AORTA Posts 2010

The king is dead, long live the queen! - November 30, 2010

In a bitter battle over control of the vast resources of AORTA Molly Johnson was voted in last night as our next president. Actually, there was no battle, she was coerced and caved to immense pressure, especially from Alvin. Penny Merritt-Price will continue as vice president. Penny said "I did nothing last year, I guess I can do it for another year". Karen Khodadadi is giving up the the bank account, CD's, money market accounts and gold reserves she created as the treasurer and Mr. Brian Corbitt will take over. Karen was heard to say "I hope that knucklehead (referring to Mr. Corbitt) doesn't screw it up". "What's his name" will be secretary and continue to run the website and spout propaganda. He was criticized last night for failing to update the website in a timely manner. Alvin said he was looking forward to being out of the pressure cooker and spotlight that comes with being the president. He plans to devote more time to being a ballroom dance instructor and "life coach". In a deal cut at the last minute he will be able to keep his car and driver for another year. Molly is highly motivated and very organized and will do a great job as president, we are lucky to have her. She will also continue as our water czar, the most hated job at AORTA. We have been VERY fortunate to have Alvin as our president the past several years. I think everyone is familiar with how much work he did for the club and how many extra hours he spent. The next time you see him you should thank him for all his hard work and great attitude.

I owe you running plans for the next few Saturday's, information on the Chewacla Fat Ass 50K, December birthdays and a few other things. I'll try and get that posted tomorrow...

AORTA Leadership - November 28, 2010

The current AORTA leadership will be stepping down. We NEED you!!! The club will need to run with new leadership beginning in January 2011. If you know of someone who would make a great officer, please nominate them! Or, self-nominate by responding to this email. At the next AORTA meeting, we will be electing new officers. Please make arrangements to attend this meeting.

Below is a list of the positions available and brief descriptions of the responsibilities. Please know that any positions will also be assisted by other members. While one member may not hold a specific office, the prior officers will be glad to assist with the new positions in any way.

President - Currently held by Alvin Walls. Coordinates and manage race services to outside organizations, including keeping a calendar to prevent conflicts. Schedule and run the meetings (monthly or quarterly), authorize social activities, assist with races, present donation checks to organizations for the newspaper, ensure clocks are charged and delivered to races. Oversee loaning out the race equipment including pickup and return of the same.
Vice President - Assist the President with all duties listed above. Maintain a membership list with contact names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Assist with races where needed. Manage inventory of race equipment (including but not limited to the trailer).
Treasurer - Currently held by Karen Khodadadi. Advise the President and Vice President on all matters related to the finances of AORTA. Responsible for the ledger, checks and balances including deposits to the bank. The treasurers duties include, but are not limited to, collecting dues from members on an annual basis, issuing drafts for expenses, ensuring taxes are paid when due and issuing drafts to organizations receiving donations from races. Shall present a budget to the social director for social events.
Social Coordinator - Coordinates, organizes and sends invitations to social events for AORTA. Usually includes a Christmas party in December and a summer party in June.

Alvin will continue to coordinate and keep a calendar for races. He will also consult with other organizations planning races, when necessary. Handle communications with the club from non members. Consult with groups or individuals planning to organize a race.

Mark your calendars for the annual Christmas Party at the Auburn Alumni Center on Thursday, December 16 beginning at 7 PM.

Verbal Reprimand - November 22, 2010

Before I get to our reprimand don't forget we are less than 2 weeks away from the Toys for Tots Races. We have all kinds of ways for you to register, we have a Facebook page for you to visit, t-shirt count is being made as well as all kinds of planning. You can help us out by registering NOW so we'll know how many people to plan for! Click on the icon above to register and get more information.

Because Molly's email address is at the top of the page all the time she gets all kinds of email that she has to answer or sends to me to answer. Our latest email was from the property owner of one of the places we use for a water stop. I'm not going to say which one so as not to embarrass the person who didn't pick up their trash. But, this owner wrote and told us that our trash had blown across their property and they resented having to go out and pick up our garbage. I don't blame them, I'd be hacked off too and I'd tell you not to ever leave water there again! They didn't tell us not to use that stop again but I'm sure that's the next step if it happens again. So, let this serve as a reminder to be sure we go back and pick up our trash immediately after the Saturday run and check around to see if something was blown away. Treat it like it was your yard we were leaving it in and clean up accordingly and we won't have any problems.

End of the Week - November 19, 2010

Got word about our own Molly Johnson who was struck by a car on Hamilton Road several weeks ago. Earlier this week she heard from her doctor that she can return to running so we'll be expecting her at the big run on Saturday morning for her "return". We are all glad to hear she is back to normal, at least normal for her.

And by now you should have gotten your e-invite to the AORTA Christmas Party. But first let me going through the list of members there are a lot of "you" who have been taking a free ride. Yes, you didn't pay your AORTA dues for 2010. Don't try and make it good now, it's too late and your reputation is already tarnished!! But in 2011 we'll keep a better list so you will know if you are a) a member in good standing or b) a mooching free-loader. But back to the party, Karen has been in search of better places to have the party and this year we'll be at the Alumni Center on College St. They have a really nice facility there for us to use. I don't have all the details but they are planning to do it up right, expect an update on this soon but mark your calendars for Thursday, December 16th at 7:00 PM.

Upcoming Races - November 15, 2010

We are now just 2+ weeks away from our Toys for Totsraces and we already have over 60 preregistered runners. 

After that on January 22nd will be the Auburn Classic Half Marathon.  And on Thanksgiving morning there will be a 5K run from the Moore's Mill Golf Course. While you were at home and relaxing Nick Holler was in San Antonio, TX running a half marathon. Nick said they had perfect weather, a fast course and he was 4th place in his age group with a 2:07. Congratulations to Nick Holler.

And Bob Banks trudged up to Chickamauga to compete in the marathon there and pumped out a very good 3:53:34. Congrats to Bob!

You should know by now that AORTA has a BIG push on to be sure all our runners are using reflective vests, flashing lights and lights so they can actually see where they are running in the dark. What a novel idea? Go here to Road Runner Sports for a smorgasbord of safety and reflective items.

Frankie Bell - November 15, 2010

She was the runner who was with Marie Wooten when they were struck by a car and Molly sent me some information on her condition. She is pretty banged up and bruised up with one leg broken in 3 places, the other leg in 5 places. She has a dislocated shoulder, a swollen face, and cracks in her jaw but she is expected to recover. Frankie is a teacher at Loachapoka. Considering what she has gone through she is very fortunate.

Wednesday Update - November 10, 2010

I have been out of town the past 3 days so haven't had anything to say about the the two women hit by a car last week. What can you say, what a terrible tragedy! I don't know if anyone will ever know exactly what happened or why. But you can't go wrong if you make yourself visible with the right gear and always take for granted that when it's dark the driver can't see you! Since this has happened I've heard dozens of stories from runner who were almost hit because they thought a driver saw them and he didn't.

Thanks to Bob Lawson for sending me some information about some of our runners in recent races:

  1. Eric Gilbertson, Cactus Rose 100. 23:43. 4th Place out of 30 finishers and 66 starters.. Actually ran over 106 miles because of a "stupid prank" regarding course markings!
  2. Marcus Farris, Pinhoti 100. 25:20. 20th Place out of 73 finishers and >100 starters. This is the first 100 miler for both Eric and Marcus.
  3. Carol Dorn and Jennifer Cabbage ran the NYC marathon. Carol's time was 4:12 and Jennifer's was 3:49.
  4. Bob Lawson, Pumpkin Butt 50k in Marietta, 6:42. 8th out of 14 finishers. My loco elevation chart attached.

Runner Killed - November 5, 2010

I was told by Alvin that two women running this morning near Kinnucans were struck by a car. One was killed and the other was airlifted to a hospital but I don't know where. I don't know if they were wearing reflective vests or if they had a light or if that even played into the accident. It just seems this has become a sad and familiar story in recent years. Very often I think runners don't take the dangers they face by running in the darkness very seriously, they've run for years and never had a problem so we think things will continue on like they always have. Not true! You've got to wear reflective clothing, carry a light and when cars are coming get out of the road and watch what that car is doing. I know Penny told me a year ago that a car came up on the sidewalk where they were running one morning and almost hit them. If you run in the dark this will be a good time to reevaluate what you are doing and if you are being safe!!!

AORTA Meeting - November 2, 2010

This coming Monday, November 8th at 6:30PM we'll be having our quarterly meeting at Chappie's Deli. Alvin said there will be big news and you won't want to miss it.

November birthdays

have been updated on the right side of this page.

Chocolate 5K Run - November 1, 2010

That run is going to be this Sunday afternoon. Alvin needs 3 more volunteers to help out so if you are available please contact Alvin.

An account has been set up in Facebook for the Toys for Tots races. We'll get the maps, applications and up to the minute information on there as we get a bit closer to race day. You should go ahead and click on this link and join the group so you'll be notified of any changes or updates.

And from Molly: Thank you to all the October water volunteers - it was a tough month for me but you all stepped forward and made it easier, a tremendous thank you to Blake Henry, Beth Kisor, Marianne Farrus, Scott and Laura, Bev Smith, Nick Holler, and Tim Adams. Now there are only 8 more Saturday's this year, those 1200 mile members who have not volunteered for 4 water stops still have time to get this requirement completed. Anyone with questions can e-mail me. Thanks again everyone - Molly

I am back after a week in Colorado from what was supposed to be days of cool mornings and warm afternoons of hiking and picture taking in the Rocky Mountains along with some friends who were elk hunting. Instead it was 4 hours on a horse (each way), no shower for a week, days of near zero temperatures, 30" of snow, a damaged Achilles tendon, altitude sickness and 50mph winds. I won't try that again. I did get some photos you can see on smugmug if you're interested.

Young Life Trick or Trot 5K - October 25, 2010

Young Life Trick or Trot 5K: And my last post for the next 10 days is this race which will be in Opelika on October 30th at 9:00am.

Summer Vaughn - October 25, 2010

Summer Vaughn: I know that many of you know her, she has run with us in the past, she attends a fair number of races and was director of the Art Walk race about 2 years ago. This past Friday she had a stroke and was flown to Atlanta where she's being treated and is still in ICU. Summer is in her early 30's, married with 2 young children.
Photos: I've posted all the decent photos I have of the Forestry Preserve 5K, you can see them on Smugmug.

Back to Normal - October 25, 2010

This Saturday we'll be back to our normal Kaz run at 6:00am and it should stay that way for several weeks. I heard today through Scott Walker that registration for those few who qualified for Boston in 2011 filled up in 7 hours! We know of no one who got in except for Bob Lawson and that was because he was a deferral from last year. I'm sure there are a lot of upset people!

On October 30th there will be a 5K race in Opelika, Trick or Trot. When I get more information I'll post it for you. And I wanted to give you all some good news, I will be gone all next week so there won't be any updates! As you know, I'm living in my mothers basement and she told me I had to get a job or join the Army so I have some big decisions to make. If you need any races posted or whatever you'd better get it to me by Thursday night. Also, the Race Results page has been updated for the first time since last January for all you race historians.

Rare Weekend Update - October 25, 2010

Rare weekend update: Since I knew Molly would be breathing down my neck early Monday morning I decided to avoid that unpleasant situation and get things updated. Nick had a great turn-out Saturday at the Forestry Preserve and perfect running weather. He's on the ball and had results me within 24 hours and those have been posted above. I was able to take a lot of photos and I've started posting those but have a long way to go. If your photo isn't on there then a) it will be soon or b) I just didn't get a good shot and you were unmercifully deleted. You can see those on smugmug. Most of you know I have a reputation for a bad memory and I'd forgotten that Brian Benson sent me a good race report nearly 2 weeks ago so I want to post it now. Here is Mr. Benson's report: I went out too fast and didnt walk enough early in the Rock Creek Stump Jump 50K in Chattanooga. I had to hike out the last 10K and it was pretty gruesome. Of course it is a 31 mile trail race with 5000 of elevation gain and an equal amount of downhill, and I did officially finish within the 9 hour cutoff (and many did not) . At one point we descended a gorge and crossed a creek on a rickety cable suspension bridge. There were cliffs and caves and cool rock formations, it was a truly beautiful course until I got too cramped and banged up to enjoy it. This race takes place during Chattanoogas Chastain Park River Rocks Fall Festival with wine tastings, street music, hot air balloons, river boats, and such.quite the adventure even without the 50K,also there is an 11 miler for those who havent crossed over to the dark side. I attached a couple pics of my medals and the festivities. The hard-core trail runners say if theres no blood whats the point. Guess I got my moneys worth. Brian Benson

New Low - October 18, 2010

Monica Kennis has been a frequent critic of the website saying it's not updated often enough. So she has made her own contribution to the website by sending me a recipe that's been requested by several of you. I want to apologize ahead of time for posting this but I have nothing better to give you!

Pumpkin Cake
1 box cinnamon swirl cake mix
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1 can of pumpkin
1/2 c. canola oil
3 eggs(beaten)
Beat all ingredients together for 3 minutes. Then stir in swirl packet from cake mix. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.

This week - October 18, 2010

There won't be a run from Kaz this Saturday, we'll be at the Forestry Preserve 5K with Nick Holler. The race starts at 8:00am and while the football game is in town it's a late start so you'll have plenty of time to run, tailgate and see the game. Then on Sunday will be the Fall SGA 5K starting at 3:00PM and I think the start line is at the coliseum. There is pizza at the finish line for all those who volunteer so contact Alvin if you think you can help!

Hit by Car! - October 11, 2010

Yes, my write-up from yesterday was too late. Our water-czar,Molly Johnson, was hit by a car Monday morning and broke her shoulder not to mention plenty of scrapes, cuts and bruises. Overall she is going to be ok which we are glad to hear. She'll be out of commission for a few weeks while she heals but we're thankful that it wasn't any worse.

Mid-Week Report - October 6, 2010

In addition to others who I mentioned earlier that ran the Twin Cities Marathon you can add Heather May. She finished in 2:55:15 which gave her 8th place in the US Masters National Marathon Championship. That is a 6:42/mi average. Quite an honor!

In case you are wondering there will not be a run from Kaz for the next 2 Saturday's. As far as gossip we have our own Steve Speakman running for Lee County District Court Judge. I think all of you know Steve and the kind of person he is so be sure to go out and support him on November 2nd. Then we have Jamie Shelton who gave birth just a couple of weeks ago, we expect to see her back soon. Carol Dorn did a great job of ripping a hamstring about 2 weeks ago and was told not to do any training whatsoever for 6 weeks. She was scheduled for the NY Marathon in November with Jennifer Cabbage but no final decision has been made. I'm not a betting man but I'll put up $1,000 that says she won't last 6 weeks without training but I warn you that I know the psychology of these running nuts and there's no way I'll lose. Alvin wanted me to remind everyone we are now at that time of year when it's dark when most of us run. I hear stories all the time of people driving past runners dressed in dark clothing with no reflective clothing and no light. Don't you realize that drivers can't see you? And when the sun is low in the horizon and it's really bright they can't see you then either! Put on your vest, use a light and watch out for those cars! Do it now!

Race Week! - October 4, 2010

Yep, this week starts AORTA's portfolio of races for the season beginning with the Tough Ten this Saturday. Our race director has reported that as of Sunday we had 95 pre-registered runners and I wouldn't be surprised if we have 50 more sign up this week including the day of the race. The weather should be beautiful for this race.

I'll be updating our calendar with the Auburn Classic Half Marathon. Go ahead and mark your calendar for January 22, 2011 for that race. It's already been set up on so you can register now! I've had some ask me if the Turkey Trot will be held again this year on Thanksgiving Day. Yes! It will be held that morning at 8:00am at the Moore's Mill Clubhouse.

The Alpha Xi Deltas Amazing Challenge 5K was held this past Sunday with a good bit of help from an AORTA crew. You can download the results to that race here.

Ben Farrow, Sean Thomas and Brian Rogers spent this past weekend in St. Paul, MN at the Twin Cities Marathon unchaperoned. I don't have their official times but word on the street is Ben finished with a 3:44, Sean Thomas in 3:13 (qualified for Boston) and Brian Rogers in 3:23. All great finishing times, congratulations to those guys. I've also added the Beulah Band Run to our Race Calendar on Saturday, November 6th. And the Health and Wellness Chocolate Festiival 5K on Nov. 7 at 3 PM on campus. And the Opelika Young Life 2nd Annual 'Trick or Trot for Sharptop' 5K on October 30, 2010 @ 8:00 am.

I got this from our Water Czar, Molly Johnson: A big thank you to the September water volunteers on Saturday mornings: Marianne Farris, Heather Taylor, Beth Ladisla, Shari Glover, Elyse Corbit, Tracey Buckingham, Bob Banks, Becky Freeman, Catherine Thompson, Bob Lawson and Carol Dorn. A couple of these folks volunteered on days they didn't even run with us and a couple are recent AORTA runners! All stops are covered for October 2nd, we have a 2-week hiatus due to AORTA races, but we'll be needing volunteers beginning October 23rd so please start planning ahead!

Alberto Contador - September 30, 2010

I know a lot of you are big cycling or Tour de France fans and Contador has been a winner there at least 3 times. Earlier today he was suspended for a positive blood test on a banned substance. While I'm not a huge fan of his I hope it's not true. You can read all the poop on Velonews.

News you can't use: This week we have 2 National Holiday Birthdays. Karen Khodadadi who has served as the AORTA treasurer for many years has a birthday today. Thanks to her tight fisted policies with mine and Alvin's expenses and her savvy investments in credit default swaps, currency trading and pork belly futures, AORTA is flush with cash. We also have Brian Corbitt who is a self-described 'occasional runner'. This is from back when he was a model for Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum. Happy birthday to both of them. Scott and Laura Walker have returned from their worldwide tour which included a visit to Germany to see the president of the AORTA-European Division, Oliver Prigge. Reports are that Oliver and Nicole are doing well and happy back in Germany. I've also heard several AORTA members are headed to Montgomery this Saturday for the half marathon. Good luck to all of you!

Read me - September 29, 2010

Apparently a good number of you don't want to talk about this but we need some help. The Tough Ten and Tough Two are just over a week away and right now we have less than 30 registrants!! In the past this race was good for 150 runners coming all the way from Atlanta, Birmingham, etc but competition for activities on Saturday's is fierce. I can tell you that if we start having numbers like these we will discontinue certain races because we will lose money and while it's not all about the money we can't be bad managers of our limited resources. So, if you plan on coming please sign-up now so we can have a good idea of what we need to plan for! You can find out more information on Facebook, you can download an application here or you can use

I misspoke last week when I said there wasn't any drama going on right now, I forgot that Beth Ladisla, Beverly Long, Scott & Laura Walker, John Horton and Blake Henry are deep into their training for the Memphis Marathon. This will happen on December 4th which unfortunately is the same day as the Toys for Tots Races. There are a lot of trash talkers in this group so I expect to have something juicy from one of them any day now.

Weak - September 20, 2010

I know, the website has been very weak lately. No news, no stories, no drama or tragedy. But as we come upon the racing season that should change. One of my harshest critics, Bob Kennis, told me a few tidbits on Saturday. Scott and Laura Walker have been on some fancy trip to Europe including Germany where they are going to see the head of the AORTA-Europe Division, Oliver Prigge. That should be fun. And Blake Henry has been trying his hand at triathlons lately and has a Half Ironman planned and I think it's this coming weekend. Good luck to Blake on his race. We'll have runs from Kaz for the next 2 Saturdays and then we'll be away for 2 straight Saturdays for the Tough Ten and then the Forestry Preserve 5K. I expect some major changes in our races over the next year. Some of our directors are wanting to step down after serving several years in a row so we will have to deal with that. Nearby towns are having more races and longer races and that will probably cause the number of runners we have at our races to decline. I should point out the obvious fact that if you don't support AORTA races then there may be fewer of them in the future. But, it's good to see that stronger running communities are popping up in other places.

A reminder to those of you in hot pursuit of the 1200 Mile Club. You are REQUIRED to volunteer for water at least once per quarter on our Saturday runs to qualify. Don't come whining to us in January and say you forgot because we are ruthless and relish delivering bad news...

Tough Ten - September 13, 2010

We are only 3 weeks away from October 9th and the Tough Ten and Tough Two. Applications have been slow to come in which makes it hard for our race director and her lackeys to make plans. It's hard to get together t-shirt counts and the amount of supplies you need until you get a reasonable count on the number of runners. You can sign up by mailing in the application, you can sign up on and you can get more details on the race on Facebook.

Water - September 13, 2010

Time once again for my annual water stop rant but we did go longer this year than most years. A week or so ago we a) ran completely out of water before everyone finished and b) had a nice ice chest stolen. It's always hard to tell how many runners are going to show up and I've seen as few as 6 or 8 when bad weather threatened and I've seen over 40 show up, you just can't tell. Here are a few rules you should follow in order not to be flogged:

  1. Put out at least 3 gallons of water and 3 gallons of Gatorade. Double that if we go by there twice! We go through an incredible amount of fluids during the summer and a bit less when temperatures cool off.
  2. Set out at least 50 cups, again, double that if a double stop. Runners should try to reuse their own cup if possible but when I get there and 30 cups are already lying around and hung in trees it can be hard to keep up with which cup was mine.
  3. If we start running low on Gatorade please keep the runners behind you in mind and leave some for them too.
  4. Usually there is a trash bag at each stop, put your cup and all your trash in there. Make it as easy as you can on the poor slob coming back to pick up the trash.
  5. Always be sure to go back and get the trash and pick up the area so neighborhoods won't mind if we use a spot for water stops. You wouldn't like someone leaving garbage in your yard either so please have it picked up by 10:00 am.
  6. In the summer do whatever you have to do to keep the drinks cool. If you set out an ice chest you run the risk of getting it stolen, it's happened to me too. Buy a cheap Styrofoam cooler or get a box, line it with a plastic trash bag and fill it with ice. It doesn't have to be pretty, just effective.
  7. Pay attention! I've had times when I set out several bottles of water and they'd all be opened and none would be empty. Please don't open a bottle or jug until we have emptied the previous one. Once a bottle is opened it can't be reused later, I always throw opened bottles away.

In kindergarten you learned to treat each other like you would want to be treated, if we all follow that simple rule things will continue to go well. We do get a lot of help and cooperation from everyone but maybe this will helps things go a bit smoother.

Facebook - September 1, 2010

As you know, AORTA has never had an original thought but we are masters at stealing others ideas. We saw where some other clubs were using Facebook to distribute information about individual local races. So, Penny Merritt-Price has started a Facebook page for the Tough Ten and Two. I think this is a great idea because it gives the race director a way to post updates on their race, post maps, answer questions and do a lot of other things that aren't really practical for this website.

Cleaning Up - September 1, 2010

I've added the Forestry Preserve race above and you can also register for the Tough Ten using by clicking on that link. The Race Calendar has also been updated with a Half Marathon and 10K in Troy, November 20th.

Molly wanted me to mention the water volunteers: Thank you to the August water volunteers - Jennifer Cabbage, Beth Kisor, Marianne Farris, Robert Keith, Bob Kennis, Tom Lawry, Nick Holler, AHS Girls Cross Country Team/Coach, and Mike and Gloria. The heat and humidity didn't keep many of us away, and the water stops were always a welcome sight - thank you for waking up a bit earlier and covering a stop.

On the other hand, I did get a hostile email from one of our members because we ran out of water at one of the stops. We had a huge crowd that we didn't expect. Not only that I heard a volunteer had their ice chest stolen. So, it's time for me to rant about the water stops again which is no reflection on Molly, she's done a superb job coordinating this. I know some of you are new and may not know exactly what we need so we'll get that cleared up when I rant tomorrow.

AORTA Mops up at Woodland Wallahatchee - August 23, 2010

We dispatched Scott Walker to the race this weekend to report back results and embarrassing things our runners did that may require disciplining. So far, only good news. AORTA swept the trophies and Heather May was the overall 10K winner. Alvin Walls walked away with 2 trophies, one for his age group and another for helping out Barbara White for so many years. Congratulations to all the runners and thanks to Scott for the photo. You may have noticed recently on Saturdays we have some very young women who have been running with us; they are from the Auburn High School Cross Country Team. They won't be here every week because of meets and such but we are happy to add them to our number and they'll be helping with water stops too. Don't teach them everything you know, just teach them everything you know about running long races!

Forestry Preserve 5K - August 23, 2010

I've meant to add this date to our calendar but keep forgetting. Nick Holler has pegged October 16th as the date for the trail run this year. It's a really nice run in the woods without fording streams, climbing steep hill and stumbling on rocks. I'll get you the race application when they get ready but mark your calendar!

Thursday Update - August 19, 2010

I got some feedback on this proposed new route from several of you which I appreciate. We'll do some tweaking on it and see if we can't make it more runner friendly.

This Saturday is the Woodland Wallahatchee 10K, 5K and 1 Mile in Pike Road, AL which is just off I-85 on this side of Montgomery. A quick and easy drive. Barbara White is directing that again and always does a superb job. You can

Next in line will be the Tough Ten and Tough Two. If you click on the icon above it will bring up the registration PDF. Plans are well underway for this race, Penny Merritt-Price is directing this again and does a great job. If you'd like to volunteer to help you can drop her an email.

If you'd like to do a race on Labor Day we have just the thing for you. There will be a 5K/1 Mile in Montgomery at Union Station at 7:30am.

Sick of it! - August 19, 2010

I'm a) sick of the heat and humidity and even worse, b) sick of our routes. Yes, it's basically the same old worn out courses week after week after week... It's not easy coming up with new routes because they need to be safe, have places someone is willing to drop water and not too complicated for our 'mentally challenged' runners. Karen submitted this route as a potential change but I'm not sure where we can put water on this route and if anyone would drop water as far away as east university? Please take a look at this and let me know what you think and if you have an idea for a brilliant route let me know.

Huge Mistake - August 11, 2010

I missed one of the biggest days of the year on the AORTA calendar...Alvin Walls birthday which was this past week. He is still accepting kisses from the young ladies and from the guys he just wants cash.

And things can return to normal, Dave Hennessey is back from his trip to Spain and the Canary Islands looking fit and well rested. I've noticed over the years that once school starts we have a captive audience! Not so much traveling and goofing off, people have to be at home so the crowds for the next couple of weeks will be larger than normal. Who knows, we might even see Steve Speakman or Jill Harris? I had a written complaint about the masthead. It's old, those girls aren't runners, they don't belong to AORTA and I was accused of being lazy. I'll get something else posted soon.

Badwater Ultramarathon - August 11, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that someone in Auburn had completed the Badwater Ultramarathon which is a bit over 135 miles long. Emily Ansick sent me the race report her husband, William Ansick, wrote for his blog. I have it here in PDF and while it's long it's a great story and you'll enjoy it!

Routes for this Saturday the 14th and then the 21st are posted. Please volunteer for a water stop with Molly.

AORTA Meeting - August 4, 2010

On Monday night we had a good turnout for our meeting which will now be held quarterly. Alvin Walls reported to us that we will be having elections near the end of the year for new officers. There will likely be 5 or 6 positions from President, Vice President and then directors over membership, race equipment and other tasks which haven't been worked out yet. What better opportunity to move up into the elite status within the dysfunctional AORTA bureaucracy? This should make the job of being president a little bit easier too. Also, several of our long time race directors want to turn over their races to new directors so we'll see changes there too. As more decisions are made I'll keep you updated.

Molly Joshnson wanted me to call attention to all the July water volunteers - 5 Saturdays required lots of volunteers for the month, and it was a hot one. Thank you to: Jim Doyle, Scott and Laura, Greg Lanier, Bob Kennis, Carol Keever, Carol Dorn, Allen Smith, Gloria and Michael, Bob Lawson, Bob Banks, Mac Matthews, Tracey Buckingham, Kermit Davis, and Bev Long. A successful club of any type is dependent on members volunteering for various activities - thank you again.

On Sept 4th there will be a race at Luverne, AL. The Peanut Boil Festival 5K Run/Walk. 7:30am. $15 pre-registered. Info: Tracy Watson 334-335-2437 or

Also check our race calendar for the Alpha Xi Delta's AmaXIng Challenge which will be held on October 3rd. You can find out more about it here.

Monday Night - August 2, 2010

Tonight, August 2nd, we'll be having an AORTA meeting at Chappie's Deli to discuss plans for this fall and next year. We need all the help we can get, please make plans to be there and volunteer your time for our upcoming events.

More importantly, this past Saturday was the social event of the season where the elite of AORTA attended the wedding of Peyton Bean. I have no idea what her husbands name is but then what does he matter? Thanks to Elyse Corbitt and Tracey Buckingham who were there to take photos in their official positions and forwarded them to me!

Beverly Long - July 30, 2010

Beverly Long wanted me to remind all of you that today is her birthday (Friday) but she will still be accepting gifts on Saturday. And on Saturday we'll finally have Peyton Bean married and then we're shipping her off to Atlanta. Her husband can deal with her from now on. Dave Hennessey and I have worked tirelessly for 4 years to find someone to marry her and it finally paid off. Good luck to Peyton.

And I have a prediction to make. More and more accusations are coming out about Lance Armstrong and performance enhancing drugs and he will get caught up in the scandal and found guilty. Maybe not guilty in court but guilty in public perception which is a sad end to his story.

Man-up - June 28, 2010

Molly Johnson, our water girl, will be out of town for a couple of weeks in July so we were trying to get all the runs planned and water stops covered before she left town. Molly reported this morning that the last 3 stops were taken this weekend so everything is covered. Thanks to everyone for helping out with this.


We are in the final countdown to the Tour de France which will start this coming Saturday morning (July 3rd). I think it will be a good tour and it's always exciting to watch who gets kicked out for failing their drug test. This year they'll also be checking to see who has the new tiny motor stuck in their seat post. No, I'm not kidding. Who will win? Lance Armstrong, old man and can only win if 4 or 5 others fall off their bike. Cadel Evans? No chance. The Schleck boys, especially Andy? He might be able to pull it off, lot's of natural talent. But you'd have to put your money on Alberto Contador, right now he looks unbeatable. What's nice is there is always some surprising rider or event that changes everything.

3rd Annual Peach Run

Wanted to remind you that 2 weeks from tomorrow (July 10th) will be the Peach Run. You can download the application here. Leading the AORTA regime will be Alvin Walls and we need about half a dozen volunteers to cover the finish line. If you can help out contact Alvin.

Send Off - June 22, 2010

All of you should know that Bob Lawson and Scott & Laura Walker had a Good-bye Party for

Oliver Prigge last Wednesday after the Summer 5K Race. Scott

took a few photos for your consideration.

Water Czarette Molly Johnson has a terrific employment package with AORTA that allows her several weeks off (with pay) each summer. The downside is we need to go ahead and get the waterstops covered for the next 4 weeks. I will try to get all those runs posted so she can get that handled which means we all need to man-up and volunteer for a stop!

AORTA Breakfast - June 21, 2010

The Vice President of Social Events, Elyse Corbitt, has announced we'll be having an AORTA breakfast this coming Saturday. We'll try to get started around 8:00am, just after the run. We are asking everyone to bring a breakfast dish and we'll provide coffee and have all the paper products etc. This will be held at Auburn Electric so you already know the routine, everyone is invited.

Updates - June 17, 2010

Bob Lawson and Scott Walker have planned a 'so long and good riddance' cookout for Oliver & Nichole tonight (Wednesday). Bob is supplying the hot dogs, bratwurst and buns -- and he has a pool. You're to bring your own drinks and a side dish or dessert (chips and fruit salad have already been spoken for). Oliver & Nicole go back to Germany around the 25th of this month. If anyone plans to attend, let Scott Walker know -- and an idea of what you might bring.

Doug sent me this photo

of poor Alvin handing over a check to the EAMC Cancer Center for $4,000 back in April. It's a very hard life being president of AORTA...sorry about the red grid in the photo, I can't get rid of it. The 1200 Mile Club is up to date and can be downloaded above. Birthdays for June have been posted to the right.

Mark your calendar for October 9th when we'll hold the Tough Ten and Tough Two. Penny Merritt-Price will be our hostess/race director once again. I've also added a few other races to our calendar.

Long Time - June 15, 2010

I know it's been a week since the last update but my excuse is I became a grandfather over the weekend. Make checks payable to 'Cash' and give them to me. Madeline weighed in at 6 lb 9 oz Saturday night, has a bit of jaundice but otherwise is doing well. And a word from the Water Czar: Hi Again - remind all 1200-mile runners that 'Effective June 1st, members of the 1200-mile club are expected to assist with water stops on Saturday mornings by volunteering a minimum of once per quarter. Don't wait until December as stops are usually covered on a first-come basis.' -Molly.

Molly also told me that Jane Farr used a nice cooler at her water stop a couple of weeks ago and it was stolen. That happens several times per year it seems and I've lost nice ones myself. Use an old piece of junk cooler if you have one or maybe just a trash bag with ice in it. If you still want to use a nice cooler then try to hide it in the bushes or cover it with a black trash bag. Booby-trapping it probably isn't a good idea.

Also, don't forget that Oliver Prigge will be leaving us at the end of this month and heading back to Germany. I think he will be opening a branch office of AORTA there as part of our European franchise system. John Schelhas is also leaving if I remember correctly and both these guys are going to be missed.

We are behind in posting the 1200 Mile Club, behind with the birthdays and behind updating our calendar. We'll get that caught up this week for sure.

AORTA POOL Party - June 3, 2010

Yes, plans are now finalized for the party which will be Saturday, June 12th at Tracey Buckingham's home (1802 Ogletree Road). You can even download the invitation if snakes don't bother you! We'll start at 4:00 PM, AORTA will furnish hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, drinks, paper products, etc. We are asking everyone that has a last name ending in A-L to bring a side dish or if it ends in M-Z to bring a dessert. If you are coming PLEASE let Tracey know and what you plan to bring so we can plan accordingly.

News from our Water Czar Molly Johnson

A big thank you to the May Saturday morning water volunteers. There were a couple of 'special' races on Saturday's in May, but some of us are having a hard time adjusting to the high humidity and water volunteers are thus very special people! Thanks goes out to: Jennifer Cabbage, Beth and Gary, Bob Kennis, Jennifer Deitloff, Mike and Gloria, Jim Killian (the only volunteer for May 22nd which was 'hit' by many 3 times - yes, he's my good friend and I was paid handsomely for saying this!), Tom Lawry, and Jim Doyle.

Couple of Things - June 1, 2010

Congratulations to Steve Speakman, legal expert for AORTA. He won the republican party nomination for Lee County District Court yesterday and now will face his democratic challenger in November. I know he'll do a great job. Of course we won't be satisfied until we have taken over the governorship and then Washington based on our 'running paths everywhere and cold water faucets every mile' platform. Plus billions in the AORTA coffers for us to squander on food, travel and useless gadgets. You know, kind of like the government has been doing for years!

I know I said a couple of weeks ago we were working on a big upgrade to the AORTA website. It's nearly completed and I hope to get it posted in the next week or so. It will take a bit of getting used to but I have every confidence you can figure it out. For the rest of you (Carol Keever) we'll have special classes on Tuesday nights until you understand. Actually I've done nothing on the new site, there is an 'eager beaver' in my office who has taken on the task but I intend to take full credit.

While in one sense the racing season has slowed down we still have races every Tuesday night in Opelika and on Wednesday night in Auburn the Summer 5K Series starts tonight (June 2nd).

Pool Party - May 18, 2010

AORTA's Vice President of Social Activities, Elyse Corbitt, has declared that we will be having a pool party at Tracey Buckingham's on June 12th starting at 4:00PM. We'll have more details as we get closer to that date.

The Run for Ross 5K and 1-mile run/walk will be this Saturday, May 22nd at the Ogletree Village Shopping Center in Auburn. The 5K will be at 8:30am and the 1-mile will be at 9:15. Registration will start at 7:30. The registration fee for both events is a donation of your choice. T-shirts will be available for purchase for $15.00. For more information contact Tracey. Thanks to those who have already volunteered and registered.

The runners have been even more boring than usual. Bob Kennis is going to Massachusetts for a 3 week class on cell biology in June! Yep, 3 solid weeks. All I could think of was 'what would be worse, 15 days of cell biology or 15 days in a communist Chinese

reeducation camp with Alvin as the warden'? Beth Ladisla told me she got into the NY Marathon this November but husband Gary didn't. She seemed disappointed until I pointed out it would probably be a lot more fun without him and she seemed to perk up considerably when she realized the possibilities. Molly told me that Bob Fucci is/was in Italy and ran a 2:10 half marathon. Excellent time for someone in their early 70's. I have a video here of Bob and his pigeons in Venice.

A few days ago I wrote about Lisa Smith-Batchen and her quest to run 50 miles in all 50 states.

Maddie Lloyd was in Birmingham and ran a mile and a half with Lisa who is her cousin. That's the closest thing to royalty Alvin will ever have. And Scott Walker sent me this candid shot of John Nevels hydrating for his next marathon.

Sadly, this will probably be the LAST website update I'll have until I return which will likely be June 1st! All the Saturday runs have been posted so there is no reason for you to slack off.