Hayward XC – Aug 20, 2005

Yes, a fine Spartans turnout at the Hayward Cross country race. Must be the “Start of Season Spirit”. But what women??? We had a sort of Spartan woman there. Last Monday Jennifer Miller, with the Humbolt TC, being new to the area, stopped by our track workout. And again today! This time, she did half our workout and half her own thing – a true Spartan. Jennifer, you found your place in life.

Competition was tight. By my unofficial scoring, we may have second place in both the 50’s and 60’s. In the 50’s, there are three runners for whom no club affiliation is shown. If one of the faster ones is with the River City Rebels, they could move us down to third. The Striders appear to be solidly in first. In the 60’s we were helped by three guys new to the series – Bill, Leno and Frank. This old hand only acted as a “displacer” by being 4th on the team. It was a vital position – it moved the Pacific Striders’ third man down one place. This gives them 20 points to our 19 (lower is better). First place appears to be held by Empire with 17 points.

Playing the “if only game” makes cross country fun. In the close 60’s division, if Bill had run just 11 seconds faster, he would have taken 3rd place from an Empire runner. That would have brought both the Spartans and Empire into a tie at 18 points. Or, if Leno and Frank, who were having their own little race, had improved their times by about 12 to 17 seconds, they would have beaten the non-Empire 60’s guy ahead of them. Each of their places would have improved by one. That would have brought our team score down two points to 17 – another way to tie with Empire. THEN, if I, as a lowly “displacer” had run 20 seconds faster, beating Empire’s third place guy would have moved him down one spot, growing their score by 1, giving the Mighty Spartans first place.

Oh yes, about the course. After the lawn swamp crossing, there was a pretty little shady lane beside a pond. Then we went up a hill. Then we went up a hill. Then we went up a hill. Then we went up a hill. I don’t remember ever coming back down. We must have – we got to run through the muddy lawn again to the finish. Like this:

MEN 40’s
1 Woodruff, David – 20:35; 2 ??; 3 ???; 4 ????; 5 ?????

MEN 50’s
1 Tjogas, Paul – 21:29; 2 Sanchez, Art – 22:47; 3 Radigan, Steve – 22:58; 4 Daleen, Leroy – 26:25; displacer – Verduzco, Francisco – 28:05

MEN 60’s
1 Bengivino, Bill – 22:44; 2 Leno, Fabela – 23:55; 3 James, Frank – 24:00; displacer – Woehl, Jerome – 24:33

In true Spartan form, someone got lost. I forgot his name. In driving from Sacramento, he decided to take a short-cut on Mission Blvd through Hayward. Bad decision – no Mission Street, no good map and no one that you would want to ask for directions. Back onto the freeway. Use the race directions, exit at Tennyson Road. Done. Heading east. NO! NO! It says West. U-turn at the light. After a mile or two, it sure didn’t seem right. Ask that guy walking. U-turn again. Finally found the way. The climb up to the park is steeeeep. Would make a great hill climb. I would prefer a bike to running. Finally the displacer gets there – after the obligatory “rest” stop and registration, he strips off his sweats and toes the line with 45 seconds to spare. Ah, Spartans!

Thanks guys! Who’s in on 8/27/05 at UC Santa Cruz? Carpool?


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