Category Archives: JUNE 2017

All the posts created in June 2017.

Student Grant Fund Awardees 2017

The Empire Runners have a long-standing commitment to providing scholarships to deserving 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 4 recipients a total of $5000 in scholarship awards this year. All club members should be proud of the part they play in this most wonderful of traditions through generous donations.

These four student-athletes will be formally introduced and awarded their scholarship checks at the Kenwood Footrace on July 4th. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding young members of our running community.

Our first recipient comes from a large family of Empire Runners. He began his athletic career as a varsity soccer player at Windsor High. With the changing of the boys soccer season to the spring, the Fall 2016 became open to explore cross country, and through determination and hard work he made varsity his very first year. As a first year runner, his coach was very impressed with his positive attitude and hard work.

To just discuss this athlete’s athletic accomplishments would be a disservice to his academic career. This scholarship student is not only a 4.5+ GPA but also graduated #1 in his class and was the Salutatorian at Windsor HS. His teachers speak of him in glowing terms not just because of his GPA but rather the impact he has in the classroom, bringing the level up for his fellow students. Our first recipient will be continuing his studies at UC Irvine and continuing his running in intramurals and we are looking forward to him coming home and running more Empire Runner events.

Please join us in recognizing this future Anteater, from Windsor High School: Dylan Moberly

 

Our next recipient also began his running career later after playing soccer and basketball his first 2 years of high school, finding his way to cross country and track his junior year. In his first year of cross country his impact was evident as he was voted most inspirational and accompanied his teammate who had qualified for the State XC Championships in Fresno. He has been an outstanding track and field athlete for Rincon Valley Christian running the 400, 800, 1600, triple jump and discus. His true passion is the pole vault where in just 2 years he has already cleared 12’9” and qualified for the NCS Meet of Champions. He has a PR of 18:00 on the Spring Lake Course which he then matched on a more difficult course at the NCS XC Championships.

This fine multi talented athlete has also had a strong and varied scholastic career, carrying a 3.75 GPA and excelling in music and piano. What impressed the committee the most was his thought that the influence of cross country has made him a better student. In his own words, “by making running a lifestyle, running 5 miles will not phase the individual. When something difficult becomes familiar, then other concepts become easier. Therefore, after running 5 miles, a test or paper no longer appeared difficult”.

This talented scholarship athlete will be continuing his studies and furthering his athletic career at SRJC. Coach Wellman is looking forward to this XC and multi-talented track and field athlete staying local and perhaps developing his decathlon skills.

We welcome this new Bear Cub, from Rincon Valley Christian HS: Nicholas Dolan

 

Our third scholarship recipient is the classic story of a runner with no experience who joins the XC team mostly for its social aspects, gets comfortable, works hard, sets goals… did we say works hard? Then she finally achieves her goal to run Varsity and has her best 2 races of her life at NBL, then NCS. Through her 4 years with the XC and track families at Santa Rosa High it wasn’t all just a meteoric rise but rather peaks and valleys, failures and achievements. But overall it looks like this classic story is just the first part of a multi-part sojourn with the next sequel being able to run at her chosen university.

From a 9 minute miler in her first XC race to a PR of 20:39 at NBL her senior season, she followed with the same time at NCS on a notoriously harder course. Her best team finish ever fulfilled her goals for XC and with this new found strength led her to success on the track.

Yet metrics alone fail in comparison to her impact on team dynamics, her hard work, toughness and respect she both earns and gives.

An excellent student with a GPA above 4.4 in a dedicated all honors and Art Quest curriculum, this recipient also filled her spare time with volunteering at a variety of events including a 6 year commitment at the Sonoma County Animal Shelter.

With a plan to direct her college career at Scripps University in the area of literature and writing with a goal of becoming an author, our third scholarship recipient can very well write her own sequel to this memorable story.

We’re pleased to recognize this former Panther and new Athena, from Santa Rosa HS: Samantha Baker

 

Our final scholarship recipient ran with the SR Express as a middle schooler but began his high school athletics on the football field. When he was recruited for the track team his running began in earnest. Natural ability led him to perform at an all-league level this first track year and continued well through junior year in XC and had him qualify to NCS. But that was not enough for this talented runner; his habit of setting “strong” goals drove him to improve his summer training regimen with the goal qualifying to State. He was a top area XC runner this last season with a PR of 15:32 (34th AT) on the SLC. A 9th place at NCS qualified him to State and his 11th place finish in his very first time on the difficult 5K Woodward Park course was evidence of his talent and commitment. It was more of the same in track with excellent times of 4:29 and 9:32 in the 1600 and 3200 respectively and a qualification to the NCS Meet of Champions. He was All Empire 1st Team in XC and Track.

Through all of this, our fine student athlete maintained a 3.6 GPA and worked at Fleet Feet as a shoe fitter. His outgoing nature, shoe knowledge and social ease makes him a top seller. His small team at Rincon Valley Christian often worked out with a combined group of Montgomery HS runners, to the benefit for all involved. He also volunteered regularly with Church events.

Commitment, strong goal setting and the determination to achieve those goals make this scholarship recipient attractive to a number of collegiate coaches. Those of us who follow College XC and Track will keep an eye out for him at Master’s University in Santa Clarita.

From Rincon Valley Christian HS we are pleased to present: Wes Methum

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.