Sunday, September 30, 2012

Akron Marathon

Congrats to all who came out for the 10th Running of the Akron Marathon.

NEO TC Finishers were:

1/2 Marathon

The Admiral and Mrs Admiral ran the 1/2 Marathon together, a PR for her (CONGRATS): 2.25


Dave Peterman has not slowed down since the Grand Slam, finishing in 3.14.40

LT was again pacing this year, the 3.35 group, he nailed his time in 3.34.21

George Themelis must have been hanging with LT, as he finished in 3.34.27

Amie Murphy smiled her way in, as always, in 4.08.15

Dan Bellinger completed the marathon in 4.14.41

Elizabeth Sosan was not far behind in 4.29

Cousin Tim Knapp finished in 4.39.51

Mike Kazar crossed the finish line in 5.25

Two special shout outs:

TJ Hawk is a legacy runner and has now completed all ten years of the Akron Marathon, finishing in 3.47

Kelli Rushton completed her FIRST MARATHON, finishing up in 4.56.  Welcome to the Club, Kelli!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

North Coast 24 Hour Results

Results can be find here

Congratulations to:

Roy Heger, for breaking 100 miles in the 24 hour event: 101.7846

Paul Lefelhocz went 55.8964

and Cyrus Taylor finished his miles at 55.0524!!!

Great job!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Quest For Ultra: Chris Petruccio

Note:  This is Chris Petruccio’s report on his first ultra, the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic.  

Chris gives us much more than just a bare bones accounting of his first 50K race, so we are dividing it up into 4 segments.

On a cold February night in 2011, I did something I hadn’t done since basic training back in the grand old year of 1988, I went for a jog!

I’m still not sure why I did it. I just did. My wife Melissa, our two boys and I live on a one mile cul de sac street. I made it almost halfway that night. Although I had quit drinking, weighing 212 pounds, being 5’5” tall and leading a very sedentary life style, my eyes were opened that night. More changes had to be made if I was going to be completely healthy.

I continued each evening to venture out into the cold dark night. Funny how things change. Not that long ago, I’d venture out to a cold dark garage and shot gun a few beers to try and kill the pain now I was welcoming pain into my life as an invited guest. In a healthy way this time. I guess pain is relevant. With two weeks of running in the books, I set my first goal to run two miles like I had done in basic training. I made up my mind that I was not going to quit and I didn’t. At one o’clock in the morning, on a weeknight it’s pretty hard to find someone that is as energized and proud of you as you are of yourself for something you just did. I wanted to share it with the whole world. My wife was proud of me, she always has been. Even in the “lost years” of my life.

In April 2011, Missi purchased a getaway package for two at Cook Forest Lodge for my birthday. There was a 5k there that weekend so we registered and ran it together. It was fun.

In May 2011, I quit running. I decided I was going to be a farmer. I started raising cattle on 80 acres of land near our home on a handshake deal. In October, the guy pulled the rug out from underneath me and the dream was over. This rocked my world. Even though I still had a full time job, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do in my spare time. That night I went out for a run. It was surreal. I had found the high I had been looking for... the runner’s high.

A few days later, I went up to the local running store and purchased my first pair of real running shoes to seal the deal. While I was there the young man behind the counter informed me that there was a 5k in my neighborhood that upcoming weekend.

Sunday morning I got up early to read my Bible and go to church with my family. While reading, I came across a verse that said something along the lines of all runners run the race but not all get the prize. Run in such a way as to win the race. I quickly closed my Bible and changed into my running clothes. Missi asked me where I was going. I told her I was going to win a race and proceeded to the 5k event. Up the road I went with a hunger within me that I can not explain, registered and towed the line.

Within probably the first 1000 yards or so, I realized I wasn’t going to win this race but decided I could still run as if I were going to. I made the final turn and headed for home and to my amazement my boys were standing at the finish line video recording my finish. We hung out for a bit just because we were having fun and enjoying the morning. Wouldn’t you know it, they called my name. Third in age group, 40-44, Chris Petruccio, Chesterland.

My boys were there to see me get my first medal. It was by far my finest hour in the last couple years. I learned my first truism about running during that event. The only person you’ll ever compete against is yourself.

Click here for Part Two, Discovering Ultras

Chris Petruccio: Part Two, Discovering Ultras

That night I got on-line to look for more races and with the first click I had found it.

THE BURNING RIVER 100 MILE ENDURANCE RUN. At that very moment, I knew what I wanted. ULTRA. I stayed up most of the night just looking at the website and staring at that buckle.

In the morning, I told Missi I’m gonna run a 100 miles. She advised me to find someone who had done it before and ask them to help.
 As usual, I didn’t listen to her at first. I just ran up and down the street, back and forth every night until I got tired. By December 2011, I finally figured out this wasn’t gonna cut it. I hopped on line again and found NERC.

Missi and I joined the club and went to our first meeting in January 2012. Along the way to that meeting and the ensuing months, we met probably the finest collective group of people God has put on this earth - the running community. NERC’s February meeting fell on Valentine’s Day. Missi suggested we go. They were showing the movie Hood to Coast and she thought it would be fun.

 At that meeting I met Lindsey Baird. She turned out to be my first running buddy and man could she run. Lindsey took me on my first trail run in early March of this year.
That night we agreed to run the Shamrock 15k together. By this time I had decided that I didn’t want my running to be about me anymore. Running was changing my life from the inside out and I wanted the same for others. Somewhere along the way I met Pam Rickard who has like others become a trusted friend. Pam introduced me to the Outrun group and Runwell.

I will always be grateful for her in doing so. In Runwell I discovered exactly what I was looking for,to promote recovery from addiction and to inspire individuals to lead healthy, active lifestyles. The Outrun group?  Well, just thinking about these people makes me smile. Forget about the running, they make me want to be a better person. Kevin Tenkku was the first I told about BR100. When I saw the smile on his face, I knew I had found my man.

Pam thought we were nuts. Turns out she is the craziest one of the bunch. Zach Johnson also made himself available to me, and would spend time talking with me about nutrition and training tips. By mid April, Lindsey and I had done the Shamrock 15k and the Toledo half marathon together. My training was going very well and I was sporting a Runwell team jersey.

My quest for ultra was clearly in sight. O24 was coming up near the end of April so I posted on the Outrun wall that I wanted to put a relay team together for the event. Sure enough, just like ultra runners do, people who I had never met before agreed to sign up for the team and help teach me the ropes. I was amazed.

 Against the advice of many, I was running a lot more than I should have been but I was on a quest for ultra.
In just a short time I was up to 50, 60 miles a week and my legs were starting to feel it but I had to get ready for O24. It was going to be my coming out party to announce to the world, I am Ultra.

Boy did I announce it. Tore my quadriceps muscle and got carried away by Lindsey and my wife.

However, some good things came out of O24. I got to meet Linda Quirk face to face for the first time. What a beautiful person. Also met Tapatha Knupke who has also become a respected and trusted friend of mine. After O24 I spent the next 12 days unable to stand up let alone walk. Many of people encouraged me during my recovery process. Kevin hooked me up with Dr. Tim Keyes from Solon Spine and Wellness. Dr. Keyes got my leg back in shape but by this time the Cleveland Marathon which I had pre-registered for had come and gone.

In fearing reinjury, BR100 was off the table too. It didn’t bother me though, I just wanted to be able to run again and be with my friends.

I started running/hobbling again sometime in mid to late May and in June I ran/walk in the Lake Health half marathon as a show of support to my teammate and friend Pam as she marched across the Gobi Desert in China. By early July my leg was finally 100% again. Thanks be to God (& Tim Keyes).

I ran the Lake Erie half marathon in August. A couple of miles from the finish I hooked up with some guy. We pushed and encouraged each other along the way. We both pr’d that day by 10 minutes. Turns out he ran Toledo as well and we finished just a few seconds apart in that event too. Clint and I are now Facebook Friends and share a common bond. Also met Jane Timmins for the first time. She spotted my Runwell jersey.
Pam is our common denominator. Had some good laughs that morning. Missi and I made a weekend out of it. We spent time with Tap ,who also came to support me, and her kids at Mill Creek Lodge. We had a great time. After running so well in that event, I was once again on a quest for ultra.

Click here for Part Three, Pre-Race Planning !

Chris Petruccio: Part Three, Pre-Race Planning

However, this time I was gonna take it slow and do it right.
Start with a 50k. That’s an Ultra. The training seemed more reasonable.

Found Bill’s Bad Ass 50k on Facebook. It’s for first timers and you need a mentor. Once again, I turned to my man Kevin Tenkku. He agreed to mentor me..... again. We had time to train. The event wasn’t until November. However the date got changed and I couldn’t make the new one so I started looking for another 50k. I mean after all I was on a quest.

That’s when I found the YUT-C 50k. Although the event was in mid September and it cut the training time in half everything about the event just seemed right to me. It was close to home and the course looked beautiful.

I only had about 5 weeks to prepare so Kevin changed up the training plan. About a week or so before the event , Laurie Rehbergar told me that she and her husband Paul were coming down to support and crew for me. I was really taken back by this. I’d only met Paul on one other occasion, a charity softball game that Laurie had helped me with. It amazed me that they would spend their time and money to support me.

 We decided to go down to Youngstown on Friday and have dinner together.
Missi and I arrived a few hours before Paul and Laurie so we went down to check out the park. and some of the course. While there we just happened to meet Jim Harris and Kim Love-Ottobre. They were busy with race course prep but still took the time to speak with us and answer questions about the race.

Later we went for dinner. We sat and talked about life and all the things that come with it. Paul made prints of the course and we devised a strategy.

That night in the hotel room I threw the switch in my mind. I decided that I was not going to let these people and all the others who have supported me down. As I laid in my bed, staring at my Runwell jersey, a new realization had come over me. My quest for Ultra was no longer about me. It was about the people who had loved and supported me in that quest.

Click here for the Part Four, the Race Report !

Chris Petruccio: Part Four, The YUTC 50K Race Report

Race morning came and I towed the line. It felt great.

Very shortly after the race started I was once again spotted in my Runwell jersey by Amie Murphy and one again the common denominator... Pam Rickard and our Runwell teammate Jaime McDonald. Amie had recently helped Jaime complete her first Ultra in NC.
chris starting YUTC50k
They were awarded the MTC t-shirt for their effort. We along with her running partner, Michael, ran and chatted to the first aid station. Within those few short miles, I had made another new friend. Trail runners are so cool.
My wife and crew were waiting at the aid station for me. I felt so alive.
chris covered bridge aid station
While at the aid station, I decided to run ahead on my own. The course was amazing and the weather was perfect.
YUTC50k bridge
The next 15-18 miles were like no other I have ever ran.
chris and paul aid station
My wife and crew were working the aid stations like rock stars. However, around mile 20 something, my lack of training and inexperience caught up to me. I started to get severe cramping in my calves. The cramping was so severe that running was becoming next to impossible. With seven or so miles to go, I knew I was in trouble.
chris and paul log cabin aid station
Just told myself make it to the next aid station. At the aid station everyone there was overly supportive. They assured me I was still way ahead of the cut off time and if I just kept moving a finish was guaranteed.
I truly believe my wife and those at that aid station wanted it more than I did so off I went. The pain in my calves came and went but when a cramp would hit it was so severe I became nauseated. That’s when the stomach issues started. I don’t remember exactly when but at some point Laurie and Peg Leg Weaver, the Outrun group mascot, came out onto the trail to check on me.
Running friends are the best friends! Laurie assured me the three of us were gonna bring it home.
About 500 yards from the finish there was Amie.
chris and amie
She was the first to congratulate me. Just had Laurie had guaranteed me her, Peg and I finished together.
chris laurie peg leg
To my amazement several folks who had finished ahead of me stuck around and waited to see me finish. I thought that was the coolest thing.
So there you have it folks. The story of my quest for Ultra. My hope and prayer for sharing this story is that just maybe someone somewhere will be inspired to start their own quest. As for me, the journey has just begun.
Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face and His favor shine upon you. God bless.
Chris Petruccio, Ultra Runner

Chris can be reached via his Facebook email at

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Monkey Jr is working on his climbing skillz at Coopers Rock.

He is thinking about a stealth attack, from the south, to the Yinzers.  He just has to figure out how to swim first.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Anson Does the Double

It is typical ultra runner fashion to get in as many miles as possible for a weekend, and Mark Anson got his money worth this past weekend.

Mark ran the YUTC 50K on Saturday, finishing in 6.57.06.

He then got up early the next morning, and completed the Erie Marathon at Presque Isle, in 4.39.

Congratulations Mark!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

YUTC 2012 NEO TC Results

Another great year of weather for the YUTC.

NEO TC members represented quite well at the 8th annual YUTC.

Third place overall was George Themelis, who finished in 4.51.25

Paul Lefelhocz, despite his sand-bagging earlier in the week, ran a PR of 5.44.51

Dave Peterman, despite putting 400 miles on his legs over the summer finishing the Grand Slam, continued his streak of completing all the YUTC years, finishing in 6.05.31

TJ Hawk is also another legacy runner, coming back for more fun every year,  in 6.39.52

The Admiral ran with The Sly Fox for her 25K, finishing in 3.53.41  then hit the trails solo to finish his 50K in 6.50.27

Mark Anson got his miles in by first completing the YUTC in 6.57.06 and then did a cool down run the next morning by running the Erie Marathon on Sunday.

Dan Winkle came across the finish line in 7.18.57

Amie Murphy was smiling (as always) as she finished up in 7.38.24, followed right behind by Mike Kazar, in 7.38.25.

Wild Bill Wagner got his money worth on the trail, giving Sue Honey Angell her first tour of Mill Creek Park, finishing up in 8.46.31

Kathy Mumaw took the early start and finished her 50K day in 9.03.08

25K Runners

There were six NEO TC members finishing up the 25K of YUTC:

Lloyd Thomas 2.21.14

Cousin Tim Knapp 3.09.52

Teresa McCombs 3.16.11

Thea Wheeling 3.52.18

Mrs Admiral 3.53.41

Tom Mumaw 4.23.07

First Timers and Old Timers at YUTC

First time ultra run finish for Bob Prelerson

Jonathan "Scooby" Bolha crossing for the Win

Great weather again favored us for the 8th running of the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic,  held in Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio.  Many runners new to the park were surprised at the beauty of the park and technical aspects of trail within the city of Youngstown.

At the finish line, it appeared that we had quite a few numbers of first time ultra finishers.

One special first time finish was Graham Strzelecki 
of Maryland.  He had signed up for the 50K months in advance, in May, with the approval of his father and Race Director Jim Harris.

The ultra community, while expanding rapidly, is still a small world.  Jim Harris was walking down the streets of Silverton, Colorado,  in the days before Hardrock, when a young man excitedly approached him, pointing to Jim’s YUTC shirt he was wearing  “hey I am Running in that Race!”  It turned out Grahm and his family were out on Silverton on vacation, watching the Hardrock 100.
Graham and his dad Michael at the Covered Bridge
Graham finished his first 50K at YUTC,in 7.38.59, age thirteen.

Jonatham Bolha won the 50K in 4.11.54, and Tracey Ross extended her winning streak to two in a row for the Female win in 5.41.32
Jonathan and Tracey, 50K Winners

Our second and third place female winners were running their first ultra!!  Tracie Burnett finished in 6.15.58 and Rachael Aldrich finished in 6.22.25!

Chris Coulston won the 25K Race in 2.06.28 and Valerie Watson won it for the Females in 2.35.12. 

Valerie coming off Pinball Ridge, end of the Monkey Trail

 Coach Hank’s brother, Matt Hanks, finished his first trail race by coming in second overall, in 2.14.53

Many runners return to the trails time after time.  There are now only three legacy runners, that have finished all 8 years of the YUTC: Ron Ross, TJ Hawk, and Dave Peterman.  Dave ran his 8th YUTC the week after finishing Wasatch and the Grand Slam.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012