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.
PRT meets for a weekly long run (10-20 miles) every Sunday starting at 8 a.m. from Glen Park in Cardiff.
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. Winning.
After about a year, the girls realized they were missing something: boys! Sisterhoods and brotherhoods are great, but combined, awesome sauce. Also, the girls needed some people they could chase. In early 2011, Gina and Becki heard rumors that some lost boys were running around, and they thought maybe these were the guys they were looking for! Through mutual friends, Gina and Becki arranged to meet Jason Lewis and Brian Culley 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.
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 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, Adidas/Movin Shoes, and other teams. Following the 2011 cross-country season, Brian and Jason approached the Red Hots about a merger of equals and PRT was born.
Prado Racing Team
Carlsbad 5000, 2011: PRT makes its debut. 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). Also in PRT’s inaugural year, Mario met his future wife, fellow teammate Christine Gould.
Since 2011, PRT has set a standard for excellence and fun. Fun: two annual team parties and an annual beer mile. Excellence: The past four years the women have taken first place as a team in the San Diego Dirt Dog XC series, and the men have won in 2012 (Open) and 2014 (Masters). Without question 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. The team has several athletes gunning for the Olympic Trials Marathon standard and has had one athlete hit the Olympic Trials B Standard in the 800 meters (Jenna Munguia, 2:05:67, 2012).
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. With little turnover and a close-knit core, PRT boasts four of the original Red Hot Racers on its roster (Gina, Hilary Corno, Kristin Schleicher, and Darcy Bushnell) and six of the original Lost Boys (Luis de la Vega, Chuck McKeown, Brian Culley, James Fiebsberg, Jason Lewis, and Daniel Farmer).
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.