I headed to Rosamond this morning to participate in the LCPL Joseph C. Lopez-Pratti 5K. It was warm but not crazy hot. There was a little breeze but it was not at all windy. Later today, by the way, it did get to 100 here today, but at 8 am the temps were more like 70 to 75. The first thing that I noticed when I found the check in area, was that there were a lot of people there whom I did not know. It felt kind of strange. I have come to know, or at least recognize lots of the local runners, but when I looked around at Rosamond High I did not see a single familiar face. After a little while John Carey showed up. Then I spotted Jim Pandya. Next to show was Clare Durand. Amongst the “Rosamond” crowd I did note Ervin Velasquez and his brother, and Caleb Schroeder. Finally, I spotted Tamara Crawley and her husband. They are the parents of one of my former Hillview runners- Sara Crawley. A few minutes before 8 I spotted one more High Desert Runner – Alan Brown was near the end of the line getting registered.
The race started in the high school parking lot and headed south on 30th West. This was a half mile climb. We made a left and went semi level for a while. A right turn led us to a dirt road that headed further up the hill then a right turn took us to the high point on the race. We circled around a water treatment plant and headed back toward 30th. We took another dirt road toward a residential street and circled around the east side of the school back to the front. As the runners lined up, few seemed to want to go to the front of the pack, so I did. As the first quarter mile went by I dropped back to 15th place or so. As we went around the first corner, I could still see the leaders and I counted my place at 14. Slowly but steadily I caught and passed people all the way up the hill. By this time I estimated that I was at 7th. I was hoping that a couple of the people still not too far ahead would fade so that I could score some top 6 placing points. Alas, they did not fade and while I continued to gain, I never caught anyone else. One young man, caught me at around 2 miles….
I was very happy to come in at 8th place. There was no one who looked older than 25 among the 7 guys ahead of me. My time was 23:09, but like I said it was hilly, partially dirt, a little warm, and the organizers admitted it to be about 3.2 to 3.3 – a little long.
The awards were given in only 4 age groups: children, youth, adults and seniors. Fifty and up turned out to be seniors. I won first place senior (and 8th overall). Clare Durand scored the ladies first place senior award. Alan Brown won 3rd. Not very far behind Alan was John Carey. Jim Pandya and his wife Monica finished well.
As you can see they gave some really nice awards. Here is a close up….
This race enabled me to move into 2nd place in the Grand Prix points contest, much to Erik Rubles chagrin. I added one point to tie Erik, but I have more tiebreaker points…… I already had a 6 point, first place 5k replacing the Nutty Runners race (Mountains 2 Beach), and I already have a 6 point 1st place 5k score in the “other 5k” slot (The race at the Oaks) in the contest. So even though I won my division, it only counted as an extra 5k, worth 1 point. However, when AV Fair race time comes, I will be able to use this race as its substitute. The rules allow race directors and race volunteers at our Grand Prix races (Nutty Runners, AV Fair Wave Race, Jingle Bell Jog, Toys 4 Tots) to use the placing points earned at a race of similar size in place of points they could not earn because they were too busy organizing or helping a race to actually race in it.