Ed Avol Reporting

Saturday July 23 at 5am, and you might have still been snuggled up in bed (or sleeping off the Friday night party), but Coach Ed and Assistant Coach Mark Silva were already up and out marking the race course through Palos Verdes for club members to follow.
The annual running of the Coach’s Handicap, that 10K “fun run” that some question the “fun” part about, was held in late July this year, and it was another success. A mix of new and long-time club members joined in the run, which begins by Malaga Cove Elementary School at the end of Paseo Del Mar, runs along the coast out to PV High, then circles back to the Start/Finish Line.
Runners predict their 10K time, then get a start based on their predicted finish…so those who are usually back in the race pack get to go first. If all goes perfectly, everybody finishes together (which has never happened, but some years are closer than others). This year, starting times were spread over a 43-minute period, and (aside from Warren Hamersma, who walked/jogged his way into the Finish in a little over 18 minutes above predicted, everyone finished in a little under 6 minutes.
On a humid and warm morning, and a hilly and challenging race course, 38 teammates persevered. First-runner-to-finish was Jason Scholz, who is steadily improving and just beginning to realize his racing potential. A mere 30 seconds later, Pat Saraceno, Sharon Lotesto, and Olivia Ghaussey charged in, in hot pursuit…and that began a steady stream of finishers. Irene Mapua (who was goaded into showing up by Cris Baba and Coach Ed) was the star of the day, finishing within 3 seconds of her predicted time, thanks to a blistering kick to the finish line.  Fastest running time went to veteran workhorse Jon Megeff in 38:22, successfully emerging from his plantar fascia/calf muscle/leg injury recent history. Second-fastest went to newcomer Blaine Kuiper (39:23), who arrived late and just jumped in, a few minutes after everyone else had left.
After all had returned to the Start/Finish, a pot-luck breakfast was shared and enjoyed, as were the gifts and awards announced by Mark Silva and shopped for by Diane Silva. Thanks to all for participating, and hope to see you on the course next June. (For more race details, see attached three tables by order of finish, by accuracy of prediction, and by fastest race time).


Ed Avol & Various Club Members

The Village Runner Fourth of July 5K saw overcast skies, moderate temperatures, fast times, and lots of runners this year…and Club Ed Runners were in the hunt, by the dozens.

The annual event was preceded by presentation of a well-deserved Running Mentor/Coaching Award to El Camino’s Dean Lofgren, whom many of us have run for, trained with, or chased in races over the years. Additionally, the inaugural Pathfinder Award was presented to Kayla Montgomery, a woman who has literally fought with her body (challenged by multiple sclerosis since her early teens) to continue to race at a high and competitive level – after hearing Kayla’s story, it’s hard to justify many of our own trivial excuses for not running.

When the race gun fired, thousands charged the Redondo course. Almost 2100 runners crossed the finish line, with many of our Club Ed racers placing or winning age group divisional designations.

Highlights included:

·         Stewart Harwell showed us that all that sprinting around the track pays off, by finishing 3rd overall in 15:04;

·         Cheyne Inman served notice that he is on the comeback, running 16:17, good for 11th overall;

·         Aaron Munger demonstrated that chasing his young sons is helping his turnover, stepping out in 16:44 and finishing 18th overall;

·         Mark Shalvarjian gave all 5K runners a one-minute head-start by hanging out in the restroom when the race began, but he then proceeded to run most of us down from behind, zig-zagging his way through the pack to finish in 19:07;

·         Coach Ed thought he had “beaten” upcoming racer Evelyn Bahurinsky by passing her late in the race, not knowing that Evelyn was doggedly tracking him to the finish…and based on chip timing, Evelyn actually beat the Coach by 2 seconds;

·         Mitch Middler PR-ed by 50 seconds, moved to an older age group…and finished four places farther back in the new age group (proving once again older does not necessarily mean slower); Sue Reinhardt celebrated moving into her new age group (W70-74) by demolishing her competition and winning by five minutes;

·         Not to be outdone, the amazing Sharon Lotesto demonstrated that the new hip and mended meniscus are working just fine, winning her division by SIX minutes;

·         Speaking of new hips, phenomenal triathlete Bill Macleod paced the run in 20:57 – just FOUR MONTHS after his hip replacement (… judging from the racing of Sharon and Bill, maybe we all should consider hip replacements?);

·         Steve Notaro used a good luck kiss from wife Cindy to motivate himself to beat Marty Friedman in the M65-69 division (maybe we should all consider a kiss to motivate our racing?);

·         Tamar Gamliel finished in 21:05, 40 seconds faster than her St. Patrick’s Day 5K and just seven months post-baby #2;

·         Dave Boland, supported by the wild cheering of his four kids and wife, blazed in at 18:33, then returned the wild cheering as his kids ran in the assorted kiddie races that followed the 5K…

·         Patty Humphrey thought she ran a new PR 5k yet to find that based on chip timing, she was off by 40 seconds…

·         Lots more stories, lots of achievements, lots of praise for you all!

 For the record, the overall race was won by LA-based runner Juan Paredes in 14:50 (yes, 14:50!) on the Men’s side. On the Women’s side, Mexican National Team distance racer Ana Narvaez (17:13) brought home the Gold. (Club Note – Club Ed runners finished 3rd overall in both Men & Women’s Divisions -- Stewart Harwell [15:04], and Ali Kielty [17:56]). Complete race results can be found at http://my.racewire.com/results/32561/36717 .

I’ve been asked to provide some suggested races for those of you who can’t make it to the track at the beginning of the workout to hear my “carefully prepared” speeches … and/or for those who are just looking for some racing guidance considerations.

My list below is not complete, nor is it exhaustively researched (okay, in the sense that I have run these races, they have been “exhaustively” researched)! The list is just a grab bag of several interesting runs to consider. I invite each of you to send in your recommendations for the coming months, and we can build up a list of races worth running.

Looking forward from July 1, here are six races for posting on the Club Ed racing list:

(1)  Village Runner 5K, July 4 – there are lots of 4th of July Runs, and there are several good ones to consider. The local favorite, hands down (or knees up!) is the Village Runner 5K. Along the Esplanade in Redondo, you can be sure to chase some of your fiercest competitors, see a lot of friends, curse at a street that you could have sworn was generally flat, and start off the Fourth with a memorable effort. http://www.villagerunner.com/4th-of-july-5k/

(2)  Coach’s Handicap, July 23 – Literally for decades (back to the 80’s), we have been putting on our own club race, for club members. Some call it an excuse to have a potluck breakfast, others call it the most painful course ever… However you describe it, come out a be a part of it! Submit an HONEST guess of your current 10K race time to the Coach in the weeks prior to the race, and we (Mark Silva and I) will handicap your race start and send you on your way (at the appropriate time) over a up-and-down course in Palos Verdes. Club Ed slower runners get head starts, the race usually “begins” over a 45-minute period, and if all goes well, everybody finishes within a few minutes of each other. After, we share a picnic breakfast, award some fun prizes based on the day’s most memorable performances, and work on innovative excuses for next time. Don’t miss this – it’s lots of fun!

(3)  Dick Fitzgerald 2-Mile Sand Run, Surf Festival Weekend, August 6 – Two miles in the soft sand from the Hermosa Pier out to Longfellow and back – what could be better? Come out and run, or come out and volunteer to staff the event. This is a Saturday morning event and helps to kicks off the Surf Festival weekend. Perhaps most importantly, it helps to raise some much-needed $$ for the Mira Costa High School Distance Running Program. Come on, it’s “only” two miles…http://www.surffestival.org/#!run/c136a

(4)  The Hills Are Alive 5K & 10K, Aug 13 – This is an old-fashioned, dirt trail, cross-country race, along a portion of the Telephone Pole Trail. Starting at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates, it runs along the horse trails, then cuts down the street and around (and around) the Botanic Garden, then back along the trails to the Park. It’s dusty, hilly, and hard (usually only a small handful of racers break 40 minutes in the 10K, for example) … and you can’t miss this one. https://www.raceplace.com/events/2266/35th-annual-the-hills-are-alive-10k-5k-run-walk-event

(5)  Conquer the Bridge, Labor Day Sept 5 -  If you ever wanted to run over the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, or walk over the Bridge, or look out over the bridge, this is the one time each year foot traffic is allowed on the 1500-foot span over the Harbor. IT’s an odd distance (5.3 miles, and running over the bridge will give you a new appreciation for driving over it, but consider doing this one, too. http://conquerthebridge.com/

(6)  Manhattan Beach Old Hometown Fair 10K, October 1 – This is a historical favorite at which grudges are settled or started, bragging rights confirmed or established, and racing careers magnified or dissipated. A Manhattan Beach hallmark for almost 40 years, run through the streets, wave to your friends, try to hang on for the Rosecrans Hill, chase ‘em all down the Strand, … and then head over to the Fair. http://www.mb10k.com/

 So that will get you to October…surely there must be one or two races in there that have caught your eye? Hope to chase, race, or pace you at one (or more) of them!

Ed Avol Reporting

In a rare weekend-to-weekend scheduling, Club Ed racers visited Anaheim twice (two different venues) to compete in the USATF Club Road-Racing Grand Prix Series. June 11 had us running in atmospherically drizzly conditions in downtown Anaheim at the Northgate 5K (see previous story). On Father’s Day one week later, we were back rounding the Angels’ Stadium parking lot for the USATF Road Mile Championships in conditions of personal drizzle (namely, sweat) due to intense heat.

The race, the venue, the competition, and even the conditions were all singularly unique. A series of consecutive one-mile race heats was held, by age and sex, beginning at 0730 with a scheduled Wheelchair Division and culminating in an Elite Men’s Mile at 1045. Every 15 minutes, another race took off, orchestrated by an exuberant announcer and started by an obsessive USATF race official (you know, those people in the red coats with the starting guns).

This event had previously been held at the former El Toro Marine Base, on a one-mile straight-away course down one of the former runways, so there was some concern about the relocation, organization, and potential quality of the race. Happy to say, it all went pretty well (…aside from the 100+ degree temperature, which the race organizers didn’t have much control over).

The course was a “Lazy-J” configuration, with timed quarter-mile splits, and much of each race could easily be viewed from one or two vantage points. Delineated by concrete walls and bright orange rubber construction pylons, even Sharon Lotesto didn’t get lost!

There was the usual impressive (and ego-deflating) performances turned in by the speedy youth of the Equalizers Running Club – those 10 and 12-year olds are fast! Highlights of many of the kids’ races included the dads gamely trying to run alongside the final straightaway, cheering on their sons and daughters … and getting left behind by the flurry of fast feet.

It takes five USATF club members to score in most USATF Grand Prix road racing events (except for the marathon), and in a show of complete confidence in our runners, Club Ed entered just five runners (who competed in four different mile races). Aaron Munger impressively ran with the Elite Men, clocking in at 4:50 (the winning time was 4:17). Mike Cortez ran in one of the “kiddie” races (as Aaron likes to call them) and finished in 5:32. Sharon Lotesto crushed the opposition in the 60+ Women’s Division, rounding the course in 7:07. Rich Gust and Ed Avol gave chase in the 60+ Men’s, with Rich clocking a very respectable 5:24, and Ed demonstrating what marathon training does for leg lift and turnover, finishing in 6:10. There was awarded prize money for the top three finishers in each Division, so several Club Ed runners are now re-considering their professional career options…

About 165 runners made it to the Finish Line, and there was LOTS of space for each of YOU to be there next year! Congratulations to all our runners. The USATF July race (Semantica 15K) is in Santa Barbara on the 4th of July, and competes head-to-head with our club sponsor Village Runner’s 5K in Redondo Beach. Therefore, we will likely forego a team presence for the July edition of the club road racing series…BUT I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AT THE VILLAGE RUNNER 5K, RACING AND IN CLUB UNIFORMS!

(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!