40th Annual Phaby-Gray Resolution Run
January 1, 2019
By, Brad Zanetti
At 0715 on Tuesday morning, January 1, the sun was just poking above Bennett Mountain, the wind was whipping and the air temperature icy. The wind was blowing the course-marking flour about. As I finished the turnaround marking and headed back to the start/finish I noted it was really cold but at least the runners would benefit from a strong finishing tailwind. Jump ahead to 0830 and the wind had become a mere whisper, the temperature in the upper mid 40’s, crisp and clear…you know perfect racing weather!
While the runners were slow to begin congregating at Place to Play Park, the volunteers and set up crew were quickly getting everything ready for the 10 am start. While I finished with course set up, Jerry Lyman was hard at work leading the finish line and timing crews through their paces. Meanwhile, Luis and Melanie Rosales (Mr. and Mrs. Coach) were leading the Piner XC crew, taking care of most of the other necessary responsibilities for the preparation and running of a successful race. In short, I was surrounded by a race director’s dream team. We were ready and all we needed were runners.
By 0930 the buzz of excited runners was evident with the queue to both the sign-up table and the porta potty backing up. While we waited for the start of the race, Larry Meredith began announcer’s duties, updating those that were listening, with time checks, race history, introducing the Phabys and updates from last year’s results.
All the while many runners were in the middle of race preparation and practicing race starts running around and through the mass of late arrivers.
At 1000, a moment of silence was called for our fallen Empire Runners, Alec ‘Doc’ Isabeau and Michael McGuire. After a quick reminder of the course details, racers of all ages toed the line awaiting the starting marine horn blast. And an instant later the group was off.
At around the 1K mark after completing the soccer field loop, last year’s champion, Dante Capone had developed a small lead over 2nd place Scott Kruetzfeldt. In 3rd in the early going was Tyler Harwood. For the women, last year’s champion, former Ursuline star Sarah Hallas, had a comfortable lead over 14yo Sarah Skandera with Krista Dreschler a close 3rd. Behind these early leaders another dozen or so runners were in single file in hot pursuit.
Past the 1-mile mark and around the pond loop nearly 250 runners and walkers snaked around the course as the leader pulled further ahead as he entered the Northwest Park exit and continued east on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail. At around the 14-minute mark Dante Capone emerged from behind the baseball field visibly pushing the last 200 meters in an attempt to break his course record. About 30 seconds later a smooth running Scott Kruetzfeldt was cruising along followed by a fast charging Tyler Harwood. Former Analy HS and current UC Santa Cruz runner Dante Capone finished strongly in 1st Place setting a new course record by 1 second in 15:22, a 4:57/M pace. Chico State freshman (Maria Carrillo HS), Scott Kruetzfeldt finished in a fine 15:50 and former Casa Grande star Tyler Harwood with his patented “big kick” flew in with a 16:08 time.
The first woman to hit the final tarmac was Sarah Hallas running in 12th Place overall and safely ahead of 2nd Place Krista Dreschler. Sarah, just a year from Masters status, finished 1st in a very fine 18:20 (5:55/M pace) with Krista using a strong finishing kick passing 3rd Place Sarah Skandera in the last 50 meters with a 19:27 time. Sarah finished in 19:36, being pushed to the limit by 57yo Andy Howard just edging him at the line in the same great time.
There were a number of great times and notable finishes. Men’s Master runner, Brandon Bannister, came in 6th overall in 17:05 (5:30/M), 3 high schoolers finished 4th, 5th and 7th overall: Paden Collard (Cloverdale HS), Nolan Hosbein (Casa Grande HS) and Andrew McKamey (Santa Rosa HS). 70yo Lon Wiley won his division in 21:51 (7:03/M pace). Not to be outdone, 8yo Paul Skandera won his division in a blazing 21:01 (6:48/M). Our youngest finisher was 5yo Isaac Keys while our oldest finisher was 82yo Darryl “the Legend” Beardall.
In the Women’s division top times outside of the top 3 runners included a very nice 19:47(6:23/M) for 54yo Senior Masters runner Cathy Dubay. Ruth Skandera just 9yo dominated her division with a fine 21:39 (6:59/M) and big sister Rebekah Skandera just missed breaking the 20min barrier for 5K @20:11(6:30/M). Our youth was well represented as 16 girls under 12 years old finished the race (30 total boys and girls), the youngest being 7yo. The oldest woman finisher was 78yo Kathleen MacPherson.
Following the last finisher, the awards were presented to the Top 3 in the men’s and women’s divisions. They each received a beautiful Brooks long sleeve running shirt emblazoned with Resolution Run and Empire Runner graphics provided by Heart and Sole as well as a choice of a bomber of Lagunitas beer, champagne from Korbel or Martinellis Apple Cider. Age group awards and raffle prizes were provided by Fleet Feet, Healdsburg Running Company (HRC), Lagunitas and Costco.
Well the day couldn’t have been prettier or the temperature more perfect for a January race. The atmosphere was spectacular and the vibe was “very cool”. I felt like this was the best rendition of this particular race at Place to Play and it couldn’t have happened without a lot of preparation, hardwork and skill of my staff and volunteers. The volunteers were plentiful and I know I will miss some but if you helped me in anyway be assured that I am tremendously appreciative. First and foremost, no Empire Runner event can survive without the skillset of Jerry Lyman (who years ago at a monthly meeting stated emphatically that he was retiring from volunteering…and he hasn’t stopped working since! Thanks Jerry for “retiring”). The Piner XC crew led by the Rosales simply come in and take over many race day operations and with a minimal of discussion not only provide excellent service but work to improve each year. I can’t thank you enough. The Piner course monitors (XC students) are the best. We were lucky to have Larry Meredith and his expansive knowledge of all things running announcing, wife Tori Meredith in charge of end of the finishing chute, my daughter, Michelle handing out ribbons to the kids and getting each award/raffle winner their gift. Thanks to the timing tent (Peter Kirk, K-Pop and Jerry) because without them this would just be a Fun Run/Walk. Special thanks to Bob Rogers and Scotty Ames for helping with finish line setup/takedown and more importantly “keepin’ it real”. Finally, I would like to thank those that just saw something that needed doing and stepped in and helped. That is what makes the Empire Runners such a great social activity group to join and be part of. I hope you took advantage of visiting our booth and meeting our membership guru, Gil Moreno and perhaps were enticed to give us a try.
January 1 has passed and the 2019 version of the (40th Annual) Phaby-Gray Resolution Run has packed up the proverbial tent for another year. We are looking forward to seeing you again next year and we will work to make this event even better…though I can’t promise the weather will ever be as nice as 2019!
- Dante Capone 15:22(4:57/M) **New Course Record**
- Scott Kruetzfeldt 15:50(5:06/M)
- Tyler Harwood 16:08(5:12/M)
- Sarah Hallas 18:20(5:55/M)
- Krista Drechsler 19:27(6:16/M)
- Sarah Skandera 19:36(6:19/M)
12 and under:
- Ruth Skandera 21:39(6:59/M)
- Isabella Mathiesen 22:47(7:21/M)
- Eleanor Farley 25:21(8:10/M)
- Sarah Skandera 19:36
- Rebekah Skandera 20:11(6:30/M)
- Josehine Rivera-Hoagland 21:53(7:03/M)
- Krista Drechsler 19:27
- Sarah Labberton 24:47(7:59/M)
- Jennifer Mason 27:32
- Sarah Hallas 18:20
- Gretchen Forrey 22:12(7:09/M)
- Andrea Guzman 22:54(7:23/M)
- Kerry Hanlon 21:27(6:55/M)
- Kate Farley 24:42(7:57/M)
- Andrea Foster 27:56(9:00/M)
- Cathy Dubay 19:47
- Val Sell 22:46(7:20/M)
- Nuvit Salz 22:53(7:23/M)
- Doreen Pinelli 23:42(7:38/M)
- Janet McCann 26:05(8:25/M)
- Marianne Moore 26:48(8:38/M)
12 and under:
- Paul Skandera 21:01(6:46/M)
- Daniel Skandera 21:51(7:03/M)
- Ian Farley 22:40(7:18/M)
- Scott Kreutzfeldt 15:50
- Paden Collard 16:44(5:24/M)
- Nolan Hosbein 16:56(5:27/M)
- Dante Capone
- Tyler Harwood
- Joe Ruiz 17:23(5:36/M)
- Thomas Parker 17:52(5:45/M)
- Francisco Azevedo 19:42(6:21/M)
- David Park 20:51(6:43/M)
- Brandon Bannister 17:05
- Vince Viloria 19:58(6:26/M)
- Andrew Taylor 20:13(6:31/M)
- Andy Howard 19:36(6:19/M)
- Troy Tuscher 20:14(6:31/M)
- Philippe Thibault 20:17(6:32/M)
- Rob Main 21:52(7:03M)
- Brian McSweeney 23:20(7:31/M)
- Vernon Stafford 24:09(7:47/M)
- Lon Wiley 21:51(7:03/M)
- Jon Hermstad 23:49(7:41/M)
- Brendan Hutchinson 25:17(8:09/M)
80 and over:
- Darryl Beardall