The following club members were recognized for their achievements on 3/8/23:
Elizabeth Swierzbinski – 2022 Runner of the Year
For those who follow and are involved in the local running community, the name Elizabeth (“Liz”) Swierzbinski is not a new one. “Liz Paul” was an All-State cross country runner all four years of high school at Caesar Rodney, helping them to back-to-back state championships in 2001 and 2002. She ran cross country and track at University of Delaware under Sue McGrath Powell and Jim Fischer from 2005-2009. In subsequent years, Liz has been a fixture at the front of road races throughout the region, while also working as the manager of the Delaware Running Company.
In 2022, Liz ran fourteen races and placed in the top three in ten of them. She won the most competitive age group (30-34) in the USATF Mid-Atlantic Grand Prix, holding off three strong runners from the Philly Runner Track Club, coming all the way down to the final race of the year. She placed 4th overall in the Grand Prix and was only one of two non-masters runners in the Top 10, averaging 81% in the age-graded scoring. In March, she won the First State Half Marathon in Newark in 1:21:08, running solo for almost the entire race. Her biggest accomplishment of the year was setting a Delaware Age-Group Record of 2:56:03 at the Boston Marathon.
Despite suffering a stress fracture and missing six weeks over the summer, Liz rebounded with strong performances in the fall, including 2nd at the DDC 15k when she was far from 100%, 12th at the ultra competitive Rothman 8k, and winning the Reindeer Run 5k in 17:38, her 3rd fastest 5k of her life.
Dwight Swaney – 2022 Member of the Year
Dwight, your great generosity with your time has made such an impact on the Pike Creek Valley Running Club. Your willingness to share both your time and your talent by volunteering with says a lot about you. Your willingness to give selflessly to help others speaks to both your strength and the quality of your character. When you volunteer, you are making a commitment to share that most precious of resources – your time – to help make this club successful and one that people want to belong to.
You have been an integral part of the club from helping with the DDC, ensuring we had a fantastic and fun time with lots of raffle giveaways from our sponsors at the holiday party to ensuring you are offering suggestions at every board meeting. Please know that your volunteerism is recognized, appreciated and valued. We thank you and look forward to you continuing to be part of the club.
Andrea Rubinoff – 2022 USATF Runner of the Year
Andrea started running in 1997 when she moved to Atlanta as a way to get out and meet new people in a new city. At her first race, she won a beautiful glass and marble prize as the 1st place female master. That award had her hooked. Unfortunately, a fellow runner asked what her time was, to which he rudely asked “Did you stop to rest during the race?” Luckily, Andrea used that comment as motivation to improve her performances. Andrea initially focused on 5Ks and gradually increased her distances up to the marathon. Qualifying for Boston in her first marathon (Delaware Marathon 2005) and placing 3rd in her age group at the 2005 Broad Street Run are two of her running highlights.
Andrea’s first trail run was the Trail Dawgs Triple Crown in 2003. After running through the first “obstacle”, which she can’t remember if it was a rock, water crossing, or tree root, and bursting out laughing, she knew she would continue to focus on trails. Focusing on the terrain, trying to not fall (something that she has done a lot) or getting lost (a specialty) and just enjoying the entire experience was a refreshing change from the competitiveness of road races. The appeal of trail running has only increased in the years since.
Andrea joined PCVRC when she moved to Delaware 25 years ago. She has not always been active in the social events the club sponsors, but she has been a stalwart contributor to the trail series over the years. Participating in the USATF trail series has allowed Andrea to get to know some really great fellow members of the club, spend time in scenic surroundings, and run exciting and challenging races. Andrea’s strong performances on the trails have helped PCVRC finish near the top of the standings in the trail series.
William Rose – 2022 Rookie of the Year
Bill started running in his mid-30s when he met co-workers at Dupont who ran at lunchtime. Ten months later he ran his first marathon, Marine Corps, in under 3 hours (with 12 seconds to spare!). This was in the time before chip timing, so Bill was probably more than 12 seconds under 3 hours. This feat led to what Bill considers his greatest running accomplishment: inspiring his mother, then age 60, to start running. Mom said “If you can run a marathon, it must not be very hard. I think I’ll do it.” She had never been a runner, but proceeded to run 12 marathons in the next decade, including a second place in her age group at Boston! In addition to inspiring his mother to run, Bill will now frequently run with his daughters, whom he also inspired to run.
After running Marine Corps, Boston, and New York marathons, Bill was a regular participant on the Creek Road Runners Delaware Marathon team, winning the relay division twice. Bill eventually slacked off for a few years, but started to run more regularly again after retiring in 2021. In the middle of 2021, Bill fell in with a group of PCVRC regulars who convinced him to join the club and USATF. In 2022, Bill became a frequent contributor to the USATF road and trail races.
Bill also gives back to the community and park system by maintaining a section of the David English trail in White Clay Creek State Park.
Michelle & Lee Dresser – 2022 Volunteer of the Year
Michelle and Lee Dresser are long-time club members who regularly attend our Sunday Morning Group Runs. For the past few years, they have coordinated our Couch To 5K program to help new runners improve their running and to enjoy it more.
Besides planning and leading each of the 10 week sessions, they create a Meetup group each time, to make the participants feel part of a team. As many as 15 people have attended the weekly runs at Paper Mill Park. The program is a great way for our club to reach out to the community.
With his hip being replaced in January of 2022 it was not Lee’s most prolific running year, but he and Michelle both ran the Freedom from Seizures 5K in June as the “graduation” race for C25K, as well as Reindeer Run. Lee did the Lums Pond August Olympic Triathlon which included a 10K run. Michelle swam the 3 mile Frozen Frogman race in February of last year in 28 degree weather. A couple years ago, Lee created a fun and motivational “Marathon Runner” music video. They both continue to consistently run up to 8 miles with our group on Sundays!
Betty Olmstead – Hall of Fame Induction
Betty deserves her own page: See Betty’s page