Waking up to a blustery Sunday morning, thoughts of a wind-blown struggle to the finish flashed through many minds…but in Brentwood, the breezes abated and the race was on.

The Brentwood 5K -- fourth stop in the 2011 USATF Club Road Racing Series -- and Club Ed showed up in force to battle the talented Janes, the swift Fluffy Bunnys, a tough TCLA, and all the rest. Almost 20 Club Ed runners were at the starting line, and all ran great (5 age group winners, 3 runners-up, 3 third places, and everyone in the top ten in their age group).

Jon Megeff led the way with a 16:31 PR, good for 6th overall – not bad for someone concerned about minimal training the past month or two. Mike Cortez fought his way to 17:00, although his young age will drop him in the age-adjusted club finish (we older guys are sneaky that way!). Rich Gust was in hot pursuit (17:13), and Jeff Bryant PR-ed his way to 17:18.

Not to be outdone, our talented women also had something to say… Brentwood saw the welcome return of Nathalie Higley, who ran 17:46, good for 3rd overall woman and 1st in her age group. Chasing her to the finish, Alison Atkinson (17:50) proved she has pretty much recovered from the LA Marathon. Debbie Richardson showed her talent extends well beyond triathlons, PR-ing in 18:39. Emily Anderson continued on her comeback after baby Owen’s arrival, finishing in 19:01. (Owen was there to cheer on his mom, but Coach Ed lectured him on running philosophies, and Owen nodded off out of boredom).

In other notable finishes, our own AquaDuck (Steve Notaro) took some time off from WaterWorld, came out to race for the team, and finished strong in 20:56. Pat Wickens (22:55) made it clear he is still a competitor, and Sue Reinhardt (26:14) won her age group by 12+ minutes!

One of the day’s highlights was in the Asthma & Allergy division, where Jake Courtney finished two seconds (gun time) and two places (finish chute) ahead of Mark Shalvarjian…only to find out that when the chip times were sorted out, it was Mark AHEAD of Jake by 3 seconds. Incredulous, Jake proclaimed, “I’m the only guy in the car going home without a medal!”

It will take a little while to see the “official” club standings, but it looks like we had at least five team mates in with an 85% or higher age-graded race, which should be VERY tough to beat…Great job to all!

The fourth stop on the USATF Southern California Road Running Grand Prix Series comes to the Brentwood 5 km, on Sunday, May 29, 2011.

Team competition in the new Grand Prix series is sure to heat up when some nation's finest distance runners take the starting line. Club Ed Running continues to hold the overall Grand Prix lead with The Janes Elite Racing in hot pursuit and Cal Coast Track Club in contention as well. Regular Brentwood 5 km competitors include top running clubs like the Fluffy Bunnies and Nike Team Run LA and expect to hear more from Team Runners High, So Cal Road Runners, Gritty City Track Club, Equalizers, A Snail's Pace Running Club and Track Club L.A., all clubs posting scores in the 2011 series. These clubs include more than a few local running heroes who range in age from 19 to 69.

USATF medals will be awarded to the top three open and masters USATF finishers at the Brentwood 5K, and the first male and female overall runners will receive a USATF Southern California Association red or blue gym bag.

For a limited time only, a special discount is available to USATF Southern California Association members who register online. When checking out, enter the discount code USATFbrentwood for a $5 discount off registration fees! This discount is available only to current 2011 Southern California USATF members! Registration fees increase after May 23, 2011, from $30 to $35. Online registration closes on May 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm.

About the USATF Southern California Road Running Grand Prix
The Brentwood 5 km is part of the 2011 USATF Southern California Association Road Running Grand Prix. This is the fourth race in the 9-race series. A minimum of five (5) races is required to be eligible for the year-end prize money and awards.

The Grand Prix provides a total of $2,000 in cash awards and championship medals to the top-5 overall men's and women's individual scorers. Gold, silver, and bronze USATF medals will also be awarded to the top-3 scorers in 26 men's and women's 5-year age-groups. Championship plaques will be awarded to the top-5 scoring clubs. As with individual runners, clubs must also field teams for a minimum of five races.

For more information on the 2011 USATF Southern California Association Road Running Grand Prix Series and to see the current Grand Prix rankings, please visit: www.scagrandprix.org.