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