Most Improved Female
After running three Grand Prix races in 2011, this runner decided to up the ante by adding five more races to her 2012 calendar for a total of eight Grand Prix races, already a year of great improvement.In a year’s time, not only did quantity improve, but quality was surely evident as well. She began the year with a bang, completing the Club Challenge 20 minutes faster than the Lewis Run. She continued her quest for distance by blazing a 1:48 Frederick Half-Marathon. Mid-year she dashed to a 74 second finish in the decathlon’s 400 Meter and ran a sub-seven minute Market Street Mile in September. This runner even left the roads to run cross-country through Ballenger Creek Park over to Burkittsville in search of the bathroom. Having run three Grand Prix races in 2011 and eight in 2012, we expect her to run 13 in 2013! Congratulations on your improvement and many well-wishes for another fantastic year. The Most Improved Runner of the Year is Crystal Raines.
NOT to be out done by her husband, our Iron Woman proved that she was just as tough as any man out there. She also completed the Lynchburg Ultra Series. In fact, her combined time of 32:27:42 placed her 10th among all of the women who completed the series. She also completed two other 50 mile races, the Bull Run Run 50 in Manasas, Virginia and, just two weeks after completing the Mountain Masochist 50 miler, she added the Stone Mill 50 miler to her list of conquests. Her other accomplishments include a sub 6 hour at the Capon Valley 50K and, just like hubz, she pounded the rocks at the Catoctin 50K after which she exclaimed, ‘Never again!’ However, nobody really believes that. She is currently training to take on her first 100 mile challenge next year. Anyone wishing to follow her progress may do so by reading her blog, ‘The Little Redhead that Could’. When she’s not pounding the trails, she works as a graphic artist. She just recently designed the race logo for the Candy Cane 5K held here in Frederick and is also responsible for the nicely coordinated décor that you see every time you enter If the Shoe Fits. Your 2012 Iron Woman of the Year, Siobhan Leonardis.
For 2012, our Iron Man completed the Lynchburg Ultra Series, a four race series in the rugged mountains around Lynchburg, Virginia consisting of the Holiday Lake 50K, Promise Land 50K, Terrapin Mountain 50K and Mountain Masochist 50 miler. All of which are 2 to 4 miles longer than their advertised distances. In addition, he also completed his first 100 miler, the Grindstone 100, a grueling course consisting of over 23,000 feet of climbing. He also ran the Big Bear Lake 12 hour race this year and then the race we all love to hate, the Catoctin 50K, the very next week. He ran his first ultra in 2010, the Sylamore Trail 50K in Little Rock, Arkansas. Traditionally, he goes back every year and, in the two years since, has shaved over 2 hours off of his time. Despite all of the training, he actually has time for a real job as manager at If the Shoe Fits. And, if that is not enough, he is also an excellent chef. Your 2012 Iron Man of the Year, John Leonardis.
Men’s Grand Master of the Year
John Clarke is sure to have some age-group competition very soon. This runner had an extremely solid year which is justified in many different ways. A handful of 5Ks in the 23-minute range is quite impressive with his best of the bunch coming at the Tiger Trot 5K at the end of April in a time of 23 flat. This durable runner ran 9 of 15 Grand Prix races including a sub-two hour Frederick Half-Marathon.His secret could be in altering terrains he runs as he completed the St. John’s 5K, as well as the Run for the Bathroom 8K, doing very well in both. Or, maybe doing hills is the secret to longevity and versatility as he won a pie at the club’s 10K in late-August, then gobbled up the Goodloe Mountain Run on Dec. 1 in a time of 1:16.43. Or, yet again, maybe speed is the answer, at 68 years young, he dashed to a 6:29 finish down Market Street. Keep doing what you’re doing. It seems to be working. Happy Belated-Birthday!The Grand Masters Runner of the Year is Art Gregory.
Women’s Masters Runner of the Year
This accomplished runner not only put the rubber to road in Frederick County, but also burned some rubber in surrounding counties as well. Whether it’s breezing through a 400 meter at the SummerDecathlon or doing hill-work at the Freedoms Half-Marathon, it seems this runner looks to test her abilities at varying distances whenever she can. This Masters runner upgraded her half-marathon time by four minutes from Frederick to Freedoms, 1:44.46 and 1:40.54, respectively. This speedster ran many 5Ks in the 21-minute range including an 8th place finish at the Women’s Distance Festival with her best finish coming at the Candy Cane 5K where she ran 21 flat. She capped off her year with a 4th place finish at the Emmitsburg Wattle Waddle 5-miler in 35:35, as well as a 1:13.11 3rd place finish at theGoodloe Byron 15K Mountain Run. The Masters Runner of the Year is Ruth Taylor.