2016 Club Award Winners

The following club members were recognized for their achievements:

Brenda Hodge – 2016 Runner of the Year

While 2016 may not have been Brenda Hodge’s best running year ever (that’s still to come!) she still has shown the heart, soul, guts, performance and leadership that leads us to award her PCVRC’s “Runner of the Year.” She certainly deserves it. Coming from a difficult childhood, Brenda took that and turned it into motivation that keeps her running. She says running keeps both her body and mind healthy. She is incredibly humble — she says “it seems odd to be rewarded for doing what everyone else does. I am not that great of a runner.”

Well, 4th Master’s at the Houston Marathon says otherwise, as does 1st Master at the DC Half, First overall at the Capital 10-Miler, 3rd master’s at Broad Street and First Overall at the Baltimore Half, just to mention a few.

Brenda is also proud to give back as a Certified Running Coach. She loves helping others and is very proud of the athletes she helps and would love to tell you about them. Brenda says she really enjoys being a part of the PCVRC USATF racing team and loves all the friends that running, coaching and racing bring her.

What does the future hold? It’s a secret, now revealed, that Brenda has received an invitation to run as an elite woman at Boston! She has her eye on breaking her marathon PR of 2:53 (not likely at Boston, but in the fall). One more interesting fact, Brenda has been talking to the Guinness World Records about setting a world record for the fastest marathon on a treadmill. June or July? Stay tuned on that one! Congratulations Brenda!

Dirk Sweigart – 2016 Member of the Year

Dirk Sweigart is proof that you can have a “second wind”. Dirk first started running for fun in college in the early 80’s and continued to run up to his first (and he thought his only) marathon in 1988 (4:20 in the Marine Corps Marathon). He continued to run casually off and on for the next twenty years and while raising three kids. In 2008 he ran into some Pike Creek runners who asked him what his goal was for running. H e decided he wanted to run a 5K in less than 21 minutes. Three years later, he had shed the weight, run 3 5K’s under 20 minutes, run two more marathons (3:22 and 3:27) and qualified for the Boston Marathon. He’s gone one to run more than ten marathons, four at Boston.

Dirk has met a lot of great people through the Pike Creek Valley Running Club, including his wife Sheri Sweigart, who he married in 2013. Dirk has volunteered as Membership Chair, Club Treasurer, and Club Secretary and currently serves as Vice President where he has been responsible for originating or coordinating a number of club activities such as the pub crawl and several group runs. Dirk enjoys competing in the USATF road-racing series where his goal is to try to score for the club at least once per year. Dirk is also the chairman of the Mid-Atlantic USATF Long Distance Running series committee. Dirk’s current running goals are to maintain his fitness, keep up with Sheri and party with Pike Creekers!

William Farquhar – 2016 Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year award instills images of someone who is just starting out in the sport, lacking experience yet exceeding expectations. However, the term rookie can also be applied to someone who has changed the level of competition in the sport. Such is the case of this year’s recipient of PCVRC’s Rookie of the Year award. Perhaps the quiet demeanor and professional career disguised this individual’s potential. However, a little research determined that in fact our “rookie”, Bill Farquhar, had a storied career during his collegiate years at East Stroudsburg University. During his time at ESU, Bill qualified for the NCAA Division 2 Cross Country Championships in each of his 4 years. In his final season he lead the ESU team as co-captain during the school’s first and only undefeated regular season as the team qualified for NCAA XC D2 Nationals. Led by Bill, the team finished 13th at NCAA D2 XC Nationals that year.

Like many of us, Bill spent much of the post collegiate years pursuing a career, starting and raising a family. In between family and work commitments, Bill would occasionally find time to join Coach Fischer’s Tuesday Night group as well as an occasional local road race. With strong encouragement of his close friend and club member Keith Crispin, Bill was determined to regain his fitness and resume a more competitive level of racing. In the past year, Bill became a regular at the Tuesday night workouts, and the infamous weekend long runs on the local state park trails. Bill joined the club’s USATF team during the fall season and made an immediate impact. Bill contributed to the USATF Off Road and Grand Prix events scoring for the club in both series. He concluded his 2016 competitive season with a season best 80% age grade (representing a nationally competitive time for his age) and 2nd in his age group at the very competitive Rothman 8k. Congratulations Bill, on your successes in 2016! We’re grateful for your contributions to the PCVRC.

Amy Temple – 2016 Volunteer of the Year

Amy Temple has been recognized in the past for her own running achievements (Most Improved Runner in 2014, Member recognition in 2015),but this year she deserves special recognition for training and inspiring others to achieve their running goals through PCVRC’s Couch 2 5K program. Involved with the club and this program since 2013, Amy took over Couch 2 5K last year and has helped the program flourish. Her role as coordinator includes promoting the program, recruiting new runners on Facebook and Instagram arranging opportunities to recruit in person at events like the Siemens Health Fair, as well as organizing and coaching a weekly group training session. She fosters a warm and welcoming atmosphere that not only entices new runners to join but also keeps program ‘graduates’ coming back — the core group of C2 5K runners are still part of the weekly meet-ups. They’ve even been known to head to Timothy’s after training to socialize! They have become great friends who love to cheer each oterh on and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

Amy would also like to give credit to Joel Schiller, Kathy Belardo, Sam Neubert, Diana Daly, and Ben and Mary Lynn Mack for all their help with the program. One of teh group’s newest members, Kati Driscoll, is also planning to help out this spring. Congratulations Amy, on such a successful program that engages new and experienced runners alike! This group is for everyone – all levels of runners and walkers are welcome, so please spread the word! The Spring session starts Tuesday, March 28 at 6pm at the Reservoir in Newark.

Emily Zaitz & Stacey Schiller

Emily Zaitz & Stacey Schiller (3/5/16)