Randy’s Racin’ Pics From 2023

It’s been a great year for me with regard to running. Because of my new, lighter frame, I’ve rediscovered the passion for running and have even run 2 half-marathons this year. Here’s a mini-album of pics from my races this year, including the Edward Jones 5k, Apple Blossom 10k, the Front Royal Kiwanis 5k, the Judges Give Back 5k, the Third Battle of Winchester Half-Marathon, and the Battlefield Half Marathon. See you in 2024 out on the roads!

RW

13.1 For Liam

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Greetings From The Booth!

If you listen to my morning radio show on The River 95.3, you know that in the last 14 months, I have been able to lose 50 pounds with the help of my friends at DMV Weight Loss (formerly Brain & Body), and have been able to get back into running again for the first time since 2017. In 2023, I have participated in several local 5k races, as well as the Apple Blossom 10k, and have performed well in each event. Now it’s time to take things to the next level–a half-marathon, which is 13.1 miles.

One of my running goals this year was to run the annual Battlefield Half Marathon in Winchester, which takes place in early November. Having already logged some quality “base mileage” since last summer, I figured that I had plenty of time to prepare for that event and be ready for a distance that I have never run. Then, something happened that put me on the fast track (no pun intended) to running the “13.1.”

Last October, someone dropped of a litter of helpless kittens in the woods behind my house, with just a pile of dry cat food and nothing else. After several trips into the woods, I managed to gather them all, and put them in a spare room of my house. This would be only a temporary solution, however, as I already had 3 dogs, who were not entirely happy with my new houseguests. Dakotas Dream Animal Rescue came to my rescue.

I became familiar with Dakotas Dream earlier that summer by playing in their golf tournament, their major fundraiser. Dakotas Dream is a no-kill shelter that focuses mainly on cats, and relies totally on volunteers and donations. Ken, a volunteer, affectionately named my kittens “The River Cats” and was able to find homes for them all. I will be eternally grateful. So when I found out that their golf tournament this year was not going to happen, I wanted to do something to help them out.

I immediately got in touch with Ken, who pointed me to Alicia from Dakotas Dream. I approached her with the idea of running the Third Battle of Winchester Half Marathon on August 27th as a fundraiser for their organization. If I could get my listeners to each step up with a small donation, and get some of our great advertisers to also make a monetary contribution, we could offset the loss of the golf tournament. The idea was accepted with open arms!

I also learned about one cat in particular, Liam, who needs a series of costly radio-iodine treatments. The good news is that his condition is curable, and these treatments will make him more adoptable. So, with the help of my listeners, a generous local running community, and some great area businesses, I will be running for Liam on August 27th. The added benefit is that I have a reason to keep going on those training days that are a little rough.

If you’d like to help out, please visit Dakotas Dream at https://dakotasdream.org  and if you use Pay Pal, be sure to mention me in the comments section. Until the next visit from the booth…GO LIAM!

RW

Randy and The River Cats

 

Chasing The Fox

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Greetings from The Booth!

With the new season of Valley League baseball underway, I was going to wax poetic about the VBL and baseball in general this week, but the Sports Dogs Podcast has that covered, so I urge you to head to the Podcast section of this website and give that a listen, and then make sure you head to a Valley League ballpark a few times this summer, and have some great family fun.

As I get ready for a 6-mile group run this morning, my mind wanders back to my days at North Junior High School in Martinsburg, WV, when I ran the mile for my Blue Devils track team. Going into that 9th grade season, I really didn’t know what my event of choice (or that of my coach) would be. The previous season, I had piddled around on the “B” relay teams, and got into some meets, but nothing notable. I wasn’t sure I was even going to run track in the 9th grade.

But going into that final season at NJHS, the first day of track practice was a team 5-mile run (even the shot and discus guys had to participate), and to everyone’s surprise–even mine–I kept up with the distance men, and finished first along with 2 other runners. I had found my event, the mile run. In our first meet, against Shepherdstown, I really had no strategy, and the butterflies were like 747s in my gut as we lined up on the start line. Prefontaine would not like what I did, but I stayed right behind the fastest runner and in the last 100 yards, kicked past him and won the race! A respectable 5:16, or so I thought. In my euphoria, I blurted out, “I want Chris Fox!”

Chris Fox was the undisputed top dog in Martinsburg, and ran distance for our rival, South Junior High. Fox would go on to lead some pretty elite Martinsburg Cross Country teams, ran in the Olympic Trials if memory serves, and as a coach, went on to build the Syracuse track and cross country programs from the ground up. Even back in junior high, Chris Fox was the gold standard. He even had his own parade while he was at MHS.

Our next meet was a tri-meet against Frederick and South Junior, so I would soon get my chance at the great Chris Fox. I planned the same strategy as the previous meet and tried to stay behind Fox. I quickly found out that Chris was a running machine, one of those athletes who looks like he’s not even trying. As he effortlessly chugged around the cinders, I fell farther and farther behind. I was still running a good race and was in second place most of the way, but I learned that I was not in the same league as Chris Fox. Because I had expended so much effort in trying to stay with him, I was gassed at the end and was passed by a Frederick runner, finishing third at 5:14.5.

That would be the high water mark of my scholastic running career. Injuries followed, and much effort by the Martinsburg HS Cross Country coach to recruit me that Summer fell on deaf ears as I gravitated back to my first love, baseball.

Moral of the story…be careful what you ask for.

So long from The Booth! RW

 

 

 

Back In The Race

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Greetings From The Booth!

So, let’s see a show of hands. How many of you re-seeded your NCAA brackets after arguably the craziest opening 2 rounds ever? There’s no shame in that–we did a Sweet Sixteen “re-do” in our friendly competition at work. Who saw not one, but two number-one seeds biting the dust. And there’s numver-4 seed Virginia, who fell to 13-seed Furman. Furman?!? It wasn’t quite UMBC, but still a one-and-done of major upset proportion. I still contend that the upsets happen early, but the cream always rises to the top, which is why I have Alabama playing Houston in the Championship Game.

If you listen to my morning radio show, you know that over the course of the last year, I’ve lost 48 pounds (thank you Brain & Body Health Center!). You also know that I recently ran a 5k race for the first time since 2018. Saturday’s Edward Jones Race For Education was the culmination of an almost year-long journey back to something I thought I would no longer be able to do.

That journey started right after the 2022 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. After looking at a pic of me and my buddies making merry at the “Bloom,” I realized that I was going in the wrong direction. At 210 pounds, I almost didn’t recognize myself in the photo. Sure, I had lost a few pounds on my own, but pictures don’t lie, and this pic was like a slap in the face.

Enter Dr. Evan Riggleman and his wonderful team at B&B. To make a long story short, they got me into some good habits and “reset” my metabolism in a healthy way. As for running, I started with some walks through the hills of my mountain neighborhood, gradually working in some short runs. By July, I was on my way to Deep Creek Lake minus 30 pounds, and ready for the challenging trails of DCL State Park. By late Fall, I was up to 20 miles per week and 48 pounds lighter. It was then that I targeted the Eddie Jones as my “comeback race.”

I navigated through the perils of the Holidays, managing to keep the weight off, and staying true to my running routine. At this point, Brain and Body started doing some amazing therapies on my arthritic knees, and shortly after the new year, the good doctor allowed me to play with some of his new toys which helped fight the nasty free radicals in my cells.  I was 63 going on 36!

Fast forward to race day. After a morning soak, I made my way to Warren County Middle School and the Edward Jones 5k. The butterflies were as big as 747s, not knowing how I was going to perform after 5 years of being away from running. The bar was low–finish, and enjoy the run. Period.

But, a funny thing happened. I got off to a nice early pace, running comfortably, even passing some runners in the first mile. The second mile, mostly downhill, was a bit faster, and as I started up the gradual slope of the final mile, I was faster still.  I paced myself behind a very nice lady who, with about a half mile to go, encouraged me to pass her and finish strong, which I was able to do with a nice kick to the line. How did I do? How about a top 20 finish overall, and winner of my age group with a time of 26:43. I had exceeded all expectations.

The journey continues in May with the Apple Blossom 10k…stay tuned.

RW

 

 

 

 

FCPRD hosts Youth Triathlon

walking in a winter wonderland

Frederick County Parks and Recreation’s 6th annual Youth Triathlon returns tomorrow at 8 am at Sherando Park in Stephens City.

All kids ages 7-15 are welcome to participate in the event which transforms the park into a fun and challenging obstacle course including swimming, biking, and running.

All skill levels are encouraged to come out.

There are different distances for the various age groups.

Sign up today before 7 pm and the fee is $45. For more information, visit runatthetop.net.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.