I was jogging this morning and I started thinking to myself, there are a lot of really fast guys over 40 in the area. Then I started wondering how many of these guys I could name. Some of these guys I know real well, some I know very casually, and some I never have even raced against or met but I hear about them all the time. These guys could give many of the top runners in the area a run for their money. So here are some of the fast masters that I am "aware of" in no particular order:
Sean Wade (www.kenyanway.com)
What more can I say about this guy that every serious runner in Houston doesn't already know? I know Sean pretty well because I have trained with his Kenyan Way program since this past spring. Sean is definitely in the conversation of the fastest distance runners in the area OVERALL period. He is currently the top masters runner in the country and he is a former Olympian and his PRs speak for themselves.
Enough said period...
Honestly, this is one of the guys I DON'T know. But the times that this guy puts down is only second to Sean's times as far as the masters scene is concerned. From what I have heard he owns a running specialty store chain that is in various parts of the country. I don't know whether he lives here or not but he appears in races locally from time to time. I saw him briefly at the Beach to Bay 2008. Well anyway this guy puts down blazingly fast 5k times. I have seen some in the low 15's and apparently he qualified for the olympic trials in the marathon at 40.
This is another guy I don't know but I have actually raced against. I use the term "race against" loosely because actually I was nowhere near this guy in the races I have been in. I don't know too much about him other than the fact that he has consistently run in the 15:50's for the 5k.
If I don't know much about the previous two fellas then I know almost nothing about John Butler other than the fact that Luis Armenteros and Joe Flores were telling me about some legendary feats he accomplished in high school. They told me he ran like an eight fifty something 3200 in high school and that it still ranks as one of the all time great state records in California history. I was definitely intrigued so I looked this guy up.
It seems they were not too far off in his exploits, he actually ran FASTER at an 8:46! It seems he has still retained some of his speed as he still runs in the low 16s for the 5k.
I've only met Joe recently, but I have seen him around for quite a while. Others always mention him when talking about the top masters in the area. Needless to say this guy is simply AMAZING. I believe he is 47? He still is throwing down some monster times in the mid 16 range for the 5k.
I've known Gerardo competitively for a little while. I usually try and speak to him every time I see him. He is one of the guys that made me want to run seriously. One of the first races that I raced when I started training was the 2006 Battle Red Run for the Houston Texans. I was amazed at how fast he was and he had just turned 40! He won first overall and I made a mental note to remember his name and what he looked like. After the race one guy was actually mad that Gerardo had turned 40, lol. Sure enough I saw him around so many times as I started racing in the local races and many times he would win outright if not collect the master's prize. He won't hesitate to tell me or anyone else how he whooped their butt in a race, and he is very entertaining to talk to. He can run in the mid 16's for the 5k and recently ran a 1:15 for the half marathon(sick!).
This is another guy I don't really know but I have raced against him many a time and have lost most times. I know he must live in the northern part of the city because I always see him in the Run the Woodlands series and almost every race in the Spring area. I swear they should rename the Run the Woodland race to the Jacob Mazone race because this guy has won this thing so many times. He is another one of these amazing guys over 45 that just rock these fast times. I've seen him recently run about a 16:38!
John Hill (http://kayry-john.blogspot.com/)
I don't know John Hill but I do read his blog. It's a shame I don't know him since he is after all a fellow Houston Strider. I think John Hill caught the eyes of the running community when he ran a shocking 2:40 marathon at last year's Houston marathon. I actually ran the Bellaire Trolley run right with him for most of the time. I ran right behind him most of the time and I actually had NO idea he was 40. I was thinking he was in his 20's since he I could only see him from the back. After I found out his age I was highly impressed.
That's all I could think of for now. These are the guys that immediately come to mind. Now I'm sure I have missed some guys. What guys do you know of that also belong in this list?
If any of the aforementioned runners feel uncomfortable about their picture being posted please let me know and I'll take it down.
Fan of local area running!