Dead Runners society race report
After DRSWCIV I headed out west to California. On my travels around Shelley's home state I stopped off in the state capital of Sacramento, home of coach George Parrott and the Buffalo Chips running club.
Friday 6th september.
Now off to Sacramento, I took a wrong turning on my way to Interstate 5 and ended up driving over a very twisty mountain road but I eventually got over and started the long straight drive up I-5 to the state capital where I was off to stay with coach George Parrott. I got to Sacramento OK but got a bit lost in the city but I eventually found George's place, very nice! I was one of two guests in the Parrott-Iwahashi household, Warren, a doctor from Ann Arbor and a former Sacramento runner was also visiting.
After Chris arrived home we went to do two of George's favourite things, eating and shopping! All the shops seemed to be open very late and were all very busy, Xmas shopping conditions all the year round.
Saturday 7th september
Up fairly early for a run, we set off at 8.30am and it was already warm by my standards. George, Chris, Warren and myself went for an easy jog along the famous "American River Bike Path" which is very close to George's house. We saw loads of runners out along the road and the path, Sacramento really did look like a great place to run. Chris and Warren ended up running about 22 miles down the path (which goes on for MILES, sorry about the Parrott capitalization there but it needed to be emphasised :-)), George was going to do a fairly long tempo run so I ran along with him for a couple of miles before heading back to the house. George returned over an hour later and Chris and Warren returned over 2 hours later, they certainly train hard in Sacramento.
In the afternoon more shopping, I bought some new running shoes from Fleet Feet sports, cheaper than home. I was rather impressed with Sacramento, why on earth did George and Chris leave this place to spend a year in of all places MANCHESTER in my cold and rainy homeland? In the evening some of George and Chris's running friends came round for dinner, tomorrow it was the annual Buffalo Stampede 10 mile race, the BIG RACE of my USA trip.
Sunday 8th september
Up very early for breakfast as the race was going to start at
8.00am. George and Chris left early as they were both
officiating at the Buffalo Chips promoted Stampede. Warren
kindly drove me to the race, as an "overseas runner" the
Chips had given me a free entry to the race. A very impressive sweatshirt was the race shirt, I'm wearing it as I type
At this race I got to meet some more Buffalo Chips, some of whom were dead runners as well. I was very pleased to meet dead Chip Theresa McCourt who hails from the same part of the world as me, nice to hear another english accent again after 11 days :-) She knew all about the recent changes in my social life, George obviously keeps her up to date with all the gossip!
I did 1.25 miles to warm up before the race, at 8.00am the temperature wasn't too bad but I knew it would be getting warm pretty quickly. As I was warming up I bumped into fellow DRSWCIV attendee Karl Watanabe, nice to see another dead. Just before the start I met another englishman who was running the race, Great Britain International David Taylor from London. Just looking at him you could tell he was an elite runner, he wasn't wearing a tatty old club vest like me, he had all the latest adidas gear on.
George was the start line announcer, I lined up fairly near the
front and off we went. Didn't get away that well as it was
a crowded field but after 1/2 mile I so I got into my
rhythm and started to work my way through. Round a little
loop and back to the start area, first mile in 6.40 but I was moving along at a good pace by now. Next 2 miles both in 6.24
still passing runners, I was already working hard, it was
getting a bit warm.
Around here I passed a lady runner from the Chips, I was concentrating so much I didn't realise it was one of dinner guests from last night until she asked if I was Tony. 4th mile in 6.22 as we came past George's house, round another little loop before heading back, got to halfway in 32.18, last mile 6.28. I could see a familiar runner ahead, it was Karl! I passed him at 5.5 miles and he said I was looking good, well I didn't feel that good. I was surprised to pass him as he beat me easily in the DRSWCIV 5km race 6 days earlier. 6th mile took 6.25 and I passed 10km in 40.03, I had passed a couple more runners in the last mile but we were pretty well spread out by now. 7th mile took 6.25 but I was very tired by now and hanging on to a runner in blue shorts. 8th mile took 6.27 and 9th mile took 6.29 then blue shorts got away. The last mile seemed like a long way but I kept plugging away and even passed another runner just before the turn into the finish straight, the finish straight seemed to take ages but George was there at the finish announcing the finishers names and I got a mention as I finished in 1h04.34, last mile 6.30.
Very tired and a bit dazed on finishing, it was very warm by
now. Through the finish area, shook hands with blue shorts,
got a drink and got some post-race food. Not quite as good
as Westlake but still much better than home. I walked
around for a bit, in the conditions it was a good run for me although I was hoping for about 62 minutes as it was a very fast
and flat course so I thought I could have run better. I
returned to the finish
area and there was a HUGE QUEUE of runners for the post-race goodies, there were an awful lot of runners finishing behind me, maybe I'd had a pretty good run after all :-) I found Warren and changed out of my racing gear.
At the post-race presentation George was presented with a real
"Golden Shoe" by someone from Runner's World for all the
work he has done over the year for the Chips, a well
deserved award. David Taylor easily won the men's
race in 48.40, nearly 2 minutes ahead of 2nd. I had a nice chat with
him after the race, I ran against him in the National XC
championships in February, I was 1770th and he was 20th! I
was 53rd overall, 49th male out of 704, I had had a very
good run indeed to finish that high up in these
conditions. A new positional pb for me, only 7.4% of the runners beat me. After the presentation I met a few more dead Chips including lurker Joe McCladdie (come on Joe, we know you are out there, post something :-)) and Cary Craig who I had run against last summer in England at the Tour of Tameside. The race organiser was dead Chip Carol Parise who I thought did a really good job although she seemed a bit flustered after the race, having been on some race committees myself I know all about the million and one problems that can occur on race day.
I went out with some of the Chips for "brunch" where they had the race post-mortem, then George and Chris and I went shopping yet again. Back to George's house where I saw some of the race finish from George's video camera, I saw myself shuffling across the finish line. I also got to see video footage of some of the more recent Chips races and trips including a shot of our very own eurodead listguy Howard Glynn! Out for yet another meal with some of the Chips; Carol, Cary and Joe were there as well. They certainly like to eat out in Sacramento. A very good if rather tiring day.
ageing chemistry student and marathoner
department of chemistry
university of cambridge
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