Presidio cross-country recap

Hello Spartan harriers and supporters,

What a beautiful day it was in San Francisco this past Saturday for the 5th of 9 cross-country races for this season. This race was held at the Presidio and the weather was perfect and brisk for some fine xc action. With four races to go, the Spartans are holding their own…at least they appear on the leader board. They won’t be competing for the cadillac which will go to the first spot….I think 2nd gets a set of steak knives. Currently the Spartan seniors team is in 7th place knocking on the door for 6th place. The best we can hope for this year would be 5th place and that may take a miracle over the next four races.

The Presidio course is probably pound-for-pound the best course in the entire series. It is only 3.5 miles but you get to do the same tough loop (with two hills) twice…so, if you don’t get it right the first time, you get another shot at it…and one of the hills is soft sand.

I think the best performance of the day had to be Linda (formerly Somers) Smith. She’s 48 and devastated the woman’s field. The runner up is only 24….looks like “mom” took it to the kids big-time!

NOTE: Her time of 21:43 would have placed her 3rd in the men’s master’s race (ahead of many outstanding runners mind you) and 35th in the men’s open. She didn’t look pretty but she certainly got the job done.

Four of us left SJCC early…at about 7am. No one had phoned Sal so once Kurt arrived, we phoned Sal. Sal did not know about the 8:30am start but said he would leave and try and make it. We didn;t hear anything from Paul so it was doubtful he would show. Anyway, it was fortunate we had us FOUR (Jay, Kurt, Art, and I) in a single vehicle….enough for a scoring team. We didn’t arrive early but we did get to the Presidio early enough for a short warmup…a.half hour before we had to toe the line on the wet muddy field at the playground. At least it was far better than the start of last week’s race at Garin Park. The other thing that made it difficult was that the order of the races was completely different. The early start is nice but doesn’t help those coming from far away…it also provides an opportunity to watch the other two races (after) if you are first. Interesting why this race schedule differs from the others…

Jay ran a good race and felt much better about the hills this week than those he faced in the heat of battle last week for his 50 miler. Jay was kind enough to steer the Spartan chariot to the Presidio even though we had a small detour just before getting there….Jay has now officially passed all of the necessary tests in becoming a true Spartan. We are glad to have Jay on the team and he has been instrumental in keeping our season afloat.

Kurt got his mind right after shoveling the dirt out of the bosses hole. Facing the hills at the Presidio seemed like an easier chore than spending “a night in the box” or putting the dirt back into the bosses hole (excerpts from the movie, Cool Hand Luke). Kurt ran a good race and finished ahead of Elmo this week….but again failed to get his shrink-wrapped CD autographed by the famous song writer who wrote the song, “Grandma got ran over by a reindeer”… Kurt also enjoyed watching the woman’s race and picked out a young favorite…. who faded down the stretch.

Art, thanks for verifying your PA membership. We need you to score a team so it is important that all of us have a current membership. I can remember a few years back when we had a runner (initials GB) who had not registered at Santa Cruz…we had a good team that year but as a result, we did not score at Santa Cruz . In the end, it could have moved us up on the leader board. Art ran a good race and put one of the Ratti family members down wind. We’re glad to have you on the team Art!

During the race I heard Sal’s voice cheering us on….at that time it just dawned on me that Sal had not arrived on time. At the starting line we did a checkup and no one saw Sal or Paul, … at least we knew we were starting with 4 runners….. .I cannot believe the number of runners the Empire club has…..each race this season, there is this “sea of blue” on the starting was especially noticeable at their race held earlier. Anyway, we visited with Sal after our race and thanked him for his bold attempt at trying to make the race.

Again, we need to keep in touch with team members…keep them encouraged, keep them training, keep them included. Without all of you, this is not possible. We are creating “tomorrow’s memories” … and I know for me, that each of you are included in my cross-country memories…. .at least all of those that I can remember.

Next week we have a scheduled date in Folsom ,,, then a two week reprieve before visiting the local garbage dump at Shoreline. BTW – we just came to grips this weekend with the fact that the Tamalpa race will NOT BE HELD at the traditional China Camp as it has now for so many years. It will be held at Marin Headlands.

The race next week in Folsom (Willow Hills, near Folsom HS) is supposedly a new 5k course…..I certainly hope it is better than the “Cat track” course we ran a few years back…held at Folsom High School.

Thanks Jay, Kurt, Art, and Sal for helping make the Presidio trip a good one.

Next week: Kurt, Sal, Art, and myself have expressed interest in going…the master’s race is schedule for 9:45am…the women’s race is schedule for 9am. Anyone else ???

Last but not least…we hope Sue, Jan, and Bill had a good race at the Rock’n Roll half marathon. Jose Pina and Tom Gardin ? were also going to run I think. I have not checked reslts.

Thanks, pb

I felt decent about my effort until I saw my time. I had thought I ran faster. Anyway, guess I shouldn’t complain, I was just over a minute slower
than I ran 5 years ago….

We all came home with a jar (or two) of pasta pesto sauce….either the olive variety or the artichoke variety. Always nice to pick up a freebie.

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