Will Rogers once remarked, "We are here just for a spell and then pass on . . . so get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose, you are ahead." Although he probably did not have them in mind, they seem appropriate enough words for the thousands of runners who lined up for the 2001 Will Rogers 5K/10K in Pacific Palisades.
The 10K is renowned as a challenging course consisting primarily of three long, fairly steep hills. Fortunately for TCLA, the club had many entrants, and many of them focused on other club members for fine performances. The first TCLA'er to finish this year, as last year, was Rab Brown (eleventh overall). After firmly establishing a pre-race excuse by complaining for the last two weeks about fatigue, Rab must have found some motivation up around Inspriation Point. Hot on his heels, but looking comfortably cool, Tyrone Black improved his time from last year by 45 seconds. One minute later, another pair of TCLA'ers, Clarence Smith and Todd Patterson, pushed each other to good finishes. Clarence improved his time from last year by over a minute, and Todd continues to see strong gains from his consistent training. Another minute back, Jacinda Raiche looked smooth and focused as the second woman overall and the first in her division (where she now has one year left on her reign).
A trio of TCLA'ers also spurred each other on to some good times with Brian Panosian, Lisa Herman-Tofler, and Andreas Kemkes finishing within three seconds of each other. Kudos to Lisa for being the fourth woman overall (and first in her age group), and to Andreas for knocking over two minutes off of last year's time. Todd Carey and Schuyler Havens finished next for TCLA, and while they ran with club members during part of the race, they had to go at it alone at the finish. Rikako Takei was a little behind Schuyler, and she took home the silver in her division (ninth overall). Taking home no medal, but over four minutes off last year's time, Wenise Wong was the eleventh woman overall. Brad Lusk also joined the sub-45 10K'ers.
A little later, another close club finish had Kim Brettler edging out Mike Kukuchka by two seconds. Kim's husband, Jeff, was a couple of minutes back, and Ellen, Mike's wife, finished a few minutes after that. Sneaking in between the battling couples and keeping a low profile was Kendra Wood. Alison Song, Colin Walker, and Cindy Bernstein rounded out the TCLA 10K squad.
The 5K is no cakewalk itself, though runners do get to avoid two of the three hills on the 10K course. Jerry Himmelberg ran superbly for 3.05 miles, at which point he pulled his lower calf. Still, he still beat his time of last year by fifteen seconds and took second in his division. The TCLA'er to finish was Robert Newmark. Robert had only to walk out of his new front door to get to this race, so he had no excuse to miss it. Julie Kriger and Michele Figueiredo were the final two official TCLA finishers. (It is unclear exactly what Kelly Smith and Terence Young did to be disqualified for "excessive horseplay," but just after the two-mile mark, Kelly looked awfully wet, and Terence looked a bit underdressed.)
Honorable mention to those on cheering on the runners: Amy Aukstikalnis, Michael Berger, Tom Geha, Jim Spear, Sam Spencer, and some guy wearing a bastardized Mountain Dew shirt. As Will Rogers said, "We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." Also, special mention to our expert massage team of Anthony Maniello and Lauren Manzano from Synergy Studios for providing four strong hands and a place to gather. Finally, extra special mention to Peggy Sauve-Enriquez and hubby Paul for hosting the second annual post-race party. It almost makes running six hard miles of hills worthwhile.
Average Finishing Time: 22:48.8
Averge Per Mile Pace: 7:20.6
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