Monday, March 2, 2009

Catching Up with the Fluffy Bunnies

Monday, March 2, 2009
Wayne Joness, Open LDR Chair

Last Sunday morning I had the chance to run a few miles through the streets of beautiful Santa Monica with David Olds and the Fluffy Bunny Track Club. For those of you not familiar with the Bunnies, their chosen moniker, "Fluffy Bunny" is a bit like the old SNL sketch: with a name like "Fluffy Bunny," they have to be fast! And fast they are! At the end of 2008, in what was reported as some of the most chilly, windy, challenging race conditions ever, the Fluffy Bunny masters team won second straight USATF National Cross Country title in Spokane, Washington. And just a month earlier, the Bunnies placed second to Team Run LA in the SCA USATF Cross Country Championships held at Kenneth Hahn Park. Also in December, Bunny member Tyson Sacco also ran 2:43:02 in his debut marathon at the California International Marathon.

The Bunnies are a hard working, motivated group of runners, and I met with them to announce the new SCA Grand Prix series. While the Bunnies compete in a variety of long distance road running events, from 5K to marathon, the Bunnies were glad to hear that it would be possible to take home the prize money offered in the SCA Grand Prix series by running only 5K and 10K races exclusively. I am certainly hoping to see the Bunnies out at our inaugural race, The Coaster Run 5K, where we will also be offering club scoring for the first time in our SCA Grand Prix series.

If I am being a little to transparent here, let me pause for a moment from shamelessly promoting our new SCA Grand Prix series to mention that the runners of Fluffy Bunny Track Club remind me of why it is so exciting to be a member of USATF in the Southern California Association. We have some of the top runners in the United States, living right here, as members of the SCA. A local Southern California 5K race can bring out the kind of talent other Associations have to fly in! As our Road Running Championship series and SCA Grand Prix series develop and grow, I expect the level of competition to match that of national event.

Of course, the key to our success is the turnout by our own SCA running members. I am looking forward to meeting more SCA USATF members at our races this year, and on training runs. Contact me or masters LDR chair Sissel Berntsen-Heber and let us know what you think: what races you would like to see on our schedule, any changes you would be interested in, etc. On our Sunday run Wayne Chen and Dan Cappiello suggested the idea of head-to-head club scoring, and Sissel and I talked about this later. We are just getting things rolling this year, and we predict that we will be fine-tuning the SCA Grand Prix series to adjust to the unique conditions of road racing in our expansive 34,000 square mile Association. USATF is here to serve the needs of the runner, so be sure to let us know how what works for you!

As for me, I'm sure a Fluffy Bunny run would work for improving my time, but after three miles I headed back with David Foote who also called it an early day. Based on their history of raising the level of competition in the LA area, the Bunnies will certainly be a club to watch in our 2009 USATF races. Thanks for the run guys!

Contact Information: Fluffy Bunny Track Club

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