In this month’s issue, Ryan Vieau gives his Back Bay 8K race report, and Amy Katz shares some recipes perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Back Bay 8K By Ryan Vieau

Thanks once again are due to Greg Hanssen, Mike Friedl, and the Grand Prix committee for keeping these races going while we slowly creep towards a normal race environment again. These races don’t just pop up out of thin air, and we appreciate all the work including the volunteers at the races to help make these happen.

Our February race was an out-and-back 8K race, which is just shy of 5 miles. We started at Shellmaker and Back Bay Drive just outside the Newport Dunes area, and ran north on the path ~2.46 miles and turned around just before the short steep hill that leads up to Eastbluff. 

Our start time was bright and early at 7:00am which allowed us to beat the usual Back Bay crowds and take full advantage of the crisp cool weather. As per our usual Covid-style spacing, we had the first runner (Joel Whitson) start promptly at 7:00am, and the next runner was sent out every 30 seconds after that. 

There was a sizable turnout of about 31 people, lots of familiar faces and some new ones too, including Greg Hanssen’s college roommate Phil, his wife Marie, and their flock of 4 speedy young ones.

When it was my time to start, I immediately knew that my pacing would have to be on point to keep Steve Ireland even in sight, and to try and stay ahead of perennially speedy Mike Dietz starting 30 seconds behind me (GULP). 

Collage of runners participating in the Back Bay 8K

It was a bit tough to guesstimate start times for this race, as the only competitive 8K race I had done was the classic Brea 8K, which has plenty of hills and twists and turns mixed in. Our Back Bay course was if not flat as a pancake, then close enough. I settled on a 33:50 estimated time and crossed my fingers. 

Right off the bat within the first mile I knew I started off too fast at a 6:45 place, so forced myself to slow it down. I figured if I could keep just under a sub-7:00 pace I should be in good shape to keep a little extra in the tank for the last mile or so.

There were a handful of dog walkers, cyclists, and a group of hikers to work around, but other than that, you could not have asked for a more open course. It appeared that we all followed Greg’s advice to stay to the pedestrian side to get our mileage right, and not cut the course and come up with a short Garmin time at the end. 

Gary Hefner was there to snap his usual excellent photos and cheered us on as we filed past. Always a laugh to see if you look as good or bad as you feel when examining those photos post-race.

It was a welcome sight to see Joel and Steve Ireland fly past me near the turnaround point, as I knew the halfway point was just a few dozen yards up. But I think seeing them I subconsciously upped my pace a bit, as once I saw Lillian Bertram at the turnaround point encouraging us on, I noticed my pace went way down to a 6:40 something.

And when turning around for the second half, I saw Mike Dietz had made up probably 15-20 seconds on me, yikes! My brain juggled the idea of slowing down and keeping the pace to my 6:55 goal yet still making it difficult for Mike to catch and pass me. I couldn’t do both, ha!

As expected, Mike eventually caught me about .50 a mile past the turn around spot, and continued to glide on past. As tempting as it was to close the gap and keep him in sight, I told myself to stabilize at a 6:55 pace and bring it home. 

It was great to see the other SCRR faces come filing by on the return leg, thumbs up and cheers were thrown out to others who were in hot pursuit of one another, like Greg Hanssen and Kelcey Kinjo. And it reminded me how lucky we all are to have these races as a goal or just to help maintain our sanity. 

As the final mile ticked by I tried to step things up a bit to make up for a sloppy mile #3. My final time came to a 34:27, which was about 37 seconds off my ‘guesstimate’ made a few weeks earlier. 

It felt good to be healthy/not injured, cheering on my friends and competitors on a beautiful day and for about an hour on that Saturday morning seeing and cheering on all the racers that came in after me, including birthday boys Steve Whitson and Gary Hefner. It felt like old times!

Recognition Awards 2019-2020

Collage of 2019-2020 Recognition Awards winners

Grand Prix Winner: Sherri Ellerby

Ideal Female Runner: Barbara Eckes

Ideal Male Runner: Thomas Fung

Most Improved Female: Jacklyn Chen

Most Improved Male: Luke Friedl

President’s Award: Nicole Herold

Volunteer of the Year: Nicole Herold

Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes By Amy Katz

Get into the holiday spirit with these Saint Patrick’s Day recipes. There’s everything from Irish soda bread to Shamrock Shakes!

Irish Soda Bread

This Irish Soda Bread is a yeast, dairy, and egg-free bread that’s super quick to make. No kneading or complicated shaping is involved. Enjoy it fresh from the oven, slathered with butter.

Loaf of soda bread

Irish Scones

Irish scones are the perfect compliment to any meal from breakfast to dinner.

Basket of scones

Rainbow Fruit & Veggie Platter

You probably won’t find a pot of gold at the end of this fruit and veggie rainbow platter, but there’s hummus!

Fruit and veggie platter

Colcannon Soup

This Colcannon Soup is a twist on the Irish classic. A creamy soup filled with potatoes and kale, it is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration or anytime you need an easy-to-make cozy meal.

Colcannon Soup in a serving bowl

Shamrock Shake

Treat yourself to a homemade Shamrock Shake this St. Patrick’s Day. Packed with bananas and spinach, this minty milkshake is a healthy spin on the seasonal favorite. 

Shamrock Shake with straws and mint and chocolate garnish

Treasurer’s Report By Victor Gambone

Total Cash Balance, Beginning  February 1, 20213,749.91
Cash Inflows: $580.00 Membership; $80.00 Merchandise660.00
Cash Outflows-First Thursday
Cash Outflows-RRCA Membership Dues & Insurance
Cash Outflows-Banquet
Cash Outflows-Uniforms
Cash Outflows-Social Gatherings
Cash Outflows-Other: PayPal fees16.92
Net Change in Cash   643.08
Total Cash Balance, Ending February 28, 20214,392.99

10% Discount at A Snail's Pace Running Shop

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