Steve Bond: Grand Prix season runs down
The 16th Annual Run Through the Colors 5K and 10K road races, starting and finishing at Pioneer Park in Nevada City on Sunday, Oct. 21, are key in the Grand Prix competition, being the ninth of 10 events open to runners of all ages.
The two races, along with a 5K walk, will begin at 8:30 a.m., going up the long Nevada Street hill in the first mile and coming down Broad Street in the final mile.
More information is available from race directors Richard or Theresa Thomas at (530) 265-2666 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although there is a final Grand Prix race after Run Through the Colors, which was the final race in last year’s first Gold Country Grand Prix, this one may be the deciding race in many of the Grand Prix competitions.
There are some Grand Prix (GP) age group winners already decided. The top three in each will receive awards at the end of the year party to be held on Dec. 9 at the Twin Cities Church, where the Run for the Community was held in June.
Here’s where all the GP age group battles stand, with a few predictions:
Jamie Boutte has already won the 12 and under age group with 60 points, undefeated in the six races she ran. McKinzie GoForth and Dori Anderson are battling for second place, 38 to 35 points, with Jade Shields still having a shot at breaking into the top three with 25 points.
Jamie’s sister, Jessica, has already won the 13-15 age group, also undefeated in six races with 60 points, with no on else likely to finish the five races necessary to qualify for second or third.
Auburn’s Nichole Tintle leads the 16-19 age group, also undefeated in six races with 60 points, with Mallory Meier second with 51. There will be no third place as many runners in this group don’t compete in GP races due to school team commitments.
Carly Brush leads the 20-29 age group by a small margin, 57 to 54 points over Ariel Lovett, and hasn’t run the last two races, leaving first place up for grabs. Not far behind, and all with a chance at a top three finish for the year are Jennifer Entz (47 points), Cassie Barr (40) and Amanda Jacobsen (38).
Heather Bullis has a reasonably comfortable lead in the 30-39 age group with 63 points to Jill Vahidi’s 54. Third place will go to Kate Strolle or Allysa Frazier, currently tied with 28 points.
The 40-49 age group has been a dogfight all year, and it looks like it will go down to the last race of the year (Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving). Judy Alberts, undefeated in seven races with 70 points, leads Smartville’s Inka Mims by a mere two points. Kirstin Koch, currently with 56 points, has clinched at least third place.
Therese Iknoian has come on strong in the latter half of the GP race season. Although she’s currently tied for first with Angie Williams with 47 points, I predict she will win the 50-59 age group. Pam Coon (26 points, last year’s winner), Carolyn Schroeder (25) and Roseanne Burke (22) are my picks to battle it out for third.
Mary McLean, undefeated in seven races with 70 points, will win the 60-69 age group, while Marion Linden is guaranteed of at least second place (57 points). Elaine Sierra and Judy Whalin are battling it out for third (36 to 33 points).
Lynne Hurrell has already won the 70 and over group with 80 points, undefeated in all eight races. She will also win the top women’s point scorer competition, as she did last year. South Lake Tahoe’s Joanne Shope will take second place. There will be no third.
There was a scoring correction since my race story following the Draft Horse Classic, and Sean Lubbers actually leads Kael Newton, 67 to 66 points, so that race will go down to the wire, with Kael, who has been on a roll, the favorite to take first place in the 12-and-under age group.
If the current third place runner Zach Stoll (National Class) doesn’t show up in one of the last two races, he won’t have run enough to qualify and that will open up a third place battle between Sam Dykstra (36 points), Rocky Lubbers (36), Callan Warner (35) and Jack Devlin (27).
Austin Violette, undefeated in six races and leading the 13-15 age group with 60 points, will likely win with Hayes Ayuli (54 points) taking second. There will be no third place.
Justin Boutte, brother of group winners Jamie and Jessica, just has to finish the last two races to win the 16-19 group. There won’t be a second or third place.
Reno’s Chris Badolato is a shoe-in to win the 20-29 age group as he is undefeated with six wins and 60 points. Connor Medley (44 points), Brian Kelly (37) and Micah Chavez (32) will battle it out over the last two races for second and third places.
Pete Lubbers (67 points) will likely be able to hold on to first place in the 30-39 age group over a hard-charging Larry Defeyter (60 points, undefeated in six races), while Greg Ngo will take third place (55 points).
V. Neelakantan (67 points) will win the 40-49 age group, as he did last year. Shawn Ryley has clinched second place with 57 points. Jeff Boutte, undefeated in three races so far, will likely take third place.
I lead the 50-59 age group with 66 points and will likely hold onto first place. Yuba City’s Mike Buzbee, if he shows up for the last two races, will probably finish second as he’s undefeated in five races (50 points) so far. Larry Mason, currently second with 54 points, will take at least third place.
John Darlington, undefeated against GP competition in his 60-69 age group in seven races (70 points), will win that age group and the overall top male point scorer competition. Yuba City’s Ken Gaal (67 points) will take second, followed by Ron Gross, who will be in the 70 and-over-age group next year, in third (50 points).
Darryl Beardall, undefeated in six races with 60 points, will win the 70-and-over group. Reno’s Herb Ketzler (54 points) and Vince Alcantar (44) will take second and third.
See you at Run Through the Colors Sunday with important GP points up for grabs!
Steve Bond is a competitive runner who lives in Nevada City and regularly writes columns and feature stories about running for The Union. He may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
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