28th Annual Interstation Competition - May 7, 2005
By Jim Gallagher
On the eve of Mother’s Day, the San Francisco Fire Department’s annual 4.5 mile “Interstation” Championship run around Lake Merced took place in near perfect weather. Low to mid 60’s temperature, mild humidity and virtually little breeze. Papers were not flying from our tables during registration. No swirling headwind pitching sand in your eyes, increasing the desperation emerging from the realization that whoever you had been chasing was now further ahead after rounding the southern most tip of the course. In a nutshell, a great day for a fun run around the lake.

The 2005 Interstation run was highlighted by an excellent turn out of San Francisco Firefighters and the best competition within the Multi-Company Division in a very long time. Esprit de corps ran high among three of San Francisco’s Fire Stations: Five, Seven and Twelve. Each station brought double digit station members to compete for the 2005 Championship run. Along with their hardy runners, each of the aforementioned stations provided volunteers to aid in the production of the race and gain points for their station team.

Before the day was over all three teams earned in excess of 50 points, a number that would have won the vast majority of our competitions held during the past 28 years. Station 12’s team captain, Trevor Mishler, marshaled 22 other station mates to run and three volunteers to represent their station in this year’s event. In total, twenty-six Station Twelve members participated; this number more than tripled previous Station 12 teams. Joe Barbero was the first Station 12 member to cross the finish line leading his team to their first victory in the 28 year history of the SFFD Interstation competition. The team amassed a total of 63.5 points to edge out a powerful runner up Station 5 by five and half points.

How strong was the Station Five team: eight of the top nineteen runners were from Station Five. Four of the top firefighters were Station Five teammates. While these runners displayed excellent quality running and amassed a total of 58 points, a number that typically would have won the competition, this year they were unable to overcome the massive manpower fielded by the Station robust 12 team. Consistent with most previous Interstation Competitions, the number of participants a station fields remains the key factor in victory. The level of competition among Stations was superb.

Station 43-Single Company Champion

For the sixth consecutive year, Dustin Novo led Station 43 to victory in the Single Company division of the Interstation Competition. Winning six championships in a row ties Station Seven’s record for the most consecutive championships. Station Seven’s string of six victories was stopped this year. Congratulations to Dustin, Glenn Zorilla and Petra Johnson of Station 43’s team.

Guillen 2005 Interstation Individual Champion

Probationary firefighter Cesar Guillen (Station 5) is the 2005 Interstation overall Champion winning in a time of 26:12. Retired Chief Scott Peoples issued the start command “Go” and Cesar set off at a blistering pace, determined to take command of the race. Cesar continued to lead throughout the race, building a 3 minute and 3 second margin by the time he crossed the finish line. Cesar’s margin of victory is the largest ever in the Interstation Competition around the Lake. The only greater margin of victory, and Lake Merced course record, is the 4:22 victory margin of Larry McDonnell in the 1998 Turkey Trot.

Veteran Interstation Champion Andy Assereto (Station 41) was the third firefighter to finish capturing the Grand Master (50-59) title for the second time in 29:31. Twelve seconds behind Station Five team captain, Glenn Kircher. Following Assereto across the finish line was Kircher’s Station Five teammate, Greg Browne.

Kalin Waterman, another member of Station Five’s team, followed Tom Mannion (Station 36), was seventh overall and the last to finish under the coveted 30 minute mark. In doing so, Kalin captured first place in the 20-29 year old division. Walter Villavicencio, the legendary wizard of championship teams and Station Seven team captain, captured the Master’s title in 30:02 just missing the 30 minute target.

Moisa Cueto (Station 5) had a great race claiming the woman’s open title in 33:35 while achieving her personal goal to break 35 minutes on the Lake Merced course. In setting her course Personal Record (PR), Moisa bettered her previous time by 2:35. In addition, Moisa moved into seventh place for best time on the Lake Merced course among woman firefighters

The tightest race of the day was for the woman’s 30-39 division championship. In the final sprint to the finish line Aisha Krieger (Station 12) staved off Karen Kerr (Station 7) and Marilyn Villavicencio (Station 12). Less than a second separated these competitors.

Lorrie Kalos (HQ) is the 2005 Master Woman champion winning in 39:52 bettering her last year’s time by over five minutes and fifty-one seconds.

Retired firefighter Gil Moreno captured the Senior division (60-69) title running a splendid and enviable 34:46. Gil holds a number of SFFD age-group course records and this race was his 40th of a San Francisco Firefighter produced Lake Merced race. See below a summary of the division champions.

Personal Best Times

Six San Francisco firefighters ran their best ever times on the Lake Merced course. Manny Alvarenga knocked a whopping 2:48 off his previous best. Moisa Cueto also trimmed over two minutes from her previous best time. Listed below are the names of each runner who ran their best time this year and the amount of improvement.


Each year the Interstation Competition run depends on volunteers. This year’s group did a splendid job of registering and processing a large group of runners. Thank you for your dedication. Each volunteer earned 3 points for their station team.

Mike Belcher Station 12
Heather Buren Station 07
Petra Johnson Station 43
Steve McGuire Station 12
Sean Mullane Station 05
Scott Peoples Station 05
Tim O’Brien Station 01
Brent Stukert Station 05
Anson Wu Station 12


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