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The Christmas Rush 5k

 

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Race Reports

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..                The Christmas Rush 5k

 

 

 

by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher

 

12/14/19 – Kent
Every year the weather seems to play a major role at the Christmas Rush.  Rain, wind and bitter cold have been part of the race in years past.

What happened this year? A slight drizzle at the start. No wind to speak of. Temperatures in the mid forties. Was I at the right race?

After parking, I mingled with Grand Prix players while Betty picked up our race numbers.

Our photographer, “Flash” Fisher took two group photos before the race. Shown below, the smaller group photo was taken before the start of the 10k. The larger (top photo) was taken before the start of the 5k.

 

Mark Hendrickson

I had a chance to talk to the race director, Mark Hendrickson, before the race. He also directs the Cornucopia 5k in the summer. He was agreeable to having the Cornucopia 5k be the state championship for runners over 50 again in 2020. Awards will go three deep in five year age divisions to 90-94. The top runners in the state seem to like the event as the elite turnout has been very good during the last 5 years.

After warming up, I shed my sweats and went to the start line in a tee shirt and shorts. A stocking cap and gloves were my only concessions to December weather.

I made my first mistake by starting late. There were 759 runners and walkers packing the street. I thought to wait until the last person was about a half block down the course before I started. I had done this many times in the last three years to avoid congestion or getting tripped.

This year my strategy didn’t work. Even though I waited 2 full minutes after the starting gun, my jogging pace was so slow that I didn’t pass walkers as quickly as I planned.

In fact, the race participants still hadn’t strung out by the time we crossed the bridge and hit the bike path. Many were walking in groups of two or three. They were walking three abreast after running the first quarter mile or so. I can only blame myself for not starting mid pack.

My delays were extended by the fact that I was wearing a new pair of shoes and didn’t want to step off the path onto wet grass, mud, or puddles.

Having run the course for several years, I knew it well and liked it very much. It was quite flat with enough scenery changes to keep it interesting. Much of the course is out and back, so the returning runners cut the width of the path in half. This added to the congestion.

The third mile brought some relief. It was pretty open and I couldn’t blame congestion for my slow progress. Where was the speed of my youth?

I tried to turn it on at the finish, but alas, those days were long gone.

After I crossed the finish line, I consulted my watch to find I had ran almost three and a quarter miles without leaving the course. My clever plan had given me some extra mileage, adding to my fitness. All I needed was a sun dial to check my time.

There were goodies available at the finish but I spent my post race time trying to get a copy of the results. When the awards proceedings were held, I found that our Grand Prix players had done very well. Furthermore, the Silver Strider turnout comprised 27% of the field.

We had six runners become Grand Prix Series finishers. They were Cam Kennedy, Sue Wirsch, Cherie Langlois, Susan Hall, Brett Langlois, and Dale Hall.

Cam Kennedy – Series Finisher

Sue Wirsch – Series Finisher

Cherie Langlois – Series Finisher

Susan Hall – Series Finisher

Brett Langlois – Series Finisher

Dale Hall – Series Finisher

After the awards I milled around discussing the final Series race with friends. The Reindeer Run would be held the next day. “Oh, I’ll be there”, I said confidently to everyone.

Our group went to the Golden Steer Restaurant for the 3rd straight year. We were celebrating birthdays for Larry Larsen (the big 80), Keith Lerew, John Phillips, Debbie Blanzy, Gretchen Ramsdell, and myself.

Betty and I brought a birthday cake to the restaurant.  But the big treat for everyone was the fantastic assortment of homemade cookies, fudge, brownies and candy brought by Patty Husko, “The Silver Strider Cookie Queen”.    Who could resist them?

The Silver Strider Cookie Queen with 15 trays of Christmas treats.

After a big lunch I had a huge slab of cake washed down with Patty’s fudge and brownies. I drove home without a coffee stop. Who needs coffee when you’re wired on chocolate?

I stumbled into bed that night and woke up at 10 the following morning. I guessed the final race I had so confidently planned to do was over by then.

 

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                        Race Results in photos by Bruce Fisher

 


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             Birthday party photos from Steve and Patty Husko

Celebrating December birthdays at the Golden Steer Restaurant

Birthday people left to right: Gretchen Ramsdell, Jerry Dietrich, Keith Lerew, John Phillips, Larry Larsen and Debbie Blanzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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