Race Reports

Raptors pick up two first place medals at "Running Rebels" meet

posted May 4, 2014, 6:27 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated May 4, 2014, 7:02 PM ]

Well, okay, it wasn't Raptors, more like one Raptor but it's still. . . awesome!

But first, a supreme shout-out to out newish Raptor Pria who showed up and ran (well!) at what must be one of the biggest, most intimidating meets of the year. Entering a runner this new in a meet like Running Rebels is surely akin to throwing him or her in with the sharks. But Pria swam with said sharks and came out unscathed! This will have a few benefits: first probably no meet Pria ever runs in what we hope will be long career will be scarier than this one! In fact, after this Pria may be surprised at how laid-back and low-key many meets are. Picture Pria showing up at the Raptor's fave meets at College of Marin and seeing what? Thirty people? She will spend half the meet wondering "Where is everybody?"

Also, Pria was not only tossed in with sharks, she was swimming with the fast ones! She finished a bit behind and that's never fun but, painful as it can be, it is so valuable. Every runner (esp. new ones) has a huge fear of finishing last. I know because I hear it from kids I coach at MLK all the time. Often that fear keeps runners from turning in the their best races simply because they keep too much in reserve so they will for sure have enough energy left not to finish at the tail of the pack. So, I actually like it when a kid finishes last early-on. That way it tends to dispel the fear. . .  they learn that it is far from the end of the world and nowhere near as horrible as they expected. No one is mean, everyone is supportive, your race leaves the track and the next one starts. Other than one's team/clubmates (who already like you and will comfort you in defeat and cheer you in success), NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES!

Also, it makes a great story further on in the running career. I have heard so many runners over the years cracking up fellow runners with stories about how badly they were beaten in their first races! And it is generally REALLY good runners telling these tales. It's almost like you have to have a non-winning first race to be good/great later on!

So, again, kudos to Pria for having the bravery to run that 200! We are all very proud of her.

In the race directly after Pria's was 'Belle, who, being a distance runner, was also thrown in with the nasty fishies! But she persevered and ran a quite good #2 sec. 200! Fernando and I were impressed enough that we are going to have her run it again at the MLK meet this Thursday! 'Belle also long-jumped, leaping a very respectable 12' 8". I'm not sure where she finished but I'm hoping top three. 'Belle's sis, Lily, after jumping twelve feet in practice late last week, had an off day (it happens) only achieved a mark of a bit over nine feet. But Lily is a tiger, so she will be back!

'Belle leaps in her COOL new shoes!

Jumping with Lily was another tiger, Rosie. I unfortunately overslept (it happens!) and missed her jumps but heard she she was around the high elevens. . .

Alright, so who was this double winner?


On Saturday, in the high jump,  Katy cleared every height, from starting height all the way up to a new PR of 4'10" without a miss. In other words, every time the bar was raised, Katy was over on the first try (out of three allowed), thus putting the pressure squarely on her competition, who cracked one-by-one until only Katy was left! Afterwards, the winner (and only the winner) is traditionally allowed to try for the next height. So Katy took three cracks at a rather astounding 4' 11' inches and barely missed on her first attempt.

A couple of Katy's successful jumps. She was massively over the bar virtually every time.

Katy and Fernando. It's REALLY nice to have a USATF Level-Two jump coach in our club (well, it's HIS club too!)

Okay, so that would be a good place to quit for the weekend, right? First place in a huge, prestigious meet? Time for some rest and time to enjoy the glow of victory. But instead, Katy crawled out of bed early for the second morning in a row and returned to the meet to run the 1500 meters. And how did she do there? She won it!

Katy at the start of the 1500. I got so caught up in the race I forgot to take any more pictures.

And she didn't win it easily. she won it after doggedly (and with methodical coolness) running down the leader, who had a large lead. But on the last lap, Katy had closed the gap to about twenty feet on the backstretch. By the final curve she had caught the leader. They ran together until the final straight. At that point the other girl attempted her "kick." Katy shot her a quick glance that seemed to say, "Oh, we're running fast now, are we?" And off she went, absolutely crushing the former leader to win by perhaps ten yards! Her time for the 1500 was 5:23 which roughly translated to a 5:42 miles, a huge PR!

AND, let's not forget our older runners. Daveon got two second place medals, one in the 3000 and one in the 1500, in which he overcame a very painful hamstring pull.

Daveon, already in some pain in the 1500.

Nikhil running the meet more as an "remembering 0ld times" thing since he is caught up in the AHS track team and competing there, ran a great 800 and then had start the hurdles literally minutes after finishing the 800. That he didn't crash through every hurdle from pure fatigue (most hurdlers DO NOT use a fully-competitive 800 as a warm up!) was amazing. That he actually did well in the race is outrageous!

Nikhil. looking strong in the 800 meters.

So, a small team but an intrepid and talented one! A really fun meet!

Raptors field THIRTEEN teams at LMJS "Couple's Relay"

posted Feb 23, 2014, 7:24 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated Feb 23, 2014, 7:48 PM ]

Before we even start, thanks to Gary for putting together such a fun and effective bunch of teams. All the match-ups were great and worked extremely well.

Speaking of Gary, here he is starting the "tots" race. LMJS wasn't going to have it this month but Gary volunteered to hold it! The kid in the neon green shirt was a rocket.

So this morning my alarm blasted at 7:00 a.m. as I wanted to be sure to arrive at this shindig in plenty of time as it seemed to pretty much a slam dunk as far as fun and excitement went. I arrived at about 8:35 and first noticed that this was a far bigger race than the usual "fourth Sunday" events. The cars were stacked up at the pay gate and there were precious few parking spots available on Grand Ave. As I approached the starting line the crowd seemed to be awash in black and red. There were a lot of Raptors there! Well, if we do the math thirteen teams is twenty-six runners and then there are of course the "support crews" of parents and coaches. Often we are the only club at the lake of any size but today was different. I noticed a strong presence from both the "Forward Motion" club (where are they from? I forgot to ask them) and Pamakids (which actually--really!--stands for "Pa, Ma and the kids." I think Raptors might be a more effective name but I'm prejudiced!).

Some pretty serious "race faces" here! This was decidedly more intense than the average "Fourth Sunday."

Okay, going in we all knew we had a strong chance to take the youngest age group (29. . . that is, the ages of both runners had to add up to 29 or under) but who would have guessed that Raptors would finish 1-2-3 and 4 in this class at a very competitive race? They did, though!

Riley ends the first leg with Abby right behind her!

The first team in was Riley/Jared who were not only first in class but also finished a spectacular sixth overall! Not that far behind them was the team of Leah and Daveon who were twelfth overall! The race between these two teams featured an intense rivalry between Daveon and Jared. Daveon really wanted to catch and beat Jared and Jared fervently did not want that to happen! They both ran their tails off and, BTW, they both set personal fastest-ever 5K times at the Lake, 18:24 for Daveon and 19:25 for Jared!

Riley tags Jared as Daveon waits for Leah.

Leah hammers to the finish at the end of her leg.

Uma picks 'em off at the end of her leg.

Mia was right behind Uma. She ran with her brother, old time Raptor Adam.

Third Raptor team was Abby and Nikhil, closely followed by Jamie and Krisna. So, four teams in the top four. . . but it didn't stop there--how about seven teams in the top ten?

Lily tags Kenzo.

That's right, there were more! In 6th place was the team of Katy and Esme, in 9th place were Coby and Yair, who simply flew! They both ran fantastic, nearly identical times! Yair ran 25:13 and Coby ran 25:37. and in 10th place was the team of Uma and Zack, both of whom ran PRs, Uma with a 25:07  and Zach, who took three and a half minutes off his former fast time at the Lake with a 26:31. Uma also blasted past three runners in the last fifty feet of her stint, just before tagging Zach.

Just outside the top-10 were 'Belle and Jack P. in 13th, Jack E. and Tetsu in 14th and the incredibly young team of Lily and Kenzo in 15th. At the awards ceremony they gave a shout-out to the very youngest team, which consisted of two six-year-olds, which is fine. HOWEVER, Lily and Kenzo beat that team by twenty-seven minutes and Kenzo is five so I wish they had gotten more credit but what the heck we know and they know how great they did. BTW, not content with his rather astounding 32-minutes 5K PR, Kenzo was determined to go under 32 this time! He succeeded in spades, running 31;27!

Kenzo on the way to his new PR! He received a thunderous ovation from all present as he approached the line and it was well-deserved.

Jack P. finishes strong!

In other classes, the stellar father/daughter team of Adam and Clara finished eleventh in the 40-59 class and would not doubt have been far higher up the chart had Clara not gotten a severe neck cramp. Of course, Clara being Clara she finished her run but was slowed down considerably by the pain.

Daveon and Leah. Second in their age group and twelfth overall!

Even though quite a few runners had left before we took this picture, it's still a sizeable crowd.

In the 80-89 class (remember, these are two ages, added up. . . other wise it sounds really depressing!), Raptor's "executives" Laura and Marina finished a fine 18th out of 32 teams!

Serious race or no, there is always time for Raptors hijinx!

So, yet another spectacular Raptors day and another great time at Fenton's afterwards! There is so much talent on this club.

Runner of the Week: Leah Goodman!

posted Feb 8, 2014, 1:48 PM by Laura Driussi

As always, picking the Runner of the Week is tough but this week it goes to Leah Goodman, who shattered her PR at Lake Merritt with a 21:25 5K,  making her the fastest eleven-year-old 5K'er in 4th Sunday history. Way to go, Leah!

The biggest Raptor Sunday ever!

posted Feb 4, 2014, 9:12 AM by Laura Driussi

January 26, 2014

Sorry this took so long. Believe me it surely wasn't because I was unimpressed or unmoved by the huge Raptor turnout for the Fourth Sunday run and the Fenton's party. As I think I mentioned in my "speech" (such as it was!) I left immediately after the party for points south on my motorcycle (or more precisely, one of my motorcycles). I was having so much fun (the weather! Wow.) that I cut things very close and actually pulled into the driveway at 1130 Curtis at 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, with just enough time to change out of my riding clothes, stash the bike in the garage and head off to MLK workout at 3:00! I had hoped to write this last night but by the time MLK workout and BHS workouts were done I was knackered!

On Hwy 25 between King City and Hollister.

Anyway, was that a great day at the Lake and Fenton's or what? I figured it would be a fun day so I turned in early on Sat. night and thus was early (at least for me) to the race and full of energy. When I showed up I was greeted by what was easily the largest Raptor turnout yet. It's hard to do a count since our kids rarely stand still, but I think there were approximately twenty-five kids in the two races (the youth 1/2 mile and the normal 5/10/15K). It was a veritable sea of red and black!

Look at all them Raptors!

Annabel is franchising her "OMG!" look!

I won't dwell to much on the results, since Gary has already done a great job of that but certainly some kids need to be singled out! Since Raptors have been running the "Kid's 1/2 mile" race, the club has managed to dominate that race too! The problem is that the 1/2 mile winners or high-plaers (like Rosie!) quickly move up to the longer races. But it's all good! We now seem to have a wonderful supply of new Raptors to fill their shoes! No exception this month. New Raptor Yair won the race with another new Raptor, Kobi, third! I believe a third Raptor, Gabrielle, ran the race too but I'm not sure where she finished. Still, great job by all!

Kobi (left) and Yair (right) with the spoils of victory.

In the 5K we had some people who more or less "cruised" to a comfortable finish which is just fine with me! "Cruise" or no, everyone still has to rouse themselves out of bed on what for many is the their only "day off" and anyway, our runner's "cruise" is many people's dream PR!

But, as always seems to be the case in this remarkable club, there were a few standout stars! Number one, by universal acclamation, was Leah, who chopped her already-fast PR by a minute and nine seconds and thus claimed the all-time 5k record for 11-year-old girls at the Fourth Sunday run! Leah is another incredible Raptor. She just goes faster and faster and (check her out at the finish next time) never looks tired but more like she's been out for a casual stroll! She is a huge talent and a delightful kid too and we are so lucky to have her.

Amazingly, I don't have a running picture of Leah yet (she keeps finishing before I expect her!) but here is one at the party. Leah's the girl at the head of the table.

Not to be outshone was Rosie, who is such a promising and accomplished long-jumper that I tend to forget she can run too! And run she did, taking an astounding four minutes and twenty-four seconds off her PR. Rosie told me later that she was engaged in a ferocious race with a guy and simply was not going to let him beat her. The race went all the way down to the finish and yes, Rosie prevailed!

Rose, post-race. She was very happy with her PR!

Uma, who really just joined Raptors during the past XC season but somehow feels like she's always been with us, also ran a sparkling 5K, PR-ing by sixteen seconds.

In the 10K, Krisna ran a great race to win his age group and Clara Miz and Michaela ran together the entire way and finished in a tie (see pics!). But running with Clara also helped Michaela to a new 10K PR by three minutes!

Clara Miz and Michaela finish together!

In the 15K (yup, Raptors had three entrants in the 9.3 mile race), Daveon ran a 41-minute 10K enroute to a 1:01 15K time. Delaney (not yet officially a Raptor but right on the cusp!) PRed by six seconds and thus set a new record for 13-year-old girls in the 15! And then there's Jared! With no fuss or fanfare whatsoever (that's nbot his way) he PRed by an incredible minute and thirty-seven seconds to set a new 13-year-old boy's record for the 15K!

So yeah, ho hum. . . just another average Raptor day at the races with seven PRs, and three all-time records! I'm sure there are many clubs that hold zero records, anywhere and Raptor's kids get three in one race! It's just wild! We have soooo much talent on this club.

The Raptors racers!

But we also have so much fun, and as we left the Lake everyone was anticipating some serious eating, talking, and laughing. That's the way we do it, right?

IMHO, we did it up GOOD! After seven running PRs Raptors went on to easily set a fun PR at our fourth anniversary party.

I don't even know where to start describing how cool the party was! First I guess is thanks to Sue for getting us the entire back room! Then thanks to Gary for the awesome decorations. I mean red and black balloons emerging from these cool guilt bags. Very elegant! Totally first-class!

So, the setting was just cool, but then the whole thing got even cooler as the people began pouring in! We had a fair amount of people we already knew were not coming (Corina was bummed to miss it but was in Tahoe and etc. etc. our people are busy people!) but even so, the room was packed! Fernado did a quick count and came up with fifty-two folks! If we'd had all who run regularly with us attend we would have easily crested seventy people, which is just astounding given what a tiny club we started with.

Okay, size is nice but this could potentially be hellish! Imagine gobs of jerky adults?. . . and a pack of spoiled, bratty kids?. . . I mean it could suck!

But instead there is always this great energy, all these happy people. Our kids are simply beyond compare but hey let's hear a bit of a shout-out for our club parents. There is not an unpleasant of self-centered person the entire bunch and there is also most decidedly no one dull! Every single Raptor parent I've met has some kind of fascinating "back-story" and everyone is so darned interesting!

Four years have gone by so fast but it's all been so fun!

As we enter year five I think we can all be very proud of what we have created and, remember, we all created this. Every new Raptor runner that comes aboard (and his/her parents, of course) instantly becomes part of this creation and each changes it (always for the better) in subtle ways. . . Raptors belongs to all of us and that's what makes it so cool!

Special thanks: to our "mystery benefactors" who, in an astounding act of generosity, picked up the entire tab for the party and to all who contributed to my cash present! As many of you know, Karen and I live pretty "close to the bone" so I never take money for granted!

Thanks again to all for a glorious day!

Redesign & Runners of the Week

posted Feb 4, 2014, 9:04 AM by Laura Driussi

September 22, 2013 by Rick Holtzman

First steps to redesign. . .

I'm a bit pressed for time today as our first middle school meet starts in a few hours but I did indeed stroll to Office Depot and get a new USB connector. Now I can download the pics from the Nikon and get something going here.
I'm going to start by moving the "Runner(s) of the Week" section to headline, front-page status. Since our club has gotten so competitive and virtually every weekend features many outstanding performances, being a Runner of the Week is not easy and thus a pretty big deal. So we will treat it as such.
So, here we go:

Runners of the Week

We have many runners of the week this week. All of them (except possibly Emma?) made their "debut" at Lake Merritt and all did very well.
Awaiting the start.
Our first three are Emma, Rosie and Shai who all ran in the preliminary .4 mile race and spread Raptors dominance into a new sphere! Rosie, who told my emphatically before the race "I will not win." Did just that, with a powerful kick that simply buried what had been the lead girl. Rosie is very polite and I think she might have thought it rude to pass for the lead! I think this because when I screamed at her (in a friendly way!) PASS HER! she easily found another gear and blew by.
Rosie makes her move!
We all really like it when a victory or a good race means something to the kids and I think it did to Rosie. She basically never stopped grinning from the moment she crossed the finish line until we said goodbye at Fenton's!
Rosie at Fenton's. "We don't need no stinkin' SPOONS!"
Close to Rosie in third place was Emma. She not only garnered a podium in this race but turned right around and ran the 5K around the lake. WOW!
Emma in the .4 mile race.
In (I think) fourth place was another new Raptor, Shai, who also had a fast kick and who took the "first boy" award!
Shai at the finish, sprinting!
Next new Raptor was Tetsu, who had been to a Raptors practice before the summer but had never raced with us. Tetsu ran an great 5K, and as you can see from the picture, was flying at the end of the race.
Go, Tetsu!!!

Jared finishes 6th in fast field at his XC Championships

posted Feb 2, 2014, 4:33 PM by Laura Driussi   [ updated Feb 2, 2014, 4:37 PM ]

(Posted October 2013)

Today I took the day off from coaching MLK, passed the reins to Fernando and Ann and headed south for the Championship meet of Jared's XC league. I'm not sure what the actual name of the league is but it's a fast one. When the time came for Jared's race (7th grade boys) I had already been treated to two blistering races, the 6th grade boys and the 6th grade girls. I figured Jared's race would be even faster and that was indeed the case. Jared got a great start and got away reasonably clear. The course was a long one (two miles) and it took a while for everyone to get around to the spot I'd chosen to spectate, on Rainbow Ave.

The start! Jared is jut to the left of center.
At that point Jared was in a pack of three who were battling over 8th, 9th and 10th. At that point I figured the best Jared could do was 8th since the next pack up, fighting for 5th, 6th and 7th were quite a ways ahead. But Jared looked calm and unstressed (see pic) and with that kid, who knows?
At this point Jared was in ninth but looking oh so mellow.
Sure enough, as the leaders entered the gate leading to a last lap of the track leading to the finish chute Jared had somehow left his pack behind, and was immediately behind the 6th place runner! As soon as they hit the track, Jared dispatched him and was now in 6th! Now he began to chase the two kids in 4th and 5th! He put on a ferocious sprint and gained a lot of ground but they just had too big a lead.
Here he comes! Now Jared is in 7th, with 6th dead ahead.
It was a wildly exciting race and one of the best I've seen Jared run. And as well as Jared seemingly always runs, that's saying something
Jared was very happy with his finishing place but really began to beam when he heard his time: 11:30 for two miles. A new PR! That' two 5:45 miles back-to-back folks! Incredible.
Time for chow! Jared finished a large part of six appetizers, then ordered a hamburger!
After the meet, Gary, Jared and I met at the "Elephant Bar" on Stevens Creek. Gary always knows the best places to eat and he kept his record going here! The food was fab and we got a chance to talk about a variety of subjects, including the anticipated huge growth of the Raptors.
Jared also told me that his 1/2 marathon in Philadelphia was also a PR (1:36!) and that he ended up running nine minutes faster than his goal time. So this has been yet another spectacular few days for "the kid!" Great job, Jared! And thanks so much for dinner, Gary!

OMG! There is more!

posted Nov 25, 2013, 1:48 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated Nov 25, 2013, 1:59 PM ]

So, I finish the report below, feeling pretty good about Raptors being in three races, forgetting the fact that they were in five!

That's right, Daveon and Riley also raced! Daveon ran an extremely hard 5K XC course in Folsom to qualify for the Western Region 14 championships next Sunday in Clovis!

Riley took part in the Davis "Turkey Trot" on Saturday. "Took part" is just a nice way to say: "Riley wins 13-15 A.G. at the Davis Turkey Trot 5K easily with a 20:19, and also places 5th woman overall in a large (1600+) field.  Dad Frank just misses an A.G. award in the Half-M by about a second (1:354:59)!" (thanks Gary!).

Riley ran the "Turkey Trot" on Saturday. The next morning she regretfully withdrew from the Fourth Sunday race because she was feeling "a little tired!" Well, no kidding! Think about that! She was actually considering running another race the next day! These kids are insane! But I mean that in a good way!!!!!!!

Raptors run all over in the space of a week!

posted Nov 25, 2013, 12:37 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated Nov 25, 2013, 1:32 PM ]

This is starting to seem like some WWII strategy that someone might have used to fool the enemy into thinking they had far more troops then they actually possessed! If one looked at how many races in various places the Raptors have been in over the past week or so, we would seem like a huge club!

First in this diaspora were Michaela and Jared, who traveled to Las Vegas for the awesome Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. Both did the Raptors proud, each finishing a stellar fourth in their age group in this absolutely huge race! Not only did they run well but everyone had so much fun (I mean how could it not be fun to run down a closed-to-cars-and traffic Vegas Strip at night?) that we are considering making this an optional (it's all optional!) Raptors "Field trip" next year!

So, Michaela and Jared had barely returned and settled back into Sunnyvale and Albany life when it was time to race again. Michaela ran yet another (her fourth!) 1/2 Marathon in Berkeley. This was of course the long-anticipated (and it looks like wildly successful) first annual "Berkeley Half." Michaela was joined by Clara (her first 1/2 marathon! Congrats Clara!), Krisna (his first!), Kim, sometime Raptors and star BHS runners Rachel and Chaia and many others. . . like 5,000 others!

Note: Gary showed me cool pics of these two at the race and Clara sent 'em to me but they won't open for some reason. . . if I can get those from someone I'll put 'em here. . .

This also looks like a winner for next year. Everyone I talked to raved about how much fun it was, how good the course was, the music at every mile marker, the incredible swag given out afterwards. . .

The odd thing was that I, along with Ann had been named an "ambassador" for the race and had been given some cool swag of my own in exchange for talking up the race, whicfh I did, but I didn't attend! I had to make a decision which one: Lake Merritt or Berkeley 1/2? I figured that everyone running the 1/2 didn't really need my help. . . they were pretty much experienced "pros" at all this, while we would have some "newbies" at the Lake that might need some "care and feeding". . . so I went there!

And it might have been a somewhat wise decision since we had a sizable group there and they were ready to race! We did have one brand-new Raptor, actually two, MLK 6th grader Jack and his little brother. Actually Jack showed up as an "MLK kid" But I had an extra uniform and jacket that Laura had given me to give to someone that they fit. . . so I gave 'em to Jack and they fit perfectly! So he raced for the club and then, after the "Fenton's feed" he seemed like he really liked the club!

I was unfortunately talking and missed the "little kids" race but I did see that Shai, Mellissa and Jack's brother were going very fast! And I actually managed to get a few quick shots.  There may have been more "Raptor youngsters" that I missed?

Shai gives his all!

Raptors just don't get too nervous at the start!

In the 5k, our first finisher was Abby who finished an incredible fourth overall! She was first woman (well, yeah!) by an eternity!

But the fireworks were not over! Raptors managed to put an astounding eight runners in the top 25 out of 99 total competitors in the 5K!

The order looked like this:



11th Corina

15th Abby's dad, Andy

23rd--Uma ( Uma had a great race at the end with the boy's 11-14 winner and beat him! She would have gotten a first-place ribbon in the boy's class but only got fourth in the girls. . . !)

24th--Jack (This was Jack's first-ever non-MLK race. He was a bit nervous--as all first-timers are-- about finishing last. He beat seventy-five people! He was also hoping to run 30 minutes flat and he ran twenty-seven!--great job, Jack!)

25th--Tetsu (who ran a great race that culminated with a no-holds-barred sprint to the finish, racing Jack!)

Not that far behind these stalwarts were:


Corina's mom Molly--46th


When the 10K ended, Jared was in third place and had broken Jacob's all-time age group record for the 10K with a new PR of 42:55! Wow!!!

In sixth place was Esme's dad, Jeff and in 18th, running her first-ever 10K was "little" Clara, running with her dad, who finished one place behind her! Considering how far she had run, Clara looked as fresh as can be at the end of the race! Great job, Clara!

So now it was time to head off to Fenton's! Some couldn't go. . . Fernando, for example had just purchased a new washing machine and had to haul it off his truck and install it (sounds like fun!). . . but we had a good crowd and many happy kids.

Altogether a fine weekend! And the good weather just keeps going! I hope we are not going to pay dearly for it later on in the winter!

Lake Merritt & Hella-ween October 2013: Wins, PRs, new members, new records!

posted Oct 28, 2013, 3:50 PM by Laura Driussi

Since many of you were in SoCal, here is quick rundown on yesterday at Lake Merritt--quick cuz I've gotta set the JV race we are hosting at MLK today!

Let's see, Abby won the woman's race by a huge margin and PRed to boot with a 20:21!

New kid Jovi from MLK was amazing! He ran 21 and change for his FIRST EVER 5K! He won his age group by a big margin. Afterwards his Dad and he came to Fentons and it LOOKS like they will be joining Raptors.

Clara M. ran the 15K (getting ready for Berkeley 1/2) and finished in 1:30 even with a bathroom break! She also became the only under-18 girl EVER in the history of 4th Sunday to do a 5, 10 and 15K in one year!

Rosie ran the 5k with Lily an they TIED for first (two blue ribbons!) in their age group. Rosie was STOKED!!!!!!

Krisna's sister Uma (also joining Raptors!)ran the 5K with Tetsu and they chased down and passed (with a big kick at the end) a serious adult woman! They were really proud of that.

MLK runner Johanna also ran and is ALSO joining Raptors along with her buddy DELANEY, who is finally finished with her softball season and ready to concentrate on running.

So yeah. . . cool day at the Lake!

P.S. Daveon WON the Oakland "Hella-ween" 5k. That's right, WON IT, in 18:21!

The sound of PRs being shattered!

posted Jul 29, 2013, 3:34 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated Jul 29, 2013, 11:05 PM ]

There is of course zero sound when PRs are broken except for perhaps a few exultant cries! It's just time and numbers. But if there was such a noise what would it sound like? These are the kinds of things I consider when I wake up in the a.m.! So this morning I was thinking that shattered PRs sound like wine classes tossed in the air and allowed to break on asphalt. Or maybe light bulbs (the old, incandescent type) shot with a BB gun? EO and I used to shoot all our dead bulbs with his BB gun when he was little and that was a cool sound. So, who knows?
But if there was such a noise made, it would have been deafening yesterday at the LMJS "4th Sunday" run. We had a nice mix of runners in all three races (5K, 10K, 15K) and there were PRs in every race!
Don't be too nervous, kids.
The start. Prospective Raptor Leo is #192.
First Raptor across the finish was Abby with an amazing 20:29. Abby was second female overall and also set a new 12-year-old record for Fourth Sunday 5K! and who's record did she break? Yup, another Raptor, Riley! It doesn't get much better than one Raptor breaking another Raptor's record. As mentioned in the "Runner of the Week" section, this record was a follow-up to her mile PR set just a few days before (Thursday) and the BHS track. In that race Abby took thirteen seconds off her PR, lowering her mile time from 6:05 to 5:52!
 Abby finishing.
Actually Abby was the first "uniformed" official Raptor but Leo Gordon who may or may not be joining Raptors (Daveon says he is) finished ahead of Abby with a stunning 20:11! How old is Leo? Eleven. We hope he joins!
Not far behind these two was Alexis who has been improving in leaps and bounds over this summer. Alexis finished the 5K. looking not the least bit stressed with a 22:18, chopping a huge one minute and eighteen seconds off her PR! Wow. Nice run, Alexis.
Alexis pours it on!
Also in the 5K were the "Arias sisters," 'Belle and Lily. I'm not sure of their times since LMJS had some timing/scoring glitches and I can't find them in the results? I know 'Belle had some knee soreness and didn't go as fast as she had hoped but Lily won her age group for sure since she was easily the tiniest person out there!
She may be tiny but she has great form.
Daveon decided to run the 10K since a bunch of his former teammates from St. Mary's were running it. In one of his first ever 10Ks he broke 40 minutes with a 39:39. Granted I was a bit older but still it took me six years of trying to break 40 minutes in the 10K. And here Daveon does it first time out. Sheesh! Oh, and just to keep himself occupied on the first loop, Daveon paced Leo trying to get him under 20 minutes for the 5K, a mark he just missed.
Daveon flies into the finish!
So, on to the 15K which has become Jared territory" totally! Jared, fresh from a 1/2 marathon PR in Chicago the week before, didn't disappoint! Although he was 1 1    /2 minutes behind PR pace after the second loop (10K), he dug deep and ended up PRing by sixteen seconds in 69:37. Great run , Jared.
Jared finishes strong and relaxed.
Michaela is become another regular 15K'er although I believe she is the youngest ever to run it and certainly the youngest to run it repeatedly. And, with usual Raptors toughness, Michaela (and Mom Shoshana who ran with her) was leaving that night on a red-eye flight to New York! I mean doesn't everyone run almost ten miles to prepare for a grueling plane flight?
Michaela, looking like she's run maybe 800 meters instead of 15K, finishes with her admiring throng!
Although this was another great turnout, especially considering that many of our club members are out of town, we all missed our fellow clubmembers and can't wait for the next Fourth sunday run which is only a few days before the start of school and thus will hopefully be attended by the like of both Claras, Annabel, Nikhil, Corina and all the others!
I love these two pics! They are so "Raptors."

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