East Bay Striders put Perfect Relay Record
on Line, by Lawren Smithline and friends
Never Answer an E-Mail Message in the Middle of a Poker
Game!!!, by Tom Eng
Palo Alto Run Club Relay Stories
DLI Runners in 199-mile Relay, by Bob Britton
STRIDERS PUT PERFECT RELAY RECORD ON LINE
by Lawren Smithline and friends
For the third consecutive year, the East Bay Striders sent
a dozen men to duel in The Relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. From among
nearly two hundred teams, EBS and exactly one other team set the standard.
In 1999, as in 1998, the EBS team traded advantages, setbacks, and the
lead with its closely matched competitors. Although EBS came up just minutes
short this year against Twelve Angry Men, we shall return. We hope to
see the jury back as well. As EBS captain, I've collected these reflections
from team members to chronicle our experience.
Our runners were, in order: Dave Stephens, Lawren Smithline, Chris Ross,
Phil Oreopoulos, Bruce Goode, Thom Trimble, Jeff Teeters, Rob Flatland,
Mike Schwartz, Phelps Jackson, John Lehman, and Seth Davis.
Typical of an epic, some characters have many names. The Twelve Angry
Men are referred to as Bohos, or the Davis team, or occasionally by their
Leg 1: 4:30pm Very Hot!
I can't let my team down. I have to start strong and stay with any other
competitor that goes out. I have to remember that this not one race. I
have two more runs later and I don't know what I'll feel like later on.
Very early, I know my competition. He doesn't look like a runner. I'm
surprised that he's able to keep the pace. It is very hot and since it's
just the two of us competing, I want to say, "Let's not kill ourselves."
We each throw in little bursts, but neither of us drops. As we come into
the first hand-off, I remember Thom Trimble telling me, "don't race
the last 300 yards. 10 seconds either way won't matter." I just hope
we don't lose by 10 seconds. I maintain pace and come in 12 seconds behind
our competition. -DS
Leg 2: It was hot. I saw John, the other runner, in front of me by two
telephone poles. I narrowed the gap to about one and a third. The country
was beautiful, awash in the sun. Halfway through, the weather felt even
warmer. My mark disappeared around a turn and I wanted to be done. -LS
Leg 3: Chris Ross hung tough with his Boho counterpart in the early miles,
but the heat again took its toll as Chris faded a bit over the final miles.
Leg 4: The first mile felt fine. The Angry man was nowhere in sight, and
I had to press a bit more to chase. At mile 2, I noticed the heat. The
team gave me water, but I used it to shower my back rather than drink
it (was that ever a mistake!). The roads started to stretch out. All I
could see was the long path in front of me, with no sign of anyone, or
anything. Where was that Davis guy? Again I applied the water given to
me to my skin rather than my mouth. My pace slowed. I wished so bad the
handoff was just around the next bend. By mile 5, the heat was all around
me. I remember seeing the handoff location, but I don't remember handing
off. When I finished, I folded. I knew I wouldn't be getting up for a
long time. -PO
Thanks to Dr. Shapiro and The Relay volunteers, who helped Phil put some
water back in. -LS
Leg 5: With Phil down for the count, Dave and Thom scrambled to pick up
the pieces and keep EBS on track. With Lawren and Chris attending to Phil,
and Bruce on the road for his first leg, Dave and Thom pushed ahead to
give Bruce what little support they could find. We finally caught a bewildered
Bruce over half way into his leg. We informed him that Phil was down and
hurting. After watering Bruce, Dave dropped Thom off at the handoff and
raced back to help with Phil. Bruce meanwhile gobbled up distance on his
man, keeping the Striders in the hunt. -TT
Leg 6: I took the stick from Bruce and handed him my water bottle. I dashed
into the fading light for my flat 4.5 miler. At the halfway point I was
delayed by a red light, and again soon after by the onset of a stitch.
My stitch buster saved the day. The last mile in darkness was saved by
the EBS women's crew pointing me in the right direction. I handed off
to Jeff and regrouped with our frazzled van members. -TT
Leg 7: Leg 7 started at about 7:40, just as it was turning dark. As I
ran it became completely dark, and at some intersections I was not sure
which way to turn. I was usually able to see the lights of other runners
and in the other cases I guessed correctly. I started out behind the Bohos
by about 4 minutes, and finished with a 9-minute lead, due to the Bohos
runner getting lost. -JT
Leg 8: I rode to the start of my first leg, waiting to see what my body
could do. I got my running gear on and jogged down to my starting point.
There, I saw a guy who looked familiar to me. It was John Hancock, one
of my fellow staff members from summer camp in 1982. Back then he was
tenth in the state in the 2 mile. I was hoping I was psyched for a head
to head battle because I knew Jeff was gaining on the Bohos. I got lost
several times in the vineyard. I got through the labyrinth of grape vines
and out to Highway 12, although not at the correct location. I knew where
to go from there. When I finished, my teammates told me about how the
Bohos got lost and that we were in the lead. I thought that I had been
chasing them. -RF
Leg 10: The trail was very difficult to run on in the dark. My flashlight
wasn't any help so I ran by the light of the moon. Once I got onto the
road, I sped up quite a bit, but I'm sure I lost a lot of time on the
big hill to start and the trail. -PJ
Leg 11: I took the handoff with no others teams in sight. Phelps maintained
our lead over the Bohos but I had no idea how far back they were. A left
turn here a right turn there - the Boho van parked at about two miles
engage in some good nature jeering letting me know there man was closing
in, I tell them to "bring it on"...a response I would regret
in a few miles. Outside of Petaluma, the road started to climb but the
darkness made it impossible to tell how steep it was. Cresting the hill
I knew only an easy mile remains. Off to the side of the road sat that
Boho van again, however this time they are cheering their man who cruised
by like I was standing still. I hung with him but probably expended reserves
I would need on the final leg. -JL
Leg 12: This leg was fun. The 12 angry men only had about 10 seconds on
us at this point so I wanted to get the lead back for us. This leg started
off on a nice up hill grade. Sean Seely the twelfth angry man went out
really fast and must have put another 10 seconds on me. He went out too
fast and I reeled him in. I passed him about half way up the hill and
never looked back. I then pulled a Rob Flatlandish run down the hill and
gave us a nice lead! -SD
Leg 13: The skies are clear, there is a full moon, and the temperature
is low 60's. I won't be running head to head competition and we have a
slight lead. The hand-off is fine and I go out with renewed enthusiasm.
I'm not sure where my competition is, but I'm determined not to let him
catch me. The night is beautiful. The full moon provides all of the light
that is needed. Each runner ahead becomes another target. This leg is
flat and fast with only one turn and my team is there to make sure I don't
miss it. I'm able to get into a groove and just run a strong smooth pace.
The only obstacles are the 6 or 8 various road kill laying in the road.
According to my nose, some of them have been there awhile. With no mile
markers, it's difficult to judge distance and pace. I see a lighted building
in the distance and hope that it is the next exchange. A quick glimpse
at my watch and it seems too early for the exchange. But what else would
be lit in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. It is the
exchange point and I realize I had a pretty good run. My competition made
up some time but he didn't catch me. -DS
Leg 14: A lovely night for a run in Marin. I ran alert for the footsteps
I would hear as our slender advantage evaporated, and spooked by my shadow
doubled in car headlights. John caught me near the first hill. I tucked
in behind and the passed him back, pulling away on the downhill. The second
climb was his. On the backside, the leg finished around a turn. Had to
get there quick. I'd done better on my second run. -LS
Leg 15: Under cooler night conditions, Chris ran a much-improved leg.
He held even with the leading team and eventually cut into their now mounting
distance on EBS. We were down only a few minutes, but in the dark, it
looked much greater. -TT
Leg 16: Two hours later, back at Van A's resting station, after a shower,
and a lot of water, I was thinking about my second leg. I thought I might
recover in time to race again. I remember the look in Chris's face, thinking
I was a bit off the rocker to want to punish myself again. Most people
thought so (even the 12 Angry Men!). My last leg was a bit shorter and
so much cooler, at about 1:30 in the morning. It turned out OK. I finished
the leg without passing out. I was so tired afterwards and slept easily
through most of the rest of the night. -PO
Leg 17: Down several minutes and our hopes of a victory slipping away,
Bruce again took a bite out of the Boho lead. We were now catching slower
teams more often, which made the effort seem more rewarding. -TT
Leg 18: I looked forward to the Golden Gate Bridge leg, unaware of our
deficit on Boho. Running nearly all out at midnight proved to be much
easier than I had predicted. I felt good! Holding back on the first leg
was paying off as I chomped into the Boho lead. My exuberant van-mates
stoked my fires further with positive reports on my status verses Boho.
Again the stitch returned soon after hitting the bridge. A cinching of
the stitch buster again eased the pain and I hammered on, totally oblivious
to the grand views just over the railing. I eased a bit over the last
mile to ensure I stayed on course. By the finish I had whacked over 2
½ minutes off the Boho advantage. Where're baaaaack! -TT
Leg 19: Thom Trimble handed off to me at about 3am. We were behind by
about 1:30. I had one of the best runs of my life, pushing hard all the
way. Catching other runners spurred me on because I could see them far
in advance and could tell I was moving up on them. The van crew gave me
a time differential status. I was gaining on the Boho runner. Just after
reaching the great highway I could see the Boho runner. I kept pushing
hard and almost caught him by the exchange, finishing only about 5 seconds
behind him. -JT
Leg 20: The head to head battle that I didn't get in the first round of
the relay appeared, as Jeff closed on the Bohos once again. He owned his
opponent this relay. I watched the moonlight shine on the breakers of
Ocean Beach as Jeff was cutting the Bohos lead to less than 15 seconds.
I was off on my second leg trying to chase down my old running buddy from
days past. I was feeling competitive and went after him. I was thrilled
at how fast I was gaining on him. As I ran up the never-ending hills,
I got inspiration from how strong Mike McGuire looked on this leg the
year before. I guess my illness was gone because I stayed tough on the
hills and gave the striders a minute and a half lead. -RF
Leg 22: The leg was short with little rolling hills. I couldn't see the
competition when I started, but eventually, I could see his flashlight
up ahead. As I started to catch up, he figured out I was stalking him;
so he turned off his flashlight. It made it more difficult to reel him
in. I kept gaining, but the leg was just too short to close the gap. -PJ
Leg 23: I received the handoff just a few strides behind the Boho runner
and promptly watched his flashlight disappear into the darkness. I lost
about 30 seconds trying to decide which direction to run in the darkness.
Leg 24: After taking a 12-minute nap, it was my turn to run again. This
time the 12th angry man had a pretty nice lead on me. I think he took
his time. This run was flat and smooth. I ran even splits and I gained
a good minute on the 12th angry man. -SD
Leg 25: My left Achilles is tight, but feels like it will warm up. Adrenaline
takes over for the first couple of minutes and finally I settle into a
pace. Still passing slower teams helps me focus on running strong and
steady. The sun is coming up and it is a beautiful morning. I start talking
to runners as I pass them. I encourage them on and bid them good day.
Some of them seem impressed with my endurance and pace and say so. It
makes me feel even stronger. I never see my competition, but I know he's
ahead of me somewhere. I finish the leg feeling good (and tired). Later
I find out my competitor bested me in this leg by 70 seconds. Funny, he
didn't look like a runner. -DS
Leg 26: The sun rose, and the heat was on again. I had seen John at the
exchange, and started out of sight. The van saw me through the crossing
at 0.7 miles. Traffic cooperated. The gentle uphill continued through
mile 3. Then down and flat out to the exchange and done, my quickest run
Leg 27. Chris ran the mostly flat leg clicking off sub-6 miles for his
3rd leg of the day. Bohos lead grew to about 5 minutes at this point.
We were tired.
Leg 28. Phil and the team decided that it was best to wave the white flag
and skip his final leg. This moved Bruce up to a rolling 6 miler. Bruce
kept his runner in check early but the hills proved to favor Boho as they
added more than a minute to their lead. -TT
Leg 29: The super-steep 3-mile leg actually looked inviting compared to
my original 10K Leg 34 ordeal. EBS was down a full 7 minutes and things
looked glum. I challenged myself to run a fast leg just for the stats.
I pressed the entire leg, encouraged every so often by much slower runners
who made my 7 minute pace seem like a sprint. With only my watch as a
distance guide I broke my leg into four five-minute increments. As the
fourth quarter approached I squeezed the remaining oomph out of my quads.
The finish came sooner than expected and I was quick to learn that I had
cut the Boho lead back to a mere 2 minutes! It's a race once again! -TT
Leg 30: My third leg was all uphill, only about three miles. I felt good,
pushed hard. Cut the then Boho lead from 2 minutes to only 30 seconds.
Leg 31: I'm not sure if Phil realizes how much he did for the team when
he gutted out his second leg. He kept us in the hunt and allowed the rest
of us to run our original second legs. However, the change in running
sequence that resulted when Phil wisely sat out his third leg meant only
one thing to me. I had to run the dreaded Leg 31. As I left the start,
my goal was to run as smoothly as possible to prevent injury. I leaned
forward and stayed on the balls of my feet, just like Thom had advised.
As I saw my opponent ahead of me, my focus turned from running smoothly
to winning. The competitive spirit took over and I scurried past the Bohos.
I was thrilled when about half way through the race my teammates told
me I had a 1:10 lead. It was time again to focus on running smoothly.
I was grateful to see the exchange point because I was sure that my legs
were going to give out soon. As I handed off to Mike, I was ecstatic.
For me, the run was over. And much to my surprise, my flu was over too.
Leg 32 - Mike ran the best leg of the day just when we needed it. Up by
just over a minute and running against a 33-minute 10Ker, his goal was
to just keep us in first. After 2 miles of the 6-mile leg Mike had yet
to yield more than a few seconds! Over the final flat 4 miles Mike kept
over half his lead on a hard-charging Boho. -TT
Leg 33: The leg was probably my best. It was hot and all I had to do was
hold the lead. I got a lot of support and encouragement from Van A. I
got a stitch in the middle, but I was afraid if I raised my arms to work
it out, the Bohos would report it to their teammate to motivate him. The
stitch went away, and I even opened up a little more time on the competition.
Leg 34: Rolling back from an expected 6.5 Hard to a 6.2 Very Hard leg
did not bode well. By the second mile there was no life left in my legs
and the heat was bearing down. The Boho runner cruised by, but I was more
concerned with how I was going to finish the leg than staying with him.
A sharp right turn and all that is left is a mile uphill to the finish.
I'm not going to describe the last mile. It is still painful to remember.
Leg 35: Up a very steep grade and then down a very steep grade. I wish
I could have run faster but my reserves were shot. I managed to gain 9
seconds on the 11th angry man but it was not enough. I slept for 14 hours
after the race and was sore as hell! We will get them next year!!!! -SD
Leg 36: I told some teammates either I want be up by 5 minutes or down
by 5 minutes. Either way it won't matter. Unfortunately, the latter was
true. We are down by 4-5 minutes. The last 7-8 legs were awesome. They
had the lead, we took the lead and they retook the lead. I took the handoff
thinking, "you never know." One wrong turn here, a mistake there,
maybe... I think it became obvious to everyone after the first mile of
the last leg, no miracles were going to happen. My teammates told me it
was over, jog in the remaining miles and enjoy the finish. My legs were
dead and the fuel tank was on fumes. I was glad it was over. We all met
along the boardwalk and jogged together through the finish line. The other
team had to work for every precious moment of each leg. It could have
gone either way and in the end, I still felt like a winner. Dead tired,
but a winner. -DS
AN EMAIL MESSAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF A POKER GAME!!!
by Tom Eng, Van 1
So I am playing poker at Phil's house Friday night and Dennis
wants my help getting into the Internet. After helping him, I figure why
not check my E-mail. Accessing the main E-mail screen, I see this message
from Rita, one of my Saturday morning running buds, entitled "Help!"
Opening the message, it says one of her runners has broken a foot and
she needs a replacement runner for the Napa to Santa Cruz Relay Race and
what was I doing this weekend?
Just to enlighten the reader, the Napa to Santa Cruz Relay is a 199 mile
relay race run in 36 legs from Napa County through Sonoma County, Marin
County, San Francisco, San Mateo County and finishes in Santa Cruz County.
The distance of each leg varies between 4 and 9 miles. There are 12 runners
per team and each runner completes 3 legs. The team is broken into 2 vans,
6 runners per van. The first runner runs his/her leg, hands the baton
to the next runner who runs a leg then hands off to the next runner and
on until each person in the van has completed a leg. Meanwhile the second
van drives to the exchange point and waits for the last runner in the
first van to complete their run. This last runner passes the baton to
the first runner in the second van who runs then passes to the next runner
and so on. Meanwhile Van 1 drives to the next exchange point and waits
until the last runner in van 2 finishes his/her leg who passes the baton
back to the first runner in van 1. This continues until all 36 legs are
Anyway, Rita is the captain of this relay team and since I was captain
of the Oregon Hood to Coast Relay team (different race), I could understand
her problem. If one person drops out, other team members would have to
run a 4th leg. So what the heck, I call up Rita and ask her the distance
of my legs and the relative difficulty of each leg, i.e. hills. She replies
that the total distance is only 13 miles and that the only leg of any
difficulty is the last one, only 3 miles. In addition I would be in Van
1 which would finish first. So I accept. Was it a smart move? You be the
Saturday morning dawns, I get up, pack everything I could think of required
for this kind of race and drive to Rita's apartment in Menlo Park. It
is used as a staging point for all runners on the team. When everyone
arrives, Rita informs us another runner who was assigned to Van 2 has
dropped out. This means that three runners in van 2 will have to run a
4th leg, not a good beginning. We pack up the vans and head to Calistoga
a town in Napa County where the start line is located. Meanwhile another
runner who works for a local all news station will meet our van at the
start. We get to the start, I jump out of the van and suddenly it hits
me in the face, its 98 degrees out here! Our start time begins at 2pm
when the temperature is at its highest. As the fifth scheduled runner,
I am hoping the temperature drops a little when it is my turn to run.
Our first runner Laz, starts the race clean so we get on the road and
head for exchange point one. Laz is in his mid thirties, does not run
regularly, but does backpack a lot. This is his first relay race. Upon
arriving I notice a difference between this relay and the Hood to Coast
relay. This race only contains 200 teams, the Hood to Coast Relay contains
1000 teams and the exchange points are always crowded. This exchange point
is dead, only a few race volunteers and a handful of team members line
the exchange point, not bad I think. Suddenly there is a commotion in
the exchange area. One of the runners coming in has fainted. It later
turns out to be heat stroke and the runner is a member of a US Coast Guard
team. Race volunteers begin the process of cooling down the runner and
an ambulance is called. Our runner comes in hot, exhausted but in good
spirits. He hands the baton to our next runner George and leans against
the van to rest a moment. George in his fifties runs about 4 miles a day
and is also a novice at this event. In the meantime the runner we are
suppose to meet at the start is having problems meeting up with us. Rita
has to call him on the cell phone and redirect him to the exchange point
2. Finally he agrees to meet at the corner of the T intersection at the
3rd exchange point, the leg where he is suppose to run.
We let Laz rest a little and then everyone gets into the van and we continue
to exchange point 2. However we also stop our van in the middle of the
leg and wait for George to run by in order to give him a drink and some
words of encouragement. Arriving at exchange point 2, Alma gets ready
to run. Alma, a native of Mexico is in her thirties and has never run
in this type of relay before. However she is a very fast runner and her
enthusiasm is infectious. George finishes his leg and hands the baton
off to Alma. He looks like death warmed over so we let him rest a minute
and drink something before continuing on. Our team piles in the van and
we head for exchange point 3. Along the way we stop in the middle of Alma's
leg to give her water and some vocal support. It is still in the mid 90s
and everyone is thankful the Van is air- conditioned. Alma goes by and
takes a drink. She is looking as though the heat is no problem. Upon arrival
at the next exchange point, the runner from the radio station named Mike
is nowhere to be found. Rita is a little angry and frustrated so she calls
again. Mike says he is there but can't see Rita. Rita is the only person
standing at the corner and they finally hook up. As soon as they meet
Mike starts mentioning that he may not be able to run the next leg due
to a banquet that evening. He says that his wife is sick and he has to
take care of the kids. In addition he asks to be driven back to his car
after his leg is over. This means yours truly will not get a water stop
by the first van in the middle of the leg. Rita is livid but keeps her
Alma is a good hot weather runner, she comes in with a winning kick and
hands off to Mike. We collect Alma and head to the 4th exchange point.
As soon as we arrive I begin getting ready for my leg. It is 5 miles flat
but no shade. We estimate Mike at nine-minute miles but it turns out to
be eleven-minute miles. By the time Mike finishes his leg it is after
5pm and the temperature begins to cool to the low 90s. I take the baton
and start on my way. In the meantime Mike is acting like he is having
a heart attack. Rita says little but has Mike sit down in the van so they
can get underway. She drives him to his car back at the 3rd exchange point
and then hurries toward the 5th exchange point just in time to stop and
give me some water along the barren roadway. Averaging seven and a half
minutes per mile, I arrive at the exchange point but no Rita. I wait for
a couple minutes before Rita shows up and off she goes. Apparently taking
Mike back to his car and stopping to give me water delayed things and
Rita had to use the port-a-john really bad. We drive along the course
and as we pass by Rita, she hands us her sunglasses as the sun starts
to set. We stop along the course one more time and give Rita some water.
Continuing to exchange point 6, we meet up with our other van and we wait
for Rita. She shows up and hands off to Dave the first runner in the second
It is now after 6pm and the runners in our van are free to have dinner
and rest before van 2 hands off to us again sometime around midnight.
After catching her breath, Rita tells me that Mike will not be continuing
with the team. I start to mentally prepare to run a 4th leg. But as we
drive to Sonoma, Rita and I start talking about who we can recruit to
run the other legs on such short notice. In the town of Sonoma we get
some gas, and park the van. We have dinner at an upscale restaurant in
a restored hotel. Unfortunately George is having trouble with his stomach
and can't eat much. I have the pasta with out the spicy sauce, which is
excellent. We decide that Ted, who has graciously offered his house as
a rest stop between legs, will be kidnapped and forced to run Mikes last
leg. But who will run the second leg? Rita calls another George who lives
in Walnut Creek and runs with us on Saturday mornings. Hi George, is this
your wedding anniversary weekend? No? Then what are you doing tonight?
Rita gets George to drive from Walnut Creek to San Anselmo at 10pm so
he can run Mikes second leg. What a guy! What a friend! What did Rita
use to bribe George to come out to run Saturday Night? After dinner we
get back to the van but the instructions are unclear as to how can get
to exchange point 12, the Marin Cheese Factory. So Rita sees some cops,
asks directions and off we go. We follow the directions and I manage to
get Rita lost for a little while but we see our mistake and eventually
find ourselves at the Cheese Factory.
Rita pulls into a parking spot way in the back of the lot hoping to avoid
some of the noise. As Laz gets ready for his second run, some of the other
runners, me included, bed down on the bench seats and try and to get a
little sleep. One of the lessons learned from the Hood to Coast Relay
is that an extra long van provides a great place to rest during the relay.
So I am right on the verge of sleep, when I hear the front door open and
Rita asking does anyone have any spare change? Apparently there is no
cell phone coverage in this part of Marin County so Rita was trying to
call George on a pay phone. Oh well, so much for sleep. So Alma and I
are carrying a nice conversation when the side door suddenly opens and
in pops a head that startled Laz. It was Juan, one of the elite runners
we see at Sawyer Trail. He asks what I'm doing here so I ask him the same
question. He has the potential to win the whole relay if he is hooked
to another fast team. The hand off from the last runner in Van 2 to Laz
is made at around 1am and as Laz runs to the next exchange point; van
2 will meet us in San Francisco. At the next few exchange points we find
that there are no port-a-johns around. So it looks like the grass is being
watered constantly. In addition Rita will be noting this in the post race
meeting. (Rita is on the organizing committee). One minor incident occurred
while waiting for George to run by on a deserted country road. Rita was
waiting outside by herself without a flashlight to hand George some water,
suddenly the drivers side door opened and in rushed Rita. She said she
heard a loud noise somewhere in the bushes off the side of the road and
decided not to hang around. I went out and shined my flashlight in the
direction of the noise, nothing. Oh well, I didn't think Big Foot was
ever seen this far south in California.
We made it to San Anselmo at around 2:15am. And guess what, George like
an old trooper was waiting in his car at the shopping center across where
exchange point 16 is located. He had been waiting since 10pm trying to
sleep. However every time he was almost asleep, he would hear someone
call out number 345 or number 453 as the baton exchange was being made.
In order to avoid taking George back to his car after he ran, Laz volunteered
to drive George's car to the next exchange point. What a Guy! Meanwhile
we drove to exchange point 17 and I started to get ready for my leg.
My second leg was 5 miles and a little hilly at first proceeding through
the bicycle trail paralleling highway 101 southbound then dipping down
into the flats of the bay. There was one place where I had to stop to
decide where the course proceeds but another runner showed the way. I
ended on Bridgeway Blvd and handed the baton to Rita in Sausalito. Rita's
leg ascends and crosses the Golden Gate Bridge where we met Van 2 in the
presidio. The only other person awake in Van 2 was Steve Chin besides
David who was getting ready for his second run. Apparently Steve keeps
different hours and 4 am is about the time Steve goes to sleep. Steve
and I walk over to Van 2 and Steve knocks on the door. The only person
to respond is Muriel who looks at Steve and me, waves and then beds down
back to sleep. After Rita handed off to David, we drove our van to Ted's
house where a hot shower and more pasta is located.
Arriving at Ted's house in San Bruno, it is now 5am and Ted has been waiting.
He was able to sleep almost 6 hours and is wide-awake. The shower relay
begins and the water is put on the stove to cook the spaghetti. The sauce
is simmering but George is still having trouble eating as he feels a little
ill. Everyone else digs in and after the pasta is consumed everyone beds
down to try and get a little sleep for an hour or two. Yours truly, to
avoid getting cold, wears a down jacket and lies down on top of Ted's
bed. Suddenly it is an hour and a half later and the sun is shining through
the bedroom window. I must have been tired as sleep is usually impossible
during a Relay Race. Getting up, I go into the living room where other
team members are stirring. Ted's house is on a hill and has an excellent
view of the surrounding peninsula including San Francisco International
Airport. Ted explains that most of the time, the only thing one can see
is the fog cover this early in the morning. But today instead of fog one
is greeted by a clear view that stretches to the east bay and beyond.
This is not a good sign since it means hot weather is in store for the
coming day. Rita is in communication with van 2 and their last runner
is just beginning his run. We get everything ready, hop in our van, kidnap
Ted, and drive to exchange point 24 for our final set of legs.
At the exchange point 24, right next to hwy 280 near Canada Rd, it is
around 9am and it is already starting to get warm. Taking the baton from
our Van 2 teammate Dave, we see Laz disappear as he heads over a rise.
We continue to exchange area 25, a busy street corner in Menlo Park and
Van 2 heads off to breakfast. Rita and I wait with George who will run
his last leg taking the handoff from Laz. Suddenly Rita's phone rings.
It is Mike asking how our team is doing and how the relay is going generally.
Rita is very polite. Actually it is a cover so she does not scream at
him for bailing on us after his first leg. Anyway George takes the handoff
and we continue on to exchange area 26, a parking lot at one of the high
tech companies. Laz is rather sore and his feet hurt but still in good
spirits. As the temperature continues to rise, we are now in Santa Clara
County. Alma is ready for her leg and we finally break out the Super Soakers.
These water guns can shoot a stream of water up to 30 feet or more, depending
on how much pressure is used. We go down to the exchange area and Rita
is shooting anyone with the Super Soaker who requests it, and some who
have not. The hand off is made and we continue to exchange 27 a church
parking lot. Ted will run for Mike so we keep calling Ted Mike confusing
us as well as Ted. Everything goes well and Ted speeds off after the hand
off from Alma.
We proceed to exchange point 28 in Stevens Creek Park, making a brief
stop to see if Ted wants water. This is my leg and even though it is only
3 miles, one must ascend 1000 feet with the last mile gaining 600 feet.
I'm ready for my last leg and take the baton from Ted as he completes
his finishing kick. The first mile is not too bad but the road begins
to get a little steep in the second mile. By the third mile the terrain
got so steep that I had to walk a couple of times as I found it took less
effort and covered the same distance as running. Luckily the temperature
was not a factor as most of the route contained large Oak trees that provided
shade. The last 50 yards was a slight downhill and I make a great show
coming into exchange point 29 handing off to Rita. During my leg the van
did not stop to hand me water since the road narrowed to one lane and
the relay required all vans to take an alternative route to exchange point
29. But during Rita's leg, which also has an elevation gain of 1000 feet,
the leg is run on the same course that the vans have to travel. We definitely
stop a couple of times to give Rita a lot of encouragement and water.
Unfortunately along with the elevation gain the road has a lot of curves
and as we stop and wait to give Rita water, George's stomach finally rebels.
I give George a paper towel and tell him he should feel better which I
think he does. We continue to the final exchange point 30 where Van 2
takes over to the finish line. Volunteers from the Palo Alto Runners Club
(our club) man this exchange point, and the club banner is displayed for
all to see. The exchange point is located at the intersection of Skyline
Blvd and the Big Basin, Highway 9. As David waits in the exchange area
for the hand off, we see Rita chug up and crest the hill. She sees the
exchange area runs to David hands the Baton and trots over to a line of
trees and heaves. But nothing comes out. Ted first asks me not to go to
Rita's aid but as other people rush over to help, Ted and I run over to
see if we could be of assistance. Rita is OK after some rest and water.
We pile into the van and are DONE.
Everyone is hungry so we try to follow the directions to get to Santa
Cruz but we take a wrong turn somewhere and end up on Bear Creek Rd which
winds around the Santa Cruz Mountains somewhere. We finally make it to
Ben Lomand and after an hour and a half we make it to downtown Santa Cruz.
Rita's plan was to run the last leg in van 2 and then run into the finish
line with some kids who have been helped by Rita's company's products.
After lunch we head to the last exchange point 35. We park and wait for
a long while. During that time it is agreed that Ted will run the last
leg since Rita is not feeling up to running. We wait until 4pm and finally
Van 2 shows up. Ted goes over and waits in the other van and we head to
the finish line. Dropping Rita off at the finish line, we find parking
on the street. We hurry to the finish line to wait for Ted as he runs
in. We finally see the other members of our team and then we see Ted running
towards us. We start running with Ted for the last 100 yards and we all
finish together. It was a great relay and we finish in 27 and a half-hours
(more or less). Everyone is tired but happy we are done. Everyone gets
medals and pictures are taken. Van 2 decides to eat something and then
will meet at Rita's house. Our van will be driven back to Rita's home
Looking back at this relay experience, it is interesting to note the way
a team can overcome setbacks and disappointments. In addition I think
everyone had a great time even with some temporary negative after effects
from the race. I felt that the teams were as organized as best they could
given the circumstances at the time. Tip of the hat to Rita who had to
wear several hats organizing not just the team but the relay race as well.
Congratulations to Alma, George, and Laz for completing their first relay.
Special thanks to Ted and Walnut Creek George for coming out at a moments
notice (At least I got 12 hours warning) to run these legs. Hmmm, the
Napa Santa Cruz Relay is being held in October of next year and I may
be free, RITA!!!
RUN CLUB 1999 RELAY STORIES
The following stories were published in the December 1999 newsletter
of the Palo Alto Run Club.
Thoughts on the Relay...from Dave Wibbelsmann
When I ran the Calistoga-to-Santa Cruz Relay for the first
time, with the SangStat Grafters in 1998, I didn't know what I was in
for at the time, not having run in any kind of event like it before. This
year, having been down that road before (sorry, I couldn't resist the
pun), and after a full year of training under my belt, I figured I would
be prepared for what was to come this time. However, the circumstances
encountered up to and during this year's Relay would prove me wrong.
As with many of the other teams, we experienced our share of challenges,
both before and during the event, in the form of last minute departures,
untimely injuries, and 90°+ heat for both days. In our case, we lost
two of our runners the day before the Relay, and another one bailed out
after his first leg (not to mention no breakfast at Buck's after our 2nd
van exchange, since Buck's was closed!). We were not alone; almost every
team I talked to had to overcome some type of adversity along the way.
It was very inspiring to be part of a team (and to see other teams) that
pulled together so well to overcome the obstacles that we faced, and keep
a positive spirit and have fun in the process.
There were some things that stayed the same as last year. Switching from
Runner 12 last year to Runner 7 this year (which made for greater distance
and difficulty), plus having to run a fourth leg made this year's Relay
just as much of a physical challenge as last year's. Also, the camaraderie
and team spirit of my van mates (and van 1 teammates, too) was every bit
as prevalent as it was last year. Just like last year, I am already looking
forward to next year's Relay (and a new set of challenges!).
A big THANKS is in order for the PARC volunteers at Skyline and Hwy. 9
(as well as all the other race volunteers) for all their efforts in the
dark of night and the heat (and I do mean HEAT) of the day. Of course,
congratulations to Rita, who not only organized our team, but also helped
out on the race planning committee. And thanks to teammates Steve, Dave
Collette, Muriel, and Ralph in Van 2, and Alma, Tom, George, Laz, Ted
and George Fahd in Van 1, team players in every way.
Just thought I'd give my own report on The Relay. I was
originally drafted by all set to do leg 7. Then, when one of their runners
came back from Hood to Coast injured, I was switched to leg 10 which is
the most difficult leg (at least in my book). Since I had been training
for Leg 7 I hadn't been running very many sustained steep uphills in training,
instead, doing lots of fast flat and downhill runs. When I was switched
to leg 10 with one week to go, my first words were, "holy s--t, how's
this going to happen?!!!" As it turned out, I had my ultra running
roots to thank for getting me through the worst parts, which were formidable
to say the least. I was able to do 7:40's on my first leg, 6:50's on my
second leg and 7:39's on my "last leg(s"). The most fun part
for me was chasing some guy downhill on my first leg at what felt like
a sub 6:00 pace in the moonlight and having to jump over 6 cattle guards
on the way. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of a team and cheering all
of the other runners on. Although the sleep deprivation, good food deprivation,
comfort deprivation, and leg-room deprivation were factors, I figured
that everybody else was in the same boat, so why whine about it. I just
took it on as a great opportunity to practice surrender. My team mates
were all wonderful people, most of whom I hadn't met before the race.
I'm really looking forward to running it again next year. I think I'd
like to form a mixed team and to use it as a learning/teaching experience.
My congrats to the race organizers, the teams and all of the volunteer
support people without whom this race would not happen. It was especially
nice to see some familiar faces out there, Tom Kaisersatt, Gayla Johnson,
Christina Brownson, and Dave Wibblesman. For you PARC'ers, I went to the
Arthur Lydiard lecture the night before the race and I hope to be writing
an article for the newletter about his talk. I say "hope" because
my wife and I are expecting our first baby next week and from what I'm
told, I may have my hands full for a little while.
Stay tuned... Danny
I was Runner 6 (the last one in the first van). For my second
leg (leg 18) I ran from Sausalito up and across the Golden Gate Bridge
handing off to the next leg in the Presidio.
I took the baton shortly after 3am in Sausalito. The night was cool and
still. As I ran along the waterfront, there was a surreal calm. The city
lights and the bay were to my left, and I was overwhelmed by the silence
with only the pounding of my feet disrupting the nightly calm. I remember
being spooked by a nearby sound only to discover that a small wave had
washed ashore breaking the still of the night.
As I climbed up the long hill to the Golden Gate Bridge, I was pleased
to see that the fog had vanished, and I could enjoy a clear view in every
There was a slight breeze as I approached the bridge, then I noticed a
policeman there to open a gate. I can only assume that the bridge is closed
to jumpers at this hour of night. With the gate open, I sailed onto the
bridge. A slight dew had left the surface moist and slippery. Aside from
the other runner ahead of me, and the occasional passing car by, I felt
like the bridge was all mine.
At the end of the run, I turned under the bridge, then up the steep hill
to the finish. It was odd to have such serenity and then encounter a sea
of runners at the second major van exchange. I handed off the baton to
John Whittin, then found my group.
I've always loved the Golden Gate Bridge, but in all my crossings, the
peace and serenity made this one of the most memorable.
How I got talked into this thing...
"So, what are you doing between 11pm and 3am next Saturday night?"
Somehow sleeping didn't seem to occur to me as the answer. I guess it
just didn't sound right. Who plans to sleep? "Hmmm, let me check
my book - Gee, it looks like I've got that time set aside for my subconscious."
As I couldn't legitimately claim to be otherwise occupied, I had to
resort to what was left - "Nothing" I said.
As quickly as that, like some poor fool who passed out on an English
dock, I was pressed into service for "Running Amok" - a group
of 12 folks who, despite all the conveniences modern life provides up
- like the car, chose to run a relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz over
199 miles. You would think they could have pushed both ends out just
a smidge to roll it up to an even 200 miles, but I guess 199 is just
as crazy as 200 and it does sound a little more legitimate. While I
grant you that the relay runs along some of the most beautiful country
in the world, trust me, it looks just as good from a convertible. However,
it was not for me to reason why, I just had to show up at Canada College
from 11pm to 3am.
Just like the runners, this was going to be a long weekend for me. However,
I imagined I was going to smell a might bit better having chosen not
to run through my weekend. Friday night I skipped up to my sister's
in Petaluma to head out to the Wine Country the following morning. It
took us a bit to get started, and my brother bailed out of the "Designated
Driver" role. So with that inauspicious start, we set out in my
sister's SMAV (Suburban Mother's Assault Vehicle) to the Sonoma County
wine country. Had we gotten an earlier start, we might have headed up
the Silverado Trail to the Calistoga start line. As it was, we took
the short trip to five Sonoma County Wineries - Buena Vista, Gundlach
Bundschu, Benzinger, and Glen Ellen.
In any case, once that adventure was over, I had a small dinner and
set out to Canada College off the 280 freeway. I didn't have any trouble
finding the exit. In fact I remembered years ago having to use that
very same exit on my way back to College at UCSC to deal with a very
inconvenient case of the Stomach Flu. Bad memories aside, I found the
Gym after only a brief drive and parked at the bookstore. The rest of
the staff/crew had arrived only minutes before (it was about 10:20pm,
so I was a bit early). I introduced myself and Marsha and Sandy
wasted little time in putting me to work. We unloaded
two palettes of food into the cafeteria, and set up the tables with
an array of fruit, bagels and coffee. The fruit and bagels looked fine,
but I made the mistake of trying the coffee later that night. I feel
really sorry for the runners who had to suffer through that brown abomination.
It would have taken far more sugar than I care to risk to restore that
"coffee" to palatability. The setup went quickly, and before
11pm I was on my way back to the Gym.
I was just crossing the street when a young lady drove up and asked
me, "Do you know anything about a Relay here?" Using the wonderful
discriminant that Dawn had given me earlier, "She has longer hair
than I do", I guessed this might be my fellow victim of the press
gang, Alice. Alice parked herself at the bookstore as well, and we went
back down to the cafeteria to check her in. As the cafeteria was essentially
done, we were sent back up to the gym to work the information table
with some coffee and juice for the runners as they trickled in. Alice
and I got up to the Gym and staffed the table ready for the deluge of
runners to besiege us. Nobody came. We spent most of the time talking
with each other and Bob, the radioman. Bob had a radio set up to track
the runners with a spotting van. He kept us all up to date with a white
board that listed the time the first runner passed each checkpoint.
Alice had to leave at 1am, as she had to meet people at 9am that morning.
She was more than generous, however, and stayed well past 1am. I eventually
shooed her out with reassurances that it was OK to leave me by myself
at the table. By the time Alice left maybe five vans had shown up.
I stayed on till a little after 3:00am answering the questions the few
runners posed. The most popular question was "Where are the showers?"
followed by "Where is the restroom?" It was at this that my
Renaissance Faire training stood me in good stead. After more than 10
years in the information boothes dealing with thousands of hot, dirty
patrons, I was more than ready for a few relay runners. By the time
I left around 3:15am, only about a dozen vans had shown up. It seems
we had the quiet shift. I was certainly glad to have a partner at the
table, otherwise I imagine the runners would have had to wake me up
to get an answer. In any case, I left before the lead runner had reached
mark 22 and was asleep in Morgan Hill by the time I was told Running
Amok would be arriving at my post at mark 24.
In the end, I actually had a lot of fun during my watch. The people
were very kind and a lot of fun to talk to, and the runners were very
courteous and seemed quite appreciative to have some there to greet
them. Some of them seemed very tired and worn. I felt I was burning
calories just looking at them.
I certainly hope that all of you in Running Amok had as much fun as
I, and I hope none of you were injured. I have not yet heard anything
particular about the race, so I do not know how you all did, but I hope
it went well. It did for me.
-Robert "Stu" Haxton
Running Amok Staff Volunteer '99
Post Script: I just got word that you all did finish and that no one
was injured (too badly at least). So congratulations to all of you!
Just walking out to my car is intimidating enough for me!
RUNNERS IN 199-MILE RELAY
by Bob Britton
Twenty-four Defense Language Institute Foreign Language
Center soldiers ran in the rugged 24-hour 199-Mile Relay Race from Calistoga,
in the Napa Valley wine country, to Santa Cruz on Sept. 25-26. Competition
consisted of 199 teams, including one from the Naval Postgraduate School,
and others from Colorado, Florida, Rhode Island, and some foreign countries.
Organs 'R' Us, a nonprofit organization and primary sponsor of the event,
brings awareness of the importance of organ donations to help save other
"Organs 'R' Us sponsors the event to bring awareness of the importance
of donating organs to others," said Staff Sgt. Arlen Herbst, training
noncommissioned officer for Company D, 229th Military Intelligence Battalion.
He was a race participant the past two years and coordinator for the
combined team from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, DLIFLC, and
Delta Company. "Each team puts in $600 for entry fees, and you have
two volunteers helping out each team at relay stops taking names and
times of runners. When the team members pass the baton, or plastic wristband
in our case, to the next team runner, that symbolizes the exchange of
organs form one person to another."
The 199-mile relay race took runners from the flat country of Calistoga
and the Napa Valley, along highways, through cow pastures, over the
Golden Gate Bridge, through Palo Alto and the Santa Clara Valley, up
the Santa Cruz Mountains and finishing at Santa Cruz. This grueling
relay race tested each individual's stamina and endurance as they started
off in 90 degree temperatures during the day and ran in 50 degrees at
night. Relay legs, ranging from three miles up to nine miles, were judged
on difficulty and terrain. Each runner ran three separate legs, with
total distances ranging from 13 miles up to 18 miles.
After runner 12 finished his or her relay leg, then runner 1 would start
the second racing cycle. Runners had about four hours rest between their
"It was an honor to run for Organs 'R' Us cause because it is such a
noble pursuit to find organ donors for people who need them," said Pvt.
2 Joshua Johnson, a Persian-Farsi student from Company C, 229th Military
Intelligence Battalion and formerly with Bravo Company. "You can't really
say enough about the people who give their organs to help others."
"My first two legs were five miles and the last one was only three miles,"
said Johnson. "In the first, I ran over flat terrain in the heat of
the day without much shade, and that was exhausting. My second race
was at 2 am Sunday morning in cool weather outside of San Francisco.
The third leg was three miles up the Santa Cruz Mountains, which was
most difficult. This stage was awe inspiring, difficult and made you
walk part of the time since part of the route was almost vertical. This
part of the race made Franklin Street look flat."
The 12-member relay team from Company B, 229th Military Intelligence
Battalion, consisted of privates and specialists and the company commander
captain. A combined Headquarters and Headquarters Company, DLIFLC, and
Company D team ranged from privates up to captains. This mixed team
featured basic language students, military language instructors, senior
noncommissioned officers, a chief warrant officer and two captains.
All teams provided their own logistical support with vans, drivers,
food and water and reflective safety gear at night.
Sgt. 1st Class Dan Kessinger, from the Inspector General's office, ran
in this race last year and did it again this year. He helped coordinate
the teams and legs. "It's a very challenging race running through mountainous
terrain, pastures, barns, flat roads and highways," Kessinger said.
"Flat roads are easiest for me, but that's not what I got. I ran through
pastures north of Sonoma, and it definitely was challenging for me because
it was at night and the elevation was 1,400 feet. With my three legs,
I ran approximately 18 miles."
"We have a 12-person team, and each member will run three different
times handing off the baton to the next runner," said Capt. Norman Emery,
commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, DLIFLC, who had
previously competed in the Big Sur International Marathon Relay Race
this spring. "At night time all runners had flashlights and reflective
vests for safety reasons. You ran on the right side of busy highways
with much traffic. That in itself was a cause for concern. Throughout
the entire race, we had no police escort to guide traffic or monitor
race vans, but we had our escort team vans follow at a safe distance
or wait at the next relay point. There were 199 teams, which had staggered
starts, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Race officials started out
10 teams every half-hour.
"The most challenging part of the race for me was my last leg up the
Santa Cruz Mountains," said Emery. "You ran three miles out and one
mile up in almost vertical elevation. I hurt my knee on the second leg,
so I had to power walk the last part of it. After competing in the Big
Sur race and this one, it definitely is a sense of accomplishment and
achievement. This event is like a mountain-climbing thing. You just
keep looking for a bigger mountain to climb, and the same applies to
this race. This event gives you a test of your endurance and stamina,
and shows you how far you can go under different kinds of weather and
terrain. What amazed me and other teammates was bouncing back from one
leg to run another one later on, getting little sleep and being short
on body fuel to sustain you."
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joseph McDaniel, works in the Presidio of Monterey
Operations, Plans and Policies Directorate, and ran in this year's relay
race for the first time. "As far as the most challenging leg for me,
it was running in the race for the first time," said McDaniel. "With
my three laps, I ran about 18 miles. I started out in my first leg south
of Calistoga and north of San Francisco. I enjoyed participating in
this 199-mile relay race because we had a group of people who normally
don't work together come together as a team. It was a good sense of
camaraderie, a lot of humor, and a lot of urging each other on. We all
ran what we set out to do, completed each leg and finished the race
as a team."
Spc. Theresa Adams, Delta Company Spanish student, competed in the grueling
race because of the challenge and something she had never done before.
She just completed airborne school in August, so she was used to running
all the time. Also, she is a member of the female running team from
Delta Company, which constantly runs around Monterey and the beaches.
"The most challenging part of the race was the different terrain," she
said. "In the race we ran on winding hills, on interstate highways,
in grassy and shady parts, and over highway blacktop, dirt roads and
paths. At nighttime we used the safety reflective vests and carried
flashlights. I noticed some team members from other teams were not using
flashlights, and it was difficult to see them. I've already decided
that wherever I am stationed next year, I will take leave and come back
again next year to compete in this 199-mile relay race."
Pfc. Norma Cross, a Delta Company Russian student, ran because the team
needed another runner and her grandfather was pretty sick. So she ran
for him. She's also the captain of the Delta Company female running
team. "I ran three legs, which totaled 15.4 miles," Cross said. "I didn't
like running my first and third legs because they were in the middle
of the heat, and I had difficulty breathing with the high temperatures
and humidity. I liked my middle leg at night where I could breathe better.
My most challenging leg was the last one where I ran uphill 4.4 miles
in the high heat."
Herbst mentioned that Delta Company provided five runners for the race
and two volunteers stationed at the Santa Cruz finish line to keep track
of times and names of teammates. He ran 13.6 miles in his three legs,
which included running over the Golden Gate Bridge and up the Santa
"The seven-mile leg over the Santa Cruz Mountains is broken up into
three separate runners because of its difficulty and running almost
vertically uphill," Herbst said. "Then you run about 10 miles downhill
through redwood forests. Running uphill in the Santa Cruz Mountains
almost straight up vertically was the most difficult part for me. Usually,
I'm real good running up hills, but these mountains took much out of
my legs and me, so I ran at a slower pace. I also ran over the Golden
Gate Bridge going up a slight incline and leveling off and going downhill
"My most rewarding experience of the race was receiving thanks from
someone whom we never knew and just met at the Del Rey Oaks car wash
to wash our vans after we completed the race," said Herbst. "This person
had a granddaughter who died a few years ago from cystic fibrosis. She
needed an organ transplant but never received one. His granddaughter
had just graduated from high school when she developed complications
from her illness and died a week after her graduation. When we mentioned
we competed in the Organs R Us 199-mile relay race, he thanked us for
our support of the organ transplant program. He said that if his granddaughter
had received a replacement lung from her illness, she might have lived."
If McDaniel competes again next year, he would like to see teams from
all DLIFLC military services compete and carry the DLIFLC banner. Emery
goes along with this challenge to the other military services for bragging
rights for the best service and runners.
"I appreciated the chance to better know some of my soldiers and the
fine dedication and teamwork of the members," said Emery. "Everybody
knew coming in before the race it wasn't going to be easy, and it would
be challenging. Everybody met the basic challenge. My guidance was to
have all runners bring some military affiliation for the running gear
or uniform. Some of our runners wore HHC T-shirts and shorts, some ran
in Army physical training uniforms, and some had organizational T-shirts.
Other teams asked us about our work at DLI or said some relatives previously
served in the Army. It was great for morale and possibly recruiting
purposes. It was a positive public relations effort to promote DLI.
We showed the Army and DLI colors in a positive manner."
Other HHC runners included Staff Sgts. Mike Arrowsmith and Joel Vaughn,
Russian military language instructors; Staff Sgt. Steve Mitchem, Arabic
MLI; Staff Sgt. Allan Fenske, from Command Sgt. Maj. Debra Smith's office;
Capt. Gina Anderson, a former company commander and a Delta Company
Arabic student; Spc. Luke Henry and Pvt. 2 Amber Archer, Delta Company