Liberty Athletic Club

The Oldest Women's Running Club in the U.S.


Liberty Running News

November 9, 2014 

At the USATFNE cross country championships, Liberty AC was the first team for Women 50+, 60+, and 70+.

October 15, 2014

Jan Holmquist’s 5K time of 22:16 at the Syracuse Festival of Races 5K not only is a pending American W70-74 5K record (awaiting formal ratification by the USATF Records Committee in Anaheim in December), but it also surpasses the listed 5K world record for W70-74, previously held by Louise Gilchrist of England (

Superlative does not say enough!

October 5, 2014

Jan Holmquist, 70, set a pending American 10K Record for women 70 to 74 at the National Masters Syracuse Festival of Races 5K Championships, running the 5K in 22:16 and surpassing the previous record by 61 seconds.

September 14, 2014

Jan Holmquist, 70, set a pending American 10K Record for women 70 – 74, at the Lone Gull 10K, running a net time of 45:45, surpassing the previous record by more than three minutes.

June 16, 2014

Mastering Running (publisher, Human Kinetics) by Coach Cathy Utzschneider was released on June 24th. Personal and scientific, Mastering Running includes training plans for the mile to the marathon. Interviews with champion runners, doctors in various specialties, and other health care professionals are included in every chapter. Liberty runners are among those included. The book is available on Amazon and at bookstores.

May 10, 2014

Boston Area Runners In Their 70s Are National Champions

Boston-area residents Carrie Parsi, 75, and Charlene Francis, 73, won their age groups in the 10K national masters championships last week-end in Dedham. Their times were stellar. For example, Parsi’s time of 55:18 equates to a blistering 33:45 10K were she in her twenties, according the USATF age grading calculator. Parsi and Francis are both members of the first women’s running club in the country, the Liberty Athletic Club, known for its many legendary members including Joan Benoit Samuelson and Lynn Jennings.

Parsi and Francis are among many masters runners – those over 40 — whose numbers are growing exponentially. For example, 1976 28% of U.S. road race finishers were 40 and over. That jumped to 35% in 1990 and then again to 40% in 2011. A growing percentage of them are women. In 1992, 7.7% of U.S. road race finishers were women 40 and older. That jumped to 19% in 2011.

Addressing the interests of masters runners is a new book to be released on June 18th, Mastering Running, a book for male and female runners 35 and older wanting to improve their times in the mile to the marathon. (It is one of the few books written by a women for men and women runners.) The book includes training programs as well as insights from legends like Bill Rodgers as well as distinguished Boston-area doctors and masters champions from their forties to their seventies. Joan Benoit, Willie Banks, and Amby Burfoot are among those who have praised the book.

Head coach of the Liberty Athletic Club and a professor of physiology and aging at Boston College, Dr. Utzschneider (B.A. Middlebury College, M.B.A. and Ed.D. in Human Movement at Boston University), has coached masters runners to 46 national masters championship titles, 3 world and 6 American age-group records, and 3 world age group gold medals. She is a multiple masters track and field champion herself.

A frequent speaker about performance and goal achievement, Cathy will be speaking about Masters Running with Runners World editor Amby Burfoot at the Heartbreak Hill Running Festival at Boston College on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.

Cathy is married with two children and lives in Brookline.

Feb. 15, 2014
Congratulations to Jan Holmquist, 69, for being named the number runner among women 65 to 69 by Running Times!
Congratulations also to Carrie Parsi, 75, for honorable mention among women 70 to 74 by Running Times!
Also, among the age-graded masters road race rankings, Jan took 5th and 6th place among best performances in the 5K and 8th place among best performances in the 10K!
Jan and Carrie — we are supremely proud of you!!
🙂 Liberty and Coach Cathy
December 14, 2013

Liberty AC is proud of our member Jan Holmquist, 69, who just named USATF Masters Long Distance Runner of the Year among women 65 – 69!

Congratulations, Jan!


August 27, 2013

Congratulations to Jan for the OUTSTANDING #1 Ranking below!!

W65–69, #1 Ranking, 2013 Intermediate Masters Long Distance Runner Of The Year 

1.      Jan Holmquist (68, MA)

5Mile Patriots’ Day                             35:29

Feb. 10, 2013

2012 Masters Long Distance Road Runners of the Year

With the Masters LDR rankings being on the USATF website, we have made a few modifications.   Foreign athletes will not be ranked.   Also new this year is the Average Age Grade, which is calculated using the top four races for each ranked runner.

As always, our prime criterion is Age Grading.   We also take into consideration the number of races run, the diversity of distances, head-to-head competition, and the presence of regional/national prestigious races and championships, where strong competition is likely to be found.

1.       Jan Holmquist (68, MA) Average AG: 98.79%
5km Run for All Ages                              21:14

Honorable Mention: Susan Gustafson

Congratulations Jan H. and Sue G.! 

Jan Holmquist Named Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS – Jan Holmquist (Burlington, Mass.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the 65-69 year old age group at the USA Masters 5 km Championships in 21:19 at the Syracuse Festival of Races.At 68 years old, Holmquist’s performance received an age-graded score of 101.15, more than five points ahead of her nearest competitor.“I was absolutely ecstatic when I finished,” Holmquist said. “When you train hard for a target race and exceed your expectation, it is just so rare. To do it there with so many great people, it was wonderful.”Holmquist began running at 38 years old and began racing seriously during her 50’s, but recently took several years off from competitive racing.“I went to Syracuse last year, and I had just started racing after a couple of years off,” Holmquist said. “It was just awesome because of the race director, Dave Oja, and all of the volunteers. They made it such a great experience that I wanted to go back.”While breaking 22-minutes was a goal for Holmquist, it was not her only motivation in running.“I know some people go after records, but that is not my main motivation,” Holmquist said. “My motivation is really to get race directors to recognize older runners in five-year age groups, and it makes me feel so good when I inspire younger runners to continue racing. Keeping people fit longer is the ultimate goal.”Now in its 11th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.2012 Winners: January 5, Landon Peacock; January 11, Kirubel Erassa; January 18, Shalane Flanagan; January 26, John Nunn; February 1, Gunnar Nixon; February 8, Jenn Suhr; February 14, Jillian-Camarena Williams; February 22, Brycen Spratling; February 28, Chaunte Lowe; March 7, Eric Broadbent; March 14, Ashton Eaton; March 21, Jeanne Daprano; March 27, Wallace Spearmon; April 3, Trevor Barron; April 9, Kevin Castille; April 18, Brittney Reese; April 25, Amy Sproston; May 2, Leo Manzano; May 9, Stephanie Brown-Trafton; May 16, Allyson Felix; May 23, Nick Hartle; May 30, Kimberlyn Duncan; June 6, Jessica Cosby and Meghan Vogel; June 13, Jesse Williams; June 20, Shelby Ashe; June 27, Ashton Eaton; July 4, Allyson Felix; July 12, Christian Cantwell; July 18, Gunnar Nixon; July 25 Evan Jager; August 1, Denzel Harper; August 15, Allyson Felix; August 23, Reese Hoffa; August 29, Carmelita Jeter; September 5, Matt Tegenkamp; September 12, Aries Merritt; September 19, Ben True; September 26, Willie Banks; October 3, Jan Holmquist
March 2013
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