Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back On My Feet

This month on the CRR website, Sally Young wrote about "Back On My Feet", a running club for the homeless in Philadelphia. The group not only has a web site at but is also on FaceBook (, Twitter (, and YouTube ( A couple of Back On My Feet's videos are below.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Two Wins in a Row for 50-54

By Rick Platt

The Colonial Road Runners have a collection of some of the best 50+ runners in the nation, and that was in evidence last Saturday at the Ford’s Colony Run for Shelter, organized by Housing Partnerships, and which included an 8K run, 5K walk, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run, starting and finishing on the Ford’s Colony roads adjacent to D.J. Montague Elementary School.

For the second consecutive CRR Grand Prix race, a runner with more years than there are playing cards in a deck was the overall winner. At the Salute to the Military “Red, White and Blue” 5K on May 16th, Stephen Chantry, 54, of Williamsburg became the oldest runner ever to win a CRR Grand Prix event. Chantry was there again at Ford’s Colony for the 8K, but it was teammate Pete Gibson, 53, of Murfreesboro, NC, who won in 28:38 for the 4.97-mile distance, with Chantry next in 29:23. In addition to winning the race, Gibson broke Chantry’s race 50-54 age group record of 28:43 (from 2005) by five seconds.

Third overall was Matt Gordon, 22, of Falls Church (29:34), four seconds ahead of Menchville High sophomore Graham Wilson (29:38), who recently won the Peninsula District individual tennis championship. Gordon, a recent graduate of Longwood University, where he was on the cross country and track teams, was in town visiting the Chantry family, as he is dating Steve’s daughter Jacquelyne, a Longwood sophomore. Jacquelyne, 20, was fourth overall for the women in 37:01, as part of her summer base training.

The top three women were Jennifer Quarles, 37, of Williamsburg (32:52), Mercedes (Castillo) D’Amico, 51, of Newport News (35:36) and Joanna McCandlish, 27, of Williamsburg (36:22). Quarles won her third CRR race of 2009, to go with three runner-up finishes, and is leading D’Amico, 57-53, in the women’s overall Grand Prix. Connie Glueck (37 points) and McCandlish (30) are third and fourth.

For “JoJo” McCandlish, in her second year coaching the Bruton High girls’ tennis team (her top player was runner-up in the Bay Rivers championships), it was a memorable weekend, starting with placing in the top three overall for a CRR Grand Prix event. The next day she was thrilled to win the first triathlon of her life. In a field of 449, including 206 women, at the HHHunt Power Sprint Triathlon in Richmond, a combination of a 300-meter pool swim, 20K bike and 5K run, McCandlish won by three seconds with a time of 1:04:00, with her run (21:56 for 5K), the strongest leg in a come-from-behind victory.

It was her third double weekend in the past five weeks. In late April, McCandlish was fifth at the Walsingham Academy 5K Run on Saturday, and was eighth in her age group at the next day’s National Duathlon Championships in Richmond, qualifying for September’s World Championship Duathlon in Concord, NC (as did Williamsburg’s Adam Otstot and Connie Glueck). Three weeks later, she was sixth at the Red, White and Blue 5K on Saturday, before another Sunday multi-event in Richmond.

Besides Gibson, there were three other age-group records broken at the Ford’s Colony 8K, all for runners over age 50. Jim Thornton, 55, of Seaford, was fifth overall in 30:09, erasing the previous men’s 55-59 record of 30:36 by Williamsburg’s Rick Platt in 2007. Then Yorktown’s Dale Abrahamson, four days after turning 60, ran a 34:23 to better the previous record of 34:50 by Bob Spencer, then of Williamsburg, in 2005. The final record was by Mercedes D’Amico, who was not aware of her age-group mark, but was cheered in to her 35:36, just three seconds under the previous mark of 35:39 by Williamsburg’s Linda Kidder in 2008.

One of the most noteworthy performances of the day, though, came from Tim Campbell, 47, of Virginia Beach, third for men 45-49 in 34:50. The Ford’s Colony 8K was Campbell’s 100th consecutive CRR Grand Prix race, long ago breaking the previous mark of 66 by Lee Hall’s Ned Berg, with no other CRR runner more than the 30’s for consecutive races. Campbell, battling some hamstring problems this year, which have slowed his times, plans to stop at the even 100 races, taking off the next CRR event, the Warhill 5K on June 27th. To celebrate his memorable feat, the CRR had a post-race party with a personalized cake.

There were 116 entrants, with 94 finishers in the 8K and 5K, which started exactly 10 minutes apart, but went in opposite directions, before joining forces for a common finish. The 8K was a long, hilly loop of Ford’s Colony roads (St. Andrew’s, Ford’s Colony Drive, and Blackheath), while the 5K was an out-and-back on St. Andrew’s to the swim and tennis club, and back. There were an additional 8 finishers in the 1 miler. Steven Shapiro, 55, of Hampton (28:14) won the 5K walk over Scott Stakes, 46, of Portsmouth (29:57) and Walsingham Academy track and cross country coach Rich Higgins, 55, of Williamsburg (32:52). Multiple CRR past Grand Prix walk champion Cindy Steger, 49, of Williamsburg walked her first CRR event of 2009, winning in 38:08. Konrad Steck, 10, of Williamsburg (21:51) and Wendy Kuhn, 36, of Williamsburg (27:25) were first for the 5K fun run.

Pete Gibson finishes first at Ford's Colony 8K