Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/29 18:15:00 (3321 reads)

What a strange, and yet almost glorious morning. The weather was almost perfect, cold and very clear, with only an occasional burst of wind. It seemed like there were at least 15 story threads on the course, with so many folks doing different things.

The top doggies all showed up, all in their 40s with the exception of the 25 year old Kevin Koeper who recently ran a 59 minute half marathon, though the course was estimated to be a mile short. The other gents were Peter Magill, one of the top masters in the United States, Andy DiConti (who won the first 3200 at the CA state high school champs, about 1980), Jeff Nelson, Rich Burns, and Brian Spangenberg. This was not a race for these guys; more a hard tempo run. They jogged the first two miles; ran hard for six miles, and with a two mile cool down. Competitive as these guys are, of course they couldn't stay together, and some were hurting and eased back. A few cranked some sub 5 miles. The average pace for the 6 miles was about 5:15 pace. Total time for the 10 miles was 62 minutes. Is there another collection of such fast masters in CA? In a word, NO!

I earned my PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon), awarded by B. Spang. I ran a 68:10. It went well. First mile about 6:20; 33:38 at 5; 61:04 at nine. Brian said I not only had to drink the PBR at Starbuck's, I had to do it under 70 seconds. I'm tough, but not that tough. A hamster more experienced with beer than me said one of his key sensual moments during the week is to shower after the long run, and to drink a beer during the shower.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/29 8:38:00 (1489 reads)

In an indoor 3000, Carroll beats Webb

From Carl Pantoja, via Brian Frank: On Sunday April 17, 2005 is the Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon. Teams of 5 members each running 5.2 mile loop will start at 8:00 AM. The registration is $200.00 per team or $40 per runner before 04/04/2005.

The Santa Clarita Runner's Club already has one team formed.

If anybody is interested, Please call Carl at 661 993-1741 or E-mail We'll try to form more teams or you can do it on your own, but let me know so we can coordinate carpooling and refreshments.

If we have enough teams, we can take our SCRunner's E-Z up, tables and refreshments and of course beer.

Correction on Steve Masuda's newsletter. To subscribe (free), email Steve at Just tell him you want it and provide your email address.

Quotes: He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty. ~ Lao tzu

He who excuses himself accuses himself. ~William Shakespeare

Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/28 2:32:00 (3374 reads)

Tough story on a beloved coach who was killed in the Glendale train crash Jim Tutino

A snip from Steve Masuda's newsletter: On Tuesday, February 15th there will be a good-bye party for Pat Connolly
after the Regular Tuesday Night Track Workout. After 25 years, Pat is going to
step down from heading the long time Tuesday night sessions. Please help
spread the word to those who run with Pat and especially those who used to run on
Tuesday or any other night. This is a chance for all of us to say, "Thanks,
for the nice run, Pat." Everyone is invited for cake and shmooze after the
workout at about 7:30 on the Birmingham High track at Balboa and Victory. The
workout starts at 6:00 if you want to run. Please, no gifts - if you would like
to bring something to share, we will eat it. I'm sure everyone knows runners
are usually hungry and will devour any really cool goodie on the table.

You're missing out if not receiving the free emailed newsletter. It comes out each Friday, always filled with what's going on in the northern area of Los Angeles County. If interested, email Steve Masuda at, and he will add you to the list. It's safe.

Are runners less apt to get the flu? I definitely think so, and not just because exercise raises the body temp. We tend to eat better, drink more fluids, and sleep more and better. Link

Please consider having an account on Don's Diary, as do Mike Kent, Jeff Vaninni, and The Big O. All you need to do is register. Check instructions on the right side of this page. If you have an account, your name or other identifier will appear when you add a comment. You will also be able to use the smiley faces, post your own photos, do private mail with Don and other account members. I'm sure there are other benefits I'm not aware of. Finally, I promise not to send you any home loan offers, ED deals, porn, or other such spam.

Lauren lives in a van? Wow, what an intriguing news item. Check the interview of Lauren Fleshman

Review Photo Gallery for new photo.

The final 2004 girls xc ranking is now out. Consider, for all the Div. I high schools in CA, Canyon was 14th and Saugus was 15th. Congrats to the girls and to the coaches Dave, Paul, and Christian. Link

Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/27 16:24:00 (50403 reads)

Three local area runners looked at the washed out trail along the east side of San Francisquito Creek, approximately 500 yards north of the Decoro bridge. It's completely gone. The creek at that point is flush with a hillside. Apparently, to judge from the bank above and below that area, the only protection against the creek was some burlap to protect new vegetation on the banks. What were they thinking? The fix will not be easy or cheap. Who will pay for it? While Newhall Land put in the trail, it most likely deeded it, and all future liability and responsibility to the City. Meanwhile, the City is looking at Riverpark stability issues. Link

Jack Brown is still a tough hombre. Ten years ago, at age 60 he set one of the more impressive club records, that is, 70:24 for 10 miles. At the time he did that I (then being 50) thought that could be tough to beat. Now almost 60, I think I will beat it. But I had to strongly object to someone's recent characterization of the mark as being no big deal. The 60 plus mark before that was held by Jack Brown, 74:26. Now just think of some of the tough and talented older guys who are about Jack's age. I'm talking Barry Truex, Prebon Poulsen, and Mike McSkane. So far as I know, as Seniors, they never got below Jack's 74 minute mark. The sad fact is you can train your heinie off, but the inevitable aging process (going at a pace you can't control) will mostly be responsible for what you can achieve.

Bob Dickson fine column on John Wooden

Good stuff today on RW Online, including an extended essay on Ritz and an interview with Lasse Viren

While it is hard to think beyond The Big Showdown, other important racing will happen this weekend. Some Saugus kids will do an all-comers meet. Debra Jorgenson will do the Fat Ass 50K. And Brian Frank will lead a SCR contingent at Las Vegas. I asked him who else, and he advises, "Most importantly, Kelly Schranz (with Frank pacing her) will be trying to run a 4:15 to qualify for Boston and Cyndi Hoelzel (with Danielle Harper pacing her) will be trying to run a 3:45 to qualify. Nina Miller (probably running another P.R.), Ron Eichler and Ray Reyes are also running and Marilyn Noble is running the half."

Of course I like this story about a 94 year old who races up the Empire State Building

In the current Runner's World (the magazine) there is a good article on the stairs racing, and about training on stairs. I know most of you don't want to hear it, but it is a fact that running, or just walking stairs will improve your times, much like hard hill repeats. For a few years, I did both. I used to work at the Trillium in Woodland Hills (6400 Canoga Blvd., I think), and I worked on the 15th (of 17 stories). I would walk up at least three times a day. This was before the casual clothes days, but it was over so quickly that I didn't raise a sweat. And the pace was just steady, one step at a time. Also, when on a business trip and it was not a good time or the weather was crappy, I'd run the hotel stairs. Super workout.

Someone asked me, what's with Phil and the hamster pix? Was Phil a hamster? The answer is no, Phil is not now, nor has he ever been a hamster. As a matter of fact, I believe we have Paola to thank for the term. I'm told, during some late night Saturday party, that Paola was the first to have referred to the Sunday morning 25 milers as hamsters. When we heard about it- on a Sunday run as a matter of fact- we all just roared (if not sqealed hysterically). Yes, it is apt. Hamsters do most of their workout in the dark, toiling endless, incessantly on their wheel (our route is unchanged in 19 years). There is something a little manic, compulsive, to doing the same thing, at the same time month after month, year after year. (And, yes, Kevin has beady eyes, though the rest of us are reasonably unremarkable.)

I think Phil, being a periodization guy, would agree long runs are good, though not necessary beyond 20 milers, and certainly you need not, and probably should not do a 25 miler every 7 days, 52 weeks a year.

How did it start? 19 years ago, Steve had run many more marathons than Don. Steve was doing a weekly 24 miler, alone, and Don was doing a weekly 19 miler, alone. He agreed to try my 19 miler. After it was over, I asked him what he thought. "Well," he said, "it's an ok longer run..." Because he is sensitive and nurturing, he didn't go on to say it was, well, sorta lame and whimpy, and it wasn't going to get me under three. So I agreed to do the 24, and the rest is history.

Like certain tribes in Kenya, some tribes of American Indians have produced some really outstanding runners. Of course we remember Billy Mills and Jim Thorpe, but there have been many others. Because of the awful poverty and lack of a support system, many of them fall through the cracks and never achieve their potential. There was a good story about Brandon Leslie at the 2004 trials, and you can read it here

Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/26 20:50:00 (3602 reads)

Don, the word on the track tonight was that a big smackdown will be happening at Lowe's on Saturday. Apparently B. Spang, Runnin' Rich Burns, Pete Magill and the rest of the local elite (Jeff Nelson) are planning a burn it down to the ground 40 minute tempo run or ten miles, whichever comes first. Word has it that there will be a warm-up for the first 2 miles and then the pace will jacked down to around 5:20 or lower for the next 40 minutes. Rich says he plans on wearing his racing flats as this is supposed to be some serious training run. Apparently Dale caught wind of this and was miffed that he was not invited, so he said instead of leading the tempo run, he's planning on languishing in the smoking section at around 5:40 pace. I think Brian offered Dale the rabbiting job, but then rescinded his offer after watching Dale struggle through the Tuesday night track session. I understand that Dale will be calling Kevin to see if he'd like to join in with his sub 60 homies. McSweeney is always talking about the sub-60 guys and then everyone else, i.e. the mortals.

Nonetheless, I think the fire department should be notified of this upcoming train wreck on Saturday at Lowe's. In preparation, I've already secured a few fire extinguishers a la Mo Greene, in case some racing flats flare up.. I am planning to dig a shallow grave behind Bridgeport that coincidentally is the exact size of Dale Heys. After Saturday, since Dale, you and I all wear size 9 running shoes, I figure we could split between us all of Dale's shoes since he probably won't be needing them any longer. You can golf in just about anything.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/1/26 19:43:00 (2415 reads)

Another serious 10 miler, The Big Showdown. And this time I get to do it. Maybe we can get another new club record or two. The club historian and board have the final say so on records. I would hope this would be sufficient notice that this is a serious time trial/race on an already accepted course.

I think the SCV is big enough, size and population, for us to have a race at least once a month, even if a less formal deal like Ben's Ten. There will always be those who say the SCR are too competitive, and all the race stuff scares folks away. Phooey, I say. We can race, race and race some more and still enjoy the company of those who, for whatever reason, are not able or inclined to do it.

In today's RW Online, Toni Reavis has a piece on the upcoming 20th Los Angeles Marathon. Well over 200 have finished each race. We have one of the few couples that have finished every one, Russ and Chris Sidles. Toni Reavis has been a TV commentator for every one. I've heard gripes about Reavis. But I think he does a fine job. Just think if you had to talk to millions, with none-to-fanatic levels of understanding, for three hours. Very tough to do without being repetitve or saying something lame or stupid. So he's not Chick or Vin Scully.

All this ten miler stuff got me motivated to, once and for all, settle the question, how fast did George Serrano and Jeff Vaninni run that fateful day, March 25, 1995, in The Granary Grind, the first of the Saturday 10 mile time trials, this one under the Race Directorship of Jerry Cherrington. Whenever the subject comes up with George or Jeff, their time and place seems to improve as our memory fades. So I looked it up in the April, 1995 SCRambler. Turns out George won with a 57:55 and Jeff was second with a 59:31. I was with those boys to the first mile, the split being 5:38.

Posted by seanmclean on 2005/1/26 4:40:30 (2571 reads)

This is the new Don's Diary site. New postings will show up here, but all the content from the old site is still available, you can get to the old site articles and photo gallery by clicking the 'Old Site' link in the upper right.

Please bear with us as the new site is tuned up. Thanks.

--Sean McLean

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