Sunday, March 29, 2015

Texas Independence Relay

The Texas Independence Relay is composed of 40 relay legs of various lengths, totaling over 200 miles. The course starts in Gonzales, where the spark of the Texas Revolution took place, and it finishes at the San Jacinto Monument, where Texas Independence was won! To tackle this formidable task, teams of up to 12 members make the trek through Gonzales, Shiner, Moulton, Flatonia, Schulenburg, Weimar, Borden, Columbus, Altair, Eagle Lake, Wallis, Orchard, Simonton, and Fulshear. This all took place over Saturday and Sunday, March 28 – 29.  This year Finish Strong athletes' Christina Farooq, Andy Brock and Ken Page were among the members of one team and Gabriel Belforti and Eduardo Garzon on another team that participated in this big relay weekend.

Christina reports that her team's name was ISLAGIATT ("It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time") finished in @ 27:47.  Christina ran 4 shifts for @20 miles.

Gabe and Eduardo report that their TENARIS turtle team finished in 25:16:39. Gabe reports, "I was the team captain for the Tenaris Turtle Team and we had a blast! We did 25:16:39 hours. A whole new record for our team in its 4th edition."  See below for pics.

Andy Brock at the run exchange for Team ISLAGIATT.

Reaching the San Jacinto Monument
Team Tenaris at start.

Team Tenaris at finish.

Wet 'N Wild Sprint Triathlon in Portland, Texas

Wet 'N Wild Sprint Tri  (300 yard Swim, 14 mile Bike (one loop) and 5K Run) and Newbie Tri (150 yard Swim, 6 mile Bike, and 1 mile Run was held in Portland, Texas on March 38.  FSC's Rodrigo Abascal made a nice comeback!  Rodrigo returned to triathlon after taking a break for college studies and won first place in his AG and 6th overall in the sprint distance tri finishing in 1:13:43.  Rodrigo's girlfriend, Amanda Keeter, won the best newbie in the super sprint finishing in 35:51.  Just like Manuel and Irasema -- these two make a great new couple of triathletes!

Rodrigo makes a grand return to triathlon with AG win!

Amanda rocking her 1st super sprint tri!

For more on results, go to:

Texas10 Boerne Run

Congrats to Finish Strong athlete Kevin Baker for placing third in his AG at the Texas10 Boerne run despite battling with the flu earlier in the week.  Also, kudos to Jim and Sue Griffis who managed to take 2nd in their AGs in the 10 mile and 5 mile race, respectively.

Kevin enjoying Boerne bluebonnets following another podium finish.

HITS Ocala 70.3

Congrats to Finish Strong's Dana Lyons, Alberto Agostini, Sara Vanderford and Kathleen Crea for competing at the HITS Ocala 70.3 race on March 28.  Dana placed 1st in his AG and 11th overall with a finishing time of 4:57.  Alberto finished 4th in his AG in 5:58.  Kathleen finished 4th in her AG for her first half Ironman side-by-side with Sara Vanderford who finished 7th in her AG.

Temperatures were unseasonably chilly (47 degree) which made for a wet suit swim followed by a bone-chilling windy bike ride, but ended with sunshine and nice cool temperatures for the final run which took place in wooded trails.

Dana running it in for the AG win!

Alberto looking confident at the beginning of the run.

Sara and Kathleen all smiles at the start of the final run!

1st in AG  Dana Lyons  35:31 swim; 2:34:46 bike; 1:41:12 run  overall 4:57:33
4th in AG Alberto Agostini 43:38 swim; 3:00:26 bike; 2:05:22 run overall 5;58:42
7th in AG Sara Vanderford  56:54 swim; 3:39:28 bike; 2:51:07 run overall 7:38:09
4th in AG Kathleen Crea    47:32 swim;   3:44:37 bike; 2:51:08 run overall 7:38:08

More pics available at our Finish Strong Coaching Facebook page.

For more on results, go to:

Oceanside California Ironman 70.3

Congrats to Finish Strong's Alan Jones and Geno Zicarelli who competed in Oceanside, California Ironman 70.3 event on Saturday, March 28.  Alan finished in 5:28 and Geno in 6:19.  Alan reports, "It was a great day for racing.  We swam in protected oceanside harbor.  Among the spectators were a half dozen seals in the water accompanying the swimmers.  Then a beautiful course through Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton for the bike with 3 HUGE climbs including 14% grade and 40 mph descents.  Run was along the beach front with great Southern Cal crowd support but blazing hot sun.  Got it done!"

Alan and Geno get it done at Oceanside 70.3!
Alan's splits 34:39 swim;  2:46:05 bike; 2:00:30 run overall 5:28:01
Geno's splits 37:26 swim;  3:05:40 bike  2:27:05 run overall 6:19:35

For more on results, go to

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ironman New Zealand

Congratulations to Finish Strong's Susan Hardwick-Smith who completed the challenging Ironman New Zealand on March 7, 2015.  This was Susan's second year in a row at Ironman in Taupo,  New Zealand.  This year she coped with heavy winds and rain, but still managed to finish in 13:19:08.  Susan swam a 1:18:17, biked 6:42:05, and finished the final marathon run in 4:58:20.  Well done!

For more results, go to:

Heads or Tails 40K Time Trial Beaumont, TX

Congrats to 8 Finish Strong athletes who took on the Heads or Tails Time Trial held in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday, March 7.

Zach Miller putting down the hammer at Heads or Tails 40K TT!

Zach Miller: 1:02:06 - 24.0mph 2nd Place Men’s Cat 5
Alan Jones: 1:02:52  23.7 mph 3rd Place Masters Men 40+  Cat 1/2/3/4
Dale Claudel: 1:03:15.0 23.5mph 6th Place Master's Men 35+ Cat 4/5
John Tortorici: 1:13:17  20.3 mph 13th place Master Men 35+ (not too bad when later he discovered he had a locked front brake)
Ligia Felsen: 1:20:21 18.4 mph 6th place Masters Women 40+
Ryan Myers: 1:20:23  18.6 mph  13th place Men’s Cat 5
Maclane Fulvio: 1:15 (unofficial time).  Would have been 3rd in Women Cat 4, but timing chip was lost when a radio car from the marathon got on the course and tried to play chicken with the cyclists.
Meagen Kelleher: 1:21 (unofficial time).  Timing chip lost going down start ramp.
Maclane, Ryan, Ligia, Meagen and John pictured at Heads or Tails 40K TT!

For more pics, check out

For more results, go to:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gusher Half Marathon and 5K Race

Congratulations to Finish Strong Coaching's Amanda Cruise who finished 2nd female overall in the Gusher 5K today (Saturday, March 7) and to Troy Cormier who finished the Gusher half marathon in 1:41 setting a personal record.

FSC is well represented by Amanda Cruise and Troy Cormier!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Du the Polar Bear

Congrats to Finish Strong's Lisanne Rogers, Kent Morris, Kathy Morris and Julio Morales for taking on the Du the Polar Bear duathlon on Suinday, March 1.   Lisanne came in 2nd in her AG in 1:10:50. Kent won his 55-59 AG in a time of 59:08.  Kathy finished 8th in Athena in 1:26:56. And Julio took on 2 races in a row this weekend -- the Woodlands marathon on Saturday followed by the Du the Bear duathlon on Sunday.  Julio finished in 1:08:06.  Way to go, FSC Team!

Race results:

Julio Morales          13:20.4 6:40/M 37:16.9 19.3MPH         14:29.8 7:15/M      1:08:06.4
Lisanne Rogers 14:09.9 7:05/M 39:47.4 18.1MPH 14:36.6 7:18/M 1:10:50.3
Kent Morris         13:00.5 6:30/M 31:04.3 23.2MPH        13:22.6 6:41/M 59:08.5
Kathy Morris 19:28.3 9:44/M 43:27.8 16.6MPH 21:31.0 10:46/M 1:26:56.0

Julio finishes the duathlon in 1:08!

Kathy and Kent Morris

Kent at the awards - 1st place in his AG!
 For more on results, go to:

Army RWB Half Marathon

Finish Strong's Aisha Hassan and James Vultaggio competed in the Army RWB half marathon on Sunday, March 1.  James finished in a PR time of 1:51:58.  Overall James finished 46th out of 554, and 6th in his age group out of 29.  Aisha ran both the Woodlands half marathon on Saturday and then the RWB on Sunday.  She finished the RWB half in 2:29:12 with a big smile on her face and clutching an awesome medal.

Aisha at the Red, White and Blue Army Half Marathon.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Woodlands Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K

Finish Strong Coaching had a huge presence at The Woodlands Marathon, Half Marthon, 5K races held on Saturday, February 28.  Despite 39 degree temperatures and a few sprinkles two hours into the race,  875 people finished the marathon and 3,066 finished the half marathon.  Finish Strong had a total of 114 athletes participating:  23 FSC athletes in the full marathon; 77 in the half marathon (including 2 elites),  and 14 in the 5K.   Many (19 and counting PRs), five Boston qualifying times, 23 in top 10 in their AGs, and several racing a distance for the first-time.

Coach Dana is on top of the world -- cheering for FSC team!
Rebecca Akin running her way to a PR and Boston qualifying time!

Sharon Morin racing to 2nd in AG finish - just 1 minute shy from 1st place.
Kevin Baker looking strong!

Raz Dumitru enjoys a PR in the marathon!

Steve Sears finishes 3rd in his AG in the marathon.

Victor Martinez places 3rd in his AG in the 5K!

The Woodlands Marathon Results for FSC
Adnan Afzal 4:21:37
Brent Scott 3:35:27
Derya Tolukan 4:30:04
Federico Mezzatesta 4:44:57 1st marathon!
Gabriel Belforti 3:13:50 (5th) BQ! PR!
Ji Sohn 4:38:57 1st marathon!
Jim Harrington 3:29:36 (4th) BQ! 
Jones Ramsey 3:56:57
Joseph Tokarz 3:58:19 PR!
Julio Morales 3:46:41
Katie Macdonald 4:17:32
Kevin Baker 3:13:15 (6th) BQ! 
Kristen Gohlke 3:33:43 (2nd) BQ! PR!
Marco Calzada 4:42:10
Megan Bruegger 5:11:04
Paola Trousdale 4:04:18
Razvan Dumitru 3:39:08 PR!
Rebecca Akin 3:38:49 (4th) BQ! PR!
Ron Mccauley 3:28:34 (10th) PR!
Sara Portilla 3:46:37 (9th)
Sharon Morin 3:58:49 (2nd) PR!
Steve Sears 3:14:17 (3rd) BQ!
Troy Beserra 3:12:56 (2nd)
Total Females 346
Total Finishers 875
Total Males 529

Results for 2015 - The Woodlands Half Marathon Elites - 13.1 - The Woodlands

Runner's NameChip TimeDivision Award
Skip Moschell
2nd Male 55 to 59
Pam Meaux
3rd Female Masters Winners

Results for 2015- The Woodlands Half Marathon
Aisha Hassan 2:03:44 PR!
Alan Jones 1:32:59 PR!
Alan Ramsey 1:44:38 PR!
Amanda Cruise 1:31:48 (4th)
Amber Swan 1:48:19 PR!
Andreas Grossmann 1:49:52
Bill Glaser 1:27:18 (3rd) PR!
Brad Bennett 2:53:36
Bret Strong 1:39:27 (10th)
Carl Holt 1:44:20
Casey Clark 1:47:40
Cesar Patino 1:48:36
Chelsea Green 2:39:48
Cheryl Perry 2:24:48
Chris Hirsekorn 1:43:01
Christine Molina 2:18:43
Claudia Mcmeeken 2:40:52
Deb Lyons 1:56:52
Debbie Martin 2:01:18 (7th)
Eddie Daniels 2:09:22
Elaine Mims 2:00:24
Emily Spain 2:05:30
Emma Holt 1:56:07 (5th) PR!
Enrique Medal 2:02:25
Enrique Nehme 1:52:02
Fernando Ariza 1:48:52
Frank Halter 1:59:52
Gabriela Coates 1:48:19 PR!
Geno Zicarelli 1:45:23
Gordon Irving 1:47:19
Ian Robertson 2:33:41
Ileana Carroll 2:32:23
Janet Luna 2:10:36 PR!
Jeanette Hagelskaer 2:01:15
Jessica Knupp 1:54:38
Jessica Sinclair 2:48:18
Jill Flynn 2:52:37
Jim Bonsall 2:47:48
John Mcgowan 2:01:35
John Tortorici 1:44:45 PR!
Juan Arrieta 2:09:39
Kari Gilley 1:40:12
Katerina Savelieva 1:56:17 PR!
Kathleen Crea 2:32:20
Kenneth Page 1:54:22
Kenny Copeland 1:39:03
Kyle Hanna 2:01:58 PR!
Liah Olson 1:58:53
Ligia Felsen 2:09:54
Margo Lyons 1:56:53 PR!
Michael Flake 1:51:23
Michael Menster 1:28:13 (5th)
Michelle Howard 1:52:56 (8th)
Michelle Irving 2:14:02
Mike Johnston 2:19:35
Misty Harcrow 2:52:38
Pamela Paling 1:57:04
Phillip Deprang 1:47:41 (4th)
Pia Grossmann 2:50:21
Rebecca Schany 2:00:00
Rex Campbell 2:02:25
Rip Reynolds 1:28:58 (6th)
Ryan Myers 1:57:16
Sara Binau 2:15:48
Sara Hartley 2:42:03
Sara Jones 1:37:24 (8th)
Sara Vanderford 2:32:25
Sarah Moore 2:00:27
Scott Farrand 1:48:46
Senthil Kumar 2:11:37
Shirley Santangelo 2:05:02 (10th)
Stephen Hopcraft 1:48:16
Tamie Pham 2:29:20
Taylor Riall 1:44:08
Thomas Albertson 1:43:26
Tosha Perkins 1:53:28
Vanessa Perez 2:24:20

Total Females 1682
Total Finishers 3066
Total Males 1384

Results for 2015 - The Woodlands Marathon Weekend 5K - 5K - The Woodlands

Female Finishers: 474
Male Finishers: 316
Total Finishers: 790

Runner's NameChip TimeDivision Award
Victor Martinez
3rd Male 40 to 44
Irasema de Aquino
8th Female 40-44
Maria Gallon
Stephanie Martin
Jag Gill
Veronica Owen
Jaime Cadaval
Randal Bolt
Shyla Stone
 2nd Female -14
Fidel Fernandez
Lindsay Sinclair
Priscilla Hurst
Veronica Gomez

Finish Strong was the sponsor of the Finish Festival following the race.

FSC athletes enjoy recovering with NormaTec compression boots.

No pre-race jitters for these athletes!


Shyla Stone with Coach Dana after her great 5K run!
Check out Finish Strong Coaching Facebook page for more photos.