This race was graced with great weather and beautiful, huge trees. The first half of the race was foggy, but the sun broke through as we headed back, and made the shade of the redwoods even more delightful. Even if it isn’t the fastest half I’ve ever run I’m really looking forward to doing it again next year, and maybe even camping out before the race like the men’s team. We had excellent representation on the ladies open and master’s teams, especially for a race that is so far north. We have been trying to integrate half marathon training into the cross country season, and for quite a few of our runners it seems to be really paying off.
For the open women, Jenna Boren led the team with her first race for WVTC. Welcome to the team! We’re so excited to have you out racing and training with us. She took second place in the women’s race and ran 1:19:08, which is far from her PR, but she seemed glad to be out racing and competing. In a funny coincidence, Jenna’s fellow St. Olaf alum, Malcolm Richards, took second in the men’s open race. Go Minnesota! Nicole Campbell was our second West Valley finisher, running 1:22:34. Nicole and I got to work together for the first half of the race, and I (Felice) was the next finisher for the team, running 1:22:58. Nicole was the 10th and I was the 11th woman to finish. We had a good group for a few miles, running with Lisa Renteria from the Wolfpack team, but afterwards we felt that we would need to be a bit bolder for our next half marathon, and try to continue to work together in the second half of the race. Katie Williams was next for the open women. She ran a huge PR, going under 1:30 for the first time, finishing in 1:26:28. She swears that the course really is downhill in both directions. Maybe there’s some sort of Escher paradox going on? Kim Barnholt also went under 1:30 for the first time, running a big PR and finishing in 1:27:00. Stephanie Downey also rode the redwood train to a PR- 1:30:27. And Kelsey Dutton ran almost 4 min faster than her goal to finish in 1:35:48. It’s great to have her racing again after her stress fracture.
On the master’s side, Kari Rust had a fantastic race. She ran 1:24:39, which was a big (3 min!) PR, winning her age group, and taking second in the women’s master’s race. I loved her comments on the race: She noted that there were a lot of trees out there (in fact, nothing but trees) and that the bottle-opener medal was the best, since it’s actually a functional award. Cinthya Vielma ran tough, as always, finishing in 1:29:34 in spite of a mid-race asthma attack! And it was great to have Deanna Micros completing the team. She ran 1:34:35.
Kyle Brocklehurst was not able to contribute to our women’s teams, but did represent the South Bay in fine style, running 1:17:06, which is a 50 second PR. Or so he claims—he actually didn’t appear in the results until he bribed the appropriate people. But he’s there now! His favorite part of the weekend was seeing the finish from the bridge.
In team scoring our women’s open team placed second, and the women’s master’s team placed first! Congratulations to all! It was definitely a successful trip up north.