Month: January 2011

Runner Spotlight: Shelly Perry

HARRC 2010 Robert Mahady Dedicated Female Runner of the Year

Shelly Perry, from Camp Hill, is the Harrisburg Road Runners Club 2010 Dedicated Female Runner of the Year. Shelly makes up what she lacks in speed with her sheer determination and heart. She usually finishes somewhere near the end of the pack, but the key word is finish, this she does in every race she enters. Shelly has completed runs of a couple miles all the way up to and including the half marathon. Last September she completed the Minich Half Marathon in a time of 3:04:48, 5th in her age group and the 2010 Summerfair 10k in a time of 84:48, 4th in her age group and the Run for the Colts 5K in 39:48.

Shelly participated in 17 Sunday club runs running distances from anywhere from 3 miles to 10 miles. The 17 Sunday club runs is not an enormous number but it is when you consider the fact that Shelly has only been running since June of 2010, which means that she has participated in 17 out of the 22 that there are online stats for. She can be seen in most of her races with a short, dark, handsome guy that goes by the name of Chuck. This very energetic, enthusiastic and faithful runner, disguised as a chocolate lab, is her constant companion. He only accompanies her on just all of the shorter runs, 10K range give or take a few, no double digit mileage.

She plans to continue to run half marathons, a little too far yet for her friend Chuck, as she will be running the Chambersburg Half this morning and plans to up her game a notch by running the Gettysburg Marathon in May.

Congratulations to Shelly Perry, HARRC’s 2010 Dedicated Female Runner of the Year!

Runner Spotlight: Mike Cassata

HARRC 2010 Robert Mahady Dedicated Male Runner of the Year

The Harrisburg Area Road Runners 2010 Dedicated Male Runner of the Year is Mike Cassata. Mike is originally from Johnstown, that in itself should be enough to win him this award, but there is much more. Mike is a quiet, unassuming, and very steady runner who is very comfortable in races anywhere from the mile to the half marathon. He has been running for a number of years, starting in his twenties with a few years off here and there while being distracted by that nasty four letter word, “work’, like a lot of older runners didn’t get real serious about road racing until later in life. In 2010 he ran the infamous Chambersburg Half Marathon, anybody who has run this race knows the level of difficulty is off the charts, especially when Mother Nature has a hand in it. Mike did the 2010 wet, hilly and very windy race in 2:07:52, 172nd overall and 7th in his age group. He showed his favoritism for this distance by running the Harrisburg Half in September in a time of 2:03:43, 10th in his age group, and the hilly Minich Half in October in a time of 2:07:00, 3rd in his age group. Mike also showed his diversity by running the Summberfair 10K in Carlisle in a time of 55:11, 7th in his age group and the Harrisburg Mile in a time of 7:36, also 7th in his age group.

Mike, a very friendly and social guy, attended many club functions in 2010 which include 24 Sunday club runs and numerous Saturday training runs. Some of his top runs for the Sunday club runs are: 5 miles – 43:59: 4 miles – 34:28; 5K – 25:38; 10K – 56:10.

Mike also enjoys a seasonal event, where he is an avid supporter and participant in the area’s amateur ice hockey events.

Congratulations to Mike Cassata for being HARRC’s 2010 Dedicated Male Runner of the Year!

Runner Spotlight: Debbie Whittle

John W. Kennedy Dedicated Member of the Year

Debbie Whittle is the Harrisburg Road Runners Club 2010 Dedicated Member of the Year. Deb is a very dedicated club member. She shows up to help at a lot of area races if not walking in them. She walked in 14 of the Sunday Club events, in addition she was assistant Race Director for another 8 Sunday races. In the Sunday runs that she and Steve direct she always has a table set up with cookies, coffee and other things to eat and drink. She always has a smile on her face and is easy to engage in casual conversation.

Congratulations to Deb Whittle, HARRC’s 2010 Dedicated Member of the Year!

Runner Spotlight: Mary Lou Harris

HARRC 2010 Female Runner of the Year

Mary Lou Harris is the Harrisburg Road Runners Club 2010 Female Runner of the Year. Mary Lou, a veteran distance runner, usually finishes in the top three of her age group in most races she enters. Mary Lou, who lives in Camp Hill, we won’t hold that against her, runs in a variety of road races over the year including the Harrisburg Marathon which she has run in four times. Her marathon times have been very consistent over the years, finishing the 2010 Harrisburg Marathon in 4:39:52 (2nd in age group). She ran three other Harrisburg Marathons, 2009 in 4:34:16 (3rd in age group), 2006 in 5:02:14 (3rd in age group) and 2003 in 4:33:22 (2nd in age group). In September she ran the Minich Half Marathon in a time of 2:03:44, finishing first in her age group and setting a new age group record. On the other end of the race spectrum, she also ran the Harrisburg Mile in the time of 8:02, finishing 1st in her age group. Mary Lou, a long time runner, didn’t start to run marathons until late in her running career. When asked how many marathons she has run she says about 15 or 16. She says about the only reason she keeps track at all is just to answer this very question. She will soon run in the Gansett Marathon in Narragansett, Rhode Island on April 16th, this will be her 15th or 16th marathon, or maybe 17th marathon, but then who’s counting?

Mary Lou, a pleasant soft spoken lady with a constant smile, participated in 15 Sunday club runs which include hosting two of them. Some of her best times at the Sunday runs are: 5 miles – 43:07; 4 miles – 33:51; 5K – 26:17.

She also enjoys down hill skiing, cross country skiing and snow shoeing, not a big surprise after spending a number of years living in the Buffalo area.

Congratulations to Mary Lou Harris for winning the HARRC 2010 Female Runner of the Year Award!

Runner Spotlight: JR Bishop

HARRC 2010 Male Runner of the Year

Joseph (JR) Bishop, who hails from Dillsburg, is the Harrisburg Area Road Runners Club Male Runner of the Year for 2010. JR, who is a fairly recent club member, participated in a variety of road races last year. Only running for about a year and a half, he continues to improve with just about every
race at distances ranging from the 5K to the half marathon. He ran the Hershey Half Marathon in October, finishing with a time of 1:46:38 and in the top 300 out of a field of roughly 2000 runners. His Hershey effort represented a significant improvement from his performance in June at the Dover Half
Marathon. There he finished with a time of 2:07 – a respectable effort for his first half marathon!

JR is an enthusiastic and approachable individual who is busily involved in club activities. Last year he participated in 26 Sunday club runs as either a runner or a host. That is well over 50% of the Sunday events for which we have results. His 2010 Sunday run times have markedly improved over the year. In the 5 mile runs he shaved off over eight minutes to go from 45:25 down to 38:03. In the 4 mile events he dropped more than 5 minutes to plummet from 34:23 to 29:05. Some of his other personal bests include 22:27 in the 5K and 90 minutes in the 10 mile distances. JR’s wife Melody and their dog Griffin will occasionally run with him, including at some of the Sunday Club runs.

Presently, JR is recovering from a stress fracture, so his running is temporarily curtailed. He is keeping fit by walking Griffin and chasing his three cats around the house. I’m sure it won’t be long before he is once again out on the roads setting new PRs.

Congratulations to JR Bishop for winning the 2010 HARRC Male Runner of the Year Award!