3/22 – Women run from Oakland to Hawaii

We're going to Hawaii!

The winning Oakland marathon relay team!

On March 22, the Strawberry Canyon TC got wind of a rather tasty prize in the form of a plane ticket per athlete to Hawaii (and back I might add) for winning 4-person relay teams at the 2015 Oakland Marathon.

So the women brought some serious heat to this race as Megan (House of) Lang, Julia (sizzle and steak) Sizek, Olivia (undisputed Queen of the) Hill and Megan (Gonna run you into the ground and enjoy every second of it) Gentes lined up for what we expected would turn into a formidable nip-and-tuck battle with other clubs vying for the all-valuable plane tickets. Right? Errr….Wrong!

No one of note really showed up and the Fearsome Female Foursome beat all of the women’s teams, averaging about 6:10 pace on the hilly course. They also beat all of the men’s teams, much to the chagrin of the Strawberry Canyon men who stayed home (and will continue to do so as the women jet off to Hawaii).

So Aloha to the woman and Hasta Manana to the men, at least for this posting. :)

Results are at http://georesults.racemine.com/Corrigan-Sports-Enterprises/events/2015/Oakland-Running-Festival/results

3/21 – Johnny Mathis meet – barely over/under PRs

The Berries brought some talent on the men’s side to the Johnny Mathis meet at the speedy San Francisco State University’s Cox Stadium track facility. (The women were saving their ammo for the Oakland Marathon relay).

Opening up in the men’s 1500 was Jonathan McKinley (4:03.37) and Jeff Schaefer with a PR (4:03.45). In another 1500 section Emilio Flamenco PR’d in 4:44.36 and Matt Perez finished in 4:46.56.

Ryan Smith ran a very good 5000 in 14:59.34, a scant half-second or so over his PR, while Alex Battaglino scraped under his PR by a second (15:05.09). In a subsequent section, Ryan Lok ran 15:39.04, Colin Gannon PR’d by less than two seconds (15:44.98), and Bentley Regehr (now in Truckee) ran 16:07.15.

3/14 – Davis meet recap!

We had some strong performances at the UC Davis home opener track meet yesterday. Opening up was the women’s 5000, in which the weather was unusually cooperative, cloudy, windless with moderate temps. Megan Gentes was a machine and cranked out a 17:44,63, a PR by 12 seconds and improved her No. 3 on the club’s all-time list mark. She also finished third overall and beat some D1 runners. Megan Lang, despite working 60 hours last week and feeling its effects, hung on for a very solid early season 18:19.53.

The 1500s came up next for the Canyon and we had several runners. Jeff Schaefer debuted with a 4:06.72, and Alex Battaglino dipped under 4:10 in his heat with a 4:09.98. Ryan Smith went out a little hard (63s for three laps then hit the wall) and did most of the work. This caught up to him in the last 300 and he ran 4:13.07. Abraham Aldaraca had to hurdle a fallen runner and it threw his form off-kilter and he ended up running 4:17.03. Matt Perez improved on his CSU-Stanislaus time with a mark of 4:49 and Emilio Flamenco ran 4:51. Both of them went out a little hard and it caught up to them so there’s more upside.

Leonardo Valdez Ordonez was fighting something had an off-day in the 400, running 54.31. Ed Hill competed in the 800 finishing in 2:05.80 while Alex Battaglino ran 2:11 on tired legs from the 1500.

As the day wore on it climbed into the mid-80s, which presented a challenge on the shadeless Woody Wilson track facility. Olivia Hill ran the 3000 and cruised through it, unchallenged, in 10:37.85. Kimberly Sanchez ran a very gutsy and impressive race, the best of her life, literally battling with four other runners for the entire race, and pulled out a massive PR in 10:58.18. Great job, prez!

Colin Gannon competed in the men’s 3000 and the pace was sub-optimal for him – going out about ten seconds per mile faster than we would have liked. He hung in there and ran 9:19.85 in the muggy heat.

A good number of us also went down to the PA awards banquet in Los Gatos, namely Megan Lang, Kimberly Sanchez, Kate Ashley, Shellin Chuong, Naomi Wilcox, Julia Sizek, coach Carl and Keith Duncan. Members of the women’s team along with Keith claimed their well-earned and coveted awards.

 

On that topic – We may be asked to host that banquet next year so let’s keep that on our collective radar.

3/5 – Hot day in Redding for Masters & Kate

Six hardy folks ventured up to Redding and were rudely surprised by the unmitigated warmth of an unseasonably balmy morning. It was ideal for lounging around, BBQs, an easy jog, and tossing a frisbee around, not so much for an all-out long race.

Knowing we were in trouble with a 10 a.m. start and feeling perfectly comfortable without warm-ups, most of us still managed to go out too hard and melted down during the course of the race. Everyone felt like they were a good three or four minutes off of their projected times in what was deemed “by far the hottest Redding 10-mile race ever,” according to Chikara Omine of Excelsior. No argument here as it seemed to be pushing into the upper 80s at rest stops on the return drive home. Even the winner was ‘only’ 52 minutes and change which may be the slowest winning time on record.

Five oldsters from all parts comprised a ‘masters’ team, and Kate Ashley had the best race of the group, nailing a PR in rough conditions with a 1:12.50 despite not feeling all that great throughout. She’ll be ready to roll at Boston in six weeks.

Chafik Azerki made the trip from Mammoth and finished in 1:00.41, about three+ minutes off of where he was last year. Next across was Brian Gunn, who was hoping to break 65 and ran 1:08.27. When he called his 11-year-old son to update him on the race, Dylan, who is evidently not one to beat around the bush, quipped “What happened??”

Alan Dehlinger made the venture from Reno and finish four minutes off of his 65:00 goal with a 1:09.10. He was followed by new/former Pacific Strider senior Kevin Brunson in 1:09.36 – and they made the drive from Reno. Coach Carl was most definitely the caboose today as he started cramping up in his right calf for the last 2-3 miles and slowed down considerably. His last fond memory of the race was looking out across the river on the way back in and thinking to himself in all seriousness, “I could just swim over to the other side, drift down stream a couple of miles, and climb out at the finish.”

It was tempting but we needed five broken bodies across the line to finish, not four, so we did just that. It was a strangely warm day and I think we all learned the lesson about not going out too hard here. Sometimes it takes a little humble pie to reinforce these basic concepts.

So the team still manage to take 3rd overall and Kate actually did well, despite some rough patches in the race.