2000 Will Rogers 5K

Tuesday, July 4, 2000

Report by: Eric Barron

Hundreds of empty lawn chairs lined the streets of Pacific Palisades as runners readied themselves for the 2000 Will Rogers 5K and 10K. The chairs remained empty during the races, but the streets filled with over 1000 runners for each event. The weather was mercifully overcast, and the starter's introduction was mercifully short.

Those in the 5K were treated to a fast downhill first mile, followedby a slow uphill second mile, and an essentially flat final 1.1 miles. The race merits few words, at least compared to the 10K, but some performances should be recognized. Ed Olson and Angela Brunson, she formerly of Team-In-Training, and soon-to-be of TCLA, both placed 3rd in their divisions. Robert Newmark, on little training, took 4th in his division, and Jennifer Sample was 5th in her division. Jerry Himmelberg, coming back from many months of injury, ran so fast that the mats were unable to capture his chip time. Michael Berger, who showed up planning to watch, could not resist the spirit of '76, and ended up racing. Finally, one TCLA'er, who felt a bit wimpy for chosing the 5K over the 10K, eked out one place in front of the first woman to finish seventh overall and first in his division.

The 10K turned an adage on its head and proved that what goes down must come up. The course covers the same ground as the 5K for the first 2.5 miles, at which point the runners head steadily down Sunset until they turn into Will Rogers Park, and run steadily and steeply uphill. This is followed by another severe downhill, and a long uphill. Those still standing then need move only another 800m or so to reach the finish line.

TCLA apparently has no shortage of masochists, as a large majority of them opted for the 10K course. Again, many TCLA'ers finished well in their respective divisions. First to cross the line for the club was Rab Brown, 11th overall and 4th in his division. Tyrone Black was only three overall places back, and Dave Kent, who had a little more gas left than he should have, was similarly placed behind Tyrone. (The weekend training on the course certainly paid off for this trio.) Bill King was 4th in his division, while Brad Lusk and Brian Panosian (with a significant course p.r.) both took 5th in their divisions. Clarence Smith, previously with Team-In-Training, and soon-to-be with TCLA, finished 7th in his division. Completing his first 10K, Joe Lohmar can look forward to a faster time on a flatter course. On the women's side, Jane Lieberman was the fourth woman overall (only 30 seconds behind the second woman) and first in her division. Another gritty runner, Rikako Takei, placed 12th woman overall and 2nd in her division. Staying cheery on the hills paid off for Sharon Yamato, who took 3rd in her division, and Wenise Wong, who stayed mainly mute on the hills, ended up 7th in her division.

Aside from the many club members in the race, club members aboundedn earby. Greeting the finishers were race officials Peggy Enriquez, Elizabeth Farnan, and Josh Flynn. Cheering the runners along the course were Terence Young, Lawrence Spear, Stephanie Cahn, Stephanie Enriquez, John Moraytis, Amy Aukstikalnis (who would have been running but for the small fracture in her ankle), and Jim Spear (who smartly staked out a critical spot on an isolated part of one of the 10K hills). Also spotted at the race were several quasi-TCLA'ers, many from the Thursday night runs at Niketown and/or from the LA Leggers, including: Lana Atcheley, Bernice Balson, Steve Benson, Nicki Broyles, Liz Buckley-Wheeler, Catherine Bodner, Merv Cooper, Lani Eickhoff, Tori Engel, Fiona Karlin, Betty Morin, Ron Petelski, Raul Ramirez, Graylin Rogers, Sam Spencer, and Tom Wheeler.

Special mention goes to Bob Mercier, Paul Anderson, and Syrena Bozung, who did not let a little thing like a national holiday get in the way of their Tuesday evening workout. Andreas showed up, too, but only to initiate his young son, Jonah, to the wonderful world of track. Finally, extra special mention and thanks to Peggy and her husband,Paul, for hosting the club to a wonderful post-race party.

Average Finishing Time: 21:28.3
Averge Per Mile Pace: 6:54.7
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