The Perfect Mile

By Margo Johnson

I ran the Metrolink Mile back in August and it was the first time I’d run a mile race. Having no idea how to pace myself for a “short” distance, I lined up with some fellow SCRR runners I figured I was comparable with and took off. I ended up with a 7:04, which I was proud of (but now obviously I want to run it again to see if I can run under 7!). Many other SCRR runners had impressive times, much faster than me, and it was incredible to see everyone flying down the path.

Around this time, I also listed to the audiobook “The Perfect Mile”, by Neal Bascomb. The book chronicles the story of Roger Bannister of England, John Landy of Australia, and Wes Santee of America as they battled to break the “elusive 4-minute mile barrier”. At this time, it was believed that it was impossible for someone to run that fast. So as these 3 men decided to chase after the goal, the whole world was captivated by their efforts.

While some people may know who was the first to break this barrier, many may not know the story behind the impressive feat, the background and history of these men, and all the dedication, time, and sacrifice they endured in their attempts. As amateur athletes, they were living “ordinary” lives where they were attending school (medical residency for Bannister, Kansas University for Santee) and enjoying hobbies other than running (butterfly collecting for Landy).

In an age before the internet or cell phones, Bascomb describes a simpler time, with the runners hearing news of their competitors attempting to break records by telegram. Of friends and coaches timing races with a manual watch – no electronic timing or digital readouts available. And when those friends were sure that the watch was broken because of how fast the runner had gone, of how they had to run to a (landline) phone to call “Time”, where they would wait to hear “at the tone, the time will be…” to ensure their watch was accurate. And excruciatingly, descriptions of the “state of the art” leather running shoes that were designed for the athletes.

Whether or not you know the story of how the 4-minute mile was broken, this book is a delightful, inspiring read (or listen, particularly on a long run!) that illustrates the passion these runners showed while making history.

Vino for the Holidays

by Justin O’Brien

Happy Festivus!

It’s that time of year again, and the holidays are upon us.  Pumpkin spice, holiday decorations, and Christmas music are everywhere.  Time to attend dinner parties, family gatherings, and the occasional ugly sweater shindig.  With white elephant gift exchanges and holiday parties on the horizon, what should you bring when you don’t want to show up empty handed? Wine has always worked well for me.

What wine pairs with the holidays? Well, like everything else in life “that depends.”  Let’s take a moment to consider two wines that are connected to each other; Pinot Noir and Champagne.  Both check the boxes for delicious on their own, and pair incredibly well with food.  On your way to a social event and not sure what to grab at the store?  Heading to dinner at family or friends and you don’t know what they are cooking?  From a culinary standpoint, both offer versatility.  Also, it helps when you taste buds scream, “Yay!”

On the lighter side we have Champagne, a sparkling blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.  Most people associate Champagne with weddings and New Years Eve, but it is so much more.  Light, crisp, and refreshing, this is a magic bullet that pairs well with any and all food.  If you like something more delicate then look for “Blanc de Blanc” on the label, which just means White from White and is 100% Chardonnay.

You can also go with more robust Brut styles here like Champagne Henriot. Brut just means dry, and unless you like really sweet stuff avoid anything that says “sec” or “Demi-sec” on the label.  

Drink more bubbles. Your mouth will thank you.

Then on to the reds. Originally hailing from Burgundy in France, Pinot Noir has become quite the darling of California.  Pinot noir is a lighter red grape that often produces “crowd pleaser” wines that are great to bring to a dinner party.  Vibrant berry flavors and savory herbal notes; like a hug but for your mouth.  Plus, most wine drinkers probably already know they like Pinot Noir too, so why not start to focus on some of the great areas and dig a little deeper?  Santa Barbara and Sonoma County are the two biggest areas producing high quality wine.  Santa Barbara covers Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, and Santa Ynez and makes great pinot noir because of the cooler coastal temperatures.  Many of these wines offer brighter red fruit flavor. Great options from this area are Brewer Clifton and Melville.

Sonoma County covers Russian River Valley, Petaluma Gap, and the Sonoma Coast.  These wines have darker fruit flavors and a velvety texture. Hartford Court from Russian River is an easy win if you are attending a party, aren’t sure what everyone drinks, and need something delicious and readily available.

Unique Opportunity

There are a few things runners tend to discuss – their training, races, and – um – bathroom habits. The people at GoodNature must know about that last one, because I had the opportunity to speak to one of their representatives at the Dino Dash post-race expo. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 50 and aren’t squeamish, then you might have an opportunity to earn some significant green by donating to their worthy cause of advancing a medical treatment for a potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease. See all the details on their site.


  • 12/1 – Vicki Ballon
  • 12/3 – Jennifer Neff
  • 12/2 – Cathy Shargay
  • 12/2 – Sarah Lee
  • 2/15 – Troy Wilson
  • 12/17 – Danny Truong
  • 12/19 – Scott Bosworth
  • 12/22 – Dave Blakesley
  • 12/27 – Valerie Freeman
  • 12/29 – Jackie Lee


December 2021 Grand Prix Race

What: Santa Claus for a Cause 5K/10K/Kid’s Dash
When: 12/12/21 @ 8:30 am (Updated time!) (5K/10K) and 7:45 am (Kid’s Dash)
Where: Irvine Valley College – 5500 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, CA US 92618
Price: $40+$5 fee (5K), $45+$5.50 fee (10K), $25+$3 fee (Kid’s Dash)
Why: Flat & Fast, not to mention proceeds from this event are Western Wired to tribes and villages in Africa. Oh, and Santa!

Holiday Lights Run

What: Fun evening run/walk around Balboa Island to see the decorations up close and personal.
When: 12/12/21 @ 6:00 pm
Where: Bob Henry Park 900 Dover Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Price: Free and open to everyone who wants to run 5 miles.
Why: That neighborhood has an intense competition every year. If you haven’t seen the incredible displays, you don’t want to miss it. Please wear your own lights for both safety and spirit.

Christmas Eve & New Years Eve Runs

What: Pick your distance (up to 8+ miles) along the San Diego Creek Trail. Bring something to share afterwards & get breakfast at one of the restaurants in the strip mall.
When: 12/24/21 & 12/31/21 @ 8:00 am
Where: LA Fitness 3960 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606
Price: Free and open to everyone
Why: Alternate runs along the San Diego Creek Trail since Christmas and New Years are on Saturday.

Hollywood Sign Hike/Trail Run

What: Annual trek in Griffith Park to the top of Mt Lee for a killer view
When: 1/16/21 (Time TBD. Usually early so we can avoid paying for parking.)
Where: Griffith Observatory parking lot 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Price: Free and open to everyone
Why: It’s fun!

Post-Holiday Holiday Party

What: A real social event (outdoors on the patio) w/ a white elephant gift exchange
When: 1/16/21 (Time TBD. Dinner/evening.)
Where: BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse 13130 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
Price: ~$25 (early bird payment) + cost of gift (~$20)
Why: You do not want to miss out on the cut-throat competition to steal the bottles of wine during the gift exchange. See above for gift ideas.

January 2022 Grand Prix Race

What: Members Only Race. Sign up here.
When: 1/22/21 (7:30 am tentative start)
Where: San Diego Creek Trail (exact location TBD)
Price: Free to all SCRR members
Why: Our Grand Prix committee is awesome and giving us the option to race close to home for no cost

February 2022 Grand Prix Race

What: Surf City 5K/Half Marathon/Marathon
When: 2/6/22 @ 6:30 am (Marathon), 7 am (5K), and 7:45 am (Half Marathon)
Where: PCH & Twin Dolphin, Huntington Beach
Price: $35 fee (5K), $99 (Half), $109 (Marathon)
Why: Hometown favorite. Join team “South Coast Roadrunners (Herold)”

May 2022 Grand Prix Race

What: Laguna Hills Memorial Day 5K/10K/Half Marathon
When: 5/30/22 @ 7:00 am
Where: Start @ Laguna Hills Mall/Finish @ Laguna Hills Community Center (Virtual options, too)
Price: $35 fee (5K – price increase after 2/7/22), $40 (10K – price increase after 2/7/22), $85 (Half – price increase after 1/3/22)
Why: Another hometown favorite

Grand Prix Standings

Five races in and the Top 5 are holding steady. As predicted last month, however, our young upstart has risen through the ranks. With the 6th race just around the corner, I’m anticipating a breakthrough that will ruffle some leftover Thanksgiving feathers. See the full list of participants here.

  1. Barbara Eckes
  2. Mike Dietz
  3. Steve Ireland
  4. Ken Atterholt
  5. Cathy Shargay
  6. Like Friedl
  7. Greg Hanssen
  8. Mike Friedl
  9. David Schiller
  10. Ryan Vieau

SCRR 2021/2022 Board Members

David Schiller – President
Scott LaRuffa – Vice President
Margot Johnson – Secretary
Victor Gambone – Treasurer
Joanna Pallo – Member At Large
Barbara Eckes – Member At Large
Jade Berniard – Member At Large
Michelle Ren & Jackie Chen – Co-Social Chairs

Treasurer’s Report By Victor Gambone

Total Cash Balance, Beginning November 1, 2021 5,767.57
Cash Inflows
* Membership $760.00
Cash Outflows
* Club Meeting/Pizza $352.25
* RunSignUp fee $58.08
Net Change in Cash   349.67
Total Cash Balance, Ending October 31, 20216,117.24
10% Discount at A Snail's Pace Running Shop
Zealios discount code