Hello Spartan runners and supporters,
The event at Shoreline was a little greener this past Saturday due to some of the recent rains. The course was in great shape and the weather was wonderful. Thanks to the Aggies for also broadcasting some good music, the day was a fine day for some cross-country action. Some memorable tunes were “War, what is it good for ?”, and “Love Shack” among others.
This year cross-country attendance is up….a significant increase in fact. On Saturday, the women’s race featured over 125+ finishers, the men’s combined race over 200+ finishers. These are large races for a cross-country course.
The course traverses the “garbage pile hill or landfill dump” next to the Shoreline amphitheatre. …..and circles a small portion of the golf course and environs. I think one of the worst parts of the course is a spiral out-and-back along the asphalt ….this makes it seem much more like a road race. I think the worst part of the race however has got to be the start. Even though it surpasses the Garin Park start, it is very crowded and narrows quickly after negotiating some obstacles directly in the path. I did not even pass the WHEEZER until like the first mile…..Don’ t know if anyone went down but I would not be surprised if someone did. The good news is that the course is longer so that you have more time to reclaim your lost time.
One of the interesting things for this event is that most of us did not pre-register. The race-day registration ran out of BIBS ….so we all got little strips of paper for our registration. ……I don’t remember this ever happening. It was hard keeping the “paper” attached until the race was over….. it caused as few interesting situations at the finish…so for $20, we got even less…..not even a momento!
Joining the Spartan contingent was Susan, Steve, Paul, Jay, Art, Kurt, Sal, and myself. This is really a good turnout for us!
This was the largest women’s race we have had this year I think. We got to see Susan on the course after running the Nike women’s marathon last week. Susan ran a good race and finished strong. Her wonderful smile, congenial attitude, and support for us during the men’s race was very welcome. Also, thanks to Susan, Steve returned to join the Spartans in his first race for us this season. Thanks Susan!
Steve ran a good race all things considered. It was nice to see Steve join us again. Steve and Jay ran together very close. Steve also came prepared being registered. This is always welcome. I think all of us were very happy to see Steve run with us again. We’ve all gotten slower but as Paul mentions. some of the clubs are almost having more difficulty getting a throng of 6 or 7 team members to show up! Thanks for joining us again Steve. We welcome your renewed participation and hope that you remain healthy.
Paul joined us again and ran a good effort and ran sub 7 minute pace. Probably a goal for most 50+ age runners is to still be able to run sub 7 minute pace on these cross-country courses. This is not a given as each course presents its own unique challenge. Although this course is not quite as challenging as the past few in terms of cross-country, the start and length add to its challenge..as does the good hill in the last mile. Thanks for the solid
Jay joined us again but next week has a “50 miler” scheduled for Granite Bay. Remembering last year at this time, the Tamalpa race (which we have next weekend) featured a downpour and was one of the worst in recent cross-country memories (next to the nationals in both 2002 and 2006)….however when returning home, we thought about Jay still being out there….running. This year, the weather for next weekend (thus far) looks to be fair. This will be good for both Jay and the remainder of the Spartan xc runners. Jay ran a strong race and looks to have pulled Steve along for a good performance. Thanks for running with us again Jay! …. and good luck next week. BTW -Jay is doing very well in the ultra standings… currently 3rd place…way to go jay!
Art did not get the lone Ratti runner this week but it was close. It was good to see Art and I certainly hope he has cleared up his team registration issue. Art is now beginning to gain momentum as he has now run several races in a row …. the results show that it looks like Jay, Steve, and Art all ran reasonably close. It’s good to help each other if possible. A number of the larger teams seem to do this…..Empire is a good example..
Kurt is (again) having a good season. Kurt joined us this week (without Cisco) and ran a strong performance. We all visited with Brian (former Spartan from WVJS) and were pleased that the mis-understanding involving him has been corrected. Kurt finished ahead of Sampson and Beardall this week…way to go Kurt! Hopefully Kurt and Cisco will join hand-in-hand next week…..
Sal showed up on time this week to help his teammates. This is our closest race and this means it is also closer for Sal…but Santa Cruz is Sal’s closest race. Sal ran a strong race and enjoyed the nice day. Sal is listed as being “36” in the results and would probably like being “36” again…and Art is listed as being “46”…..but “36” or “46” is not “56”….. sorry guys! Word has it that Sal almost kept the Spartan “wrong turn” alive as he almost missed the turnaround.. ..I don’t know how…..but it was on the ugliest part of the course.
I was fortunate and pleased to run a much better race than the last one at Willow Hills. I did not get a good start but was able to finish strong and pick off some “low-hanging fruit” on the last hill before the finish.
So, I am very appreciative of all of you for joining us this last Saturday. I have not run the Shoreline race in several years but it seemed better this year because of all of you and the fine weather we had. The course being slightly green also made it look better. Truly a beautiful day for some fine cross-country action and some good times.
OK, we have now completed 7 of the scheduled 9 races. We have the Tamalpa race next weekend. It will be an entirely different course. However, I am told that many years ago, the course we will run was their course…..guess I either do not remember it or have never run this course. Then, on Sunday November 22nd, we have the Championship race which will be 6 miles and THREE loops. Might think about slightly increasing your mileage to better prepare for that one. That last loop kind of drags on and feels worse than the previous two.
Next week, we have the Tamalpa race.
Women’s race scheduled for 9am, 4.25 miles
Master’s men race scheduled for 10am, 4.25 miles
WHERE: Rodeo Valley, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin Headlands
From SF: Cross Golden Gate Bridge.
Take Alexander Ave. exit. Stay right on Alexander, then turn left on Bunker Rd, through tunnel, about 2 miles.
From Marin, take 101 South, take last “Sausalito” exit just before GG bridge.
Turn right at end of exit ramp, go under 101 onto Alexander Ave, then turn left on Bunker Rd, through tunnel, about 2 miles.
Parking at Rodeo Beach, about 0.5 mi. past the Start/Finish.
Check out the course map.
For course map and info go to: http://www.tamalpar unners.org/ jltc2009. php
So, we will need to setup a car pool for this next week as I hear parking is limited. Checking the course map, it seems like it will not be very easy for us to get familiar with the course during the women’s race. Maybe we want to allow a little more time ?
We should plan on getting to the race by 9am if not earlier. We probably need to leave by about 7:15am or so to accomplish that.
Nice running everyone!