2019 Award Winners Write-ups

Lifetime Achievement Award – Monika Bachmann:  Coming soon!

President’s Awards – Coming soon!

Jim Dahlem

Eric London

Brian Murphy

Michele Potter

Sri Rapaka

Drew Strikwarda

Joel Wakesburg


Journalism Award – Lisa Levin: Coming soon!


Humanitarian Award – Don Shulman: Coming soon!


Coach of the Year – Keith Ord:  

Keith has been an active member for over 10 years.  Many remember him as the accomplished runner in the Summer Half Marathon Program. Unfortunately, a few years later, Keith developed a heart condition and was directed to stop running, but keep walking. When the 5K Program first developed an auxiliary walking program around 2008, Keith joined Vicky Nathan as its first lead coaches.  The two fo them developed a very successful 5K program that met the needs of individuals who could no longer run or were not able to run. A number of participants, including those with developmental disabilities, were able to complete the program.  The 5K Walking Group continues to be an integral component of the 5K Run/Walk Programs, truly embracing the accuracy of MCRRC’s Motto of “A Place for Every Pace.”  As the years passed, Keith has been a consistent Program Director.  For numerous years, he was the lead Walking Coach for the Fall 5K Program and was the inaugural co-director for the Winter 5K Run/ Walk Program – a position he continues today.  There are a number of club members who would not have started their running journey had it not been for Keith’s motivation.  In addition, may return year after year because of Keith’s extraordinary coaching.  He is indeed the accomplished walker himself.  At age 76, his 2019 Rockville 5K walking pace was 12:26!  Keith is also a very active race volunteer – typically a course marshal, but helps out wherever he is needed.  Keith is a very witty, humbled, retired collegiate math professor.  He is truly and inspiration to us all.


Most Improved Runner/ Male – Bobby Molson:

Our 2020 MIR award winner great up in Milford, MA and moved to NJ at age 9.  In 2004, he was cut from high school basketball tryouts which led to joining his high school track and XC teams because…. they didn’t cut!  He described himself as an average high school runner on a very competitive team (mostly to boosst morale of the team)!  Bobby attended law school at Syracuse University and in 2015, one week after taking the bar exam, completed his first marathon – Philly – in 3:39.  In 2016, having moved to DC to a new job with the Department of Justice, after initially struggling to find a running group, he eventually found the “Do-Jo of Pain” training group!  Consistent training with the group led to the completion of his second marathon in 2017 – Philly – in 3:01.  In 2018 after battling a hamstring injury, he continued to train with Do-Jo and eventually joined MCRRC.  2019 brought about a mission to break a 3 hour marathon and to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time.  The “Boston to Broderick” training group helped him to achieve both goals in 2019 in addition to an impressive 5 PR’s (5K in 18:04, 10K in 36:36,  10 Mile in 60:48, a half marathon in 1:23 and the BQ: NJ Marathong in 2:57).

In addition to his impressive running accomplishements, he sings in a choir, The Thomas Circle Singers, a chamber choral emsemble with a dual mission – to perform diverse choral works for the enjoyment of audiences in the DC area and to raise awareness and funds for organizations that address the pressing needs of DC’s underserved citizens.

Most Improved Runner/ Female – Royanna Herbert:

Having trouble winning bar bets with your friends?  Royanna Herbert is here to help, as follows:

Q: What takes less time, running 10 Kilometers or running 10 miles?

A:  10 miles, provided the 10k was run by 2018 Royanna and the 10-miler by 2019 Royanna.

Just to prove her point, she replicated the study twice over, running three 2019 10-milers in less total time than her best 2018 10k.  In case your friends are insufficiently bowled over by that factoid, you might mention that in the one race she ran both years, Jingle Bell Jog, Royanna lopped off 25% of her time (48:41 in 2018, 36:31 in 2019).  Royanna’s striking improvement came after she had taken an extended break from running and racing.  She got back into regular training with a nudge from her daughters, who wanted to run a half-marathon as a family activity.  Training with the Winter Half for that event led to Royanna’s joining XMP, and the rest is history, including two Fall 2019 marathons, a 3rd in her age group at the Air Force Marathon, and 3:41 Philadelphia Marathon.  For her extremely impressive comeback, we congratulate Royanna Herbert, the 2019 Most Improved Runner of the Year (female).


Outstanding Running Achievement – Harold Rosen:

The Runner of the Year Committee would like to acknowledge Harold Rosen’s accomplishments in 2019 by nominating him for the Outstanding Running Achievement Award. Most MCRRC Members know Harold as the Head Coach of the XMP program, to which he just volunteered his time for the 9th year. But what most people don’t realize is that Harold still competes at an amazing level. Harold talks a lot about coaching, and in particular about routes around Bethesda, but very little about himself. The Runner of the Year Committee received his nomination for Grand Master, and he was by far one of the older candidates nominated for the award. He was nominated for his outstanding running achievements, which, upon further review, reflect a man who has consistently maintained an incredible standard of hard work, determination, and resilience that has obtained some outstanding results. At the age of 76, Harold competed in distances from the 5K to the marathon. His results simply speak for themselves.  Harold placed in his age group in every single race he ran in 2019, at everything from the 5K to the marathon, during XMP and outside of XMP, from low-key club races to major regional races. We are just in awe of Harold’s tenacity and grit and want to recognize him for everything that he has accomplished.


Race Director(s) of the Year – Krista Zanetti and Dan Rubin:

MCRRC is definitely a place for every pace. Our club has programs and races that allow runners of all ages to set goals and challenge themselves to meet them. Kids on the Run, held at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg and directed by Krista Zanetti and Daniel Rubin, is one of these special events focused on the next generation of runners. These two organized individuals put their hearts into managing a successful race by ensuring collaboration with local schools and teachers who encourage their students to participate at the final event on race day and/or as part of the 26-mile Kids Marathon. Krista and Dan even go the extra mile by hand signing each finisher certificate. Great care is taken on race day to ensure all young runners are safe on the course and have the chance to show their skill while having a blast no matter the weather.  For their dedication and commitment to this highly anticipated race for children, they were selected as the Race Directors of the Year for 2019.


Volunteer of the Year – Kelly Scherf:

In addition to doing her “real” full-time job, Kelly volunteers for MCRRC at least 45 weeks every year including during 2019. Kelly’s coaching contributions for the Speed Development and First Time Marathon (FTM) Programs which span over 40 weeks, along with her contribution as Director of the Rockville Youth Spring Track Program for 5 weeks have solidified her selection as the MCRRC Volunteer of the Year in 2019.As a coach for Speed Development Program, Kelly focused her efforts on training and motivating participants who are newer to running (such as back of the pack runners), and it is clear her skill and experience have greatly benefited this group.  She also served as Director of the Rockville Youth Spring Track Program, which involves leading and managing weekly spring track meets, directing volunteer support, and delivering meet results. In this role, her excellent efforts both directly supported this City of Rockville youth activity and fulfilled an obligation on behalf of MCRRC…all while cultivating and maintaining a positive and fruitful relationship between these two groups. For past two years, Kelly has served as co-leader of the FTM Program. She is known to be both wonderful to work with and is instrumental to the success of the overall Program by serving as a voice of reason when challenges arise.  Kelly addresses and resolves any issues and problems in a seamless way.  Her calm and logical approach allows the group to arrive at the best and most appropriate solution without much fanfare. In her spare time…Kelly also volunteers at the Run Performance Lab (former Stride Clinic) helping runners identify and resolve their running concerns. Kelly’s commitment to all of these activities is inspiring to many of her fellow club members who recognize her valuable and far-reaching contributions to the club.  As one of few club members who give so freely of their time to MCRRC, her selflessness and willingness to share her expertise makes her an incredibly deserving recipient of this prestigious club volunteer award.


Volunteer Service Award – Catherine Poole:

Catherine Poole is an exemplary and dedicated club volunteer who is always willing to assist race directors in any capacity.  In 2019 she qualified for the club’s Participation Series by volunteering at 19 low-key races including Greenway Trail Marathon and Stone Mill 50K, and serving as Team Captain for the Germantown 5-miler. Katie’s typical volunteer activities included bib preparation, registration, and supporting the finish line team as a race timer. She also was an active member of the Nominating Committee who worked tirelessly to identify, interview, and propose qualified member candidates for the MCRRC Board of Directors. Congratulations, Katie!


ROY Awards:

  • Open/ Female – Liz Ozeki:  Liz raced quite frequently in 2019, from 1 mile track races to 50 k races. She set multiple PRs along the way, and actually WON a total of 14 races  and was the runner up at 3 other races. She broke 19 minutes for the 5k twice. In her fall season she had several breakthroughs when she ran a sub 40-minute 10k, and an impressive 83 minutes for the half marathon. She also broke 3 hours (2:54) for the full marathon, and ran under 4 hours for the 50k (to win the MCM 50K).
  • Open/ Male – Shlomo Fishman:  Shlomo, for years a contributor to the MCRRC Racing Team, and a past nominee for Runner of the Year, had an excellent 2019, setting PRs at 10K (34:04 at the Piece of Cake), 10 miles, 1 mile, 4 miles (22:21 at the Memorial 4 Mile) and half-marathon (1:14:49 at Parks).
  • Masters/ Female – Anne Falcone:  Anne did not race often in 2019, but when she did, she was fast.  She ran an impressive 1:06:34 at the RRCA 10 Mile Club Challenge, and won her age group at the Pikes Peek 10k in 38:56.  Add to that some great trail running and a first-place age group finish in the Richmond Marathon (3:04:45), and you’ve got a heck of a season.
  • Masters/ Male – Ryan Hadley:  Ryan had an impressive racing year in 2019, and did especially well in some of the season’s tougher races.  He was first in his age group at Riley’s Rumble in 1:25:01, first again in the Eastern County 8k (30:24), again in the Richmond Half with an impressive 1:16:31, and yet again at the Turkey Burnoff 10M in 59:25.  And that’s not to mention his triathlon results, where Ryan was a top competitor at the regional and national levels.
  • Grandmasters/ Female – Erica Rubenstein:  Erica is something of a long distance specialist, with great results in 2019 at the marathon, half marathon and 10 miles.  She was fifth in her age group at the New York Marathon with an incredible 3:33:57.  She didn’t shy away from big competition, also running 3:45:54 at Boston.  Add to that a first-place age group finish at the Rehoboth Half Marathon (1:40:20), and third in another national-class competition, the Army 10-Miler (1:16:36), and you have a Runner of the Year.
  • Grandmasters/ Male – Tom Offenbacher:  Tom had a great 2019, and he did it all with MCRRC Races, finishing first in his age group in all of the following races:  Country Road 5 Miler (34:42); Capital for a Day 5K (20:19); Midsummer Night’s Mile (5:48), and the Matthew Henson 5K (21:38).  Great racing for Tom.