The largest contingent of Spartans in recent memory—eight senior harriers— gathered on the green fields of Golden Gate Park to kick dirt in the PA/USA 6k cross county challenge. On a sun-kissed San Francisco morning—with just a baby’s breath of breeze wimpling through the eucalyptus groves—the SPARTAN EIGHT lined up to face the challenge. Or should I say the SPARTAN FIVE . . . .
What would a SPARTAN race be without a comical mishap or two? The SPARTANS are notorious for losing their way on the course, but they usually manage to make it to the start. But not always. Adding to the SPARTAN lore will now be the story of Brian and the Buzbee Boys lounging on the Polo Ground bleachers, leisurely lacing their shoes, when the gun goes off. (When Brian caught up with me about 600 yards into the race, I thought, “My god, he’s lapping me already?)
Don led the SPARTAN pack, finishing in the top 100 of the Master’s Men, blistering through the course in 28:25. The Senior SPARTANS could barely contain their excitement knowing this young lad—who does not yet know the feeling of old legs—will be turning 60 next month and joining a burgeoning Senior club. Brian and the Buzbee boys did remarkably well, considering they were nearly a minute late to the starting line, with Nick finished just a step behind Mike. A bit farther back came Art and Sal, and farther, farther back yet trailed Kurt, who was simply happy to kick-ass on 83-year-old Bill Dodson and goofy-foot Sampson.
It was a gorgeous day, and the SPARTANS lingered long after the cool-down, not wanting to let it go . . . .
Don Donoughe: 28:25
Brian Conroy: 29:34
Pat Buzbee: 30:44
Mike Buzbee: 31:42
Nick Butterfield: 31:44
Art Sanchez: 34:53
Sal Martinez: 37:17
Kurt Gravenhorst: 38:23 (our reporter)