Hillis Reports From the Women's 'pede

Hillis Reports From the Women's 'pede

By Mary Hillis

Being a part of the HOKA ONE ONE Aggies centipede at the 2017 Bay to Breakers (B2B) was one of the most unique racing opportunities I have ever experienced. Never before had I raced while physically attached to 12 teammates, as we ran a hard 12K through the streets of San Francisco. The course starts by the Bay, takes you up and down the steep city hills, then through Golden Gate Park, and finally to the sea. Despite parading down those streets tethered together with masses of entangled carabiners and bungee cords, our crew somehow managed to appear almost ordinary amongst the more colorful participants. Weaving between unicorns, superheroes, and a giant pink gorilla, I witnessed more adult male anatomy than I care to observe! But having said that, the depth of diversity at the B2B is a testament to the participants’ imagination and commitment to celebrating fun.

I have been an Aggie for almost one complete orbit around the sun, and this was my first experience of the legendary B2B weekend. For some runners, this is the pinnacle race of the season. For others, it is a time to let loose and run with their fellow lady teammates. But for all of us, it is an event where the HOKA ONE ONE Aggies always display their toughness and competitive spirit. The veterans lead the way through the crowded start, persuading the rest of the ’pede to follow, while encouraging a sustainable, coordinated cadence. We battled all the way until the end, finishing second, with the front of our ‘pede finishing in sync with the tail of the winning team. Can’t wait to see what next year’s B2B brings!

Plow Plow Plow!

The Shoes: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

 

 

Messerly Takes 3rd at SLO Half

Messerly Takes 3rd at SLO Half

By Brandon Messerly

This was my second consecutive year running the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon.  It has become one of my favorite races.  This year there was a much higher quality of competition.  I was excited, hoping that the tougher competition would lead to a fast time.  

I am in the middle of training for the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon and did not really back off of training for this race, but I had recently strung together some of my most consistent training in a while and was hoping that it would translate to a fast half time.  I talked with fellow Aggie Gordon Sturgess, and we made plans to run the first half controlled and together, and that is how it played out.  Ben Bruce and Joe Thorne, who would end up taking first and second, were a class above the rest of the field, but Gordon and I made up the second pack along with one other runner, consistency clipping off between 5:20 - 5:30 miles.  At around 7 miles in we took a sharp turn and began a tough and hilly next three miles. It was on these hills that I broke away from the group I was in.  From there I was on my own, and cruised in the last three miles to finish in third place.  

Overall it was not quite as fast as I was hoping for, but I can’t complain too much about a 30 second PR on a tough course, and an awesome HOKA ONE ONE Aggies debut.  I look forward to representing the HOKA ONE ONE Aggies again in San Diego in 5 weeks time.

THE SHOES: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

Reyes Wins SLO Marathon

Reyes Wins SLO Marathon

By Sergio Reyes

What a perfect day for a run. I'd been excited to finally participate in this event in my hometown. I'd originally planned on experiencing the SLO half marathon and using that as a tempo type effort. However, as build up towards a late spring marathon was necessitating longer and longer Sunday runs, I figured it only made sense to get in my long run in conjunction with the SLO Marathon instead. What better way to practice the fluids intake, testing out shoes, and going the distance on a closed course with a fan base? The support from family members along the way was an added bonus as I knew they could easily navigate to the next stop on the cheer train, being local residents.

The long runs so far have been a challenge in this marathon build up. It gets tough when you start pushing past 25 miles by yourself, with maybe a single fluid stop at a park fountain or something. The winds and heat where I train can multiply the exhaustion factor pretty quick. Nevertheless, I'd seen some decent runs, passing through the marathon mark in the low 2:30's range en route. So, I figured the SLO marathon could go better than that. I opted to keep my mileage up and ran easy the day before rather than jumping in the team workout on Saturday morning. Good thing too, those guys were scorching that tempo and the 400 reps.

I started race day and almost immediately felt the heavy legs from the high mileage that hadn't let up. I thought it was going to be a long hard day. However, after letting a couple of half marathoners go, I just kept to what was a comfortable pace and stuck with it. By around halfway, the body had adapted to the pace and got comfortable. By 30k, I could feel things turning on and preparing for a harder finish. With 4-5 to go, the confidence started setting in that I could drop down to 5-flat and comfortably hold that. It was my first solid long run where I didn't feel out of gas and actually closed strong feeling pretty confident. The marathon simulation was a success. I didn't have personal fluids and couldn't practice the gu/gels this go around, but I have time to refine that aspect. The gear was awesome though. I loved the uniform material as I constantly doused myself to escape the heat momentarily, and the shoe selection for this long run was spot on. I'm now a big fan of the HOKA ONE ONE Clayton 2. They are in the running (no pun) for my next marathon. The day was a success, the time respectable, the high miles logged, and I'm one step closer to peak marathon fitness.

WINNING SHOE: HOKA ONE ONE Clayton 2

Kadavy Wins SLO Half

Kadavy Wins SLO Half

By Jenny Kadavy

Running the SLO Half Marathon was challenging, but of course it's always fun to win! I have never run a road half that was even slightly hilly, so the first hill hit me pretty hard. The last major hill at mile 9 just about wiped me out! I was so grateful for the downhill/flat final three miles. I felt like I was jogging parts of that race! I will say it was nice to not have any competition for the whole race, but I still had that course record goal in my head, so I knew I had to keep up the pace. 

My training has been inconsistent since I became a mom 22 months ago. I work full time as a teacher, so I squeeze in training and recovery when I am not working or taking care of my daughter, Anna. I was encouraged to see my husband (Andy), Anna, friends, and teammates out on the course cheering me on, and the crowd was so supportive.

I must admit, I was very concerned about using a new racing shoe that I hadn't even worn before. However, the HOKA ONE ONE Tracer turned out to be a great fit for me. I'm amazed that my calves aren't sore at all after racing. The Hoka gear was nice and light, so that certainly helped my performance. I've won the only two races that I've run so far in the Hoka One One attire, so I'm excited to continue that streak! 

I really enjoyed seeing my teammates at the race - our men's team is an outstanding group of guys and always impressive in their running endeavors. Jordan Hasay's presence made the event all the more special because she is obviously such an inspiration to both men and women. 

In the next month I'm looking forward to running the Bay To Breakers (B2B) in the Aggies centipede, then the Marin 10k, and then I'll start marathon training again mid-summer.

WINNING SHOE: HOKA ONE ONE Tracer

Terry Takes Stow Lake Stampede 5K

Terry Takes Stow Lake Stampede 5K

By Darius Terry

The Stow Lake Stampede 5K was a very fun race to be a part of.  The course was a single loop that was relatively flat (which I tend to prefer).  

At the beginning of the race, I made sure to put myself into a good position right with the leaders.  We came through the first mile at 4:53, which felt pretty comfortable for me.  The second mile came with some rolling hills, so although I felt the pace had picked up, the pace had actually slowed to a 4:55.  By this time there was a pack of about 5 runners still in contention, but I felt comfortable.