Mora 3rd at Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

Mora 3rd at Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

By Jameson Mora

I knew Darius was fit, as he won the Los Gatos One Mile Bang race last week, but I wasn't sure what kind of shape Will was in. The gun went off and I found out pretty quick. 

Will took off and instantly had a small lead, which he held to the finish. I stayed with him and Darius for a little while. After a quarter mile I expected them to settle in because I felt like we were going at a 1500 pace. They never let up. I let them go at around the half mile point, and still came through the first mile in 4:37, 10 seconds faster than I had planned. It was a painful and slow final 2 miles. I worked hard to hang on for third in a time 15:17.

Shoes: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer 

Terry 2nd at Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

Terry 2nd at Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

By Darius Terry

Just 30 miles south of my hometown, San Jose, CA, I started my Independence Day celebration with the Freedom Fest 5K in Morgan Hill. With an 8 AM start time, it was still a bit cloudy and chilly during this competition. Several of my fellow HOKA ONE ONE Aggies toed the starting line for what would soon be a dominant outing for the club as a team. 

Will Geiken set the pace from the start, and I followed right behind him. He brought me through the first mile at 4:30! From that point on, it was a two man race as there was major separation between us and the third runner. As we completed our first loop around the course, a small gap had formed between Will and I, and once we came through the second mile at around 9:16, the fatigue was beginning to set in. With about 1200m to go, I made one final push to try and challenge for the win, but my body was at its limit, and Will was out of reach. Still, I was able to secure 2nd place, and our top 5 Aggies finished in the top 10, so its was a great competition all around.

Shoe: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

Fast mile road race in Los Gatos

Fast mile road race in Los Gatos

By Phil Jensen, Bay Area News Group

The mile run is a glamour event at track and field meets, but is rarely raced on the roads.

That is part of the attractiveness of the One Mile Bang, a road race in Los Gatos on June 25 that attracted both elite runners and those simply seeking a new personal record.

The race is along a point-to-point course between Blossom Hill Road and Lark Avenue, on the north side of Vasona Reservoir. The non-profit event benefits Cityteam Ministries San Jose. As the race website states, “Anyone can run a mile — those who are fast, slow and everywhere in between. Everyone deserves a home — no one should have to live on the street and City Team offers hope and assistance to the homeless.”

There were certainly some fast times achieved in this year’s race.

Darius Terry of San Jose produced the fastest time of the day with a scorching 4 minutes, 6.8 seconds. He was 2.2 seconds faster than the second-fastest time of 4:09.0, clocked by Benedikt Buenz of Strava Track Club. Thomas Poston of Goleta had the third-fastest time of the day (4:09.4). All three men broke the former course record.

Continue reading at: mercurynews.com

Geiken Wins Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

Geiken Wins Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5K

By Will Geiken

Fog. I’ve been a fan of the moisture-laden air for years, and on what might have been a brutally hot morning in Morgan Hill, it was the fog that kept conditions race-friendly. 

On the start line I found myself without a clear idea of how I intended to race. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to wait until the last mile, as I have too much respect for my teammates’ leg speed. So, in the spirit of the flat circle that is time and my season opening 5K at Brisbane, I got off the line hard and decided to see how things would shake out from there. Much like Brisbane, no one wanted to get out quite that hard, but unlike Brisbane, I didn’t hear footsteps off my shoulder at the quarter mile mark. I knew I was being chased, but I could hear that I had a bit of a gap as we finished up the opening downhill straight and turned onto the parade route. At that point I committed to the idea that my best option was to just keep hammering and hope that no one would close the gap.

For the next half mile, positioning remained largely the same. I could hear footsteps, which I later found out were Darius’, but I was holding a gap. Then we turned up the hill for the first of two times, and I recommitted myself to pushing the pace. As we ran, I started paying less attention to the footsteps and more attention to moving forward. I hit the turns hard and worked the downhill while trying to recover my breathing. Moving along the flat stretch before the final hill I couldn’t hear anyone behind me, but I didn’t want to look back to confirm for fear of losing the poise that I needed to hold onto. I also didn’t want to signal how much my body was starting to suffer. With just a long hill between me and the finish, I stuck myself into the gear that I had and worked on not running into any of the joggers who were still completing the first lap. Part of me was still waiting to hear the slap of speeding feet as another runner came to catch me at the line. It’s happened before. Fortunately for me, my tactic had worked, and I had opened up enough of a lead to win. Turning around after the finish I saw more than enough HOKA ONE ONE Aggies cross the line in quick-succession to ensure the team victory as well. A good day!

This marks my final race of the season, and it was a nice way to cap off the spring. Many thanks to my teammates, Joe, and my family and friends for what was a fun series of months.

Winning Shoe: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

Sturgess Reports from the One Mile Bang Run

Sturgess Reports from the One Mile Bang Run

By Gordon Sturgess

I never thought I could ever run fast in the mile, just because I never considered myself a miler. But after running 4:13 at the PAUSATF One Mile Bang race, I realized that even endurance guys can run fast, if they set themselves up for a fast mile. I wasn't really going to do this race, but my teammate Jameson Mora talked me into it. He said it would be fun, so I signed up the night before. I am so glad I did! Also, I am honored to rep the HOKA ONE ONE Aggies.

Poston Third at PAUSATF One Mile Bang Run

Poston Third at PAUSATF One Mile Bang Run

Photo from PAUSATF - @pacific_association

By Thomas Poston

A somber, forgettable, four-hour car ride up to Los Gatos, California would prove to be a well invested journey to a thrilling, memorable, four-minute bout down University Lane. This gradual, downhill street overlooking the Vasona Reservoir is where the 2017 One Mile Bang race would take place. 

To put this race in context, I have not had a stellar 2017 Spring/Summer jaunt around the oval office. So, a downhill mile with team scoring wasn’t exactly my preferred venture of choice. However, the pressure that comes from the presence of a team effort may have been the exact pick-me-up I needed. A call to arms was something I hadn’t experienced in over a year, since I had last raced in the Gaucho blue of UC Santa Barbara. Noticing the HOKA ONE ONE Aggie cavalry cheerfully preparing for the race reassured me (ever so slightly) that what mattered most on the day was my effort for the team, and that is all I can ask of myself on the day.

With some last-second leg shakes and some deep breaths, the gun goes off and the hoard begins the downhill charge. Interestingly enough, we have a lead car with timing equipment rolling just ahead of the pack, giving us a constant reminder of our progress. This was a very welcoming thing to see. A road mile is an unorthodox race where most of your effort gauging is reactionary. Four minutes is not a lot of time to methodically plan your pacing compared to its four-lap counterpart on the track, where you’re being fed information every 220 to 440 yards. So the lead car helped a lot in my case, since I’m the kind of person that thrives on that constant feedback. 

An unknown runner bursts into the lead within the first 100 yards and almost pulls even with the car, a good 10 or so meters ahead of us. The rest of the pack knows full well to contain their excitement, so everyone completely ignores this early leader. We cross 440 yards in just a tick over 60 seconds, and I find myself tucked in just behind my teammate Darius Terry and two Strava Track Club runners. The rest of my Aggies teammates are in tow, almost forming a barricade in front of those attempting to retain contact. 

The next two quarter miles blitz by my recollection, as all I could do was reassure myself that all I needed to hang on and let the course and the pack pull me forward. The fun truly began once we hit 440 to go in about 3:06 to 3:07. Darius immediately coasts away just a moment or two after 1320 yards, letting us know ahead of time that the first-place medal would be in his rightful possession. In the meantime, I’m punching my ticket for a seat on the struggle bus as Benedikt Bünz from Strava Club is narrowly pulling ahead of me right as I remind myself that the time to use my last gear is fast approaching. I had scoped out the finish line earlier in the day, and had committed to making my final push by a delivery truck sitting just ahead of some markings on the road indicating 200 meters left in the race. But with the fatigue setting in quickly, I knew that I had to use my last move wisely.

Just before I hit the delivery truck, my teammate Phillip Reid decides to join me on my right side. As much I don’t want to admit it, my young gun pride kicked in once that occurred, so the final push may have had a little bit more oomph than expected. I squeeze by ever so slightly past Phillip, my head starting to rock, my arms flailing to the side, barely keeping Benedikt in sight as the finish line was approaching. I plead for one last push but I'm completely spent, stuck in my last gear and hoping the wheels would stay on for just a few more yards. I muster a desperate dip across the line in case someone had mustered up a late charge from behind, but I secure myself a respectable third place finish. 

I was personally disappointed since I found myself finishing behind a runner from a different club, but I did what I could on the day and was satisfied I had given what I could for the team effort. I craned my head around shortly after I crossed the line to see a solid number of Aggie blue, and couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction knowing the team title was secured with authority. Our top four all finished under the previous course record. It was a fun day to be an Aggie, and the four-hour car ride back home was a little more enjoyable for all that. 


The Shoes: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer
    

Terry wins PAUSATF One Mile Bang Run

Terry wins PAUSATF One Mile Bang Run

Photo from PAUSATF - @pacific_association

By Darius Terry

Looking to bounce back after my 5K at the Portland Track Festival did not go as I had hoped, I decided to enter the PAUSATF-sponsored "Los Gatos One Mile Bang Run".  The weather conditions were perfect: it was about 70 degrees and there was a slight breeze as well.  The course was downhill, which reminded me of the State Street Mile I had competed in a few weeks prior. From that experience I knew I couldn't put too much emphasis on splits. 

At the start, a fellow competitor was out quick, and had a significant gap on the entire field going through 400 meters, but I remained tucked in the chase pack, confident that we would reel him in.  By 800 meters, the pack had surpassed the early leader, and there were about 10 competitors all in contention going into the final 400 meters.  With about 300 meters to go, fellow HOKA ONE ONE Aggie Tom Poston began to make his finishing push, which I responded to along with a Strava TC athlete.  I was able to pull away from both of them over the final 200 meters, opening up a lead that I would maintain to the finish line. 

The official time was 4:06.8, so along with the win I was able to set a new course record.
 
Winning Shoe: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

Steedman Gets the Coveted Black Shirt at the Dipsea!

Steedman Gets the Coveted Black Shirt at the Dipsea!

By Doug Steedman

The Dipsea is the second oldest running race in the US, after the Boston Marathon. It was first run in 1905. It is a tough and quirky 7+ mile trail race in Marin County, CA. The course starts in Mill Valley, climbs up and over the shoulder of Mt Tamalpais, and finishes in Stinson Beach. One of its traditions is that of the "headstarts", wherein runners are set off in groups, one per minute, according to age and gender. The oldest (66 year-old women and 74 year-old men) and the youngest (6 year-old boys and 7 year-old girls) start first, with the 19-30 year-old men going last (25 minutes later). Since the awards are mainly based on order of finish, the winners can (and often do) come from the early starting groups. Thus, unlike most races, the winner almost never comes from the ranks of the 19-30 year old men, although there is a separate award for the fastest runner over the course.
 
This year was my 13th (consecutive) Dipsea. I ran my first when I turned 50, and thought of it as a one-off. But the race has gotten under my skin, and I seem to keep coming back. One reason is that the handicapped start means that my chances of a top finish have actually been increasing with my age, as I am slowing down less quickly than I am gaining headstart minutes. This year I was to start 14 minutes ahead of the young bucks. And when I say "a top finish", I am referring to another Dipsea tradition - the "black shirt" for each of the first 35 finishers. Each shirt is numbered with finishing place writ large on the back. Some of the top Dipsea exponents have amassed a large collection of these shirts over the years, with (I think) the record being almost 30. Although the Dipsea has never been a big race for the Aggies, a few have their collections of shirts from back in the day: Hank Lawson, Gordon Abbott, and Rosemarie Lagunas each have a few, Tim Minor also.
 
The last couple of years I have come into the race thinking a black shirt was a definite possibility for me. I even warned the family that I might be late back from the race in case I had to stay for the awards ceremony! But it didn't happen, and each time I took the first post-race shuttle back to the start and got home early. My best place was 46th, from 2013. In 2016, I did a lot of training on hills (did I mention the race is kind of hilly?) and was confident. Then I got sick with a bad cold a couple days before the race, and it was all I could do to finish the race on rubber legs with a 10-minute personal worst, doing just enough to re-qualify for 2017.
 
This year, I doubled down on the hill work, and even found myself doing strength work in the gym (first time in my life). I also did some practice trail races and felt good on the uphills. Then again, frustratingly, I got sick in the week prior to the race. This time it was a 24-hour fever thing with some indigestion issues. But by race day I felt OK, albeit not 100%.
 
The highest point on the course is "Cardiac Hill", about two-thirds of the way through the race, with the tough climbing past and mostly downhill to follow. To that point, I was just a little off my goal pace, and had been passing a lot of folks who started ahead of me. I could sense the younger, faster runners closing in on me from behind (although only one person - the eventual winner Chris Lundy - had actually passed me to that point). Imagine my surprise and pleasure when the spectators at Cardiac told me I was in 8th place! This was unknown territory for me. The second person to pass me was my training partner Clay (who is a couple of years younger and started 2 minutes behind me). He maintained pace and place all the way to the finish and ended up in a superb 8th place in his first real Dipsea.
 
I am not great at the downhills and got passed by quite a few of the younger runners, including a group of six that all came past at once in the last quarter mile. But I still ended up 25th, got to take part in the awards ceremony, and finally got home late, proudly wearing my first black shirt. With one minute more headstart minute next year, I'll be hoping to improve my spot and add to my new black shirt collection! And who knows... perhaps some of my HOKA ONE ONE Aggies teammates will make their way to Mill Valley on an early June day, and join me for "a little run over the hill to the beach."

 

Messerly 2nd at Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Messerly 2nd at Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

By Brandon Messerly

The San Diego Rock 'n' Roll marathon was my second race at the 42K distance. I came into this one with much higher expectations than I had for my debut marathon. In that race I was focused solely on not blowing up. This time around I came in with a specific time goal of breaking 2:30. Even with a slight setback (catching a cold the weekend before the race), I was confident that with a slightly easier course and much more consistent training I was ready for a big PR. 

I planned to run the first half conservatively, which for me meant running splits of between 5:40-5:45 per mile. I talked with fellow Aggie G-Money before the race, and he had the same plan as I did, so we decided to work together. After running the first four miles much quicker than I had planned to, Gordon continued to pick up the pace. I decided to let him go, knowing that even though I was feeling good at the time I still had a lot of running left to do. This did mean that I would run almost all of the remaining 22 miles solo, but I was confident in my plan and did not want to get in over my head. However, the excitement of the race still got to me, and I ended up going through the half in 1:13:30, well ahead of what I had intended. The second half became a struggle. A giant hill through miles 23 and 24 led to by far my slowest two miles of the race.

In the end I missed the goal I had been so focused on by 14 seconds. I finished with a time of 2:30:13. I don't know if it was due to going out too quickly, or due to misjudging how hard the final hill would be, but I know I will be thinking about those 14 seconds a lot during the coming months. Those 14 seconds aside, I am quite happy with my overall performance. It's hard to complain too much after a four minute PR and taking second place to a runner who has run under 2:11. It was a great experience racing close to home for the first time in three years, and I'm happy that I was able to represent the HOKA ONE ONE Aggies well.

Shoes: Tracer

Noel Takes 3rd at San Diego R 'n' R Marathon

Noel Takes 3rd at San Diego R 'n' R Marathon

By Eric Noel

Last weekend in San Diego I laced up my HOKA ONE ONE Claytons for my encore 42k this season. This version of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon closely followed my pinnacle Spring race last month: the Lincoln Marathon in Nebraska (that state east of Colorado).  While I’d never recommend engaging in consecutive marathons with such a brief time lapse in between, I couldn’t resist one last opportunity to race in the Golden State before returning to the Cornhusker State for grad school.
 
It was just before the 21k mark when I quickly realized that this would be more of a character building experience than a grinding race.  That’s a nice way to put it.  You see, in a marathon, experience is currency.  Will power alone won’t see you to the finish.  Fortunately, I have run the distance enough to recognize that the wheels were falling off the bus early, and I needed to conserve enough fuel to reach the famous RNR after party; a place where indulging in adult beverages before 9 AM is publicly acceptable without judgement.
 
In the final miles, I hallucinated an accidental detour to Tijuana, where I panicked upon realizing I didn’t have my passport in my frustratingly undersized pocket.  Clearly my body hadn’t forgiven me for my previous 42k effort in May.  Despite these adversities, I managed to finish on the podium while sincerely enjoying my stay so close to the border with fellow HOKA ONE ONE Aggies teammates.  I am already looking ahead to the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento at year’s end, where I’ll be focused on shaving two minutes off of my PR to achieve the elusive U.S. Marathon Olympic Trial qualifier standard.
 
SHOES: Clayton 2