Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/18 12:47:00 (922 reads)

Saugus is an all-weather team with an all-weather track. The plan is to have the practice track event tomorrow, with the first event being the 400 at 8 a.m. What about the rain? As Chuckie T. said, "Hey, it's just water."

B. Spang planned to race every event as part of long workout, with lots of warmup, interim, and post event miles. But Joe Rubio nixed that. Spang is training for Boston.

The Signal has a feature today on the best local pizza. The staff chose Maria's Italian Deli (Lyons Avenue, Newhall), while the folks (subscribers) picked Vincenzo's. I like pizza; however, once your kids leave and you're no longer on the board, who eats pizza?

Track & Field News has some very good race photos at the USATF Cross Country Championships. Take a look at the winner DeReuck (No. 1). Tough gal, eh? Lauren Fleshman is No. 13. Photos

Quite funny story on (Sir) Charles Barkley in the LAT (registration required...come-on, get over it and sign up). Link

Did you note the confusion in the article on his trip? He starts from the NBC lot in Burbank. Later in the article he is traveling from a Beverly Hills hotel to Burbank...How can you not like Sir Charles? He's quite refreshing. Yes, at times he's a bad boy. Remember year ago, at some international basketball game he delivered a vicious elbow, and the world was horrified by the nasty, unrepentant play of the ugly Americans? I confess, I had similar thoughts. But, like it not, he's for real, not a phony, and he delivers his opinions unvarnished, though often with a twinkle in his eye...

The quality is not very good, but on the bbc you can watch the live coverage (it's 10:53 a.m. in Saugus as I type this) of the meet in Norwich

How do hamsters keep time? This.

At Norwich, Lagat wins 1500; Bekele and Mo both lose. New women's world record in the pole vault. Results

It's not like we're just wasting our time at Starbuck's. We're trying to stop liver cancer

Good discussion on the jog between intervals as advocated by Lydiard

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/18 0:54:40 (802 reads)

Jeff does not run ultras, but he used to. When in San Francisquito Canyon last Sunday, I thought about his mighty effort during a Spunky 40.5 race in the early 90s. He ran it scientifically with a heart monitor, carefully gauging his effort. With 10 miles to go, he had a huge lead, but Rob McNair and Joe Schlereth, two excellent ultrarunners of the day, caught up with him in the closing miles. Rob couldn't pass him and dropped back. Joe passed him just before the last hill climbing out of the canyon. Then Joe starts walking up the hill! Jeff caught back up with him and they jogged it in from there, finishing in a gentleman's tie which, I know, both now regret. I don't recall their average pace. I'm guessing about 7:10 plus...But coincidentally, I was looking through an Ultrarunning magazine this week and found results for the Westlake 50K, held on a 400 meter dirt track on June 13, 1992, as follows: 1) Earl Towner in 3:20:07; 2) Herb Tanzer in 3:27:52; 3) Jeff Vannini in 3:28:31; 4) Ben Hian in 3:34:11. All of those guys were mighty tough hombres in that era. (Pat DeVita was also in the race and clocked a 6:11) I worked out Jeff's pace. Imagine running a 2:55 marathon and then doing another 5 miles at that same 6:39 per mile pace. That's what Jeff did.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/17 20:22:00 (856 reads)

I was in a meeting yesterday at City Hall regarding the attached web links. Firstly the City wishes to boost the health of Santa Clarita residents through activity and healthy choices. The web site is new but links to health related businesses and groups in the valley, including SCR should be growing as the campaign takes off. Second is a link to KHTS our local radio station who has a jump on the program by starting a lose-a-ton challenge (not as in Las Vegas but aimed at the over-weight and dieting public). They have over 5000 lbs pledged all ready so obviously a popular program.

Watch for more activities over the coming months including programs with local gyms, walking groups and possibly a participation program leading up to the 4th of July 5K or the Marathon 5K. I'm going to try to maintain involvement for SCR. (lose-a-ton)

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Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/16 22:56:00 (1066 reads)

Our friend Bob Dickson at the Signal has a provocative, thought provoking column about a local athlete who got caught up in the CIF transfer rules. Bob makes the point that if the kid had done what others have done in like circumstances -i.e., gamed the situation with phony academic/social/psychiatiric reasons- that he would have gotten away with the rules not being enforced. So what? So we should have no rules because people/coaches/schools cheat? With that same logic, we should have no speed laws because people speed and get away it. Link

There is a tour you can sign up for which allows you to spend time at a Kenyan training camp, and to meet the great runners. In RW Online (see Link below), some of the tourists talk about their experiences, and about how humble and plesant they found the runners to be, some of them world champions. Now think if you had the chance to "hang" with a NBA, MLB, NFL team. Any chance Barry Bonds would pour you some tea, or that Mrs. K. Bryant would invite you over for some cake? Mostly because of the obscene money these athletes and coaches get, with the magnified exposure in the major sports, it's almost impossible for those people to be normal in any sense of the word. And the hell with 'em, I say. Link

Will you be at the toga party? I probably will but, alas, not in a toga. Ive talked to some SCR who won't be there because they think it will be some bacchanalian riot, or that they will otherwise just feel out of place, "very uncomfortable," one said. Well, maybe you will, and you might be right not to go. On the other hand, maybe you should reconsider. You might find out that, just maybe, we really would enjoy your company. Yes, really.

Just a few months ago, there was a study which indicated you would die sooner if you took in Vitamin E supplements. Since I'm trying to not die sooner, I stopped taking my daily 400 units of E. Now we have a contrary report


Yesterday we read about mid-90s FBI warnings to MLB about drug use. Now some MLB flack (actually the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations) says MLB has no record or recollection of that warning. It amazes me how stupid officials, executives, big-time operators think they can get away with this stuff. In the old days, before Drudge and the internet, big shots could just deny everything, brazen it out. Obviously, MLB was hip deep in syringes in the 90s (ditto track and field). We know it now, and we knew it then. There have been so many scandals --Nixon, Clinton, Dan Rather/CBS, Eason Jordan/CNN, Jayson Blair, and all their enablers... USATF now has a clue and is doing something about the problem in U.S. track. Not enough, but it's a start...I read a ton of blogs, all sides. The major media is so slow to recognize what's happening... The LAT continues to be so clueless, about how irrelevant and annoying it so often is. Today, as in every Thursday edition, there is the My Favorite Weekend interview. Now I might be wrong, but, based on that feature, there is no good weekend outside Santa Monica or West Los Angeles. No one has to get up early for a kid's hockey practice, a soccer game, travel ball. No one has to clean out the garage, get the kid to clean up the bedroom, weed the flowers, empty the cat box. No one goes to the Soup Plantation or gets take-out. No one lives in Northridge, Orange County, Long Beach, or Santa Clarita...The Signal is getting better, especially sports, but has a long way to go. Some gripes: 1) Way too much columnist talk about themselves; 2) Too much about the usual beautiful crowd; 3) Those tiresome local political columnists rehearsing the same lame, old arguments about Bush, Kerry, the Reps and Deps, blah, blah... I say the Signal sports is getting better, as the staff is actually going out and covering high school and local college sporting events. But will it do so well with track & field, and will it cover the Women's Race and the IDC5K as it did so well in days of yore?

Peggy Noonan on blogs

Always fun, always super confident, the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Mo Greene seeks revenge against the Brits

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/16 7:21:00 (1072 reads)

An extended, actually funny account on the on-going soap opera at UO

You probably saw recently where Bud Selig said, until now, he had no idea MLB had a drug problem. Here's your daily dope

This is sorta fun. A Japanese guy, who just ran a 2:07 marathon, is a heel-striker

The word from Dale Webb, er, Heys: True to his word Brian came to tonight's work out with the document that has been the talk of the town. I cannot disclose where it is at this time but felt that I should share it with the running community. If anyone is interested I will get to keep the original for the year and then Brian will get it the 2006 season. I will open my house for public viewing if interest should build. However due to the cost of security these days a small fee will be charged.

Gene Blankenship, who has more running books than you, and who knows way more about running than me, adds: I have two books on Gordon Pirie. "Running Wild", which is relatively old; and "Reluctant Hero" which is newer. As you probably already know, Don, Gordon is famous for racing Vladamir Kutz from Russia in the 1956 Melbourne Games. Prior to the games Gordon had beaten Vladimir by out kicking him with his superior speed. But at the '56 games, Vladamir used a surging technique that just destroyed Gordon. Also at one time Gordon coached Ann Audain from New Zealand. And in her book she claims he was very abusive (physically and emotionally). The name of that book is "Uncommon Heart". Also an interesting read. Just thought I'd let you know. Although you probably already did.

Party guy Brian Frank sez: R U RED E 2 PAR T??????????? I thought so!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, this Saturday night is our biggest event of the year, our annual awards banquet. I will take place at the Summit Clubhouse at 24600 Del Monte Drive in Valencia, starting at 6pm. This event regularly draws over 100 people and is a real blast. It is also considered a Race Series "fun" event worth 3 points. This is a free event for all SCR's and their families. All family members are welcome. There will be plenty of great food, soda, beer and wine and we'll be shaking it up on the dance floor all night. During the event, we will also hand out our 2004 Race Series and Achievement Awards and have our Board Member Election. The theme for this year's event is "Toga, Toga, Toga". We encourage you to wear your favorite Toga. For toga ideas, you can go to Whether or not you wear a toga, the most important thing is for you and your family to come join in the fun with all of your fellow runners and friends. For all of you new members (and there are quite a few of you), this is a great opportunity for you to get to know your fellow SCR's, have fun together in a non-running environment and establish personal relationships with people you run with during the week. I look forward to another great turnout and funtastic party! See you all on Saturday night!!!

Lance Armstrong will race the 2005 Tour de France. Story

There are always SCR doing the Solvang bike race. There are some cool photos of that course on Lance's Discovery site here

Lots of USATF XC Champs photos available for viewing, including those of Lauren Fleshman (No. 13) on the first day. Return to menu on the site for other choices. Link

A reader just pointed out some of today's links are not working. He is right! Problem solved.

All Kenyan racing at the World's must train together

While I can't give you any details, there is good reason to believe we will have a permanent, dedicated cross country course this year.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/15 20:24:00 (1079 reads)

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/14 19:50:00 (1165 reads)

Dyestat has some good photos from the USATF CC Champs, including plenty of pictures of Shalane, Fleshman, and the Buffalo Babes...but none of Brian. I guess the photographer has his priorities. Link

Ever heard of Gordon Pirie? He was a British runner of reknown back in the days of Zatopek. Quite a character. There is a site dedicated to his memory, and it includes a free book on pdf. I just learned of this site, so I can't say much more about it just now. Link

There is a coach at Hart who doesn't deserve the privilege of working with youth. Link

Do you remember when the SCR had membership cards? I know, I didn't use mine either. If nothing else, though, it was assurance that you were on the club membership roster. There have been instances where new/returning members ask me if they're on the roster. My suggestion is that the club send a confirming post card. That would also be the time to confirm a current email address, which obviously is important information. BTW, if you're not getting email on club matters, you should send a note to Brian Frank, who does such an excellent job keeping us posted. His address is ...RW Online has a lot of good reading for today here

We cut the usual 10 miles to 8, though still running the eight 3 minute drills. Dennis had a 10 a.m. appointment in Fresno. According to mapquest, that is a 3.5 hour drive, which in Dennis terms means a sub three. He will be in meetings/lunch for 4 to 5 hours and then drive home. Sounded to me like a tough day, but he said it will be a good day. No usual office stress, and a lot of free time to let the mind wander. I guess that's right...

Sue Blankenship was a major force in the early SCR days, a SCRambler editor and very good runner. She still holds the open marathon record at 3:03. She came up with the idea, and was R.D. for the Spunky 40.5 mile race. On which she reflects: I remember the Spunky route. But the weird thing is that I don't really remember running it. Most ultras are pretty vivid, but that one's no longer in my memory bank. Although I think I did it once before the race, just to test it out. Maybe I did it, or maybe not--the only part I can actually remember running is up Bouquet. So maybe I didn't? I DO remember being the race director. Twice? And once we locked the keys inside the SC Park building and I was so panicked. I think Jeff Boyd somehow broke in and saved the day. Actually I think he ended up taking off the door hinges. I also remember Bonnie making some huge vats of chicken soup in my camper. That must have been the cold rainy year. And everyone loved it. (Salt replacement therapy.) I also got a bagel place to donate several dozen bagels. It's funny that I can remember the food, but not the race. Although there was one ultra guy who always came and was just incredibly slow. Canít remember his name now. But we used to get him to start one or two hours ahead of time, and we still had to wait for him. One year we added on an option to Spunky that made it 50 miles. We did that so that the Ultra runners who wanted to qualify for Western States could use it. And one guy (and of course I can't remember his name either) did make the time limit. He was from Bakersfield. Might have been Native American? Masters runner I think. Well, you can see how shaky my memory is...Yes I do remember Jim Pellon. We used to do training runs together on occasion. I had heard about him dying. While in a sauna, is what I heard.

While Saugus High does have an all-weather track, with a lot of rain it can pond or otherwise be too wet for the type of high speed Saugus runners and friends generate. So if we have a lot of rain before Saturday, there is the chance it could be yanked from your schedule. Final call to be made Friday afternoon. I'll post it here.

The SHS track event on Saturday will have, in order, the following events:
1) 1600 at 8am. Then everything else follows.
2) 400m
3) 800m
4) 3200m (some will continue for 5000m)
5) 4x400m relays
Unless you are a high school kid there with your coach, you must sign a liability waiver (parent must sign for those under 18). You must register for each race and get a sticker with your name printed on it. No The Unregistered Runner Division (TURD) will be allowed to race.

Once Brian Frank learns of new members, he does send a very informative email. I still like the idea of a post card. Not everyone uses email.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/14 19:43:00 (1116 reads)

Had a great time in Portland/Vancouver. The race was a blast. Obviously I'm not in the shape I was in at last December's Nationals or I would've run about a minute faster. It was actually a horrible race for me. But that's was a good workout and great to watch some of the other races.

TRH was very happy...although a bit concerned that the team from Oregon was threatening. Luckily, the 5th man on Runner's High had a good race & sealed the victory.

I'm very happy for Lauren, who is one of the best runners in the country. She will continue to get faster, as I will continue to get slower!!! Unfortunately, didn't get to speak to her. But I did speak with Alan Webb, who I met at the Portland airport. I told Mr. Webb that there's a certain runner in the SCV who has somewhat of an obsession for him. So I hope you're reading this Mr. Heys...I didn't know if you had his autograph so I asked him for it. The catch is, since I didn't want to pressure him into two signings, he made it out to Brian and Dale. So we can take turns keeping can have it for a few months, then it'll be my turn...ha ha!! I will present it to you when I see you next!

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/14 18:55:00 (13209 reads)

First of all, I noticed in your blog you had heard reports this was not well organized. I completely disagree with that. Yes, they started the 5K over 10 minutes late, but this was due to the runners being treated to 100,000 firecrackers going off that were hanging by strings from the start line banner, which must have taken 5 minutes. After this, there was a nice traditional show with dragons and drums. The parking and sign-in was very well organized and the course was well laid out. Afterwards, there were lots of freebees and the awards ceremony had news anchor Ted Chen, who was surrounded by the L.A. Chinese New Year queen and her court, up on a nice stage with chairs in front of it. The course was VERY tough with surprisingly steep hills for a short race, but I thought it was a fun course and the drum corpes at the turnaround was a nice touch.

In the 5K, let me start at the top (of my list). I ran with Kevin and was really impressed by how well he hung in there on those steep hills, mainly in the first half of the race. I was worried he was going to really crash out there, but he kept plugging away and finished in 24:55, only 10 seconds off his P.R., which is quite an accomplishment on that course. This was a large race, with just under 1,500 finishers. Only three kids his age beat him and all were within 40 seconds. Considering he only runs with me once or twice a week for two or three miles, none of it near his race pace (8:03), it appears he has a lot of natural talent. More importantly, he definitely has the mental toughness to pull him through. I'm most proud of that, as it is what I've been preaching to him the last two years. As long as he "gives it up" out there, I don't really care where he finishes or places.

Now, for the top of "the" list. Nancy James was 2nd overall female in 18:31, which I believe she told me was a P.R. Chris DiStefano (who told me she ran like poop), was 6th overall female (the 3 between Nancy and her were 11, 13 and 14, which is unbelievable) and 1st in her age group at 19:40. I think she won her age group by about 3 minutes, even though she was probably still feeling the effects of her 1/2 the week before. Ray Reyes ran another strong race, coming in at 21;15. Our other finishers were Barry Truex, his grandson Cole Ostrander, and Melanie and Emily Cotterell. I don't know there times, because they weren't showing up on the website.

In the 10K, Laura and Jim Duncan came in at 57:57 and 57:58, Darcel Pertusati ran 1:05:12 and Betsy Swallow did 1:11:18.

There were two very nice stories there. Besides running with his grandson, Barry had the extreme pleasure of having Barrie come down there to cheer them on. I got to talk with her and she looks very good. It was so nice to see her out like that. She's got lots of injuries to overcome, but is well on her way. She fully expects to be running in this race next year, which is a longtime Truex family tradition. Barry was wearing a t-shirt from the 1980 race.

The other nice story was Jim and Laura Duncan. They had trained very hard to run the Santa Clarita Marathon together (their first), but Laura badly injured her knee a few weeks prior to the race and needed surgery. Jim showed true devotion by skipping the race, so they could stick with their plan of running their first one together. Laura started running much sooner than expected. This was their first race together and she reported no pain in her knee, despite all of the steep hills. They ran almost 1 1/2 minutes per mile faster than they had planned. Laura hadn't run any race since high school (20 years ago). They are now planning on running Rock 'N' Roll in San Diego in June.

Overall, I really liked this event. Kevin asked me within a few minutes of finishing if we could come back next year. There was a lot going on, so it wasn't like the "run of the mill" 5/10K.

Posted by donmclean on 2005/2/13 22:15:00 (1070 reads)

Ritz and Flanagan won yesterday at the USA Cross Country Championships. Lauren Fleshman on team to race the World's in France. Story here

Jennifer Overlock and Nancy James were first and second at the Firecracker. Chris DeStefano won her age group. The head Sheriff, Lee Baca, won his age group. I heard grumbling about the race organization and course (too hilly), though even with all that some people got a PR. Results

Daily dope. On drugs in high school

A rich lode of running stuff, Run-Down

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