I would have taken 3rd place!
Today was the 6th annual Toys for Tots 5K. Justin Pantananan directed the race and set it up using my Totally AV Fair Wave Race course on Lancaster Blvd. He asked me to handle the timing of the race, but I set it up so that I could race it as well. Christian, our HDR Web Guy was there to oversee getting the spreadsheet of entries correctly set up. Craig Griffith (dad of former Hillview runner and current Quartz Hill runner) was there to operate the clock and my lovely wife Cheryl was there to get the finish order written onto a piece of paper. My job was to do the tabulating after the race.
It was great to see so many of my running friends out there! Lauren and I warmed up together. Some of my students were there. I met Kristy Howell there. She is a facebook friend but I had not met her yet in person. To get side tracked a bit – 5 of the 6 Antelope Valley Boston Marathon runners were there – Kristi, Jen, Eddie, Justin and I! I am hoping that I am not the slowest Boston Finisher out of the 6 of us!
Oh, about the race. Clay, Bob Haugen and I took off intending to run together at about a 7:30 pace. Oh, it was awesome to see Bob out there. It has probably been more than a year since Bob has been running! We finished the race in 23:41 so it was mission accomplished! Bob was a few seconds ahead of me and Clay was a few ahead of him. Clay and Bob won 1st and 2nd in the 50s age division, so IF I had been in the same age division I would have placed third. However, I am only 49 so I had to race against all the younger upper 40s guys. Against them I placed FIRST!! It is funny how, right now the 50s age group is tougher than the 40s. I noticed the same thing, btw, 10 years ago when I started placing at local races when I was 39 and quit placing after I turned 40. It was fun to hang out and get the awards after the race! Neil was fastest overall male. Clay was fastest Masters male. Kristy Howell was fastest Masters female! Some of my students won awards: Julia Wada, Alexis Hennings, Taylor Stephenson, Travis Cetti, Camden Smith. A long list of my running buddies each won their respective age divisions: Jen Oblinger, Lauren Duke, Michelle Newman, Kristy Howell, Kathy Diorio and Connie Graham (- a teacher friend), Neil Small, Jeff Smith, (myself), Clay Patten, Joe Diorio, and Alan Brown. Lauren, Kristy, Connie and I were all hanging out waiting for our awards. Kristy kept claiming all those of her friends who had already left. Lauren must have been in a hurry, though, she stayed for her award but took off before the older ladies or any of the mens awards were given. I do have to admit that it was starting to take awhile, I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the parade was coming and by the time we were done I think it was just about there!
I was a little stiff immediately afterward, but now, later in the day I feel great! Tomorrow I am going to try to stretch out to around 7 miles. 7 am on the aqueduct.