'Alumni Run:' Alumni vs. Current Students

>> Monday, August 20, 2012

So my wife left me on Wednesday morning. To be more specific, Henry and I drove her to the airport for a 4 day / 3 night conference for work in DC. So Henry and I hung out all weekend.

On Saturday morning, Henry and I drove 2 hours south for the "USC Alumni Run." It's a Cross Country race that pits the current high school CC team against any alumni. I ran CC 2 years in high school, and I'd never been able to make it back since then for the Alumni Run. I thought I'd give it a go this year! My Mom met Henry and I at the race site so she could run around with him as I raced. Thanks Mom!

The girls and the spectators gathering around before the female race.

Coach Vies (in the red to the far left) having the alumni introduce
themselves to the current students pre-race.
(Sorry "girl in the middle" - I didn't mean to get a photo of you picking your wedgie.)

I grabbed my old "class of 99" fellas for a photo:

Me, Cam, Tim, Aaron, and Josh.

(Sidenote: you've seen Tim a few times before on my blog. We've been bumping into each other for a few years at multi-sport races. You maybe saw him here and here in my 2-part Cannon Falls Duathlon race report from 2010, and you saw him just a few months ago when we both raced the Cinco "Du" Mayo Duathlon. And I posted a photo of Aaron's butt once before on my blog. It was in this random post of workouts from nearly 2 years ago when we had gone mountain biking together. Huh... a photo of "Aaron's butt..." That's foreshadowing for about what's to come....)

There were 27 men there total (10 Alumni and 17 current students), and we were wondering if us 5 could be the 5 "scorers" for our team! (If you didn't know, CC scoring takes the top 5 finishers for a team, adds up their place in the race, and the lowest score wins. A perfect score would be 15: 1+2+3+4+5=15.)

These other 4 had done this race before, so they all showed me the course on a warm-up. It was a 1 mile loop that we were going to race 3 times. Here's my rough map of what the loop looked like:

We could run straight on a nice trail towards the NW corner, but instead
we're forced down and then back up a NASTY little climb.

Yep. There's the "nasty little climb" near the middle.

So us 27 guys and Coach Vies stood in a circle as we all introduced ourselves. The Alumni had to share a favorite memory of CC. My first 2 buddies to go (I don't remember who they were) both mentioned something I had LONG forgot about: they said something like "my favorite memory is Stenzel's 'acrobatics' in the locker room after practice." Go ahead - try to guess what they're talking about. You won't get it. Your mind can NOT comprehend what was done in that locker room. My mind had shut it out.

Anyway, we all lined up, and Vies shot the starting pistol. Just like I remembered in my CC days, everyone took off HARD. I hated that about CC. I'm totally NOT a "go out hard and see who can hold on" sort of a racer. I'm more of a "work my way up from mid-pack" racer. I was the 5th of us 5 "99" graduates, but I passed Cam and Tim on the slight uphill (shown on the map) in the first lap. NO ONE was going to get Josh - he was crazy fast in high school, and he's still crazy fast now. I ducked in behind Aaron, who's long red hair was mesmerizing as it bounced. We were slowly passing a few current high school kids.

We ran down the steep hill, and then trudged back up it. We hit the open gravel road, and suddenly I was looking at Aaron's butt. His BARE butt. He was mooning me mid-race. Ahhh... the memories from CC back in the day. We finished the first loop together.

• LAP 1: 5:57. "That's FAST for this course (for me)! I won't be able to post another lap like that..."

As Aaron and I went through the twisting section early on in the second loop, I said "Hey, this feels like 2 years ago when we were mountain biking together... I'm still trying to 'follow your line!'" We were both gunning for 1 more young guy in front of us. I was pretty sure he was on our team (an Alumni who had just graduated), but he was a good "rabbit" to try to catch.

I finally worked my way past Aaron on the gravel stretch about half way through the race. I really kicked past him SO I COULD MOON HIM BACK. He just said "Aaaaahhhhhggggg" as I ran past him. I laughed and yelled back "I think that's the first 'strategic move' I've ever made where the point was ONLY to moon someone!" When we turned back into the park, I yelled at everyone cheering (including Aaron's folks) "I had to pass Aaron because he kept mooning me!" Everyone laughed. Here I am just in front of Aaron as we were heading back to the start of the loop:

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that most of us were now topless.

Check out this sweet photo Mom took of Aaron's hair wafting in the breeze:


Cam running past.

Tim trying to get past a youngen.

• LAP 2: 6:12. "Oooh... a bit slower. Just bomb this last loop hard."

I kept my sights on the "young Alumni" in front of me, and I thought I'd be able to reel him in. I'd closed the gap a bit here and there. We hit the gravel road, and I was running hard. But I couldn't catch him. We came running to the line, and I found out that I was 3rd overall! I thought there were more high-schoolers in front of me, but I guess not.

• LAP 3: 6:01.

Speedy Alumni Josh took the win, the "young Alumni" was 2nd, and I was 3rd. So far we had a perfect score in the works!! Aaron was just 20 seconds behind me in 4th, but then 2 high-schoolers finished 5th and 6th. Alumni buddy Cam was 7th. We didn't have a perfect score, but we won heartily.

The Alumni!! (And some kids.) The guy in gray 2nd from the right was "young Alumni" who finished 2nd.

Close-up of me and Henry. (And Skelly and Cam. And Cam's tiny nipples.)

- Individual: 3rd out of 17 in 18:10 (10 younger runners only did 2 loops).
- Team: Alumni won: Alumni 17, High School Kids 44.
- Had the "Class of 99" been our own team, we would have won with 24 points.
- Photo of the official 3 mile results:

(Yep, Josh really finished 1:30 faster than anyone else)

Class of 1999 after the Alumni Run:

Henry and me (3rd), Cam (7th), Aaron (4th), Tim (9th), and Josh (1st).
Cam and Aaron didn't tell the rest of us to flex.....

Here's what my Garmin said my speed was throughout the race:

The little dip at about 1/8 mile is the twisty part that felt like MTBing,
the sharp dip at 0.5 mile (and 1.5 and 2.5) is that "nasty little climb" (that's my walking speed!),
and the "consistent" speed at 0.75 mile is running on the gravel road.

Afterwards, Henry and I stopped by my parents' house so he could eat. He found the piano for the first time:

And then my Dad made him giggle and giggle when we were leaving:

Then we stopped by to see the OTHER Grandpa and Grandma too! (That's a lot of "Grandparents time" in one day!) Here's Henry running up their sidewalk:

Oh, and I found the official results on the USC Website, but I want to copy them here because I don't know how long it will be up (I want to compare times if I do this race again). Here's the official results:

Alumni Run
August 18, 2012
Prairie River Camp

Girls 3200 (2.0 mile)
1. Emily Mantor V 12:35
2. Amber Klein V 14:02
3. Bethany Koziolek V 14:05
4. Tikvah Schwartz V 14:06
5. Beth Stevermer V 14:47
6. Tenley Schwartz V 15:17
7. Andree Escherich A 15:31
8. Amber (Sonnek) Hubbard A 15:34
9. Taylor Schultz V 16:07
10. Taylor Allis A 16:43
11. Cheryl (Stevermer) Sonnek A 17:08
12. Heidi Goemann A 21:00
13. Karen Quade A 22:48

Girls 1600 (1 mile)
1. Lauren Wetzel V 8:58

Boys 4800 Meter Run (3.0 Mile)
1. Josh Schoen A 16:30
2. Dylan Baumann A 18:03
3. Steve Stenzel A 18:10
4. Aaron Peterson A 18:30
5. Eric Redman V 18:46
6. Brian Remington V 19:11
7. Cam Evjen A 19:12
8. Brian Klein A 19:14
9. Tim Staloch A 19:26
10. Brett Stevermer V 19:30
11. Logan Thomsen V 19:36
12. Adam Stevermer V 19:37
13. Dale Stevermer A 19:47
14. Eric Klein A 20:35
15. Raul Gonzalez V 21:49
16. Randy Skellenger A 22:35
17. Thomas Mantor V 23:30

Boys 3200 Meter Run (2.0 Miles)
1. James Dundas V 13:52
2. Jordan Quade V 14:11
3. Chris Mulholland V 14:27
4. Riley Niebuhr A 15:19
5. Tanner Thomsen V 15:32
6. Jonathan Schwartz V 15:53
7. Andy Schultz V 15:56
8. Andrew Johanson A 15:58
9. Caleb Hubbard V 16:01
10. Hunter Malwitz V 16:04

(The course this year was 100 meters longer per lap than the course in 2011.)

Pharmie and I hope to race this next year. (If you didn't know, we were high school sweethearts who graduated together - she was jealous I got to see all these old faces and she didn't!)

Happy Monday!

p.s. I forgot to mention one thing I loved about the race. Once you finished, it was impossible to get through the finishing area without low-fiving everyone who finished in front of you. Every racer seriously gave a high-five or a pat on the back to every other racer. I LOVED that about CC, and I still like to take that attitude to my races today.


SteveQ 10:47 AM, August 20, 2012  

I ran in my high school's alumni meet 25 times, but I don't get invited any more. The current coach got tired of hearing his kids say of me, "He's older than my dad and he's crushing us!" If he knew how much I've slowed lately, maybe I could come back.

Jane Swimming 12:20 AM, August 21, 2012  

Glad I'm not the only one with the "go out hard and see who can hold on" perception.

Nice and steady wins the race righttt? right?

Any way, what did Henry think about the piano? He looks very excited on that picture..and when he's leaving. Like "I can't wait to see that piano again".

Jumper 2.0 7:52 AM, August 21, 2012  

Class of '99. Shakes head. Sometimes I forget how young you are.

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