A journey completed – Team Roadrunner’s Houston Success!


By coach Karen Smith

It was a long 8 months that led up to the Team Roadrunner trip to Houston for the final race of the season. After beginning this journey in June there have been miles logged in unreasonable heat, unreasonable cold, and miles logged when the choice to run itself over other things that needed to be done, was sometimes unreasonable. In fact there is not a whole lot about this program that was reasonable for a recreational runner, but the idea of reasonable evolved along with the fitness, speed, and goals of the runners involved.

These people’s perception of themselves quickly evolved from being a recreational runner into that of being a competitive athlete in training. This was not a program for everyone and not everyone made it through as the costs to other areas of life could be perceived as too high. It was each person’s choice to make and stick to or not. However, if you ask most of the folks that had big PR’s and accomplished their elusive Boston Qualifying times, and even some that didn’t, if it was worth it, most of them would say “hell yah!”

While all this sounds very serious and intense and no one is going to accuse the coach (me) of being overly nurturing or cheerleader-like, this group was fun in its own twisted way and I think about much more than just the running. Many good friendships were formed and memories of more than just the difficulties of training were created. Fondly referred to as my “Island of misfit toys” this was a mix of over-achieving type “A” professionals, with many quirky personalities and many more unique senses of humor. Not for the faint of heart or overly proper, this group was sometimes rough around the edges and in terms of discussion topics, not much was out of bounds (especially by the end of the season).

After a very cold weekend before the race, race day Houston weather shaped up to be just about perfect with 45 degrees at the start and a projected high of 60, meaning it would be in the 50’s when everyone finished. With 2 Roadrunners sidelined at home with injuries and 2 having chosen to not run Houston, we had 18 Team Roadrunners (including the coach) at the start, 16 full marathoners and 2 half marathoners. Everyone finished, we had 7 PR’s (some pretty big ones) 7 BQ’s and 1 person got 2nd place in her AG and her goal of qualifying for NY via the half marathon. While some people missed their goals, everyone felt like they gave the race everything they had to give at that space and time, and while we all play the “what if” game after a marathon, it just makes it more motivating to try again!

The results for the Rogue Runners 2010 Houston marathon and half marathon:
Mark Davis – 2:59 (BQ)
James Rogers- 3:11 (6 min. PR)
Andy Webb- 3:14 (PR and BQ
Charles Brandon Smith-3:20 (PR and BQ)
Kirsten Lotter- 3:38 (BQ)
Megan Ballard-3:40 (first time marathon- PR/BQ)
Coach K- 3:45 (BQ)
Amy Bush-3:48
Jeff French-3:50
Andy Baca Kelly- 3:56
Brian Plunkett-3:57 (BQ)
Kris Algert- 4:07
Lori Plicque-4:09 (20 min. PR!)
Laura Kate Amhrein-4:11 (first time marathon- PR)
Andrea McCabe- 4:55

Half marathon
Bell Hoverman- 1:53 (2nd in AG, PR and as her goal- qualifies her for New York!!!)
Daniel McCabe- 2:13

Now this team’s season is over and it is time for much needed and deserved recovery for all, except for the few fools (myself included) that will be doing 3M next weekend as a season Swan Song. Though it has been a long hard season, I couldn’t be prouder of this tough bunch of people I have had the privilege to coach. They made me crazy, they made me laugh and even on occasion made me cry. I am ready for my coaching sabbatical, but I learned and grew as a person and as a coach from the opportunity I had to work with each of them and wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks Rogue Roadrunners, for a great season!!!!

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2 thoughts on “A journey completed – Team Roadrunner’s Houston Success!

  1. I didn’t have the race I would have preferred, but the whole Team experience has been amazing. Thank you, Rogue, and most especially thank you, Karen, for turning me into the runner I’ve become.

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