The author running at wet Boston Marathon (Photo courtesy of Daniel Weintraub)
By Daniel Weintraub
Three days post-Boston, and my shoes are finally dry. I can walk down stairs without much trouble. I am feeling mostly recovered from the Marathon. But I am still not quite recovered from the post-Marathon partying. I had not trained for that. I partied hard Monday night (i.e. four or five drinks — that’s hard for me) with Jenny Hitchings, Galen Farris, Abe Weintraub, Stephanie Ward, and Angel and Steve Simpson, friends of mine from Michigan.
Most of what happens in Boston stays in Boston, but I can say I enjoyed watching Galen announcing Jenny’s first place age group triumph to everyone we met in the bars and then seeing the normally modest Jenny take selfies with her new fans and tell her story over and over. She was doing everything but signing autographs on people’s calves. I was proud of her.
I had no such hopes for glory in Boston this year. But I was on a mission of my own. A year ago I ran my first Boston Marathon in 3:01:15, narrowly missing my goal of breaking three hours. I was on track to break three last year until my quads, thrashed by the course’s persistent but underrated down hills, locked up in the final few miles and my pace slowed to a relative crawl.
Derek Yorek ran and finished the 2015 Boston Marathon. He is not an elite athlete. Outside of his family and friends it is unlikely anyone had ever heard of him. But on Monday, April 20th, 2015, shortly after 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time), he did something amazing, something incredibly improbable, something that makes road running the most democratic of sports.
On Monday, April 20th, 2015, shortly after 10:00 a.m. Derek Yorek LED the Boston Marathon for several minutes. Yorek ran with and in front of Wesley Korir, Lelisa Desisa, and Meb Keflezighi, the winners of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Boston Marathons.
In what other sport could a “non-elite” line up and compete against the best the sport has to offer?
You’ve trained for months and got up at the crack of dawn for the big race. You waited in Folsom for the start, shivering in the dark, with thousands of your friends.
Now, 25 exhausting miles later, you can almost smell the finish line as you pound your way down L Street.
Suddenly, a half block ahead of you, lights flash and bells clang as the guards drop at the railroad crossing. “Can this really be happening?” you wonder. It is certainly possible.
At last year’s Sactown 10, this very thing happened, despite assurances from the railroad that it would not. Subsequently, race management made the prudent decision to re-route the course to avoid the crossing.
But the California International Marathon, finishing at the Capitol, has to cross these tracks. Without completely changing the 30-year old race, there is simply no other way to get from the start to the finish–and Sacramento has no railroad overpasses in Midtown.
Jane Kibii breaks the tape! (Photo courtesy of SRA)
By John Schumacher
After Timmy Brown and Angela House supplied the early energy for Sunday’s Credit Union SACTOWN Five- and Ten-Mile Run, Jordan Chipangama and Jane Kibii kept the momentum going by besting elite fields to win 10-mile individual titles.
Brown, a 5-year-old brain cancer survivor, ran in the Miracle Mile to start the festivities on a gorgeous day at the state Capitol.
House, a 13-year-old leukemia patient, sang the national anthem before the five-mile run.
Caton Avilla (left) with pacer powers to a 2nd place finish. (SRN photo)
If one were impulsive enough to choose to do something silly, like run 50 miles with your friends* along the American River, this Saturday would have been the perfect day to do so.
After a string of overly warm spring days, and the threat of inclement weather, Saturday was a picture-perfect day to spend with friends* mucking about in the poison oak thicket we call the American River canyon.
The American River 50 Mile Endurance Run is one of the original ultras in the region with a long and storied history. And with approximately 700 starters, it is also one of the largest ultras in the nation. Sharp organization and an army of caring volunteers–many of whom are veterans of the race–make it an ideal first 50.
What’s the recipe for course records and fast times on a long-running trail race? Perfect conditions and and a stacked field, clearly.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to be out there in person for this year’s Way Too Cool 50K, but as the results were coming in via text and Twitter, it was immediately apparent that something special and amazing had taken place.
First off, Patrick Smyth’s winning time of 3:04:48 is insane. That is a sub-6:00 pace over a hilly trail run, and a four minute improvement over Max King’s record 3:08:50 that was set in 2013.
Mason Myers deserved a fist bump for his masters win in 2:41:26.
Local Men Dominate
By Mark Winitz
NAPA, Calif. — Two-time Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon winners Chris Mocko and Devon Yanko ascended the winners platform yet again at today’s 37th Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon.
Mocko, age 28, of Folsom, who previously won the race in 2011 and 2012, emerged victorious in the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 6 seconds.
Yanko (née Crosby-Helms), 32, of San Anselmo, dominated the women’s field after previously emerging victorious at the Napa Valley Marathon (NVM) in 2007 and 2012. The winners headed a sold-out field of 3,000 entrants who were greeted by blue skies, little wind, and ideal temperatures in the low-40s rising to around 60 degrees by the 6-hour finish cut-off time.
I was immediately suspicious since the findings of this most recent study: 1. Don’t mesh with a ton of other studies, and 2. Don’t seem to mesh with my personal observations.
They report: “A study of 1,098 runners found that those who ran the fastest were nine times more likely to die prematurely within 12 years than those who enjoyed a more sedate pace of around 5mph for two or three times a week.”
Wow! If this were reflected in the world around me, then I’d have a lot fewer people to race than I do.
Sally Edwards, co-founder of the California International Marathon and Fleet Feet Sports, headlined a group of six inductees joining the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame Saturday night.
Edwards, talented ultramarathoner Bill Finkbeiner, legendary Jesuit High School coach Walt Lange, Jesuit distance aces Eric and Mark Mastalir and former Masters running standout Jim O’Neil were honored at the SRA’s third annual Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.
Standout Masters runner Iain Mickle was honored as the SRA’s Athlete of the Year.