Friday, November 26, 2010

Check out Runner Triathlete News November Cover!

See anyone you know?
Yes, that's our very own Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons pictured on cover of November Runner Triathlete News. He is shown behind Andrew Strong, but ended up winning the race. Woo hoo!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NXN South Regionals

The Woodlands High School girls team finished second Saturday at the NXN South Regional Meet at Bear Branch Sports Field earning them entry to Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon on December 4.

The Lady Highlanders finished one point behind South Lake Carroll who earned the first berth to NXN with 116 points. Maddie McLellan (18th, 18:54.17), Hannah Novelli (24th, 19:07.25), Katie Willard (28th, 19:10.25), Ashley Guidot (49th, 19:31.16), Margo Lyons (59th, 19:42.58), Colleen Murray (80th, 20:07.17), and Anna Lyons (110th, 20:33.72) made up the Lady Highlanders' second team to qualify for NXN in three years.

Seniors Margo Lyons and Colleen Murray enjoyed going to nationals in their sophomore year and are excited to return to Nike Cross Nationals for the second time in their high school career. All the girls are excited -- and their parents are, too!!

Run through the Woods

The popular Thanksgiving "Run Through the Woods" race took place in The Woodlands again this year. 5,000 runners started their day either racing in the 5 mile race, teen 3 mile race, or kids' 1 mile race. Among them was Finish Strong Sharon Morin who placed 2nd among women's masters.

Jackie Lewis and her daughter, Taylor, also raced. Jackie ran the 5 mile race in 40:45 and placed 8th in her AG; Taylor ran the 3 mile in 24:18 and placed 4th in her AG.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Ironman Arizona

Tempe, Arizona was the sight for Ironman Arizona where Team FSR and Finish Strong athletes - Clint Bryant, Greg Gibbons, and Michael Collins took on this difficult endurance feat all three competing in the competitive 35-39 age group.

Experienced Ironman Michael Collins who has competed in Ironman Arizona numerous times finished the race in 11:10:22. He swam the first leg in 1:20:19, biked the course in 5:35:59 (20 mph pace), and concluded the final marathon run averaging 9:18 per mile for the event.

Close behind Michael was Greg Gibbons who finished the race in 11:11:43. Greg swam 1:09:35, biked a 5:37:18 (19.92 mph pace), and averaged 9:38/mile on the final marathon.

First-time Ironman Clint Bryant finished the race in 11:30:31. Clint swam a 1:17:10, biked a 5:34:05 (20.1 mph pace), and averaging 10:19 per mile for the final marathon.

Congrats to Clint, Greg, and Michael! You earned a big slice of pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free Mental Training Worship for Ironman Competitors

Join Adrienne Langelier, MA, a Woodlands-based Sport Psychology Consultant, counselor, and endurance athlete who will lead participants through a different type of “workout”. She is offering a free 90-minute seminar titled "The Mental Ironman: In Preparation for Ironman Texas and Beyond" on Thursday, December 2 from 7-8:30 at the South Regional Library located at 2101 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands.

San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon

Shani, Clare, Jenn, Alison, Ursula, Courtney, Laurel complete the San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon!
On Sunday, November 14, San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon was the place to be for Finish Strong coached athletes Shani Monk, Clare Winstanley, Alison Paff, Laurel Cutter, Courtney Meyers, Ursula Blackburn, Jennifer Allen and Jon Yarborough. This was the first half marathon for most of the gals and a PR for Jon. Everyone completed the race and judging by the post-race photos a good time was had by all.
Here are the results:

Courtney Myers 2:17:04
Shani Monk 2:19:45
Jennifer Allen 2:53:17
Laurel Cutter 2:53:22
Alison Paff 3:15:56
Clare Winstanley 3:15:56
Ursula Blackburne 3:15:58
Jon Yarborough 1:51:34 PR
Ali Yarborough 2:42:10

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Firethorne Sprint Triathlon

Team FSR Rodrigo, Manuel and Irasema Abascal and David Holsey all competed in the Firethorne Sprint Triathlon in Katy on October 24, 2010. Rodrigo won his age group and David Holsey placed 4th in his AG.

Here are the splits:

Rodrigo, 1st in 14-18 AG, 9th overall. He swam 7:35.6/biked 43:44 (22mph)/ran 19.26 (6:29/mile pace)for an overall time of 1:12:29.

Rodrigo's mom, Irasema, 15th in her 35-39 AG. She swam 14:03/biked 1:01:23/ran 28:52 for an overall time of 1:48:15.

Rodrigo's dad, Manuel, 14th in his 40-44 AG. He swam 10:29/biked 47:51/ran 21:32 for an overall time of 1:22:20.

David Holsey placed 4th in his 60-64 AG. He swam 10:22/biked 49:18/ran 27:01 for an overall time of 1:30:12.

Congrats to all!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Iron Star Half Ironman

Kim McElligott
after swim
Manuel Abascal on run

Rodrigo Abascal at start of swim

David Kayda
at finish line

Cindy McManis
Sharon Morin, Cindy McManis, Shannon Crow, Carolyn Barron


Twenty-one Finish Strong athletes took part in Sunday's Iron Star Half Ironman event held at La Torretta on Lake Conroe on November 7. The athletes endured chilly early morning conditions that turned into pleasant conditions for the run.

First-time half IM competitiors included Jesse Balboa, Carolyn Barron, Shannon Crowe, Chad Degges, Ronnie Delzer, David Kayda, Cindy McManis, Dave Molthen, Chris Normyle, Stephen Tschirhart, Rodrigo Abascal, and Sharon Morin. Others, including Jim Harrington, Kyle Mays, Charlie McDougall, Tommy Sustala, Laura Gaddy, Allan Richardson, Casey Clark, Manuel Abascal, and Kim McElligott decided to add another half IM to their athletic resume.

Several athletes found their way to the podium for placing in the top three in their age group. Allan Richardson took 1st in his AG, Shannon Crowe took 2nd in her AG. David Kayda, Tommy Sustala took 3rd in his AG, Rodrigo Abascal took 1st in his AG.

Overall results:
Jesse Balboa 5:44:41.7
Carolyn Barron 6:44:17.7
Shannon Crowe 5:43:07.8
Chad Degges 5:48:30.9
Ronnie Delzer 5:03:12.1
Jim Harrington 5:11:01.6 (5th in his AG)

David Kayda 5:27:43.5
Kyle Mays 5:38:06.9
Charlie McDougall 5:27:49.5
Cindy McManis 6:35:09.8 (5th in her AG)
Dave Molthen 5:26:11.1
Chris Normyle 6:10:42.4
Tommy Sustala 4:57:09.9

Stephen Tschirhart 6:01:59.5
Laura Gaddy 6:02:40.6 (4th in AG)
Allan Richardson 4:57:40.3
Casey Clark 5:29:29.9*
Manuel Abascal 6:05:50.9
Rodrigo Abascal 5:39:40.0

Kim McElligott 5:36:00.5
Sharon Morin 6:41:36.6

Our entire family was there volunteering at various places on the run course. Way to finish strong! Congrats to everyone!

Rocky Raccoon 50K and 25K Trail Runs

The 20th Annual Rocky Raccoon 50K and 25K trail runs took place in Huntsville State Park on Saturday, November 6. Among the long-distance 50K runners was Finish Strong coached athlete Winston Cervantes. Winston came in 18th overall by finishing the 50K run in just 5:09:50.2. He clocked a 2:20:28.2 for the first loop averaging 9:04/m and the second loop in 2:49:22.0 averaging 10:56/mile. Way to go, Winston!

Taking on the 25K trail run was Henrita van Wyngaarden. Henrita reports "I survived the Rocky Raccoon 25K this past Saturday. It was a great day for a race - a bit chilly while waiting for the start (temps in the mid-30's) but was perfect once we got moving. It was the first time in 10 years that I attired a trail run and I forgot how much fan and how challenging they could be!"

"The first mile was on the road, but then we turned onto the trails (in the dark!). Even with a headlight it took a while for my eyes to adjust and I had a few mis-steps but no injuries or falls - all I wanted to do was stay vertical! It got easier to negotiate my steps as the sun came up. Watching the sun come up and seeing the light through the trees as well as hearing the birds was a real treat. Such a nice change from a road race!"

"The first 10 miles went by quickly - probably because I was distracted by watching the trail. The last 5 were harder, and it seemed as though the tree roots were jumping up to try to trip me ... or maybe it was just harder to lift my feet! Finished in about 2:52, which I was happy with. Definitely looking forward to running this one again!"

Thanks for the race report and great job, Henrita!

IM Florida

Another HUGE weekend for TEAM FSR and Finish Strong coached athletes! On Saturday, November 6, Scott Pinkston, Steve Hardy, Kent Morris, and Scott Reeves conquered the IM Florida in Panama City Beach. Despite cold and blustery conditions, all four completed this ultra-challenging endurance race.

Scott Pinkston came in 257/403 in his male 40-44 AG and 1204 overall with an overall time of 12:41:42. Scott finished the swim in 1:04:41, the bike in 6:20:39 (17.7 mph pace), and the final half marathon in 5:00:34. Great effort for Scott's first IM.
Scott Pinkston (Photo courtesy of Jon Walk/RTN.)

Steve Hardy came in 192/403 in the same 40-44 AG and 854 overall with an overall time of 11:55:12. Steve swam a 1:12:53, biked a 5:59:47 (18.7mph), and ran 4:27:38. Completing a first IM in less than 12 hours is a remarkable feat!
Steve Hardy (Photo courtesy of Jon Walk/RTN.)

Kent Morris, despite 2 flats and running off-course for a total of 28.4 miles, still managed to finish his first IM in 13:12:55. Kent was 1437 overall and 99/198 in his male 50-54 AG. Kent swam a 1:13:09, biked a 6:11:47 (18.1 mph pace with time for changing 2 flats factored in), and running 5:22:04 for 28.4 miles. I guess that makes Kent an IM+!
Kent Morris (Photo courtesy of Jon Walk/RTN.)

Scott Reaves came in 1605 overall and 277/358 for his male 35-39 AG with an overall time of 13:38:05. Scott swam a 1:07:29, had a 20:45 T1 (must be a story here!), biked a 6:09:18 (18.2 mph), and ran 5:50:25 marathon. This was a PR for Scott! Way to go. You are all IRONMEN!
Scott Pinkston (Photo courtesy of Jon Walk/RTN.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great Pumpkin Run 5K

Team FSR Hannah Barron got in the holiday spirit by running the Great Pumpkin Run 5K on October 30. Hannah completed the race in 22:59 averaging 7:25/mile. Good job, Hannah!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Computrainer Filming IM Texas Course

Kevin Lynch of Computrainer was in town on Sunday to film the Ironman Texas bike course for a new Real Video! Finish Strong Coaching helped out staging riders out on the course, local logistics and day of shot briefing. Below is a picture of those that turned out at T1 for the start filming. Dozens of other riders were out on the course.

To see more pictures from the days shot go to Kevin's blog at
For those with Computrainers, the IM Texas Real Video should be released by 2/1/11.

Monster Mash 10K and 5K Race

The Monster Mash 10K/5K race was held the day before Halloween on Saturday, October 30that 7:30am in Houston. Finish Strong Manuel Abascal won first place for his amazing costume. (See photo above.) Yes, he ran with the "coffin" the entire 10K somehow managing 12.01/mile pace to finish in 1:14:29. His sons, Rodrigo and Manuel, also ran the 10K in 43:35 and 50:58, respectively.

In the 5K race, Bill Mack finished 3rd in his age group and 30th overall with a time of 21:24.6 Bill ran at a 6:54/mile pace. April Davis dressed as Elvis (see photo below) also ran the 5K and came in 11th for her AG with a time of 31:14.9. Way to go!