Although a strong case can be made that America's birthday is July 2, the date on which the Second Continental Congress voted for independence from England, the folks that put on the Will Rogers 5K/10K in Pacific Palisades are more interested in a good time than a good argument. Thus, every July 4, runners are treated to a fun, hilly race followed by a parade down Sunset. The 2006 version was no exception, and also in typical fashion, the skies were blue and the temperature warmer than usual (n.b.: for more on global warming, see An Inconvenient Truth).
The 10K race is the true challenge (three major hills are hard enough without having to race them in July). After drafting off Todd Patterson for the first half, Tyrone Black used his hill training to carry him first across the line for TCLA (tenth overall and third in his division). Bruce Reisenfeld, too, relied on Todd's sense of pace, and finished second for the club. Todd's pacing also served Todd well, as he traded places with Michael Branch compared with last year's results. A month away from his last marathon, Brian Panosian turned in a respectable time, as did Bryan Johnston, who is getting back to some solid training. Allen Roth, more of a newcomer to racing, looked strong on the hills.
Wenise Wong led the TCLA women with a strong effort, and just missed cracking the top 100 (of 1047). Keith Gayhart followed almost a minute later. Taking first in her division hopefully made Amy Aukstikalnis's Fourth a happy one. Michael Berger took 40 seconds off last year's time. Steph Cahn, registered as a male, but doing the breast-feeding to prove she is other, was happy to get a break from that activity and do some running. Host extraordinaire Robert Newmark bested his good friend Scott Allen by one minute. Jennifer Liu ran a solid race, and Lawrence Spear, who has been training well lately, but not done much racing, finished a minute and a second behind her.
Julie Gutman, who has only been training on the track for a short while, braved the hills well. Aviva Starkman ran an excellent race. Finally, Sharon Yamato and Roberta Silverman have run stronger in the past, and the heat may have made for tough times.
In the 5K, Jerry Enriquez and Brent Forrester finished only seconds apart, with Jerry taking third in his division and Brent taking away a personal best. Philip Steinman looked fairly fresh (at least, an hour afterwards). Nursing a lingering injury, Ogie Espinosa still gave it a good shot.
TCLA adopted the corner of Brooktree and Sunset as its special cheering post (sorry, 5K runners), and Jeff and Kim Brettler, Susan Rendell, Peggy Sauve-Enriquez, and Andrea and Jim Spear cheered the club down and then up the hill. Extra special thanks to Robert Newmark for his wonderful, annual, post-race party.
Average Finishing Time: 20:3.5
Averge Per Mile Pace: 6:27.4
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