Raptors bat .454 at Zimbabwe meet!

Post date: Mar 25, 2013 3:17:25 AM

It's not usually that easy to tell when a club really "comes into its own" but looking at today's Zimbabwe run results I would vote for today! We not only had a great turnout, complete with a first Raptor visit by Ultra running legend Ann Trason but Raptor runners took an astounding five overall wins in eleven races! Oh, and none of the races were remotely close. In every race, the Raptor winner had a lead that ranged from "significant" to huge.

Our first Raptor racers was Lily, in the 1st and 2nd grade race. She ran a great race and finished a fine 8th. Next up was Drew, who took the bided his time, letting the kids who went out too fast crash and burn, calmly taking the lead and pulling away until there was no one close. Actually "calmly" makes it sound slow! Drew was calm but absolutely hauling! He ran an excellent 6:21 and would have probably had a shot at the 3rd/4th grade course record had he been pushed even a little bit.

Drew takes the lead!

In the 5th/6th grade girl's race there were two Raptors, Erin and 'Belle. Well Erin still is not quite officially a Raptor but we are still hoping! Erin has had an incredible week. Last weekend, as you will remember if you read these reports, she won her age group at the Brazen race on Saturday and came back Sunday to win it at the huge Dublin 5K. Not slacking off a bit, this weekend she did all on one day. In the morning she won her age group at the Oakland Running Festival 5K, went home, showered, ate and rested then she and her dad drove to the Zimbawe race where she simply demolished her competition to win again I 6:12! 'Belle, who had been sick and missed most all of last weeks workouts still wanted to run and even though she was not tip-top, gutted it out to finish a fine 7th.

Erin. She was going soooo fast!

I think most of us would have been quite happy with just those results but the Raptors "wrecking crew" was just getting warmed up.

Jared had won his age group in the last two Zimbabwe races and he was intent on taking a third crown. He was nervous but very focused and he followed the first few kids for part of the first loop, then made a really flashy pass on the leader and just pulled away. This one again wasn't even close as Jared won in a fine 5:59!

Jared pulling away.

We had all barely recovered from that when the 7/8 grade girl's race began. Riley had been so nervous before this one, it took her three tries to fill her entry form out right! But once the honker blared she was cool as could be. It looked like the girl who took the lead was actually finally going to give a Raptor a race, but Riley shadowed her for a while, pounced and. . . yes, I'm going to have to say it again. . . pulled away for an easy win in 6:14. Well, I'm sure it wasn't easy but Riley always makes it look easy!

Two more Raptors prepare to dominate!

Not all that far behind Riley was Isabelle, who ran what might have been her best race ever. Her last few weeks have been hectic! Her family moved to a new house, her brother had an aweful stomach flu and she had just had her birthday party the night before and gotten to bed late! Sounds like a recipe for a mediocre performance at best. Not for her! She was running in seventh for most of the race and looked really tired on the second loop. Both her Mom and I agreed later that we thought her race was over about then. But nooo. Isabelle dug deep, found some kind of crazy mojo and passed three girls on the last 1/2 lap (including a total sprint out at the finish) to finish an incredible fourth with a new mile PR of 6:27! Wow.

So that was four Raptor victories and we still had Daveon and Nikhil in the Boy's high school race. The HS race was combined with open adult race, which featured some seriously fast adults. In fact one of them, though now 44, had been the top runner in the entire nation of Zimbabwe before emmigrating to the U.S. So, poor old Daveon only finished fifth overall (5:31!) and he and Nikhil finished 1st and 2nd in the high school race. . . dare I say it again. . . far, far in front of the next high school kid.

Daveon with no other high schoolers in sight.

So, there it was, five wins out of eleven races. Yikes!

But the fun was not over. After the awards ceremony we repaired to Gary's van where he had laid out a massive and incredibly delicious spread. This was in addition to all the wonderful food that Raptors parents had laid out back at the race area. Among other fab food we had now famous scones and like three freakin' pounds of awesome sushi!

Some of the tailgate spread. The beanie-weenie in the crock-pot thingie was incredible!

The party went on for quite a time at Gary's van even though the kids were tired. And finally climbed on my motorcycle about 5ish(?), feeling very happy about this club!

Raptor bonding.

Thanks to all for this great effort. This is one of the "flagship" Raptors races and you guys didn't disappoint, that's for sure. Great parent's, great kids. That's what the club is all about and you proved it today.

Ann and Isabelle after Isabelle's PR.

Thanks so much to Ann for coming down and cheering everyone on. Well, she didn't just "come down." She rode her bike from San Francisco! We hope to see Ann all the time at Raptors!