March 29, 2008

Mondragon 10th in First-Timers at Lone Star Tri Sprint

The captain of Blogger2, Cassie Mondragon, 29, is seen here just a few feet from the finish line at this morning's Lone Star Sprint Triathlon in Galveston, Texas.

She finished 10th among all female first-timers as she covered the 500-meter swim, 12.5-mile bike and 5-kilometer run in 1:32:42. The most impressive part is that she definitely set a 5K PR today -- her watch, 27:46; race split, 27:33.

March 25, 2008

Then Again, Let's Call Today a Five-Spot

When I worked in British Columbia the last two years, there's a chain of restaraunts called "White Spot" - something in the Friendly's variety and maybe even a slight upgrade from Denny's (but not much).

Today, "The Battling Bloggers of the Texas Republic" have scored a five-spot with yet another addition to our second Texas Independence Relay team for 2009.

I failed to mention that the assist on today's earlier team additions goes to Huntsville's Katy Lampson while our latest addition can be credited to The Woodlands' Dave Smart.

We welcome to our two teams 45-year-old John Maloney of The Woodlands.

If you take a look at this link from, you'll see that John's times are just a little breezy. :) Not a lot of quantity, but certainly a lot of quality.

Norman, Niki, Nick, Ken and John, welcome. TIR 2009 is going to be fun!

Four More Additions to TIR '09 Team

As promised and expected, I'm pleased to announce the addition of four new team members to "The Battling Bloggers of the Texas Republic".

While I had a chance to run the captain's leg with Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon co-founder Thomas Hill, we're adding our own founder and race director to our squad - longtime former president and current vice president of the Seven Hills Running Club in Huntsville, Ken Johnson.

Ken co-founded Seven Hills in 1985 and is also a member of the U.S. Running Streak Association, an organization of runners who run at least a mile every day. He has not missed a day since December 27, 2002 and the long-distance relay will add to his vast running experiences that numbers over 370 races, including 22 marathons and 12 50Ks.

Because our team is as involved in the running community as it is, it is just natural that we add another board member in current Seven Hills president Niki Bellnoski and her husband, Nick, to the team.

Niki, who has a 3:49:21 marathon PR to her credit (San Antonio '06), is currently a student at Sam Houston State University and is majoring in kinesiology with a minor in health. She and Nick recently competed in the Seven Hills-TWRC 5K Challenge in Huntsville where Nick finished in 22:52 while Niki came in with a time of 23:09.

Nick finished the 2005 Chevron Houston Marathon in 4:22:19.

Finally, if you told Norman Langwell, Jr. that he was half the man that he used to be, I'm certain that he wouldn't take it as a challenge to his ego.

He would probably say, "You're right and thank God!" They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, these two - at this link - will probably evoke a few, I'm sure.

Norman finished his third marathon of 2008 the weekend before last in Seabrook with two more scheduled - the Big-D Texas Marathon next weekend and the Davy Crockett Bear Chase in Groveton the following week - to complete the Texas Marathon Challenge.

He also was part of the Andy Brock's "Dude ... Where's My Van?" team. We certainly didn't steal Norman; however, Norman also wanted to get the Relay firmly on his calendar and we're excited to have him join us.

March 24, 2008

The Woodlands Fat Ass 100K - Sunday, May 4

The day after the CB&I Triathlon in The Woodlands and various other greater Houston area races, Western States-bound ultrarunner Rick Cook (and potentially other local ultrarunners) will be running a 100-kilometer "Fat Ass" training run through The Woodlands.

Since the course will likely be a 10-kilometer loop, it is the perfect opportunity for all of us to put together relay teams to 1.) run against and 2.) run legs with Rick as he prepares for the "Boston of Ultrarunning", which is held this year on June 28-29 from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

If you're interested in participating, please let me, Rick or Bill Dwyer know.

As more information becomes available, we'll let you know.

March 22, 2008

Weekend of March 22-23

So how did the individual members of The Battling Bloggers of the Texas Republic do this weekend?

At Run The Woodlands 5K on Saturday, Katy Lampson slashed her previous 5-kilometer PR by almost two minutes as she dropped her best time at the distance to 26:10 from 28:07.

Jon Walk and Sarah Graybeal participated in the 13th annual Resurrection Run that is run on the streets of Nassau Bay, close to NASA, and Walk, who was battling off a cold, finished in 30:32 while Graybeal scored a sparkling time of 31:08.

Our most experienced team member, Joe Carey, was part of the group of Bay Area Running Club volunteers who supported On The Run's Jay Lee in putting on the well-respected event.

Cassie and Manny Mondragon, who both will run on one of our two Battling Bloggers teams in the 2009 TIR, completed distance PRs of 62 miles - bike riding, that is - on Saturday in the 6th annual Katy Ram Challenge.

The Bloggers are working on filling up their second team for the 2009 Texas Independence Relay. If you're interested in participating with us, please e-mail our team captain, Jon Walk, at walksports (at)

March 21, 2008

Previous March Results

Lucky Trails Marathon
Seabrook, TX - Sunday, March 16, 2008

Norman Langwell, Jr. - 4:19:06.8
Becky Spaulding - 5:48:54.9 PD
Ken Johnson - 6:06:44.9

Lucky Trails Half Marathon
Seabrook, TX - Saturday, March 15, 2008

Becky Spaulding - 2:29:14.2

TWRC-Seven Hills Running Club 5K Challenge
Huntsville, TX - Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nick Bellnoski - 22:52
Niki Bellnoski - 23:06
Norman Langwell, Jr. - 24:09
Holden Choi - 26:30
Katy Lampson - 31:30 PD
Jon Walk - 37:10 PD

Bayou City Classic 10K
Houston, TX - Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tommy Stunz - 45:45.0 PR
Erin Foley - 47:44.8
Becky Spaulding - 1:01:49.2 PR

TIR 2008 Photo Page

Seven Hills Running Club vice president Ken Johnson built a photo page from the 2008 Texas Independence Relay of club members who participated on one of four different teams.

This page can be found here.