Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April results, part 1--Casiano, Barkley Marathons

Athlete Spotlight:                 Race Spotlight:
Matt Casiano                        Barkley Marathons
New member of team           by Robert Youngren
Matt Casiano
Rob Youngren

Athlete Spotlight:  Matt Casiano

I started running in high school when I joined the cross-country team.  I remember running after school the first time with some kind of flat, low-cut skateboarding shoes, a cotton tee, and jean shorts.  That attire didn't last long-I just didn't know better.  But in some ways, I saw it like this when I started running again about 3 years ago--I would say I started anew.  And I embraced it.  While I didn't start out agin running in slip-ons, I did feel like a total novice.  But I thought I had an advantage because my wife ran.  So, I knew some basics from the things she talked about like keeping your cadence up and maintaining good form.  Luckily, I started out with fundamentals in mind which immediately became natural since I didn't have to make major corrections.  And of course, there is always room to improve.  But there were a lot of things I didn't know, like "running as hard as you can on every training run" is not ever beneficial or "rolling your legs" is actually very effective.  Little by little I got smarter over the past few years.  The running community offered so much guidance, advice, and positivity.  I was always encouraged by the best cheerleaders.  I was given basic training plans by runners that did 100-milers--still something unfathomable to me.  And I was given guidance by the ones who knew the science and had tons of experience.  I felt I was in the best position to take on my own challenges.

I don't have any deep reason for running.  It's fun, I do it to challenge myself, and I hope to inspire others.  Every time I chip away at my goals, I get a rush that forces me to make an even tougher challenge. Like most, I also like to reflect on things when I'm running on my own.  Anything and everything: family, the latest news, runnng, work.  As an engineer, I often find myself trying to reason through running-related problems in my head like "what are the best running conditions to encourage evaporative cooling and promote heat transfer from my body." Or I might find  myself contemplating the drag force equation in the context of drafting behind another runner.  In Rocket City, most can appreciate my nerd side.

Training is so different now than when I first ran in high school--no more cotton, plans are broken down with human science in mind, and tools are available that can help in any conceivable way.  There is always something to learn, but I think I got the gist now.  I wanted to take this space to thank those who helped and inspired me in some way and got me where I  am today, but there are too many. Tthis is the best part of the Huntsville community.  It is the best example of pay-it-forward I have ever seen.  Everyone truly wants to help everyone be better.  And now I feel like I can help.

Race Spotlight:  Barkley Marathons
by Robert Youngren

This past weekend was the 31st edition of the Barkley Marathons held at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. This race is considered one of teh most difficult 100 races on the planet.  The five loop race has 67,000 feet of climb (and 67,000 feet of descent) which is more than any other 100 mile race.  Since 1986 only 15 runners out of just over 1000 have finished within the 60 hour cut-off.  The loop is unmarked, brutally steep, and is almost entirely off-trail; the only provided aid is a couple of water caches (gallon jugs of water).  No GPSs, pacers, or cell phone are allowed and only the race provided wrist-watch could be worn.  To prove you've completed the loop correctly, runners must locate several books spread around the loop (typically at the high and low points of mountains) and remove a particular page to turn in at the completion of the loop.  When a runner drops out, Taps is played by a bugler for all in the camp to hear.

I trained harder than ever for this year's race--lots of hill climbing and long, solo hikes and runs.  My goal was to finish all five loops under the cutoff.  Unfortunately some early navigational issues during the first loop in the dark and heavy fog slowed just about everyone down, including myself.  I ended up a couple hours slower than expected on the first loop.  However, the second loop (opposite direction) went much better with only a few navigational issues, but the reverse loop is a lot more tricky and the climbs much steeper, which makes it a slower loop anyhow.  By the third loop I was still feeling very good but well outside the time frame needed to be allowed to start a fourth loop (runners must start a 4th loop within 36 hours), however I still had time to finish the loop under the cutoff for a "Fun Run" finish (3 loops under 40 hours). I finished the Fun Run in 39:03 and was just 1 of 6 runners (40 starters) who managed 3 loops or more; most quit after the first loop.  Two runners made it to the fifth and final loop, but only one managed to complete the course correctly and under the final time limit.  He was just the 15th finisher---ever!! This was my 8th start and second Fun Run finish; only 34 people have finished the Fun Run (or farther) 2 times or more in the history of the race.  To read Rob's race report from this year's race, click here


River City 5 and 10k, Decatur, AL
April 1, 2017

5k: Rick Maehlmann: 19:54 (3rd overall)
10k:  Katie Maehlmann: 50:46  (3rd female overall)
{Big kids trained with Katie for this race and both finished 1st in their age groups (Nate: 49:13 and Clara: 54:04)}
Anya Gluszek: 54:21

Rick finishing strong

Oak Barrell 1/2 marathon, Lynchburg, TN
April 1, 2017

Ryan Donovan: 1:26:52
Matt Casiano: 1:27:06 (2nd Master)
Julia Mateskon: 1:35:35 (3rd female overall)
Christy Scott: 1:49:45 

Julia and Christy

Matt Casiano

Barkely Marathons, Frozen Head SP, TN
April 1, 2017

Robert Youngren: 39:03 for his 2nd "Fun Run" finish (3 loops)
DeWayne Satterfield: 13:09:21 (completed loop 1)

To read more about Rob's race, click here

Rob climing up Rat Jaw and getting a kiss from a friend

Pages being counted....check your bag for the last page

DeWayne getting Tapped out after his loop.

Double Helix, Huntsville, AL
April 4, 2017

Martin Schneekloth: 19:19 (2nd overall, 1st master)
Marty Clarke: 20:04 (7th overall)
Dink Taylor: 20:18 (8th overall)
Anya Gluszek: 21:39 (2nd female)
Aleisha Chaffin:  31:28 (ran with sister)






The boyz

Heel n Crank, Mooresville, AL
April 8, 2017
Dink Taylor: 1:26 (3rd master)
Anya Gluszek: 1:32 (2nd female)
Eric Fritz: 1:49:06

Bridge Street 1/2 Marathon, Huntsville, AL
April 9, 2017

Matt Casiano: 1:25:39 (5th overall, 1st master) *PR*
Ryan Donovan: 1:25:54 (6th overall)
Daniel Sillivant: 1:28:23 (8th overall)
Lauren Mitchell: 1:28:33 (2nd female)
Andrew Hodges: 1:28:42 (10th overall)
Kelsey Moser: 1:28:42 (3rd female) *PR*
Blake Thompson: 1:29:02--Pacer
Aleisha Chaffin: 1:33:28 *PR*
Martin Schneekloth: 1:33:30
Marty Clarke: 1:33:32
David Moulder: 1:35:39
Allison Ruzicka: 1:443:11
Donna Palumbo: 2:03:11
Rebecca Dodson: 2:09:51--Pacer
Eric Fritz: 2:09:52--Pacer
Christy Scott: 2:15:02--Pacer
Alison Doyle: 2:44:10--Pacer

Aleisha:  "I Pr'd by over 3 minutes.  I am so thankful for my teamates, Marty and Martin, for pacing me and believing in my ability to reach (and actually surpass) my goal!!"

 Kelsey ran a PR, then at the finish line, this is what we heard:  Andrew Hodges:  "Will you marry me?"  Kelsey Moser: "Are you serious right now?  YESSSSSSSSS!"  Congrats to two of our team memebers on their engagement.

Tim V, the newly engaged Kelcey and Andrew, and Lauren



Blake making it look easy




Rebecca and Eric

Kelsey and Andrew


Marty and Martin holding hands



Alison Doyle

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fleet Feet Huntsville Racing Team Results - March 2017

Jim Clemens--race team member for 10 years

         I have been running since 3rd grade or so when I would go run with my older brothers and sisters on occasion.  I distinctly remember getting to go down on the track and infield to gather my sisters' sweats and have them at the finish line for them.  That was the only time I was ever on the track for a state finals! I ran track and cross country in high school and have run on my own since then.  I hae run all sorts of distances in races and in relay races (Ragnars) but nothing over a marathon distance.  I have run 33 marathons, I believe, including 4 Bostons, NYCM, and  Chicago, with a 2:38:34 PR at Twin Cities. The question I am asked the most about running is, "Why?!?", and those asking don't realize that's a highly complicated question.

        I run because I enjoy it.  Not just the running itself; I enjoy everything about it.  I enjoy the training.  I enjoy laying out a plan for a race and following it.  I enjoy and strive on the structure.
        I run because I am fairly good at it.  It is one of the few things in life where I have some talent.
        I run (alone) because I am failry introverted and I                                                                            can escape and be with my own thoughts.
        I run to be connected to nature and to God.  When I am running, I have the greatest conversations with God and with my family members that have passed on.  God created my body to be good at running and I can surely use it to honor Him.  To quote (my favorite) from Chariots of Fire's Eric Liddell: "And when I run I feel His pleasure."

Let Isaiah 40:31 be your mantra.                         Learn more about Jim

Crux Winter Ultra 54k, Switzerland
March 4, 2017

Martin Schneekloth completed the tough course in 7:51:01.

Snickers Albany Marathon, Albany, GA
March 4, 2017

This marathon is always a favorite for BQ and PR seekers.  The race team members did not disappoint, for many of them set PRs at the race this year!!

Ryan Donovan: 3:04:23  PR
Matt Casiano: 3:08:41  PR
Julia Mateskon: 3:24:16  PR
Allison Ruzicka: 3:33:21
Donna Palumbo: 4:21:54  PR

Donna pre-race: thinking about that impending PR

Matt pushing for his PR

Allison crushing it

Ryan and Julia enjoying PR success.

Delano Park 12 hour, 50 mile, relay, Decatur, AL
March 4, 2017

Aleisha Chaffin turned in another awesome 50 mile time and WON the Delano Park 50 miler outright.  Running 7:15:01, she set a state age record!!

Aleisha happy after her overall win

Andrew Hodges and Todd Parsons used this opportunitiy as a training run, and ran 27 and 36 miles respectfully.

UAH 8k, Huntsville, AL
March 5, 2017

Robert Youngren: 28:57 (1st overall)
Greg Reynolds: 29:37 (2nd overall)
Daniel Sillivant: 29:56 (3rd overall)
Marty Clarke: 33:01 (8th overall)
Kelsey Moser: 33:41 (1st female)
Kathy Youngren: 35:08 (2nd female; 1st master)
Linda Scavarda: 35:58 (3rd female and 8k PR)
Katie Maehlmann: 41:28 (Ran with 9 year old speedy daughter)

Rob in his last mile for the win

What an awesome picute of Daniel.  He was 3rd.

Kelcey crushing the hill to take the win

Greg taking 2nd place.

Birmingham Wine 10k, Birmingham, AL
March 11, 2016

From team member Julie Mason:  I ran the Birmingham Wine 10k with Steeplechase bronze medalist Emma Coburn.  She paced the 40 minute group, so I got to run the first mile with her.

Daniel Sillivant: 36:12
Julie Mason: 44:01

Julie with Emma Coburn (and her bronze medal)

Daniel posing with an Olympian

Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Beersheba Springs, TN
March 18, 2017

Martin Schneekloth: 4:59 (6th overall, 1st master)

Martin and gang before the race

Rocket Run 10 miler, Mooresville, TN
March 18, 2017

Robert Youngren: 1:02:36 (4th overall)
Lauren Mitchell: 1:06:12 (1st female, 6th overall)
Ryan Donovan: 1:06:36
Matt Casiano: 1:07:23
Dink Taylor: 1:09;12
Todd Parsons: 1:10:00
Marty Clarke: 1:11:10
Jim Clemens: 1:11:29
Rick Maehlmann: 1:11:33
David Moulder: 1:11:54
Julia Mateskon: 1:12:31
Anya Gluszek: 1:13:04
Aleisha Chaffin: 1:14:57
Kathy Youngren: 1:14:59 (1st master)
Tim Vinson: 1:17:03
Eric Fritz: 1:17:53
Linda Scavarda: 1:22:40 (long run day)
Donna Palumbo: 1:32:41

Rob around mile 6 (is anyone else in the race?)

Lauren after the race with her girls

Linda, Aleisha, and Kathy thinking that they are glad that's over;)

Todd is happy after the race!!

McKay Hollow Madness 12k & 25k, Huntsville, AL
March 25, 2017

Craig Smith: 2:20:11 (6th overall)
Eric Fritz: 2:52:02
Marty Clarke: 2:57:26
Christy Scott: 3:04:52
Dana Overton: 3:05:22

Eric Fritz's finish.  He gets 2 thumbs up from his daughter:)

Oak Mountain 50k, Birmingham, AL
March 25, 2017

Martin Schneekloth: 6:18:11

Martin having so much fun!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fleet Feet Huntsville Racing Team Results - Jan. and Feb. 2017

Fleet Feet Racing Team 2017  

 The Fleet Feet Race Team 2017 is off to a fast start--setting the stage for a great season!!  We want to welcome our new team members, Allison Ruzicka, Michele Brock, Daniel Sillivant, Ryan Donovan, and Matt Casiano, and we want to welcome back to othe team, Blake Thompson, and Brett Wilks.  We cannot wait to see what this team has in store for the year.   

Pistol Ultras--Alcoa, TN
December 31, 2016-January 1, 2017

Celebrating the New Year by running sounds like a dream for many of us, but many on the Fleet Feet Race Team got to do just that.  Aleisha Chaffin was trained up and ready to run her 1st 100 miler, and run it she did, finishing in an amazingly fast time of 18:15!! She was 5th overall.  She has thrown a time out there that many others on the team have to chase.  

Aleisha's awesome finish!!!

Aleisha looking great after the race.

The sweet set-up.....before the micro burst of wind.

Hanging in the Taylor RV awaiting Aleisha

Aleisha doesn't seem so excited about the fun horn;)

In addition to Aleisha's remarkable 100 mile finish, team members Dink Taylor, Anya Gluszek, and Todd Parsons ran the 50k.  Anya PR'd with her 3rd place female finish.

Dink Taylor : 4:26:14
Anya Gluszek: 4:36:01 
Todd Parsons: 5:20:34 

Dink finishing the 50k

Anya receiving her award

Lastly, team BABP, which consisted of Kathy Youngren, Martin Schneekloth, and Robert Youngren won the 50k relay, with a time of 3:31:04.  Then they had crewing and pacing duties the rest of the day.  Team member Eric Fritz and Aleisha's husband, Ryan, also were there cheering, crewing, and pacing. 

Rob coming in for a fast finish.

Team BABP receiving their awards.