Declining to support parking fees (leaving the runners to pay a hefty $6 charge), and opting to provide only eight porta-johns (leaving the runners to make liberal use of the trees), organizers of the 2002 Venice Christmas 5K/10K were apparently intent on making their own Christmas a bit merrier. On the positive side, the weather was less stingy (especially for those that recalled last year's wind storm), and the teddy bear prizes are worth putting out a good effort.
Making a strong comeback based on only a month or two of recent training, Rab Brown showed a lot of talent in being the first TCLA'er to finish the popular 10K. Not far behind, and spurring each other on, John Jericiau, Frank Siering and Tyrone Black all placed highly. Frank set a p.r. by a minute, and Tyrone won a bear, which he said he would auction off so he can afford the parking fee next year. One more TCLA'er finished in the top 20, and he might have run even faster were he not so distracted preparing for his wedding.
Rob Roy, too, set a personal best, and did so without the help of club members running near him. A couple of minutes back, however, Gary McArdle and Tim Petersen ended up a couple of seconds apart. Similarly, Michelle Chille was alone in the crowd, but behind her, Clarence Smith and Terry Power pushed each other all the way to the finish line. Sam Spencer and Lawrence Spear fought through the Yahoos to get to the start, but once there, they turned in strong performances. Colin Walker ran under the radar. Braving a longer distance than her body would probably prefer, Tayo Balogun went under 47 minutes. Alison Song broke 50 minutes with a modified warm-up, and Sharon Yamato did a fine job, missing the right to take home a bear by only four seconds.
In the 5K, Nathan Shopay led the club with a 16:35. Ogie Espinosa, who generously gives of his own training time to coach the beginning group, was the next TCLA'er to finish. Going under eight-minute pace, Becky Walden raced well. Finally, Cindy Bernstein would have done great in the stroller division had they had one.
Average Finishing Time: 23:41.5
Averge Per Mile Pace: 7:37.5
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