Elite High Noon and FLRC traveling teams bring home the chocolate

The few, the proud, the crazy ones willing to drive two and a half hours to Akron Falls…

OK, @pgxc-men and @pgxc-women, we’ll admit that it was a small group that made the trek—11 runners all told—and we were able to field only two teams by combining forces and running everyone down. Although team results aren’t up yet (individual results are at RunSignup, if I’m remembering right, the High Noon men’s Masters team took fourth, just out of the club challenge points, and the FLRC women’s Masters team took fifth.

But we still had a wonderfully enjoyable day together and ran some good races, with three people bringing home chocolate from individual top-three placements. Thanks to photographer Jamie Love (and her much better camera), we have some great shots from the race.

The U19 team’s Banyan Love was our top finisher, completing the 5K in 19:33 and following in-race instructions to outkick Masters team captain Adam Engst (two places back in 19:36). Then came Jean-Luc Jannink in 20:01, followed by Tristan Lambert in 20:42. Charlie Fay was next in 21:52, with U19’s Ben Lambert following him in 23:49 and Carl Franck completing the Masters team in 29:34.

The Masters women were led by Sandy Gregorich in 23:52, with Brenda Osovski close behind in 24:12. Louise Debefve was our sole Open runner in 25:57, and Patty Larkin completed the Masters team scoring in 28:05.

Banyan Love’s time was good for first place in the U19 division, Ben Lambert took third in U19, and Adam Engst took third in Vets. And yes, we all snagged the dark chocolate peanut butter cups because they’re the best.

For those who like scanning through hundreds of photos, Checkers posted several sets too, and we’re in a number of them (unsurprising, given how many Checkers runners there were, it being their home course).

https://www.checkersac.org/Pictures/2021/GVH3Diane/GVH3Diane.htm

https://www.checkersac.org/Pictures/2021/GVH3Sam/GVH3Sam.htm

As a quick race report, I’ve been slowly coming back from various calf and high hamstring injuries, so I’ve intentionally held back in the races so far this year. Of course, that also means my conditioning is weak, so in this race, although I was still trying to run easy, I was also approaching the point where I couldn’t have gone much faster even if I’d wanted to.

Most of my race involved chasing Banyan, who pulled ahead of me in an early sharp turn by extending his arms and banking like an airplane—one of the joys of being 15. I eventually caught and passed him around 2 miles into the 5K course, but the incredibly soft ground felt like it was sucking my energy away, especially on the (relatively short) uphills. As a result, we were running together in the last quarter mile, as usual, and as usual, I knew there was no way I could compete with his kick, so I yelled “Go” as we hit the top of the final hill and slight downgrade into the finish. He did, I didn’t as much, and he ended up ahead by a full three seconds. There was one guy between us, and I wish I could have caught him—I’ll be doubly annoyed with myself if it turns out we were only 1 point behind third place and that place would have made a difference.

On the plus side, we’ve run three 5Ks so far, and my times have been dropping nicely. The first race was 20:36, the second 20:00, and this one was 19:36. With two more races to go, I should be down around an 18:30 5K equivalent time by the end of the season. :wink: