10/08/05 – Cross Country in Folsom

The 4 mile Folsom race was important for the Spartan Super Seniors. Needing to score teams in two more races out of the three remaining, the lightly attended Folsom race was the place to do it – we could place/score higher. Our Seniors team, having run EVERY race, saw a chance to replace a lower earlier score with a higher one. They jumped on it. Here is Paul Tjogus’s report:

“It’s not official, but by my calculations, our Seniors team took fourth at Folsom. All of three of the teams that finished ahead of us are well behind our team in the season standings. Empire did not field a team, so the 4.5 points that we picked up (10.5 points for fourth place replacing the 6 point finish for Golden Gate) allows us to move ahead of the Empire team which was three points ahead of us. With their second place effort, the Rebels have tied Empire for second overall.

In 480 B.C., in one of the most famous last stands in history, a small band of 300 Spartans, outnumbered more than 40 to 1, held off the Persian army led by Xerxes.

In 2005 A.D., more than 2/3 of the way through the PA X-Country season, the seniors team for our small running club of 60 odd members is holding first place against much larger clubs (Tamalpa has almost 900 members).

Like the ancient Spartans, we probably will not emerge victorious. But there will be no free passes into the winners circle for Empire, the Rebels or Tamalpa. They are going to have to run their butts off in the last three races if they expect to beat us.”

You got it Paul! Enjoy it while you can. Having shown outstanding faithfulness, the Spartan’s 50’s are the only team in that division to have run all six regular races. The five best races are scored; any other, lesser scores are tossed out. Empire and the River City Rebels are tied for second, with only FOUR races completed. IF they score in either of the final two regular races, they could pull ahead of the Spartans. The next four teams have been inconsistent. If they manage to score in two more races, there will be SEVEN teams in close contention when the finals roll around on November 8th. After three months of racing, it could all come down to being decided at the finals.

In the 60’s series, we again failed to score a team. To have any chance at all, we MUST score in the final two races. The Pacific Striders and Empire RC, have already scored in five races and are now tied for first place; they seem to be the powers of this division. IF the Spartans 60’s get it together, they have a good chance at a third place final standing, maybe second.

Complete results are at pausatf.org. Here’s how we finished:

Men 50’s were: Salvador Martinez – 27:11; Paul Tjogas – 27:20; Steve Radigan – 28:04; Art Sanchez – 28:30; Francisco Verduzco – 34:35.
Men 60’s were: Leno Fabela – DNF; Frank James – 29:43; Jerome Woehl – 30:12.

The highlight of the race was watching Francisco’s finish. His grace and athleticism inspired an excited bunny to jump out and run alongside him to the finish. No, no, contrary to what you would expect, it wasn’t yet another of the Playboy Bunny types that are usually chasing after Cisco. This time it was a cute little cuddly REAL bunny. He beat her to the finish.

Our lowlight of the race was Leno getting ill and dropping out with a mile to go. Since there was only one 60’s team that scored, he could have WALKED to the finish and we would have gotten a second place. So our efforts were for naught – now we must run the last two (more competitive) races to have five scored. Leno is doing O.K. now, except for the lingering bruises from himself and us kicking him. Shortly after Leno bailed, I came across another failed fellow, bending over, retching, reexamining his breakfast. Must have been something contagious.

Shoreline on 10/22, San Rafael on 10/29 and Golden Gate Finals on 11/6. See you there!

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