Lasse Viren 20k

Good bye Flagstaff. . .
Good bye Flagstaff. . .

After watching and celebrating my girlfriend’s graduation on Friday, my parents and I headed West back home to Simi Valley. The snow was nice for a few days, but training in it all Winter is just too much for me. Consistency and enjoying training are so much more important than any benefits training at altitude provides.

Upon arriving in Simi on Saturday, I went out for a 10 miler in the rain. Bad news is you get a lot wetter running in the rain than you ever do running in snow. Good news, however, is it was 57??F which means no ice!

. . . Hello California!
. . . Hello California!

Yesterday I decided to run the Lasse Viren 20k in Malibu, Ca. Before the race I started chatting with a guy that looked to be a pretty decent runner (and probably my main competition). He told me he had trained in Flagstaff in 2008. We began talking about triathlons and then he told me he won Ironman Arizona a few weeks ago. Then it clicked in my head that I was talking with Jordan Rapp!

From the gun Jordan, myself and another guy took off. About 400m later, Mr. Anonymous dropped back and I took the lead. I came through 1 mile in 5:35 with Jordan a few seconds back. I continued pulling away with 5:43, 5:41, 6:07 and 6:44 miles (last two were hilly). I reached a flatter, asphault section and dropped back below 6:00 pace with a 5:53 and came through the 10k in 36:46. I ran 72:20 here in 2006, and was debating whether I wanted to take it easy-enough to just win or go for a PR. I thought about my dilemma while cruising a downhill 5:15 mile. These trails were the setting for many tough long runs this summer, including my first-and-only 20 milers. As I reminisced of the many times I have run Sycamore Canyon with friends, the choice disappeared and it was obvious that I would keep pressing on for a PR.

The next miles were 5:36, 5:44, 5:36, 5:43 and 5:23. I opened it up just a bit the last mile and finished in 1:10:35. I am definitely happy with that performance: taking the win, running sub 5:45 pace for 20k at the end of my “first week back,” a ~1:45 PR. . . while being slightly under the weather. I probably shouldn’t be running so hard this early in my training, but I had fun. Assuming I didn’t injure anything yesterday, I am sure the effort will not have any adverse affects to my upcoming seasons.

After the race I spoke with Jordan and his wife Jill for a while. Very nice people. I told them of my triathlon aspirations and they encouraged me to seek out some folks at USA Triathlon (USAT). They are currently living in the area and I tried to explain a few locations for great trail runs and hopefully I will see them around during the rest of my Winter break.

Shout out to my mom. She also competed yesterday and won her 48-52 age group! Winning is in the family :). Great job Mom and thanks for driving!


4 Replies to “Lasse Viren 20k”

  1. Way to go Jason!! I am so very proud of the runner that you have become with hard work and stick-to-it-ness. I was somewhat like you where I improved every year in high school and college and maintained for many years until the joints said “whoa, time to slow down”. Your 2009 cross country season was amazing. I mentioned to your dad that Charlie Serrano and you have been the most successful Royal High runners after high school. Is there anyone else that I may be forgetting who may have placed high int the NCAAs? Good luck in your final year and the open season to come. I am sure you will be pursuing post collegiate competition.

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