Category Archives: 2020 Posts

41st Annual Phaby-Gray Resolution Run

January 1, 2020 10:00AM

The weather report promised a clear, sunny and warm day but at 7am, Wednesday, January 1st I was not prepared for the beauty of this particular sunrise. This was a sunrise that was as red-orange as a Hawaiian sunset and with it a warmth not common in the middle of winter. Ahead was simply a spectacular day for the 41st edition of the Resolution Run.

Prior to the 10am start much still had to be done: 1- course setup 2- timing tent/finish line presided by Jerry Lyman with Peter Kirk, Dale Peterson and Tori Meredith. 3- Registration, Food/Water and course Monitoring lead by Luis and Melanie Rosales and their Piner HS XC Team. As per usual, with setup complete, runners slowly made their way to Place to Play Park on 3rd Street in Santa Rosa.

As the group of runners slowly grew and milled about awaiting the starters blast, the timers readied themselves. When the 5 minute to go was announced the group had swelled to over 200 and began to congregate behind the starting line for pre race directions and a course explanation.

With an ‘On your Mark’ and a blast from the marine horn the 41st Resolution Run had begun. As the leaders finished the first loop around the soccer fields and headed toward the second loop (pond loop), 3 runners had separated themselves from the group led by former Carrillo star, Scott Kruetzfeldt, Santa Rosa Junior Andrew Mckamey and former Sonoma Valley HS star Chris Tose. A second group of 4 followed: led by former Casa Grande runner Tyler Harwood and included Masters star Brandon Bannister. The first woman to pass the 0.6mile spot was Master star Cathy Dubay, followed by Carrie Peterson-Kirby and 14yo Rebekah Skandera. The remainder of runners passed by over the next 15 minutes.

After conquering the pond loop the runners proceeded out the NW exit onto the S.R. Creek Trail heading East past the 2 mile mark, past Malibu Circle another 150+ meters to the turnaround. The runners were sent back West again toward the NE entrance back into the park behind the baseball park. By this point about 300 meters from the finish Scott Kruetzfeldt had separated himself from the pack. He was followed by Andrew McKamey and a hard charging Tyler Harwood. At the finish the order stayed the same with 1st place timed in 16:09, 2nd Place in 16:25 and 3rd Place in 16:36. The first master, 44yo Brandon Bannister crossed the line at 16:40 (an age graded All American time). The first over 50 male was 56yo Guy Shott in 18:19 (another age graded All American time). The first over 60 male was 62yo Steve Lafler at 20:52 and the first over 70 male was 71yo Lon Wiley in 22:07. There were 2 over 80 males led by 84yo Dan Tuohy and followed by the running legend, Darryl Beardall with his new high speed walker.

The race for the women’s trophy followed a similar formula to the men’s race. From the view from the finish line, the first woman to cross behind the baseball field(about 0.3 mile from the finish) was still Cathy Dubay as she had further gapped the second woman, Carrie Peterson-Kirby and finally the third woman, Rebekah Skandera was just clear of the fast closing over 60 runner, Ann Thrupp.

At the finish the top women’s order remained the same with Cathy Dubay finishing 1st in 19:48 (an age graded 90.8% All American time), Carrie Peterson-Kirby 2nd in 20:44 and Rebekah Skandera held off Ann Thrupp in 21:25. 62yo Ann Thrupp finished 2 spots behind Skandera in 21:38 (in an overall #1 age graded 91.2% All American time).

There was definitely some great racing and times throughout the participants and all 200+ runners finishing shortly after the 1 hour mark. There were a lot of grimaces and smiles at the finish with one young participant literally leaving it ALL ON the race course. Post race there were a lot of high fives and happy conversations as the runners enjoyed fruit snacks and the infamous donut holes from Park View Café and waited for age group awards and the remaining raffle prizes. The combination of an uncommonly gorgeous day and a holiday spirit made for a near perfect race (unless you were stuck in the portapotty –sic).

After Darryl “The Legend” Beardall rolled through the finish line to a cavalcade of applause and attaboys the award ceremony commenced with raffle prizes sprinkled about. The overall winners were presented with Resolution Run Hoodies (provided by Heart and Sole) and a beverage provided by Lagunitas or Costco if underage. The age group top 3 also received beverages from our sponsors and/or power bars. Raffle prizes were provided by our sponsors: Lagunitas, Fleet Feet, Costco and Sports Basement(a new sponsor). Over a 100 items were given out in awards and raffle prizes.

No race goes well without a lot of pre race planning and an experienced and dedicated race day team. I would to take this moment to thank the finish line/registration coordinator, Jerry Lyman and his timing crew (Tori Meredith, Dale Peterson and Peter Kirk), the Piner HS XC crew led by Coaches Rosales who helped with registration/food prep and course monitoring. They all did a fabulous job and make my job much more efficient. Our prize sponsors include Heart and Sole (4th and Brookwood) and Fleet Feet (W 3rd St), our specialty running shoe stores in Santa Rosa and a new late edition, Sport Basement (Costco Shopping Center), a true all sport emporium and finally Lagunitas Brewing.

I ended last years race review with I don’t think we will ever have nicer weather for another RR event and that may be true but the weather this year was pretty phenomenal and the course was pretty fast and in great shape. I hope all who attended had a wonderful time and I look forward to seeing you all again next year on yes, January 1st (2021) for the 42nd edition of the Phaby-Gray Resolution Run. And Happy New Year!

Brad Zanetti
Resolution Run Race Director.

Race Results (partial)


1st – Scott Kreutzfeldt 16:09
2nd – Andrew McKamey 16:25
3rd – Tyler Harwood 16.36

1st – Cathy Dubay 19:48
2nd – Carrie Peterson 20:44
3rd – Rebekah Skandera 21:25

Age Group:


12 and under:

1- Ruth Skandera (10) 23:08
2- Carley Schubert(12) 24:21
3- Sienna Richards(8) 28:11

13 to 19:

1- Rebekah Skandera(14) 21:25
2- Vivien Mattice(16) 22:27
3- Sarah Skandera(15) 24:12

20 to 29:

1- Sarah Labberton(28) 24:05
2- Jennifer Mason(28) 28:19
3- Ashley Boggs(28) 47:34

30 to 39:

1- Josilynn Parker(30) 22:18
2- Trista Park(35) 22:52
3- Gretchen Forrey(31) 23:04

40 to 49:

1- Carrie Peterson-Kirby(46) 20:44
2- Kerry Gesell(46) 22:40
3- Kerry Hanlon(47) 22:55

50 to 59:

1- Cathy Dubay(55) 19:48
2- Carol Dubay(56) 23:09
3- Nuvit Salz(59) 23:18

60 to 69:

1- Ann Thrupp(62) 21:38
2- Dara Hill(67) 27:40
3- Lisa Titus Isabeau(61) 27:48

70 to 79:

1- Kathleen MacPherson(79) 48:36


12 and under:

1- Paul Skandera(9) 19:56(80.3% Age Grade AA)
2- Fletcher Crowell(7) 20:42(84.1% Age Grade AA)
3-Spencer Diaz(12) 22:36

13 to 19:

1. Scott Kruetzfeldt(19) 16:09
2. Andrew McKamey(17) 16:25
3. Paden Collard(18) 16:42

20 to 29:

1- Tyler Harwood(27) 16:36
2- Patrick Lynch(20) 16:46
3- Noah Forrey(24) 16:54

30 to 39:

1. Francisco Azevedo(38) 18:56
2. Greg Murphy(37) 19:24
3. Brian Tuohy(37) 19:51

40 to 49:

1. Brandon Bannister(44) 16:40
2. Vince Viloria(42) 19:53
3. Brandon Crowell(44) 20:42

50 to 59:

1. Guy Schott(55) 18:19
2. Kenny Brown(50) 19:12
3. John Lundy(56) 19:31

60 to 69:

1. Steve Lafler(62) 20:52
2. Bob Rogers(62) 21:18
3. Frank Cuneo(64) 21:51

70 to 79:

  1. Lon Wiley(71) 22:07
  2. Asher Nathan(72) 26:29
  3. Bill Browne(71) 26:53

80 to 89:

  1. Dan Touhy(84) 48:07
  2. Darryl Beardall(83) 58:04

**Full Results on the Empire Runner site –


The Empire Runners have a long-standing commitment to providing scholarships to deserving XC/T&F student athletes of Sonoma County making the transition from high school to college. Made possible by dues and contributions from our members, we are
giving our 3 recipients a total of $ 3000 in scholarship awards this year. All clubmembers should be proud of the part they play in this most wonderful of traditions

The ER SGF is substantially funded by the Kenwood Footrace as well and due to the Covid Status will not be receiving these monies for the 2021 scholarships. This year there is an Independence Day Weekend Challenge Virtual Race which is free if you sign up through the ER site and we are asking, if you choose, to give a donation which will be used for next years SGF Scholarships.

This group of 2020 recipients has had to deal with the most unique set of circumstances in generations- 2017 Tubbs Fire with entire sections of Santa Rosa burnt out impacting thousands, 2018 Camp Fire and being smoked out for weeks, Flood along the Russian River and this year Covid-19. They have missed more school, more training and more sports by far than any other class. And all 3 recipients were personally affected by these circumstances. Here is hoping their next 4+ years of University life and sports return to some sort of normalcy.

Our first recipient is a 4yr XC/Track & Field athlete. He was a 3 yr varsity performer, part of a league championship team and qualified for the California State XC Championships twice. His PR on the Spring Lake Course is 16:32 and his mile PR is 4:38. He has been an outstanding addition to his teams since freshman year with his upbeat personality initially and then developing excellent leadership and team building skills. He has been instrumental in bringing the new young runners into the team concept. Our first recipient’s coaches have thoroughly enjoyed their experience with him and will miss him as he leaves high school and begins his collegiate career.

Our first ER SGF scholarship recipient is looking forward to starting his collegiate career at Santa Rosa JC. As an athlete who has missed parts of 4 seasons he is still far from reaching his athletic and educational goals. While working extra hard due to a learning disorder he also made time for over 200 volunteer hours. His teachers and coaches will be following his progress closely, under the tutelage of Coach Wellman, as he embarks on his journey to be the best runner he can be and complete his prerequisites for transfer to a university and study Marine Biology.

Our first recipient is the former Piner Prospector and future Santa Rosa JC Bearcub, JEREMIAH CANO.

Our second ER SGF scholarship winner is also a 4yr athlete, in both Soccer and Track&Field. He has been accepted at the College of his choice and will be playing soccer primarily with the option of continuing in T&F if he can make it work. He has achieved at a very high level attaining All Empire in both Soccer and T&F, the highlight of qualifying for the NCS meet final in the 400 meters. He has been achieving at the highest level all 4 years as well with Alltime in Class Top 10s in the 400 meters- # 7 Freshman 51.84, #10 Sophmore 50.77 and #5 Junior 49.52. He also has PRs of 22.44 in the 200m and 1:57 in the 800m. Unfortunately our 2nd scholarship winner was unable to perform for his Senior season and continue up the Alltime Best Ladders.

Our 2nd recipient, too, has had to face many challenges during his high school career including the near total destruction of his school during the 2017 Tubbs Fire but that did not deter him. Even while playing Varsity Soccer all 4 years, T&F and performing significant community service(winning the Christian Gentleman Award) he has maintained an unweighted GPA of 3.9 in a College Prep course load with many AP classes. He also found time to participate in student council. Our 2nd recipient will take his talents, dedication and hard work to further his education in viticulture/agriculture. This scholarship winner will trade the cardinal & gold of Cardinal Newman for the blue & white of UC Davis in the Fall.

We are proud to announce our 2nd scholarship presented to the future Aggie from Cardinal Newman, JUSTIN PATTERSON.

Our final SGF scholarship winner began her high school career as an all star varsity volleyball and basketball player. She went out for the track team to put her in line for the Iron Lion Award(3 sports for all 4 years). To all who knew her it was a forgone conclusion she would go to college playing volleyball but she soon fell in love with the ‘throws’(Shotput and Discus) while scoring points in a variety of other events. Like the other recipients her education and athletic career was negatively impacted by fires, flooding and Covid but in addition she contracted a very severe case of Lyme’s disease and missed half a school year. She has worked very hard to get her physical level back and even improve it. This hard work was evident when after only 2 meets this year she improved her SP PR to 36’1.5”(50th AT RE) and her DT PR to 140’10”(#3 AT). Highlights besides many League championships, All Empire awards, multi event NCS qualifier peaked with a trip to the State T&F Championship for the discus last year. Our recipient was looking for a return trip this year with her 140+’ throw in March good for 5th in the state when the season was interrupted. She has been working fulltime improving her throws and adding the Javelin and the Hammer to her repertoire which she will be throwing in college.

Always an excellent student our final SGF Scholarship persevered through fires, floods, Covid and Lymes disease to maintain an unweighted 3.83 GPA in an AP College Prep track. She also made time to be a teachers aide in Math through high school, be a member of multiple clubs including Leadership and civic volunteering. This scholarship winner had multiple excellent Universities to pick from and decided on UC Irvine where she felt she had the best chance to meet her goals of being a D1 NCAA Champion and hopefully qualifying for the 2028 Olympic Trials. Considering what she has had to overcome so far I wouldn’t bet against it. This scholar athlete will be trading her Lion mascot to become an Anteater in the fall.

We are proud to give the ER SGF Scholarship to El Molino’s very own, KASSIDY SANI.

My 2020 Boston Qualifier

by Steve Lafler

I had a pretty good run at the Empire Runners Lake Ilsanjo Run in 2018 and was looking forward to returning in 2020, but my wish to run a Bostom Marathon qualifier got in the way this year.

I got my BQ March 1 at the Napa Valley Marathon – 3:33:29 chip time (needed 3:50, male age 60 – 64 to qualify for Boston).  I came fourth in my age group.  This is a dream come true for me.  I was going to run with the 3:40 group, but the pace leader stood there and clearly wasn’t paying attention when the race started!  Major fail. 

So I eased into my rhythm.  At two miles I noted the 3:35 pace group about 100m ahead, and kept my eye on them.  Around the 6 mile mark, a group of 6-7 runners formed and we discussed: “What the heck happened to the 3:40 pace leader?!”  I made a plan with three other runners to gradually catch up to the 3:35 group.

Feeling good after a water station, I floated away from the chase pack and caught the 3:35 pace group at 13 miles.  The groove, the cohesion of this new pack was fantastic with 10-12 runners locked in.  I had good stretches and not-so-good-stretches, but kept a positive attitude.  Taking Gatorade at aid stations and an energy gel every five miles stoked my engine.

I strode in front of our 3:35 group after a drink station with 3 miles to go, feeling good, and threw it down.  With two miles to go, I dueled with a woman who had also broken away from the pack.  She wouldn’t let me draw even with her, then I felt an uncanny lift in my stride – this is the return on all those tempo runs, all those long runs, a sudden burst of effortless pace that took me away from a tough competitor!

Haha, the last mile was dicey as heck but I kicked myself in the butt to keep it rolling. 

See you at the Boston Marathon in April 2021!

To what extremes would you go to get in your run?

I was willing to jump out of a second-story window.

by John Harmon

In late July of 2006, my wife and I were on holiday ending in The Thames Valley. We had just spent the last six months living on the Prinsengracht in Old Amsterdam. I have been given an assignment with European accounts and was stationed there to gain better access and build stronger relationships (that venture is a whole ‘nother story).

When we left our Holland adventure, we visited Normandy. I had always wanted to go. We took the train to Paris, grabbed a taxi to change train stations and then boarded another train to Caen where we rented a car and drove to Arromanches, which lies between Omaha and Juno Beaches. 

We were having a heat wave. It was miserable in Paris with the stone reflecting the 100F heat. But it was no better on the beach. No wind and high humidity. Still, it was beautiful and the sunset with the humid air was stunning.

We stayed there and in Mont Saint-Michel for a week. I ran every morning starting at dawn and before sunrise as is my custom. Then it was a necessity to avoid the heat. I ran from Arromanches toward Omaha. The two are separated by a high bluff from which you can see across the Channel. As I ran up the trail to the crest and along it, a bunker came into view. It was situated back from the bluff almost a km. It turns out it was Batterie de Longues-sur-Mer. I checked it out and ran on to Omaha Beach then returned. The sun shown brightly by now and its light on the amber fields of grain was beautiful. It’s an eerie feeling to be so alone in such a beautiful place knowing how much death and destruction occurred there. I think of this run often, but especially on D-Day. We visited the cemetery at Omaha that morning. That you can’t forget.

In the following days I ran the other direction toward Juno along the beach. The tides in Normandy are notoriously wide (later on that) and fortune was with me. I still had to make my way over a deep and long deposit of rotting kelp. With the heat it was full of flies and wreaked (I confess I have envisioned such an obstacle for XC at times just to make it interesting).

My most memorable Normandy running story is when I ran out the causeway to Mont Saint-Michel and then out into the bay (tide out, of course). The sand was powdery and soft, often crusted which would collapse beneath my feet. I got out about a mile and decided to return. My uncle (a history prof who spent his youth carrying an anti-tank gun around here) had told us stories of attacking armies thinking themselves clever to approach the Mont from the sea with the tide out. They typically perished in the crossing as the tides can reach speeds of 20 mph (it’s really flat!). It’s also a reminder not to go wandering about soft sand in chainmail. This was on my mind as I returned to the fortifications of the Mont only to then notice the multi-lingual warning sign, “Danger – quick sand. Do not go further.” One life down, eight to go (if one doesn’t count the other stupid things I’d done before that).

We traveled on to London and spent several days there. Hot still, we spent a lot of our time in air-conditioned buildings. I managed a run or two. In Battersea Park, an enormous bough broke from a maple and lay on the footpath I chose. I stopped to try to move it aside with no avail. It would pivot though, so a I happily swung to aside only to have the severed end sweep by me to slice a quarter-inch-deep slice on my thigh just above the knee. I still have the scar to remind me not to try such things again.

It was after London when we made our way to Henley-on-Thames and the point of this story. This is a special place. The river is narrow, there are beautiful estates lining either side, and there is rowing. We were just past The Championships so it was less crowded but the local clubs were all out. I come from Seattle, so rowing is a big deal (as with Berkeley). Henley is rowing’s holy land.

We booked a room at a B&B just outside town. It was a manor house – not Downton, but similar in that it was a working ranch and the owners were blue bloods through and through, with commendations from the Queen and all. 

They were a delightful couple but were working their ranch so they spent little time with us. I did visit with him a bit. Interesting chap – very proud of his heritage. Rightly so. 

He told us we were free to come and go but not before 7 am and not after 10 pm. They locked the house and set alarms on the ground floor. This came about as several estates had been burglarized of precious heirlooms by people posing as guests who canvased the property and then returned with a lorry to empty the place. They implemented this policy after each of their neighbors were victimized.  

This presented a problem for me. We typically retire earlier than most, but I needed to run early (the heat wave was still with us). He informed me there was no latitude in their policy. I looked for another option.

Our room was on the first floor (2nd story) just above the breakfast room. There was an embankment just below our window (a cellar) which decreased the usual height by about 4 feet (you see where this is going). The rooms and therefore their windows of a manor house are tall. I could stand easily in our window. It presented a good ten-foot drop to the grass below. I checked out the landing conditions below. There was a cellar access grate just off center which might pose a problem should I land or roll incorrectly. Thus I would have to project myself off to the left and further away from the window ledge to avoid this. The scenarios of disasters danced in my head. Was I crazy? Yes. Was it worth risking a broken leg, torn something-or-other or even a concussion? I had just turned 50 that spring. Perhaps it was a middle-aged-man moment. I decided to go for it. 

For the record, my wife was never in favor of this plan. The proprietor wasn’t too keen on the concept either. But in his defense, he didn’t try to talk me out of it. He just told me he’d bury me in a place where no one would find my body should the worst happen. He did have a wicked sense of humor, but on this point I took him at his word.

At 04:30 the next morning, I arose, dressed and stood on the sill of our bedroom window. My wife turned to get one last glimpse of me still intact. I took a deep breath and out I went – best not to think too hard about such things. The ground came quickly. I remembered to bend my knees and roll on first contact. It all worked out.  I checked everything – no apparent damage. One last glance up at the window met my wife’s relieved face. A blown kiss to her and off I went.

Upon my return, the proprietor met me at the front door – a little after 7. He smiled and said, “Well, you seem to be all in one piece. Please don’t do that again!” I didn’t.

The run along the Thames tow path was lovely. I’d do it again sans the jumping out the window bit.