Nearly 2,800 Complete the 11th Annual Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash


The 11th Annual Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash 5K took place on Thursday in frosty cool early morning temperatures under mostly blue skies at Cal Lutheran.

There were 2,784 finishers in the race, with times ranging from 15:29 to 1:16:21. I was not there but I managed to get in a 45 minute run on Thanksgiving morning.

The overall winner was 20 year old Joel Gonzalez Jr, who sped to a 15:29 time, faster than any time I've ever run a 5K in, at an average speed of 4:59 per mile. Joel was 31 seconds faster than 2nd place finishers, 26 year old Matan Mayer, who tied  with 16 year old Thomas Schauerman, in 16 minutes flat. That's actually the first time I can recall ever seeing a tie in a local 5K race results.

The top 40+ male runner was 45 year old Jeff Wells, finishing 14th overall in 17:10.

The top three overall women in the race were Jessica Barnard (25) in 18:22, followed by Maddie Geesen (17) in 18:42, then Madelyn Vorgitch (19) in 19:49.  Eleven year old Sydney Covington of Thousand Oaks had an impressive showing, running a 20:04 for 5th female and 77th overall.

The oldest runner in the entire race was 87 year old Jean Gosse of Thousand Oaks, who managed a 46:17 time. Youngster Donna Vetricek, 78, finished in 26:14, a 8:26/mile pace, good for 470th overall and in the top 10% of all females. That's a pretty damn respectable time!

The oldest male runner was 82 year young Donald Moors, finishing in 39:53 for 1664th overall, leaving over a thousand young whippersnappers in his dust.

Ran the Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash Today in Thousand Oaks

Conejo Valley Guide helped get the word out about today's 9th Annual Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash 5K and Kids Fun Run today and I heard the race had a PR of over 2,600 registrants. So as has been typical for me I chose to run the 5K today along with my son without having done any particular training for it. This is becoming the norm for me but it was fun.

On Veterans Day, November 11th, I decided to change up my 20 minute gym routine and work out in the morning instead of my normal early evening workout. Well, my lower back didn't agree with the change and decided to complain with a spasm. That spasm threw my back out for the entire week. With the help of my chiropractor, I was able to run again by the 16th.

The week prior to that I was fighting a head cold that led me to pull out of the Calabasas Classic 5K on the 10th.  Today I had no excuse of a head cold or back spasm but I certainly wasn't in great shape for a 5K. I gave it my best, labored effort and used my only gear...slow. With labored effort, I wheezed to an 18:17, good enough for 20th overall and 2nd in age.

Thanks to the Conejo Valley Y for making such a nice event happen on Thanksgiving Day each year. They really do a great job and I highly recommend this family-friendly event. 15 year old Logan Beteta of Newbury Park High School took the overall honors in 16:08. Nicely done, Logan! The top female was 20 year old Logan McNally of Simi Valley in 18:40, good for 25th overall.

Maybe, just maybe, one of these days, I'll be prepared for a 5K. But regardless, I had a great Thanksgiving Day and I hope all three of you reading this did too!

Running a Local Turkey Trot While Still Feeling Sub-Par

Seems that as I age, I'm "off" more days than I'm on. After my 45 day hiatus I started back up with running. Then all of 18 days later I'm back with what's become my standard early winter cold.

I'm always wondering what I can possibly due to eliminate this issue of catching colds when those around me are sick. Sometimes it just feels impossible. A co-worker had been sick for several weeks and while I steered pretty clear of her, her office is next to mine and many of the documents she touches come to me. So while I diligently washed my hands as much as I could, there was only so much I could do.

Then of course my wife was sick for several weeks. Hard to stay away from her :>

November 14th was my opthamologist visit to check out the eye with the no-longer-detached-retina. The first words out of his mouth as I sat face to face, just a foot away from him, was "I just got over a cold that knocked me out all weekend." CRAP I'm thinking. There's absolutely no way out of this situation. He's literally touching my eye and placing drops in it and I'm thinking, I'm screwed. Sure enough 3 days later the storm in my sinuses and throat came.

T-shirts like this never get worn by yours truly. This color just doesn' do it for me.In any case, the cold made it (as usual) into my lungs and I'm coughing up stuff in large chunks in shapes like Maine, New York and Massachusetts every morning and my chest hurts from all the hacking. And a week later was Thanksgiving and we had no out of town plans, so I figure, why not go run the local Turkey Trot at The Oaks mall.

The race got off to a nasty start for me. With only 20/70 vision in my right eye (more on this situation in a future post), my depth perception is in bad shape and I didn't see the bump in the road 10 steps into the race serves as a walkway towards the mall. After nearly falling flat on my face, both hamstrings immediately were sore. It was bizarre, like they decided to go on strike. They weren't sore before that. All I could think of is that my body simply was telling me it wasn't ready to be speedy again, 25 days into running again and 11 days since my first 5K since coming back.

But this was a "fun run" for me and I kept on running. While running isn't so fun for me when my hams are sore and my chest is full of yucky stuff, I continued onwards to at least break under 20 minutes, several minutes slower than my "typical" 5K time. But hey, I'm still glad I did it.

Tonight, December 1st, I'm still coughing to some degree and have a little bit of stuff left in my chest, but I feel good enough to have my first glass of red wine for about 3 weeks. Yay!

I see Conejo Valley Guide on the back of this shirt. :>