AORTA Posts 2011

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! - 12 31, 2011

There are SEVERAL exciting things happening this weekend! There will be a Resolution Run Monday morning beginning downtown. It begins at 8:00 (waaayyyy better than 6:00 a.m.!). You will run for about an hour and then meet for breakfast at Auburn Electric at 9. Please bring a breakfast item to share. Of course, you could have just read this in the banner above, but I thought that it needed repeating. There is also a run on Sunday morning, but A Diddy won’t answer his phone right now and I forgot what time he said it would begin. If I can reach him later today, I’ll let you know. I would plan to do one of them, because everyone knows that running is the best cure for a hangover, if you are so inclined to celebrate the New Year with adult beverages.

I made a new best friend this week. Ben, at Big Dog, wanted me to let you know that they have organized runs every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. leaving from the store. He said that you don’t have to run at a particular pace or for a certain distance, but those guys look fast (I know Adam is quick on his feet), so I am not sure if I believe him. But, they’re nice folks, so I am sure that they’d make you feel welcome, even if you’re an old one, like me.

I have received quite a bit of email lately asking about joining AORTA. All I can say is that it’s the coolest club in the state, so it’s well worth the membership fee (due now by the way). If you have stumbled upon this site and are interested in running and/or joining, the best way to do so is to click the icon at the top and meet for a Saturday run. Don’t let the length of the routes deter you. Many run a couple of miles, while others add on. We call the ones that add on the crazy folk. Maybe steer clear of those people until you’ve acclimated a little bit.

Brian, our esteemed treasurer, sent me this notice regarding membership.

Members!  The member list has been updated.  Please take a look at it, and if you don't see your name, then please send in your dues.  There are 3 easy ways to get your dues in.  You can give them directly to Molly, mail them to the AORTA P.O. Box 975 Auburn, AL 36831, or give them directly to me.  I plan on being at the resolution run/breakfast on Mon the 2nd.  I will be making a deposit of membership checks that I currently have Tuesday after the New Year Holiday.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!  Thanks and Happy New Year! Membership list here.

I am sure that you are well aware that the Half Marathon is drawing nigh. You should go ahead and register so that Lovely Elyse can plan accordingly. You can register @ Big Dog, click the icon on the right, or go to organized races at the top and register via If you can volunteer, it would be greatly appreciated. Shoot me or Elyse and email if you are willing to help.

Merry Christmas, y’all! - 12 23, 2011

I hope that it’s a great one! I am updating early because I plan to do pretty much nothing for the next two days.

Please note the announcement at the top of the page. We will have a nutritionist as the guest speaker. If you have ever experienced runner’s gut, you may want to attend. Kermit and I will be sitting in the front row. The meeting will be held in the back room of Chappy’s at 6:30. There will be sandwiches and soft drinks, just don’t consume them in front of the nutritionist, because she may not approve. She’d probably be okay with the sandwiches, but I am pretty sure the soft drinks would earn you the stink eye.

The Half Marathon is fast approaching! You have several options for registering. You can click the icon on the right, go to the top of this page and find it under the races link, or you can go to Big Dog Running Company and take care of it there. Elyse is in need of help for this race, so if you can offer your services please contact her or send this site an email and I will forward it to her.

If you haven’t picked up your shirt that you earned by running Toys for Tots, please stop by Big Dog and do so as soon as possible. Poor Adam can hardly move around the store due to all of the bags being in his way.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope that you all have a safe and fabulous holiday!

Merry Christmas, y’all! - 12 23, 2011

I hope that it’s a great one! I am updating early because I plan to do pretty much nothing for the next two days.

Please note the announcement at the top of the page. We will have a nutritionist as the guest speaker. If you have ever experienced runner’s gut, you may want to attend. Kermit and I will be sitting in the front row. The meeting will be held in the back room of Chappy’s at 6:30. There will be sandwiches and soft drinks, just don’t consume them in front of the nutritionist, because she may not approve. She’d probably be okay with the sandwiches, but I am pretty sure the soft drinks would earn you the stink eye.

The Half Marathon is fast approaching! You have several options for registering. You can click the icon on the right, go to the top of this page and find it under the races link, or you can go to Big Dog Running Company and take care of it there. Elyse is in need of help for this race, so if you can offer your services please contact her or send this site an email and I will forward it to her.

If you haven’t picked up your shirt that you earned by running Toys for Tots, please stop by Big Dog and do so as soon as possible. Poor Adam can hardly move around the store due to all of the bags being in his way.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope that you all have a safe and fabulous holiday!

Bob Kennis is probably mad at me. - 12 17, 2011

He asked me to remind people who ran Toys for Tots and did not get a t-shirt to pick it up at Big Dog on Thursday. I am just getting around to posting this info today. Sorry Bob. Monica told me that because of the race, $2500 and a boatload of toys were given to the Auburn Police Department to help families in need for Christmas.  Being someone who works daily with children who will be recipients of your kindness, I can tell you that it means the world to these little guys. I will permanently post the results for TFT in the appropriate section by this weekend. Probably.

If you missed the AORTA Christmas party on Thursday, you missed the social event of the year. Man, I don’t even know where to start to relay all of the gossip I heard.

First of all, I was lucky enough to be seated at a table with two television stars. Gary Keever, of national broadcasting fame was there with his trophy wife, Carol, and Elyse Corbitt was at my table as well. Elyse was fresh from her interview with WSFA that morning regarding the Auburn Classic Half Marathon (Register by clicking the icon on the right, OR go to the race link at the top of this page for a paper application… easy peasy). If you missed the interview, you can find it online on their site. Also at my table, was Penny Merritt-Price, who was regaling me with tales of decorating the White House and buddying up to Michelle Obama. I asked her to relay my regards the next time they got together. Then President Molly made everyone do a jello shot. Things got crazy from there on out and I had to solemnly vow not to disclose any other information about the party on this website.

Speaking of awesome things that AORTA has accomplished, did you know that we have a plaque at the Cancer Center at EAMC? I sure didn’t. Because of the money earned from our races, we have given them around 35K. Pretty cool.

Mike Milford was this >< close to being AORTA favorite of the week for pointing out that I had posted the same route two weeks in a row. He asked if I had done that on purpose. I am not going to lie, I started to tell him that I HAD done it intentionally, because I felt fellow members needed to become a little more familiar with that route, but it actually was an oversight. I then asked him if there was a route he was eager to run, but he gave me no input, so he did not make it to the favorite list this week. Keep trying, Mike! I will correct it so that you get a little more variety next week. If there is a route that you are just chomping at the bit to run, feel free to email me and I will post it. Remember, I am still asleep when you are running on Saturday, so I pretty much choose the routes by closing my eyes and clicking my mouse.

It’s time to pay your 2012 membership dues! If you want to remain a member or join the cult, send them in now!  

I miss Greg. - 12 3, 2011

Used to be, I would excitedly check the AORTA page to see what was on there, if anyone had accomplished any fabulous running goals, shamed themselves at a race, etc... Now, there's no surprise here for me. Sigh.

Anyway, the AORTA party is this Thursday. Time is running out to get your most glorious Christmas sweater out of the closet and have it dry cleaned. Please contact Gloria, the party animal, if you plan on coming and haven't told her what kind of grub you're going to bring.

The deadline for early registration for the Auburn Classic Half Marathon and 10K is this Friday, the 16th. If you want to be sure to get a very cool tech shirt, register now. I'm wearing my 2009 one right now!

The reprint for the Toys for Tots shirts is completed. You can pick yours up at Big Dog Running Company if you didn't get yours at the race.

I ASSUME that there were no problems with the Google mapped route this morning because no one told me otherwise. ????

Remember, next week's run begins downtown. We will start the first 2 Saturdays of the month at Big Dog, and the remaining Saturdays downtown from now on to help avoid confusion. If there's a particular route that you would really like to see posted, let me know and I'll put it up for you.

Sunday update:

The Rocket City Marathon was held yesterday and results have been posted. Mac Deshazier won first in his age group with a time of 3:50:46.

 Marianne Farris placed 5th in her age group with a speedy 3:26:32. 

Eric McClendon PR’d, shaving 4 minutes off his time coming in at 4:52:33. 

Jeremy Goslin ran it in 3:28, knocking his time from last year down 44 minutes to set a PR. He needs to tell us all what he did. That's an incredible difference!

Seriously Jeremy, you need to write a book. Well done!

Good job guys! If you ran this race and want me to brag about you, let me know!

Monday update: (I'm on a roll!) This is a message from our esteemed treasurer...

Hey everyone, it's that time of year again.  I wanted to make everyone aware that I will be accepting dues payments for 2012 at the Christmas Party on Thursday.  You will be able to find me at a table somewhere taking dues and membership forms.  I will have a stack of membership forms with me, and would GREATLY appreciate if you would all fill one out and submit with your check or cash.  There were a few issues this past year with regards to membership dues and in an effort to correct those issues and make this process more efficient, I would like to ask the following from each of you.  There are 3 preferred ways to submit your dues for 2012.  First, you may give them to me directly, whether at the party or anywhere else.  Second, you can mail them to the AORTA PO Box.  Lastly, you may give them to Molly directly.  Please do not hand submit them to anyone else, and I'm asking that no one accept them on behalf of anyone else.  Last year we changed officers, we changed banks and we had folks giving money to others to turn in for them.  All of those issues were the cause of some confusion as to who had paid and who hasn't.  By using 1 of the 3 proposed channels, I feel that we can eliminate those issues.  Thanks again for all of your assistance and patience, and look forward to another great year with AORTA!  See you thursday night!


P.S.Another quick note......I'll also be able to accept any 1/2 marathon money at the Christmas Party on Thursday, if you want to donate, sponsor or register. I will have some registration forms at my table. If you are planning on doing that and paying your dues at the party, please, please, please have 2 seperate checks. I understand the inconvenience of having to write 2 checks, but it allows us to get a more accurate account of the money generated by the race, to which we can donate to our charity. Plus it makes it more efficient in tallying the dues. I really appreciate your help with this! See you thursday! Thanks

War Eagle!!! - November 26, 2011

I am posting this before the game that I am confident we will win. If we don’t, don’t tell me. I plan to turn it off if we get too far behind and pretend that we’re winning.

Don’t forget that Toys for Tots is this weekend. Monica Kennis, race director extraordinaire, has been hard at work for quite some time, so it should be a well run race.  Ha, ha! Get it? Well run…

You can enter Toys for Tots AND the Auburn Half Marathon quite easily. Simply click the icons on the right. I worked hard for about 15 minutes to hyperlink those icons, so I would appreciate you using them. Plus, early registration guarantees you a shirt and you can NEVER have enough long sleeve running shirts in my opinion.

Last week, I posted that word on the street was that some of you were still having trouble seeing the Google maps when the runs begin at Big Dog Running Company.  Amy, the computer guru, can help with this if you (her words… I don’t pretend to understand this):

For the people that can’t view the Google Maps, rather than what they are seeing it would be better if they could just tell me what version of which browser they are using, for example Firefox 3.6.13. This can be found on the "About…" screen. For example in Internet Explorer or Firefox go to the Help menu and choose "About Internet Explorer" or "About Mozilla Firefox". I haven’t heard from anyone, but that’s probably because there hasn’t been a Saturday route posted with Google yet. Remember, the first 2 Saturdays of the month will always start at BDRC, so please check out the route for 12/10 and let me know if you have issues seeing the map, after you have followed Amy’s directions.

Time is drawing nigh for the AORTA Christmas party, so you may want to go ahead and start looking for a baby sitter. I believe that Gloria Walsh has either sent or will send shortly an email to AORTA members so that she may coordinate the food. Members attending are asked to bring a food item so that we can all make pigs of ourselves. Or am I the only one that does that at parties?  There should be a big table right as you walk into the room for your webmaster presents that I requested earlier in the month. If you don’t see one, feel free to start your own.

The Rocket City Marathon is coming up. I know that several of you are running it, so if you go, send me a report! I had a list of those going, but when my laptop died (R.I.P.), it buried that list with it.

Toys for Tots is soon! - November 20, 2011

You should be hitting those speed drills to get ready!

I am hearing on the street that there are STILL issues with people not being able to see the Google maps when the Saturday runs begin at Big Dog. That's an issue. If this is happening to you, please email the site and let me know what you are using (IE, Firefox) and exactly what you are seeing. It's a big problem if you don't know where you're running, particularly for people like me, who are usually heading the pack.  Amy, the computer guru, will help us if she knows what the issues are, so if you'd like to see the maps but can't, EMAIL THIS SITE. Here, specifically, is what she needs to know (direct quote)

For the people that can’t view the Google Maps, rather than what they are seeing it would be better if they could just tell me what version of which browser they are using, for example Firefox 3.6.13.  This can be found on the “About…” screen.  For example in Internet Explorer or Firefox go to the Help menu and choose “About Internet Explorer” or “About Mozilla Firefox”.

Don't forget that we have two AORTA races coming up, and you can easily enter by CLICKING THE ICONS ON THE RIGHT.

Elyse Corbitt, the Half Marathon director, has been hard at work writing grants and sent me this message to relay to you:

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful opportunity we have had from RRCA. A couple of months ago I applied (on behalf of the Children's Half Marathon) for a grant to help with the Children's Half Marathon. As you probably know, this is a program which promotes running and fitness among local children. Over the past few years, we have tried to spread the word and gain more participation. This year, I applied for and was awarded the grant! I am so excited! The program allows children who participate and complete 12.5 miles of running and walking prior to the half marathon to receive a t-shirt and medal when they run .6 miles on the day of the half. It is a wonderful opportunity for children as well as parents who would like to see their child work toward a common goal (finishing a half marathon and running). Since the shirts and medals are free for Lee County children, the grant from RRCA will help in paying for the shirts and medals. I am hopeful that one day we will have the funds to allow any children to participate for free!
Also, funds from the Auburn Classic Half Marathon & 10k will be donated directly to The Cancer Center at East Alabama. I am offering a discount to anyone who registers during the week of Thanksgiving. 10% discount. The discount code is "TURKEY 2011".

Just wanted to share this with you. Will you please post something on the website about it? I'm including a link where people can sign up their child to participate. We are charging $10.00 for children participating outside of Lee County. Parents may also participate with their child for $10.00.

Here is a link that lists the award recipients:


Midweek update - November 16, 2011

I will be out of town this weekend, so you get your Saturday news early. Hugh Campbell is definitely my favorite AORTA member, because he was the first to dish on the Soldier Marathon. Bob Banks and Mike Walsh are a very close second, however.I am going to copy and paste Bob's email, because he couldn't have been any more thorough when compiling a list of names and times. Thank you very much, sir!
Here's what he wrote:

Hugh Campbell undersold this race. He ran the first Soldier last year and had wonderful things to say about it so a bunch of us went this year.
Yes, It was a relatively flat course with beautiful scenery and perfect weather.
To me though the best thing was the Fallen Hero name that we attached to our shirts. They had names that you could chose (along with information about this Hero) or you could chose your own. I ran in honor of my namesake Staff Sgt James Judson Pittman. As we ran the course we were in the company of lots of current soldiers who were running with the names of their buddies some of whom had died in their arms. This is tough stuff to deal with and you could tell that it meant a lot to these guys to do something for their fallen friend. Really helps you appreciate what these guys do for a living!
I put together the best list I could of our finishers. I included a couple of non members so hopefully we can shame them into paying their dues!!
1/2 Marathon
Hugh Campell  2:09
Beverly Long    2:00
Fred Trouse      1:41  1rst in age Group
Marianne Farish 1:37  3rd in age Group
We all saw Blake Henry there but I couldn't find him anywhere on the Finishers list so he must have run as a Bandit.
Michele Dean  4:26
Mike Walsh    4:24  2nd in Age Group
Krista Lane     4:05  she was laying back and babysitting with her friend from Oklahoma
Bob Banks     3:50:51  1rst in Age Group
Beth Kisor      3:50:50
Gail Lien        3:49:55  3rd in Age Group
Don Cleveland 3:45   our friend from the Valley  2nd in Age Group
Dr. John Stewart 3:32  1rst in Age Group
I appologize if  I missed anybody. Overall I believe we showed up very well and I would recommend this race for consideration next year.

I know that James Majors ran it as well. Beth and Gail BQ'd!
Congratulations to all of you!

According to the Big Dog Facebook page, Auburn is going to ticket runners who are running in the dark without the appropriate gear.
Here's the direct quote:
Just a heads up to all the runners who like to run at night or in the morning before the sun comes out..."$51.00 Fine - All walkers or joggers running or walking during hours of darkness must wear reflective material between the waist and shoulders on their front and back that give an indication of the walker's or jogger's presence through reflected light from the head lamp beams of motor vehicles at a distance of a minimum of five hundred (500) feet. Section 13-11"

I would also like to remind you to CLICK ON THE TOYS FOR TOTS ICON AND HALF MARATHON ICON IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO REGISTER FOR THOSE RACES. They are juuusssttt to the right of this blog.

Sigh. - November 12, 2011

Sunday update: Many area runners competed in the Soldier Marathon this weekend and brought it! I don't have a full report yet (and will keep it safe when I do), but so far I know that Beth Kisor and Gail Lien both BQ'd. Gail, Bob Banks, and Mike Walsh all placed in their age groups. PLEASE let me know how you did if you raced this week, so I can celebrate your awesomeness here.

There are 19 days left until the Toys for Tots race. LOOK AT THE ICONS on the right side of the page and click. You can register for Toys for Tots and the Auburn half simply by clicking THE ICONS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE. If you want to make sure that you get a t-shirt, make sure that you register in advance.

My apologies...
My laptop died, and all of the stuff that I have saved over the week has been lost, so I am going to have to wing it today.
First order of business: The AORTA meeting held this past Monday was very productive. Scott Walker has agreed to repleace Penny as the new VP for the upcoming year. He will then become president in 2013, making Laura Aorta's first lady. I believe she has already begun making plans to redecorate the Aorta trailer.
Molly summed up the minutes in the following email:
Volunteers have stepped forward (or have been pushed) to help make this year's Christmas Party a success.  If you are asked to help out to assist, please say "yes" - we need you!  The Walshes are in charge of organizing the food for the party, so please let them know what you are bringing if you plan to attend.

Robin Kelley, fellow AORTA runner and Auburn City Council Member, alerted us that the Auburn authorities "may" soon be ticketing those running in the dark who are not wearing some type of reflective apparel.  This is for our safety - so if you don't have a vest, now is a good time to get one - and wear it!

Effective the first of the new year, Penny is relinquishing her VP reins but thankfully remain on as a board member.  And I am happy to announce that Scott Walker has agreed to be our new VP in 2012 and will then be the Prez in 2013.  Next time you see Scott and/or Penny, be sure to thank them.  We have an opening on the board, so if an AORTA member is interested in serving, or would like to nominate someone who is too shy to speak up, let Molly know.

We NEED someone to help Alvin with equipment hauling.  Basically, this involves hauling the trailer to an event - currently there is no one who has stepped up to help out in this area.  AORTA only has two sponsored events annually (Half Marathon and Toys 4 Tots) but we help several other groups who rent our equipment as well as ask us to assist with the finish line.  AORTA volunteers are needed so when you see a notice on the website requesting assistance, please respond with a "Yes".  And, please consider helping Alvin with equipment hauling - AORTA will purchase a ball for your vehicle if needed - WE NEED HELP.  Remember, an organization is only as good as its members and the people we serve, AORTA is a non-profit organization with caring members, and we serve wonderful charities.  Contact Alvin or Molly for more information.
Lots of AORTA members ran marathons today. I would list them, but alas, that list has been lost. I hope that you all did well, and I promise that if you send in a report, I will save it on TWO computers so that I can share your glory with the others.

Keven Yost is now my favorite AORTA member. He wrote in to tell about the Savannah Marathon. He said that it was great! The weather was ideal, and most importantly, he PR'd! Keven, sorry that I don't remember your exact time, but I remember that you broke 3:30. Well done!

I need to be a little slower on the delete button when folks send me emails and I'd still have all of this information.

Anyone besides me NOT training for a marathon? - November 5, 2011

Lots of people seem to be training for marathons right now.

 Alvin’s Angels + Karen (first name only needed) ran the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon today. I am looking forward to hearing race reports from at least ONE of them, or I will simply have to make one up. Others that have joined the list of “Marathoners that I will root for while sitting on my couch” are Marianne Farris (a force to be reckoned with) and Eric McClendon. They are both joining Mac D. in Huntsville. I guess the pressure to represent is off you a little bit, Mac.

There’s a rumor that Kermit Davis and Stacy Hunt are in Columbia (the country) running a marathon (?). If anyone knows about this, please dish.

Don’t forget that there is an AORTA meeting on Monday night. See the banner above for details. Typically, those that attend tend to mock those that don’t, so you may want to make sure that you’re there.

  Time is running out to shop for your party frock for the AORTA Christmas party on December 15th at the Alumni Center. I will add that to the banner after this week’s meeting. I think that this year we should start a new tradition. All who attend must bring a gift to the webmaster. Just a thought…

It’s dark now on those early morning runs, so don’t forget to run safely. Just assume cars are out to get you, so look for THEM, don’t expect for them to be watching for you. Wear appropriate clothing! Get out your reflective vests, lights, lamps, etc… Be careful!

If you will notice the birthday list at the bottom of the page, you will see that Andy Taylor turns 56 on Monday! Happy birthday, Pookie!

Did you enjoy this wind this morning? - October 29, 2011

Wasn’t the wind nice and pleasant this morning? I believe the wind chill factor was -20. Don’t argue with me. I’m sure of it. I need to come up with a better way to judge my running clothing before going out. Currently, I just stick my arm outside of my front door. Unfortunately, that method  doesn’t take into account that there will be very strong wind gusts that are so severe they will make you wonder why you ever started running in the first place. I am sure people driving by me this morning were quite disgusted at the stuff pouring out of my face. Sorry to all of those innocent drivers!

Lots of Marathons coming up and lots of AORTA folk are running them. Here’s what I have from people in the know:

Soldier’s Marathon in Columbus: Mike Walsh, Tom Lawry, Gail Lien, Beth Kisor, Bob Banks, Krista
Layne, and Mike Milford. Beverly Long and Hugh Campbell are tackling the half.

Not as many from AORTA seem to be going to Huntsville this year, but we are sending Mac DeShazier to represent. Mac, that  means the pressure is on you.

Catherine Thompson, Karen (last name unnecessary) and Alvin’s Angels are running the Savannah Marathon, and Beth and Gary, super couple, are running the NYC marathon.

We have come up with a plan to avoid confusion about where the Saturday routes are starting. The first 2 Saturdays of the
month will begin at Big Dog Running Company and the last 2 (or 3 depending on the month) will begin downtown. When in doubt, however, check this page or the Facebook page. That’s always your best bet.

Molly wanted me to remind you that AORTA members can get a 20% discount for a road I.D. if we order as a group. If you are interested, let her know. That might be a handy thing to have for days like today when it’s so cold that your mouth swells and
you can’t even talk. If you had a road I.D., at least you could point at it and people would know your name and address.

Richard Bailey sent in the Run to Results, which can be found here: . He has shamed me with his webmaster skills. It’s quite an impressive site. I haven’t met this Will Frye runner yet, (he won the R to R race) but he doesn’t seem to be playing around with the 5k’s. If I recall correctly (and many times I don’t), he has tasted the spoils of victory in the last 2 local 5ks.

Poor woman... - October 22, 2011

You may have heard about the runner that was hit this past week on Lem Morrison Drive. She was
leading a formation of AU ROTC members and was struck by the mirror of a transit bus. According to the OA News, she was wearing reflective gear, had a
lighting device strapped around her, and was running against traffic. In other words, she was doing everything that you are supposed to do. The last I heard, she was still in the hospital and her condition had been upgraded to satisfactory.
This is another reminder that you have to be careful, careful, and then very careful out there. Not only when running, but when driving. If you are one of
those people who like to run when it’s pitch black outside, please light yourself up like a Christmas tree. I am not privy to the details of the
aforementioned accident, but I know that I personally have encountered drivers that seem to have a white hot hatred for runners. You have to be on the defense, and even then, sometimes it isn’t enough. That's one of the buggers when planning Saturday routes, trying to find enoug roads with sidewalks or bike paths so that people can run safely.  I hope that she heals quickly.

Jane Farr is now my favorite AORTA member. Not only is she smoking some miles in preparation for the Savannah Marathon, she also sent me a route WITH water stops! It’s 18 miles, so I spared you THIS time and only posted a 12.5 for 11/5.

However, I did make this for her:

   Jane rocks!!!        (TM)

*My artistic services are available for hire if you need me to design a business card, sign or t-shirt.

Karen is mad at you... - October 16, 2011

 if you haven’t sent in your 1200 miles club numbers. You may have noticed that. She can’t update the 1200 site if she doesn’t have the information, so if you are behind, please send it to her. I remember when I was still froggy enough to try for 1200/year, I couldn’t wait to see how much more to go or how far I’d already run each month. If you don’t send her your miles, it messes everyone else up!

Hi folks...I posted everything that has been submitted. You can see the latest by clicking under race results/1200 mile club/September. Let me know if I am missing anything.

Another note about Karen, she ran the Chicago Marathon last week, but DID NOT have a baby immediately afterwards. So if you thought that lady was her, it wasn’t. Maybe next year, Karen! I was just grateful that she could run that far. I know that she’s not really a distance runner.

Jeff Galloway will be at BDRC on October 20th @ 6:30 p.m. I’ve heard that he knows a thing or two about running.

Here’s a message from the BDRC marketing manager:

Avenue.  Jeff Galloway, a former U.S. Olympian, is the name and athlete behind the training program and will be speaking at the store that evening not only promoting the program, but answering runners’ questions.  Mr. Galloway is a dynamic speaker and has a passion for runners of all levels!

I’m so excited about this that you’d think he was coming to give me a personal shout out! More information can be found here.

Speaking of Big Dog, if you will look down and to the right, you will notice that I have linked their page to ours. This should keep you updated on all of the events they are hosting.

Do you like running magazines? Fitness tips? Molly sent in a link in case you’d like to receive a complimentary magazine from RRCA. Here’s the link:

The Christmas party has been moved from the 8th of December to the 15th. Party animals are invited to help organize this event (again, I suggest a disco theme). Please let Molly know if you fit the bill.

My spouse and I ran the Great Pumpkin Race in Valley, AL yesterday and I wanted to let you know that you should keep your eye out for this race next year. It was a GREAT course along a bike trail the entire way. Very well organized and everyone that worked the race seemed happy to be there. James Majors and Hugh Campbell were there to represent AORTA as well. If you are a woman, however, maybe you should skip this race next year so that I can limit my competition.

Elyse and Monica have been hard at work organizing the Toys for Tots race and the Half Marathon, respectively. I have been hard at work hyperlinking the icons to the right of the page. Please show your appreciation by clicking both and either registerting or volunteering to help.

Where Are Your Miles... - October 14, 2011

1200 Mile Club members:

I am missing a lot of people's miles.  Please email and I will update the spreadsheet.

Don't be mad... - October 8, 2011

I hope the run today wasn’t too confusing. Give some feedback as to whether or not you’d prefer that I forever delete it. I was going to suggest that someone in your running pack make flash cards and practice the turns, but the route description wouldn’t allow for that many characters. Anyway, I hope that it was enjoyable and not too confusing.

Penny, our vice president, has commanded that I start a run from downtown, so I will the week after next.

Now down to business, the next AORTA meeting will be all business, no speaker. I don’t have a date yet, but will put it in the banner (perhaps in pink letters for breast cancer awareness month) when I get it.

The AORTA Christmas party will be held at the AU Alumni Center on December 15th. You might want to start shopping for something pretty to wear now. It’s one of the few times you can see everyone not looking sweaty and beaten down.

Molly will continue to be at the Saturday runs with pre-ordered shirts a little earlier than the scheduled run if you still need to pick yours up.

If you are interested in ordering a road I.D. (tells who you are and who to contact if there’s an emergency), please let Molly know. Her email is .

Here’s more info from Molly if you’re interested:

Does anyone have an interest or need for a road identification item - can be a small engraved plate that fits within your shoe laces, a bracelet, etc.?  If there's enough interest, AORTA members can get a 20% discount from RoadID.  They will provide us with a coupon and each runner will order whatever style they want directly from them.  ID's are an excellent way of providing who to contact in case of an emergency, especially when running alone.  Prices range from $15 - $25 depending on how much information you want engraved and what style you're interested in.  Check out their website, but don't order - let Molly know so she can see if there's sufficient interest to pursue the 20% off coupon.

You might be a runner if… (I added my own comments, of course). - October 1, 2011

1.  People often shake their heads when you tell them what you did over the weekend.

2.  You've stood at the end of your driveway, looked at your wrist, and said "just find the dang satellites already". (Constantly)

3.  Somewhere in your house there is a collection of used race bibs

(Mine have the time and dates written on them)

4.  You think of Ironman as a marathon with a really sadistic warm up. (Absolutely)

5.  You decide to sleep in and skip your run, but then somehow get your run in before the day is over anyway. (I think we all know that this is me. When’s the last time you saw me awake voluntarily at 6:00 a.m.?)

6.  You pay money to do an activity that puts you on the verge of barfing. (This is not me. I know those of you that this DOES describe, but I would never push myself that hard).

Shirts are here!

Molly will bring the shirts to the Saturday runs beginning October 8th.

There are a few singlets left over if you are interested. You can get those at Big Dog Running Company.

Speaking of Big Dog, if you aren’t on their email list, you should be. They offer all kinds of clinics and festivities. It’ll keep you in the know!

If you are really great at planning parties, please let Molly know that you possess this talent and sign up to help plan the Christmas party. I suggest a disco theme this year.

Elyse is working hard on the ½ marathon. I will activate the icon this weekend. You can already register on, become a friend on Facebook

Or email her:

Beth Kisor and Gail Lien are training hard for the Soldier Marathon in Columbus, GA on November 12th. I believe that’s the same one that Mike Walsh and Tom Lawry are running. I know they’ll represent!

As you know, Jane Farr is now seated on the AORTA board of directors. I hope that the board remembered to tell her that she should submit Saturday routes with water stops as part of her position. She’s REALLY good at it. Seriously Jane, I’m begging…

You may remember John Nevels. He used to enjoy running a mile or two. He sent this to the site this week:

On October 22, I'm going to start the Alabama Relief Run, a run from Gulf Shores, AL, to the Alabama-Tennessee line just north of Huntsville, to raise money for victims of the April 27 tornadoes.  My route takes me through areas affected by the storms.  I plan on averaging around 50 miles per day, which will allow me to complete the 454-mile trek in 10 days.  All money raised will go to Habitat for Humanity, which will use 100% of donations received to rebuild two houses, one in Tuscaloosa and one in Phil Campbell.  I'll actually get to run by the house in Tuscaloosa as it's being constructed, and I'll get to run by the plot in Phil Campbell. 

More information can be found at the following sites:!/ALReliefRun

Good luck, John. Or do you prefer to be called Superman? I think that he’s one of the few AORTA members that used to come close to touching “Queen of the Miles” Karen’s 1200 mile averages.

Happy belated birthday, Karen!

Happy belated birthday, Elyse! - September 25, 2011

She was left off of the calendar, so I am trying to make amends.

I have gotten a few emails from people who are interested in running with or joining AORTA. I am always happy to hear from people who want to join the group. If you are one of those people, simply look at the Saturday plan, and meet at 6:00. Someone is sure to make you feel welcome. Don’t worry about your pace or how far you can run, the routes are just suggestions, you don’t have to do the total mileage or keep up with Allen Smith.

Don’t forget that on October 8th, BDRC is hosting their first Auburn 5k. You can find more information on the race calendar above.

I keep trying to map out new routes when I am doing long runs, but I forget them by the time I get home. Jane Farr has taken over Karen’s seat on the elite board of directors, so I am hoping that she can throw some new routes my way. She’s really great at planning them. Flattery always helps…

Monica Kennis has been hard at work to make the Toys for Tots race a success. If you click on the TfT icon, you can see that she even has a blog.

Alvin and Linda Christensen completed the Pike Road Sprint Triathlon this past Saturday. Linda won the Master's award and Alvin swept his age group. He even ran an extra mile during the road race. Apparently a regular sprint tri just isn't challenging enough for him.

Allen Smith Rocks. - September 19, 2011

He ran a 3:10 in the Tupelo marathon, achieving a PR and placing 9th OVERALL male. I guess that'll just make me train that much harder to beat him! Congratulations Alan!

Also, Heather May is oragnizing a fundraiser for ALS. Here's her email:

I'm putting together a run/walk in support of ALS research on Saturday, September 24 at 6:30 a.m. on the outdoor track at Auburn High School. It's not official, and has not been cleared by the high school. The father of my lifetime friends was diagnosed with ALS around one year ago and though I swore I would always keep fundraising separate from running, he means so much to me that I feel the desire to do this. His name is Gordon Mork, and he was a professor of History, and long-time department chair, at Purdue University for over 40 years. He reached many students in that time and has always been one of the most positive people I know. He continues to be so, even while facing this dreadful disease. His family will be participating in the Indianapolis ALS walk at the same time, so I wanted to participate, too. Since I can't make it up there, I am going to do so here.  I will have gatorade and some snacks at the track. I ask that people either join me in body or in spirit for as much or as little of the run or walk as they want. I will be doing 74 laps on the track (one for each year of his life so far plus one for the future). Donations are not required, as I know it will just mean a lot for him to see people out there. For people who want to donate, I am recommending that they give an amount they would typically spend for a race entry fee, say $10-25. Donations can be made by going to this link,, click on the "donate" link, and search for Heather May. I am happy to answer any questions that people might have, and appreciate any support offered. None, however, is expected! 

 All best,Heather

Heather (May, not Taylor) is about the nicest person that I've ever met, so it'd be great if you could help her out!

Wow! - September 17, 2011

Was today a great running day, or what? I need to find a place that has weather like that all year round and relocate.

The Facebook Water page has been opened up for general comments, so if you’d like to praise or cuss a route, that’d be great.

Personally, I’d like to see some gossip there too, because that’d give me some fodder for here.

The first race organized by the Auburn BDRC will be held on October 8th at 5:00 p.m. at Big Dog Running Company on Glenn.  It’s called “Chase the Skirt”.  Women get a 3 minute head start on the men. Steve Speakman, Alan Smith, and Moses Kariuki, I’m coming to get you. I’m wondering if I can convince them that it’s actually a “30” minute head start…

That would be payback for Steve for all of the times that he humiliated me by passing me pushing a jogging stroller. I am after Moses because I have never beaten a Kenyan, and I'm after Alan because I have never beaten an ultramarathoner. Actually, this list could be endless.

Friday, September 16th is Run @ Work Day. Tammy Hollis is hosting an event on campus. Look at last week’s blog for more info on that.

If you are interested in becoming CPR certified, FOR FREE (AORTA is covering the costs for members), here’s the deal, On September 26th, from 6 – 8:30, there will be a class offered at Big Dog. Clink the link to register.

I am watching the AU/Clemson game, and half time is almost over, so I am going to pick the route for the October 1st later. I am letting my new best friend, Joseph, pick the distance, but we (you) will start at BDRC on Glenn Avenue. Again, I am watching the game, so I may be lazy and pick and old route that Greg made, rather than try to map out a new one. If that is the case, I will write in big, bold letters that even though it says begin downtown, you will actually start on Glenn. That would add about 2 miles to the route.

 On a final note, the AORTA shirts are almost ready. Brian still hasn't received payment from all who ordered. If you ordered and haven't paid up, he needs you to do that as soon as possible. The cost is as follows:   men's singlets - $20; women's singlets - $17; and all short-sleeved - $9.

Sorry. - September 11, 2011

I’m a day late updating the site.  All I can say is football. And WAR EAGLE!

AORTA Star Students of the Week are Bev Smith and Joseph Antoine for providing feedback on the Saturday routes. I’ve never met Joseph personally, but I can tell that he probably runs with the cool kids at the front of the pack since he indicated that he enjoys 18 mile runs.

Carol Keever is home from the hospital.  You can check her progress by visiting her Caring Bridge page. She’s tough, so I know we’ll be seeing her out again soon. Heal quickly, Carol!

Don’t forget that there will be a meeting at BDRC on 9/19 @ 6:00.

Also, AORTA member are being given the chance to become CPR certified.  This is being offered at no charge to runners; however, class size is limited.  The class will be held on September 26th, 6-8:30, at Big Dog. See the site below for more information.

Tammy Hollis is sponsoring an event on National Run @ Work day.

Here are the details:

Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative and National Run@Work Day.

The Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative team invites all AU employees to come out and join in an organized run or walk in recognition of National Run@Work Day on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your routine each day at home or at work can make a significant impact on your health and help everyone to become Healthy Tigers.  

This run or walk is an organized event and is not a race.  Participants are encouraged to come and enjoy an afternoon run or walk at their own pace.  The run or walk will cover an approximate three-mile mapped route around campus, but participants are encouraged to walk or run any distance they wish.  The mapped route is only a suggested route.  Volunteers will be stationed along the route for directions and to provide water.  

The run or walk begins and ends at the Harrison School of Pharmacy (Walker Building). It starts at 3:15 p.m., but participants are encouraged to come early or stay after the run/walk.  Representatives from campus organizations, programs and academic units will be available to discuss the many resources available to AU employees to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and be Healthy Tigers.

For additional information or questions about this event, contact Tammy Hollis, Healthy Tigers Coordinator, at 844-8318 or

Caring Brige Link for Carol Keever - September 4, 2011

Carol has been moved from ICU to a regular room and is making good progress.  For future updates, please check her Caring Bridge site below.  Please sign her guestbook as I know she would love hearing from you.

Here's a note from Tammy Hollis:

Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative and National Run@Work Day

The Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative team invites all AU employees to come out and join in an organized run or walk in recognition of National Run@Work Day on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.

Incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise into your routine each day at home or at work can make a significant impact on your health and help everyone to become Healthy Tigers.  

This run or walk is an organized event and is not a race.  Participants are encouraged to come and enjoy an afternoon run or walk at their own pace.  The run or walk will cover an approximate three-mile mapped route around campus, but participants are encouraged to walk or run any distance they wish.  The mapped route is only a suggested route.  Volunteers will be stationed along the route for directions and to provide water.  

The run or walk begins and ends at the Harrison School of Pharmacy (Walker Building). It starts at 3:15 p.m., but participants are encouraged to come early or stay after the run/walk.  Representatives from campus organizations, programs and academic units will be available to discuss the many resources available to AU employees to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and be Healthy Tigers.

For additional information or questions about this event, contact Tammy Hollis, Healthy Tigers Coordinator, at 844-8318 or

Yeah, I'm calling you all out... - September 3, 2011

As you may or may not have realized, I prefer to sleep in and run on Saturday at my leisure. So what I need from you is feedback on how long you want to run, where you want to run, which streets didn’t feel safe, etc… If I don’t hear from you, then I can only assume that I am the perfect route planner and will continue to map runs at my whimsy. I will give you extra props if you actually map a route on your own (with water stops) and send it to me. You’ll get your name in the banner at the top of the page! Wouldn’t that be fun????

 On a serious note, Carol Keever is still recovering at EAMC. Please send thoughts and prayers her way.

Molly sent in this note about the next AORTA meeting:

ATTENTION MEMBERS - our next member meeting will be Monday, September 19th, at Big Dog.  We're going to try something different and have social time to visit with one another from 6:00 - 6:30, and then we will be privileged to have Dr. Pat Padgett share a bit of his knowledge on shoes and shoe inserts - following is a short list of what he can help us with:


 As a Certified Orthopedic Fitter through the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International, this allows me to provide products such as; LSO/TLSO's (ready made or custom), SI Belts, Ankle, Knee Braces, Cam Boots, Night Splints, TENS units and more.   I am certified to provide Therapeutic shoes and inserts.  Therapeutic shoes have design features that are beneficial to all, including runners.  The correct shoe size is on me. I can determine and suggest a specific insert that should be helpful to the runner.    I am also certified to fit (ready made and custom) Compression Socks or Hosiery.  These are some products that may be helpful to runners.



Sandwich trays from Chappy's will be available following Dr. Padgett's presentation as well as soft drinks.  Please plan on attending.


AORTA is being given the opportunity to have members become CPR certified.  There have been several occurrences where this would have come in handy, this is being offered at no charge to runners; however, class size is limited.  The class will be held on September 26th, 6-8:30, at Big Dog. See the site below for more information.

Here is a Message from Carol Keever's family - August 27, 2011

My mom came out of surgery and we met with the surgeon.  They successfully got the infection out, but still are very cautious.  She is in an uphill battle, and we will take it day by day.  Pray for her protection over infection, pneumonia and blood clots.  Pray that her internal organs wake up soon, and begin to function correctly.  My mom will be in ICU the next few days.  I will let y'all know when she will be able to have visitors.  Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  Her daughter, Jennifer


Update on Carol Keever

My dear friend Carol faces yet another challenge which may result in another surgery tomorrow. Please keep Carol in your thoughts and prayers.  Tomorrow is probably not a good day for visiting.  I will keep everyone posted about her progress and when would be a good time to stop by. 


Not to Steal Scott's thunder, but Carol Keever update


Just want to give everyone a quick update on Carol Keever.  Carol had a pretty bad weekend and was ambulanced to EAMC on Saturday evening.  They are now running a barrage of tests to get at the bottom of this craziness.  I saw Carol this morning and she was actually a little antsy and fiesty (the first time in two weeks!) which I took as a good sign.  While I don't think she is ready for a party, I don't think she would be opposed if you want to pop your head in to say hi....


Scott Walker spanked Wallahatchee

A group of AORTA members went to Pike Road this past Saturday and made us proud. Scott won 1st male overall in the 10K. I  had to pull the information out of him, but he finally sent me this:

Here’s the results breakdown:


 Mac Deshazier – 1st age group·       

 Pam Revels – 1st age group


Stacey Hunt – 1st age group· 

Shannon Mobley – 1st age group·     

James Majors – 3rd age group·      

 Kermit Davis – 1st age group     

 Scott Walker – 1st overall

Notice how he put his victory last!

Here are all of the beautiful trophies and the awards that they won as well.


Amy, the computer guru, has now fixed the Saturday route link so that you can see it if you use Firefox/Mozilla.

 Thanks, Amy!

Molly said that people are missing the coffee clatch  afterwards on Saturday, so the week after next, the Saturday run will begin downtown. I know it’s a home game weekend, but I will pick a short one so that you can clear out before the madness starts.

 Elyse Corbitt has activated registration for the Auburn Half Marathon (see race calendar) and you can also be a friend on Facebook!

Carol Keever - August 20, 2011


Some of you may or may not know that Carol Keever had a health scare recently. She would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the past week. She is home and recovering. The family wishes to have no visitors at this time. Carol, we are all so glad that you’re home and on the mend!


Big Dog Running Co. officially opened this week. If you haven’t stopped by, you really should. They have pretty much anything you need, and some stuff that you didn’t even know you needed. Just posting this on the web site should at least get me a free foam roller.

I hope the first Saturday run from a Google route went well. I understand that BDRC put out quite a nice spread (snacks, water). That might make even me start getting up early again to run on Saturdays.

Blake Henry told me that Marianne Farris took 3rd overall in a triathlon they did together, and he won his age group. I am sorry, but I can’t remember who else did it (except for John Horton and I don’t remember what Blake said). If you’d like me to brag about you, please let me know your time. I am getting old, you know, so it’s hard to remember things that were told to me a week ago. I should follow Greg’s advice and start writing this stuff down.

Dave Hennessey, Jamie Shelton, Penney Merritt-Price, Tracey Buckingham, and Gary Leung went to Destin and did a triathlon as well. Here are the times Tracey sent: Tracey 2:05 Penny 2:15 Jamie 2:15. I know next to nothing about these events, but that looks pretty fast.


Mike Milford is now my favorite AORTA member because he contacted me first about the difficulty he was having seeing the routes, then he wrote back and told me that I had done a nice job. Flattery will work every time!


Molly said that she quite enjoyed the hilly ten miler today. I hope that the rest of you that ran it did too. You’re welcome!

Molly also sent this note regarding the AORTA shirts:

All those who ordered new AORTA shirts need to submit your checks now, made out to AORTA and mailed to:


PO Box 975

Auburn, AL 36831-0975


Big Dog really gave us a good deal on these shirts, prices vary so submit according to the style you ordered:


Men's Singlets - $20

Women's Singlets - $17

All short sleeved - $9


Originally we quoted all shirts at $20 as we received a "general" quote from Big Dog and Master Graphics combined, but things change so to be fair to all, AORTA will be paying for the screen printing on all shirts.  Your prompt attention to submitting checks is appreciated.

New routes - August 13, 2011

Marianne Farris sent me this note: Hi Heather, Just a heads up- I can’t view the maps in Mozilla Firefox but I can in Internet Explorer.  So for those a little slow in the computer department and complain about not seeing the maps you might tell them to try another web browser.   Although I could just be the odd one who uses Firefox instead of Explorer!

Good thing she knew what to do, because I sure didn't! So when I post the routes from Google, everyone just keep up with Marianne!


Congratulations to Steve and Sandy Speakman! They were blessed with two baby boys earlier this month. They have named them Ben and Eli.

Molly asked me to remind you to get your running shirt ordered by Monday if you would like one.

Karen and Carol Keever are in Utah this week running a 190 mile relay race. I believe that’s about Karen’s average weekly mileage anyway, so it should be easy peasy for her.

Did you know that September 16th is Run @ Work Day?

Here’s a quote from the RRCA newsletter: “The goal of this nationwide endeavor is to encourage adults to get 30-minutes of exercise each day, in accordance with the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, either before work, during lunch, or immediately following work. Run@Work Day also encourages companies to help employees schedule time for physical activity. Company-based wellness programs, human resources departments, running clubs, running events, running shoe stores, and individuals nationwide are encouraged to plan fun runs and walks around the country with their employers. For tips on planning a Run@Work Day, click on this link: “


So don’t forget to pack your running shoes that day! I wonder if I could just show up that day in running shorts, running shoes and a singlet?


We are going to start some of the Saturday runs from Big Dog Running Company. The first one will be on August 20th. It’s only ten miles,  but it’s a tough run.

Thanks y'all! (see below) - August 6, 2011

Big Dog here in Auburn has shirts for anyone who wants to try one on for size.  They're Nike brand tech shirts - our shirts will have a smaller Big Dog emblem/logo towards the bottom of the shirt so it won't conflict with AORTA's print on the back.  $20 covers the cost of the shirt PLUS all screen printing.  Many runners have placed an order, this is an opportunity for all AORTA members to get a great tech shirt at a great price promoting a great running club and a great running store.  Don't miss out - e-mail Molly at  All she needs now is "yes, size and style". Due to the positive response, the deadline for ordering shirts has been extended until August 15th.

Bev Smith sent this in about John Teeples, Big Dog Running Company  owner:  He was in the Badwater Ultramarathon, and he came in 9th.  Here is an article about him.

I have seen him, but not officially met him. I think that I need to, because he may be one of the baddest people in Auburn!  

Marianne Farris was swimming next to me in the pool last week. She already schools marathons left and right, and now says that she’s gunning for triathlons. Something tells me that she’ll be excellent at that as well.

This has been a somber weekend for my family and me. We REALLY appreciate all of the love and support that you guys have shown. It really means a lot. We are hopeful and praying for the best. Please keep Ben Walls in your thoughts and prayers.

Keep the Walls family in your prayers... - July 30, 2011

Hi all...our webmaster Heather Taylor and the godfather of AORTA, Alvin Walls, left suddenly for Mobile yesterday to be with Alvin's son, Ben, who was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Please keep the Walls family in your thoughts and prayers.  Below is a note from Heather.


Message from Heather....hey everyone,My brother, Ben was diagnosed with cancer. He has tumors on his liver, but they don't know where the primary source is yet. They are doing tests and more tests. It doesn't seem to be a quick process to locate it. We are all in Mobile. Not sure how long we will be here. PLEASE pray for all of us, especially Ben. He's only 48 and we love him very much.

Need a shirt

Molly needs to know if you’re interested in purchasing an AORTA shirt by August 5th. Her email address is The shirts will be white tech shirts, and you can choose between short-sleeved or a singlet. It will have the same logo as the last AORTA shirt. The shirts may be purchased at Big Dog. Their logo will appear but will be small enough in size so as not to clash with AORTA's screen print.  You will have the opportunity to stop in and try on a shirt to confirm your size prior to purchasing.  Master Graphics will be doing the screen printing since they designed it for us. The cost is $20.


Blake Henry and John Horton participated in a race today (triathlon?). Blake was specifically asked to let me know how they did, but since it’s 1:00 p.m. and I haven’t heard anything, I will assume that they did not do very well. I will update if Blake tells me (and can prove) otherwise.

I am sure that you are ready for some different Saturday routes, and we are working on those. Amy, the computer genius, is working on an option that lets us add routes using Google maps (much like the “How far did I run?” icon below). This will allow you to zoom in, move the map around, etc… This is super exciting because it will allow for more variety, and most importantly, I don’t have to guess where water stops should be.

Here’s a picture of the running shoes that I wear, in case you were wondering…

I am pretty sure that it's the exact same shoe that Deena Kastor and Paula Radcliffe wear.

Big Dog Running Company is close to being up and "running". Haha, get it? - July 27, 2011

Here’s some information that was sent to Molly:

There will be a "soft" opening this Thursday, July 28th.

The ribbon cutting and "official" grand opening in August.

- To celebrate this on Thursday, a group of runners will run from Columbus to Auburn, approx. 5-6 miles each depending on number of runners participating, and will be at the new Publix on the corner of Moore's Mill and Hamilton Blvd. around 9:15 a.m.   If any runners from Auburn/Opelika area want to join them, that would be great - whether all the way from Columbus or meeting at Publix to complete the run to their new store in Auburn.  GO BIG DOG!!!

- Discounts will be available to AORTA members. (Webmasters should get 50% off... that wasn't in the message but I am sure that it was just an oversight).

To find out more click here.

The meeting on Monday was quite informative. Thanks to Steve Kisor and Greg for donating their time and space. Local celebrity William Ansick of Badwater fame was in attendance, as well as Penny Merritt-Price, although she didn’t sit and gossip with me as I would have liked.

Jennifer Cabbage’s going away party is July 27 at Brick Oven Pizza. It begins at 6:15 and will probably end at the Supper Club around 4:00 a.m.

Doug Underwood sent in a note reminding me that there are a few more weeks of the Opelika Summer Series races (Click Last Lap below).  He suggested that I come out and run one, but I have gotten too old and weak for the heat.

Greg and I were chatting about the friendships, relationships, and eventual marriages that have come about due to connections with Aorta, and what a great club it’s been. I was thinking that it was about time for another couple to tie the knot as it’s been a while since Aorta’s love potion has worked its magic. Ahem, Kermit…. (Just kidding).

Gail Lein sent this note regarding the Tim Justice Run:

Good morning,
Last night we had 102 runners/walkers!!  The storms passed through and the weather was great.  I just counted everything up, and we raised $2340.  I am expecting a few more donations, so hopefully it will end up around $2500.  I think that is absolutely amazing.  What a blessing to be part of the body of Christ!  One person might not think their check for $10 dollars seems that significant, but when many folks make a donation, it adds up quickly!
Thank you all for helping to get the word out, for being there last night, and Doug....thanks for your hard work each & every week on Tuesday nights!

 AND.... a note from Molly:

Your officers have been hard at work researching AORTA running shirts and we think we have a great idea, but need to see if there's sufficient interest to pursue.  Here's the deal:

White technical shirts, sleeveless or short-sleeved is your choice, with the same running logo that is on the green AORTA tech shirts many runners purchased a couple of years ago.  The cost will be $20.00 per shirt - runner's tab.  Please e-mail Molly by August 5th if you're interested.  Comments are appreciated - within reason :)  Molly's e-mail address is:


Lastly, here's a picture of Usain Bolt that I decided to add because now I know how to insert pictures.

Happy Saturday! - July 23, 2011

I know that Greg used to keep us informed about the Tour De France, but I really know nothing about it. I watched a little bit this morning, so here’s my update: I think somebody named Tom did really well. There seemed to be a lot of crowd support. If I were in this race, I’d have to get off of my bike and push it up a lot of those hills. I guess that’s why all of those guys have such awesome looking legs.


Somebody ratted out Alvin’s Angels and told me that they are training for the Savannah Marathon. That should be a fun one! That’s the problem with running in a group though. Next thing you know, they’ve talked you into training for a marathon. It seems like a good idea at the time, but about halfway through you’re wondering what you were ever thinking, but it’s too late to back out by then. Good luck, ladies! I know you’ll do a great job and make us proud!

Don’t forget that Beverly’s birthday is 7/30. She complimented the website so she gets special recognition. You might want to bring a card or a gift on the 7/30 Saturday run for her.


So that you may begin proper planning, A Diddy/Alvin’s birthday is August 8th. He is already dropping really strong hints that he’d like another party like his 70th one. Only this time with more presents.

Wassup? - July 18, 2011

Okay, so I hear the party was a smashing success, but then again anytime you mix runners and beer you know it’ll be a great time! Sorry I couldn't make it, my schedule wouldn't allow for it.

Thanks again to the Buckingham’s for hosting the shindig.

Don’t forget to write 7/25 @ 6:00 on your scedule in PEN for the AORTA meeting at Auburn Electric. In case you have forgotten where AE is located, it’s on Stage Road. Steve Kisor has been kind enough to volunteer to speak about the importance of stretching, proper form, and other stuff that is super important to know. I received an email from Donnie Beams that reads as follows:


 My name is Donnie Beams and I was a member of AORTA last year.  We are in our first year of the

Alabama Mountain Bike Series and we are starting the Alabama Trail Running Series.

The first trail run is in Tuscaloosa on September the 10th at Munny Sokol.  We have had some huge

interest in trail running and wanted to bring the series through Auburn at the trails there.

For more information on what we are doing, check out our website

We have sponsorship with red bull, and possibly montrail.

We were hoping for a date of October the 1st to do the trail run in Auburn.

Is this something that the AORTA team would get behind? We aren't looking for money, just some local

runners that might be interested in helping us have a good turn out and steer us in the right direction as

far as a good 5k - 10k loop, etc.

Thanks for your time and look forward to hearing from you. If AORTA is not interested, I was hoping for

a reference of someone who might be.

Thanks again,

Donnie Beams

If this sounds like something that you may be interested in, let him know!

More party information! - July 12, 2011

Those attending whose last name begins A thru K bring an appetizer or dessert; L thru Z bring a side dish (i.e. salad, veg., fruit).  Also, if you can bring a couple lawn chairs, that would help.

Tracey is taking the time to purchase everything else needed to make this a great event.  She has several folks who have already volunteered to show up early to help set-up; several will be needed to help clean up.  Let's hope for different volunteers for that activity! 

Party starts at 6:00; clean-up begins around 7:30; party ends whenever no else is around :)  Or Tracey and/or Brit tell us to go home!

The address is 1802 Ogletree Road. Please RSVP to so that we know how many beverages and burgers to purchase!

Ask and Ye shall receive...

That’s what I’m talking about! I asked for information and people were kind enough to dish it!

Doug Underwood sent me this note regarding the Opelika Summer Series:

Just a reminder, you can see what’s going on with the Summer Swing Series by clicking on the Last Lap icon and visiting my blog.  I’ve been
doing a pretty good job keeping it updated until last week, when I had to make a quick trip to Texas.  Glad that is done. 

 We have 5 runs left, counting this evening, in Opelika.  The turnout has been good – usually about 45 or 50 – about half of that number coming over from Auburn, so I’ve been real pleased.  It’s been a lot of fun.  I’m late on designing our shirt, but I’m trying to get it out there on Last Lap where folks can see it within a week or so. 

AND Marietjie Quicke sent in a note from Colorado:


 I was an AORTA member till this year, when I moved out to Windsor Colorado.  I stay interested in the happenings in Auburn after living there for 24 years and having both kids go through Dan Norton's Cross Country program, and having AORTA support when I was race director for the Cary Woods Bash & Dash. (Webmaster's note... Shout out to Dan! Whoohoo!)

Also if anybody is looking for scenic and cool (as in temperature compared to AL) marathons and half marathons, there are plenty in this part of the country.  The Colorado marathon in May is a beautiful run down hill out of a canyon into Fort Collins.

I miss all my running friends form Auburn, but definitely prefer the running weather here this time of year.  Now winter is a different matter!  Although last winter wasn't bad out here. (Webmaster’s note… Cold?? Uh-uh!)

 Take care and War Eagle

 Marietjie Quicke

See how easy it is to become famous like Doug and Marietjie? All you have to do is drop me a line!

So, who's racing? - July 11, 2011

Really, send me your times, places, dates. Don’t make me search and rescue this stuff, because I will.

For example, I have had to look up the Opelika Summer Series results to get ANY information on how people are doing. I see that Moses Kariuki has been running neck to neck with the leaders when he attends. I guess I forgive him for heckling me for my 10+ minute pace last time I saw him. I believe his exact words were, “Why are you running like this? I know that you can run faster.” I probably looked like I was walking compared to him, but it was the best I had in this heat.

Through Facebook I found out that Alvin’s Angels are tearing up the roads training for a marathon, but they won’t tell me which one.

Sigh, that’s all I got. I haven’t been able to find the Auburn Series results, so if you have any dirt on that, send it in!

I think that anyone that races in that kind of heat deserves recognition.

"You... can't be me... I'm a rock star!" - July 6, 2011

That's what I'd be singing if I were Barbara White. An unnamed source (Greg) said that she finished 50 marathons in 50 states on June 19th, wrapping things up in Minnesota. That state was probably the best choice to run a summer marathon. She's been working towards this goal for several years. Very impressive, Barbara!

There have been some races added to the calendar, if you haven't checked it out lately. If you'd like a race added, please make sure all of the details are in the first email that you send requesting it to be posted. The most frustrating part of this job so far is posting races, because it takes several attempts (or the work of computer genius Amy) to get them to show up. So, editing is kind of a pain. That leads me into my next topic...

I don't mind being webmaster while I still have the enthusiasm and time, but if it's too frustrating, then I might have to try and turn it into a paying gig. That would entail looking for possible sponsors like Auburn Electric or Big Dog Running Company. Or perhaps the Auburn University Engineering Department, Mr. Killian.

I'm sure that if I snoop around, I could find other AORTA ties to large corporations. Taylor Made Installs is already on board should I decide to go that route.


*Happy birthday, Emily Ansick!

*(Remember that I posted this when you open Big Dog Running Company! I love discounts.)

Well, according the O-A News, Jennifer Cabbage’s husband has accepted a head coaching job in North Carolina. While she is a lovely woman, a great runner, and will be missed, many women in AORTA will finish future races one spot ahead from now on.

An AORTA meeting has been tentatively scheduled for July 25th at 6:00. Greg has graciously allowed us to meet at Auburn Electric on Stage Road. Steve Kisor will be the guest speaker. He will discuss the importance of stretching, proper techniques, how to avoid injuries, etc. If you have ever had to go to rehab (for running, not other issues), then you know how important this information will be. I had the pleasure of visiting Rehab Works for weeks, and every time I left, I felt like I had gotten into a fistfight with Abby, my therapist. It worked wonders, but I would have gladly tried my best to avoid it if I had known better. Now’s your chance to know better!

Tom Lawry is the only one that responded to my request for input on Saturday routes, so now he’s my favorite AORTA member and can pretty much ask for any route that he wants to be posted. Thanks Tom!

Please let me know if you have a new route, request a certain route, etc… Don’t forget to include where you’d like water stops if there are none noted on the course map. Jane Farr, I’m looking your way…

Hey y'all! - July 2, 2011

Finally! After all of these years of campaigning, I hold the most powerful position in all of AORTA!

I figured that I’d go ahead and bite the bullet and make my first post as webmaster. Pleased to meet you! Hope you guess my name…

Greg has indeed, left some pretty big shoes to fill. I know that we will all miss his wit and humor. However, he (I now call him Sensei) left me with some great advice that may help things continue to roll right along. I suggested that I remain anonymous so that I didn’t have to put up with any sass, but it turns out the rules for dealing with that are to either ignore the sasser (I just coined that word!) or publicly ridicule them on this site.

I believe that I am up to the task of keeping this page updated. Even though I am quite the international traveler and hold a high powered job, I vow to do my best to keep you all updated on the gossip of AORTA, true or not.

Here’s where I need your help:

Saturday Runs – I would be more than happy to change the routes to add some variety. I can see why Greg wanted to give up this job because after looking at the routes, many of them seem dangerous and there are no places to put out water. If you would like to try a different route, by all means drop me a line, but I would appreciate it if you would indicate possible places for water stops if there are none listed on the route. Also, keep in mind the safety of the course. I plan to post routes 2 weeks in advance so that you can plan your weekly runs accordingly.

Gossip – If you have any gossip, let me know about it. Just be prepared to have your name listed as the source, as I do not need any law suits filed against me now that Steve Speakman is no longer an attorney. Maybe I can still play the "I know Jay Jones" card though. Hmmm...

 Send any news to me by clicking the "Contact" button at the top of the page.

Speaking of gossip, here’s the latest:

Sara Wolf swam 4.4 miles across Chesapeake Bay. That’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if you have ever had the misfortune of swimming in a lane next to Sara at Health Plus or not, but if you ever want to feel pretty bad about your swimming ability, give it a try.  She’s greased lightning in the water.

Mike Walsh and Tom Lawry are training for a marathon in Columbus. That’s why they’re doing crazy mileage in this unbearable heat. Good luck to them both.

Molly sent in some pictures of the flooding in MO, but unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to post pictures yet.


P.S. Don't forget to go back and read Karen's post from 6/30. It has some additional information that you need to know.

The End of An Era.....Needed: New Webmaster - June 30, 2011

Hi Folks…this is Karen.  I am temporarily filling some really BIG shoes, size 12D to be exact.  Greg is stepping down from the AORTA website due to his many demands: running 2 businesses, being the grandpappy supreme (granddaughter number 2 is on her way mid July), ever aggravating back issues, etc.  I know we will all miss his wonderfully bizarre sense of humor.  Hopefully we will convince him to make occasional guest posts just to keep us all in line. 

During this transition process, we ask for your patience.  The immediate priority will be to keep the website up to date with upcoming race events and notices about club events.   

If anyone is interested in stepping up to the plate and taking on the role of Webmaster, please email me at 

Breaking News....

Rumor has it that high level negotiations are underway and we may have a new webmaster. If we can come up with an appropriate compensation package, a certain father and daughter team have agreed to take this on. I will keep you posted.

Need Your Help on the Saturday Runs

We need your input on what people would like to run on Saturday.  The runs used to be structured as much as possible around marathon training schedules of the club members. While we won't always be able to select a run that will suit everyone's individual training needs, we would like to pick runs (along with water stops) that support the greatest number of the club members' needs.  Right now, I know that a group of Alvin's Angels are training for the Savannah half and full marathon.  Please email at and let us know whether any other groups are training for upcoming events

Save the Date -- July 16th, 6:00 p.m. AORTA Summer Cookout/Pool Party

Tracey Buckingham has graciously volunteered (again!!!) to host our annual summer cookout/pool party.  AORTA will be providing the usual fare -- hamburgers, hot dogs and beverages.  Members are asked to bring a side dish or dessert.  As we get closer to the date, I will post more details.  This will be a BYOB (Bring Your Own Blindfold...not Bottle) as Alvin has threatened to wear his Speedo.

All quiet... - June 21, 2011

Today is the first day of summer and also the longest day of the year I think.  For years my father has high-tailed it to the mountains of North Carolina in May and stayed until sometime in Septemember.  I get it!  He wakes up to 50 degrees in the mornining and it tops out at 75 whereas here it's 96 when I wake up and 97 later in the day.  I hate the summer, hate it!

We are soon going to lose Bob Lawson who will be moving to Texas along with his family.  Bob's been very active in the running community while serving time at AU.  On Wednesday the 22nd there will be a Going-Away bash for Bob at Brick Oven Pizza, Scott and Laura Walker are pulling this together for him.

I got a notification the other day from Barbara White, she's busy pulling together the Woodland Wallahatchee Race which is a 5K & 10K.  This is her 10th year of putting on this race in August and I'll get you more information as it becomes available.

This past Sunday several from AORTA slipped off to Callaway Gardens for asprint triathlon.  Among those competing were Scott and Laura Walker, Scott was 3rd in his age group.  Blake Henry was also 3rd in his age group and Alvin Walls finished 2nd in his.  Others competing were Tracey Buckingham, Jamie and Linda Christenson.

Jamie Shelton plus Politburo update - June 16, 2011

Yes, I got an email from Jamie asking me to remind all of you that today is her birthday and her favorite birthday gift is cash!

Her's an update from the last officers meeting from Her Highness, Molly Johnson:  Hi All - following is a recap of the meeting that took place last night.  Before getting started, one thing I neglected to mention was my meeting with Brandie Ezelle with Auburn Parks and Rec about nominating Auburn as a runner friendly community.  Lots of work to do but will be well worth the effort.  We can submit the nomination by August 1st or there's another deadline of November 1st.  I'll keep everyone updated.

Now, regarding the meeting - lots of good information was discussed:

- everyone was in favor of Karen's suggestion for the screen print for shirts.  I have already contacted Emily to see what Big Dog can do us.  AORTA may purchase the shirts for all AORTA members only, we're looking at our budget to see if we can do that.  Additional shirts will be available at runner's expense.  Will keep you appraised with updates.

- Dates for the "AORTA Re-Education Camp" have been set for July 11th - August 1st.  This is to reeducate former runners who have started cycling, swimming or doing triathlons and to show them the error of their ways before it's too late to turn them around.  Alvin will be doing the training along with psychologist, Mike Walsh.  Check your mail to see if your attendance will be required.

- Monica graciously volunteered to see if she can help Karen with MS Publisher; otherwise perhaps Shannon Price will be able to lend a hand.  This is in regard to the creation of a brochure promoting AORTA throughout the communities.

- all officers and directors were requested to come up with a job description of their jobs; basically what do you see your job functions to be - what have you been involved in so far this year.  The purpose of this is to make transitions easier at the end of the year in the event there are new officers and/or directors.

- Molly mentioned that Nick Holler does not want to do the 5k Forest Preserve in the Fall any longer.  He is concerned that if a runner needed medical assistance, there is no way an ambulance could get there easily.  This is a fun 5k that many look forward to; however, there are additional trail runs throughout the year for runners to participate in.  We discussed options to help out, but finally agreed that for the safety of runners, it's best to discontinue.  Thank you Nick for all your help serving as Race Director for this event for so many years!

- Much discussion ensued around water stops and how many who run with us regularly do not help.  We shared alternative ways to cover water and nothing is going to change immediately with the exception that effective immediately, Penny has graciously agreed to be the "water czar" through the end of 2011.  I wish her the best of luck!

- Alvin is working on a disclaimer and should have it by the time we have the Toys 4 Tots race in the Fall.

- Alvin reported that AORTA may not be needed to assist with the finish line at the Peach Run in July.

- Molly is also checking with Big Dog regarding the availability, options, and cost for ID bracelets.  More information later.

- Brian updated us with a financial update.  Even though we have a sizable amount in the bank, we need to retain a minimum for clock repairs and/or clock purchase; with that being said, we would like to cover expenses for our annual summer party, Christmas party, shirts as mentioned previously, possibly ID bracelets, etc.

- Alvin is working on an application form for to be used by Race Directors for all races, no exceptions.  We have seen too many races on the same day, causing equipment and volunteer conflicts, etc.  He will have this by the time Toys 4 Tots is recruiting for help.

Politburo Meeting - June 7, 2011

Yes, tomorrow night the AORTA politburo will be meeting at a secret time and secret location.  We don't want any suggestions so don't waste your time.  We already know what is best for you and we'll tell you when we are finished!

The 1200 Mile Club and the Race Results have been messed up for a while and I didn't even realize it.  They would download as a corrupt file, no doubt sabotaged by a rival running club or one of Alvin's Angels.  But that has now been fixed and I was shown how to make those things update automatically. 

You may recall the Peach Run which is a 5K and 1 mile is going to be held on Saturday, July 9th.  I'll get you an application as soon as one is available. 

Scott Walker told me a couple of months ago that Nichole and Oliver Prigge (Director of AORTA European Operations) had a little boy.  The baby and Nichole are both doing well and I think they are all living in Germany.  Sorry it took me so long to get this posted.

I've heard a number of 4th hand rumors like Dave, Tracey, Penny and maybe some others are doing a triathlon late this summer.  Someone told me that Laura Walker is spending most of her time cycling and a lot less running.  She might be kicked out of the club for that.  Karen is eyeing the Chicago Marathon this fall.  Mike Walsh is planning a marathon at Ft. Benning.  I know that this is the time of year people are planning their fall and winter racing schedule so please pass that information along to me.

For the past 15 years I did all of my running early in the morning.  I was such an intelligent person back then because it was cool in the mornings and I got the run over with because after work so many things could get in the way of the run.  I'd see people out running at 5:00PM and I'd hurl waded up McDonalds bags at them and yell "you idiot" because it would be 95 degrees.  Now, I'm that guy.  I'm out late in the afternoon trying to get in a few miles, thrilled when a rare cloud blocks the sun and I'm forced to carry a water bottle or die.  I'm praying for a break in the heat and maybe a tropical storm or two.  It's brutal out there, be careful. 

Peace... - June 2, 2011

The volume of email and nasty-grams I get has dropped off tremendously over the past week.  All I've gotten are a few emails about races next fall as well as thePeach Festival 5k and 1 mile Fun run we help with each year.  The date has been set for July 9th and I'll get you more information as it becomes available. 
I did get an email from Steve Ruiz who lives near Montgomery asking if we'd set a date for the Tough Ten yet.  I told him that race was not going to hapeen this year, he was trying to plan his races for the fall.  He said "From one "old-time" runner, I will miss it.  The course was tough, but your people ALWAYS made the difference.  Its what made me travel 150 miles roundtrip from Millbrook -- that and the end-of-race deserts!"  It's always great to hear positive feedback.
I always go by Auburn High School on my way home and realized last night it was the 1st week of the Summer 5K Series.  I'll keep something at the top of the page about that and The Summer Swing 5K throughout the summer.

And then there was nothing... - May 23, 2011

I will confess, it's now my favorite time of year when there are no more Saturday races until the Fall.  No more cutting the Saturday run short.  No more wondering where the race clock is and if its charged.  No more worrying that the race director may have forgotten something and we don't realize it until the last minute.  Sure, we have the Tuesday Summer Swing 5K each week and the Summer 5K each Wednesday but nothing on Saturday. 

We did wrap up the season with a bang last Saturday with the Campus Life Move-It 5K at 8:00am followed by the Run with Ross at 9:00.  We did get a few photos from the Move-It 5K and you can see them here.

Molly (Mojo) reminded me that there aren't any Saturday runs posted so I'll get that done shortly.  We are also planning a run on Monday for Memorial Day.

May 21st... - May 20, 2011

By now you all know we have 2 races back to back tomorrow which should be well attended. 

And for several years, a former civil engineer based in California, Harold Camping, has proclaimed that the world will face “Judgment Day” on May 21, 2011.  I've heard they have even set the time, 6:00PM which will give us plenty of time to get in our races.  He has convinced thousands of followers that a “worldwide earthquake” will occur on this day, beginning a hellish period that will culminate with God Himself destroying the planet five months later. Mr. Camping claims that these ideas are all found in the Bible.  He has quite a large following from what I've heard.  All that goes to show that tomorrow should be a really busy and memorable day!

Meanwhile, we have

fired our previous club photographer who had gotten lazy and rarely posted any photos with a new photographer who at least will pull out a camera.  Here are a few photos from the Emergency Room Nurses race last weekend. First, second, nerd and fourth.

AORTA Meeting Recap - May 17, 2011

We had a really good crowd last night, about 30 members were there to hear details of the new "Big Dog" store opening at the Glendean Shopping Center.  They are targeting the last week of July as their opening date.  We heard from John and Reggie who already have a store in Columbus and some of the things they have done there and what they plan to do in Auburn.  They will have all the big name running shoe companies and some that are more specialized, they'll have running apparel and all the gadgets and trinkets that go along with the sport.  It will be great to have a place that specializes in serving runners.  There will be a large room in the back of the store where they will be able to hold meetings and running clinics and they have offered the room to AORTA for our meetings which could be a really good thing.  They've been able to attract some very well known speakers, such as Jeff Galloway, so that would be of interest to a lot of people.  I think that AORTA will be able to help them and they in turn will be able to help AORTA which is a great situation.  Right now we plan on having at least one of our Saturday runs start from their store each month so the first one should be the first Saturday in August.  They'll also have some of their own runs during weekdays so we'll see how that develops.  It's a great central location for us and you can count on the weasels in AORTA to exploit this to the maximum.  We really appreciate the great support we had from everyone last night.  Thanks to Molly for taking care of the logistics of getting the pizza, drinks, cups, plates, etc.  I guess the only negative thing was at 7:30 when Alvin started flashing the lights off and on and said "I'm ready to go home so get out of here".  I will admit he was very effective. 

And finally, William Ansick will be doing the the Heroes/Run Across Georgia on Memorial Day weekend and is trying to help raise funds. Here is the information on the race in a  note I got from him...
Memorial Day weekend I will be joining other individual runners for the 3rd annual Run for the Heroes race across Georgia.  I am joining the effort to raise awareness and funds for House of Heroes, (HOH) a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that repairs the homes of military and public safety veterans within our community, and/or their widows, at no cost to them.  Since its inception in 2000 HOH volunteers have helped to honor over 416 families in the tri-community area to include Columbus, LaGrange, Albany and Savannah, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama.  I feel that it is important to help those who may be in need that have put their lives on the line serving our country.  They have given us so much and it is important for us to give back. The race will be leaving from Ft. Benning, GA and headed East 260 miles across Georgia to Savannah.  To support the effort you can give online safely and securely at or you may mail a check to 4713 Milgen Rd. Columbus, GA  31907 making your check payable to “HOH-CVC”.  Be sure to indicate in the memo section that you are donating in support of my effort. Your donations allow us to do more for these great Americans who have done so much for us.  They have often sacrificed the best years of their lives protecting the freedoms we enjoy today.
Your donation makes a difference and will stay right here in the tri-community area.  We have all been touched by an individual in the community who has served in the military or public safety arenas.  I need your help in making a difference!

Another busy week... - May 16, 2011

Local conglomerate, AORTA, will have another busy week ahead which should keep the bloated bureaucracy running at nearly 40% effeciency.  That will be a new record.
You can find the results from last weekends Emergency Nurses 5K near the top of the page.  Brandy McCulloch, known around EAMC as Nurse Ratchet, did a very fine job of pulling this together and keeping everyone on track.  110 runners finished the race so we had a good turnout and a successful race.

DO NO FORGET that tonight we'll have Emily Ansick coming in to tell us about a new running store thats opening at Glendean Shopping Center.  Emily has been a member of AORTA for a long time and a big supporter.  The plans are for her to speak first beginning at 6:00, take care of a little bit of business and some good news we have to announce and then spend the rest of the time eating pizza and talking.  If you don't know where the meetings going to be held you can click on the AECCI link at the top of the page and a map should pop up.  I'll see you there....

This coming Saturday we'll have back-to-back races in town.  The first will be the Campus Life Move It 5K which starts at 8:00 at Auburn High and then move over to Ogletree Village and run the Run With Ross 5K starting at 9:00.  You can find more information on both races by checking our race calendar.

Recently I've had a couple of people ask about runs during the week.  Starting Tuesday, May 17, the Tues./Thurs. Kroger group will permanently move to Glendean Shopping Center in anticipation of the new running store opening in July.  We will still meet at 5 AMWe had fifteen runners this morning so the group is growing.  Anyone can join..  There are no membership requirements for women.  However, male applicants must fill out a 10 page application, speak at least five languages, be able to carry PI to 52 places and pass a background and drug test.
The other group that meets on Mon/Wed/Fri uses Kaz as a starting place on Monday, Amsterdam Cafe on Wednesday and Kroger on Friday.  All of those runs begin at 5:00am..

Chewacla 50K - May 13, 2011

Bob Lawson was kind enough to provide a race report on the "Fat Ass 50K last weekend.  Sure, I beg for race reports all the time but only Bob is kind enough to send me one.  Here you go:
Chewacla 50k Race Report

16 runners total showed up for the Chewacla Fat Ass 50k. The course was a 5.2 mile lap through Chewacla State Park in Auburn, to be completed six times for the full 50k, and starting & ending at Bob Lawson's house.

1. Eric "I am Ultraman" Gilbertson. 4:26:28, M.
2. Chase "I am Triathlete-man" Holmberg. 5:14:00, M.
3. Bob "Do you like my backyard?" Lawson. 6:13:37, M.
4. Sally "I could get lost in a bag" Evenden. 7:04:12, F.
5. Jeff "How long is a 50k anyway?" Estes. 8:39:37, M.
6. Terri "" Hayes. 10:27:50, F.

Extra kudos to Jeff and Terri who where the only runners known to do the optional, and stupid hard, route on the 6th lap, that the rest of us were too wimpy to do!

Other runners:
5 laps: Lance “That's Dr. to you” Haney.
4 laps: Ben “You mean it's Central Time in Alabama?”Lubber.
3 laps: Brian “I'm out of shape” Benson, Marcus “Donuts, Cookies, Pie” Farris.
2 laps: Jim “At least I found the start this year” Doyle, Allen “Hey, I'm a Dr. too!” Smith.
1 lap: Blake “These trails aren't that bad!” Henry, John “I'm waaay faster on a bike!” Horton, Mary “How did these guys rope me into this?” Robbins, Liz “My dad made me do this” Smith.

Sorry... - May 12, 2011

I had a list of 7 subjects to cover with you on Monday and I was going to be out of town but my brilliantly devised plan had me doing it from the hotel that night!  Nothing could go wrong.  But I ran a high fever all night, abandoned my trip early the next morning and I've been at home ever since.  Let's attempt to catch up so those prima donna's expecting to see their name won't be disappointed any longer!

  1. I was supposed to clarify a little bit of confusion about the East Alabama Emergengency Nurses Association 5K & 1 Mile which will be held on May 14th.  If you see anything regarding Town Creek Park just ignore it.  All pre-registration, registration, starting point, etc will be at the Lutheran Church on South Gay St.  As of a week ago we had 96 pre-registered runners so the turn-out should be great.
  2. As you know we've had a lot of races this spring with one race right on top of another.  On the 21st we'll have the Campus Life Move-It starting at Auburn High School at 8:00am.  You can download the application here.
  3. An hour later on the 21st will be the Run With Ross 5K at Ogletree Shopping Center.
  4. I was going to remind you of the Summer Swing 5K held each Tuesday evening but I'm a little late for that.  Remember you can always check results by going to Doug's blog below shown as Last Lap.
  5. This past weekend was the Marie Wooten Memorial race which was well attended.  AORTA took care of the finish line for them and Alvin wrote up a brief race report for me.  Here you go:     First:  Someone stole the greasy dirty AECCI turnaround cone 5 minutes after I put it out on campus Saturday.  This resulted in the one mile walkers doing 8 miles while looking for the unbeknown  missing turnaround cone.     Second:  We had an all-girl finish line crew at the Wooten run, not a guy in sight and the race overall winner was a female,Victoria Jones, 18:50.  Not only did she win, she beat the 2nd place male finisher by about 2 minutes.  Worst day of my life!    Consequently, I am giving my tow bar to Beth Ladisla and she will be towing the trailer in the future.     On second thought, I think the worst thing was the cone theft.   Adahli Massey sent me 5 photos from the race race that you can see here.  1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

That's all I have time for today.  I owe you a good race report from Bob Lawson and the results from the Beulah Band Run which I'll try to get done tomorrow.

AORTA meeting Monday, May 16th, 6:00 at Auburn Electric - May 4, 2011

We'll be having a regular meeting on the 16th and Emily Ansick will be our first guest speaker.  As I told you earlier, when you weren't paying attention, she is scheduled to open a running/sporting goods store in the Glendean Shopping Center late this summer.  So she'll be telling us about that and about some of the other services they can provide.  AORTA will bring in pizza for dinner so you'll get a freebie and the meeting will be at AECCI which is on the corner of Stage Road and Summerhill Road.  We have been working hard to make our meetings more interesting and more useful to the running community.  If we have great attendance we can get great speakers but if we have poor attendance then no one will want to be a guest speaker.  It's as simple as that.  So help us out by giving up just a tiny little bit of your time and supporting the club.

Last May we held our first "Run with Ross 5K" and we are planning to have our 2nd Annual event which starts at the Ogletree Village Shopping Center.  The race will be on May 21st and Tracey Buckingham will be the boss.  

The Summer 5K planning is well underway and set to start on Wednesday, June 1st and last for 9 weeks.  Basically they will follow the same format as last year.  Registration will be in front of the gym at Auburn High and the race starts at 6:15 PM.  One change is they are no longer going to allow pushing, shoving or tripping so take notice of that.

Sarah Wolf (Wolfie) has reminded me the City is also sponsoring the annual Bike Dash which will start in downtown Auburn Saturday morning.  So our races will be sharing the roads not only with cars but with more than the normal number of bikers so be alert.  Those bikers aren't known for their quick minds...

Summer 5K Series Update - May 3, 2011

I did hear from Kay Dee Calloway about the Summer 5K Series in Auburn.  They are deep into the planning and will have things arranged in the next couple of weeks.  Plan on a race each Wednesday night starting June 1st.  More to follow later...

Here is Molly's list of items discussed at the Officers/Directors meeting held Tuesday night:
- 1200-mile-club list has been finalized
- all financial obligations have been paid and received to date and there is money in the bank.
- Molly is working on a project to "give back" to Auburn and Opelika
- Robin Kelley has graciously agreed to act as race director with races that AORTA is unable to assist with
- Karen will draft a brochure high-lighting AORTA achievements, running advantages, etc. to be available to the chambers, city events, etc.
- Greg will follow up with a request for AORTA to assist with a race around 9/11.
- Monica and Alvin will work on forming several races/fun runs for children this fall.
- Alvin will follow-up on a disclaimer when renting out our equipment
- Full membership meetings will be held every other month effective in May.
- A suggestion for the 1200 mile club award was shared
- Molly Johnson requested that she be referred to as "Mojo" on the website from now on.

Chewacla Fat Ass 50K - May 2, 2011

This weekend will be the Chewacla Fat Ass 50K, here is the latest from the man pulling it all together, Bob Lawson:   This will be the last update. Many details: I have about 20 names on my list now so I'm expecting between 15-25. If you can confirm that you are coming or not coming for sure, please do so. A few local runners have expressed interest in running just a loop or two so we may have more than this out there at different points in time.
The race begins/ends at my house (600 Jennifer Dr. in Auburn). Park on the street and walk up the driveway. We will return to the house itself after each loop to check in. Race times are self-reported. I'll have some kind of clock there, but you can use your own watch to record your time. The course is about 5.2 miles and is almost all trails and can be difficult. 6 loops are required for the full 50k. I'm planning to have a large aid station at the house with the usual ultramarathon fare. Feel free to add your favorites to the mix. Also there will be a water-only stop with cups about halfway along the course. There is a bathroom on the course that we pass by twice each loop as well as at the house.
For 50k runners the race begins at 7:00 (not 7:30 as earlier reported), please be there by 6:30 as I'll go over some details about the course at 6:45. Anyone running fewer loops is welcome to run whenever they please. If you haven't paid your $3 just bring it along. I will buy park entries the day before for about 25 people.
Post-race I plan to hang out at the house and everyone is welcome to stay. I imagine we'll order pizza. I'll have some cheap beer, but byo if you want good beer. There's a pool, hot tub, and showers you can use.
Let's hope for weather like today and not like a couple days ago! See you then. (Facebook)

Politburo News - April 28, 2011

Our Politburo meeting was very fruitful this week once the bickering stopped.  We are mulling over a couple of new ideas that will presented at our next member meeting.  One thing we plan to do is bring back speakers.  We've had Dr. Bob, physical terrorist, nutritionist, we've held meetings at place where demonstrations were made, etc.  So we are going to try and make meetings more educational where you can get more out of it than just socializing but there will still be time for that.  We are also looking at producing a brochure we can hand out to non-members at races or exhibitions explaining the benefits of AORTA to help with our membership. After all, isn't it our quest to grow and improve the local running community?   It's funny how on Saturday we'll pass so many people out running and they have never even heard of AORTA.  Alvin and I used to beat those people up but it's not as acceptable any more so we've stopped.  And there are a few more ideas floating around that we'll pass along as they develop.  What we need from ALL of you is to help us out by attending the meetings, giving us ideas, volunteering to help at races, etc.  AORTA will only grow and prosper if we have everyone involved in some way.  You say you're busy?  So is everyone else, we all carve out at least a little time for things that are important to us.
I wanted to remind everyone that the Summer Swing 5K starts next week in Opelika.  That is not a one-time race, that series is held every Tuesday evening on into August.  You can go here to find out more, Doug has done a very fine job of single-handedly pulling this off for several years and he puts on a great show!
If you ask me about the Summer 5K Series which has been held every Wednesday evening in Auburn during the summer I'd have to tell you I haven't heard anything about it! 
And a final note.  There was a lot of complaining about how a) how I don't answer email in a timely fashion and b) it sometimes takes a week or two for me to post a race.  First, I told them all to shut-up.  Like everyone else, I get really busy, I goof off, I travel for work at times and I get behind.  Despite the huge salary AORTA pays me their business gets pushed to the back of the line sometimes, email gets thrown away or forgotten, etc.  Never be afraid to send me a 2nd (or 3rd) reminder/complaint because I do try to get everything answered, I'm just slow sometimes and need prodding so prod me.  Now if your email is stupid I'll just write back and say "hey, that's stupid, I'm not posting it". 
See you Saturday morning at Kaz...

Nauseated... - April 26, 2011

Yep, some people drive all the way to Atlanta to get their photo taken with some yahoo like Jeff Galloway.  So what that he went to the Olympics and helped millions of runners with his training programs.  The question Alvin and I have is would he listen to all the whining and complaining that we have without snapping?  The answer is "no"!

Tonight the AORTA Politburo will be meeting at 6:00PM to discuss a number of issues for the club.  Among those are...
- financial update
- finalize 1200-mile-club membership
- Update AORTA Enemies List
- progress on scholarship/charitable event
- nominating Auburn/Opelika area as Runner Friendly Communities
- progress on establishing a committee to arrange a table for informational purposes at local fairs, etc
- whether or not to proceed with smear campaign against Scott Walker
- request to assist with a race on 9/11 in commemoration of 10 year anniversary
You see we actually do some work from time to time.

If you're looking for a real "fun-run" then you should check out the Chewacla Fat Ass 50K (only 31 miles).  Bob Lawson seems to be the brains behind this operation which will be held on Saturday, May 7th.  You can check it out on Facebook.  My rule of thumb is if they say the course will be open for 12 hours you might think twice about going.

We have a few local races on May 7th and 14th but we'll still have our Kaz run, just plan on it being shorter than normal so you can run and still make the races.

Runner dies after 5K - April 25, 2011

This past Saturday Tim Justice and his wife were in Montgomery for a race and he ran the 5K and she ran the 10K portion. He was 44 years old, had had heart surgery in the past and collapsed at the finish line.  Despite the best efforts of EMT's they were unable to revive him. Very sad story...

I'll be adding a race to our calendar for the Campus Life 5K which will be held on May 21st at Auburn High School.  You can register online at or
And don't forget the 35th Annual Run for Valley Haven in Valley, AL on Saturday May 7th.

New Running Store to open in Auburn... - April 21, 2011

AORTA has learned that a new "running store" is set to open late this summer in the Glendean Shopping Center where the Guitar Shop used to be.  This will be a branch of Big Dog Running Company out of Columbus.  So, we have agreed to start some of our runs from their store once they are ready.  They plan to have a shower, drinks, snacks and maybe even a massage therapist after our runs.  All they are missing is a psychiatrist because a lot of our members need one of those too.  So, I'll keep you updated on the progress of this.  Emily Ansick is behind this and if you have any feedback or suggestions you can contact her via email.
Next Tuesday night the AORTA officers (aka, Politburo) will be meeting to make plans for the fall and to handle any business that's come up.  We try to avoid work as much as possible so it will likely be mostly socializing. 

Grete Waitz - April 20, 2011

When I heard some news about her this week it made me realize how old I am.  Back in the late 70's and early 80's she was THE dominant female runner in the world.  She held the 3K world record and so the director of the NY Marathon asked if she'd come and set the pace for the women. That was her first marathon.  Large races often have a "rabbit" who sets a quick pace for the early miles and then they either fall way back or quit and go pick up their check for doing their job.  I guess Grete didn't get it because not only did she go on to win the NY Marathon but she also set a new world record by 2 minutes.  Grete went on to win 9 more NY Marathons.  I've heard a story about her for years but I don't know if it's urban legend or fact.  She was having "tummy trouble" and while most people would have dropped out or at least slowed down she just lets everything run down her leg and went on to not just finish but to win.  She died this past Tuesday from cancer at the young age of 57.

Can you do a 4:42 mile? - April 18, 2011

I know you will find this shocking but a Kenyan won the Boston Marathon today!  Who would have ever thought that?  Actually, they turn out some incredible runners there including Geoffrey Mutai.  I usually don't mention Boston unless we have runners there but today this guy turned in a world record 2:03:02!  That is an average of 4 minutes 42 seconds per mile times 26 miles!  These people aren't like you and me, we probably have just 2 or 3 runners in AORTA who could do a single mile at that speed.  However, due to a 14mph tailwind he is not going to be shown as the world record holder but still it's hard to fathom that kind of a run.  Right on his heels was our own Bob Lawson who finished with a 3:26 and then Jennifer Cabbage with 3:45 followed by Robin Kelly with 3:55.  Congratulations to those 3 on making it to Boston and turning in good times.

TGIF - April 15, 2011

Our first order of business is for me to give you a grade as a group in your response to our birthday request.  Since I'm merciful I'd give you a C-.  We got about 30 people to respond out of over 100 members but considering who I have to deal with that's pretty good I guess.  Just because we've known you for years doesn't mean we remember the month and exact date but now that's your problem unless you get it to me. 

Then I got this from Doug Underwood....he's about to crank up the Summer Swing 5K Series:  Tuesday, May 3th, is the first of the Summer Swing series 5K races in Opelika.  The Summer Swing Concerts begin that day as well, and runs through August 9th.  We will meet at the same time (6:00pm) and same place (Opelika Recreation Center parking lot on Denson Drive) as usual.  I’m working on trying to find someone to either help me with the grilling, or help at the finish line.  Help in either area would be greatly appreciated.  Let me know if you are interested.  Like last year, $10 will cover a runner for the entire series.  If that won’t work try the pay-as-you-go option at $1 per race.    Those 18yrs old and under – no registration fee.  I’ve created a blog site to keep you updated and post results each week.   You can visit it at   Leave a comment there if you like.  You can also reach me at, or 334-745-5070, most evenings.
The course is an out-and-back measured and marked 5K course through residential neighborhoods in north Opelika.  Walkers, strollers, and leashed pets are welcome.  We encourage families to bring the kids.  Water and Gatorade will be provided for all.
Last year we averaged between 30 and 45 runners on a given Tuesday.  We have seen steady growth over the years.  I’m hoping that this is our best year ever!  See you soon – Doug

Check out our race calendar.  It's been updated with the application for the East Alabama ENA race on May 14th and reflects the change from Town Creek to Trinity Lutheran Church

Race Updates - April 11, 2011

Wanted to remind everyone that we have the Art Run this Saturday at the Jule Collins Museum.  They can use some volunteers for the race so if you are able to help from 8:30 until 10 or so please email Elyse at
Remember that Dr Wooten's Race will be held on Saturday, May 7th.  I'll try to get more info and the application added to the calendar but mark that date on your calendar.
The Emergency Nurses 5K is May 14th at 8 AM and was supposed to start at Town Creek.  Delete that, the race is going to be starting from the Lutheran Church on Gay Street.  The same place where we hold he Toys for Tots race each year.  Everything else will be the same.

Philanthropist - April 6, 2011

I know most of you barely made it through high school so a philanthropist is someone who is able to give away large amounts of money. This is part of an email I got from Alvin who has been banned from most functions by our new president but still manages to ferret out a lot of information: -- Beverly Long, AKA ,"Twinkle Toes", gave me a copy of the EAMC Foundation annual report, which lists donors to the hospital. .  We have consistently supported their programs and we are listed as accumulative contributions of over $25,000 to the Cancer Center, which provides treatment to local residents.  This should dispel some to the rumors that we are a bunch of crazy yahoos running amuck in the streets.  Seriously, we should be proud of our members and other runner's participation in activities that contribute to such worthwhile causes.--
I agree, AORTA members should be proud of helping out such a great cause.

What a liar! - April 5, 2011

For once I decided to actually do a little work myself and find out how Tom and Molly did at Knoxville this past weekend.  In going through the list of finishers I run across "Molly Johnson, age 29".  I thought "what a liar, no wonder the woman didn't say anything about going".  I was sure she was hoping no one was checking up on her but she should have known better.  But then I searched a little further and found another Molly Johnson, this one closer to my age.  So I want to apologize to her for thinking she was a liar for a minute or two.  Molly finished in a very fine 2:06 for the half.  Meanwhile Tom Lawry was struggling a bit with tummy issues and said he left his "mark" at about mile 14 but still managed to struggle home in 4:44.  Several weeks ago I failed to report that Tom turned in a very good 4:15 in Jacksonville,FL.  Congratulations to both Molly and Tom.
Next up will be Jennifer Cabbage and Bob Lawson who will be traveling to Boston for the prestigious Boston Marathon.  This year the race will be on April 18th.  I was told by a reliable source that Jennifer had deferred from last year and got in only 7 hours before the race registration closed.  Good planning!

Race Reports - April 4, 2011

Bob Lawson and Lance Haney ran the S.H.U.(Stay Hydrated Ultra) 50k near Hilton Head, SC on 4/2.  A very low-key affair, the entry was only $10, and just 8 runners were there for the 50k.  Bob was first with a time of 5:04:55 and Lance finished third in 5:19:55, which is a PR for him by over an hour!  Great job by both of our boys.

Then I heard that Molly Johnson and Tom Lawry were in Knoxville over the weekend.  Molly was running the half and Tom the full marathon.  Do you think they told me they were going or even had the decency to tell me how the race went?  Of course not, I'll just have to wait until some rumors flow down to me and report those.

JL Art Walk Race - March 31, 2011

Just a reminder about the much anticipated JL Art Walk/Run 5K.  This will take place on April 16th and start at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

I got some disappointing news yesterday from our treasurer, Sir Brian Corbitt.  He said that ALL of the 1200 Mile Club members had paid their dues on time so no one is going to be tossed out.  Alvin and I were very saddened, this takes a lot of fun out of things when everyone is following the rules. 

AORTA March Business - March 30, 2011

If you missed the AORTA meeting ths past Monday here is a synopsis of what was discussed:

- two ROTC representatives explained the MUD run this Saturday and they encouraged AORTA members to participate.  Any kinks that were present last year have been addressed and a fun time is guaranteed! 

- Any 1200-mile-member who has not paid their AORTA dues is no longer a member of that elite group.

- If anyone is interested in forming a committee and set-up a table or booth at various local "fairs" to promote wellness as well as AORTA, please let me know.  Manning of the table/booth can be rotated among members but we need someone to get things going.

- Any suggestions for 1200-mile-award need to be forwarded to Penny, our illustrous VP. 

- We would like to establish a way of "giving back" to the community, whether by a scholarship or charitable donation, and if anyone is interested in spear-heading this, please let Molly know.

- Membership meetings will be held on a quarterly basis; attendance is encouraged.

- Special notice of two upcoming races:  Dr. Wooten's race and the EAMC nurses race both being held in May.

- We continue to decline helping with races due to the volume, however, if an AORTA member is personally contacted to assist, and they are familiar with equipment and are available to help, there is no problem with that - that's they choice.

Short Circuit 5K - March 29, 2011

This past weekend AORTA executive, Jim Killian, was race director for the Short Circuit 5K and had a great turnout and some very fast time.  You can download the results above.

We still continue to get some requests for AORTA to help with races this spring and summer.  Our basic response is "no"!  We are already very busy as it is and taking on more races is more than we can handle.

Saturday runs for the next 3 weeks have been posted.  If you can help with a water stop please go to Facebook and volunteer.

Here we go... - March 28, 2011

I have results for you from the Unity Run this past Saturday in Opelika.  You can go here to see those.

This week there is one local race but then on the 9th you can find 3 in our area. 

Lake Wilmore Path to open Saturday - March 23, 2011

This weekend there are several races on our calendar so check out the Race Calendar for the latest information.  I can remember it was only 10 years ago that there were maybe 2-5K races a year and the Love Your Heart 10K...that was it!  Now there is a race nearly every weekend in the fall and in the spring.  This weekend I know of 4 races and I think there is a race close to Auburn every weekend through May.  Things have sure changed...
Thanks to Karen Khodadadi for sending the results of the 1200 Mile Club for last month.  We've had a very good response this year. 
Tracey forwarded me an email about the opening of a new trail in Auburn adjacent to Ogletree School and a new cycling group, AORBA.  Here's what I have:

Good morning, I hope you are doing well on this fine Tuesday morning!  I will forward you the poster for our grand opening which is Saturday, March 26.  We are hoping that a lot of people will show up to run, hike and bike the new trail.  It really is a great trail and we have lots of folks who run it.  The schedule will be something like this:
8:15 Experience Mountain Bikers
8:30 Intermediate and Beginner Mountain Bikers
9:00 ish  Runners
9:10 ish Hikers

And I found a link which shows the route which looks pretty interesting and the distance which appears to be 2.2 miles.  You can find it here.

Monthly Meeting and Beginners Class - March 17, 2011

Go ahead and mark your calendar for the 28th when we'll be having our regular meeting.  We'll probably be outside since the weather has turned so nice.
For those of you who may be thinking of starting a running program or even if you know someone there is still time to get started.  Alvin has a beginner's group that is meeting each Thursday at Kiesel Park.  He's gets them all together, immerses them in his wit and wisdom and then sends them off on a short run/walk.  For the first 2 weeks they've had over 20 new runners show up which is pretty amazing.  I've asked Alvin how long the class lasts each week and he said "we leave in time to get home and catch the beginning of American Idol". 

Heavy Duty - March 14, 2011

I'm referring to the race calendar which shows 5 races just on March 26th, one a week later and a couple the week after that.  For that reason I'm going to change the run on the 26th and put something on there a little shorter in case you want to run and still do a race. 
And I have a note from our esteemed treasurer, Mr. Brian Corbitt:

Hello everyone,
I wanted to let you guys know that we have successfully switched banks for our Aorta account.  I know that some of you were wondering if we received your checks because of the length of time it took to deposit and go through.  I appreciate everyone’s patience.  Going forward, I will be making, at least, monthly deposits into our account, or more frequently as needed.  This is to ensure that your checks will be deposited in a timely fashion.  So, having said that, I wanted to let you know that I am going to be making an Aorta bank deposit on Friday, the 18th.  If you haven’t paid your dues yet, and would like to, just have your check sent to the Aorta P.O. Box by Thursday next week, and it will be deposited. Thanks again for you assistance and patience!

You're Fired! - March 9, 2011

We replaced hardware and software here over the weekend since our servers were about 6 years old.  Thus, we had no email, no internet access and no AORTA website until Tuesday.  Of course the plan was to go down Friday afternoon and come back up with them on Saturday but things never seem to go as planned....

Server Fired! - March 9, 2011

My old pal, Steve, started swapping out servers here Friday at noon and it wasn't until Tuesday afternoon that our lovely website came back up again.  He told me from Friday at noon until Sunday night he spent 32 hours up here working but it's finally all done.  So that's why you haven't been able to access the website for the past few days. 
I'll get the runs for another week or two added to the list and there are a staggering number of races to add to our calendar.  I plan to work on all that this morning.

Mt Cheaha 50K Results - March 1, 2011

Molly directed these 5 runners to Cheaha this weekend for the brual 50K run.  They did a great job, here's how things went:
Marcus Farris 4:59 4th (out of 182 finishers)
Emily Ansick 5:21 12th, 2nd female
Allen Smith 5:50 26th
Bob Lawson 6:05 34th
Congratulations on a job well done...

And the Snickers Marathon in Albany, GA will be held this coming Saturday, good luck to our runners.

Facebook - March 1, 2011

I think I've explained the way we are doing water stop through Facebook but here we go again.  At the bottom of this page you'll always see the icon to Facebook.  The first time you go there at the top right of the page you'll need to join that page.  Once you've done that you can leave your message as to which water stop you'll take care of.  It also allows you to see what stops have already been covered.  If you have any problems with this please let us know.

Help Needed at Shamrock this Saturday... - February 23, 2011

Dave Hennessey could use about 5 more volunteers to help on the finish line for the Shamrock 5K on Saturday.  It's a big race so we need to be sure we have plenty of people.  You'll be needed from about 7:30am until 9:00am.  Contact Dave is you can help at .

AORTA Business.... - February 21, 2011

Mr Walls has informed me that the Beginner's Class for new runners will start on Thursday, March 8th at 5:30 PM.  Alvin plans to meet each Thursday evening for 8 weeks at Kiesel Park.  You should know that many AORTA Legends have spawned from this group in the past!  There won't be any charge for this class.  You can send Alvin an email.
We are rapidly approaching the cut-off date for the 1200 Mile Club which is March 1st.  If you have not renewed your membership by then you'll be whacked from the 1200 Mile Club.  Here is the most up to date list of who has rejoined so if your name is not on the list you are in deep trouble.  If you paid your dues on Saturday, as a few people did, you won't appear on that list yet. 
In the past we've had some out of town people who were members of AORTA.  The insurance people are beginning to clamp down on this since we are only supposed to have people in the Auburn-Opelika area.  I'd go into a rant here about how we shouldn't let the insurance companies dictate to us who can and can't be a member but I can name at least 3 members who are in the insurance mafia.  This has been less of a problem this year but by next year you likely won't be able to be a member if you live in Montgomery or places like that.

AORTA Race Services... - February 20, 2011

Before we get to the boring stuff, add Krista Layne to the group going to the Snickers Marathon in Albany, Ga.  So far I have Marianne Farris, Bob Banks and Kermit Davis.

You probably won't notice but the "Race Services" link on our website has been removed.  AORTA's general position is that we don't help outside groups with their races any longer.  It's not that we consider them competition or that we don't want to help, it's that we have very limited resources.  Only so many people want to volunteer for this kind of duty and we get requests nearly every week at this time of year.  It would be easy for us to line up another half dozen races in the spring and the same amount in the fall but its just becomes too much.  So as we go forward we won't be adding any races to our existing repetoire.
Behind your back the Politburo met ini secret last week so there will be a few announcements I need to post.  These have to do with the 1200 Mile Club, which of you have failed to send in your renewal application, insurance, etc.  Stay tuned.

$9,200 - February 17, 2011

The final numbers are in for the Auburn Half Marathon and AORTA will be donating $9,200 to the Cancer Center of East Alabama.  Our race director, Elyse Corbitt, wanted to be sure we thank everyone who participated, donated, sponsored and volunteered for the Auburn Half.  Great work, impressive numbers!
Today I'm adding to our calendar the Trinity Race on Saturday, April 9, 2011 and the Valley Haven Races which will be on Saturday, May 7th.

]Beginner? - February 16, 2011

I mentioned this earlier and I've had several emails about people wanting to see if we have a "Beginner's Class".  Yes, we do.  Alvin is going to be leading a class that will start in March.  If you are interested in being a part of this class drop him an email and get on the list. 
You should also check on the Race Calendar page, something gets added there almost daily...
I heard that some runners were headed to Albany in the next week or two for the Snickers Marathon.  A snitch has come forward and told me that Marianne Farris, Bob Banks and Kermit Davis are going.  Good luck to all 3!
Jill Harris also wanted me to remind everyone that today is her birthday!

Next 2 weeks... - February 14, 2011

AORTA has races coming up for the next  2 Saturdays so there will NOT be a run from Kaz again until March 5th.  This Saturday is the Love Your Heart Race which will be held at Chewacla Park.  This has always been well attended and the weather should be beautiful.  You can go to our Race Calendar and get more information.
On the 26th will be the KD Shamrock 5K on Campus.  I don't remember exact numbers but last year we had several hundred runners attend so I expect at least that many this year too.  That information is also on our Race Calendar page.
The latest results of the 1200 Mile Club are posted above.  If you want to join the 1200 Mile Club it's not too late, just email your monthly total to Karen Khodadadi and she will add you to her list.  Of course, if we don't have your membership renewal (money) you'll be promptly booted out.
We are going to try something different for water stops when we return to Kaz in a couple of weeks.  You will go to our Facebook page that has been set up and you'll be able to post which stop you want to handle for that week.  You may have to sign-up for Facebook and you may not want to but how about helping us out.  It will also allow you to see which ones are taken already and which ones aren't covered.  We hope that will make things more effecient and cut down on AORTA's astronomical overhead.  The Facebook link is also at the bottom of this page so you won't lose it.

Alvin's Angels... - February 9, 2011

The Alvin's Angels Marathon Team, Pheza Sumner, Heather  Presley, Michelle Crisler, Jennifer Adams, Laurie Faison, Cindy Diffie, Jane Farr, Tammy Hollis and associates will be participating in the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon this Sunday.    I have not heard if they are going chaperoned or not?

Love Your Heart 10K, 1 mile fun run and  Crank Your Heart bike rides are Saturday,   Feb. 19 at Chewacla State Park .  Preregistered runners are guaranteed a shirt.  Register at

 An 8 week beginner runners course will start Thursday, March 3 at 5:30 at Kiesel Park.  The group will meet once a week on Thursday at 5:30 and the goal is to help beginners to improve fitness and running skills.  There will be no charge but each must sign an application/ waiver.  Information on the course will be provided at the first meeting.  Alvin Walls wil be instructing the group.,

Friday - February 4, 2011

Molly wanted to thank the January water volunteers:  Jim Doyle, Scott and Laura Walker, Marianne Farrus, Jim Killian, Mike and Gloria Walsh, Beth Kisor, Carol Dorn, Jennifer Cabbage, and Mike Milford (new AORTA member).  Cold temperatures didn't stop runners from helping out - thank you all.
We will have a run from Kaz on the 5th and 12th, then on the 19th and 26th there will not be a run.  Since AORTA helps with both the Love Your Heart and KD Races we'll be there instead of at Kaz.

Love Your Heart - February 3, 2011

While you've been goofing off Alison Hall and Jessie King have been working hard making plans for the Love Your Heart races.  We are only 2 weeks away from that race and things are progressing well.  This year you'll see a significant change since the starting line has been moved down near the entrance of the park instead of at the top.  That is going to make parking and logistics a lot easier on everyone, no more bussing.  As always it helps the directors so much if they have a good idea how many runners (and bikers) are going to show.  Please go to and register online or you can download the application.  Do it TODAY!

Getting Closer... - February 2, 2011

Strange thing that most of the bugs I thought were in the new website ended up being operator errors on my part.  Imagine that!!  I have added a link to Doug Underwoods running blog where he has information on his summer running series.  I've updated the birthdays for February which is a stellar group except for Lucy.  And a number of races have been added to our calendar and I have a few more to go so check that out.

I hate this more than you.... - January 31, 2011

Many of you have already heard that the "old" website has officially died as of last Thursday around noon.  I'd been using software they no longer make and no longer support so when my hard drive died with that software my comfy little world came to an end.  Thanks to Amy Baker, who I work with, she whipped this site up for me.  I asked what software this was and she said "uh, it's just html, java and php".  I didn't ask any more questions, I don't really know what any of those things are so it's going to take me a while to figure everything out and get all the things that have been requested up and posted.  Be patient!  We also plan to have a new calendar where YOU can post your races and make any changes that need to be made.  All I have to do is click a button to approve it and it will be posted, this will save a lot of time.  Maybe the best thing about this is Amy said I can update it from any computer anywhere in the world!!  That's going to let me be a lot more flexible and I'll probably have someone else help me to keep things up to date.  We'll get that moved in the next few days and I think by the end of the week everything will be operational.
I do have the results from the Half Marathon from the 22nd and you can find those here.  Elyse and her gang did a really good job of organizing everything and having a good plan in place.  We took lots of photos and probably caught each runner at least once, you can view those on Smugmug.