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Familiarity bred success yesterday in the 27th annual Pinecrest Lake Run.

Austin Ramos of Fair Oaks, the runner-up last year, moved up a notch and won the championship in 30 minutes, 7.37 seconds for five miles. The third time was the charm, meanwhile, for women's champion Kathi Hess of Reno, who clocked 36:43.58.

Ramos just graduated from the distance-running factory

known as Jesuit High School in Carmichael. He finished fifth at 3,200 meters in the CIF State Track and Field Championships two months ago at Cerritos College in Norwalk, and pretty soon he'll be running cross country and track for UCLA.

He warmed up by winning the Pinecrest Fun Run (about

a mile) in 4:02.24, then came home in the big race with an edge of more than minute on Perez, who finished second in 31:16.93. Perez was the distance ace on Sonora's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship track teams in 2000 and 2001.

Steve O'Mara of San Anselmo finished third in 33:13.43, Hosea Shepherd of Mi-Wuk Village fourth in 33:56.49, and Stephen Childs of Pinecrest fifth in 35:02.49.

Hess, 41, said she has camped at Pinecrest "since I was about 4." She's a member of the Silver State Striders running club and does a lot of racing, but said this was the first time she put everything she had into the Pinecrest event.

"In the past (the 2000 and 2001 runs), I've done it as a fun run," she said. "This time, I said, 'I'm racing today.' "

Before the main event, longtime race organizer Lori Cashman one of Pinecrest's own announced to the assembled runners and spectators that she is stepping down after 20 years at the helm.

She received a warm ovation, and said, "It's been great, but there are other things I want to do."

Like what?

"Like just run the race," she laughed," without having to worry about everything else."

The Union Democrat
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