Monday, April 26, 2010

Lonestar 70.3

Seven tough Finish Strong competitors took on the Lonestar 70.3 held in Galveston on April 25. The athletes proved they could indeed finish strong on this 1.2 mile ocean swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.

First time half Ironman Laura Gaddy had a stellar race. She finished under 6 hours in 5:50:05. Laura swam a steady 42:40 swim, followed by a 3:00 bike where she averaged 18.6mph, followed by a 1:59:33 half marathon.

Buck Snyder competed in the 35-39 age group. He finished in 5:56:39. His splits were 41:14 swim/2:44:19 bike/2:27:24 run.

The brutal 40-44 age group included Tommy Sustala, Patrick Sexton, Steve Hardy and Scott Pinkston. Tommy headed the group with an overall time of 4:49:57. He posted a 30:54 swim/2:30:48 bike/1:43:58 run. Patrick followed with a time of 5:02:33. His effort included a 35:57 swim/2:35:30 bike/1:46:26 run.
Steve Hardy performed well with an overall time of 5:38:24. He swam a 41:18, biked a 2:55:53 leg, followed by a 1:56:26 half marathon. Scott Pinkston hung in there finishing in under 6 hours with a time of 5:58:42. He had a fine swim at 35:56, biked a 3:00:10, and endured the final 13.1 miles with a time of 2:17:06.

Jim Harrington came in 11th in the competitive 45-49 age group. Jim posted a 34:47 swim/2:44:50 bike/1:47:32 run for a final time of 5:10:56.

Great job!

Lonestar Olympic and Sprint Duathlons

(Lonestar Sprint Duathlon featured Finish Strong racers. Pictured above: Kyle Mays with 2nd place award; Rodrigo Abascal and David Kayda post-race; David Kayda crosses the finish line; David & Rodrigo on the bike course. Photos compliments of Abascal family.)

Galveston was the host city for Lonestar 70.3, Olympic and Sprint duathlon races the weekend of April 24-25. On Saturday, April 24 the swim portion of the races were cancelled turning the Olympic and sprint triathlons into duathlon races. Two Finish Strong athletes Cindy McManis and Craig Wakefield competed in the Olympic distance event. Four other Finish Strong athletes competed in the sprint.
Cindy McManis took 7th in the 50-54 AG with a time of 2:21:40. She finished the bike portion of the race in 1:20:06 and the run in 59:39.

Craig Wakefield took 4th in his 40-44 AG with a finish time of 1:50:08. Craig biked a 1:04:17 and ran 44:43.

In the sprint race, the participants biked 12.5 miles followed by a 5K run.

Rodrigo Abascal won his 15-17 AG with a time of 57:11:00. Rodrigo biked the course in 36:53 followed by a 19:19 5K run.

David Kayda took home 2nd place in his 30-34 age group. David finished the race in 55:31:00. His bike was 36:01 and run was 18:26.

Kyle Mason took 17th in the 18-24 age group with a time of 1:04:24. Kyle biked the course in 40:20 followed by a 22:42 5K run.

Kyle Mays took 2nd in the 45-59 age group with a time of 55:18. Kyle's bike time was 32:52 and run time was 21:13.

Y'all rock!!

Cedar Park Kid's Triathlon

The terrific trio triumph again! Lane, Hannah and Katherine Barron made a big splash at the Cedar Park Kid's Triathlon held Sunday, April 25 at Elizabeth Milburn Park in Austin. The tri course covered 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 1.2 mile run.

Katherine and Hannah teamed up to take 4th and 5th out of the 19 senior females ages 13 to 15. Katherine posted the fasted T1 and T2 times. Katherine posted a 3:55 swim/20:12 bike/7:54 run for a total time of 32:52. Hannah was close behind her big sister. Hannah had a 4:11 swim/20:23 bike/7:12 run for a total time of 33:01. Hannah had the 3rd fastest run for her age group clocking in at a 6:00 minute mile pace.

Lane came in 2nd of 32 in the senior male 11 to 12 age group. Lane swam a 4:07; smoked on the bike with a time of 18:46; and followed up with an astounding 7:05 run. He had the fastest bike averaging 19.2mph for his age group and an incredible 5:54 mile pace for the run.

Triple kudos for the Barron kids!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Marathon

The prestigious Boston Marathon was held on April 19. Finish Strong Kristin Collins and Ed York were among the thousands of participants who finished this famous 26.2 mile course. Kristin finished in 3:49 -- her second fastest marathon ever. Ed finished in 3:39.

Kristin recaps her race...

"The 114th Boston Marathon was my second Boston and it proved, again, to be a world class race and fabulous experience. Although it was rainy on Saturday and Sunday, Marathon Monday was absolutely perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and 42 degrees as we walked from our hotel to the Public Garden where I stood in line with thousands of others waiting to be whisked away 26.2 miles to Hopkinton and the Athlete Village, which was an energizing place to be.

There was excitement and nervousness in the air as runners stood around, sat on cardboard, read the paper, played card games, drank coffee and performed pre-race rituals. Soon, over the loud speaker, announcements were being made for runners to begin the walk towards the starting corrals. I found my corral, shed extra clothing and before long, was crossing the starting line!! My 14th marathon was under way!! Like last year, the road from Hopkinton was lined with spectators, eager to cheer everyone on. I heard "Go Blue!!" numerous times and waved back at people.

Leaving Hopkinton, we ran through Ashland. Little kids held out their hands anxiously awaiting a high five and I complied. Mile five was my first Michael sighting. He took the train out to Framingham. It was great seeing a familiar, friendly face! The Red Sox were down by three in the third inning. Dang. Natick came and went. A group of college kids were barbecuing up on a lawn and it smelled really good!

The Welseley Girls didn't disappoint at mile 12. They were out in full force with their high pitched screams and "kiss me" signs. Up ahead was Newton. Those hills were on my mind once again. Steady going up, work the downhills, I kept telling myself. Each hill I thought was Heartbreak Hill. And then there was another one. Where were all of these things last year?

Okay, focus...back to business...A little while later, I heard my name and I looked to my left, there was Michael again. At mile 20, just like he promised. This time he brought the cowbell. Finally, I made it up Heartbreak Hill as Michael screamed " That effort deserves a little more cowbell!!" It was sort of all downhill from there. The last 6 miles went by in a blur. Still trying to stay focused and keep on a decent pace. Soon after, Boston College was in sight. I ran on the right side of the road so that I could high five all of the people lining the course. They were so loud and inspiring. I really think my pace picked up.

Mile 23, I heard my name and looked over to see Jon Walk taking pictures and waving. Another friendly face! Michael was still running along side of me ( off the course) screaming my name, taking pictures and clanging the cowbell. 3 more miles to go!!! I can do anything for 3 miles!! Mile 24 came and went. Then the Citgo sign appeared on the horizon. Mile 25! I looked to my right just in time to catch a glimpse of Fenway Park. The streets were full of spectators and it was difficult to run in places because there were so many of them but it made the experience even better. Next thing I knew, the course took a hard right turn- Hereford Street. Already? Yep! One more turn onto Boylston and the Finish Line.

Boylston was crowded with spectators and like last year, it sounded like a stadium full of cheering fans. They must have been 8-10 deep along some parts of the sidewalk. I wanted to just stop and take it all in, but I was on the clock! Crossing the finish line was both a happy and sad moment. Happy that I had just completed another marathon and sad that my Boston experience was over. It took me several minutes to remember to look at my watch. 3:49:24 was my finish time!! After getting The Medal, a bottle of water and a snack bag, I made my way to the clothing buses and then found Michael. Although my quads by now were on fire, I ran/hobbled to him and gave him a big hug and wished him Happy Birthday. It wasn't until we were home that I realized that this was my second fastest marathon!!"

MS 150

An estimated 13,000 cyclists made the 2-day, 180-mile journey from Houston to Austin as part of the 26th Annual BP MS 150 supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Cyclists began at Houston on April 17 and finish the race in downtown Austin on April 18, following an overnight celebration in La Grange. One of the participants was Finish Strong athlete Steve Hardy.

Steve reports that he had an inauspicious start to the race. He was clipped at mile 8 by a speeding police car traveling in the opposite direction down the street and was violently separated from his bike. Steve suffered some road rash, but both bike and rider continued on to finish the journey.

Ironman 70.3 New Orleans

New Orleans hosted Ironman 70.3 on April 18, 2010 -- the only half Ironman in the 5-state southern region that qualifies top ranked individuals for the Ironman 70.3 championship race in Clearwater, Florida. The 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run course took the athletes through the historic districts of New Orleans.

Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons overcame hot conditions and a strong field to place first in his 50-54 age group. Dana was 13th out of the water with a time of 36:46. He was 7th off the bike with a time of 2:22:33. And outran the rest of his age group in the final half marathon with a time of 1:27:55. His overall time was 4:31:38.

Mike Bard placed 3rd in his Clydesdale category. Mike had 33:43 swim, 2:26:19 bike, and 1:57:40 run for an overall time of 5:01:10.

Manuel Abascal also completed his first half ironman here at New Orleans. He completed the event with an overall time of 5:52:17.

Mike and Manuel (pictured above) are all smiles after completing the 70.3 race!!

Blue Bell 5K and 1 Mile Kid's Race

The Barron family earned their just desserts at the Blue Bell race on Saturday, April 18 in Brenham, Texas -- home of Blue Bell ice cream.

Out of the 178 kids ages 12 and under participating in the 1 mile race, amazing brother-sister duo, Lane and Hannah Barron took 1st and 2nd respectively. Lane outran the entire field posting an amazing 6:11 mile.

Hannah finished first for the girls and second overall in a time of 6:29. She easily held off the other 27 girls ages 10-12 who competed in the event.

Among the field of 1,164 competitors for the 5K race were mother-daughter duo Carolyn and Katherine Barron. Katherine finished 7 out of 88 in her 11-19 age group with a time of 24:28 (7:54 pace). Carolyn placed 9 out of 145 in the 40-49 age group with a time of 26:48 (8:36 pace).

Carolyn reports that it was a very hilly course for both races, but they loved the unlimited ice cream offered at the finish!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inaugural America's Run - Half Marathon

Team Finish Strong John Williams competed in the Inaugural America's Run half marathon in Dallas on April 11. This race is unique because it starts and ends in the new Cowboy's stadium. John said, "It was really cool to come through the tunnel and see yourself on the jumbotron. The course also took us through UTA, my alma mater. Brings back good memories." John achieved his goal and ran the course in 2 hours and 30 minutes and felt good!

Hog Hunt 25K

Skip Moschell, a member of the Finish Strong Spring run program, won the master's and took 3rd overall at the Hog Hunt 25K in Huntsville on Saturday, April 10.

Skip said, "The conditions were perfect, but it's always a challenging trail race in Huntsville State Park."

Gateway to the Bay Olympic Triathlon

Kemah hosted the Gateway to the Bay Olympic triathlon on April 11. Finish Strong athletes continued to make their presence known at this local race where 351 athletes completed the course.

In the men's 35-39 AG, Buck Snyder took 5th with a time of 2:24:31. Michael Collins was only 10 seconds behind to take 6th with a time of 2:24:41. Clint Bryant finished 9th with a time of 2:36:08.

In the men's 40-44 AG, Patrick Sexton took 5th with a time of 2:27:24. (His family came out to cheer him on. See photo.)

Craig Wakefield was in the top spot for this AG following the swim, but ended up with a DNF after getting a flat tire on the bike course.

Will Blackbird claimed 5th in the 45-49 AG with a time of 2:39:14. And Tom Schwarzkopf placed 2nd in the 50-54 AG.

Finish Strong athletes Steve Hardy and Scott Pinkston competed on two different relay teams for this Olympic race.
Both did the swim and bike legs of the race, while their team mate finished the run. (See photo to right with Steve on the bike leg of the course.)

Way to go!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gateway to the Bay Sprint

It was a busy weekend for Finish Strong! Eighteen Finish Strong athletes headed to Kemah on April 10 and 11 to compete in the Gateway to the Bay Triathlon. Ten participated in the sprint distance event on Saturday. Eight competed in the Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday.

Pictured above: Trent Stevens (2nd), Andrew Strong (3rd) Pros Matt Reed (US Olympian) and Andy Potts, and Dana Lyons (1st). Dana is overall winner for sprint race!

Dana Lyons won the overall sprint race with a time of 1:02:30 -- over 35 seconds faster than the closest competitor. The field included a tough group of elite participants among the 514 finishers. Dana smoked on the bike posting an average speed of 24.1mph.

Rodrigo Abascal (pictured on right) won his 15-19 AG with a time of 1:08:18. In this same AG, Jack Ladenheim placed 4th with a time of 1:22:18. Kyle Mason came in 6th with a time of 1:25:01. Rodrigo's brother, Manuel, finished 10th in 1:40:12.

David Kayda came in 14th in the competitive male 30 to 34 AG with a time of 1:16:58.

Manuel Abascal (Rodrigo's dad) took 10th in the male 40 to 44 AG with a time of 1:21:36.

Kyle Mays came in 4th in the male 45 to 49 AG with a time of 1:10:30.

David Holsey came in 2nd in the 60 to 64 AG with a time of 1:25:15.

First timer, Dan Woodall finished the triathlon in 1:42:02.

Carolyn Barron took 7th in the women's 40 to 44 AG with a time of 1:32:21.

Congrats to all!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ironman Australia

Sean Craig represented Finish Strong well at Ironman Australia held in March. Sean was thrilled to reach his goal! Sean kept a nice comfortable pace from start to finish in the swim. His swim was so wonderful that he almost felt like he was holding back. When he transitioned from the swim, he was disappointed to find that someone stole his towel and powerbar out of his bike bag. But he got over that and headed off on the bike. Sean found the bike more difficult than he expected. Starting off with six miles of hills, he flatted at mile five. He kept going and was really feeling the effects of increased wind and hills at the turn around point. But he got through it and went on to the run. He felt pretty good on the run, but did have some cramping at times.

Sean told me, "The key to finishing the race was the hydration and nutrition plan that you created, without it there was no way I would be able to deal with the heat and the full day's worth of activity." Sean went on to pass many people on the run, including a 15 x Ironman. Congrats, Sean!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sylver Lake 1 Mile Swim Meet

The Sylver Lake Swim Meet was held on April 3. Team FSR Rodrigo Abascal competed and took 12th overall in the 1 mile race with a time of 25:38. Excellent time!

Congrats, Rodrigo!

Muddy Trails

Jody Gaddy (above) places 3rd in his AG at Muddy Trails 5k.

On Saturday, April 3, The Woodlands hosted the Muddy Trail 5K and 10K run. Many Finish Strong athletes competed in this local race.

In the 10K, Sharon Morin won the female master's race with a time of 47:10. Staci Bouthillete placed 2nd in her 40-49 age group with a time of 55:49. Her daughter, Alex, 12, placed 5th among the 14 and under age group with a time of 59:35. Bret Strong placed 7th in the men's 40-49 age group with a time of 46:12.

In the 5K, Jackie Lewis won the master's top spot with a finishing time of 25:37. Hannah Barron took the top spot for the girls 14 and under with a time of 23:22. She was followed by Pilar Glaser who came in 2nd with a time of 24:16. Katharine Barron came in 5th in this age group with a time of 27:48. Mary Claire Gaddy came in 10th with a time of 30:01. Mary Claire ran with her mom, Laura, who came in 3rd for the 40-49 women's age group with the same time 30:01. Deena Birdsong placed 11th in the 40-49 age group with a time of 35:54.

For the men running the 5K, Casey Clark managed to finish 4th in his age group (30-39) even with a separated shoulder. Casey ran the 5K in 22:18. Jody Gaddy came in 3rd for the men 40-49 age group with a time of 23:50.

And Lane Barron won the kid's 1 mile race with a time of 5:51.

Congrats to all the Finish Strong athletes for such a strong showing at this local race!!

Gator Kids Tri

On March 27, the Barron family headed to Sulphur, Louisianna where Katherine, Hannah, and Lane competed in the 4th Annual Gator Kids Triathlon.

Lane competed and won the race for kids ages 12 and under. The distances for his triathlon were 100m swim/3 mi bike/.75 run. Lane finished in 17:15 beating the next fastest competitor by 1:30. Lane improved almost two minutes from his time at this race last year. He had the fourth fastest swim, the fastest bike, and the second fastest run.

Katherine and Hannah both competed in the race for kids ages 13-15. The distance for their triathlon were 200m swim/6 mi bike/1.5 run. Katherine claimed first with a time of 34:40 just edging out her sister, Hannah, who took second with a time of 35:21. Katherine had the fastest swim and bike of the event. Hannah posted the fastest run split.

Congrats to the Barrons!