The Firecracker is probably the most popular local 10K after the Wharf to Wharf - a mixture of roads, trails, steep hills, historic locations (the "Lost Boys" house and old polo grounds), a colorful race announcer, and a pancakes-and-sausage breakfast for the finishers. I'd planned to run it this year as my hip re-hab has been going well and my training ramping up. It's just an easy bike ride from my place too.

me, Benoit, and Ferrell. Now, why's that lady on the left photographing my backside?

Let's get Liz Devitt in the picture - her final local race after many many years here in Santa Cruz. Heading now to the midwest.

Liz and Cat. Best buds!

Roger and me, best buds!

The start of the 10K

After 100 yards, my calves seized up and I could tell that in just a few more yards I'd likely pull something and be "out" for my big Pikes Peak race next month - so I stopped. I'd been doing more sand-running and beach stair sets, so not that surprising.

Mike Bodge, Stefano Profumo, and Benoit at the 5K start. And some fellow praying to God for the strength?

Benoit, with his color coordinated hard-to-miss shirt and shoes

Stefano's all-out finish

Benoit's finish

Chris N, not ready for his closeup? Fine finish, beating Jeff by a couple seconds - not easy to do.

Jeff Soares strong finish. 4th overall, 39:13

Kevan Chu's strong finish: 40:25 1st in his age group

Former mayor Hillary Bryant, always enthusiastic and with a ready smile

Rick Ferrell's 10k finish - good enough for podium time

Rick and Tiffany V, finished close

...and Billy M 3rd in the 60-64 group.

You're the man! No, YOU'RE the man, No, YOU're...

Rick and Cat, celebrate with a green popsicle

Stefano - Astronomers do it better.

John Hofacre, our local cartoonist, takes home hardware

Tiffany V takes second, great time for a tough course.

Kevan Chu - SCTC scores again.

Cat whupped the competition again.

Rick Ferrell took 2nd

Sue Dunn outlasted the 2nd and 3rd place people's patience with the slow pace of the awards - good endurance, Sue!

Roger, still going strong. The guy's ageless!