Team Theresa

Sadly, on the 30th of April Long time Chip, Theresa McCourt passed.

Theresa joined Buffalo Chips in 1994.  Not only was Theresa an outstanding runner, she clocked a 2:50 Marathon, but she was always smiling, a Mentor to many, and Cheerleader for everyone. 

In Theresa’s memory, Team Theresa was created for the Fab 40 5K race on July 29th. When you register for the race, specify you are running for Team Theresa.

A Facebook memorial page has been setup to share your memories of Theresa.  Search for Celebrating Theresa McCourt.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at William Pond Park.

Buffalo Enquirer – Spring 2017


Buffalo Enquirer – Spring 2017


Buffalo Bash


Coach Teddy

Teddy MorrisStarting in August of this year, I have had the opportunity to fill the role of coordinating the training component of the Buffalo Chips Running Club workouts. This has been a lot of fun and rather exciting as I get to be a part of the growth of our members in their running and overall fitness goals. For me, there is nothing better to do than to join with my fellow club members in an activity that is not only good for our bodies, but helps us in a myriad of other ways both mental and spiritual, in our human goal of living a life well run!

Since we have a vast membership, whose individual members cover a wide gamut of abilities, goals, and reasons for running, my position is to structure an organized system of training options which will be beneficial to pretty much everyone in our club.

From the sound of it, this seems like an impossible task, but I feel brave enough to take it on and, as they say, run with it. Ironically, I found out that I was chosen for the Training Coordinator position on a Saturday evening after coming back from viewing a showing of a silent film on the life of Joan of Arc. Upon reading the e-mail announcing my nomination as the new Training Coordinator, I began to wonder if the film I had just seen was a symbolic representation of my tenure in this new position—celebrated as a hero one day…burnt at the stake as a heretic the next. I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Believe it or not, I joined up with the Buffalo Chips Running Club in 1992 to get a free ride on their bus to the starting-line of the California International Marathon that year. From that simple act, basically driven by a need to save some money, look where it has led me! As far as my athletic accomplishments are concerned, having lived in Sacramento my whole life, I attended local schools here and participated in a variety of athletic endeavors while growing up. In fact, in ninth-grade, at Sam Brannan Middle School, I earned the coveted “Gold Stripe” award, from the Physical Education Department, for not just one semester, but for both semesters that year. Plus, I am the winner of the Buffalo Chips Running Club’s Prediction Run in both 2010 and 2014. Also, I was in the Guinness Book of World Records for a couple of hours, but that had nothing to due with running, so I probably shouldn’t bring that up.

Our members have a true enthusiasm for our sport and our club. They exemplify this dynamic love of running in the races we run, the volunteer activities we participate in, and the fun we have when being together. In my role as Training Coordinator, I will try to encourage that love of running by guiding the implementation and usefulness of our training workouts so that we continue towards our club’s overall goals of celebrating a healthy lifestyle, being a strong and positive presence in the Sacramento running community, and sharing a lot of fun times while doing it!

Buffalo Stampede – Esprit De Corps

Many thanks to all the fine peeps who volunteered for the Buffalo Stampede this year! I was the last one to finish, but all of you waited around for me, and treated me like royalty when I finally crossed the finish line. Special thanks to Gen, the race director, Phil, the race’s sweep bicycle escort, Rich Hanna and all the fine people at CRRM, and Bill Roehr who helped me walk to his car and gave me a ride to my car. Bill also shared a story with me about how he was dead last in a recent Chip X-Country race. His reassuring encouragement meant the world to me. I’d love to see Bill again someday soon. Please give him my email address. Thanks again for hosting the 42nd Annual Buffalo Stampede!

Chips Create Champions!

Arnold Utterback, The High Dunger is a Champion!

2016 usatf masters championships- 160x16013887140_10208404593126538_530755640639795972_n-usatf champ

USATF Masters Championship:

  • 1st place (gold medalist) Men’s 70-74 2K Steeplechase  – Time – 9:29.64 (fastest time in the nation & 3rd fastest in the world YTD).
  • 2nd place (silver medal) Men’s 70-74 1500m  – Time – 6:11.67
  • 3rd place (bronze medal) Men’s 70-74 800m –  Time – 3:03.76

PrideMeet-SF-160x160Pride Meet – San Fransisco:

  • 1st place Men’s  70-74 800m – Time – 3:01:52
  • 1st place Men’s 70-74  1 Mile  – Time – 6:38:41

Go Fast High Dunger!!

Tuesday Night Speed Workout – started as Ladies Only

How many remember or know that Tuesday night workouts were originally ONLY for women?  And attendees had to have run “sub 70 minutes” for 10 miles to participate.

That was then.  The early days and evenings of Tuesday night sessions were devoted to helping about 6-8 of Sacramento’s most motivated female runners become more and faster than they were.  The general goal was to “break 3 hours in the marathon.”  But there were other challenging goals as well.  One of our early master’s women, Joan Reiss also aspired to break 40 minutes at 10k, and within a year she had done both a “sub 3 marathon AND a sub-40 10k.”  Bev Marx had similar ambitions as an open age group runner, and she too met her goals.  Eileen Claugus came into the group with amazing youth group credentials from 10 years or so earlier, as she had run internationally as a 16-17 year old with a mile PR of 4:41.  She went on to become a fully sponsored/supported/paid Adidas athlete turning many sub 2:40 marathons and winning Honolulu, San Francisco and Mexico City Marathons and too many shorter races to list.  Kathy Pfieffer was a dedicated local junior college student and 37 minute 5 mile runner when she first showed up at Tuesday night sessions, but she went on to set school records at 10k for CSUS, a walk-on scholarship at University of New Mexico and the club’s female 10k record of 32:59.  After college she ran “professionally” also under Reebok sponsorship.  Kathy is married to Chuck Aragon who ran for Athletics West (Nike under a low key name) with a mile PR of 3:51 and 10k times around 28 minutes.  Their kids are all national class runners who have earned full-ride scholarships at Notre Dame (where Chuck went to undergraduate school; he is now an M.D. and they live in Montana).  June Hill-Falkenthal was an early career professional and wife, but she enjoyed the challenge of running long; she went on to WIN the Sacramento Marathon in a PR 3:01, just missing her “sub-3.”

It was just George Parrott and later about a dozen of Sacramento’s fittest and fastest females in those early years of organized Tuesday night sessions (1980-1982).  By about 1983 there were several males who had wormed their way into the workouts (Jeff Hayes and Frank ?, etc.) and the sessions were made formally “coed.”  In the late 1980’s or early 1990’s we sometimes had Mark Nenow, the then American RECORD HOLDER at 10k at workouts, along with Linda Sommers, Robin Root, Tom Johnson, and others from the club who were ALL national and/or international class runners.  We even had some of the area high school coaches send their distance runners to club workout since their home programs had nobody to train with at the higher quality levels.  One of our “youth male groups” even held the youth record at the Xmas Relays at Lake Merced.

Running in the Rain – flashback to 2012 CIM

(from Brian Marks blog at

Running in the Rain – flashback to 2012 CIM

For the 2012, it was the 30th anniversary. I am a sucker for anniversary races. You get better medals on those years. I was well trained, and I was running well. My inadvertent marathon was a 4:05 and I had walked 4 or 5 miles with a friend. I was stoked, because I thought I could run a 3:30. The fun started the Saturday before the race when the rain started coming down. The forecast called for heavy rain and gusty winds during the race. They said up to 50 mph gusts.

On race morning, I hopped on the bus, and the hotel where the bus was picking people up at was handing out garbage bags. I was prepared, I had a shopping bag on my head, a garbage bag over my throwaway coat, and even bags on my shoes to keep my feet dry before the start


At the race start, it was pouring and raining. I got out of the bus and ran to the port-o-potty. When I was finished, I stepped out and my calf cramped up, hard. I spent the next hour, huddled under the overhang of a coffee shop stretching and massaging it. The wind and the rain just kept on coming down. I was surprised that none of the tents blew away or that the potties didn’t tip.

Here is the FB post I put up, after the race. “FYI for all the marathoners and relay teams who ran today. There was approximately 0.9 inches of rain from 6:53 am to 10:53 am – with 2/3 of that coming in the first 2 hours. (Hour totals = 0.29″; 0.34″; 0.17″; 0.09″). And 32mph winds with 40mph gusts.”

It was nuts out there.

As the start of the race was approaching, my calf had still not let go. This wasn’t the first time I had one of my calves cramp on me during a race, usually in the last four miles. I knew I could run on it, not well, but I could do it. I figured I would run at a moderate pace for several miles until I could walk to the finish and stay under the 6 hour mark. I limped out to the start line and discarded the trash bags on my feet. I started playing with my mp3 player and new headphones, which I hated. My usual headphones died on me, and I couldn’t find a replacement pair.

Of course this was moot point, because my mp3 player shorted out because of the rain. The volume would go down, but not up. So, I was going to do a marathon with a cramped calf and no music. After the starting gun, which was drowned out by the wind and rain, I started running. I shed my garbage bag pretty quickly, taking care to toss it down wind and out of the main path of runners. Around mile 2, I ditched the running jacket. I was already completely soaked by that point.

I started doing math in my head to stay distracted from the rain and pain. This time it was how far did I have to run at an 8:30 mile to get to the point where I could walk at a 15 min pace to finish under 6 hours. Then, I started doing additional math about how much farther I had to run to be able walk at a 16 min pace. Around this time, we made our first left turn, into the wind. This is where we got the full brunt of 30-40 mph winds. I didn’t really think of anything but moving forward for the next few miles until we turned west again.


I saw the Dashing (and 39 weeks pregnant) Wife and Dashing (not pregnant at all) Son around mile 9 or 10, which lifted my spirits. Once I turned west, I started doing more math, saying to myself, if I run to mile 13, I can walk at a 17 minute pace, and mile 17 was a 20 minute pace. Eventually, I hit mile 20. I was still running, my calf had gone numb with pain, so I just kept moving forward. But, I also kept running.  I was also thinking of the original Dashing Dog that used to run with me.  She had passed away a month earlier from cancer at only 8.  I had a shirt made just for her to memorialize her.

I figured that I had pushed myself to get that far, what was 6.2 more miles? My pace dropped dramatically in those last 10k. However, at least the weather had improved just as dramatically. The rain had stopped and the sun came out. I was so exhausted and wet and in agony that I hadn’t even noticed the change in weather until I saw the beams of sunlight break through the clouds.

The 3:50 pace group passed me around mile 20, and every time I stopped to walk, I would look back and I could see the 3:55 pacer gaining on me. He eventually passed me at the last aid station. I decided that I was going to beat that group to the finish. I had the same experience two years earlier trying to beat the 4:30 pace group in. I gave it everything I had for that last mile, which at that point in the race resulted in an 8:40 pace. But I beat the 3:55 pace group by more than 30 seconds. I managed a 9 minute PR, and was over 35 minutes faster than the previous CIM.

Of course, my calf was done. I limped through the food line, saw my wife and kid, limped to my car, drove home, took an ice bath, rested and ate. The next morning, the lower half of my leg was purple and swollen. It hurt to touch it. I figured internal bruising. I emailed my doctor a picture of my leg and told him what happen. My doctor is an ex-Army Ranger and a triathlete, and he said to walk on it, take ibuprofen, and let him know if it isn’t better in 10 days. Then he congratulated me on running that race in such grueling conditions.


I love my doctor. He gets this running obsession.

Six days later, the Dashing Daughter was born, and six weeks after that, I had my vasectomy. So, I got 10 weeks off from running, and a great story about my third marathon.