In a show of sustained strength, flexibility, and depth, racers from Club Ed Running completed the 2011 USATF Gran Prix Road Racing Series at the top. For the second year in a row, our runners captured first place in the five-race series, over distances from one mile to marathon, from Brentwood to La Brea. Thirty-six teammates participated during the ten months of races, and when the final race finished at Dana Point on Thanksgiving Day, Club Ed remained the club champion, with 21592 points accrued over the races. (Points are awarded at each race on an age-graded performance basis, with the best five [of nine pre-selected] races scored from each club counting, with the highest five scorers counting from each club in a given race, and with five races needed for Gran Prix eligibility). Second place (20961 points) went to The Janes from Santa Monica (led by Individual Gran Prix Champion Tania Fischer) and Cal Coast Track Club (20833 points) from Orange County (coach Bill Sumner’s talented team). As a team, Club Ed finished first in four of the Gran Prix road races, and in a fifth one at (the Brea 8K), was denied first place by nine points.
In the individual Gran Prix competition, our runners were no less impressive. Among 530 Gran Prix participants, ageless Jon Megeff finished second behind the seemingly uncatchable Dale Campbell of Compex Racing, and an ever-determined Rich Gust was a close third. Humberto Sanchez (6th) and Steve Notaro (7th) helped to make it a competitive top ten in the men’s racing group.
In the Women’s Division, Alison Atkinson earned second place behind the indomitable Tania Fischer, with Sue Reinhardt capturing 5th and Karina Bird in 7th. Monetary awards will be made to the first five finishers, and the awards will be presented at the first of the 2012 Gran Prix Series events (still to be named).
Congratulations and thanks to all team racers who trained, raced, and supported the group effort…anyone up for a three-peat?