Club Ed Racers Let the Good Times Roll in Irvine
On a hot but breeze-free Sunday morning, the Club Ed racing team travelled to the Great Park of Orange (formerly the El Toro Marine Air Base), for the 2nd Annual USATF Road Mile Championships. Last year’s event was a real novelty, and this year was even more festive, with more runners and teams participating. The event is run on the tarmac of a former airport flight path, and the course is a one-mile straightaway series of races, run in heats by age and sex (with a few Elite races thrown in).

Our competitive brethren (The Janes, Cal Coast, TCLA, the Equalizers, Compex Racing, Snail’s Pace, and several others were all there to race, and race they did. Our group of 13came to race, too… (and I can already see I am going to have a problem with superlatives)…

The fastest time of the day was turned in by Christian Heche, a regional running star, blazing to a 4:01 mile to win the Elite Open race. No less impressive was Christian Cushing-Murray (43 years’ training), who won the Elite Masters in 4:17.

We were led by Joe Robinson, who followed up his recent Silva Bros Mile victory with a new personal best of 4:21. To make his run even more impressive, Joe negative split his race, running several seconds faster in the last quarter to close with strength and determination…and he had to be moving, because two more of our speedsters – Jon Megeff and Humberto Sanchez – were chasing Joe to the finish. Jon PRed in 4:33, and Humberto showed he is back in training, closing in 4:39 (official time was 4:40, but I believe in Humberto). Rich Gust (2011 USATF Masters’ Marathon Champ, oft-noted 2nd place finisher (according to USATF), and chocolate chip cookie lover), crossed the finish line in an impressive 4:54, holding off his nemesis, the amazing Tania Fisher of the Janes. To round out our five-minute performers, Will Longyear (rapidly recovering from a turned ankle just two Saturdays ago) logged in at 5:00.09 (guess we need to work on his finishing lunge).

Coach Ed continued his 2011 Return-To-Racing Tour, with a stiff but encouraging 5:39 (who knew a mile could be so long?). Dave Grethen rounded out our men’s entrants with an impressive 5:48, once again demonstrating that he is ever improving and better than he thinks.

Our women were no less impressive... Nathalie Higley made it clear she is back and racing, clocking in at 5:02. Alison Atkinson, fresh in from a Taylor Swift concert (okay, it was for her daughter Lucy’s birthday), blitzed through in 5:12. New club member Kaci Bathurst made her team racing debut, running 5:35 in the Women’s 18-39 race. Our favorite competitive chiropractor, Tamar Gamliel, stepped down in distance and up in speed to work her way to 5:43. Karina Bird, who we haven’t seen enough of lately, showed she hasn’t just been sitting around, finishing in 6:13. In one of the more impressive Club Ed performances of the day, Sabine Helton set a PR by almost a minute (!), sprinting to a 6:35 finish (so consider that a knock on the door to the front training group at the track). To close us out in strong fashion, our Master Masters Sue Reinhardt crossed the line in 7:28, several seconds faster than last year’s effort and showing her competitive range (as she moves into the Disney Marathon weekend next week).

USATF age-adjusted results will take a few weeks to post, but we are looking good! Congrats to all; On to the Long Beach Half on October 9th, to lock in the 2011 Club Road Racing Championship Title!

Mark Silva vs Paul Silva
Wednesday, August 10 @ 6pm
6:00 - Track warm up
6:30 - All out mile for time
6:45 - 1 mile fun run
7:30 - Round table pizza
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