Lauren Opachinski Wins Margaret Bradley Award

Lauren Opachinski is this year’s Margaret Bradley Award winner! Lauren played softball all through high school and a little bit in college and had always despised running, but in the fall of 2012, she was looking for a new challenge and decided to try Couch to 5k as a way to prepare for a turkey trot. Something clicked this time around. She did her first half marathon in the spring of 2013 and was officially hooked. Her first marathon was the Boston Marathon in 2014, and after finishing in 4+ hours, she learned that a) running about 25 miles per week and 3 days a week doesn’t cut it for marathons and b) she really wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. In the fall of 2014, she ran 3:19 at the Baystate Marathon and realized she wanted to start training a little more seriously. She joined GBTC in the early spring of 2015. Lauren graduated from Boston College in 2009 and currently works at Massachusetts General Hospital as an RN in the Cardiac Surgical ICU. Lauren had a great performance in this year’s hot Boston Marathon and Coach Tom Derderian thinks she has a sub 3 marathon in her near future.

Lauren Opachinski

GBTC at CIM: Ryan, Raggz & Carter


On the first weekend of December, while many of our athletes made their way to Boston University and the Reggie Lewis Center for the start of their indoor season, a contingent of GBTC members headed west to represent the club at the California International Marathon. Elizabeth Ryan, Jeff Ragazzini and Kate Carter made the trek to one of USA’s fastest marathons.

Liz Ryan’s trip to CIM holds significant weight with the club. Liz was selected as the 2015 Margaret Bradley Award Winner, and her race in California was supported in part by the Margaret Bradley Award endowment. GBTC members can agree that Liz’s 2:45:49 performance is a special way to honor Margaret, who as a marathoner herself, helped secure a women’s team victory at the 2004 Boston Marathon. Margaret died unexpectedly during a trail run in 2004. Those who knew Margaret often speak of her passion for running and her dedication to both running and socializing with GBTC. As Coach Rod Hemingway has stated many times,

“Margaret was one of us, one of you.” Liz’s performance is surely a special one. She ran a fast time and paid tribute to a runner who in many ways is still part of our club.

Jeff Ragazzini stuck with Ryan for most of CIM, as he also finished in 2:45. This was the second full marathon for “The J-Rag” this fall. However, his first was not a race, but a celebration of his birthday and part of a strange running/drinking tradition. The editor of this piece will withhold from commenting on that particular “event”.

Kate Carter’s performance should not go unrecognized, as ran a personal best time of 2:49:17. Her performance comes just weeks after securing an individual title in USATF-New England’s Cross Country Grand Prix. Congrats Kate!

This group of marathoners will spend the week in California and plan to represent GBTC at Club XC Nationals this upcoming weekend! Talk about double duty.

Bond Keeps on Going


Bond Just Keeps Going

Just weeks after his third marathon of 2015, GBTC member Rob Bond finished third overall in the 2015 JFK 50 Mile (Washington County, Maryland), the nations oldest and largest ultramarathon. It was Rob’s first attempt at the distance, and his time of 5 hours 58 minutes deems him the 30th person to ever break 6 hours in the event. Rob had much to say once he finished, as I’m sure we all would after running for almost six hours.

“Fortunately I had a great summer of training with my GBTC teammates. I got great advice about the race from GBTC alum Ryan Aschbrenner … I was able to control my pace and complete the technical AT section without totally wrecking myself. I only fell one time while leaping from rock to rock. Once we hit the pancake flat C&O towpath, I settled into my target pace of 6:40 miles. My three person crew (consisting of an Aunt, my Mom, and Girlfriend) kept my drink bottle full throughout. The miles ticked along as I tried to distract myself from the increasing discomforts.”

The podium finish at JFK50 caps off an exciting year for Rob, as he has PR’d multiple times at various distances, and claimed victory at Baystate Marathon (2:29:50) on October 10th. Hopefully he’ll take some much deserved rest before racing again in the new year.

Victories abound in fall marathons

It has been a big fall for GBTC marathoners.

The team of Eric Mendoza, Manny Gonzalez, Anthony Crudale, Ian Neill, and Coach Rod took a second place at the Chicago Marathon. 
gbtc chicago 2015Later in October, Rob Bond and Molly Swords took the Men’s and Women’s titles at the Baystate Marathon. Not to be outdone, Jon Chesto rounded out the October marathon wins with a victory at the Cape Cod Marathon. 

In addition to these great finishes there were many PR’s on both the men’s and women’s sides!

Men’s team blazing at Bobby Doyle’s 5 mile

The men and women of GBTC made the road trip down to Naragansett, RI for some great racing this past weekend. The men, led by GBTC rookie Eric Couture placed second, with strong efforts from Jonathan Charlesworth, the dynamic duo of Rob Bond and Manny Gonzalez, and Caleb Evanter, who dusted off his road shoes after a great track season to round out the scoring team.

The women’s team, led by Kate Carter was able to hold onto third in the overall grand prix series with their 5th place overall finish.

Full results here. 

Team are shaping up for a strong fall racing season, with many looking forward to the start of cross country in just a few short weeks!

GBTC Throwers Rock USATF Nationals

USATF tracktown

Three of GBTC’s strongest competed June 25-27 in the USATF National Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Lisa Wilson took a 14th place in the Hammer Throw with a toss of 61.76 meters while Sarah Thornton earned a 16th place overall with a discus throw of 53.6 meters. On the men’s side, Bryan Powlen also brought home the 14th place, throwing the discuss 58.55 meters! Congrats guys!

Bryan Powlen USATF 2014
GBTC thrower Bryan Powlen (archive photo)

Liz Ryan awarded 2015 Margaret Bradley Award

Liz Ryan

Liz graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Architecture. She currently works as an Architecture Associate at ART Architects in Boston. She began running in middle school with her older sister at the USATF CT Junior Olympics races. At Farmington High School (CT), she left behind downhill skiing, soccer, and tennis in order to join Cross Country and Track under the unforgettable guidance of Chip Apfelbaum. She ran two years on Brown University’s Varsity XC and Track teams. During this time her mileage climbed steadily from 12 miles per week to 45 and her PRs dropped to 10:14 (3k) and 17:50 (5k XC).
While road and cross-country 5Ks are her favorite races, she enjoys the chance to mix it up on the track with the mile and 3k and relays. She ran her first marathon in September 2014 (3:02:33), and is looking forward to more seriously training for that distance in the future, starting with the Boston Marathon in Spring 2015. She attributes all her recent success to her amazingly supportive GBTC teammates and best friends, who cheer her on during Tuesday track workouts, drag her out of bed on the weekend for long runs along the Charles, and never fail to share a post-race beer. Coach Tom Derderian says, “Liz seems ubiquitous, road, track, or trail, and like Margaret is always there to help the club team score as high as possible.”
For more information on the Margaret Bradley award, check here