Big Sur 5K 2010

by Lynn Walker, April 19, 2009

Harlan Lopez and Yiou Wang lead Tamalpa at the Big Sur 5k

Twenty five adventurous souls travelled to Monterey County for Sunday's PAUSATF Road Race Grand Prix event at the Big Sur 5k. While Tamalpa wasn't able to field full teams in every division, at least two teams will come away with victories, to add to two individual victories.

Harlan Lopez was the top male and overall finisher for Tamalpa, taking 9th place with a time of 15:58. While that time is slower than at last week's Zippy 5k, the Big Sur 5k course is notoriously slow and was made more so on this occasion due to a strong wind. Lopez was the only open division runner and Tamalpa will not be able to field an men's open team.

Yiou Wang was the top female finisher for Tamalpa, finishing third. Not only was Wang's finishing place higher than at the Zippy 5k, but her finishing time was almost identical; remarkable given the slow nature of this course. Wang was joined by Liz Gottlieb as the only women's open competitors, and Tamalpa will not field a women's open team either.

Other Men

Tim Wallen led the men's master team, with Tim O'Rourke, fast on his heels, leading the men's senior team. The master's team placement is as yet undetermined. The senior's team will finish a close, but disappointing second. See the story under time issues for more details.

Don Porteous won the men's super-senior division and led the fast trio that includes Arturo Rodriguez and Frank Ruona to a team victory in the division.

Hans Schmid won the men's veteran division, and led a team that included Bernie Hollander and Elmos Shropshire to victory.

Other Women

The Tamalpa women fielded a masters team of Pattie Shore, Beth Freeman and Lisa Watts, but will settle for sixth place.

The women's senior team fared better. Led by Mimi Willard and joined by Tricia Wallace, Edda Stickle and Margie Forman, the senior women will likely take second place behind the Impalas.

Tamalpa did not field women's super-senior or veteran teams

Consider the event for next year

The weather was crisp upon arrival for the early morning start, but with clear skies the temperature warmed quickly, though remaining quite comfortable for racing. A brisk breeze greeted runners on the course, slowing times somewhat. The course features rolling hills, with one at the two mile mark that takes determination to conquer. The course begins and ends on Highway 1, with a quick trip through a residential neighborhood and a steep drop onto the sandy trail of Ribera Beach looking out over Carmel Bay. The race is conducted as part of the Big Sur International Marathon, which is the premiere event of the day. Finishers in the 5k race can stand around enjoying a post-race beer and the awards ceremony while watching the marathoners finish. Traffic can be tight in the area, as the parking lot of the local shopping center becomes Highway 1 for a few hours on race morning, so be sure to arrive early in order to find reasonable parking. If you aren't in a hurry to get home, the nearby Carmel Valley has numerous areas for hiking and the time of year is perfect for spring wildflowers. Put it on your racing calendar next year.

Timing Issues

The Tamalpa Senior men's team will unfortunately be defeated by the West Valley Joggers and Striders by the very narrow margin of two seconds. There are a number of aspects of this defeat that make it hard to bear, not the least of which is each team-members realization that they could have possible found another second or two, or three, if they had just known it would matter. Too often, we think in terms of place, and if we don't need to sprint to pass or avoid being passed, we may come through the finish too casually. As though a second or two doesn't really matter. Until this occasion, when it does.

Gun versus chip time

There are other issues, like the fact the gun time is used for scoring, but a runner may take a second or longer to actually reach the starting line, so that fact doesn't factor into the team scoring. Normally it is too neglible to matter.

Official times rounded up

There is also the matter of rounding. It appears that race officials round up a runner's finish time to the next second. If the runner finishes in 19:59.00, the official results will say 20:00. This creates a potential rounding error of 1 second. If time's were rounded to the nearest second there would be a potential rounding error of half a second, but rounding to the next second doubles that potential rounding error. If each runner has a potential rounding error of 1 second, and there are 5 runners on team A and 5 runners on team B, there is a combined potential rounding error of 10 seconds. Thus, a two second loss could conceivably have reversed results if ACTUAL finish times were used in scoring.

This is all part of the system we have accepted to use, and therefore we must accept it. We can propose changes to improve the system, and one suggestion I'd make would be to have close team scores re-calculated using actual (unrounded) finish times. While this idea won't change anything for the current race, future races could benefit from a more accurate system, if instituted.

For the present, Tamalpa runners would do well to focus on the things that can be changed, our own performance. It is hoped that each Tamalpa runner will take a lesson here, to run strong through the finish, thinking not just about place, but every tick of the clock. Your team may depend on it.

Tamalpa Finishers

Place Name Location Bib Net Time Pace Division/Place Sex-Age Sex-Place Gun Time Age Grade
9 Harlan Lopez Walnut Creek, CA 10220 15:57 5:08 M 19-24/3 M-24 9 15:58 84.91%
26 Timothy Wallen San Francisco, CA 9155 17:21:00 5:35 M 45-49/2 M-46 24 17:22:00 73.45%
27 Tim O'Rourke Fairfax, CA 9042 17:21:00 5:36 M 50-54/2 M-52 25 17:23:00 82.83%
32 Yiou Wang Mill Valley, CA 9302 17:50 5:45 F 25-29/2 F-25 3 17:50 83.22%
40 Tom O'Reilly Novato, CA 9079 18:13 5:52 M 50-54/7 M-53 35 18:16 83.06%
48 Liz Gottlieb San Rafael, CA 9128 18:33 5:58 F 30-34/2 F-34 9 18:35 80.40%
61 Lynn Walker Ben Lomond, CA 9065 19:11 6:11 M 50-54/11 M-53 50 19:11 78.87%
70 Don Porteous Alameda, CA 9039 19:28 6:16 M 60-64/1 M-63 55 19:30 84.66%
82 Arturo Rodriguez Santa Cruz, CA 9122 19:54 6:25 M 60-64/3 M-60 63 19:56 80.64%
84 David Ripp San Rafael, CA 9134 19:58 6:26 M 55-59/5 M-58 64 20:01 79.03%
89 Dave Covey Mill Valley, CA 9169 20:09 6:29 M 45-49/9 M-48 66 20:12 72.10%
92 Bill Neer San Amselmo, CA 9139 20:12 6:30 M 50-54/13 M-51 69 20:14 73.66%
93 Patti Shore Mill Valley, CA 9059 20:16 6:32 F 40-44/8 F-43 24 20:19 77.45%
97 Beth Freedman San Anselmo, CA 9140 20:21 6:33 F 40-44/9 F-41 27 20:24 75.90%
102 Hans Schmid Greenbrae, CA 9089 20:37 6:39 M 70-74/1 M-70 74 20:41 85.60%
107 Franklin Ruona Novato, CA 9082 20:52 6:43 M 60-64/6 M-64 78 20:55 79.70%
129 Mimi Willard Kentfield, CA 9137 21:52 7:03 F 55-59/1 F-56 42 21:56 83.68%
144 Lisa Watts Greenbrae, CA 9172 22:54 7:23 F 45-49/7 F-47 50 22:58 71.30%
176 Tricia Wallace Corte Madera, CA 9141 24:18:00 7:50 F 50-54/5 F-51 66 24:23:00 70.56%
186 Bernie Hollander Novato, CA 9129 24:52:00 8:00 M 70-74/4 M-74 118 24:55:00 74.98%
206 Bob Cowdrey San Mateo, CA 9097 25:45:00 8:18 M 65-69/4 M-65 129 25:49:00 65.16%
221 Edda Stickle Novato, CA 9136 26:38:00 8:35 F 65-69/1 F-68 88 26:43:00 81.91%
305 Elmo Shropshire Novato, CA 9115 29:32:00 9:31 M 70-74/5 M-73 172 29:37:00 62.17%
358 Phil Phythian Mill Valley, CA 9132 31:30:00 10:09 M 75-79/3 M-76 198 31:35:00 61.25%
398 Margie Forman Novato, CA 9138 33:04:00 10:39 F 55-59/8 F-56 187 33:12:00 55.32%

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