If you are a BQ hopeful, the Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon may be the race for you.
I had Boston Qualified at the California International Marathon in December, with a little over a
2 minute margin of my qualifying time. Running the Boston Marathon is a
bucket list goal for me and I wanted to run a follow-up race that would give me
a large enough margin to guarantee registration. The Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon in Las Vegas was it.
Revel put on a very well organized, small field size race. Communication
from race organizers was great; packet pick up was super easy; executive
shuttle buses transported the runners to the start line; and there were more
than enough port-a-potties at the start line area to keep lines shorter.
The course begins at just over 7500 ft above sea level on Mt. Charleston, which was still snowcapped during our race. Temps
were in the 30s at the start line. I ran in a tank top and shorts knowing it
would warm up as I ran down the mountain. The Mylar blanket and gloves included
in our swag bag from the expo came in handy while I waited in the start area. I
kept the gloves on until about Mile 10.
Despite the annoying headwinds and crosswinds throughout, it was a fast downhill
course, particularly during the first 21-22 miles. The last 4-5 miles included
some rolling hills, which felt really challenging after running downhill for so
long. It got very bright and sunny as the morning progressed, but it
wasn't anything a hat and a good pair of sunglasses couldn't take care of.
If you’re okay with minimal crowd support to keep you motivated during long
distance races, this race IS for you. Roads up Mt. Charleston are closed
off to thru traffic, so aside from the water stations located approximately
every two miles, THERE IS NO CROWD SUPPORT DURING THE FIRST 21-22 MILES.
If you can fit in long run training on downhill terrain, this race IS for you.
The net elevation drop is 5,126 ft over the marathon course. Your
quads may be screaming at you well before you cross the finish line if they're
not adequately conditioned for this course, as it did for many who ended up
walking. In addition to doing eccentric load exercises to strengthen
quadriceps, my training group and I did several downhill long runs starting at
the top of Mt. Palomar, ending down in the Lake Henshaw area, to prepare for
this race. The group I trained with consisted of veteran marathoners who had
either Boston Qualified in the past or were really close to their BQ time in a
previous marathon. Six out of seven of these SDTC runners that trained for
Mt. Charleston together BQ’d.
Lastly, Revel Mt.
Charleston IS also for you if you can live with the criticism from other
SDTC runners about achieving a Boston Qualifier on this course. I was
shocked at the negative comments I had read on public forums from fellow SDTC
runners delegitimizing the accomplishment of those who BQ'd in Mt. Charleston.
This is a USATF certified Boston-qualifying marathon course. Where
is the spirit of camaraderie that is supposed to be reflected in the slogan
"Boston Strong"? Any runner who disses (disrespects) the
efforts of their fellow runners should be ashamed of themselves.
I hope to be running long distance races for many more years
to come. I hope I can continue to get faster and improve running
efficiency. But I know that a healthy diet and active lifestyle today
will not necessarily guarantee my good health or ability to run well tomorrow. Running the Boston Marathon is a bucket list goal that I really wanted to
accomplish in this lifetime. The Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon was the golden ticket race
that will allow me to register and crush that goal sooner rather than
If qualifying for the Boston
Marathon is a bucket list goal for you, then it is best to carefully
consider your qualifier race, the time commitment and practicality of training
for that race, as well as your fitness level/health and ability to sustain such
Personally, I enjoyed the Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon experience (and celebrating in Vegas
afterward). Would I do this race again? Absolutely.
Who knew way back in 1998 that we would be celebrating
twenty Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Training Programs.
That’s twenty 10K’s, twenty, 2-hour pace runs, twenty train
More than 9,000 runners have come through the gates of
Balboa Stadium and onto the streets of San Diego to run what was then a very
novel idea, running a marathon with bands on the course.
In those early years, there was just a San Diego race and it
was a marathon distance.The event has
now of course morphed into a both a marathon and a half marathon, sports an
open stream of different music on the course and there are musically races all
over the world.
Making a Difference.
Phrase, Philosophy, Mission Statement.Every year Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ strives to meet that standard of making a
difference, and this year we adopted it as our 20th Anniversary Year
This year’s training program started like all the others, on
the first Saturday of the month of January at Balboa Stadium under clear blue
skies, Coach Paul entertained us
with his relatively short orientation and we set out on our first of many
Saturday long runs.
For some it would be
their very first day as member of the Rockin’
‘n’ Runnin’Nation, for others,
their twentieth, for others, something in between.Mixed in this group would be our Boston Marathon
Qualifiers, Mountains 2 Beach and would be Rock N Rollers.We all started out with a common goal, to
survive 22 weeks of training and make it to our races pumped and ready to run.
The runs came and went, first the Kook 10k, the Pace Run,
the Low Tide Run, the Train Run, then the Longest, even a Tour of San
Diego.Each one a measure of the
runners’ tenacity and endurance and each time making a difference in our
lives.What is phenomenal is the
excitement that was on display each those Saturday’s, because for many, some of
these runs where the longest they had ever run.
Flash forward race day.All were gathered at the appointed hour and at the appointed
location.Emotions were high, you could
almost cut the excitement in the air with a knife.Following our normal gathering up, warm-up
run and dynamic stretch exercises, we were released to our respective corrals
where we awaited our starts.Race day
conditions that morning was overcast skies that stayed with us throughout the
races.In the mix of about 15,000 half
marathoners and 5,000 marathoners were about 300+ Rockin’ ‘n’ Runners.
We haven’t gathered up the data, but among our finishers,
many PR’d.More than a few ran their first
races at either the half or full marathon distances, some even BQ’d.A handful ran (or in the case of one, walked)
their 20th Rock and Roll Marathon.
Twenty Years and
Making a Difference.
Each and every one of you that made up the 201720thRockin’ ‘n’
Runnin’Nation made a difference
in our lives and we are very proud to count you as Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ alumni.I hope that we made a difference in your lives.Side note, the Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’Training
Program is always looking for new ideas and planning team (the CORE group)
members, so if you have any ideas or wish to member this this wonderful group
please either contact Coach Paul Greer
or Bill Aaron.
Thank you for
choosing San Diego Track Club’sRockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’Training Program as your training
training with Coach Dave Hutchinson(“Hutch’) was the most awesome
experience!We started training in
November for the April marathon.Hutch
gave us a calendar, usually a month at a time so we wouldn’t look ahead and
freak out.He also sent weekly e mails
with training tips, humor, and words of encouragement that I looked forward to
We started with a base of 30-35 miles per week and built
up to 70+ miles at the peak and gradually increased the mileage on our long
Saturday runs. Whenever possible the Saturday runs were coordinated with the
bigger Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ group,
which made it fun.Hutch drove his van
along the course and was ready with Gatorade, water, and always had donuts for
after the run!
The higher weekly mileage was challenging, at times with
the demands of work and school, but the schedule was planned so well, and the
mileage increases were gradual.Several
of us talked about how we surprised ourselves with how we managed to fit in
longer weekday runs before work.Hutch
was also very helpful with modifying workouts based on schedules and
injuries.I felt really well prepared
for the race by the time April arrived.
As you may have heard, race day was unseasonably
warm.It was scary to see how many
people were walking on the course early on, bent over with cramps, or getting
medical attention in the medical tents.Many
of the really strong runners in our group did not have a good race.What helped me was that instead of fighting
the crowds at the early water stations, I carried a bottle of water for the
first 7 miles.I loved the course and
the crowds.There is so much to say
about the event itself, but the training, traveling and socializing with the
group when in Boston, and the celebration when we got back to San Diego made it
all a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Published: San Diego Running, Spring 2000
of all, over train, make this decision early, like in January so your legs are
really tired when you get to the long runs in April. Oh, and don’t take that
day off when you feel you need it because you must adhere rigidly to the R-N-R
schedule Coach Paul Greer has given
you. Then as the marathon approaches, don’t take 2 to 3 weeks to taper down.
You can do it in say 5-days (like 5 months isn’t enough).
it’s 2-days before the marathon & I’m thinking how in the heck can these
legs go from tired to fresh? Having limited options, I go for a massage with Margaret Gregory (wow, that counts as
good advice) that gave me what felt like an extra day off. So when I arrive on
race day I actually felt pretty good.
5:45 we all assembled by 6th and Laurel for our last pre-race
picture and instructions from Coach Paul
Greer. Of course I go to check my bag quickly at the UPS truck #2 which
ends up being the next to farthest away truck so I miss the picture. It’s
1-hour before race-time & Ernie
Mendez approaches Dan Trone and
I about taking over his 3:10 pace group leader job he acquired from Runner’s
World, that he had been trying to delegate away since he got the job at the
expo. Now Paul Greer has said if you
can run a 3:10 marathon then add ½ hour to that time and then you can safely
assume that you would be able to lead that group of runners (3:40 marathon
time) and survive in the lead position from the start to finish. Well Dan Trone was smart enough to
repeatedly say no to Ernie. On my best
day I probably couldn’t do a 3:10 even if the weather co-operated. But I
figured I was shooting for a 3:10 that day so volunteering for that
responsibility, I could somehow will myself to stay on pace. Ha Ha.
I headed to the 1st corral with the big cardboard sign, strangely I
noticed my friends drifting away until, positioned inside the 1st
corral, I was now all alone with my
sign. It didn’t take long before runners I didn’t know started collecting
around me, quizzing me on race strategy. Soon, the race announcer is pointing
me out & I’m realizing I’m not going to get any stretching done holding
that sign up.
I notice fellow track club member Paul
Grinberg standing near me. He has the mile splits for a 3:10 marathon on
his wrist band. So I tell the group around us if I go down they now have a back
up … Paul. The mile splits for a 3:10 marathon are 7:15 per mile. The 1st
2 miles we are exactly on pace so I make the decision to stick with Paul Grinberg’s pace. The next 2 miles
(3&4) being down Park Boulevard we can’t seem to hold back so now we are
going 6:55 miles. My legs are not feeling good & I’m expressing this to my
group as we approach the 1st medical aid tent. I pulled off the
course to get some tape on my left calf to give it support because it felt like
it was gonna pull. There are 12 guys in red shirts standing there holding
Popsicle sticks with Vaseline on the ends. I yell as I’m coming in that I need
some tape. I waste about 10 seconds as the workers stare at each other
unprepared for their first customer. I can’t wait any longer so I left
unsatisfied. Now I have to run hard to catch up to the group.
now, we are leaving downtown heading uphill on highway 163. My intention had
been not to push the pace until we reached the 10-mile mark at Friars Road. But
the next medical station I had the same problem. A bunch of guys in red shirts
with Vaseline Popsicle sticks, with a great view of the race. Someone finally
located the tape in a box, as he is unsealing the plastic bag, I announced
again it’s too late I gotta catch up to my group. Again I’m pushing the pace
uphill all the way to Friars Road. I never did catch up to them, but by the
time I got to Friars Road I was weary & stopped at a medical tent. This
time I saw the tape & wrapped my left calf myself.
on by myself I quickly found SDTC Pretender John Unden who I knew to be fast & I thought I could tandem up
with him & still make it as we were actually ahead of pace (another bad
the river before the course heads around Ingraham St, my running partner Dan Trone pulls up alongside me and
announces, “I’m toast”. So I admitted I’m fading as well & my legs are
shot. Meanwhile, I’m trying to stay on pace. That was the last I saw of him. I
tried to keep my pace but about a mile later on Crown Point, I also started to
fall off the pace. Mile 15, I was starting to sense that I had made a mess out
of my 3rd R-N-R. Then at about mile 17 Jayne Garrett’s mom (Anne)
was positioned with run bags full of personal items. Some of us had pre-packed
these bags & given them to her to assist our attempts at personal record
times that we all envisioned. Like a champ, she had her arm extended (I still
question how she spotted me). She was holding my chocolate GU & my Stop the Pain spray out as I was coming
by. Now that’s a prepared aid station worker. Maybe I owe her a red shirt.
race long I had been dreaming that the spray would cure my legs if I could just
hold on till mile 17. Well maybe in retrospect I shouldn’t have relied on an
instant recovery solution. It didn’t work as you can guess. But, alas at 17 ½
miles down the course, my old training partner Jayne Garrett pulls up beside me.
at mile 1, I passed her. I was too good to run with her then. I was busy pacing
a bunch of 3:10 marathoners. Well, she offers words of encouragement &
continues off into the distance ahead of me like the Energizer Bunny. Now it’s mile 18, I’ve eaten 5 GU’s, 1 Cliff Bar, 18 Ultimas
& poured that many waters down my throat & over my head. My shoes are
wet, my legs are tapped & hurting & now I’m feeling worn out. My 7:15
mile pace that I held for the first 14 miles is now increasing 30 seconds per
mile. Folks, this is called hitting the wall. Something I seem to be able to
recreate every year at R-N-R.
shortly after Jayne went by I pulled
over to the side of the road. I really had a huge cramp in my right calf. Thus
I tore my 3:10 sign off my back. I wasn’t giving up on finishing, but I
couldn’t endure 8 more miles, with the thought people would be laughing at
road-kill, with poorly thought out goals. I backed off a lot, all the way down
Morena Blvd. I had to walk, there was nothing I could do and my attitude was in
need of correction. At this point, I quit keeping mile splits on my watch. At
mile 20, I spotted another medical aid station. I wasn’t so cocky this time
with the volunteers. Meekly, I presented myself to them face down on a cot. One
aid iced my legs as the other aid took down my personal info on the clipboard.
I didn’t care how long it took. I wasn’t going for a 3:10 any longer I was
going for the finisher’s medal now. Demoralized I got back up onto my feet
after several more cramps & now both calves were taped. I headed back onto
Morena Blvd. I alternated walking and running as my mind & body fought to
stay in the race. As I walked, spectators would offer words of encouragement
that earlier I never heard. Now, I was at a pedestrian pace.
last 6-miles 1,000’s of runners were pouring past me. At mile 21, I found an
aid station handing out beer! About now I was willing to try anything to shock
my body into running again. Refreshed from the beer, I headed back on the
course again. At mile 22, I guess you all ran into the megaphone wielding coach
there. So now I’ve got Paul Greer
introducing me to the crowd. Yelling, “great job Paul from SDTC, your gonna
make it” or something positive like that. But just the same I wasn’t really
looking well enough for the spotlight intro to the crowd. Around the corner, at
the San Diego Track Club water
station I had people waiting to run me to the finish line. I won’t bore you
with anymore details except that Joe
Crosswhite & Margaret pushed
me along the last 4-miles. But when they left me on my own in the finish chute
I collapsed 100 ft from the finish line. I could hear the PA announcer calling
out, “for those who wanted to break 4 hours, you have 2 mins” As I lay on my
butt trying to clear another leg cram, a race official was asking if I want to
finish & if I wanted to lean on him. I only wished to clear that cramp at
30-seconds till 4 hours I righted myself and, oblivious to the crowd noise, I
started picking up speed till I felt I was moving at a pretty good clip. As for
the excitement of finishing before the clock ticked 4 hours. I noticed everyone
in front of me had made it! Then I crossed the finish line in 4:00:05. My claim
to fame in R-N-R 2000, I WAS THE 1ST RUNNER NOT TO BREAK 4 HOURS!
require endurance, pacing consistency & intelligence. Nowhere does the word
speed appear in that statement. Times
of my training partners: Jayne Garrett
3:18, Karen Johnson 3:22, Sally Rogers 3:23, Paul Baum 4:00, Dan Trone 4:13.
next year when you want to make a pace-group-leader switch at the last minute,
I suggest you pick a woman. They’ve got some game, too. Some other advice toward
no one in particular: work with others in the Club; don’t just isolate yourself
with the schedule & a clock. You won’t get there on time and you probably
won’t be having as much fun, along the way. The marathon is a long athletic
endeavor and let me assure you the rabbit doesn’t always win, unless you happen
to be Kenyan.
year I’m going to take Jayne’s advice (3:18 marathoner, 2nd in her
age group) I’m sacrificing speed for consistency & going back to training
& racing pace smart with the SDTC R-N-R training group.
and Dan I’ve got you 4 races to 3, next one’s yours!
Tina Breen Win’s USATF San Diego's Volunteer of the Year
I've been training with the SDTCRockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’
program this year. Upon joining I was asked by Coach Paul to be the Safety
Pacers aka "Yee Haw" Coordinator. Why not? Sounds like fun!
I'm also the volunteer Membership Chair for USATF San Diego and sit on their Board. I was
recently awarded Volunteer of the Year
for USATF San Diego at the USATF Annual Meeting in Orlando Florida and at the
USATF SD Association Banquet. Being retired I'm always glad to lend a hand.
I've been involved with SDTC for only a year now and have enjoyed my
experience, being appreciated for helping out always feels good. As Coach Paul
says, "Let’s make a difference!"
As for racing this year I participated in the Cardiff Kook 10k February 5 with the
RnR program and as part of USATF SD Long
Distance Running series. I was 3rd in my age group 61-65 with a 52:35, the
up-hill back certainly smacked me in the face. Then I ran at the City Heights
5k Cross Country course February 25th, 28:00 in change and 1st in the 50+ AG.
And then of course the San Diego Half Marathon 5k. Probably one of the most fun 5k's you
can do. It's like riding a roller coaster and when you finish you are
just pumped because it was so fun. I placed 1st in the 60-64 AG with a 23:11 and 3rd Female Masters OA. My
hubby was teasing me and said that’s because nobody showed up. He certainly
keeps my ego at bay.
Other than that I'm getting ready to run with my SDTC Women’s Masters Team at the Carlsbad 5000. I have a blast at that
one too and our Women's Masters 60+ Team is full of some really fast ladies who
put me to the test. But no worries to get beat by them it’s all good. My
respect for them means more to me and I just have fun just trying to hang
What’s the rest of my season look like? Well I'm never
one to reveal what’s up next. I enjoy the process of training and the racing is
just a test if I've been putting in the training. I look forward to continue
wearing my San Diego Track Club
colors this year and doing my best to always Represent.
Our SDTC Men's Masters 60+ traveled to Bend, OR for the USATF
Cross Country Championship race. The race was an 8K (four laps)
held at the Riverbend Golf Course on Saturday, February 4, 2017.
The race turned out to be a race of attrition, both before the race and on the
course. We started with (7) runners and with a maximum of (5) runners per team
(3 score), we had a SDTC "A" team and "B" team.
Unfortunately, two weeks before the leaving, Gary Blume pulled a hamstring muscle and was unable to make the
trip. Three days before, Jack Nash
came down with the flu. Finally, on the way to Bend, Hugh Molesworth's flight was cancelled due to snow and he never
made it to Bend.
So our intrepid travelers, now down to (5), began to arrive in Oregon. Greg Wilson and Greg Wagner arrived Thursday evening just as the snowstorm hit the
area. After 40 minutes of trying to find a ride, they discovered a taxi driver
willing to drive through the snow 18 miles to town. Incidentally, he turned out
to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things NFL and gave a player by player
preview of the Super Bowl.
The next morning the Gregs found
their way through 20" of snow and a balmy 17 degrees to the course for a
preview run. There were crews with snow blowers and shovels trying to clear the
course. We ran the course on about 6" of frozen, slippery snow and then
retreated over the bridge crossing the Deschutes River to the Riverhouse Hotel
and warmth. After his brain thawed, Greg
Wilson decided that his hometown in Maui was warmer, has less snow, and was
at a much lower altitude (Bend is about 3700' elevation and Hana about 78'). No
more winter races for him!
Thankfully, it started warming up hour by hour so that by race day it was in
the mid 40s. That meant the snow was rapidly melting and the course, while
winding through a tunnel of two feet deep snow, became a grassy water slide
generously interspersed with deep mud baths.
In any event, our remaining five runners bravely faced our 10:45 am start.
We lined up in our assigned chute 21 at the farthest left side so that we could
enjoy running through the water pond on that side of the field. Those of you
who have run the course before know that there is a wide flat start across a
grass field that stretches at least 10 or 12 meters before you head straight up
a long hill.
From there the course gets steeper, both up and down. It
is all hills. But at least it's at altitude so your lungs hurt worse than your
legs. And just for the entertainment of the course marshals, there is a very
large tree right in the middle of the first steep downhill. Seriously. So
you either head left into 6" of shoe sucking mud or you head right to go
over ruts and rocks.
To add to your sense of adventure on the steepest uphill,
there are large boulders in between flowing mud that you get to navigate. You
can go over or around the boulders while the spectators laugh hysterically. The
comedians who designed this course thoughtfully painted the boulders with
bright orange spray paint so that when you fall on them you're sure it was the
rocks and not the mud that got you.
Then you repeat that for 4 laps. There were plenty of
slips and falls during the race. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, our
team captain and fearless leader, Paul
Baumhoefner, decided to spike himself in the calf while trying not to fall
down a slippery slope. That also gave him the perfect strategic excuse to slow
down. In another masterful execution of strategy, two Cal Coast runners, who
were holding a lead over Greg Wagner
for nearly 3 laps, decided to launch themselves headfirst into a well-executed
mudslide and slammed into the snow bank. As they continued to roll, one could
be heard to yell: "I knew we should have worn spikes!" Meanwhile, Greg astutely recognized that this might
be an opportunity to pass the arch-rival Cal Coast runners.
At the end of the slowest (and most exciting) XC race any of us have run, we
finished in second place with 11 points to Genesee
Valley Harriers who had 10 points and were 12 seconds ahead of us. Sheldon Subbith finished 2nd, Greg Wilson 3rd, and Greg Wagner was 6th. Paul Baumhoefner and Robb Latimer rounded out our SDTC Second Place National Championship
Team. We were happy to beat our rivals from Cal Coast who finished in third with 24 points and multiple cuts
Post-race, several of us took advantage of the free beer at Deschutes Brewery
and the gathering at the first class FootZone running store. Robb and Grace Latimer spent the afternoon snowshoeing. We all met later
that evening in the town of Bend which, by the way, is full of great people, great
hospitality, and great fun. However, nothing could match Paul's post race recovery celebration as we learned he had spent
the afternoon in the hotel jacuzzi with the UCLA women's team. Despite his
generous offer, they apparently don't need another coach!
Bend was a great experience and we'll certainly miss running there when the race
moves to Florida next year!