Dead Runners society race report
We crossed the pond for the Xmas/New Year holidays visiting friends and relatives in Arizona and California. This was quite a momentous trip as on 27th December we decided that we would get married in the summer of 2002. We did two races on this trip in California, here are the race reports from our email about the holiday.
San Diego “Resolution Run” 5km - Monday
31st December 2001.
On New Year's Eve
we did a race in Balboa Park, San Diego, the "Resolution
Run" 5km. We arrived at the place I saw advertised on the web an hour before
the start to find some equally confused Arizona runners and no sign of any
race. About 20 minutes later the race organisers arrived and put up some
tables and cones at the finish. This was a very low-key race put on by the
YMCA, no entry fee just turn up and run. I did an easy mile pre-race to warm
up and to check out part of the course. It looked like a rather hilly and
Before the race there was an organised stretching warm up and then a runner
dressed up in a judges gown (he was a real judge) made us all take a light
hearted oath to resolve to stay fit in the new year. Considerable amounts of
banter were exchanged between runners from rival clubs :-)
And then we were off, the usual hordes of little kids charged off at the
start as we set off down the hill, I took it easy at the start and worked my
way through, I passed two of the Arizonans we had met before the race on the
way down. What goes down must come up and when the course turned back up
after 1/2 mile I went past runners like a knife through butter. Back onto
the road by 3/4 mile and I could see about 20 runners ahead of me, kept
pushing on passed a couple more runners before passing the 1 mile marker in
6.49. A bit more downhill off road, which I took quite well, I don't usually
do off road downhills that well. Then round a corner and WHOA! A rather
steep descent appeared, I tiptoed down the best I could without falling over
lost a few places. Of course what comes down must go up and at the bottom I
slogged away up the steep hill and repassed a lot of runners. By about 2
miles there was a little boy about 50 yards ahead of me, by now we
were back on the flat. I was pretty tired by now, I gradually reeled him in
and when I was about 1/4 mile from where we started I zoomed past. Round a
couple of bends and there was the finish but there was a little bit further
to go, there was an out and back bit left, I struggled the best I could but
the little boy zoomed past me. As I approached the finish line I could see
Shelley starting the out and back bit.
Over the line in 21.46, no official times or positions were recorded.
Shelley finished in 23.23 just ahead of one of the Arizona ladies, we think
that Shelley was 3rd lady. Another slow mile to cool down as the stragglers
came in, the last runners took well over 40 minutes.
A strange race and an interesting way of ending 2001. We hung around for
the post race presentations, only the male and female winners won prizes but
there were plenty of draw prizes as well, we didn't win anything. Not a bad
run for either of us, after the race we heard that the course was about 250
yards longer than 5km. The nature of the course meant that times were always
going to be slow.
We had lunch in the park and then had a look in one of the many museums in
Balboa Park before returning to the motel.
We did two races on this
trip in California, the second was on the track.
Long Beach State winter all–comer track meet - Saturday 5th January 2002.
Next day was Saturday 5th January, another race day, we headed north for an
open track meeting at Long Beach state university. Lots of people were there
and they came from all over to do it, we met some athletes from Nevada! This
was the start of the outdoor track season in LA, in January!! Back home they
were probably having to chip the ice off the track but here we were in sunny
California ready to race on the track, at lunchtime it was so warm we had to
find some shade to cool off! We arrived at 9.00am for this track meeting
which was scheduled to finish at 3pm. We had entered one of the last events,
the peculiar American distance of 3200m, this was the longest event on the
program. After sitting through loads and loads of sprint and middle distance
events at 4pm it was finally time for our event, I had jogged an easy mile
around the neighbouring rugby field (another weird sight, Americans playing
rugby!) before the race and did 800m of jogging and striding in my spikes
before we finally got called to the line. Every other event previously today
had either been for males or females but our event was mixed so Shelley and
I got to run together.
Bang and off we went, I deliberately set off at the back with Shelley, lots
of speedy youngsters zoomed off. I passed Shelley after 100m, 1st lap in
94.49, I overtook another lady at 700m, 2nd lap in 93.63 and gradually
speeding up, 3rd lap in 93.18 and 4th lap in 91.76, halfway in 6.13.06. As I
started lap 5 the fast youngsters started to zoom past as I got lapped,
93.33 on lap 5, feeling tired by now but I was gradually closing on a
youngster who was 100m ahead. Lap 6 in 92.43, struggled a bit on lap 7 which
took 95.42, I had got within about 50-60m of the youngster. Picked up pace
on last lap, I went through 3000m in 11.42.43 and did the last 200m in 43.81
to finish in 12.26.24, last lap in 92.00 and 2nd 1600m in 6.13.18. Very
tired on finishing, good run considering all of the travelling I had been
doing and my lack of track speedwork since August! My best 3000m of 2001 was 11.28.09 so I wasn't that far behind at 3000m and I had still to unleash my
fearsome finishing sprint :-)) I finished 11th, Shelley was the only lady to
finish, she was 12th in 13.25.1.
1/2 mile post race to recover, it was an interesting experience doing an
open track meeting in California but we felt a bit let down that the meeting
dragged on for so long and that so few stayed to run our race. We would have
got much better runs if we had done the 1600m instead of the 3200m, we would
have both got seeded single-sex races. We had run on some pretty good school
and college tracks on our travels which put most of the tracks I have run on
at home to shame. However the one we raced on was the worst of the trip, it
was very hard underfoot and I was glad to get my spikes off after the race.
Dr Tony Bell
Milton, Cambridge, England.