USATF National Masters 8K Championships
February 23, 2014
(Story by Marty Friedman; Stats Support by Ed Avol)

Maybe they were escaping the Arctic vortexes, or maybe the words “national championships” attracts like moths to light, but there were some strong runners from all over the country at the Brea Masters 8K. Of course Club Ed runners were attracted, even without Coach Ed’s promise of “under the table” appearance money. Did you get yours?

A large group of runners congregated at MCHS in the early morning cold and fog for the caravan to Brea. There was a lot of shivering during the redundant check-in process, but the sun broke out shortly before the race started, for perfect running weather.

The course was tough, with sustained uphill sections for the entire 3rd Mile, after “rollers” in Miles 1 and 2. After one last climb, Mile 4 was entirely downhill, and the last “mile” was a gentle roller.

Our top team finish was 3rd place for the Men’s 50-59 team, represented by Jake “Cyclone” Courtney, Rich “Gusting” Gust, Kevin “Fury” Farrington, and Chuck “Kamikaze” Kaminski. We had a second Men’s 50-59 team that took 6th place. This team was comprised of Will “Leopard” Longyear, Kevin “Swift” Sullivan and Jim “Tornado” Torii.

Our Women’s 40-49 team achieved 4th place, led by Nathalie “Hurricane” Higley, Tami “Supersonic” Shalvarjian and Karina “Ballistic” Bird. Taking a 5th place was the Women’s 50-59, with contributions from Debbie “Rampaging” Richardson, Julia “Frenzied” Fretschl and Marian “Dynamo” Drahnak.

We had some masters “orphans” (guys and gals without a minimum 3 team members) also. Marty “Flying” Friedman (35:54), Art “Cooking” Cookson (36:37), Sharon “Smoking” Lotesto (39:08), and Monyean “Air Flow” Acuna (47:57) ran their senior hearts out as individuals. “Flying” said the course turbulence led to his late arrival at the gate (Finish).

Individual achievements were made by “Rampaging” Richardson with a 50-54 AG 2nd place and “Air Flow” Acuna, 3rd in her AG (unlisted out of respect). Just missing medals were “Hurricane” Higley and “Supersonic” Shalvarjian, both in 4th place. The women’s field was packed by an Olympic marathoner and a former high school phenom. The fastest Master Male was Greg Mitchell (40yrs old) from McMinnville OR, in 25:07; first Woman was Magdalena Lewy Boulet (40yrs old) from Oakland CA, in 28:16. Oldest finisher was 81yr old Al Ray from Diamond Bar CA, who traversed the course in an impressive 1:00:59.

Cheering on the club were our recovering running addicts: Ed “Air Mail” Avol, Dave “Galloping” Grethen and Mark “Swift” Shalvarjian. Non runner supporters included “Smoking” Lotesto’s soulmate Dale and “Dynamo” Drahnak’s significant other.

Youth was served also. In the “kid’s race”(the Classic Brea Open 8K), we had another outstanding battle between Aaron “Meteor” Munger (27:33) and Humberto “Superman” Sanchez (27:58), with the former taking 2nd in his AG and the latter taking 4th. “Superman” said he will take down “Meteor” as soon as he gets his taste of baby-induced sleep deprivation. Mike “Comet” Cortez (29:24) was 6th in his always tough AG, followed by Andy “Yeoman” Yurko (31:02) in 8th place. James “Miler” Miles (28:34) was our youngest competitor, taking 4th in the 25-29 AG. Irene Mapua represented our “younger” women racers with a yeoman 42:11.

Editor’s note: Nicknames can be changed, for a small banking/baggage fee or chocolate bribes

PS – Our fastest finisher (young guy Aaron Munger at 27:33) would have placed 21st in the Masters’ race!!!

Club Ed summary:
Team finishes:
W40-49 4th Team (Nathalie 30:47,Tami 31:43,Karina 36:47)
W50-59 5th Team (Debbie 31:32, Julia 40:16, Marian 42:55)
M50-59A 3rd Team (Rich 29:42, Jake 29:48, Bill 30:10, Chuck 31:26)
M50-59B 6th Team (Will 30:28, Kevin F 30:35, Kevin S 31:39, Jim 34:47)

Individual Awards:
Silver Medalist (2nd AG, 50-59) -- Debbie Richardson
Bronze Medalist (3rd AG 65-69)-- Monyean Acuna