Saturday, January 1, 2022

FCA New Years Day Challenge–Robin-2022



PART 1: Bike- Auburn, Overlook Park

PART 2: Resolution Run -Auburn, Overlook Park


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


Hill Climb #1 – 20:12 (PR 16:48, 2014)
Hill Climb #2 – 6:49 (PR 5:52, 2014)
Run 1: 1:33:39  (PR 1:16:04, 2011)



1st Hill Climb #1
1st Hill Climb #2


1st (W40-49); 2nd OA


1st New Years Challenge


Hill Climb: Anna Soares & Troy Soares

10 Mile: Anna Tortosa, Arash Ghorbani, Craig Rienbolt, Diana Arteaga Falconi, John Justus, Manouch Shirvanioun, Michelle Nall, Rosie Del Sarto, Troy Soares
10K: Anna Soares, Caryn Galeckas, Suzanne Hartley, Wyatt Hamiltonb
5K: Ariel Soares, Ashley Glass, Elizabeth Katsura, Hunter Glass, Seely Fam (Jon, Ardelle, Adalynn, Alice)


It’s always hard to wake up early on New Year’s Day that’s what makes today so great!  It’s been 2 years since we’ve done our FCA New Year’s Challenge which consists of riding and racing up 2 hills (Old Foresthill Road and Foresthill Road from the bridge to Raley’s) on the bike followed by the local Resolution Run. Before I head out, I post our race stories from the CIM Relay.  I am struck by what Troy says and I really feel the same way right now…

However, I am so grateful for the Lord’s blessings in these race events.  He always does something wonderful when we truly give the effort to Him.  For me that means continually look to His guidance for how to race and act and serve others.  Although at times I may have thoughts of “this isn’t fun”, “what’s the point”, or “do the minimal”, over the years I’ve learned that is wrong and that Jesus can take a simple run and use it for His glory if I give Him my all.  That is my goal and desire.

There is always a blessing if we look for it!  And one of the blessings is Anna is joining us this year on our ride for the first time.  Her goal is to do a Half Ironman Triathlon in 2022 so this is a good early test.  Also, Anna’s hip and ankle are good. Praying for no rolled ankles today on the trails…and also for Troy’s foot to feel good.  It’s been bothering him for months now.

No one else shows up at the Overlook to join us so we do our usual warm-up ride that gives us some practice hills like the steep Glenview!  Then it’s down to the Confluence for the first race climb up Old Foresthill Road. Burr, it’s cold out here.  So glad Troy and I have our zip-up wool sweaters from last Christmas.  I loaned Anna some warm weather gear.  Time to get her some of her own warm bike clothes!


This year the road is closed to cars due to rock slides caused by fire damage and heavy rain.  It’s quiet and safe riding for us!  I get a 30 sec lead on Anna and a 1:30 lead on Troy.  It is staggered in the hope that we will all be finishing around the same time at the top of Old Foresthill Bridge.  It will also determine the order we climb to Raley’s


I start but it takes me a moment to get situated on my bike.  I haven’t been riding much so things are little out of whack.  I get into a good rhythm.  I would love to finish at 20 minutes but not sure that is possible this year.  After about 5 minutes I look back and I’m doing well holding off Anna and Troy.  I hope to make a it to Mammoth Bar between 10-12 minutes. On my fast days I can get there in about 10 minutes and I don’t think that is happening.  It’s just about the half way point.  And just beyond it the road flattens out and you can really get moving!

As I approach Mammoth Bar I can see Troy is approaching me!  I make it to Mammoth Bar about 12 minutes.  Troy catches me soon after and I hold on for dear life.  If I can just stay with him to the flat part, I can easily draft off him.  I have always wanted to do that but never could hold on.  Praise God, I am able to stay with him!  Once on the flat part, it’s awesome to be going fast with not much effort.  Just maybe I can get 20 minutes!  I feel sad though that Anna is back there doing all the work by herself.  But she’s one tough cookie and I know she’s giving it her all!

Troy pulls me along to the last 500 meters.  I take a big chance and pull out and ahead of him. That’s all he needs to get motivated to sprint to the finish ahead of me.  I’m going to be so close to 20 minutes!  I push and get over the line!  20:12!  Alright!

We bike back and cheer Anna on.  She finishes and bursts into tears.  Not from disappointment, but from the pain of pushing your hardest for God and the overwhelming thankfulness to be done.  What an effort for Christ!

Now, we ride easy to the Foresthill Bridge.  Anna tells us she’s starting to understand what we go through in our Ironman training.


At the bridge we get in the order we finished.  I’d like to finish under 7 minutes.

Ready, go!  We stay together well in a pace-line over the bridge.  Once over the bridge, where the climb starts, Anna makes a great effort to stay with us but is unable to match the pace.  I am able to stay with Troy for about a 1/3 of the climb but he pulls away.  There are 6 signs at the top of the hill that are all evenly spaced out.  I count them off.  Almost done!  I think I can break 7 minutes.  It’s so hard to push but I am able to give a little extra to the top…under 7 minutes!  Thank you Lord!  Anna comes soon after and finds a nice piece of grass to fall on. 

Now we rush home because the 10 mile run race starts at Noon.  It’s 10:45am and 5 miles to home!


We get to the race start 35 minutes before the start.  After we start, Anna starts 15 minutes later in the 10K and then 15 more minutes for Ariel in the 5K. Good timing especially since we are all warmed-up from the bike ride and short run from our parking spot.  We find our FCA teammates Caryn Galeckas and Suzanne Hartley.  We spend time in prayer for each other, for things going on in life and for the Lord’s Glory in our racing.  Our Father in heaven is what really matters!

Troy and I get to chat with friends from track, the girls chat with friends from school, and we all get to visit with others we haven’t seen for a while.  I love our little community! 

Troy and I line up for the start.  Today’s field seems little smaller than previous years.  Some of the heavy hitters are not present but there are some great competitors out here regardless.  The race starter let’s Troy give a shout out for our team FCA Endurance. 

Ready, set, go!  I feel great starting out. The first few miles are mostly downhill so hard to assess my energy. Troy pulls away.  He looks strong.

I hear a familiar voice behind me.  It’s Rosie from track. She’s chatting away with another track friend Arash.  They pass me and I tell them good job. 

Mile 1 is 8:18.  I can still see Troy and Rosie in the distance.  I’m the third woman right now.  There is one other girl between Rosie and I.  She’s not that far ahead of me.  I pass Arash and tell him good job.   

Mile 2 is 7:59.  Almost to the bottom of the downhill.  I get to climb one of my favorite hills, Cardiac Bypass.  It’s never easy but a fun challenge.  And I generally am able to pass folks on this trail.  I pass the girl early on.  Now I find myself all alone going up which is weird.  Fewer runners means fewer to pass.  I feel strong going up and my pace seems pretty good.  Not sure how this compares to my past races.  Thank you Lord!

Anna’s race has started.  I hope to see her!

Mile 3 is 9:13.  I make it to the top of the hill and get a break from climbing.  I cannot see any runners ahead.  Once around the bend I can see Rosie and others in the distance.  I’m still feeling pretty good. The test is coming once I hit Robie Point.

Ariel’s race has started.  She has been running really strong so I probably won’t see her once I merge with the 5Kers. 

Mile 4 is 8:25.  It’s downhill again.  Better enjoy before the real fun begins.  I merge with the 5Kers.  There are lots of kids.  I love to see that!  I look off in the distance for Troy and Ariel’s yellow shirts but don’t see them.

MIle 5 is 7:53. Now, it’s time to climb.  I see our friend Jon Seely running the 5K with his daughter Alice.  I catch them at the top of the hill and tell them good job.

Mile 6 is 9:42.  Thank you God for a break from the hills!  I’m starting to feel the fatigue.  I see Caryn and tell her good job.

Here comes Wyatt.  It looks like he’s leading the 10K. We exchange high fives.  A bit later I can see Anna!  I tell her she’s first woman.  I assume Wyatt was ahead of any other females.  She looks good.  I’m impressed especially with the hard effort she put into the ride this morning!

I pass Suzanne and tell her good job.

Mile 7 is 9:14. This is the long and flat out and back.  I should see Troy soon.  It’s quite muddy along here.  The 10kers go this way but they turn around earlier. We have to run all the way to Hwy 49. There is Troy!  He looks strong and is smiling.  I soon see Rosie.  She’s looking strong too!

It’s a trek out to 49.  I finally make it to the turn.  On the way back I get to see where everybody is at.  I still have quite a lead on the 3rd girl.  I see Arash and Manouch from ARD.  There is Suzanne again.  She’s just about at the 10K turn now.

Mile 8 is 9:07.  Up Robie Point!  I am feeling tired but I keep pressing up the hill.  This is another opportunity to pass runners.  It’s muddy here too as expected. Up and over. Going down the other side I feel unsteady.  My legs are feeling wobbly. 

Two more miles!  Ugh!  Thank you Lord. I find myself focusing a lot on the discomfort.  There are four more hills!

The trails get narrow these last miles and there is a lot of walkers to pass.  I try to politely say “on your left if you don’t mind”.  Everyone is really nice but I am sure it is annoying to have all these runners passing.

Mile 9 is 10:33.  Come on legs!  Just a little more.  In years past this can be my strongest section. Usually it’s because I’m racing someone to the finish.  This year I don’t have any competition around me so I’m wondering if that is why it’s hard to push.  It probably is also because the biking took more out of me this year.  I have done very little cycling so this morning was a shock to the system.   I “just keep running”.

One more hill!  I struggle up.  I hear Troy and the girls cheering in the distance.  Come on legs!

Mile 10 is 11:05. I still have a little more to the finish.  I get to the parking lot and push to the finish.  So good to be done!  Thank you Lord for getting me through another year!  So good to be back with my family!  We all had great races.  Ariel was 2nd Female and 6th Overall, Anna was 1st overall in her race and Troy was 5th overall.