Page 1

FOOTPRINT July - August 2011

Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers

The Weight Watchers Walk-!t Challenge – My Journey To It and The End Worth Waiting For By Belynda Warner hree years ago, on a road trip to Tennessee, I found myself sitting in the passenger seat with two bags of Peanut Butter M&M’s® and a Diet Coke®, praying to lose weight. I weighed 269 pounds and had a host of medical issues, not the least of which was the beginning of kidney failure. I prayed for a sign that would help me, and when I opened my eyes, there was a sign for Weight Watchers®. “Yeah right,” I thought, and flipped open the magazine on my lap. There it was: an ad for Weight Watchers. “Fine,” I

thought. “Right after this trip.” I joined Weight Watchers the very next weekend and decided that was it. However long it took and wherever it took me had to be better than where I was. It took two full years to lose the weight, and, as I’d hoped, my health improved. Even my kidney function became normal. I had the weight off for only a couple of months when I ran/ walked the San Francisco Half Marathon with the Runner’s World Challenge program. The editors found my story to be inspiring, so they put me in the January 2011 issue of Runner’s World. Kathryn Gleghorn spotted my article and found me on Facebook. I felt honored when she asked me to be part of the Walk-!t Challenge she was

directing. I had always thought if I could inspire just one other person to lose her weight or improve his health through walking and running, then my journey would have even more meaning. I was excited to team up with Kathryn and RAW. When Kathryn asked me to speak at a few Weight Watchers meetings to encourage people to register, I recalled how intimidated I felt when I wanted to walk in races and events. I would always research the previous years’ results to make sure there would be finishers slower than me so I wouldn’t be last. With that in mind, I made a promise at every meeting that if they registered, they would not finish last. This was a tough promise to make because to guarantee it, that meant I would have to be last, and I really didn’t want to be last. At the first training walk, I walked back to the clubhouse with the slowest walker to make sure she didn’t finish alone. Her story amazed me. That was the farthest she had ever walked – in her life. While others were finishing up just another run, this woman was making personal history, and I was the only one there to celebrate it with her. That was when I decided for certain that I would finish the Walk-!t last, no matter how long it took. On the day of the event, I walked out to the first water stop and then waited for the last walkers – a group of ladies that represented three generations of their family. I don’t think

Photo Tory Warner


Belynda Warner (back right) cheering on the walkers.

they quite understood what this “skinny chick” was doing butting into their group, but I was there to stay. Paula was a little older than me, with a bad hip, a torn meniscus, an injured foot, and asthma. Her daughter was just older than my daughter, and was in no better shape than her mom. Her granddaughter was maybe five years old and having the time of her life. Together, mom and daughter had lost nearly 50 pounds on Weight Watchers, but had a long way to go. They started Walk-!t training with the Weight Watchers plan, but the foot injury threw their training off course. The daughter did not want her mom to walk at all and kept stopping her, but Paula was determined. She’d never walked more than 1 ½ miles, but her doctor told her if she made it to 2 miles, then she could finish the 5K. We stopped twice so she could “have a word with Jesus” and countless times to let her catch

her breath. At the end, we had one of the bike medics with us continuously and our breaks became longer and longer. But no matter what, Paula was dead set on finishing. With half a mile to go, their Weight Watchers leader and some friends met up with us and encouraged her to continue. When we finally made it to the finish line after 1 hour 44 minutes, Paula and her daughter joined hands and RAN across the finish line. Never had I seen a finish harder earned. There weren’t more than a handful of people at the finish line to witness this moment, but those of us who were there had to wipe our eyes. We may have missed the door prize drawings, but I wouldn’t have missed this finish for the world. As I stepped across the finish line – dead last at 1:45:00 – I realized that when you set out to inspire someone, sometimes you are the one who is inspired.

P.O. Box 2982 Grapevine, TX 76099

RAW Board and Committees President | Ray Harris Vice President | Bridget Smith Secretary | Doug Noell Treasurer | Emily Johnston Directors Danyah Arafat-Johnson Tony Flesch Elizabeth Lawrence Brad Liles Terry Marcott Staci Rivero Rick Sanford

Footprint Editor-in-chief | Kevin Wessels editorial Coordinator | Tony Flesch associate editors Susan Barnett Kathryn Gleghorn Staci Rivero Creative director | Lorraine Wessels Design & Production | Reneé McConnell

Membership Data Danyah Arafat-Johnson

FOOTPRINT Submissions Send articles to Footnotes to

2 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

F o o t n o t e s • F OOTNOTES • F o o t n o t e s • F o o t n o t e s

Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers Club

Congr atulations • To Colleen Casey and Nick Kannady on their recent marriage. • To the class of 2011 high school graduates: Nick Liles, Nicole Luccioni, Jordan Rivero and Tory Warner. • To all the RAW members that participated in spring events locally and around the country. We had many new PR times and distances. Check the Forum for the “Weekly RAW Zone Race Results” further details. speedy recovery • To Evelyn Luccioni, Joe Luccioni, Tia Metzger, Doug Noell and Leana Sloan who are recovering from injuries. Thank you • To Joe Luccioni and the RAW volunteers for having the best Wounded Warriors aid station. • To all our volunteers who put out water and sports drink for the weekend runs. We appreciate each and every one of you. Lost & Found • Left something at the clubhouse? Check to see if we found it. All unclaimed items are in the clear tote along the north wall of the clubhouse (just outside the bathroom). Change of Address • To update your address, please notify Danyah ArafatJohnson at Deadline for the next FOOTPRINT is August 1st. Send your articles to: lgrawfootprint Send your Footnotes to:

Follow us on Facebook Become a FAN of Lgraw Runners & Walkers page to get the latest updates in your News Feed. Posts will keep you up to date on all RAW events. Join us today.

RAW Around Town Social Calendar & Events Check the RAWforum for information on all club events:

RAW Walk/Runs

SNL Dinners

Walk/Run every Saturday & Sunday 7 a.m. (daylight savings time) 8 a.m. (standard time)

Saturday Night Live Dinners 1st Saturday of every month, 5 p.m.

Trail Runs

September 3 - Taqueria Burritos Locos (BYOB) 416 W Northwest Hwy, Grapevine

Trail Run every Wednesday & Friday 6 and 7 a.m. (year round) at the clubhouse

August 6 - Palio’s Grapevine (BYOB) 1000 Texan Trail, Grapevine

RAW Luau

Track Workouts

RAW Luau

Trackies meet every Tuesday 5 p.m. at Grapevine Middle School

Saturday, July 30th, 6 p.m. at the home of Noreen & Ray Henry in Grapevine. See ad on page 9 for more information.

Hill Workouts Hillbillies meet Thursday nights Thursdays 5:45 p.m. even # Thursdays, at the clubhouse odd # Thursdays meet at Parr Park

Board Meetings 2 Monday of every month 7:00 p.m. at the clubhouse, unless otherwise posted or changed. All members are welcome to attend.

Medal of Summer 5K Race The Medal of Summer 5K Race Series Saturday, August 20, 2011 7 a.m. at the clubhouse Free to LGRAW members $5 for non-members See ad on the back page for more information.


July 11 Aug 08 Sep 12

Double Trouble 5K & 10K Double Trouble 5K & 10K Saturday October 22, 2011 8 a.m. at the clubhouse See ad on page 5 for more information.

Check the Forum for potential changes.

check us out at or like us at

lgraw runners and walkers

July-August 2011 |


SUNDAY RAW Walk/Run Walk/Run every Sunday LGRAW Clubhouse 7 a.m. (daylight savings time) 8 a.m. (standard time)

President’s Message


A perspective to the members from RAW President Ray Harris



veryone says time flies when you’re having fun and that must be true because the past two years have passed really quickly. For the most part, it has been a lot of fun. I was privileged to lead this club once before when it was in its infant stage and struggling to find its identity and survive. This time around was a completely different experience. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen the club host several huge events with hundreds of participants, more than we could have even dreamed about in our formative years. They were incredibly successful because of the efforts of dozens of dedicated LGRAW volunteers. Our members have always come together to put RAW’s best foot forward, which is why this club is still growing and vibrant. Now, I would like to see it taken a little further. I would like to challenge every club member to make an effort each month to make sure that the newer members and visitors feel the same club friendliness all the time, not only when we have an event. With a club this large, we attract new members and guests and it’s important that they feel welcome, comfortable and accepted. I know part of the responsibility falls on the new members and we, likewise, should be good hosts. We have a lot of very accomplished runners and that can be intimidating when you’re new to RAW and most of the conversations are about marathons, triathlons and ultras. We’ve all started where the new walkers and runners are and we need to make sure that they continue to progress from their first few steps toward their walking and running goals.

Track Workouts Trackies meet every Tuesday Grapevine Middle School 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY Trail Run Trail Run every Wednesday LGRAW Clubhouse 7 a.m.

THURSDAY Hill Workouts Hillbillies meet every Thursday 5:45 p.m. even # Thursdays, at the clubhouse odd # Thursdays meet at Parr Park

FRIDAY Trail Run

I do want to thank all of you that made being President of this club so enjoyable and easy. The members of the two boards that I have had the honor of serving with have been outstanding. They continued to move the club down the road (and trail) of success and growth. The plans put in place the past two years will serve the club well and will be the foundation for even bigger and better things.

Trail Run every Friday

To the membership in general, THANK YOU for entrusting the leadership of this outstanding club to me for a short time. It has been an honor. I hope you feel I left the club at least as good, if not better, than when my term began.

RAW Walk/Runs

I’ll continue to see you on the weekends, I hope.

4 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011


LGRAW Clubhouse 7 a.m.

SATURDAY Walk/Run every Saturday 7 a.m. (daylight savings time) 8 a.m. (standard time)

RAW Around the World | Germany? No, Germanfest in Muenster, TX

Seated (l-r) Tammy Hendricks, Wrestler Dude, Janet Dixon. Standing (l-r) Marty Metzger, Tom Shetina, Laurie Lukanich, Matt McCullough, Cliff Burns. (pay no attention to the stacks of empty beer cups in the foregroud, as they, uh, must have belonged to someone else)

Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers presents the RRCA 10K Texas State Championship

Saturday, October 22, 2011 5K • 8:00 a.m. 10K • 8:45 a.m. Oak Grove Park • Grapevine, Texas Run/Walk One or Both Races Double the F un!

For more information go to July-August 2011 |


A Look Back By Richard Craft

In a Flash! Summertime! By Tony “Flash” Flesch

Author’s note: Since we have many new members, and summer running in Texas requires extra caution, this is a “quick tips” version of one of my previous columns. Check out the full article in the July 2010 FOOTPRINT which is available online on the RAW website.



ourteen years ago, this month, I stood in the Parks and Rec booth at Main Street days with a clipboard and a homemade, iron-on T-shirt…I believe it’s still in the clubhouse…which would make it the original RAW gear. The shirt said “Grapevine Runners Club”…and and had some of hokiest clip art you could get….but hey…that was cutting edge for the time. Within a few short weeks…and over a few beers at Wilhoite’s…RAW and the big stompin’ left foot was born…in a matter of a couple of rounds we went from the GRC to RAW…and consciously chose to be an all-inclusive organization, based on FUN and not an elite club… I’ll never forget that meeting… Our first Footprints were haphazard home-made projects…done in full-color on primitive, smudgy ink-jet printers…at a ridiculous price…and sending pictures via 1200 baud modems took all night just to transfer a file.

t’s summer in Grapevine and the heat is on! Summer running and training in Texas provides some unique opportunities, but requires extra caution. We all train in the summer and many of us even ramp up the mileage for the large number of fall events. Here are a few tips and precautions to help keep you cool and safe.

When the May-June edition of Footprint arrived…I was blown away...choked up…and HUGELY proud of Mark Miller…Congrats to the MAX to Mark!...and to everyone who continues to keep the original dream of RAW alive in the pages of the Footprint…and in everything else you all do.

Always follow standard safety procedures, carry some identification, such as a Road ID®.

PS: if anyone is interested in hearing some of the crusty old stories form long-long ago…I’ve got more…

Try to plan your workout for early in the morning, or later in the evening, when temperatures are at the lowest. Hydrate and plan for your hydration. Do you have water available along the route or do you need to carry or drop water? Wear a running cap or visor to keep the sun off of your head and face, sunglasses to protect your eyes and sweat-proof sunscreen to protect your skin. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored, moisture-wicking clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the heat. Try a “Badwater Bandana” or RAW’s version, the Frozen Bandana. Adjust your pace. Listen to, and know, your body. Warm up, rest and cool down in the shade. Be aware of these heat-related conditions: dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and hyponatremia. Be familiar with the symptoms and do not underestimate the dangers. Seek medical attention, if required. With proper precautions and common sense, it is possible to continue running through the Texas heat. Tony is a RRCA Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach, and writes a running column for

6 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

Giving Back to the Sport RAW members come in all forms; men, women, young, old, two-legged and four-pawed. They all are eligible for Giving Back to the Sport. Kensi Wessels has been selected as this month’s Giving Back to the Sport. She has put her best four-paws foward in several RAW events. She has been seen in her safety vest assisting her dad, Kevin Wessels, with traffic control and as a Course Marshall. Most recently, Kensi volunteered at the Walk-!t 5K Red Dress aid station. Like all of the aid station volunteers, Kensi too wore a dress. She was a huge help to the tired runners, walkers, and participating dogs alike at the turnaround spot. When asked why she thought she deserved an award, Kensi replied, “Look, I’m a beagle and I’m wearing a front of other dogs. That alone deserves a little shout out, sometimes bones are just not enough.”

Send your nominations for “Giving Back to the Sport” to

How to Earn a Trail Runner PhD By Troy Pruett


here are three parts to the Trailer Runner “PhD:” pain, humiliation and determination.

Not too long ago, Drum (aka Michelle Blackard) sent me an e-mail asking about which events I planned to run in late spring and summer. I innocently responded that I was “CONSIDERING” the Jemez New Mexico 50K and the Chattanooga 3-day mountain stage run. Right away she sent a text, “I’m registered for Jemez.” Warning to self and others: Drum does not consider anything, is very impulsive, and will say yes to anything involving a mountain. Not to be outdone by a wussie judge in training (WJIT), I reluctantly registered for Jemez. What do we all do “after” registering for an event? Read about the course. Does anyone really do homework before committing funds? The Jemez race reports and blogs were terrifying. The course was compared to the big hitters Leadville, Bandera, Western States and a couple other nightmares. Phrases like “extremely technical,” “aggressive elevation gains,” “high altitude,” “poisonous snakes and animals that will eat you” were frequently mentioned. Drum told me the following week that she convinced Beth Hyland to register and they were both really excited. Me, I was thinking dumb blondes don’t know any better and I’m old enough to know better. How does a flatlander train for Jemez? Trick question. You can’t. Instead, I did an eight-week work-up for the Eugene Marathon and ran it under three hours. I then put in two 40-mile-plus weeks and went to Jemez. I stupidly thought I could run the course in six hours. In retrospect, there is a way for a flatlander to train for Jemez. Step 1 P  ut two cinder blocks under the front end of the treadmill. Step 2 I ncrease the grade to the maximum setting. You have now equaled the easiest mountain on the course. Step 3 Set the speed for 15 minutes/mile. Step 4 Insert snorkel into mouth. Step 5 Go for 90 minutes. Think you can beat Jemez? Good luck. I earned my “P” in pain about five miles into the run. I broke a couple of cardinal rules of trail running: (1) Always stay focused on the trail and (2) never cross your legs. I’m positive I crossed my left leg over the right. The left knee hit the rocks first, followed by my torso and hands in a desert thorn bush. Blood trickled from at least a dozen locations and my right thumb had turned purple. As I approached each aid station the very supportive volunteers always asked, “Are you alright? Can you still run? Would you like us to clean up your knee?” Each time I responded, “No way, I look like a bad-ass now!” One volunteer responded, “Yes, your tie-dye shorts really support the bad-ass look!”

A look into Troy Pruett’s future.

The high altitude causes delirium. It’s the only reason I can explain the picture demonstrating that alternate universes exist. How else can you explain the Future Troy and Today Troy together at the same point in time? It didn’t take much longer to lose my bad-assedness. I earned my “H” in humility around Mile 20. After going up three mountains and with a couple of major climbs left to go, I became reverential and submitted to the mountain. At this very moment I saw Beth and Drum smiling at me as we crossed paths on the trail. The only thing I could think to say was, “I am soooooo sorry.” As dumb blondes would have it, they both appeared happy and were still excited about finishing the run. After three more solid climbs I reached the beginning of the desolation zone, a five-mile downhill trek through a wasteland of fallen trees and rubble. I earned my “D” in determination about two miles into that zone. My quads were shot, the sun beat down on my head, my stomach ached, I was all alone and I kept hearing rattlesnakes (well, at least one). This was the longest run/walk to the finish I have ever experienced. After 29 miles there was no way this course would win. Is Jemez really that hard? YES! Not that I’m a proficient trail runner (just a PhD), but I have done trail marathons or better in Wilmington, Delaware, Capon Valley, West Virginia, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Huntsville Park in Texas, Sylamore in Arkansas, and the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania. Jemez easily scores a 10 for the extreme technical surface, altitude, elevation gains and miles of half-track course. By comparison, the North Shore trail ranks about a 3. What are you waiting for? Register today!

July-August 2011 |


On Your Mark! Where Credit is Due

By Mark Miller, 2010 RRCA Club Writer of the Year


s I write these words, I am on an airplane returning from the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) convention. I am scribbling on a notepad while cruising 30,000 feet above the earth thanks to the skill of a pilot and to physics principles I don’t understand. Likewise, the reason I made this trip was because of the efforts of others and a level of uplifting and support I still don’t fully grasp. Due to what must have been a lack of entrants, a lowering of standards, or simple desperation, the RRCA presented me with a national award for club writer of the year. When Staci Rivero called me in March with the news, I thought it must have been a mistake. The plaque is inscribed, in part, Mark Miller, Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers. I still don’t know how my name got on a national award, but they sure got the second part right. Thanks to your encouragement, column ideas, and inspiration, I got to spend a great weekend in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I was surrounded by an amazing group of accomplished people. Did you ever play that game, “Which one of these is not like the others?” Yeah, that was me. To their credit, everyone was gracious and welcoming to the socially-awkward guy from Texas. No doubt, I was there because of a great running club back home. Five years ago, Kelly Richards approached me about submitting a brief story for the FOOTPRINT. Neither of us had any idea what it would turn into. Since then, Kevin and Lorraine Wessels, Susan Barnett, and a great team of editors have often saved me from myself. If my words have been lucid or grammatically correct, it was because of their work. Several of you have prompted column ideas, usually without knowing it. Amazingly, many of you have told me that you enjoyed a story, were inspired by something I wrote, or just encouraged me to continue. Believe me, for a writer, there is no small thrill in hearing that someone liked what you wrote. This award truly was yours. As part of the convention weekend, Kelly and I ran the Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg. As for my race results, let’s just say I learned the foolishness of trying to race a half marathon ten days removed from missing a week of training and getting chiropractic treatments. My time and place weren’t pretty. I left with a strong desire to get back to something resembling speed. Also, I left with memories of meeting so many talented and fun people from across the country, some of whom are now

8 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

Mark Miller and Kelly Richards

e-mail and Facebook friends. I was reminded again that even when you don’t meet your own expectations, it’s the people in your life that make the journey worthwhile. Among the folks I met were Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills and comedian Drew Carey. One man uses his Olympic platform to inspire audiences and the other has used running to lose weight and gain health. My conversations with both revealed a common bond runners are fortunate to share, despite any differences in background and profession. It was a memorable weekend, but I’m glad to be heading home to Texas. As much fun as I had, it will be even better to get back to running the trails around Lake Grapevine. It was an honor to represent you at the convention, because it really was your award. Thanks for letting me accept it on your behalf.

Grab your grass skirts or Hawaiian shirts for the annual

RAW LUAU Saturday, July 30th, 6 p.m. Home of Noreen & Ray Henry in Grapevine BYOB, lawn chair, swimsuit & towel and a tropical side-dish, appetizer or dessert to share! Watch the RAW forum and e-blasts for additional details.

RRCA Runnings Road Runners Club of America By Kelly “K2” Richards, RRCA Director-At-Large

Sixth Annual National Run@Work Day is Friday, September 16, 2011 The goal of National Run@Work Day, the third Friday of every September, is for RRCA members and individuals across the country to host communitybased events that encourage people to incorporate at least thirty minutes of walking or running into their daily lives. A Run@Work Day event can be hosted by a running club, an individual, or a corporation. Run@Work Day events should be a running or walking event lasting at least thirty minutes before work, during lunch, or immediately after work. A Run@Work Day event

can be as simple as taking your coworkers out for a lunchtime walk or it can be an afternoon fun run designed to bring out hundreds of people in a community or a company. The RRCA encourages the American public to incorporate at least thirty minutes of exercise into their daily lives, which can markedly improve one’s overall physical health. If adults can lead by example, if companies can encourage healthy living, then together we can combat the national inactivity and obesity crisis gripping our nation and our children.

To help you plan your Run@Work Day event, the RRCA created the Run@ Work Day Planning Kit and Fact Sheet. To help promote it, the RRCA created a general promotional poster. To obtain a free copy of the promotional poster or for more information go to runatwork/. Share information about Run@Work Day events you are planning by posting information on the Run@Work Day Facebook page.

July-August 2011 |


My Very First Boston Marathon: Priceless! By Thomas Okazaki


he big day was finally here! It was a sunny, cool and breezy New England morning as I walked with a crowd of eager and nervous runners to my starting corral for the start of the 115th edition of the Boston Marathon. They came from everywhere, from across the country and around the world. The wait at the athletes’ village had gone by quickly. I had laid out several large space blankets on the grassy field and taken a short nap before the start, after arriving on one of the 1st shuttle buses from downtown Boston earlier. A race official checked my red colored race bib as I entered corral #8. I was concerned about the 10 a.m. start, so I had drank several bottles of chocolate Boost and a banana, earlier that morning, to avoid bonking later in the race. As they started playing the national anthem, I kept thinking about how fortunate and grateful I was for finally being able to toe the starting line this year. I had finally qualified at Houston in 2010, to run Boston the previous year, but it had already sold out in record time, in a matter of months. This year’s Boston filled up in only 8 hours, but I managed to get registered this time. Many others were not so lucky. A pharmacist that I worked with, Audra Piazza, had graciously offered to sponsor me by covering the cost of my race registration fee, roundtrip airfare and booking a hotel room for the trip. What a bonus! Have you ever dreamed about something for so long and then it finally comes true?‌Life is short. Set your goals high and chase your dreams!

My left knee was still bothering me from a series of bad falls that I had taken at a trail race last fall. It had hindered my training, but I refused to let that stop me from crossing the finish line today. I was determined to just try and run a smart race, enjoy the experience and give my best effort. This included trying not to go out too fast during the first 5 miles when the elevation of the course dropped dramatically and saving enough for the Newton and Heartbreak Hills during the more challenging 2nd half of the run. As the cannon boomed for the start of the race, we had a rare tail wind at Boston, pushing us along.

10 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

Thomas Okazaki

I have run 123 marathons and ultras since 2003, but Boston was truly in a class by itself. The huge crowds along the course were simply amazing. Boston is the oldest road race in America; rich in tradition and running lore. The event is deeply imbedded into the very fabric and soul of the city. The people of Boston embrace this marathon and come out in droves to support it and cheer on all the runners. They understand and appreciate how much work and sacrifice it takes to qualify and get to the starting line. I had run more than a few marathons where I hurt so much I could not wait for the finish line. At Boston, I wished the day would never end. I relished and soaked in the experience, trying to enjoy each minute. I will never forget making the final left turn toward the finish line down Boyleston Street. Have you ever dreamed about something for so long and then it finally comes true? As I crossed the finish line I felt a curious mixture of jubilation, triumph, relief and validation. I ran my first marathon back in 2003. My road to Boston has been a long one, full of twists and turns. Was it worth it? Definitely yes! Life is short. Set your goals high and chase your dreams!

The 2011 Boston Marathon: A Race that Made a Difference By David Ball


he whole 2011 Boston Marathon experience was awesome. I hung out with Chris McConnell and Robin Pearson, and saw Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki at the expo and finish line. One of my best memories was at the Old South Church the day before the race, which was Palm Sunday. This church is literally steps away from the race finish line. They had a special “Blessing of the Runners” service. Folded paper cranes from Boston schoolchildren hung from the pulpit. One of my best memories was at the Old South Church… a special “Blessing of the Runners” service.

They were made for Japan aid for earthquake / tsunami recovery. I took it as a Godly sign to run without worry about my nagging Achilles. On race day, I wore a bright red shirt that read, “SENDAI, JAPAN” along with an American flag patch and a Japanese flag patch. All along the route

The “ w ” in RAW is for WALKING! Saturday Mornings Year Round 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Contact for more information.

I heard shout-outs, “Go Japan! Go Sendai!” At one point, I saw Japanese fans up ahead who read my shirt and went absolutely wild. They cheered, waved their flags, took pictures, and shed some tears of joy. It was such an emotional boost. I ran very hard and equaled my best Boston Marathon time, 3 hours and 29 minutes, despite the warm conditions. As I walked very tenderly past the finish line, I turned to the Old South Church steeple. There just happened to be a dozen or so Japanese standing right in front of the church who could read my shirt. Like before, this group also went wild, cheered and waved their flags. The women wept with tears of joy. I was caught off guard, but also so moved by this, that I replied back with a deep traditional Japanese bow. I don’t often get a chance to show respect to my Japanese heritage, so you can imagine the emotions I had at that moment. Unforgettable. In all, my personal Boston Marathon fundraiser for Sendai Relief came close to $10,000. I want to thank all

David Ball

who pledged to this important cause. My Japanese relatives are grateful for your support. I continue to gladly accept donations for our International Sister City, Sendai, Japan. It feels great to make a difference.

Be a Star…

and receive accolades from your fellow club members Sign up to be a water duty volunteer. The sign-up calendar is located on the back door of the clubhouse. It is not required that you sign up for both Saturday and Sunday. You can also work in tandem, where one member puts out the water and the other takes care of the pick up.

July-August 2011 |


In Step With Chris Morris

Chris Morris

Are you a native Texan? No, but I got here as fast as I could.

It scares me when I see the people who know what they’re doing getting injured.

If not, where are you from and what brought you to Texas? I grew up in Iowa and came to Texas for my job and to escape the winters.

What has been your fondest running memory? It’s hard to pick just one. Since I haven’t run too many places, my memories have been of the people I’ve run with. Everyone who I’ve run with in the club has taught me something.

How long have you been running? I’ve been running for almost a year, but I have been walking and biking for exercise for a long time. How long have you been a RAW member? I just renewed my family’s membership for the second year! Who was the first person you met at RAW, or at first showed you the route or really “took you in”? Lots of people. Gary Howsam guided me walking on the trails and roads and helped me keep a good (fast) pace. Ray Harris got me started running when he and his wife Susan took me on their walk/run, “Jersey” Mike Bassano showed me how to get to the 4-mile mark and back, and Spareribs LaMothe introduced me to speed work and has given me lots of great advice. Nearly all of the regulars in the club have taken me in at one time or another and let me join them on their run. Why running? I had never been much of a runner, so I hadn’t really planned on getting into it when I joined the club – I just came for the “W” in RAW. When I first joined, running eight miles seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. But after I started running, I discovered that even I could do it! Since then, I’ve come to really enjoy it, and there’s always something new to challenge me. Do you have a favorite place to run? I haven’t run a lot of places yet, but my favorite so far is the west loop at Lake Grapevine. When I’ve shown the course to new people, they’ve helped me to see how much we can take our beautiful area for granted. Do you prefer roads or trails? I prefer roads. I’m kind of afraid to run very fast on the trails.

12 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

What do you consider your biggest running achievement? I’m pleased that I have gone from struggling to run a halfmile to running eight miles in only a matter of months. I’m also pleased that I have cut my 5K time by 10 minutes. What has running taught you about yourself or what have you learned about life through running? I was never very good at sports when I was growing up, so I have learned what I’m capable of over the past year. I don’t expect to ever become a champion racer, but I’ve seen that I can achieve something in sports if I work at it. Right now, I’m learning what I can do week by week. Do you have a spouse, significant other or any children? I have a wife Cindy and a 13-year-old son Alex. Are you a professional runner or do you have a real job? What? I’m a risk analyst at a bank. Besides running, what other fitness activities do you enjoy or do as cross-training? I walk occasionally, and I enjoy biking, but I haven’t gotten it out yet this year. What would the members be surprised to learn about you? I got hit by cars twice (at 4 and 8) as a child. Those could be considered my first two running falls. Anything else you would like to add? I don’t think I ever would have ended up running if it weren’t for the members of LGRAW. Everyone has been so encouraging, and it’s great to have made so many friends. Thank you everyone!

Muenster Was a Monster By Rick Sanford


he Muenster Germanfest 15K is one of my all-time favorite races. It was my first 15K back in 2000. It was my fastest 15K back in 2005. And in 2006, I actually placed in my age group. The race starts at noon on Sunday and it’s typically windy and warm, if not windy and HOT. What this usually means is that as soon as you cross the finish line, you make a beeline to the beer garden for a cold one and a spot in the shade. The 2011 event was a different story. The course was the same. The hills were still there. The difference this year was the weather. I drove up with Brad Liles and Kevin Wessels. When we arrived in Muenster, it was windy and cold and the skies looked threatening. An hour before the race, there was no sign of lightning and it was only sprinkling. We thought it might be OK. As we made our way to the starting line, there was a clap of thunder and the skies opened up in an instant. We took cover, and so did everyone else. One woman said, “I’m not doing this,” and headed for her car. The rain kept falling and the wind was just howling. No one moved out from underneath cover. We began to wonder if the race would start on time. The rain let up a bit and we resumed our walk toward the start. All of the sudden, we saw Kelly “K2” Richards and some guy dash out from under cover and take their places on the starting line. We assumed that she had heard some sort of starting announcement because at that moment all of the other runners dashed into the street. It turned out she had no

inside knowledge, she just figured if people were lined up and ready to go, there was no way officials would delay the start. Smart girl. She was right because after some garbled instructions, off we went straight uphill into the wind and out of town. K2 took off, fast. Kevin took off, too, but not quite as fast. Brad and I ran together and marched up Main Street. Just outside of town, we made a left hand turn before heading north again back into the wind and the real hills. This is where the weather intensified. The wind blew even harder and the rain just pelted us. Several people said there was small hail. I’m not sure of that, but it felt like hail. Brad quickly suggested that we draft and switch the lead every two minutes. I readily agreed to the plan. It was brilliant. Michelle Blackard had been running slightly behind us. She joined us and took her occasional turn at the front of the draft. The three of us quickly begin making up ground on Kevin. We caught him just after Mile 3 and he happily joined the pack. Actually, I think Michelle called him an unflattering name and told him to fall in line. Kevin had been working hard against the rain and wind by himself and was glad to be working with our group. We turned east and wind whipped us from our left. We lined up across the road, a half-step off of each other’s shoulders. Not quite as effective, but it seemed to help. We turned south and Michelle didn’t say “goodbye” or “thanks” or even “See you, chumps.” She just left us.

With the wind now at our backs, Brad, Kevin, and I ran three abreast, stride for stride. We wanted to catch Michelle, but that was not going to happen. The pace picked up and we kept ticking off the miles together. Every time I even considered backing off, I looked at the two guys and figured no way they were going to back off, so neither would I. A couple of times I heard Brad start to puff a little, but it was short-lived and he was right there beside us. This was fun. We made the final loop back toward the finish and Brad made sure we all knew that we were not having any sprint-to-the-finish nonsense. We would finish together. That didn’t keep us from pushing the pace, but it wasn’t the typical end-of-race push to put your opponent away. It was more like a push for the whole team. We crossed together and it was one of the absolute best times I’ve ever had racing…and I’m not referring to my finish time. The LGRAW crew eventually made their way down to the Beer Garden. In spite of the rain and cold, we had no trouble tossing back the cold ones. The weather kept the crowds away and the beer lines were short. We hung around for the awards ceremony and even watched one of the bands perform for a while. Very early in the day, there had been suggestions that we might skip Germanfest because of weather worries. I’m happy we didn’t because I would have missed a great race experience, and my story would be much less interesting.

Did you know photos from many RAW races and social events can be found on the RAW website? Go to and click on “gallery.”

July-August 2011 |


A Walk to Remember By Kathryn Gleghorn, Co-Race Director


he Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers Walk-!t Challenge 5K Walk/Run held on May 22nd was an event of many firsts.

wanted to deliver a safe and fun event for these people. The leaders were very supportive and generous with their donation of several door prizes.

• First time race directing by me. •F  irst time a RAW event was titled as a walk/run. • First time we had more than 1,000 people pre-register for one of our events. • First time an aid station was manned by RAW men in red dresses. • First time RAW coordinated weekly training to prepare event participants.

Once online registration opened, our preregistration numbers kept going up by 10 to 20 a day and our event was still a month away. When our early registration price increased by $5, we still kept on pace with about 20 entries per day. I started to get nervous because I had to start making phone calls to increase all of our race day supplies: two porta potties now became three. No, make that four. A week later, can you make that six?

In a partnership with Weight Watchers®, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) was seeking clubs who were interested in hosting a non-competitive 5K walk in late May. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to put the “Walkers” back into our club name and a good way to get my feet wet as a race director. RAW Walker, Joe Luccioni, agreed to serve as co-race director. I could not think of a better guy to help me get things pulled together for a successful event. At this point, we thought a “successful” walking event would be 200 to 250 participants. Boy, were we in for a surprise! I had the support of so many RAW people who offered suggestions and who stepped up to assist me every step of the way. While it takes many volunteers to execute an event, these volunteers get extra credit for their behind-the-scenes efforts before the event: Lorraine Wessels and Tony Flesch (advertising), Belynda Warner (Weight Watchers connection), Gary Howsam (RAW’s chief parking officer), Kelly Richards (general expertise), Tia Metzger (fruit brigade co-ordinator), Jeff Barnhart (email coordinator), Kirsten Kuehler (inspiring hand-painted signs on the course) and Chris Morris, Stacie Sauber and Tony Flesch (weekend Walk-!t training leaders). Kudos also goes out to a few area Weight Watchers leaders in Grapevine, Hurst and North Richland Hills. These leaders had me visit their centers to talk about RAW, our Walk-!t 5K and to hand out entry forms and collect entry fees on-site. Weight Watchers had just launched a new six-week “Get Moving” program and they wanted their members to commit to getting active and make walking part of their weight-loss journey. The members were excited that RAW was hosting this event and I really

14 FOOTPRINT | July-August 2011

The same scenario played out with fruit donors. A big, big thank you goes to Rainforest Café® for coming through with 10 boxes of fruit. Please support this consistent RAW sponsor. Every week, Joe would go out to RAW and re-measure the course, each time moving the start farther and farther down the road to accommodate more walkers. Finally, 12 days before our event, we reached capacity of 1,000 registrants and closed registration. Despite our Walk-!t Day morning being miserably warm and humid, the walkers were thrilled to be out at the lake getting their walk on! RAW had more than 60 volunteers working to make everything go smoothly and many of them had never volunteered for a race before. The Walk!t event was a big success due to each and every one of you. Thank you also goes out to Adam Brooks and Baylor Sports Care for providing first aid care on the course and at the finish area. I’ve received more than a dozen post-event emails and not a single one had anything negative to say. The walkers praised the friendly volunteers, ease of parking, the smooth packet pick-up process, the aid stations, the first aid medics on the course, the giveaway water bottle at the finish line, the post-walk refreshments (lots of fruit and water-all zero points for Weight Watchers!), great door prizes and the DJ. It was a six-week long promotion and training program by Weight Watchers that brought out nearly 850 walkers to our clubhouse and trails. It was the goodnatured, smiling faces and determined attitudes of so many people that the RAW Walk-!t Day volunteers will remember.

Kathryn Gleghorn

Thank you to all the sponsors who helped make LGRAW Walk-!t 5K a record-setting event Walk-!t Sponsors Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Weight Watchers Rainforest Café Texas Toyota of Grapevine Texas Nissan of Grapevine Grapevine Farmers Market Saltgrass ® Steak House KidZafe™ / Tony Dominiec SKECHERS ® Alliance Chiropractic Costco ® Smoothie King ® of Southlake Goody Bag Donors Udderly Smooth ® Udder Cream, Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas, Lifeway ® Kefir, Foot Solutions™, RunOn!™, and Road ID ®. Door Prize Donors Glen Alan Salon, Sunstone Yoga ® Southlake, Weight Watchers Grapevine/North Richland Hills, Run On!, Purely for Fitness, Road ID, and LGRAW.

Lake grapevine Runners & Walkers Club

Membership application  New Membership

 Male  Female DOB___/___/___

 Renewal

Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City__________________________________________________

Can we publish this information in the club directory?  Yes  No Participating Family Members Name ___________________  M  F DOB___/___/___

State_____________ Zip Code_____________________________

Name ___________________  M  F DOB___/___/___

Home Phone (

Name ___________________  M  F DOB___/___/___


E-Mail Address_________________________________________

Name ___________________  M  F DOB___/___/___

I know that participating and volunteering to work in club events can be potentially hazardous. I assume all risks associated with running, walking and volunteering to work in club events. Having read this waiver and knowing these facts and in consideration of your acceptance of my application for membership, I, for myself and anyone entitled to act on my behalf, waive and release the Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers, Inc., Road Runners Club of America and all sponsors, their representatives and successors from all claims of liabilities of any kind arising out of my participation in club activities. I grant permission to all of the foregoing to use any photographs, motion pictures, recordings or any other records for any legitimate purpose.

Membership Dues  $20 Single  $30 Family Signature __________________________________________ Date______/______/______ Mail completed application and payment to LGRAW (Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers), P.O. Box 2982, Grapevine, TX 76099 or drop in the membership box at the LGRAW Clubhouse.

Keep your membership current

RAW offers online renewals (and new memberships) through at You can still renew at the clubhouse or through the mail. Simply fill out the membership application and drop it off or send it in.

Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers



New Members Chris Brady Amanda Burnham Christa Cantele Ana Cardona-Story Theresa Dawson Lester Disney Haley Duck Lillianne Echevarria

Tracy Gibson Sara Hackbarth Kathy Hansen Patty Jefferson Susan Lively Susan Mahan Gwen Neal Casey Poe

Jeff Rogers Mark Rogers Cindi Schulenberg Abou M. Sou Joe Storaska Katie Troutman Jacob Wilkinson

Diane Hernandez Emily Johnston Kirsten Keats Kuehler Mary Lessor Shannon Martin and Claude Tester Amy Matasso Chris and Cynthia Morris Greg Nichols Lisa and Alan Noell Monica and David Ortigoza Don Porter Adrian Proudfoot

Troy Pruett The Pugliese Family Thomas Alan Shetina Leana Sloan David and Bridget Smith Ted and Sonia Soprenuk Kat Sparks Laura Swenson Dan Tracy Barbara Werley John Winstead John Woodson

Membership Renewals Michael Ahearn David and Kami Anderson Julie Burns Bill Clay Ros Dalrymple Hal and Kristin Duncan Scott and Kelly Eppelman Gavin Fearey Rick Fogle Tom Geppert Theresa Guy-Tippie Patty Hart

Welcome to all of our New Members July-August 2011 |


Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers P.O. Box 2982 Grapevine, TX 76099

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Grapevine, TX Permit No. 243

Share with a visitor or new member After reading this issue, drop it off at the clubhouse for visitors to get to know us.

Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers’ No Frills, No Bibs, No Shirts

Medal of Summer 5K Race Series


7 a.m. at the LGRAW Clubhouse Oak Grove Park, Grapevine Ra




Saturday, August 20, 2011


l of S u m me a d

ce Ser


Free to LGRAW members • $5 for non-members

On-line Registration & Fees

Become a RACE volunteer

All participants must register for the race for accurate timing results. Race registration is FREE to LGRAW members and $5 for non-members. There are no additional fees and you do not need a Paypal account.

A successful race always is credited to the wonderful volunteers that help with the event. Help make The Summer of Medal 5K Series a big success by volunteering. Volunteers are needed in many areas, ie; registration, parking, aid stations, finish line and race day activities. Email to volunteer.

Log on to to register.

Race Day Registration Saturday, August 20 6:30 - 7:00 a.m. LGRAW Clubhouse at Oak Grove Park, Grapevine

check us out at or like us at

lgraw runners and walkers

July 2011  

The FOOTPRINT is Lake Grapevine Runners and Walkers club newsletter. Each issue features articles showcasing members' adventures, fitness ti...