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It’s almost that time again. The 2011 cross country schedule for the Western Association of USA Track and Field is out:
08/20 Santa Cruz
08/27 Santa Rosa
09/10 San Francisco
10/01 San Francisco
10/22 Mountain View
10/29 Marin Headlands
11/20 San Francisco
Contact Jerome for more information.
This month I have to send in the Spartans team registration. If any of you want to chip in for the $75 fee, I wouldn’t mind. I would mind if some of you who were hit by the 15% unemployment rate chip in. Save it for your PA membership and race fees.
Anyone want to be an officer? As I recall, the positions are President, VP, Secretary and Treasure. Each position takes as much work as you are doing now.
Hello Spartan cross-country runners, enthusiasts, supporters, wanna-be’s, et. al.
The season’s final cross-country meet was held yesterday under typical cross-country conditions at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Friday’s rain soaking made the course more xc challenging and muddy. The attendance was larger than in past years for all three races (women’s race, men’s masters race, and men’s open race). The day’s race schedule started with a light misty rain with cool temperatures and a soggy course.
The Spartans men’s senior team was tied for 6th place heading into this race. Unofficially, it appears that the Spartans broke the 6th place tie and will finish 6th after besting a Pacific Striders team. This was the best we could hope for as the Rebels from Sacramento have too much cushion for us to catch them. The other four clubs are Tamalpa, WVJS, Empire, Aggies which are much stronger than we are. These are actually considered super-clubs in terms of numbers and participants. We will wait for the final results however. Continue reading
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! Continue reading
Hello Spartan runners and supporters,
Saturday we had a strong contingent travel to Folsom to run the first Willow Hills open. Over the past few years, a few of us had run a similar course but not the same course. The new course is the high school course and is a very good cross-country course. It is beginning to solidify much like a seasoned ski run. The most noticeable thing to me was they have a nice grass starting line…when I last ran here, the grass area was a barren hillside. The course may not be so friendly if it had been raining or if it was muddy. However, we got the course on a beautiful day…a wonderful day for some cross-country action. Sunny, mild temperature with a cooling breeze, and a dry course..
The course is tough but in a different way than the Presidio course. This course gets your attention up front like going on a roller coaster ride. I think roller coaster best describes it.
So, we had Art, Sal, Kurt, Nick, Paul, and I take on the challenge.
The day started out fine as everyone basically showed up on time…..however, we lost a little time in route to picking up Paul and taking a rest room break at a nearby doughnut shop. The short story is that this put us to the race with little or no time to spare….we arrived at like 20 minutes before race time. We did not know the course, we had to register, and of course after a long ride, we needed another rest room break. The start came up very quickly. I think all of us paid a price for this. The lesson is that when traveling a long distance to a race, it is better to allow for more time than thought. It is probably safe to say that you also need more lead time before the race…like having a warmup, being able to use the rest room, and getting familiar with the course…..and not feeling so rushed or anxious. Continue reading
Hello Spartan harriers and supporters,
What a beautiful day it was in San Francisco this past Saturday for the 5th of 9 cross-country races for this season. This race was held at the Presidio and the weather was perfect and brisk for some fine xc action. With four races to go, the Spartans are holding their own…at least they appear on the leader board. They won’t be competing for the cadillac which will go to the first spot….I think 2nd gets a set of steak knives. Currently the Spartan seniors team is in 7th place knocking on the door for 6th place. The best we can hope for this year would be 5th place and that may take a miracle over the next four races.
The Presidio course is probably pound-for-pound the best course in the entire series. It is only 3.5 miles but you get to do the same tough loop (with two hills) twice…so, if you don’t get it right the first time, you get another shot at it…and one of the hills is soft sand.
I think the best performance of the day had to be Linda (formerly Somers) Smith. She’s 48 and devastated the woman’s field. The runner up is only 24….looks like “mom” took it to the kids big-time!
NOTE: Her time of 21:43 would have placed her 3rd in the men’s master’s race (ahead of many outstanding runners mind you) and 35th in the men’s open. She didn’t look pretty but she certainly got the job done. Continue reading
who is in for garin park? i can drive from usual rendezvous: sjcc.
how many to we need for a team, and do we have one? i’m reluctant to
make the trip if we don’t have a team.
asap: who’s in?
SPARTAN SENIORS TAKE FIFTH AT SANTA CRUZ–PICK UP NINE POINTS !
The brave SPARTAN SENIORS once again sent their tired, their poor, their huddled harriers yearning to run free to compete against the corporate clubs of storied pomp.
And once again the SPARTAN SENIORS refused to be shut out!
In a slight rewording of Winston Churchill, Never have so few done so little for so much.
GO SPARTANS !
hard to believe, but the first x-country race is only 18 days away! (santa cruz, august 22).
i don’t think it’s too early to see how many brave lads we have who will dare to toe-the-line this year.
just wondering if we have a team.
so, can we start locking in the commitments? i’m going to try to make them all, including the new course in folsom.
Hello Kurt et. al.
Thanks for your interest. You are a true Spartan!
Yes, we are all slower….”spearheading” can mean many things. However, I think it mostly means that we need someone to HEAD or LEAD the effort. Be the focal point or xc team captain.
I think it also means that to pull this off, we need help in several areas. I think Paul pretty much defined these obligations the past few years. All of us have issues to deal with that competes for our time and commitment.. ..whether it be work, family, injuries, or selfish endeavors. The point is that all of the little things add up.
Here’s a short list.
FIRST: Someone needs to contact each prospective team member….remember, not everyone has email or answers to it…
To start with, we can use last year’s roster.
SECOND: What teams do we want? 40’s ? 50’s ?, 60’s ?.
THIRD: We need to be respectful to everyone…. we all have other life commitments and issues beyond this.:
1. Maintain a team roster with race commitments, phone and email contact, etc. Distribute to all team members.
2. Ensure that each team member has a current PA card designating Spartans. Also has a singlet.
3. For each race, handle the details to make sure everyone that wants to run has a way of getting to the race.
4. Summarize race and submit score sheet. Communicate to the necessary PA and race officials any scoring issues.
5. Keep the team posted as each race gets nearer. This also means trying to motivate and get enough runners to score a team!!!
6. Help keep the team morality high and support each and every team member as best we can. If you can’t run, maybe you can come and cheer ?
7. Try and solicit more team members and get them registered. Looks like we may only have a possibility of fielding a 50’s team…but 40’s and 60’s runners are also welcome and can count in scoring on occasion.
8. etc. etc. etc.
Some good news. There are only 8 races. Actually 7 if we skip the first one (as we have done in the past few years).