Today I ran the Toys for Tots 5K in Lancaster. It was a perfect morning for running fast – There was no wind and it was cold – upper 40s. The course is fairly flat. It started at the South end of the park and ran out of the park using the main road. It took a left up and over the freeway overpass on Avenue K-8 and then made a loop on the west side of the freeway. The lowest point was at the turnaround almost 2 miles into the race so heading back to the freeway there was a slight incline followed by the bridge over the freeway. I had set my Garming 350 ‘virtual training partner’ to run the 5K in 20:30. During the first mile I was as much as 200 feet ahead of pace. I needed that cushion for the aformentioned return. At the top of the freeway over pass I was basicly right on pace. I had a group of guys ahead of me so I put in a surge to get ahead of them. I thought one of them – Dave Wilson from Amargosa Creek Middle School might be in my age division. I got ahead of Dave, but not Travis – a former student who now runs for Cal State Monterey (he must have been taking it easy.) I held on and even found just a little for an acceleration the last 150 meters – time: 20 minutes and 29 seconds. I was the fastest 45-49 yr old male out there, but unfortunately the age bracket was 40-49. There were 3 guys, all under 19 minutes in the top 10 overall who were 41,42, and 43 years old. I ended up 4th in my age division but no matter – I scored another Personal Record.. my old PR was 20:46 ran back in August at the Jet to Jetty 5K in Marina Del Rey.
Vanessa Lopez, from our Tuesday night workouts started out with me and we ran together for half a mile or so. She then surged ahead, but I caught her around the 1 mile mark. I never saw her again. She finished right around 21 minutes.
Brenna Hess, who graduated from Hillview last year and now runs for Highland also battled with me for most of the race. I last saw her just after the mile mark. She finished somewhere between Vanessa and myself. Brenna won the trophy for 1st female finisher.
Runners from Hillview included Annie Radigan who finished 2nd to Vanessa Lopez in 21:43, Alex Wada in 22:42, Katya Acousta (11 yr old who took the 3rd) in 22:45, Jordyn Hernandez in 22:47, Sara Crawley in 22:49, Branden Esharati in 28:51 and Sayra Acousta (9yrs?) in 31:26. If you add Katya’s and Alex’s dad there were 10 runners from the Hillview running program.