Des ONeil

DesmondO_NeilPhotoIn this issue, I thought I would introduce a new game — “Name that SBAA member.” Within 30 seconds (remember speedwork is good for you) name the SBAA member who:

  1. Started his/her running career in 1954 (shortly after learning of Roger Bannister’s first 4-minute mile.
  2. Has, at different times during his/her career, competed for U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco Olympic Club, Santa Clara Youth Village, and, of course, the esteemed SBAA.
  3. Has served as President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and now writes the occasional but widely read, “Restaurant Review” for the Bar Association Newsletter.
  4. Has been Chair of the Santa Barbara City Parks and Recreation Commission (thereby serving as the major target for all complaints).
  5. Has taught at Santa Barbara City College and both (yes, there have been two) local law schools.
  6. Is the only SBAA lawyer member frequently sighted at the Courthouse wearing a straw hat and Birkenstocks.
  7. Has described himself as “a Democrat and a troublemaker.”
  8. For the last 12 years, has worn a skirt while performing a starring role in the Christmas production of The Nutcracker Suite.
  9. Has served as the SBAA President for 24 years.

The longer you have been an SBAA member, the greater the likelihood that you realize that the answer to all the above questions is – DES O’NEILL

Des, along with John Brennand, Paul Gilbert, and a few others, are really the backbone of our local race scene. At most SBAA races and a number of others, Des is the event cashier who takes each runner’s money, offers to a selected few some examples of his sarcastic wit and generally helps make our local races so successful. Des was once an obsessive runner who routinely put in 100+ mile weeks with a training pace of 6 minutes per mile. After a nagging injury and two back surgeries, he is still pounding the pavement, but on a far less intense basis.

Des, thanks for all your contributions to the SBAA and keep it up!

Basic Information

Name: Des O’Neill
Age: 54 (1993)
Employment: Lawyer

Family: Wife – Caria (CPA)
twin daughters: Eileen at Berkley; Augusta at UCLA. Both 19.

Other Sports/Interests: China.

Running Highlights

Favorite Distance & PR: No favorites, really. Marathon PR 2:39:56 (1970), 10K(Track) 32:19 (1964)
Best Race & why: Probably a half-marathon in 1967 in N. California. 1:14 on a hilly cours, but I as “on” that day. Also, a 12th place in Bay-To-Breakers in 1961 (There were 48 starters, 35 finishers!)
Worst Race & why: Too many, all from going out too fast.
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 25-30 when I can run, but two recent surgeries have grounded me for much of the time
Favorite Local Race: New Year’s Resolution Runs
Goals (Realistic) for 1993: Regular running, not much
Goals (Wildly Optimistic) before Year 2000: Regular running, a little more. Perhaps finish some 10Ks. Get the full use of my right leg.

Additional Information

Why I Run: Habit (40 years of running)
My Runner Hero & Why: Walter George – 1st modern track runner.
Buddy Edelen – 1st American road runner of world class.
Arthur Newton – Basic Principles of Running
Personal Training Tips Nothing works all the time – vary what you do, and remember that resting is not shameful
I love (hate) runners who: John and Cally Brennand, who have done so much and everyone who helps at races. No hates. No time or energy for that.
Suggestions for the SBAA: More participation by our membership
My views on Track and Field Dying in the U.S. – What can be done?
My views on Road Running Where are the elite American Runners?
My views on Recreation We as a nation need more of it?
Quote: Citius, altius, fortior. (Ed. Fast, high, strong!)

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