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Brad’s Corner – Happy Bastille Day 2017

July 14, 2017,  Happy Bastille Day. To those of you not interested in the history of France evert your eyes for a couple of paragraphs. This national holiday originated with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.  This action was a major turning point of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a fortress-prison often holding political dissidents and authors whose writings angered the Nobel class.  As such, the Bastille was a symbol of absolutism of the Monarchy. As it turns out, the Bastille was also a storage facility of guns, ammunition and gun powder. So quicker than you could say, BAM – ZOOM, the peasant/working class had made their mark and statement to the ruling class and the trajectory of the French Revolution was forever changed.

But enough of my simple version of history, Bastille Day for me marks the midpoint of the Tour de France bicycle race. And the big question is; Will this be the year a French rider wins the Bastille Day Stage (14 this year)?  For those of you who have been following this years version of the TdF, it has definitely been interesting and remarkably close this deep into the event (8 stages left). From the rain slicked opening stage (Prologue) with a myriad of crashes and crash outs through multiple stages of intense heat and more slick roads and even more bad crash outs this years Tour has had a fabulous storyline. In contrast to most of the tours this century, the race is very close with 4 riders within 35 seconds of the leader (yellow jersey wearer-maille jeune) and the top 10 all within 5 minutes of the podium.

Today’s race continued this story of close racing, multiple attacks, riders taking chances on downhills and tightening of the general classification results.  In fact just today, the top 10 riders overall ended up in the top 10 of the day’s stage, and for the first time since 2005, a Frenchman (Warren Barguil) won the Bastille Day Stage.  Not only was Barguil brought to tears but so was most of France (or maybe the tears were from Trump’s visit – I don’t know 🙂

The results of Stage 14:

  1. Warren Barguil (France)
  2. Nairo Quintana (Colombia)
  3. Alberto Contador (Spain)

GC results (total of 14 stages): (Over 1500 miles)

  1. Fabio Aru (Italy)                         Yellow Jersey
  2. Chris Froome (RSA)                    6 seconds back
  3. Romain Bardet (France)           25 seconds back
  4. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia      35 seconds back

Jersey Holders:

Yellow (1st Place) – Fabio Aru

Polka Dot (climber) – Warren Barguil

White (top under 25yo) – Sean Yates

Green (sprinter) – Marcel Kittel

Top Team – Sky

So maybe you are wondering why the TdF update.  Well I thought:

1- A fair amount of runners also follow the TdF.

2- It is Bastille Day.

3-  A book review will be coming soon including a mention of the book,  “The Secret Race”, by Tyler Hamilton.

For those of you who remember of the Pre-2013 TdF you might remember a guy named, Lance Armstrong, who dominated the tour for about 10 years, tried to cure cancer and then came clean(?) on how he cheated the whole time on Oprah. Well not exactly entirely clean, but it was a start.  Frankly I never met anyone who didn’t back Lance for most of this tenure and many didn’t believe it even after the Oprah interview.  But now years later (anybody know where Lance is, anybody care?) does having more answers to how far he went to cheat and keep from getting caught interest you? Well if it does, consider this book by Tyler Hamilton a must read.  It is informative, I believe accurate (if you followed this closely I think you will agree) and well written. It has the pace of a mystery adventure novel and I highly recommend it. I will leave the reader to write their own review.

Also coming soon will be the review of 2 running books:

1-   “The Longest Fall”, by, Lee Krinsky

2-  “On Sundays We Go Long”, by, Ty Strange (fellow ER member and XC National teammate(2011)

I will begin the review this weekend, but a here’s a teaser line:

“I enjoyed it and everything from the book cover to the storyline itself will be familiar to many Empire Runners who have run the PAUSATF XC Circuit and our many trails in Annadel and Santa Rosa Creek. You might even recognize some of the characters.”

This is Ty’s second novel and one runners have been looking for: A novel written by a runner for a runner.

Keep reading:

Brad Zanetti
Brad’s Corner

On Sundays We Go Long – A Novel by Ty Strange

In the spirit of classic running novels, Ty Strange has imagined a story about five thirty-something men bound by running talent and living in Sonoma county who juggle relationships, careers, heartaches, and technology’s pervasive reach, all the while training and racing together, pursuing cross-country club championship bragging rights. The following excerpt picks up where the guys christen the start to their season long pursuit.

Saturday Afternoon
Annual XC BBQ

“Robyn, sweetie, this is Dillon and his dog, Miles,” Jake says to his eight-year-old daughter when a man and his siberian husky enter the homestead’s backyard, his arms full of banana bread, a serving dish filled with roasted potatoes, and a case of Allagash White.

“Very nice to meet you,” she says. “I’m Robyn, spelled with a y because y is the best letter in the whole alphabet.” She takes out her Agent Carter notebook and jots in it. “I shall call you Dilly and Miley.”

WooooowooowoooWooooowoooo,” Miles says.

“Oh, that’s a funny noise,” Robyn says, scribing another entry.

Miles tilts her head up toward Dillon.

“If I can live with Dilly, you can live with Miley,” Dillon whispers.

“And this is my lovely wife, Linda,” Jake says as she walks up to them. “This is Dillon.”

“Hello, Dillon. Let me take some of that off your hands.” She offloads the food items. “I’m sure the guys can help you with the beer.”

“Mom, it’s Dilly.”

“Yes, sweetie, I forgot the y.”

WooooowooowoooWooooowoooo.

Linda laughs. “You’re right, Jakey.”

“Mom, Dilly’s dog barks funny,” Robyn says, wrapping her arms around Linda’s legs.

“You know it’s not nice to make fun of others,” Linda replies.

“I mean it’s different,” she says, now playing around Jake’s legs as if they were a jungle gym.

“That’s not a bad thing,” Jake says.

“I know.”

“She’s talking, not barking,” Dillon says.

“Really?!”

“Really.”

“Oh, then we have things to discuss, Miley. We must go!”

Miles eyes Dillon, who nods, and trots alongside Robyn, moving away from the trio, talking a mile a minute.

“Here, let’s find a home for that beer, and I’ll introduce you around,” Jake says, giving Linda a kiss afterward.

“Nice meeting you, Dillon,” Linda says.

“And you.”

Jake walks Dillon around the spacious backyard hidden from view out off Willowside Road, a patchwork of green and brown grass owing to the drought engulfing the region, that plays host to a dozen wooden picnic tables loosely clustered around a large BBQ pit. Around the perimeter of the property tall eucalyptus trees sway to a gentle breeze. Through the trees Dillon watches two horses saunter around a dusty corral, grinning when he spots a pair of donkeys in the same corral, one nudging and chasing a large plastic ball while the other chases the first, nipping at its hindquarters.

“It’s amazing,” Dillon says.

“What’s that?” Jake says.

“How much your place, and mine, makes you feel so out in the country and away from everything, yet we’re only ten minutes outside town.”

“That’s what makes this area special: a little heaven on Earth . . . and a trail always within reach,” Jake says, approaching a lively group sitting around a pair of picnic tables pushed together. “And this motley crew collectively represents the founding mothers and fathers of the club.” He gestures to the consortium of senior-division-and-up female and male runners sitting in various modes of running shirts from years gone by. “Founding mothers and fathers, Dillon; Dillon, founding mothers and fathers.”

A chorus of hey greets Dillon. “Founding mothers and fathers,” Dillon says. “Hey, Dale.”

“The shower working in the Tokyo Room?” Dale says, the club’s most senior of senior members and Dillon’s handyman at his Bed, Run & Breakfast Inn.

“Like a waterfall.” He hands Dale a beer.

“Ooookay, we’d better keep moving,” Jake says, turning and moving on, “or you’ll be employing the entire table for beer.”

Various forms of “But Jakey” fade behind them as Jake walks Dillon over to where the Sunday crew has staked out a table and several lawn chairs. “This is more our demographic.”

“Dillon,” Chase says from his seated position, shirtless.

“Chase. Guys,” Dillon says, setting the case of beer down. It is instantly emptied and placed into the oversized cooler.

“Maggie couldn’t make it?” Jake asks Spencer, referencing his longtime girlfriend.

“She’s on a writing tear.”

“What’s she working on now?” Chase says.

“She doesn’t let me read anything until the second draft.”

“Why not?”

“She says I’m too literal.”

“Nooooo,” Jim says.

Spencer gives off a distinctive clearing of the throat, aka “Spence-speak.”

“Who’s the hottie,” Chase says, gesturing across the way.

Dillon turns toward the hottie, a woman with short black hair and shorter running tights conversing with Robyn and Doris (Jim’s fiancé) on the other side of the fire pit.

Jake chuckles.

“Terri,” Dillon says. “She works for me, helps with breakfast and housekeeping.”

“Hmmm,” Chase says, sipping his beer. “I think I saw her out at the JC track last week.”

“She teaches a class there a couple days a week,” Dillon says.

“You two . . .” Chase gives Dillon the inquisitive eyebrow treatment, shifting his eyes back and forth between employer and employee.

“Nope. I don’t mix business with pleasure.”

“Or trouble,” Jake says, popping the cap off an Allagash White. Doris’s cackle catches his attention and he watches his daughter take notes like a journalist as she and Doris converse with Terri.

Dillon scratches his chin.

“What’s her story?” Chase says.

“She’s working on her master’s in human sexuality—”

The beer that reaches Jake’s lips sprays outward in all directions. The guys standing directly in front of him take quick cover.

“Smooth, Jakey,” Chase says, chuckling along with the others afterward.

The commotion catches the attention of Terri, Doris, and Robyn, as well as others in the vicinity, and all are staring in the guys’ direction, scrambling to cover up their shared embarrassment. Robyn marches over to her dad.

“Dad, I have questions for you and Mom.”

“Lord love a duck,” Jim says.

“That’s my dad’s words, Jimmy.”

“I’m sure you do, sweetie,” Jake says. He composes himself and successfully takes a sip of his beverage. “But not now, okay?”

“Chasey, why are you ’fraid of commitment?” Robyn asks.

More beer spews out from its intended palate, this time from Chase, spawning raucous laughter. “Whaaaaaat?”

“My new best friend, Terri—spelled with an i, though I wanted to change it to a y, but she said she preferred i and I agreed because she’s pretty smart—said you were checking her short shorts out, but if she went out with you—and she said she thought you were cute with your little dimple and blue eyes so it could be a possibility—you’d only sleep with her, then find something wrong with her and tell her goodbye.”

Chase sits stunned. Dillon hangs his head. Jim is about ready to say Jake’s patented catchphrase again, but stops short. Spencer tries to suppress laughter but fails.

“It’s not funny, Spencey.” Robyn glares up at him. “You’re not married, and you’re living in sin.”

Spencer clams up, smirk wiped clean.

“And you thought Doris was going to be your worst problem today,” Jimmy whispers to Chase.

Chase gives Jim the stink eye and turns toward Robyn. “It’s complicated, Robyn with a y.”

Robyn fixes her tiny hands on her hips and juts her head forward. Chase flinches, bracing for the unbridled scorn of a young girl. “No, it’s not, Chasey,” she says. “Grown-ups always say things are complicated. That way they don’t deal with them. ‘It’s complicated. . . . ’ If it’s complicated, then you talk about it more!”

Jake adjusts the 2008 Pikes Peak Ascent cap on his head. “Sweetie, let’s discuss this another time, okay? Why don’t you go ask Mom what she wants for her birthday?”

“You already know what she wants, and this is wayyy more important.”

“I’m sure it is but—”

“Okay, moving on to my next topic,” Robyn announces, setting down her notebook.

Everybody within earshot holds their breath, drinks far from their mouths.

“These are my new shoes.” Robyn bends over as if stretching her short hamstrings, pointing to her new red Crocs that have sunflower stickers across the tops.

Relief, smiles, and nervous chuckles spread over the group.

“Yes, sweetie, the guys think your new shoes are very nice,” Jake says. “Now, go find Daddy a napkin to clean up with.”

“Yes, you are very messy . . . and scruffy!” she says as she turns away, jotting again in her notebook. “We must work on that!”

Jake lets out a sheepish chuckle. “Trouble. Lord love a duck, trouble.”

“Hmmm,” Chase mutters. “I don’t find things wrong with women.”

Dillon grins as groans, guffaws, and a Spence-speak besiege Chase.

“How about the one who insisted on wearing socks during sex?” Spencer says.

“Who wears socks during—”

“Or the one that ate like a wood chipper?” Jim says.

“Chomp, chomp, chomp . . . sharks eat slow—”

“Or the one with the intense eyebrows?” Jake chimes in.

“Hey! She looked serious all the time, especially when she smiled. In fact, when she smiled, she looked fanatical, and when she laughed . . . holy cow!”

Belly laughter brings more attention their way.

“Pfft . . . Spencey’s the one living in sin,” Chase says, sucking down beer.

“Lord love a duck,” Jake concludes, raising his bottle and toasting the group. “To another fun cross-country season ahead.”

“Hear, hear,” cheers the chorus.

Five bottles clink.

***
Excerpted from On Sundays We Go Long by Ty Strange Copyright © 2017.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Meet the guys at:
http://www.tystrange.com

Upcoming book signing event:
http://heartnsolesantarosa.com/Events/Speaker/OnSundaysWeGoLong.html
https://www.facebook.com/events/134222780483311/

Follow Ty at:
https://www.facebook.com/TyStrangesPage/

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Member Spotlight: Thursday Night Run with Michelle and Zach Perryman

Some of you may recognize this lovely couple from their days at Montgomery (class of ’07), or possibly even due to their relation to an official Empire Runners Club HOF inductee. In either case, they will likely become familiar faces to all of us at the Thursday night workout.

How did you two meet?
It all began with running! We were high school sweethearts – we met in track and field sophomore year.

After all these years, what made you decide to come out for an ERC Thursday night run?
M: I’m trying to get back in shape and for the good company.
Z: I heard there was going to be beer afterwards. Realistically though, it’s because we moved back to Sonoma County. It’s a little hard to make it here from Sacramento on Thursday after work.

Have you ever altered your route because you saw an attractive person?
M: No, unless it’s my husband of course.
Z: Heck yes, I changed my route on Thursday because I saw my wife from across the lake. More accurately – I would change my route if I saw a taco truck.

There you have it folks. Until next time.

New Member Spotlight: Thursday Night Run with Brian Ambrosini

Many of us had the pleasure of running with Brian on Thursday evening at Howarth Park for his first Empire Runners training run. Sure, he’s done a handful of races, but nothing could prepare him for Larry’s one-liners or Zanetti’s, well…Zanetti. Just kidding, the guys and gals are always extra pleasant around first-timers.

How long have you been a member of the Empire Runners?
I’ve been a member for 5 months now.

Why did you join the club?
I became a member to be part of a running community and motivate me to make time for exercising. Plus you get to run in a bunch of local events for free. What’s not to like?

How did you enjoy your first club training run?
It was great and I’ll definitely feel it in the morning. The group was inclusive and the runs allowed you to participate at your ability. There was beer at the end too!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I once did a 2,200 mile National Parks road trip with my sister in under 3 days.

TRACK!

by Alex Wolf-Root

TRACK! If there’s a more exciting word in the English language I haven’t heard it.
After 2 years of injury (long story, but includes sacral stress fracture and a will-never-heal labral tear), I’ve finally had the chance to have a track season. Two track seasons, in fact!
At a personal level, I went from no track season since 2013 to (thus far) 4 meets and 7 races around the oval. Somehow included in that was a small (0.83) second PR (personal record) in the 1,500m. So that’s cool. But the other season has been a lot more fun.
The more important season is that of Santa Rosa Junior College (Go BearCubs!). Somehow former Maria Carrillo HS (Go Pumas!) teammate and Chico State standout David Wellman talked me into being his assistant distance coach this season. And it has been a blast. Helping others work hard to achieve goals is an awesome experience. And exhausting. I do not understand how those high school coaches with scores of athletes do it year after year. But major props to them!
(If you want BearCubs results, check out directathletics.com/lists/track/258_1896.html. And to follow along everything local T&F, especially at the HS level, check out redwoodempirerunning.com, run by the amazing Jim Crowhurst.)
Anyways, you didn’t open this article to read about my track or even about SRJC Track & Field, though you should (Go BearCubs!). You opened it to learn about how you (yes you!) can enjoy the wonders of racing around the oval!
Coming up tomorrow, Saturday, April 22nd, at Montgomery High School is the Viking Invitational. The Viking Invite is a huge track and field invite, but what makes it extra-awesome is that at 8:30am (be there by 8!) there is an open/community 3,200m. That’s right, you can burn up 8 laps of the track before watching some awesome HS T&F action. (Pro tip: Santa Rosa HS senior and Heart & Sole Co-Runner of the Year Luca Mazzanti has his eyes set on breaking 4:10 that day. You do not want to miss it!)
While you don’t have time to physically prep for this weekend, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare for summer. The Empire Runners Club hosts five all-comer meets over summer, every other week on Tuesdays, starting June 13th. These are truly all-comers; there are little kid 100m dashes, 80+ year old athletes running round the oval, fiesty HS student-athletes showing their speed, and everything in between. Each meet runs in the following order:
Mile
100m
800m
200m
400m
Distance Event*
Relay**
*The Distance Event rotates throughout the summer, going from 3,000m to 2mile to 5,000m to 3,000m for the first four meets.
**The first four meets conclude with the 4x400m relay. Grab your friends and each run a lap around the oval! There’s no better way to finish a track meet! Well, except for the…
Distance Medley Relay! The final meet combines the Distance Event with the Relay, for the awesome, the amazing, Distance Medley Relay! The DMR is another 4-person relay on the track, but each runner runs a different distance. The first runs a 1,200m (3 laps), the second a 400m (one lap), the third an 800m (two laps) and the fourth a 1,600m (four laps). That is the best way to finish off a track meet!
Now one concern many have is that they aren’t “fast enough”, or some such silly worry. Again, these are all-comers; EVERYONE is welcome. Races will be divided by expected finish time, so you don’t have to worry about being a lap behind or anything like that. It’s a super supportive environment for all.
Want to start getting prepared now? You’re in luck! The Empire Runners host weekly track workouts led by Larry Meredith on Tuesday evenings. Specifics for each week can be found on the ERC Training Calendar.
If you’re getting excited (and really, who isn’t?!), then let’s talk a little bit about spikes. SPIKES! (That’s one of the top-5 words in the English language.) Spikes are your light-weight, responsive racing shoes. They aren’t for every-day runs, but for races and workouts. They are for going FAST! (Remember: Fast is relative!) They are something you have to work into, but they are so much fun. One of the greatest feelings in the world is doing a quick stride on a warm summer day after lacing up a pair of fresh spikes.
Not sure if spikes are right for you? That’s okay! Heart & Sole, Santa Rosa’s local, independent running store, has done the legwork to provide Saucony Vendetta spikes for anyone to use at each of the five ERC Summer Track Meets! More details to come.
Already aware of the above local T&F options? Check out the Pacific Association of USATF’s annual Track Meet. On Sunday, June 11th at College of San Mateo you’ll experience a professional-level track meet with some impressive competition. The PAUSATF also provides information on other open, competitive track meets throughout spring/summer for your veteran tracksters. And yes, they provide info for Master’s competition (40+ years old). Getting older does not mean getting away from the oval!
While nothing beats racing fast around the oval, watching athletes race fast around the oval is pretty dang awesome too. So put these events on your calendar:
Payton Jordan Invitational: Saturday, May 5th, Stanford University
USA Track & Field National Championships: Thursday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 25th, Sacramento State
TrackTown Summer Series: Thursday, June 29th, Stanford University
Alright, you’ve spent way too long staring at a screen while reading this article. Time to get up, lace up your shoes, and go burn up the track!