Racers bolt from the start of the MH Marathon
The course offers hills for your enjoyment
Stalwarts ready to roll for miles
Bihama Vedaste wins Morgan Hill Marathon in 2:49
Author poses with winners: Sean Curry and Shannon Hoyle
Moms Run This Town chill after the race
In this season of the San Francisco Giants dominating
major league baseball with a third World Series title, another fall
classic delighted sports fans in the south valley.
The 5th Annual Morgan Hill Marathon didn't disappoint
the hordes of athletes who ran the marathon, half and 5k that chilly
Sunday morning on November 2nd.
The 3.1-mile competition seemed innocuous but The Hill
lurking in the middle of the course surprised many a racer. Sprinkled
among the pack were young girls decked in yellow tees with the words
Mini Mermaid Running Club festooned on the front. These miniature
whirlwinds of energy zipped up the hill, encouraging folks with their
San Jose's Randy Tanaka, 32, won the 5K with 21:12
trailed by John Vu, 20, in 21:25 and Nick Froumis, 36, who took third
Morgan Hill's Shannon Hoyle, 16, from Live Oak High won
the women's division in 23:20; Katelyn Chu of Los Gatos, 12, followed
in second with 23:36 and Gilroy's Kelly Ramirez, 52, rounded the top
three with 23:43.
Hoyle remarked, "It was cold so I had to push myself a
little harder . . . there was this little girl like in purple and she
came pretty close to me and I just said 'don't let her pass me' and I
kept running as fast as I could."
Ramirez said, "It was a lot of fun. I like watching the
little mermaid girls come out and run. I think it was a great
opportunity to show how they are choosing to live a healthy lifestyle."
The half marathon was no wimpy ride. Hills a plenty
awaited the wary racer; mercifully the route flattens out after Mile 9.
San Jose's Nick Scalfone triumphed in 1:15:09; Robert James, 30, of
Santa Cruz arrived second in 1:22:01 and Morgan Hill's Tom Roberts, 47,
got third in 1:23:24.
Hollister's Abel Bedolla, 38, chased his buddy Sean
Curry, 46, of Salinas for miles. They both crossed the finish in
1:25:16 and placed in the race. "Sean is a beast like a machine,"
Bedolla joked. "He's always pushing me. Today was awesome!"
Curry ran the Zombie Marathon in Los Gatos the day
before while sick. He said, "The whole weekend was good. I'm happy.
Kicked this flu in the butt I came back stronger."
Gilroy's Gar Chan, 60, ran this event since its birth
five years ago and finished in 1:55:27. "Great race, good support,
fantastic fans and runners were wonderful. I love the finish and
burritos at the end."
The women excelled too. Obstetrician Kari Bertrand, 43,
of Gilroy smoked the competition with 1:28:00. Sarah Meyer of Santa
Cruz, 33, got second with 1:29:54 and Sacramento's Tamara Torlakson,
28, earned third with 1:31:48.
"It was challenging because it is a hilly course.
Overall I felt okay but I felt my age . . . " Bertrand chuckled. "I
still enjoy running but it's hard knowing your fastest times are behind
you." She ran in the 2004 U.S Olympic Team Trials Women's marathon in
St. Louis, Missouri.
The big 26.2 not only featured hills galore but the
distance itself was daunting and the finishers earned bragging rights.
Bihama Vedaste, 24, of San Jose who originally hailed
from Rwanda Africa conquered the beastly course in 2:49:49 winning the
race. Joshua Grub of San Jose took second in 2:57:41 and Gilroy's Jose
Cruz nabbed third in 3:00:23.
Vedaste said, "Physically I was strong but when these
two guys showed up and I had to decide to take off ahead or I'll end up
losing." He referred to Grub and Cruz who trailed him from Mile 3.
Vedaste is shooting for the Olympics in 2016.
Morgan Hill resident Zachary Abrams, 20, took second in
his age group with 3:08:57. He said, "I did ten minutes faster than I
expected. Going out on the first half is really nice because you're out
by Uvas Reservoir. They have a good start time at seven in the morning
so that it's not very hot when you're out by Mile 20."
Sarah Hallas, 35, of Santa Rosa seized the women's title
with 2:54:00. Morgan Hill's Tiffany Pereira, 40, snagged second with
3:25:11 and Fremont's Sarah Joe, 45, grabbed third in 3:45:39.
A popular athletic group-Moms Run This Town arrived with
thirty members. Several from Morgan Hill raved about their experience
at the race.
"I PRd, it was awesome!" Briana Monaco, 34, who ran the
half in 2:09:50 said. "It's a beautiful course . . . the hills could
kind of get you but just stick with it and you can make it through."
Anita Azevado, 34, finished in 1:57:46. She explained,
"Was a good run . . . mile 9 to 11 on Hale Avenue was straight tough
but we trained on this course so I knew that."
Naomi Herrera, 35, covered the distance in 2:03:02
chimed, "The weather was perfect not too hot. Friends and family we saw
on the course was a good motivator."
"All the volunteers were wonderful and the pacers
were amazing," said San Martin's Maggie Stukas, 33, who covered 13
miles in 2:07:50.
Alicia Julian, 33, also from Morgan Hill ran the race in
2:19:48. "Running keeps us healthy and active so we can chase our kids
around," she said with a smile.
Photos courtesy of Alheli Curry and Angela Young
Happy half marathoner at the finish
Summer is behind us with all its picnics, parties,
vacations and visits to Santa Cruz Beach and fall racing season is
What better way to shed the unwanted pounds of potato
salad, Tri-tip sandwiches and Coca Cola adorning our middles as fat
than a gorgeous run through the countryside?
It's time to dust off our running shoes and gear up for
the Morgan Hill Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd. Racemine Inc.
will host again footraces in varying distances: The full marathon,
half, and 5K plus a Kids Run on Saturday, November 1st.
From elite runner to the newbie they all toe the line
ready to experience the thrill of the run.
The breathtaking scenery and hills, which are plenty,
emboss an indelible memory for all participants. The organization of
race directors Greg and Debbie Richards and their crew at Racemine make
the event a smooth ride every year. The friendly volunteers add the
icing on the top.
For the last three years the marathon was held in
October but to avoid the typical Indian summer heat and competing with
the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco, Racemine switched the
race to early November. The cooler temps make running easier especially
for a hilly course.
After going the distance you will receive a cool custom
medal once you cross the finish line. Race champions can look forward
to taking home a special treat. Race Director Richards says, "Strike
brewing company is a new sponsor and has designed special bottles for
Morgan Hill Marathon winners, along with Morgan Hill Cellars that
provide custom Champagne bottles for the first place winners."
Don't miss the opportunity to run or walk the beautiful
course by signing up ahead of time because there isn't any race day
You can register at the Lifestyle Expo on Friday or
It's free and open to the public at the Morgan Hill
Centennial Center. The hours are Friday October 31st from 1 pm to 6 pm
and Saturday November 1st from 10 am until 5 pm. Participants will also
receive a tech race shirt with unique logo commemorating 5 years as a
premier long distance race.
You may also register at http://www.mhmarathon.com or go
The Morgan Hill Marathon is a family-friendly event
attracting athletes far away as England, Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya. Be
a part of this special south valley tradition and you won't regret it.
Photos taken by Alheli Curry
Annual Rock 'n Roll San Jose Half Marathon
The start line on Almaden
Boulevard at the
Rock N Roll San Jose
Half Marathon 2012
Runners stream underneath
rocker inflatable on race course
Sergio Reyes of Palmdale
sprints through downtown
Daniel Tapia leads in 2012 race
Chillin' with 49ner Roger Craig
and elite runner Daniel Tapia
Get ready to bust a move with thousands on the streets
of downtown San Jose in early October at the Rock 'N' Roll San Jose
Half Marathon and Mini Marathon.
Competitor Group, Inc.'s event offers a 13.1-mile
rockin' ride or a 5-miler for those who aren't ready for the half
If you're hankering for a race with fanfare, music and
costumed folks in Elvis outfits then this is for you. There's a band
every mile and cheerleaders along the course giving high fives to
What set this event apart from other races are the
crowds. Hearing the roar of the masses as the runners bolt from the
start line catapults the experience to a stratospheric level. I'm
talking non-stop, rock concert frenzy. The energy carries runners all
the way to the finish line.
Last year former San Francisco 49ers running back Roger
Craig, three-time Super Bowl champion and race co-founder said, "I'm
really excited about this race because it's been the largest ever out
of the seven years I hosted this race. It's growing, which is great."
In 2012, the Mini Marathon debuted and sold out. The
five-mile distance is a great way for people to whet their feet in
racing. They get the perks of a big race including a cool medal at the
Timothy Vego, 43, of San Jose won the Mini Marathon in
29:53 and Mariana Rivera, 38, also a resident of San Jose, won the
women's division in 36:49.
Justin Baraona, 13, from San Jose ran the Mini Marathon.
He took second in his age group with 37:20."It was pretty fun how you
run through block after block in downtown. I do pretty well in the
flats," Baraona said.
Carmen Santoya, 47, of Morgan Hill ran five miles in
51:16. Santoya said, "It was my first race. I didn't know what to
expect. The bands were entertaining; they kept me going, and I never
Simon Bairu, 29, from Oregon won the half marathon with
"It was a great course," Bairu said. "The competition
was tough from the get go, which was what I wanted. For me it was
really getting ready for the New York City Marathon at the end of the
Sergio Reyes, 30, of Palmdale snatched second in 1:03:31
and Scott Bauhs, 26, from Danville took third with 1:04:29.
Bauhs explained, "It was kind of tough. I didn't feel
very good out there, but I toughed it out. Both Sergio and Simon were
pushing the pace pretty hard."
Daniel Tapia, 25, from Prunedale, took 6th overall with
1:05:44. Tapia said, "I felt really good coming into the race; my
training is better than ever. I thought I was in good shape to run a
Clara Horowits Peterson, 28, from San Anselmo was the
top female finisher in 1:12:52.
The fun doesn't stop after crossing the finish line at
Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park. The headliner group Atlas Genius plans to
rock the masses at the post-race concert.
Photos by Alheli Curry
Madonna Challenge: Not for Wimps
Runners ready to tackle the hills
at Mt. Madonna Challenge
Scenic 6K course at
Mt. Madonna Challenge
Bihama Vedaste won the
Mt. Madonna Challenge 30K
What do you get when mixing dirt, sunshine, hills,
trees, sweat, joy, and a great workout? The triumph of conquering a
mountain! The 38th Annual Bill Flodberg Mt. Madonna Challenge beckons
you to push beyond your physical limits on Saturday, August 24th.
The late Bill Flodberg, an avid runner, spearheaded The
Challenge with his group Gavilan Joggers and Striders but then passed
the baton over to the South Valley Running Club six years ago. Race
director Kim Moyano and crew are gearing up for another successful
turnout this year.
Athletes will prove their manliness in the hilly
distances: 6K, 12K, 18K and 30K. Many devoted trailblazers are ready to
tackle the hills this summer. The Challenge is also part of the Trail
Runner Trophy Series.
Although the 6K is only 700 feet in elevation gain, it
certainly isn’t a wimpy ride. The bumpy terrain kicks butt just like
the longer trails in the race.
Despite the calf-killing climbs, the mist covered
mountains and panoramic views make the trip enjoyable. The circuitous
terrain of the 3.7-miler tested the mettle of each runner. The top
winners made this look easy.
Andrew Walgren, 15, of Santa Cruz shot through the
finish in 30:24.
“It was really hard, I tried to ease my way up the hill
and hammer the last part.” Walgren said.
Karlie Hemeon of Gilroy, 24, won the women’s division
with 36:05. “This was my first time running this course. I thought it
was really fun.”
Now let’s double the distance, add 1,100 feet in
elevation gain and you get the 12K.
Modesto’s Michael Singleton, 42, won the 12K in 1:00:16.
Singleton remarked, “I totally forgot how those uphills were. They
Nina Giraudo, 45, of San Jose nabbed the girls’ top spot
in 1:16:31.“I would do it again next year. I love the trails,” Giraudo
You think that’s arduous try the 18K monster with higher
elevation gain of 1,800 feet. These tough dudes conquered it.
Eric Palmer, 28 of Monterey won in 1:30:27. “I like
hillier races in general. This was one of the hardest races I ran.”
Kate Flexer, 40, of San Jose blazed the trail for women
in 1:59:29. “It was great. I was thinking, take a hike and run a little
bit,” she explained.
The Big Kahuna distance—30K with 2,900-foot elevation
gain debuted at last year’s race. These stalwarts slew this beast with
Bihama Vedaste, 22, from Rwanda, Africa, won the Mt.
Madonna Challenge with 2:26:10. Vedaste said, “My goal is to do the
best I can. I’m preparing for a career as a professional marathoner.”
Jennifer Hsiaw, 24, of Los Altos snagged gold with
3:48:51.“I thought I was going to quit after the first 12K but I
regained my energy on the downhill.”
Will you be there to challenge the defending champions
at Mount Madonna at Sprig Lake this year? We dare you!
Photos by Alheli Curry
Fall is in full swing with the San Francisco Giants
sweeping the World Series and the 3rd Annual Morgan Hill Marathon
blessing the south valley with another successful race. South Valley
Endurance hit a home run with this competition last Sunday.
Runners from far away as Great Britain toed the line at
the Centennial Recreation Center (CRC) at 7:30am just as dawn broke.
The weather wasn't chilly. Instead the temperature became balmy,
soaring to the low 80s during the race.
The hilly, scenic course makes the suffering worthwhile
plus the delicious Super Tacqueria chicken burritos waiting for hungry
races at the finish line festival. A new distance made its debut in
2012, which was the 5K. The route wasn't flat and had a baby hill in
The winners of the 3.1-mile race bolted toward the
finish at the CRC with Andrew Bergholz, 38, shutting out the rest in
20:45. San Josean Nick Froumis, 34, grabbed second in 20:54 and San
Jose's Justin Baraona, 13, took third in 21:00.
"It was a beautiful race, great venue, very well
organized," Bergholz said. "It's cool outside, the sun is shining, and
it's Sunday morning you can't go wrong there."
Baraona added, "It was fun and interesting. There was
only one hill, it was an easy hill. Most of the course was flat."
After Baraona zipped past the finish, Amanda Williams,
26, also from San Jose won the women's division in 21:14. Annie
Bergholz, 37, of Morgan Hill got second in 21:26 and Molly McNamera,
35, of San Jose won the bronze in 24:55.
"This was a great morning to run. I didn't feel it this
morning. I didn't run as fast as I wanted. I'm just out here to have
fun." Bergholz said.
The leaders of the half marathon blazed their way to the
end of the race with King City's Jesus Campos, 27,dominating the pack
with 1:10:29. He didn't expect to win the race. Campos said, "It was a
tough course, I'm getting ready for the Fresno Marathon next weekend. I
didn't have pressure in the race. I just came to get a good workout, a
Ivan Medina,26, of Hayward grabbed the silver in 1:10:57
and San Jose's Chris Smith, 26, took third in 1:15:40.
Zach Abrams, 18, of Morgan Hill took 8th overall and
first in his age group with 1:27:57. "I did really good. I wasn't
expecting to go that fast. Near the end I surprised myself by pushing
it. It was a struggle-the last two miles. The flat part gets to you
after you've done the downhill; your legs are destroyed."
His father Allan Abrams was a pacer for the 2:00 group
and finished in 1:59:40. Abrams remarked, "I paced the 2 hour-half
marathon, we came under at 1:59:40. And we brought a group of eight or
ten runners, they all made it under two hours. I really enjoyed it."
The women blazed the path in the 13-miler with amazing
times as well. Carrisa Jacomini, 24, from Rocklin won the gold in
1:34:33. Calina Snyder, 44, of Pacific Grove took second with 1:36:34
and Saratoga's Kathy Claus, 60, took home the bronze in 1:37:43.
"This is my first half marathon ever. It was amazing. I
met some friends on the trail, it was awesome," Jacomini said. "I love
hills. I train on them."
Marcia Ribiero, 45, of San Jose crossed the finish line
in 2:26:15. Ribiero shared, "I felt like I was going to be the last one
getting in here at the finish. What most impressed me was the fresh
smells of wood burning from chimneys, the sun rising above the hills,
and the shady parts on the course. It reminds me of my childhood home
Morgan Hill's Maria Bruhns, 38, was happy with her
13-miler finish in 2:41:19. "I did great. This is my second year doing
the half. I did five minutes faster than last year. I was thinking to
walk up the hill on Oak Glen and Willow Springs but I cruised through
those pretty easily," she said.
Running the marathon is tough; imagine adding hills and
heat to the mix. Yet Tony Torres, 43, of Cedar Glen made running 26
miles look like a sprint. He won the race overall in 2:33:49. "
San Jose's Bihama Vedaste, 22, originally from Rwanda,
Africa, nabbed second place overall with 2:49:16. This was his first
marathon. "I'm thankful to God for a good finish. The first half was
tough, my feet was tight. But in the second half I felt good. At mile 9
my legs are tired, oh let me shut down for a few seconds but in my
mind: 'Sean Curry is behind you man' so I took off again." Vedaste
Scott Reisdorf, 32, of Livermore completed the marathon
in 2:56:00 thus rounding the top three in the race.
Sean Curry, 44, of Salinas won second place in his age
group with 3:23:09. He ran with a pinched nerve in his back. "As I was
going up the hills, I said, 'Oh that hill isn't so bad and I think it's
the top.' But I kept repeating myself a lot. None of them were too bad
by themselves but there were a lot of them. I figure because of my hip
injury that 3:15 would be my best time today but I got 3:23 instead."
Chris Jones, 40, from San Francisco ran 26.2 miles in
3:09:17. This was his 50th marathon in less than 52 weeks. "I have a
few injuries, I think I got a major issue with going on with my foot.
Even if I have a hairline fracture, it's not going to stop me from
running. You can run through a broken bone. I have a friend who
finished a 100-miler with a broken foot and did it in a boot. It's
about how bad you want it and your threshold for pain," Jones explained.
The top three female winners of the marathon were
Farmington's Jasmine Sessions, 31, who nabbed first place with 2:56:18;
Monica Zhuang, 39, of Livermore got second in 3:13:44, and Mary Nguyen,
17, from San Jose snagged third in 3:19:53.
Volunteers at the finish line party and on the
racecourse are extremely important in making the athletic competition a
success. How can people run these long distances without aid stations
along the way? Aid Station 15 manned by Mana Fit near mile 24 handed
out food and energized the straggling runners with zippy Latin music as
they climbed upward on Main Street.
The Morgan Hill Marathon, half and the 5K is a winner
with runners and walkers alike. It's definitely a fall classic that
will be with us for years to come.
Photos by Alheli Curry and Angela Young
Annual Morgan Hill Marathon Around the Corner
Runners zip past Mile Six
during last year's Morgan Hill
Marathon and Half
(All photos by Angela Young)
Author with Mayor Steve Tate
before the race
Author with John Munene,
3rd place marathon winner
Britons Dave Pearson and Lesley
Fisher after running 26 miles
A good sign: 26 Mile Marker
The fall racing season is in full swing. People are
gearing up for the upcoming 3rd annual Morgan Hill Marathon and Half on
October 28th. Because we live in a beautiful, scenic area training for
this special event is a privilege. The crisp fall weather is ideal for
long runs on weekends and track workouts during the week.
What is new this year is the 5K race added to the race
menu for those who haven't trained for a full marathon or half or is a
newbie for running. Whatever the reason, the 5K is perfect for folks
who don't have time to run or walk more than three miles or so.
The start line for all distances is at the Centennial
Recreational Center. It's best to get there pretty early since parking
is limited at the CRC due to the set up of the race. The 26.2 and 13.1
races begin at 7:30am and the 5K at 7:45. All distances finish at the
CRC near the dog park.
South Valley Endurance is working hard with the City of
Morgan Hill to make the Morgan Hill Marathon a wonderful experience for
everyone. I did the 13.1-miler last year and loved the bucolic backdrop
mile after mile. My favorite part was running the hills near the
reservoir. SVE picked a great course; it beats a city road race any day
of the year!
One of the nice features of the Morgan Hill Marathon is
the crew of volunteers. Without them the race would be a disaster.
Behind the scenes the volunteers make the experience enjoyable for both
the race director and the runners. Morgan Hill resident Jody McRoberts
is the volunteer coordinator and a member of the South Valley Running
"It's rewarding to know that the work I am doing is
helping to make this big event run smoothly. It's great to see
everything come together on race day," McRoberts said. "South Valley
Endurance does a great job with their events! They treat the runners
and the volunteers well. (Even the volunteers get food on race day!
Once again, it will be yummy burritos.) They don't cut corners, and I
think the runners really appreciate that."
The Morgan Hill Marathon is part of the CA Marathon
Series so if you ran either the Pleasanton Half Marathon, Norcal Half
Marathon and 5K or both and plan to do the marathon, half or 5K you
need to register with SVE to let them know so they can give you a
special medal for doing more than one of their events out of that
Many fun things are planned for this race including the
finish line festival with delicious hot Mexican food and other healthy
goodies for the participants. The slots in all distances are filling up
so don't wait until the last minute to sign up. Go to
www.mhmarathon.com to register.
Last year Jose Morales of Turlock won the 26.2 in
2:29:59 and Suet-Fei Li from Hong Kong was the top female finisher in
3:14:27. Miguel Nuci also of Turlock won the half in 1:07:51 and
Lindsay Nelson took the gold in the ladies' division with 1:20:21. Who
will be the reigning champs this year? The prize money is pretty good.
Below is the schedule for the Morgan Hill Marathon. See
you bright and early on Sunday, October 28th!
San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half
Marathon & 5-Miler
Photo by Alheli Curry
Left to right:
Justin Baraona, John Baraona,
Angela Young, Carmen Santoya
Elite runners race in downtown
Photo by Alheli Curry
Downtown San Jose
Photo by Alheli Curry
Angela with 49ers Champ
Roger Craig and elite runner
Photo by Alheli Curry
Last weekend packed a wallop of entertainment - San
Francisco Giants postseason baseball at AT&T Park, Fleet Week,
49ers football and the seventh annual San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half
Marathon in downtown San Jose.
Perfect weather for the half marathon and the debut of
the mini marathon five-miler attracted 14,000 to toe the line on Santa
Clara Street. These devoted fans of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series
loved the 13-mile party.
The sea of runners waited for the gun to go off. The
spectators roared as we ran down the street and the energy from them
fueled us for the entire race. Each mile featured a band with a
different flavor of musical style, while cheerleaders gave many a
runner a high-five or shouted encouragements.
The half marathon and mini marathon course split at mile
four with the shorter distance runners streaming toward the left and
the others toward the right.
The festive atmosphere and food at the finish made it
all the more sweet. Nearby, the headliner Matt Nathanson rocked the
masses at Plaza De Cesar Chavez Park.
The 5-mile top male finisher was Timothy Vago, 43, of
San Jose, who won the mini marathon in 29 minutes, 53 seconds. Mariana
Rivera, 38, of the same city won the women's division in 36:49.
Justin Baraona, 13, from San Jose ran the mini marathon.
He took second in his age group and 16th overall with 37:20.
"It was pretty fun how you run through block after block
in downtown. I like how there aren't any hills. I do pretty well in the
flats," Baraona remarked.
His aunt Carmen Santoya, 47, of Morgan Hill ran the same
distance and finished in 51:16. Santoya said, "It was a new experience
for me and my first race. I didn't know what to expect. The bands were
entertaining; they kept me going, and I never stopped running."
In the half marathon, the elite male racers zipped past
the finish with Simon Bairu, 29, from Portland, Ore. winning the race
overall in 1:03:28.
"It was a great course, great atmosphere," he said. "The
competition was tough from the get go, which was what I wanted. For me
it was really getting ready for the New York City Marathon at the end
of the month."
Sergio Reyes, 30, of Palmdale snatched second in 1:03:31
and Scott Bauhs, 26, from Danville took third with 1:04:29.
Bauhs explained, "It was kind of tough. I didn't feel
very good out there, but I toughed it out. Both Sergio and Simon were
pushing the pace pretty hard."
Clara Horowits Peterson, 28, from San Anselmo took first
place as the top female finisher in 1:12:52.
Daniel Tapia, 25, from Prunedale nabbed 6th overall in
the 13-miler with 1:05:44.
Tapia shared, "I felt really good coming into the race;
my training is better than ever. I thought I was in good shape to run a
fast time; I was a leader for five miles then they started to move
along a little bit farther from me."
Former San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig,
three-time Super Bowl champion and race founder said, "I'm really
excited about this race because it's been the largest ever out of the
seven years I hosted this race. It's growing, which is great."
Alan Simmonds, 49, from Morgan Hill ran the half.
"My wife and I run four or five half marathons every
year and this is always our favorite, with the Morgan Hill half running
a close second." Simmonds said, happy about his personal best of
"I have run this race every year since it started seven
years ago, and fully intend to continue," his wife Bernadette, 51,
added. She ran it in 2:29:37.
Beth Deloria, 46, from Greensboro, N.C., ran 13 miles in
1:59:14 with the Allard USA leg brace.
"My condition is basically having paralysis of the ankle
and partial paralysis in front of my leg. Without this on, my foot just
drops. Anytime I get to the starting line I feel like I won the race. I
loved every minute of it, because of the crowds, because of the bands,
which takes my mind off the pain of running."
Running Man Arrives in Gilroy, Talks with Patch
This article ran in The Gilroy Patch
on 04October, 2012
Shadrack Anderson takes a
pit stop along his route
After my interview with Shadrack
Left to right:
James White, Angela,
and Shadrack Anderson
(All photos by Angela Young)
The warm, garlicky breezes embraced the exuberant but
calm Shadrack Anderson and his faithful friend and crewmember James
White on Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson, 65, is at the tail end of a 500-mile journey
running backwards from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Originally from
Hawaii, Anderson relaxed after running from Prundale to Gilroy on
Wednesday. They camped overnight in their Cruise America RV in the
Plaza Gas Station parking lot near Monterey Road and Highway 101.
He shared stories of his amazing journey with the Gilroy
Patch from his resting place on Wednesday.
What was your itinerary for today?
I started in the city of Prunedale this morning. Seven o'clock this
morning I started running and I stopped at 3:10. That's a full
Patch: What is
your typical breakfast during your run?
morning I had a bowl of oatmeal, two bananas. I had what I call
scrambled yeggs, which are onions, tomatoes and tofu. I had a piece of
gluten free bread with some almond butter on it and some apricot jam.
Patch: What do
eat when you're running backwards?
don't eat when I run but I use shots by one of my sponsors - Cliff Bar
shots and Dr. Niedermaier antioxidants. I drink 9.7 PH water from
Essentia. I actually run on spirit.
Patch: What do
you mean running on spirit?
truckers pass me and blow their horns, it makes me feel energized just
for another person to acknowledge that someone has saluted them and I
get to salute back. So the spirit is between two people. It's an
exchange between two people. You make me feel good, I acknowledge you.
I acknowledge you, you make me feel good. That's basically what I run
Patch: So that's
what keeps you going mile after mile after mile.
Anderson: I had
a guy in Prunedale come out of a bar. He watched me for half a mile. He
came out of the bar with a cold bottle of water and a cold towel. It
was very hot yesterday. This man handed me the cold towel and said, "I
like what you're doing." That's the kind of thing that energizes me.
Patch: Where do
Anderson: I run
on the side of the freeway. You got a white line that separates the two
lanes. Basically that's a bike path. It gives me ten to twelve feet
where I can run legally. The CHP has been absolutely great. They always
know I'm there because they phone ahead and the CHP knows I'm coming. I
take the side roads they tell me to take until I'm outside of town.
Patch: Do you
ever look back when you run?
always observe, constantly looking to the right and to the left. To
observe my terrain, to observe if there's any obstruction. I have to be
constantly aware what's behind me because it could change any moment.
Patch: Do you
ever run at night?
Anderson: On the
freeways and interstate highways only during the day. I get up at
sunrise so the truckers can see me, otherwise I'd be road kill if I
didn't do that. I do run at night when I'm in the cities on the city
streets. I have to do that when I get to San Jose and San Francisco.
Patch: Do you
plan to do more of these runs after San Francisco?
chose this run to begin a beginning. It's not going to end. When I get
to San Francisco it just begins. I do have more planned. It's going to
happen around the globe, actually. It's amazing how resilient we can be
as human beings.
What do you think of Anderson's backwards run? Pretty
amazing that he's doing this at 65, right? We're happy he made it to
Gilroy and had time to talk with us. Tell the Gilroy Patch what you
think in the comments!
NorCal Race: Fast & Furious Fun
Nor Cal Half Marathon and 5K
Photo by Alheli Curry
Author runs in Nor Cal
Photo by Alheli Curry
Near the finish line
Photo by Alheli Curry
Mile 13 in the race
Photo by Angela Young
Sean Curry holding his prize wine
Photo by Alheli Curry
Racemine of Morgan Hill hosted the 2nd annual Nor Cal
Half Marathon and 5K in downtown San Jose on Sunday. Everyone toed the
line on Santa Clara Street near the HP Pavilion at 7:30 am in the cool
Construction and logistics in downtown prevented a full
marathon this year. However, a new distance--the 3.1-mile was added.
Next year endurance athletes will get to enjoy the 26.2-miler again.
The miles flew by on the flat course. For some reason I
expected another mile, and there was the finish line. The race ended
right when I warmed up!
The 5K winners blasted their way to the finish at the
Arena Green area with Austin Hallahn, 37, of Santa Clara winning
overall in 20:49.
"I moved over to America three months ago . . .. I would
take up the running and this is my third 5K," remarked Hallahn who
emigrated from Ireland. "It was perfect cloudy-people are calling it
cold, I find it a good Irish summer."
Sonora's Camden Wilson, 16, came in second with 21:01.
Matt Kucera, 22, of the Czech Republic grabbed third in
21:47. "The conditions were great. I loved it. The people here are
amazing," Kucera said.
Gabriel Ramirez of Salinas, 38, nabbed second in his age
group with 22:16. "It was wonderful. I've been at other races and the
weather was too hot for me," Ramirez stated.
Elizabeth Ramirez, 42, also from Salinas, was the first
5K female finisher in 22:48. "It was really easy," Ramirez said. "I
encourage anyone to give running a try. It's always a nice challenge
and you feel good afterwards."
Unbeknownst to me, I won second in my age division in
33:00 and missed the announcement while I was talking to the other
winners. Adult age division winners took home a bottle of wine and the
younger ones got a Sports Basement certificate.
The racers of the half arrived at the finish. Andrew
Demas, 28, of Los Altos shut out the pack in 1:15:25 conquering the
"About mile 9, after the big hill, I started getting
tired. It was harder to sustain a 5:45-6:00-minute mile pace. My toe
started whacking into the front of my shoe and I tried to ignore it. My
foot got so bloody and it was very painful," Demas shared. I shifted my
gaze to his feet. Bright reddish stains were spreading from the tip of
his white shoes. I sent him to the medical tent.
Second place winner, Casey Strange, 48, of Campbell
breezed through in 1:17:12. "I really like the course. My first race of
the year. I was pleased with my performance," Strange added.
Adam Little, 38, won the bronze in 1:17:30.
Salinas resident Sean Curry, 44, took second in his age
group with 1:23:12. "I feel really good today. I watched the leaders
and knew I was in the top ten. I conserved a little bit of energy for
the end. I tried to stay ahead of Stephanie Kato."
Stephanie Kato, 24, of San Jose tailed Curry and was
female overall winner in 1:23:19. "I was not expecting to win at all. I
was actually hoping for at least a 125. It was a PR. I was excited
about that," Kato said.
Jessica Wittmayer, 37, won second overall.
Kiyoko Ikeuchi, 35, of Mountain View was third female
overall in 1:32:51. "I'm with the running addicts (a pacing group), the
other pacers cheered for me," she enthused.
Fremont's Rebecca Yi, 38, achieved third in her age
bracket with 1:36:36. "This is all part of my training. I'm aiming for
fast times in the Chicago Marathon in two weeks," she explained.
Manuel Haro, 33, from Gilroy enjoyed his race and
completed the half in 1:53:53. "It was nice, flat and fast. It wasn't
crowded as other races."
Morgan Hill's Zachary Abrams, 18, won silver in his age
category with 1:28:47. "I did really good. It was way easy. No hills,
just little bumps. Nothing serious," he said.
His father Allan, 55, pace leader for the two-hour group
finished in 1:59:17. "I ended up with about six or eight runners at the
end. We all got under two hours," Abrams explained. "It was successful."
For race results go to http://www.svetiming.com.
experience it all at Mt. Madonna Challenge
Page 1 of the article in
Page 2 of the article in
Page 1 of the article in
Morgan Hill Times
Page 2 of the article in
Morgan Hill Times
Bihama Vedaste wins the
Mount Madonna Challenge
Photo by Alheli Curry
(L-R) Bihama Vedaste,
Allan Abrams RD,
and Jennifer Hsiaw
Photo by Alheli Curry
Andrew Walgren wins 6K
Photo by Alheli Curry
won his age group
Photo by Alheli Curry
Eric Palmer wins the 18K
Photo by Alheli Curry
Sean Curry conquers 30K
and takes second
Photo by Alheli Curry
Jennifer Hsiaw bolts to finish line
Photo by Alheli Curry
Racers charge steep hill
Photo by Alheli Curry
Ready to rock the hills
Photo by Alheli Curry
Winners of the 12K: Michael
Singleton & Nina Giraudo
Photo by Alheli Curry
The author runs
toward the finish
Photo by Alheli Curry
Grueling hills, sweat, joy, tears, bees, dirt, gorgeous
scenery, mist, cool temperatures and fresh mountain air greeted 177
hardy runners Saturday at Sprig Lake in Gilroy during the 37th annual
Bill Flodberg Mt. Madonna Challenge.
The event grabbed the attention of athletes from around
the area, including a refugee from Africa. Overall winners in the 6K,
12K, 18K and 30K received unique ceramic vases instead of the
Before the 8 a.m. start, winds swirled around the
shivering participants as race director Allan Abrams and Bill
Flodberg's widow Sheila shared a few encouraging words.
At the start, despite the freezing weather, I was more
concerned about the monster hill awaiting us in the tree-lined trail. I
ran this course before and knew what to expect so I chose the 6K route
with the shortest elevation gain. It was only 900 feet.
"A wimp run. No biggie," I lied to myself.
When Abrams shouted "go," everyone bolted forward
sending dust into the air.
The mountain goats in front charged up the hill like it
was flat. Not so for some, including me who struggled on the steep
grade. This was the first slope of many during the race.
Despite the calf-killing climbs, the mist-covered
mountains and panoramic views made everything enjoyable. The circuitous
bumpy terrain of the 6K tested the mettle of each runner but the top
winners made this look easy.
Andrew Walgren, 15, of Santa Cruz shot through the
finish in 30:24.
"It was really hard. I tried to ease my way up the hill
and hammer the last part," Walgren said. "The downhill was steep. I
fell once or twice."
Gilroy's Karlie Hemeon, 24, took first place in the
women's division with 36:05.
"This was my first time running this course," Hemeon
said. "I thought it was really fun."
Justin Baraona, 13, of San Jose took first place in his
age category with 34:01.
"It was fun," he said. "There were a lot of hills."
Imagine, doubling the distance with more inclines.
That's what the stalwarts in the 12K faced. Modesto's Michael
Singleton, 42, won the 12K in 1:00:16.
"I totally forgot how those uphills were," Singleton
said. "They killed me. It was strategic racing, you didn't want to go
out too fast."
San Jose's Nina Giraudo, 45, nabbed the top spot for the
women with a time of 1:16:31."I would do it again next year," she said.
"I love the trails."
The robust competitors in the 18K deserve kudos as well.
Eric Palmer, 28 of Monterey, blazed the trail in 1:30:27.
"I like hillier races in general," he said. "It started
on a hill. Right away, I was tired. This was one of the hardest races I
San Jose's Kate Flexer, 40, despite suffering stomach
cramps during the race, was the first female to finish with a time of
"It was great . . . I was just running for fun. I was
thinking, take a hike and run a little bit," Flexer said.
Morgan Hill's Zachary Abrams, 17, who got his running
gene from his father the race director, took second in the 18K with
"Running is really fun, really awesome," the younger
Abrams said. "It's a good way to get rid of stress. To be out in the
wild, trail running. Everyone should try it."
The 30K distance, with its impressive 2,900-foot
elevation gain, debuted at this year's event. The toughest of the
tough conquered the mountain during this race.
Bihama Vedaste, 22, from Rwanda, Africa, won the Mt.
Madonna Challenge by finishing with a time of 2:26:10.
"My goal is to do the best I can," he said. "I'm
preparing for a career as a professional marathoner ... On a road race,
my average (mile) pace is 5:05 to 5:10."
Salinas' Sean Curry, 44, took second, finishing with a
time of 2:38:10.
"That guy (Vedaste) passed me in the first 6K," he said.
"I did get to see him a little bit on the downhill. He made me feel
like I was going down like an old man," Curry joked.
Structural engineer Jennifer Hsiaw, 24, of Los Altos
took first for the ladies by finishing with 3:48:51.
"It's good to get out of the office," she said. "I
thought I was going to quit after the first 12K but it helped to regain
my energy on the downhill. I could keep going."
• For complete results go to http://www.svetiming.com.
Angela Young is a free lance journalist for South Valley
Newspapers and is passionate about the running world. She's been a
runner for over a decade and loves to write stories on seasoned
athletes, weekend warriors, newbies, races of all distances on paved
roads and off the beaten path. She likes to include the wild and crazy
and as well as the most serene in her stories. Send her an e-mail
Angela @ The Fathers Art . com.
Madonna Challenges You To A Race!
The 6K hilly course
Shaded paths at Mt. Madonna's Sprig Lake
The summer is more than halfway over and school is in
session. That means the autumn foot racing season draws nigh. A Gilroy
tradition-The 37th Annual Bill Flodberg Mt. Madonna Challenge beckons
hardy racers to toe the line in the dirt on August 25.
The late William Flodberg, a passionate runner,
spearheaded the race. Then he handed the event over to the South Valley
Running Club five years ago.
"Bill Flodberg and his running group from Gilroy used to
organize the race. There are only two members left and they keep to
running the flats. However Flodberg's widow Sheila is at the
start of every race and is an active volunteer," said Allan Abrams race
director and member of South Valley Running Club.
"I've only run this event once and that was about 15
years ago. I remember running the 12K and it kicked my butt!"
Due to the nature of the location, the capacity for all
fields is between 250 to 300 participants. Parking at Sprig Lake is
limited, so get there early. However, Fortino Winery offers shuttle
service to the start for overflow parking.
This race isn't for the cowardly. If you like steep
terrain, manzanita and oak lining the unspoiled mountain paths then
this athletic challenge is for you. The race features a 6K, 12K, and
18K but recently added a longer distance for those who can't get enough
"Trail running is trending towards longer and longer
distances. Most of the races around the bay area include at least four
distances from 5K up to 50 miles. Runners are looking for bigger,
greater challenges. With miles of excellent trails at Mt. Madonna we
decided to add the 30K and see what level of interest we have," Abrams
These are the winners from last year's race. You may run
(pardon the pun!) into them at the challenge coming up:
6K Male - Hector Figueroa, 27:47
6K Female - Natalie Mazaud, 37:33
12K Male - Raymond Rodriguez, 59:53
12K Female - Linda Rosenband, 1:14:06
18K Male - Sean Curry, 1:27:54
18K Female - Tracy Christensen, 1:57:49
The challenging terrain attracts hardcore trailblazers of all
abilities. The elevation gain in all distances is as follows: 6K-700
feet, 12K-1200 feet, 18K-1900 feet and 30K-3100 feet. But don't let
these gently rolling hills freak you out.
Abrams added, "Even though all four courses are
challenging the trails are wide, soft and mostly tree covered. So
when it's 90+ degrees in Gilroy, the race starts off with a low, cloudy
mist surrounding the hills and we usually do not see the sun until
about 10 am. I encourage everyone regardless of their skill level
to come out for a morning outing in one of our most treasured and
little-known county parks."
Register at http://www.svetiming.com/SVRC/events/2012/37-Annual-Bill-Flodberg-Mt-Madonna-Challenge
or race day on Saturday at 7am.
Packet pickup is from 3pm to 7pm at Road Runner Sports
in Campbell on Friday, August 24th.
While most people were relaxing on Saturday morning,
athletic addicts showed up at the Coyote Creek Trail for the Mushroom
Mardi Gras Fun Run in Morgan Hill.
The race is sponsored by the Live Oak Athletic Boosters
to benefit all sports at the high school.
What better way to prepare for the Memorial Day holiday
weekend than sweat, pain, and good old-fashioned calorie burning? One
hundred and sixty-one competitors toed the line in the dirt on the
scenic out and back course.
The overall winners of both the 5K and 10K received an
Amazon.com $100 gift certificate and a Mardi Gras court jester crown.
The serene backdrop plus gray skies were the perfect
combo for decent times in both distances. Morgan Hill's Ken Oliver, 51,
and his daughter Kendra,14, members of the South Valley Running Club
(SVRC) ran the 5K.
Oliver dominated the race in 20:25.
"The weather was cool, overcast, which is great running
weather . . . I went out strong and ended up catching the person who
was in first place at mile 2, so from then on, I put the hammer down
and to see if I can hold it to the end and I was able to pull it out."
Andrew Bergholz, 38, also from Morgan Hill took second
in 20:44. "The race was fine. We've run this trail so many times,"
Bergholz said and pointed at Oliver. "That guy with the funny hat
passed me at mile 2."
"This is my running partner," Annie Bergholz, 37,
gestured to her husband Andrew. "I only run twice a week, I wish I can
train more but I have work and kids." She won overall in the female
division with 21:53.
The younger Oliver, 14, grabbed first place in her age
group with 25:26. "This is my second 5K. I'm proud of what I did. It's
fun running with my dad. It's our thing," she said.
I ran 3.1 miles at an easy pace in 34:17, drinking in
the countryside and cheering fellow runners along the way. I kicked it
in gear on the gravel near the finish, not realizing ultra marathoner
Sean Curry, the winner of the 10K, was right behind me.
Curry, 44, of Salinas, triumphed 6.2-miles in 39:34. He
planned to log 17 more miles on Sunday as part of his marathon training.
"I'm ecstatic. I wasn't expecting to get first in the
race. It was really exciting from the start. Everything came together.
I ran 9 miles the night before; I thought it might take away my energy
a little. But I felt good."
Fremont's Rebecca Yi, 37, won gold overall for the women
in 42:58. Yi said, "I've done a 103 marathons. This is my first
Mushroom Mardi Gras race. It's very low key and very friendly. People
are very supportive."
Marti Menz, 56, of Morgan Hill and a member of SVRC,
took first in her age division with 49:47. "The weather was perfect,
nice crowd here, fun time, it was great. I had a very good race. "
This was the first 10K for Jody McRoberts, 45, and her
daughter Shannon, 20. They live in Morgan Hill and are also members of
"It was tough but not as tough as I thought it might be.
My knee has issues, but the Lord strengthened me and I ran the whole
10K. The last mile was the longest," McRoberts said. She finished in
Yvonne Ducket, 54, of Mushroom Town, did the 10K in
1:33.44. "We're going to have some cool down bacon. That's why we do
this. We run for the breakfast. We go over to Betsy's and have bacon
afterwards," explained Ducket. Because her friend Lynn Mito, 52, was
behind schedule, Ducket didn't begin the race with the other 10K
runners. "We started at the 5K. I couldn't run without my partner."
Mito finished the 10K in 1:34:38. "It was fun, nice
weather, it wasn't too hot."
"We are just getting started in our running
careers. You'll see us at a 50K in our wheel chairs and canes," Ducket
The younger McRoberts ran 6.2-miles in 1:07:20. "I'm
glad I did it. I proved to myself that I could do a 10K. It was
Racers try to enjoy cooling down
in the Mud-tastic Mud Pit prior to
finishing the inaugural
Ranch Romp Mud Run at the
Pepper Tree Ranch in Hollister
on May 5.
The event drew 1675 racers.
Photo by Alheli Curry
Ranch Romp Mud Run racers
tackle the Cargo Climb obstacle.
Photo by Alheli Curry
Angela Young crawling
under the barbed wire.
Photo by Alheli Curry
|Ranch Romp Mud Run
The inaugural 5K Ranch Romp Mud Run debuted last
Saturday at the Pepper Tree Ranch in Hollister. On Saturday, May 5th,
1675 foolhardy athletes conquered ten obstacles on the vineyard's
The sun baked our backs as we bolted up steep grades
throughout the challenging course. Just because it was a 5K it didn't
mean it was a wimpy run. The hills and the heat got to most people.
I didn't mind the hills at first because I prefer a
rolling course rather than a flat, boring one. After five obstacles, I
faced the Great Warrior Wall. The ten-foot wooden barricade wasn't bad.
I climbed over it without difficulty. Ha! The rest of the
3.2-mile competition would be a piece of cake!
However, by the end of the race I was lagging from
dehydration and in pain from the 150-foot vertical Slide For Your Life
obstacle where an Amazonian woman slammed into my back near the bottom.
I limped my way over more steep hills to the Over and
Under obstacle: five 4-foot walls with barbwire in between them. No
race will kick my butt! I resolved to hoist my battered body over them
puppies with machismo. As I was going through the motions, I noticed a
20-something racer stare at the walls and then run past them when the
two red-shirted volunteers weren't looking.
Coward, I thought as I rolled on the dirt underneath the
The thermostat continued its ascent as I fought
hills, pain and thirst. Two more obstacles were between the finish line
and me. The Cargo Climb was easy and I swam through the Mud-Tastic Mud
Pit thankful for the cool down and finished in 46:46.
The winners of the Ranch Romp Mud Run got beautiful belt
buckles--an idea inspired by the Western States 100. Salvador Garcia,
32, of Los Banos was the overall winner in 20:19.
Salinas resident, Corina Medina, 39, won the ladies
division in 23:03.
Jorge Zamora, 37 of Hollister came with 30 others
including his sons to play in the mud. He took silver in his age
division with 23:33.
Jeff Gerberick, 51, of Gilroy grabbed first place in his
age group in 29:15. "It was pretty tough; a lot of steep hills, and the
obstacles were really fun. I liked the waterslide because it was
easiest. The hardest one was jumping the walls and going under the
barbwire at the end. I was tired at that point," Gerberick said.
Several nursing students from Gavilan College came to
test their mettle. First timer and student Silvia Madera, 36, from
Hollister finished in 1:04:03.
"We figure we give ourselves a try and just accomplish
another obstacle that we figure would be a good one for us to try for
fun and motivation," Madera remarked. "Now that my body is cooling
down, I'm feeling the aches. The race was good overall."
San Juan Bautista resident Lisa Scott, 41, loved her
first mud run and conquered the 5K in 52:11. "It was fantastic. I'd do
another one. The slide got a little scary and it got fast toward the
end. I still haven't showered," She glanced at the dirty, huddled
masses near the bathing area and said with a chuckle, "I may not
Sean Curry, 44 from Salinas decided to do race for kicks
and finished in 40 minutes. He ran 13 miles earlier in the morning. "My
favorite was the waterslide. Totally out of control, jumped headfirst
and prayed. I collided with a few people in front of me at the bottom.
I've been itching to do something like this and enjoyed it." He said.
Harry Trembley, 44, from Kenwood wasn't prepared for the
race. However, he walked away with a bronze for his age group in 30:38.
"Friends from King City told me about it. Ranchers, believe it or not.
They are avid runners," Trembley said. "My farming friends told me this
was a marathon and didn't tell me it was a mud run until the end. If I
see them I'll going to make sure their heads get buried in mud."
Josh Mendonsa, race director was happy with Saturday's
race. "We enjoyed watching people accomplish their goals of entering a
mud run and finishing!"
Runners on Highway 1 during
the 27th annual Big Sur Marathon
on April 29
Photo by Alheli Curry
Photo by Alheli Curry
Photo by Alheli Curry
Photo by Alheli Curry
What is the ultimate dream race? Throw together the
Pacific Ocean, cool temperatures, emerald green mountains, a major
California highway without traffic, and you get the Big Sur
Once you've experience running on the edge of the
western world you'll be ruined. This is my favorite race.
This year 8, 667 people signed up for Big Sur in all
distances, which includes the marathon, 21-miler, 10.6 and 9 milers,
and a 5K.
Athletes from 50 states plus Washington, D.C. set foot
on Highway 1 along with visitors from 25 countries to test their mettle
on the hilly course.
Renowned ultra marathoner and best selling author Dean
Karnazes, 49, came back to Big Sur for the seventh time. He gave
humorous talks at the race expo on Saturday and signed copies of his
latest book "Run!". Karnazes ran the marathon Sunday-twice. Everyone
else rode buses to the start but not Karnazes. He began his run from
"I left at 2:30a.m. It usually takes me between
4:00-4:15 to run from the finish to the start, but this year I had some
stomach problems and it took 4:30, " he explained. "I put Big Sur as
the top scenic marathon that I've run in the world." Karnazes finished
again with the crowd in 3:42:40.
The two top winners of the race are newcomers to Big
Pacific Grove's Adam Roach, 28, won the race in 2:32:25.
Roach said, "It was my best race but the course was so hilly, and the
wind definitely slowed me down. I wanted to pace myself and make sure I
had energy for Hurricane Point and the rolling hills after that. I went
out easier than I normally do and it paid off."
2004 Olympic marathoner, Nuta Olaru, 41, from Longmont,
Colorado won in 2:50:08. She remarked, "This is my favorite because the
coast is so nice. I like the cold weather. I'm used to a hilly course
because I live in Colorado."
Mark, 49, and LaRene, 45, Green of Morgan Hill ran the
marathon and finished at the same time in 4:11:52. "This was my third
time running the Big Sur Marathon. I love the spectacular scenery. I
loved the picturesque views, especially at Bixby Bridge. It was
extremely windy and many hills were a big challenge . . . the race was
well organized," she said.
Mr. Green added, "I had remembered the road was windy,
but had forgotten about how hilly it is! So it was a tough
marathon, especially with the wind and the hills beyond mile 20. But it
was fun nonetheless, and the ocean views along the coast were
For the third year, Boston to Big Sur (B2B) was a
success. Runners must run the Boston Marathon and then Big Sur shortly
afterwards. First timer Sean Curry, 44 from Salinas did the B2B and
took 5th place in his age division with 3:10:33.
"It was awesome. I never ran it before. It was a
wonderful surprise. My time was pretty good. I felt like I did slower
at Boston. I wasn't used to the heat. So this time I made up for
it," Curry shared. In Boston he finished with 3:45:41 during a heat
Betty Ronces of Lafayette, 47, did the B2B as well. She
ran 26.2-miles in 4:04:39. "I loved every minute of it. I find myself
thanking God for every mile for the privilege of being in nature. This
is the marathon that I'm committed doing for the rest of my life as
long as God allows me to be on this earth," Ronces said.
Felipa Harer, 73 of Gilroy is a 21-miler veteran and
finished in 5:34:04.
"I walk more than run. I have arthritis and my knees
bother me but since I started walking and running, it seems to be
better. I am turning 74 this September, so pain seems to go with age. I
had planned on this being my last year but my friend says that I have
to go again next year, as training for summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro on my
I ran the 10.6-miler in 2:15:36 and can't wait to beat
my time next year.
A happy Mayor Steve Tate
after running 13.1 miles
in Morgan Hill last October.
Tate has long been a distance
running & fitness enthusiast.
Political races aren't the only type Mayor Steve Tate
enjoys doing. He loves pounding the pavement for miles like any other
Before heading to city hall, Tate, 68, laces his shoes for a morning
jog. He squeezes his workouts in his hectic schedule whenever possible.
What caused the amicable mayor to run in the first place?
"I had started smoking when I was 12 or 13 years old, and I finally
quit for good when I was 36," he said. "And I immediately gained 15 to
20 pounds. I was on a beach in Maui one morning and just decided to try
running because I've never done it before. I fell in love with it
As a newbie jogger, Tate didn't face any hardship while building up his
endurance. In two weeks, he already logged 2-mile workouts. He
eventually signed up for his first 10K race near Salinas and did well.
He became hooked and did more 10Ks followed by his first half marathon.
"I did the San Francisco Half Marathon through Golden Gate Park," he
said. Obviously, 13.1-milers weren't enough to satiate the running bug
He even aimed for something farther and hilly.
"I did Big Sur Marathon three times, my first one in 1987." This was
his favorite marathon. By then he carbo-loaded for his long distance
Tate tucked 25 marathons under his belt and two ultras - that's right
he did two ultra marathons.
His first, Run To The Sun in Maui, consisted of 37 miles but was not on
a flat course. Competitors began at sea level and climbed more than 10
thousand feet to the summit of Haleakala, otherwise known as the
legendary "House of the Sun."
Unfortunately, the race organizers decided to cancel the race that year
in 1988, but nothing could deter Tate from flying across the Pacific to
set foot on the steep, mountainous racecourse in Maui.
"I went over to Maui and started running," he recalled. "I talked to
the people who were in charge of the race, and they said, 'We are
canceling this year.' I told them I'm doing it anyway.
"Another guy, who is an ultra marathoner, ran with me for the first 20
miles, and he took off because I was too slow. Five other people from
Honolulu ran it. My wife was my support ... she drove the car and fed
me and helped some of those other people, too. We had a great time. We
all met at the top of the hill."
Of course, no medals, T-shirts or postrace festivities awaited the
stalwarts after crossing the unofficial finish line. Subsequently, the
race organizers offered Tate a free entry for the '89 Run To The Sun.
He turned it down.
"Once you done it, you done it," Tate said matter-of-factly.
For Tate, reaching the half-century mark on earth, he ran the American
"It opened your eyes when you got to the mark that said this is 26.2
miles, and, if you're just doing a marathon, you'd be done. You still
got 24 miles to go," he said with a chuckle. "They insisted that you
carry water, and I decided not to and got dehydrated. I had to spend a
little extra time at some stations to get rehydrated and get going
Asthma ended Tate's marathon streak several years ago. His last
26.2-mile race was in 2005.
"I quit running for a while and mentally I couldn't handle not running.
I went back to it but, I'm very slow because I have no lung capacity. I
can't get winded at all. The most I'm doing now are half marathons."
He doesn't follow a special diet, nor does he carbo-load. Tate doesn't
get mental about what he eats. When he runs in the early morning hours,
he prefers to do it alone so that he can have his downtime. Although he
values his solitude while running, he is pleased to be among the
athletes who run in the south valley city he governs. His eyes light up
when he speaks about Morgan Hill's own 26-miler in the fall.
"I really like that Morgan Hill's got the marathon and half marathon
now. I just love that," he said. "When I was doing marathons on a
regular basis, the course they used for the full marathon was the
course I trained on all the time near Uvas Reservoir.
"I thought they did a fantastic job producing the race and making it
very friendly to the runners," he added. "I think it will get a lot of
people back and grow in popularity."
He gave a pep talk to the runners before last year's Morgan Hill
Marathon + Half. He then joined the ranks on the scenic 13.1-mile
course. He plans to tackle the hilly route again in late October.
"I think one of Morgan Hill's basic community values is health
and fitness. That's why the marathon did so well here," he said. "When
we did the whole visioning process on how do we spend our redeveloped
dollars 15 years ago, there was a heavy push toward health. That's why
we built the CRC [Centennial Recreation Center], and that's why we
built the Aquatics Center. Morgan Hill values fitness and health and
exercise and supports running."
fit and help a good cause
The AAUW Wildflower Run
drew another large turnout
Jamba Juice smoothies, cheerful
volunteers, medals for children,
prizes, and colorful race shirts
are a mainstay at the annual
AAUW Wildflower Run, which
makes its 29th runningApril 1.
Spring is coming and so are many athletic competitions,
including the 29th annual Wildflower Run.
This season favorite shall prove to be another
successful race for the Morgan Hill's AAUW (American Association of
University Women). These ladies are hard at work designing a special
day for everyone.
For those who want to register early and save some cash,
make sure to do so by March 22nd; the fee goes up by $5 on March 23rd.
One purpose for this race is to raise money for a
scholarship program for girls who attend public middle school and are
eligible to participate in Tech Trek, a science and math camp at
There are two changes for the April first event. And no,
this isn't an April Fools prank: a new course for the 5K route and the
kids 2K run age category is for ten years old and under. The 10K
USATF-certified course remains untouched.
Also, the Jamba Juice smoothies at the finish line
festivities, the cheerful volunteers, medals for the kids, prizes for
the top finishers and the colorful race shirts are a mainstay.
Speaking of shirts, this year's purple shirt will
feature a simple logo with a runner's legs in front of a large
California poppy. What makes this race different from others is
their ever-evolving T-shirt art.
To keep things fresh in the creative arena, the AAUW is
hosting an art contest for anyone willing to illustrate a design for
next year's tee. The deadline for entries will be in June 2012.
What keeps runners coming back to revisit the Wildflower
Charles Weston, a marathoner and race director for the
IDI July 4th 5K race in Morgan Hill ran the Wildflower 15 times.
"It's flat, comes at a good time of the year to test
one's fitness and it's a local race for a very good cause," Weston said.
Shannon McRoberts also from Morgan Hill is a devotee.
"It's a lot of fun because I like the Jamba Juice at the end and people
hang out to watch the medal ceremony. So it's kind of more like a party
than some other races that I do," McRoberts mused.
Her mother Jody added, "In 2007, this was the first race
that Shannon, my son Jacob, and I did when we first started running and
racing. We decided to stick together to encourage each other. It was a
lot of fun."
Race director Elizabeth Mandel and AAUW are brimming
with new ideas.
"One of the things we've been working on this year is
the history of the run. We have some people creating a document that's
a history of the run over the years. The first run was in 1984," Mandel
said. "We are hoping to put it on our website when it's finished."
Weston encourages everyone to participate. "This is a
good event to run if you are new to running. Lots of support and
friendly volunteers to make up for any nervousness one might have." He
For more information go to http://www.Wildflowerrun.org.
10 a winter classic
This version ran in
Runners of all levels take off in a
Mission 10 race Saturday in San
Juan Bautista. The event drew
526 runners from the Bay Area
and South Valley.
Photo by Alheli Curry.
Stephanie Kato wins the women's
Mission 10 title in 1:05:39 on
Saturday in San Juan Bautista.
Photo by Alheli Curry.
Among the other top finishers in
the Mission 10 (from left to right)
Sean Curry (1:06:45)
Daniel Tapia (51:10)
Monica Nicholson (1:05:47)
and Tania Ferreira (1:08:10).
Photo by Alheli Curry.
Omar Vasquez sprints to the
finish line in the 5K.
Photo by Alheli Curry.
Daniel Tapia won the
Mission 10 race.
Photo by Alheli Curry.
A plethora of winter races await the athlete. What
to shed unwanted holiday pounds than to run? One of my favorite
mid-chilly season athletic competitions is the Rotary Mission 10 held
on the last Saturday of January in San Juan Bautista.
The popular 10-miler, 5K and Kid's run is a staple of
runners from all over the Bay Area. This year among the 526 registered
from elite competitor to the weekend warrior, each toed the line
anticipating a fun run under the sun.
The long sleeve shirt, spectacular scenery, and the
town of San Juan Bautista attract all levels of runners.
Omar Vasques, a senior at Hollister's San Benito High
triumphed overall in the 3.1-miler with 17:24. Steven Velarde came in
second with 17:43, and Mauricio Maia grabbed third in 18:39.
"I felt pretty good in the first mile but felt a blister
the bottom of my foot. It was hurting but I kept on going," Vasques
Annie Bergholz took first in the women's division with
Both Michelle Watkins and Kaitlin Alt fought for second place with
21:11 but Watkins nudged forward and won silver.
Prunedale's Daniel Tapia won Mission 10 three times
This time he won in 51:10. He nailed a blistering 5-minute mile pace
shutting out the rest of the competition. I wonder how much pain he
endured to travel at super sonic speed for ten miles.
Tapia said, "The first couple of miles were fun with a
people lined up along the course . . . then it became lonely and you
wait for the long mile and half going uphill. You have to stay mentally
strong for that. At the turnaround point you have to crank it up
again." He ran in the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston two weeks
ago and took 24th.
Cristian Soratos flew to the finish in 54:14 securing
place. That's still super fast and incomprehensible to me. Adam Roach
sprinted for third in an impressive 54:57.
Stephanie Kato won Mission 10 for the ladies in 1:05:39.
Monica Nicholson nabbed second in 1:05:47, and Samantha Forde took
third with 1:07:21.
Nicholson said, "My goal was to improve my time from
and again try to win. I improved my time by a minute but I didn't have
enough spring at the end to get the win."
Founder of Runner's World Magazine Bob Anderson was
athletes competing in Mission 10. He took home gold for the
60-something age division in 1:10:09. Anderson's Ujena Fit Club's film
crew interviewed folks at the race for a documentary.
Sean Curry from Salinas ran 10 miles in 1:06:45, which
slower than last year's race. The flu ravaged his body but he had to
"It was a blast. I had a good time. I did pretty well
quite as good as last year. I felt a little warm because of the flu but
I drank plenty of water."
San Jose State professor Bob Miller came with his
South Valley Running Club. He finished in 1:22:44.
"I think mentally the hardest part is when you come down
you're going fast. Then there's a little hill where you climb up over
the San Andreas Fault. As a geologist it's fun there," he said.
Maria Bruhns also from Gilroy and the same club tackled
miles in 1:55:37. "I started the day running the fun run with my 3 year
old daughter, Sada. During the 10 mile, I was amazed at how many
other runners I see here year after year." Bruhns said. "The long
sleeve shirts are a big plus!"
Veteran Mission 10 miler Stephanie Bouquet of Salinas
first place in the 40-49 category in 1:18:05. Bouquet said, "The mile
hill upward was very challenging and coming back in the last three
miles your legs are dead from doing the hill."
Her husband Matthew, 46 celebrated his birthday by
miles. He finished in 1:50:59. They loved the race. And like everyone
else who ran on Saturday, the Bouquets will make it their mission to do
the 10 again in 2013.
For race results please go to http://www.svetiming.com.
Dash all about mud, fire, and fitness
Runners leap over the Warrior Roast
Contestants avoid barb wire in the last obstacle, Muddy Mayhem
Posing after the race from Morgan Hill. L-R Lynae Dodson, Mom (46:31),
Jada Anderson, (41:31) and 2nd place female winner Kiele Anderson
Dirty finish to a fun, grueling race
Combatants scale the Great Warrior Wall
Costume contest winners the Toy Soldiers ham it up with Times columnist
Running isn't for wimps. Especially if there is peril
Warrior Dash 5K gave us adrenaline junkies tasty morsels of mayhem.
Red Frog Events from Chicago hosted the two-day crazy affair
De Fruta in Hollister this past weekend.
Michael Coco, one of the race directors, said, "We never had
major issues with the crowd. Close to race week, we put in close to a
hundred hours. We had over 400 volunteers. They're great."
Athletes of all abilities came to battle twelve obstacles on a
3.15-mile course throughout the day in 30-minute waves. Weekend
warriors to elite racers hit the dirt (literally) to snag the coveted
Warrior Dash steel helmet.
Hordes of competitors festooned in zany costumes including
green toy soldiers from Stockton showed up. At the start a couple from
Manteca decked out in wedding attire were ready.
"I'm a warrior virgin," gushed Meghan Brenner (1:06:25). "This
first 5k and I'm really excited."
"I'm hot," lamented Matthew Brenner wearing a tuxedo
guy. Already the sun was melting us.
I thought covering three miles with some challenges on the
was no big deal. I was wrong.
"Danger Obstacle Ahead" the sign warned as I approached the
vertigo-inducing monstrosity before me. I'm not a gymnast so I treaded
carefully over the narrow wooden planks to prevent breaking my
The next one Tipsy Tightrope wasn't bad because I managed not
fall into the freezing water.
If anyone didn't have upper body strength then he was hosed.
course I found this out the hard way.
After scaling over a plethora of tall barricades, crawling
barbwire barriers, dancing over a tire mine and jumping on wrecked cars
I thought the worst was over. I had a less than a mile to go.
The Great Warrior Wall loomed 25 feet high. I had to hoist my
up and over the wall on a rope. Again. By then my legs and arms were
jelly. You got to be kidding!
I did conquer the stupid Warrior Wall after two failed
Piece of cake, right? Feebly I told myself as I jogged to the last
three obstacles. The cargo netting wasn't bad and leaping over the
firewalls was fun.
The mud pit with the barbwire was the last thing between the
line and me. I already knew to belly crawl through the murky water for
best results. I swam midway and got stuck in the mud. I clawed my way
forward until I reached the edge, spitting out mud as I went. I
conquered the Warrior Dash in 49:49.
Champion of the Warrior Dash on Saturday is Jonathan Kimura
20:53. The overall female winner is Joanna Luk who conquered the rest
of the pack in 24:25.
Second place warrior chick is Kiele Anderson from Morgan Hill
an awesome 25:56 triumph. She came with her mother Lynae Dodson (46:31)
and sister Jada Anderson (41:47).
"This is my first obstacle course race. It was really hard and
intense. I was scared of heights," Anderson said. "It was really fun."
She is a junior Olympic champion in the 1500 meters.
Dodson added, "We just decided to do this for fun. A girls'
out," she said. "It will be a new tradition for us."
Joshua Polk of Visalia butted heads with a Bobcat tractor near
mud pit. "I'm waiting 35 seconds for him to clear the obstacle . . .
'Come on you gotta let me through I'm trying to win this thing!'" Polk
chuckled about his age division win of 23:59.
Marcia Abreu, a single mother of four from San Jose tested her
endurance. "I was not in my best shape I thought it was going to be
really challenging," Abreu said about her 49:18 finish. "I kept on the
race and finished it. That was my goal."
The toy soldiers won the costume contest. They carried combat
equipment during the race and finished in 1:14:08.
"Every obstacle I had to use one hand," Rodney Balbin said.
hill climb was definitely the hardest."
"That hill sucked all I had . . . Oh no! Just roll with it!"
"It was a dirt hill. It was an obstacle," Chimed Chris
takes a lot out of you especially with the sun beating down on you."
Hill Marathon sets PR
Hundreds competed in Sunday's
Morgan Hill Marathon and Half
Marathon. Presented by South
Valley Endurance, the second
annual event surpassed its
Photo by Aaron Callanta
Jose Maraks of Turlock won the
Morgan Hill Marathon in 2:29:59,
breaking the course record set in
2010 by almost six minutes.
Photo by Aaron Callanta
Volunteers hand out cups of
water just beyond the 12-mile
marker along the Morgan Hill
Half Marathon course Sunday.
The weather was ideal.
Photo by Aaron Callanta
The 2nd Annual Morgan Hill Marathon and Half was a hit
The athletic competition had an international flavor
competitors from England, Hong Kong, and Kenya plus runners from other
states. Mayor Steve Tate gave a brief pep talk then toed the line with
After the countdown, we took off. A sea of kindred
spirits--both the full and half marathon--streaming out from the
Centennial Recreation Center.
South Valley Endurance chose their course well; it
boring city route full of buildings. Instead we got to run around the
backside of Morgan Hill replete with golden hills, oaks, and pristine
grasslands. I finished 13 miles in 2:40:04.
Morgan Hill Mayor Steve did multiple marathons and
participates in many a race. He ran the half in 3:19:33.
"It's great to get out and see the countryside of Morgan
which is such a beautiful city . . . I tell you this is one of the best
organized runs I ever participated in . . . It was one heck of a lot
fun!" Tate said. "
Speaking of the 13.1-miler, the winners blistered
victory at the finish line. Miguel Nuci of Turlock won in 1:07:51
shutting out the rest of the pack. Sergio Reyes kicked tail in 1:11:56
and Justin Patanan rounded things off in 1:16:13.
"I think it's a nice course, I mean it's hard. Between
mile and 8th mile it was really hilly. We as competitive runners like
flat courses to run fast." Nuci said.
The ladies blazed the roadway with Lindsay Nelson in the
with 1:20:21, followed by Monica Jo Nicholson in 1:25:43. Berni Ai Kuo
took third in 1:28:31.
Nicholson of Salinas is happy with the race. She
wanted to place in the top three and wanted to do a sub 1:30. So I went
out conservatively at a 6:45 pace . . . I felt really great throughout
the entire race and finished in 1:25:43."
Jose Morales from Turlock won the full marathon in
"That big hill when we crossed the half marathon people,
was just painful. I was trying my best but once we hit the downhill we
just went with it. I'm surprised I ran as I fast I did because of those
hills are really rough," Morales said.
Jesus Campos snagged second with 2:33:13 and John Munene
Kenya grabbed third in 2:35:07.
Munene disclosed, "Today it was tough because of the
liked the course. It was good."
The women winners conquered 26.2 miles. Suet-Fei Li from
Kong ruled the female division in 3:14:27. Stephanie Kato grabbed
second in 3:24:02 and Nadia Fisher took the bronze in 3:28:23.
"I have an ankle injury that changed my form. I was
three or four times in the last mile. I really want to thank the lead
cyclist because they were encouraging me. They were like 'Come on! Only
a hundred meters!'"
Giavanni Moreno of Santa Clara took on 13 miles in his
race ever. He finished in 1:54:34. His older sister Irene Moreno of
Morgan Hill got him into running recently.
"I did pretty good actually, my sister was pushing me.
awesome. I'm ready to do it again. I owe it to her." He confided.
Moreno's sister added, "I feel pretty strong, so I'm
with my finish time in 1:54:40. I love the hills. I did last year the
full marathon last year."
Britons Dave Pearson and Lesley Fisher jumped the pond
in Sunday's race.
"The course was absolutely super. When you say you got
they are not hills to us. Where we live in England they are lots of
hills. You're really crawling up them. We never had a race as good as
this." Pearson bubbled. He won third in his age division with 3:14:59.
Fisher shared, "My main thing was the distance because I
done a marathon before. It was surprising how quick the miles did go."
She nabbed first place in her age group with 3:48:28.
Marti Menz of Morgan Hill's South Valley Running
won first in her age group in the half with1:52:56.
Menz said, "It was really well organized. I enjoyed the
course. This was a nice way to finish my season. It's great to have a
hometown run like this."
Alan and Bernadette Simmonds are also part of the same
"I loved the race. I live in Morgan Hill and so I know
course pretty well. My always go around 2:30 but my aim is to have
fun," she said.
Her husband won second in the Clydesdale with 1:42:17.
"It was a great course, very scenic. The up hills tough
the downhill I really sprinted." Simmonds said.
Hill Marathon returns this week; get ready to rock
This column ran in The
Morgan Hill Times
on 21 October 2011
Kenyan John Weru won the inaugural
Morgan Hill Marathon in 2010
with a time of 2:37:42
Morgan Hill Marathon + Half
winners will receive medals
Thousands of people will trample the streets and dirt
on Sunday morning for the second annual Morgan Hill Marathon and half.
Runners from far away as Kenya, Ethiopia and the United
Kingdom plan to join the hordes invading the quaint city of the south
valley known for its mushrooms, cows and golden hills sprinkled with
The much-anticipated race was sold out in all distances
Wednesday night, which means anyone wanting to hitch up on this fun
ride must wait until 2012.
For those of you who ran Norcal in September, when you
complete 26.2 miles or 13.1, you'll receive a cool dual medal after you
cross the finish line. The athletic guide gives more detail on how to
nab that nifty medal.
Speaking of the athletic guide, go to http://www.mhmarathon.com and get
the lowdown on all pre, post and race day inquiries.
The Morgan Hill Marathon Expo will be at the Centennial
Recreation Center on Friday from 1pm to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to
2pm. Bring your waiver there so that you can pick up your race packet.
The sold out 2K Kids' Run is on Saturday at 2pm; all
will receive a shirt and medal.
Last year the chilly climate and ensuing rain made
uncomfortable for most participants and also for the volunteers at the
aid stations who stood in the wet weather handing out water.
South Valley Endurance moved the event to October where
weather should be more cooperative. The National Weather Service
forecasts 85 degrees for the high on race day. So leave the umbrellas
at home and break out the sun block.
Greg and Debbie Richards of South Valley Endurance
along with the City of Morgan Hill to guarantee a spectacular
experience for the first-time marathoner to the elite gunning for the
"This year is a little bit easier because we've done it
before. We have Jody McRoberts coordinating the volunteers this year.
Looks like she's doing a good job. We had a huge outpouring of
volunteers-a majority from Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Let's face it,
volunteers make or break the event," Richards said.
Among the volunteers helping is the Community Emergency
Response Training (CERT) team of the South Valley, they will help with
traffic control and man aid station 15 at Peak and Main Avenues.
"Prestige events like this one, help bring revenue
into our community and introduce Morgan Hill to a greater circle of
influence which in turn effects commerce and recreation on several
levels. This is a qualifying event for other marathons and will
attract elite runners from outside our geographical area . . . "
explained CERT member Roger Winters.
Morgan Hill restaurants Fuzio and Maurizio's are
pasta dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings for those who want to
carbo load. It's best to call the eateries to reserve a spot.
David Pearson and Lesley Fisher flew over the pond from
Northern England to visit Pearson's cousin Joyce Groth who lives in
Morgan Hill and to run the marathon on Sunday. They plan to tackle the
tasty Italian cuisine and meet other racers at Maurizio's too.
As for the race itself in both the full and half
both distances will begin and start at the same place. This race is a
Boston qualifier-USTF Certified course. Many will battle the hilly
route to win the prize at the end.
The race begins at 7:30am and ends at 2pm. The athletic
has something more to say. "The time limit on the full is 6.5 hours
(15:10 per mile) or 2:00pm. For Morgan Hill we have to enforce it. Aid
stations and volunteers will start clearing the course. There will be a
sweep bus to pick you up. You can finish on your own, but it's likely
the finish line will be down."
Will the Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate both distances
year or will the Americans take home the victory? We'll see, eh? I'll
be there among the sea of athletes in the half marathon doing my part
to make Morgan Hill history. See you at the finish line party!
Hill Fitness Fair and Open House is fun for all
Megan Carpene, 10, and her dog
toe the line for Saturday's Family
Fun Run outside the Morgan Hill
Centennial Recreation Center
James O'Neil, racing the first lap
of the 5K on Saturday, finished
in 20:52. He was part of a turnout
of more than 200 runners and
walkers for the Morgan Hill Fitness
Fair and Open House.
Sunny skies greeted runners and walkers for the 5th
Fit Morgan Hill Fitness Fair and Open House last Saturday at the
Centennial Recreation Center. The laid back run in both the 5K and one
mile attracted over 200 athletes of all ages and ability plus one dog.
Last year I did the One Mile Family Fun Run (10:29) to
back in shape from a devastating illness that almost took my life
several weeks prior. I hobbled and ran, whatever it took to do the
distance despite the agonizing pain throughout my body.
Get Fit 2011 was even better because I ran the 5K
danced in a Zumba class and logged more miles inside the CRC after the
race. Friendly volunteers handed racers and walkers a red finisher
ribbon and Jamba Juice gave free smoothies to quench the thirst of all
Although, the event organizers didn't want to make
competitive by handing out prizes to the top winners of each distance,
they did hand out medals to all the children who finished. South Valley
Endurance timed everyone who crossed the finish line.
Jorn Jensen, 42 won the 3.1 race in 17:37 followed by
Weihman, 44 with 18:45 and Milan LeRuyet, 14 rounding off the champion
circle in 19:28.
"I could've pushed harder but it was a good practice for
meets. This is my first 5K. I'm hooked." LeRuyet said. He is a freshman
at Live Oak High and is part of the cross-country team.
The female winners are Tracy Christensen, 30 with her
triumph, Nicole Jones, 11 coming in second with 23:46 and Shelly
Shores, 46 nabbing third in 25:38.
Jody McRoberts came to the CRC's birthday party with her
daughter Shannon who is 19. Despite physical issues the 45 year-old
Morgan Hill resident signed up anyway and completed 3.1-miles in 31:44.
"I haven't been running much because of Sciatica pain, a
bulging disc and before that I did run walks because of right knee
pain. I've always been able to finish all my races; the Lord has
The younger McRoberts was ahead of her mother, crossing
finish in 31:08. "I did great considering that I haven't been working
out consistently during the week. This race is always fun."
At 9:30am kids, parents, teens, and even a dog toed the
with its master Megan Carpene, 10 ready to tackle the mile.
Julien LeRuyet, 9 is the younger brother of third place
of the 5K. "I'm pretty much excited because there's a lot of little
kids <in the race>. I never did this before." He won the Family
Fun Run in 7:23.
Seth Oliver who is 7 nipped at LeRuyet's heels in 7:27
Liam Morgan, 8 grabbed third place for the boys in 8:00.
The girls came around the bend to the finish with
Morgan, 43 in the lead in 9:02; Georgia Stanley, 11 sprinted in second
place with 9:11, and Julie Read, 41 took third with 9:16.
And what about the young blonde Carpene and her pet
They trotted the one-mile run in 14:19.
One of the CRC staff members, Nick Calubaquib said,
been the biggest turnout we had. We got great support from South Valley
Endurance. They made this event so much easier. From what I hear we
used to do all timing by hand so we had people with clipboards and
stopwatches trying to log everything."
Teri Melendez, 53 from Stockton made her racing debut in
5K and finished in 47:10. "It was great being outdoors and being able
to go at my own pace. That's probably why I never ran 'cause I thought
I would maybe kill myself," she said with a chuckle. "I love the people
along the way clapping and saying, 'Good job! Just a little bit more.'
It was great."
For everyone desiring a healthier holiday season, why
start with Get Fit Morgan Hill Fitness Fair and Open House on Saturday
morning? The 5K and 1-mile family fun runs begin and end in front of
the Centennial Recreation Center on Edmundson Avenue. The race staff is
friendly, and South Valley Endurance creates a festive atmosphere with
party music to liven up the crowd near the start. Get Fit is designed
to ease the non-athletic into exercise with the 1-mile, and for those
who want more bang for the buck, the 3.1-mile race. However, unlike
most races this one won't hand out medals. "Our goal of the event is to
make it a fun community event that gives people of all ages the
opportunity to participate in a fun fitness event," Keri Russell,
associate executive director of CRC and YMCA, explained. "While the
event is timed, we place less emphasis on someone's overall time." The
origins of Get Fit trace to the grand opening of the CRC five years
ago. On average 125 to 150 people participate in either distance. For a
nominal entry fee the participant receives a T-shirt, goody bag and
free admission into the CRC. "The best part of Get Fit is to see
the participants finish," Russell said happily. "Everyone participates
for various reasons whether it is to set a personal best or to complete
their first 5K. It is truly rewarding to see the looks on participants'
faces when they cross the finish line and realize they accomplished
something that they didn't think was possible." Last year I did this
race out of desperation. It was my comeback race from a near-death
experience I had in September 2010. I could barely walk, much less run.
But in a few weeks, thanks to God, I was able to exercise little by
little. Then as a sign that I conquered the horrible disease I had, I
registered for the Get Fit Morgan Hill 1-mile family fun run. It was
extremely painful, and I thought I'd drop out from sheer exhaustion,
but I pressed on toward the end. As I crossed the finish line, I saw my
time of 10:30 on the large clock. I knew then I got my running groove
back. For more race information and registration visit the Centennial
Recreation Center, 171 West Edmundson Ave., or call (408) 782-2128.
Norcal Marathon winners (left to right)
Torrey Olson, Cheyne Inman, and
John Munene pose after Saturday's race
in San Jose. several locals took part in
the inaugural event.
Norcal half marathoners Alan Simmonds with his wife Bernadette.
Running down Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose
Daniel Roed counting down the miles
A good sign toward the 12-mile mark on a hot day
Thumbs up for the Norcal Marathon and Half
Pounding the pavement took on a new meaning last Sunday
underneath the unmerciful nuclear reactor high in the sky. Over a
thousand runners and walkers got in on the action at the debut Norcal
Marathon and half in downtown San Jose.
South Valley Endurance Timing and Racemine, LLC
hosting a race series with cool finisher medals for stalwarts who run
both Norcal and the Morgan Hill Marathon this fall.
A sea of humanity bottlenecked at the start and
inched forward down the wide empty street so I leisurely took photos
while trying not to give the runner ahead of me a flat tire. Eventually
everyone spread out and got into a steady rhythm.
Thousands streamed throughout the Silicon Valley capital
not much traffic in sight. It was cool running around the city and not
having to deal with cars.
Toward the final miles of the 13.1-mile trek, the heat
me from all sides especially on the dirt trail near the airport. The
aid stations along the racecourse replenished my glycogen reserves with
lots of Gatorade, water and pretzel snacks. The red-shirted volunteers
cheered us as we trudged mile after mile. They were great.
While I documented my steps with camera during the race,
winners of the half marathon crossed the finish at the Arena Green
Sergio Reyes won the race in 1:04:55 followed by Miguel
with 1:04:57 and Jameson Mora capping the Men's winning circle in
Shortly thereafter, the ladies came blazing to the
Lindsay Nelson in the lead with 1:19:38. Brook Wells came in second in
1:22:57 and Alicia Freese grabbing third place in 1:23:17.
Ken Oliver from Morgan Hill ran 13 miles in
"This is the first of the three local half marathons for
Norcal, San Jose Rock N Roll, and the Morgan Hill half. I always expect
the first of the three to be a little weaker . . . I expect that the
Morgan Hill will be my strongest showing for the season." Oliver
Morgan Hill's Alan Simmonds won first place in the
with 1:42:31. "I tried to keep up with the 1:40 pace but about mile
eight I lagged behind a little. Still not my fastest but it was good."
He trains with his wife Bernadette and with the South Valley Running
Club and Athletic Performance on weekends.
She ran the half in 2:32:22. "I really loved the course.
was tougher than I thought it would be but I run for fun and fitness,"
Marathon champion Cheyne Inman from Vacaville was behind
Simmonds while she raced toward the finish line. He won Norcal overall
"The first half I had the half marathoners to run with
was doing fine. After the half, I was alone. I was a little off, "
Inman explained. "I would've liked to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
But it didn't happen today. Hopefully in December I'll hit the trial
standard of 2:19."
The other two winners Chuck Engel from Coos Bay, Oregon
snagged second in 2:34:59 with John Munene of Santa Clara taking third
"My target goal was 2:32 and it got really hot out
didn't have the right shoes for the course-a lot of loose gravel, much
more of a trail marathon than a road marathon. It was nice, relatively
flat and it wasn't bad," Engle said.
Munene is originally from Kenya. "The race is nice. But
too hot near the end and it slowed me down. There wasn't enough water
out in the trail." He said and plans to redeem his performance at the
Morgan Hill Marathon.
Top three women in the 26.2-mile race are Suet-fei Li
the victory in 3:14:03; Anne Gemkow nabbed second with 3:23:58 and
Karen Tran took home third prize in 3:31:52.
Rappelling: A blast of physical energy
Patti Daniels emerges from
Moaning Cavern's Roach
Motel during a spelunking tour.
Times fitess columnist Angela
Young joined her and others
on the adventure.
Manager Keith Armbruster
directs Ken Young, right, of
Morgan Hill as he waits for
his turn to launch from
a zip line tower.
Angela Young and her husband
Ken suited up like convicts
Ken Young rapelling
Tina Keller spelunking
Tina Keller spelunking
Tired of the same routine in your running? Why not throw
offbeat activity into your training mix?
The spotlight for this month is spelunking and
course, serious research was in order and I took it upon myself to
explore the depths of this interesting subject! For me, an adrenaline
addict, I couldn't pass this up.
Ken Young and I drove hundreds of miles to Moaning
Adventure Park near Angels Camp in Calaveras County on a Friday to
avoid huge crowds.
The staff at Moaning Cavern gave excellent service with
smile. They offer the Adventure Tour package, which includes rappelling
into an enormous cavern and subsequently belly-crawling through
subterranean passageways. The tour was three hours-hours of physical
torture, that is. Just kidding!
To whet my adventurous appetite, I chose to zip line
before the spelunking. We met Manager Keith Armbruster at the zip line
shack; another guy then weighed us on the scale first before equipping
us with necessary gear and helmet. I was ready to rock and roll above
the treetops. They offer twin zip lines, which run 1500 feet across.
They offer two types of rides: The seated traditional style and
superhero where the person flies face-first in a horizontal position.
Did I mention at 40 plus miles per hour? I did both.
After an exhilarating time, we returned to the shack,
our gear and followed Armbruster an ex-Silicon Valley patriot to
another building. He introduced us to Greg Wilson, who was our guide
for the next portion of the tour. Wilson did a fabulous job. Four
others joined us for the journey into the bowels of Moaning Cavern. We
donned on jumpsuits, I chose "prison orange" plus blue rubber gloves
and helmet with headlamp. We watched a safety video warning us not to
do stupid things with the J-Rack, the thing that controls the descent
of the rope.
After the video, Wilson led us to a tiny dark hole in
entryway to the enormous chamber. We had to go one-at-a-time through
the microscopic opening to rappel 165 feet down to the cavern floor.
"Piece of cake, right?" I muttered weakly to someone
I grabbed tight to the rope before taking the plunge. I pin-balled my
body on the rocks because I didn't work my J-Rack correctly. Finally, I
managed to descend into the massive cavern, which was gorgeous.
When everyone rappelled down to the floor, Wilson
for the cave crawl. He regaled us with stories of the bone pile from
animals and people falling into the cave over the centuries and of
course, scary monsters lurking in the dark recesses. Hungry ones. The
wet, tight tunnels with lots of pokey slimy rock formations made our
trek tough. Think of toothpaste being squeezed out of the tube. That
was how I felt in most spots. This was a lousy time to feel
claustrophobic. If it wasn't for the jumpsuit, helmet and gloves I
would've been more mangled and bruised than normal.
It did take superhuman strength to pull myself out of
Roach Motel after spelunking for more than an hour. Wilson gave
everyone the merciful option of climbing out sooner through an opening
nearby or for daredevils to take the dangerous 45-foot ascent on a
slimy knotted rope through Godzilla's Nostril. Despite the fatigue and
pain, I signed up for the dangerous route. Only Ethan and his Dad
joined me while everyone else took the short cut.
After the exhausting climb, I butt-slid down the slope
the rest of the team waiting on the platform. If rappelling and
spelunking weren't enough, we had to ascend 234 steps on a metal spiral
staircase. Then an additional 90 steps toward the top were thrown in
for good measure.
At the gift shop, everyone guzzled cold bottled
courtesy of Moaning Cavern. Chris Dori from Concord said, "It was a
solid two-hour workout. It was tough."
"I would definitely do this again. Next time I'll be
and do more pushups and pull-ups," His wife Rossnina said.
The next day I was pretty sore. I should follow Dori's
and do more pushups.
runners turn out to honor San Jose man
Alex Sokol won gold and silver
medals Sunday at the Memorial
5K Run and Walk in honor of
his father, Steve.
His mother, Leslie, won silver.
The top male finishes in Sunday's
Steve Sokol Memorial 5K
Run and Walk at Almaden Lake
Park in San Jose included
(left to right) Robert Whitacre,
Alex Sokol, and Scott Adams.
The top female runners were
Kristen Del Biaggio, Annie
Bergholz, and overall winner
Anyone who runs would recognize the name of the athlete
garnered distinction through his athletic achievements. Steve Sokol led
a great life of health and fitness, influencing thousands.
Sokol's untimely passing last March left many heart
shocked in the fitness community.
In honor of the "World's Fittest Man" South Valley
Body Firm of Los Gatos and volunteers hosted the Steve Sokol Memorial
5K Run and Walk at Almaden Lake Park in San Jose on Sunday.
Before the run, Sokol's widow, Leslie shared heartfelt
before the crowd. Then 172 participants toed the line to run alongside
Sokol and son, Alex for the 3.1-Mile race. The cool overcast weather
was perfect for the event.
The younger Sokol, 12 lead the pack as everyone took off
the dirt path. The out-and-back tree-lined course a beautiful, peaceful
ride for racers to enjoy.
The winners bolted to the finish line with San Jose's
Rosenthal, 39, leading the way in a whirlwind victory in 18:26.
Rosenthal said," It was a really nice race, a perfect
it. Everything went well. I would not miss this race. My husband and I
mainly did this race to support Leslie and Alex and to let Steve know
that he will always be remembered."
Hot on Rosenthal's heels were the top three male
with George Remelos blazing to the end in 19:06. Sokol, 12, snagged
second place in 19:19 with Scott Adams, 41, who took third in 19:25.
"I felt a lot better than last week's race <Run for
Stinkin' Roses>. I had a person help me pace-Scott Adams. I finished
strong," Sokol said.
Saratoga's Adams said. "This is what you want a nice
morning, a great course, and well organized. I was telling Rob the
reason why we came out was to remember our friend Steve." He and Robert
Whitacre worked with Sokol as personal trainers at Body Firm. Writacre
finished in 23:15.
The other two top female 5K winners are Morgan Hill's
Bergholz with 20:48, and San Jose's Kristen Del Biaggio's with 22:04.
"It was pretty flat and smooth. I'm trying to get a
that's my goal," Bergholz said.
Del Biaggio added, "Alex Sokol is on my son's soccer
so we brought the soccer team out here today to support the Sokol
Family," she said. "I just wanted to have fun. I don't really do
Hollister's Carlton Oler, 54, took second in the
bracket and ran the race at a leisurely pace with 22:57. He came out to
support the cause to raise funds for young Sokol's college education.
Sokol, 53, got a silver in 24:00, "the time didn't
she said. "I don't think I smiled ever as much as I did during the race
because I saw everybody out here doing their best for Steve,
celebrating his life."
I remember Steve Sokol at many races; running with him
writing about his dynamic journey on this earth was a privilege.
for the Stinkin' Roses
|Morgan Hill Times title
No thorns about it
|Gilroy Dispatch title
Stinkin' Roses a sweet success
When somebody mentions garlic, what usually comes to
Delicious French fries festooned with chunks of buttery garlic bits?
But what about a non-food related thing such as an athletic event in
The Run For the Stinkin' Roses 5K and 10K competition is
by the South Valley Running Club. The weather was perfect on Sunday's
race with cool, overcast skies greeting 125 racers.
Participant Moshe Ben Am came as far away as Maplewood
Jersey. Others hailed from Napa, St. Helena, Daly City and Paso Robles.
South Valley Endurance Greg Richards' voice boomed, "5 .
. . 4
. . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Go!" The 6.2-mile pack shot off into the
distance followed by the 5K pack later on. I watched them disappear
around the bend in the chilly morning air. Eventually the first three
finishers came barreling around toward the finish line.
Road Runners Club of America's George Rehmet dominated
3.1-race in 19:45. "My goal was to get under 20 minutes but this young
kid named Alex, he pretty much led most of the way," Rhemet said,
smiling. "I sprinted past him and kept going to create distance."
Alex Sokol, 12 from San Jose and Don Looby, 52 were at
Rehmet's heels fighting for second place. Although both crossed the
finish line at 19:59, Looby got second and Sokol came in third.
Sokol said, "I was trying to keep up with him
the whole way whenever he came ahead, I tried to keep up but in the end
I couldn't hold on."
Tanya Ferreira of Prunedale triumphed over the ladies
"The race was pretty slow for me because I'm coming off
injury," she said. "I did what I could do for today so I'm happy that I
Michelle McHugh took second with 21:41 and Natalie
nabbed third in 22:39.
The men's 10K division top winners are Marty Conrad with
36:23, Jean Harris in 37:38 and Chris Rose rounding it off in 39:29.
Morgan Hill's Ken Oliver took first in his age group
"The weather was terrific," Oliver said. "I stayed focus
sustained the pace." He plans to run the Mt. Madonna Challenge next
month, which is hilly.
For the women's division, Norma Zavala from Napa blazed
trail in 48:05, Gilroy's Kelly Ramirez snagged second in 49:07 and Amy
Moomy grabbed third with 50:49.
"This race is a perfect situation with the weather,"
said. "I'm very excited."
30-something and pregnant Amie Magstadt won the bronze
32:45. The Santa Rosa native ran over three miles with her friends
Zavala, Nancy Welch (38:10) and Sarah Holguin (37:06). They come every
year for the race.
"It was really fun, a nice race. It was beautiful."
Ryan McNamara (49:44) of Morgan Hill and his friend
Bernhard of San Jose ran six miles with Ben Am. Ben Am won silver in
46:06. Bernhard carried the American Flag throughout his 47:39 run.
fun running in Morgan Hill
The top winners were in
Hundreds of athletes crowded the registration tables in
of PA Walsh Elementary School, snapping up T-shirts, race bibs, and
snacks before Freedom Fest's Children's 1-Mile and 5K began. Clear blue
skies in the early morning warned impending hot weather for all
participants and the race was indeed a scorcher.
Despite the intense heat plaguing runners and walkers,
everyone had a great time. Excitement saturated the humid air as racers
were eagerly awaiting the start of the race.
The Children's 1-Miler field bolted from the start in
climate. Niah Carrender, 10 from Morgan Hill sprinted the mile like it
was a skip in the park, crossing the finish in 6:43.
"I started running when I played soccer at 4," he
"In the beginning <at the race> there were two people in front of
me and the first person ahead of everybody <else>. And then
it was just him and me, fighting for the end and sprinted to the
finish. I'll do it again next year."
Hollister's Karina Collins, 11 beat everyone else in
she didn't even look winded.
"My whole family funs. My brother and my sister do cross
country for our high school, and my mother is in a running club and my
father likes 5Ks," Collins said.
The top winners of both distances rode in the parade on
back seat of a vintage cream-colored 1964 Chevy Impala piloted by the
illustrious John Miles. How was I privy to this? I got to ride shotgun
with Miles because I won best Patriotic Costume in the race. That's the
closest thing for competing against those rabbits and earning a nifty
trophy at the same time.
San Jose's Carlos Siqueiros dusted the competition in
with an impressive 15:33 blistering the asphalt more than the sun
"I felt pretty good about the race . . .. It was hard
my legs were tired. I've been a lot of miles lately. I like the slight
downhill start. It does help things going. I lost a little focus around
the second mile. Then after that it was fine."
He is training for the US Olympics Times Qualifier
2012. His mileage ranges from 125 to 140 a week. "After the parade, I
plan to go on another 12-mile run this afternoon to shake out the legs,
eat lots of food and relax."
Overall 5K female winner is Tanya Ferreira of Prunedale.
blasted the rest of the pack in 19:00. She plans to do the Run For The
Stinkin Roses in Gilroy next week.
"If I'm seriously training for college I run 50-60 miles
week. I barely have time for anything else besides running. I want to
run the rest of my life."
Lance Wolfsmith from Morgan Hill finished second in the
with an impressive 16:28. Other Wolfpak members medaled in their age
groups including Erin Logan in 20:23, Kyle Deisenroth in 16:30 and Ryan
Corvese in 16:39.
"Today's race was kind of a nice reality check. I'm at a
different stage in my training that I used to be in high school. It was
still fun to come out here and race with the hometown people,"
Morgan Hill's Andrew Bogia and Marti Menz who belong to
Valley Running Club ran the 5K.
"It was fun like last year's but a little hotter," Bogia
He took second in the 60-age group with 25:17. "I decided to jump in
when some family members wanted to do the race. It was a last minute
Menz, 55 completed her 3.1-mile challenge in 24:12.
looked refreshed with not a hair out of place. They didn't look like
they just ran in a furnace.
"It was a great run, well organized, with lots of spirit
lots of people."
Bogia added, "If you didn't do the race this year, you
to consider coming out, it's a great place to meet a bunch of runners
and show your support for a great event run by the local community."
I agree with him. I can't wait to run and beat my time
33:34 in next year's race on America's birthday!
Hill Freedom Fest 5k and 1-Mile Children's Race
The United States is turning 235 years soon, Morgan Hill
gearing up to celebrate the Big Day with plenty of festivities starting
with a grand tradition of running in the streets.
Roughly, 650 people participate in the Morgan Hill
Fest 5K and 1-Miler for kids in previous years. Organizers expect more
competitors to join the fun this year.
The race is a great way to launch America's birthday and
one of my favorites for several reasons. The main reason: back in 2000,
this was the first race I ever ran and I did everything wrong including
wearing a tye dye sweatshirt and gym shoes that were too small.
Didn't train at all or drink water along the course. I
ran it for kicks, thinking it would be a piece of cake. I don't
remember my finishing time and that's a good thing!
Subsequently, I ran more ID4 races in good shoes,
costumes and got to ride in the parade with the top winners for several
years. You can say I have a portion reserved in my heart for this
race. My alma mater race.
What better way to eat guilt free at the plethora of
barbecues, picnics, and parties throughout the holiday when you know
ran a fun run in the morning?
Speaking of mornings . . .. At the crack of dawn
members of Morgan Hill Freedom Fest are setting the stage for the
much-anticipated parade on Monterey Road and adjoining thoroughfares in
Among the dedicated workers are Charles Weston, Race
and his wife Lesley. They will be up before the sun with his band of
volunteers preparing for the hundreds of runners scheduled to appear.
"I started helping with the run, cause I wanted to give
to the running community, then as I got asked to do more I said, 'yes'
cause I wanted to belong to this group and I wanted to give back to the
parade cause I loved sitting on the curb with my children and enjoying
it with them," Weston said. "The run has the same route as the parade,
so there will be people on the side of the course waiting for the
parade, that will cheer you on. Most runs don't have this feature."
In addition to spectators cheering the athletes along
parade route, there are other benefits. "The course is fast, so runners
looking for a PR, this is their course. Some will run with their
children and have a great memory they can share together. There are
some who will run it after training in hopes they finish strong and get
a great sense of accomplishment."
The kids' run begins at 7:45am with the 5K toeing the
8:15. Put on a patriotic outfit and come run with us! If you don't want
to run, then volunteer. They could use a helping hand putting on a
Morgan Hill great tradition!
To download registration forms go to http://www.SVEtiming.com/events
Mardi Gras fun run for all
5K Winners Kyle Deisenroth and Erin Logan
of the Wolfpak Team
Claudia Becque and Tom Garden
Top 10K runners
Angela Young after her run at the Finish Line
Runners and Walkers in the 5K
Perfect running weather on raceday
While many folks were sleeping comfortably in their beds
busily setting up for the Mushroom party in downtown Morgan Hill, early
risers toed the line in last Saturday’s Mushroom Mardi Gras 10K race
and 5K fun run-walk despite the cold, cloudy weather and chance of
rain. This is a benefit for the Live Oak Athletic Booster organization.
Runners from far away as Whittier came to compete among
three hundred racers on the out and back course. The 10K began with
many stampeding forward onto the dirt trail sending up a mini dust
storm in the faces of the middle packers.
The 5K followed five minutes later in hot pursuit with
slow pokes (like me) and walkers trailing behind. Not caring about my
time I ran-walked a quarter-mile taking photos leisurely for the story.
It’s about having fun and getting the story, not how I perform as a
racer. At least that’s what I told myself until my pride kicked in and
I popped the clutch, putting myself in gear to pass a horde of people
before the turn-a-round point.
Two teens decked in black uniforms on the return trip
past me in a whirlwind toward the finish. They looked like Wolfpak guys
and they were amazingly fast. Actually these athletes along with their
fellow members are a dominant presence at local races. Many members
took home medals.
“Live Oak Athletic Booster support the athletes and
for them to succeed in academics and athletics. The kids you see out on
the course are athletes either from the football or track team. The
refreshments are provided by the wrestling team,” Interim race director
Donna Brusaschetti said.
The overall 5K winners are Kyle Deisenroth of Morgan
an impressive 16:59 and Erin Logan with her sizzling finale in 19:49.
Deisenroth and his father Fred are part of the Wolfpak
and did well in Saturday’s race despite family member and fellow runner
Derek recovering from a severe auto injury. All three Deisenroths
competed in the Wildflower Run in April taking away several medals.
“I didn’t feel so good but was still able to win. I won
year,” Deisenroth said sheepishly.
The father quipped, “I love the race being local. We
up and go to the race. It’s awesome. He <Kyle> has a teammate he
is always battling with <Ryan Corvese>. He took second.”
“I always out kick him,” the younger Deisenroth said
chuckle. They were the two teens competing neck-to-neck I saw during
the 3.1-mile race.
Nick Froumis, 32 from San Jose, the son of South Valley
Running Club’s Andy Froumis took first in his age group with 19:07. The
senior Froumis is proud of his Optometrist son. “This is one of his
favorite races. It’s close to his parent’s house. I hope to have his
twins carry on the tradition of running. I’m excited to see them run
and raise the bar even higher than what their dad and granddad has
done,” Froumis said.
The 10K top gunners are Tom Garden who completed 6.2
35:42 and Claudia Becque crossing the finish in 37:15.
Becque, 34 of Morgan Hill said, “I moved here in
Chicago, first time here in the race. I wanted to do a Saturday race. I
think the course was great and there was a lot of support on the
course. I’m coming off a calf injury and didn’t race much since the
Turkey Trot,” she said. She is training for the Olympic Trials in
January in Houston. She qualified for the trials at the Chicago
Marathon with a time of 2:44.
The South Valley Running Club garnered more medals.
Hill’s Marti Menz received first place in her age division in 48:24,
followed by Michelle LaJeunesse taking second in 49:50 and Gilroy
resident Kim Moyano rounding off in third with 50:33.
for a good cause
A plethora of spring blooms carpet the Golden State
an increase of charitable footraces. The Relay, a fundraiser for Organs
R Us (ORU) is normally a 199-mile run but this year it turned out to be
I'm sure some fatigued runners were grateful about the
The start line begins in the wine country and concludes
sand and surf of Santa Cruz from April 30th to May 1st.
The Relay comprises of teams with twelve runners apiece
two volunteers who shuttle the participants around in a van over a
24-hour period. However, ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes jogged the
entire distance solo several times in the past including 2003 for
one-month old Valeria Sanchez who needed a heart transplant.
To get a better idea how this works; the 194-mile
divided among the racers, giving them three segments or legs each. Some
legs are easy on the knees and others are more brutal with steep grades
and increase mileage. Some of this is done at night in the wilderness
or in a weird neighborhood without much lighting. This is where an
unfortunate athlete can trip and fall out in the middle of nowhere and
gets injured. The stalwarts in the team get stuck with the tough, nasty
segments and the newbies or softies get the easy stuff. One hopes,
Fortunate runners get to run across the Golden Gate
midnight if they manage to snag the coveted leg with that feature.
To generate a festive race teams are encouraged to wear
costumes and also decorate their vans in a unique way.
Three teams from Morgan Hill got in the act to help
are in desperate for an organ transplant. "SVRcrazy Team" with captain
Allan Abrams leading the way finished the ambitious fundraiser in
28:57:51. Abrams and his fellow teammates done The Relay five times and
raised $9500 bucks. They are part of the South Valley Running Club and
train together regularly. Also it helps that most of these guys run
many a marathon and ultra marathon distances.
"I am training all year round so the relay fits
my schedule. I only need to make sure I incorporate some hill work to
insure I'm ready for the hard legs," Abrams said. Outside of running
the thing, there are other issues like staying awake for 37 hours
straight and raising money. Abrams didn't seem to have a problem with
these. But the organizing can be challenging.
"First is recruiting a team of 12 runners. I start
January knowing that I will lose at least two over the coming months to
injury, family or work conflicts. Then it's getting the two
volunteers each team is required to have. Again there is the
chance I will lose at least one along the way. After nailing down
the team the rest is very easy as I have been doing this for 5 years
now," he said.
The other two teams from Morgan Hill are Stryker
"We've Still Got The Runs Team" headed by Jenn Frisk who finished the
course in 29:47:10 and "Team Wicked" with Mary Seehafer at the helm,
completing their part in The Relay with 33:17:32.
The rewards is seeing the people in desperate need for
organ transplant get the help they seek and experiencing the colorful
party atmosphere of The Relay 194-miler.
Abrams said, "I enjoy the camaraderie and team
It's a chance to really get to know fellow club members and bond over a
common love for running."
I bet you he'll back with his team next year.
part in another big turnout
Racers bolt from the start line Sunday at Live Oak High School in the
10K, part of the 28th annual Wildflower Run persented by the American
Association of University Women
Photo by Noella Vingeant Photography
Hundreds from Italy to Ethiopia showed up to toe the
the 28th annual Wildflower Run on Sunday at Live Oak High school.
Despite the chilly weather in the morning where most
in the race wore winter apparel, athletes came out in shorts and tank
tops not caring about the cool climate. It does after all make
excellent running weather.
Fifty Wolfpak members showed up in their sleek black
among the 705 other contestants prepped and ready to blast out of the
gates. From little kids to senior citizens these guys always show up at
every Wildflower event. They are also among the winners in Sunday's
Kyle Deisenroth blazed the trail in the 5K with 17:26,
followed by Ryan Corvese in 17:34; and Cody Hulme snagging third place
Morgan Hill's Michael Hulme also ran the 5K with his son
He finished with an impressive 20:23. "This is a great race because
there are lot of people we see at the start and finish. This is my
For the ladies division, Erin Logan sprinted to the
20:49 with Julie Wolfsmith on her heels in 21:02 and Akane Hashimoto
rounding it up with 21:57.
These winners gave me a peek into how they prepared for
"We cross-train, so we swam, bike and run to prepare for
runs. We all had goal times that we went over yesterday. We all had our
paces and went for it. I think everyone is happy with their race,"
Julie Wolfsmith said. She and her husband David lead the Wolfpak team.
Erin Logan said, "I felt great. I felt strong. We all
together as a team. We encouraged and supported each other and ran
together. We train seven days a week. We're a triathlon team," she
Hashimoto is a Japanese exchange student at Sobrato
is also part of the wolfpakers. "It was fun, I like running. Keeping
the pace was hard," Hashimoto said.
"We all had aggressive goals. It was hard for all of us
levels," Wolfsmith added. "We do this to keep a healthy lifestyle."
"We keep a fast pace consistently, the whole race you're
feeling it," Logan said.
San Jose's Jimmy Baraona came with his mom Kathie. They
enjoyed the 3.1-mile run. "I could've run better had I practice running
a lot more before the race," Baraona said regarding his 28:15 finish.
I ran with them, seeing if I would be the first to make
the Jamba Juice tent afterwards. Whoever lost had to pay for a
delicious Strawberry smoothie for everyone. Baraona's mom beat me by
crossing the finish line at 33.14 and I trailed behind in 33.44. Good
thing the smoothies were free!
Fred Deisenroth who completed the 10K in 42:20 and his
Derek competed in the 10K. They are part of the Wolf Pak triathlon
team. Unfortunately due to a goof up with the lead cyclist making a
wrong turn on the 10K course, the leaders of the pack got disqualified
and their times weren't recorded. This included the elite runner Tegenu
Beru and the younger Deisenroth's time. However, they get a comp entry
for next year's run.
"My son was in that group," Deisenroth said.
The other Deisenroth said, "I probably PR'd today but
wrong way because the front few people in the 10K went the wrong way. I
followed my teammate who was in front of me. It was a shorter race."
"I think he had a PR at the 5K point and he was excited
if he was going to PR on his 10K time. So it's kind of a bummer that
the course changed," his father said.
Marathoner Gar Chan from Gilroy ran the 10K (46:13) and
wasn't affected by the mishap on the course. "My strategy was to finish
and not fall flat on my race," he joked. "It was a good training goal
to reach my time. This is a great run, the organization is fantastic,
and people are very friendly. It's a fantastic race as usual and I wish
everyone can run it."
and Smell the Wildflowers Sunday
Now that spring is finally here with the posies in
time again to lace up those running shoes and dash outside and join the
hordes racing down the Morgan Hill streets in the American Association
of University Women (AAUW) Wildflower Run Sunday, April 10th.
The 28th annual Wildflower Run (WFR) footraces are
Morgan Hill tradition, which is one of my favorites on my calendar I
don't dare to miss. As a race t-shirt junkie, I need to add another WFR
edition to my collection.
"Each year we have an original design done for the
all logo material like registration forms, postcards, posters," Former
race director Barbara Palmer said.
"The Wildflower Run has been tailored to be a wonderful
held in a small town amidst the spring wildflowers. During the first
few years of the run members actually went out to sow wildflower seeds
along the route so the runners could enjoy them along the way!"
The WFR event is funded by business sponsors and by
member donations. All the money goes to scholarships for girls in
school and is tax-deductible. One notable sponsor is Brian and Katie
Howard, owners of Jamba Juice. They provide all registered runners with
a complimentary smoothie after the run.
I admit I do the run for the delicious Jamba strawberry
at the end.
Most of the volunteers and workers are from AAUW. "I
volunteered at the WFR every year since I moved to Morgan Hill in 1999
except for one year when I was out of town. All branch members are
encouraged to help in some way, either the day of the race or ahead of
time," Carol O Hare said. "This year, since we're now using electronic
chip timing provided by South Valley Endurance, I will help with
registration in addition to publicity."
"We'd like to see over 1,000 runners and walkers come
enjoy a run through beautiful scenic Morgan Hill. Last year we
had over 900 participants in our 2K Kids Run, 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run,"
This year's race director Yvonne Duckett said.
"I personally enjoy running," Duckett added. "We have
in strollers, pushed by their energetic parents . . .. I, running my
heart out, have been passed by infants. It is a humbling experience. We
have runners over 75 who astound me with their vitality. My husband was
thrilled to run next to Mayor Steve Tate in last year's run. We have a
Wildflower Walk this year because Inga Alonzo."
Walker Alonzo explained, "I have a lot of coworkers and
friends who prefer walking to running also and know the benefits of
walking are different from those of running. Running is great for
cardiovascular health and walking is a better fat-calorie burning
workout for those trying to maintain or lose weight. Then there
are all of those thousand of overweight Americans who are encouraged to
start with walking to begin weight loss . . . .I think the 'Walk'
category helps encourage more newcomers each year to not feel
intimidated by the 'Run' category. "
Putting on a race isn't easy. Palmer shares about some
"We use flexibility and problem-solving to get through
many challenges of the run. We have coped with pouring rain, scorching
heat, construction on run routes, and most notably a man with a shotgun
who was not happy that the run was going past his house!"
These hardworking AAUW ladies don't let anything deter
putting on a hometown treat for all ages.
"I Am 83 years old and am interested in participating in
5K Wildflower Run on April 10. Have noted the 5K run division
awards state the last category as 70 plus. I participated in over
20 races in 2010 and 7 races so far this year and all but one have had
award divisions of 80 and over. It is difficult for us octogenarians to
compete with those 70 year olds. Besides, more and more of us
oldies are participating these days and it is nice to compete with our
peers." Joe LoBianco wrote to organizers, asking to add an 80-age
is part of the Surgeon General's 'vision for a healthier nation'
Zumba Fitness put on an amazing
charity event on St. Patty's Day at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Hotel. A thousand dance addicts jammed to the energetic music of Mueva
La Cadera along with founder Beto Perez and his Zumba Education
Specialists (SEZ) for Augie's Quest fundraiser.
Over a thousand people came to help Augie Nieto who has
lateral sclerosis (ALS) fight the nasty neurological disease. Nieto
imparted these encouraging words to everyone, "Thank you for the love
But what blew me away wasn't the $210, 000 they raised.
surprise appearance of the US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. She
stood on stage with Perez and his dance team. Benjamin isn't exactly
slim but that's what makes her so cool.
And when the top-notch physician shimmied and wriggled
stage the crowd roared with delight. She told everyone she has a vision
for a healthy nation and Zumba is part of the mix.
Besides the weight loss benefits of dancing; it makes
happy. And it made the Surgeon General jolly too. In an interview with
the New York Times she admits it.
"Yes, I love to dance, and whenever I'm at events and
music, I will dance. That exercise is medicine. It's better than most
pills," she said. "I want exercise to be fun; don't want it to be work.
I don't want it to be so routine that you're bored with it."
Zumba instructor Teresa Flynn from Morgan Hill was
history take place with the dancing doctor. "I really appreciated the
General moving outside of the box. It's something I love telling
my class before we start to get out of the box and move like never
before. One thing is to imagine it and it's another to feel the
music move you," Flynn said.
Neighboring Gilroy Zumba teacher Sarah Hartz enthused,"
it. She went up there and showed that Zumba is absolutely for
everyone. Her presence also recognizes Zumba as a respected form
However, Salinas resident Angelo Manzano wasn't
okay being onstage and saying a few motivational words for the crowd.
However, I don't fully agree that she herself isn't physically fit, as
one would expect of a Surgeon General. On the other hand, I hope she
keeps her word about continually supporting and furthering her vision
of a healthy America."
Paula Edwards of Monterey added, "As a doctor of
fitness professional, I understand all too well the importance of
health and fitness going hand in hand. I hope that the Surgeon
General takes it upon herself to get into better shape. She needs
to set an example for all."
Oscar Solano waited six hours in line before they
the ballroom. "When the doors opened, it was like a mad rush. We were
all ready to party. The music was the fuel and we were in combustion
until the music stopped one and half hours later, " he said.
Manzano was amazed by the ebb and flow of the mob
an unseen current. "It was epic! I've never danced with so many people
in one room at one time! It felt like being in the club (without the
alcohol and people hitting on each other," he joked.
"This is great about a Zumba event. It's a complete
cause, party, exercise, socialize, networking, learning new choreograph
as an instructor, and a spiritually up-lifting event." Josep Budijanto
said happily. He came with Manzano, Solano and Dr. Edwards.
Solano concluded, "At the end, Zumba officials presented
his wife all of the funds for the Zumbathon. It was a touching
moment for all of us because we all helped a bit to make it
happen. I am so thankful for the chance to make a difference. I
felt very proud that I'm part of Zumba when our current US Surgeon
General came out and danced with all of us. I hope she brings
this message across the country and that she leads the Obamas in the
Zumba instructor Sarah Zack, far left, focks out with Jay Jay Davalos,
Marcy Balas, and Loretta Ruiz at Gilroy Health and Fitness. Photo by
Dancing Dynamo Joseph Budijanto leads a Zumba class at Gold's Gym in
Hollister. Photo by Angela Young.
One of the hottest health trends
to sweep the globe is in the South Valley. What better cross training
for running than a full body workout like Zumba Fitness? It’s time to
get your groove on people! Swing those hips and burn off those nasty
Marcia Ribiero introduced me to a Zumba class last
when I was
critically ill from a thyroid disorder. After a few weeks I was able to
run again and I knew God used Zumba to change my life.
Alberto “Beto” Perez from Colombia founded the Zumba
mid-90s by accident. He forgot his regular aerobic tapes for class,
using his favorite Latin tunes instead. The people loved it, wanting
more. Since 2001, Zumba Fitness has more than ten million people taking
weekly classes in over 90,000 locations worldwide.
Zumba classes are ubiquitous in gyms, community centers,
resorts, college campuses, corporations, churches, gaming platforms,
and television. Because of the partying atmosphere many who normally
shun exercise are rocking to the beat instead of dreading the trip to
the gym. The energetic sounds of samba, cumbia, reggaeton, salsa,
merengue and hip-hop keep bringing people back.
Suzi Sellers, a Morgan Hill resident with bright violet
hair, teaches Zumba at various clubs including 24-Hour Fitness and The
Recreation Center. She not only jams to the latest Latin beats but also
includes hip-hop in her repertoire. Her classes are popular and crowded
with people of all ages and ability.
“I look forward to every class. It's like I'm partying
but instead of knocking back drinks and eating pastry pups we're
burning calories,“ Sellers said. “Jordan Rosenfeld lost a lot of
weight. So when I met Jordan’s husband he said to me, ‘Are you the
person responsible for literally dancing my wife’s bottom off?’ I
thought that was funny.”
Rosenfeld dropped 26 pounds dancing mostly in Seller’s
last May. However, losing weight wasn’t the only reason she stuck with
it. “I was a new mom, who rarely left the house, depressed, tired,
overweight and had a bad body image. Honestly, it made a major
difference in my life.”
The party thrusts forward to Gilroy Health and Fitness
instructors Jennifer Ehrenberger and Sarah Zack boogie down with eager
students on a cold rainy night. Ehrenberger who is a scientist at
Syngenta Flowers, Inc. teaches after a full day in the lab.
“I have had ladies tell me Zumba has helped their
love to dance and their husbands don't anymore and they can get their
"dancing fix" in my class . . .. People sweat and dance out all the
frustrations of life and our poorly running economy and go home feeling
satisfied and relaxed,” said Ehrenberger.
Over yonder in Hollister at Gold’s Gym Josep Budijanto
power you can feel the electricity surge across the packed room. Prior
to Zumba, he was out of shape, frustrated and 35 pounds heavier.
“Three years ago I did not have any idea how to dance
fitness activities I know were swimming, tennis, and biking,” Budijanto
said. He also had to overcome his issues. “From a guys’ perspective I
had to break the barrier of not being manly for going to Zumba. I keep
telling myself this is an exercise class and not a dancing class.”
Debbie Fisher, a student of Budijanto’s is a success
running 5 years ago, attempting to work up to a marathon. My knees
began to swell and the doctors could not find an exact reason. I
continued to exercise but quit running. Last year, I joined weight
watchers and Zumba. In three months I had lost 30 pounds and realized I
could run again.” Subsequently, she ran both the Rock N Roll Half
Marathon in San Jose and the California International Marathon in
Juan “Jay Jay” Davalos, 14 faithfully takes
He wants to become a certified Zumba instructor but must wait until he
reaches16 due to the age limit. “For the guys if you like hip hop or
any dance just come on in. Yes there’s mostly girls in the classes, but
anyone is invited!” He said.
Times Columnist on a Mission to Run
Father and son team in the 5K
Jose Ruiz and Michelle Lucero
Jose Morales winning the 10 miler
San Juan Bautista—What does 1086
athletic feet, The San Andreas Fault, a historical Spanish institution,
sweaty bodies, pain, joy, excitement, hard work, Federal Reserve notes,
winter, long sleeve T-shirts, technology, tradition, health and
pristine lush California landscape have in common? Why the 28th Annual
Mission 10 of course. Over 500 entries from Turlock, Salinas, San Jose,
Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister, Monterey, San Juan Bautista, Aromas,
Santa Cruz and beyond covered the pocked mark streets of the mission
town to run in three distances: The 10-miler, 5K and 1-Mile for
Saturday’s foggy weather provided the perfect climate
walkers until mid-morning when most of it burned off with the sun
toasting the countryside. Olympic marathon hopefuls to the weekend
warrior ran side by side down the paved roads into farmlands as far as
the eye can see. That’s what beckoned me along with them to hit the
ground running in this fun race. What makes Mission 10 a real treat is
the absence of uptight people typical of larger races where the world
watches through a magnifying glass.
However, the Hollister Rotary Club and South Valley
put on a good show. Many talented athletes run the 10-mile or 5K every
winter because the mostly flat courses for both distances are eye candy
for participants and post race raffle prizes for pre-registered runners
are dandy. Plus the fabulous long-sleeve cotton tees keep athletes
coming back. I confess I do Mission 10 for the T-shirt.
However, Jose Morales of Turlock, CA had a much better
Mission 10. The 26-year old State university at Stanislaus Senior
blitzed ten miles with an impressive 53:51 winning the race overall. He
runs 70-80 miles per week to keep sanity from his studies and would
also like to compete in the 2012 Olympics games.
“I went for it. It showed me what kind of runner I am. I
faster in the future . . .. I ran the CIM in December; I did it in
2:28, I thought it was pretty good for my first marathon. I want to do
the Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon. My goal is to hit the Olympic
qualifying times,” Morales said. To qualify he would have to run 26.2
miles in 2:18.
Hartnell College coach Monica Nicholson, 29 from Aromas
finish line after running ten miles in 1:06:29 and nabbed the First
Place trophy for the women’s division. This was her first 10-miler. “My
goal was to run under 1:10 and I went out a little hard but I felt good
and decided to keep it up. It was fun,” Nicholson said pleased about
her sub-seven pace.
Salinas resident Sean Curry, 43 who ran Dirty Legs 24
marathon two weeks ago couldn’t stay away from racing and toed the line
despite an injury. He ran 41 miles in the ultra but the next day Curry
ran another 26 miles because he was too hyper to rest. That’s when he
broke his toe. It didn’t slow him down at Mission 10 either. “It went
better than I thought. I like to get under an hour in this race. That’s
what I’ll shoot for next year,” he said referring to his 1:03:35 finish
and third place victory in his age group.
The 5K winners are as follows: Hollister’s teen Omar
the competition in 17:10 and Michelle Lucero, 39 shut out the rest of
the pack in 21:30. Shannon McRoberts, 18 from Morgan Hill happily
completed 3.1 miles in 28:26 and got 2nd place in her age division.
“The 5K is my favorite distance. The hill at the end was tough but it
was good because it helped me push myself.”
San Joseans Shawn Baraona (27:37) and his older brother
(28:27) ran the 5K with their mother Kathie (33:35). The eldest boy ran
in a polo shirt and slacks. That’s what he prefers. “It’s kinda cold,
actually, to run in shorts because your legs don’t sweat . . .. I got
into running because of the movie Run Fat Boy Run,” Baraona said.
To view entire Mission Race 10 results go to http://www.SveTiming.com.
article ran in The
Morgan Hill Times
on 06 July 2007
Angela supplied source material for a staff writer
Silicon Valley Marathon a Pleasure for All
South Valley Runners celebrate at finish line festivities in downtown
From left: Dr. Chan, Angela Young, Gretchen Yoder-Schrock, Steve Land,
and Robert Miller.
Runners get ready for the Silicon Valley Marathon
Thank God for Daylights Savings. Because of the annual
one-hour falling back clock re-adjustment, runners who participated in
the Oct. 29 Metro Silicon Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K races,
got an extra hour of sleep. The bonus hour helped us get up in the wee
hours before sunrise to tackle the three races. I, along with several
South Valley runners, ran the half marathon. Race organizers Elite
Racing and Evolve Sports created the new 2006 Silicon Valley Double for
anyone willing to compete in two half marathons in October for a
special memento. Three weeks ago, I ran another 13.1-mile race in San
Jose. Whereas the musically talented inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Half
Marathon was jammed elbow to elbow with roughly 12,000 athletes in
downtown San Jose on Oct. 8, the Metro Silicon Valley race had roughly
South Valley athletes traveled to downtown San Jose at 6am to gear up
for the 7am start. The climate early Sunday morning was frigid at the
starting line near Almaden Boulevard and Park Avenue in downtown San
Jose. Most participants bundled up in long track pants; fleece jackets
or wore a variety of winter apparel. Some stalwarts jogged lightly in
shorts and t-shirts despite the chilly, overcast sky. As usual, it was
a contest to get a shot at the bright green Porta-Potties before the
race began, as lines were long. Ten minutes before 7am, athletes stood
shivering in the cold with hands over their right breast for the
National Anthem blaring on huge outdoor speakers nearby. Finally, the
announcer simply shouted enthusiastically, “Go!” And we complied, a
cacophony of tiny high-pitched beeps echoed in the air as thousands of
runners with smart chips strapped to their shoes stepped onto the mauve
mats spread out underneath the start line.
Racers compressed together followed the serpentine paths along downtown
streets that gave runners a closer look of the quaint Willow Glen
neighborhoods, famous Lincoln Avenue in the heart of San Jose, and
eventually thinned out as the miles progressed in an orderly manner
thanks to the presence of several police officers from the San Jose
Police Department. Spectator participation was barely present and there
wasn’t much fanfare, except for a few Willow Glen residents offering
champagne to the runners. The race was more laid back and peaceful than
the Rock ‘n’ Roll race, which made the experience refreshing. This race
provided a more bucolic view of the South Bay instead of a smorgasbord
of buildings, buildings and more buildings along the course. We
sprinted or walked our way through three cities - San Jose, Campbell
and Los Gatos - and inhaled the musky scent along the Los Gatos Creek
Trail. The high cloud ceiling gave runners a respite from the Indian
summer conditions we’ve been dealing with lately, and the sun burnt off
the fog layer towards the end. Then the temperatures soared and I was
glad to cross the finish line in 2:25:57.
Members from the South Valley Running Club were present at the races
and included Steve Lane, of Morgan Hill, who ran the full 26.2 miles.
In addition for this being his debut marathon, Lane also participated
in a medical study offered by Stanford University’s physician Dr.
Suzanne Miller on the impact of long distance running on the human
heart of elite versus recreational athletes. Lane sailed across three
cities and back in 4:07:35. “I found the 4:00 pace runner and started
with her and a small group. I told her I wanted to finish in about 3:50
and one young lady, Jenny, who is a Stanford ME grad student said she
did too. We decided to stay with the 4:00 pacer for 10K and then
pick it up a bit until 20 miles and see what we had left . . . I came
through the half marathon mark at 1:53ish and was happy to see Kim,
Gar, Gretchen and Bob cheering me on behind LG High School . . . I was
feeling fine, but I started getting a little tired in the 17th mile. At
about 24 miles I caught a glimpse of the tall buildings in downtown San
Jose and that motivated me to push to the finish line,” Lane said. He
plans to run another marathon next year.
Gilroy’s Dr. Gar Chan D.D.S, Doug Meier, and Gretchen Yoder-Schrock
conquered the half marathon distance along with Robert Miller. Meier
was the first among them to finish the 13.1-mile race in 1:31:39;
subsequently the others came 11 minutes later. “The last miles were
hard because of the hills at the end,” Miller said about his 1:42:39
time. Both Dr. Chan and Yoder-Schrock agreed, “The weather was great
and the course was nice.” Dr. Chan finished in 1:44:14, Yoder-Schrock
followed in 1:44:43.
Morgan Hill Times Editor Sheila Sanchez, who’s been running
consistently for about eight years, ran the Metro Silicon Valley
Marathon last year, but this year she did the half. “I like running on
the Los Gatos Creek Trail. The organizers had plenty of water stations
along the beautiful course. The weather was perfect, not too cold or
too hot. I’m grateful that I got to run in it,” Sanchez said, happy to
finish in 2:24:34. For more information on race results on all three
distances, please go to www.siliconvalleymarathon.com.
'N Roll Marathon: Thousands Rock Out in SJ's First Time Gig
The runners prepare for
Sunday's race in downtown
Running a 13.1-mile race can be a real bear unless of
there’s lots of music and serious revelry happening on the sidelines. I
waited for the San Jose Inaugural Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon on October
8th for months, anticipating the party atmosphere and physical duress
of this first time gig. I got up before the crack of dawn and got
dressed in my pink and red outfit and affixed a bright pink pageboy wig
to my head. Everything had to match because I’m a fashion freak with
artistic flair and besides nobody will recognize me if I stagger to the
finish puking my guts out. After downing a bowl of grits, I complete my
prepping ritual and dash out the door. The drive to San Jose from
Morgan Hill was peaceful unlike weekday mornings.
At the VIP booth, the elite runners were decked out in
tracksuits were waiting pensively for the Elite Racing staff to lead
them to the Start. Jen Rhines, 2004 US Olympic Trials winner walked
among the Kenyans and displayed a cheery smile. She is a friend of
Gilroy physician Kari Bertrand. I told her Bertrand says hi and she
replied with a similar greeting. Kenyan William Chebon was there and we
chatted briefly. He, like the others, was concentrating on the
13.1-mile challenge. $8K was at steak here and he needed everything he
can muster to win the prize. At the Expo on Friday, Chebon told me this
was his first time in California and he was looking forward to Sunday.
Everyone was talking about him as one of the favorites in the race.
After departing the VIP booth, I then joined the throngs
runners at corral 9 and waited for the sound of the gun. We were packed
like Sardines talking excitedly about the huge musical spectacle. Rock
music blared from speakers everywhere and the mood festive and
friendly. This is my kind of race. As 8a.m approached I could hear the
crowds roar with excitement and suddenly we’re moving towards the
Start. The Emcee announces our corral number and we give San Jose a
mighty shout with our collective arms in the air like riding in an
enormous rollercoaster. The power of the people, rock bands, and
enthusiasm surges throughout the thousands of racers, the ebb and flow
of pure, raw energy pulled us through each mile.
The organizers had water and Amino Vital (an energy
every other mile and of course there was a band too. People called out
to me, “Way to go Pink!” “I love your pink hair!” and “Go Pink!” I
danced and ran along the wounding course through San Jose and I had a
blast despite feeling tired at times. At Mile 11, my glycogen stores
were depleting, but I was determined to fly across the finish in
fuchsia fury. I couldn’t gulp down another cup of Amino Vital because
it tasted icky and I got a tummy ache from drinking too much of it.
(Coincidentally, US Olympic silver medalist Meb KefIezighi bonked an
hour earlier at the 11th mile due to a hamstring cramp and had to drop
out of the race.) After passing the 12th mile I was jubilant and
increased my pace so that I could zip pass the next one. The finish
line shined forth with golden splendor as I went full throttle and
leaped across the end with a grin. I completed the half marathon in
2:25:26 not bad for a party animal.
Morgan Hill’s Michele Lajeunesse, 43 is the top placer
San Jose Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon from out of 104 south valley female
runners with her finish of 1:47:35. “I consider this race as my
training run. I was going between 1:45 and 1:50. I’m running the
California International Marathon in Sacramento in December. I hope to
qualify for Boston,” Lajeunesse said. “I did the Rock ‘N Roll San Diego
Marathon last June. It was my first marathon.” She liked the
professional quality of the race.
“Richard and I were both pleasantly surprised with the
- we ran through some beautiful neighborhoods. The bands and
cheerleaders were definitely motivational and the spectator support was
great as well! The event was very well organized, with water and
Amino every 2 miles, GU at 9.6 miles, and plenty of volunteers at the
water stations, plenty of porta potties! Every mile was well
marked and the time displayed.
“This was a first 1/2 marathon for both Richard and I -
would both do it again! Richard finished in 1:54:20, as he was
not able to train much before the race. I finished in
2:17:15. I am very happy with my results - as I had never run
more than 6 miles before training for this event!” Kathy Scepura, 42 of
Morgan Hill said.
Luanne Giacalone, 43 of San Martin brought her friends
race. She and Libby Michelini of Gilroy did 18 miles the day before. “I
ran with my friends, Libbey Michelini (2:30:22), Misha Vereyken
(2:23:12), and first time racer Pamela Courtney (2:22:24), and had an
absolute blast. Having been born and raised in San Jose, it was a
nostalgic race for me . . . “ Giacalone said. She ran it in 2:30:22.
San Martin resident Craig Lore, 53 shared his
about the race, “The inaugural San Jose RNR Half Marathon was, by all
that I could see, a tremendous success. The race was extremely well
organized: it started on time, the streets were fully blocked off, well
marked, and wide enough for everyone to run comfortably right from the
beginning. I enjoyed having a dedicated half marathon in our area. The
bands along the course add a tremendous boost as you go by; you feel
like picking it up a little. The crowds were a little thin, but they
were enthusiastic. I got the impression that there were lots of
first-time half marathoners out there. But I noticed many grizzled
veterans in the running crowd as well.
I expected the course to be a little boring since it
in and out of downtown San Jose, but it was a pretty nice course . . .
I would definitely do it again if it falls right on my running
calendar, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others,” Lore said.
Robert Miller, 55 of Gilroy who finished in 1:41:43
is a fast course, the race was well organized, the music was a nice
touch and the crowds were
small for a big city race.”
Thousands of participants rocked with the bands,
and spectators along the fun-filled course in the city to the north of
the south valley. Many plan to do this race again next year. As for the
elite runners my favorite pick, William Chabon of Kenya took second
place out of the massive field of runners and walkers in an impressive
1:01:07 and his friend, Duncan Kibet took first and covered 13.1 miles
in a sizzling hour and 22 seconds. Mesuri San (Very good!) as they say
in Kiswahili, native tongue of Kenya. For the super lady
athletes, Russia’s Sylvia Skvortsova grabbed the top spot in 1:09:17.
Our Jen Rhines finished 6th overall with 1:12:09. For complete coverage
and race results please visit WWW.RNRSJ.Com.
Four days from now I’ll be clogging the streets of San
along with 15, 000 other runners in the debut Rock n’ Roll Half
Marathon on Sunday, October 8th. I’ve been training with South
Valley Runners Club and on my own in Morgan Hill and Gilroy area for
weeks now. So what’s the big deal about the upcoming 13.1-miler? Well,
to non-runners it’s a long, long, long distance to pound the pavement,
and you’re most likely sweating, craving water, and possibly feeling
some sort of pain during the run. But the endorphin rush is worth the
discomfort. Isn’t it? Well to most endurance athletes, including me it
is! Sure beats drugs, alcohol, and that weird green stuff with the
Many from the south valley are gearing up for this
race. Besides the satisfaction of completing a half marathon (a full is
26.2 miles) and receiving the nifty finisher’s medal and bragging
rights, I get to experience this race with my compatriots for the first
time ever. We get to listen to a variety of music on the course with a
different band per mile plus cheerleaders and a rowdy crowd all the way
to the finish. It’s a huge non-stop musical party with lots of
hyperactivity and being wild. I plan to wear a red and pink ensemble
along with other crazy folks in costume.
Elite Racing, Inc., the race organizers, hosts Rock N’
marathons and halves throughout our illustrious country; thanks to US
Olympic marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter, 49ner triple Super bowl
Champ Roger Craig, Goo Goo Dolls drummer Mike Malinin, San Jose Mayor
Ron Gonzales spurred Elite Racing to host one of their famous races in
the capital of Silicon Valley. This year’s race features an elite field
among them US Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflesighi and
football player Craig.
For you pre registered folks, the Health and Fitness
open from 11a.m to 7p.m on Friday, October 6 and Saturday. The event is
free, offers fun seminars including a talk by John The Penguin Bingham,
a Runner’s World Magazine columnist. And those of you who didn’t pay
for the race yet, you may want to go their website (www.rnrsj.com) and register before
it’s too late or show up at the expo and do it there. The Expo is
located at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center on 150 West San
Carlos Street near Market.
is the Key to Running
What does a brain surgeon, a mother of twins, UCLA
an Oscar-winning actor, or runner has in common? You got it.
Commitment. Of course this isn’t restricted to those disciplines, but
you get the idea. It takes time; patience, pain, joy and good old
fashion mile-by-mile rain or shine commitment to succeed in any
distance running. I found this by trial and error and by training with
seasoned athletes who learned this a long time ago. When I first joined
a group of runners back in the summer 2001, our coach, Deona Willie
showed everyone in the South Valley Track Club what it took to meet our
prospective goals. She laid out a simple plan for folks to meet at
different days for workouts at the track, on trails or streets within
the south valley area. Willie gained valuable knowledge under the
auspices of two-time Olympic Marathoner Ed Eyestone from Brigham Young
University in Utah before she moved to Morgan Hill.
I remember Willie telling me there were times when she
the track workouts she hosted after work, and sometimes nobody showed
up. After waiting a while, she would do the speed work session by
herself instead of climbing into her car and driving home in
frustration. That made an impression with me on how committed Willie is
to the sport and sticking it out even if things don’t worked out the
way she planned. I know others who run no matter what. Some like
Gretchen Yoder-Schrock, Kim Moyano, Dr. Kari Bertrand, Craig Lore, Kat
Powell, Dr. Gar Chan, Andy Froumis, Deona Willie, Steve Lane, and
countless others who are willing to get up at the crack of dawn and
grab that 8-miler before most people are out of bed. Most of these guys
work full-time and manage to squeeze in a morning jog despite
coordinating an entire household with kids.
For those of us who don’t get up before the rooster
don’t feel bad. I see plenty of joggers pounding the pavement in the
hot afternoon hours or evening when the sun is still blazing in the
sky. Whatever time slot you pick to run, it still requires commitment
to lace your shoes and fly out the door. I like the morning hours
around 8 or 9 because I’m awake and it’s still crisp outside.
Another facet of training is the amount of time it takes
accomplish training goals. Some run seven days per week, others need
five and still others may spend less time. For instance, Steve Sokol,
from San Jose, told me after winning the 6K at the Mt. Madonna
Challenge in August, that his family only trains once per week. Yet
they win at races and these events are usually brutal and hilly. The
Sokol family is an exception than the rule.
Whether you’re an elite runner or recreational one like
you know it takes practice and hard work to become faster and more
physically fit. Sometimes life will slow me down with illness,
injuries, emergencies or work-related stuff and I can’t run on the days
I choose. I also fight laziness, burnout and depression. All excuses
aside, my friend often tells me, “If you really want
to do something, you’ll do it.” The only way I can run a marathon or
half marathon, 10K or 5K is to build up mileage by putting one foot in
front of the other. If you’re concerned about running alone out in the
wild and getting eaten by a ravenous mountain lion or bitten on the
calf by a stray mongrel (those are two of my fears) then perhaps
joining a running club will help?
The motivation from like-minded athletes makes training
easier and more fun. What better way to swap war stories about
surviving the fun, but hilly Big Sur International Marathon or getting
your feet wet for the first time at the local 5K? Athletic clubs are a
great resource for entering the thrilling ride of running. Not everyone
in a running society is a Jack Rabbit or Speedy Gonzales. There are a
variety of fitness levels and paces within these organizations and
runners are a gracious lot. They welcome newcomers with arms wide open.
And yes, they’re one of the most dedicated groups of human beings I
For information on joining the South Valley Running Club
online at www.svrchome.org.
Madonna's Challenging Trail Race: One of South Valley's Best Traditions
The Triple Crown championship winners were, from left, Jean Suyenaga,
Kat Powell and Patrick Buzbee.
Tough 6K trail blazers get ready to conqueror the hills.
The Sokol family, winners in the 6K.
Gilroy—The summer heat didn’t deter me and the other
souls to the pristine mountain paths for the 31st Annual Mt. Madonna
Challenge on Sunday, August 27th. The soothing coastal fog that
shrouded the higher elevations gave us 105 runners a respite from
sizzling temperatures in the valley floor. Registered athletes as far
away as Merced came to test their mettle on the serpentine courses of
the 12K and 6K. This was the last race of the Triple Crown
I picked the 6K because I wasn’t conditioned as most of
other stalwarts. Before Sunday, I kept repeating to others and myself
about Mt. Madonna’s pleasantly rolling hills because I didn’t remember
it being grueling when I ran it two years ago. I honestly thought the
seven hundred-foot elevation gain along the way was merely a speed
Race Director Dean Raymond gave directions to the racers
talked a little about the footraces benefiting the South Valley
Symphony. I stood in the middle of the pack next to South Valley
Running Club’s Kathy Scepura, 41 from Morgan Hill and Kim Moyano, 41
and daughter Jennifer, 19 of Gilroy. I was wired and ready to take on
the speed bump, which loomed beyond the starting line.
At the blast of the air horn, forty-one brave runners
uphill, the leaf-strewn pathway crunching softly underneath our
collective feet. I inhaled the aromatic fragrance of Manzanita and Oak
trees, feeling the moist air enveloping me as I ascended. Things were
going well and I maintained my pace with Scepura and Moyano and then it
happened. The so-called speed bump morphed into this monstrous one-mile
climb into the stratosphere and my wimpy calves suddenly became granite
much like the mountainside. What happened to the pleasantly rolling
hills? Up and up we climbed and I slowed down to a fitness crawl while
commanding my legs to run like the wind. I watched most of the pack
disappear around a bend above me.
At the summit I gained my momentum. I passed three
feeling like an athlete again and bolted on level ground. More bumpy
terrain waited for me around shady corners and I treaded it with
newfound respect. Then the path descended gracefully into more wooded
area and I was flying toward the finish because I really thought the
end was near. However, pleasantly rolling hills greeted me instead—when
will this thing be over? I eventually finished in 43:50. Now for name
The top award-winners of the 6K are: Steven Sokol of San
who shut out the rest with 26:04; Daniel Beckwith followed in 28:12 and
Greg Burke capped it at 28:29.
Sokol, 51 overall Winner of the 3.6-miler ran this race
his wife Leslie, and son Alex, 7. Mr. Sokol turned to his son and
asked, “Alex, do you remember what you told me this morning at 6?” The
youngest Sokol responded shyly, “Yeah . . . the Mt. Madonna Challenge
is my favorite race.” He came in third (32:19) because there wasn’t a
category for kids his age and so they lumped him with the older teenage
The top three ruling female champs are Lisa Franklyn, 36
grabbed the overall prize with 30:23; subsequently, Morgan Hill teen
Olivia Duran, 15 flew past the finish with 31:41, and Pauline Olson
followed in 31:56.
The 12K (7.46 miles of torturous terrain) runners
this race and the top three male survivors are: Ryan Reed of San Jose,
27 won the event with 50:07; Fremont resident, Nick Fill, 24 took
second with 50:17, and Morgan Hill’s Jorn Jensen, 37 nabbed third in
Reed who works at the Gilroy outlets and is a manager of
12 Umi Factory said. “My heels were on fire jogging the downhill . . .
I did this race last year.”
Fill gave his thoughts on the 12K: “This was the hardest
I ran with hills. I didn’t see the leader (Reed) until a mile and half
into the race. I kept trying to catch up to him,” he said.
“The Mt. Madonna Challenge is a good title for this,”
said. “This is my first time racing Mt. Madonna, Dean Raymond told me
about it and I tested the course last week. This is my first time
The reigning female winners are Danielle Zelinski of San
23 who outran the others in 65:04; Amy Burton also of San Jose, 32
snagged second in 65:14; and Ellen Washburn won third in 67:47.
Zelinski ran this race several times before and came back to win the
women’s title. “The first twenty minutes was bad . . . but I picked up
speed.” She said.
Burton said, ”It went smooth, the course was well
like the local field of runners; they have a good spirit.” Burton and
her husband John felt the 12K was too short. They do ultra-marathons.
The Triple Crown Championship winners are those who
and placed in all three trail events: The Dammit 5-Miler, Run Through
The Redwoods 10K, and Mt. Madonna. Patrick Buzbee of San Jose, 54
received the first place trophy; Santa Cruz residents Daniel Ruiz, 46
took second and Jose O. Echeverri, 47 got third. Only two female
winners emerged: San Joseans Jean Suyenaga, 39 won first, and Kat
Powell, 55 came in second.
6K Male Winners:
Boys 10-18 Years:
1. Daniel Beckwith—28.12
2. Greg Wong—29:37
3. Alex Sokol—32:19
Men 19-29 Years:
1. Peter Cohen—35:27
Men 30-34 Years:
1. Marc Sander—28:39
2. Chris Moniz—55:12
Men 35-39 Years:
1. John Clayton—40:46
Men 40-44 Years:
1. David Prince—34:27
Men 45-49 Years:
1. Alfred Ramirez—28:46
2. Richard LeBleu—31:25
3. Neal Ashton—38:33
Men 50-54 Years:
1. Steven Sokol—26:04
Men 55-59 Years:
1. Greg Bunker—32:29
2. Leroy Daleen—34:12
3. Bob Gilbert—35:03
Men 60-65 Years:
1. Greg Burke—28:29
2. Chris Tenney—50:38
3. Richard Johnson—56:31
Men 70 + Years:
1. Frank Rodriguez—53:19
6K Female Winners
Girls 10-18 Years:
1. Olivia Duran—31:41
2. Pauline Olson—31:56
Women’s 19-29 Years:
1. Jessica Welker—32:46
2. Renee Hessling—41:15
3. Jennifer Moyano—41:18
Women’s 30-34 Years:
1. Raquel Freudenstein—21:12
Women’s 35-39 Years:
1. Lisa Franklyn—30:23
Women’s 40-44 Years:
1. Kathy Scepura—41:17
2. Kim Moyano—41:22
3. Karen Semiao—43:00
Women’s 45-49 Years:
1. Leslie Sokol—34:37
2. Margot Hessling—35:24
3. Billie Boles—41:08
Women’s 60-69 Years:
1. Carolyn Courtney—39:21
2. Anna Van Raaphurst—56:13
Stats for 50 and 70 age groups are not available
12K Male Winners
Boys 10-18 Years:
1. Eduardo Castillo—70:01
Men 19-29 Years:
1. Ryan Reed—50:07
2. Nick Fill—50:17
3. Carl Mease—54:48
Men 30-34 Years:
1. John Burton—60:31
2. Jeremy Foy—89:10
Men 35-39 Years:
1. Jorn Jensen—53:41
2. Chris Rose—65:09
3. Mike Williams—65:53
Men 40-44 Years:
1. Raymond Rodriguez—56:58
2. Tony Scailino—62:23
3. Lynn Astalos—69:13
Men 45-49 Years:
1. Andre Pchenitchnikov—55:58
2. Daniel Ruiz—57:23
3. Doug Meier—60:38
Men 50-54 Years:
1. Mike Erbe—55:12
2. Patrick Buzbee—57:43
3. Dan Anderson—60:23
Men 55-59 Years:
1. Brendan O’Neill—68:48
2. Paul Cannick—72:05
3. Bill Fenley—72:41
Men 60-65 Years:
1. Giuseppe Slater—65:57
2. Sylvan Addink—70:48
3. Barry Rowley—75:33
Stats for 70+ age group is not available
12K Female Finishers
Girls 10-18 Years:
1. Alexandra Torres—72:34
2. Precious Bagamaspad—89:11
Women’s 19-29 Years:
1. Danielle Zelinski—65:04
2. Clare Johnson—67:32
Women’s 30-34 Years:
1. Amy Burton—65:14
2. Ellen Washburn—67:47
3. Stella Foy—85:39
Women’s 35-39 Years:
1. Nicole Cownagen—76:18
2. Jean Suyenaga—78:13
Women’s 40-44 Years:
1. Gretchen Yoder-Schrock—75:12
2. Michael Simpson—92:23
Women’s 45-49 Years:
1. Julie Wayne—96:06
Women’s 50-54 Years:
1. Beth Myers—83:42
Women’s 55-59 Years:
1. Kat Powell—85:09
2. Karen Yinger—90:52
Stats for 60 and 70+ age groups are not available
Bay Triple Challenge fun Runs
< Photo of Bill Flodberg starting a race
coming soon >
One of my favorite trail races is the 31st Annual Mount
Madonna Challenge, 12K and 6K, which is a benefit for the South Valley
Symphony. This year, The Challenge is the last segment of the South
Bay’s Triple Crown Championship involving two other events: Dammit 5
Mile Run on August 12th, and Run Thru The Redwoods 10K on August 20th.
This combo package is the brainchild of Bill Flodberg. He came up with
the concept last year to attract more runners to hit the grades at
Mount Madonna Park. Raymond is the race director and has a full plate
preparing for the race now that Flodberg is temporarily out of the
For those of you who dream of conquering Pike’s Peak
in Colorado or Big Sur International Marathon in Carmel, and going for
broke in an ultra, yet haven’t ran a decent trail race in a shorter
distance, why not get your feet dirty with the Mount Madonna Challenge?
Sounds like fun to me, especially if it involves navigating up and down
rocky paths, inhaling pristine pine scented air and getting a fabulous
workout. Bring it on! I love over coming discomfort and zipping past
the finish in victory.
Every year I witness brave athletes taking on the
paths at Mount Madonna in late August to test their mettle on the
trails despite the heat, the threat of hornets, mountain lions, and of
course the pain. Some stalwarts don’t notice the aches of climbing the
mountain in a sprint, they often laugh at adversity and embrace the
challenge of beating everyone else on the course without dying in the
middle of nowhere. These are the ones with the perfect physique
befitting the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. Their hair is never out
of place and I doubt if they’ve ever soiled their singlet or shorts in
sweat like the rest of us mere mortals. I hear months later that these
tough dudes often graduate from butt-kicking, grueling hilly marathons
to ultra-distance races like American River 50-Miler, and eventually to
the hardcore Western States 100-Mile endurance event in the Sierras.
Some of them may ultimately run 300 plus miles like ultra-runner
sensation, Dean Karnazes.
Back to the South Bay Triple Challenge . . .
I understand the Dammit Run is a bear in terms of
and grade; runners must conquer the Lexington reservoir in the middle
of a typically hot summer day. The race is a first class outfit in the
way of goodies, prizes and organization, this I hear often from those
who’ve had the sheer pleasure of participating in it.
Running in general is hard on the body in the way of
and wear and tear; adding elevation and bumpy roads makes it even
tougher. However, the beneficial long-term health aspects are
extremely rewarding, not to mention the amazing endorphin rush midway
throughout the workout. Anyone who isn’t familiar with trail running or
undertaking hills, may I suggest you speak with your running group,
medical doctor, or coach about it?
If you don’t belong to a specific group, why not contact
Valley Running Club’s Craig Lore at Bookdeep@pacbell.net or The
Tri-County Running Club online at www.tricountyrunningclub.tripod.com.
These guys can assist you in your trail blazing goals and you’ll meet
others with the same passion.
Sign up to secure your spot for the Mt. Madonna
any of the other South Bay Triple Crown Challenge races via
www.active.com or www.theschedule.com. If you register early for The
Challenge by August 16th, you only pay $18 with T-shirt. Please contact
Dean Raymond, Race Director, for complete information at 408-847-5564
or by email -- Rundeanrun@verizon.net.
I’ll be waiting for you at Mount Madonna with bells on
Reek & Run
Gilroy’s sizzling July climate wasn’t the only thing
on Saturday at the Reek Run hosted by the Theater Angels Art League’s
(TAAL). It received mixed reviews from participants and spectators
alike. Roughly 150 athletes ran into unexpected surprises with the
ever-changing course. Unbeknownst to everyone, a grounds keeper at
Bonfante Gardens locked one of the gates on the 5K route before the
start. Several people mentioned they preferred the old location of the
Reek Run around Gavilan College, which may explain the low turn out at
Race organizers kept their cool, kindly fielding
frustrated runners and were busy putting out small fires that erupted
throughout the morning. With the absence of Bill Flodberg, who normally
spearheads the Reek Run, the weight of responsibility fell on TAAL and
South Valley Symphony. Mr. Garlic (Gerry Foisy) kept peoples’ spirits
up with his boundless enthusiasm and support of Gilroy’s tradition of
hosting a footrace weeks prior to the internationally acclaimed Garlic
The top three spots in the 5K men’s division were
residents Arnulfo Velasquez, 17 who zipped past the finish followed by
Jaime Reyes, 15. Juan Velasquez, 13, whose Arnulfo’s younger brother,
came in third. Their official times are unavailable due to the locked
gate incident; at one point the racers were told to run in the wrong
direction, creating a false finish at only 1.5 miles. Everyone ran the
loop again and re-crossed the finish despite the warmth.
In the women’s division, Tanya Ferreira, 17 from Royal
CA grabbed the first place finish in the 5K and recalled her
experience. “I saw the boys in front of me . . . where did they go?”
She said referring to the Velasquez brothers and Reyes. Ferreira is a
member of Hollister’s Tri-County Running Club and is visiting the south
valley for summer vacation.
European Hanneke De Groot of the Netherlands (now
Gilroy) fell behind Ferreira, taking second place. “It’s Unfortunate
that we had to stop at the middle of the race. I had to make the best
of it,” De Groot said. Diane Phariss of Watsonville sprinted to third
place. “It (the Reek Run) was better last year. I’ll do it again next
year,” Phariss said.
The 10K had its own challenges, including not having
handing out water during the competition. The distance was mapped out
to 6.2 miles, but because of missing personnel, everyone ran roughly
5.5 miles. The results: Tri County ‘s Jonathan Rivera beat the rest of
the pack with 32:27; the 19-year old from Hollister is taking the
summer off from Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo. “I started running the
Reek Run in 2003, first the 5k and since then the 10K.”
Rob Zimmerman, 37 also from Hollister and Tri County,
second place with 32:54. “It’s a beautiful course . . . The volunteers
didn’t know how to direct the way, <but>I got a good workout. I
got to run with Jonnie—he’s the man.” Zimmerman said of Rivera. Third
place winner Peter Hsia of San Francisco, 46 came in at 33:25. This was
his first Reek Run.
South Valley Running Club’s (SVRC) Kelly Ramirez, 44 of
shut out the female competition in the women’s field with 40:24. “I’m
here to support the Reek Run,” Ramirez said. Kim Moyano, 41, also from
Gilroy and SVRC, closed in with 41:13.
Elia Wu, 46 of Mountain View captured third with 41:35.
a wonderful time Elijah and I spent together at the race. I’ll do this
race again with my son and dance partner Bill Frankebe,” Wu said
cheerfully. Elijah Guo, 16, seized a silver medal in his age division
Many weren’t impressed with the route that looped
park near the chained linked fence. Orange cones blocked off a section
of the course near the only water station in the 10K, and not a
volunteer was in sight to dish out the much needed sustenance to the
thirsty participants, according to several anonymous runners.
Hollister’s Jess Rodriguez summed up the general
the Reek Run: “There were no T-shirts and the runners could only redeem
tickets to the park on the day of the race. That’s not good. People
have plans. They changed the course—it’s not a great idea,” Rodriguez
said. “T-shirts are a good source of advertising. Kids like to wear
them. As a business, you don’t cut your advertising.”
On Morgan Hill’s centennial year, hundreds of athletes
to P.A. Walsh Elementary School on Main Street to register or pick up
their race packets before the start of the Freedom 5K and Kevin Kemp
One-Mile Children’s Run. The balmy weather didn’t deter anyone from
showing up and celebrating our country’s birthday. Runners and walkers
from the south valley and as far away as southern California migrate to
this race annually because of Morgan Hill’s charming idyllic backdrop.
Not only is this race a favorite among participants, but also the
subsequent fourth of July festivities scheduled like the parade (one of
the bay area’s oldest), the street celebration along Monterey Street,
and the much-anticipated fireworks display at Community Park.
The 5K attracted the fastest among runners every year
time was no different. Carlos Siqueiros, 25 of San Jose won the race
overall with 15:12:30. The veteran racer tackled the sport at the
tender age of five, but didn’t compete until he turned seven. “The
running aspect <of the race> went well. I’m not much for the
limelight,” Siqueiros said as he shunned the idea of being in the
parade. “I’ve done this race two times before. The course was a little
different, strange. It’s interesting every year . . . we’ll see what it
is next year.” Siqueiros has his eyes on the upcoming 2008 U.S Olympic
Trials for either the 10K or marathon distance. “You’ll never do well
in long distance unless you love it.” He said. Lance Wolfsmith of
Morgan Hill sprinted behind Siqueiros with 15:36, and Ryan Reed grabbed
third place overall with 15:49.
The women’s top three winners were Michele Gerber, 19
finishing at 16:18; S. Hu, 42 followed with 19:07, and Morgan Hill’s
Irene Ramirez, 35 flew past the finish line in 20:15. “I felt very
good. This is my first time running in a race. I’m excited and I’ll be
doing more,” Ramirez said. She normally trains alone logging 5 or 6
milers four times per week.
The Kevin Kemp One-Mile Children’s Run started at the
time as the 5K; youngsters of all ages bolted from the start, their
tiny legs pumping fiercely like pistons as they tackled the challenge
of beating their schoolmates, friends or family members in the short
“This race is a little bit different from last year.
of going straight <the course>, it curved. I liked it because it
wasn’t long. At the end of the race I felt like I was going to die,”
Andrew Wilcox, 10 of Morgan Hill said about his race. He zipped past
most of his competitors with an impressive 7:30. He likes running other
local races such as Wildflower, the Reek Run, and Mushroom Mardi Gras
Many came decked out in clever red, white and blue
in more elaborate outfits. One award is given to an adult with the best
patriotic duds and one child. Carol Kemnitz, 59 traveled from Palmdale,
California to compete in this race. Her birthday cake garb delighted
the judges and kids alike. Kemnitz ran this race five times before with
a photo of her son festooned on the front of her patriotic outfit. “My
son Rob is stationed in Afghanistan this year. Last year he was in
The other costume winner is JohnE Boursier, 9 of Morgan
He dressed as Uncle Sam and held a picture frame up to his face,
depicting the theme of this year’s race “A Portrait of America.” As
custom, the top winners, including the costumed participants got to
ride in the historical parade.
For a complete list of finishing times please contact
Westin, Race Director, at 408-779-6686 or email him via
The Big Race of
Life and Bill Flodberg
Long-time runner and author Bill Flodberg’s illness left
of us in shock in Out & About Land. Many of you who are fond of
Flodberg’s tales of pounding the pavement as a veteran runner don’t
give up hope. He’ll be back someday with pen in hand ready to regale us
once more with his insights into the mysteries of the sport. My
goal is tell the story of running and let me start with this one:
Five years ago, Flodberg held a meeting at his house in
Martin for recruiting relay teams for the upcoming International Big
Sur Marathon in April. He was in charge of the Gavilan Joggers and
Striders running club and everyone planned to arrive at his residence
around 6 or 7p.m. I got directions, thinking it would be a cinch
finding Flodberg’s place because I’ve been living in the south valley
for three years. Everything looked the same to me and I couldn’t find
his street because all the signs were hidden or missing.
After a frustrating hour, I realized it was late and I
the car toward home. I remember the sun setting behind the golden
foothills across the furrowed fields, the sky a powdery blue accented
with one or two cirrus clouds. The scenery was breathtaking, but I was
fuming about how life was unfair because I didn’t get to meet Flodberg
and the other runners and become part of the Big Sur Relay team. I
consoled myself knowing that I’d be running with my coach, Deona
Willie, of the South Valley Track Club at Mt. Madonna tomorrow morning
at 8. I drove up the narrow country road on that warm Monday night in
the fall, eager to get back on my training schedule.
And the next day was September 11, 2001.
Speaking of memories, two July races pop out to me. I
about the Freedom 5000 hosted by the Independence Day Inc. in Morgan
Hill on July 4, 2000. At the 5K, I met these sleek athletes decked out
in the latest jogging apparel and looking the part. I was intimidated
by their speed and power on the road and felt much like a snail
compared to them. I didn’t even wear the right clothes (Tied-dyed
sweatshirt, long pants with ill-fitting shoes) and I hardly trained for
it. I thought, I like running and I’ll try a race. Why not? Big
mistake. My sore limbs and sluggish finish didn’t impress me. One
bright moment came when I discovered that this 5K footrace featured a
costume contest with most patriotic theme. I figured if I can’t beat
the fleet-footed by physical speed then I should change my victory
conditions and go for the creative challenge instead.
In 2001, I designed this patriotic American Flag
suit like a superhero, flaming red hair (my own not a wig), the right
shoes, arm bands, hand-held flag, red, white and blue metallic crown
and cape and I took first prize and rode in the parade. Hopefully, in
2002 there will be more competition. The costumes then became more
complex because I like to raise the bar every time I do a stunt.
I’ve been doing this race every year and I like to see how far I can go
with my artistic ability in running an outfit that won’t kill me and
still look fantastic after I cross the finish line. I’ve seen other
athletes shoot for the impossible and sprint in cool costumes too. I
can’t wait to see what people will wear on this centennial year of
Morgan Hill. Don’t miss this historic race; it’ll be fun for sure.
Another local event is the Reek Run in the Garlic City
one or two weeks after the Freedom 5K hosted by Flodberg and the
Theater Angels Art League. The 5K and 10K races are a benefit to the
arts community in Gilroy and the location moved from Gavilan College to
Bonfante Gardens. These are great local events for walkers and runners
of all types.
For more information please contact www.mhidi.com or call 408-779-3387.
For Reek Run contact TAAL at 408-847-1441.
Doc on the Run
Dr. Kari Anne Bertrand
in her scrubs
Obstetrician Kari Anne Bertrand’s typical day begins
early morning 8-mile run at 6a.m. That is if she isn’t at the hospital
already delivering babies or responding to an emergency from one of her
patients. The 35-year old from Syracuse New York is slowing down
on mileage because she’s expecting her second baby. No more races for a
while. Her last one was the Wildflower Run in April, which she won
overall female in the 10K with 37:37, despite her being 15 weeks
“If I don’t run I feel worse,” she said regarding her
schedule juggling career and raising her family. Her husband, Andrew
Matthews M.D. (AJ), helps with their toddler son Shay while Bertrand
takes a spin outdoors before work. “Running is me time, “ she added.
Bertrand began running back east while in middle school
her gym teacher asked her to participate in a race. She was playing
softball at the time, but ran in the competition anyway. She ended up
winning the entire event. When Bertrand was a freshman, the high school
cross country and track coach recognized her talent and urged her to
join the team. Her success in high school got her recruited by
Georgetown University on a track scholarship. She won All American in
1991-92. Later, she trained with a post collegiate team sponsored by
Reebok in hopes for them to qualify for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Trials
in the 1500 meters. She made the first rounds at the trials but didn’t
make the semi-finals. Although Bertrand was satisfied with her
performance, she still wanted to experience what it would be like to
compete at an extremely high level, and would try again.
By the time 2003 rolled around, Bertrand already lived
west coast for several years, had her medical practice and married to
plastic surgeon Matthews. She ran the New York City Marathon that fall,
shooting for a coveted spot in the 2004 U.S Olympic Team Trials Women's
marathon in St. Louis, Missouri, which was slated for the following
year. She missed her mark and tried again in January 2004 at the Las
Vegas International Marathon. Bertrand sprinted through 26.2 miles of
desert in an impressive finish of 2:45, despite cold weather and
headwind trouble. Her Las Vegas victory catapulted her into the spring
St. Louis Olympic trials where she could compete with the likes of Jen
Rhines (her friend), Deena Kastor, Colleen De Reuck, Blake Russell and
the others who comprised the best 125 female marathoners the US had to
On that sunny April 3rd morning in St. Louis, Bertrand
the line along with the rest of the Trial qualifiers. Each female
marathoner had a single goal: to beat everyone else and make the trip
to the Athens Games in the summer. Only the first three runners to
cross the finish line at the end of 26 -plus miles would win top prize
money and prestige of competing in the Olympics. The temperature
remained at a cool 40 degrees with a light breeze. Thousands of fans
lined up along the track at Washington University, waving flags and
cheering the athletes. The course looped around the track four times
and stretched out along a park nearby the campus. As the race
commenced, the winds increased in strength and the sun heated up the
field to 65 degrees. Pleasant weather for a stroll, but to an
elite competitor flying across the asphalt for marathon distance at a
sustained speed of 5-minute miles or less, such conditions seem
De Reuck took first place in 2:28:23 followed by Kastor
Rhines. Bertrand completed her race in 2:54:39. Despite not making the
US Olympic team, she had run with the best in the country and made a
good showing, considering she ran while pregnant with her first child,
who must have gotten the ride of his life.
The Gilroy physician didn’t quit training after St.
still enjoy the sport . . . track isn’t a huge money-making sport.
Running is a mood stabilizer and I did the trials for the experience.”
Top-level athletes who try to earn a living on running depend on
sponsors for financial support.
Today, Bertrand is happy spending time with her family
focusing on the pending arrival of her daughter in September. On
occasion, she and hubby Matthews would visit Bonfante Gardens with
their son or engage in other family-friendly excursions. Her sabbatical
from racing will last a few months longer and she’ll begin training for
the next US Women’s Olympic Trials scheduled for 2008. Meanwhile, the
physically fit doctor is teaching her patients how to maintain a
healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper nutrition. And who knows?
She may even be delivering the next generation of potential elite
runners into the world, who may represent our country at Olympic games
in the future.
Oak's Sports History
< Photos coming soon >
With summer in the air signifying the upcoming season
with vacation plans, relocating to college, and reliving the past
glories of spring sports, the high school campus celebrated the merits
of their best athletes both young and old. Grilled Tri-tip, onions,
green peppers wafted throughout the quad, people stood in line to get
their hands on the tasty sandwiches catered by San Martin Meats while
listening to the live band Dadz. Students and adults alike crowded
around the prize-give-away table where gobs of tickets were sold to the
hopeful vying for a large TV, an overnight stay at Corde Valle Golf
Country Club, an IPOD with nano-screen, and the Live Oak signature
black sweatshirt with gold and green logo, hat and booster chair. The
Live Oak Athletic Boosters presented the Hall of Fame ceremony with 250
attending the inaugural event.
Duane Asplund and John Manning left an indelible mark in
history as far as many from Morgan Hill and the outside world are
concerned. Another celebrity present was Live Oak graduate of 1995—Jeff
Ulbrich, starting linebacker for the San Francisco 49ners. Aquatics
coach Mack Haines introduced the first inductee into the hall of fame,
Duane Asplund. “If I could be half the coach Duane is, I could be two
inches taller . . . “ Haines said with admiration. Asplund moved to
Morgan Hill in 1962 and became the boys’ varsity basketball that year
and won league titles consistently from ’62 to ’67. In addition to
coaching on court, he led the Acorn football team in victory grabbing
league titles during that time too. His leadership shined as his track
and field team took home 16 league wins from 1977-1994.
The next Hall of Famer John Manning impressed Varsity
Coach, Rick Booth with his unselfishness. “When our current athletic
trainer couldn’t go on our trip for the upcoming football game in
Truckee <CA>, I called John if he could be our trainer for the
day. John asked, ‘when and where?’” Booth said. “He never complained
during the October 1st game on Saturday, it was 40 degrees and he was
there taping the players’ feet. He liked to talk to the kids while
training them or treating them for injuries.”
Manning’s contributions are memorable. He was the head
athletic trainer at Cal State Sacramento from 1967-68 and from there he
developed a sports medicine program for Santa Clara ROP. In 1969 he
arrived at Live Oak teaching biology, anatomy, physiology, ecology and
sports medicine. Outside the classroom, he coached football, track and
baseball and employed a sports medicine training curriculum.
Subsequently in 1975, Manning became a certified athletic trainer, and
created a sports medicine clinic, the first kind for high school in
49ner Jeff Ulbrich took the mike and without hesitation
remarked, “Ton of memories here . . . I never played football before
coming to Live Oak, Mark Cummins was my coach, Glen Webb and Norm Dow.
The winners <student winners> have all my respect. I’m honored to
do this. John Manning taught me how to be tough . . . “ Ulbrich then
called up the four athletic winners of the year. Justin Short received
his plaque for Water Polo All American and MVP successes, shook
Ulbrich’s hand and quickly exited the stage. Cobbie Jones captured the
award for her legacy she gave to Live Oak’s Track and Field. She plans
to attend UCLA in the fall and resume her running career down there.
“I didn’t know I was going to get this award,” Jones
cheerily. She mentioned her stress fracture in her left tibia that
sidelined her during the spring track season. Jones added, “Eight weeks
I didn’t run but I did train to maintain health and fitness. Now I’m
training and I’m so excited to be running. My dad always supported me
and my mom was at every race—she’s my biggest supporter.”
The best male Scholar-Athlete of the year award went to
Muhn in track and football and for his GPA of 4.17. He will be going to
UC Berkeley next school season. “I like to thank my family, coach and
teachers,” Muhn said shyly. The best female scholar winner, Ronni
Gautschi took the honor for her Water Polo and swimming achievements
with All CCS and TCAL plus her 3.9 GPA. She’ll be attending San Diego
State on scholarship.
Madness Runs Amok in Morgan Hill
Morgan Hill Times
The Mushroom Mardi Gras 10K and 5K began without a hitch
this fine sunny, crisp Saturday morning. Despite the head winds and
nippy weather, majority of 163 registered runners enjoyed the paved
course along the Coyote Creek Bike Trail in Morgan Hill. The fundraiser
is a six-year tradition hosted by the Live Oak Athletic Boosters with
co-directors Sue Scigliano and track and country coach Dean Raymond at
the helm. Athletes as far away as Chicago, Illinois competed with south
The rustic backdrop made sprinting along the trail a
refreshing one. At the same time, the Mushroom Mardi Gras food fair was
gearing up on Monterey Road and organizers expected record crowds to
converge on the main drag through the mushroom city. What better
way to boost one’s appetite than run a race? It came as no surprise
that some visited the 27th annual fungus festival afterwards.
Stellar performances by the top winners in both
started with the 10K overall finisher in the men’s division. Raymond
Rodriguez, 44 from Los Banos blazed through the end with 37:26. His
bout with an injury didn’t hamper his ability on Saturday and like most
runners he worked through it. “I have a sprained ligament on my right
knee. I didn’t think I was going to run the race—did rehab during the
week. Felt good, was able to run.”
Hollister resident Rob Zimmerman was not too far from
Rodriguez with 37:47. “The headwinds were nasty, but it’s a good
course.” Zimmerman said. “I ran Boston this year; it was easier than I
thought. I did it in 2:51. I’m used to hills, I often train at
Pinnacles National Monument. Trail running is the best.” Third place
finisher John Mintz arrived in 39:39.
Two Gilroyans dominated the Women’s 10K top spots with
Michelle Garber’s impressive time of 41:46. “I picked up running in
January and this is my third race this year,” Garber said. The 19-year
old student of Notre Dame is on vacation and visiting her family from
“It was a fun race,” Gretchen-Yoder Schrock said. “I’m
notorious for starting out too fast, but I was able to keep pace.“
Despite the prevailing windy conditions she shot past the finish line
with 46:16. Morgan Hill racer, Marti Menz, 50 closed in on 46:19. “I
kept a very even pace. We ran into the wind going out, but with the
wind on our backs going in. It was perfect running weather.” Menz, and
Yoder-Schrock are members of the South Valley Running Club (SVRC).
The 5K overall winner went to a female, Dina Rosenthal
her speedy time of 17:26. Debbie Leale followed behind with 19:48, and
Live Oak High Olivia Duran, 14 ran the race in 21:29. “The course was
pretty easy, flat. I’ve been training on my own since track season is
The guys who took the top 3 positions in the men’s
are Ignacio Perez with 18:21; Armando Rodriguez zoomed in at 19:43.
SVRC member Kevin Stuart of San Martin shut out the rest of the field
Stuart ran the American River Ultra-50-miler in April
with SVRC President Craig Lore. “I ran as hard as I could. Trying to
stay head of Craig during the whole time.” Consequently, Lore finished
4th with 20:05.
Participate in Wild Ride of Bay To Breakers
Morgan Hill Times
San Francisco—The famous 12K footrace birthed from the
aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake continues on its grand tradition of
getting folks outside to pound to pavement and celebrate life. Roughly
62 thousand people ran the event this year despite the cold, rainy
weather that hit the Bay Area this week. Many weren’t daunted by the
gloomy forecast and trudged ahead along the City’s streets in a variety
of outfits. Disco music blaring from the windows of Victorian Homes
along the route with hippies on sidewalks and folks throwing Mardi Gras
beads to participants made this run a memorable one.
The Kenyans dominated the sport again, overall winner
Okari, 27 from Kenya zipped past the finish line in an impressive
34:20; Ukrainian Tetyana Hladyr, 31 took the women’s top spot with
39:09. The other celebrity without costume to complete the 7.46-mile
party was Mayor Gavin Newsom in 59:04. Following the Mayor were the
zany cast of characters such as the Sharks Centipede, Blue Smurfs,
Wonder Women, nude men wearing backpacks, The Harry Potter Family, Da
Vinci Code novel people, wild flowers in punk ware and a wide
assortment of historic figures.
Darth Vader, storm troopers marched in well-made
would make Star Wars’ creator George Lucas proud. A gaggle of Elvises
imbibed on their favorite brew, mingling with the hordes, four guys
wearing stuffed Emus weaved around the walkers and runners. Several men
dressed in Middle Eastern garb with headdress advertising gasoline
prices at $10 a gallon on the sidelines, waved cheerily. It was wall to
wall with people so running a decent clip was out of the question. Most
walked and those of us who could run did. The challenging part was not
to overheat wearing a thick, big costume.
The Hayes Street Hill loomed ahead, the folks dreaded it
because of the 11.15% grade, however it wasn’t that bad. San Jose
marathoner Kat Powell, 55 ran her first Bay to Breakers this
year. “Running in a costume is an experience for me . . .
comparing it with Double Dip Sea race makes the Hayes Street Hill a
piece of cake.” The Double Dip Sea is a rigorous trail race for the
more rugged of heart. Powell aced the hill despite her heavy costume.
Jeffrey Bedolla of San Jose had many wonderful insights
running Bay to Breakers—his approach to life is more on a philosophical
level including races. “I learned the importance of being myself among
the mass of people during the run.”
Three-time B2B veteran Jeanmarie Derry of Gilroy
Hill and was pleased with her finishing time of 2 hours and 56 minutes.
“This time was easier thanks to training with the South Valley Running
Club. We ran on Wednesday nights and on Saturday mornings.” Her friend
and south valley resident Linda Barnes finished in 1:45. Derry’s focus
was to finish the course and have a good time. She plans to return to
San Francisco again to run Bay to Breakers in the future.
into Step at Wildflower
|Morgan Hill—The Wintry
took a breather this weekend,
allowing favorable running conditions for the American Association of
University Women’s 23rd Annual Wildflower Run on April 9th, 2006.
Several hundred local and out of town athletes pounded the pavement in
Morgan Hill neighborhoods and countryside, thanking the powers that be
for lack of winds, rain and freezing temperatures. The 2K, 5K and 10K
foot races proved to be a hit with the runners.
According to AAUW-MH volunteer Kathy Sass, the first
took place in 1983 at Santa Teresa Road in Morgan Hill. Back then only
200 female runners signed up to compete. Slowly, the idea caught
on among the rest of the athletic community. Last Sunday’s event
had 515 entrants. Race proceeds go to scholarship programs geared for
high school seniors to enter college or for those wishing to continue
their education beyond the two-year stint at a JC.
Thirteen newcomers from San Jose State University Cross
won several top awards in the 10K. Jose Burrola from SJSU won the race
overall with a time of 33:45; followed by fellow student Sean Dundon
with 35:30; third place finisher was teammate Gordie Throne with a
sizzling 36:00. Burrola, 22 says, “This is my first time I ran this
race. It was very challenging and I got a PR (personal record).”
The female overall winner was Kari Ann Bertrand, 35 from
smoked the competition by zipping past the finish line in 37:37. “I’m
happy with the race . . . however, this will be my last one for a
while,” says Bertrand, who is ten weeks pregnant with her second child.
Erica Sahli, 19, was at Bertrand’s heels finishing with
her schoolmate Tiffany Hall, 20 took the third spot in 38:27. The two
SJSU runners ran most of the race in a trio with Bertrand, until she
broke away from them. Sahli and Hall noted the lack of a horde of
runners at the Wildflower. “I’m used to running in races like the
Mercury News 10K where there’s lots of people,” Hall says.
At the start of the 5K, children lined up at the front
dismay of some runners. “They shouldn’t be standing in the front,” one
guy commented before the race. “They’re going to get bowled over.” The
same runner ate his words when some of those kids dusted him in the
end. One such speedster was Ruben James Collins (RJ), 10, from
Hollister with his first place win in 20:25 and sixth overall. “I like
to see how many people would pass me. Not that many did and I passed a
lot of people,” Collins says. His sister, Angelica Collins, 8 did her
family proud with a first place time of 22:44.
High school students from the south valley dominated the
winners’ circle with male leaders such as Live Oak alumni Jesus
Atanacio in 17:56, Andrew Taylor in second with 18:50, and Daniel
Beckwith finishing third in 19:33. Female champions Ann Mari Rich with
20:39, Suzanne Hancock’s second place with 21:01, and Olivia Duran’s
time of 22:07 overshadowed the rest of the pack. “It was a hardcore
race . . . so I kept within my pace.” Duran was pleased with her
The 2K Run had its young competitors toeing the line,
tiny tots with ages ranging from 5 through 12. Joel Hall from Morgan
Hill won the event overall with 7:42. It was his first race outside of
his school and he plans to do the Wildflower again next year. Rich
Thomas was close behind Hall with 8:06, and Alexander Richardson came
in third with 8:57. The top girls were: Sarah Gilbert with 8:37; Katie
Machado took second with 8:52, and Alissa Pham followed suit with
The Wildflower is not only for the fleet-footed, but
who love to run ultra-marathons such as Jean Suyenaga, 39 from San
Jose. She just did a 50-miler last week and plans to do another on
April 22nd. “The race was relaxed, although you get the adrenaline rush
at the end towards the finish. The energy from the volunteers and other
runners pulled me through to the end,” she says. This is coming from a
woman who ran 26 marathons and four ultra-marathons.
For detailed information on the 2K, 5K and 10K results
go to www.aauw-morganhill.org.
Runners Turn Out for The 23rd Annual Mission 10
San Juan Bautista—threat of inclement weather on this
February 4th morning didn’t deter runners from several counties to
grace the historic landmark city for the 23rd Annual Mission 10 foot
races. This event is a favorite among the south valley athletic
community due to the bucolic backdrop and small town charm of San Juan
Bautista. The Hollister Rotary’s competition is divided up into three
distinct events: the one-mile fun run, the run/walk 5K, and the
mid-distance 10-miler. The gloomy, dark grey skies with light rain
normally foils most outdoor activities, however to the runner it’s a
Minutes before the start, the wait for the
challenging for the enthusiastic crowd, especially for those who tanked
up on coffee, tea or water. Beverly Hamby and her friend stood in front
of me. They talked about the upcoming 10-miler and their expectations
of the race; Hamby didn’t sound too confident. The 52-year old from
Salinas told me, “I don’t know how to run, I just survive these
things.” I gave her a sympathetic smile, thinking she was new to
running until I saw her yellow Portland Marathon jersey. Hamby
explained she was overweight years ago and wanted to lose pounds by
tackling a marathon. “My friend told me I could never run a marathon.
Never tell me I can’t do something. I joined Team in Training.” Since
then she ran ten.
At the start, the racers stood shivering in the nippy,
air listening to the pre-race instructions given by Race Director Bill
Tiffany. Athletic groups stood out among the racers ready to sprint at
the onset of the siren; members from the South Valley Running Club,
Tri-County Athletic Association, and the Wednesday Night Laundry
Runners toed the line.
At the 5K, an older blind woman stood in front of the
with her companion. They had no clue about becoming road kill once the
siren goes off from being trampled over by zealous runners on caffeine.
“Should I stand over to one side?” She asked innocently. A race
volunteer lead her toward the back where the walkers were.
Carlos siqueiros-25 from San Jose zipped past the finish
complete 10 miles in an impressive 54:10 enabling him to win overall.
“Last year I ran it <Mission 10> slower. I liked this race but it
got wet out there on the road,” he said. “I treated the race as a tempo
training run.” Prior to Mission 10, Siqueiros competed in his first
26.2-miler last December at the Sacramento International Marathon. He
finished in 2:40:40. “I’d like to compete on a more elite level—run
with the fastest people. I’m enjoying this while it lasts.”
Marina resident, Carmella Heinz-35 crosses the finish in
taking the women’s title this year. “I enjoyed the small town race
atmosphere. I’m training for the Big Sur International Marathon.” She
previously ran 6 and placed within her age group. She trains with
Stella Gibbs and with the Wednesday Night Laundry Runners in the
Stella Gibbs-47 took second in the women’s division with
respectable 1:09. The vice president of Pacific Metrics enjoyed her
time in San Juan Bautista. “This is a good race,” she said. “I started
racing at Mission 10 over three years ago. I’m running Boston this
year.” Like Heinz, she ran several marathons.
The 5K winners made their mark in Mission 10 history
sizzling performance of Gilroy High’s Arnulfo Velasquez-18 triumphing
over the men’s division overall with a stunning 15:58. “It was a good
race. This is the first time I ran it.” The soft-spoken Velasquez took
his 1st place trophy and joined the throng of teens in the crowd. Rico
Vaquez-18 followed closely behind Velasquez in 16:07. Third place
finisher Mauricio Maia completed the 3.1-miler in 16:27.
Hollister’s Amanda Boyd-17 won the women’s title in the
with 18:21; Jamila Saqqa took 2nd in 19:44, and Dana Basley finished
3rd in 20:11. (13 to 18 age group).
Morgan Hill’s Ken Oliver-50 placed 3rd in the 10-miler
1:05:27 and was happy with the day’s events. “Great race. I like the
nice misty rain in the hills. The race is well run and I love coming to
the mission every year.”
Due to the race chronometer malfunction the times for
10-mile race weren’t recorded.
This is the Team Sue photo above.
They're all wearing "Team Sue" shirts
This photo of Sue Robinson and her family wasn't in the article.
San Martin, CA—“In a race everyone runs, but only one
gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must
deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best .
. . so I run straight to the finish line with purpose in every step. I
fight to win. ” These ancient words penned by a Roman scholar named
Saul to Grecian athletes.
San Martin’s accomplished Tri-Athlete Sue Robinson is
against the most challenging opponent of her life: Stage Four Ovarian
cancer. This is not a story of defeat but one of victory. Here’s why:
Robinson’s ordeal has knitted the athletic communities together from
different parts of the country. Their efforts raised ten thousand
dollars, which they’ve donated to ovarian cancer research, hoping that
soon the silent killer will be detected through screening. This is
Robinson’s desire for future generations of women.
In November 2004, Robinson accomplished an impressive
in the Ironman, unbeknownst to her, the stealth-like cancer was growing
inside her ovaries. Doctors suspected about five months’ worth. The
Ironman race comprises of three segments: swimming 2.4 miles, cycling
112 miles, then running 26.2 miles, in the roughest conditions against
the clock. One notable event is the Hawaiian Ironman World
Championships in Kona this month. Robinson competed in eight Ironmans,
including the World Championships in 2002 and 2003.
Scott Robinson recounts his wife’s progress before
in June 2005. “Just four-weeks prior, Sue won her age group at the
South Bay Triathlon, her time slower and she wasn’t feeling well, but
she never guessed that what was making her sick was an advanced stage
of cancer,” he says. “A month prior we celebrated our 20th wedding
anniversary by both racing in the Ironman New Zealand.”
Despite her struggle, Robinson imparts encouraging
out and live your dreams. Never, never, never give up. Deep in my soul
I believe I will race Ironman again, I try to see it in my head
everyday. I see my husband and kids at the finish line, my chemo nurse
there and my surgeon too.”
“Her amazing attitude, will to win, and love of others
her through the rough times,” her husband says. “She simply amazes me.”
Kelly Ramirez trained with Robinson and is indebted to
her inspiration in helping Ramirez become a better athlete and person.
“A few years ago I found myself floundering in terms of training . . .
I was about ready to give up on competing. However, Sue would not hear
of it. She took me under her wing,” she says.
And now Ramirez wants to give back to Robinson for all
she did for her. “Now as Sue faces her biggest challenge, I want to
support her . . . I want to bring her to as many training sessions and
competitions as I can.” She came up with the idea of Team Sue with
Barbara Voss and Luanne Giacalone.
Denise Tuminaro and family spent nights creating the
SUE” embroidery with the date of diagnosis and colored emblem of
Ovarian Cancer on jerseys, which the athletes wore in triathlons and
marathons in California, Washington and Hawaii.
Zoot Clothing, one of the Triathlon sport’s top
clothiers, manufactured the jerseys. They are designing a line of
active apparel with the purpose of giving the proceeds to ovarian
Team Sue’s fifty-one members are spread throughout the
valley and some as far as the east coast. You’ll see them in the Nike
Women’s Marathon in San Francisco on October 23rd and the New York City
Marathon in November.
Oak and Sobrato racers fall to Salinas
Warm autumn temperatures and Azure, cloudless skies
hinder the performance of Live Oak’s senior Cobbie Jones and Sobrato’s
freshman Lance Wolfsmith in the varsity section of the race. Jones
broke her own record by five seconds and won the event with a time of
19:00; Wolfsmith flew past the finish line with the best overall time
of 17:11. This young athlete made quite a debut competing against the
upper division runners and left all of them behind on the trails around
Lake Anderson. Despite this achievement by both Morgan Hill schools,
Salinas pretty much dominated the meet as a unifying force.
Salinas’s aggressive teammates Clark McLennan (17:24)
Casey Ricketts (17:36) were at Wolfsmith’s heels throughout the event.
Live Oak’s Kenny Benner (17:54), Eric Matsumoto (18:00), and Andrew
Taylor (18:05) followed behind their rivals in their second
cross-country event of the season.
The girls’ varsity event was a triumph for both Morgan
and Salinas. Alexandria Bell (19:25) and Shannon McVannel (19:27) from
Salinas took second and third place while Lisa Herrera (20:11) and
Olivia Duran (21:40) did Live Oak proud as they took the forth and
fifth spots in the race despite the hot weather.
The boy’s junior varsity team fared well for Live Oak
Mando Medina won the event over Salinas with a time of 18:08. Salinas’s
Ryan Shimizv relentlessly pursued Medina all the way to the end with a
finish of 18:40. Live Oak’s Tim Kotyuk chased Shimizv during the race
and took third at 18:52. Other Live Oak cross-country runners Brent
Hatakeyama (19:19) and Anthony Macadaeg (19:56) took sixth and tenth
place in the meet.
As for the girls’ junior varsity, Salinas butchered the
competition. They dominated most of the division. However,
something has to be said about the indomitable spirit of Live Oak’s
junior female racers; one such girl, Christina Shriver, twisted her
ankle during the first part of the grueling course and kept running
despite the pain until she limped past the finish line. Notwithstanding
their loss, the girls from Live Oak are looking forward to racing again
at the next meet at the Chieftain Classic in Salinas on Saturday,
Live Oak Coaches Dean Raymond and Norm Dow felt their
should’ve been more competitive but were impressed by their teams’
unity. The kids’ times were close together and thus they ran as a tight
knit team rather than competing against one another. Both coaches know
their cross-country team will do better in the future and honestly,
they can’t really make an assessment of things right now since it’s
still early in the season. They have nine more weeks before they can do
Sobrato High coach James Feldman was pleased with
and also the fact that most kids on his teams are made up of freshmen,
sophomores and juniors. His stint as coach for the second year at this
new high school paid off. More students joined the cross-country team
this season than from the last one and they’re out there eagerly
tackling the tough races and competitors. Even though the team is
comprised of younger runners, Feldman appreciates their enthusiasm and
hard work. Looks like more promising track stars in the future from
this high if they keep that attitude up.
The Boy’s Varsity finishers:
1. Lance Wolfsmith (17:11) Sobrato High
2. Clark McLennan (17:24) Salinas High
3. Casey Ricketts (17:36) Salinas High
4. Kenny Benner (17:45) Live Oak
5. Don Knoles-Barrett (17:57) Salinas High
6. Eric Matsumoto (18:00) Live Oak
7. Andrew Taylor (18:00) Live Oak
8. Justin Miyakuso (18:07) Live Oak
9. Aaron Osgood (18:13) Salinas High
10. Nolan Zandi (18:30) Live Oak
The Girls’ Varsity finishers:
1. Cobbie Jones (19:00) Live Oak
2. Alexandria Bell (19:25) Salinas High
3. Shannon McVannel (19:27) Salinas High
4. Lisa Herrera (20:11) Live Oak
5. Olivia Duran (21:40) Live Oak
6. Susanne Andresen (22:44) Salinas High
7. Natalie Cruz (23:02) Salinas High
8. Laurel Cunanan (23:28) Salinas High
9. Brittnie Villafuerte (23:41) Salinas High
10. Remy Birchmier (24:07) Sobrato High
The Boy’s Junior Varsity finishers are as follows:
1. Mando Medina (18:08) Live Oak
2. Ryan Shimizv (18:40) Salinas High
3. Tim Kotyuk (18:52) Live Oak
4. Philip Shen (19:17) Salinas High
5. Joseph Castro (19:18) Salinas High
6. Brent Hatakeyama (19:19) Live Oak
7. Morgan Shaw (19:20) Salinas High
8. Matt Treadway (19:46) Salinas High
9. Peter Gobell (19:52) Salinas High
10. Anthony Macadaeg (19:56) Salinas High
The Girl’s Junior Varsity finishers:
1. Joana Harris (23:27) Salinas High
2. Michelle Hustedt (23:30) Salinas High
3. Alison Eldriedge (23:56) Salinas High
4. Carmina Gutierrez (24:12) Salinas High
5. Tracy Lenz (24:21) Salinas High
6. Cristela Pulido (24:39) Salinas High
7. Kristine Davi (25:19) Salinas High
8. Andrea Uveta (25:42) Salinas High
9. Delanie Ricketts (26:11) Salinas High
10. Amber Draz (26:33) Salinas High
THE 30TH ANNUAL MT.
A WILD AND BUMPY RIDE
Every late August in Gilroy’s Mt. Madonna Park at Sprig
brave runners from Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Jose, Los Gatos and even as
far as San Luis Obispo, hit the dirt trails to torture themselves on
two rigorous courses: up steep inclines, in the midst of hot weather,
gobs of bugs, dust, and sweat. The 12K and 6K races are geared not for
the fainthearted or for couch potato wimps; these long and winding
roads are pretty tough. The Mt. Madonna Challenge, aptly named, is a
benefit for the South Valley Symphony. Veteran runner, Bill Flodberg
and Live Oak High School’s Cross Country coach Dean Raymond are the
driving force behind the 30-year-old athletic event.
The first segment of the race is the 6K Salamander Walk,
sounds safe enough until you actually run the thing. It’s no cakewalk.
It will build up the calf muscles and get those lungs pumping
Steve Sokol and his son Alex, father and son team from
Jose drove up early Sunday morning to test their mettle on the shorter
distance of the race. Never mind that Alex is six years old; he knows
he can tackle the hills without any problems. The older Sokol is
constantly at his side feeding him racing strategy. The other runners
and walkers mentally perk up and toe the line before the sound of the
air horn signifying the start. Some have no idea of the sharp
greeting them at the beginning of the route; others are prepared since
they’ve done it before.
In the 12K Mt. Madonna Challenge race, the eager, hardy
are talking about their past races and expectations regarding the
upcoming trial. Veteran competitor, Dave Boulen, 74, from Los Gatos has
defied the mountains since the inception of the race thirty years ago.
Despite an unfortunate encounter with a swarm of hornets at a previous
Mt. Madonna Challenge two years ago, he still confronts the precipitous
course with enthusiasm.
Newcomers to the scene, Tom and Leesa King patiently
and warmed up as they contemplated the physical demands of the
competitive event. These Morgan Hill residents have trained with the
South Valley Running Club and also on their own near Uvas Reservoir.
They planned to keep an even pace throughout their journey. After they
finished the race, they received awards within their age divisions.
The racers cross the finish line; weary, happy, relieved
much wiser when it comes to hill running. Morgan Hill’s 14 year-old
Olivia Duran completed the rugged 6K under 34 minutes and was thrilled
to take first place overall in the women’s field. “Uphill was my
favorite part because it makes my legs stronger,” Duran said with
satisfaction. San Martin resident Rich Benner finished second in the
men’s division for the same distance with a time of 26:57. This was his
first time competing in the race.
The men’s division winners in the 12K were first timers,
Michael Matthews from Los Gatos and Cupertino’s Andrew Murray.
Matthew’s impressive 51:32 finish clearly made him the lead in the
race. (His wife, Kimberly, placed second overall in the women’s
division in the 6K.) Murray’s time of completing the demanding route in
56:18 wasn’t shabby either.
Morgan Hill’s Lisa Herrera, a freshman from Live Oak
School, won the women’s division in the 12K with 69:38. The 63-year-old
Sally Adam, from San Luis Obispo, placed second overall with 74:31.
Third place finisher, Gretchen Yoder-Schrock sums it up
regarding everyone’s feelings toward the challenge: “I finished tired,
but I did well . . . I hope I can say the same for the upcoming school
year!” They’ll be back again.
Here’s the lowdown of the top three male and female
the 6K: Daniel Bechwith, 17, 26:04; Rich Benner, 50, 26:57; Andrew
Taylor, 17, 27:09; Olivia Duran,14, 33:35; Kimberly Matthews, 38,
34:12; and Jo Buderus, 44, 36:27.
The winners in the 12K are as follows: Michael Matthews,
51:32; Ryan Reed, 26, 53:59; and Andrew Murray, 38, 56:18; Lisa
Herrera, 17, 69:38; Sally Adam, 63, 74:31; and Gretchen Yoder-Schrock,