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2006 BullDog Race Report

The Running Gods Were With Us...

by Nancy Shura, R.D.

Finally, after several very hot years, the running gods were with us at the 15th annual Bulldog Races. Although temperatures were in the low 90s, runners were cooled by ocean breezes at vistas along the course. 22-year old Sal Bautista managed to do what no one else has been able to do in five consecutive years at the Bulldog 50K. Through the first 19-miles, Sal ran neck-and-neck with five-time course champion Jorge Pacheco before gaining a commanding lead through the last 12-miles to break Jorge's winning streak and smash the existing course record by 15 minutes and 56 seconds.

Bautista, who ran his first 50K only a few weeks ago, now holds the course records for all the races we produce... Bulldog 50K (3:39:42), Bulldog 25K (1:41:59 - 2005) and the Valley Crest Half Marathon (1:16:27 - 2005).

It should be noted that Pacheco's second place finish time of 3:55:38 was also faster than the previous course record which he set in 2005. The third place finisher was a full 25min 22 sec behind second place Pacheco.

It has been said before and I'll say it again... Jorge Pacheco sets a wonderful example and gives honor to the sport. He graciously stayed at the finish line after he came in and congratulated the new champion at the awards ceremony.

Former Bulldog 50K ladies winner Michelle Barton once again swept the ladies course. Her winning time of 5:04:26, although not a course record, was 19 minutes ahead of second place, Elena McMahon. Elena's time of 5:33:22 was quite good for a lady about to enter the 50s division.

Other noteworthy performances in the 50K Ultra: 53 y/o Bill Kissel's 4th place overall finish time of 4:22:53 would have been good enough to win the 40-49 men's division. 16 y/o Michael Hayden finished in 5th place with an impressive time of 4:25:48. Michael is preparing to run his first 100-miler in a couple of months and if completed, will become the youngest 100-mile finisher.

The 2006 Valley Crest Half Marathon champions took the 25K race away from the rest of the field. Juan Valencia was first to cross the finish line with an 8 minute lead over second. 40-year old Kathy Kobrine put in a great performance, shattering the women's course record by 14 minutes and 29 seconds. Kathy now holds the course records and championships for both the Bulldog 25K and the Valley Crest Half Marathon.

Other amazing efforts were witnessed at the 25K coming from two exceptional senior runners: 62 y/o Donald Caldwell and 60 y/o Patty Giebel. Donald's time of 2:19:05 was good for 18th place overall out of 307. Patty's time of 2:47:46 would have taken 1st place in the ladies 50-59 division.

The Bulldog 50K is a mountain course with estimated 8000' of elevation gain and 8000' of elevation loss. 25K has 4000' of each.

We are always impressed by the enthusiastic response of our running community who pitch in to help make the Bulldog races successful. Many thanks go out to our volunteers who make the day almost effortless for us ;-) and we would like to recognize our captains, Paul Saltman (Bulldog Lateral), Walt Ries (Corral Canyon), Greg Minter (Tapia Park), Kathleen Keating/Heather Shura (Finish Line). We have already received many emails from 2006 runners who expressed their appreciation to all the volunteers. You are welcome to email your comments and we will get them all posted on the website.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Bulldog. See you all in June at the Valley Crest Half Marathon.

Race photos are posted:

Happy trails,

Nancy & Larry Dervin


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