Rockin the Twinsburg Du

June 2, 2013 
Twinsburg Duathlon

Before the start The Grunt Girls rocked the Twinsburg Duathon today. Not only did the girls look great in the new uniforms, several captured second and third places finishes in their age group.


Our newest member, Jessica Flynn placed third in her age group, 30-34, with a time of 1:14:22. This was Jess’s first race in quite some time – way to go Jess!

KIM Z Finish

Kim Zepp really put it all out there. Her hard work and dedication to training paid off today, she placed second in here age group, 35-39, with a time of 1:10:01. Nice job Zepp!

Julie with Bobble

Julie Buckeye won her second Twinsburg Duathlon bobble head. She placed second in her age group with a time of  1:09:56. Yay Julie!




Kristen Tarase (1:37:50), Beth Madis (1:20:33) and Paty Popovich (1:20:43) finished the Twinsburg Duathlon strong and with great times too. Nice job GGs!

The girls had support from their teammates Jen Dietrich, Amy Schultz, Elizabeth Sosan, Carolyn Billick, and Stacy Rhea. Ladies  thank you for being there to cheer on your fellow GGs.

Shattering the Silence on Sexual Abuse

Registration is open for the third annual Shatter the Silence.
Read more about the event below. 

Race date: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013
Time: Day of Registration – 5p – 6:15p
Race start: 6:30p
Course: 2-mile (Ledges Trails) and 6-mile (Ledges Trails plus Pine Grove) course on the Ledges Trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A detailed course map will be added June 10, 2013. 


The Ledges Trails are some of the most scenic in the area. Whether you are running or hiking, you will enjoy every moment on the trails. 


Shattering the Silence on Sexual Abuse
By Mary Anne Klasen 

For most people, wearing a purple shirt has no significance. For some participants of Shatter the Silence on Aug. 16, it will be momentous.

The third-annual, seven-mile trail race benefits the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties. In 2011, race organizer and Grunt Girl Racing co-founder Stacy Rhea gave runners an option: Select a white shirt to signify support for the cause. Select a purple one to let others know you’re a survivor of sexual abuse and ready to “shatter the silence” attached to one of society’s biggest secrets.

As a survivor, Rhea knows how important it is to acknowledge the past.

“Opening up about what happened freed me,” she says. “Hiding it took energy. I now share my experience in hopes that it will free others.”

Offering participants the choice to wear purple (the color of the crisis center’s logo) is one big step toward shattering the silence.

“When we offered the option of white or purple, I was surprised how many people were willing to wear purple,” Rhea says. “Several of the Grunt Girls stepped up and joined me. I had no idea more than a handful of the girls on the team were survivors.”

Megan Flanigan was one of them. And it wasn’t an easy decision. Flanigan serves as mayor of Grafton in addition to working as a manager at General Plug and Manufacturing

“I chose to wear a purple shirt because I felt it was time to stop hiding from my past,” says Flanigan, who turns 31 on July 8 and has come a long way since being raped in high school. “I had fought many years keeping this to myself and in doing so I was unhappy and not facing those demons that would creep back into my life periodically.

“I have learned to own my past; it is what made me into the person that I am today,” Flanigan adds. “Wearing the purple shirt was empowering.”

Similarly, wearing purple wasn’t easy for Zach McCardel, a 31-year-old computer programmer from Mount Vernon.

“I had no problem revealing my secret to strangers, but my sister was running the race with me and she didn’t know,” says McCardel, who was assaulted as a 6-year-old by an extended family member. “In the end, I thought it was important for people to recognize that this problem affects men, too, and in far greater numbers than you think.”

The numbers are startling. According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), someone in the United States is sexually assaulted every two minutes. One out of every six American women, and one out of every 33 men, has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his/her lifetime, according to the Medina-Summit center.

Dana Zedak, director of community relations for the crisis center, says events like Shatter the Silence are important both for survivors and for her organization.

“While going public isn’t required for people to heal, it is a good tool,” Zedak says. “It lets people say, ‘I’m not to blame. I didn’t do anything wrong.’

“Considering the statistics, we all should become more aware of the problem, get involved and speak up because we’re all going to have contact with a friend, a sister, a partner in our lives – or ourselves – who is a survivor,” she adds.

Last year’s contribution of about $500 doesn’t sound like a lot, but Zedak says it’s sorely needed.

“We’re getting less and less money from grants and foundations, so we really appreciate events like this,” she says.

Flanigan, McCardel and Rhea agree that speaking out is important. They also agree that Shatter the Silence is a great way to come together and, well, shatter the silence.

“It’s an empowering experience for survivors, but it’s also a fun, friendly, supportive environment for all runners,” Flanigan says. “I encourage everyone to come out and run with us, become empowered by breaking your silence or come out to have a good time on the beautiful trails with really happy people.”

“It’s a beautiful trail,” McCardel adds. “They’re beautiful people. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening outside.”

Shatter the Silence Trail Race starts at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the Ledges Shelter in Peninsula. For more information and all race details, visit

Special thanks to our sponsors: Fleet Feet Sports, Century Cycles and North Coast Multisports

Cloudy skies an…


Cloudy skies and rain did not deter participants of the inaugural Trails N Treads short course off-road race from putting their skills to the test on a semi muddy trail race. 

The next race in the Trails N Treads race series is the long course at West Branch, August 25. For all the details, click here. 

Demo / course preview August 11 at West Branch. 

This is a great opportunity for riders and runners to not only check out the West Branch course, but also test run the latest Salomon trail shoes on the course, compliments of Fleet Feet Sports. 

Mountain Road Cycles will have a few demo bikes on hand to test ride too. And we just might have some other fun stuff, give aways and such. 




Second Annual Project Night Night

One of the premises behind Grunt Girl Racing is giving back to the community. The Grunt Girls do this several times throughout the year.

One such giving is Project Night Night. After purchasing and gathering  blankets, books and stuffed animals the girls gather to stuff canvas bags, which are purchased for the nonprofit organization, Project Night Night.

Once the bags are stuffed, they are delivered to several women’s shelters in the area such as Haven of RestDomestic Violence Shelter, in Cleveland and Summit County.

In the coming months, Grunt Girl Racing will team up with Fleet Feet Sports and Century Cycles to host a PJ night run and PJ night ride. We did the night ride with CC last year. It was a blast seeing everyone wear their PJs. We were able to collect several blankest and stuffed animals.

Look at all the great stuff that was either donated, or purchased by the Grunt Girls.

New Year Resolutions

GGR New Year’s resolutions, fitness edition
The start of a new year is a clean slate. I [Jennifer Dietrich] asked some of the GGs what their fitness goals are for the 2012 season, and here’s what they had to say. Like me, I’m sure you’ll be very impressed with the gusto of our girls.

Gale Connor: “To master heart rate training, do my first 24 hour run, first 50 miler, and first 100K!”

Amy Maddock: “My 2012 fitness resolution is run a 10K trail race and do a biking tour.”

Jen Dietrich: “My fitness resolution is to improve my biking performance in the triathlon and to train even harder for my first Olympic distance tri this August.”

Teresa Stanek: “My main resolution is to build more muscle and stay lean and healthy. Like a lot of us, I also want to improve my biking and swimming for triathlon season, but as long as I am strong and healthy, I think it will all work out.”

Beth Madis: “I hope to drop 20, add swimming at least once per week (so that I can enjoy the tri’s instead of solely opting for du’s), and do core training specifically designed to keep stress fractures away!”

Melissa Looney: “My 2012 fitness resolution is to establish a consistent training regiment to help me focus on increasing my trail running endurance and distance, getting out on my bike more than in 2011, and to add regular strength training to my routine.”

Diana Leroux-Woolf: “My fitness resolution is to be even more Diva-licious than last year by extending my running mileage comfort zone.”

Lee Conor: “I resolve to not get myself so over-trained and over-race this year that I wind up having to spend 2-3 weeks doing almost nothing in order to recover.”

Frankie Smith: “My 2012 resolution is to continue to get help for my depression and try to get back the person I was before the suicide of a friend and my breast cancer.”

Elizabeth Sosen: “My 2012 fitness resolution is to do yoga/Pilates at least once a week.”

Andrea Chisnell: “My two weaknesses are swimming and road running. So, in 2012 I plan to be faster on the road, running a 1/2 marathon in February and …conquering my fear of swimming and participating in more tri’s this year.”

Jill Malusky: “Mine is to be as consistent as possible with my training and stay strong – no slacking off! I want to be able to complete ultra trail marathons more comfortably.”

Shelly Ferdon Breeden: “My new year’s resolution is to manage my work time and allot more time for training. This year I would like to commit my efforts to perform better.”

Jessica Maas: “My 2012 resolution is to be more BADASS & up my cross training game.”

Lydia Heemstra: “My 2012 fitness resolution is to stick to my training plan while starting school.”

Kate McConkey: “My 2012 fitness resolution is to get back to 100%, no more injuries and work on more endurance training.”

Megan Flanigan: “Complete full marathon, more water, more yoga, and control over my body fat percentage; ride bike from my house to Rocky River and back – hopefully some peeps will join me.”

Christ Petryszyn: “In 2012, I am going to run my first ultra and run a 3:20 marathon. I also plan to explore other activities such as yoga, rock climbing and backpacking to add some variety into my athletic life.”

Karen Ryan: “My 2012 fitness resolution is to keep healing this body by keeping restorative, low-impact forms of fitness such as yoga, walking and Pilates in my routine year-round.”

Race Results: Run S’more 5K

The S’mores: Sara H., Christa P.,  Jennifer D.,(Lil Red: Andy) and Gabe B.

Sweetest Day, Oct. 15, 2011 began, for a select couple hundred, with the
sweet smell of chocolate in the air. On the property of
Harry London Chocolates and Fannie May,
Grunt Girl Racing hosted the inaugural Run S’more 5K.

The idea for Run S’more began after a winter run last year.
The Grunt Girls wanted hot cocoa after their run.
Over lunch, and a hot cup of hot chocolate, Run S’more was created.

Grunt Girl Racing and Harry London Chocolates/Fannie May
would like to thank all whom participated and supported the race.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit One of a Kind Animal Shelter.



Maggie’s Place 9K
Saturday, Aug. 27

Maggie’s Place is a community that provides houses of hospitality for expectant
women who wish to achieve their goals in a dignified atmosphere.
Following Catholic social teaching, we recognize that we are responsible
to and for one another. We challenge each other to strive toward personal growth,
to welcome the gift of every person that enters our door, and to promote positive social change.

In this way, we celebrate and provide for the next generation.

Register today


Take a look at Maggie’s FB page