Member of the Month

Freddy Queen

Freddy Queen is one of our newest members, but he has many years of experience.  He is a self-described “Ten Miler constantly training for a marathon.” 

He has completed 45 plus marathons (20 Houston Marathons) with a P.R. of 3:18! His best running experience was the Jasper to Banff, Canada 180 mile relay. He had to run a 2:00 a.m. leg and realized that a Momma bear and two cubs that had looked friendly earlier in the day, from the car, looked a lot more scary while running. He was able to outrun them and is here today! He hopes to only run relay legs during daylight hours. 

Freddy helped our Senior Team-The Gentleman’s Club win second place at the recent HARRA Cross-Country Relay! 

Welcome to the ALRC Freddy!



Claudia Garcia Mankat

How did you get into running?
I got into running because of a coworker who invited me to run at the park after work.  I remember how hard it was to run half a mile and the park seemed like it had no end.  But I enjoyed the challenge and joined him on a few other runs.  I always felt great after a jog so I used it as a stress reliever especially after a test. I got into more "competitive" running after I
joined Coach Al's club.

Favorite place to train:
Memorial Park is my favorite place to run because I enjoy the people of Memorial Park.  I truly love our running community.

Favorite race:
My favorite race is the turkey trot.  Even though it has gotten pretty big it brings memories.  One of the first races I would jump in back in the day.     

Favorite distance:
My favorite distance is the 10 miler. Never too long or too short. Just right.

Race most proud of:
I was really proud of my first marathon which was Chevron.  I challenged myself to run it under 3:30 to qualify for Boston.  God completely blessed me and I finished it at 3:26.

Funniest, scariest, or most memorable running story
I think the scariest running story is being bit by a dog as I'm running by them on Memorial Drive.


Amy Kelly

How I got into running:  I was very shy growing up (and still a little shy). I loved being outdoors and especially running in the grass.   It started with 100 yd. dash in 5th grade.  "What? We get to run through the grass as fast as we can, against the boys, and I don't have to talk in front of people!"  We took off and I left all the boys in the dust, and all the girls except one.  It was exhilarating.  I could run, be pretty good at it, and not have to talk to people while doing it. 

I've loved running ever since. I ran all through high school. As a senior I got an invite to visit the track and field program at a small college, but the thought of being in front of and talking to people was too overwhelming for me. Over the years I've often wondered what it would be like to be coached past high school.  I thought it could never happen. Years later, Martha Hilton introduced me to  Coach Al and I got to train under him. As you all have experienced with Al, he pushed me past "that point"; I loved it so much. Well I am still shy and maybe will always be, but that’s ok because I'm still running and hope to always be running. 

Favorite place to run: Will always be with my dog and yes in the grass, through the the get the picture.

Favorite distance: Hmmm....all of them. 

Race most proud: 10k Turkey Trot in Beaumont Texas. I remember discussing with Martha Hilton that I wanted to improve my time from the year before. I had asked her if she thought I could pick up the pace the last mile. (Not experienced obviously) She said to pick up the pace at mile 3. I thought she had three heads.  "I can't keep that pace for the last 3 miles."

She said, "Just back off a little if you get tired."

Race day came, and I was nervous, of course, and eager to try this "new strategy." The gun went off. I did not wait for mile 3 to pick up the pace. (I was not thinking). I ran the pace at mile 1 that I had planned to run at mile 3. I thought I was going to throw up going into mile 2. That feeling eased up and I kept at it. That 10k was a monster P.R. for me.  The last 5k of that 10k was a P.R. for me as well. That day I understood what a negative split meant in a race.  All in one race. I would have never thought.

Favorite race: The Boston Marathon

Craziest races: I was registered for the half marathon in Franklin Mountains (first mountain race) and the night before a few experienced runners talked me into doing the 50k (first time). It was the most technical race I had done yet. I still can't believe I did it. 

Scariest: my first triathlon. Tri Raider Sprint Triathlon in Lubbock Texas. 

I had just spent a month taking swim lessons at age 38. I have had a fear of swimming for years but wanted to do a triathlon. I trained in an indoor pool and some outdoor. At packet pickup we asked the race director what the cutoff time was for the swim portion. He replied,"You are doing the sprint you will be fine."

The race started, I was immediately scared. One of the volunteers had her eye on me as I was the last one to get going. That volunteer in the kayak stayed with me and encouraged me the whole time. As long I did not grab the kayak I would not get disqualified. I somehow managed to finish the swim part and make it to the bank.  Huge tears came into my eyes and yelled, "I did it!" "I did it!" I finished the swim.  I just learned to swim a few months ago. The volunteers cheered for me and some gave me hugs. Well they took the timing mat up because it took me so long. I was so scared, swam slow but I conquered my fear. 

Funniest: Running HARRA relay at Spotts park. All the flag markers confuse me. I told a teammate I was worried I would get confused and take a wrong turn, cutting the course.  I did not want it to look like I cheated. Sure enough I took the wrong turn more than once. I got so confused and turned around. The volunteers directed me the right way. I found a way to add more distance to be sure I did not shorten the distance. It does not take much to for me get confused even on a well-marked course. That is just me. To this day I get overwhelmed by orange cones and course markings. Just give me grass and trees to run through. 

Family: Martha Hilton and my dog Bree. Martha has been the best supporter and encourager of my running. My dog Bree...well I could run with her every day in the grass and through the woods.

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