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Monthly Archives: July 2013

(Contributed by Tony McGrath, Pamakid member since 2011)

I ran track in high school and have always loved it over cross-country. I think it’s because there’s more atmosphere at a track meet with lots of different events and more people-watching. As a Pamakids member I’ve never run 5000 meters on the track so when I heard about the Pacific Association USATF Masters track and field Championship at Chabot College in Hayward, I marked my calendar. I was getting tantalizingly close to breaking 17 in a 5K – I ran 17:03 at the Zippy 5K in April. Since then I’d been trying in vain to find a flat, fast 5K in the area. This seemed like a perfect opportunity. Little did I know, it would have its own set of challenges.

Justin, Tony, and Mike...Go Green!

Justin, Tony, and Mike…Go Green!

We had a nice group assembled on June 8th for this track meet. Paul Zager was trying his hand at the sprints, Justin Mikecz was doing the 800 (and jumping into the 5000 ‘for fun’) and Mike Axinn was reclaiming some former glory in the 5000. And the always game Patrick Lee was going to pull an impressive 800/1500 double. The 10,000 meters was going on when we showed up. We found a grassy knoll with some shade and bided our time watching our fellow geezers suffer in the noon-time heat. It was pretty warm! We were only a few miles from the Bay so at least there was a bit of breeze but it was still mid 80s. After watching Paul medal in the 100 and 200, it was 5K time. Justin jumped into the race after a stellar 800 at a sizzling 2:05 and offered to pace me for the first mile.

Like many runners, I often go out too fast and welcomed Justin’s steady presence to rein me in.  It was a mixed gender field of about 12 runners and a very official USATF start. No feet on the line! A big guy and a speedy Masters female went out fast (like 75 first lap) and I was happy to keep things dialed back as we settled into this 12 1/2 lap race. I went through mile 1 in 5:23 – exactly where I wanted to be. An official at the finish was the lap counter, but midway through the second mile I knew something was off. My splits didn’t add up. I half-realized he was miscounting the laps. By my watch when his lap counter read 6 laps to go we actually had 7. He had us one lap short! This was distracting and I found myself wanting to believe the laps were correct.

Ready...set...go!!!

Ready…set…go!!!

But my watch doesn’t lie. I went through Mile 2 in 10:56 (5:33 2nd mile!) Crap, had some work to do in the third mile.  With about 3 laps to go (or was it 4?) I had taken the lead but a guy was right on my heels. This was good – we could push each other. The heat started to get to me at this point. How many laps did we have to go again? I wasn’t the only one who was confused. My rival made a move with 600 to go, only it wasn’t 600, it was 1000 meters (1 kilometer). I was too uncertain to say anything but right then I knew he didn’t know we were a lap short. He opened up a lead on me and I realized he was kicking on what he thought was the last lap. I shouted at the USATF official “One more lap!” Meanwhile, I see my rival doubled over on the track. He was not jumping back in.

There was one lap to go and it was coming down to the wire. I needed a speedy last 400 to get this done. I was hurting, but I knew the pain of regret would last longer if I didn’t go for it. So I went for it. I mustered a 38 last 200 to get my sub 17 (16:56.41). I was not going to be denied because the race officials were counting one lap short. I wandered around in a daze for a few minutes and was disoriented because we finished on a different part of the track.  The realization that the monkey was off my back sunk in.  But there are still a few more monkeys. Sub 35 in a 10K? We’ll see!

Medals all around.

Medals all around.

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(Contributed by Andy Chan, Pamakid member since 2001)

The 2013 Western States 100 Mile Run was a record breaking one for the Pamakids. Colin Alley, John Gieng, and Janeth Badaracco Siva all ran and completed the race from Squaw Valley to Auburn and received the coveted belt buckles.

What follows is a snapshot of the race through the eyes of Andy Chan and Malinda Walker.

Our runners just before the start at Squaw Valley.

Our runners just before the start at Squaw Valley.

Colin and pacer Jerry.

Colin and pacer Jerry.

John and pacers Tan and Ray.

John and pacers Tan and Ray.

Janeth and pacers Ace and Lavy and crew and Jenni.

Janeth and pacers Ace and Lavy and crew members Jenni and Erica.

Colin arrives at Dusty Corners.

Colin arrives at Dusty Corners.

Aid station volunteers help Colin stay cool.

Aid station volunteers help Colin stay cool.

John arrives at Dusty Corners.

John arrives at Dusty Corners.

Aid station volunteers spray down John.

Aid station volunteers spray down John.

Janeth arrives at Dusty Corners.

Janeth arrives at Dusty Corners.

Janeth's crew gets her what she needs.

Janeth’s crew gets her what she needs.

Colin discusses the plan with his crew at Foresthill.

Colin discusses the plan with his crew at Foresthill.

Colin and Jerry depart Foresthill. 38 miles to go. Cadin keeps them company for a short distance.

Colin and Jerry depart Foresthill. 38 miles to go. Cadin keeps them company for a short distance.

John accompanied by his crew on the track at Placer HS in Auburn.

John accompanied by his crew on the track at Placer HS in Auburn.

Crossing the finish line. 25 hours, 54 minutes and 100 miles after starting.

Crossing the finish line. 25 hours, 54 minutes and 100 miles after starting.

John celebrates with his pacers.

John celebrates with his pacers.

Andy and Malinda, happy, proud, and impressed with John.

Andy and Malinda, happy, proud, and impressed with John.

Janeth and crew about 150 meters from the finish line.

Janeth and crew about 150 meters from the finish line.

Janeth's family accompany her for the final steps.

Janeth’s family accompany her for the final steps.

The back of the finisher's medal. Cool....but not as cool as the belt buckles!

The back of the finisher’s medal. Cool….but not as cool as the belt buckles!

The belt buckles.

The belt buckles.

Buckle up close

This is why they run 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn.

Pamakid Tony Rossmann will be calling the names of the buckle awardees.

Pamakid Tony Rossmann will be calling the names of the buckle awardees.

Buckle_Colin

Buckle_John

Buckle_Janeth

The three Pamakid buckle awardees.

The three Pamakid buckle awardees.

Pamakids at Western States - runners, pacers, and crew. All of us proud!

Pamakids at Western States – runners, pacers, and crew. All of us proud!