Because of California's fiscal crisis, state services now cost more. Because race organizers of the 2004 Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon passed along some of these higher costs to the runners, the race fees this year were rather steep, but the event remained one of the best L.A. has to offer. Fine weather, fine friends, and fine food more than made up for any sting to the pocketbook.
Now in the second year on the new course (a few more hills, more dirt, slightly slower times), the pace car driver got a bit confused and turned around early, leading to some very fast times for the first-leg runners (the turnaround was corrected for subsequent runners). Leading those runners for TCLA was Adam Reid, who did a great job after arriving shortly before the race started. Conal Tepper, who earns honorary TCLA membership by being the coach's running partner, ran a decent leg, but should be able to improve on his time next year. Pressed into duty this year while the fast club runners were taking a break for various reasons, the coach had to hang up his stopwatch and run the middle leg for TCLA I. Tom Gatyas, a rising star in the club, ran TCLA's fastest leg, and Noel Velasco finished things off, literally edging out another runner at the finish to give TCLA I ninth overall in 2:29:23 (7th out of 26 in the Running Club, Men's Division, but probably first or second among clubs that actually run together).
TCLA II is traditionally the club's masters entry. This year, however, that team never quite solidified, and the spot went to another regular team. Susan Rendell ran first and kept the other runners in order. Sharon Yamato spent much time socializing with other teams, but still was around in time to handle the second leg. Cindy Bernstein contributed the third leg and, more importantly, some great brownies. Julie Orosz filled the "friend-of-Susan" spot this year and the fourth leg. Enjoying the anchor and racing again, Jeff Bernstein finished things off in 3:39:07 (16th out of 42 in the Running Club, Coed Division).
Finally, TCLA III had core runners BaoKim Coleman and Ogie Espinosa start things off in familiar fashion. Bryan Johnston handled the middle leg chores well, and he handed off to Jorge Ramirez, a late replacement for Jose Castillo, who is taking some well-deserved time off from competitive running. Todd Patterson, who is now up to training three days a week, brought the baton in at 3:01:41 (13th out of 26 in the Running Club, Men's Division).
TCLA I TCLA III TCLA II
Adam 25:04 BaoKim 39:28 Susan 40:16
Conal 32:26 Ogie 40:01 Sharon 45:54
Eric 31:00 Bryan 34:46 Cindy 43:56
Tom 30:21 Jorge 32:41 Julie 50:19
Noel 30:31 Todd 34:46 Jeff 38:43
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