When runners registered for the most recent Montgomery Country Road Runners Club race, they were mistaken if they thought it would be a “piece of cake.” Little did they know that they would have to conquer tough-rolling hills through Seneca Creek State Park in order to cross the finish line.
“It’s a very challenging course,” said Carol English of Germantown, Md. “But it’s good. It builds character.”
Since 1997, English has been involved with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. She is currently enrolled in the club’s speed development program, which included the club’s Piece of Cake 10k.
“The club is an amazing group,” English said. “They put on well-organized races.”
MCRRC’s Piece of Cake 10k, one of several races of the MCRRC championship series, attracted nearly 350 runners. The Piece of Cake title actually comes from the annual cake contest the MCRRC holds in celebration of the club’s birthday. This year’s race marked the club’s 35th anniversary.
[button-red url=”http://www.mcrrc.org/piece-cake-10k-cs-2″ target=”_self” position=”left”] Results [/button-red]
The race brought out several talented competitors, including Douglas Woods of Gaithersburg, Md. Woods trailed behind second-place finisher Eric DaSilva until the last 800 meters, when he passed DaSilva. “I just ran on his shoulder, he didn’t want any help,” Woods said. “I kicked the last half mile.”
[button-red url=”http://www.mcrrcphotos.com/2013Photos/Race-Photos/Piece-of-Cake-10K-2013/i-vLhX2nC” target=”_self” position=”left”] MCRR Photos [/button-red]Aside from the first-place title, Woods may have had another motivating factor waiting for him at the finish.
“Cake. Where’s the cake?” Woods asked as he looked around.
But not all runners were able to reward themselves with delicious cake in celebration of the club’s birthday.
“I gave up sweets for lent,” said Tommy Young of Brookville, Md., who had just completed his first 10k.
Unlike sweets, Young was able to enjoy quiet roads through the woods near Clopper Lake during the race. His girlfriend,Katherine Young of Silver Spring (they’re not related—they just happen to have the same last name), “pulled” Tommy in with the club earlier this year. Katherine has been involved with the club for two years.
Both of them plan on competing in the upcoming 10 Mile Cherry Blossom.
Cindy Conant of Kensington Md. was the first female finisher to cross the finish line with a time of 40:29. With Conant competing in races nearly every weekend, including the 10 Miler Cherry Blossom and the Boston Marathon, Conant said she prefers the low-key club races.
“I don’t have to pick up my race-packet the day before,” Conant said. “I want to end where I start.”
As the club wrapped up it’s 10k race, it was only the beginning of its annual meeting and awards brunch. Among the awards presented, four outstanding high school runner college scholarships were divvied up between Benjamin Withbroe of Einstein High School, Nick Simpson of Einstein High School, Isabelle Latour of Quince Orchard High School and Laura Nakasaka of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
“We’ll be living up to what they saw in us these past four years and will be working hard academically, in the community and in our sports,” Nakasaka noted.
Though the club rarely hands the award out, Dee Nelson of Gaithersburg, Md. was presented a life-time achievement award. With 45 years of running under her belt, the Piece of Cake 10k marked her 1,487th race.
“I have found over the years that training less is actually working out,” Nelson said.
Nelson is nearing her goal of hitting 1500 races and averages nearly 60 races per year.
Among other impressive award-winning runners was Joe Sangillo of Rockville, Md. He received the most improved runner of year award. Sangillo may look like another other seasoned runner, but that wasn’t always the case. In two years, Sangillo weighed more than 100 pounds heavier and could barley complete a 12-minute mile. But just last year, after completing the MCRRC first time marathon program, Sangillo accomplished his goal: completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 3:40. Since 2006, Sangillo has lost a total of 130 pounds.
“Just don’t underestimate yourself,” Sangillo said. “I smashed any expectations that I had for myself.”
By James Moreland
November 6, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
The Rockville 10K big claim to fame is that it is the longest running event in Montgomery County. As noted by Maryland State Senator Jennie Forehand, the event started as a ten mile race. For many years the race was run from Montgomery College as only a 10K. After racing in the local neighborhoods until 1991, the race raced south on the Pike to the Rockville Town Center, which was still in an earlier iteration. In 1995, the race added a 5K that circled the campus, while the 10K stayed on a similar path, though there were minor variations. That year the random prize was a week vacation and it was hoped that would bring the numbers up. The race had usually stayed around 500 finishers in good weather or bad.
By the late 90s the race moved to Piccard Drive near today’s 2 mile mark in the 10K. King Farm was still really just a farm. The course meandered back and forth between Gude Drive and Gaither Road. Then King Farm was completed and the event raced back and forth through the new community. The course has changed a number of times for both the 5K and the 10K. Mercifully, the 5K starts after the 10K now and takes a different route so there is no longer as much confusion as runners get to the finish line.
The finish corral has its own balloon arch.
Now the race began to grow and in 2008 finally cracked 1,000 finishers in the combined events. The next year the race fell back to below 800 finishers before rebounding last year to a record 1206. In 2011, the weather was racing perfect at 40 degrees with a bright sun and no wind and the event cracked 1,000 finishers for the third time.
Parking became a tougher commodity this year. Runners who forgot to set their watch had an extra hour to secure the prime spots. The start/finish and the balloon arch by the awards stand started to fill with runners later but hundreds of runners gathered together in the back of the Safeway parking lot, effectively blockading the road. The race started promptly at 8:30 a.m. and whipped around the corner onto King Farm Boulevard. Jack rabbit Dee Nelson, 68, was among the early leaders. After more than 1400 races she still enjoys the thrill of starting the race. She would easily win her age group.
For the men, even before the next turn onto Gaither Road the top finishers were being decided. The gentle climb to Shady Grove is about ¾ mile. Andre Orr and Daniel Miranda came bolting back down the hill side by side as if it were the final mile. Thirty meters behind them Karsten Brown was loping along saving effort for the later push in the race. The race is a series of long up and down slopes, the stiffest being on Gude Drive. Robin Lerner berated the course with, “Why is the fourth mile always the hilliest?” on the final steps of the climb the brought runners to Rockville Pike. We know Lerner changed her clock because she did her warm-up at the Anything is Possible 5K in Bethesda earlier that morning at 1:50 a.m. That syndicated event promotes the cutesy idea of finishing before you began, thanks to the change back to standard time.
Meanwhile, Brown was already more than halfway back down the hill and had already changed to a stiffer arm swing and a more frenzied pace. He had bolted away into the lead and he wanted to have some space by the time he crested the final hill at the corner of Piccard and Redland. Then it would be a final half way victory parade. Brown, who races about 100 races and close to a 1,000 race miles a year, had just raced his fastest 5 miler the day before finishing third overall at the Down’s Park race in Pasadena, MD in 27:04. (That is slighter faster than his PR Rockville Rotary 8K in 26:55 this summer). Yesterday the top two finishers were out of his league. Today he paced himself to his first sub 34:00 10K, winning it all in 33:26.
Place four through six were all top masters runners. Dave Haaga, 50, was holding tight to Mark Neff, 49, at 4 miles with Jean Christophe Arcaz, 50, looking unhappy that he could not quite join the party. Neff ran a very credible 35:38 to take the fourth spot by seven seconds with Haaga rounding out the top five. Arcaz earned the masters title in 36:18. The oldest racer Jack McMahon, 80, still looks good, finishing in 59:10.
For the woman, homegrown talent Julie Sapper ran away with the race from the very beginning with an excellent 41:16. There was some confusion later as a man had mistakenly worn a tag assigned to a woman but that was fixed by the time awards were handed out. As with the men, top masters runners ran well with four of the top six being masters. Liliana Baron, 53, seemed to relish the hills bounding along to the runner-up spot in 44:58. Leah Birdwell, 17, finishing eight seconds ahead of Shelli Beard, 42 in 45:42 though both had identical net time. Gun times decide the top five while net times decide the age groups.
When they finish revising the results Phyllis Sevik, 47, will move up to fifth overall from top masters and Jen Norris, 40, will become the masters award winner. Alice Franks, 63, (in photo) joined Nelson as shoe-ins in the sixties. Barbara Scoggins may have had the best race at age 59 with a very nice 47:04. Eighty-year-old Yvonne Aasen won the senior division.
The 5K is the younger brother for the event and though it is usually just as large, it does not draw as much recognition. Brown, who also races in Westminster, would recognize the race winner Greg Jubb, 21, who ran a nifty 15:58, which may be near Brown’s next 5K goal of breaking 16:00. Bennett Stackhouse, 27 was the runner-up in 16:26. Two Gaithersburg residents, Paul Jacobson, 48, and Dan Lawson, 56 battled for top masters honors. Jacobson’s eight-year difference was just enough to prevail by three seconds in 18:12.
Robin Stanley, 30, of Derwood, MD made it look easy winning in 20:07 with Teah Devan, 38, two minutes behind her. MCRRC president since 2009 Jean Arthur, 48, continues to astound this year with a third overall finish in 23:42.
After the race we met with racing legend Lou Shapiro, a sub 42:00 10K racer at age 69. This year he injured his hip and claims maybe by spring he will be able to run a 12 minute mile. Do not count out a much better comeback.
The 10K portion of the race is also one of the races in the Maryland RRCA series where running clubs from across the state compete.
By James Moreland
October 30, 2011
For the Washington Running Report
After all these years could this perennial race be doomed to success? Competing against the massive Marine Corps Marathon with its little sister race 10K with nearly seven thousand finishers, the ‘gallop’ keeps roaring along, for equestrians note that of the four gears-–walk, trot, canter, and gallop–gallop is the fastest. With nearly five hundred races in the region between Labor Day and Veterans Day, the Goblin Gallop expanded again to nearly 20% more finishers than last year. Maybe it is because discerning runners and walkers alike see that the race has what it takes.
Tons of free parking close by is a wish come true. As soon as you get out of your car you already hear the Spark Plugscranking out tunes. While the songs are mostly from my generation, they are so lively that people could easily forget the first white Halloween. Naturally, the media made it seem scarier than the scores of hundreds of costumes worn by the participants. Everybody from Fairfax east ducked the near freezing soaking that cut many of Saturday events’ participation in half. Nine inches in western Maryland barely ranked a notice. The question was how are the corners of Fairfax Corner? How are the slopes of Random Hills?
Runners were more than adequately warned and though there were a few slick spots, the morning blossomed into a near perfect fall wonder. With the dominating Tezata Dengara over in Arlington winning the Marine Corps Marathon, Hirut Mandefro (right)had to be considered the favorite. She returned back in the area earlier this year after having been the top ranked runner for much of the last three years. Already this fall she had two solid wins, twice breaking 17:00. She also ran a swift 58:21 at the Virginia Ten Miler. Still, there was a new gunslinger in town and Anna Holt-Gosselin already has a fine reputation with a fall win at the Run! Geek! Run 8K and a smartly done Army Ten Miler in 59:19.
An even newer face on the scene, sub master Kristie Connelly, 36, made them both work hard on the roller coaster ride around the shopping center. Mandefro quietly secured another victory in a very nifty 17:42 on an honest course that is too hilly to be really fast.
Holt-Gosselin (left) was standing tall in second place with WRR summer cover man Bob Briggs, 54, close behind. Briggs, a former Olympic class racewalker as well as a 29:00 10K runner, must prefer the cooler weather as he improved on his 18:18 at the inaugural Let Freedom Run 5K in July (18:18 2nd AG) to win his division in 17:57. He was the second best at the age graded table with 84.9%. Mandefro was fourth (83.6%) among the seven racers better 83%. Connelly took third overall in 18:05 with the seventh best age grade at 83%.
Two other women made that elite status and neither was a surprise. Top ranked master Alisa Harvey was sixth woman overall in 19:05 for an age graded 84.5%. Then there was Dee Nelson, 68. She capped off another excellent win for her 1,400th career race in an excellent 25:35, giving her the top age graded time for the event in 85.3%. Her best 5K of the year was more than two minutes faster.
At the awards ceremony, second place winner Gordon, 78, note, “I can’t stay with Tami.” Few can. Tami Graf has been looking to take down another Virginia State record. She has already raced faster but she has to have a certified course that also reports the race. Her 32:09 is more than two minutes faster than the current 34:26 and the more than generous Virginia has chosen to use net times, Graf’s was 31:50, to enhance the record book.
Former masters ranking champion Andres Wright (left) is back and already starting to produce times that earned him the title. At 44, his 16:56 was third best man at 83.1% but the prize goes to the fastest not the best age graded. He knew second master, Mike Colaiacovo, was the only one close at 17:02. Still wary, he was confident he would win. The third master was Jean Christophe Arcaz. At fifty, he can still hang with the young guys, racing 17:43, a step ahead in the age grading with 83.2%.
After the race Alan Rider, 75, noted that maybe the generous five-year age groups might go one more from 70 to 99 and include a 70 to 74 with the eldest being 75-99. That would have worked for him this year. Next year both Chan Robbins (25:15) and John Gluck (25:45) will have aged up from 74 and be gunning for top dog Skip Grant.
For the top men, Seife Geletu had been third overall in 16:01 last year. For nearly all the race it looked as if he had a chance to take the crown. The final quarter mile features a sharp turn cresting the long hill followed by a steep hundred meter downhill. From there it is two sharp turns to the final straightaway. Ryan Hanson(below) made the break early enough and jetted away to win in 15:43. Though Geletu was only five seconds behind, it was clear he would not be able to catch up.
After the race, most of the cold had gone away. The large crowd in the square ate hot dogs and listened for their number for the dozens of random prizes. The final prize was Redskins tickets. It did take quite a long time to hand out all the prizes that went three deep in five-year age groups. There were also team awards and costume awards. Next year’s event will be their 19th.
Awards Listing (No Duplicate Prizes)
FEMALE OVERALL Place Num Name Ag City Time ===== ===== ====================== == ===================== ===== 1 1520 Hirut Mandefro 30 Washington DC 17:42 2 951 Anna Holt-Gosselin 23 Vienna VA 17:55 3 713 Kristie Connelly 36 Alexandria VA 18:05 MALE OVERALL Place Num Name Ag City Time ===== ===== ====================== == ===================== ===== 1 1540 Ryan Hanson 24 Bethesda MD 15:43 2 1519 Seife Geletu 29 Washington DC 15:48 3 1262 Jerry Greenlaw 23 Alexandria VA 16:26 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 99 1 4 Alisa Harvey 46 Manassas VA 19:05 19:05 6:09 2 1436 Kim Isler 43 Oakton VA 20:17 20:17 6:32 3 1050 Karen Ashbrook-Barnes 41 Vienna VA 21:26 21:26 6:54 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 99 1 1548 Andres Wright 44 Frederick MD 16:56 16:56 5:27 2 1535 Mike Colaiacovo 42 Ellicott City MD 17:02 17:02 5:29 3 1426 Jean-Christophe Arcaz 50 Rockville MD 17:43 17:43 5:43 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 01 - 14 1 784 Morgan Wittrock 13 Vienna VA 21:23 21:23 6:53 2 1037 Emily Lichtenberg 12 South Riding VA 22:59 22:59 7:24 3 1298 Sierra Brooks 14 Clifton VA 23:07 23:07 7:27 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 01 - 14 1 1036 Tyler Lichtenberg 14 South Riding VA 17:27 17:27 5:37 2 1459 Nati Digafe 13 Centreville VA 20:36 20:36 6:38 3 1033 Kai Stephens 14 Fairfax VA 20:59 20:59 6:46 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 19 1 328 Christine Mayuga 15 Oak Hill VA 20:35 20:35 6:38 2 242 Jordan Lilly 19 Centreville VA 23:40 23:32 7:35 3 1538 Natalie Schlosser 18 Winchester VA 24:05 23:58 7:43 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 15 - 19 1 1163 Daniel Anderson 16 Falls Church VA 19:14 19:14 6:12 2 1111 Neil Totten 15 Herndon VA 19:35 19:35 6:19 3 1186 Alex Min 15 Burke VA 21:00 20:48 6:42 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 20 - 24 1 1215 Jenn Ennis 23 Richmond VA 18:35 18:35 5:59 2 1306 Maura Carroll 22 Washington DC 18:44 18:44 6:02 3 1094 Maria Cheshire 24 Bristow VA 21:44 21:44 7:00 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 20 - 24 1 11 Sean McLaughlin 24 Centreville VA 19:25 19:25 6:15 2 1029 Brian Amaya 23 Herndon VA 22:03 22:03 7:06 3 402 Timothy Kutz 24 Fairfax VA 25:32 23:37 7:36 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 25 - 29 1 96 Susan Hein 29 Chantilly VA 23:54 23:34 7:35 2 1319 Krystine Rivera 25 Ashburn VA 24:45 24:45 7:58 3 710 Martha Mishkin 28 Fairfax VA 25:01 25:00 8:03 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 25 - 29 1 1406 Jason Myers 26 Alexandria VA 16:32 16:32 5:20 2 783 Ryan Werner 27 Washington DC 19:44 19:44 6:21 3 1448 Joshua Pinedo 26 20:24 20:24 6:34 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 34 1 1419 Jessica McGuire 31 Arlington VA 21:01 21:01 6:46 2 1255 Taylor Poling 30 Arlington VA 21:18 21:18 6:52 3 1185 Megan Brummer 32 Washington DC 22:09 22:09 7:08 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 30 - 34 1 1420 Aaron Lyss 30 Washington DC 19:45 19:45 6:22 2 407 Jason Bryan 31 Springfield VA 19:53 19:53 6:24 3 51 James Brennan 32 Alexandria VA 20:29 20:25 6:34 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 35 - 39 1 150 Melissa Hardt 35 Arlington VA 22:08 21:55 7:04 2 735 Margaret Albaugh 36 Falls Church VA 23:11 22:58 7:24 3 1168 Ann Wessel 37 Vienna VA 25:55 25:20 8:09 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 35 - 39 1 1271 Keith Freeburn 37 Centreville VA 17:17 17:17 5:34 2 734 Bob Koeppen 35 Alexandria VA 18:13 18:13 5:52 3 1423 Tim Davis 37 Springfield VA 19:52 19:52 6:24 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 44 1 1300 Missy Salisbury 42 Lorton VA 24:34 24:34 7:55 2 544 Stephanie Hammond 44 Springfield VA 24:34 24:34 7:55 3 160 Melanie Massiah-White 42 Fairfax VA 24:43 24:43 7:58 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 40 - 44 1 1432 Rob Meadows 40 Leesburg VA 18:40 18:40 6:01 2 1275 James Lister 42 Falls Church VA 19:17 19:17 6:13 3 1508 Tom Powers 43 Kensington MD 19:22 19:22 6:14 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 45 - 49 1 1515 Annie Downer 46 Herndon VA 22:28 22:28 7:14 2 1032 Yoko Stephens 46 Fairfax VA 22:54 22:54 7:23 3 698 Angelika Kirkland 45 Oakton VA 24:41 24:26 7:52 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 45 - 49 1 927 Craig Greene 46 Manassas VA 20:15 20:13 6:31 2 472 Robert Martin 48 Fairfax Station VA 21:03 21:03 6:47 3 282 Tim Martin 47 Manassas VA 21:38 21:38 6:58 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 54 1 284 Sushila Nanda 50 Arlington VA 23:22 23:22 7:32 2 401 June Ring 50 Fairfax VA 23:37 23:32 7:35 3 1107 Sarah Buckheit 51 Reston VA 24:25 24:25 7:52 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 50 - 54 1 1505 Robert Briggs 54 Springfield VA 17:57 17:57 5:47 2 1506 Terry McLaughlin 51 Spotsylvania VA 18:21 18:21 5:55 3 1182 Peter Cini 53 Fairfax VA 21:22 19:55 6:25 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 55 - 59 1 1546 Heather Sanders 56 McLean VA 23:16 23:16 7:30 2 1247 Merrilee Seidman 57 Alexandria VA 25:51 25:51 8:20 3 377 Pat Warren 55 Kensington MD 26:44 26:44 8:37 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 55 - 59 1 1248 Paul Bousel 58 Alexandria VA 21:24 21:24 6:54 2 526 Stuart McFarren 55 Arlington VA 22:22 22:22 7:12 3 10 James Moreland 59 Gaithersburg MD 23:36 23:36 7:36 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 64 1 1507 Gail Contreras 60 Fairfax VA 33:32 32:50 10:34 2 13 Maureen Babcock 61 Cambridge MA 34:39 33:33 10:48 3 192 Claudia Tuller-Brooke 60 Annandale VA 34:55 34:50 11:13 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 60 - 64 1 850 Michael Wesbecher 63 Oakton VA 21:41 21:32 6:56 2 253 Gary Robinson 60 Bellaire TX 25:40 25:07 8:05 3 281 Paul Riede 60 Stafford VA 25:37 25:21 8:10 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 65 - 69 1 1568 Dee Nelson 68 Gaithersburg MD 25:35 25:35 8:14 2 427 Mary Schade 65 Arlington VA 47:24 46:33 14:59 3 491 Joannene Maynard 65 Kingsville MD 48:50 48:08 15:30 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 65 - 69 1 893 Mike Golash 68 Washington DC 24:06 24:03 7:45 2 189 Richard Wiley 67 Centreville VA 28:42 28:25 9:09 3 1132 James Verdier 69 Alexandria VA 29:54 29:47 9:35 FEMALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 99 1 1422 Tami Graf 75 Lusby MD 32:09 31:50 10:15 2 186 Winnie Gordon 78 Fairfax VA 46:59 46:18 14:54 MALE AGE GROUP: NET TIME 70 - 99 1 1196 Chan Robbins 74 Arlington VA 25:15 25:15 8:08 2 916 John Gluck 74 Alexandria VA 25:45 25:34 8:14 3 9 Alan Rider 75 Reston VA 28:45 28:32 9:11 MALE FIRST TIME RACER: NET TIME - NET PACE 1 - 99 1 639 Andrey Gochev 26 M Springfield VA 22:46 20:48 6:42 FEMALE FIRST TIME RACER: NET TIME - NET PACE 1 - 99 1 242 Jordan Lilly 19 F Centreville VA 23:40 23:32 7:35