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Joe Boyle: A Short History of Cross Country Read More.

Ashley Wise: Do You Follow Your Heart or Your Gut? Read More

Gary Pulver: Six Races in Six States in Six Days. Read More

Charles Clines: What does it take to be a runner? Read more.

Fiona Green: Athletes Who Inspire. Read more.

Natalie Trimble: Running Presidential Jokes. Read more.

H.B. Wise: The Toughest Distance. Read more.


Windy, cold morning caused unpacking
of gloves and long-sleeved shirts

By Fiona Green

saavedra familyI enjoyed taking part in the Madison's Run for Down Syndrome 5K at the Martin House Brewery in Fort Worth Saturday, Nov. 21. Waking up to the sound of wind in the trees, I knew it would not be a day for a PR (those days are long gone anyway!), but I knew I would feel guilty if I didn't run.

So, I donned my gloves and -- gasp -- a long-sleeved shirt and headed out the door.

The course was an out-and-back on the Trinity Trails. The 'out' part was great. Having the wind at our back made running a pleasant experience, but the return portion was a different story.

I do not enjoy running in the wind. I'd much prefer to be running like the wind. So, at the turn-around point, I just kept telling myself there was only 2.5K left and that I'd feel better when it was over. (Fiona answered the challenge by winning the overall female award.)

Taking the overall male award was 17-year-old Richard Andrew Torres who covered the course in 19.39. The teen, who runs track and cross country at Lone Star High School in Frisco, has a PR of 16:40 for the distance.

The runner-up, finishing in 20:05, was 14-year-old Edgar Saavedra. Running is a family activity for the Saavedra family (pictured) as his father and three brothers also participated in Saturday's race.  All four brothers and dad also placed in the top 15 finishers. The brothers easily won their respective age groups but information regarding their father's time and age group placing had not yet appeared in the results at the time of writing.


Nov. 19-21 Highlights

By Charles Clines

Runners and walkers woke up Saturday morning to colder (in the 40s) temperatures and high winds. Maybe some who had expected to participate in a race rolled over in bed and pulled up the covers, but there were many others who sucked it up and accepted the challenges. Some of us were drinking coffee and glad to not have registered. The wimp factor.

* The Sneak a Peek 5K in Grand Prairie had a good turnout despite the elements as 1,021 finished. And it was quite a heated (even in the colder temps) for the male overall award. Sergio Armendariz, 15, of Dallas won by a step with a 16:28, a second in front of Joshua Akin, 17, of Plano, who held off Eloy Gonzalez, 40, of Euless, who came in eight seconds later. Then, 10 seconds behind Gonzalez was Andrew Kliewer, 17, of Dallas. The female race was more clear-cut as Magaly Soto, 39, of Arlington zipped to an impressive 18:36 to win by about a minute over runner-up Anara Ickes, 17, of Mansfield.

* Although Colleen Casey, 42, of Grapevine earned the female overall award with a 20:00, more spice was added to the Pumpkin Spice 5K in Fort Worth as Sarah Waugh, 28, and Laura Nelson, 50, dueled for the second place award. Waugh won with a 21:18, three seconds in front of Nelson. The race for the overall male award in the 15K portion was fairly close as well with Michael Lee, 23, of Dallas winning by 21 seconds over Jerry Cherra, 44, of Decatur with a time of 56:01.

* Assuming these are mother-daughter, Laura Wilk, 44, of Plano won the female masters award at the Gobble Hobble 5K in Richardson with a 21:25.1 while 15-year-old Eva Wilk won the 15-19 female division with a 20:32.1. And Adam Wilk, 44, (the dad?) took second in the male 40-44 division. Also on the male side, masters runner Scott Olden, 46, gave quite a chase to overall winner Jack Alessio, 14, of Dallas, but couldn't reel him in. Alessio finished with a gun time of 17:23.8 and chip time of 17:18.8 and Olden had times of 17:38.2 and 17:31.2.


Teens earned overall awards at Casey's Kids,
but course had many runners confused

By Fiona Green

Young runners once again stole the show at the annual Casey's Kids 5K in Keller on Saturday morning (Nov. 14) as both the male and female overall winners were only 14 years old. On the male side, Logan Mitchell, a freshman at Keller High, covered the course in a speedy 16:15, a PR.

Logan clearly takes his talent from his father Jay, who also ran track in high school and regularly clocked times in the 16s and 17s for the 3.1-mile distance. Logan is ranked third in the state for his age. He will be traveling to Houston next weekend to compete in the Nike Invitational. Joining him in Houston will be the overall female winner Frances Klein, who also ran a PR, clocking 19:32, thanks to impressive negative splits.

While the course was certainly favorable to them, there was a little confusion for some of the runners after the 2-mile mark. There were no volunteers present and no signs at one fork in the course and the only thing suggesting a direction were some chalk arrows on the trail, which pointed left. I followed these arrows with a young runner only to be informed by one of the lead runners that we were supposed to have run straight.

This caused unnecessary frustration and a slower time for some. The course was certified but if runners are not sure where to run, an accurately measured distance is irrelevant! Some of the lead runners apparently had also been confused but had been guided by a passing volunteer who had set them on the right track. Hopefully next year this will not be an issue.


Nov. 14-15 Highlights

By Charles Clines

It was a cool and breezy Sunday and, unless running against the wind, was a good day for runners and walkers. Saturday also was cool but not so breezy, which made even a better day when the bulk of the racing events were conducted.

* Katie McCrady beat everyone with a 42:22 chip time at the Dallas National Veterans Day Run 11K in Dallas on Sunday (Nov. 15). She was 22 seconds in front of runner-up Tyler Hodgson of Lewisville, though he had a faster gun time.

* Jose Mejorada, 35, of Fort Worth made it a one-man race for the overall award at the Fort Worth Runners Club Mote In Motion Half & Relay at Trinity Park. He finished with a 1:14:20.1, winning by more than nine minutes. Esperanza Lopez, 24, of Fort Worth took command of the female race with a winning 1:28.22.7.

* It was a no contest at the Trinity River Half Marathon in Dallas on Saturday as Dane Batzel, 38, of Arlington zipped to victory with a 1:22:08. Summer Elmazi of Grand Prairie not only won the female overall award but was second overall with a 1:30:39. In the 10K portion of the event, another female, Michelle Perkins, also finished second overall. Arnie Ochoa of Dallas was the overall winner with a 31:08 and Perkins, of Plano, came it next at 34:29. Also Misti Mitchell of Allen was fourth overall with a 36:38.

* Not sure how the winner was determined because there wasn’t a shoelace difference in the time of the first two female finishers at the Undy Run & Walk in Arlington as Karolina Nabialek, 35, and Raegan Moncrief, 35, were timed at 25:04. The nod went to Nabialek. Another close winner that was decided by chip time came at the Hilltop Recovery Mind 5K in Kaufman as 14-year-old Spencer Keith of Terrell was timed in 18:18.7 (gun time) and 18:13.5 (chip time). His chip time won though Tyler Kotwitz, 16, of Tyler clocked in at 18:15.6 gun time, but 18:13.8 chip time. (Still believe gun times should decide overall winners). Another closes finish for first and second came at the Aaron’s Race & Roll 5K in McKinney as 51-year-old Gerald Jackson of Carrollton held on to win by three seconds over Jesus Chaparro with gun times of 18:12 and 18:15. Vying for the masters male award also was fairly close as David Lassiter, 50, of Allen won with a 19:45, 15 seconds in front of Bob Smeby, 59, of McKinney.  In a close duel at the Stache Dash 5K, Dylan Choate, 15, of Dallas eventually won by about six seconds as his 19:30 (gun time) nipped Jeff Farenholz, 32, of Dallas, who came in at 19:34.3. Another fairly narrow victory came at the ZebraPhest 5K in Coppell as Joe Anders, 30, of Forney won by eight seconds with a 21:10. His challengers were 10-year-old Collin Flores (21:18), Jay Milton, 51, of Houston (21:19) and Fabrice Gonfalone, 43, (21:20).

* At the Living for Zachary Heartbeats Run 5K in Plano, Jennifer Mitchell, 31, of Dallas beat everyone by crossing the finish line in 18:52 (18:43 chip time). Haleigh Hahn, 20, and Ashley Husbands, 23, finished with the same gun time (22:34.1) at the A Run for Roos 5K in Sherman, but Hahn’s 22:30.8 chip time was almost a second faster and she was rewarded as the overall female. Assuming this was father and daughter from Fort Worth, 12-year-old Jace Higgins beat Robert Higgins, 43, for the third and fourth overall finishes at the Johnson Country 4-H Holiday Hustle in Burleson. Jace crossed the line in 21:55.6 and Robert in 21:59.3. And at the Bryan Adams Cougars Running Wild 5K, Jose Lopez, 30, of Dallas held off Alberto Castro, 35, to win the overall male award with a 17:26, 11 seconds in front of Castro.


At the Ditto Dash,
it took a runner to know the runners

john valentineAs a runner it is always reassuring to participate in races that are organized by a fellow runner/racer. Because they race regularly, they know what is important when putting together an event and are able to check all the right boxes.

This was the case with  Saturday's (Nov. 7) Ditto Dash in Arlington. Race director, Jon Hyams, took care of every element of the race from accurate timing to post-race snacks, unique awards and T-shirts. He even managed to arrange for the rain to stop just before race start.

The T-shirt design was a stroke of genius, featuring a course map which reassured runners that even if they did get lost they could just take a look at their shirt and figure out where to go!

The awards were one-of-a-kind ceramic figures of the Ditto Ranger mascot  for the fastest student, overall and masters winners. And there were Ditto Ranger mascot hats for the age group winners. Runners had to earn the awards by tackling a challenging, hilly course, which Hyams said might add about a minute to a runners' usual 5K time.

There was no surprise, however, with the overall and masters winners. John Valentine (pictured) claimed yet another overall victory in a remarkable 15:32, while Billy Tran took the masters award in 20.46. Finishing second overall and leading the way for the women was 39-year-old Magaly Soto, who clocked an impressive 20.14. She was followed by 53-year-old Cathy Buchanan in  21:57 and the school's fastest female student, 11-year-old Natalie Nohinek, in  22:28. She's in the middle of the photo with Cathy on the left and Magaly on the right. Natalbuchanan, nohinek and sotoie's brother, Luke, claimed the award for the fastest male student in  23:48.

Following the race, runners were treated to a variety of snacks and had the chance to win one of many exciting door prizes, ranging from gift certificates to a tennis racquet with lessons.

Hyams hopes to grow the event and possibly offer an inter school challenge next year with cash prizes.


Nov. 7-8 Highlights

By Charles Clines

One would think it's fall as cool and chilly temperatures (especially Sunday morning) greeted runners and walkers over the Nov. 7-8 weekend. The temp must be to the liking of the over 40 crowd as several masters runners earned overall awards.

* A list of masters deeds: The top five finishers and six of the top seven at the Light Up The Night For Honor 5K in Rowlett on Saturday morning were masters, and four broke 20 minutes. Mark Linane, 49, led the way with a 19:39, four seconds in front of Jeremy Bohn, 41. Nine seconds behind Bohn was Brian Smith, 44, and he was six seconds in front of Akiko Brown, 40. (19:58). Sparkle Plenty (aka Sheila Natho) was next, winning the female overall award with a 20:01. Probably the oldest winner was 54-year-old Liz Ransom at the Step Out Walk/Run to Stop Diabetes in Grand Prairie 5K. She won the female overall award with a 23:31.3. Masters runner Sean Crosson, 41, made a bid to win the That Dam Race in Denison, but his 18:19 was about 14 seconds behind winner Eladia Lira, 17. Jesus Lopez, 49, had little trouble earning the male overall award at The Wonder Run 5K in Fort Worth as he crossed the finish line in 19:53, about two minutes in front of runner-up Wes Williams, 30. At the Arlington Heroes Run, 49-year-old Kerri Billingsley won the overall female award with a 24:53.5. Aaron Elliot, 44, of Dallas took home the overall male award at the Tech For Tech in Dallas with a winning 20:12 (20:07 chip time) and Christell Baum, 42, claimed the female overall award with a 20:55 (20:50 chip time). Laura Henson, a 42 masters runner, earned the female overall award at the Run For The Hills 5K in Richland Hills, clocking in at 22:55.7 (22:53.3 chip time). Facing a fast field at the Richardson ISD Spirit 5K, Lee Martin, 44, outran the teens with a 17:19.20. Henos Andebrhan, 16, was next at 17:35.22. In Ponder, at the Panther Run, 41-year-old Juan Monjaras of Fort Worth won the overall male award with a 22:43.7, and 52-year-old Regina Stegman of Arlington was the female overall award with a 23:48.5.

* James Jackson, 49, of Denton continued his considerable overall award collection by winning the Fort Worth Half Marathon with a 1:16:25 on the chill-bump Sunday morning. A masters runner also was first in the 20-mile run as Willman Pena, 42, won with a 2:20:13. It's somewhat unusual for a 19-year-old to win a marathon, but that's what happened as Rafael Posada won the Fort Worth Marathon with a 2:50:55. Masters runner Manuel Villagrana, 43, wasn't too far behind as he crossed the finish line with a 2:51:20. Also on Sunday, Jim Ultorak, 46, won the PurpleStride 5K in Dallas with a speedy 17:29, and Jewelee Ann Lancaster, 45, of Dallas won the Town North Turkey Tuneup overall female award with a 20:52


C.A.L.F. awarded $200,000

The Cowtown Board of Directors has presented The Cowtown C.A.L.F. Council $200,000. The C.A.L.F. (Children's Activities for Life & Fitness) emphasizes the importance of good physical fitness by working with local schools and community centers by teaching proper running, training and nutrition to area youth in preparation for participating in The Cowtown, as well as a lifetime of fitness. Read more.


Path To Wellness

Dr. Lauren Letz and her team, Dr. Darcy Goode and Dr. Andrea Roberts, has worked with many of Fort Worth's top runners. Path To Wellness Chiropractic was established in 2008 and is the title sponsor of the Fort Worth Runners Club and the Cox Racing Series. Path to Wellness Chiropractic was established with runners in mind. To fulfill all the needs of runners, we have created a full-service clinic offering spinal and extremity adjustments, spinal decompression, trigger point dry needling, cold laser therapy, active rehabilitation, nutritional counseling, foot orthotics, kinesio taping, and much more.

Dr. Lauren and her team take great pride in their ability to focus on the patients' needs. They work diligently to not only relieve a runner's current problems but also create a healthy environment so future spinal or extremity issues do not arise.

lukes locker logo

Luke's Spring Training 2015 began Jan. 10. Benefits of participating in the program include group training, weekly schedules, benchmark races, clinics, and special shopping promotions. Runners and walkers can choose from half marathon, 10K, 5K and walking programs. Read more about the program or call 817-877-1448 or visit a Luke's store for more information and to register.

Luke’s Locker (the original running store) is Texas’ premier running and fitness specialty retailer. Luke’s offers the best footwear, clothing and accessories for the runner, walker and fitness enthusiast (cardio, yoga, speed, strength and conditioning). Luke’s specializes in excellent customer treatment and product knowledge.

runtime logo

A full-service race event timing and production company based in Fort Worth. ChampionChip or Chronotrack (D-Tag) timing technology for quick and accurate results. Before choosing a timing company, please talk to us and compare our competitive pricing. Visit our web site for more information.

cox running club logo

The Cox Running Club was announced at the 2012 Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in and 5K. By joining, members will enjoy many benefits. Among them include workouts and activities, discounts at running stores and at races. A Training Tuesday is scheduled each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the TCU track. There also are a kids series and quarterly races. Demery and Ricky Cox time and conduct several area events and have conducted the Trinity 5000 Summer Series for many years. Visit the website for more information.

CRC website congratulates Bill for completing his goal in November of running a marathon in all 50 states, just in time to celebrate his 60th birthday.

bill berenson ad logo

Bill Berenson is a top rated injury attorney and a runner and has recovered millions of dollars for Texans for over 30 years! Bill has been practicing personal injury law and fighting for the rights of injured Texans for longer than 30 years. He is one of the few who has been certified for over 20 years by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law. Need help? Please visit for more information. Bill has run marathons in all 50 states, completing his 50th in November, 2014, and the State of Israel, qualifying for Boston in 40 of them. Bill also sponsors several area runs and walks. Please visit for more information.

cisneros screen printing logo

Race directors: Shirts for your race.

Growing up in a family of runners and being involved with the Fort Worth Runners Club and local running community, we've built up quite a collection of race shirts in recent years. With that being said, at CSP, we've come to know what runners want in a shirt. With over 12 years of Screen Printing experience we are ready to implement that knowledge on your next event order. Specializing in up to 4-color screen printing, your race shirt will stand out from all of the rest. We've got all colors from white to vibrant, as well as cotton to moisture wicking. No matter if your design is simple or complex, we've got an expert artist on staff ready to work on your next design. At CSP we feel rushing orders is a recipe for disaster so we do require a 7 business day time frame to ensure your order is printed correctly. Orders start from as small as a dozen pieces to as large as 1,000. For more information or a quote, please visit

advocare logo

Add some spark to your running with an Advocare product. These products are formulated by an elite Scientific and Medical Advisory Board with experience in pharmacology, toxicology, nutrition, sports performance and pediatrics. Go to the website and start increasing your energy.

Texas Running Center

Texas Running Center (TRC) is organized to promote lifetime fitness. TRC offers a comprehensive interactive training platform scientifically based on an individual's personal data. The initial cost for the platform is $10 and updates to the platform based on the individual's progress, real time data, racing goals and experience levels are made at an additional nominal charge of $10. Our clients are able to communicate directly with coach Joe via text, email and phone. (Joe is also available to visit on Tuesday and Thursday at Wimbledon Park or during a convenient schedule appointment). TUESDAY RACE NIGHTS: 6:30 PM, Our race training nights are designed as a learning experience; individual training benefit; fun and always with a TWIST. See the website for information and to contact Coach Joe.

 Ainsleys Angles

In addition to ensuring everyone can experience endurance events, Ainsley's Angels of America aims to build awareness about America's special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life. Serving as advocates to providing education and participating as active members in local communities, we believe everyone deserves to be included. See the website for information and to email Trish Robinson.

cox racing services

COX RACING SERVICES provides Chip Timing, Pull Tag Electronic Timing and Complete Race Setup for all road races ranging from 1K to Ultra Marathon distances. We have more than 25 years of race managing and directing experience. We are dedicated to promoting health and fitness in communities. With our vast running and timing experience, COX RACING SERVICES is a viable option. See the website for information about the services.

movin' pictures logo

Runners, visit Movin' Pictures for a picture of you in action. Race directors contact us to learn how we can help you add value to your event for your participants.

fwrc logo

The Fort Worth Runners Club (FWRC) is a non-profit community organization that promotes running, walking and fitness activities for better health. The FWRC welcomes everyone, at all levels of athletic ability. The FWRC conducts races throughout the year where members may participate, either competitively or recreationally at a low cost. Visit for more information.