TOUGHEST 10K KEMAH AGAIN HOSTS
RRCA SOUTHERN REGION 10K CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2016
KEMAH, TEXAS (January 4, 2016) – Running Alliance Sport is pleased to announce that its 9th annual Toughest 10K Kemah, to be held Sunday, September 18, 2016 at the world famous Kemah Boardwalk, has been chosen to again host the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Southern Region 10K Championship.
"We're proud of our long-standing relationship with the RRCA to produce quality championship road races for runners of all abilities," said Running Alliance Sport (RAS) founder and race director Robby Sabban. "And we're even more proud to host the RRCA Southern Region 10K championship again on one of the toughest courses for the distance on the calendar."
The Toughest 10K Kemah will be the first race in the popular three-race Texas Bridge Series, which includes the sixth annual Toughest 10K Galveston on Saturday, October 15, 2016 and the seventh annual La Porte By The Bay Half Marathon on Sunday, November 20, 2016.
Just under 1,000 runners and walkers -- 995, to be exact -- completed all three races in the Series' fifth year, surpassing the previous record of 846 set in 2014. The RRCA's Southern Region encompasses 11 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
“Bids were received from races in all of the Southern Region states and in consecutive years (2015 and 2016) two different RRCA Southern Region Directors have chosen the Toughest 10K Kemah to be their 10K Championship,” said RRCA South Texas state representative Lee Greb. “Our local running community as well as the state of Texas should be proud that the Toughest 10K Kemah has been chosen for the second year in a row to be the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Southern Region 10K Championship.” The Toughest 10K Kemah, giving Texas its third consecutive RRCA Southern Region 10K championship, will join three other RRCA regional 10K championships in addition to the RRCA National 10K championship.
The complete 2016 regional and national 10K championship schedule is as follows:
April 30 -- Get In Gear 10K, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Central Region)
June 18 -- Heart and Sole Run 10K, Billings, Montana (Western Region)
September 18 -- Toughest 10K Kemah, Kemah, Texas (Southern Region)
October 1 -- Fort4Fitness 10K, Fort Wayne, Indiana (National)
November 13 -- Grimelda Farms Run 10K, Madison, New Jersey (Eastern Region)
Running Alliance Sport will again provide a complimentary entry to any RRCA 10K state champion from the 11-state Southern Region since last year's Toughest 10K Kemah, last year’s defending RRCA Southern Region 10K champions as well as -- new this year --any RRCA Roads Scholar grant recipient since the program's inception in 1996. More than 300 runners took advantage of special pricing for the entire 2016 Texas Bridge Series in the week after last year's La Porte by the Bay Half Marathon and registration for the Toughest 10K Kemah - and the Series' other two races - will open on Monday, January 18, 2016.
For the first time in the race's nine-year history, the Toughest 10K Kemah will move to Sunday in an effort to reduce the business and community impacts in and around the Kemah Boardwalk.
Even with the change in the day of the week, the popularity of the race and the Texas Bridge Series is likely to produce a sellout of the race's available 2,000 entries. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit event production company, Running Alliance Sport produces five races annually -- four of which have served as an RRCA Texas State championship race – that brought 7,255 runners across a finish line in 2015 and has given over $463,000 to local charities the last five years, including more than $103,000 last year. The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc., the Pasadena, Texas-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to offer support, provide safety and prevent domestic and sexual violence, is the race’s – and the entire Series’ – primary beneficiary.
For more information about Running Alliance Sport, the ninth annual Toughest 10K Kemah or the sixth annual Texas Bridge Series, please visit www.runningalliancesport.org.
KEMAH, TEXAS (September 19, 2015) – Leading a record 1,883 runners across the finish line at the world famous Kemah Boardwalk, Kingwood’s Ryan Smith and Lake Jackson’s Lauren Smith defended their 2014 victories here -- Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Texas State 10K championships – and upgraded them into this year’s RRCA Southern Region 10K crowns at Saturday’s 8th annual Toughest 10K Kemah.
“Tough race today,” said the Al Lawrence Running Club’s Smith, who won in 33:46.
“Guess this race earned its name this year by slowing me down by a minute over last year.”
Still the 30-year-old used a 46-second margin of victory over runner-up Michael Gillis of Pearland to record the third fastest time in the event’s history to go with his course mark of 32:47 from a year ago.
Yet the very humid Southeast Texas conditions didn’t seem to thwart Lauren Smith. In fact, she thrived in them – and off the course – as the 24-year-old former Stephen F. Austin State runner lowered her 37:34 mark from last year by more than a minute to win in 36:27 – more than seven and a half minutes ahead of her closest competitor.
“I really enjoy the challenging courses,” said Smith, who picked up her fifth RRCA title in the last two years. “It’s definitely a great kickoff to the fall season.”
She won the RRCA Texas state championships at the 5K, 10K and 25K distances last year and opened 2015 by defending her state championship with a win at the Bayou City Classic 10K in March in an identical time of 36:27.
The Toughest 10K Kemah, though, includes four passes of the Kemah-Seabrook Bridge, which includes two north-to-south grades of 4.3 percent and a pair of south-tonorth climbs of five percent. Both Smiths – no relation – earned $125 each for their win in addition to the $50 Sports Authority gift card for winning the RRCA Southern Region 10K title.
Finishing third overall, Houston’s Luis Armenteros, 42, won his second consecutive RRCA Southern Region 10K Masters title in 35:38.
Brookshire’s Vicki Melnick, 49, third overall like Armenteros, captured the women’s RRCA Southern Region 10K Masters title in 44:41. She won the state championship here last year in 45:12 before winning the 25K state title two months later in Houston.
Kingwood’s Tom Barbee, 52, and Katy’s Lynn Malloy, 55, were the RRCA Southern Region 10K Grandmasters champions in respective times of 38:37 and 45:45.
Barbee earlier this year won the RRCA Texas State 10K championship at the Bayou City Classic 10K while Malloy edged RRCA winners – and Al Lawrence Running Club members - Melissa Hurta-Crites and Rose Rhoton by five and six seconds respectively. Two weeks earlier, Hurta-Crites won the RRCA Texas 15K Grandmasters championship at the Fort Worth Runners Club Labor Day 15K while Rhoton was this year’s RRCA Texas 10K Grandmasters titlist at the Bayou City Classic 10K.
Two of the country’s fastest 60-and-over runners – Houstonians Peter Mullin and Sabra Harvey -- went home with their second consecutive RRCA Southern Region 10K Senior Grandmasters titles in winning times of 42:09 and 44:09, respectively. Mullin, 64, was less than a week removed from winning his age group at the New York Road Runners Fifth Avenue Mile (5:26), while Harvey, 66, is gearing up for a USA 65-69 age group record-setting attempt at the Space City 10-Miler in three weeks. Harvey’s effort resulted in a 98.11% age-graded performance, which was world class.
RRCA South Texas state representative Lee Greb was in attendance to present the winners their Southern Region championship medals.
Astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams, who completed the 2007 Boston Marathon during the first of her two trips to space, was the race’s special guest – addressing the field of nearly 2,000 before the race -- and placed third overall on the first day in her new 50-54 age group.
The Toughest 10K Kemah was created in 2008 by Running Alliance Sport founder Robby Sabban as a charity event after Hurricane Ike ravaged the Kemah Boardwalk and is first of the widely popular three-race Texas Bridge Series, which is in its fifth year. The remaining two races feature the Toughest 10K Galveston on Saturday, October 17 and the La Porte By The Bay Half Marathon on Sunday, November 15.
Runners traverse over and back the Galveston Causeway Bridge and the Fred Hartman Bridge, respectively, in those races after having completed four passes of the Kemah-Seabrook Bridge in September.
The proceeds from the Toughest 10K Kemah – and the entire Texas Bridge Series --go directly to The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc., a Pasadena, Texas organization whose mission is to offer support, provide safety, and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
Since 2011, through its five races, including the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay, the Baytown Bud Heat Wave and the three Texas Bridge Series events, Running Alliance Sport donated more than $413,000 to local charities.
For more information about Running Alliance Sport and the upcoming races of the Texas Bridge Series, please visit www.runningalliancesport.org.2015 Toughest 10K Kemah Post Race Release (in PDF format)
About Running Alliance Sport
Based out of the greater Bay Area Houston area, Running Alliance Sport (RAS) is a not-for-profit event production company that has a passion for producing quality running events which in turn support local communities and its charities. RAS successfully works with city governments in Seabrook, Kemah, La Porte, Baytown, Galveston and Tiki Island to produce five races annually from March to November that engages nearly 500 volunteers, sends over 5,550 runners and walkers across finish lines and donated over $100,000 to local charities in 2013. For more information, please visit www.runningalliancesport.org.
About Road Runners Club of America
Founded in 1958, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events, and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners. For more information, please visit www.rrca.org.