2001 Brentwood 5K

Monday, May 7, 2001

Report by: Eric Barron

Much of fun of the Brentwood 5K and 10K is that the event has the feel of a neighborhood race, with many of the people who tread weekly on San Vicente comprising the bulk of the field. Of course, the locals across the street at the VA seemed to have another attitude, with large "Park here at your own risk" signs prominently displayed at the entrance to the only realistic parking site within miles.

Nevertheless, the weather was inviting and no one was planning on running in the VA, anyway, so the starting line was full of excitement. This was especially true after the 5K runners learned just before the gun went off that they should move forward by a tenth of a mile. Once underway, things went smoothly. Tania Fischer, who brought just about the entire Santa Monica High School distance squad, showed that she knows how to do more than coach by being the first woman finisher in a fairly competitive race (the first three woman were under 18 minutes). Dave Kent also snuck under 18 minutes to be the first TCLA man across the line. Not far behind, Erica Nemmers went out fast with a 5:40 mile and ended up as the fourth woman overall and first in her age division.

Leaving his wife to run for herself, Joaquim Wettermark ran a good race at just over six-minute pace. Only three seconds behind him, Sam Spencer continued his fine running with another p.r.. Just over the 20-minute mark, Travis Burrell and Peter Keramidas both looked strong and recovered quickly afterward. The next two TCLA finishers, Rikako Takei and Lydia Salinas, were simply warming up for the Flo-Jo Half Marathon the following day (where they ran 1:34:41 and 2:01:00, respectively), which makes their respective third and fourth place age division finishes at Brentwood even more impressive. (Also at Flo-Jo, Mike Molinyawe ran 1:36:29.) Brian Bartholomew finished shortly behind Lydia, and continues to come back nicely from his leg injury.

Ogie Espinosa, who celebrated his birthday two days earlier, ran around 7:15 pace, and will be pushing for faster times in the future. A few seconds later, Peggy Enriquez and Kim Brettler crossed the line in what appeared to be a dead heat, but the photo finish showed that Peggy had out-leaned Kim, earning Peggy second in her age division. Finally, Bao Coleman got to the race just before the start, so he can look forward to a faster time with a proper warm-up.

With the 5K finished and the weather still pleasantly cool, the 10K runners set off on the two-lap course. Tyrone Black, looking composed and well within his limits, ran according to plan and put together 6.2 six-minute miles to be the first TCLA finisher. The first woman for the club, and first in her division and third overall, Lisa Herman Tofler also hit her goal of breaking 40 minutes. Running together for much of the race, Paul Scott and Tim Petersen helped each other to strong finishes, Paul ending up third in his age group and Tim fifth in his division.

Jesus Rivera looked good toward the end of the race and finished well under 7:00 pace. Wenise Wong, who in the last mile had Jesus to chase, and Sam alongside helping her out, found even more motivation when a woman passed her toward the end. Wenise surged, beat the woman, set a p.r., and took second in her age group. Schuyler Havens was right on Wenise's heels and ended up fourth in his division. Todd Carey, who was with them for a while, held on for the most part, but with little time to train in recent weeks, faded slightly. Also breaking 7:00 pace were Nicole Scheunemann (first in her age group) and Ed Olson.

Jeff Bernstein, coming off of a half marathon the prior week, had a decent race. Continuing to accomplish his goal of improving over all distances, Michael Berger set a p.r. Steve Lopez also set a p.r., though it was in the stroller division, where he started training for the time he pushes his own offspring. Turning in an impressive first effort, Steve finished second in this somewhat obscure category. Not too far behind him, Cindy Bernstein and Michele Figueiredo broke the 9:00 pace mark. Around this time, Kelly Smith also crossed the line as he helped his girlfriend on the course. These last few finishers had it rougher than the rest as they had to weave in and out of the throng of children who were participating in the kids' race (all 200m of it).

Also spotted in the race, but with no official times (they must have been wearing their race numbers on their backs), were David Silver, Lawrence Spear, Susan Wong, and Terence Young. And providing lots of support from the sideline was Amy Aukstikalnis.

Average Finishing Time: 20:38.6
Averge Per Mile Pace: 6:38.7
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