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

Post date: Feb 24, 2014 3:24:28 AM

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.