:06:05
25 - Kenneth Ruane, M, 75, 5:30:01
25 - Jim Carlson, M, 69, 5:36:52
25 - Harry Pang, M, 67, 5:55:24
25 - Glenn Heumann, M, 62, 5:16:17
25 - Evelina Stenroos, F, 63, 5:03:47

Sources:  chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Chevron Houston Marathon From The Men's Marathon Press Truck

I guess I could be like mostly everybody else in print journalism with a press pass and stay in the George R. Brown Convention Center and watch the telecast inside.

And I would have if it was going to rain in the first two hours earlier this morning.

Because of space and the fact that it is a monthly magazine, my story in Texas Runner and Triathlete is basically a synopsis of the day.

I try to finish it before I leave the George R. Brown, which I've done successfully now this year and last, so I'm not inclined to see what others have done (even though I heard the same commentary as they have from the winners and top Americans).

By the way, it is really hard to get much substance out of the Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes.  However, I learned that there is really a style to asking them questions - sitting a row behind Race Results Weekly's David Monti (who knows everybody).

And that is to ask the question slowly.

When you get your copy of the magazine, there'll likely be some news and notes that you haven't seen before - my specialty - and maybe a few quotes from Becky Wade and Jordan Hasay that weren't included in other stories.

I don't write as often as guys like Monti or the Houston Chronicle's Dale Robertson (who seems to try and continually drive home the story line of the dominance of the Ethiopian athletes), so I'm certain their stories have a bit more creativity than mine.

I try to pick up some different themes and then thread them all together.

So like I did a year ago - and like Waverly did for many years while I was running the marathon (as she would take notes and get quotes for me to write the marathon story for Texas Runner and Triathlete), I was on the men's marathon press truck.

Kind of like in a basketball game where you look for lead changes and swings, following a marathon from the press truck is a similar process.

You're watching for when the pack thins and who's left standing when it does.

Getting to the press truck, with the new start line and corral setup, was a challenge in that I was expecting an individual from the HMC team to be going there too - and when they didn't, I navigated myself there and onto the truck.

Was there in plenty of time though and had a chance to trade a great series of texts with a friend before they started their half marathon.

Different this year was the fact that this year's referee was not Sugar Land's Joy Smith.  The 55-year-old, who was fourth overall in the 1998 Houston Marathon (in 2:41:42), was running her first Aramco Houston Half Marathon since 2007 and finished second in her age group in 1:38:37.

The Chevron Houston Marathon really does a great job in its timeline to start the race, as well as many other facets, of course.  There are a lot of things that are done at The Woodlands Marathon because of a relationship between the Houston Marathon Committee's Operations Manager Carly Caulfield and The Woodlands Marathon race director Willie Fowlkes.

I got tasked with turning the clock on at the top of the press truck.  So, even though we were far enough ahead of the start line that I couldn't clearly see the clock, I was listening for when the gun went off.  (I also maintained the time on my personal watch so I could maintain splits.)

So you ask:  What goes on on the press truck?

The biggest function is to make sure that the time is captured at each kilometer and mile marker.

Mile splits are fed back to the Press Center for communication to media members that are there.  This role last year and this year was performed by a pair of Rice Owls men's track and field athletes.

The ham radio operator on the truck was also sharing this information.  (I'm sure there was a level of backup and redundancy in place.)

There was also a gentleman - last year the individual was from the Chicago Marathon team - that was feeding each kilometer split and the total time into a computer which updated a display on the back of the truck which showed the runners their pace per mile and kilometer.

Bob Alexander was the individual that was heading up the positioning of the truck with the car behind us, which was filming the athletes directly behind them, and working with Bayou City Road Runner and local attorney Tom Radosevich.

All the while, the truck had to navigate some of the wheelchair athletes as well as both visually and mobility-impaired athletes, plus we would have to move from one lane to another as the athletes desired to run the tangents through a bend in the road.

After we made the split where we lost the half marathoners, in front of the truck was a quartet of officers on motorcycles.

So it was a continuous synchronization between the challenges in front of Radosevich and staying close enough to be able to visually see when the athletes passed each split point.

I'm sure course certifier Logan Burgess was the one responsible for putting the kilometer and mile markings on the road in bright green paint as part of his course certification work.  They were very beneficial when the truck got a little farther out on some passings of the teardrop flags marking the kilometers and miles.

Beyond that, it was just plain fun while working.

We were able to see the lead pack grow to seven runners by mile 8.  Bib #7 dropped off to seventh as we passed the half way mark at 1:05:013.

By mile 14, the pacer had dropped off and there was a group of five.

At the 30 kilometer mark, the field dwindled to four and two minutes and 17 seconds into mile 24 on Allen Parkway, it fell to three.

There Dominic Ondoro used those 4:49 and 4:50 splits, a couple of the fastest of the day, to pull away for the win.

I told Chevron Houston Marathon race director Brant Kotch in the media center in the GRB at about 11 or so a.m. that I thought the crowd was as good as its ever been.

There were so many people that I knew that I saw out on the course.

Eyecan Alliance's David Adame and Catapault's Alison Fowler very early on.

Next up was Snowdrop Ultra 55 race director and University of Houston Alumni Association race director Patty Godfrey.

Saw Volte's Juan Flores near mile 12.  Other Brother's Peter Manry and Gerry Simpson were near mile 13.  Hempstead's Becky Nesbitt at around mile 17.

Snowdrop's Trish Kline was in the Galleria area just before passing Becky by.

Volte Endurance Training's Bill Dwyer, and probably my best friend besides my daughter, I saw around mile 7 I'm guessing and then again right around mile 23 near Andy Stewart's Finish Line Sports aid station.  Mary Carter I know I saw with Bill twice and Mayra Caamano the second time.

When Bill saw me the last time, I think I hollered that I was the "Mayor of Pressville" on the truck.  :-)

Before that though, the most incredible sight all day was seeing near mile 21 Coach Al Lawrence sitting in a chair along Memorial Drive and he stood up after I hollered at him to cheer on the lead marathoners that were behind us.

I wonder how many people ran by Coach Al today and had no idea or clue who he was.

I'm sure there were others that I missed.  If so, I apologize.

So we're coming down the main stretch of road that heads right to the finish line, but there's a turnout near Main Street.

I got off the truck there and ran to the GRB, getting a short run in for the day.

Great experience.  Glad I was able to be a part of it once again.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Louisiana Marathon Finishers Numbers

2012 - 637 finishers (242 women / 395 men / 25 relay)
2013 - 935 finishers (405 women / 530 men)
2014 - 1,476 finishers (708 women / 768 men)
2015 - 1,361 finishers (638 women / 723 men)
2016 - 1,141 finishers (550 women / 588 men)

Half Marathon
2012 - 1,203 finishers (724 women / 479 men)
2013 - 1,804 finishers (1,077 women / 727 men)
2014 - 2,528 finishers (1,529 women / 999 men)
2015 - 2,853 finishers (1,723 women / 1,129 men)
2016 - 2,749 finishers (1,644 women / 1,099 men)

2012 - 331 finishers (225 women / 105 men)
2013 - 527 finishers (316 women / 211 men)
2014 - 1,054 finishers (627 women / 427 men)
2015 - 1,400 finishers (863 women / 536 men)
2016 - 1,921 finishers (1,204 women / 717 men)

Quarter Marathon
2015 - 398 finishers (249 women / 149 men)
2016 - 543 finishers (363 women / 179 men)

Kids Marathon
2015 - 641 finishers (288 girls / 352 boys)
2016 - 850 finishers (430 girls / 418 boys)

Sources:  thelouisianamarathon.com, onlineraceresults.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016: Racing Year In Review

It was a fun, different year.

Racing got better throughout the year, which is a good thing I guess.

66 races, including nine of the $1 entry or free variety.

I didn't count the Labor Day 5K with the Seven Hills Running Club since it was a $2 entry for non-members, which may change for 2017.  The non-member part, that is.

38 new cities or towns to run in.  13 of them came in the Lone Star State and a whopping 25 throughout the rest of the United States.  (Waverly actually ran in 9 of them with me.)

That pushes my totals to 125 Texas cities and towns to have run a race in and another 159 North American cities or towns.  Maybe I'll get to 300 in 2017.  We'll see.

I also ran my first marathon in nearly two years.  Again, not sure how many more of those you might see.  And that was only because I didn't really want to run a half for $90.

So, $5 more for an extra 13.1?  Sure.

I enjoy it all.  My natural inclination towards numbers and stats have opened up over the last 14 years the opportunity to write about and race announce the sport(s).

I finished a race this year in 19 states and pushed - through finishes in Ohio, Maryland, Nevada, Kentucky, Michigan and Vermont - my half marathon state total to 45.

This leaves only Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii and California.  I actually registered for a race in California, in conjunction with acquiring a cheap fare, but getting to announce the UIL Region III Preview meet with the Sam Houston State University team took precedence.

Best Race (Performance):  59:51 10K at Lake Jackson Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning.  Beautiful, sunny, clear, crisp and cold day to race and I did well - for me.  It was my first 10K under an hour in approximately four years.  And I beat Waverly to the finish line after a bunch of races this year of her kicking my butt!

Runner-up Best Race (Performance):  Actually, not the 2:15:26 Revel Mount Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas in early May, but rather the 2:16:17 Harlingen Half Marathon on Sunday, November 13, 2016.  It came a day after a solid, 10-mile race from San Diego to Alice.  Both courses were flat, and it was cold or downhill like Revel Mount Charleston was.

Most Fun Race:  Definitely had to be the 32nd annual Moonlight Chase 4-Miler in Eldridge, Iowa on Saturday evening, July 9.  Less than 24 hours before the start of the race, Waverly and I were still at George Bush Interncontinental Airport waiting on a delayed flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP, for you airline mavens).  We made it to our hotel just across the border in Wisconsin at about 3-something on Saturday morning.

Guess what?  We had a 5K in New Richmond at 8 a.m.  Waverly typically hits her stride at the start of mile two and I was about 10 seconds behind her when she motored to a minute and 19 second victory.

We still had the drive to southeastern Iowa to make after venturing to find a tiny dot on the map that was Waverly, Wisconsin.

Pretty big crowd (913 finishers) for a race where you're running in streets that are fairly dark, but such a festive, spirited Fourth of July-like atmosphere.  Waverly got out ahead of me, but she could hear me lurking as I loudly engaged with the crowds that we were racing through.  Less than 400 meters from the finish, I almost caught her, but made the mistake of letting her know that I was coming for her.  She's got a pretty good kick - for folks with our type of (non) speed - and I almost caught her, finishing two seconds behind her.  So close, but great fun.

Coldest Race:  Union Hospital Run For Home Half Marathon in New Philadelphia, Ohio on Saturday, April 10.  The temperature was 30-33 degrees, the wind chill from 23-25 and some flurries late in the race.

Best Finish:  Same race as above.  Finishing on the track in Woody Hayes Stadium (named for the legendary Ohio State football coach) in a Penn State jersey, ranked up there (in earlier years) with finishing on the fields at Notre Dame and Illinois in Penn State gear and double high fiving Franco Harris crossing the 50-yard line inside of Beaver Stadium.

DNS:  Two.  Mississippi Blues Half Marathon in January and Ventura Half Marathon in California in September.

DNF:  One.  The North Face Race to the Top of Vermont in Stowe.  While a tough, tough race (turned hike, like the Leadville Heavy Half), I simply ran out of time before I had to leave Stowe to get back to Boston's Logan Airport and catch a flight.  It is a 4.3-mile, 2,564 vertical feet hill climb.

Toughest Course (and knowing it before hand):  Blue Ridge Mountain Half Marathon in Roanoke, Virginia - a race that bills itself as America's Toughest Road Half Marathon.  Held in late April, it has 1,897 of elevation gain.

Toughest Course (and not):  Bourbon Derby Half Marathon in Paris, Kentucky on the second Saturday in June.  The heat factor this year made the 1,147 feet of elevation gain while running through and near a number of different horse farms feel even more difficult.

Interesting Course, Part 1:  Through the Universal Studios lot during the Run To Remember Los Angeles 10K in late January.  (No, I didn't stop and take pictures.)

Interesting Courses, Part 2:  Starting off the Mardi Gras Parade on Sunday afternoon, February 7, in Lake Charles, Louisiana - all the way down to the entrance to McNeese State University and doing the same up and down the middle of FM 1960 during the Shamrock 'N Run 5k here in Houston.

Airport Runways, On and Off:  We got to run basically the entire race on the runways of Angelina County Airport in Diboll, Texas during the Run The Runway 5K in early October, while we ran on maybe a small part of a taxiway at the Airport in Longview during the Longview Running Club's Up and Away 5K in mid-to-late July.

Lots of Fun, Part 1:  Waverly and I did five races in eight days during summer vacation.  Two 5K's in Wisconsin, a four-miler in Iowa and a pair of 5K's in Minnesota.

Lots of Fun, Part 2:  Four races during the Thanksgiving weekend.  A 5K on Wednesday evening in Lafayette, Louisiana, a 10K in Lake Jackson on Thanksgiving morning, a half marathon on Friday morning in Dallas and a 5K in Round Rock late Sunday afternoon.

Lots of Fun, Part 3:  Three races over Memorial Day Weekend, all in Pennsylvania.  The Tri-Burg Special:  5K in Fryburg, 10K in Philipsburg and 3.8-Miler on Memorial Day in Boalsburg.

And with the exception of the first two weekends of 2016, I was either running a race, announcing it or was in attendance of one for the remaining 50.

Got any new hobbies I should try instead?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Women's Quarter Marathon Finishers, Age-Group Bests and Top 20 Times

The Women's Quarter Marathon in Katy is produced by iRun Productions and is timed by RunFAR Racing Services.

2017 (Jan. 7) - 424 (1:14:16 average)
2016 (Jan. 9) - 486 (1:15:21 average)

2017 - 45:29, Amie Smith, 39, Austin
2016 - 45:20, Gabriela Gadeva, 29

Overall - Second Place
2017 - 47:16, Lauren Valentino, 38, Houston

Overall - Third Place
2017 - 47:31, Sarah Kelley, 27, Katy

2017 - 49:58, Karrie Bellard, 52, The Woodlands
2016 - 48:43, Suzy Seeley, 56, Houston

Masters - Second Place
2017 - 50:07, Gita Kulkarni, 40, Houston

Masters - Third Place
2017 - 51:22, C. Stephenson-Lake, 42, Cypress

Top 20 All-Time Times
45:20 - Gabriela Gadeva, 29, 2016
45:29 - Amie Smith, 39, Austin, 2017
45:52 - Natalie Harvey, 29, 2016
46:59 - Avery Lewis, 28, 2016
47:16 - Lauren Valentino, 38, Houston, 2017
47:31 - Sarah Kelley, 27, Katy, 2017
48:43 - Valeria Garcia, 26, 2016
48:43 - Suzy Seeley, 56, 2016
48:44 - Charlotte Harris, 44, 2016
48:45 - Camille Boon, 38, Houston, 2017
48:54 - Merry Armentrout, 35, 2016
49:04 - Nora Gentry, 25, 2016
49:14 - Catherine Christie, 15, 2016
49:21 - Gita Kulkarni, 39, 2016
49:58 - Karrie Bellard, 52, The Woodlands, 2017
49:58 - Monica Castellanos, 37, Pearland, 2017
50:03 - Danielle Cooper, 31, 2016
50:05 - Kristin Trahan, 35, Katy, 2017
50:07 - Gita Kulkarni, 40, Houston, 2017
50:18 - Leslie Medley Russell, 49, 2016

Top 20 All-Time Masters Times
48:43 - Suzy Seeley, 56, 2016
48:44 - Charlotte Harris, 44, 2016
49:58 - Karrie Bellard, 52, The Woodlands, 2017
50:07 - Gita Kulkarni, 40, Houston, 2017
50:18 - Leslie Medley Russell, 49, 2016
50:40 - Carolyn Turner, 42, 2016
51:22 - C. Stephenson-Lake, 42, Cypress, 2017
51:24 - Jennifer Laine, 44, Pearland, 2017
51:49 - Rhonda Emerson, 58, 2016
51:58 - Jenny Lu, 44, 2016
53:02 - C. Stephenson-Lake, 41, Cypress, 2016
53:30 - Emma Jeter, 42, 2016
53:31 - Marina Van Den Adel, 41, 2016
53:50 - Rhonda Emerson, 59, Pearland, 2017
54:37 - Kelly Cavazos, 43, 2016
55:28 - Elva Castro, 46, 2016
55:29 - Kelli Ann, 41, Katy, 2017
56:14 - Magali Exbrayat, 41, Houston, 2017
56:22 - Yao Peng, 40, 2016
56:25 - Candace Dartez, 49, 2016

Legacy Runners (84)
Deb Adams, 59, Houston
Kelsey Adams, 27, Houston
Shauna Alexander, 63, Katy
Monique Allman, 35, Houston
Brandy Alrashed, 36, Katy
Katherine Alvarez, 36, Katy
Claudia Arguelles, 27, Houston
Ginna Balestrini, 42, Katy
Jennifer Bernard, 54, Katy
Connie Bormans, 43, Katy
Karen Braddock, 45, Katy
Candace Brawner, 33, Katy
Sarah Bromley, 38, Houston
Waynette Brunkhorst, 60, Richmond
Jacqueline Bryant, 40, Katy
Cathy Buchanan, 66, Missouri City
Megan Burke, 28, Katy
Carrie Calkins, 42, Katy
Elaine Campbell, 41, Katy
Robin Cartwright, 31, Richmond
Emily Chik, 28, Sugar Land
Moni Collins, 40, katy
Victoria Dao, 29, Houston
Candace Dartez, 50, Katy
Kirsten Davenport, 46, Humble
Jessica Dobbs, 29, Houston
Sara Dobbs, 54, Houston
Barbara Earhart, 60, Katy
Sheila Echols-Smesny, 39, Pearland
Rhonda Emerson, 59, Pearland
Magali Exbrayat, 41, Houston
Joann Fadeley, 60, Katy
Jaclyn Felts, 31, Hockley
Katia Filina, 34, Cypress
Debbie France, 42, Katy
Valerie Francis, 50, Humble
Lynn Furman, 69, Katy
Olevia Garcia, 48, Richmond
Elisa Gavia, 34, Stafford
Caitlin Hall, 24, Katy
Amanda Harris, 36, Richmond
Tina Harvey, 55, Houston
Ursula Hemingway, 41, Katy
Cynthia Hill, 43, Katy
Dona Hinton, 57, Houston
Nancy Holcomb, 71, Houston
Deborah Holcombe, 58, Katy
Brenda Holden, 38, Katy
Renata Holland, 31, Houston
Kim Johnston, 55, Richmond
Gita Kulkarni, 40, Houston
Kim Lawson, 45, Katy
Summer Leal, 36, Houston
Erica Lehotzky, 31, Houston
Sharon Mata, 49, Katy
Mattie Mathews, 56, Houston
Jo May, 68, Houston
Christie Mayer, 37, Victoria
Rita McKenzie, 50, Houston
Stephanie Montalvan, 20, Stafford
Nancy Nunnery, 59, Richmond
Karla Oakley, 60, Katy
Loan Obrien, 42, Baytown
Darienne Owings, 43, Houston
Mary Perko, 57, Katy
Lorena Ponce, 35, Richmond
Jessie Rollow, 32, Katy
Latiffany Sauls, 46, Missouri City
Amy Schmitt, 41, Katy
Jennifer Serrano, 31, Houston
Angela Siebe, 48
Helen Smith, 58, Richmond
C. Stephenson-Lake, 42, Cypress
Amy Taylor, 40, Houston
Johanna Virguez, 38, Katy
Ally Walker, 36, Katy
Lillian Wanjagi, 44, Fulshear
Lindsey Webb, 30, Katy
Lena Wigger, 15, Houston
Alli Williams, 23, The Woodlands
Andrea Witte, 47, Katy
Leslie Woodward, 55, Katy
Wei Yuan, 37, Katy
Joanne Zhou, 43, Katy

14 and Under
2017 - 1:01:56, Hallee Sobin, 12, Fulshear
2016 - 55:55, Lena Wigger, 14, Houston

2017 - 54:18, Lena Wigger, 15, Houston
2016 - 49:14, Catherine Christie, 15

2017 - 53:33, Stephanie Montalvan, 20, Stafford
2016 - 50:20, Leslie Cislo, 24

2017 - 56:24, Jessica Harrison, 28, Cypress
2016 - 45:52, Natalie Harvey, 29

2017 - 51:16, Nastassja Hagan, 31, Katy
2016 - 50:03, Danielle Cooper

2017 - 48:54, Merry Armentrout, 35
2016 - 48:45, Camille Boon, 38, Houston

2017 - 51:24, Jennifer Laine, 44, Pearland
2016 - 48:44, Charlotte Harris, 44

2017 - 59:10, Suzanne Jackson, 48, Fulshear
2016 - 50:18, Leslie Medley Russell, 48

2017 - 1:00:03, Linda Neely-Shelmire, 51
2016 - 56:41, Elaine Franks, 50, Katy

2017 - 53:50, Rhonda Emerson, 59, Pearland
2016 - 51:49, Rhonda Emerson, 58, Pearland

2017 - 59:01, Patricia Bender, 61
2016 - 58:24, Joann Fadeley, 60, Katy

2017 - 1:03:18, Ginger Hopper, 68, Katy
2016 - 1:01:10, Jo May, 67

2016 - 1:36:03, Nancy Holcomb, 70

70 and Over
2017 - 1:05:18, Kathy McWilliams, 72, The Woodlands

75 and Over
2016 - 1:32:47, Nancy Dillow, 75

Source:  mychiptime.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

21 Marathoners Ready To Finish 20th Chevron Houston Marathon

The number of marathoners who have completed 20 or more Chevron Houston Marathons currently stands at 239 according to houstonresults.com, the race's website which houses all of its marathon and half marathon results since their race's inception.

Twenty-one (21) more are currently registered to join the race's 20 Marathon Club with a finish at the 45th running of the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday, January 15, 2017.

While one of the most consistent and highest performing male masters runners in the greater Houston area, Richard Peoples, is on the list, the list is dominated by women who are familiar to many in Houston's running scene.

Kingwood's Jacqueline O Brien Nolen has finished 16 Chevron Houston Marathons since 2000, including her CHM personal best of 3:25:29 in 2015, which was good enough for seventh in her age group two years ago.

Nolen typically tunes up for the Chevron Houston Marathon by running the Metal Sawing Technology Texas Marathon in her hometown every New Year's Day.  With her finish on Sunday, it was her 17th in the event's 18-year history as Texas' sixth oldest marathon.  She's also won the Texas Marathon six times.

Longtime Al Lawrence Running Club member and HARRA Board member Annie Hadow has posted 16 sub-4 marathons at Houston out of her 19 since 1993.

Like Hadow, Leslie Medley Russell has 15 sub 4-marathons.

Houston's Claire Greenberg has 19 consecutive CHM finishes to her credit.

Kingwood's Gloria Mahoney's 19 finishes would be streaking, except for not racing in 2014.

League City's Deb Clifford and Houston's Belinda Reyes and Kathleen Kress Hanson round out the greater Houston area's representation of 10 women that are poised to enter the 20 Chevron Houston Marathon Club two Sundays from now.

The complete list, including gender, race day age and hometown are listed below:

20 - Annie Hadow, F, 52, Houston
20 - Belinda Reyes, F, 53, Houston
20 - Bill Thorne, M, 70, Houston
20 - Chris McWatt-Green, M, 66, Houston
20 - Claire Greenberg, F, 54, Houston
20 - Dale Kelley, M, 55, Houston
20 - David Torres, M, 55, Houston
20 - Deb Clifford, F, 56, League City
20 - Gloria Mahoney, F, 66, Kingwood
20 - Holly Stewart, F, 46, San Antonio
20 - Jacqueline O Brien-Nolen, F, 51, Kingwood
20 - Kathleen Kress Hanson, F, 56, Houston
20 - Keith Booth, M, 63, Austin
20 - Leslie Medley Russell, F, 50, Houston
20 - Marlene Hicks, F, 51, Georgetown
20 - Matthew Denio, M, 60, Cypress
20 - Phillip Wo, M, 60, Sugar Land
20 - Richard Peoples, M, 57, Houston
20 - Robert Fanning, M, 55, Cypress
20 - Robert Furman, M, 70, Katy
20 - Rudy Serrato, M, 59, Houston

Sources:  Chevron Houston Marathon, chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com and marathonguide.com

Monday, January 2, 2017

Youngest Legacy Marathoners Ready for Another Chevron Houston Marathon

At the close of the 2016 Chevron Houston Marathon, 27 runners under the age of 37 had covered the marathon distance on the streets of Houston 10 times or more.

The youngest of those was 26-year-old Raymond Tam from Fresno, an unincorporated community in Fort Bend County.

Tam ran the first of his 11 Chevron Houston Marathons in 2006 at the age of 16.

On Sunday, January 15, 2017, at the 45th running of Texas' second oldest marathon, he'll be one of 19 of those 27 runners that will be looking to pad their Legacy Runner finishers total.

Rosenberg's Jonathan Tydlacka, who will be 36 on race day, will be going for his 21st Chevron Houston Marathon finish.

Only two of those 19 are females -- Belton's Elaine Ver Halen and Cypress' Rebecca Martinez.

Ver Halen, 33, will be aiming for her 14th Chevron Houston Marathon while Martinez, 12, is going for her 12th.

Two other females with 10 or more finishes -- Katy's Katherine Hallaway and Houston's Meredith Macnaughton -- are registered for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

Below is a complete list of the 19 Legacy marathoners under the age of 38 who are signed up - courtesy of the race's confirmation search feature - to run this year's Chevron Houston Marathon (with their gender, race day age and hometown):

21 - Jonathan Tydlacka, M, 36, Rosenberg
18 - Brett Davis, M, 33, Fredericksburg
17 - Robert Hahn, M, 35, Houston
15 - Benjamin Proko, M, 35, Cypress
14 - Chris St Jean, M, 34, Seabrook
14 - Elaine Ver Halen, F, 33, Belton
13 - Andre Phillips, M, 36, Indianapolis, IN
13 - Andy Gardner, M, 36, The Woodlands
13 - Cesar Pena, M, 37, Houston
13 - Claudio Rodriguez, M, 37, Houston
13 - Joe Schwieterman, M, 31, Houston
13 - Timothy Feges, M, 30, Sugar Land
12 - Alfredo Marcial, M, 37, Houston
12 - Mark Perry, M, 37, Aransas Pass
12 - Raul Munoz, M, 37, Baytown
12 - Raymond Tam, M, 27, Fresno
12 - Rebecca Martinez, F, 37, Cypress
11 - Brad Hunt, M, 35, Houston
11 - Kurt Ramsauer, M, 36, Houston

Sources:  Chevron Houston Marathon, chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com and marathonguide.com

Four Runners Slated to Finish 30th Chevron Houston Marathon

When Gene Wilson, James Tuscany, Richard Evans and Steve Boone cross the finish line of this month's 45th annual Chevron Houston Marathon, they will do so knowing that they'll never have to pay the run the race ever again.

It is a perk that they'll earn when the quartet will join 33 other runners who have already finished 30 or more Chevron Houston Marathons.

Twenty-six of those 33 Legacy marathoners, according to the confirmation search feature on the Chevron Houston Marathon website, will join the aforementioned four on the marathon course on Sunday, January 15, 2017.

One runner, Houston's Rich McMahan, is slated to join fellow Houstonian and inaugural Houston Marathon Hall of Fame inductee Jack Lippincott to finish 40 or more Chevron Houston Marathons.

Lippincott has finished 42 Houston Marathons, dating back to 1976.

Another four -- Ray Boytim, Louis Waddell, Richard Rekieta and Paul Roche - are registered to run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

The complete list of 30 marathoners who will have 30 or more Chevron Houston Marathon finishes when they complete the race in less than two weeks are listed below with their gender, race day age and hometown:

43 - Jack Lippincott, M, 70, Houston+
40 - Rick McMahan, M, 63, Houston
37 - Arlen Isham, M, 72, Katy
36 - Charlie Viers, M, 75, Natchitoches, LA
36 - Lonnie Brauner, M, 70, The Woodlands
36 - Wayne Rutledge, M, 59, San Leon
35 - Boris Balic, M, 80, Houston
35 - Stephen McNeil, M, 59, San Antonio
34 - Maria Camacho, F, 61, Houston+
34 - Robert Eury, M, 68, Houston
34 - Roger Boak, M, 68, Houston
33 - Daniel Jason, M, 70, Houston
33 - Manuel Gonzalez, M, 71, La Porte
33 - Rudolph Rendon, M, 69, Austin
33 - Rudy Alvarez, M, 62, Houston
33 - Tony Allison, M, 61, The Woodlands
32 - Jesse Smalls, M, 70, Katy
32 - John McClung, M, 56, Houston
32 - Susan Rouse, F, 58, The Woodlands
32 - Will Hrachovy, M, 68, Houston
31 - Brian Jenison, M, 57, Houston
31 - Charles Moore, M, 62, Houston
31 - Don Padilla, M, 67, Deer Park
31 - J P Reed, M, 60, Houston
31 - Larry McPhillips, M, 65, Port Arthur
31 - Robert McDowell, M, 66, Houston
30 - Gene Wilson, M, 63, Houston
30 - James Tuscany, M, 63, Hilo, HI
30 - Richard Evans, M, 60, Beaumont
30 - Steve Boone, M, 67, Humble

+  Unable to confirmation via the confirmation search; however, the male and female with the most Chevron Houston Marathon finishes are considered local elites, whose entries are not listed in the confirmation search.

Sources:  Chevron Houston Marathon, chevronhoustonmarathon.com, houstonresults.com and marathonguide.com

Corpus Christi American Bank Half Marathon Finishers Numbers

Half Marathon
2016 (12/31) - 298 (113 men / 185 women)
2016 (1/2) - 221 (91 men / 130 women)
2015 (1/3) - 154 (67 men / 83 women / 4 unknown)
2014 (1/4) - 144 (77 men / 67 women)
2012 (12/8) - 148 (68 men / 80 women)
2011 (12/10) - 149 (80 men / 69 women)
2010 (12/11) - 137 (76 men / 61 women)
2009 (12/19) - 127 (70 men / 57 women)
2008 (12/20) - 116 (67 men / 49 women)
2006 (12/16) - 122 (66 men / 56 women)
2005 (12/10) - 64 (35 men / 29 women)

HM Athena/Clydesdale
2016 (12/31) - 12 (9 men / 4 women)
2016 (1/2) - 14 (8 men / 6 women)

HM 2-Person Relay
2016 (12/31) - 41 relay teams
2016 (1/2) - 36 relay teams
2015 (1/3) - 44 relay teams
2014 (1/4) - 24 relay teams
2012 (12/8) - 45 relay teams
2011 (12/10) - 46 relay teams
2010 (12/11) - 40 relay teams
2009 (12/19) - 38 relay teams
2008 (12/20) - 18 relay teams
2007 (12/15) - 27 relay teams
2006 (12/16) - 19 relay teams
2005 (12/10) - 19 relay teams

2016 (12/31) - 136 (49 men / 87 women)
2016 (1/2) - 65 (22 men / 43 women)
2015 (1/3) - 77 (27 men / 40 women / 10 unknown)