Monday, April 29, 2013

Fuga de Isla de Sacrificios 70.3

Irasema and Manuel Abascal competed in the Fuga de Isla de Sacrificios 70.3 in Veracruz, Mexico on April 14.   Irasema's team won 1st place among the relays!  Despite Ira swimming an extra 500 meters, her team had a final half marathon run of 1:15:49 to clinch the top spot out of 31 teams. The relay team's splits were 59:50 swim, 2:54 bike and run 1:15:49 for a total time of 5:12:48. 
Manuel completed the entire race on his own and savored the celebration with friends afterwards!

 Ira (middle) and her winning relay team!

 Manuel on the bike course!

Kemah Sprint and Olympic Triathlon

Busy weekend in Kemah with a sprint tri on Saturday, April 27 and an Olympic distance tri (turned du) on Sunday, April 28.  Team Finish Strong was represented well by 15 athletes -- 5 in the sprint and 10 in the Olympic. The sprint distance race was 500m ocean swim, 13 mile bike, 5K event. 

In the sprint tri, Coach Dana Lyons (pictured above) came in 3rd overall and won the grand-master's for the sprint race.  Dana finished in 1:04:55.6.  His splits were 8:50.0 swim; 31:21.0 bike; 18:46.5 run.

Carolyn Barron came in 4th in her 40-44 AG with an overall time of 1:31:07.1.  Carolyn's splits were 11:03.7 swim; 40:37.1 bike; 28:55.5 run.

Tami Fincher (above) came in 4th in her 45-49 AG with an overall time of 1:37:58.8.  Tami's splits were 12:50.3 swim; 46:26.8 bike; 27:39.8 run.

Jed Beck (pictured above) placed 10th in his 50-54 AG with an overall time of 1:27:52.0.  Jed's splits were 11:02.1 swim; 38:10.4 bike; 28:12.5 run.
Vic Kaiser finished in 2:16:32.5 for his 45-49 AG.  Vic's splits were  15:38.8 swim; 51:21.4 bike; 47:23.0 run.

The Olympic distance race was reduced from a triathlon to a swim-run event due to heavy rains that led to the cancellation of the bike.

Tim Vibrock (pictured above on R next to Alan Jones) won his 50-54 AG in 1:12:00.4and qualified for a coveted spot at the Escape from Alcatraz race.  Tim's splits were 23:20.8 swim and 43:04.8 run.

Lisanne Rogers (pictured above) came in 4th in her 45-49 AG in 1:26:52.1. Her splits were 30:02.1 swim and  49:51.7 run.

Susan Hardick-Smith came in 6th in the same 45-49 AG in 1:34:02.9.  Her splits were 34:08.8 swim and 52:21.8 run.

Irasema de Aquino (above) came in 23rd in her 40-44 AG in 1:56:22.4. Ira's splits were 44:01.7 swim and 1:02:19 run.

Tommy Behe (above) finished in 1:18:19.7 placing 13th in the 35-39 AG. Tommy's splits were 27:11.5 swim and 45:04.0 run.

Patrick Sexton (abovev) finished 9th in his 40-44 AG in 1:16:38.1.   Patrick's splits were 25:10.5 swim and 44:51.9 run.

Alan Jones (above) finished in 1:21:58.6 in the 40-44 AG. Alan's splits were 29:01.6 swim and 46:29.1 run.

Manuel Abascal (above) finished in 1:28:57.6 in the 45-49 AG.  Manuel's splits were 29:22.1 swim and 51:15 run.

Kent Morris (above) finished 4th in his 50-54 AG in 1:17:44.9.  Kent's splits were 30:52.3 swim and 41:07.7 run.

Kerry Gordon (above) placed 16th in his 50-54 AG in 1:27:59.2.  Kerry's splits were 32:47.1 swim and 46:13.3 run.

For more details on race results, go to

For more photos of Team Finish Strong athletes, go to Manuel's photostream:

Open Water Swim

It was great seeing everyone at the Open Water Swim at North Shore park hosted by The Woodlands Township!  Triathletes were enjoying getting acclimated to the 70 degree water in preparation for upcoming CB&I sprint and Ironman Texas races.  Among the FSC athletes braving the long course were Ileana Carroll, Sara Vanderford, Kim Neuveu, James Vultaggio, Courtney Meyer, Kari Gilley, and Scott Farrand.  Others took on the short course including Ann Erickson, Pia Grossman, CJ Stewart, Craig Daniell, Skip Moschell, Mario Menendez, and Chip Lawson.   Thanks for stopping by the tent!

MS 150

Four FSC athletes enjoyed the gorgeous weather for the two-day BP MS 150 Lone Star charity bike race from Houston to Austin held on April 20 and 21.  Chris Normyle, Tim Thurman, Jim Harrington, and Shannon Crowe were among the estimated 13,000 bike riders to take part in the fundraising ride for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Nationwide, more than 100 MS rides raise $18 million for MS, according to the event’s website.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tips for Triathletes - Most Common Rules Violations

Most Common Rules Violations - USAT Triathlon

1. Helmets: Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event. You can be disqualified prior to, during or after the race if you are riding your bike without your helmet on.
Penalty: Disqualification
2. Chin Straps: Chin straps must be buckled at all times when on a bicycle. DO NOT unbuckle your chin strap unless you are off your bicycle.
Penalty: Disqualification on the course; Variable time penalty in transition area only.

3. Outside Assistance: No assistance other than that offered by race and medical officials may be used. Triathlons and duathlons are individual tests of fitness.  This also means that no one can "pace" you on the run or bike.
Penalty: Variable time penalty

4. Transition Area: All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral. The wheel of the bicycle must be down on the side of the assigned space. All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in their designated bicycle corral. No person shall interfere with another participant’s equipment or impede the progress of another participant. All bar ends must be solidly plugged. No participant shall bring ANY glass containers into the transition area. Keep your gear in the small space next to or under your bike.  If your helmet (or any other equipment) rolls over into another athletes area, that is considered impeding the progress of another participant.
Penalty: Variable time penalty

5. Drafting: Drafting--keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds. Position--keep to the right hand side of the lane of travel unless passing. Blocking--riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and interfering with other cyclists attempting to pass. Overtaken--once passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone from the rear, before attempting to pass again.  No one likes a "wheel sucker".
Penalty: Variable time penalty

6. Course: All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue. Cyclists shall not cross a solid yellow center line for ANY reason. Cyclists must obey all applicable traffic laws at all times. It is your responsibility to know the course.
Penalty: Referee's discretion

7. Unsportsmanlike-Like Conduct: Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden.
Penalty: Disqualification

8. Headphones: Headphones, headsets, walkmans, ipods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.  It's all about safety!
Penalty: Variable time penalty
9. Race numbers: All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times. Numbers may not be cut or folded or altered in any way. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing.  See penalty below!  Do you really want to risk it?
Penalty: Variable time penalty for missing or altered number, Disqualification and one year suspension from membership in USAT for transferring a number without race director permission.

10. Wetsuits: Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.  Race day water temperature has typically been 78 degrees or less.  It is likely that you will be able to wear a wetsuit and still be eligible for prizes and awards.  If the water temperature is above 78 degrees and you choose to wear a wet suit then a race volunteer will write down your race number.

11. Abandonment: All personal equipment and belongings taken out onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time. No garbage, clothing, etc. shall be thrown on the course. The only place you can throw your empty gels packs, water bottles or other equipment is in your transition area or at an aid station.  Please do not litter!
Penalty: Variable time penalty

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

London Marathon

Congratulations to Finish Strong's Pam Meaux and Andreas Grossmann who ran the London Marathon on April 21.  Pam finished in 3:38:56 placing 52nd in her 50-54 AG. Andreas ran his pr in 3:51:11.   Wow!
Andreas Grossman at the London Marathon enjoying a personal best time!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

IronKids New Orleans

Congratulations to Finish Strong's Lane Barron who won first overall in the senior division (ages 12-15) at the IronKids New Orleans triathlon on April 20.  The race was a 300 meter swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run course.

Lane's splits were 4:19 swim, 1:30 T1, 18:47 bike, :30 T2; 13:04 run for an overall time of 38:10.
   Lane finished almost 4 minutes befoer his next competitor.  Wow!  Congrats, Lane!

Run for Hope

Congratulations to all the Finish Strong athletes who participated in the Run for Hope 10K/5K held in The Woodlands on Saturday, April 20.

Kimberly Mac Namee finished 5th overall and 2nd female overall in 37:53
Kevin Baker finished 1st in his 30-39 AG in 41:08. 13th overall and a nice PR for Kevin.
Bill Glaser finished 14th overall and 4th in 40-49 AG in 41:46.
Leela Duncan finished 5th in her 40-49 AG in 51;56.
Pam Teague finished in 1:01:30 7th in 50-59 AG.
Pilar Glaser (Bill's daughter) came in 10th in the 5K in 19;39 and 1st in her 15-19 AG.
Luca Menendez (Jessica and Mario's son) came in 2nd in his 1-10 AG at the 5k in 34:44.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon

It is still hard to put our thoughts into words.  Like all of you, we were shaken to the core and our prayers go out to those affected by the horrible, tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

Finish Strong Coaching had five athletes running at the event accompanied by many family members.  All are shaken, but physically unharmed.  Christelle Gigant finished in 3:34:02 well before the explosions, but had the gut-wrenching realization that her daughters had been standing along the finish line right where one of the explosions occurred only minutes earlier.

Jessica Menendez (3:44:28) and  Nora Wilson  (3:47:30) also both finished before the explosions and were out of harm's way.

Jessica had this to say, "My family (Mario, our kids, and my parents) had met me at mile 13 on the course and as I ran by they shouted "meet you at the finish line". As I was running down the final stretch, I ran along that same fence where the bombs went off trying to see my family. I didn't see them so after I crossed the finish line and got my gear check bag, they told us to go to the family meeting spot. I was standing under the M sign waiting for them. At one point I almost walked back to the finish line to look for them but I decided it would be better if I stayed in the same spot. Then I heard the 2 explosions coming from the finish line area. Everyone in the street around me just froze. We knew something was wrong. People started to panic and clear out. I was so scared because I didn't know if my family was near the finish line or not. I borrowed some random guy's cell phone and was able to reach Mario. I found out he had decided to take our family back to the hotel before the bombs went off because he thought the finish line area was too chaotic. He was walking back to the finish line and was 100 yards away when the bombs went off! Seconds later I called him and he came and got me. I have never been so scared. There were police, fire trucks, ambulances, big SWAT Hummers showing up everywhere. You didn't know if there were more bombs waiting to go off! Luckily we were leaving that night so we caught a shuttle back to the airport to get out of that area. I was so happy once we got up in the air."

Nora reported on Facebook that she and her husband, Lew, faced the chaotic after-math.  Nora writes, "I was already in the tunnel waiting for a train when we all heard and felt the two explosions. Nobody thought anything of it as noises like that happen in big cities. True until we were ordered to evacuate the station and once on the street we were told train stations were on lockdown. Sirens, cops, .... 9/11- like. Then details. Walked several miles and across a bridge to get back to Cambridge ASAP just in case they shut bridges down which they did not. Beautiful day ended so tragically. Senseless."

Lisa Hill finished in 4:17 -- 8 minutes before the first explosion. Read more about Jessica and Lisa's story in the Conroe Courier. 
Woodlands marathon duo witness the Boston explosions - Your Houston News: News
 Phillip DePrang had not yet arrived at the finish and was pulled off the course.  Fortunately, his family was in contact with him and knew he was okay.

There are two running events scheduled today to honor those who were killed or injured in Boston.
Luke's Locker has a 3 mile run/walk that will leave from the store today (Wednesday) at 6pm.  Runners are encouraged to wear yellow, blue or Boston gear.  All are welcome.  Or run with the Woodlands Running Club at 7pm leaving from the entrance of Town Green Park

Monday, April 15, 2013

Texas State Championship Duathlon

Finish Strong Coach Dana Lyons placed 1st in his age group and 3rd overall at the 12th Annual Fast & Furtious Texas State Championship Duathlon held in Grand Prairie, Texas on April 14.  Dana finished the sprint distance du (5K, 19mi, 5K) in 1:23:45.  Dana ran the first 5K in 17:58 (5:48/mi), biked the course in 46:37 (24.5 mph) and ran his final 5K in 18:15 (5:53/mi).  Friend Jim Griffis placed 3rd in his 60-64 AG finishing in 1:41:43.  Congrats, Dana and Jim!

Austin 1020

Finish Strong's Susie Schreiber raced the Auston 1020 (10 miler) run on April 14.  Susie came in 9th in her age group out of 291.  Way to go, Susie!

Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim

Finish Strong Coaching's Caroline Barron, Linda Trinkle and Tim Monk competed in the Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim at Lake Conroe.  Tim won the 2.5K distance for the master's men.  Caroline and Linda came in 1st and 2nd for the womne's master wetsuit division for the 5K distance.  Congrats!

Caroline Barron
Tim Monk (pictured R) with award

Houston Kids Triathlon

Congratulation to Finish Strong Coaching's Lane Barron for winning the Houston Kids Triathlon on April 13. Lane was 1st overall in the Senior division out of 574 kids.  He crossed the finish line almost 2 minutes before his next competitor.  His overall winning time this year was an improvement by over 2 minutes compared to 2012.  Way to go, Lane!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Conroe Tri for Fun

Finish Strong's Kent and Kathy Morris and Tami Fincher competed in the 2nd Annual Conroe Tri for Fun on April 6.  The race included a 300 yard pool swim, 16.5 mile bike, and a 5K trail run.  Kent took 2nd place overall and Kathy was 2nd in her AG.  This was Tami's second sprint tri ever and she finished 3rd among masters.

Kent was beat by a former LSU swimmer.  Kent reports, "I got him by a little on the bike and run, but it wasn't enough."  Congrats to a Kent, Kathy and Tami!



Ironman Texas 70.3 - Galveston

Congrats to all 20 Finish Strong triathletes who took on the Texas 70.3 race in Galveston on Sunday, April 7!  Y'all did amazing!

Courtney Leone F 30-34        44:11 SWIM; 3:20:27 BIKE; 2:09:51 RUN -- 6:26:44
Chandler Feldman F 35-39    46:49 SWIM; 3:16:44 BIKE; 2:39:58 RUN - 6:58:16
Kari Gilley          F 35-39       48:25 SWIM; 2:43:26 BIKE; 2:04:57 RUN - 5:44:06
Linda Trinkle      F 45-49       42:42 SWIM; 2:42:13 BIKE; 1:45:28 RUN - 5:17:07  6th in her AG!
Michelle Howard F 45-49      43:23 SWIM; 3:20:10 BIKE; 1:58:58 RUN - 6:10:39
Cindy McManis F 50-54        45:15 SWIM; 3:08:01 BIKE; 2:22:28 RUN - 6:24:16
Ileana Carroll     F 50-54       56:33 SWIM; 3:22:10 BIKE; 2:26:31 RUN - 7:01:32 - 1st half IM!
Sara Vanderford F 50-54       56:54 SWIM; 3:03:27 BIKE; 2:27:21 RUN - 6:42:14

Tim Thurman     M 30-34     42:37 SWIM; 2:57:18 BIKE; 1:50:32 RUN - 5:36:54
Daryl Parker       M 30-34    46:54 SWIM; 2:47:52 BIKE; 1:55:04 RUN - 5:38:21
Lee Allen            M 35-39    36:22 SWIM; 2:34:42 BIKE; 1:49:29 RUN - 5:08:40
Mario Menendez M 35-39   40:47 SWIM; 2:48:34 BIKE; 2:00:04 RUN - 5:39:33-  PR by 10 min!
Alan Jones         M 40-44      36:41 SWIM; 2:35:52 BIKE; 1:48:38 RUN - 5:07:52
John Tortorici    M 40-44      35:12 SWIM; 2:50:18 BIKE; 2:08:48 RUN - 5:43:21
Chris Wendt       M 40-44     32:38 SWIM; 2:45:15 BIKE;  1:43:45 RUN - 5:08:35 PR by 55 min!
Jim Harrington  M 45-49      32:22 SWIM; 2:37:01 BIKE; 1:56:12 RUN - 5:11:03
Winston Cervantes M 45-49  41:53 SWIM; 2:29:45 BIKE; 1:50:28 RUN - 5:09:27
Will Blackbird   M 50-54     36:44 SWIM; 2:45:41 BIKE; 2:14:24 RUN - 5:43:33
Don Cole           M 50-54      37:02 SWIM; 2:46:27 BIKE; 1:47:37 RUN - 5:21:01
Mario Vazquez  M 55-59     45:16 SWIM; 3:03:29 BIKE; 2:38:35 RUN - 6:36:40  - PR by 1 hour!!

Sara Vanderford and Ileana Carroll are up to the challenge at Galveston!
Way to finish strong - 70.3!!

Mario Menendez with his support crew - wife, Jessica, son Luca and daughter Sofia!
Alan Jones successfully toughing out the run!

Muddy Trails 5K/10K

The Muddy Trails 5K/10K race hosted by The Woodlands Township was held at Creekwood on Saturday, April 6.  In addition to sponsoring the race, Finish Strong Coaching also had a slew of athletes who had a great showing at the race!  FSC claimed the winning master's runners in the 5K and 10K and 14 podium finishes.   Everyone enjoyed hanging out listening to music and eating crawfish afterwards.  

In the 5K+ (ended up being 5K plus another .55 or so)

FSC had the winning master's male and female for the 5K:
James Strole won the male master's in 24:24
Christine Hobeika won the female master's in 27:10

Jackie Medina-Lewis came in 3rd in her 40-49 AG in 29:27
Sarah P-M came in 5th in 40-49 in 30:03
Deb Lyons came in 1st her 50-59 AG in 27:59
Letty Gonzalez came in 9th in her AG in 41:11

Max French came in 4th in his 14 and under AG in 25:24
Chris Weir came in 2nd in his 20-29 AG in 22:38 (and 5th overall!)

In the 10K trail run,
FSC Dana Lyons won the male master's in 39:50 (4th overall)
and Mary French (Max's mom) won the female master's in 50:49

Sarah Batton won her 14 and under AG in 48:41.
Christelle Gigant came in 2nd in her 30-39 AG in 48:38
Leela Duncan won her 40-49 AG in 56:01.
Katherine Powell came in 3rd in her 50-59 AG in 1:07

Brandon Sager came in 2nd overall and 1st in his 30-39 AG in 39:18
Bill Glaser came in 3rd in his 40-49 AG in 46:18
Bret Strong came in in 40-49 AG in 48:57
*Steve Hardy came in in 40-49 AG in 49:11
(Steve gets special * for helping us take down the tent post-race!)
Skip Moschell came in 1st in his 50-59 AG in 42:49

Pia and Andrea Grossman, I can't find your results.

Chris Weir tearing up the 5K!

Brandon Sager with son, Ryan wearing his 10K award ribbon!

Jackie Medina-Lewis, Deb Lyons & Christine Hobeika show off their trophies after the 5K!

Christelle Gigant presented her award for the 10K.
Katerina and Kevin Baker ran with their 2 dogs at the 2k canine run at Muddy Trails.

Crazy Angie's Half Marathon

Congratulations to FSC Taylor Riall who won master's at Crazy Angie's Half Marathon on Sunday, April 8 in a time of 1:41:44.  Nicely done!

Taylor Riall pictured with Crazy Angie's race director

Texas 10 Series - Huntsville

Finish Strong was well represented at the inaugural Texas 10 Series 10-miler in Huntsville.  The event was part of a new group of races developed and directed by Woodlands Marathon race director, Willie Fowlkes.  Five Finish Strong athletes participated -- Nora Wilson, Josh Scott, Kevin Baker, Amy Antley, and Althea Caldwell.  Three of our athletes had podium finishes -- Nora Wilson and  Josh Scott won their AG.  Kevin Baker finished 2nd in his AG.  

Here are the results:

Josh Scott and Kevin Baker came in 5th and 6th overall and clenched the 1st and 2nd place positions for their 35-39 AG.  Josh finished in 1:13:05 and had a negative split.  Kevin finished in 1:13:26.

Nora Wilson won the W55-59 AG in the 2-loop hilly course in 1:23:44.  She was also 6th overall female in a field of 90 women. Amy Antley finished in 1:33:44 was 5th in her 35-39 AG and 16th overall female.  Althea Caldwell finished in 2:18:36.

 Josh Scott and Kevin Baker are all smiles as they stand 1st and 2nd on the 35-39 AG podium (and 5th and 6th overall)!

Nora Wilson captures her AG win and comes in 6th among all females!

Amy Antley and daughter, Megan, at the race.  Megan won the kids' run!

Several partcipants mentioned the hilly course.  Nora noted, "The race went well but OH WHAT HILLS THERE ARE IN HUNTSVILLE!!  It's a double 5-mile loop with one hill after another and nothing like Flintridge."  


For more information on these races, go to

Monday, April 1, 2013

Color Me RAD

Ira and Manuel Abascal of Finish Strong Coaching (pictured below in techno-color) ran the Color Me RAD 5K  on Saturday, March 30 in Houston.  We love how Manuel drew the FSC icon on his shirt and attracted fellow FSC athlete, Susan Devore.  Cool!!

Can you tell the pre-race from post-race pic?