\George Costanza’s voice\
“Oh the big race.”
Tuesday was the day. For the second time in as many years in Santa Barbara, the team embarked on the race to end all races, or at least trick the players into having fun while getting a challenging workout.
Before dinner on Monday night, Guido Bonini divided up all healthy players into three groups based on their results in Saturday’s beep test. Those who performed best were labeled tier one, then the next group tier 2, and so on. Names were written on pieces of paper and all players in each tier were placed in a glass to draw from. One name from each glass was drawn to form teams of three.
The Quakes went through their normal morning practice on Tuesday no different than usual. But instead of an afternoon training session, the team ventured over to the beach. Each team of three was given a bicycle and some general rules:
1. There is a group of staff members three miles down the road. Once your team reaches them, you turn around and come back.
2. Each group needs to stay together. No player could be left behind because they were struggling to keep up.
3. Two players run while one rides the bike. When one of the runners gets tired, he switches to ride the bike to recover.
4. There is no rule about how time on the bike must be divided.
5. The first group to have all three players cross the finish line wins.
There were a few trendy picks to win, but a surprise group prevailed. Designated Player Cristian Espinoza and rookies Will Richmond and Niko Tsakiris were victorious, with Espinoza finishing first overall. Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and the Brazilian duo of Nathan and Judson finished just moments later. Matt Bersano, Paul Marie, and Tanner Beason came in third to claim bronze.