The Venice Christmas 5K/10K generally gets nice, sunny skies and warm weather. The 2001 version gave runners half of that. Blustery cold winds made fast times tough, and sticking around to spectate even tougher. Nevertheless, TCLA had a large contingent at this annual end-of-the-year race, and many of them ran well.
Most of the TCLA'ers opted for the longer distance. Rasmus Tamsdorf also opted for warmth over aerodynamics as he wore a full warm-up suit on his way to a 37:04. Only a second back, Tania Fischer ended up third overall woman and brought home a bear (much nicer than the standard medal). Another place back saw Terrence Moriarty, and keeping in the 37-minute range, Todd Patterson finished up a fine year.
TCLA also had four finish in the 39-minute range. Mike Whitemiller, the fastest of these four, has a newfound turnover and sleek physique thanks to a steady diet of fruits and vegetables. Christian Dubognon and Andreas Kemkes pushed each other and Andreas set a p.r., breaking 40 minutes for the first time. Bob Mercier, not around the track much lately, was four seconds behind Andreas. Missing this group by just one untimely gust, Ernie Sacco ran 40 flat.
Suzanne McNeil got in a good trial 10,000 meters on her quest to break 40; may she have calmer winds the next time out. Kelly Smith kept his race under the seven-minute pace mark, while John Daly was just a hair above it. Terry Power turned in a decent time, and a few yards behind him, Sam Spencer and Wenise Wong dueled it out after taking it easy earlier in the race. Similarly, Lawrence Spear spent the first few miles having fun weaving in and out of some slower runners before he picked it up in the latter half.
Tayo Balogun looked strong at the finish, and should get faster and faster as her track times come down. Cheered on by her kids, Kim Brettler showed them that a little breeze is no reason to stay inside. Finally, Alison Song smiled throughout her 6.2-mile effort.
In the shorter race, Clarence Smith established that he is a sub-18-minute 5K runner, and he earned a bear for his efforts. John Boscardin, after getting in some solid training, is beginning to look good in the races again and will likely see his time continue to drop if he stays at it. Finally, Amy Aukstikalnis thawed out just enough to run fairly well. Thanks and handwarmers to Jeff Brettler, Erica Nemmers, and Colin Walker for braving the slicing winds to cheer on the runner.
Average Finishing Time: 19:56.3
Averge Per Mile Pace: 6:25.1
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