Sunday, December 2, 2018

Anna’s CIM Relay, 1st Leg


December 2, 2018 - Sacramento, Ca


7.3 mi (Leg #1 of the 26.2 mi Marathon Relay. CIM relay races started in 1995)


3:06:33 (4 person relay)


1st out of 12 Coed High School

Relay Teammates:

Enzo Gallo, Leah Booth & Hunter Glass

Other Teammates:


*FCA Endurance: Troy Soares & Isaac Josifek; Dana Haldeman; Janell Peterson; Catch Us If You Can: Robin Soares, Liesbeth Brower, Leonie Alesci, Megan Sebra

Track/Local Friends

*Pacers: Jim Kepfer, Lee McKinley, Melissa Johnson, Michael Cook, Austin & Tim Twietmeyer

*Racers: Carrie & Steve Chavez, Helen Martin, Genna Scott, Karen Nickel,  Liz Schultz, Martin Sengo, Melissa Penwell,  Tia Walther

At the start of the CIM I am so excited. They are so many people there.


I am by the 3:10 hour group. I hear the gun go off but we don’t move. About a minute and a half later we start to walk towards the start. I am with my parents as we start to jog. As we run over the mat, I hit my Garmin. I am so excited I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest. My dad is running with me. I look behind me and blow my mom a kiss as we run off. All I can see ahead of me is people running. Running with my dad is fun. We are trying to keep a 7:10 minute pace.

Up ahead I see people turning. My dad tells me to move over. We slowly start to move over for the turn coming up. I feel great. There are people cheering us on less then a mile away from the start. We make the turn and keep running. There are a lot of rolling hills. I see the sign that says 1 mile. I am surprised we have gone that far already. I am feeling good. I see someone behind me wearing shiny gold coloring pants. They are almost like plastic and make a lot of noise when he runs.

My dad and I are on pace. I really enjoy running with my Dad. After a while I realize that we are behind our pace by 12 seconds. I’m thinking that we will not be able to catch up, but my Dad says we will try to make up time on the next downhill. He is right. After a while, we make up time and are back on pace.

I keep running and see an aid station ahead. I tell my Dad that I’m not thirsty, but he tells me get some water anyway. I grab some water a keep running. After about a half a mile, I start to have a cramp. I use Dad’s tip to fix my cramp without stopping.

After running for a while, we see the 3:10 pacer up ahead. There is a huge group with the pacer. We catch up to the group and run with them. It is so cool. There are so many people that it sounds like thunder. After running with the group for a while, I see an aid station up ahead. I grab water and have a little bit of it. I am kind of getting tired but my legs feel fine. We are at about mile 5. I know I am almost done.


We pull away from the 3:10 group and run ahead of them. My dad says, “Don’t look back now, but we are being chased by the 3:10 group.” I laugh in my head. I can see a turn up ahead and remember I have a 1 mile left to the finish.

As I am running towards the turn, I hear a trumpet. I look around a see a little boy playing one note on a trumpet. It is funny. We get to the turn. I see a drum band playing as we go by. I try to speed up but my legs and feet have started to hurt. I see a girl run past me and I run to catch up to her. I say hi. She asks if I was from California and I said yes. She said she was from Alaska. We grab some water at an aid station and keep running. She runs ahead but I don’t mind. God has given me a great race. I am on my time. I hear a volunteer calling out relays on the right and marathoners on the left. I run to the right towards the exchange. Enzo is there right on time and takes my chip and runs off.


The relay went really well. Enzo, Leah, and Hunter ran a great race. We got a time of 3:06:00. Praise the Lord, His Love Endures Forever.


CIM Relay, 2-man Team FCA Endurance, Troy


12/2/18, Folsom to Sacramento


13.5 mi (Leg #1 & 2)




1st in the 2-man fitness club division

Relay Teammate:

Isaac Josifek

Other Teammates:


*Catch Us If You Can: Robin Soares & her college roommates

Track/Local Friends

*Pacers: Jim Kepfer, Lee McKinley, Melissa Johnson, Michael Cook, Austin & Tim Twietmeyer

*Racers: Carrie & Steve Chavez, Helen Martin, Genna Scott, Karen Nickel,  Liz Schultz, Martin Sengo, Melissa Penwell,  Tia Walther

This has been a great tradition, making a team and running the CIM Relay!

An FCA Endurance running friend from church, Isaac Josifek, has joined me this year as 2-man team.  We both didn’t train as much as we wanted but I know it’ll still be a great time.  I have more confidence in Isaac than myself but I know I’ll have a ton of motivation because I get to start with Robin and Anna.

Yes, this is a really cool deal.. the first time ever, 3 of us will be lined up at a major running start!  Robin, running with her 4-woman realy team which has a 20 year streak so far!  Anna, fullfilling her dream and running with a 4-cross-country-runner team from E.V. Cain Middle School!  And me on the FCA Endurance Team.

Robin drives us, and 3 marathon friends, to near the start.


We run through the dark to the staging area and see the never-ending line of porta-potties! 


This is the largest running field they’ve ever had.  After dropping off our warm-up gear (the weather is a little chilly but perfect for running) we go to our corral.


After a beautiful trumpet rendition of the National Anthem, we look at each other with total excitement.  Anna is full of energy and loving this opportunity.  We stop and pray, knowing that none of this is possible or fullfilling without the Lord.  We all have so many wonderful memories of God guiding us through big events in ways that make them precious memories.


The race starts!  And 1-1/2 minutes later we cross the starting line.   We’re in the 3:15 wave and yet a whole sea of runners is already ahead of us.

Anna and I pull ahead and lovingly say goodbye to Robin.  My plan was 7:15 pace but I go 7:10 to keep up with Anna.

My rt achilles was really sore warming up.  It’s getting better now. 

Mile 1. 7:13. We start up the first hill.  Anna says her knee is hurting a little.

Mile 2. 7:24.  Thankfully Anna says her knee is feeling better.

Mile 3. 6:50. Anna says we’re behind pace by 12 secs so I tell her we’ll make up time on some downhills.

Mile 4. 7:05.  We’re back on pace and running with the 3:10 pack now.

Mile 5. 7:13. We start pulling away from the 3:10 pack.  Anna & I are running well, side-by-side, proud Dad moment.


Mile 6. 7:07. I tell Anna, “In only 10 min you’ll be handing off to Enzo (her teammate)”.  Anna starts to pull away from me.  But this is going to work out great. A straight-shot ahead I can see the transition area.

Mile 7. 7:01. Anna’s way up ahead.  I can see her pull into transition, running past a hundred onlooking relay runners before I see Enzo pop out and exchange the chip.  I’m running by as they exchange which gives me a great photo op.


  I pull ahead but Enzo comes flying out of the exchange and meets right up with me!  This is too cool that now I get to keep running with Anna’s team.  Enzo’s a great kid, very respectful and a gutzy runner. 

Mile 8. 6:58. My run is getting harder now, but I’m just excited to help Enzo and his team.  I try to sense what pace is good for him.  He was planning 7:15, but he seems capable of 7:10.  We talk about the pace we want for the next mile.

Mile 9. 7:19. I call out our splits each mile and then we adjust.

Mile 10. 6:56.  After going through my favorite part, the small town with the High School Band playing, I know I’m not going to be able to keep up with Enzo.  He pulls ahead and I’m feeling my legs tighten up.  I went too fast.  I think about how disasterous this would be if I was doing the marathon.  Fortunately, I only have 3 miles and, Lord willing, will be just fine.

Mile 11. 7:11. A long straight stretch to go.  Sometimes I get a glimpse of Enzo’s red shirt far ahead.  I’m glad he’s doing so well.  I have to make sure I don’t break down for the sake of my team.  I try to run smart and use muscles that aren’t hurting as much.

Mile 12. 7:26. My pace has dropped.  Slowly but surely I’m getting there.  I’ve taken off my beenie, gloves, and arm warmers.  I’m pretty warm.

Mile 13. 7:21. There’s the big “1/2-way” arch!  It’s great to see but I’m surprised how far the exchange still is.  I always forget the extra 1/2 mile.  Finally, I see the exchange.  I wanted to take a video of our exchange but I’m so tired I don’t chance it.  I need to make sure I hand Isaac my bib and get information where the car is.  Where is he?  There he is!  With a smile he takes the chip and bib and points to where his stuff is and he’s off. 

Mile 13.4. 7:26 pace. Finished in 1:39:55, 7:24 ave.  Wow, so glad to be done!  Thank you, Lord, for keeping my legs together, especially my achilles which didn’t hurt much. 

Isaac ran a great race and finished us in 3:11:34!  We ended up 1st in the male 2-man fitness club division.


CIM Relay–Robin-#21!


December 2, 2018 - Sacramento, Ca


7.3 mi (Leg #1 of the 26.2 mi Marathon Relay. CIM relay races started in 1995)


3:37:34 (4 person relay)


11th out of 175 Female Open

Relay Teammates:

Leonie Alesci, Liesbeth Brouwer, Megan Sebra

Other Teammates:


*FCA Endurance: Troy Soares & Isaac Josifek

Track/Local Friends

*Pacers: Jim Kepfer, Lee McKinley, Melissa Johnson, Michael Cook, Austin & Tim Twietmeyer

*Racers: Carrie & Steve Chavez, Helen Martin, Genna Scott, Karen Nickel,  Liz Schultz, Martin Sengo, Melissa Penwell,  Tia Walther

The “Soares Shuttle” to the start is off at 5:30am!  This will be the first time ever that Troy and I have run the same leg of the relay.  Anna is joining us too!  She’s got her own relay team made of her 7th grade cross country teammates.  Karen NIckel is joining us too along with pacers Austin and Tim Twietmeyer.

This is Austin’s first marathon.  But he’s run 100 miles and has experience pacing since he was a kid running with his dad.

We park at Beal’s Point and which is less than a mile away from the start.


Love this secret spot!  Private bathrooms instead of porta-potties!  We all head down together.  It’s cold out here! Austin and Tim head off to the pacer area.


Karen and us get a chance to go the bathroom again but more importantly we get to pray for each other. Karen has had terrible hamstring pain and Troy has had a very sore achillies tendon.  We also pray for others like Melissa Penwell and Nicole Lane (friend Lori Bergenstock’s niece).  Both gals are elite runners.  

Our bags full of our warm-up gear are checked.  Time to get to a good spot on the starting line.  We say goodbye to Karen and head up to the 3:10 pace group.  There is no way I can ever run that time but for a relay I can just about do that.  I’m hoping for 7:30 pace or faster, Anna is going for 7:10 and Troy somewhere in between.  As we are waiting around to start, I point to some bright NIke shoes and say, “wow, those are bright!”.  Anna says “they’re everywhere!”.  We look around and we can count 20 pairs right next to us.  Popular shoe!  The crowds are huge this year.  I’ve never seen it this packed!


After an amazing Star Spangled Banner on trumpet, the race starts.  It takes us 2 minutes just to cross the starting line.  Wow, usually it’s less than 20 seconds. Anna and Troy are off.  As we run the 0.9 miles down Auburn Folsom to Oak Ave, I can see them the entire time. So grateful that Troy can still keep up.  Those days are over for me probably up to the 1/2 marathon distance.  I feel comfortable at my 7:30 pace.  I hope I can pick it up the last few miles!

By the time I turn onto Oak Ave, my core feels pretty warm and have to pull up my sleeves. Gloves and beanie are still needed.  At the first mile, I’m averaging 7:30.  I can just barely see a glimpse of Troy’s yellow shirt and then he disappears. 

At the 2nd mile, I’m averaging 7:30. Staying steady!  Further down Oak, houses line the street.  It’s so neat to see people come out of their homes on a cold morning like this to cheer for all of us. I am following a girl in a bright orange tank top.  There is a hound dog howling at us.  Reminds me of Oscar’s howl.

At the 3rd mile, I’m averaging 7:27.  The miles are going by fast thankfully.  I can hear a roar of people cheering up ahead.  Sounds like a football game!  I see a bunch of cheerleaders and lots of spectators.  This is a boost!  The girl in the orange tank has pulled away but I can still see her.  I’m going to try to catch her by the time I get to the exchange.

My head is feeling toasty!   I pull my beanie off my ears to let off some heat.  So weird that other parts of me like my hands are cold.

At the 4th Mile, I’m averaging 7:26.  Glad that I am able to pick it up.  I know that the old relay exchange just after mile 5 is coming up. I’m over the halfway point now.  A young girl in black flys past me.  I look down and see a timing chip on her ankle…relay!  Only us relay folks have those timing chips.  I actually am still getting past by some marathoners though.  That’s impressive!

I start to get serious about catching the girl in orange and push harder.

At the 5th Mile, I’m averageing 7:25.  I’m feeling good but ready to wrap things up the in the next 2 miles.  I am getting closer to the girl in orange.  Another girl in a bright pink tank goes by, a marathoner.  Wow, I cannot match her pace but try to let her pull me to a faster pace.

I see the big 90 degree turn in the road ahead and recognize the old relay exchange spot.  Yay!  Getting closer!  There is a huge wall of people here.  It’s cool and gets me pumped up!

At the 6th Mile I’m averageing 7:24.  Troy and Anna must be close to finishing.  Hope they’ve been able to run together!  Getting closer to the girl in orange but she seems to allude me still!

At the 7th Mile I’m averaging 7:23. I can see the relay exchange…yay!  I almost caught up to the girl in orange…close enough.  I surge and look for Liesbeth.  There she is!  We make a pretty quick exchange dispite the timing chip falling off the band.  She throws me some clothes and she’s off.  Go Liesbeth!  Time to find Anna and find out how she did!



Year Team Name Relay Div Place Time Teammates
2018 Catch Us If You Can Open Female 15th 3:37:34 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Liesbeth Magna (Leg #2), Leonie Alesci (Leg #3),  Megan Sebra (Leg #4)
2017 Catch Us If You Can Open Female 11th 3:38:23 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Leonie Alesci (Leg #2), Liesbeth Magna (Leg #3), Megan Sebra (Leg #4)
2016 Catch Us If You Can Open Female 10th 3:34:22 Leonie Alesci (Leg #1), Liesbeth Magna (Leg #2), Robin (Leg #3), Megan Sebra (Leg #4)
2015 Catch Us If You Can Open Female 8th 3:32:27 Megan Sebra (Leg #1), Leonie Alesci (#2), Robin (#3 & #4)
2014 Catch Us If You Can Open Female 8th 3:27:15 Robin Soares (Leg #1 & #2), Leonie Alesci (Leg #3), Megan Sebra (Leg #4)
2013 Catch Us If You Can Open Coed 10th 3:31:23 Liesbeth Magna (Leg #1), Kevin Magna (Leg #2), Robin Soares (Leg #3) and Megan Sebra (Leg #4)
2012 Catch Us If You Can Open Coed 6th 3:32:57 Leonie Alesci (Leg #1), Robin Soares (Leg #2), Kevin Magna (Leg #3) and  Liesbeth Magna (Leg #4)
2011 Catch Us If You Can Open Coed 3rd 3:05:14 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Troy Soares (Leg #2), Liesbeth Magna(Leg #3) and Leonie Alesci (Leg #4)
2010 Catch Us If You Can Open Coed 2nd 3:13:32 Robin Soares (Leg #1 & 2), Richard Alesci (Leg #3) and Leonie Alesci (Leg #4)
2009 CATCH US IF YOU CAN Open Coed 3rd 3:08:47 Kevin Magna (Leg #1), Robin Soares (Leg #2), Richard Alesci (Leg #3) and Leonie Alesci (Leg #4)
2008 CATCH US IF YOU CAN Open Coed 21st 3:27:28 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Courtney Loveday (Leg #2), Richard Alesci (Leg #3) and Leonie Wynhoven (Leg #4)
2007 RIONIE AND SOARES Open Coed 3rd 2:58:55 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Troy Soares (Leg #2), Richard Alesci (Leg #3) and Leonie Wynhoven (Leg #4)
2006 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN Open Female 1st 3:00:54 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Megan Canova (Leg #2), Liesbeth Brouwer (Leg #3), Leonie Wynhoven (Leg #4)
2005 DAM GIRLS & GUYS Open Coed 2nd 3:00:36 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Dick Kirkpatrick (Leg #2), Liesbeth Brouwer (Leg #3), Leonie Wynhoven (Leg #4) (?)
2004 DAM GIRLS & GUYS Open Coed 14th 3:32:15 Troy, Robin, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven (?)
2003 DAM GOOD RUNNERS Open Coed 21st 3:06:50 Troy-Robin-Leonie Wynhoven-Liesbeth Brouwer
2002 DAM GOOD RUNNERS Open Coed 76th 4:13:14 Robin, Dave Funston, Kristin Funston, Leonie Wynhoven
2001 DAM GOOD RUNNERS Open Coed 21 3:56:56 Robin Heidt, Dave Funston, Kristin Funston, Leonie Wynhoven
2000 Un-Named Open Coed 49 3:48:04 Kristin Matthews, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin Heidt (?)
1999 DAM GOOD RUNNERS ?? 8 3:44:09 Kristin Matthews, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin Heidt
1998 DAM GIRLS ? 5 3:28:58 Kristin Matthews, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Auburn Turkey Trot to Stock the Closet

Auburn Turkey Trot to Stock the Closet

Date/Location:11/22/18 Auburn Square, Auburn
Distances:5k run

Ariel: 28:17

Anna:n 21:46

Robin: 24:13

Troy: 21:57


Ariel: ?

Anna: 1st (tie w/Leah)

Robin: ?

Troy: 3rd



Thanksgiving Day.  The rain has let up.  Our whole family is going to do (attempt) the 5k.  We gather at our downtown square. Robin & I, Anna & Ariel, Dad and Oscar.  Nice volunteers take our donations to “Stock the Closet” and give Oscar a dog treat in return.

We catch up with some friends and Oscar meets some other dogs.  We a lap around downtown to warm up.  Oscar probably needs another 5 mi to get the anxiety out of him.  He’s very excited.  It’s a big turn-out with many dogs. 

Go! I’m nervous of Oscar tripping anyone so keep a close eye at the start.  In doing so, I barely avoid hitting the photographer standing in the middle. Whew.  Up Lincoln Ave, I see Anna and her friend, Leah, leading the race.  Then Bailey.  Then Oscar and I.

We had Dad start 20 min early.  I see him just beyond the Cherry Ave turn and call to him to insure he knows the course.  Good, he’s going the right direction.  Up the steep hill.  Oscar isn’t following the plan of staying beside me so I pull-over to “re-emphasize” the importance of that.  In the process, he gets out of his collar and now we have to put it back on.  This sets us back in the race but we push hard and regain our position at the top of the hill.  I’m huffing and puffing but that’s ok, only makes me stronger.  Bailey looks at me very calmly.  She just got back from the National College Cross-Country Championships.  She’s not even breathing, the exact opposite of me.

Long downhill on Finley. Oscar still hasn’t calmed down and twice runs to the opposite side of a pole so both of us get pulled to a halt by the leash.  Back on High St, Bailey and the girls lead on the rt side of the street while about 4 of us follow on the left side.  This is a “free” race so it’s up to everone to monitor traffic themselves and watch for cars.  We did pray at the start that no one would get hurt.  I hope my concerns always lead me to reliance on God.

Mile 1: 7:02. We start up Pleasant Ave climb and, after stopping again for Oscar, I make it a goal to catch up to Baily and the girls.  We cross the train tracks, go by Overlook Park and then by Railhead Park.

Mile 2: 7:01. They’re still 20 steps ahead as we start down Sacramento st.  Oscar is getting into the running groove now, calming down probably because there aren’t many other runners around.  It’s fun running through our town.  We’re careful going through the intersections.  I’ve been keeping an eye on Anna and Leah to help insure their safe running.  They wanted to do 6:40 pace, which is pretty fast, and I’m impressed with their smart running.

As we approach the Courthouse and a Rt turn on Lincoln Ave, I make a move and sprint up to them.  In front of the police station we’re all running abreast on the street and sidewalk.  Anna says something nice encouraging me.  She may think I’m going to win, but I’m pretty sure her sprint at the end is no match. 

Mile 3: 6:32.  At the top, crossing Oakwood Dr., Bailey tell the girls to go for it.  Sure enough they both put on a sprint that Oscar and I can’t keep up with.. actually Oscar could, but he’s forced to stay back with me.

Anna & Leah finish first, holding hands.  Bailey continues on to do the course again.  And Oscar and I are glad to finish right behind them.  Robin came in soon after and then Ariel came in with a surprising PR of almost 28 min!  My Dad did almost a mile of the course and had a good time.

Thank you, Lord, for a good time had by all. 


This is the first time that Pappy/Al has joined us on one of our racing adventures.  We send him off before the race starts onto the course.  This is a really low key setting and there are a lot of people.  Fun!

We line up on an imaginary start line.  Ready, set, go!  Up Lincoln Way and past Victory Velo bike shop. This is my first race since July 4th and my body feels unaccustomed to it.  Anna and Leah have taken off.  I can still see Troy and Oscar.

We turn and head up steep Cherry Ave. I look to my right and see Ariel keeping pace with me.  “Great job, Ariel!  Pace yourself”.  I expect her to slow down on the way up but she keeps pace with me!

I push down Finley and past the track. I pull away from Ariel and shout back “free speed down the hill”.  I’m averaging about 7:41 pace at the first mile as I pass Taco Tree. 

Another climb up Pleasant along the edge of the fairgrounds.  Hope to head there tomorrow to get our tree.  I can no longer see Anna, Leah or Troy.  I lament a bit about Anna growing up so fast, and to be as fast.  Maybe I can still take her in a marathon.

There are some young boys probably about Ariel’s age ahead of me.  I work to catch them.  I pass Overlook Park and pass one of the boys.  On to Railhead.  Mile 2, yay, almost done!  I’m averaging 7:45.  The hills are pretty much done so I try to push all the way home.

I catch up to the last 2 boys ahead of me and pass them.  I tell them less than a mile and they are surprised. “Really? Cool!”.  I have a feeling they will come back strong once we are closer to the finish. 

At the final turn back onto Lincoln Way, the boys are back.  I encourage them to run their hardest down the hill to the Christmas Tree/Finish.  I push, too, and see Anna and Leah cheering.  I finish with a 7:35 average.  Not my best but I’ll take it!

I tell the boys “I hope you guys run cross country because you are fast!”  They say they do.  Great!

Here comes Ariel!  She’s smiling and proud. 

Fun day for the Soares family!


Go!!! Leah and I take off. We try to stay an even pace. We start to run up to where Victory Velo is. There are young kids in front of us, but I know we will catch up to them. Once we get to Victory Velo we turn to run up Cherry Street. While running up Cherry Street, I try to go easy to keep my legs fresh. A guy catches up to Leah and I on Cherry. I don’t mind.

When we got to the top we start running downhill. I notice that my shoe lace is untied. I hand Leah my gloves I’m wearing and stop to tie my shoe. I tell Leah to keep the pace. I run after her and reunite with her.

Leah and I are now leading the race all by ourselves. I am glad my dad had told me the race course so that we don’t lead everybody the wrong way. As we turn on to High Street I hear Bailey Cossentine start to run up behind us. We stay ahead of her all the way to Railhead Park. She is doing the 10k, so she isn’t our competition. We run together and she helps us out. We are just about to turn on to Sacramento Street, when I hear my Dad and Oscar catching up. He runs behind us as we run towards 7-11.

We pass 7-11 and start to run right by the Barnhart Museum. As we are running by the white fence, I see a guy taking photos. I later find out it was the newspaper guy taking photos. We keep running. I see up in the distance the courthouse building. As we run past the building, my Dad starts to pass us. It’s the long uphill which then leads to the downhill into downtown. Leah and I start to pick it up. My legs hurt really bad. I know that I won’t be upset if my Dad beats me. As we near the top of the hill I can see the downhill. I know I have a good sprint. Leah and I start to sprint down the hill passing my Dad. My Dad says to cross the road and we cross over and finish.

I finish hand in hand with Leah. God let that race be great. I do know that it was difficult for my Dad to run with Oscar in a race. So he could have gone faster. But at least I am glad I beat him in this race.


1st mile

3, 2, 1, go! There are a lot of people. I start running. I am able to catch up with my Mom. We pass Victory Velo bike shop and turn by Monkey Cat Restaurant. Up ahead my Dad is calling to my Grandfather (Pappy) where to go. Then my Mom does the same. “Pappy this way! Follow the runners!” yells my Mom. I am staying with my Mom. Then we start up a hill. “go Ariel don’t waste your energy! Good job! You’re doing great! Your doing so well” called Mom. I pass one girl that looks my age. I get up the hill. I start going down the hill. My Mom is getting farther and farther away. A girl with a dog passes me. I want to stay with her. In my head I make a new goal. The goal is to stay close to her or stay ahead of her. We run the way that Mommy, Anna, and I would drive to track. Then we get to the main street and pass Placer High. We run some more.

2nd mile

We turn by State Farm on Pleasant Ave. We run straight and uphill. I am still behind the girl with the dog. I pass a boy that looks my age. We run straight for a long time. I pass the fair grounds. Then across the train tracks. Then more straight roads. It is nice that there aren’t a lot of hills. I’m enjoying the straightness. We start up another hill and it isn’t so bad. I pass a girl that looks a little older than me. We pass the Overlook Park. I’m trying to pass that girl. Finally, I pass her. I run down the hill I start smelling smoke. It goes away and then comes back. There is a soccer game going on.

3rd mile

I’m running past Railhead Park. I turn then I run past the new homes. I keep running straight. Then I cross railroad tracks. I keep running straight then I turn. Across the street. Past 7-11 and then past the Fairgrounds opening and the Barnhart Museum. Across the street again. I’m running straight and I’m starting to hurt a lot. I hear a dog leash behind me. Oh no, hope its not the girl who I’m trying to stay ahead I’m thinking in my head.  The sound isn’t loud. I look behind me and see her coming. I run faster. I turn, go uphill a little, and, as I go down, I hear something that sounds like someone is running in flipflops. I look behind me fast and all I see is a blur. I think it’s a boy. He is trying to pass me. I see the finish. I sprint in to the finish. All done!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Good Dog/Dirty Dog 5K

Date/Location:8/26/18 Granite Bay Beach
Distances:5k run
Time:Troy/Oscar - 19:52
Anna – 20:18
Place: Troy/Oscar - 1st o/a, 1st Large Dogs
Anna – 2nd O/A, 1st No Dog
We adopted Oscar, a German Shepherd / Hound mix, from the late Carl Johnson who was a great ultra-runner.  Oscar is good dog who loves to run as a result of the many training outings with Carl.
We’ve been taking him on more runs with other people to calm him down in a crowd.  A few months ago Anna ran a 5k here with Oscar but all he wanted to do was catch up to the leaders.  So we’ve been training him to stay back and run as a team, not as a lone wolf.  Hopefully today he’ll hang back and remember we aren’t as fast as him.
It’s a great group with all shapes and sizes of dogs.  This is really fun.  Dogs are sniffing each other and getting some great social time.  But now it’s time to run.  Anna and I pray beforehand.  Racing is a privilegevlcsnap-2018-11-04-21h21m47s318_thumb granted by God and we want to glorify Him with it.
Go!  Owners and dogs sprinting down the beach access road. 
One lady, ahead of us in 2nd, flying along with her short little dog suddenly has to pull over and drop backvlcsnap-2018-11-04-21h26m26s638_thumb.  Her dog just had to go, race or no race.  I hope Oscar waits till after the race..
So now we’re near the front, running through the trails. 
Mile 1: 6:55. Oscar is being pretty good but I have to call “heal!” a number of times.  A few times I have to reach down to pinch him to remind him to run together, not out in front.
Anna was right with us but has dropped back a little bit.  It’s a fast pace and everything is going well.  No wrong turns, no obstructions, no tripping over each other.  Oscar is having a great time as he jogs along effortlessly while my heart rate is sky-high.
At the farthest point there is a kiddie pool for dogs to drink and an aid station for humans.  We grab water but Oscar is only concerned about getting to the finish first.
Mile 2: 6:43. We run through some sandy areas.  Around 1 turn, the leash knocks over the marking cone.  I stop and look back as Anna picks it up for us. “Thanks, Anna!”
We’re still a few steps ahead of Anna and close to the finish.  There are still some dogs we are passing from the earlier 10k race.  But now we’re at the finish and Oscar calmly strides across as I feel a great relief to be done (and that the course was a little short). 
Mile 3: 6:54 pace.
Thanks Oscar for getting me to run a fast 5k.  Good dog!
I stand at the race ready to start. As the announcer counts down, I get ready to run. He says go and I take off. I am running with my Dad and we are close to the front. In front of us is a girl and her dog. As we are running the girl’s dog, in front of us, all of the sudden starts going to the bathroom while running about 6:00 min pace. He’s leaving a line of turds behind him. vlcsnap-2018-11-04-21h25m52s076_thumb[1]My dad, Oscar and I keep running to the trails. We run zigzags up and down for about .2 miles then hit the road. We start to run up the road and then turn onto a levee. As we run across it, I can see the finish area and the parking lot. When we get to the end of the levee, I grab some water at the aid station. We hit another trail and I can’t believe my dad is keeping this pace. I try to stay with him. We run over sticks and sand, it isn’t wet like the last time I ran here. We run to a road and run down it for about .1 miles. There is an aid station at the very end of the road but my Dad and I both don’t grab any water because we were over half way there. The only problem is that my hamstrings are tight and I can feel them as I run. Also, my nose is really runny which makes me have to wipe my nose a lot.I follow my dad up in front of as we approach a turn. As my Dad turns up ahead of me, he knocks down a cone. I pick it up for him and keep running. When going up the hill, it is hard with the sand. I try to run flat footed but that doesn’t help much. Plus, my hamstrings are hurting like crazy. I don’t walk but I slow down a little bit. I almost want to cry but smile and keep a good attitude for my Dad and God. As I am running down the hill, my hamstrings still hurt but not as much as going upward. I run around a bend and my Dad encourages me from up ahead. He has a good lead and is going strong. I know I’m not going to catch him but I don’t slow down. I get to a flat spot and see a guy with his dog up ahead. I pass him and keep running on the trails. I turn the bend and see my Dad up ahead turning the bend. My Mom and sister cheer me on as I get closer to them. By the time I reach them, my dad has already finished. I turn the last bend and the announcer is at the corner ahead and he thinks my name is Ariel and I give him a friendly stink eye and he says Anna. I nod my head to let him know he’s correct. I turn the bend and the finish line is right there I sprint in and get my medal. I give dad a hug. God blessed the race even though my hamstrings hurt. Praise the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.IMG_20180826_085831689_thumb[1]

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tri for Kids #3 - Anna


8/12/18, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, Ca.


150m S – 4mi B – 1mi R


Anna 21:58 PR!  - Last Year 24:46  


Anna – 1st Age 13 Girls; 1st Overall Girl

180812 TBF Kids Tri (1)5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Go! I start swimming and try to get way out front so I won’t get bumped. I’m feeling good. I can see the ground below me which is nice. One person keeps hitting my foot. It is annoying. I try to kick faster. When I get to the first buoy, I am happy to get there. I swim to the next buoy and see a lot of kids in front of me. Once I pass the second buoy, it’s to the shore for me. I start swimming until my hands almost touch the ground. I stand up and start to run. I pull off my cap and goggles and run to transition. I grab my helmet and glasses and run out with my bike.

I jump on my bike and start pedaling. I slip my feet into my bike shoes that are attached to the bike. Once my feet are in the shoes, I am to the bridge. I can see bikers up ahead and am determined to catch them. I slowly catch up to one of the girls and then go for the next girl. I pass the next girl who is my friend from the Pleasanton California Tri. She encourages me. As I reached the end of the bridge, we start going downhill. I hear her say something and see a turnaround sign. I slow down thinking she said this is the turnaround spot. But she then yells for me to go to the next turn around. I say thanks. That turn around was for my dad’s run course. I hit the turn around and start to bike up hill. I get to the top and see Ruth. I cheer her on and bike across the bridge. I make a few mistakes on the way back. I draft a little, but I’m not going to make that mistake again. When I am coming off the bridge, I get ready for the run. I start to slip my feet out of my bike shoes and see my friend doing the same. Once my feet are out, I try to speed ahead to get to transition first. I get into transition and quickly get into my shoes and am off.

180812 TBF Kids Tri (33)My friend starts the run a little bit before me, but is only 2 second ahead. I pass her on the way out knowing that I am stronger on the run. I pass the aid station and don’t grab anything. I drank on the bike so I feel good. I hit the dirt and keep my eyes on a boy in front of me. I pass him and then start going up a hill. I see another boy in front of me and know I won’t catch him since he’s going strong and has been in the lead for most of the time. But I keep running not slowing down. I hit the turn around and turn around. I start running down. I cheer on my friend and keep running. I run down the hill and cheer on more people. I am feeling tired and the finish is not far away. As I run off the dirt I can hear my mom cheering while she waits to see Ruth come off the bike. I hit the grass and quickly look behind than run to the finish. Half way down the chute I sprint in. I finish! At the end I really admired my friend’s spirit. At Pleasanton she won and was nice about it and then I won here and she was the same. I want to be just like her.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good His Love Endures Forever.

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TBF Tri-for-Real (Troy)

Date/Location:8/12/18 Rancho Seco Park
Distances:1.5 kmS, 40 kmB, 10 kmR

2:17:33 (25:29 - 01:09:25 - 42:39)

Place: 2nd / 10th o/a

Our annual trip to Rancho Seco for kids races and Olympic Distance Triathlon.  After I warm up on the bike a little, I get to watch Anna and her friend, Ruth, race the Kid’s Triathlon.  It’s Ruth’s first tri and she seems to be enjoying it a lot.  I see Anna take off on the bike about 6 back. 

I warm up running, use the far restroom which is always less busy and put my wetsuit on. 

Then I get to see Anna transition to the run at the same time as the girl that won the race last year.  Very exciting!

My race is about to start but from the lake area I can see Anna in the distance in 1st place coming down the final stretch with last year’s winner a ways back.  I see her pointing and looking to God, giving Him the glory for the fortunate race.  I’m cheering but she can’t hear me from here.  Would love to give her a hug at the finish line but I have to race and remember to give God the glory for my results as well!

The water is very warm.  I get a little warm-up in.  Friends, Keith Hansen and Dave Campbell are in my 40-and-over wave.

I think about my pace.  I haven’t swam much so I’ll need to be smart and look for drafts.  I have a new bike setup which I like so that should be good.  My running training has been inconsistent  which has causes some achilles pain so I’ll try to run shorter/quicker steps.  But the biggest advantage will be to listen to God, give Him 100% effort and give Him the glory.


Go!  It’s always a wide straight shot to the first buoy and easy sighting.  I find the a draft (thank you, Lord).  Around the buoy and now the sun is in our eyes.  Little chaotic for a while but I settle in and try to keep my breathing controlled.  I think about feeling myself move through the water.  My draft slows down so I go side-to-side.  Now I take the challenge to get to the final turn first.

After the final buoy it’s a long straight shot in and I’m working hard to stay ahead of the guy that was my draft.  We go back and forth.  Getting close to shore, lungs pounding, I try to gather my thoughs about transition…

Stand up, find zipper, rip, 1 arm, 2 arms, down, down, kick, kick.  Suit is off, stop Garmin, goggles, cap, and run to my bike.

180812 TBF Tri-4-Real (31)

It’s great seeing my family cheering for me.  I tell Anna I saw her win.  I have a good transition and am off on the bike.


Everything goes well heading out of the park.  I wonder where Keith and Dave are.  On the main road I know I need to get into a comfortable groove.  The wind is slightly at our back. The road is good.  It’s smooth sailing and I shift into a faster gear.  When my legs start burning a little I know I have to shift up and find just the right gear.  But my shifter is loose and keeps shifting down to a harder gear.

Everything else on the bike is working, although my seat is a little too low.  But, surprisingly, this new “auto-shifting” situation is really impeding my ability to go fast.  I feel strong enough but the guys around me are pulling ahead.  One-by-one they get by me and move out-of-reach.  I stay positive, hoping I’ll have a good ride back and catch them. 

But the shifting gets worse.  It shifts unexpectantly which causes me to not push so hard in fear of slipping a gear. I ride in the small chainring and 2nd cog which seems to stick.  Everything else is iffy.

At the turn-around, I see Dave Campbell a 1/2 mi behind me.  He’s riding well.  The wind is in our face now which makes everything harder.  It’s a struggle but I keep optimistic, forever in search of the perfect gear combination and seat position to make my tires hum and gain ground and those ahead.

I’m so glad to see the turn at the old nuclear towers which means I’m almost done and my burning legs can do something different.  I see my family at the corner and smile calmly but Ariel is yelling something at me that seems important. 

180812 TBF Tri-4-Real Bike Dave Troy

As I get ready to dismount at transition, Dave flies by, jumps off his bike and gets to T2 first.  Wow, this race just go really interesting!

I also jump off and do my fastest change, loosing a bike shoe in the process.  As I put on my running shoes, I tell Dave, right next to me, “good job”.  But he’s out in a flash.  Thanks to stretch laces.  While I yank my strings and squeeze lace-locks.  I hear the announcer say, “Troy’s slow transition is really giving Dave a lead”.  But quickly I’m bolting onto the run course, knowing I’ve got serious work to do.


180812 TBF Tri-4-Real Run Start Troy

Dave is 7 secs ahead!  And he’s a faster runner than me.  But anything is possible.  The Lord has shown me that many times.  Always have hope.  This is a blessing in the sense that Dave & I enjoy racing each other and it pushes us so well because we know each others’ strengths.  Whatever I would’ve clocked on the run, it’s going to be faster now.  I’m going to do everything I can to catch him and Dave knows it. 

One of Dave’s strong points is downhills.  His long legs really fly.  And there’s a lot of rollers on this hot dirt road.  I’ve also learned the benefits of the downhill and I focus on letting myself fall forward on each one.  It hurts the quads but they can take the punishment.. it’s really mental. 

Mile 1: 6:46. I see my friend, Cliff, working the aid station and he gives me 2 cups.  I need to drink a lot and eat Bloks as well. 

I’m running fast, hamstrings and achilles are holding up, it’s very tiring but it’s also very fun.  I talk to the Lord and He puts a smile on my face.  If I can give Him 100% and be joyful, I will win His race for me… and then I’ll see how my race turns out.

Mile 2: 6:48. A benefit of having someone fast that you really want to catch is that it pulls you past other runners as well.  I’m pushing every downhill and “rev’ing” up my cadence on the uphill.  But Dave is pulling ahead.

Mile 3: 6:45. He’s about 45secs ahead at the turn-around!  That’s ok, anything can happen, just keep pushing.

When we get to the single-track section I feel I have an advantage.  It’s twisty, hot, mentally tough.. but I remind myself that I love this part. 

Mile 4: 7:04. Despite my legs hurting now, I push harder.  Each bridge crossing I hope is the last one, but they keep coming. 

Mile 5: 6:59. Finally, I’m back on the fireroad and I can see Dave 150 yds ahead.  Gotta push.  Maybe he’s finally getting tired.

The last climb I give it all I’ve got and race into the park area.  I don’t even see Dave, it may be that me eyes aren’t even open, I’m just trying to give my best.  I see friends cheering and I smile. 

Mile 6: 7:06.  I sprint all the way to the finish.  Perhaps Dave slowed a little at the end because surprisingly I finish only 6 secs behind him!  Gaining 1 sec on him in 6.2 miles  Smile 

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Wow, it was such a good race and I thank my friend, Dave, for pushing me to the best run I could do that day.  I thank the Lord for creating scenarios that push me.  He is the best coach and allows me to have such great memories like this.