Men’s Rising Star
This runner began 2011 fast, and as early as mid-year, got much, much faster. He displayed this in distances as short as 200 meters to the Frederick Half-Marathon with times of 26.27 and 1:29, respectively. His other running attributes for the year include a 1 hour 4 minute performance at the Club Challenge proceeded by 18:55 at the Husky Hustle and a 17:36 at the Bobbi Jo 5K. Seeing this runner makeup approximately 80 to 100 yards on the last lap of the Summer Decathlon’s culminating mile race was nothing short of incredible, clocking a 4:56. Sidelined by injury for part of the year, he proved to be right back on his horse finishing up the year with an extremely respectable time at the Goodloe Byron 15K in December. I look forward to seeing this runner continue to evolve out on the roads as long as he does it behind me instead of in front of me. The Rising Star of the Year is Lance Dockery.
Women’s Rising Star
This star lit up each and every race she ran this past year. She began the year by running the Club Challenge, finishing as FSRC’s second female. Then, she ran her way to being the first female finisher in the Tiger Trot 5K at the end of April. She ran a blazing fast Frederick ½ Marathon in 1:37:46. Then, she lit up the streets of Frederick once more by running a sub-six-minute mile on Market Street. Perhaps most “star-like” about this runner was her drastic improvement at the 10K distance. In less than a month, she decreased her 10K time by an astonishing 10 minutes over the span of three 10K races. She’s become the one to watch out for by all runners and will undoubtedly shine in 2012. The Women’s Rising Star of the Year is Kelly Buriak.
This runner is no stranger to distance running and takes its meaning to whole new level. She ran the Seneca Greenway Trail 50K on March 5th and followed it up with the HAT Run two weeks later. As if that wouldn’t be enough to sideline an average, sane runner, she ran the Bull Run 50 Miler in April followed by finishing first female in the CAT 100-Miler on April 30 to round out the month proving she’s anything but average or sane for that matter. Next on her horizon was the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K. She then slacked off a bit before running the Inaugural Stone Mill 50 Miler in November proving her ability to ford many a river in the process. Word has it she ran well over 3,000 miles during 2011 solidifying the well-earned title of Iron Woman! Ladies and Gentlemen, the Iron Woman of the Year is Lisa Johnston.
There are only two other people who have finished the JFK 50 Miler more times than this gentleman. He has an unprecedented 35 finishes in this historic race. This number is truly remarkable, if not unbelievable. He puts a different spin on being an Iron Man. It’s not necessarily the distances he runs, but the variety of distances he runs and the passion with which he runs them. No race is too short or too monotonous (i.e. the JFK 50 miler) for him to conquer. He competes in the Senior Olympics and continues to run many races on the FSRC calendar year after year. His longevity and overall desire to push for more is second to none making him this year’s Iron Man, Mr. JFK himself, Fred Schumacher.
Men’s Grand Master of the Year
This runner crushes the competition in his age-group. In fact, he often dominates runners in many age-groups preceding his own.Leisurely, Sunday morning runs from Frederick High result in this runner leaving the common folk bruised, baffled, and battered. His impeccable, obviously well-practiced gait, leaves men half his age wondering what in the world is the secret to this runner’s longevity. He traditionally competes in race distances varying from 5K to the half-marathon. Hills don’t seem to scare this grand master runner proven by him coasting to the summit of the brutal hill just after the turnabout in the annual Run for the Pie 10K. Give him a relatively flat half-marathon like the Frederick Half, and he tears it up in 2:02. Throw in two 5Ks in the twenty-four/twenty-five minute range, and he further showcases his envied, revered talent. The Grand Masters Runner of the Year is Mr. John Clarke.
Women’s Grand Master of the Year
My running resource informs me this runner ran no fewer than 23 races during 2011 and probably many more. Wow! To my astonishment, she’s already run more than a few races in 2012!Word has it, the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project is in negotiations with this runner wanting her to teach their runners yet even more fortitude and passion for the sport. A perennial age-group winner, as well as overall female contender, her 2011 FSRC events included the Club Challenge, the 200M Decathlon Event, and the Market Street Mile where she ran a 7:12 mile. Another area race she dominated this past year was the Way Station Turkey Trot 5K in a time of 24:48. She continually runs many races in neighboring counties and puts fear in all runners everywhere she goes. Racers’ anxiety levels of all ages go through the roof when she laces up to toe the line. The Woman’s Grand Masters Runner of the Year is Dee Nelson.
This man will capture you on your best of days, but it seems most often on your worst judging by some the pictures moving across the top of the Frederick Steeplechasers’ website. He snaps pictures of runners at many area races throughout the year. He could land a job with Esquire magazine in a heartbeat. His enthusiasm for running is contagious. He offers his advice, suggestions, experience, and wisdom to all. If it’s over a beer, I can personally tell you,you’ll instantly make a new best friend. I first met this runner on the trails. As the leader of the 5D Trail Running Team hosting weekly runs every Sunday morning at 8am from Hamburg Road, his entourage welcomes any and all runners. From your first trail run, this gentleman makes you feel welcome and part of the group (as does the rest the crew). It becomes quite easy to feed of this runner’s zest for trail running.He annually offers up his house for the Fathers’ Day trail running extravaganza. It’s an understatement to say he loves running. Most importantly, he gives back by offering his talentsof photography and gift of gab to the running community. He’s truly a people-person, and I’m proud to call him a friend. This year’s Anderer Award goes to none other than Sir Mike O’Grady.