Race Report – Running is Overcoming

By Sara Song

In early 2020, on the day I had trial run with SCRR, I was asked what my pace was. I had no idea so I guessed 8 minutes. It turned out I barely could run an 11 minute mile at that time. During the first couple of weeks running with the club, people wanted to know if I was training for any race. I had zero idea if I could run a race back then and wasn’t thinking of racing.

It’s Sep 11, 2021, about 18 months after I started running with SCRR, and I’ve run many Grand Prix races, but today is my first half marathon. In addition to all the running I’ve done, I prepared by studying the course for 20 minutes last week because I didn’t want to get lost, even though I was assured that there will be plenty of people around me. I saw many photos online from previous years, but still I didn’t have the complete picture of how the course looked.

Wow! There were almost one thousand people just in my wave at the start. I was so excited to be there that I laughed as I crossed the line! I loved seeing that all up and down PCH was covered by fellow runners. I loved to hear the sounds of pounding feet stepping all around me, “Thom Thom Thom”. I felt happy thinking that all the runners may experience a high and healthy spirit like I was. I was glad to see many familiar faces from our club and Snail Pace so that we could enjoy the same racing moment together. It also helped to wipe away my first timer nervousness when I saw them.

Two race goals were to enjoy it and gain some experience. My time goal was 2:05, but I didn’t have much confidence I would be able to achieve that. Up to mile 9 I felt great and I was pacing myself so that I would have enough reserves to finish strong. At mile 10 my confidence grew and I wondered whether I could speed up and finish in under 2 hours.  After only a few minutes at the faster pace my right foot started to cramp slightly and I could sense it getting worse. I thought, “Oh no, not now.”, so I immediately reduced the pressure on that foot and slowed down a bit. The cramp was still there but at least it was holding steady. I started to pray.

Early during the run, I gave thanks to God for everything, my running club, my new job, my husband, my church, my sister in China who takes care my dad, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who take care my in-laws so that I can enjoy all that American life can offer; I gave thanks to all of my friends who surround me with love. I can tell you when I was thinking all the above, I was not feeling tired and the miles just went by. After a few more minutes, the cramp went away and didn’t come back.

For the remaining three miles I was not aggressive. I started feel a bit tired in the last mile but I was confident by then that I could finished the race without much drama or surprise. When the Finish sign came in sight, my heart was light and my steps were still strong and steady. Then I heard my husband cheering my name. My whole body felt buoyant as I past him.

The organizer did a great job and I feasted on the snacks and drinks after the finish line. I felt like I could eat any amount of carbs at this moment. When my body started to relax, about 10 min after the finish, my right leg started cramp. It was so intense and so painful that I could not walk or stand. My right leg just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. Fortunately, my husband was there and helped me sit on the ground.  Eventually I stood up with one leg and was able to battle the cramp using my regular tricks. Luckily it stopped in about three minutes.  I couldn’t imagine if this had happened during the run. I wondered how it would have felt and whether I would have even able to finish the race.

I wish my fellow club mates continued joy while running and the positive effect that running has in every aspect of your life. Thank you for the friendship, help and encouragement.

Sara Song, Brion Talley, and Barbara Eckes at the 2021 Surf City Half start line
Sara Song, David Paul, Nicole Herold, and Michael Tang celebrating after the 2021 Surf City Half Marathon

Who’s Running Where?

by Nicole Herold

Racing is back and our members are traveling to all points on the globe to toe the line.

Fargo Marathon

  • Vicki Ballon (marathon #17)

Berlin Marathon

  • Alanna Brown (marathon #15)
  • Cathy Shargay
  • Greg Hanssen
  • Greg Minton
  • Leslie Vu (marathon #1 – PR!)
  • Sarah Lee (marathon #25)

Where are you running? Let me know.

Running News

by Nicole Herold

This is a reminder to be careful and aware when you run. Even in our sleepy OC suburbs, danger can lurk on our favorite running routes.

Original Press Release

The series of sexual assaults on women along walking and running trails in Aliso Viejo began in January 2020 and continued through at least August 2021. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department released two composite drawings of the suspect in the attacks in the hopes of identifying the sexual predator terrorizing women along the trails.

On September 4, 2021, Robert Daniel Yucas, 51, of Cathedral City in Riverside County was identified as a suspect in a crime committed in San Diego. DNA collected as a result of this incident matched DNA from two of the Aliso Viejo attacks.

An anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers led investigators to the September 4, 2021 incident in San Diego that ultimately led to the DNA hit that matched the suspect in that attack to the suspect in the Orange County attacks. The collaboration between law enforcement, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and the San Diego, Anchorage, and Cathedral City Police Departments, made this arrest possible.


  • 10/1 – Brion Talley
  • 10/2 – Veronica Franco
  • 10/6 – Nancy Vela
  • 10/11 – Mike Bertram
  • 10/19 – May Chih
  • 10/22 – Kathy O’Connor
  • 10/23 – Aya Kawakami
  • 10/23 – Marc Owen
  • 10/26 – Brigid Pukszta



What: Dino Dash 5K or 10K
When:10/31/21 – 10K @ 7 am sharp! and 5K @ 8 am Updated times
Where: Tustin Marketplace – 2915 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA US 92782
Price: $35, but get a 15% discount: DDRaceGrader15
Why: Yearly tradition to fight for the honor to take home a coveted Dino


What: OC 5K
When: 11/6/21 @ 4:30 pm – Nighttime race Updated time
Where: OC Fair & Event Center – 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Price: $40, but get a 10% discount: RG10
Why: Another hometown favorite

Grand Prix Standings

We are 3 races into the 2021 – 2022 race series. Here is the leader board. See the full list of participants here.

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

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 September 1, 2021 5756.97
Cash Inflows
$300.00 Membership
$120.00 Merchandise
Cash Outflows – Club Meeting/Pizza352.25
Cash Outflows – RRCA Membership Dues & Insurance
Cash Outflows – Banquet
Cash Outflows – Uniforms
Cash Outflows – Social Gatherings
Cash Outflows – Other
$23.40 RunSignUp fee
Net Change in Cash   44.35
Total Cash Balance, Ending September 30, 20215801.32
10% Discount at A Snail's Pace Running Shop
Zealios discount code

This is your newsletter. Let me know what you’d like to read. -Nicole @ nicoleherold@yahoo.com