A Look Back At The Tortoise and Hare 5k

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x LA Look Back At The Tortoise and Hare 5k

xxxby Betty Dietrich

As I ventured out on a cool, sunny morning to run the 5th Annual Tortoise & Hare 5k, I couldn’t help but compare this year’s race to those of the past. What a contrast!

Where were the Silver Striders decked out in their colorful Grand Prix T-shirts, eager to earn 10 points?  

Where was Bruce Fisher calling us to assemble for the group photo? “If you can’t see me, I can’t see you!”

Where were the tortoises waiting for Jerry to call out their start times while the hares milled around, anxiously waiting – the last to be called? 

This year’s Tortoise and Hare was definitely not like it used to be. I was “virtually” alone at my self-designated start/finish line.  I wore my black, instead of my neon, Grand Prix shirt, a fitting choice for my mood. 

It was Jerry who took my picture – not Bruce. The street where I started my race was deserted.  There were no cheers from my Silver Strider friends as I took off down the road. Ah…what a melancholy day this was! 

Determined to make the best of it, I started my Garmin and resolutely began my very slow jog walk, with what I predicted was going to be a very long, dismal run.   

Fond memories started to float through my head of Tortoise & Hare races of the past. 

Who could ever forget the first T& H 5k?  We held it in August to take advantage of the summer weather.  Instead of balmy sunshine, the day brought one of the worst storms ever held.  Gale force winds blew trees down along the course.  Runners dodged their way along the treacherous lakeside path, hoping to avoid being struck by falling branches. 

 If the runners managed to survive the falling branches, they also found themselves lost on the course. Runners became distracted and went off in all directions. 

At the finish line, some runners finished the 5k course in a world record time of 10 minutes.  Others took an hour and a half.  Thank goodness, everyone got 10 GP points, regardless of their finishing time! 

Pierce County had to close Steilacoom Park. The picnic planned for the day was canceled and we scrambled to relocate indoors to a last minute location. Thus, the first Potluck was born.

The second and third T & H 5k went a bit more smoothly.  An out and back course, held at Point Ruston, replaced the Steilacoom course and nobody got lost.  The Potluck found a new home in the banquet room of the Highlands Golf Course.  Those were good days! 

Last year, brought a new challenge for the T & H 5k. Construction was underway along the Pt. Ruston shopping center and free parking was no longer available.  But the waterfront walkway was extended to Dune Peninsula Park, a perfect place to start and finish the race.  So once again, the T & H 5k had a new out and back course.   

With 10 days to go before the event was to take place, the manager of the Highlands Golf Course told us that the banquet room was being remodeled and wouldn’t be ready in time for the potluck. 

What!  I began searching frantically for a place to host 65 sweaty, hungry post-race Silver Striders.  Just when I was ready to take a dive off the Narrows Bridge, Jeannie from Tower Lanes Entertainment Center agreed to bend the rules and allow us to hold our potluck in their spacious banquet room.  

Looking back on the Tortoise & Hare 5k and Potluck over the last 5 years, I have to laugh over some of the hurdles we had to meet in order to pull off the event.  We are facing new hurdles now.

Today, as I run at my tortoise pace, I see that my memories have helped me cover the distance.  I have crossed my imaginary finish line.

I’ve decided the virtual 5k wasn’t so bad, after all.  I ran the race, got my 10 GP points, and took a great trip down memory lane.  

It is Thanksgiving and I am so thankful to be a member of the Silver Strider family.  Even though we are separated by this dreadful virus, we have not let it conquer us. 

Instead of our traditional potluck, we held a virtual, potluck auction – a really FUN event. 

Instead of canceling the Tortoise and Hare 5k, we made it a virtual HANDICAP event!  

Though we can’t be together in person, we will CELEBRATE TOGETHER with a Zoom party next week.

This story is titled “A Look Back At The Tortoise And Hare 5k”.   But I think it should be named “A LOOK FORWARD”! 


Jerry’s notes:
I have four observations:
1… Congratulations to 2020 Grand Prix Series finishers Brett Langlois, Ed Barney, Larry Larsen and Isabelle Noiret.

2… Special congratulations are in order to Larry Larsen. Struggling for weeks with knee pain, he was barely able to walk short distances and unable to race. He had knee replacement surgery in August. By the time Larry could walk a mile, he only had 4 GP races for the year and there were only 5 GP races left. Despite the odds, Larry succeeded in walking the necessary races to become a Series finisher for 2020. Larry has now finished the Grand Prix Series all 11 years.

3… The Tortoise and Hare competition was much closer than I anticipated. The first six men finishers were separated by only 84 seconds. The women’s times were even closer in spots.

4… Guess what? Molly Childs found a couch on the trail where she planned to run. She decided to use it as her start/finish spot. And maybe a post race nap?

Larry Larsen 2020 Series finisher
A virtual race crowd
Marsha tries for 20 points with 2 shirts

Tortoise and Hare results
Net times after handicap deduction

MEN ………….. Net time

1 Kent Sizer 19:55 (scratch)
2 Ed Barney 20:35

3 Jeff Brown 20:36
D* Jerry Dietrich 20:50
4 Nick Bailey 21:00
5 Ken Peper 21:02
6 Arne Hales 21:19
7 Steve Husko 23:01
8 Ray Arrington 23:17
9 Brett Langlois 24:07
10 Allen Walker 24:24
11.Dave Sherman 25:23
12.Steve Ramsdell 25:27
13.Larry Larsen 27:57
14.Karl Johnson N/A

D* – Declined Trophy

WOMEN ………….. Net time

1 Diane Martin 24:13
2 Isabelle Noiret 24:39
3 Tiare Bailey 24:41
4 Betty Dietrich 25:01
5 Gretchen Ramsdell 25:55
6 Linda Walker 26:58
7 Judy Fisher 27:16 (scratch)
8 Karen Lichtenstein 27:34
9 Patty Husko 28:00
10 Marsha Murray 28:13
11 Cherie Langlois 29:11
12 Nanci Larsen 29:13
13 Charlea Sherman 29:17
14 Molly Childs 29:32
15 Audrey Kirkwood 29:43
16 Louise Mihay 30:31
17 Edythe Hulet 30:35
18 Sandra Madden 30:37

19 Sandi Newman 33:28

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxTxxxxxxxThe Good Old Days

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe 2015 Tortoise and Hare Potluck


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe 2016 Tortoise and Hare 5k
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx2017 Tortoise and Hare 5k
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx2017 Tortoise and Hare Potluck
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe 2018 Tortoise and Hare Potluck
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx2019 Tortoise and Hare 5k
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx2019 Tortoise and Hare Potluck