Raptors run stunning race at Rocky Ridge 5K & Run for Peace in Berkeley

Post date: Nov 21, 2012 6:34:01 AM

October 16, 2010

Stop the presses again

Annabel not only won the women's division in the Rocky Ridge 5K, her 27:09 time is a NEW COURSE RECORD. And the woman she beat by 7/10s of a sec.to be first woman is the Brazen Racing all-around 5K champion! Yipes!

Raptors run stunning race at Rocky Ridge 5K

Okay, I know I tend toward hyperbole in my use of adjectives but "stunning" is no exaggeration this time. I can tell you that Laura and I truly were stunned as we stood at the line watching the Raptors finish today.

The day started with a beautiful ride out on my Triumph. The sun had come up not that long before and Mt. Diablo was lit up with kind of a reddish sky behind it. Nice start to the day. At the meet everyone seemed even more chipper than usual (which is saying something since the Raptors are not exactly sullen!). Max gave me a nice pre-race list of excuses, feeling that we might as well get that out of the way before warm-ups!

The race started and all three Raptors kids took off like rockets. Both Annabel and Max were in the top five. Meanwhile I'm thinking "Chill out guys, it's gonna be a long, tough race." In fact the race announcer, in the pre-race talk had done everything but apologize for what a difficult course it was, warning everyone to pace themselves.

But our runners know what they are doing so we all figured they would settle into a nice comfortable pace as the race wore on. Little did we know.

Laura and I were talking near the finish line as the first place runner came in. He was far ahead but eventually second and third came in. At this point we both were figuring "Oh maybe five more minutes and we'll begin looking for our Raptor kids to arrive." At that virtual second we look up and Max and Annabel are coming, absolutely sprinting toward the finish.

Max and Annabel cross the line. That is 2nd woman right behind them!

I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure both Laura and my jaws really did drop! I didn't even have the lens cap off the camera and had to hustle just to get the shots I did! Max finished fourth overall and maybe a step behind him was Annabel in fifth overall.That's overall folks! Not in their age group or gender but in the entire race! The reason they were sprinting (besides the fact that they could so what the heck, why not?) was that Annabel was going to be first woman unless second woman caught her, which she was desperately trying to do!

But both Annabel and Max held her off, with Max finishing (obviously!) 1st in his age group and Annabel winning both her age group and the whole women's race!

Nikhil finishes in style. Look at the guys he's beating. They are like. . . big and fit. He's not beating the grandpas!

Laura, Marina and I were still coming to our senses when Nikhil came flying in! He had not even been sure he would run, since he had an injured foot but he decided to give it a shot, had no pain and finished 26th overall! This is out of 114 serious runners. Soon Kim came in too, having gotten a great start on her marathon training by running the tough course.

With all the coaching I've done I have a ton of memories, of course, but there are maybe twenty-five or thirty that are truly powerful and fun to go back to. The sight of Annabel and Max flying toward the line has decidedly joined that collection.

Incredibly mind-blowing job, everyone! It's an actual honor to help coach you guys.

Close finish for Raptors youth runners at Berkeley's "Run for Peace."

September 2010

The weather was a bit gloomy but excellent for running at the "Run for Peace" and the Raptors took advantage of it to score a four-way tie for first in the youth division. Max, Annabel, Jamie and Nikhil crossed the finish line as one, with their arms around each other, making for a great photo op and complicated scoring!

Another shot of finish. Note Laura taking the picture that's on the home page!

The kids went out like a shot at the start, but Annabel was tripped by someone (he apologized profusely) and took a pretty hard fall. Tough girl that she is, however, she popped back up and finished the race all smiles. Raptors are not wimps!

Dramatic shot of Annabel's wound.

Not far behind was Kim, who was happy with her sub-30 min. time and a bit further back but moving right along was Marina who set a P.R. for 5K.

Kim, lookin' good at the end of the first loop.

Marina finishes with ease at P.R. pace. Jamie struggles to open his drink.

Nice run, Marina. This was case, dare I say it, of "Albany Marina" running at the Berkeley Marina! Annabel actually won her age group and received a $25 gift certificate for BREAD from the Bread Workshop. Annabel and Laura also get the Hardcore Fitness/Fight Global Warming award for riding their bikes to the race and home again. Altogether a very fun race with great post-race snacks, abundant drinks and high marks from me for the bottomless cups of Peets coffee!