Boston Marathon

  • Dawn Graeser – 3:30:25!

Dawn’s Great Race Report

Well, I am not sure how to start or finish my race report. I have been focused on Boston since October of last year and all of my training was around this one race…this one big race. Brian and I arrived on Saturday afternoon and after hitting the expo I thought it was important to really soak in all of Boston, not just 26.2. So Brian and I put in about 5 miles on Saturday and another 10 miles on Sunday – I guess that was my “pre-race warm up.” From Paul Revere to Mikes Pastries and the USS Constitution, we did it all!

Monday’s weather could not have been more perfect for race day. It was chilly but not cold and the sun was out. Ami and I stood in the really long line to board the bus and spent the next two hours at Athletes Village. I cannot believe how quickly the time passed and we found ourselves in the start corrals.

Who doesn’t love a downhill start? It was hard not to go full speed ahead but I was able to keep myself at a 7:45 and kept it there until about 18. 5K split 24:04/ 10k split 48:09/ half 1:41:41. The rolling hills made for a great course and the fan support was unbelievable. Some of most interesting Bostonians were cheering us on that day for sure. There were about 10 places to grab an ice pop, 20 locations for water (not only organized water stops but so many make shift water stops it was great,) wet paper towels, candy, beer and kisses…whatever you wanted! I heard the theme to Rocky a few times, some loud bands and a ton of screaming. I ran passed Team Hoyt, an amputee, a few blind runners and so many different countries represented on shirts. I watched a volunteer at a water stop chase down a runner who had dropped his Oakleys and return his glasses to him.

At the 30K mark is when my pace dropped by about 7 seconds and the legs were getting a little tight. Heartbreak Hill wasn’t all that hard but at mile 20/21 it wasn’t exactly easy either! It slowed me down a teeny bit more and by 35K my pace slowed an additional 5 seconds to 8. After mile 23 I calculated that if I dropped my head, picked up my speed and put the pedal to the medal I could pick up a PR (previous was 3:28:23.) But, if I kept up my current pace I would miss it by just under 2 minutes. As a marathoner you know there is that one point of the race that emotion gets the best of you. THAT was my emotional part of the race. The moment I decided that I would stay at my pace and soak in those last two miles. I wasn’t here for a pr, I was here to enjoy my accomplishment of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. When I finished, don’t get me wrong, I was tight but I wasn’t in pain. I stopped on the mat and stood there. I walked through the cattle herding of water and blanket and medal. I loved every second of it. I felt great! I finished the race at an 8:01 pace and was thrilled with my 3:30:25.

I turned the corner to the family area and was immediately greeted by Brian, Ami and Sean. We took pictures and decided it was too chilly to mill around so we would shower and eat lunch. When we got back to the room I had Brian shoot a fb approved shot and then posted my time. I made my post at 2:49 pm and then Brian headed down to grab starbucks and I jumped in the shower. My post was at 2:49, the first bomb exploded at 2:50. Brian came upstairs with the coffee and switched on the news and yelled to me in the shower that a bomb just went off a few blocks away. I jumped out of the shower and stood there watching the tv. We immediately called our parents to let them know we were ok, posted on fb and then fielded texts, emails and calls for the next 6 hours. Through all of this tragedy I was thanking the Lord for all of my blessings. Thank you for keeping me safe, thank you for so many wonderful and loving family members and friends and thank you for not filling me with fear. Although I was anxious to leave our Back Bay hotel and seek dinner elsewhere, I was not scared. I needed to get out of the Back Bay area and let the police do their thing. So, with all of the taxi cabs being inspected we had no choice but to hoof it the 3 or so miles to the North End for dinner. We talked, watched the news and filled our very empty bellies. When we returned the SWAT was right outside of our hotel. The streets were still filled with police and the bombing was still all too real.

This race became so much more than a time or a medal. It became a reflection on what is important in our lives and what we hold dear to our hearts. It became a day to cower in fear or to rise with strength, determination and resiliency. I will still wear the jacket with pride in my accomplishment but I will also wear it with a prayer in my heart for those families who have had their lives tragically altered on April 15, 2013. I will still race in large cities and I will still encourage my family to support others in their quest for success – whether on the race course, in the classroom or elsewhere. Thank you Boston for your encouragement and I am truly sorry for your loss.



Walters Family YMCA 5K

  • Juan Soto – 1st Overall

Heritage Park Duathlon

  • Eddie Delacruz – 1:26:11 – 2nd Age Group
  • Robert Allen – 1:42:23 – 2nd Age Group
  • Joseph Holbrook – 1:22:53 – 2nd Age Group in 2 Person Male


Early Bird Triathlon

  • Robert Allen – 1:13:28

Olde Rope 6.5 Mile Trail Race

  • Molly Freeman – 57:38 – 1st in Age Group

Platte River Half Marathon – Denver, CO

  • Crissy Ivey – 1:46:16

We had a quiet race week once again this past weekend but we did manage two new PRs!

Java Jog 5K:

  • Robert Allen – 20:50 – 1st in Age Group and a new PR!

Operation Endurance 24 Hour Race:

  • Molly Freeman – 80ish miles I believe for a new PR!

Dixie 200:

  • Juan Soto’s team (Lanier Running Club) finished 2nd in the Dixie 200 Relay last weekend.  Sorry I missed that one.

If you haven’t RSVP’ed yet for the team dinner please do so by tomorrow evening!!!

Annual Team Meeting/Dinner

When: Tuesday April 9th, 7:00 pm.

Where: Runners Fit

We will be having our annual team meeting/dinner/uniform hand-out on April 9th at 7:00 pm here at Runners Fit.  We will have a catered dinner and 2 guest speakers that night.  All new team members will be getting their uniform and team members from last season will be getting a new Nike dri-fit team shirt.  We will also have a drawing for one lucky team member to win a pair of Brooks running shoes.   Please RSVP to me by Friday April 5th.

Guest Speaker:   Charlie Patterson – Head Cross Country Coach at Piedmont College and 2-time USATF Cross Country Masters National Champion (65+ and 70+)

We are excited to announce Charlie Patterson as our special guest speaker for our annual team dinner.  Charlie is a long time runner and coach in our area and has 2 Individual National Championships under his belt, most recently winning the USATF Cross Country 10K (70+) in Louisville, KY in December.  He has a vast wealth of knowledge in our sport and we are very excited and thankful for him coming to speak with us.

It was a relatively quiet weekend of racing for Team RFOM but we did have some impressive performances none the less.  Here is the run down:

Trillium Trek 10K Trail Race:

  • Norma Rainwater – 1st Overall Female!! – 1:04:50

Trillium Trek Half Marathon Trail Race:

  • Johnny Garner – 2nd Overall Male!! – 1:49:27

Curing Cancer with Color 5K:

  • Amanda Partee-Manders – 1st in Age group!! – 23:16

Don’t forget about the track workouts on Monday nights at 7:15 at Flowery Branch High School.  Come out and suffer with us!

Team RFOM was well represented at the 2013 Publix Georgia Marathon/Half Marathon.  We had some quick times and even a PR despite the brutal hills of Atlanta.  We also had a gangnam style finish by one of our team members!  We even had a teammate survive a death race.  Here is the run down:

Georgia Marathon:

  • Juan Soto – 3:00:22 – 2nd in Age Group!
  • Justin Phillips – 3:31:31 – PR!
  • Gary Willie – 4:12:27 – Gangnam Style!
  • Sarah Kanclerz – 4:18* – Ran with a friend
  • Dawn Graeser – 4:32* – Ran with a friend

Georgia Half Marathon:

  • Corey McIntyre – 1:35:02
  • Crissy Ivey – 2:04:52
  • Marie Merck – 2:04:52

Dirty Spokes GSC 5.3 Mile Trail Race:

  • Joseph Holbrook – 35:13 – 1st in Age Group
  • Johnny Garner – 35:38 – 1st in Age Group
  • Brian Woodring – 38:37 – 2nd in Age Group

Georgia Death Race – 60+ Trail Miles of Fun:

  • Mitch Pless – 13:02 – 2nd Overall