Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon

Congrats to Finish Strong's marathon couple - Yves Puisieux and Irina Shikounova for completing the 40th Marine Corps Marathon held in D.C. on Sunday, October 25.  The MCM had a spectacular start with international flags from 54 different nations and the firing of the M2A1 Howitzer.

2067 Yves Puisieux M 54 Magnolia, TX 3:58:33 3:59:44 9:05/mi Marathon
23968 Irina Shikounova F 44 Magnolia, TX 5:35:43 5:36:55 12:48/mi Marathon

Here's a race report from Yves:

 "MCM is also named the "People's Marathon" for a reason. The race is open to all lottery winners no matter if they can run it in 2:30 or 6:00 hours. No prize for the winners, so no world-class champions but 30,000 runners who enjoy the scenery, the thousands of spectators cheering for you and the great organization by the Marines. It is also fun to think that the whole city is shutdown just for you !!!
The Marine Corps Marathon is also nicknamed the “Marathon of the Monuments" as you run through all monuments of the nation's capital.

Long walk to get to the start line (security) which is just a few yards form Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. It was a rainy day, great temperature but 80% humidity.
Mile 2 is a steep climb which I always run too fast and then pay the price at the end :o)
You run downhill to cross the Potomac river on Key-Bridge, then M street in Georgetown, Rock Creek Parkway up and down, this is where you see the race leaders a couple of miles ahead of you...

You then leave the Lincoln Monument on your left and run towards Hains Point. Mile 13 is very unique. Also called the "blue mile" decorated with the photos of Marines fallen in action.
After Hains Point, you hit Independence avenue, with the Washington monument on your left and run all the way trough the Capitol.

This is generally where you start feeling the fatigue (miles 17-19). You have to "beat the bridge" at mile 20, crossing the river again towards Crystal City. The last 2-3 miles are generally challenging, not only because you have no legs left but also because this is the only area where spectators cannot go...while you would really need them.  But the last 0.2 miles are worth all the pain. It is a steep ascent to the finish line, the crowd is incredible and you feel emotional. The medal presentation is done by Marine Corps lieutenants !!

And it is a really beautiful medal, with a special ruby color this year to commemorate the 40th MCM
I followed my coach instructions, (don't push hard 2 weeks before Austin 70.3; target 4 hours), finishing in 3:58. It was not a problem at all as I had pretty much nothing left at the end:o))

Irina did even better, beating her MCM PB by almost an hour !!!!! Flying back the same day we were at least 10 MCM finishers on the plane, easily identifiable as we all wear the medal for the next 24 hours; one of them had run over 100 marathons already :o) Anyway, this is a very special race. I recommend all runners to run it at least once."

For more results, go to:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Try Andy's Tri

Congrats to Finish Strong's Alan Jones who came in 4th in his 40-44 AG and 18th overall at Try Andy's Tri in Sugarland on Sunday, October 19.  Alan's splits were 4:41.1 swim; 26:40.6 bike (23.4mph); and 20:19.8 run (7:00/M) for an overall time of  53:36.8.  Alan just missed 3rd place by 2 seconds.

For more results, go to:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ironman Maryland

Ironman Maryland was postponed from original date of October 1st to this past weekend on October 17.  Finish Strong athletes Jim Harrington and Jeff Goodwin made the trek again, competed and did very well.

Here's race report from Jeff for IM Maryland 2015
"Weather – COLD!!!  WINDY!!!  Before the race started they had a Small Craft Advisory for the swim causing them to shorten the swim a bit (water temp 63).  On the bike course we were told to expect 20 – 30 mph wind gusts, but Jim and I both agreed it was much worse.  We still couldn’t get away from the wind on the run course either.

Overall – All the challenges aside with traveling (multiple times), extremely cold/windy conditions,  long lines for registration, and really bad after race pizza, I had a GREAT time racing my 2nd IM race!  I had a PR race, gaining over an hour from my first race. (Texas: 14:11 / Maryland: 12:54).  I had awesome support from Karen!!!  Since the bike was a 2 loop course, I was able to see her twice on the bike and get encouragement.  During my run, she ran from point to point to catch me multiple times on the course and give me encouragement.  I finished the race with energy and excitement which made crossing the finish line that much better!"

Jeff on the run!

Harrington, Jim      00:45:53swim 05:41:08 bike 04:07:05 run 10:49:21 overall

Goodwin, Jeff         00:55:30swim 06:12:14 bike 05:20:38 run 12:54:04 overall

For more results, go to:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Luke's Locker Ladies Night - Running Training Tips - featuring Coach Dana

Our sponsor, Luke's Locker, is featuring a Ladies Night on Thursday, October 22nd from 7-9pm for runners to get training tips from 3 coaches incuding FSC's Coach Dana. Dana will be presenting "Tips for a Time Crunched Athlete".   Luke's Locker will also give special shopping discounts for all in attendance.  Stop by after track this Thursday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Marcus Luttrell's Team Never Quit 4-Miler

Marcus Luttrell's Team Never Quit 4-Miler will take place this Saturday, October 17th at 7am at Creekside YMCA.  The run pays tributes to warriors lost during Operation Red Wing and Extortion 17.  Profits and proceeds to all in All the Time Foundation.

For those of you participating in FSC's marathon/half program, you can consider participating in the “Virtual Runner Category.”

Here's details:

* Run pays tribute to warriors lost during Operation Red Wing and Extortion 17. Profits and Proceeds go to All In All the Time Foundation
* Date: Saturday, October 17th
* Location: Creekside YMCA in The Woodlands
* 4-Miler theme is due to distance covered in daily runs by BUD/S candidates on the beaches in Coronado, CA who are striving to achieve their SEAL Trident.
* 1 Mile Kids/Family option too
* Sign up before race day to be guaranteed a t-shirt from Team Never Quit’s limited edition lineup.
* Clickable link to Register:
* Virtual run category allows those unable to make it to the run or living outside of Texas to sign up and take part in the event. All virtual runners will receive a finisher’s medal and t-shirt.
* Signed copy of Best Selling book Lone Survivor to all runners who break 28 minutes (6:59 per mile pace). Group picture of all sub-28 minute runners with retired US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Victoria Half Marathon

Finish Strong's Pia and Andreas Grossman; Debbie Reavis along with several others from The Woodlands Run Club had a great time running the destination race - the Victoria Half Marathon on Saturday, October 11. Pia reports, "Victoria Half Marathon done. A beautiful course in a beautiful city on a sunny day. A good time for Andreas (even though not planned) and a PR for me. It great to be back in Canada!"  Debbie Reavis ran a solid 2:06:12 half marathon.  Way to go.

Ironman World Championships - Kona

Congrats to Carl Holt for completing the torturous Ironman World Championship race in Kona on October 10.  Such an amazing accomplishment!

 Here's Carl's report:

 "Last night I crossed the finish line of the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.  It was a tremendously challenging day and an amazing experience resulting from 10 months of training since winning a lottery slot in January.While I would have liked to go faster, I have no regrets. Not one.

The swim went well (ocean swimming is way tougher than lake or pool swimming!) but there is something creepy about being that far out in the water ( big fish!). Lots of shoving, kicking and punching in the crowd.

The bike was amazing. Riding out in the lava fields it was so hot you felt like melting. The long climb into Hawi for the turn around was crazy and we had a freak thunderstorm of biblical proportions. I saw a wild boar or something ( thought it was going to chase me!) and nearly got blown off the bike many times by the cross winds. The view was incredible with the mountains disappearing into the clouds on one side and the ocean on the other. We enjoyed the fresh breeze of a 30 mph headwind for the last 28 miles into Kona. It was a white knuckle ride most of the day and cranking against that headwind for so long cramped my left leg so bad I had to unclip from the pedal and use the right leg only for awhile. Stomach problems lasted all day so no solid food after hour 2......

The run was awesome with great crowd support while I run/walked. I love the run so it practically killed me to take it slow but that is what I had to do. Out on Kaukini Highway I saw a guy who said " hey, you are Kona Carl, I just saw your picture posted on Facebook by Sarah". How about that.
As we headed out on the Queen K Highway and darkness fell, the aid stations were the only light and support. All you could see were light sticks glowing and hear the squishing of shoes. We went into the Energy Lab portion of the course and the aid station there was a full on laser light show with a DJ and everything. Classic rock blaring. Just what we needed!

Back out on the Queen K in the pitch black night for the final return to Kona and you could hear the finish line music for miles.  A quick couple of turns and out onto Ali'i Drive for a run down the famous finishing chute and hear those famous words "you are an Ironman". The finish line atmosphere was over the top.

Anyone who says they achieve this on their own is mistaken. I had so much help from my coach, Dana Lyons and his team of Chantal Requier, John Tortorici, Jack Alexander and my unofficial coach- Timothy Monk Jr.

Thanks to my wife of more than 22 years MaryPat Holt and my kids who put up with my absence during endless training days and other prep races. I could not have done this without them.
Thanks also to all my brother and sisters as well as friends ( old and new) for the support and encouragement to accomplish this. I appreciate it!

Special thanks to Bob Thompson for staying up late to see the live feed and capturing my finish.
Thanks so much!"

We are all so proud of you and want to celebrate with you!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

10 for Texas

Congrats to all 93 of our Finish Strong athletes who took part in The Woodlands' 10 for Texas - 10 mile race on Saturday, October 10.  Shout out to Mike Menster who won male master's, Shyla Stone from our summer youth program who won her AG, Pam Meaux who won her AG, and Ann Erickson who won her AG.  Amanda Cruise and Bill Glaser also made it to the podium with their fine race performances.

Ann Erickson wins her AG again! (and several younger AGs as well.)

Post-race fun! Thanks Karen Thomson for organizing the post-race stretching for FSC athletes!

Ellen, Eduardo, Gabe, Jeannette and Katerina - no pre-race jitters here!

Post-race breakfast with Ellen, Sara V., and Rebecca!

With so many participants, please forgive if I miss you as I pour through the results manually.

FSC Male Results:

Omar Afzal 2:14:32 - 1st 10 mile race!
Khurram Khan 1:26:12  (8:37)
Razvan Dumitru  1:12:17  (7:14) - PR!
Matthew Horak   1:19:46 (7:59) FSC sponsor
Jason Langridge  1:23:18 (8:20)
Bradley Finger 1:25:00 (8:30)
Mills Bell 1:29:17 (8:56)
Frankie Mazzapica 1:31:09 (9:07) Plus he gave the prayer at the race start!
Matt Dozier  1:44:24 (10:26)
Kevin Baker     1:05:08 (6:31)
W Dale Claudel 1:08:16 (6:50)
Gabriel Belforti 1:08:43 (6:52)
Timothy Monk  1:10:07 (7:01)
Brent Scott  1:11:55 (7:12)
Victor Martinez  1:31:55
Lee Allen    1:14:39 (7:28)
Kenny Copeland 1:14:48 (7:29)
Eduardo Garzon  1:15:58 (7:36)
Geno Zicarelli      1:22:37 (8:16)
Jonathan French   1:24:14 (8:25)
Mohamad Abdalla   1:27:14 (8:43)
Senthil Govindarajulu 1:32:57 (9:18) - PR!
Federico Mezzatesta   1:37:33 (9:45)
John Tortorici 1:40:05 (10:01) - Guide for Richard
Richard Zambrano  1:40:05 (10:01)
Jason Cetovich 439 1:40:20 (10:02)
Parag Suri  1:40:40 (10:04)
Ronnie McConachie  1:41:45 (10:11)
Gerardo Cambronero 2:09:30 (12:57)
Michael Menster 1582 6 M1 6 59:59 6:00 - Male Master Winner!
William Glaser  1:06:14 6:37 - 3rd in AG!
Rip Reynolds 1:06:25 (6:39)
Geoffrey Zubay  1:09:00 (6:54)
Gordon Irving   1:21:37 (8:10)
Adnan Afzal     1:28:36 (8:52)
Michael Everett 1:30:24 (9:02)
Aldo Conde   1:31:35 (9:10)
Andy Brock  1:33:04  (9:18)
Rolando Sierra  1:38:06 (9:49)
Conrad Doss  1:47:46 (10:47)
Jim Harington  1:15:48 (7:35)
Kyle Hanna  1:24:17 (8:26) - PR!
Eddie Daniels 1:40:32 (10:03)
Keith Sacchieri  1:54:32 (11:27)
Yves Puisieux  1:18:55 (7:54) 
Alberto Agostini  1:23:19 (8:20)
Melvin Neely   1:23:46 (8:23) 
Kenneth Page  1:24:12 (8:25)
Roy B Fisher  1:25:43 (8:34)
Robert Bailey 1:33:23 (9:20)
Scott Schweinsberg  1:37:06 (9:43)
Philip Deprang   1:23:12 (8:19) 
Frank Halter   1:37:53 (9:47) 
Roger Mercier  1:59:53 (11:59)
S. Craig Daniell  2:08:14 (12:49)
FSC Female Results:

Shyla Stone 1:12:16 (7:14) - 1st in her AG!
Nadia Afzal 2:13:35 (13:22)
Brittney Dio 1:26:01 (8:36)
Karla Brooks 2:01:20        (12:08)
Amanda Cruise 1:06:59 (6:42) - 2nd in her AG!
Jessica Callan 1:47:09 (10:43)
Jennifer Allen 1:14:41 (7:28) - 5th in her AG!
Cindy Byer 1:19:51 (7:59)
Michelle Correal 1:20:57 (8:06) - PR!
Rebecca Akin 1:23:43 (8:22)
Gabriela Coates 1:26:08 (8:37)
Debbie Staton 1:24:42 (8:28)
Kristin Collins 1:26:21 (8:38) FSC Summer Youth Coach
Kelly Hampton 1:27:29 (8:45)
Katerina Savelieva 1:27:46 (8:47)
Kimberly Bryant 1:30:06 (9:01)
Rebecca Schany 1:31:08 (9:07)
Julia Belforti 1:33:49 (9:23)
Kristen Palmer 1:34:20 (9:26)
Sarah Pietraszek-Mattner 1:34:58 (9:30)
Kimberly Harris 1:37:23 (9:44)
Ji Sohn 1:37:32 (9:45)
Irina Shikounova 1:45:27 (10:33)
Kim Smith 1:26:52 (8:41)
Pamela Paling 1:30:14 (9:01)
Michelle Irving 1:37:22 (9:44)
Jeanette Hagelskaer 1:39:21 (9:56)
Janet Luna 1:44:56 (10:30)
Sharon Morin 1:24:07 (8:25)
Michelle Howard 1:26:02 (8:36)
Sandra Huskey 1:28:41 (8:52)
Kimberly Pilcher 1:30:10 (9:01)
Ileana Carroll 1:33:22 (9:20)
Sara Vanderford 1:48:11 (10:49)
Pam Meaux 1:14:27 (7:27) - won her AG!
Deb Lyons 1:26:05 (8:37)
Shirley Santangelo 1:31:34 (9:09)
Carmen Kelleher 1:34:06 (9:25)
Katherine Powell 1:34:14 (9:25)
Ellen Kurtz-Hammond 1:39:21 (9:56)
Lee Conroy 2:15:45 (13:35)
Ann Erickson 1:23:52 (8:23) - won her AG!

Enjoying the wonderful Fascial Stretching with Isaac post-race!

Dynamic trio - Lee, Richard and Jen!

Podium finishers:  Pam Meaux and Bill Glaser!
Results for additional 10 athletes with FSC Run Plan for 10 for Texas:

Sandra Wiebe 1:30:46 (9:05)
Maria Aranzazu Lando 1:30:57 (9:06)
Celeste Suarez 1:30:56 (9:06)
Gail Dagg 1:39:09 (9:55)
Alejandro Bello 1:42:44 (10:16)
Ana Matjeka 1:45:25 (10:33)
Megan Burke 1:47:30 (10:45)
Randa Martin 1:51:33 (11:09)
Joey Charrier 2:12:01 (13:12)
Jane Stickney 2:13:04 (13:18)

For more results, go to:

Monday, October 5, 2015

FSC Supported Bike Ride for Oilman

We love the supported bike ride for the Oilman 56 mile bike course held on a picture perfect day on Sunday, October 4.   Everyone stayed safe, looked good out there, and no mechanical troubles!  Special thanks to our awesome team support crew - David Warren, Sara Hartley, Irinia Shikounova that accompanied Deb.

Coach Dana giving safety tips before departure.

Santa Rosa Island Tri

Gloria Shrewsbury and Kathleen Crea headed to Pensacola Beach, Florida to compete in the Santa Rosa Island Tri.  And true to their team uniforms - they Finish Strong!  Official results not yet available.

Kathleen Crea and Gloria Shrewsbury at Santa Rosa Island Tri.

Portland Marathon

Congrats to Jess Balboa for finishing Portland Marathon!

Mammoth Lake Triathlon

Congrats to all the Finish Strong athletes who participated in Mammoth Lake Triathlon in Lake Jackson, Texas on Saturday, October 4. Ellen Kurtz-Hammond won grand masters female in the Olympic race with an overall time of 2:57:36.  Scott Peterson took 2nd in his 30-34 AG and 3rd overall with a finishing time of 2:08:55.  Ryan Myers had a fine race finishing in 2:45:36. John Tortorici had a PR and finished 8th in his 40-44 AG in 2:32:50. Jesus Carias finished 15th in his AG with a great run split and overall time of 2:38:35. John McGowan and Andreas Grossman also had fine Olympic distance races.  In the sprint race, Dale Claudel won his 40-44 AG.  Kathy took 2nd in the Athena division.  And Pia Grossman also had a good sprint race. See results below.

Dale Claudel and his daughter, Camille, at Mammoth Lake. Dale wins his AG at sprint distance,

Ellen Kurtz-Hammond wins grand-masters female at Olympic race!

Andreas and Pia Grossman took on Mammoth Lake Tri.

Ryan Myers, John T.,  John McGowan, and Ellen raced Olympic distance.

Can you find John T., John McG, Ryan and Ellen at the swim start?

Olympic distance results:

2 3 Scott Peterson The Woodlands TX 218 34 3 23:11.6 1:39HM 1:29.5 4 1:06:12.1 22.2mph 0:46.8 2 37:14.7 6:05/M 2:08:55.0 23

23  131 Ryan Myers The Woodlands TX 189 30 9 27:10.3 1:56HM 2:05.5 28 1:18:27.7 18.7mph 1:40.5 28 56:12.2 9:11/M 2:45:36.3

8 53 John Tortorici Tomball TX 285 42 5 27:46.4 1:58HM 1:40.2 13 1:13:02.0 20.1mph 0:38.1 13 49:43.6 8:07/M 2:32:50.6

15 90 Jesus Carias Tomball TX 280 41 15 30:03.9 2:08HM 3:09.8 19 1:16:50.0 19.1mph 2:20.1 7 46:11.7 7:33/M 2:38:35.7

21 154 John Mcgowan The Woodlands TX 429 42 9 28:15.0 2:00HM 2:48.7 27 1:21:34.6 18.0mph 1:12.9 20 54:00.5 8:49/M 2:47:51.9

22 182 Andreas Grossmann Spring TX 340 48 20 35:41.5 2:32HM 4:06.1 21 1:17:26.3 18.9mph 2:07.8 21 54:23.2 8:53/M 2:53:45.1

1 200 Ellen Kurtz-Hammond The Woodlands TX 428 57 1 29:44.3 2:07HM 2:52.0 1 1:23:29.8 17.6mph 2:27.0 1 59:02.8 9:39/M 2:57:36.1

Sprint distance results:

1 13 Dale Claudel Spring TX 1200 44 8 11:25.1 2:15HM 2:31.6 1 31:08.4 23.6mph 1:05.9 3 26:57.0 8:03/M 1:13:08.2

7 167 Pia Grossmann Spring TX 1085 49 4 12:07.4 2:23HM 2:12.4 4 41:27.5 17.7mph 1:26.6 10 41:41.5 12:27/M 1:38:55.7

2 3 Kathy Morris Conroe TX 1282 51 2 13:16.3 2:36HM 1:45.6 3 40:50.5 18.0mph 1:22.3 4 36:52.2 11:00/M 1:36:07.1

For more results, go to:

Du the Bear

Finish Strong was represented very well by five athletes at the Du the Bear duathlon held on Sunday, October 4.  The race is a 2m run, 10m bike, 2m run. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather!

Ronnie McConachie placed 2nd in his division at Du the Bear with a time of 1:06:47.

Alan Jones took 3rd in his 40-44 AG! Alan finished in 51:00.0 with the fastest bike split in his AG!

Ann Erickson won her AG and came in 7th overall among women. Ann finished in 1:04:14.6 with a negative split on the run.

Michelle Irving took 2nd in her 45-49 AG finishing in 1:05:15.  Michelle also ran a negative split on her run and had the fastest 2nd run split in her AG. And her husband, Gordon, took 5th in his AG in 1:00:43.2.

For more results, go to: