The moral of this story is simple: When all else fails, run a downhill marathon.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
As some of you already know by now, the Dilworth Jubilee 8K and Fun Run -- originally scheduled for Saturday morning -- was canceled earlier this week.
"And I wasn't confident that I would get the 250 needed to be whole by this Saturday," said Dvorak, who owns the Charlotte Running Co. in Dilworth. "If I thought it would have at least been break even, I would've put it on, but I couldn't afford to lose money on it.
"It was a late decision by myself and the Dilworth Community Association to try and revive the race. I think the short time to market it, coupled with the 15k (the Lung Strong 15K in Lake Norman), hurt the numbers. I'm committed to trying it again next year, though. I'm hoping with more planning time and awareness, I can make a go of it next year."
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Queens University of Charlotte cross country teams will host what could be the school's largest single-day athletic event when they stage the Royal Cross Country Challenge Friday afternoon.
Queens will host mostl of Conference Carolina's and the Southeast Region's Division II programs, in addition to Division I institutions such as Florida State, Georgia Tech, Elon and Davidson, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Asheville -- nearly 700 competitors and 35 teams in all.
The women's 5,000-meter "Gold" race starts at 3:30 p.m. at McAlpine Creek Park, while the men's "Gold" 8k starts at 4:15 p.m. Admission to this event, which also serves as the pre-conference and pre-region meet, is free. For meet details and a full list of competing schools, click here.
Both Royals programs are currently ranked nationally, with the men's team at No. 7 and the women at No. 22.
Monday, October 11, 2010
A record 38,131 runners competed in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday and a record 36,159 finished, according to the Chicago Tribune, despite temperatures in the 80s.
Charlotte attorney Chad Crockford, 29, clocked the fastest time of the nearly 200 locals who made the trip, finishing in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 38 seconds. (Photo of him at right is from a local race, not from Chicago.) Mo Campbell, 24, was the top female finisher from Charlotte; she posted a 3:04:03, besting the mark she set as winner of the 2009 Thunder Road Marathon by 20 seconds.
The heat was definitely a factor on Sunday. Race officials raised the color-coded race alert gauge from yellow to red, meaning conditions were potentially dangerous.
Says Crockford: "I was just very lucky to reach the finish line before the wheels came off -- in that heat, it is really just a matter of when, not if. I thought the marathon organizers did an excellent job with additional water, sponges and cold towels on the course, but I would have much rather be running in 50-degree temperatures."
Here are the official results for the other Charlotte-area residents who completed the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (for complete results, click here):
Richard Sexton, 47, Concord, 3:15:14
Jeff Hoffman, 24, Charlotte, 3:15:36
Stephan Hightower, 37, Charlotte, 3:16:37
Kevin Croke, 28, Charlotte, 3:18:29
John Pasinski, 24, Charlotte, 3:19:42
Walter Kuhn, 35, Huntersville, 3:21:09
Bjorn Erik Norman, 27, Charlotte, 3:27:00
Josh Cooper, 27, Charlotte, 3:29:39
Paul Dougherty, 38, Charlotte, 3:30:53
Ted Shen, 23, Charlotte, 3:30:53
Lindsey Hikes, 28, Huntersville, 3:31:31
Sarah Fox, 34, Charlotte, 3:32:06
Josh Ammons, 25, Charlotte, 3:37:07
Amanda Fleishman, 31, Charlotte, 3:37:28
David Hanson, 40, Charlotte, 3:41:46
Carmen Schmitt, 25, Charlotte, 3:41:47
Brian Graboski, 35, Charlotte, 3:41:57
Rick Yuan, 24, Charlotte, 3:42:24
David Templeton, 43, Fort Mill, 3:42:47
Jessica Anson, 33, Weddington, 3:43:37
Reed Griffith, 33, Charlotte, 3:43:55
David Frost, 38, Charlotte, 3:44:03
Joshua Lemke, 28, Charlotte, 3:48:02
Sean Sharpless, 40, Matthews, 3:48:10
Jamie Vollenweider, 30, Charlotte, 3:48:52
Jack Thompson, 34, Charlotte, 3:49:27
Lisa Vogel, 39, Charlotte, 3:50:11
Robert Blackard, 31, Charlotte, 3:50:32
Rhett Benner, 39, Huntersville, 3:50:34
Kelly Stow, 26, Charlotte, 3:51:21
Bryan Massingale, 34, Denver, 3:51:58
Jay Reid, 41, Fort Mill, 3:52:15
Katie Lacks, 23, Charlotte, 3:52:58
Bob Metzger, 38, Charlotte, 3:53:26
Steve Brown, 39, Monroe, 3:53:30
Ashley Liebrecht, 26, Charlotte, 3:54:27
Stephen McCoy, 45, Huntersville, 3:54:37
Heather Wachtler, 27, Charlotte, 3:54:44
Scott Martin, 27, Charlotte, 3:55:22
Nick Eller, 31, Mooresville, 3:55:43
John McCormick, 29, Charlotte, 3:56:04
William Morton, 34, Charlotte, 3:58:37
Katherine Stewart, 31, Charlotte, 3:59:26
Kathrine Wall, 39, Matthews, 4:00:17
Jamie Dodge, 37, Fort Mill, 4:00:53
Katie Harbold, 35, Charlotte, 4:01:06
George Thigpen, 40, Mooresville, 4:01:54
Joel Canino, 26, Charlotte, 4:03:10
Kenneth McIntyre, 40, Charlotte, 4:03:17
Emily Frank, 24, Charlotte, 4:04:35
Todd Soderquist, 27, Charlotte, 4:04:41
Koine Kinyua, 48, Charlotte, 4:05:40
Lauren Arizmendi, 22, Charlotte, 4:06:34
Ian White, 32, Charlotte, 4:10:26
John Schmidt, 33, Charlotte, 4:12:27
Diedrich Oglesbee, 37, Charlotte, 4:12:31
Karen Wilmer, 45, Charlotte, 4:12:49
Joe Cox, 30, Charlotte, 4:15:00
Ronald Mitchell, 35, Charlotte, 4:15:33
Mark Arizmendi, 51, Charlotte, 4:18:03
Darren Schmolke, 44, Mooresville, 4:18:34
Caitlin McElwrath, 21, Charlotte, 4:19:14
Jennifer Cozart, 35, Charlotte, 4:20:13
Philip Brody, 32, Charlotte, 4:21:47
Erin Walsh, 30, Charlotte, 4:21:49
Laura Young, 25, Charlotte, 4:22:38
Laura Centofanti, 29, Charlotte, 4:23:39
Carolyn Parnell, 33, Charlotte, 4:23:39
Lori Morrow, 38, Charlotte, 4:24:22
Gina Swierczewski, 39, Charlotte, 4:25:00
Matthew Walt, 27, Cornelius, 4:25:03
Jamie Christhilf, 39, Charlotte, 4:26:28
Colin Bain, 39, Cornelius, 4:27:41
Jody Dennis, 41, Charlotte, 4:27:43
David Hall, 40, Harrisburg, 4:29:25
William Hunter, 47, Gastonia, 4:29:54
John Hall, 49, Harrisburg, 4:30:28
Nick Calarco, 38, Charlotte, 4:31:29
Amy Bradley, 44, Charlotte, 4:32:26
Eddie David, 48, Charlotte, 4:33:45
Karen Ferebee, 52, Charlotte, 4:34:26
Todd Benjamin, 31, Lake Wylie, 4:35:02
Ray Haile, 58, Tega Cay, 4:35:05
Thomas Wishon, 28, Charlotte, 4:36:58
Jason Sutton, 41, Indian Trail, 4:38:42
Katherine Peralta, 23, Charlotte, 4:40:29
Dominick Davis, 38, Charlotte, 4:41:07
Chad Cubert, 33, Mooresville, 4:41:21
Ambrin Lakhany, 27, Gastonia, 4:42:46
Gerald Luff, 35, Matthews, 4:42:46
Kelly Taylor, 37, Charlotte, 4:45:20
Brian Stanton, 35, Charlotte, 4:45:39
Kirsten D'Amore, 41, Gastonia, 4:47:51
Frank Van Den Boomen, 41, Huntersville, 4:48:13
Elizabeth Roop, 31, Charlotte, 4:49:45
Kim Webster, 34, Waxhaw, 4:50:53
Marcia Conston, 54, Charlotte, 4:51:11
Bill Miller, 54, Charlotte, 4:51:11
Derick Brumley, 27, Charlotte, 4:51:47
James Bullock, 47, Charlotte, 4:52:25
Karen Graboski, 33, Charlotte, 4:53:37
Michael Schank, 37, Huntersville, 4:55:14
Wendy Arias, 36, Charlotte, 4:55:25
Pat White, 35, Concord, 4:56:31
Kevin Montgomery, 39, Matthews, 4:57:06
Donna Caldwell, 49, Weddington, 4:58:25
Kate Smith, 29, Charlotte, 5:00:22
Elizabeth Bell Mitchell, 33, Charlotte, 5:00:32
Jason Mitchell, 30, Charlotte, 5:00:32
Kenneth Todd, 34, Salisbury, 5:00:33
William Deihl, 39, Matthews, 5:00:40
Greg Swierczewski, 37, Charlotte, 5:02:00
Matthew Matone, 39, Charlotte, 5:05:57
Gilbert Vinluan, 40, Charlotte, 5:06:34
Brooke McKay, 38, Charlotte, 5:06:44
John Taylor, 45, Huntersville, 5:10:19
Laura Rabell, 26, Charlotte, 5:10:32
Matt McGue, 46, Charlotte, 5:11:24
Karen Hunter, 43, Gastonia, 5:14:54
Susan Haile, 49, Tega Cay, 5:11:58
Erick Ray, 32, Charlotte, 5:15:05
Patricia Guevara, 35, Charlotte, 5:16:39
Tracy Roop, 35, Charlotte, 5:17:10
Robert Maucher, 30, Charlotte, 5:19:35
Pamela Pulver, 46, Davidson, 5:20:47
Mary Jo Becker, 54, Charlotte, 5:21:23
Justin Lichty, 30, Charlotte, 5:22:23
Joshua Sheffler, 28, Indian Trail, 5:24:15
Tammy Proffit, 51, Davidson, 5:25:41
Sara Lee, 53, Hickory, 5:26:00
Mike Taylor, 37, Charlotte, 5:27:21
Larry Hunt, 34, Charlotte, 5:30:46
Laurel Reisen, 35, Charlotte, 5:30:53
Greta Morcos, 28, Fort Mill, 5:33:55
Erin Boyle, 27, Charlotte, 5:33:57
Allison Boyle, 24, Charlotte, 5:33:57
E.J. Rabell, 28, Charlotte, 5:34:10
Jill Seale, 49, Charlotte, 5:35:48
Brad Baldwin, 35, Charlotte, 5:36:34
Janice Sachs, 47, Charlotte, 5:37:33
Denine Woodrow, 45, Charlotte, 5:37:47
Nicole Carosella, 33, Charlotte, 5:38:23
Brian Wallace, 36, Charlotte, 5:40:26
Susan Neel, 46, Charlotte, 5:41:18
Gwen Romeo, 32, Charlotte, 5:42:25
Lauren Adams, 27, Charlotte, 5:43:43
Donna King, 53, Charlotte, 5:43:51
Genevieve Mezinskis, 37, Charlotte, 5:44:04
Brandi Adams, 30, Charlotte, 5:46:34
Kimberly Matone, 39, Charlotte, 5:48:11
Harry Emerson, 57, Rock Hill, 5:49:17
Michelle Mazzulo, 50, Matthews, 5:49:38
Alecia Taylor, 27, Charlotte, 5:52:28
Paula Segura De Cortina, 42, Charlotte, 5:52:30
John Keane, 57, Charlotte, 5:52:33
Emily Keane, 22, Charlotte, 5:52:34
Mauro Coruzzi, 46, Charlotte, 5:53:41
Laura Alizzi, 37, Mount Holly, 5:57:18
Charles Sparks, 39, Charlotte, 5:58:52
Emily Kronemeyer, 30, Charlotte, 6:02:52
Adrienne Dillard, 37, York, 6:03:17
Brian Caldwell, 47, Weddington, 6:03:37
Dennis Coruzzi, 44, Charlotte, 6:04:11
Amy Moore, 39, Charlotte, 6:05:31
Tim Golden, 39, Charlotte, 6:08:18
Shantel Wiley, 29, Tega Cay, 6:10:28
Basil Lyberg, 33, Charlotte, 6:13:03
Matthew Deiger, 39, Charlotte, 6:16:49
Maurice Hikes, 39, Huntersville, 6:20:19
Candice Broadie, 45, Charlotte, 6:29:59
Krystin Jacobs, 39, Charlotte, 6:32:06
Tom Sullivan, 47, Harrisburg, 6:37:01
Thursday, October 7, 2010
It’s easy to forget that Kelly Fillnow is the best female triathlete in Charlotte.
If you’ve run with her, you forget because you’re usually too busy answering a question she’s asked you about your job or your family or your own personal running goals to remember the fact that she’s done a half Ironman in 4:25:39 and a full 140.6 in 10:16:12. (To put this in perspective for non-triathletes, these times are somewhat akin to coming in under your Boston qualifying mark –- by half an hour.) She genuinely seems more interested in YOU, refreshing considering so many elite athletes often seem so wrapped up in their own accomplishments.
And if she’s not showing interest in what you’re up to, the 27-year-old is smiling sheepishly about the fact that she is no good at changing a flat tire (true, best I can tell) or about how weak a swimmer she is (not true at all, at least from my perspective).
But Kelly Fillnow is indeed our city’s best, and she is on the brink of becoming even better: On Sunday, she’ll compete as an amateur at the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. And if everything falls into place, the next time she goes to Kona, she’ll go as a pro.
Kelly, a Pittsburgh native, arrived in North Carolina in 2001 when she took a scholarship to play tennis at Davidson College. She discovered she could run “after seeing the sport as torture during my high school years,” and wound up running for the Wildcats as a junior and senior while continuing to play tennis. She took a fifth year of eligibility at Duke University and ran both cross-country and track on scholarship for 2005-06.
Today, the 1:19 half-marathoner and 2:57 marathoner works as a nutritionist, trainer and life coach for Upgrade Lifestyle in Huntersville. Tomorrow ... who knows?
(Note: Kelly is featured on the cover of the current issue of Endurance Magazine, as you can see above. Photo by Kim Hummel.)
Q. What's your goal for Hawaii?
My main goal is to soak up the experience, as I never know if I will have this opportunity once again. My second goal is to race to the best of my ability. I know that there will be many black holes that I will have to overcome, but I am hoping to stay mentally strong throughout the very long day and cross the finish line knowing that I gave it everything that I have. I think those two goals are more important than any specific tangible goal. I don't think I will remember years from now what place I came in at the Hawaii Ironman, but I will remember the feeling of laying it all on the line when moments got tough. That will be the experience that I can share with my clients and my kids some day. (Follow Kelly's blog here.)
Q. You recently became eligible for pro status, right?
Yes. At my first 70.3 in Florida last year, I missed qualifying by about 30 seconds, and then qualifed this year at Lake Stevens (second amateur) and Augusta (first amateur, fifth overall).
Q. As a triathlete, what does "going pro" mean exactly?
It’s simply a classification that enables qualified athletes to race for prize money.
Q. So what’s the next step?
Once an athlete "qualifies" for the pro card, he or she has to apply for the card with the USAT. It is definitely a big decision to make.
Q. What goes into that decision?
The advantages of going pro include sponsorship opportunities, better starting times, better transition locations, the ability to sign up for a closed race a few days in advance, being able to race against the best of the sport, and of course prize money. ... The main disadvantage is getting your butt kicked. A way to qualify for professional status is by finishing third amateur in designated races with a certain prize purse. ... I initially thought that I would not apply for the card just so I could gain another year of experience as an age-grouper. I talked to a few of my friends who are professionals, and they also recommended waiting another year. However, after finishing in the Top 5 amongst the pros at my last half, I feel a bit more confident about taking the big leap to the professional world.
Q. Do you dream of making a living as a triathlete?
I already have a dream job (at Upgrade Lifestyle). There is nothing more satisfying then helping others achieve something they never thought was possible. I work with some clients to improve their nutrition, others training for triathlons, others trying to start an exercise program. Besides being so fulfilling, my job also offers me a lot of flexibility that enables me to get my training in daily. It still can be very challenging trying to balance my clients, my training, my social life, and proper sleep at times. I try to take life just a day at a time and to feel content in my present circumstances. I don't want to look too far into the future, or look back on my life with any regrets. I think that it is just important to enjoy the present moment and know that each day is such a gift.
Q. What prompted you to take up triathlons?
After running for Duke, I started working for Davidson College in sports marketing and did nothing competitive for a while. Then two of my friends asked me to try a tri in (2006). We all borrowed bikes, and got in my apartment pool a couple of times before the big day. I ended up having an absolute blast and got third female overall.
Q. Which is your favorite leg?
My favorite leg is the run because at that point everything is in your control. I feel a sigh of relief once I get off the bike because there are so many circumstances that are beyond my control during that portion, like mechanical difficulties.
Q. And you still struggle the most with the swim?
Yes, my weakest leg is the swim. The bike was easier to just pick up, but the swim is so technically based, that it will take patience to see extensive progress. I just started swimming and biking a couple of years ago, so I have a lot of room to improve in both disciplines. Malcolm Gladwell in (the book) "Outliers" describes how researchers have found that it takes over 10,000 hours to gain expertise in a certain field, so I still have hours upon hours of training to go before I get to that point.
Q. Do you think at some point you'll switch your focus back to running exclusively?
I had initially planned on switching back to a run focus during 2011, but recently decided to change directions and focus on 70.3s and Ironman races for 2011. I have found that you have to pick a focus; it is nearly impossible to simultaneously try to be the best that you can be in both sports. Because of the time that the sport of triathlon demands, when I have a family I will just be a tennis player who occassionally goes on pedestrian style trots.
Q. Your sister Meghan is also an extremely gifted athlete. How competitive are the two of you with each other?
We used to be extremely competitive when we were on the same soccer, basketball, gymnastics and softball teams growing up. I would not be the athlete I am today if it was not for Meghan. She has pushed me ever since I was a young girl, and we instilled in each other the value of hard work. If she had the same amount of time to train as I did, she would be competing at a higher level than where I am. Her schedule is not conducive to training. I am so proud of her; she just did her second half Ironman in 4:46 on limited training and finished fourth in our age group.
Q. You're one of the most humble "elite" athletes I've had the pleasure of getting to know in Charlotte. Have you always been so modest?
In high school and college I was definitely too modest in that I would intentionally put myself down in front of people. Since then, I have learned the proper balance of modesty, humility and quiet confidence. I think it is very important to choose humility in the face of success. What keeps me humble is realizing that the talents I have are all gifts from God. He is the one doing all the work, and I am nothing without Him.
Q. I know that Christianity also plays an important role in your life. Can you talk about how your faith guides you, both in life and on the race course?
My faith enables me to keep life in perspective and be content with where God has me in the present moment. God has given me a gift, and my number one goal is to praise Him. Christianity helps me to understand that I am not competing for other people, or to impress others, but I am competing to glorify God. Having this attitude gives me such a sense of peace when I am competing. I know that everything will work out the way He intends, so I can train and compete at a state of freedom and honor Him on both good and bad days.
Q. It seems like you’ve been extraordinarily fortunate to have lots of good days. Can you talk about a time when the going has been tough for you?
One of the biggest adversities that I have dealt with was the frightening experience of learning that my dad has chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Watching him positively deal with his leukemia has really strengthened me as an individual. Oftentimes when I am competing and experiencing pain, I think about him and how he has dealt so positively with his setback, and the pain becomes infinitesimal. Pain is a temporary state and your mind can have so much power over the way your body feels. My dad is living proof of one of my favorite quotes, "What your mind can believe, your body can achieve."
Joining Kelly in Kona on Sunday are four other Charlotte-area athletes: Jenny Leiser (who works in the crime lab at CMPD) and Matthews resident Tanya Houghton, both of whom qualified in their first Ironman last year; attorney Mike Selle, who qualified for his second Kona six weeks ago in Louisville; and Ken Partel, 61, who is returning to Kona for the second straight year.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
More great news, this time from New England: Charlotte's Kacey Faberman, a 25-year-old South Meck grad, was the women's winner at the small but scenic New Hampshire Marathon on Saturday; her 3:41:13 was a PR by more than 11 minutes.
Kacey said she chose the race -- which featured just 240 finishers and was held in the small town of Bristol, N.H. -- "for a couple of reasons, including enjoying a fall marathon in New England and visiting my 96-year-old grandmother, who lives in Holderness, about 16 miles from Bristol."
"I had a blast," she told me in an e-mail Monday. "Contributing factors included beautiful weather: 50 at the start with a nice breeze; breathtaking scenery: most of the miles were around Newfound Lake, along quiet country roads and the leaves are starting to change; and great people: both camaraderie along the route--especially with those who were doubling up and running the Peak Performance Maine Marathon the next day, the cheering spectators sitting out on their front porches and a super nice event organizer who placed medals around the necks of each finisher."
This was her fourth marathon; her previous personal best was a 3:52:52 at the Baltimore Marathon in 2008. She has only been running for a little more than three years.
"PRs are always awesome. I thought I was going to get stuck in a 3:50s rut, but this race certainly proved me wrong. I'd chalk it up to running more 5Ks in the past six months (10) than I ever ran before (two) and adopting a rescue dog -- Charlie Brown -- back in August who won't run slower than eight-minute miles and never tires out, even on double digit runs."
With victory came reward: "Not only did the director cut me a check -- enough to take my family out for lobster rolls and cover airfare and entry for next year's race -- but I also received a Newfound Lake afghan, a one-year subscription to New England Runner Magazine and a gift certificate for a Road ID. ... Small-town races are so cool."
But there were even bigger takeaways for Kacey. "I learned from the marathon this weekend that while setting goals based on time are important as far as planning your training goes, running with the goal of having fun and finishing feeling good are supreme ... and often more attainable!"
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Great news from Minnesota: Charlotte's Caitlin Chrisman ran a 2:41:52 at the Twin Cities Marathon to easily meet the "B" qualifying standard (2:47) for the 2012 Women's Olympic Trials Marathon. It was Caitlin's marathon debut.
In an e-mail to me this evening, Caitlin wrote: "This whole weekend has been quite magical. I honestly can't stop smiling about the entire experience. Minneapolis is a beautiful city, with friendly people, and a picturesque landscape. I had the rare opportunity to run in a pack with four other amazing women to work together to achieve our qualifying goal. The synergy that we created was unlike anything I've ever experienced and such that I will never forget. My goal was to have fun, and I surpassed that goal ... I had a BLAST! The support after the race from my family, friends, and fellow Charlotte runners served as the cherry on top." (To read more about her race experience, check out her blog here.)