2011 Club Award Winners

The following club members were recognized for their achievements over the past year.
Hall of Fame Inductee Gerald Herman
Hall of Fame Inductee John Schultz
Member of the Year Raymond Christensen
Outstanding Achievement Award Sherri Herrmann
outstanding Achievement Award Epi Camacho
Outstanding Achievement Award Greg Cauller
Outstanding Achievement Award Matt Cutrona
Outstanding Achievement Award Vic Zwolak
Outstanding Achievement Award Fred Shufflebarger
Rookie of the Year Dan Suher
Spirit Award Daniel Weintraub

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee

Gerald Herman
Jerry started running in 1984. His first race was Brian’s Run in December. Soon after that he joined PCVRC to be with runners to see if he could learn more about the sport. Describing himself as “never really fast”, he says: “I really like the running. I believe that it has helped me to stay healthy. I really, really like racing.” The camaraderie in the running community is just outstanding. I have made some good friends and met some really interesting, nice people through my association with PCVRC, running/racing and had a darned good time doing it.”

Over the years Jerry has completed 10 marathons including Marine Corps, Lincoln (Neb) (PR of 3:50), and Delaware. Jerry first ran the Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon in 1985 and has run every one since except once when he could not be excused from National Guard duties. However being in the National Guard did not stop him in 1991 while deployed in Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm. That year it was arranged to have a simulated CR by doing laps around the tent city. The five runners from the Delaware Air National Guard that participated in the event while in the desert received bib numbers from the race. Jerry’s son and wife had their picture taken at the race start with then Governor Mile Castle while Jerry was running in another part of the world.

Jerry has tried to “run” in every state and country that he’s been: Panama, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Saudi Arabia, DE, VA, MD, PA, CA, FL, NJ, and NV. For his running, he received a Runner of the Month award in 1993.

But Jerry is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, not so much for his running as for his work in supporting the club and the sport of running. He has been a perennial volunteer at the Delaware Distance Classic as well as volunteering at other races. He helped compile members’ running results for the PACER in the mid-1990s. When nobody else was coming forward, he took on the VP position to “groom” himself for President and later served many years as President.

Even after his stint as President ended, he’s remained on the board as Secretary. He is still sending out hard copy E-Bulletins to the club’s internet “refuseniks” and he’s working on helping to get information for our electronic versions of the Hall of Fame and Awards pages. For some of his past efforts, Jerry received the Member of the Year award in 2009. Now, in 2012, it’s time to induct him into the Hall of Fame.

PCVRC member

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee

John Schultz
John Schultz has been running for over 20 years. His first run was a personal one–to find out if he could run the 4 miles from his office at the Du Pont building to his home in Bellefonte. John was wearing his suit, street shoes and all. He has since made up for that faux pas by becoming known to most of us as the runner wearing red shorts and being topless for about 11 months a year. Hence he earned the nickname “Bare-chested John”. But John says he doesn’t do that much anymore.

John has competed in over 1500 road and off-road races, including 50 marathons, three ultra-marathons, 27 duathons, and 13 multi-stair climbs. He also does the Brandywine End to End Hike most years and since most other participants are hiking the 37 miles while John is throwing in running, he’s usually the first to finish.

Recently a 75 – 79 age group was added in the Races2Run.Com website to the state records. This addition identified John as the Delaware state record holder for all eight race distances in that new age group. The eight distances, time results, and the years they were established are listed below:
5K 27:11 2007
5 miles 47:24 2008
10K 59:08 2007
15K 1:46:52 2009
10 miles 1:40:07 2008
20K 2:21:07 2008
1/2 mar. 2:18:00 2008
Marathon 5:09:51 2007
Accordingly, John has been selected as a new member of Pike Creek Valley Running Club’s HALL OF FAME for his outstanding accomplishments. We are certain John will extend these performances into the 80-84 age group when he turns 80 this June.

John took a day off from running on February 5 when he was seen “race-walking” from the beach to his car in Rehoboth after the Polar Bear plunge. As usual, John was wearing his running outfit minus his shoes in 42 degrees and a 30 mile wind. The other 3500 plungers were wearing sweat pants, shirts, blankets, and sneakers,etc. John was very recognizable. We will now call him ” EVER READY ” Schultz.

PCVRC member

2011 Member of the Year

Raymond Christensen
Raymond Christensen has been a member of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club since 2003. He has held the club positions of webmaster and shirt coordinator since becoming club president in 2010. In 2011, Ray led six official board meetings and a general membership “Beer Summit” meeting. Ray has helped club grow membership to over 130 families in the past three years.

Ray also co-directed the largest Delaware Distance Classic 15K race in many years and directed the Nun Run 5k for the second time. He has done a great job of getting club members involved in running and volunteering and has helped to coordinate several club fun runs. He hardly misses any Wednesday or Thursday Delcastle group runs. Ray has also done a great job as webmaster of www.pcvrc.com.

In 2011, Ray became the Delaware RRCA State Representative and attended their national convention in Fredericksburg, VA (where he finished in the top 2.5% of his age group at the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon). In 2011 he ran four MA -USATF events, including the Half-Wit Half Marathon. He also ran two marathons: Garden Spot and Philadelphia.

As a member of the Board, I would say that there are few club members who have done more that Ray to promote the club – and I’m proud to present Ray with the prestigious Member of the Year award for 2011.

PCVRC member

2011 Outstanding Achievement Award
Sheri Herrmann

Sheri kicked it up a notch last year, as much to her own surprise as anyone else’s! A reliable competitor in the Grand Prix road series and the Off-road Trail series, Sheri began training harder and longer in 2011, resulting in many firsts for her:

Two 5K’s run under a 7-min/mile pace Nine1st in age group awards including the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run, the Bottle and Cork Ten Miler and the Radnor Steeplechase Two First Master wins including the Rehoboth Half-marathon Half of the first place overall relay team at the Dover Monster Mash marathon. First Boston Marathon, which qualified her for a return trip this year.

Sheri is perhaps most proud of her 5th place finish in the Rothman 8K where she competed against some of the top talent in the region.

Sheri ran four road races for the club in 2011 (Caesar Rodney, Delaware Distance Classic, Run the Bridge, Rothman 8K) and five trail races (Wissahickon, Half-wit, Radnor, Evansburg, Delaware Cross-Country). In total she ran in 29 races last year and countless other Pike Creek and Rebel group runs including the January 29th winter club run at Delcastle. She also road in her first Bike to the Bay last year.

Sheri is off to a good start in 2012 with a first in age group at the Icicle Run and is well into her Boston training. She will tell you how honored she is to receive this award, but don’t let her try to explain why she doesn’t deserve it.

2011 outstanding Achievement Award
Epi Camacho

Epi entered the 55-59 age group in 2011 and was a dominant force in most of his races, even while battling pain due to an ongoing knee injury. He runs impressive times on both roads and trails and hits as many local races as possible. Epi won his age group in the Mid-Atlantic USATF Grand Prix Series with an average age grade of 80 and scores for our team nearly every time he runs. Epi won his 2011 Icicle Run 10 miler age group by over five minutes with a 1:07:55. In one of the most difficult trail races, the Ugly Mudder, he was 2nd out of 33 in his group. At the Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon, he destroyed his age-group of 67 with a time of 1:26:25 for a 6:35/mile pace. In May, he was 3rd in his group at Broad Street, one of the largest 10 milers in the world. One of his best 5K’s was the big Tour de Lance where he posted a 19:14 result. In all he won his age group in 13 races in 2011. With his sore knee, he was still disappointed with his 1:29:36 Rock’n’Roll Philly Half, but he won’t let a little pain keep him from competing. His year wound down with a 40:01 Turkey Trot 10k in Newark.

Epi is always looking for someone to run with him, and he’ll often moderate his pace (a little) to have company. If you want to get faster, train with him. Epi is fun to speak with since there’s a smile on his face even when he has had a tough day!

2011 Outstanding Achievement Award
Greg Cauller

Greg is a prolific racer. Every weekend he can be found competing in at least one race, usually two. During one weekend in November, Greg competed in four races over two days. In addition to racing often, he consistently turns in high-level performances. During 2011, Greg competed in three Mid-Atlantic Road Grand Prix races and one Mid-Atlantic Off-road Series race. He was the club’s high scorer in all four of these races.

Greg’s racing career dates back to Hempfield High School where he won the District 3 AAA cross country title. He continued at Millersville University where his team won the NCAA Division II national cross country title in 1981. He was an individual All-American in cross country and outdoor track during the 1981-1982 season. In 1982, he set the still standing school record in the steeplechase (8:59.69).

In 2011, Greg ran in 82 races. Of those races, he was the overall winner in 16, won Master’s in 38 (against those young 40 year olds), and won his age group in 15. Greg does not think of his age (52) when he competes. He is frequently racing for the overall win against runners who are much younger. A few notable results other than the Grand Prix races include: winning the Veteran’s division at the Berwick Run for the Diamonds, winning Master’s at the Kelly Shamrock 5K in Baltimore, winning Master’s at the Samuel Adams Surf-n-Santa Ten Mile in Virginia Beach, and placing 3rd in 50-54 at the Carlsbad 5000.

Greg enjoys traveling to races, although there is no need to travel to find world class age group competition. The Mid-Atlantic region has some of the fastest 50-54 year old men in the country. In 2011 Greg raced in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and California. In 2012 he hopes to return to some favorite races, go to some new races, and to run under 17:00 for the 5k.

PCVRC member

2011 Outstanding Achievement Award
Matt Cutrona

Matt began running when he turned 30 years old in May 2000. He had put on a few dozen extra pounds in the previous ten years. He was living in San Francisco at the time and knew he needed a goal. He decided he would run in the San Francisco Half Marathon six weeks later. Then he thought, why settle for the half? He would run the full marathon distance. His training consisted of a few short runs a week and he did one 16 mile run two weeks before the race. He was so naïve that he ran four miles from his house to the starting line on race day. It was a painful day, but 26.2 miles later he crossed the finish line in 5:17:16. Matt was sore, elated and hooked on running.

Fast forward ten years later to the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon and Matt crossed the finish line in 3:02:49, qualifying for his fourth Boston Marathon. During those ten years Matt has learned a lot about running and more about himself. He realized that if he put a plan together and was disciplined enough to follow that plan, good results would follow.

Matt loves to race and compete. In 2011, Matt ran 32 races. He set his ten mile PR at the Broad Street Ten Miler, running in 59:53. He was the overall winner of two 5Ks, in the top three nine times and won his age group 14 times. He recently ran his half marathon PR in January in Houston, TX in 1:22:34. He is currently training for the 2012 Boston Marathon and is eyeing that elusive sub 3:00 marathon.

2011 Outstanding Achievement Award
Vic Zwolak

At age 73, Victor Zwolak is still hard to catch. He remains one of Delaware’s most accomplished runners, more than a half century after he became Delaware’s first high school cross country champion and later its’ first track Olympian. Some of us remember 1964, when Vic ran the 3000 meter steeplechase in the Tokyo Olympics. Today, retired from work but not from running, Victor still runs most every day and occasionally laces them up for local races.

At the 2011 Caesar Rodney, Vic ran a 1:38:49 to set a new state-resident age class record in the 70-74 division. Vic holds 20 state age-group records, in distances ranging from the 5K to the marathon – and in four different age classes. Since turning 70, Vic has set six such records, including three in 2011. Besides CR, Vic ran a 21:41 5K and a 1:18:14 ten miler. He also participated in the Delaware Relay Marathon – with his daughters – on a team called Zwolak Attack – and of course, captured the Family Division title. I could go on – but if I know Victor – he would prefer I didn’t. So join me in congratulating Victor Zwolak for his Outstanding Achievement award for 2011. Here’s hoping there are many more.

2011 Outstanding Achievement Award
Fred Shufflebarger

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when Fred was located in California, he participated in a number of races, mostly marathons and ultra-marathons. Among his accomplishments from these earlier times, Fred won the 1992 Angels Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run in a time of 19:22:16 and repeated as champ in 1993. He ran in several marathons, including the Pacific Coast Marathon and the Long Beach Marathon in 2002, winning his age group a few times. His best marathon time that can be found online was the Boston Marathon in 2000, which he ran at age 51 in 2:52:30. Among 561 men in this 10 year age-group, he was 13th.

According to Fred, “by 2002 I stopped racing and ran very little. In the spring of 2009 I ran one Thursday evening run with the Rebel Runners at Delcastle. After the run, before I even got out of the parking lot, Rich Szymanski collared me and talked me into racing the following Saturday. His enthusiasm is contagious; I think he could sell ice to Eskimos. It’s been a good three years since. I have been the USATF off-road senior age group champion all three years and undefeated in my age group the last two years. The team spirit has been very motivating at a time when I needed motivation. It’s been very satisfying to run for the club and I owe Rich a great big thank you for his support and encouragement.”

Fred summed up his running since he joined the club. He has been the winning senior (60+) male runner for three years in the Off-Road series. Any time he has raced in this series, he has scored points for the club’s total. The trail racing seems to have re-energized Fred for long distances as he was the top over-60 male in the Hinte-Anderson Trail Run 50K last March in a time of 5:17:25.

2011 Rookie of the Year
Dan Suher

Dan Suher joined Pike Creek Valley Running Club in 2011 after some gentle persuasion from our chief recruiter Rich Szymanski. Dan began his competitive running at the Charter School of Wilmington and continued with his passion at Brandeis University. At Brandeis Dan was a successful middle distance runner competing for the Judges with PR’s in the 800 (1:59:20), and 1500 (4:01:01)

In his debut race for PCVRC in the 2011 Mid Atlantic USATF series Dan immediately made his presence known by winning his age group at the Haddonfield 5K finishing 13th overall. On that note he began a highly successful season in the Grand Prix series where he averaged an age grade performance of over 80% for all of his races.

Additional highlights of the Grand Prix series include a stand out race at the Moorestown 8K where Dan was the overall winner of the race. In addition Dan moved beyond his comfort zone competing in his first long race in the club’s Delaware Distance Classic 15K, finishing 2nd overall. From Dan’s perspective – “I was still happy to get second and I thought it was pretty cool that I had bib number “302” for the Delaware Distance Classic.” I walked away from that race at least a little curious about longer races in the future especially after I realized that while I may not have hit my goal, and the last 5K was a death march, I still averaged each 5K faster than my high school PR. “

Dan’s passion for the track came back with a return to Franklin Field at the Penn Relay’s 5000. Anyone who has attended the Penn Relay’s or has had the privilege of being on the oval knows how exciting these events can be. Despite rain delays that pushed the race start back an hour to 11PM Dan set a PR running among a strong field.

Congrats on a terrific season Dan! 2011 USATF series – Haddonfield 5K – 13th overall, 1st AG, 15:33, Grade = 82.958 Moorestown 8K – 1st overall, 1st AG, 26:10, Grade = 80.019 DDC 15K – 2nd overall, 1st AG, 51:24, Grade = 80.058 Rothman 8K – 15th overall, 1st AG, 25:20, Grade = 83.192 – PR Penn Relays Olympic development 5K = 14:53.8 1st place finisher in the following 5K Race2 Run events: Kid Shelleens , Catherine Rooney, Larry the Barber, Tour de Lance, Miles for Melanoma

2011 Spirit Award: Daniel Weintraub

While the board was deciding and voting on club awards for the 2011 running season, we felt compelled to acknowledge Dan Weintraub and award him the Spirit Award.

Dan has been a long time member of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club. He’s run several marathons over the years. A couple of years ago he was forced to slow down due to a knee injury; now when most people are in a club and can no longer participate in the normal capacity they tend to be less involved, but not Dan

Dan has become a staple at a lot of local races and can be seen on the corners of the streets Wilmington watching out for the runners safety and cheering them along with his every so famous megaphone and cow bell. His cow bell can also be heard at some of the bigger races in Philadelphia, Broad Street, the Philadelphia Marathon and others. As many can attest Dan always seems to be at the right place at the right time cheering you on with his funny comments and words of wisdom.

Dan has been a valuable asset to the club by volunteering to help with the Delaware Distance Classic and other Pike Creek Valley Running Club events.

This year’s Spirit Award could not go to a more deserving person

Dan, thank you for supporting the club and its members.