Sunday, November 16, 2008

Speed through other's dreams

As I am prevented from running for a couple of weeks after a surgery, and unable to properly train for the coming Quad Dipsea (November 29), that leaves me with more time to nurture my running passion through others' stories, and dreams. Three in particular this weekend: the CCS XC finals for Max, a realized dream for Tom, and the NCAA West Regional XC Championships at Stanford.

CCS cross-country finals

This Saturday we drove back to Toro County Park in Salinas for the 2008 Central Coast Section cross-country finals. The play-off event represents the last milestone of the cross-country season before State (i.e. the California championships). Led by Coach Armstrong, Tino (aka Cupertino High School) had qualified one varsity team (7 boys) and one girl, Shona. Several parents drove down (the usual suspects...!) as well as a few other teammates: Kristin, Daniele, Steven, Steven C, Michael, Dennis. The boys were: Max, Peter A, Ahmad, Nick, Daniel, Eric and Peter C.
Althoug temperatures are generally 10 degrees higher than the Bay Area, which is good for crops, it was unsually hot, in the mid-80Fs. After a blazing start by Peter, Max led the boys and finished in 17:25, albeit disappointed for not matching his 17:22 of the beginning of the season. Overall, everybody had a tough time fighting the heat and the team placed 12th among 18. The most impressive team was Mountain View High School, both the boys and the girls.

Also new this year, the team had moved from Division 3 to Division 2, just passing the school size threshold because of the addition of a few Freshmen this year. With only two Seniors in the team this year, these two facts may explain why this is the first year in many that no Pionners will participate to States. Below is a picture of the impressive start of the Division 2 boys race (click on the picture to enlarge):
The results are not published yet, but will be at the following page. In the meantime, more pictures of this warm day, on my Picasa album.

Tom's dream

If you read this blog regularly, you may be familiar with our friend Pierre-Yves and his fight against cancer at age 14. After 2 years and one bone marrow transplant, the battle has been successful so far and every day is a blessing for him, his family and friends. In the midst of such an uncertain outcome, we got the opportunity to become familiar with the Make-A-Wish asociation whose goal is to fulfill the dream of young people facing cancer. Pierre-Yves was given the opportunity to spend one day with his idol, French basketter Tony Parker (see a short paragraph on this memorable day).

In a manner similar to Make-A-Wish, Bill reached out to Tom's friends among the Stevens Creek Striders and San Jose Fitters to offer Tom something really unique and meaningful to him: a flight over the Bay Area and Pacific on board of a 1945 fighter jet. The aircraft is named Runner Ridge III which is rather appropriate given Tom's passion for running. This is a P-51 Mustang. For those who don't know, Tom is a pilot and has flown hours over the Bay Area. As a matter of fact he clocked 350 hours on a plane similar to the vintage ones displayed in the airport museum.

We stopped by the Hollister municipal airport on our way back from Salinas and gathered with other representatives of the Striders, to share Tom's joy, before and after his aerial experience: Peter, Bill, Penny, Lena, Andrew and Mike.
Here is a video of one of Dan's take-off on YouTube, as well as other pictures and short videos of Tom's realized wish on my Picasa album. As for our wish? That Tom heals quickly, please!!

Flying Oregon

With our trip down to the Monterey County, we could not attend the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) West Region championships held in Stanford this year. Like all the observers, I'm really impressed with the winning time of Galen Rupp: 27:41 for a 10K ran on a golf course, and a 50-second gap on the second runner. Granted, Galen is top class, a 2008 Olympian! Oregon is really a great source of distance elite runners, no wonder why they also excel in ultra (Hal Koerner, Todd Braje, Erik Skaggs, Dan Olmstead, Lewis Taylor, Jeff Browning, Ian Torrence, Sean Meissner, Susannah Beck, Kami Semick, Prudence L'Heureux, ...).

You can read more about the preformance of the locals on the Stanford Cardinal's web site. Good luck to all at the Nationals on November 24! Sweet speed dreams in the meantime...

Is that all?

Oh no! This weekend was also Javelina Jundred in Arizona and Ultracentric in Texas (Tony Mangan won the 48h race with 202 miles, or 202 laps...). And of course thousands of other running stories around the Planet... When hobbies and sport contribute to building a peaceful and more united World.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merci pour ces nouvelles variées.
bon repos à Maxime.