Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Living Waters 5k

2008 Living Waters 5k
Decatur, AL
November 29, 2008
Official Results

Back on October 18 at the Liz Hurley 5k Run, I had intended to set a personal record for the distance and forgo running any more 5k's in 2008. My mistake on that day was trying too close to the target time (5:28 pace for sub 17:00 goal time) and then with a misplaced 3 mile marker to just barely miss it with a 17:04. Breaking 17 had been a goal for a few months now, but it was still on my list and I was afraid that with the upcoming marathon and ensuing ultra season, that my shot to do this with my existing fitness level was slipping away.

At the Dam Bridge Run, Jon Elmore had indicated that he was putting on a 5k in Decatur on Nov 29th, the 2nd Annual Living Waters 5k and that I should come out. We had exchanged emails during the week about the course, who was going to run, etc. Then again at the Turkey Trot we talked about it again. After a little thought, I decided that I would try one more time this year to race the clock and break 17.

On the night before the race, the weather looked foul; it was 90% chance of rain and mid 40's. This would make it tough to run my goal pace, but luckily on race morning the weather had moved through and it was only a light mist.

The competition at the starting line looked minimal, with Josh Whitehead the only recognizable fast guy, along with some other high school and younger runners with unknown ability. Josh had just finished 2nd at the Turkey Trot a few days earlier, despite leading for 2/3 of the race. My experience with Josh started at Da Doo Run Run 5k, where he lead most of the race until I caught him and sprinted ahead at the 3 mile mark, finishing just ahead of him. Since then, I had seen him several times and talked with him. He is mostly a cyclist, but learning to race and certainly training hard based on his recent race times. His style was to sprint to the lead and then hang on.

At the start, he joked that he would just draft off of me. I laughed, replying to him that I couldn't keep up with his pacing strategy:)

From the start, Josh sprinted out at 4 minute-miles and quickly I was trailing. The first turn was only a block from the start. Treading lightly on the wet leaves around the corner and onto a slight downhill hill road, the chase was on. I was in second place, but the gap was increasing between us. The target for the 1/2 mile splits was to run 2:43 (5:26 pace per mile) coming in at 16:52 and taking no chances on missing the target. At the half mile mark, I clocked 2:35 (5:10 pace) and I was scared that I had gone out too hard. We had left the rest of the pack but I was substantially behind Josh. After looping around to the start again, I was at least 15 seconds behind; my first mile clocked in at 5:16. I was well ahead of pace, but nervous that I would lose that time in the second 2/3 of the race. I was letting an inexperienced runner dictate the pace early, but it was not too late. I backed off slightly and focused on my plan for the race, which was to race the clock, not Josh.

After a fast right and left, we had another straight stretch. By the 1.5 mile mark, I was actually closing in on Josh; the lead was narrowing. Somehow despite dialing it back a hair, I was actually gaining on him! This fueled my drive and I pushed harder. Just after a left turn, I passed him decisively and pulled into the lead. I usually think more about passing before I do it, but in this case, I just did it. He was slowing too much and if I was going to hit my time goal, I could not stay behind him. As I passed I noticed that his right shoe was untied. I thought about mentioning it, but since we are friends I didn't want to make it seem like a dirty race tactic. The laces were flopping around, so I figured that he knew anyway (he later admitted that he did.) The second mile was a 5:27. I came through the 2 mile mark at 10:43, which was a 2 mile PR.

Josh was breathing very heaving and it seemed to bother my own breathing patterns. I knew that he was a sprinter and 5k specialist, so I tried to deploy a race strategy that I learned from Robert Cheruiyot. Robert is not a sprinter, but in the latter 1/3 of the race, drops the pace repeatedly, eventually leaving all of the competition behind. Then late in the race, the competitors catch up, but never pass because the lead is then insurmountable. I tried to put distance on Josh with bursts of speed, but each time, he sped up and stayed with me. I could tell that his effort was increasing based on his breathing, but yet he stayed with me. Just like he joked at the start, he was not tucked in behind me, drafting, and letting me do the work. I certainly did not mind, as I would have done the same if I could find a runner to stay with. I made 6-7 pushes in the last mile, but never could pull ahead. The 3rd mile was a 5:24, putting me at 16:07 for 3 miles.

Just as I did to him at Handy, Josh returned the favor and with 50 meters left, sprinted ahead of me to the finish line. I couldn't hold him off, and had no choice as I watched him run by. I picked up the stride rate, but his sprinter legs pushed him passed me to the win. I slowed slightly over the last few strides, but stopped my watch at 16:42.20, which was a PR by 22 seconds.

In the end I finished 2nd overall of 75 runners, and 1st in M30-34 and nearly 2 minutes ahead of 3rd place. Again, the story of my life, which was yet another 2nd place finish, making it 7 times this year and 13 times in my career. I was fast enough, but not fast enough. I am completely ok with it though, as I came to this event to race the clock and not race the competition. I think that racing against Josh pushed me to run slightly harder than I would have alone, helping me to break the 17 minute mark by more than I had planned.

Laura also set a PR on this day, breaking 29 minutes, lowering her PR by several minutes. Dink Taylor was the overall masters winner. All in all, it was a pretty good day for our car load of Huntsvillians.

That makes 4 distance personal records in the last 7 weeks. (15km, half marathon, 10km and 5km), though one can argue that I also set 2mi, 3mi, 4mi and 10mi personal bests in the course of running these races as well. That means that I only have one race goal for the year... the marathon. That is now two weeks away and has been the goal race since I left Boston in April.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2008 Dam Bridge Run 10k

2008 Dam Bridge Run 10k
Florence, AL
November 22, 2008
Official Results

It is now four days later coming off of this race and it still has not sunk in as to what I personally accomplished. Joey Butler mentioned to me today that he wanted to hear about the smack down I put on the Shoals on Saturday, despite the fact that I rode over with him and Shane Oneil. I guess in a way, despite not winning the race, it was a mild smack down on the rest of the field. Here is the story, for you Joey Butler.

It was a tough morning, having to get up before 4am to get showered, caffinated and packed to meet the boys at 5:40a in Madison. I hit snooze only once though, knowing that I needed an hour minimum to be up and awake in order for my body to get in race morning mode. After some last minute dealings with one Sirius Beagle who wanted to get up and see her daddy before he left, I was on my way at twenty minutes after 5. Our usual meeting place is the Barnes and Noble parking lot at Bridge Street, though it is usually just the dynamic duo; this voyage we loaded up a side kick with Shane, now training and racing well, in search of fast times and PR's that the Shoals races usually bring.

After picking up the boys, drinking more coffee than I should have, eating a toasted (and now cold) bagel with light garden vegetable cream cheese and having driven 64 miles to the west, we pulled up the Google map feature on my Blackberry Curve and began to drive the course. As with any other race featuring a literal name, this race would run over the (Wilson) Dam, along the TVA running trail and then back over the (Patton Island) Bridge. I was a little concerned going into the race that the course was hilly and would be slow, but after our jaunt over the river and back, I had new confidence that this would be a great race day.

The other concern that I had in which I should have mentioned at the start was the fact that the projected temperature at race time was to be 23 degrees. I was a little anxious when on the way over the thermometer read 16, which was a record low for northern Alabama on this day. I race so well in cold temps, but this might be at the level where the cold air hurts to breathe; I would take it in stride and see how I felt during warm ups.

The alternate reason for driving to this race was the fact that I had been drawn and entered to win a 2-yr lease on a new Ford from Family Ford; the drawing was after the awards ceremony. I had maybe a 1 in 50 chance (based on returning registrants) of winning, so this added additional suspense.

After going into the Shoals Conference Center to register, we went out to warm up. I chose to warm up in tights, despite the fact that I knew I would race in split shorts. The three of us ran about a mile out and back along the last mile of the course as to help visualize the final moments of the race.

With just minutes left, we made our way to the start. I still had on my RCM06 shirt that I would toss at the start and pick up later. At the start I did some last minute pick-ups. Normally you see a lot of people at the start doing these, but I was the only one. It wasn't until coming back from the last one that I saw Lucas Sieb. Until that point, I had checked off all of the usual suspects from the guys who usually make the trek and have race winning capabilities. No George and no Bowman. Many HTC members were running Dizzy 50's on this day, which kept the field small. That said, serious competition still lied in Hirbo Hirbo, Jon Elmore and perennial Shoals golden boy Heath White. Heath edged out George last year, both breaking 34 minutes. The rest of the top 5 in 2007 were all under 35; a time that I had never broken. Actually, coming in to this race, I was more than a minute off of that mark, with a 36:01 10k PR from this summer at Run your Bass Off in Crystal Falls, MI. But Lucas was a stud; a 15 year old stud whom I had never beaten and I heard that he was coming off of a stage age record for the 10k at age 15 the weekend before. He would be tough to beat.

My game plan was to go out hard and hang on. This was not the goal race, but I still wanted to have a good showing. The gun went off and Lucas took off of the parking lot at 4:30 pace. I tried to stay with him, but by the end of the parking lot and at the first turn, he was already leading the way.

I knew that I needed to make a statement in the first 1/2 mile regardless of Lucas or not. My race was not against the clock and against the rest of the field. As you can see from this picture, I quickly took over 2nd place and never looked back.

We made another right turn and headed down toward the bridge. The northern end of the bridge had a slight down hill so it would be a fast mile. The only problem was that we were running straight into the wind; maybe a 10-15mph headwind. Despite the struggles, I still managed a 5:22 first mile. With that, I was 21 seconds behind Lucas already, but could no longer hear any footsteps behind me. I was guessing that Hirbo would run about a 5:45 first mile. I had to put a lead on him, to avoid his finishing kick, which got me at Da Doo Run Run.

The second mile was still into the wind to cross the rest of the bridge and then around the power house, making our way to the trail. I could barely see Lucas round the power house. I honestly was starting to fear that I would not know where to turn without seeing the lead cyclist. Luckily it was well marked and course volunteers helped to point out the way. I had relaxed slightly in this mile, to compensate for the first mile being slightly too fast, logging a 5:33, now at 10:55 or a 5:28 average.

The third mile was sort of struggle for me, as it was all on the paved green way. It was rolling up and down, side to side. I did not see a single person on this stretch and it was hard to keep a constant rhythm. At the far west end of the woods, the course made a cone turn and 135 degrees back to the north. There were a few volunteers here, both with dogs and on mountain bikes; I thought that this was amusing. The man yelled out that I was looking good and was having a great race. I looked up at the clock at the 3 mile mark and it read 16:34. This was only 10 seconds off the total time for my last 5k at Liz Hurley, when I ran a PR 17:04. The third mile was a 5:39, so slightly slow, but as I mentioned this was easily excused. The pace was now 5:31 average.

Off of the 5k split, we made our way onto the bridge and into the 'tunnel'. It was a chain link cage over the walk way to keep jumpers from, well, jumping. It felt kind of closed in, despite the concrete wall on each side only being 2-3' high. This section was slightly downhill and I could again see Lucas. I decided that since I could not see anyone behind me when I came off the turn, that I would try to drop the hammer and close the gap. I ran a 2:39 half mile split (5:18 pace), but Lucas was already averaging well below that and my effort didn't matter much. The clock at the 4 mile mark was hanging cleverly overhead and it read 22:02 when I ran under it. It made me think about to what I call the short distance race of my career, back in 2006. At the time, I was running low 18 5k's and somehow dropped a 22:53 4 mile race, taking 3rd overall; all coming a week off a 3:17 marathon. Shattering my 4 mile PR in a 10k race actually made me smile. With this fast mile of 5:28, I was able to keep the average pace at 5:31.

At this point, I started doing the math on how much I could slow down and still break 35. I am not sure why these thoughts go through my head, but they do. I guess it shows some mental weakness. Note to self, 'work on that.'

We came out of the tunnel and made a fast right, running through another aid station. Too late to take anything now, but I wasn't thirsty anyway, so it didn't matter. This mile had quite a few hills, including one up to Veteran's drive, where my instantaneous pace dropped to 6+. I made the turn and it took a few meters to get my legs back. I was also slowing slightly so that I could save some for the kick at the end, should the gap behind me be closing and not knowing about it until too late. There were no opportunities to look back, so I really didn't know. The 5th mile was a 5:46, bringing me to 27:48 or 5:34 pace. The math that I did in the tunnel told me that I needed to hit 27:50 or better to break 35, assuming a slow final mile. I was still on track.

The sixth mile was half on rolling hills and then ended with a fast turn back into the parking lot before one final lap of the convention center. I was elongating my stride at times, trying to maintain speed, while conserving energy with less leg turnover. I am not sure if this works, and I can't keep it up for long, but I have done it before and it seems to help. Having run this section before the race helped me to know what to expect. I logged a 5:40 mile, bringing me to 33:28 or 5:35 pace. I knew now that I just had to dig in and run fast around the building to set a major PR. I did finally get a chance to look around and see that there was no one around.

I made the last corner, to see the clock and pick up the pace through the finish. I was hurting a little, mostly from the pounding on the cold concrete damn/roads/bridge, but the pain did not matter now. It was about to be over. I crossed the line at 34:44.41 (34:45 officially), in second place. I tugged off the bottom section of my race bib in the chute and walked over to congratulate Lucas and say hello to his parents. I would later find out that he ran 32:45 and beat me by two minutes. After that, I walked back to the finish line and waited for the next runner to come in. It was nearly two minutes before Hirbo came in. Then a few more runners, including Jon and Shane, and then Joey just minutes later. Everyone had a great day.

When the dust settled, I had cut 1:17 off of my old (maybe soft?) 10k personal record set earlier in the year. Then the story of my life, I finished 2nd for the 11th time in 110 races. What is the saying about 'always a bridesmaid, never a...' Anyway, it means get faster and start winning or stop showing up.

After a short cool down, we made our way back in for the awards. None of us won the car, but Joey and Shane were tops in their age group, Jon was the masters winner and I was 2nd. It makes me sound like a 2nd grader, but I prefer awards to gift certificates or prize money. In 20 years, I will not remember what pair of shoes the prize money went for, but I will see the trophy and remember how great it felt to shatter my 10k PR, and like Joey says, 'lay a little smack down on the Shoals.'

You can criticize me for liking material trophies and recognition for performance in races, but that is who I am and that is part of what motivates me. What works for me, doesn't work for others and I respect what works for you, so I expect the same.

As always, I give thanks for the ability to put one foot in front of the other and do it so fast for so long. I also appreciate all of the training partners that log miles with me and push me to be my best.

01 Lucas Sieb, 15 32:45 5:17
02 Eric Charette, 32 34:45 5:36
03 Hirbo Hirbo, 22 36:37 5:54
04 Graham Paxton, 27 36:53 5:57
05 Jon Elmore, 42 37:06 5:59
06 Shane O'Neill, 36 37:29 6:02
07 Shawn Greenhill, 30 38:14 6:10
08 Chad Hintz, 23 38:20 6:11
09 Brian Yueill, 39 38:30 6:12
10 Heath White, 25 38:45 6:15
11 Steve Rogers, 55 39:11 6:19
12 Jeffrey Suppinger, 34 40:31 6:32
13 Emily Ryan, 31F 40:45 6:34
14 Scott Butler, 45 40:47 6:34
15 Tanner Ryan, 16 40:59 6:36
16 Luke Mould, 15 41:01 6:36
17 Cesar Virto, 19 41:20 6:39
18 Mike Cannon, 48 41:41 6:43
19 Stacey Lemay, 46 41:58 6:46
20 Joey Butler, 40 42:07 6:47

Saturday, November 8, 2008

2008 Huntsville Half Marathon

2008 Huntsville Half Marathon
Huntsville, AL
November 8, 2008
Official Results

This race was the the third PR attempt in the 5 star PR series that I had been chasing this fall. So far I was 2 for 2 on setting personal records, but had missed by goal time in both races. For this race, I was shooting for:

Half Marathon in Huntsville (Nov 8)
Old PR: 1:23:13 (Set in 2007 at the Huntsville Half Marathon)
Target Time: 1:18:59
Actual Time: -

Going into this race I had joked that I was going to go out hard and hang on. This seems to be my strategy of late and surprisingly, it has worked. My late stage drop off has been only slight, or negligible and I have been able to his some very fast time for me. I felt like my training had been going great, including averaging 95 miles a week for the previous 6 weeks. Plus I took a mini-taper day of rest on Friday, so I was hoping there would be some spring in my step.

I went out hard, running 5:40 pace for the first mile and leading Jason Reneau and George Dewitt well into the mile. I was still on the outside of the top 10 looking in. Miles two and three were almost identical as we ran through the winding neighborhoods. I had warmed up and tossed my gloves along the way and had locked into a nice running rhythm. When passing the church at the 5k mark, I had gained a few spots and was running in a small pack of 4 runners.

We made our way along on the out and back, running through the 'hilly' part of the course. I was feeling good and noticed that the runner I was closest too was slowing on the hill climb. I kept my pace in the low 5:40's and pushed ahead of him. In this same section, I also passed Donald Bowman, who had passed me early in the race. I was then running in 5th place overall, behind just George and Jason, who were still visible.

In the 5th mile, I passed by the aid station without taking anything. I am not sure this is significant, but I was feeling good and wanted to just keep cranking out the miles. I had been consistent on 2:47-2:53 1/2 mile splits. We turned down Chaney Thompson and ran south. I was not running with anyone, but was chasing down George, which gave me motivation to push harder. This did not mean running faster splits, but meant not falling off the pace by much.

Miles 6, 7 and 8 along Green Cove and up the Aldridge Creek Greenway were very consistent at 5:47 pace. It was in this section that I really started to over think my race. I felt early on that I was running over my head and ability and now with only 5 miles left in the race, I was thinking that I would fail late, end up walking and it would be a replay of last year when I stopped at the last aid station and slowed significantly after that.

I had taken two energy chews in mile 7 and by the cone turn around at 8, they started to kick in. Plus on the out and back section, is when I knew that I would start to see who was behind me, how close they were and assess the situation. I saw Donald, and David Purinton and Brett Addington close and a few others. The thing that I never accounted for was the tens to hundrends of folks who I either knew, who knew me, or were just nice people that cheered me on. I am not naive to think that hundreds of people know me, but on this day, as they shouted words of encouragement, it felt like they did. This helped to carry me through miles 8, 9 and 10 still cranking out 5:50's. Plus I think that I surprised a lot of people who saw the position that I was holding in the race, including several who never thought I would be running stride for stride and less than 30 seconds behind George. I am very thankful for this little blessing in disguise; it was the secret of my race time.

I went through mile 10 at 58:10, which was 6:40 faster than my old 10 mile PR. I felt like I was running effortlessly. I started to think about what Dink Taylor and Marty Clarke had been saying all along; that it is possible to run the half marathon course faster paced than the 15k which I had just run at 6 minute-miles. I was well ahead of that pace and was now starting to think about running much faster than the 1:18:59 goal I had set.

Turning back onto CT, there was only 5k left and I was now going to start racing. I pushed forward hard, running the next two miles on the toughest part of the course, which was either slightly uphill, or into the wind. What had helped me race through this section with ease came weeks earlier when Marty and I had done a 20 miler from the church. We came back through Chaney and toward the church after running 7 minute miles for 18, and I dropped the pace running 6:15 and 5:55 for the last two miles, which coincided with the last two miles of the half marathon. I needed this for a meant reassurance that I could overcome last years breakdown.

When running up the hills to mile 12, I recalled this training run with Marty and it helped to push me along. With 1 mile to go, I realized that I had a chance to break 1:17:00, which I never thought possible. I kept making a push to catch George, but could just not close the gap; even if we had more miles to go, he probably would have kept the same distance ahead of me. I ran a 5:43 last mile, coming into the finish line at 1:16:38. I was 30 seconds behind George, which I found out later on.

I mingled around the finish line, and then walked back to congratulate the other runners who were coming in now. Many others had great performances as I did not hear from a single person who had a bad day. A few of these people were training partners so it was even more rewarding to see them finish strong.

As a manner of tracking my race performance and where I am at, I look around me to see how I finish compared to others. Since early 2007 when I started racing in Huntsville, this 'person' has changed many times from Joe Francica, to Dink Taylor, to Marty Clarke. This was the first time that I had ever beaten Donald; I do not know if this was a fluke race on my part or not, but for now, he will be the new person that I look to in judging how well I raced on that given day. I know that he was sick coming in to this race, but I had finished about 2 minutes ahead of him. I really look forward to the day where we can both be healthy and truly battle (kidding) in a race. He is a great runner and has been for a long time. It feels pretty good to be in his class.

I had lowered my PR from 1:23:13 to 1:16:38 on this great racing day and had also finished ahead of my goal time by more than two minutes. I am ready for the last two races in the 5 star series.


01 Paul Guevara, 22 - 1:07:56
02 David Riddle, 27 - 1:08:11
03 Jason Reneau, 32 - 1:15:29
04 George Dewitt, 50 - 1:16:16
05 Eric Charette, 32 - 1:16:38
06 Donald Bowman, 41 - 1:18:39
07 David Purinton, 40 - 1:19:05
08 Patrick Cooper, 25 - 1:19:15
09 Owen Bradley, 29 - 1:19:18
10 Eric Legros, 39 - 1:19:52

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2008 Huntsville Track Club (HTC) Male Performance Award

2008 Huntsville Track Club (HTC) Male Performance Award – Eric Charette

Presented by Kathy Faulkner Youngren

The winner of the Male Performance Award goes to Eric Charette.

For those of you who don’t know Eric, he is a master statistician.
- He keeps track of every ½ mile split of every mile he runs.
- On any given day, he can tell you his weekly mileage, monthly mileage, yearly mileage, and total lifetime mileage
- He can tell you how many total hours he has run
- And he can even tell you where he has placed overall and within his age group in each and every race he has ever run

If anyone wants to see these statistics or read detailed write-ups and see pictures from just about each and every race he has run since 2005, check out his blog. In fact, this is just what I did.

However, upon close examination of his blog, I think I noticed that, perhaps, one of the most transforming races of Eric’s career has been omitted. I want to take you back to October 2, 2005, to the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. On the entrants list we find Eric Charette, the same Eric Charette that is here with us tonight.

Going into this race, Eric had been training some, and had a goal to finish in under 3:45. Luckily, there supporting him was his dear wife, Laura, who was meeting him every 5-7 miles during the race. As the race progressed, Eric was running following his schedule, and despite some pains which we all know is pretty normal, Eric went through the ½ marathon point in 1:45, ahead of pace. Feeling confident, Laura moved on to meet Eric at the 20 mile mark. She got there and waited on Eric.

And waited on Eric….and waited on Eric….and waited on Eric. I think you get the idea. Finally, she looked up and saw him coming around the corner. Before she could say anything, he immediately collapsed on the grass. At this point, Eric really understood what it meant to “hit the wall.” In fact, he just didn’t hit the wall, he was hit by a ton of bricks. He seemed like he was “stick a fork in me” done. It looks like Eric was suffering the fate of many marathoners: a big DNF.

However, Laura had a different idea. Knowing that Eric would hate himself if he quit, and knowing she would never hear the end of it, she decided, for the sake of both of them, to put on her running shoes and do whatever it took to get him across the finish line. Pulling him up off the grass and practically carrying him some during the last 6 miles, Eric crossed the finish line in 4:55, a little slower than his goal finish time. But when it takes 2 hours for the last 6 miles, 4:55 isn’t quite as bad as it seems.

I bet some of you are wondering why I said earlier that this was one of Eric’s most transforming races, when clearly he did not have the race he wanted. It is because this race proved to Eric the importance of training, preparation, and mental toughness: three elements that are required to be a strong, consistent runner. By internalizing the lessons he learned from this race, and has indeed become a strong, consistent runner. As Laura says, “that marathon created a monster.” In 2006 at the Chicago Marathon, Eric ran a lot better and finished in 3:17. Currently, his marathon pr is 3:07.

Now lets move to 2008. Eric has had a terrific year. He sets prs about every time he races, and since he has been training hard for the Rocket City marathon next month, he should set another pr for the marathon distance. This year he has run 38 races, has put in 453 hours of running, has run over 300 miles /per month for the last 4 months, and finished 4th in the HTC male grand prix. Besides just running, Eric is also VP Equipment for the HTC and is more than gracious to volunteer whenever he is needed.

Acceptance Speech by Eric Charette

Thank you very much Kathy.

I really am a private person and wasn't going to say anything, but... (pause for laughter) ... but I asked Harold to write my speech for me!

It really means a lot for me to be us here and honored with this award. To be a relative new comer to the area in the lat two years and taken in by such a welcoming bunch of people makes it easy to feel like a new home.

At the board meeting this summer when we started talking about candidates for this award, I never imagined that I would be standing up here. I felt like I was having a pretty strong year, my training was going well and I was getting faster, but there are so many others that probably deserve to be here instead of me. A few that I could think of and wanted to quickly recognize were:

Jon Elmore
- At age 42, ran a 4:55.86 mile in July setting a state age record.
- He moved up from 10th to 1st in the Gran Prix from last year to this year

Dwayne Satterfield
- At age 43, set a sate record for the marathon in February at Birmingham with a 2:46:30
- This goes along with his other 7 records

These two are low key guys who aren't blogging every 1/4 mile split from every run and writing elaborate race reports so you don't hear much about them, but they had great performances this year.

I guess that when the board was trying to figure out who should win this year, I was next alphabetically.

There are a lot of people I'd like to thank, but to keep it brief and in no particular order.

- Laura for putting up with me, well every day.
- Marty for believing in me and pushing me faster further and higher every week.
- Joey for driving me to the Shoals all summer so we could race every weekend.

For those of you who may not have read what I wrote about my experience at Boston this year (which appeared in the HTC Newsletter thanks to Harold), I talked about starting off as a scrawny and uncoordinated kid with no self confidence from small town USA. In concluding that story, I summarized it why I run, and I wanted to mention that again.

I run for all of the scrawny, uncoordinated kids out there to show them that with hard work, determination and a lot of heart, they can do reach their goals, weather they are in running or in life, no matter how high they may be.

Thank you again.