And we're off! Off to another year of fun-filled racing. Point Positive had three athletes representing Healdsburg at the Davis Stampede on 2/8/09. Jennifer Hampson, Aziz Zhari, and Matt Gallo all established personal bests for open half-marathon. It's February folks and as you know it's tough to tell where your fitness is for the first race of the year; unknowns create unease. These athletes have both high and reasonable expectations for themselves. Jennifer and Aziz had never run a half-marathon. Matt has run a few in Ironman 70.3 triathlons--so, no problemo. Both Matt and Aziz are using Davis as a stepping-stone to the Napa Valley Marathon on March 1st, so pacing and effort is of high concern so they can sufficiently recover and derive a boost in fitness from this event--Racing is the best training. Endurance events are never easy though. There's always obstacles to overcome. Today, we prevailed in spite of the unknowns as well as various aches, pains, and sprains. One by one, Matt, Aziz, and Jennifer all finished strong, relieved, and smiling. Congratulations to all!!!
I've run Davis a few times and was here in a coaching capacity, which provided it's own fun and excitement. This is a great course with typically great conditions. Certainly a PR course, Davis Stampede offers cool temps to encourage fast times. Off to a purposeful late start this year, I'm currently building up for American River 50mi on April 4th. I'll use the Napa Valley Marathon as my stepping-stone to AR50 just as I've used Davis in the past as training for Napa. Racing is the best training. After AR50, I'll enjoy some R & R and then begin building for my first 100mi trail run in July. I'm curious to see if my body will allow me to prevail. Point Positive!