WHO WE ARE
Prado Racing Team (PRT) is a competitive co-ed running team based in San Diego, California.
To provide a supportive and competitive environment where runners can prosper athletically and in life.
To unite in purpose and passion, play a positive role in our community, and set an example of healthy living through running, teamwork, and outreach.
RUN WITH US
PRT meets for a weekly long run (10-20 miles) every Sunday at 8 a.m. from Glen Park in Cardiff. See map at right.
Additional weekly group workout options (track workouts, tempo runs) are available for team members.
CONNECT WITH US
Follow PRT on Facebook and Instagram at the links below.
THE HISTORY OF PRADO RACING TEAM
The Red Hot Racers
In June 2009, Gina Merchant and Becki McClintock started emailing competitive runners in San Diego to see about forming a women’s team. Gina and Becki had spent a season as part of a different local club, but the fit was poor. They wanted to be part of a team that felt like their college teams, a team that was bigger than them as individuals, where girls would show up no matter what for 6 a.m. workouts and race their hearts out for one another. Their vision was to found a team built on the principles of hard work, passion for sport, and sisterhood. Their first season was Fall 2009, and they called themselves the Red Hot Racers because one teammate liked to eat Red Hot candies during her marathons. Plus, their uniforms were red. As the women trained together and their fitness grew, so did their vision for the team- including imagining the benefits of having faster people to chase.
The Lost Boys
Through the mid-2000s, Jason Lewis managed a Mizuno-sponsored team that battled annually in the Dirt Dog cross-country series with a formidable Adidas team. Because faster runners were always in demand and many of them were affiliated in some way with shoe stores or sporting goods companies, Jason renamed his squad the Lost Boys in 2008 to avoid conflicts among the competing affiliations on his team. In 2009, he added to the team Brian Culley, who after eleven years had lost his eligibility on Adidas and was looking for a new project. Together, Brian and Jason reimagined the Lost Boys as a much larger and competitive coed team that could compete well against the San Diego Track Club and other top local and regional teams.
Prado Racing Team
With both the Red Hot Racers and Lost Boys contemplating bigger goals, the stage was set for the women and men to join forces. Gina and Becki arranged through mutual friends to meet Jason and Brian at a coffee shop one morning, and the four of them talked about what it might take to bring the Lost Boys and the Red Hots together. Following the 2010 cross-country season, Brian and Jason approached the Red Hots about a merger of equals. After a team vote on a name (more on that below), Prado Racing Team (PRT) was born.
PRT made its team racing debut at the 2011 Carlsbad 5000. Twenty-one racers strong, the team had five guys run sub-16 and five girls run sub-18:30, with the top finishers being Mario Fraioli (15:29, 8th OA) and Jenna Munguia (17:22, 2nd OA). Since 2011, PRT has set a standard for excellence and fun. Fun: two annual team parties, an epic beer mile, and trips to Big Bear and club XC nationals. Excellence: 17 team wins in San Diego Dirt Dog XC series, including six straight for the open women (2011-2016), three titles each for the 40+ masters men (2014-2016), 40+ masters women (2015-2017), and 50+ masters men (2015-2017), and two for the open men (2012, 2016). With dedicated athletes and teammates at its core, PRT has grown into the dominant racing team in San Diego.
PRT athletes regularly win and place well in competitive races, both in San Diego and elsewhere. So far, three athletes have hit Olympic Trials B standards while competing for PRT, one in the 800 meters (Jenna Munguia, 2:05:67, 2012) and two in the marathon (Sabina Piras, 2:43:19, 2015; Elizabeth Ryan, 2:44:01, 2017). The team currently has several athletes gunning for the marathon standard for 2020.
In the future, PRT aims never to get too big or too small, and to continue to help its members achieve their dreams. Above all, PRT is a family—a team whose members are proud to wear the uniform and who support one another in running and in life. The team also has close ties to the local community, with multiple members serving as high school cross country or track coaches. With a close-knit core, PRT boasts four of the original Red Hot Racers / Lost Boys on its roster (Hilary Corno, Kristin Schleicher, Darcy Davidson, and Chuck McKeown). The team has welcomed dozens of exceptional athletes and people, local and from all over the country, as they have found their running home in San Diego.
Our team name was inspired by a bridge and the surrounding areas in the heart of Balboa Park (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabrillo_Bridge). The bridge connects a group of museums in what is known as the El Prado complex with metropolitan San Diego. Notably, the bridge crosses above “Powder Hill,” a famous and difficult climb at the midway point of the nearly fifty-year-old Balboa Park 4-Miler, an historical stalwart of the San Diego cross-country scene that has deservedly marked the point of victory or defeat for nearly every accomplished post-collegiate runner in the county. The aqueduct-like archway was incorporated into our logo and, not coincidentally, PR stands for Personal Record.