Runner of the Month: Margot Johnson

This month Margot Johnson takes the honors of being SCRR’s Runner of the Month! She is great to run with, and I recently ran with her on World Running Day. Here is a little more about her!

Where are you originally from, and how long have you lived in Orange County?

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to San Diego as a baby. We came to Orange County when I was in elementary school and have mostly been here since. I went to Sonoma State for undergrad, but moved back for grad school, got a job, and stayed.

What do you do for a living?

I am a special education teacher. I taught a moderate-to-severe class for students with autism for many years, but currently work for the California Department of Education. I do assessments for students with special education needs and travel throughout southern California supporting teachers in the classroom and providing trainings for educators. I also teach in the credential program at CSULA.

How and when did you start running, and how long have you been with the Roadrunners?

Growing up, I was a swimmer. As I got older, I found it hard to fit swimming in and thought running would be better because I could just run out my front door. So, I began running in about 2013 and joined SCRR around 2015 (I think?), when I was looking to meet people with similar interests. For many years, I’ve run just to run, not worrying about pace or race times. But over the last year, I’ve found myself making a conscious effort to push myself outside my comfort zone and I’ve been grateful for the club, as it helps motivate me (thanks!!). 

What is your favorite running memory or experience?

Running the Jack and Jill Half Marathon two years ago. It was the first race I’d traveled to and the course was beautiful – the perfect mix of running and mountains (two of my favorite things!) It was also very fun to get to experience it with a group of SCRR runners.

What is the best running advice you have gotten, or what advice would you give to a new runner?

When I first started running (and was struggling!) a seasoned marathoner told me that the first mile is always rough and to stick it out through that mile. 9 out of 10 times, it gets better. That has stuck with me over the years and has helped me get through that first mile (and out the door) countless times.

Margot Johnson backpacking with her boyfriend

It’s fun hearing about your rock climbing and camping adventures. Please tell us how you got started with those, and some of the experiences you’ve had and hope to have in the future!

I grew up car camping and decided to try backpacking about 10 years ago. I absolutely love being able to camp and get away from crowded campgrounds. A favorite trip was to Cone Peak, in Big Sur, about 4 years ago. It was a solo backpacking trip; there isn’t much that compares to getting to the top of a mountain knowing what you accomplished all on your own.I met my boyfriend, Justin, about 3 years ago and he quickly introduced me to climbing and canyoneering. I enjoy both because they present challenges and puzzles that you have to think through and problem solve to accomplish. And you get to see some incredible places that very few people have ever seen. We are hoping to do the High Sierra Trail next summer, which crosses through Sequoia National Park. 

What other hobbies or interests do you have besides running, climbing, and camping? 

I am an avid reader and home cook. I love trying out new recipes and experimenting with new, different ingredients. Given my work and travel schedule, the amount I actually get to cook varies, so it’s become more of a weekend activity. I wanted to list ice cream, but I’m not sure if that’s a hobby. Maybe more of an obsession.

Thank you, Margot! Good luck on all  of your future endeavors!

Interview by Cathy Blakesley

2018-2019 Grand Prix Winners

The Grand Prix is a competition where club members score points for running monthly races chosen by the club.  The points are based on each runner’s time compared to the world record in that distance for their gender and age group.  The program runs from July to June, and the best 9 of 12 scores are used.  Please report any omissions to Mike Friedl, the Grand Prix originator and database manager. The full Grand Prix results for all races are posted on our web site

Congratulations to overall winner Mike Connors!

10. Greg Hanssen, 9. Karine Parry, 8. Sarah Lee, 7. Cathy Blakesley, 6. Barbarb Eckes, 5. Steve Ireland (not pictured), 4. Mike Friedl, 3. Ken Atterholt, 2. Jeanie Leitner, 1. Mike Connors
20. Brion Talley, 19. Lillian Bertram, 18. Amy Katz, 17. Joanna Pallo, 16. Valerie Freeman, 15. Michael Tang, 14. Thomas Fung, 13. Victor Gambone, 12. Cathy Shargay, 11. David Schiller

Photos by Amy Dayao

Annual Recognition Banquet Highlights

Thank you to Nicole Herold for planning an amazing event!

Collage of photos from the annual recognition banquet
Volunteer of the Year, Nicole Herold; Outgoing board members, Thomas Fung, Lillian Bertram, Mike Pesonen, Sarah Lee, Michael Tang, Greg Minton, and Mike Bertram; Ideal Runners, Victor Gambone and Valerie Freeman; Most Improved Runners, Greg Hanssen and Joanna Pallo; Incoming board members, Michael Tang, Mike Bertram, Amy Dayao, Noreene Mitsuda, David Paul, Michelle Ren, and Greg Minton; President’s Award, Lillian and Mike Bertram
Photos by Amy Dayao

Recipe Corner

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers

By Amy Katz (Originally published on Veggies Save The Day)

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumber is a healthy and delicious summer dish. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Try this Mediterranean inspired salad as a side dish or light meal.

Grilled Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers


  • 3 ears corn grilled, kernels cut off the cob (See Notes)
  • 3 cups tomatoes roughly chopped (or halved or quartered if using cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 sweet onion (Maui, Walla Walla, or Vidalia) sliced
  • 1 cucumber sliced lengthwise, seeds removed, and sliced into half moons
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber.
  2. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Toss well to combine.
  4. Add the salt and pepper, to taste, and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.
  5. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.


If you can’t find fresh corn, you can substitute 2 1/4 cups of defrosted frozen corn for the 3 ears in this recipe.

To grill the corn, use one of the following methods:

  • Grill the corn on each side right in the husk. Remove the husk and silk once the cobs are cool enough to handle. Brush shucked corn with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap them in aluminum foil and grill on each side. Brush shucked corn with a little olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place directly on the grill and grill on each side until lightly charred. This is my preferred method.

Cover and refrigerate any leftover salad. Consume within a couple of days.

Treasurer’s Report

Total Cash Balance, Beginning $4,021.98
Cash Inflows $3,435.29
Cash Outflows-First Thursday $307.60 
Cash Outflows-RRCA Insurance
Cash Outflows-Banquet
Cash Outflows-Uniforms
Cash Outflows-Social Gatherings $2,965.42
Cash Outflows-Other
Net Change in Cash $162.27
Total Cash Balance, Ending $4,184.25

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