Looking Back on 2009: Part One

The Lake Monroe Roadkillers were well represented at the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon, which signaled the start of a new running year in Central Florida. We’re sure that great things are ahead for our group in 2010, but it was the 2009 season that got us here. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights we experienced in 2009...

Mike “Fly T” Baron kicked off 2009 with a remarkable performance in Disney’s Goofy Challenge; running the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon & Marathon on consecutive days. After cruising to a 1:47 finish in the half, Baron ran a 3:18 marathon the following day. His incredible performance came on the heels of his 3:21 finish at the Chicago Marathon in Oct. 2008. Great running, Mike!

At the end of January,
Shawn Barkley and April “Shortcut” Darrow both qualified for the Boston Marathon by finishing the ING Miami Marathon in 3:37 and 3:43, respectively. Wade “Runner of 1” Compton finished another edition of the Ocala Marathon on Feb. 1, as “GPS” Jim Masters completed his first marathon and won his age group at the Tallahassee Marathon. By the end of the year, Masters had won his age group in 12 of 13 races he ran in 2009. Incredible.

“Psycho” Dan Stojic also qualified for Boston, at the State Farm Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon the following week. As a prelude to Stojic’s performance in that marathon, Baron visited Melbourne and ran a solid 19:55 5K the day before, his best 5K result in several years.

Mike “T-Dog” Scures was busy compiling great finishes, on the way to winning his age group title in the prestigious Track Shack Grand Prix. On Feb. 21, Scures posted an 18:28 finish in the Run Around the Pines 5K, in his hometown of Winter Park.

Craig Dixon sprinted to a 1:18 finish in the Five Points of Life Half-Marathon in Gainesville, while “Young” Daniel McCarthy ran a most-impressive 3:00 at the Five Points of Life Marathon. And McCarthy wasn’t done yet. Just seven days later, McCarthy bravely paced Sara “Crash” Van Meter to her Boston-qualifying 3:49 finish at the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa. Also running in Tampa was Jeremy Davidson, who posted a 2:56 finish. The 2009 Gasparilla Marathon would be remembered for punishing winds and heavy rain. Not ideal conditions, but the Roadkillers ran through them!

Elliott Strouse became the Roadkillers’ first race winner of the year on March 14, with a 19:14 finish at the Victoria Park 5K in DeLand. This race was also one of Jim Masters’ many age group victories. The following week at the Winter Park 10K, Scures clinched his Grand Prix championship with a 39:20 finish.

March 14 was also the date for the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, one of the nation’s premier distance running events. Dixon and McCarthy both finished the race in under an hour. Other Roadkillers completing the 9.3-mile race were
“Man Pants” Danny Fritz, “Psycho” Dan and Martine McCarthy.

Diana Hampel had joined the group in the spring, and was the first overall female in the March 21 Be a Trailblazer 5K in Lake Mary. On March 28, Strouse finished the ING Georgia Marathon in 3:36.

Roadkillers were running strong as the season continued and temperatures began to rise. The “Summer of Speed” was ahead, but our runners were already showing plenty of speed in local races.

To be continued...

Fall Running Season is Here

With the arrival of Labor Day, the selection of Jason "Half Empty" Van Meter as our new club President, shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures, the fall running season has arrived.

For several Roadkillers, this means marathon training time! The Space Coast Marathon, Jacksonville Marathon, Houston Marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon have all been targeted by our runners for winter races. Long runs are getting longer and miles are adding up for the hearty souls who will attempt these races in the next few months. No word yet on a date for the
Lake Run, however...

If you're like Michael "T Dog" Scures or Shawn (still awaiting official nickname) Barkley, you'll avoid running marathons like, well, most reasonable people. But don't think we'll let you off the hook that easy. Browse our
calendar of local running events and you'll find nearly 30 races between now and the end of the year. Many of these races count toward the prestigious Track Shack Grand Prix Series, which has also been a staple of the Roadkillers' fall running schedule.

See you the roads!

"Run for the Hill of It" Set For Thursday, August 27

The 2009 edition of the "Run for the Hill of It," a Roadkiller tradition, will be held on Thursday, Aug. 27.

What's that, you say, you've never heard of this race? OK, I guess we can't blame you. It's pretty unofficial, as far as official races go. No bib numbers, no mile markers, no crowds, no sponsors, no fanfare. But any Roadkiller will tell you, it's one of the biggest dates on our calendar. Why? Bragging rights of course. And Pizza.

Seriously folks, it's a fun get-together and a great fitness challenge as everyone heads into fall marathon training or the 2009-10 Track Shack Grand Prix. We'll have to check with our club president, but we think it also marks the official ending to the "Summer of Speed." The race course is nine miles and you can read more about it
here and here.

John Boyle is the reigning RFTHOI champion. He laid out the course several years ago, so we'll give him the advantage if he decides to defend his title. Danny Fritz says he "owns" this course and President Daniel McCarthy is 100% healthy after an injury-plagued 2008 season. On the women's side, April Darrow does the race seeding, so we'll say good things about her, of course. She'll be challenged by newcomer Diana Hampel, or Shawn Rudd if she breaks her vow to avoid racing before the 2010 Boston Marathon. Sara Van Meter might pick up a few pointers from her husband, Jason, a former RFTHOI champion.

That's all for now, but remember to mark your running calendar for Thursday, Aug. 27!