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Running with Webbed Feet (LMJS Newsletter)

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  • 22 May 2016 11:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Small but mighty field on this will-it-rain-or-won't-it-rain Sunday morning. Congratulations to all the participants. Here is a document with the preliminary results for the May 2016 preliminary results: May2016preliminaryPDF.pdf

    Please let me know if you spot any others errors (spelling or time) at schtimpy27@gmail.com by Friday, May 27 and I'll get those straightened out before they are posted to the final race results database.

  • 15 May 2016 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Another Tilden Tough Ten in the books! Congratulations to all of you amazing finishers! Here are the PRELIMINARY results: TTT2016preliminaryPDF.pdf

    Sometimes a few chips don't read, and that was the case this time. I was able to get those 15 or so non-read chips manually added with little to no lag. But if you notice your time is significantly off, please let me know. 

    Also, please let me know if you spot any others errors (spelling or time) at schtimpy27@gmail.com by Friday, May 20, and I'll get those straightened out before they are posted to the final race results database.

  • 26 Apr 2016 11:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Congratulations to all of the over 200 runners and walkers who came out for the special Fourth Sunday Race! We were thrilled to run with the Lions Center for the Blind, Partners in Sight. Here are the PRELIMINARY results: April2016PreliminaryResults.pdf 

    Special thank you to Minori and Jorge who handled the timing while I was away. And to Merrilee who handled the pre-registration process. Huge round of applause to them for overseeing such a large race, and resolving the usual hiccups with patience. You all are the best!!

    NOTE TO RUNNERS: There were several 10K and 15K runners whose times were not recorded in by the timing chips. We will look in the back-up to get those times, but if you have are listed in red and know your estimated time, let me know, as it helps narrow down where in the back-up to look. 

    Also, please let me know if you spot any errors (spelling or time) at schtimpy27@gmail.com by Friday, April 29, and I'll get those straightened out before they are posted to the final race results database.

  • 27 Mar 2016 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    Contributed by Len Goldman

    The 58th annual RRCA Convention was held in Dallas the weekend of March 18-21. The RRCA Convention provides an opportunity for running club leaders, race directors, running industry professionals, and runners to come together to share information and best practices. It also contributes to the national mission of the RRCA to develop and grow community-based running clubs and events. LMJS is a member of the RRCA and usually several club members attend this annual event. However due to the Oakland Running Festival being held the same weekend, many club members were committed to either running or volunteering at the Festival. Since 2001, I have attended most of the annual conventions and always look forward to going. Over the years, I have made many friends from running clubs throughout the U.S. It feels like a family reunion for me, getting to visit and reminisce with runners I haven't seen for a year, plus an opportunity to make new friends. It is also very educational with seminars on a variety of subjects.

    The host hotel was in Downtown Dallas, which like many urban centers including Oakland, is experiencing a building boom that includes people moving back into the core area in significant numbers. My impression was of a city with a lot of vitality and one that is experiencing a prosperous economy. Upon my arrival, I made a new friend immediately, as my roommate was Scott Fiske, the Michigan RRCA state rep. This was his first convention and I was able to share some of my experiences with him, plus we are both college basketball fans and that resulted in several late nights watching the NCAA tournament on TV.

    The first day of the convention on Friday started early, with a 6:30 a.m. run through the streets of Downtown Dallas led by runners from the host club, Dallas Running Club. There were probably 100 runners who took part. The formal part of the convention then kicked off with a continental breakfast and welcome speech in the hotel ballroom, the site of our lunches and awards banquet dinner on Saturday night. The seminars on both days provided an opportunity to learn about best practices in club management, race directing, trends in running, youth running programs club training programs, and much more. Needless to say it is an intense two days, with a total immersion in running and activities from dawn to late in the evening. Plus there is the informal networking that takes place during the breaks and at meals, where connections with other runners can be established. I have found this informal network to be very helpful when I have questions how different clubs do things and need to reach out for information.

    In addition to the seminars, there is also a vendor expo with companies who offer various products and applications for both running clubs and runners. The RRCA coaching certification course Level 1 is also offered at the convention and new this year the RRCA was "beta testing" a Level 2 course that it hopes to offer nationwide in 2017.

    The RRCA has its annual business meeting at the convention, where by-law additions or changes are voted on and the election of Board members. A good friend of mine, Mitch Garner, was elected President of the Board, a position for which he is extremely well qualified for after having served on the Board in other positions the past 8 years.

    A running convention wouldn't be right if there wasn't a race to run in. Every convention has a race in which attendees can participate. This year there were two options, a 5K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday, both produced by the Rock & Roll organization. I opted for the 5K which took place at the Cotton Bowl/State Fair complex which was 3 miles from the host hotel. About 8 of us attending the convention took part in the 5K, with the hotel van driving us there, but we were on our own for getting back to the hotel. Due to a strained hamstring, my plan was to not push it in the 5K and hope for the best. About 2,000 runners took part and we weaved our way through the fairground complex, eventually reaching a gravel road section and the mile 1 mark which I went by in 7:20. Because of a wave start, it seemed like I was passing runners almost the entire way. I knew something was off when the 2 mile mark was passed in 13 minutes, but wasn't sure why my split was so fast. I later learned that a race official had mis-marked the turnaround for the 5K and all the runners ended up running around 2.75 miles, rather than 3.1. I crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, but if we had run the correct distance it should have been around 23 minutes.  

    Interestingly according to the results, there were only 3 men in my age group, 70-74. Fortunately my hamstring felt fine the entire race and wasn't achy after the race either, so it was a good workout for me. Proving that we are a community of runners, I asked a runner finishing about the same time I did for a ride downtown and he was very accommodating in driving me to the host hotel.

    On Sunday, the half marathon took place and it was the marquee race of the weekend with over 9,000 participants. I jogged over to the start with my roommate who was planning on using it as a marathon pace run. I then jogged part of the course and wanted to see the lead runners go by at about the 3.5 mile point of the course. The race leader had a pretty big lead but after him the number of runners continued to grow until they filled a four lane street from curb to curb. I did a shout out when I say my roommate go by, he was looking relaxed and when I saw him later that morning he was very pleased with his time of 1:23, right on his marathon goal pace which he will be running in several weeks, the Boston Marathon.

    If you would like to get an idea of everything the convention weekend encompasses, go to this link for this year's event:


    The 2017 convention will be in Detroit in early March. Interested club members should contact the LMJS Board and let them know.

  • 27 Mar 2016 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Contributed by Len Goldman

    Ruth Anderson, a runner who pioneered women competing in ultra running events, passed away recently. Ruth was one of the founding members of LMJS which was organized as a running club in 1977. Ruth was 86 and spent her final years in a nursing home in Oregon. Her husband Johnny died just two weeks earlier, he was also a LMJS member. Ruth's running accomplishments were numerous as were her contributions to running and LMJS. She was a role model and mentor to many and friend to all. She trail blazed the way for women participating in ultra running events and became an inspiration for generations of women runners who followed in her footsteps. Ruth and her VW van were for many years mainstays at the Tahoe Relays where she captained the LMJS women's senior team. Ruth and her team members would pile into the van prior to the start of the Relays and follow their runners on each leg around Lake Tahoe, often finishing their journey after the sun had set. The LMJS women's veteran team (age 60 & over), of which she was a member, is still the course record holder for their category. For many years, Ruth and Johnny led the informal Tuesday night trail runs at Redwood Bowl followed by a b-b-q and runner camaraderie around the fire pit.

    Ruth was a "late bloomer" who did not start running until she was in her mid 40's. In the 1970's and early 80's, Ruth was one of a small number of female runners who took on the ultra distances. She established many ultra-records over the years. When she finished Western States in 1983 at age 53, she was at that time the oldest woman to have ever completed the race. Another notable feat was being  the first American woman to run the London-to-Brighton 54-miler (where she ran a 7:46:16). She raced until she was in her 70's. Ruth also took great pride in competing in the World Master Athletics meet and in 1995 was selected as the torch bearer to light the flame commencing the start of the event in Buffalo, N.Y. In addition, Ruth was an active member in USATF and their annual women's ultra runner of the year award is named in her honor. Ruth was inducted into the RRCA Hall of Fame in 1980, the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 1996 and the PA Hall of Fame in 2014. Ruth and Johnny were the first LMJS members to be awarded lifetime membership in the club. There is an ultra race around Lake Merced named in her honor and the award to the fastest senior woman at the annual Woodminster Race is named for her.

    While Ruth's accomplishments and records may fade with time, her legacy lives on and it's thanks to intrepid runners like her that our sport continues to thrive and bring new runners into its ranks every day.  

    To read more about Ruth's accomplishments, please go to this link:


  • 12 Sep 2014 4:51 PM | Anonymous
    [This article was contributed by club member Len Goldman]

    Oakland seems to be under-going a revitalization in more ways than one and that includes the road racing scene too. After years of languishing without any "marquee" running events, there seems to be a new race announced with increasing frequency. It was all jump-started by the Oakland Running Festival (ORF) in 2010 which will be kicking off its 6th year in 2015 and approaching 10,000 total runners. The newest race to take place was "The Town's Half Marathon" on August 16.  Sponsored by Project Sport, an Oakland based organization, this race attracted almost 1,700 runners and delivered a quality experience. On the horizon, is the first Oakland Triathlon scheduled for August 31. All of a sudden Oakland has become "race central" for some high profile athletic events which hopefully will continue on an on-going basis.
    LMJS, as it did with ORF, partnered with The Town's Half in several areas. This included promoting the race to its members, having an information table at the expo, and staffing a water stop. The club's role may expand in the future but that depends on what the Board decides is in the club's best interests.
    The course chosen by the race organizers was similar in many respects to the route of the ill-fated Oakland Millenthon held about 12 years ago. The Town's Half Marathon included many of Oakland's up and coming districts including Old Town, Jack London/Produce/Loft area, Uptown, Piedmont Ave., Temescal, Grand Ave., Lake Merritt, and Downtown. The course appealed to me because it is flat, with only modest gains in elevation and a nice downhill section starting at about mile 7.5 where Pleasant Valley turns into Grand Ave. The water stops were frequent, every two miles: the one at mile 8 was staffed by the Piedmont High cross country team and at mile 12 was the LMJS team. I also liked the early 7:00 a.m. start time which I hoped would translate to cool temperatures. Race day did turn out to be an overcast morning, temperatures in the low 60's and a slight wind from the west, which made for very nice running conditions, unlike this year's SF Marathon which was warm and sunny.

    In recent years, I have confined myself mostly to short distance road and cross country races. The exceptions were the occasional 4th Sunday 15K, a 10-mile race in Sacramento a few years ago and my last half in the inaugural ORF race in 2010. For the Town's Half, I embarked on a minimalist training program, not really starting to train for it until early July with several long runs leading up to race day. I wanted to see how it would go ramping up quickly rather than spending two or more months doing half marathon training runs. In addition, I did a couple of track workouts at my hoped for goal pace of 7:20 per mile and felt a time under 1:40 would be attainable. This also was the longest time I spent on any of my training runs.  
    Things leading up to the race went well and I was looking forward to seeing some of my running friends at the race, including Jim Buck and his girlfriend Jane Macfarlane. Alas, the cruel fates of running struck Jim down, as he fractured a bone in his left foot the week before the Oakland race in a DSE cross county event. But Jane made it to the start line and finished well. Jim was at the race, but in a walking boot and was confined to spectator duty, but we had a nice breakfast afterwards in Rockridge. 
    I wasn't sure about parking on race morning, but easily found street parking (non-metered) a few blocks away and could have slept-in an extra 30 minutes had I known it would be so easy. I jogged/walked to the start area, planning to use the "gear check" but encountered some runners who said not to bother, the line was too long an it was very disorganized. This is where Jim served a useful purpose, my own personal gear check. About 10 minutes before the race, I worked my way up to the front of the start line to check things out. The runners were very courteous and there was plenty of room on the front line. I didn't really recognize any of the other runners except for my friend, Milton. He was carrying a large water bottle to hydrate during the race. It was filled with beer--to each his own.  
    In my personal experience and I go through several phases during a race of this distance. There is the initial excitement at the start and the general feeling that the pace is too slow. Then after 3-4 miles of pushing the pace, reality hits: Oh my, there are still 10 miles to go. This will not be so easy. About half way through the race, mile 6 or so, doubt comes to the front of your consciousness and you start to feel more uncomfortable. How the heck am I going to get through this with my dignity intact? The next phase is anxiousness as the doubt has receded somewhat. The so-called "2nd wind" rises up and you think you can do it. But the happiness is short-lived. It’s in the race’s final stages when the pain from different parts of the body comes to the fore. The mental checklist begins. Is this something that could cause just temporary damage or could this lead to be a more long-term injury? Finally, the last mile, euphoria! You can make it and will finish the race upright.  

    During the race, I experienced all the above mentioned emotions and it reminded me why I haven't attempted a half marathon in a few years. Despite the roller-coaster of feelings, I felt good after the race; was glad to have gone the distance. My time of 1:37:43 was under my goal and within the range that I thought was possible. I don't think I will be doing another half marathon any time soon, but maybe the hiatus won't be as long as the 4 1/2 years that I took this go round. Finally, kudos to the race organizers for having the determination and wherewithal to put on the race, I hope this will be part of the Oakland running scene for many years to come. To view a brief video of the race, the link is:
  • 27 May 2014 2:59 PM | Anonymous
    [This article was contributed by club member Len Goldman] 

    The 56th annual Road Runners Club of America Convention was held May 1-4 in Spokane, WA.  Attending from LMJS were Karen Andrews, Kathryn Dernham, Len Goldman, and Allegra Kim.  This was the first convention for both Kathryn and Allegra, the 5th for Karen and the 14th for Len.  

    The convention is an opportunity for club members from throughout the U.S. to meet and exchange ideas and participate in seminars led by subject matter experts and hear inspirational speeches by running legends.  There were about 300 runners in attendance.  The convention kicked off with a welcome reception on Thursday night May 1 which both Len and Karen attended and it was followed by a "dine on the town" on your own. Karen and Len were joined by our fellow runners from the East Bay Front Runners; Simone Adair and Allyssa Lamb, plus two runners from the Maine Track Club. 

    On Friday, it was an early wake-up call for a group run of 5 miles along the banks of the Spokane River with a spectacular view of the falls.  Since food is a constant theme with runners, there was a continental breakfast at the host hotel, The Davenport Hotel, followed with the kick-off of the conference.  The kick-off included a group of Native Americans and they performed some ceremonial dances.  

    The first seminar, held for all attendees was insurance and risk management.  The runners then broke into groups by region and held an exchange of ideas and brainstorming session. The Friday luncheon speaker was Olympic medalist and American record holder Bernard Lagat.  Friday afternoon featured a choice of three seminars to attend including speakers on injury prevention, networking with running specialty stores and keeping events safe.  At the conclusion of the Friday seminars, the RRCA held its annual business meeting with club officers and others in attendance.  

    That evening the convention attendees were bused to a local winery, Arbor Crest, located in the hills above Spokane for a buffet dinner outside, but under a tent for protection from the elements.  The convention meals are a great time to network with runners from other clubs and learn about best practices.  

    On Saturday morning, there was another group run of about 3 miles, also along the river but a slightly different route than the previous day. The run ended at a nearby downtown cafe where a very nice continental breakfast was served. The highlight was "home baked" pastries. All day Saturday, there were a variety of seminars to choose from depending on your interest and the topic.  

    Lunch that day featured Olympian and the Bloomsday race founder, Don Kardong. Don competed in the 1976 Olympic marathon and finished in 4th place.  Don related how the medal for 4th is wood and years later when the Berlin Wall came down the extent of doping of East German athletes was revealed.   The race was won by an East German and his "victory" was never overturned despite the evidence that he had been doping to improve his performance.  

    After a short respite from the last Saturday seminar, the convention attendees gathered for the gala awards banquet where the annual RRCA top performers in various categories were recognized.  Before the awards were presented, Simone Adair introduced the featured speaker for the conference, Deena Kastor, an Olympic medalist and American record holder. 

    The finale for the convention was the Bloomsday 12K race on Sunday morning.  Fortunately, we got to sleep in a bit as the race didn't go off until 9:00 a.m. and the start was just a few blocks from the hotel.  This race is one of the largest in the U.S., around 50,000 runners and one that is on many runners "bucket list." It features the "Doomsday Hill" which is about 3/4 of a mile long with an average grade of 6%.  Since the race is so big, runners are assigned into about 7 starting groups of 5,000 to 8,000 runners per group.  Those of us in the convention were assigned to the 3rd starting group with about 7,000 runners in front of us.  As it turned out, this was like running into a moving wall for the first several miles of the race, with much weaving in and out to get enough running space.  

    The race course scenery varies from Downtown Spokane buildings, to residential areas and some fairly rural areas too.  It is as you would expect a very well supported race with water stops every two miles, bands playing music along the course and a scattering of spectators along the way, but especially at the finish.  It seems like the entire region turns out for the race as most of the participants are from Spokane and the surrounding area.  

    The race finish features a post-race celebration area with vendors giving out refreshments and selling them.  There is also entertainment since the final finishers don't get done until 1:30 p.m. It's great to see so many people come together for this race and how the whole community gets behind it.  

    The 2015 RRCA Convention will be held in Des Moines, Iowa on April 23-26.  
  • 31 Mar 2014 4:10 PM | Anonymous
    [This race report was submitted by club member Len Goldman]

    On February 23, I ventured to Southern California to run in the Brea 8k. Unfortunately this meant I had to forgo the Couples Relay, a race I have been invovled with for probably 25 consecutive years. This was the first National Masters Road Championship to be held in the Golden State since the Heritage Oaks Bank 10K in 2007 and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to run in a race with other master runners (40 & over) relatively close to home. Plus it gave me an opportunity to meet up with a friend from college who I hadn't seen in several years and lives in the area, and see some of my running friends from other running clubs. 

    Brea is probably a city most of us have not heard of nor could place on a map. It is located in Orange County, a bit Northeast of Disneyland and by car about a 6 hour drive or by air a 1 hour flight from the Bay Area. Thanks to the efforts of the Pacific Association's Tom Bernhard, he along with several others successfully lobbied the organizers of the Brea 8K to host the 2014 national master's championship road race for this distance. 

    The Brea 8K is a long standing race in Southern California and several thousand runners annually compete in it. One of the things that I think draws local runners to this race is the post-race food court where over 15 vendors have the runners enjoy samples of their cuisine. In addition, race proceeds benefit the Brea Olinda High School which creates a lot of local interest.
    Quite a few other runners from Northern California also took advantage of this opportunity, as there was both team scoring and individual competition involved. 

    Runners from throughout the U.S. competed in the race and one can hardly blame those from the frozen tundra of the Midwest and East wanting to enjoy a long weekend in sunny California with temperatures in the 70's. It made for a competitive field across the board and with a very strong group of men in my age category 65-69, many of whom I knew. I was hoping for a top ten finish, given the caliber of the runners in the age group.

    Conditions at the start of the race were near perfect, temperatures in the low 50's, no wind, clear and sunny. There were 3 water stops along the route, everything was well marked and coned, and the mile splits were very visible with volunteers calling out the mile splits and the 5K juncture. The scenery was a mix of suburban retail businesses and residential neighborhoods. It was pleasant but not distracting and there seemed to be spectators along the entire route of the race. As I expected, the first mile was the fastest for me, 6:25 and I settled into my racing pace covering two miles in around 13 minutes. 

    To this point, the course had been relatively flat with just one small hill. However between miles 2 & 3 there was a more significant and longer hill which caused my pace to slow and add a bit to my fatigue. Still, at 5K my split was 21 minutes and I was slightly ahead of my forecasted pace. Fortunately, miles 3 to 4 had a downhill section and just a little hill or two also as I was trying to close the gap on the runners just ahead of me. The last mile is basically a long, flat straightaway, with spectators on the sidewalk cheering. 

    I tried to rally a bit, and although I closed the gap a bit on those in front of me, still fell a few seconds short of them, finishing in 33:01 for 8K (almost 5 miles) which was good for 7th place in the age group. I was pleased with the time, about 20 seconds faster than I had projected and on a age graded basis it was 86.7%, which is very solid. 

    I would highly recommend the race and hopefully it will be on the national schedule of master races in 2015.
  • 17 Nov 2013 7:35 AM | Anonymous

    [This article was submitted by Debra Cramer. LMJS supports running in the community -- more information on our grant program here in the members section of our website.]

    We had our middle school cross country championships on November 6th at Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley where one of our 6th grade boys received a medal for 4th place and an 8th grade girl received a 2nd place medal. 


    Wanted to send you this photo of most of the students who participated. Again, we appreciate the donation of the t-shirts, no other teams had bright yellow shirts so they were easy to spot in a crowd.  We had 9 weeks of practice at Crab Cove from Monday through Thursday each week, and participated in three meets besides the championships, one was at Lake Temescal with Piedmont middle school hosting, one was at Bancroft Middle School in San Leandro and the other was at Joaquin Miller Park with Head Royce hosting.  


    It was a successful fun season.  Thank you and LMJS for supporting our team.


    Debra Cramer and Don Porteous

  • 18 Jun 2013 2:56 PM | Anonymous
    [This item was contributed by Woodminster race director, Gareth Fong]

    Dear LMJS,

         Another classic Woodminster Cross Country Race is in the books and the weather couldn’t have been better for the 170 “survivors”.  Although we had competition for participants from the rescheduled San Francisco marathon, we had a very diverse group of hearty, or should I say crazy, runners.  There were four racers under 60 minutes with Alex Varner (53:32) leading the pack.  Adrienne Strait (65:33) led all women and came in second overall when Varner edged her out by one second at the finish line to claim the green champion’s jacket.  All results can be found at www.fordtiming.com.  For the first time,  LMJS won the team award with 18 members.  Pamakids had 13 and Tamalpa had 12.

         Christine Chapon, this year’s Woody volunteer coordinator, did an outstanding job recruiting and assigning over 26 LMJS volunteers and other volunteers from Pamakids, Watergate, Alta Bates/Summit Hospital and Piedmont High School, throughout the hilly 9-mile loop course.  Jeanine Holmlund, last year’s Woodminster champion, organized the potluck luncheon following the race.  However, I found out she’s an excellent cook and made most of the great dishes herself.  We had two EMT volunteers, Gayle Thomas and Mike Williams, from Alameda, who are good neighbors of Debra Cramer.  Aaron Ford and his father, although not volunteers, did a bang up job timing and posting results in a timely manner.  Again, a big thank you to Christine Chapon for conducting the 12th Annual East Bay Triple Crown Trail Championships awards ceremony.  As you can see, it takes a lot of great people to put on a successful running event and I know the Wood monster “survivors” appreciate it.

    Thank you everyone,

    Gareth Fong

    Race Director 

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