Big Sur International Marathon Relay – Team Spartans Score

On April 24, 2005, the “SPARTAN A” team placed third in the masters relay and 5th overall. Since the first place team was running as a non-competitive show (they ran 2:13), we actually placed 4th overall. Good going guys!

This year we picked and scraped to finally get a team together. I don’t know what is special about the Spartans, but many of them cannot commit to anything… whether it be a race, a group practice, a marriage, or… Carlos Siqueiros registered the team and got both Leonard and Alex “semi” committed. We needed some young talent; with Alex and Leonard, we felt we would have a pretty decent team. We then need to fill around these guys. Nick and I basically said that we were in. Carlos ended up on the other side of the world, so getting another person committed at the last moment was not easy…. and then, we also needed an alternate. Special thanks to Nick for securing Greg Burke and Dave Prince (alternate).

I felt that this year’s team would be slightly faster than last year. As it turned out, I think our time of 2:53:56 was around a minute faster than last year. Last year the weather was very good but this year didn’t look promising – it was overcast and looked like rain much of the day but the wind was not a factor and the rain showed only as sprinkles. Good weather for running.

Nick “butterball” Butterfield lead off. Running uninjured, he was much better than last year and sent us out right. Before he knew it, his 4 miles were over and Alex “smoke” Gonzales, smoked the 2nd leg, putting us up with the relay leaders! Alex wanted the 3rd leg but Leonard “animal” Marufo had already asked for it. This is the longest and toughest leg – Leno ran a much appreciated strong 3rd leg. I think Leonard found the leg to his liking but maybe tougher than he anticipated. The one-two punch of Alex and Leonard set us up! Thanks guys! I started the 5.8 mile 4th leg possibly in the 4th relay place. In spite of problems the last few weeks with a cold/allergy and my Achilles tendon, I ran O.K. – no one passed me. I love the 4th leg. It is a rolling leg with three pretty good hills and a few nice downhills. Also, the scenery is fantastic! The wrist band went to Greg “Closer” Burke for the 4 mile final leg. It starts with like a 0.5 mile hill which Greg, in the excitement, took out too fast. Anyway, Greg hung on and kept us in position for a good finish.

I am proud of everyone for having run so well. Without everyone’s committment, preparation, and event performance, our solid 3rd place would not have been achieved. Congratulations to everyone. It was a pleasure running with everyone on this team.


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