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Adventures in Hydrology: CIM 2012

December 03, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Road Races

Is it the steeplechase or a marathon? (Photo courtesy of Randy Wehner Photography)

When we look back on the California International Marathon of 2012, what will first spring to mind is the Atmospheric River.

Over my decades of running, I have experienced some pretty intense weather. My one run at Boston was in the infamous nor’easter of 2007.

I ran most of the stormy 2001 CIM before crapping out and slinking away in my wife’s car at mile 17.

If I scraped the back of my memory, I’m sure I could recall some more unpleasant races (more hot ones than cold ones), but the sheer volume of water dumped on us during this weekend’s race was beyond ridiculous.

The dash from the start down Folsom-Auburn Road was like 10,000 trashbag-clad warriors charging into the world’s largest automatic car wash.

There were 9,300 registered marathoners and 1,100 relay teams, but only 6,474 marathoners and 857 relay teams were hardy enough to make it to the starting line. Despite the harsh conditions, 6,185 marathoners and 809 relay teams splashed their way to finish.

Ahead of raceday, there was chatter of a run at the course record by Ethiopian Tesfaye Alemayehu or American Nick Arciniaga–both with sub-2:12 personal bests.

But in the actual running of the actual event, it was a patient Daniel Tapia, of Prunedale, who huddled in the lead pack until finally breaking away from Alemayehu after 25 miles to secure the win in 2:16:29. Alemayehu was second in 2:17:06 and Kenya’s Christopher Kipyego finished third in 2:17:59.

Women’s winner Alisha Williams, of Colorado Springs, was planning to compete in the New York City Marathon, prior to it’s cancellation due to SuperStorm Sandy. Perhaps it was the four extra weeks of fitness that gave Williams the strength she needed to run away from Clara Peterson in the final two miles to win in 2:34:57. Peterson, from San Anselmo, finished in 2:35:35, with Russian Natalia Sergeeva coming in third in 2:38:22.

Rocklin’s Chris Knorzer, and Larkspur’s Lisbet Sunshine earned the top masters titles with 2:36:26 and 2:54:47, respectively.

The top locals were Chris Knorzer, and Folsom’s Natasha LeBeaud. LeBeaud ran the race in 2:47:11 and earned a 13th place finish among the women.

Complete results can be found here.

The terrific wins by two American runners–the first time since 1993 when Jerry Lawson set the men’s course record of 2:10:27 and former Davis Aggie Linda Somers won the women’s race in 2:34:11–may soon be forgotten by those of us toiling back in the pack, but the rain and wind will live in infamy.

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered:
We few we, happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that runs with me
Shall be my brother: be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And those sensible ones now at home in bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That ran with us on this stormy CIM day.

(With apologies to Shakespeare.)


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