Thursday, May 10, 2007

Connections with the Past

The 50th annual Berkeley Hills Road Race is this Saturday and sadly I won't be making the trek up north to participate. Berkeley Hills has a special place in my heart for a number of reasons. It's one of a handful of races that I've done as a Junior, Senior (or now it's called "Elite"), and as a Masters racer. That realization really hammers home how long I've been in this silly sport, and how old I am!

I first did it in 1978 when it was a crucial qualifier race for any juniors who wanted to try out for the World Championship team. Many of the top kids from all over the west were there and I snagged a 4th place, which combined with my earlier results, qualified me for the try-outs. I recall that Marc Brandt won that year, and Sterling McBride got 2nd. I also remember being called a "F'ing Wheelsucker" by Alexi Grewal after we finished. Pretty cool in retrospect, seeing as he went on to win a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics! (The issue was that Brandt and Sterling were OTF and I was none too willing to help chase... for me it wasn't about winning the race, but rather getting the points I needed.)

But perhaps the coolest thing of all about the race that year is that it was covered by the SF Chronicle, and I made the cover picture of the sports section. OMG that was great for a highschool junior who participated in a fringe sport!! I took everyone I knew into the school library to show them the paper that day. Obviously it meant something to me since I still have a copy today!

I would race Berkeley Hills only a handful more times, but spread out over three decades.

Here are my Berkeley Hills results:
1978: 4th, juniors
1979: 8th, juniors (Gavin Chilcott won)
1981: DNF, p/1/2 (broken chain)
1989: 9th, p/1/2
1997: 3rd, 35+

Other races I have done as junior, senior, and masters are:

Acton RR:
1978: 14th, juniors (LeMond won)
1991: 1st, p/1/2
2004: 3rd, 35+
2006: 1st, 45+

Mt. Hamilton:
1978: 6th, juniors
1997: 1st, 35+
2005: 3rd, 40+ (D'Alusio won)
2006: 15th, p/1/2 (BJM won)

Nevada City:
1977: DNF, junior
1978: 5th, junior
1979: DNF, junior
1981: 30th-40th? lapped twice by LeMond, p/1/2
1996: 2nd, 35+ (Winkel won)
1997: 3rd, 35+ (Matt Sarna won)
2002: 7th, 35+ (C-Walk won)

Wow... writing all that down has brought on a flood of nostalgic memories...

...I'm getting old!!!


Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

you're only as old as you feel! And since you're still winning races...I would say that's pretty young! When I was in high school i was winning national titles in dog showing....and barely squeaking all state honorable mention in cross country...wasn't even thinking about cycling yet!
Nostalgia is fun...and check out the glasses in the photo below the peloton photo! At least fashion has made some strides since then....

dr-nitro said...

Come on, Marco. Slip up to b-hills this weekend so you can say that you've done the race over four decades. Then there would be no denying that yer old, regardless of the fact that you can still spin the pedals like a young punk.

Mrs. Fanelli said...

Happy Birthday, Sweetie. You're not getting old, that would mean that I'm getting old too, which is absolutely NOT true.

dr-nitro said...

Go Marco, it's your birthday!


Marco Fanelli said...

Dr. Kim: Nope, not winning...

Dr. Nitro: No Berkeley. You will need a feed unless it's really cold or slow. Ask Sterling if he remembers that race and the story in the SF Chronicle. If he doesn't remember the story, point him here. BTW, that's him just to my right! Good luck up there.

Mrs. F: Yeah, you're right... not older, just better! YS

dr-nitro said...

I was just kidding on the feeding. I'll be stealing from others if I need to.

And, I just sent of a link to your blog to a bunch of sterl's friends, and sterl of course, seeing who can be the first to spot him.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

damn ... them kids looked all big and muscley.

fun stuff, brudda.