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.

4/1 Berry Seniority Rules at SacTown

Results Photos

by Thom Trimble

We’re not getting older… no wait… We are; but we’re not getting a heck of a lot slower! While our top seniors may all be AARP-eligible, that acronym must stand for Another Amazing Race Performance!

Four guys, all over 50 and all averaging close to 60 minutes for 10 miles. All without losing a single tennis ball off the bottoms of their walkers! This ain’t your daddy’s weekend stroll baby!

While the Berry Masters have typically been the headliners at most races, SCTC finally got a chance to flaunt their seniors. With enough 40-49 guys to handle the scoring for the masters, the 50+ guys were able to fly alone. Not only did they win by nearly 6 minutes they went 1-2-3-4 in the 50-54 division (double take!)

The SacTown 10 was truly a 10 as far as most races go. Not only was it pancake flat (maybe a couple small blueberries) and somewhat interesting view-wise, but mother nature brought her “A” Game too. Perfect weather, thank you ma’am. The top-flight fields egged everyone on to some spiffy times also. If it did not start and finish in the same spot you’d be guessing some tail winds or down hills had some part in the speediousity. Fast as in 47:37 for the winner, and 3 more guys in the 48s! First woman was under 57 also. Smokin!

As expected, the Berry Amazing Win Streak of the masters squad came to an end. Even with our top 5 guys we still had to bow down to a nasty, home-team Rebels squad. We would have squeaked out a second, with a couple 50s drop downs, but this day belonged to the ever-deserving senior team. Over 200 years of team at that! The masters still put up some good times, led by Jeff Mann’s club-leading 58:15. Matt Bogdanowicz, who rarely ventures past the 5K mark, nearly addeded a sub-60 shirt to his wardrobe; Running 10 miles in waffle racers (on a pancake course!) was “not a good idea”, Matt uttered after the race. Beats spikes.

Completing the 40-49 team, and all finishing within a minute of each other were Steve Kraft (62:17), Mike Singleton (62:48) and Bill Salacuse (63:11). This was Steve’s first PA race (non-relay) for the club since 2010. Mike got some payback on Bill after getting nipped by him at the 12K, but Bill was all smiles anyway, with a lifetime 10 mile PR!

The seniors were the story however. Tim Keenan took the gold medal in the 50-54 class with a great comeback time (59:07) from his disappointing NorCal effort. His main competition came from teammate Barry Smith, not far behind in 59:33. The third man on the team was a surprise – Chatham Ross – who has been on injured-reserve since the end of the 2010 XC season. This was Chatham’s first PA road race since 2006! Jeff Teeters was right on Chatham’s heels into the chute, to finish out the scoring team.

Other Berries not fortunate enough to sneak onto a scoring team included Dan Sivolella (63:19), Thom Trimble (64:39), coach Carl Rose (67:44) and Joerg Herbrechtsmeier (76:26).

1 Strawberry Canyon TC, 4:02:14
20 Points ($150)

Tim Keenan, 50 – 0:59:13
Barry Smith, 52 – 0:59:39
Chatham Ross, 53 – 1:01:38
Jeff Teeters, 52 – 1:01:44

4 Strawberry Canyon TC, 5:07:34
14 Points

Jeff Mann, 48 – 0:58:21
Matt Bogdanowicz, 43 – 1:00:57
Steven Kraft, 48 – 1:02:17
Michael Singleton, 41 – 1:02:48
Bill Salacuse, 44 – 1:03:11

More photos at:

The Blues Brothers – Kraft, Sivolella and Ross


3/9 – Romp at the River! Berries Bury Field at NorCal10

They resumed where they left off; the Berry Masters increased their road win streak to five with an decisive win at the NorCal 10 Miler.  The first race of 2012 was in Redding, and unlike most winter events this riverside jaunt was done in overly warm conditions.  With temperatures in the 70s and a nice breeze the times were comparatively modest when lined up against previous results.   SCTC fielded an 8-man squad, hoping to piece together a respectable masters and seniors team.  Approximately 300 runners toed the line for the 10 mile event, but not a huge contingent of PA runners.  Despite a pre-reg roster which listed several of the top age-groupers, many did not show.  This made the club’s task a bit easier.

Short-distance specialist Jeff Mann took the lead early for the Berries, with Tim Keenan and Jeff Teeters not far behind.  Next came Alan Dehlinger and Mike Singleton (who drove up that morning from Modesto!).  Thom Trimble and Bill Salacuse, both running their first PA race in nearly a year, tagged along behind at about 6:30 pace.  Oh yeah, then came Bill Reed, testing out his newly-50 legs.  Newly-50 is the new 40!

Mile 1-ish Bridge and Path

Mile 1-ish Bridge and Path

The first three miles are rolling to flat and included a very scenic view of Mt. Lassen (the only kind there is, if you think about it), along with a trip across the Ribbon Bridge.  The warm weather made the cool tumbling waters of the Sacramento River below look quite enticing.   By 4 miles the fun and sightseeing was over as the course shot up a sizable hill.  Mann continued to lead with Keenan and Teeters in tow.  Reed was moving up quickly, yet politely.  All four were under 6 minute pace at halfway.  Mike, Alan, Thom and Bill S. followed in that order as they traversed the 1.5 mile residential loop.  Mann, the short-distance specialist was reminded of why it was his specialty when his calves began to complain.  Tim took the lead for the club, briefly, before he realized he might have gone out a smidge too fast for such semi-sweltering conditions.   And then alonnnng came Jeff T.  Much like the Republican Primary, with it’s a whack-a-mole leader of the moment, there was yet another front man.  Teeters’ term as club top gun was also brief, as smart-starter Bill Reed took the wheel of the victory express on the return leg.

Bill held the #1 spot to the finish, just missing the 1 hour mark (60 minutes is the new 55!).  Teeters was less than a minute back with a sub-61 while Tim and Jeff M finished shortly thereafter to give the team four men under 63 minutes.

Ribbon Bridge

Ribbon Bridge - 3.5 and 7 miles

Thom eventually caught and passed Alan, but Mike held him off to garner the 5th and last scoring spot on the masters team.  The winning masters team as it turned out.  Mike finished in the mid 66s while Thom just missed skating in under 67 (stupid clock!).  Alan was another minute back followed by Bill with a 70 minute effort.

Since there were no strong contenders in the masters field (or even weeny contenders to be honest), SCTC was able to drop Tim down to the 3-man senior team and allow Bill to score on the first place 40+ squad.  The 1.5x points race gave the masters a 15 point tally, while the 3-man senior squad scrounged 5th(behind all 4-amn teams) good for 9 points.  Both teams faired much better than the 2011 team, which saw the masters in 3rd and no senior team (No Points for YOU!).   More betterly, the arch-rival masters teams (Ags, WVJS, River City) were not able to scare up enough old farts to make a team, giving the Berries an excellent head start to another season title.   Knock on wood  (it’s the new steel!)

It’s legit…uh huh!

NorCal 10 Course Map