Saturday, February 24, 2018

Happy Kids Du #3–Ariel-2018

Date/Location:2/24/18, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 34:19 (8:12-1:00-15:35-0:33-8:54)  (Previous 32:05)
Place:Ariel: 3rd, 9 & 10 Year Old Girls

My Race Story

1st Run

I line up at the starting line for the 3rd Happy Kids Duathlon. The race director says 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go! I start running up a big hill I try to catch a girl that was in my previous duathlon. But she’s not in my age group. But she’s too fast for me. I try to stay with her but she disappears into the distance. I enter the trails. Every time I go around a corner, I hope to see the girl I was tiring to catch. But every time I go around the corner, I never see the girl. I keep running. Dad and Anna cheer me on. Mom cheers me on too. I start to sprint to transition. I run into transition and put on my helmet. I run my bike to the mount line.


I get on my bike. My bike peddle wouldn't move! I start to cry.Mom comes to help. Then a race person comes to help. He quickly fixes the peddle. My chain had fallen off the axle. I get on my bike and go up a big hill. Then down a little hill and then I go on a long straight road. I keep biking and do a big turn. There is a little boy in front of me. he is fast. We keep passing each other. He is with his mom. I see kids going back on the other side of the road. Then I see the girl I wanted to beat. She dosesn’t look so far away maybe I can catch her. I go up a little hill then turn. Now I see kids coming. I do the big turn and enter the long road again. I pass the little boy. I bike up a small hill and down a big hill into transition. I see the girl I wanted to beat just starting the run!  I take off my helmet.

2nd Run

I run out of transition. My legs hurt. I go up a hill and enter the trails. I do a zig-zag. As I run up a small hill and my legs are sore. I cross over a I see a lot of drift wood. Dad, Anna, and Mom are waiting for me.  They cheer me on. I see the long stretch to the finish. I feel exhausted as I run down the home stretch. I run around the corner and see the finish line. I sprint to the finish. I’m so glad I finished! I got 3rd in my age group.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Troy)


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA


1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles)




7th (45-49 Male)


1/2 Marathon: Matt Pistone, Robin Soares
5K: Anna Soares, Ariel Soares

It’s a beautiful day for the family to compete together in Davis.

My training has been minimal (again) for this event but I do have 2 10-mile runs and one of those was the tough Resolution Run.  Today I hope I can stay with Robin to provide her company and support in her prep for the Napa Marathon.

All 4 of us do our warm-ups.  My right ankle / Achilles feels tender and starts to make me anxious but it is a reminder to rely on God and recall the countless times He has taken care of things outside of my control.

We talk to the girls about the plan.  We start our race and they start theirs 10 min later.  They will finish and get their warm clothes and wait for us.  We all pray and try to set our focus on the Lord in the efforts we’re about to attempt.

Robin and I discuss the goal pace: 7:37 for a 1:40 1/2 marathon.  We spot the run pacer and are ready to run.

Go!  Soon we find we’re about 50 yds behind the pacer, negotiating a lot of runners.  It’s a new course for us so new scenery.

Mile 1. 7:24. Thinking ahead we plan on the highway over-crossing to be where we can catch up to the pacer. The course goes on more shady bike paths – which Davis has a lot of. We’ll run this part again for the last 2 miles.

180218_davis_stampede_half_troyMile 2. 7:32. I’m realizing that my Garmin isn’t accurate.  I estimate about 10 secs off per mile.  [I’ve adjusted all my splits in this report accordingly] We pass by the park where we started.

Mile 3. 7:25. We climb up and over the freeway. This is where we said we’d catch up to the pacer.  We’re now only 20 yds behind so it’s not hard to bridge the gap as we descend from the overpass.  Nice to accomplish that goal.  We’re on a long stretch on a frontage road and it feels easier now.  We’re in close with the pacer group and all seems great.

Mile 4. 7:38.  Our pacer seems to be a little more winded than he should be.  As we head North, I notice the 11 mile mark is at the start of the overpass hill and that will be a great milestone to get to.  Only 7 more miles!

Mile 5. 7:42. Running along bike paths in a green belt is very nice.  Our pace group has broken up.  Some runners dropping off and others going ahead.  Our pacer tells us, “it’s still a long race to go,” in order to calm us down and be patient.

Mile 6. 7:40. Either we slowed down or the pacer picked it up, as we are now about 100 yds back.  I start calculating our pace from the mile markers and announce we’re a little ahead which is good.   Robin says she’s feeling tired so I know it’s starting to get hard for her and she’s already digging deeper.  I have to use the restroom and think there’s one at mile 7 so I pull ahead in a plan to be able to catch back up afterwards.

Mile 7.  7:40. There’s no bathroom. Must be at Mile 8.  We’re on the gravel section along the golf course.  I told Robin that this section should remind us of Auburn. I catch up to the pacer and another runner asks if I’m a part of the Auburn Tuesday Track group.  I find out it’s Matt who has come out a couple times.  Robin is only 30 yds back, still running strong, but I need a bigger gap if I’m going to make a pitstop.  I pull ahead more looking for the Porta Potty.

Mile 8.  7:31.  Finally, at the 8.5 aid station I find a bathroom.  I’m quick but still Robin gets 60 yds ahead.  The pacer made a stop, too, so both of us are trying to catch up now.  I’m surprised he’s working pretty hard.  I can see Robin and Matt running together.  Finally, by the end of the path I catch up to them.

180218_davis_stampede_half_tro2yMile 9.  7:46. It good to be back together.  We’re on pace, but we don’t have a pacer.  I carefully calculate our pace each mile now and let Robin and others know.  I remind Matt and Robin to be ready for the bridge, a huge milestone to get excited for, because it’s “all down hill after that” (well, not really, but it sounds good)

Mile 10. 7:42. Through more paths and green-belts.  And then into the wind on a long stretch to the Mile 11 bridge.  I really try to get the troops excited.  But then I start feeling a strain in my calf and consider that if I have to slow down I’ll try to send them off to reach the goal.  I ease up a little and try to be really efficient.  It starts feeling better and by the bridge it’s fine again.  Thank you, Lord!

Mile 11. 7:50. We’re at the big bridge!  It will take our mind off of the long miles to be able to focus on the climb and enjoy the descent.  Matt pulls ahead. Robin is strong and maintains pace up the grade.  She’s great at climbs.  However, dropping down the back side she takes it conservatively and doesn’t get the 5 secs to be easily gained.  Robin doesn’t like the descents as much as I do.  1-1/2 mi left.  I’m focusing on being an encourager for Robin, and Matt when he’s near, and this keeps my mind off of the sore legs.  It’s going to be close for making our 1:40 goal..

Mile 12.  8:03. We need a 7min mile. I’m feeling pretty good and could pick it up a little but right now the joy is in seeing Robin have her best race possible.

Mile 13.  7:46. I check the time.. 1:40.. but we have to wind through the park.  We’ll be a little over but it’s so great to be done.  Thank you Lord for a good day!  And our girls are there to greet us and tell us about their races.

I really thankful to be able to finish so close to the goal without any serious pain or misery.  Just some soreness.  The best part was being able to run with Robin the whole way.180218_davis_stampede_half_troy_finish

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon–Robin - 2018


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA


1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles)




4th (40-44 Females)


1/2 Marathon: Matt Pistone, Troy Soares
5K: Anna Soares, Ariel Soares

It’s been two years since we’ve done this race.  This is a classic for us so much so that we didn’t even check the website to see the location had changed.  We drive up to downtown Davis and see nothing.  Uh-oh, did we get the date wrong? A quick internet check we find out it’s in another part of town.  At the baseball park.  Life is so busy it’s hard to keep up.  I do some more quick research of the course to see the changes.  It’s mostly the same so it’s good to know what to expect mentally.  Anna and Ariel start the 5K ten minutes after Troy and I are racing the 1/2 Marathon.  Anna is going to be “in charge” before and after the 5K while we are running. 

It’s almost time to go and we are all waiting in line for the bathroom.  Usually we can find an alternate bathroom but this location is in the middle of nowhere so we have to wait in line.  We take the opportunity to pray.  We pray that we hope to be able to glorify God and help others in need.  Finally we make it to the front of the line. I wait for the girls and Troy…but no Troy!  Less than 5 minutes to the start!  I get a quick selfie with the girls and rush to the start in hopes he’s there.  I see him waving and fortunately I’m able to sneak in next to him with a few moments to spare.

The goal is 1:40 which is a 7:37 pace.  The fastest pace group today is 1:40…perfect! 

Ready, set…go!  It’s a fast start and crowded!  The 1:40 pace group, led by 2 guys, already has a gap on us.  We’ll catch them little by little.  

MIle 1 on Garmin is 7:08.  Fast but this Garmin of mine is not always accurate.  I’m not concerned.  I’m keeping my eye on the pace group and they are not pulling away.

Mile 2 on Garmin is 7:14.  We are getting closer to the group.  Troy tells me that we’ll catch them as we cross the freeway and run “downhill” on the other side of the overpass.  We realize we are running the 5K course and have a preview of what the girls are racing…nice and flat!

Mile 3 on Garmin is 7:13.  We pass behind the baseball park and the path to the finish line.  We’ll be back here again in 10 miles!  Sounds so far!  I look at my watch and tell Troy that the girls should be finishing up soon.  Kind of wish I was too!

We are so close to the pace group.  We hit the overpass and work our way up the top.  Troy tells me to push the downhill.  We catch them!  Yeah!  I take a moment to catch my breath and settle in to their pace. 

Mile 4 on Garmin is 7:34.  This is the longest straight stretch of the course.  I notice the guy holding the pace group sign is breathing hard.  I think others around him are noticing and suddenly one by one they start pulling away from him as if they’re afraid they are off pace.  We stick to the pacers anyway. Soon the pacers start surging and we get behind a bit.  

180218_davis_stampede_half_robinMile 5 on Garmin is 7:36.  The back up pacer (the one without the sign) pulls off to fix his shoe.  Troy and I are still trying to catch the main guy.  The back up pacer catches up to us but then fades back. 

Troy and I finally catch up to the main guy.  I’m pleasantly surprised to be near the backside of the course.  The backside is all gravel and not my favorite spot but once complete, the end of the race is nearing!

The back up pacer is nowhere to be seen and the main pacer seems to speed up again.  I tell Troy his pace seems erratic but that maybe my pace is erratic. Since our Garmins are clicking off the miles well before the mile markers, Troy starts paying attention to the overall time to check the pace.

Mile 6 on Garmin is 7:27.  Troy says we are ahead of pace.  Phew!

Troy needs to pull off to use a bathroom so he runs ahead to buy some time.  I feel like I’m fading.  It doesn’t help that I’m all alone. 

Mile 7 on Garmin is 7:37.  I can see Troy has caught the pacer again.  I also think that one of the runners in the group has run with our Tuesday Night Track group.  I hope to catch up and find out.

I hit the gravel.  Ugh!  To feel yucky and to be on this gravel.. not fun!  I see a guy ahead of me running on the side were grass is growing within the gravel.  I try it out and it’s much better.  Thanks God!  I really appreciate the help!

Mile 8 on Garmin is 7:22.  I’m feeling stronger again and am reeling Troy and the pacer in. 

Soon there is an aid station with a bathroom and I see Troy pull off.  The pacer pulls off too and starts filling up his water bottle.  Seems like he’s taking an awful long time!  I keep pushing and run by.  I come alongside the guy I was wondering about and yes, it’s Matt from the track.  It’s a nice distraction to chat with him. 

Mile 9 on Garmin is 7:45.  Troy catches up to us.  The pacer is still behind.  Troy says we are good on pace and only 2 more miles to the overpass.  2 miles sounds pretty far at this point of the race!

180218_davis_stampede_half_robin2Mile 10 on Garmin is 7:27.  Feeling good, trying to stay focused.  Troy is doing a great job encouraging Matt and I to stay with it. 

Mile 11 on Garmin is 7:31.  I can see the overpass.  Troy tells us to push up and use the momentum and gravity to get down the backside.

I make a great push going up and even encourage another runner on the way.  But as I start running down, I’m falling behind again. 

Mile 12 on Garmin is 7:54.  Really hurting now!  Troy encourages me and Matt to push hard and not give up.  It’s going to be a matter of seconds if we make the 1:40 goal.  Matt starts to pull away.

Mile 13 on Garmin is 7:36.  Trying to push but so hard.  I can tell Troy is feeling good and tell him to go ahead and I’ll see what iI can do.  He says no, we are doing this together.  Ok, just keep pushing.

Finally, I see the turn to the finish that I’ve been waiting for.  I can see the pacer right behind us.  Not sure if we’ll make it.  I just keep pushing.  I cross the line just seconds over 1:41 .  It really did come down to seconds!

Thank you Lord for this chance to race!  For a few moments I was feeling down and upset.  This is silly because it’s even a gift to be out here doing this!  To have some time off from caring for Troy’s dad and do something hard and fun with my family.  Anna and Ariel ran their best times yet in the 5K distance!  And we did get to help Matt in his race so an answer to prayer to help someone.  Thank you Jesus!  Thank you for this day!180218_davis_stampede_half_robin_finish

Davis Stampede 5K–Anna - 2018


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA






1st (10-12 Females), 4th Overall


1/2 Marathon: Matt Pistone, Robin Soares, Troy Soares
5K:  Ariel Soares

I set my pace for a 6:40 min mile. The race director says 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start running at a 5 something mile. I slow it down. I see a teenage girl in front of me and stay with her. We go through a tunnel and it sounds like there are so many people in the tonal when there is just a few. I feel good at this pace and slowly start to pass the girl.

180218_davis_stampede_5k_annaMile 1 came sooner than I thought and I try to speed up my pace a little. It was a beautiful day and I really enjoy running. I run through more tunnels.

I start to wonder when mile 2 would come around. After a little bit more of running, I see the mile 2 sign. I know I only have one mile left. There are a few guys who keep passing me and trying to stay ahead. I try to stay with some of them.

As I gp into the last tunnel, my knee all of the sudden is a little bit tender. But then it goes away!

I turn off the main path and on to the finish line route. I have to run a small loop around the finish before finishing. I come to the straight away and sprint in. I point and look to God, giving him credit for my race.180218_davis_stampede_5k_anna_finish

Davis Stampede 5K–Ariel-2018


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA






1st (1-9 Females)


1/2 Marathon: Matt Pistone, Robin Soares, Troy Soares
5K:  Anna Soares

My race story

1st mile

180218_davis_stampede_5k_areilI am standing next to a girl I think is my age. The race director says 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go! I start running. The girl next to me spirits ahead. I don’t think I can beat her. I keep running. I hope she’ll slow down, so I can catch her. I turn into a path and run by some houses. We run an underpass. I hear the loud noise of cars over me. There are a lot of flowers in the flower patches around me. I keep running. I see the mile 1 sign. There are two little boys and there dad playing on the grass next to the 1 mile sign.

Mile 2

I keep running. I run under an underpass.  This time I don’t hear cars above me this time. I keep running. I see the girl that I saw starting the race. I think she ran to fast at the beginning of the race. I pass her. I run a bit faster because I don’t want her to pass me. I come to a aid-station. I get some water. The girl behind me dosen’t stop for water, so she passes me when I stop for water. I start running. I pass the girl. I start getting farther and farther away . The path is so pretty. I go under a underpass then get on path again. I keep running. I get to a tunnel and then back on the path. I see the the 2nd mile sign.

3rd mile

I keep on going on the trail. There hardly are any people behind me. I see a girl ahead of me. I say to her good job. Then I hear her say shout up you jerk as I pass her. I feel bad now I though was doing something nice to her. (Daddy thinks she probably wasn’t talking to me) I run around a playgroud. I keep running now I see the playgroud that mom told us about.  I look behind me and I don’t see the girl that was behind me. I see Anna. She cheers me on. I run a bit faster as I enter the parking lot. I run out then into the parking lot. I sprint to the finish line trying to beat a boy in front of me. I finish. I get 1st Place in my age group.180218_davis_stampede_5k_ariel_finish

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Happy Kids Du #2–Ariel-2018

Date/Location: 2/10/18, Granite Bay
Distance: 1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time: Ariel: 43:41: 11:58-15:53-17:39  (Previous 32:05)
Place: Ariel: 2nd, 9 & 10 Year Old Girls

My Race Story


I was sick yesterday. I had a fever of 102 .8. Today I have no fever but don’t feel so good. Anna, dad, and I go to the race the race is starting in 20 min. Dad goes to get my bike out of the car. Then dad says “Ariel, I forgot your bike!” “Ariel, you can use my bike,” Anna says. I tried it. the bike is so big and tall. Anna checks me in. “Ariel, what color hat do you want?” says Anna. “Pink.” Anna says “ok.” Then we set up my transition.


I rush to the starting line. The race director says 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go! I began to run and immediately did not feel well. I heard Anna and Mommy cheering me on. I kept running and see daddy up ahead and heard him say “way to go Ariel.” Kids started to run past me. I start running on the trails downhill which turned into an uphill. The trail levels out for a moment but then gets hilly. My legs feel stiff and I am feeling tired. I do the turnaround and I start to run back to the transition area but am still far away. As I run up a small uphill my legs are so stiff and sore that I have to walk up it. I cross over a road and run out into the opening. I see the long stretch to transition. I feel exhausted as I run down the stretch run around the corner and see a transition. I also see Cailyn right in front of me. I run into transition and get on my helmet. I grab Anna’s bike and run out with it.


I get on my bike. I go up a big hill. I go down a little hill. I go on a long straight road. I see dad. Daddy says “are you able to control that thing?” “Yeah,” I say. “Did you turn on your Garmin?” says daddy. “oh no,” I say. Daddy says, "I don’t think you can turn it on without stopping." I take one hand off the bike and turn on my Garmin. “Wow,” says dad. I keep biking and do a big turn. I see kids going back on the other side. I come to the big turn around and up a small hill. I go down a small hill. I see some kids still coming. I go on the big Turn. I am on the long road again. I see daddy, “ Anna put your water in transition.” Daddy says. I bike up a small hill and down a big hill into transition. take off my helmet and get my FCA visor.


I run out of transition. My body hurts. Anna encourages me which helps a lot. I enter the trails. Downhill then uphill the trail levels out for a moment then gets hilly. I do the turnaround and I start to run back to the transition area but am still far away. As I run up a small hill but my legs are so stiff and sore. I cross over a road and run out into the opening. Dad and Anna are waiting for me. They cheer me on. I see the long stretch to the finish. A boy and his dad pass me. Anna and daddy bike beside me. I feel exhausted as I run down the home stretch. I run around the corner and see the finish line. I sprint to the finish. I’m so glad I finished. I got 2nd in my age group.