AORTA Posts 2012

Did you get fat over the holidays too? - 12 30, 2012

If so, you can start working it off at the Resolution Run on New Year's Day. There will be several choices of routes with varying miles, so if you are like me and have taken far too much time off from running, don't be intimidated. Afterwards, there will be food and drink. Most importantly, they will have mimosas.

It begins at Big Dog @ 10:00 a.m.

Feel free to bring a dish to share if you want to show off your culinary skills.

Finally! A run that begins at a time that I am actually willing to make!

I'd like to add an additional note about the route for 1/12/13. I tried to fit it in  the route description, but there were too many characters:

This route is around 12.2 miles long. I tried to copy the old Chewacla route the people seem to love (WHY???). I didn't want you to get arrested for running in the park illegally, so I changed the part where you run to the top to running the bike trail and then doubling back. If you are a rebel, feel free to run in the park. That might help your speed if you have to outrun a ranger, or you could just pay. Also, the water stops are new, so if you volunteer, I'd suggest using a throw away cooler or a garbage bag.

Slack off week. - 12 26, 2012

There isn't much going on right now, other than the training for the Auburn Half Marathon. If you're a member of the AORTA Facebook page, keep checking it because Jane, the director, keeps putting out codes for discounts. I am giving you 13 miles on the 5th in case you're wondering if you can do the whole race. It'll be a nice practice session for you. You're welcome.

Keven Yost is trying to put together a half marathon run to benefit the people of Sandy Hook. I'll post more on that as his plan falls together.

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year!

Please keep all of those impacted by the tragedy in Connecticut in your thoughts and prayers. - 12 16, 2012

Gala of the year! - 12 9, 2012

The AORTA Christmas party held this past Thursday was a smashing success! Lots of old and new members were present. Every year, we all try to outdo each other by being the best looking person at the party. This year, Baby Jonathan Davis schooled us all. Thanks to all who put it together!

On a side note, if you are the person that made the guacamole, you have real talent! Please invite me over for dinner.

The Rocket City Marathon was this past Saturday. The following AORTANS won awards:

Marianne Farris 3:22:54

Jesse Knight

Jennifer Chambliss.

Karen K has your awards, so either post on the Facebook page or contact this site and I’ll give you her information. Mac Matthews also ran and won the $500 cash drawing, but wasn’t there to claim it. That totally sounds like my luck!

I couldn’t find the times of all that ran (due to the fact that I think I am getting the flu and need to lay down now), so if you’ll contact me, I’ll post your time.


Tuesday Update: I couldn't find anyone because I was looking at last year's results, and I don't have the flu.

Here are other participants for Rocket City:

Eric McClendon (who smoked his previous time... he took 31 minutes off of his marathon PR!!!)

And Karen K (of course).

Finally, I couldn't figure out how to get the Lightning link/Toys for Tots in the race results at the top of the page, so I simply hyperlinked them to the TFT icon to the right. BRILLIANT! (Unless Lightning Sports Racing is going to sue due to trademarking issues. If so, my name is MONICA KENNIS).

We’re back in bidness! - 12 2, 2012

Did you miss me? Thankfully, there wasn’t much race news last week, so it was a good time for the site to be down. Amy, the computer guru has fixed the issues. Yay Amy!

As you know, the Toys for Tots race was held yesterday (Dec. 1). There were some lightning fast times!

I am glad that I decided not to race because I would have been humiliated. Trey Nash kept a nice 5:30 pace to win the 5K. I am especially fond of Trey because he once patiently brought out every size 8 running shoe at Big Dog for me to try until I found the PERFECT pair. Well done, Trey!

The Lincoln-Velez family was there representin’ too. I don’t know if you have encountered these people at any races, but they are freakishly fast. The EIGHT YEAR OLD daughter ran the 5K in 25:35. The FIFTEEN YEAR OLD son placed second in the 10K with a time of 36:14.  Beth Kisor also has a protégé in her son, Matthew, who ran the 5K with a time of 23 minutes and some change. I think that I have been forced into retirement with kids turning in times like this.

Here is the link for the results:

I will post them on the results icon at the top as soon as I figure out how to do it.

Thanks to Monica Kennis and her crew for putting on a hugely successful race! It’s a very hard job and you get to do it for free!

I apologize to Bob Banks, the nicest man in the world. - November 18, 2012

And also to John Horton and Lisa Ievers who all ran the Soldiers Marathon and were left off of my list of glory. Lisa even placed 2nd female overall, and I neglected the poor woman. Congratulations to all of you.

There will not be an organized long run on 12/1/12 because I know that everyone will either be racxing or working Toys for Tots.

Please note that the Christmas party will be held 12/6 @ the Event Center in Downtown Opelika.

Here's a message from Prez Molly regarding the details:

 If your last name begins with A-K, please bring a salad or dessert; L-Z, vegetable or other "warm" dish. AORTA will provide the meat, soft/hard drinks, and a guaranteed fun time. Anyone wanting to help, let me know.


Okay, I am stopping here. The site has been so wonky I don't even know if anyone will be able to see it anyway.

Did you miss me? - November 11, 2012

There was some bizarre glitch with the site this week, but it seems to have worked itself out. Sorry about the lack of direction for this Saturday’s run. 

I have tons of information this week, so you may want to print out this week’s blog.

President Molly sent in notes from the super-secret Board of Director’s meeting.

Your Board of Directors met recently to review several items:

the Christmas Party will be held in downtown Opelika at the Civic Center on
December 6th, 6:30-8:30

- we are investigating improving AORTA's finish line by means of purchasing
chip timing software - Monica has agreed to take the lead
- finish line inflatables have been put on hold while we investigate costs
associated with chip timing
- Alvin will see that minor repairs to our current trailer are completed
- new member registrations received beginning November 1st thru the end of
the year will be grandfathered thru 2013; again, this is for new members
- current 2012 board members who are resigning from the board will continue
working closely with the new board to assure a  transparent transition
- AORTA's finances are close to where they were at this time in 2011;
basically what we take in on dues and handling finish lines, minus annual
expenses, allow us to retain a healthy balance
- we voted unanimously to charge $400 to handle finish lines; this may
change "if" chip timing software is purchased

The Soldier Marathon was held November 1oth, and while I briefly searched out our members’ results, I am far too lazy to do a thorough job. So, I am waiting on A-Diddy to send me the final list.

*** And here it is! If you've been left off, it wasn't intentional. Please send me your time and I'll add your results.

Soldiers Marathon
Beverly Smith 3:56 1st age group
Keven Yost 3:27
Mike Milford 3:25
Lori Connors 4:14
Beth Kisor 4:23
Leslie Agerton 4:27
Mike Walsh 4:36
Karen  Khodadadi 4:43 

Half marathon
Clark Andrich 1:46
Linda Chritensen 1:59
Andrea Nelson 2:13
Jo Marie Mackewiscz 2:11
Deborah Bright 2:23
Beth Saba 2:23
Danny James 1:45
Tammy Hollis 2:26
Lucy Lamar 2:24
Linda Shook 2:20
Chris Shook 2:20
Tiffany Walker 2:43
Gloria Walsh 3:34    1st age group
Jessica Armstrong 3:34
Monica Kennis 3:34

The NYC Marathon - November 4, 2012

That’s the big news ticket this week. I’m sure you know that it was canceled, due to Sandy. Unfortunately for many runners, it wasn’t called until 2 days before the race was to occur. However, many of the runners that were already in New York have stayed to help distribute supplies to those in need. Way to take a negative and turn it into a positive! Our own Karen K. was going to run the marathon to raise awareness for pulmonary embolisms, but wisely chose to defer before the race was canceled.

The Soldier’s Marathon is next weekend, which is why Mike Walsh has been running constantly for months. We are expected to have many AORTA peeps representin’, so good luck to you all and let me know how it goes after you’re recovered. Jessica “The Riddler” Ridley, I am looking for you to win it again!

Finally, Rebekah Hall, guest speaker and massage therapist, wanted me to let you know that she is offering a 10% discount to all AORTA members from now until the end of the year.  You can reach her at (334) 887-5666 to schedule a session. You have to know the secret AORTA handshake to receive the discount (kidding).

Why Should You Care? - October 26, 2012

 (Guest Post from Karen Khodadadi)

I was the last person on earth that I thought would be gasping for air walking up a flight of stairs!  So what did I do? I went for a run, of course!  I couldn’t even run a tenth of a mile without feeling like I was going to suffocate.  It ended up I had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, multiple blood clots in both sides of my lungs.  Did you know there is some evidence that endurance runners are more susceptible to blood clots? How counterintuitive is that?

I am one of the lucky ones as I have survived to tell the tale.  I decided to fundraise for Stop the Clot for the New York marathon to raise awareness about blood clots and prevention strategies.    I  wanted to share some basic information on DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) and PEs (pulmonary embolisms) with this group.  Like me, many of you have trained yourself to push through the pain and ignore any warning signals, because let’s face it…that is what marathon and ultra runners do. 

So I hope you will take the time to read some of the information below:

Excerpt from John Hnat’s blog with a great description of DVTs/PEs in layman terms:

If you do any research into PEs, you'll find pretty quickly that they can cause death. (I think that's a good definition of a serious condition: if "sudden death" is one of the symptoms.) But the possibility of death from a PE is not an ongoing one. It's more like a game of Russian Roulette - either there's a bullet in the chamber, or there isn't. If there isn't ... then you're in the clear. Maybe not the clear - you still have a blood clot in your lung, and have to deal with losing lung tissue and decreased lung capacity - but at least you're not going to die immediately.

As I understand it, that is the risk of death from a PE. Think back to eighth grade health class for a minute, when we all learned about the chambers of the heart. Blood makes its way through the veins and back into the right atrium of the heart. It then moves to the right ventricle, and then to the pulmonary artery, which takes it to the lungs. The pulmonary artery is where your chance of death comes in. If the blood clot travels through your heart and into the pulmonary artery, and then blocks off that artery, the blood flow is cut off to the rest of your body, and you'll be dead within minutes. You're toast. (Once again, using the technical medical term.) You could have it happen on the steps of the Mayo Clinic, and you'd still be toast. And if it happens to you while you are running on a secluded bike path in rural Ohio ... then you're burnt toast. In other words, if your DVT turns into a PE, you could be DOA, and then you're really SOL.

The link below provides some basic information on DVT/PE risk factors and prevention strategies. 

Finally, a link to my fundraising page with so many inspirational comments from friends, family and total strangers who have had PEs touch their own lives or a loved one. 

If you ever want more information, please feel free to reach out to me directly at 

Happy, but careful running….Karen

Lots of race news! - October 22, 2012

Two weeks ago, there were a few brutal races held at Pine Mountain, Ga. Here’s the dish on that:

Pine Mountain Oct. 12

50 miles

Emily Ansick 10:19:00 3rd female overall (Naturally)

Juli Goldstein finisher, time not available



William Ansick  5:24 first overall (Of course)

Jessica Ridley 5:40 2nd overall & first female (Not surprised)

Dean Karnaze 6:21



Victoria Jones 4:50 (Probably smoked the others, don’t know her place)

***Update: Victoria was 1st place female overall. Did AORTA represent or what?????

These are very difficult trail runs.  Congratulations to all runners!

*** Bolded comments opinion of the webmaster, AORTA shall not be held responsible.

The Tough Ten was held yesterday, and Jessica “The Riddler” Ridley finished 1st female and 2nd overall. THEN, after the race. Papa saw her running again. ??????? That woman’s a machine!

I will post more about the Tough Ten when I get the dirt. Participants seemed to really enjoy the course, so if you want to have your comments posted here, shoot me an email.

So, the Tough Ten/Tough Two is coming up! - October 14, 2012

Are you ready? I talked to A-Diddy this morning and he said that it’s a beautiful, rolling course. It’s the 21st, a Sunday race, so that makes it pretty unique too. I am working it this year, so that helps everyone else’s chance of winning it. You should totally go for it!

You may have noticed that the Half Marathon icon on the page has been activated. I am terrible at resizing photos, so it isn’t perfectly centered with the other icons. No need to email me and tell me this, I already know and will probably lose sleep over it, due to my OCD tendencies. My knowledge of technology is very limited. In fact, I only got this webmaster gig because no one else wanted it.

The Soldiers Marathon is coming up soon. That’s why every time you drive down a road in Auburn, you see Mike Walsh running. He’s all in! I know that lots of the Angels are competing as well. Good luck to you if you’re running it! While you are running, I think a good idea would be to compose a race report in your head so that you can email me and I can gossip all about it on this site. Just saying…

Rumor has it that Blake Henry has hung up his triathlon garb. For good. Say it ain’t so, Blake!

Remember that Big Dog Running Company is holding Couch to 5K training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Jules Collins Smith Museum. They meet at 7:00 p.m.  and encourage you to join them, even if you’re a veteran runner. The class will culminate with the Toys for Tots 5K.

Laura Walker Competed in the Augusta 70.5 too. - October 8, 2012

She is apparently part of the crazed crowd that’s turned triathlon. She said that she is going to work a bit on her transition time, and possibly NOT fold her wet suit the next time she competes.  At least she didn’t unlace her shoes and lay the strings out to dry!

If you are planning on running the Tough Ten/Tough Two, please register as soon as possible if you’d like to be guaranteed a shirt. The shirts are always da’ bomb, so you don’t want to miss out.

If you are willing to volunteer for the Tough Ten, Toys for Tots race, or Auburn Classic Half Marathon, please post on the Facebook page or email this site and I will connect you with the people in charge.

My vote for the most dangerous spot to run in Auburn… - October 1, 2012

would be the Dean entrance into Kroger. It’s a lengthy crosswalk, and about once a week someone decides to disregard the fact that I am running across the middle of it and turn into the parking lot anyway. I keep trying to get Papa to accompany me and halt traffic when I run across, but so far, no go. Very inconsiderate of him, I think. It’s not like I am wearing asphalt colors or camouflage, I try to be highly visible, but it doesn’t seem to matter.

Lots of people did really cool things this weekend. Beth Mason and Tracy Buckingham completed the Augusta 70.3. Beth, I remember having a conversation with you a long time ago about how people who did those sorts of things were a little bit touched in the head. Beth, you’ve crossed over to the dark side! “Congratulations ladies on a very difficult race!

The Johnny Ray Century Bike Ride was also held this weekend, so if you have a list of who did it and how they did, please write in!

The Rescue Racer 5K results are posted in the link at the top of the page. No surprise, but James Majors did this one, Molly Johnson not only worked it and ran it, she also won first in her age group. That’s how the president rolls!

Don’t forget the infamous Tough Ten/Tough Two is rapidly approaching. You should make sure that you’re getting your speed work in!

Last but not least, this message is from Monica Kennis:

Reminder - The couch to 5K will start this Tuesday, October 2nd in the parking lot of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at 7:00.
The pdf is located under the "files" on this page.
The final 5k will be run at the Toys for Tots race on December 1st. Please help spread the word.

President Molly Johnson is the guest webmaster this week. - September 23, 2012

If you didn't attend the membership meeting this past Monday, you missed out
on a very informative and fun one.  Rebekah Hall, certified massage
therapist, was the guest speaker and brought props with her. We were able to
try out several "rollers", one in particular was a wicked looking thing but
fun.  Thanks Rebekah for your message - therapeutic massages before and/or
after a run are terrific preventive injuries or recuperative measures.

A few AORTA business items were brought up at the meeting also:

- the 2012 Christmas party will be held at the Civic Center in downtown
Opelika.  Mark December 6th on your calendar and watch the website for
details in the Fall.

- there are several board openings beginning in 2013; if you are interested
in serving, or know someone who is and is too shy to speak up, nominate
them.  Let Scott Walker or myself know.  Remember, our club needs YOU!

- AORTA and Big Dog are working jointly on the Tough Ten and Two Mile races
scheduled for October 21st.  If you are not planning on running in this
event, please contact Alvin to help.  Again, we need YOU!

We have had several new members join recently as well as large groups
running Saturday mornings - cooler weather makes happier runners:)  If you
run Saturday mornings, and see a new face, please introduce yourself and
make them feel welcomed.

If you are dying to run the Half Course, we will be running it on October 13th.

Remember... - September 16, 2012

Please plan on attending our last membership meeting of the year a week from tonight, Sept. 17, 6:30 at Big Dog. Guest speaker is Rebekah Hall, certified Massage Therapist who personally gave massages to AORTA members earlier in the summer Saturday mornings at BD. Light refreshments will be provided.

Not much to add this week, but I think that’s going to change very soon. I am getting tons of races sent to the site to be posted, and I am trying my best to keep up with them. Unfortunately, the job that actually pays me is taking up a lot of time right now.

Randy Boone would like some help at the rescue Racer 5K on 9/29 @ Richland Elementary. If you can help, please notify him on the Facebook page, or you can email me and I’ll pass your message along to him.

Big Dog is beginning their Couch to 5K program next month. Please click the Big Dog link for more information.

Also, the Tough Ten/Tough Two is coming up. I FINALLY did get that race posted.

If you’re proud of your running and want me to brag about it, email the site and I’ll make you famous.

Last meeting of the year! - September 9, 2012

Please plan on attending our last membership meeting of the year a week from tonight, Sept. 17, 6:30 at Big Dog. Guest speaker is Rebekah Hall, certified Massage Therapist who personally gave massages to AORTA members earlier in the summer Saturday mornings at BD. Light refreshments will be provided. See you then.

Big Dog is looking for part time help. Here’s a message from Adam:

  • AORTAians! Do you know of anybody who can work during the week? We may be hiring in the next couple of weeks. If you do, email me at!


Linda Christensen, Andrea Spell Nelson and Jo M challenged the Waters Sprint Tri this weekend. I am waiting on A-DIDDY to write in with a report.

Juli Goldstein, a former AORTA member completed Hallucination 100 mile run in 29:05 in Michigan this weekend. I think that race is appropriately named.

Lots of information this week, finally! - September 2, 2012

First, Adam Pugh was noted in Runner’s World this week because he makes excellent pancakes. He sent me a picture of the article, signed, but I couldn't post it here due to trademark restrictions.

He probably has practiced his “when I get famous” signature for years, much like the way I constantly practice “Mrs. George Clooney”.  Adam has designated next Saturday as his official autograph session. I’d take advantage of it, because from what I understand, it’s free until next Saturday, and then it’s $5 a pop. $10 if you want to take a picture with him.

Please note that the Toys for Tots icon is back on the page and active. Adam is beginning a Couch to 5K program at Big Dog in October, with the end result being the participants progress enough to complete the Toys 5K. Here’s your chance to have a celebrity trainer!

In Monica’s own words:

  • Very exciting news, Adam Pugh, the manager of the Auburn Big Dog Running store is putting together a couch to 5K. The couch to 5K (or C25K as Adam says) will start on October 2nd. They will meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm at the Jule Collins Smith Museum (901 South College Street Auburn, AL 36830) on College St. It will finish up with the Toys for Tots 5K! Participants will get a free shirt and a chance to win a pair of shoes.

    So if you are veteran runner and want to encourage your friends, family, co-workers, etc please help spread the word. Adam is very patient (and single, as far as I know). It will be a great way to get people running and an excellent way to meet new people.

The Tough Ten Tough Two race is quickly approaching. A-Diddy sent me an email giving some of the details about the race, but for the life of me I can’t find it. So, go to the link on the race calendar for more information.

Last week I mentioned that Karen (no last name needed) had been stopped for not running on the sidewalk. Don Cleveland was kind enough to send me this information, which for the most part totally goes over my head:

  • The Alabama statute says:
  • § 32-5A-215. Pedestrians on roadways
  • (a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
  • (b) Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.
  • (c) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway, and if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
  • (d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.


Thanks Don!

Please continue to keep Nick and Margaret Holler in your thoughts and prayers. - August 26, 2012

Nick is still recovering at EAMC from a condition that has attacked his immune system. I understand that he is still not ready for visitors, but will update here if I am told differently.

Penny Merritt-Price reported that the Girl Scout Cookie Race went off splendidly yesterday and expressed her thanks to those who helped.

Speaking of helping at races, Adahli Massey still needs one more volunteer to help with the Heroes Run on September 8th. Please let her know on the Facebook page if you are able to help.

Karen (no last name needed) said that she was pulled over by a police officer and warned last week for running on the road when there was a sidewalk available. I didn’t know it, but apparently that’s a state law (? Ordinance?), so keep that in mind (looking your way Jim Killian…). Also, as the days are growing shorter, remember that the city of Auburn will fine you for not wearing reflective gear ($51).

The ordinance states that "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."

Finally, I’d like to thank Adahli Massey for supplying the Saturday routes over the past few weeks. She’s planned some pretty good runs and I really appreciate it. It’s the one part of being  the Master of All, I mean webmaster, that I dread each week. So, if you see her, thank her!

Please keep Nick Holler in your thoughts and prayers. - August 19, 2012

Nick has had a medical situation that kept him in ICU for a few weeks. He is still at EAMC. I am getting the news second hand, but it seems he has had a very difficult time with a condition that attacked his auto-immune system. I don’t think that he is up for visitors at this time, but I will update here if I find out that he is ready for company, meals, etc…

Nick is a long time AORTA member who has directed the Forestry Race for years. He is a great guy and I wish him a speedy recovery!

Some of Alvin’s Angels competed in the Destin Triathlon this weekend. AORTA was represented by Tracy Buckingham, Linda Christensen, Andrea Nelson, and Jo M. (Sorry Jo, I couldn’t find your name so that I could spell it correctly). Blake Henry was probably there too, but he never writes in to tell me what he’s doing. I am eagerly awaiting the race report from one of these ladies.

The Woodland Wallahatchie Race was this Saturday as well. James Majors ran it of course, and won an adorable woodland creature trophy. Way to go, James! I will post the results of this race when Barbara has them ready.

Penny Merritt-Price needs help at the finish line for the Girl Scout Cookie Race this coming Saturday (8/25). If you can help, email this site or contact her on the Facebook link below.

Molly Johnson needs finish line help on September 8th as well. If you can help, do one of the things that I just mentioned above.

Wednesday update!

The Small Fry Tri will be held this Saturday from 9-10am at Town Creek park (for ages 2-6).  Details attached in flyer and registration form and also from the below sources:    


* Facebook event with event details - 

* Registration Form online (to share!) - 

Things that I learned while watching the Olympics... - August 13, 2012

  1. It takes 200 matches to decide who gets the gold in volleyball. That means 200 for beach/male, 200 for beach/female… NBC will air these events constantly.
  2. Galen Rupp is so stinking cute that I want to keep him in my pocket as a pet and feed him bread crumbs.
  3. I have to be careful when exercising Galen if I keep him as a pet because strenuous activity makes him puke.
  4. Mo Farrah doesn’t care about puke and will roll around right next to it after winning the gold in the 10000K.
  5. Olympic athletes have the best bodies in the world, unless you play water polo or shoot guns.
  6. Women that race the short distances really like to doll themselves up before running.
  7. Marathoners don’t care about appearances.
  8. When completing a triathlon, be certain to thrust your torso over the finish line to ensure the win.
  9. Never bet totally on the Kenyans to win when voting in the Big Dog competition just because Moses Kariuki is one of the fastest people that you personally know.
  10. I need to meet someone from Ethiopia or Jamaica.
  11. Lashinda Demus has the cutest children in the world. “Go Mommy, go!”.
  12. Really. It takes a LOT of volleyball matches to decide who gets the gold. A LOT. They’re probably still holding them right now.
  13. I am actually a speed walker, according to the Olympic rules, not a runner.
  14. If I could be any Spice Girl, it would be Posh.

Molly wanted me to let you know that the Run for the Heroes Race (9/8) will offer a $5 discount to AORTA members. Simply check “military” on the application when you send it in.

Lots of races have been added to the calendar recently, so check it out if you haven’t done so in a while.

NBC, we need to discuss your coverage of the track events... - August 5, 2012

I have watched more water events than I even knew existed, and 85 volleyball matches this week. NBC is cruelly playing the track events wayyy past my bedtime. I did watch Rupp earn as silver in the 10000 M. It was a great race and I was proud of my boy!

That brings me to my next topic… Dylan Ogburn. He’s 15. He just ran a 5K in 17:03. That’s a 5:30 per mile pace. His father Steve ran the same 5K in 18:49. They both placed first in their age group at the Woodstock 5K. Steve tells me that they owe all of the glory to Greg Mann, who coached them and put them through the paces this summer. Greg, I think that you should team up with Alberto Salazar, and bring Dylan with you. Steve, I am certainly giving you  credit for spanking the race, but I want Dylan to go to the Olympics so that I can hopefully secure a spectator's seat at a track event in 4 years (because I gave you the idea). Great job, guys!

In case you were unable to attend the meeting last Thursday, Molly sent in this message:

A board and membership meeting was held August 2nd.  Your board members met during the first half of the meeting to discuss the 2012/2013 events, parties, and races.  Details will be available soon, still addressing some questions but rest assured there are some surprises!  Discussion took place about the resurrected Tough Two and Ten which is on the website's calendar for October 21st.  AORTA is partnering with Big Dog - Alvin is the race director, if you can volunteer, let him know.  AND, if you don't volunteer, plan on running!  Jane is actively working on the Half, 10k, 5k, 1 mile held in January - be watching for updates.  Again, please volunteer to help or else run, or walk :)

The 2nd half of the meeting was for members to hear a new program fellow AORTA member Randy Boone is starting up.  There have been postings on FB plus there's a 5k on September 29th on our calendar. 

Also, AORTA has committed to assisting with the finish line for a 5k for Running for Heroes on September 8th at Kiesel Park.  I personally met with Leslie Knight, the race director, and she's so excited to be taking on this endeavor and has a very enthusiastic committee helping her, HOWEVER, I will be in Milwaukee on September 8th at a niece's wedding so cannot be the finish line coordinator.  Is anyone available to help Leslie out and/or I’ll switch with your commitment?  Please, I need help.  Also, Milwaukee is known for some original breweries, aka, Spotted Cow - is coercion acceptable within AORTA??

We have another membership meeting in September, be watching the website for details.

Go U.S.A! - July 30, 2012

I am not sure if you have realized this, but the Olympics are on. I am biding my time until the track events begin (don’t care about field). Big Dog is having an Olympics contest, where you can guess who gets the gold in various events for a chance to win prizes. You can visit their page for more information.

I have had this message posted for a few weeks:

Short membership meeting Thursday, August 2nd, 7:00 at Big Dog.  Our fellow AORTA member Randy Boone will present a service race directors and runners may be interested in.  Your Board Members are encouraging all current and potential race directors, as well as all runners, to come and listen to what Randy will be available to provide during events.  We will try to keep this meeting to 30 minutes.  Looking forward to seeing you there.

Randy Boone has developed a brilliant plan to provide emergency medical services to athletes at endurance races. I have often wished for some sort of medical service after finishing a race, so I say well done, Randy!

I have been tracking all of you tough guys who are running the Tuesday and Wednesday races. Some of the times are remarkable. Eric Gilbertson and Will Frye are turning in times that make me wonder what is wrong with them to allow them to run so fast in this kind of heat. It’s not like they are churning it out on a flat course either. I’m very jealous, but not jealous enough to actually work harder in the heat to improve my time.

Have you noticed that it’s a little humid outside? - July 22, 2012

People who sweat heavily like me do not enjoy this kind of weather. Nor do the people who drive by people who sweat like me. Not pretty.

I finally pulled the scoop out of Mr. Pugh regarding the beer run that was held in a super-secret location earlier this month. It was so secret that you had to go to our race calendar to find out the details. He said that the star of the race was a 3 year old who did the chocolate milk mile, puked mid-race, and then finished with a smile on his face. That’s a tough kid. He also reported that more runners from Columbus participated than from Auburn, so the trophy (ies?) went back to Columbus for the year. Now, I did not realize that we were in competition against the Columbus Running Club, but I do now! Next year I plan to begin assembling the AORTA team around early May. Therefore, I need you guys to pick your poison, milk or beer, and then start running using only those beverages to hydrate. We are totally bringing home the hardware next year!


Molly is out of town for a while, but she wanted me to remind you that there will be a club meeting soon:

Short membership meeting Thursday, August 2nd, 7:00 at Big Dog.  Our fellow AORTA member Randy Boone will present a service race directors and runners may be interested in.  Your Board Members are encouraging all current and potential race directors, as well as all runners, to come and listen to what Randy will be available to provide during events.  We will try to keep this meeting to 30 minutes.  Looking forward to seeing you there.

How was the Beer Run? (Part 2) - July 16, 2012

Ahem. Mr. Pugh, I need the details. Please check your messages.

Also, Scott and Laura Walker: I waved at you the other day when I drove past you and you were riding your bikes. You didn’t wave back and it hurt my feelings. L

Linda Christensen and Andrea Nelson participated in the Freedom Springs  triathlon on July 4 in Marianna, Fl.  Linda Shook went along and coordinated their support activities. I understand that it was quite fun! They swam in water filled with seaweed three feet long, and then got to run a 5k on a dirt road with loose sand. I don’t know of anyone, except for Fred Trouse, who likes running on sand.  Linda placed 2nd in her age group


AORTA and Big Dog Running will conduct the resurrected Tough Ten and Two mile races on Oct. 21 at 7:30 AM.

The race has been moved to Grand National property in Opelika and will start at the Grand National Mariott.

This race has been an annual event except for last year, 2011. The new location will offer runners a challenging and safer course.  Details are available at Big Dog Running in Auburn and will be on this website soon.  That weekend is an out of town game, so no reason not to put it on your calendar.  

Here is a message from the Prez:

Short membership meeting Thursday, August 2nd, 7:00 at Big Dog.  Our fellow AORTA member Randy Boone will present a service race directors and runners may be interested in.  Your Board Members are encouraging all current and potential race directors, as well as all runners, to come and listen to what Randy will be available to provide during events.  We will try to keep this meeting to 30 minutes.  Looking forward to seeing you there.

I will put it in the banner when I have more energy.

How was the Beer Run? - July 9, 2012

I totally need the scoop on that if you did it.

Brandy McCulloch competed in her first duathalon this weekend and placed 3rd in her age group. She’s been doing a lot of these things lately, so I think that she might have caught the “sickness”. Good job, woman!

Sweet Justin Licata wrote in to say that part of Samford (near Donahue) has been closed for construction, which may affect running there. Unfortunately he wrote me while I was in the wilderness of Texas with crazy folks, so I didn’t get his message in time. If that ever happens again, just note where the water stops are located, and detour your way to them accordingly.

Adam and Alvin were laying out a new course for the Resurrected Tough Ten this morning. I receive more emails asking about that race than any other. So, if you're itching to run it, check back later in the summer for more information.

Happy Heatherly! - July 1, 2012

Somebody has a birthday this month! I’m looking your way, Beverly Long…

It is so hot outside that I don’t even want to think about running, much less write about it, but I know that some of you are hard-core, so I’ll tough it out and post this week.

From what I saw on Big Dog’s page, a lot of you ran this past Saturday (105 + temp that day) and enjoyed some of Adam Pugh’s patriotic pancakes. If you didn’t make it, you missed the chance of getting your picture in Runner’s World. I am not sure which issue will highlight Adam’s now world-famous delicacies, but will let you know when I find out.

Since we are now beginning all Saturday runs at Big Dog, I am trying to map out some new routes. Please let me know if I plan a water stop that doesn’t work or a route that just stinks. Also, it’d be super fun if you google mapped some of your favorite routes! I’d give you a shout out in the route description, unless it’s a really great run, and then I might steal it. I need your feedback to plan routes that you enjoy, because in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I can’t wake up that early anymore. Even the chance to become a Runner’s World celebrity couldn’t entice me out of bed this past weekend.

The AORTA corporate office AKA my couch will be closed until July 10th. This means that I will be late posting next week. I am traveling into the Texas wilderness and not sure if I’ll be able to get Wi-Fi or not. Please don’t miss me too much.

Congratulations! - June 24, 2012

After what I believe to be the longest pregnancy known to man, Stacey and Kermit are the proud parents of a baby boy! They have named him Jonathan, but I’m pretty sure everyone will call him Heath.

Not a lot of news this week. I did leave out Randy Boone last week as one of the triathletes who completed Callaway. He placed 4th in his age group. Sorry I left you out, Randy!

Not a lot of other news to give you this week. I would like to remind you that there are weekly 5ks every Tuesday (@ Opelika Municipal Park… see the Last Lap icon) and every Wednesday at Auburn High School (see the Race Calendar at the top of the page).

Remember, from now on, all Saturday runs will begin at Big Dog.

Sorry that I am late posting this week… - June 18, 2012

My vacation almost killed me. I would elaborate, but was told “what happens at Bama Jam stays at Bama Jam”.

I was unable to attend the pool party this past week, but it seems as if a lot of people had a lot of fun. It is my understanding that it was decreed that all Saturday runs will now begin from Big Dog Running Company. If you just cannot let go of the downtown start, it only adds .8 miles each way to your run. I do not know who won what prizes at the party, but would love for someone to email the site and let me know. I love a good juicy bit of gossip.

The Callaway Spring Triathlon was held this past Sunday. Many people from our cult brought it. Here’s the list of the people who went:

First Place-Age Group
Marianne Farris (big surprise!)
Blake Henry
Mac Deshazier

Second Place-Age Group
Linda Christensen
Mary Robbins
Tim Adams
Anna Buckingham
Maddie Buckingham
(Maddie and Anna make me feel pretty bad about myself because they are children. I couldn’t have done it. Rock it, girls!)
Andrea Nelson
Brandy Mccullough
Jo Marie MacKiewicz
Alvin Walls
(Tuesday update: Add Jonathan Williams to the list of participants. It was his first and he spanked it!).

Tuesday addition:

Here's some info Molly requested that I post:

RRCA is conducting a survey of its running club members. The goal is to compare
the data from the 2006 RRCA survey to this latest survey as part of RRCA’s
Strategic Plan Review process. Please promote the survey to your members by
sharing the link below through email, newsletter, club website, or Facebook page:
Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Aorta Pool Party 6/14. It’s almost here! Yay! - June 10, 2012

Here are the details from Tracey for the pool party:

POOL PARTY! Thursday, June 14th 6:00pm. 5:30 for kids swimming. 5:00 for those who want to run off the calories you're about to eat. 1802 Ogletree Road-next to CVS and Gigis Cupcakes. Post on FB or email Tracey at  what you're bringing so we can have the awesome variety we usually have. Yum!

Summer Vaughn wrote me this week to let me know that she and Gary completed the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. It was their first, so congratulations to them! Summer told me that Meb Kebflziflz (can’t say his last name so didn’t bother to look up the correct spelling) won the whole thing with a time of 2:10. That’s an average of a 4:48 pace. That’s pretty much what I do  on my long, easy runs. For all you know.

 Meb, if you happen to read this and need a pacer for your next race, let me know! If I become your official pacer, I promise to learn how to say and spell your name.

This site has been a wonderful thing for me. I have made a very best penpal named Jonathan Williams through this site. He is a really fast runner who does not live in the O/A area, but is beginning to creep down and take the top spots in the local races. Men beware! Word on the street is that he hangs out with Will Frye.

AORTA is expecting a new baby any day now, courtesy of Kermit Davis and Stacy Hunt. It is my understanding that they are probably going to name it Heath or Heather (gender unknown as of yet). Congratulations and good luck to you both!

Aorta Pool Party 6/14 - June 4, 2012

Here are the details from Tracey for the pool party:

POOL PARTY! Thursday, June 14th 6:00pm. 5:30 for kids swimming. 5:00 for those who want to run off the calories you're about to eat. 1802 Ogletree Road-next to CVS and Gigis Cupcakes. Post on FB or email Tracey at  what you're bringing so we can have the awesome variety we usually have. Yum!

P.S. about the pool party... there will be door prizes for those who attend. No one has clarified it, but I think some of the prizes include a week in the Alps, housekeeping services for a year, a new Prius, and an autographed picture of the AORTA webmaster. Or, I could be making it up. There WILL be prizes, however. New members are especially encouraged to attend, so that you can meet the rest of the cult members who shun the Saturday runs.

Speaking of Tracey and Britt Buckingham, they completed the Rock ‘N Rollman ½ Triathlon in Macon, GA this weekend. If I am not mistaken, Tracey was rocking it so hard, she even Facebooked  after completing each event. Way to go, Buckinghams!

The closest that I have ever come to doing anything like that was when I watched the Ironman documentary on t.v. last week. It looked rough.

Karen (no last name needed) is off to do another marathon in Utah next week, so I will cyberstalk her and let you know how that goes.

Babara White, race director of Wallahatchie, has decided to extend her marathon experience and run one on every continent. Australia is up next for her. G'luck mate! Hahahahahaha! I crack myself up sometimes...

Yeah, it's a little hot... - May 27, 2012

If you love this sweltering heat, I’d like to let you know that The Summer Swing Series (See Last Lap icon) is being held every Tuesday @ Monkey Park, and the AHS Summer Series begins next Wednesday (See race calendar), so if you enjoy racing in the heat, here are some great options for you!

Will Ansick participated in the Run for the Heroes/Run Across Georgia this weekend. In fact, he may still be running as I type this sentence. It’s a little 260 mile race. I don’t even like to drive that far. How on earth do you have the attention span to complete something like that??? Seriously.

Fred Trouse and Adam Pugh helped out by being on the race crew. I’d type more about this, but honestly it is so far beyond my realm of understanding, I’d really just be making stuff up.

*** Pardon me, it appears that Adam was on a team that won 1st overall and set a course record by 5 hours! Told you I didn't know what I was talking about.

The annual pool party will tentatively be held on June 14th from 6 – 8 at Buckingham Palace.

Here are the details from Tracey for the pool party:

POOL PARTY! Thursday, June 14th 6:00pm. 5:30 for kids swimming. 5:00 for those who want to run off the calories you're about to eat. 1802 Ogletree Road-next to CVS and Gigis Cupcakes. Post on FB or email Tracey at  what you're bringing so we can have the awesome variety we usually have. Yum!


James Majors, you schooled the “How many races can you run?” contest. Now I’ll have to make something else up to keep it interesting, since my “Call Out Corner” idea never took off.

Adam Pugh is a culinary genius! - May 20, 2012

Please see below the pictures of Cap’n Crunch pancakes on a stick.

 You really should stop by Big Dog sometime on a Saturday morning and enjoy his bacon pancakes or the Cap’n Crunch delight. Both are his creations, I believe. Free pancakes are a service that Big Dog provides on Saturdays to runners after the long runs, and it is the only time during the week that you are allowed to eat something with a caloric count that high. I hear the Cap’n Crunch pancakes are particularly tasty.

Mac DeShazier participated in a duathalon at Calloway this past Saturday. He ran and biked in the rain and still won his age group. Knowing Mac, he probably trash-talked his opponents before the race, because “it ain’t bragging if you can back it up”.

It may be obvious, but we will not have an AORTA meeting in May. Keep watching for our annual pool party to be held at the Buckingham’s palace. They are kind enough to host it every year, so you people need to keep behaving yourselves if you attend (Gloria Walsh,,, I’m talking to you). This is a family friendly party, so please no thongs or other inappropriate swimwear. Blake Henry and Bob Kennis, this does not include your mankinis. I think we’d all be disappointed if you didn’t wear them again this year.  I will post more details about the party when they are finalized.

Happy Mother's Day! - May 13, 2012

To all of the mothers out there, I hope that you’re having a great one!

Race season is winding down, but if you want to keep it going, you can run the Opelika series (click the Last Lap icon below)on Tuesday nights, or run the Auburn series on Wednesday nights. I will put the Auburn application under the race link above. I am going to make the date of the race August 31 so that it doesn’t disappear, but understand that it is an ongoing race throughout the summer. I would imagine that if you need to get in touch with James Majors this summer, showing up at either of the series would be a good way to do so, since he clearly enjoys racing.

Leslie Binning qualified for Boston last weekend at the Flying Pig marathon, so congratulations to her!

Adahli Massey has taken over the position of water czar for the Saturday runs. She will be posting the stops on Wednesdays and Fridays on the Facebook page. If you do not have Facebook and would like to volunteer for a water stop, please email the site and I will post it for you on the FB page.

Jane Farr is a model. - May 6, 2012

She is one of the winners in the “Best Transformation Challenge” in “The South” magazine. She is not one to brag, so I had to snoop and find out that she will be featured in a photo shoot in the June/July issue. Most importantly, now I can say that I personally know a super model.

If you’re lazy like me and didn’t make it through the whole article, I’ll sum it up for you.

Runners live, on average, about 6 years longer than people that don’t run. My favorite part of the article:

Jogging at a slow pace for one to two and a half hours weekly provided the most significant benefits.

"You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless," said Schnohr. "The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes. Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging, than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise."

Since pretty much every run I take is “at a slow pace”, leaving me “a little breathless, but not very breathless”, I should live to be about 103. I think all of you speed demons should think about that for a minute. Maybe next time that you see me in a race you should let me stay ahead of you so that you can keep a healthy pace. Just throwing it out there.

Still no reports sent in regarding the Nashville marathon. I know that Karen (no last name needed) ran that one and is running in the Flying Pig Marathon this weekend as well. That’s some stamina!

AORTA is pretty awesome. - April 29, 2012

And so are the runners that participate in the races. Aorta recently donated $12,000 to the EAMC Cancer Center.  This donation was possible by all who worked or ran the Auburn Half Marathon/10K.

A special shout out goes to Elyse Corbitt, who rounded up the work crew, and gracefully handled the headache of having two races on two different days.

Pictured below are local television personality Elyse Corbitt and the infamous Beverly Long (of the Saturday airport route fame). I am not sure who the other people are, since their names weren’t included, but they look really nice and well-kempt.

*** Update: This is just sad. Scott Walker emailed me to say that Blake Henry in standing next to Beverly in this photo. I apologize, Blake. I didn't recognize you all dolled up in your fancy suit.

Emily Ansick ran another insane race last week. She not only won first female overall, she also set a course record.

Many people traveled to Nashville this weekend to represent. Since no one has written in with a report, I can only assume that it was a lot like my run on Saturday; hot and difficult. I couldn’t find a way to search by city, so I couldn’t post their results whether they wanted me to or not.

Marianne Farris scoffs at Heartbreak Hill! - April 21, 2012

Seriously, it ain’t no thang for her. Here’s what she had to say about last week’s run:

News from Boston from my point of view:  I now associate today's marathon with running in hell!  HOT!!!  (Kermit would have probably enjoyed it and still worn a long sleeve shirt.)  And I now know why I only run marathons in the dead of winter and avoid running in the sun in the summer months. I was ready to throw in the towel by mile 6.  I was already sweating when we were standing in the corrals at the start which I took for a very bad omen.  It was definitely a mental challenge for me and I have to say the downhill was brutal on my quads (seeing that I am now hobbling around like and 90 year old grandma!).  But heartbreak hill=no big deal!  Running up some of the hills in Auburn are worse to me.  Without the spectators spraying water and giving out water and ice, I would not have made it.  

Hopefully when I forget about how tough today was I will attempt Boston again (or heck even another marathon!!) but preferably when it is about
*40 degrees out!!  

I think that the definition of pain varies greatly between Marianne and I, as I saw her out running again on Friday.

Lots of folks are heading to Nashville next week, so if you’re going, it’d be really sweet if you’d email your story when you’re finished. It would save me the trouble of having to hit Ctrl + F to search for you guys.

There were lots of races this weekend in Auburn. I think that James Majors ran them all.

The ER Nurses 5K was this morning, and apparently it was the speed demon race. A-Diddy reported that the top 2 finishers ran it in 16 and 17 minutes. Brandy is on top of things, so she’ll have the results for you pretty quickly, I am sure.

The Marie Wooten 5K was also held today, but so far no reports on that one.

I saw Beth Kisor’s back for the entire duration of the Finish on the 50 race (pretty shirt, Beth… I liked the colors). She’s really sweet, but she will take you down. I was trying so hard to catch her that I even forgot to do "Victory Arms" at the finish so that everyone could see me on the jumbotron. That's the whole reason I ran the race in the first place.

 She told me that she pictured me behind her with the gun the whole way, and that’s what gave her the motivation to humiliate me at the finish line. That’s just crazy talk! Everyone knows that I am super sweet!

Good luck to all of you heading out to Nashville next week! It will probably be hot, so be careful!

Finally, Doug Underwood sent in the following regarding the Opelika Summer Swing Series:

We'll be doing the Summer Swing Runs again this year, starting May 8th, at Municipal Park in Opelika.  The turnout has been good the last couple of years, and it's been a lot of fun.  I've updated our blogsite; it's still linked to the LAST LAP link at the bottom of AORTA's web page.  

*I agree 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally! - April 16, 2012


I had to do some sleuthing, which I hate, to find out about the Boston runners. I am sure that my list is not complete, so if you were left off, let me know. I searched the Auburn and Opelika area and found the following:

Michael Thomas 3:39
Marianne Farris 3:48
Lesley Binning 3:56
Elizabeth Gallagher 4:00
Tracy Shackett 4:16
Jack Heath 4:02
Gail Lien 5:06 (She had the flu last week and STILL ran)
Don Cleveland 4:28 (James Majors actually handed me this one)
Wesley Korir finished first with a time of 2:12. He’s not a member of AORTA, but I am working on it.

I understand that it was exceptionally hot and brutal this year, according to the world wide web. Congrats to you all!

Molly Johnson, James Majors is throwing down the gauntlet in the “Most Races” contest. He ran 3 more this weekend. Untouchable!

Next weekend we will send Karen (no last name needed), Beth Ladisla, and Gary Lueng off to Nashville for a marathon. I believe that Karen is scheduled to run the Flying Pig the following weekend.

A-Diddy is currently attending a super secret meeting with the AORTA elite, so if I have any new gossip, I will update.

The Junior League and Buelah Bobcat results are posted in the link at the top of the page. If you have directed a race and would like your results added, please send them in!

I haven't forgotten you... - April 15, 2012

I am waiting to stalk the Boston results tomorrow. If you know who went, please email me and let me know. I know that my mental list is not complete. but then, it never is...

Hoppy Easter! - April 7, 2012

Hahahaha.  Perfect running weekend, so I hope that you all get to enjoy it.

As you may have noticed in the banner, James Majors is spanking the “Haw many races can you run?” contest. He’s in the lead with 13 races from January to present.  In fact, he even raced the Amphibious 10 mile Recon Run today. That’s not the fun one where you crawl through mud and climb over some fences (not that it’s easy either). He did the course that requires you to carry the weight that’s equivalent to a toddler along with you. James clearly enjoys a good race. Molly Johnson is currently in second place. James, I think she’s about  to call you out.

My Call-Out Corner idea is not going over quite as well. Surely there’s someone who you want to “brang it” the next time that you race them. Why not share it with me through an email and let me babble publicly about it?

Bob Banks, the nicest man in the world, wrote in to say that Krista Lane completed the Knoxville Marathon in 3:26 last weekend. Way to spank that race, girl!

Since I don’t have a lot of other gossip this week, I stalked Bob Lawson’s Facebook page and found that he ran the Hell’s Hills Race (50KM) in 5:55:07. Eric Gilbertson won the 50 miler with a stunning time of 7:35. You may remember Bob Lawson used to be an AORTA member, but he is now out in Texas representin’.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Alison Bonner! They are expecting a baby. I predict that it will be a very calm, relaxed child as his/her mother gives excellent massages with hands worth their weight in gold.

Did you run today? - March 31, 2012

If so, you’re hard core. I entertained the notion of racing, but it was thundering and lightning, so I just had a lot of coffee and played Hearts online. I think that it was the right choice.

So remember when I threw out the idea of the contest where you try to run more races than anyone else this spring? Well, you people have let me down because no one has sent me their name to throw into the pot. Basically, that means that I am in the lead right now with 2. Better step up your game!

Also, Call-Out Corner is not taking off like I would have hoped. Keven Yost has accepted the challenge from his opponent, but no one else has dared to pit themselves against another runner. Therefore, I am forced to makeup some call-outs:

Monica Kennis, Gloria Walsh is calling you out!

Blake Henry, Mike Milford is calling you out!

Scott Walker, Will Ansick is calling you out!

Jim Killian, Greg Lanier is calling you out!

Tracey Buckingham, Beth Ladisla is calling you out!

There were 7 races held today, if they weren’t canceled (haven’t heard yet). If you ran all or one and want me to gossip about you, send me an email. You can even send in fun photos (particularly if you ran Mud Mania).

Keven Yost (AORTA member of the month) emailed me after this morning’s run and said that the posted route was a bit dangerous, so I am striking that one from the record books. If I forget a few months down the line and post it again, remind me that I can’t use that one anymore.

The Mellow Dog 5K was a smashing success! - March 25, 2012

That is, if you like running uphill for 3.1 miles. That was the first Big Dog sponsored race that I have attended, and it was very, very well organized. I do have some gripes though. I do not think that Heather May should be allowed to run against regular folk, since she is an Olympic Trial marathoner. I told her so, but she just kind of laughed like I was kidding. I do want to congratulate her on her tenure at Auburn University. Hopefully, she’ll be too busy to run. I used to love to see her at races until she hit 40, knocking me down at least one at any race that we are pitted against each other. I can’t get too bent out of shape over it though because she’s so nice. She told me after the race. “You finished strong!” which is a very nice thing to say to someone after you’ve seen them lying in the grass gasping for air.

My other gripe is that Jessica Ridley should not be allowed to join regular people races either. Or, if she does, she should have to delay her start by at least 10 minutes. That goes for Victoria McCurdy as well. I guess some men ran it too, but I don’t really care about them.

I’m kidding. I was proud to see AORTA representin’ yesterday. I saw many people that I had not seen in quite some time. It was like a swimming party at Tracey Buckingham’s! Many AORTA members won awards, which you can find by looking here:


Janine Smith is very smart!

Word on the street is that she just scored a sweet full scholarship to Vanderbilt University. I like to think of her as AORTA’s child, because I can remember her running with the group on Saturdays when she was just barely into her teens. Our little girl is growing up! *Sniff*. Congratulations, Janine!

Here is a message from Prez Molly, concerning last week’s meeting:

Dr. Doug Hankes was our featured speaker at the member meeting this past
Monday.  Those present learned that our mind plays a major factor in the
success of any endeavor - even running.  Keep focused but try to think of
something positive and fun to get your mind off that next hill, and most of
all, enjoy what you're attempting.  We will not always achieve our goal.
And if you suspect an injury has developed, seek medical assistance before
it deteriorates.

AORTA business:  our financial coffer is in good shape, final numbers from
the half should be available soon.  AND, changes on how AORTA handles
coverage at finish lines will be shared with all members soon.

Thank you to all who attended the meeting.  We will not be having another
member meeting until September as we are going to introduce family-friendly

On a final note, it was suggested to me that we start a “Call-Out Corner” on this site. This is the way it works… say you get snookered in a race and someone passes you in the final seconds and bumps you down (like Keven Yost did to Andy Taylor, or like I have done to Adam Pugh many, many times). You decide to seek revenge, and you want to call them out for the next race. Simply email me, (or in this case sit next to me on the couch and tell me), and I will let them know publicly that you are calling them out. Or we could start cage fighting. Let me know that you think. Here are the first two:

Keven Yost, Andy Taylor is calling you out.

My late Saturday runs are over. - March 18, 2012

Running in the afternoon, unless absolutely necessary will be off my list for a while. It’s stinkin’ hot! You know who doesn’t care though? Stephanie Lange. She went to Virginia Beach and ran a marathon, during the hottest March of my life. Not only did she run a marathon during the hottest March of my life, she drove up there and back all by herself. It was her first marathon, and she was clearly determined to mark that off her bucket list. Well done!

Other running news includes people who went to Seaside last week. Laurie Conners ran her first half in 1:55. She listed other runners who completed it as Jeannie Eddins, Marcilla Gross, and Michael Gross. Tracey and Britt Buckingham were there as well, but we’ll all have to cyber stalk to find out their times.

Bob Lawson, an AORTA expatriate, went to Huntsville last week for the Delano Run. This is a race in which you run as many miles as you can in 12 hours. He ran 51 miles in 10:24, and our own Fred Trouse ran 46 in 10:13. That’s just insane. But impressive!

Emily Ansick wrote the site:

Hello! I just wanted to ask if you guys mind posting some information on the AORTA website about a running and strength training class that I am starting. It is continuous so anyone can start at any time... For more information on the class, please see the attachment. Thanks so much!

I’m just going to put this out there… I think that this would be a great class to take if you want to improve your running. Emily, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, just won 1st female overall in the Mt. Cheaha Race, so I think she probably knows what she’s talking about.

The Beginner’s Running Class began last Tuesday. This is the one taught by the infamous A-Diddy, sensei of many current AORTA members. If you are a beginner, this is the class for you! It’s free and held at Keisel Park on Tuesdays at 5:30.

Marianne Farris qualified for Boston in New Orleans. - March 10, 2012

Is anyone surprised? I’m not. I don’t think this is even the first time that she qualified this year! Many people were out running marathons last week. Blake Henry ran the Rock N Roll marathon in N.O. and ran a 3:16. That’s an okay time, I guess. I think that you should just try harder next time, Blake.

 Scott Walker sent in an all-inclusive list of the people that ran in the Big Easy:

Blake Henry

Marianne Farris

Scott Walker

Tim Adams – BQ’d for 1st time and PR’d.

Mary Robbins – 1st marathon

Christina Chambers – half

Maria Chambers – half

 John Horton & Laura Walker rode their bikes along the route and provided much-needed support.

 The Albany Marathon was also held last weekend. I know that Karen (no last name needed) ran it in about 4:22ish (?... sorry, I forgot the exact time), but am not sure if anyone else from AORTA went. If you ran it, give me your story!

 The Beginner’s Running Class begins this Tuesday at Keisel Park. It will start at 5:30 p.m. This class is for beginners only. If you are an experienced runner and would like to run with a group, please join us on the Saturday runs. If you are a beginner and would like to participate in this class, simply show up. It’s free, so what do you have to lose? Except for maybe weight and bad habits. Ha ha. Get it? Many members of Aorta began running after attending this class and many of those runners are now veteran marathoners.

 Sunday update:

I left some very important people off of the marathoners list yesterday.

Joseph Antione and Joe Donaldson also ran in New Orleans. I feel badly that I left them out so here is an icon to cheer me up: Joe Donaldson even wore an AORTA shirt to represent!

Marianne wrote in to say that Lisa Levers ran in Albany and schooled the competition. She placed 5th female overall with a time of 3:09. I would have found her in the results, but I'm not used to people running that fast. Here's an icon for Lisa:

Sorry for the late update. - March 4, 2012

 I ran in the driving rain yesterday and it took me a whole day to get over it.

I am not the only one who didn’t use common sense and stay inside. A-Diddy sent this message:

Today (3/3) was a lovely day for a race, especially the KD Shamrock 5K.

It was raining cats and dogs at 6 AM so the race crew, Fred Trouse, Dr. John Stewart, Heidi Strother, Mike Milford, Monica Kennis, Molly Johnson and I sat up the chute and finish line in pouring rain.  The race course was laid out but unknown to us until start time was the road was closed at one intersection.  So at five minutes before the start we had to make a course correction, unsure of the distance variance.  It turned a 5K into 2.8 miles; therefore, everybody had a 5K PR.  It was raining so hard at the start we took a vote and everybody voted to start the race 5 minutes early, which we did.  I really did not see the rush since we were already saturated.

The KD's had about 600+ registered but only 85 ran the race.  They gave awards three deep in 5 year age groups so everybody took home an award.

The KD's were super as usual, great planning, follow through and enthusiasm.

In spite of all the adversity, horrible weather and course problems, the participants, race crew and KD's were outstanding and I am sure they will remember this race for a long time.  Congratulations to all hands.

I ran the Kiwanis 8K in the same conditions. Adam Pugh won overall with a time of 29 minutes and some change. He was a dot on the horizon before we even ran the first mile. I let him win this one, because I could tell that he really wanted it, but Adam, you won’t be so lucky next time!

Don’t you wish that you could be an Ansick? I do. Emily took first female overall and Will placed 4th overall in the Mt.Cheaha Race of Insanity. Congratulations, guys!

Molly sent this message updating AORTA members on actual business:

Your Board of Directors secretly met and has some fun and exciting plans for 2012.  But they also want you to know how your dues were spent in 2011:

- Contributed to several running events

- Held a summer barbeque and get-together for AORTA families

- Held a Christmas party for AORTA members

- Began having informative speakers at member meetings

- Provided opportunity to purchase new AORTA running shirts (AORTA paid for the screen printing)
- Awesome vests awarded to those who successfully completed the requirement of the 1200-mile-club, which is to run 1200 miles in a calendar year.

 Projected 2012 Action Items:

- Summer barbeque and get-together for AORTA families

- Christmas party for AORTA members

- Member meetings with informative speakers
- Awards for those participating in the 1200-mile-club

- **NEW**  Will hold several family-oriented meetings, no "formal" speakers

- **NEW** Developing an AORTA brochure promoting our club and the benefits of running

- Several additional projects but too early in the development stage to list - watch the website for updates

As always, we are open to suggestions.  If there is something you would like to have considered, please contact a board member:  Molly, Scott, Brian, Penny, Monica, Jane, or Alvin.


Hey! You! - February 25, 2012


Can you help with the KD race on March 3rd? Please contact Alvin at if you can. Thanks!

Fred Trouse can run for 12 hours. He proved it last week in Destin by running 50 miles ON THE SAND. Whoa.

Two important things happened today. The Celebrate Life 5k was held in Opelika this morning. Will Frye won first place and donated his prize money to EAMC. Not only is he fast, he’s really nice too. Congratulations, Will!

The Cheaha Insanity Race (my name, not the official one) was held today as well. I know that Allen Smith, Emily Ansick and William Ansick ran it, but don’t know how they did yet. For all I know, they are still running. This is a 50K trail race that leads you to the top of Mt. Cheaha, the highest point in AL. Doesn’t that sound fun? I don’t even like to drive on mountain roads, much less race up a mountain trail. I wimped out of the Love Your Heart Run a few years ago, due to the soreness that occurred after running up and down Chewacla, so I am pretty sure that this race would kill me. You guys are tough!

Alvin Walls a.k.a. A-Diddy is holding a Beginner’s Running class soon. He was supposed to send me a message by post time, but he has not done so. Yes, Dad… I am calling you out on the web page.

A-Diddy sent this in earlier in the week (possibly to motivate people to run):

On Wednesday afternoon, 20 members of the Fat Mama's Knock Yourself Naked Running Club in Natchez, MS were out running. A member saw a man sprinting down the street chased by a dog. 

As he drew closer, they saw he was wearing handcuffs and being chased by a deputy.

One of the runners took him down and the others held the "escapee" until the deputy arrived to administer a taser.

The prisoner was very co-operative after a dose of taser.  Tasers just have that effect.  

I hope that Jay Jones doesn't see the site this week, or the next thing you know he'll start trying to recruit us for the Sheriff's office.

RARE Sunday update...

A-Diddy sent in the information about the Beginner's Running Class...FINALLY!

The new beginner's class will start at 5:30 PM,Tuesday, March  l3 at Kiesel Park.  The class will meet for approximately one hour on Tuesday for 8 weeks.  The class is affordable, FREE, but participation will be limited to 30.

NO running experience is necessary, you will be given a training progam and running tips.

Do not attempt this with a child in a stroller or with your dog as it will only be a distraction.

See you at Kiesel.. Contact Alvin at if you are interested.

Also, I received a report that Steve Ogburn, who placed 4th overall in the Love Your Heart Run, went on to take it all (1st overall) in The Russell Forest Run. Way to go, Steve!

Karen (no last name needed) placed second in her age group. Greg Lanier (Sensei) and Catherine Thompson ran and enjoyed the scenery as well.

Bob Banks is Father of the Year - February 18, 2012

Last week, when it was so cold that my father and I stayed indoors, Bob Banks was running with his daughter in Nashville. There was snow and the temperature was 5 below. There isn’t anyone in the world that I love enough to run in those conditions (my daughter doesn’t check this site so she can’t call me out on my lie). Bob said the best part was running on black ice. There will be a sports psychologist speaking at the next Aorta meeting. Perhaps Bob should be sure to attend that one.

Nathan Rouse spanked another race today. He was first overall in the Love Your Heart run. He was giggling again as he crossed the finish line, just as he was at the Auburn Classic Half. Nathan, perhaps you should attend the next AORTA meeting as well. I could see being extremely happy that you’ve won a race, but to win it and look as if it were no effort at all? And you ran to the top of Chewacla and back? Really? Emily Ansick (1st overall female), I am throwing you into this category too.

Many Aorta peeps ran today. Greg Lanier came out of retirement. Prez Molly, and the Angels were out in force. Karen (no last name needed), gave it a solid finish, which was nothing for her as she ran the Mercedes Marathon in B’ham last week. I believe that was marathon # 362 for her, so she should probably go to the next AORTA meeting as well. I know that there were many others that I am forgetting to mention, so if you want me to tout your glory, let me know.

Mac DeShazier became the official AORTA race greeter this morning, high-fiving most of the finishers as they ran through the shoot. We didn't plan it, it just turned out that way. He was trying to tell the runners to stop, that they were finished. However, after gaining momentum running down the mountain, many were unable to stop and simply assumed that he was congratulating them. Enjoy your new title, Mac! I think that you're well-suited for the position. Alternate greeter, should Mac be unable to fulfill his duties, is Nice Jason, who we are trying to coerce into joining AORTA. I believe that he may have gotten some high-fives as well today at the finish line.

Someone said that Blake Henry and Scott Walker were running around this morning, but they were NOT at the race. I don’t think running mountains give them enough of a challenge these days.

Flip Flop Foto took pictures at the race today, so be sure to check their site if you want to see the photos. Here’s their site:

Adam Pugh told me today that he is trying to win the World Beard and Mustache Championship. This is a costly endeavor, so he needs your help! If you have any Clayton’s Mustache Oil laying around the house, he’d appreciate it if you’d drop it off at Big Dog for him. I snapped a picture of him this morning. You can tell that he’s well on his way to victory!

Love Your Heart - February 11, 2012

The Love Your Heart race is February 18th. If you really want to work every muscle in your body, this race is for you.

 We need some help at the finish line. If you are willing to lend a hand, please contact Alvin at . This is my favorite race, but I decided to take one for the team and volunteer. I will sign autographs after all of the runners are finished.

 We will not have an organized run on this date, so you might as well run early and help, or enter the race. If you are REALLY good at running down hills, this may be your PR!

The Celebrate Life 5K will be held the following weekend (2/25). There will be a cash award for the top finishers. That means that I can’t win that one because I don’t want to lose my amateur status. So ladies, top female finisher is all yours!

I saw Jane Farr at Kroger today, fresh from her Saturday run. I do believe that the wind chill was around 38 below when I woke up, so there was no way that I was going to run. I don’t do cold. She walked passed me, and remarked, “I’m glad that I got it over with. It’s getting cold outside.” What????  Getting cold???? How cold does it have to be to keep you people indoors? I guess it did allow her to feel smug, while I am wrestling with the guilt of wimping out.

That’s all I’ve got for today. See how I prattle on and on about myself when you guys don’t write in with amazing running feats? I even have to use a large font this week to make it look like I actually had a lot to write about.

The January 1200 Mile Club results have been posted (click here to view)

Allen Smith… Hero or foe??? - February 4, 2012


That is the question that begs to be answered, my friends. Allen wrote to me this week and pointed out that I had posted a dangerous route, and he made me change it, saving the Saturday runners from possible doom. I wrote him back asking, no BEGGING for his help in planning some routes. I even sent my husband (Boo Bear), the only person in the house still willing to get up at 5:00 on Saturday to run, to plead my case. Allen was not at the Saturday run today (making us even for the Skirt Chaser 5K).

Allen, here is my public plea to you for route planning help:

You are a local. You probably know every road, sidewalk, and bike path in Auburn.

You are a record-setting ultra-marathoner, so you probably know the really long routes that the hard-core people would like.

Your wife works for the city, so if we got into some trouble for placing an illegal water stop, she could probably squash it for us (plus we also know Jay Jones and James Majors).

You are clearly better at reading maps than I am.

Just think about it is all I’m saying… We could call you “Route Master” if that helps.

Joseph Antoine wrote in this week to tell about the 50K race some of the aforementioned hard-cores ran. Here’s what he had to say:

Mountain Mist 50k had 3 AORTA members represent and finish this past weekend.

Marcus Farris: 4:44
William Ansick: 4:53
Joseph Antoine: 5:55

350 runners started and only about 270 runners completed. Extremely muddy due to the rains the day before.

He then proceeded to tell me that these guys run these types of races “every month or so” because “it’s so addicting”. I am not sure I believe the addiction part. I’m not even fond of regular marathons because I enjoy having toenails too much. Great job, guys!

Congrats to Nathan Rouse! - January 28, 2012

This is what he looked like when he took first place in the Auburn Classic half Marathon. He makes running 13.1 miles in 1:22 and some change not only look easy, but fun! Who looks like that after a race?????  Except for Bev Smith, who is the most photogenic runner ever.

Don’t forget to go to if you haven’t already and find your picture. If you know me, and locate my pictures, remember that the camera adds 40 pounds. I am the polar opposite of a photogenic runner, unless you find red-rimmed eyes and a runny nose photogenic.

There are a gazillion races coming up within the next few months, so make sure that you check the race calendar. I worked really hard for several minutes to get them all posted. I say that we have a contest to see who can run the most races. Here’s how you play: Keep track of the ones you run, send me a list once you’re over running races. Remind me that I posted this contest I just now came up with, and I’ll put your name in the banner for a week!!! Think of the glory and fame! Or you can just email me something and I’ll put you on the page anyway.

Don’t forget that there will be an AORTA meeting held on January 30th @ Chappy’s Deli. The meeting begins at  6:00 p.m. There will be a guest speaker (a nutritionist), food and drinks.

If you are interested in joining the 1200 Mile Club this year, you must register ASAP. You also must be a paid AORTA member by February 10th. In case you are unfamiliar with this group, you should average around 100 miles a month (get it? 1200 miles for the year?) and send them in monthly. You can also run hundreds of miles in December and skip some months if you prefer. The point is to get 1,200 miles under your belt by 12/31/12. If you accomplish this goal, you get handsomely rewarded at the end of the year.

I try to plan the Saturday routes out two weeks in advance so that you can plan your weekly mileage accordingly. Since Valentine’s Day is almost here and the route for 2/11 will start at Big Dog, I will try to make a heart-shaped route. I wouldn’t get your hopes up though.

The Half - January 22, 2012

Was a tremendous success! Thanks to all of the volunteers, sponsors, and runners! Elyse worked her fanny off for a really long time, and put on a great race! Apologies to the people whose plans were kinked by the weather on Saturday, but it was a good call to postpone the race due to the tornado watch in the area. Running in the rain = okay, running in lightning= unokay.

As I type this, the volunteers are probably still pulling up the mile markers and folding away the food and water tables, so clearly I don’t have the results yet. If the race crew is on top of things as well as they were in organizing the race, I am sure that I will have them very soon and will post them pronto. I was standing at the finish line as Victoria Jones and the male winners smoked the half, so I look forward to seeing their times. I know one of the male overall winners was Bev Smith’s son… not sure who the other guy was… clearly a ringer.

*** Update: Thanks to the marvel of modern technology, the results can be found here:


 I was wondering how Adam Pugh would do in the 10K, but apparently when he heard that I was running it, it freaked him out and he decided not to run. Or maybe he skipped it because he was working the tent, I’m not sure.

Kent Smith was there shooting photos with his crew and should have pictures online in about 2 – 3 days. Go to to see your photo. If you want to know what I look like, I am the tall, fit, beautiful blonde that’s ahead of all of the other runners.

Karen (no last name needed) snuck off last weekend and trucked out a Rock N Roll Marathon in Phoenix with a time of 4:30. I think that makes marathon # 180 for her. Way to go, Karen! I know you thought that this would fly under the radar, but my spies are everywhere. Mostly on Facebook and at Auburn Electric.

Here is the link for the 2012 1200 Mile club. Click it if you want to join. You MUST be a paid member of AORTA by Feb. 10th.

Did you run today? - January 14, 2012

Because it was 27 degrees when I woke up. If you ran, you are tougher than me. I am hoping for warmer weather next Saturday for the half or I will need someone to pick up my shirt for me. I do not care to be cold.

Speaking of tough people, the final results for the 1200 mile club are posted. Let’s talk about those folks, shall we? Karen (no last name needed) naturally came in at the top with 3,275 miles. She clearly enjoys a good, long run. Marianne Farris brought it home with 2,951 miles. This does not surprise me a bit because I don’t think I drove my car once in 2011 without seeing her running along some road. Just look at the list under Race Results and you can easily identify the overachievers of AORTA.

If you are interested in joining the 1200 Mile Club, make sure that you are keeping track of your monthly mileage. You MUST be a member of AORTA to participate. You MUST begin in January. I will post how to send in your information when I figure that out.

Well, I hope that you’re ready, because exactly one week from today (1/14), the Auburn Classic Half Marathon takes place! Have you procrastinated and you still aren’t registered?

Here’s how you do it:

There are 3 ways… click the Half Marathon icon on the right of this page, go to the top of the page and click “Race Calendar”, or go to Big Dog Running Company on Glenn Avenue. They’ll hook you up. Good luck to all of the runners!

The January 9th meeting at Chappy’s has been moved to January 30th. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m.

Ready? - January 7, 2012

The Half Marathon is almost here! I know that Elyse will be sorry to see it come and go, because from what I understand, it's very easy to direct a race. She’s worked very hard, gotten a ton of sponsors, and ordered some very cool tech shirts for the runners. If you’d like to be a part of this event, but don’t want to run it, please help. There were 430 runners pre-registered the last time that I heard, and that’s a lot of folks! If you are willing to lend a hand, email her (go to the race calendar) or this site and I will pass it along. I’ve always enjoyed working races and watching the runners cross the finish line. You’re all fresh and well rested while they are gasping for air and sweaty. It’s fun. Alvin’s Angels volunteered to help out. According to Alvin, they’ll all be wearing bikinis and holding posters with motivational quotes on them. I believe that they are offering free foot rubs afterwards as well.

Are you running the race but still haven’t registered? Don’t know how? There are 3 ways… click the Half Marathon icon on the right of this page, go to the top of the page and click “Race Calendar”, or go and see the friendly folks at Big Dog Running Company. They’ll hook you up.

Speaking of BDRC, I was cyber stalking the employees there and discovered that Adam Pugh set the 5K record at CSU with a time of 14:27. Trey Nash, the other tall guy that works there (tall to me anyway), qualified for the Sprint Triathlon World Championships in 2010. Then there’s Jessica Riddle, an AU student who ran her first half marathon in Columbus this November. She finished 3rd overall with a time of 1:31. That’s a lot like my first half, if you add twenty minutes to the time and discount the 200 people that finished before me. Pretty impressive group!

It seems to be pretty dead this time of year, according to the lack of dirt I’ve gotten on you guys racing, hence the cyber stalking. If I don’t hear about something soon, I will be forced to stalk you via Facebook (for example today I learned that Andrea Musso ran 13.5, her longest distance thus far). Or I will simply make things up. I am VERY good at that.

The January 9th meeting at Chappy’s has been moved to January 30th. Adahli Massey has lined up a nutritionist as the guest speaker. This may be very helpful if you have ever experienced runner’s gut, which I haven’t, no matter what people tell you. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m.