(Ed Avol, Cub Reporter)

11Jun2016 – On a surprisingly damp morning in June, the 17th Annual Northgate Mall Anaheim 5K was held. Damp and overcast enough for thick mist (if not almost-drizzle), about 870 finishers did some slippin’ and slidin’ around a flat, fast, and competitive course in downtown Anaheim. Runners from the various Orange County clubs, especially Cal Coast, Snail’s Pace, Runners’ High, and Southern California Roadrunners, were out in force for this USATF Grand Prix club race…and Club Ed racers joined in the fun.

We all lined up on a misty morning, waved and shouted at the Go-Pro drone drifting over the race crowd, were impressed by the singer’s rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner, and were started by some of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Strike Force “cheerleader-like interactive squad” (sort of the Major League Baseball version of Laker Girls).

The race course is basically a big square, with long asphalt straightaways and a protected lane for running. A 1¼ mile straightaway down Anaheim Boulevard starts the run, which then turns right along Ball Road for several hundred yards, goes the mile back up Harbor Boulevard, then finishes with a (hopefully quick) quarter-mile push back along Broadway, followed by a few hundred yards of some quick lefts back to the finish line. 

Roosevelt Cook of Cal Coast Track Club was the overall male winner in 14:56, and Leilani Rios won the women’s race with an impressive 17:11. Both of these talented runners are 36yrs old, so “thirty-somethings” seem to have made a statement on Race Day. Not being thirty-something for almost thirty-something years, I was NOT in that part of the race… but our formerly-thirty-something star Aaron Munger WAS there, finishing 12th overall in 16:15, to lead the club runners in. Aaron was just getting over a bad cold the week of the race, ran the first two race-miles in just over 10 minutes, then had a bit-of-a-cold-relapse but hung on for a 5:25 last mile. Iron-man Rich Gust showed he is getting back into race shape, clocking in at 18:10. Brad Angle ran a smart, strategic, and quick 20:10, passing the coach (me) about half-way through the race and holding me off at the end – nice to see that Brad remembered we are “strangers to each other” late in the race, but sorry to see I was on the receiving/receding end!

Other Club Ed runners - and there were impressively several of them - finished as follows: Karina Bird (139th OA, 22:13); Jim Newman (160th OA, 22:51); Sharon Lotesto (189th OA, 24:02); Julie McKinney (233rd OA, 25:20); Patty Humphrey (465th OA, 33:11).

For some, these finishing times were recent PRs. For others, it was an indication that training is either helping or indicated. Thanks to all who helped us to be a presence at the race and earn us a place on the club road-racing results board…I don’t know what that place is yet, since it takes several days to work out the standings, verify the results, change the names to protect the innocent, and so on…but we will soon find out how we are doing!

Next inter-club race: The Halo Mile, Sunday June 19, at Angels Stadium…stay tuned!