The 1000 Mile Club runners once again leaned into the starting line on the first Friday of October for a six-mile race.
J. Strange did not get out hard and fast this time. But he did not disappoint. He did just enough to win the race in a time of 41 minutes and 26 seconds.
“I took it easy this time because my knee has been bothering me and I didn’t want to injure myself,” said Strange.
Mark Jarosik, the team’s fastest runner, was still nursing an injured ankle but showed his support as a lap counter. Club President Tommy Wickerd started running early and alone.
“I had to go to a visit so I needed to get my run out of the way early,” Wickerd said.
Strange kept a close social distance to Steve Reitz for the entire race. Reitz ran a smooth, methodical race and in the end captured second place with a time of 41 minutes and 56 seconds. Mike Ybarra chased both men to capture third place with a time of 45 minutes and 2 seconds.
Despite not having their volunteer coaches and enough lap counters for all the runners, the club appeared to have a lot of morale. Twenty men lined up, bathed in sunshine and full of enthusiasm. There was no breeze. It was gearing up to be a hot day.
Luckily, the race began at 9:10 a.m. and there were no security alarms. But since a softball game was also underway, there were wayward balls flying around and the track looked annoyingly crowded. In fact, the entire yard was packed with people out on the nice day.
Cones and chalk marks revealing the lines were a good reminder for nonparticipants to keep the track clear, along with volunteer Tone Evans. He could be heard screaming for 45 minutes, “Clear the lane! Runners on the track!”
He was perched on a small concrete balcony near the gauntlet, a tight squeeze between a chain-link fence and concrete wall where traffic gets thick.
A second event was planned to take place on Sunday morning because there weren’t enough lap counters — another sign of how much this team misses its coaches