Monday, January 1, 2018

FCA New Years Day Challenge (Troy)


1/1/18 – Overlook Park, Auburn


Hill Climb #1 – 3m Old Foresthill Rd
Hill Climb #2 - 1.2m Raley's Hill
Resolution Run - 10m Trails


Hill Climb #1 – 18:24
Hill Climb #2 –  7:11
Run  - 1:40:41


1st (age-graded) Hill Climb #1
1st (age-graded) Hill Climb #2
6th (M45-49) Run


Hill Climb: Dan Darby, Robin Soares
10Mile: Bailey Shykowski, Manouch Shirvanioun, Scott Eckardt
10K: Anna Soares, jesse Ellis, Season Eckardt
5K: Ariel Soares, Debbie Booth, Elisabeth Katsura, Emerson Booth, Leah Booth


We meet at the Overlook Park as usual, 9am, on the first day of the year.  I’d rather not this year as I’m exhausted from staying up most of the night helping my Dad.  But I’ll do the best I can. 

Only 1 person shows, our friend, Dan, from the Tuesday Night Track group.  We pray before starting and head for the short-loop around Power House Rd and up Glenview Dr. for a warm-up.  Then through downtown Auburn and the beautiful descent down Hwy 49 overlooking the river, to the Confluence.  I love the descent.  We get ready and then send off in 1 to 2 minute intervals. 

1st Climb:  Go!  The first pitch is tough.  I try to conserve and be efficient.  I eventually pass Dan and encourage him.  Robin & I are used to treating this as a real race and pushing hard, but I know for newcomers it’s unexpected to suddenly be in a race.  I hope Dan enjoys pushing himself.  I see Robin ahead and I do everything thing to catch her.  As I go by I tell her to stay with me and she picks it up and latches on to my wheel.  I’m impressed.  It’s a good move on her part because this is where the hill levels out for a bit and drafting comes into play.  She stays with me until it starts to pitch up again.  I’d like to break 18 min but the time is ticking quickly. Whew!  18:24. It’s about 3-1/2 min off my best but it was my best today.  I’m glad to be done.  Cheer in Robin (21:05) and Dan (24:24) and we pause for a photo and then head down to climb #2..

2nd Climb: Go!  Paceline across the Foresthill Bridge.  Now up Raley’s Hill.  Dan passes and pulls ahead.  It’s a steady grind.  I pass Dan back.  Robin is pushing hard and almost catches me.  I finish (7:06) with Robin right behind (7:09) and then Dan. 

We head back to the Overlook.  It was a really good time.  We all ride home and now it’s time to get ready to run.


It’s a beautiful day on the Overlook Park in Auburn.  The whole family is racing which is really cool.  I haven’t been able to prepare properly for this race so it’s going to be a struggle.  Training has been sacrificed for other important matters, but hopefully next year I’ll be back in peak shape!  But, as always, it’s important to give my best on any given day because, for us, we want to glorify God in our efforts.  I know I can do that by pushing hard, smiling, encouraging and NOT giving up.

We see a lot of friends.  It’s really neat seeing young Bailey Shykowski (maiden name) here with her new husband, Eric.  She’s running the 10 miler to support her younger sister Libby running her first 10 mi race.

Anna and Ariel are ready to go for the 5k and 10k.  They will sit tight as our 10mi race begins.  We all pray and then Robin and I line up. The race director, Paulo, has changed up the course a little and upgraded the starting line.  It’s a cool starting area in the back of the park.

Go!  We cruise down the paved road before dropping down towards the canyon.  A steep downhill, suddenly switches to a climb back up to the main Dam Rd intersection, where we swtich again to the long gradual descent to Oregon Bar parking lot.  I see Christine Val and her kids volunterring at the aid station and cheering for us.

Mile 1, 7:45. I’m running and trying to chat with a few others.  One is new so I describe the course route as we go.  Which reminds me of the key sections to prepare for.

180101_resolution_run_10mile_troy_Mile 2, 7:45. It’s all downhill and I’m going fine.. but I’m getting tired.  Soon, I can’t keep up with the group and they pull ahead.  The first big hill is coming up and I’m already slowing down.  Lord, I will focus on You and give my best despite how it feels.  The rocky Cardiac Bypass trail.  It’s tough but I press on and pass a few people.  I try to encourage them.  I’m so glad to reach the top but also feel wiped out.  Beginning the flat gravel section I see Tuesday Track runner, Lauren, cheering for us.

Mile 3, 9:33. I’m carrying water and food.  I drink some water but my stomach isn’t feeling well.  I definitely don’t feel like eating.  Our friend, Manouch, catches up to me.  We talk and I find out he’s training for Western States which he was fortunate enough to get into this year!  Manouch slowly pulls ahead while I try hard to stay with him.  At the top of the gradual climb, the Val family is still full of smiles and energy helping us over the top.

Mile 4, 9:19.  Down the steep section, we merge into the 5k’ers on their descent towards the river on Dam Rd.  I see Tia from Track who tells me my daughter, Ariel, was recently seen up ahead.  Cool.  From behind I hear Robin!  She’s caught up to me and is running with Bailey who she announces is “running as 2 runners”.  Wow, she’s pregnant!  On our way down we spot Ariel far ahead in yellow.  Robin heads off to catch her.  Bailey waits up for her sister and Dad.  And I try to keep Robin in my sight.  I’m getting really warm in the 2 shirts I’m wearing.  I cheer for Ariel if she can hear me.

Mile 5, 8:23.  I see Robin chatting with Ariel and Elizabeth as she goes by.  I catch up to Ariel on the start of the switchbacks.  It’s great to see her smile and the fun she’s having running with Elizabeth, another one of our great friends from the Track.  Ariel is walking the hills, but the 2nd half of this course is all uphill so I hope she can run a lot of it.  I remind her not to let me catch her later.  I head towards the 10mi turn-around.  I’m really tired and struggling on each hill.  But the Lord is going to get me through and is keeping a joy in my short strides.  At the intersection to Robie Pt I see a young kid coming back in the 10k and I look for Anna hoping to see her.

Mile 6 11:04.  I start the route around Robie Pt realizing that Anna is climbing over it right now.  At least I will get to see Robin coming back from the turn-around.  I see people in the back of the 10k race stopping to pose for pictures with the great canyon views in the background.  It really is a perfect day.  I see neighbor, Scott Eckart, go by. Merging back on the main fireroad toward Hwy 49 I get to see the faster 10milers coming back.

Mile 7, 10:08. I go by Season Eckart, Scott’s wife, doing the 10k. A little while and I’ll get to turn-around and enjoy a gradual shaded descent back to Robie Pt.  I see another young kid (12!) coming back in the 10miler.  I see little Libby and her Dad, Jason, coming back.  And Robin!  I love these short moments to connect.  I know she’s pushing hard, too, and the Lord is her strength.  She is a great encouragement to me.  Yes, the turn-around!  I’m exhausted but at least going downhill now.  I see a guy speed-walking with his dog pulling him.  Oscar would like to do that.

180101_resolution_run_10mile_troy_2Mile 8, 10:12. The climb up to Robie!  It’s tough but i don’t stop. Thank you, Lord!  However, at the top, my hip suddenly hurts and I have to stop and try to stretch it.  I quickly get going again.  There’s a woman that was with me at the beginning.  We keep going back-n-forth.  Hope to catch her at the end.  Down the steep drop and back on the trails.

Mile 9, 11:47. Ok, a mile to go and 2 tough climbs left.  I can’t wait to be done and collapse on the grass.  I’ve been reciting Ps 23 “The Lord is my sheppard, I shall not want, He maketh me lie down in green pastures..”  Ah, to lie down on green grass would be so soothing for these sore legs.  Just got to get up this trail..  I push. I use my arms.  No walking!  But then a horse comes down the trail and I stop for the 2nd time.  Almost there now.  I imagine Anna and Ariel might be cheering at the last bit which will make me go faster but also hurt more.

180101_resolution_run_10mile_troy_finishMile 10, 12:14.  Not there, yet… up to the parking lot.. one last painful effort along the sidewalk and finally the finish line!  1:40:41 (prior 5 year average about 1:15) Wow, a 10mile race and I feel like the end of an Ironman.  Sure enough the soft grass feels so good!  But even better is the feeling knowing that Jesus forgives me and loves me enough to continue granting me great successes even when I don’t deserve it.  Truly rewarding.  My stomach and legs feels terrible, but my heart feels great!