The local Trkac running team continues to leave its footprint on the running world.
Most recently, the dedicated batch of runners traveled to San Mateo for the Pacific Association Masters Track and Field Championships where they placed first in 13 races, second in one race and third in two others.
The times posted at the San Mateo meet just reaffirms the elite level of this team which has several runners challenging, and in some cases overtaking, the fastest times in the world.
“They are a special group of runners that are very, very talented and very, very hard working and they support one another so well,” said Clyde Lehman, who has taken on the role of coach for the team. “They have so much camaraderie and enthusiasm, it’s unbelievable. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 12-minute miler or a sub-five miler, everybody supports everybody.”
Leading the way in San Mateo was one of the team’s eldest members Lynne Hurell, 79, who took first place in her age group (75-79) in the 5,000 meter race with a time of 29 minutes, 35.52 seconds. Hurrell’s time at the event is the fastest time in the world this year for her age group, according to www.mastersathletic.co/rankings.
“(Hurrell’s) first goal was to break 30 minutes in the 5K and she’s already done that,” said Lehman “She turns 80 in August and wants to run a marathon, and I believe she can.”
Hurrell is not alone at the top of the world as Trkac team member Jim Beckett, 75, holds the top time in the world in the 1,500 (6:27.45) for his age group (75-79). Ron Gross, 76, owns the fastest time in the world in his age group in the 5,000 with a time of 23:29.65 (75-79).
Beckett recently made the transition from speed walking to running and gave Lehman credit for helping him with the transition.
“Clyde has helped me quite a bit,” Beckett said. “He has helped me get faster than I was a year ago. My goal is to be No. 1 in the world in the 1,500 and the 5,000.”
Beckett, who lives in Vacaville, said the training regimen, the hills in Nevada County and the competitive runners he trains with on the Trkac team have all contributed to his impressive times.
“Training with guys like Al Shook and Ron Gross has showed me guys my age can train hard.”
For Lehman, a former cross country coach at Nevada Union, he coaches the team as a whole, but strives to develop individual training regimens for all his runners.
“I tell them ‘I’m responsible for getting you to your goals, I’m responsible for keeping you happy, I’m responsible for injuries, but the only thing I’m not responsible for is your success, because that belongs to a runner and a runner alone,’” he said.
As for the Trkac Running team they will continue to meet three times a week and strive to reach their individual goals, and Lehman said he’s happy to help with whatever he can along the way.
San Mateo Meet Results
Other local winners in the 5,000 meter races at San Mateo were Sergio Higereda in the men’s 40-44 AG (18:54.13), Robert Warner in the men’s 50-54 AG (20:22.56), Inka Mims in the women’s 50-54 AG (21:02.80), Drue Mathies in the men’s 65-69 AG (24:30.76), Ron Gross in the men’s 75-79 AG (25:29.13), and Hueng in the women’s 40-44 AG (27:50.66). Brian Dowling took third place in the 5,000 in the 60-64 AG (25:28.71). Angela Hueng won the women’s 1,500 in the 40-44 AG (7:18.93).
In the 1,500 meter race at San Mateo Herve Pastre placed first in the men’s 65-69 AG (5:04.35) which was good enough for second place in the world and first in the nation. Brian Dowling took third in the 1,500 in the men’s 60-64 AG (6:22.17).
In the 10,000 at the San Mateo meet, local runners took three of the top four spots in ethe women’s 50-54 AG 10,000 race. Makie Ohler placed first (40:51.07), Inka Mims was second and Rose Asquith took fourth.
In the men’s 10,000 Dean Walker won the men’s 45-49 AG (46:48.81), Mathies placed first in the men’s 65-69 AG (49:17.02), and Ron Gross was first in the 75-79 Ag (51:24.63).
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.