Saturday, July 4, 2020

Firecracker 5K–Robin -2020


7/4/2020 Auburn, CA


5K (just under)




3rd (Women)


Cossentine: Bailey & Matty; Gallo: Emily, Enzo & June; Ganzenhuber: Gannon, Steve, Zachary; Nickel: Ben & Ellie; Soares: Anna, Ariel &Troy; Anna, Bernie, Krista & Julie Sopky; Mona Baughman, Caryn Galeckas, Suzanne Hartley, Jennifer Wright

This is the first real race with people since March.  Thankful for the Nickel family to continue this great neighborhood tradition that benefits our local food pantry.  This is the first time I’ve done this race since we are usually in San Diego racing and watching fireworks.  With COVID that plan changed.  COVID has also changed the Nickel event too with limited numbers and social distancing.  Just so grateful to race.  And even better to race on roads I know like the back of my hand!

We pause while Karen plays the National Anthem on her banjo and we sing along.  The Fourth of July tradition and American pride is alive and well here!  Thank you Lord!


We line up and get last minute instructions from Karen Nickel.  There is a nice mix of kids and grown ups.  Some of Anna’s Placer teammates are here along with some fast kiddos, the Ganzenhubers, friends of Karen’s.  This should be quite the race!

Ready, set, go!  We are off and off quick!  The beginning is a fun and fast downhill which is helpful for keeping a good average going up the big Maidu climb.

Once we hit the hill, the field in front of me splinters and I pass several folks.  Those who took off too fast are paying for it a bit.  This is a tough hill and I’m feeling it and just trying to maintain.

Mile 1 is 7:39. Phew, the hill is done and I have a LONG downhill to enjoy now.  I am now able to pay more attention to the chalk signs the Nickels and Gazenhubers have put on the pavement…”Go Gannon”, “Go Anna”, “Go Ben”, “Go Ariel”… very motivating for the kids for sure!  I’m running with Steve Gazenhuber and the young and talented Enzo Gallo is right behind me.  There is dog poop on the ground with a chalk bomb around it that says “Watch Out!”  Ha, ha!

MIle 2 is 7:05.  Yeah, that is nice to see that pace!  But once again we climb.  Just got to hang in there.  I see more fun chalking that makes me laugh and keeps me going.  Soon, I hit the “50 Meters of Fun” hill up to Pacific Ave…short and terrible!  Enzo goes by and catches up to another boy ahead.  They duel it out for a few strides and then Enzo pushes past.

I’m so close to being done. As I make the last turn back into the neighborhood, I come up on that kid that Enzo passed.  I encourage him to go for it and he takes off. I hold on and push with what is left.  Anna is waiting ahead and cheering.  I’m sure she ran fast!

I cross the finish and look up to God.  Thank you Jesus!  I ran the last mile at 7:35 pace.  I’ll take it!  Now to see Troy, Oscar and Ariel to the finish!