Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Final HARRA Final 50 Marathon Slots - appl. deadline 11-28-10!

There Are Openings in the Chevron Houston Marathon
Applications Due by Sunday, November 28th

HARRA has 47 Chevron Houston Marathon entries to give to its members based on their standing in the current Runner of the Season competition.

Tell all your friends who want to run that HARRA has plenty of available slots!

If you wish to be considered send an email to by November 28 containing your name and which of the following races you ran this fall:
USA Space City 10-miler (Oct 10), Houston Half Marathon (Oct 24), HMSA Classical 25k (Nov 14).

1. The entries are not free, you still have to pay the regular entry fee.
2. For your race to count you have to have been a current HARRA member on the day of the race.
3. The standings will be based on your best two of the three races.
4. The entries are for the marathon and they may not be used by another person.

HARRA will send an email containing a registration code to the 47 recipients soon after Nov 28, and they will be able to register online.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BCRR Member Nancy Greig in the News!!

Nancy frightens children at museum

It's a Little Shop of
Horrors at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this week - all under the watchful eye of BCRR Member and Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Nancy Greig.

The Rare "Corpse Flower" Amorphophallus titanum is slated to bloom in the next few days. This giant flower blooms infrequently and smells like rotting flesh (hence its name).

Nancy and her flower were featured in an article in the Houston Chronicle Thursday, July 8th. Read on for details. Too bad this blog doesn't have Smellivision...

A rare Amorphophallus titanum is ready to bloom at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
• Size: Up to 5 feet across.
• Smell: Like rotting flesh.
• Native: Of Sumatran rainforest.
• U.S. history: The first cultivated plant to bloom in the United States flowered at the New York Botanical Gardens in 1937.
• See it: At the museum's Cockrell Butterfly Center, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.
• Updates:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Final Selection Criteria for the "HARRA 500"

From Anna Helm (Member of HARRA Committee on Houston Marathon "HARRA 500" Qualifying Criteria):

Tonight (6-28-10) the HARRA Board voted to approve the plan to distribute guaranteed entries via the "HARRA 500". Expect an official announcement tomorrow from a HARRA email blast.

The criteria for choosing the "HARRA 500"..., are posted below and on the Houston Area Roadrunners Association Facebook page. We really appreciate the input of local runners and hope to continue to advocate for you. And... if you're a local runner who hasn't yet joined---it's time!! Check out "What is HARRA" and the Member benefits link to see all that HARRA can do for you and other runners.

Per request of the Chevron Houston Marathon (CHM), 450 slots will be distributed prior to the start of the lottery July 27th -August 12th. HARRA will post an application for these 450 spots on their website,, no later than July 6, 2010, and will accept applications until July 20th, 2010. If you have fewer than 5 Houston Marathon finishes, would like to run the 2011 CHM, and are a HARRA member, we encourage you to apply.

The committee developed a points system based on your suggestions, and will reward volunteerism, seniority, and participation.

HARRA members prior to June 13th, 2010, will be considered first, then members who joined afterward. The points system will be as follows:

*Volunteer during the 2009-2010 season for the CHM, AHM (Aramco Half marathon) or HARRA event-based on HARRA VVIP points system, max 24 pts. (automatic 24 for volunteering for 2010 CHM.AHM)

*HARRA member during the past 4 years- 5 points per year, max 20 pts.*CHM finishes, 2007-2010, 5 points per year, max 20 pts.

*Finishes in 2008-2009 Fall Series races, (USA 10-miler, Koala HHM, 25K, 30K) 4 points each, max 12 pts.

*Finishes in HARRA XC relay (2008-09) Bayou Bash relay 2009-2010, HARRA Spring Series races, 2009-2010, 2 points each, max 10 pts.

You need not have been a HARRA member when you completed these events. but those entries will be tabulated 2nd. In the event of a tie, the board will use total Houston Marathon Finishes (under 5, obviously) and timeliness of application submission.

The final 50 will be distributed in the same manner and in the same percentages as Runner of the Season Awards, calculated best 2 of 3 after the 25K. These runners will not have a previous HARRA 500 slot or lottery slot.

Please watch for further announcements and the beginning of the application process.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Draft Criteria for HARRA Houston Marathon Slots

HARRA President Ron Morgan has asked Helen Grant and Anna Sumrall Helm to join Roger Boak in a 3 person committee to propose a set of criteria HARRA can use to determine a priority for our 500 entries into the Chevron Houston Marathon, in 2011.

They have drafted a provisional set of criteria and welcome comments and suggestions (see below). You can comment on a post from Anna Helm on the HARRA facebook page :!/group.php?gid=39543762250&ref=ts

or send her an email with your comments-

From Anna Helm:

Okay runners, here's our proposal for the criteria to earn a guaranteed entry to the 2011 CHM thus far. Please provide constructive feedback if you have suggestions. Silence will be heard as assent. :-)
Races and commitments which require more time and dedication will be given more value, TBD.
Credit will be given for:

  • Standing HARRA membership prior to June 13, 2010
  • Finishes in the Houston Marathon, 2007-2010
  • Finishes in the Warmup Series 30Ks, 2006-2009
  • Finishes in the Warmup Series 25Ks, 2006-2009
  • Finishes in the Warmup Series HHMs, 2006-2009
  • Finishes in the USA 10-milers, 2006-2009
  • Volunteering for HARRA events (PIM, CPS/AED, races, social events, JFK Run)
  • Coordinators day of event volunteers (and coaches)
  • Participation in relays and spring series events, as a runner or volunteer

Kathi Mahon

Message from Ron Morgan, Pres of HARRA


I have asked Helen Grant and Anna Sumrall Helm to join Roger Boak in a 3 person committee to propose a set of criteria HARRA can use to determine a priority for our 500 entries into the Chevron Houston Marathon, in 2011. It is likely that they will propose a system that rewards those who have participated in the past in our longer races. However, the statistics show that approximately half of the HARRA finishers the past two years are 5 year veterans (or more). We think, this means that all members wishing to run the marathon this year will have a slot. Everyone will be on notice of what that criteria is, so that they can plan accordingly for next year, to put themselves in the best possible position for a 2012 slot. The committee will report to the HARRA Board with their proposal by the end of June, and we will let everyone know how to apply for one of the 500 slots in early July. We intend to have all 500 slots awarded by the end of July so that if someone does not get a slot, they can still register through the CHM lottery system in early August. One requirement will be that the member has renewed for 2010-11. All memberships expire at the end of June so if you haven't renewed, or you know someone who hasn't please encourage them to do so now (they still get a $5 discount through the end of June). I want to encourage new members, and members who may not have run many or any of our championship races to apply for a slot, if they intend to run the CHM, and remind those with 5 or more Houston Marathon finishes, that they do not need one of our slots. They can check the CHM website for instructions on how to enter.

-- Ron Morgan,
President Houston Area Road Runners Association

Video of HARRA Board Meeting re Houston Marathon

Video from HARRA Meeting 5-14-10 with Brant Koch and Steve Karpas of the Houston Marathon.

This video is too long to upload directly on this blog. You can view on Facebook:!/video/video.php?v=1397900281650&oid=54264843477

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I support term limits – an editorial

Two proposed amendments to the BCRR By-Laws have been suggested and approved by the board for a vote in this general election on May 26:

One proposes to formally amend the number of Member-at-Large positions on the Executive Committee from three (3) to four (4). This was proposed to both accommodate the amount of work the Board has on its agenda and to recognize that the Board has functioned with four de facto members for several years.

The other proposes to institute a term limit of not more than three (3) consecutive years for the office of club president. There is currently no limit on the terms of any board position in BCRR. This provision is similar to the 3 year term limit in effect for the HARRA President. Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages to term limits, but I personally feel the pros outweigh the cons for the following reasons:

1) Term Limits facilitate maintenance of an energetic and dynamic club over time.
2) Term Limits avoid potential stagnation of the board
3) Term Limits prevent “Incumbent Block”
4) Term Limits encourage participation and inclusion of more members in club affairs

Having limits on the presidential term ensures that there will be turnover within the board over time. Change is good- the introduction of new ideas and methods of doing things is, in my opinion, the best way to keep our club “fresh” and “on top”. I think we all recognize other running clubs with longstanding leadership that has changed little over time. While this can arguably be efficient, it also allows the members to become complacent. The argument is that if someone is willing to do the work, let them. However, in many instances the board becomes stagnant as well as efficient. There may be little change over “how we’ve always done things”- not the best strategy for maintaining a dynamic club responsive to the changing needs of its members and attractive to new recruits.

If one does want to be part of the process, running for office against a long-standing incumbent can be a daunting process (“Incumbent Block”). On the other hand, people are more willing to step up if they know the leadership will change. Thus term limits encourage (and in fact require) more of the membership to get involved with the actual “running” of the running club. This has to be good thing.

Perhaps the best argument against term limits is that if you have a good president who is willing and able to continue, why should you risk electing a new person who might not be as good (or much worse). This will almost certainly happen on occasion, but over time, it is in the best long-term interest of the club to have turnover of the board for the reasons stated above. Another oft stated argument is that one may need time to institute long term goals in the club. This is a valid argument, but three years should be sufficient time to institute any changes (such as new races, new programs, etc). Importantly, an individual is not prevented from holding office at a later date, as long as the terms are not contiguous.

I encourage you to read the existing BCRR By-Laws ( online. I welcome any opposing views (you can either send Neeraj Rohilla your essay and he will post on the blog separately, or you can directly respond to my post on the blog as a comment).

Kathi Mahon (current BCRR President)

Monday, April 26, 2010

BCRR Double-Headers

Two BCRR Members excelled in "Double Headers" the weekend of April 10-11, 2010.

- Carlye Graydon set a new 5K PR (20:21) and was 1st AG in the Bellaire Trolley Run on Saturday and the next day took 1st Overall Master Female (2:33:19) in her 1st Olympic Distance Triathlon (Gateway Olympic Tri). Wow- talk about on fire!

- Bonnie Jo Barron took 4th place in her AG at the Trolley Run (21:53) and the next day was 2nd overall Master Female at Angie's Crazy Half-Marathon (1:41:00). Bonnie is shown with Bernard Castro (right) who also ran the Half-Marathon and was 6th AG. (1:37:12). Awesome!

Miscellaneous BCRR Pursuits

BCRR Members have traveled near and far to take part in various endeavors the last week (April 19-25).

Susan Elias and several other BCRRers ran the Boston Marathon Monday April 19th

April Murphy and several others ran the Big Sur Marathon Sunday April 25th

Chris McGrew ran the Oklahoma City Marathon

Several BCRR members participated in the Lone Star Sprint, Olympic or Half-Ironman Triathlons this weekend in Galveston, including Carolyn Muirhead, who took 2nd AG in the Sprint on Saturday.

Many of us ran local 5 and 10Ks in town this weekend- Here is the start of the Green 6.2 10K. Can you find anyone you know?

Now for something different...Clayton Smith and BCRR friends went skydiving this weekend!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Volunteer for the Pink Door Legacy 5K

The inaugural Pink Door's Legacy 5K run/walk will be held at the Stafford Convention Center Saturday, March 20. Race Director Mike Mangan and BCRR are managing the race with the Pink Door Non-Profit Organization.
The Pink Door is a nation-wide charity that provides support for women cancer survivors to help them build successful careers after cancer.
We need volunteers to manage and staff the race course. This event doesn't conflict with any HARRA race, so you can help BCRR without compromising your race agenda. Please come out and help.
Keep in mind that your volunteer efforts will be rewarded with a fantastic Volunteer Party later in the season and a chance for gift certificate drawings. Thanks for your generous gift of time and experience.
To Volunteer contact Lara Allen (

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Former BCRR Members Make Society Page

Mikki Hebl, David Harvey and George Strake at Gala. Wonder who they were wearing

We have friends in high places:
Former BCRR members David Harvey and Mikki Hebl (barely recognizable in non-running clothes) were prominently featured in an article on the "Society" page in the Houston Chronicle. They were honorees at the University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras Gala dubbed the "Court of Diamond Jubilee".
Read about it here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Come out and support the Race Against Violence

Race Director and BCRR Member Tom Stilwell is looking for runners AND volunteers for the 22nd Annual Houston Area Women's Center Race Against Violence 5K, March 6, 2010. The race this year will introduce a new route and a bigger festival for all to enjoy! The day’s events include:
• Competitive 5K run with prizes for individual runners
• Non-competitive 5K family walk that welcomes strollers
• Kids K non-competitive 1K for kids ages 10 & under
• A post-race festival at Sam Houston Park with children’s activities, great food and live music! FREE race day parking available at the Metropolitan Racquet Club garage (340 West Dallas). Full information can be found at the website.
Please support the fight against domestic violence!
Contact Tom if you can volunteer (

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BCRR Member Camille Boon off to Volunteer in Haiti

Camille Boon has had a busy and eventful week. She ran her fourth marathon (and first since giving birth to son Ernest) last Sunday and PRed with a 4:02 (unfortunately her D-tag fell off so it's not official). She was highlighted in Roberta MacInnis's Runners Notebook column in the Houston Chronicle (another kind of PR)....AND she arranged to travel to Haiti to engage in medical relief for earthquake victims along with her husband John. Camille, the daughter of long time BCRR Member Kathryn Vidal, is an alumna of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine. She is now an OB/Gyn in private practice here in Houston and has spent time in Haiti previously as a student at Rice. (Please read more about Rice's Medical intervention program LEAP and Camille here. ) The Boons left for Haiti on Sunday the 26th and will be there for one week, but Camille wishes she could stay longer (hard to do with a small child waiting at home).

Camille, we are so proud of you and wish you a safe trip. (Maybe we can do something about that "unofficial" marathon time)

BCRR Member Lisa Foronda: Front Page News!

As a former news anchor at KHOU (Channel 11) in Houston, Lisa Foronda has had more than her 15 minutes of fame. But although a familiar face, she shows a more private side in an article by writer Diane Cowan featured in the Houston Chronicle Wednesday, Jan. 2o. Lisa candidly reveals her battle and triumph over an eating disorder, the power of running in her life, and her personal commitment to raising awareness of mental illness and the availability of services. She also gets a plug in for HARRA's Power in Motion (PIM) Program, for which she has served as co-director.
I think we can all agree that Lisa is a terrific ambassador for running in Houston and we are proud to have her in our club!

photo by Hardeep Thind

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Marathon Media Coverage for John Fredrickson

Left: Judy Loy and John Fredrickson, both 71, made the front page of the Houston Chronicle. (H. Chron).
Right: JP running his 100th marathon (photo by T. Murphy)

BCRR Member John Fredrickson was the media darling of the 2010 Houston Marathon! His quest to run his 100th marathon made the front page of the Houston Chronicle and at least two local TV stations and internet publications. Our only complaint: not enough mention of Bayou City!! Congrats JP!

Coverage by Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle here (BCRR Member Ray Boytim is also mentioned as a Houston Marathon Veteran with 31 Houston Marathons)

Coverage by Channel 13 here
Coverage by Channel 12 here here
Online Houstonist here

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

JP Fredrickson: Prolific Marathon Runner, Raconteur, and TV Personality

John Fredrickson got 20 seconds worth of his 15 minutes of fame on Channel 2, Tuesday, January 13, 2010. JP will be running his 100th marathon this Sunday in Houston.

I couldn't find a video of it online, so I videotaped it from my TV screen with my new iPod Nano.

John, you are definitely ready for your closeup! Best of luck this Sunday!