Sunday, December 4, 2011

CIM Relay - Robin & Troy

December 4, 2011 - Sacramento, CA
Marathon - 26.2m
2nd, Coed Open; 27th OA Relay
Teammates Liesbeth Magna & Leonie Alesci

Robin, Leg #1 - 5.9 Miles

The relay tradition continues and it's been 13 years since my college roommates Liesbeth, Leonie, Kristin and I first entered this event!  It's fun to look over the years and our history (see below).  I'm doing what's becoming my traditional first leg.  I love the start…seeing all the hustle and bustle…looking for folks I know doing the entire marathon.  This morning I got to give friend and CIM pacer (3:10) Michael Cook a ride to the start.  He's got one of the most important jobs today and he's looking forward to it.  I'm also cheering on old track buddies, Beth Bourne and Shannon Cody. Beth is looking to go under 3 hours and Shannon is looking to get an Olympic Trials qualifier.

Michael and I park and run to the start.  As we get to the warm pacer tent, we say our goodbyes and I head out for a warm-up run.  Local TV channel KCRA is already out interviewing folks.  I run past and wonder if I'm on TV and if Leonie is watching from home.  I hear a familiar voice, Eric Gleason, announcing.  Good to see Eric here.

Okay, time for the start.  I see Michael from afar with his group.  I think about other friends and pacers, Lee McKinley (3:30) and Tim Twietmeyer (3:35).  I pray that they have a great day along with Michael!  I look for Beth and Shannon as the pro runners enter the arena.  I see Beth and I'm so excited.  I give her a hug and tell her I'm praying for her race today.  She tells me that I 111204_cim_startshould try to stick with her pace since our team goal is also to go around 3 hours.  Good idea but I'll have to see how my legs feel.  Time to go…ready…and go!

The first mile is crazy and there are people everywhere!  It's always hard not to go out too fast!  I can amazingly see Beth ahead.  The plan is to keep her in my sights and then see what happens.

Mile 1 is 6:47.  This is perfect.  I'm going to hold this!  I can still see Beth so I'm at a good pace. I realize that I'm running on part of the Coffee Republic Bike ride.  I'm amazed that I never noticed before.  Somehow things look different with hundreds of people around me. 

Mile 2 is 6:49.  I'm getting into my groove now.  Thanks God!  I decide to pick up the pace and catch up to Beth.  As I reach her, she's chatting with some other runners and looking relaxed and strong…I'm so happy to see that!  I continue on and decide to see what I can do.

Mile 3 is 6:28.  Great!  I'm feeling strong and try to keep this pace.  The road undulates a bit and I focus on form and the Lord.  Thanks Jesus for helping me do this despite my lack of preparation at times leading up to this!

Mile 4 is 6:32.  Yeah!  I tell myself that this is the last real mile.  Once I hit mile 5, it's less than a mile! 

Mile 5 is 6:31.  Wow, thanks for the consistency Lord!  It's getting harder to push myself yet you give me that extra boost I need to keep it up.  Now it's all about looking for Troy and the girls.  I'm so excited to see their faces!  As I approach the relay exchange area, as I remember from years past, I don't see Troy.  Oh boy!  I keep running around the corner and see up ahead the real exchange area.  It looks like they've changed it.  Hey, there's Troy and the girls!  Yeah!  I hear my watch beep for 6 miles, 6:24…alright!  I get to Troy and he takes off my chip and heads out.  Go Troy! 

The girls and I wait for Beth to go by and cheer her on.  Now it's time to get to the finish line!  This will be exciting!  Thanks God for a great start to the day!

Troy, Leg #2 - 7.6 Miles

Anna & Ariel are with me, bundled up and ready for the hand-off from Robin.  I love doing this CIM relay.  Robin gets us off to a fast start and then we have to stay with the fast marathoners which is inspiring.

I warm up some and set my pace for 6:24, the same pace I was fortunate to keep at the Turkey Trot 2 weeks ago.  Today's leg is a little longer but I feel like I can keep it.  I stretch near the relay check point while the girls play in the crisp morning air.

We see the wheel-chairs and hand-bikes go by and then the stars of the show.. the world class marathoners.  Amazing!

We're positioned.  Anna's got Ariel in the stroller, between the marathoners and relay runners, alerting me to when Robin is coming.  Only a dozen relay runners come through when we see her!  Time to go!

After a smooth hand-off, I'm off.  It's chilly but gloves and arm-warmers are perfect.  I'm so pumped up it's hard to know what pace to do.  But my Garmin virtual partner keeps me right on pace. The road is perfectly straight for 2-1/2 miles, you can see a mile ahead.

1mi. 6:25. I'm breathing hard, running fast, right on pace, but can I keep this up?  Seems like I'm exerting too much energy.  Anyway, I have to keep it up because the team is counting on me.  I look around and am inspired by the marathoners.  They're on sub 3hr pace!  I only have to keep this up for 6.5 more miles and they have about 20!  Especially impressive are the women near me as sub-3 is rare for the female age-groups.  They're well-trained machines.  Smooth and effortless.  Meanwhile, I've got the pedal-to-the-medal, forcing my body to keep the goal.

2mi: 6:31. I'm staying on pace according to my virtual partner.  I'm not looking at my splits (downloading my splits later, however, I see that I'm actually behind pace.  Will have to figure out why..)

3mi: 6:33. Good, but to keep on pace I have to accelerate on each small descent to make up for the inevitable slow-down at each little climb.  Descents are the only place I can go any faster.  Fortunately, there's a slight downhill from here on out.

4mi: 6:25.  That was a great part of the course, I love the little town area we just went through… music, aid station, turns and dips in the road.. a fun little part.  Each aid station is important as I'm working hard and need lots of fluid.

5mi: 6:21.  My best mile yet.  The road is curving more.  I'm focusing on God and remembering to smile and relax and appreciate all He has done for me.  He really does help me race better and do everything better when I focus on Him.  I am most thankful for my foot problem of 10 yrs being healed.  It's been 2 yrs now with no pain at all and I give the credit to Jesus Christ.  A real answer to prayer.

6mi: 6:32.  There was a dip and a climb.  The climb undid all gains.  But I'm almost there and have to start digging now.. the finish is straight ahead..

7mi: 6:28.  I go through the "1/2 Marathon" point at 1:25 which is cool.. this is Robin's goal for the Davis Stampede in 2 months.  I've got to be ready for the hand-off now.. almost there..

7.5mi: 6:21 pace. I see Liesbeth.  My leg: 48:13. I pull off my running belt and quickly wrap it  around her as we meet.  She swaps the ankle chip and hands me the keys to her car (with a note where it is) and she's off!  Another perfect transition.  Wow, that was great, and I don't feel terrible.  I jog to the car and am pumped to get to the finish line to see how we do!  Thanks, Lord, for another great result which again is better than I should have had.

Catch Us If You Can!


Go CIM Pacers: Michael, Lee & Tim!


Go Shannon* and Beth (*Shannon qualified for trials!)!


Team Soares Hanging Out

2011-12-05 001 2011-12-04 0022011-12-05 001 2011-12-04 0072011-12-05 001 2011-12-04 028


Year Team Name Relay Div Place Time Teammates
2011 Catch Us If You Can Open Coed 27 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 2 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 3 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 21 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 3 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 1 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 2 3:00:36 Robin Soares (Leg #1), Dick Kirkpatrick (Leg #2), Megan Canova (Leg #3), Leonie Wynhoven (Leg #4)
2004 DAM GIRLS & GUYS Open Coed 14 3:32:15 Troy, Robin, Liesbeth Brouwer, (?)
2003 DAM GOOD RUNNERS Open Coed 21 3:06:50 Troy-Robin-Leonie Wynhoven-Liesbeth Brouwer
2002 DAM GOOD RUNNERS Open Coed 76 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, Dave Funston, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin Heidt
1999 DAM GOOD RUNNERS None 88 3:44:09 Kristin Matthews, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin Heidt
1998 Dam Girls None 46 3:28:58 Kristin Matthews, Liesbeth Brouwer, Leonie Wynhoven, Robin Heidt

Note: The CIM Relay Races started in 1991.