Our Mission

"To enhance our members enjoyment of the sport of running"

Monday, February 2, 2015

NOVA Featured Runner: Dawn Gillis

Dawn Gillis at the Lynchburg Half Marathon
2 February 2015

NOVA  runner Dawn Gillis has been selected as the NOVA Featured Runner, based on her excellent performance at the JFK 20K on January 18, where she finished First Female Overall with a time of 1:26:00 on a challenging course and harsh weather conditions.

Dawn was gracious enough to sit down with NOVA and share some insights into her running career to date, running goals for 2015, and her thoughts on Coach Jerry and the NOVA team!

1. PRs: 
5k - 20:06, 10k - 41:42, 10 mile - 1:10:55, 20k - 1:26:00, Half - 1:31:04, Marathon - 3:14:17

2) Goal race(s) for this year? Other races planned?
This spring I am doing the Shamrock Half and probably the New Jersey Marathon. I really want to get a marathon PR because my current one is from 2013. I also plan to get a sub 1:30half and a sub 20 minute 5k. Long term I am working towards a sub 3 hour marathon.

3) What do you consider your best race performance to date?
I try to make my best performance my most recent race, so I am equally proud of my JFK 20K performance and my Charlottesville Half performance in October. I think the best race I've run so far was my first marathon, the Shamrock in March 2013, because I ran smart. I paced myself well and sped up over the course of the race to finish strong. It is also the only marathon, to date, that I haven't stopped and walked in. I have since beat my time from then, but I haven't run smarter since then, unfortunately. 

4) How did you find  NOVA, and what do you like best about the team?
I found NOVA online after I noticed my husband's eyes glaze over whenever I talked about running. I like running with other people for hard workouts because it makes it more difficult to quit when others are watching. There is also a vast amount of knowledge and running experience on the team to give advice about what works and what doesn't.

5) What's the best piece of advice you've received from Coach Jerry?
Coach Jerry's best advice has been to rest. I am a type A person who can push myself endlessly but now I hear him in my head telling me to take it easy. Resting well and running slow on my easy days makes it easier to run faster on race day.

6) What thoughts do you have on your performance at the JFK 20K?
The JFK 20K was really tough with the icy conditions, forcing everyone to run single file down the edge of the trail. I enjoyed having other runners at a similar pace who helped to pull me along and keep me motivated in the second half, when there was a strong headwind. I also knew that I was the first female for most of the race, which makes me run faster, since I never know if someone is coming up behind me or not.

7. What non-running fitness related activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy swimming and biking for triathlons. I do yoga, Pilates, and strength training but not because I enjoy it, but because I know I need some cross - training.

Coach Jerry had this to say about Dawn:

"When Dawn came to NOVA I could tell immediately that she had a whole lot of untapped potential, and she's been making great progress, as her excellent run in the JFK 20k showed.  I expect big things from her this spring, and beyond."

Monday, January 19, 2015

NOVA 2014 End Of Year Party Highlights

2014 was a great year for NOVA! Here's to an awesome 2015! Here are some highlights from a great end of the year party.

2014 Team Award Winners

Men’s MVP: Michael Naff
2014 was the best year of Mike’s running career, as he set PRs of 30:52 for 8k and 61:32 for 10 miles, barely missed his PR in the half marathon by running 1:23:38 on a very hilly course (which surely would have been a PR in a faster race), and ran three marathons, including an excellent 3:06:46. Mike’s consistently strong performances throughout the year were even more impressive given the fact that health problems curtailed his training and racing for the last two years. Mike was back better than ever in 2014, and his success will spur him on as he pursues his long-sought goal of breaking 3 hours in the marathon.

Women’s MVP: Erin Masterson
Erin arguably deserves the MVP award for the incredible amount of time and effort she puts in to her duties as NOVA President, but she unquestionably earned the MVP award with her running. After her banner 2013 in which she ran 30 races to celebrate her 30th birthday, Erin upped the ante in 2014 by running 31 races. And run them she did, setting PRs at 10k (40:05), 10 miles (65:47), and the marathon (3:14:21), and running her fastest 5k since her illustrious college career at William and Mary (19:28). Erin won several races, including each of the four Lost Dog 5ks, and ran consistently well over various distances throughout the year. Erin is looking for more in 2015, when she intends to break 3:10 in the marathon.
Coach’s Award: Mark Drosky
Mark has been a fixture at NOVA for years, which is only fitting for a man who has run every single day for the last 26 years. Mark, a past President of NOVA, continues to perform at a very high level. In 2014 he ran an excellent 1:25:53 for the half marathon, and 3:10:14 for the marathon, and he placed in his age group in even the most competitive local races. Mark brings a level of consistency and dedication to the team that is as instructive as it is inspirational, and his enthusiasm for and love of NOVA is contagious.

2014 Top Performances

  1. Lisa McNichols              5:28     DCRRC Mile Championship
  2. Dave Wertz                  15:11     Swarthmore Last Chance 5,000
  3. Katie Tomlinson         2:56:40     Philadelphia Marathon
  4. Dave O’Hara                32:18     Pikes Peak 10K
  5. Stephanie Lundeby        30:20    Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler
  6. Cory Schwartz           2:52:23    Philadelphia Marathon
  7. Erin Masterson           3:14:21    Richmond Marathon
  8. Allen Denson             1:22:02    Wilson Bridge Half Marathon
  9. Dawn Gillis               1:31:04    Charlottesville Half Marathon
  10. Abhaya Menon           59:25    Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

Welcome to our 2015 NOVA Board Members!

President: Erin Masterson
Vice President: Justin Buenaflor
Treasurer: Mike Naff
Secretary: Dan Wallace
Communications and Social Media Director: Nene Reed
Membership Coordinator: Katie Tomlinson
Members at Large: Samantha Kirby Cole, Mark Drosky, Bernadette Flynn, Bob Weiner
And farewell to our 2013/2014 NOVA Treasurer Bob Koeppen. Thanks for your service, Bob!!

Many thanks to all the members who generously contributed to NOVA! 
  • Ben Brooks 
  • Justin Buenaflor 
  • Erin Masterson 
  • Jessica McGuire 
  • Lisa McNichols 
  • Abhaya Menon 
  • Nene Reed 
  • Greg Swiatocha 
  • Dan Wallace 
  • Bob Weiner
Coach Jerry
Many thanks from all of us to our very own Coach Jerry! Throughout the years, Coach Jerry has helped to guide thousands of runners to great performances under his watch. Here’s to many more, with much appreciation from the NOVA gang!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NOVA 2015 Board Member Elections: Survey Open December 1-15, 2014

NOVA 2015 Board Member Elections: Survey Open December 1-15, 2014

NOVA Board Members at our quarterly meeting. So much fun (and pizza!)
NOVA Board Membership elections survey open December 1 until December 15, 2014.  SURVEY LINK: HEREDecember 15, 2014

Write-in candidates are also accepted at the time of voting (even if not pre-listed on the survey ballot).

All Board Member positions are currently up for election, including: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Coordinator, and four Board Member-at-Large positions. These roles are outlined below: 
  • President: The President is responsible for leading the organization and operations of weekly track practices, writing the weekly newsletter, supporting Coach Jerry in recruiting and responding to inquiries from interested members, leading social media efforts, serving as the general spokesperson of the club, coordinating NOVAspecial events, convening regularly scheduled Board meetings, and overseeing the work of the other officers/Board Members
  • Vice President: The Vice President is responsible for distribution of the weekly newsletter, assisting with regular club activities (track practice and tempo runs) and special events, assisting with social media efforts, and assuming the duties of the President in the event of resignation, absence, or incapacity of the President. The Vice President may also chair special committees as designated by the Board
  • Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes at the quarterly NOVA Board meetings and supporting the President and VP with social media and communications efforts
  • Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for preparing the annual NOVA club budget and financial forecasting, managing the bank deposits, club payments and expense management, helping to develop fundraising plans, and making financial information available to Board members and the public upon request
  • Membership Coordinator: The Membership Coordinator is responsible for managing the NOVA membership roster and email distribution list; tracking the dates of membership renewals and expiration and informing members of their membership status, providing membership/contact information to the other board members as requested, responding to inquiries from interested members, and serving as backup to the President and Vice President in distributing the weekly newsletter as needed
  • Members-at-Large: Members-at-Large serve as the spokesperson or representative for the general membership of the club. The primary focus of this position is to provide insight on how policies, procedures, or activities of the Board affect general members and to raise concerns if the membership is impacted. Members-at-Large have a duty to serve on the Board and to support the Board in its decisions. They attend quarterly Board meetings and maintain voting powers
Please contact us with any questions!


Erin Masterson
President, NOVA Running Club

Justin Buenaflor
Vice President, NOVA Running Club

Monday, October 27, 2014

Race Recap: Lisa McNichols Places Second Overall in a Thrilling Goblin Gallop 5K

From NOVA team member and Masters ace Lisa McNichols, to Coach Jerry

Ran the Goblin Gallop 5K this weekend. I went out with the lead pack and was tempted to push it, as the pace felt very easy, but I remembered what you said and did not want to die like I did last week. It was me, Alisa Harvey (whom I have never bested), Jackie Gruendel (who ran a 5:24 or 5:25 at the DCRRC Bring Back the Mile race when I did 5:28, and won last year), and a young girl from Germany (her mother won the Masters division). 

We hit almost 6:10 on the nose for the first mile, then maybe 12:25 at the second mile. We were all together trading the lead. I pushed it a little at the two mile mark and I think we shook Jackie around then. I started flagging around mile two, but got it back together, then felt pretty tired about two and three quarters. I think I was 18:40 or 45 at the three mile mark, which seemed quite slow. With about 600 (maybe less) meters to go, the German girl surged ahead. I was getting pretty tired then and let her go.

I knew it was going to be between me and Alisa for second place, and was ready to settle in for third. But we rounded the turn with 100 meters to go, and then I said, "I'm here, I might as well give it everything!" So we sprinted for it and with about twenty meters to go I realized she didn't have it. I saw the first place girl raise her hands in victory, but was happy I didn't just roll over. Once I started sprinting it really didn't hurt that much anymore. So I got second overall.

I have to say I am pretty disappointed, as my time was the same as the time I ran in my 5K last week - 19:24. Last week I wanted to stop half way through, it hurt so much. This felt way easier and I had hoped to be faster. The course was up and down, so I guess it was harder than it seemed. 

It has been a long time since I have been in the lead pack for a road race, and so I was fighting some demons. Alisa Harvey has the indoor 45-49 American record (I think it's a 5:04!) and I know she still has speed. But the pace felt totally manageable. All in all, I think this was a good run for me.

Speaking of which, today is my 47th birthday! If only I had run a little harder, I could have won! But $100 bucks isn't a bad birthday present!

See the full Goblin Gallop 5K results here

Friday, July 18, 2014

Coach Jerry Quoted in Runner's World!

Check out Coach Jerry's quote in a recent Runner's World article!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Best Name in Running: Gretchen Speed!

Hey NOVA - take a minute and vote for Gretchen Speed, one of Coach Jerry's former athletes in the Runner's World Best Name in Running contest!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

NOVA Running Club Summer Track Mid-Distance Night

Join the NOVA Running Club for our first Summer Track Distance Night!

This is an open event for all comers interested in trying out a track race. For those post-collegiate runners who haven't raced on the track in years, to younger kids thinking about joining their high school team and want to get a taste of it now, this is your opportunity!

We will be running heats of the 1 Mile, 800m and 3200m (in that order). You can run 1, 2, or all 3 events!! One flat entry fee of $10.

No qualifying standard or entry time needed! Just get out there and see what it's like to race on the track. Invite all your friends and family to join in the fun.

Event Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 6:30pm

Price: $10 flat entry fee (for 1, 2, or ALL 3 events!!)

Race Day Registration Available

Thomas Edison High School
5801 Franconia Rd22310 Alexandria , VA
See map: Google Maps