Thursday, December 20, 2007

Future Trips

I was recently was asked whether I was interested in planning any trips for 2008. I thought this would be a good use of the blog to generate a discussion. First off, because of work commitments, I will not be able to plan a ski trip this year. I will get a few days of skiing in on a future business trip to Colorado a few weeks after the Houston Marathon. That is always one of my most enjoyable trips, so I am sorry not to be able to ski with my fellow runners.

Here are some other possibilities for road trips this coming year.

1) Another Relay? The Reno-to-Tahoe relay was one of the highlights of the year. While it was a coordination challenge, everything worked out well and several of us enjoyed a few extra days in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Anyone interested in doing another relay? Here are some possibilities:

  • Wild West Relay ( 195 miles from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs, CO scheduled for Aug. 1-2, 2008. A few days in Steamboat Springs afterward would be very refreshing coming from Houston in the summer.

  • Green Mountain Relay ( 200 miles from Jefferson to Bennington, VT scheduled for June 21-22, 2008. Run during the summer solstice. Vermont is a beautiful state.

  • Reach the Beach Relay ( 200 miles from Franconia to Hampton Beach, NH scheduled September 12-13, 2008. Should see a touch of fall in New England.

This is a sampling of potential relays. I would be curious in your feedback.

2) Another International Marathon? We've had a trip in each of the last two years going to Greece in 2006 and Dublin this past October. Should we plan a trip for 2008 or wait until 2009? I will toss around a few suggestions:
  • Exotic Location- We have been to many marathons in Europe including Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Austria. It is time to go somewhere more exotic? Here are some suggestions for an exotic marathon:
  1. Greenland- There are two marathons scheduled for Greenland describing running in along water with icebergs floating (at least for now) and across beautiful terrain.
  2. Mongolia- It doesn't get more exotic and they have a marathon and ultra in July through a national park. You will stay in gers (felt tents) while in the region, but reviews of the race and the trip are extremely positive.
Japan- Several marathons and clean, safe and interesting location

Mt. Kilimanjaro- June 22, at the home base of world class long distance runners, this is a four loop course and an opportunity to add a safari or a climb of the highest peak in Africa.
  1. Traditional Location- probably not my preference, but I found one scenario that could be fun and that is the Berlin Marathon Sept. 30. There are couple of reasons this could be compelling:
  1. Good possibility you will run the marathon at the same time a world record is approached or broken. This is a fast course on which the world record has been set on a couple of occasions, the most recent being last September
  2. The marathon is right in the middle of Octoberfest which ends October 5th in 2008. Imagine running the marathon and spending the following week touring Germany during Octoberfest.

So, now it is up to you to comment. I would like to gauge the interest level of any of these events.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Dublin Marathon Update: We're WELL DONE!

Greetings from Ireland.

We arrived early Saturday morning in Dublin and proceeded to the Marathon Expo, where we loaded up on Dublin Marathon gear and Ireland running paraphernalia. My brother Mike is not a runner, but he has a disturbing morbid interest in nipple chafe, so he had no trouble initiating conversation with runners he encountered. The marathon was not until Monday, so we exercised extreme restraint and avoided the various pubs that were beckoning to us on every street corner for the next two days.

Race day was beautiful; partially sunny with temps in the low 50’s at the start. The course was beautiful as well, but very hilly and challenging. We also had headwinds that were particularly strong the last 6 miles. By that time, I felt like I was hardly moving (and have the splits to show for it!). The crowd support was great- everyone was shouting “WELL DONE!!, WELL DONE LADS!, WELL DONE GIRLS!

Mark was shooting for a sub-3 hour marathon, and came heartbreakingly close (3:00:38). But if he can do that on this course, he will have no trouble breaking 3 in Houston. WELL DONE MARK!!

Irma and I were planning to run this one easy, as Houston is our goal marathon. I wanted to do 4:30 or better, but came in at 4:42. Under the conditions I was happy and truly felt “WELL DONE”. Irma surprised everyone including herself by running 4:25- a new PR!! WELL DONE IRMA!!

When I finished, Mike was there with a bouquet of flowers. He watched the race start and finish. My brother is not a runner, so he was perplexed when people threw gloves and clothing at him near the start. It was a learning experience for him.

That evening we all had a great dinner followed by many pints of Guinness- a perfect ending to a “Brilliant” day.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Dublin Marathon

Well Folks,

Today we are embarking on our trip to Ireland for the Dublin Marathon, the official BCRR International Marathon for this year. We are a small but intrepid group, consisting of Mark and Irma Conran and yours truly. My brother Mike will be joining us in Dublin as well. Mike is not a runner, but we will see what we can do about that...

Of course we are looking forward to the race, but we all have other reasons for coming since we have family ties here. Mark is actually from Ireland and I have numerous aunts, uncles and cousins as my father came from Ireland as well.

I hope to be able to send a couple of updates and perhaps a few pictures from the road. I don't expect it will be as riveting a read as Bob's updates from the Lake Tahoe Relay, but I will do my best without actually stretching the truth. Of course, if something really interesting happens, it will probably be something we wouldn't want to post for all to see:)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BCRR Trip suggestion!

From Todd Gilbreath:

When it's hotter than all get out next summer I suggest we do this: .....

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Take it away!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Marathon Horror Stories

Congratulations to all BCRRers who ran (or attempted to run) a marathon this weekend. You are true Spartans!!

The record high temperatures in the North East made even Houston's weather look good. The most dramatic development of course was the cancellation of the Chicago Marathon in progress. The organizers cite the dangerous conditions and numerous heat-related casualties, including the death of one runner on the course, as reasons for the cancellation. But that's only part of the story. There are a number of really angry runners out there who fault the race organization for lack of preparedness in anticipating the increased need for fluids. A major problem was apparently little or no water or Gatorade at the aid stations. It's hard for me to imagine running a marathon on a cool day with inadequate fluids, much less a really hot day.

If you ran Chicago or one of the other marathons (Steamtown, Milwaukee’s Lakefront, etc) let’s hear your war stories.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Marathon Bib Transfer

Now that the marathon has been sold out, people are asking if I know anyone with an extra bib!
This is the place to go Bayou City to sell your bib. Let's try and keep the HARRA points in the club. If you are injured and can no longer run, sell your bib here to a fellow BCRR member. If you somehow didn't get in on time, check back often or leave your request here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Headlamp on Ho Chi Minh

So, I finally gave in, and bought a headlamp to wear during the Saturday morning Ho Chi Minh trail runs with HTREX. At 6:30, it's still dark in them thar woods, and the roots are sharper and the rocks gnarlier. Hopefull my handy-dandy $9.99 headlamp from Target will prevent me from doing a face-plant before the sun even rises. Tho' experience has shown that most trail trips are done during the walk breaks anyway...right, Kathryn??

More next weekend on my first headlamp experience.


BCRR Records Keeper?

I received this interesting reply this morning from long time member Wes Montieth after I sent out the weekly email.

So Eddie, since you will not apologize for breaking records, who has a list of the current record holders in our club for the fastest race, male and female, in all of our HARRA series races? Do we have an official/unoffical statistician for this?,(Mark Fraser?). Just curious as to how the new crowd is doing.

Does anyone know the answer to this? It seems like we have enough people that are interested in other runners times to know who's run the fastest HARRA races! If not, does anyone wish to volunteer and do research for this?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Welcome Autumn!

In Houston, summers can be brutal. Any 3-5 mile run usually results in complete saturation and exhaustion. Start early when it's cooler and the humidity is at its highest. Run later in the day and get full exposure to the sun and heat. It all seems worthwhile when you finally get to run on a day like Saturday morning, Sept. 29th.

I run with the Kenyan Way ( which is one of the great organized marathon training workouts we have in Houston. Part of our workout was to run eight miles at marathon pace. When you consider that over the last six weeks, we were all struggling to run at 30-60 seconds per mile SLOWER than marathon pace, this workout had all the makings of a classic death march!.

However, we got an assist from Mother Nature. The dew point temperature was 64°F and the run was great! Everyone I talked to has an energizing run. Most people had a hard time running at marathon pace, because it was TOO SLOW. The last three miles of the run were fast and comfortable and some of the most enjoyable miles I have run since last spring.

Welcome to Houston, Autumn!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Understanding HARRA Standings

To all fellow BCRR Members:

We encourage you to participate in the HARRA Series. We talk about competition with other clubs and I know many of our member runners do not consider themselves a competitive runner and believe their participation would not make a big difference. Well, if you believe that, you would be WRONG.

Let me explain. There are two categories of competition: the TEAM and the CLUB. I will concentration on the club category and show you how your participation can help the club win the overall competition.

Here is how this works. There is a HARRA racing series each fall and spring. The current races are

In each race, all club members times are tabulated. For master and veteran runners the times are age graded. The list of all club runner's times are sorted by gender, time and division (open, masters, and veterans). For each male category, the times are lumped into groups of four-- that is, the four fastest in a division, then the next four, and so on. The four times are totaled and compared to other group for four from other clubs. Each group of four is then ranked from fastest to slowest. For all women's divisions, teams are composed of groups of three instead of four.

In each division, the first seven teams will be awarded 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, or 3 points sequentially. But here is the good part: all remaining teams in the division- no matter how slow or how many- will receive 2 points. So think about it. If we get six extra veteran women runners to participate in all six fall series races, BCRR scores an additional 24 points in the veteran women's division. There have been years when we have lostin a category by a lot less than 24 points.


I hope to see a big group of BCRR Runners at the United Space Alliance 10 Mile Run on October 14, 2007

Cross Country Relay Race Results

HARRA CROSS COUNTRY RELAY RESULTS Saturday, September 22, 2007 5:00 P.M. 4 X 2 Mile RelayBuffalo Bayou Park

We had terrific club participation for the first HARRA race of the season!! BCRR fielded 20 teams (out of 115 total). As usual, the course was challenging (but thankfully only 2 miles) and the Tornados put on a great post race party. Thanks to everyone who came out to run and thanks to the Team Captains for organizing the teams! BCRR Cross-Country Relay Teams

“BCRR Runners“ 9th 1:07:04 Sheila Ramamurthy, Brenda Gonzalez, Tom Wille, Neeraj Rohilla
“Bayou City Bombshells” 5th 1:01:20Carolyn Muirhead, Jennifer Sabin, Sarah Bingham, Isabel Hernandez
“Equal Opportunity Runners” 10th 1:14:47Lara Allen, Lori Lyerly, Laurie Ropel, Elizabeth Burgers
“We ROSE to the Occasion” 14th 1:22:28Daniela Carbone, Katie Senesac, Sarah Midkiff, Karen Alejandra
MASTER FEMALE (all 40 and over):
“Bayou City Carboholics” 5th 1:00:28Anna Sumrall Helm, Pam Rea, Marla Burum, Diana Unrah
“BCRR Rocks” 6th 1:09:20Lana Moody, April Murphy, Sue Leone, Nancy Greig
“BCRR Mixed Madames” 8th 1:17:36Marie Kaetner, Michelle Wolpert, Rosie Schmandt, Donna Whitney
“The Lazy 4” 9th 1:18:09Marilyn Blythe, Lori Laxen-Brown, Jill Zively, Mary Ntefidou
SENIOR WOMEN (all 50 and over):
"The Estrogen Dominatrices" 3rd 1:12:13Ivy Martino, Lorna Mangus, Ellen Pannell, Kathi Mahon
“Bayou City Tri-Babes” 5th 1:17:07Linnie Reichle, Gail Stewart, June Harris, Jill DeVay
"Warped Speed Sisters" 8th 1:32:15Katherine Vidal, Hope Sellers, Janet Sutton, MJ Savino
“Bayou Storm” 9th 0:50:21Simon Brabo, Tom Stilwell, Raymond Verm, Matt Nicol
MASTER MALE (all 40 and over):
“Masters of Disaster” 5th 0:52:26Bob Brown, Stuart Muirhead, Scott Wonderly, Eric Stotzer
“4-Players” 11th 1:04:44Eddie Rodriguez, Tim McGuirk, Patrick Flaherty, Tom Helm
“Shake-it-don’t-break-it” 12th 1:06:02John Holmes, Bill Hayes, Jay Byers, Robert Mayer
“ValHooligans” 13th 1:06:09Jeff Tabourne, Chris Harris, Jesus Flores, Danny Sohn
SENIOR MALE (all 50 and over):
Bayou City Hard Chargers 3rd 0:55:47Richard Verm, Tom Radosevich, Bruce Mansur, Mark Fraser “We’re Bringing Sexy Back” 8th 1:06:14Mike Grimes, Wim Burgers, John Phillips, Bill Vogt
VETERAN MALE (all 60 and over):
“We’re Doing the Best We Can” 4th 1:09:09Mike Mangan, Fred Steves, Chris Buchanon, Doug Carlyle
“We’ve Done It All Before” 5th 1:16:31JP Fredrickson, Doug Aitken, Tom Bjorklund, Tom McCay

Lara Allen Open females
Susan Cita Masters Females
Kathi Mahon Senior Females (50 +)
Simon Brabo Open Males
Eric Faria Masters Males
Scott Bounds Senior Males (50 +)
Mike Mangan Veteran Males (60 +)
Kathi Mahon Team Coordinator

BCRR Welcome

This is the first entry of the BCRR Club Blog.