Tuesday Night Speed Workout – started as Ladies Only

How many remember or know that Tuesday night workouts were originally ONLY for women?  And attendees had to have run “sub 70 minutes” for 10 miles to participate.

That was then.  The early days and evenings of Tuesday night sessions were devoted to helping about 6-8 of Sacramento’s most motivated female runners become more and faster than they were.  The general goal was to “break 3 hours in the marathon.”  But there were other challenging goals as well.  One of our early master’s women, Joan Reiss also aspired to break 40 minutes at 10k, and within a year she had done both a “sub 3 marathon AND a sub-40 10k.”  Bev Marx had similar ambitions as an open age group runner, and she too met her goals.  Eileen Claugus came into the group with amazing youth group credentials from 10 years or so earlier, as she had run internationally as a 16-17 year old with a mile PR of 4:41.  She went on to become a fully sponsored/supported/paid Adidas athlete turning many sub 2:40 marathons and winning Honolulu, San Francisco and Mexico City Marathons and too many shorter races to list.  Kathy Pfieffer was a dedicated local junior college student and 37 minute 5 mile runner when she first showed up at Tuesday night sessions, but she went on to set school records at 10k for CSUS, a walk-on scholarship at University of New Mexico and the club’s female 10k record of 32:59.  After college she ran “professionally” also under Reebok sponsorship.  Kathy is married to Chuck Aragon who ran for Athletics West (Nike under a low key name) with a mile PR of 3:51 and 10k times around 28 minutes.  Their kids are all national class runners who have earned full-ride scholarships at Notre Dame (where Chuck went to undergraduate school; he is now an M.D. and they live in Montana).  June Hill-Falkenthal was an early career professional and wife, but she enjoyed the challenge of running long; she went on to WIN the Sacramento Marathon in a PR 3:01, just missing her “sub-3.”

It was just George Parrott and later about a dozen of Sacramento’s fittest and fastest females in those early years of organized Tuesday night sessions (1980-1982).  By about 1983 there were several males who had wormed their way into the workouts (Jeff Hayes and Frank ?, etc.) and the sessions were made formally “coed.”  In the late 1980’s or early 1990’s we sometimes had Mark Nenow, the then American RECORD HOLDER at 10k at workouts, along with Linda Sommers, Robin Root, Tom Johnson, and others from the club who were ALL national and/or international class runners.  We even had some of the area high school coaches send their distance runners to club workout since their home programs had nobody to train with at the higher quality levels.  One of our “youth male groups” even held the youth record at the Xmas Relays at Lake Merced.

About Jackie Sword-Olson