1998 Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon

Saturday, April 25, 1998

Report by: Eric Barron

Reprising last year's weather, the day was hot, hot, hot (that's one "hot" for each team TCLA entered). In general, given the unseasonably warm air, and the fact that most members had not raced a 5 or 10K in several months, the times may have been slower than hoped for, but the performances were strong, and the atmosphere was festive.

Team I (Jacinda, Elizabeth, John B., Jeff, and Mike A.) turned in a 6:46 per mile average for a total of 2:57:40, good for second place in the mixed running team category, and 42nd overall. This time also is a new club record by five minutes. The team would have needed to shave off twelve minutes to earn the gold in its division. Particularly commendable was Mike's effort while on antibiotics for a sinus infection. He gives new meaning to the phrase, "He could be a great runner if he could just get his head clear."

Team II (Ann, Silvia, Shauna, Sheri, and Kim) turned in two of the three outstanding performances of our club. Taking the baton from Ann, Silvia proceeded to leave not only her effort, but just about every ounce of fluid she had, on the course. Anyone familiar with cellular biology can tell you that this is less than ideal for post-race recovery, and, indeed, about sixty seconds after finishing her leg, her leg almost finished her. Fortunately, the medical tent had ample supplies of saline, and while her teammates kept her company, she had her tank somewhat refilled. And instead of taking the first opportunity to leave, she insisted on staying to watch Kim cross the finish line in three hours, forty-seven minutes and change. Just before Kim's leg, Sheri ran a wonderful race, finishing the slightly-longer-than-five-mile loop in 8:00 per mile pace. This is a fantastic time in its own right, let alone the conditions and the fact that Sheri had run the Los Angeles Marathon only three weeks earlier.

Team III (John D., Wenise, Bao, Wayne, and Melinda) also made a great team showing, finishing eighth in the mixed running team category with a time of 3:20:05. The star performance, here, came from John, who ran an opening leg of 33:40. Although the first leg is a bit shorter than the other legs, this time is still quite impressive, and it bodes well for future races. Perhaps jealous of the attention being paid to Silvia, Wayne dragged himself to the medical tent, too, when he discovered that his shin had swollen to the size of the baton he had been carrying. After icing it for twenty minutes, Wayne was able to limp back to the baton exchange area and cheer on his teammates. Silvia was a little less lucky, and ended up briefly in a hospital room, but now that she has rested and re-hydrated, she and her cells are doing well.

Also spotted running/cheering for other teams were Lydia, Todd, Shelly, and Terrence. These individuals should bear in mind that treachery is a capital offense in this country when they consider for whom they will run next year.

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