Selden Hills Warriors live for the uphill battle- Newsday article

Selden Hills Warriors live for the uphill battle- Newsday article

This article appeared in the September 5, 2018 issue of Newsday’s LI Life section

By John Hanc

Special to Newsday

Quadriceps pumping, breath labored with each agonizing step, the four runners — three men and a woman — made their way up the hill. Leaning forward into the steep grade, they looked like human slash marks arrayed along the margins of a page as they ground their way to the top.

After about three-tenths of a mile, they reached the summit and paused momentarily, gasping for air. The tidy ranch houses lining Rosemont Avenue were silent witnesses to their uphill battle — and their panting from the exertion was the only sound on this quiet Sunday morning

Kevin “K.C.” Brett, a 58-year-old runner and triathlete from Port Jefferson Station, gestured out to distant smudges of blue and brown on the horizon. “In the winter, you can see Fire Island from here,” he said.

Click here to read the full article on Newsday.com

Saturday Spotlight- Jon-Michael Frisch

**SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT** BOOM!
Jon-Michael Frisch aka Jonny Colorado
I grew up in Miller Place and graduated MPHS in 1994. In 1996, I was invited to live at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs while playing on the US National Badminton team. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled all over the world, while getting to live in Europe and Asia doing something I enjoyed. After hanging up my racquet, I graduated from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a Communications Degree which got me to where I am right now. I always enjoyed running and pushing my body, especially through the beautiful scenery of Colorado. In 2013, I moved back to LI to help out with family. I always appreciated running, but developed a love for it after Alisa Lynne Fernandez introduced me to the Selden Hills Warriors Running Club. I am grateful to her for the introduction and to Lou LaFleur and KC Brett for creating and maintaining such a welcoming environment. And of course to Rick Secor, who is my bitch, for keeping me on my toes. I’m 41 years old and I am “Killin’ it!” I currently work for Smithhaven (where everyone’s savin’) Mazda and Mitsubishi in sales. I get up and get after it every single day, running the hills as often as I can, living just a short distance from the course with my girlfriend Lisa and our two pugs. Being involved in this group, I am more motivated than ever to live life to the fullest! I have gotten out of bed at all hours of the morning to run with both friends and people I don’t even know and I am thankful to each and ever member of this group for that motivation!

jmf

Saturday Spotlight- ShaeLee Diaz

Name: ShaeLee Marie Diaz
Age: 41 (my kids say I’m eternally 36)
Married to: Michael Diaz
Kids: Bobbi Amaris Diaz (she’s BAD) – 16 (soon to be 17) and Michael Edward Diaz – 15
Occupation: Administrative Assistant

So you want to know something about me. Ok, maybe you didn’t but Lou picked me to be WoTW so you’ll learn something anyway. Na-na-na-na-na-na. Just kidding, stay awhile, why don’t you? Read more

The Battle of the Selden Hills Warriors & the Seven Beasts- featured on longislandpress.com

This story was published on longislandpress.com, written by our own Jamie Franchi after the Run for the Hill of it Race. 

They call themselves the Selden Hills Warriors.

If you ask me, the word “warrior” gets thrown around a little too casually these days. This isn’t Sparta. We don’t wear armor or battle with swords. These are mostly corporate folks, after all, running in their spare time. Athletes, certainly. But warriors? Let’s just say I had my doubts, right up until I pulled into the parking lot that now houses a brand new Aldi’s on Middle Country Road, where runners crowded around a light pole marked with a Selden Hills sticker, their starting point for the most treacherous running course on Long Island.

Behind my sticker-less minivan, athletes decked out in matching red gear stretched their limber bodies, readying themselves to tackle the nefarious “Hills of the Seven Sisters,” the steep mounds that mark the tough terrain of this 10k course, known to these runners as “The Seven Beasts.”

“These are serious runners,” I texted my friend Mike “Chicken” Butitta, a runner whose boundless energy and enthusiasm for every single thing in the world, especially these hills, piqued my curiosity back when my running sneakers were safely in my closet, collecting dust. “I’m not getting out of my car. Let’s go to IHOP instead.”
Chicken has been a Hillbilly (as they call themselves) since October 2013. At first, he ran to take off excess weight and to get in better shape. He runs local races with his wife (and my friend) Kelli, setting achievable goals and then smashing them. But something about the Hills calls to him. Later I found out what.

Alas, that Sunday morning, Chicken didn’t have his phone with him, and would not receive my text until long after I’d finished the 6.2 mile run and was icing my sore knees on my couch at home. That turned out to be a good thing, because as delicious as Nutella pancakes are, had I turned away from the Selden Hills running group that morning, I would have missed out on a life-changing experience with some of the most incredible people living right here on Long Island.

“I love all the inspirational stories that people on the Hills have and I love that so many are just nice,” he texted me later when he had his phone. “Some of the best people I’ve met anywhere. They are so supportive at races or anywhere you run into a fellow Hillbilly.”

Humble Beginnings

Lou LaFleur, director and organizer of the Selden Hills Warriors, doesn’t have a long history of running. In fact, it wasn’t until 1999 when he was 43 years old and saw a sign for the Shelter Island 5k hanging in the post office where he worked as a federal agent that he decided to try it out. It was a tough race, but he was hooked. He currently competes in approximately 50 races per year and serves on the board of directors for the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC).

By 2010, LaFleur was looking to increase his times with varied training: track work, some tempo runs, long runs. He’d read in Runner’s World that running on hills provides a complete training. The only problem? We live on a flat island.

Or do we?

Click here to read the rest at longislandpress.com!

Family Fun Night by Maureen Vollaro

What an AWESOME night! I am overwhelmed with appreciation for all the people that volunteered and attended! Such an amazing group of people you are! Do you know how special you are? Do you know what amazing athletes you are? The energy at this event was unbelievable!

Some of my highlights of the night (getting the idea that I like to make lists?)
1. Lou: order 7 pies
Lou: order 10 pies
Lou: We are going to need 18 pies! And get carvel flying saucers too!
2. People from our group that I don’t know thanking me for organizing the event
3. Multiple people saying to me: “We have a good turnout”
4. People asking me if I am going to do it again next year (the answer is yes)
5. Meeting the family members of the folks that I have been running with this past year
6. Seeing all of the kids participating
7. Getting to chat with the spouses of folks I have been running with this past year
8. Kristin’s uncle asking me if he really was the oldest at the ripe age of 75. Then going on to ask me if he I agreed that he looked good for his age, which I agreed, he did!
9. My son approaching me and saying: “Mom you did a good job, I think it was a big hit!”
10. My daughter approaching me and saying: “Mom this is great”

Selden Hills Amazing Race Recap by Michelle Berg

Selden Hills Amazing Race Recap by Michelle Berg

Each time I think a Selden Hill event can’t top a previous event, I’m wrong. Todays event will certainly be one to talk about in years to come.

When I heard there would be a SHW Amazing Race scenario in our beloved trails, my first thought was “nope.” I’m not outdoorsy, I don’t like dirt and besides Robs Run, I’ve never ran in trails. When I found out I didn’t have to work on the day of the AR, I figured, why not take part? How hard could it be? I should face my fears of being dirty and possibly contracting Lyme disease. Lou and his team of mad people created a route as well as placed team markers throughout the course. The objective, get all your team markers and win win win. 8 teams of fun, fast and fierce folks were assembled.

No surprise Jaime and I were paired. Read more