Ed Avol Reporting
Saturday July 23 at 5am, and you might have still been snuggled up in bed (or sleeping off the Friday night party), but Coach Ed and Assistant Coach Mark Silva were already up and out marking the race course through Palos Verdes for club members to follow.
The annual running of the Coach’s Handicap, that 10K “fun run” that some question the “fun” part about, was held in late July this year, and it was another success. A mix of new and long-time club members joined in the run, which begins by Malaga Cove Elementary School at the end of Paseo Del Mar, runs along the coast out to PV High, then circles back to the Start/Finish Line.
Runners predict their 10K time, then get a start based on their predicted finish…so those who are usually back in the race pack get to go first. If all goes perfectly, everybody finishes together (which has never happened, but some years are closer than others). This year, starting times were spread over a 43-minute period, and (aside from Warren Hamersma, who walked/jogged his way into the Finish in a little over 18 minutes above predicted, everyone finished in a little under 6 minutes.
On a humid and warm morning, and a hilly and challenging race course, 38 teammates persevered. First-runner-to-finish was Jason Scholz, who is steadily improving and just beginning to realize his racing potential. A mere 30 seconds later, Pat Saraceno, Sharon Lotesto, and Olivia Ghaussey charged in, in hot pursuit…and that began a steady stream of finishers. Irene Mapua (who was goaded into showing up by Cris Baba and Coach Ed) was the star of the day, finishing within 3 seconds of her predicted time, thanks to a blistering kick to the finish line. Fastest running time went to veteran workhorse Jon Megeff in 38:22, successfully emerging from his plantar fascia/calf muscle/leg injury recent history. Second-fastest went to newcomer Blaine Kuiper (39:23), who arrived late and just jumped in, a few minutes after everyone else had left.
After all had returned to the Start/Finish, a pot-luck breakfast was shared and enjoyed, as were the gifts and awards announced by Mark Silva and shopped for by Diane Silva. Thanks to all for participating, and hope to see you on the course next June. (For more race details, see attached three tables by order of finish, by accuracy of prediction, and by fastest race time).