Runner of the Month

August 2017

Tundra Randall

I started running when I was 1 year old with my older sister Simba.  I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that I was out with my Mom, Dad and big sister, so it had to be okay.  Plus, I had seen how excited my sister got when she went out with my Mom, so I was ready for that.  After running for a little while just around our neighborhood, I ran my first race, I had no idea what that was, I just thought we were running with more people.  Once the race started I was hooked, no more boring sidewalks and streets, I got to run on grass and through the woods.  Of course, I followed my sister and Mom because I still had no idea what I was doing.  My Dad was talking to me the whole way telling me which way to turn and that I was doing great. He also was making sure I was having fun, after all, I’m a Husky what else would I rather be doing than running!  On that particular day my sister Simba and Mom finished ahead of me, but I didn’t care, it was so much fun.  I couldn’t wait to do the next one.

From that point on I was hooked.  Some of you have probably seen me at some Sly Fox Track Club races, I’m the one that takes off like a rocket when the person with the microphone says “GO”.  I don’t follow my sister anymore, which I know she hates, but I wouldn’t be the runner I am today without her showing me the ropes. My Dad and I continued to train for the past two years and with a special thanks to Sly Fox Track Club  (Coach for allowing me to run and Allison for watching my siblings and me when my Mom and Dad go away), we have been able to compete in numerous races.  Just this past year we completed over 15 races and ran 250 miles together. My Dad and I even came in first overall in one of the golf course races.  Unfortunately I can only run during the winter months, my long hair prevents me from doing anything during the summer, so you won’t see me around much.

I’d like to thank everyone in the club for making my sister (Simba), my little brother (Rokee, who is now running as well and is a favorite of Coach’s) and me for feeling welcome at all of the races we do.  We love competing with everybody and hanging out after the race.

Favorite race – St. Patrick’s Day 10k (or anything below 30 degrees)

Future goals – 5k in under 20 minutes (I’ve been close but my Dad needs to get a little faster) and to run a 10 miler.

Words of Wisdom – Just live in the moment and RUN – you’ll feel better!!

July 2017

Charmaine Merkel

I have been running off and on for a couple of years, doing a couple of 5K races but that had been the most I had run.   Then, thanks to my daughter (Yvonne D’Luzen) introducing me to Sly Fox Track Club I found the support and confidence I needed to run longer distances.  Running has now become a definite in my life.

As I started running later in life it has been a challenge at times.  I do not have the speed to keep up with the younger, faster people, but I keep going – never giving up.

I am proud to say that I run several 10Ks, Philly Broad Street this year for the first time and have done two half marathons in the past year.

Of course, my first half marathon was with Sly Fox last July at the age of 64.  With the support of my track club friends, I have been able to accomplish things I never thought possible.

Being a member of the Track Club has been a great experience, I have made so many great friends and consider the members my extended family.   They have been very encouraging and have helped me tremendously to step out of my comfort zone and go for it.

Favorite race – July 2016 Pottstown Half Marathon (of course)

Future Goals – Complete a 5K in 40 minutes or less.   Complete a half marathon in 3 1/2 hours.

Words of encouragement – Never give up.   You will be amazed at what you can accomplish with a great support group and lots of determination.

June 2017

Richard Mitchell

I have been running for a long time.  I remember being in my first race in junior high where I ran a leg of the 4×400 relay, my team won even though we dropped the baton. I could always run fast, but running long distances was not my thing.  Bicycling long distances was though.  I started doing triathlons out of college with a couple of work friends, for this I had to start running longer distances.  I got into all kinds of fitness activities but family put the breaks to my running and triathlons for a while, and I started back doing run races 4 years ago when my kids got old enough to drive themselves everywhere (and I was turning 50).  Since then I have done everything from 1 mile to 13.1 miles, but that elusive 26.2 is haunting me.  Sometimes I think I am too big to run a full.  I am 6’4” and was 210lbs, but I have dropped 20 lbs in the last 2 years and it seems to help with avoiding the repetitive injuries?  I will try again this fall.

What do I like the most about the SFTC?  First – not trying to kiss ass but the coach is fantastic.  I enjoy the teamwork I see when we run speed drills at the Hill School on Wednesday nights.  I also enjoy the comradery of being with the other runners of the club.  I really feel great when I see or hear about the members who have accomplished a running goal with the help of the club.  I also am glad that coach has decided to put the race info on the back of the medals this year!  I think I am the member who lives the farthest away – 25 miles. So while I am not around that often, it isn’t because I don’t care to be, it’s just a distance thing.

Favorite Race – Broad Street 10M.  Straight and flat.  I do not want to have to think while I am running.

Future Goals – My Buzz Lightyear moment – To infinity (26.2) and beyond.

I do not do music anymore when I run.  I have tested this, and I run faster in races when I am unplugged.  I also was invited once to run with a group of Amish and Mennonites at a full moonnight run, and ran with my headphones in, and I think I’ve been shunned since doing that.

My Favorite Quote: “So Hum” – which is a meditation mantra that means a reflection of the sound of the breath but also carries a contemplative meaning: “I am that”. Here, “that” refers to all of creation, the one breathing us all.  Therefore, for me this has meaning in the running I do, with the people I run with.

May 2017

Susan Flavin

We could not think of anyone more fitting to be our First selection as Runner of the Month. Susan is one of the most positive and encouraging women you could ever want to be associated with. Her drive and determination to be a better athlete every single day is an inspiration to anyone who comes in contact with her.

She did not start running until she was 47 when challenged by a High School friend to do a mud run, her ego could not let herself be embarrassed and trained for 8 months like most of us train for marathons.

The woman who was a 2 pack a day cigarette smoker can now call herself a marathoner and soon to be Half-Ironman Finisher.

Since that First mud run she has completed 6 Half Marathons, a few 10k’s, countless 5k’s and numerous Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlons.

Susan quotes that after she completed that first race, she immediately signed up for another event and through a friend was introduced to Sly Fox Track Club and was instantly attracted to the encouragement, humor and friendships she found. Some of her closest friends (Ruth and David) she met through the club. Those three began meeting at 4:30am to run because that’s when their schedules permitted them to train, this group became known as the vampire group throughout the club.

While Susan really never kept track of her pace daily, she does know she was running 13:30 per mile when she started and now she is comfortable at 9:50-10:15 pace. In fact at this years Love Run she shaved 15 Minutes off of her time from two years earlier. WOW!!!!

Favorite Race– Marine Corps Marathon

Future Goals

Sub 30 Minute 5k

Sub 4 Hour Marathon

Full Ironman Triathlon

Favorite Song at the Start Line– Right Now- Van Halen

Favorite Song at the Finish Line- Kryptonite-3 Doors Down

Susan’s one Tip she would like to share

For me I can’t run every day. I don’t perform well at this point in my development. So I work in other Cross-Training Distance Cycling, Swimming, and core work. It has made me a stronger runner, and less prone to repetitive injuries.

Susan’s Favorite Quote

There will be a day when you cannot do this. TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!!

This was given to me by a dear friend the night before Marine Corps Marathon, I carried it on a piece of paper in my phone case for the entire race.

This sport has changed my life, and has given me more great experiences than I could ever give back. I do try to give back when time permits volunteering for SFTC events and runs/My children Mia, Liza and Adam have learned that this is fun, and even more so when you run with friends. The people in SFTC have been great examples for them. You cannot buy or teach that, and it doesn’t come from organized kids sports, that’s for sure.