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KWSR-SFRF February 2012

Hello Fellow Runners and Walkers:
As some of you may know, my writing deadline is a few weeks prior to the date this will publish, so this is my first time actually writing in 2012; I hope your year is off to a great start, unlike mine. 

I woke up with a cold on my birthday (Jan. 5th) and was forced into a six-day self- imposed quarantine. I am so grateful to have the natural ability to “make the best” in just about any situation. If there are any beads of wisdom I can share, it’s that sometimes you just have to surrender to what life hands you. I decided to enjoy sleeping in, napping all day and watching every movie I’ve never seen for what seemed like an eternity. My other piece of wisdom is that runners are really impatient, “OMG, how much am I going to atrophy, are my calves less defined than yesterday?” Yeah, optimism wears off especially in a mandatorily sidelined runner who (before she caught this cold) was running on top of her game. Yeah, by day six I was not “making the best” of anything. “This is a bunch of crap!” I declared. And so on the seventh day I rose up and went running, it wasn’t pretty but I didn’t miss a beat while coughing and blowing my nose…pure bliss! The transformation was amazing; I was now a smiling ball of endorphins. I guess we build up a tolerance for a good runners-high the same way some folks can tolerate a few too many mojitos. The dopey high was so much more pronounced after my little hiatus; I guess there was a little pay off. Now back to business, when’s my next race? 

We had a great New Years Pizza Party on January 4th at Rick’s Loft. Almost fifty club members attended and enjoyed each other’s company. Thank you to the event coordinator Lauren and owner Mark Rossi for helping out the club and hosting this event. 

The Scavenger Team Race Social is back by popular demand! I have never had such positive feedback from club members about an event. The date is Wednesday, February 1st at Fogarty’s (Duval and Caroline) show up at 6:30 to draw teams. Each team is given a list of instructions in random order. You will have an hour to finish as many tasks as possible as a team. Wear running clothes and for our sages, bring readers if you require them. First team with highest points will win prizes! There will be yummy Fogarty’s food courtesy of KWSR and cash bar. If you are not racing, just show up and you can keep me company. This is a KWSR club member’s only event; new members will need a $25 check or cash to join ($35 for a family membership). You MUST RSVP by Jan. 30th to Susan Kochan or 305-304-0746 texts are welcome.

Here’s wishing you great health and more highs than lows this year.

Looking Forward,
Susan Kochan

From the Editor and President
Once again we just made it with our volunteers for the Founders Park New Years Run, thanks to the Upper Keys Runners. It has become a regular occurrence for volunteers to show up race day or call a day or two before race day to say they will be there to help out. Over the years I have been able to operate with the Keys attitude of our volunteers, though this makes some more traditional event organizers very nervous. This was very apparent with the Ragnar relay, were they use a very efficient online system to assign volunteers to the open volunteers sessions. About 2 weeks out they close the online volunteer registration and hire temp help workers to fill the open sessions. 

The Ragnar Relay is a great opportunity for Non-Profit organizations like ours to bring some easy money to our treasury, but volunteers need to plan ahead. There were 44 volunteer sessions open when I signed it to work 2 sessions (the Organization of your choice gets $75 per session). Notices were sent out and KWSR got a couple more volunteers signed up, thanks Dennis, Pat, Eddy and Bob. So we covered about 9 sessions leaving a lot of sessions to be covered by non-runner, inexperienced Temp Help workers, not to speak of the funds that could have gone to the benefiting organizations. A few members contacted me a few days before the Relay to ask what they could do? Unfortunately positions had been given to the temp businesses.

We need more skilled volunteers to work our Data Entry, Results and Finish line, as well as Race Directors to organize and direct some of our events. I would be glad to train willing members, friends and family to work these key positions but it would be very helpful to have all of our volunteers sign up further ahead of race day so no one needs to be nervous about having these key positions covered by experienced help race day.

Bottom Line here is if you want to continue running races in the Keys, get involved, learn some of the skills required to manage our events and sign up early as a volunteer for at least one of them. 

Dennis is back, you may be getting a call to help out, Please respond in a timely manner.

With our upcoming race season upon us, please check our calendar and pick a race to volunteer for so we can share the load on our volunteers. If you would like to help out with some of our skilled volunteer positions please contact me to get training in Race Directing, Data Entry, Results or Finish line management. WE NEED YOUR HELP!


Remember Volunteers are needed for every race, KWSR needs the support of it members to make our races happen. Call Susan at 305-292-4949


February 1, 6:30 PM Scavenger Social at Fogarty’s 
Make sure your membership is up to date and join in the fun. More info on the website.

February 18, 9:00 AM 5th Annual Blimp Road 4 Miler
Pirates Wellness Center hosting for this event that benefits the St. Peter Church SeaBee Foundation which provides educational scholarships for single parent families in the lower Florida Keys. Pirates Wellness puts on a great event just a short drive from Key 
West, (MM21)

March 3, 8:00 AM. Marathon Sombrero Beach 10K Run 5K Fun, Run/Walk and 15K Challenge
Great times for all see what’s new at

March 12, 8:00 AM, 8th Annual Menendez Miler 5K 
This is another great event by the Sunset Rotary, benefiting the Bobby Menendez Scholarship fund. Celebrate after the race with free beer, free snacks and lots of door prizes and drawings. Call 305-304-1019 for more info

See our website for information on all upcoming events.


December 17, 2011, A Positive Step 5K Run/Walk
The 4th Annual A Positive Step 5K was run on a beautiful December day in Key West. Over 120 runners ran the course following the shoreline from the Southernmost Beach Café to South Roosevelt and back. 3 of the top 4 finishers were from out of state and lead by Overall Male Winner, Andrew Thompson, from Nashville in a time of, 18:13, Overall Male Masters Winner, Roy Coley, from Key West, was the 5th overall male finisher in 19:40. The women were lead by Tracy Ames, of Wilmington, OH, who ran the 5K course in 22:05. Female Masters Winner, Debra Bertolini, from Key West, was the 2nd woman finisher and ran a time of 22:47.

Walkers were lead by Overall Female Walker Winner, Christy Rose, of Key West, who was pushed by the second place walker to a time of, 35:49. Kathy Kilroy was right on Christy’s heels finishing as 2nd overall walker in 35:58. Overall Male Walker Winner was Michael Blades, Key West, in a time of 42:06.

Billy Davis and the Positive Step crew, worked along with the Key West Southernmost Runners and Southernmost Beach Café to put on this event to benefit programs for at-risk youth here in Key West.

Jan. 1, 2012, Village of Islamorada’s Founders Park, Run Walk or Crawl 5K.
Over 170 Runners and Walkers, from across the country, toed the line early New Years Day to run in the New Year. Leading all the way, in the 3 loop course, was Miami runner Jon Williams, running the course in 17 minutes and 50 seconds. Luke Meyers from Islamorada finished second overall, winning his age group by a large margin, in 18:27. Andrea Bubula of New York City was not far behind winning the 1st place, men’s Masters award (over 40) with a time of 18:29. 

Local High School running champion, Joanna McCoy, lead the women all the way winning the top women’s place in 18:50, followed by Islamorada runner Kate Myers, winning her age group in 19:21 Third overall Women and the woman’s Masters winner was Sheryl Miller in a time of 20:35.

Walkers were lead all the way by Jasper Bell, from Miami a regular at this event. Jasper walked the 5K course in 33:18, while the woman’s overall walker award went to local walker Philis Quinby, in a time of 37:34.

Many of the age groups were won by out of town runners while locals took a few of the upper age groups. A very significant win in the 70+ age group, was 74-year-old Roger Fisher From Key Colony Beach in at time of 23:47, beating his last years time by a few seconds.

Islamorada Founders Park Staff and Upper Keys Runners joined Key West Southernmost runners to put on this Annual event in the upper Keys. Thanks go to all the workers and volunteers that make this event a wonderful way to start the New Year.

January 4, KWSR Pizza Social
Great to see some of the snowbirds back. Sorry if you missed this one. Another great social coming Feb 1, don’t miss it.

January 14, 8:00 AM 12th Annual No Name 5K Run/Walk
Sponsored by the Domestic Abuse Shelter and the Key West Southernmost Runners, this is a great Race in a great Place. Look for results on the website and story next month.


Chester Kalb continues with a couple more Florida races.

Jacksonville Bank
The temperature was cold as it ranged from 40 to 46 degrees as I race-walked the Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday, December 18, 2011. The wind ranged from 5 to 10 miles per hour and the skies were sunny. The course is nearly flat with water/Gatorade stations located every 2 miles and being manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. Spectators were sparsely spread along the entire route that utilized the roads in some upscale neighborhoods. The police controlled the traffic that shared the roads with the participants who were given designated corridors marked with traffic cones. As in the past with this event the police moved the cones to squeeze the participants into smaller parts of the roadway as the event progressed making me feel once again that my participation in the event was of lesser importance than the traffic’s movement. That is truly a shame as every other aspect of this event is exceptionally well handled. I have participated in this event every year starting in 2003 and have always enjoyed myself.

De Leon Springs Half Marathon
I started the year off by race walking the De Leon Springs Half Marathon in De Leon Springs, Florida on January 1, 2012. The temperature started near 50 degrees in a fog that burned off quickly, bringing the temperature to near 65 by the end of the race on a clear sunny day with a calm wind. The race had less than 300 participants in the half marathon and 5K which was competed on a nearly flat out and back course which had 6 water/Gatorade stations manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. There were almost no spectators along the rural roads, which remained open to traffic; however, fortunately a sparse amount of traffic utilized the roads during the race. There was no need for police to control the roadways. The entry fee was only $30 and still the event was able to provide each participant a long sleeve T-shirt and a finisher’s medal, plaques for the 5 year age groups which went 3 deep, and plenty of post race food. The race was very well organized and fun to do.

Pictures from my trips can be viewed in my blog:

KWSR’s weekly group training run schedule is as follows:

Mondays: 5 am / Green Parrot Bar / 3 miles easy pace (9:30-10:30/miles)
Tuesdays: 5 am / White Street Pier / 5 mile tempo run (mile slow, mile faster, mile slow, etc.)
Wednesdays: 5 am, 6 am, 6 pm / KW High School Track / Speed workout
Thursdays: 5 am / Albertson's Food Store parking lot / 5 mile run with bridge repeats over the Garrison Bight bridge
Fridays: 5 am / Waffle House parking lot / 3 miles easy pace (9:30-10:30/miles)
Saturdays: 7 am / White Street Pier / 4 mile social run up the beach and back / breakfast afterwards (non-race Saturdays)
Sundays: 7:30 am / White Street Pier / 10+ miles long slow distance run

If you have any questions about the group runs, please e-mail Dedra at: The schedule is also always posted on the KWSR website as well. All runners are always welcome to join us any morning. 

Check out Pictures and applications online from the web site, all applications are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Race results from all our events are posted promptly.

Remember all memberships are now good for 1 year from the date you joined, Check on the website to see when you last paid or call me at 305-745-3027
Run On, Don 


NAME: Jen “the spammer” McKay                                   

NICK NAME: Jen.0 (I suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder that requires that I run to the nearest whole number on my Garmin)

WHERE DO YOU LIVE: Key West                       

HOW LONG: 22 months

WHERE ARE YOU FROM/WHERE’S HOME: Lived all over…VA, AL, TX, South Korea, Jacksonville. but I am homegrown Jersey Trash.

HOW DO YOU EARN A LIVING: The Coastie with the Mostie

AGE GROUP: Pushing the backside of 30-34. Knocking on the door of 35-40!

CHILDREN: George Jefferson BREEDS (for four-legged children): English Mastiff

HOW LONG RUNNING: 23 years (I won a 20 lb. turkey during the 1 mile Turkey Trot when I was 11 and the love affair began!)

FAVORITE RUNNING ROUTE: In Key West, any route that goes through Old Town and all the beautiful houses.

FAVORITE WORK OUT: Tempo runs because they truly help you move forward in your racing if you’ve seemed to “plateau.”

FAVORITE SHOES: Training: Mizuno Elixir, Racing: Zoot Ultra TT’s

TRAINING BUDDIES: Dedra, Ted Healy, Chadley, EDK All The Way, Rafy, Sam, Ricky, Pablo, John The Potter, Deb

P.R.'s: 5K- 20:38, 1/2 Marathon – 1:38, Marathon- 3:51  

FAVORITE LOCAL RACE: Key Largo Jewfish Creek Half Marathon in November (I have NEVER felt so strong during a race!)

FAVORITE NON-LOCAL RACE: Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon in October (The race course goes through my old neighborhood and it’s wonderful to wave to everyone sitting on their front porch cheering you on and know almost every one of them!)

CRAZIEST RUNNING EXPERIENCE: Maybe not crazy, but memorable…After Tropical Storm Faye a few years ago, our neighborhood running club was all stuck at home with no power and nothing to do. So a few of us decided to meet at my house for an impromptu “pub run,” stopping at fellow runners’ houses along the way for beers and taking in the damage assessment of the ‘hood. We originally started the run with previously-approved houses, and eventually started showing up on runners’ door steps unannounced and demanding hydration. It was a fun, spontaneous way to spend the day with some of my favorite runner-people while still getting a run in.

FAVORITE POST-RACE PIG OUT: Sandy’s bacon, egg, and cheese wrap with a large café con leche!

CROSS-TRAINING: At 60 lbs. and gaining, I lift George Jefferson into and out of the trunk of my car almost daily.

RUNNING IDOL: My grandfather (RIP) ran/walked 5-8 miles every day even in his late years. Everyone in town knew and loved him.

RUNNING GOALS: To qualify for Boston in 2012, volunteer as a kids’ track & cross country coach when I retire, and to continue to run until the day I die.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SMOKE: Barbara Carricco from Jacksonville, FL is my nemesis, but she knows thisJ

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW RUNNER: Having gone through some running hiatuses in my life, I know how hard it is to just put your shoes on and make it out the front door on the first day you begin to start running (again). Find a running partner/group that you will be accountable to and you’ll find it harder to hit the snooze button and easier to get out the door in the morning. Knowing that your running partner is out there waiting for you will be great incentive to train.

ANY SECRET TALENTS OR HOBBIES: If I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret any longer.