Tag Archives: Huntington Beach

ASP Ekiden Relay (2017)

May 21, 2017

I always have fun doing these but I got started a little late from my house and arrived just as they were doing the drawings for the teams.  As usual, I got picked last (meaning I have to run the longest distance (first teammate runs 1 mile, second, 2, third, 3, fourth, 4)), but I am on a team with Jim Kelley, so maybe we will be fast.

It is a bit warm out (nearly 80) and I am not the same runner I was the first time I did this relay a dozen years ago.

The best part about this run is getting to see a number of people I don’t see all that often, as well as the kids that keep coming back to these events, but are starting to grow up.  Sandy Draper’s daughter used to watch the runs, and now is a bit of a powerhouse in the mile sprint (think she is a decent 5Ker as well).  The littlest kids from 12 years ago are all in their 20s (kids of Beverly Andrew)!

After our first three legs are run, we are in 5th place and it is my turn to run.  Course is a little different.  We used to run straight up the hill, along Ellis, left on Goldenwest to the edge of the park, but now, they want us to turn around sooner, so we do an extra little loop by the lake on the uneven pedestrian path.

We are just behind 4th place and I easily pass that runner, but I know that behind me, probably 45 seconds to a minute back (at the handoff) will catch and pass me just as easily.

I manage to stave off the passing until midway down Ellis (and that included walking up the hill on Edwards) and then I was walking and running alternately trying to stay ahead of the 6th place runner.

I feel like I am not running that well (evidenced by being passed so easily by certain runners), but I manage to finish the 4 miles in 33:24 and basically maintain the 5th place finish.

They have a good post-run brunch and I also win Horton Hears a Who in the post-race video raffle drawing.  Pretty good run and pretty good haul for “free.”


Summer Nights 5K (3) – 2016

August 4, 2016

My right knee has been bugging me the last few weeks.  I already know that I have Runner’s Knee, and it pops a bit when I leave it bent for too long.  Mostly, it is extra sore when I am pounding it extra hard on pavement (trails or dirt feel better, mostly).

The third (and final for me (not going to Brea)) Summer Night is being held for the first time at Huntington Beach Central Park (where I have run dozens of races).  It is an interesting set-up because there is some major construction going on in an area where we would normally run, so instead of a really interesting loop, it is basically running out to the far end of the park (by the arboretum, and not by the horse and dog area that we regularly run in) and doing three loops of mostly the same thing and a lot of paved path.

I was running a bit late and ended up signing in to race at 6:27pm, with a 6:30pm start.  I basically pinned my number on AS I started the run.  There were not going to be a lot of AREC folks, but I knew Birthday Boy Mark Vishnevsky was going to be there, so I wanted to at least go by and say, “Hi.”  Instead of the 15-20 folks, there were 6 of us.  Still a lot of high schoolers, though.

I decided to run with my GPS watch, because it can tell me what my average pace per mile is AND my best pace within that mile… so if I slow down, I can see what my fastest pace is (probably when I ramp back up).

Mile 1, I cover in 7:39, and my best pace is 6:46.  I’m getting my feel for the course and also I am amidst a lot of young runners.  The one section of unfamiliar grass is VERY lumpy and I do almost trip a couple of times.

For Mile 2, I slow down a bit (walk a tad) and do 8:35 (best pace 6:29).

And for the last mile, I want to finish strong, though I don’t want to overdo it, as I have an ultramarathon on Sunday and a 6-hour drive to Oakland tomorrow.  So I do 9:15 (best pace 7:02 – probably the last 200 yards) and finish in 25:09, a little over 8:00 pace.

Mark comes in 4th overall in the race (best 5K EVER at age 36!).

Ekiden 10M Relay – 2016

May 22, 2016

Once again, fun participation in the Snail’s Pace Ekiden Relay.

Refresher on how it works:  blind drawing for teams and for distances (i.e. if there are 5 teams, the first 5 names drawn run 1 mile, the next 5 run 2 miles, etc.).

I have never been drawn on one mile, and only once on two miles (though I asked to switch one year when I had to be somewhere).  I always seem to get 3 or 4 miles (which is fine), and your teammates expect you to “deliver.”

So, I ended up getting picked for 4 miles (of course).  My team had a FAST miler, and then a guy who professed to be “not that fast,” and was also my age (but I thought looked much older, who knows?), then my buddy Dulce Barton (fellow AREC runner) and myself.

The 2-mile guy seemed pretty gung ho about our chances, but I felt like we were really in it just to have fun (especially because Dulce is no speed demon and I gave myself low expectations given my arm issues (still only 6 weeks ago)).

Runners 1 and 2 put us into a good position, and then Dulce gave most of it up (this isn’t a criticism of Dulce’s running; this is reality that a 25 year-old man usually runs faster than a 6o year-old female), and then my team looks to me to regain our places.

Ha ha, right.  When I get to the section with the steep uphill on the street, I maneuver around the telephone pole, so I am somewhat hidden and can power-walk up the hill.  Runner 2 is shouting at me (sort of encouragingly, sort of in despair), but once I turn the corner, then I can go at whatever pace is comfortable.

To me, it is abundantly clear that I am not going to overtake any of the runners ahead of me, and probably, I will be passed by some teams that started pretty close to me (faster or younger runners).  We ended up being the 4th fastest team of 10 and I ran my four miles in 37:12, which is pretty good, considering.

Anyway, this was more about camaraderie and the giveaways, and I ended up with a Team-in-Training t-shirt, two women’s unmentionables-washing bags, and a DVD of an old movie.

Golden West College 5K – 2015

September 25, 2015

This is sort of an unusual race, in that it is essentially a coaches race that takes place before the Junior College events.  It is sparsely attended (because it is on a Friday morning) and most of the coaches are assistant coaches or friends of kids on the team or team members not competing officially.  Pretty much it makes me the oldest person in the race.

Last year, I had a bit of a disaster and tripped on the small paved portion of the course and went headfirst into the dirt, heavily skinning my right knee and elbow.

This year, I have the added issue of my ankle, and my attempt to avoid respraining it.

They changed the course from last year (due to some construction going on at HB Central Park).  Since I am at least 10 years older than the oldest person (one of the older coaches), I don’t have anyone to follow, so I wasn’t completely sure that I did the entire course since I finished so far back from everyone else.

I had to walk the hills (sucking wind) and of course, got cheered on by the JC athletes who were warming up on the course.  I know they are trying to be encouraging, but “C’mon, Sir, you can do it,” doesn’t work for me anymore.  Do I really look that bad?

I was happy to finish this hilly course in 27:35, and the actual highlight of the day was a conversation with a gal on one of the teams (and her parents) who was running her first race after being in a car accident.  We compared notes and I was encouraging (not in the “C’mon, you can do it,” vein, but “You never really get over it, but you can get back to the shape you were in.”).

Golden West Invitational 5K – 2014

September 26, 2014

The coach of Golden West College had mentioned that there would be an “adult” race at their yearly Cross Country event at Huntington Beach Central Park.  I have run this before; this race is usually ‘unofficial’ junior college runners and coaches.  I was running a little late and was actually turned away at the registration table, but then he saw my AREC tank top and said it was OK. (This was weird especially because it wasn’t chip-timed and the race didn’t start for another 10 minutes.)

I eyed the others toeing the.line – there were 13 of us total – there was only one other guy who was over 20 years old (an AREC/GWC coach that I knew to be 32 years old).  I resigned myself to probably be the last or second-to-last finisher.

When the gun went off, everyone bolted across the lawn and I just went off at my usual ambling pace… after all, there are a few hills and no need to waste my energy from the get-go.

The first mile (with relatively few hills) was a 7:22 and I was probably 50 yards back of the 32 year-old.

Next came the hilly section, of which I walked all the uphills.  I ran for a bit with a coach from another school (probably in his 50s) who was out on the course encouraging his runners.  I was able to overtake the other ‘old’ guy and put a little distance on him.  I finished the second mile in 8:01.

With about a half-mile to go, I was entering the last iffy section (a bunch of roots on the trail encircling the small lake).  I hadn’t even gotten to the roots… just the transition from the paved path to the dirt, when I went down HARD.  I was able to at least get my hands out (so I didn’t hit my head), but didn’t have enough appendages to cushion the fall completely.

Everything really hurt and I had the wind knocked out of me.

Mindful of the runner behind me, I got up and walked towards the finish.  I didn’t think I had broken anything, so I was going to finish this 5K.  For some reason, the spectators seemed unaware that I was bleeding and covered in dirt, and shouted encouragement like, “C’mon, you can run to the finish.”  I rolled my eyes.

I was ‘limping’ to the finish.  With about 1/4 mile to go, I was passed by the guy behind me and decided that I could try to run in to the finish, but I didn’t have quite enough left to not finish in last… my last mile was still only 10:26… but everything really hurt!

I had two bloody abrasions – one on my right elbow and one on my right knee – and ended up with huge bruises on my right side.  I did go to the doctor later to find out whether I had broken my right toe, but he said that the pain indicated that I had probably sprained the tendon.

Golden West Classic 5K – 2012

September 21, 2012

Not even a full week has passed and I am attempting another cross-country race, albeit a 5K.

The Golden West Classic is in Huntington Beach Central Park and put on by Golden West College.  Most of the participants are junior college teams, but there is an open race for coaches and people who don’t have jobs (or can take a random break in the middle of the day).

I had a decent first mile (8:20), but then started to struggle in the ensuing heat, so opted to run/walk the last 2.1 miles in 21 minutes.  Not bad for the first run post-50K.

Sunrise in the Park 3M – 2012

August 18, 2012

My third race this week!  Track people probably brag that fact all the time, but a 3M, 5K and 50K are probably not all that common.  I like running in HB Central Park, even though this race isn’t as good as Finishline events ever were.

I feel pretty good on my first mile, running an astonishing (given my 50K less than a week ago) 7:20… but then my 2nd and 3rd miles fade to 10 minutes/mile each.