Thursday, November 12, 2009

BCRR featured on Fox 26 News Extra!

BCRR is even more famous today! The Bayou City Road Runners were featured on Fox 26 News Extra this morning in a segment on Running Clubs in the Houston Area. John Phillips and I were interviewed live (!) about our club. Also featured was video footage shot at the beginning of our Wednesday Evening Run. You can view the entire interview online:

Kathi Mahon

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Can standing in line for the can...

Line for BCRR members at private BCRR Privies

Line for the wretched masses at public porta-cans

As we are in the midst of the HARRA Fall Race Series, let us give thanks for one of the major perks of BCRR membership: the impeccably maintained, incredibly clean, sweet smelling (at least initially) private BCRR Porta-Potties. In addition to the short lines, these potties are fully equipped with oodles of toilet paper, scented candles and a mirror! You'll never get caught when the gun goes off with your pants down and no TP in a dark, funky porta-can if you're with BCRR! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to John Phillips for building them, schelping them to every HARRA Race, and taking them and their contents back afterwards. Thank you John!

BCRR membership has it's privledges!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

-Reduced rate for last minute Koala/Luke's Locker Half-Marathon registration this weekend

The Koala Health and Wellness Centers & Luke’s Locker Houston Half Marathon and Relay is scheduled for Sunday, October 25 at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. This is the first race in the 2009 Houston Marathon Warm-up Series and a great way to train for the 2010 Houston half and full marathon.

As the managing sponsor, the Houston Striders is excited to offer all Houston metropolitan area running club members a special rate for one weekend only. Beginning Saturday 10/17/09 @ 12:00 a.m. and extending through Sunday 10/18/09 @ 11:59 pm, we are waiving the $5 increase fee bringing the cost of the race down to $45 for the half-marathon and $70 for the relay.

Runners can log onto online registration located at and should enter code HHM09 on the second page of the online entry form to receive the discount.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marathon Training runs in India!!!

BCRR is proud to announce that we are taking Marathon training one step further. If you are in India and would like to continue your Marathon training, BCRR is there for you.

In Todd's words: "A nice 47 minute easy run with Neeraj helped me overcome my jet lag and also gave me a flavor of local surroudings"

Todd and I will travel to lower foothills of Himalayas on Friday morning and will do our little Hill repeat workouts in a beautiful breathtakig Valley of Flowers.

If, you wanna join us for your marathon training, shoot me or Todd an email and we would love to meet you and help you finetune your marathon training...;-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rice All Comers Track Meets

All-Comer Track and Field Meets are being held for 3 Fridays during June at Rice. The last one will be Friday June 26th starting at 6PM at Rice University Track on the corner of University and Main. The cost is $7.00 per person for unlimited events. This video was taken on June 19th of some the 800 and 400 meter heats. Featured runners (i.e. people that I know) are Matt Nicol, Neeraj Rohilla, Leno Rios, Tom King, and Sabra Harvey. It is a lot of fun to watch and I've been told it is fun to run in, but I am not so sure about that:) Contact Casey Thom at or Jon Warren at for more information.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yoga for Runners

Recommendation from Linnie Reichle:

...wanted to let you know about a class I took Saturday, it was Yoga, but we concentrated on stretches for runners. It was great, you might want to post this info for some of the other runners in the club. It is on Saturdays @ TRI ON THE RUN @ 10 am. It is only $10.00 a class and Nicole took us through some great stretches. This Saturday the co-owner of Yoga One will be there to work on back stretches and some more running stretches.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BCRR Writing Excellence Awards

What many of you didn't see at the recent BCRR Awards Banquet were the lovely personalized certificates that were received by the winners of the "WORD FROM THE BIRD" WRITING EXCELLENCE AWARD. These certificates were designed by Mike Mangan. Congratulations again to our winners Carlye Graydon (1st), Tom Helm (2nd), and Mr. Negative Split (3rd- accepted in his behalf by Alfonso Torres).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Annual BCRR Awards Banquet 2009 (Video & Pictures)!!!

BCRR Annual banquet was a total blast. The highlights of the banquet were the awards and award winners. Eddie Rodriguez put tremendous personal efforts into fabricating of personalized awards for various categories. Here is a small youtube video describing the process of the fabrication of the awards:

And, here is a closeup of the award Mark Fraser won.

Finally, here are some of the pictures I took:

To download/print any pictures please click the text you are reading, click on the picture, and click download button (Slideshow, Share, download & print buttons are located on top-left corner of the page). It is as easy as it sounds :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top Ten Good, Bad and Ugly Observations About Last Night’s LP Run

10. Why can’t they play “Born to Run” when the master males run?
9. Heard in stands by some of the open runners: “What’s an LP?”
8. I now know how a hamster feels when he runs on that wheel.
7. We gave up Valhalla for this?
6. It’s nice to hear people cheer for you . . . for the first THREE laps.
5. When this was an hour long race, did they used to play the ticking clock from ’60 Minutes’ over the loudspeaker?
4. Even if we lost power, we could continue the race using the light from Rob’s Boston shirt.
3. The race doesn’t end any faster if you run slower.
2. No Simon Brabo and Don Brenner opens up the race for Runner of the Season
1. Poor hydration + 90° day + 20 minutes hard running = Dehydration + Cramps= Poor race.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crescent City Classic Rewards Patience

I have travelled to many places throughout the world and I learned very early in my career that things are not always as efficient as they are in the US.  As a stickler for punctually, I was horrified when my colleagues in places like Indonesia or the Philippines would escort me to a meeting 45-60 minutes late.  After a while, I realized that it wasn't a big deal to customers or anyone else that the meeting started late.  After understanding that, I was much more relaxed when visiting customers outside the US and enjoyed my trips much more.

There is an analogy here to Houston runners participating in the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans. If you demand the precise efficiency we regularly experience in Houston, you will be disappointed.  You can let that bother you or you can go with the flow. I recommend the latter. With that said, the organization is not very good and can be frustrating especially to first time runners.   Consider package pick-up.  There are 20,000 runners, about the same number who run the Houston marathon and half marathon.  Picking up a race package in Houston takes three minutes.  In New Orleans, it is bit more of an adventure.  

If you had a print-out with your race number and name on it, you could proceed to the line.  
If you just wrote-down your number or did not know it, you had to wait in a very long line to be told what your race number is.
Once you got to the front of the line, the volunteer hand wrote your name and number on a scrap of paper. Once you had the paper, you could proceed to another line to pick up your number.
Getting your number was only a start:
If you are seeded runner (red bib), you get a chip, but you had to pick up your chip inside the expo. It really wasn't that difficult.
If you are a fast runner but were not seeded (blue bib) (you had to provide documentation to be seeded), you could buy a chip for $5, and that required waiting in another long line.
Theoretically anyone could buy a chip, but when Lana Moody wanted to buy a chip as a non-seeded runner (orange bib), she was told they were out of chips for orange bibs. Who knew there were different chips.
Once you bought a chip, you had to take another piece of paper to the chip table and wait in line again.
This process is usually easier to stomach because there is Abita Amber and Abita Lite beer freely flowing.  However, when we were there, they had run out of beer.  Fortunately, more beer eventually arrived.

It's just best to relax and let the process work.   The race itself went off fairly smoothly.  The corral system was fairly smooth.  The course is flat with minimal turns so the times are fairly fast.  The winning time was 28:18!  It was a warm morning and I felt the heat at the end.  This is probably the warmest race condition I have run this season.   

About 3 1/2 miles into the race, I realized how hard it is to run a 10K.   I also think the fear of being passed by Mark Fraser, Neeraj Rohilla or David Piper is a greater motivator than hitting a targeted time.   By the end of Mile 4, my pace had slowed and hitting my goal seemed to be fading.    But it was  helpful that I was familiar with the course. As we approached City Park, I noticed I was passing some runners and was able pick up my pace slightly.   Somehow I had enough of a surge during the last half mile to exceed my goal by a few seconds.  But, it was really hard!  10Ks are really hard!!

Back to race organization.   What the organizers lack in pre-race planning and execution, they more than make it up to the runners with the post-race party.  There is nothing like it.  Live band, free flowing beer, homemade jambalaya, along with multiple food booths with smoothies, chips, fruits, energy bars, etc.  Our group stayed three hours at the post-race party. I have sunburned shoulders to prove it.    The post-race party is a perfect reward to all of us who maintained our patience through the entry and package pick-up process, the starting line logistics and the race itself.    I plan to be back next year.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fast Times Near Bellaire High

For a change, I will not write a comment on how the weather affected the results of a popular Houston spring road race. The Bellaire Trolley 5k has had its share of inclement weather in the past, but that was not the case on Saturday April 4, 2009.

The Bellaire Trolley 5K run is historically one of the fastest 5K courses in Houston. The course is flat with minimal turns. The course is completely straight from about 0.9-1.9 miles, and then after running around the perimeter of Bellaire High School, the course finishes along the same straightaway from about 2.4 miles to the finish.

Congratulations to the following BCRR members who placed in their age group and won a very cool model of a trolley car:

Neeraj Rohilla 2nd AG & PR (25-29 men)
Katrina Stilwell 1st AG (35-39 women)
Suzy Seeley 2nd AG on her 50th birthday
Scott Bounds 3rd AG (55-59 men)
Ursula Spilger 1st AG (65-69 women)
Don Brenner 3rd AG (65-69 men)

I am going to give Neeraj a hard time. If he were competing as a 30-34 yo woman, he would not have placed. But we know that most 25-29 yo men are usually partying on Friday night and have difficulty getting up early to run a race. More power to Neeraj for being able to do both.

Enhancing it's fast reputation, the Trolley Run course yielded the following PRs for BCRR members:

Neeraj Rohilla 19:37
Rob Walters 18:18
Lara Allen 27;07
Lana Moody 25:29
Sheila Ramamurthy 25:45
Eddie Rodriguez 23:28

If I missed anyone, let me know and I will post. Kathi Mahon would have broken a PR had she not gotten behind someone who slowed her down at the beginning of the race. I don't know if that is true, but she missed her PR by a couple of seconds!

Neeraj's edit:

I am including a slide show of pictures I took before/after the race.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Simon Says, "It's Windy"

I am a little behind in posting account summaries to the blog.  I also see that our blog is a bit inactive.  The Law Week 8K was held on Saturday March 28th.  To be honest, this is one my my least favorite of the Spring Series Runs.  Allen Parkway is a bit more difficult of a course to run than Memorial.   The run out to Shepherd seems to take forever and once you get back downtown, there is at least another 0.4 miles going into downtown and turning around to the finish line.

In addition, this race takes place during the heart of the NCAA Basketball tournament, called March Madness.  I always kick myself for getting so emotionally involved, but there is nothing I can do about.  It's ingrained in my DNA!!  My beloved Kansas Jayhawks lost a close game to Michigan State the night before the race.  The game ended about 11PM.  I watched the game with another club member who will remain nameless (but he does have a Brooklyn accent) who kept pointing out critical turnovers and missed free throws that cost the Jayhawks the game.  He did not need to tell me that because I was watching the same game!!!   But I took this loss in stride-- we are very young team, so I was not as upset as I often am before the Law Week 8K.

I think we have had beautiful weather all winter and all spring to train, but it seems like the series runs have been plagued by bad weather, and it is mainly wind.   Well, none of the previous races come close to the wind problems in this race.  I hoped to find someone to draft off of going out to Shepherd, but I never was able to avoid the wind.  There was a nice stretch right before the turnaround where we were shielded from the wind.  I felt like I was cruising for a stretch until we turned around.  

During the spring races, I have has some nice battles with Richard Verm, David Piper, Mark Fraser and Scott Bound. This competition propels us ahead when we may want to slow down.  Simon Brabo and I were running together right as we made the last turn and headed for the finish line.  That stretch of probably less than 1/4 of a mile had to be the windiest stretch I had ever run in a race.  I remember seeing the finish line, running as hard as I could, but feeling like I was not moving.   I think Simon said, "It's Windy", but I really couldn't hear or anyone else as I struggled to complete the last stretch.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Heavy Weather

For those old enough, Heavy Weather was the name of a great jazz fusion album released in the late 1970s, by a group called Weather Report.  I highly recommend that everyone listen to it sometime.  Plus, isn't the album cover cool?
I was reminded of heavy weather when I walked over to the starting line of the Bayou City Classic 10K.   There was no one at the starting line ten minutes before the scheduled start. Everyone was huddled near the building to get protected from the wind.
Yeah, it was windy and it was a bit cold, but what have we become!  It was 43 degF and we acted like we were going to be running on the frozen tundra close to where Rosie Schmandt is from. 
I'm just as guilty. I huddled around the heater and I shielded myself from the wind.   I must be getting soft.  I grew up in Kansas and lived in Chicago and New York!  I did a little bit of research and found there have been several races throughout the country this year run in much more adverse conditions. Here are a couple:
Feb. 1  Boston  Super Sunday 5K/10K- 1250 finishers, temperature 26 degF
Jan. 25  Kansas City, Children's TLC Groundhog Run 5k/10K, 2500 finishers, 15 degF
There are several other smaller runs, but it is hard for me to imagine showing up an hour early for either race and waiting in the cold.   
The waiting in the cold and wind is the worst part of the race.  Today, it was a relief to get started and once we started and got out of downtown, we had very good race conditions.   A lot of people I talked to had very good times.  This was my second 10K in two weeks and it is a distance that I love to hate.  There is a definite mental aspect to this distance especially at the end that different from a 5K.  The 10K is more of a thinking person's race. By the way, I hate to disappoint some of you who were particularly pleased with your time, but the 'official' results are at least ten seconds too fast!
Congratulations to the BCRR centipede "Octo-mom" team who won an award with a very creative and topical theme.  Of course, the post race party was wonderful.  Thank you to John Phillips for providing the propane heaters and thank your to HARRA for again sponsoring a memorable race.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Windy City

It occurred to me running the 22nd Annual ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run into the teeth of a stiff wind that this event has become the extreme weather running event of Houston. I did some research from past runs and sure enough, there have been some tough conditions the last few years. The weather and the fact that the course, which includes an out and back over the Elysian Viaduct, is not run in typically flat Houston terrain adds up to a fairly challenging endeavor. A recap of the last Rodeo Runs.

2009: 55°F, winds at 10mph, gusting to 25 mph-it seemed much worse going through the buildings downtown. Mile 1 through 4 was directly into the wind. I looked forward turning around, but it seemed to just get hot, though ultimately, I think running with the wind at my back helped more than hurt.

2008: 70°F, 79% humidity winds SE 6 mph-- I did not run this. Jay Hendrickson, Rob Walter and I ran the Conroe hills that morning. We finished a 20 mile run about the time the race started. We all agreed we were happy not to be running the Rodeo Run.

2007: 70°F, 100% humidity, intermittent rain-- This was like a sauna. I remember struggling through the first mile with the humidity. It started to rain, which at first seemed like a relief, but ultimately, the conditions just became steamier!! The viaduct was like a death march!

2006: 54°, 100% humidity, some rain, winds NW9 gusting-- Even though the temperature was comparable to 2009, I remember being miserable. It was cold, wet and windy- not a good combination. The viaduct was torture. Besides having to wait around in the cold for an hour. I remember going directly to my car and not participating in the post race party.

2005: 49°F, 90% humidity, no wind-- Probably the best conditions in the last five years.

Other comments:
To me, 10K is a tough distance. It is easy to go out too fast and not be able to hold on. I was able to run a 'negative' split which means that I managed the pacing fairly well.

This race is getting big, maybe too big.

I only saw a handful of people from BCRR. I saw Clayton Smith and Mark Fraser at the start. Avi Moss joined as a bandit and I felt like I had my own personal cheerleader in Lara Allen and Deborah Touchy, who greated me at the start and again as I was running up the first hill on the return trip up the viaduct. I think they may have propelled me to a stronger finish.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Run Wild Half Marathon !!!

Few weeks back one of my friend from Rice talked me into running "Run Wild Half Marathon". I was happy to see few BCRR members (Kathy Mahon, Lara Allen, Cathy McGlohn, Rosie Schmandt, Deborah Touchy, Fred Steves, Hardeep Thind, Bonnie Jo Barron and of course me) running this race. Hardeep also ran Park to Park race the day before. This was one of the smaller races and less than 300 people participated in it. John Phillips was helping organize the race and his heater was much appreciated before the start of the race.

The race course consisted of three 4.37 mile loops on Allen Pkwy with few under passages making it nothing but flat. However, the weather conditions were perfect for racing and small running crowd made the experience much more fun. Overall, the race was very well managed. They had water/Gatorade stations every two miles. The "5th" mile marker was placed incorrectly because I ran mile 4-5 in 9:15 and 5-6 in 5:14.

I had failed to run 3:30 in Houston marathon and I went into this race to attempt 1:38 or less. Good weather conditions and plenty of rest/slacking after Houston marathon made sure my legs felt fresh and I ran my PR of 1:34:41. Surprisingly, I won my first age group award. Bonnie Jo Barron and Fred Steves also won their respective age group awards. After race party was fun with some food, hot/cold beverages (No beer) and free complimentary chair massage.

If half marathon is your favorite distance then this might be your race to set a PR. Look out for this race next year.

All photos: courtesy of

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I missed the Park to Park 5 miler ...

Plane Ticket: $294, Bed and Breakfast: $150/night, Running trails in Sedona, AZ at daybreak: Priceless

K. Mahon

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fall marathons… NYC, Chicago marathon registration open.

I know most of you are just recovering from Houston, I still am, but it’s not too early to think of running your next one in the fall. The famous destination or event marathons that I’d include are Boston, NYC, Chicago, Marine Corps(D.C.), LA, Big Sur, Disney, San Diego. Of those NYC, Chicago and Marine Corps are run in the fall. They’re spectacles in themselves. There have large field of runners, packed spectator lined courses, and interesting locales. Plus, there’s more than just the race. D.C. our capital or NYC, the Big Apple, and Chicago the Second City all have some terrific sights to see.

While Houston is big and things are done bigger in Texas, Chicago and NYC with over 40,000 runners are really BIG. For Chicago or NY they’re maybe millions of spectators lining the course. I’ve done NY and Chicago and they’re great. I’ve run some sleepy marathons recently with barely a soul watching which is fine if you like running for hours and only thinking of running. If you like people cheering you on early or in the middle when you realize there still are 10 more miles to go or at the end where you need every bit of encouragement then these races are just the tonic. Both NY and Chicago have you run culturally diverse neighborhoods where the faces and storefronts change by the mile. Let’s not forget pizza. NY thin slice crust and Chicago style with it’s thick crust. Go do Marine Corps and make a trip to Air and Space or have a talk with your Congressman or maybe Pres. Obama.

For those of you looking to complete their bucket list of marathons, registration is now open for these races. Chicago registration is now open and NYC just did this week, Marine Corps open a little later Apr. 1. There is a lottery for NY and Marine Corps and Chicago stays open until it fills up. The one downside is that the prices have been going steadily up. NYC and Chicago registration are $150 and you’ll have to find accommodations at a hefty price unless you have a cousin Vinny(check Facebook and maybe find an old college classmate).

For those of you who are more worldly and wealthy you might consider doing Berlin in September with a group of BCRR-ers led by Brenda Gonzales.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wallowing, But Not in the Mire

The Buffalo Wallow was held on Saturday February 7th. This is one of my favorite races for several reasons: 1) It is different; it is a cross country course that has a variety of terrain, 2) Because it is a cross-country course, it can be affected by the weather. There have been times when the race is run through large mud puddles which can be very difficult to negotiate as you run up a hill. But that can be fun!! There have been times when the weather is damp and cold. Yesterday, the weather was perfect, probably around 60 degrees at the start. However, because the weather has been so dry, the ground was very hard, almost like concrete. I noticed my ankles were sore this morning.

Another reason why I, personally, like the race is that I run more competitively when there are hills and varying terrain on the course. I don't usually beat anyone who normally beats me in a race, but I get much closer.

For some reason, while running the race, I got a bit nostalgic. I realized while running in a pack with people like Mark Fraser, Richard Verm, Scott Bounds and some other non-BCRR runners like Roger Boak, Victor Aguirre, John Polisini and John Shepperd, that I had been running these races for many years and that I'm usually in the pack with these same people. I think it is cool that each of us have stayed relatively competitive together over the last several years.

I have run this race enough times to know you have to pace yourself. A lot of people run up the hills hard and eventually burn themselves out and struggle to the end. I felt good that I had paced myself well enough to finish strongly and even beat couple of people I normally wouldn't.
Interestingly, I received an award for allegedly finishing second in my age group. However, there was something very fishy. It was hard to hear the awards announcer, but it appeared that he called out two set of awards in my 50-54 category. Sure enough, when I looked at the results, I did not finish second; I finished seventh. This is a very competitive field.
Now, however, it's back to normal road races for awhile and I will be watching some of these guys from further behind!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 Boston Marathon FULL!!!

If you were planning on sending in your application for Boston, or even trying to qualify by running the upcoming Austin or Mardi Gras Marathons, you are out of luck. The 2009 Boston Marathon is full as of 1-26-2009. This may be the earliest that it has reached capacity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Houston Marathon Recap + Pictures

I believe this is a great format to everyone to post their experiences and comments about the Chevron Houston Marathon. So I guess I will start.

I was a bit disappointed in my time this year. Maybe being sick at Christmas slowed me down. Some of you saw me at my worst at the John Phillips LOOONG Run, but I felt pretty good the two weeks before the marathon.

I know that many people would love to run the marathon in my time of 3:43, but everything is relative. This was one of the strangest marathons I have run. I started out great; I felt great. I was running easy and comfortably for the first five miles. I was confident I would have a good race.

Then at Mile 6 as we were running up some hills, I started to have trouble breathing. Since I needed a bathroom break anyway, I stopped and thought that would aid in recovering my breathing. I ran easily for about a mile and still had trouble. I really was beginning to worry about finishing. I stopped 4 times between Miles 6 and 9 and finally felt better and ran very comfortably up to Mile 21 where I started to hit "the Wall" with cramps and slowed down. At that point I ran from water stop to water stop. With about a mile and a half to go, I saw Linda cheering the runners. She asked me if I needed anything and I told her, "I need to be at the finish line".

Two minutes after the race, I was relieved to have finished. Two hours after the race, I began to wonder if maybe I should scale back on running marathons and now two days after the race, I'm thinking about how I will do better at my next marathon, probably sometime this fall!!

That's my story. I want to hear your story by adding your comments.

I am including a slideshow of some pictures I took before the start of race and after finish. Enjoy, :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Marathon Weather History

It does look like we are going to have good weather for the marathon. This will be my tenth consecutive marathon and we have had a variety of weather. I did some research on a website called Weather Underground which records temperature, humidity, and other weather data from several points inside the loop of Houston. The table above shows the temperature, dew point, humidity, and wind and wind speed approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours after the start of the marathon. I think you can see the temperatures are fairly consistent, usually between 50-55°F, but there have been some fairly warm days as well. I will never forget the death march of 2000 and upon looking at the conditions in 2006, I now understand why I ended up walking some of the course with Allison Nadolski (now Abbott).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marathon Weather Watch

With less than a week to the Houston Marathon, now is the time to start obsessing in earnest about things that are entirely out of our control - MOST IMPORTANTLY THE WEATHER.

It would appear that we will have cool weather, but will it be raining or windy? Humid or really humid? You can monitor every conceivable parameter ad nauseum at the National Weather Service Forecast Website.

Knock yourselves out!