Captain Grose's Marathon pages

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PERFECT DAY, PERFECT MARATHON

 

 
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Posted on Mon, Apr. 29, 2002
By KEN OTTMAR and VICTORIA MANLEY
Herald staff writers


Big Sur run a hit

They braced themselves for rain. They wore layers of clothes, including makeshift raincoats made from garbage bags. But as the morning sun peeked through the clouds above Big Sur’s coast Sunday, runners cast off much of their rain gear.

Threats of rain turned empty, as mild temperatures and a coastal breeze were the ingredients for a picture-perfect day for the 10,030 runners who participated in the Big Sur International Marathon.  “This course gets more and more beautiful each year,” said Mark Cameron of Pacific Grove. “Today it was incredible. This weather was absolutely perfect. No wind, no worries.”

That made the race a lot more fun and satisfying for runners such as Emily Clark of Mountain View, who was running the marathon for the first time.  “The weather may have been the reason I did better than I was projected to do,” said Clark, a Monterey native. “There was absolutely no wind.”

There were, however, plenty of positive distractions from the challenging course. The world-famous scenic views turned the heads of many, and several carried disposable cameras and stopped for snapshots.  Tables, spaced about a mile apart along the course, were crowded with volunteers of all ages to serve water and Gatorade, fresh fruit and wet sponges to participants.

Salinas had the most participants with 833, according to marathon officials.  There were also 576 from Carmel and 545 from Monterey. Other top cities represented were San Jose and San Francisco, Greenfield, Seaside and Pacific Grove.

“The enthusiasm just grows and grows,” said Franca Gargiulo, a spokeswoman for the marathon. The event sells out quickly - often in a matter of months - but officials are working on ways to make next year’s event more inclusive, Gargiulo said.

“We’re working to make it so that everyone who wants to run can,” she said.  The bulk of the participants Sunday - about 7,500 were from California, but each of the 50 states was represented. The race was truly international - more than 160 runners came from Canada, and dozens of others came from Mexico, Germany and England. There were even runners from as far away as India, Singapore, South Africa and the Netherlands.  Jonathan Ndambuki of Kenya won the men’s marathon race, with a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 5 seconds. Julie Anne White of England took first in the women’s race, coming in at 2:51:10.

For many, however, time didn’t matter.

For Julie Chesney, a homemaker from Pacific Grove, the best part of the 10.6-mile walk was the view.

“It was the chance of a lifetime to walk the road without the cars,” Chesney said.

It was the view that brought Clark to Big Sur.

“I wanted my first marathon to have a scenic view,” Clark said. “The city races just have skyscrapers to run through. But here, people actually turn around to take pictures.

“It appeals to so many different people. I want to bring everyone I know.”


How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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