We Have a Race!

Here’s a guarantee: we will definitely have a course record at the Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 7th. There will be records set in every age group as well. That’s what you get with a first time event.

The race sold out about a month ago with more than 1,250 runners entered. 414 of these claim it’s their first half marathon, so the race organization’s goal of finding new runners and promoting healthy lifestyles is already achieved. Over 200 runners participated in the Salinas YMCA’s training program.

The event also looks to be very competitive, with big guns from the local running scene battling it out against runners from 20 states and 2 foreign countries. If everyone shows up that is expected to, we’ll see some fast times from some great runners.

On the men’s side, Hartnell grad and Big Sur Marathon winner Danny Tapia from Castroville won’t have it easy. Danny ran a 1:05 half marathon last year but Crosby Freeman from the San Francisco Bay Area track club has a previous best of 1:04. Last week, Ethiopian born Tesfaye Sendeku, who now lives in the Bay Area contacted the race director about his intention to run. He won the recent Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in a course record time of 1:03:58, but he has a half marathon best of 1:01.

The women’s race is equally competitive. Olympic Trials marathon qualifiers Brooke Wells and Shalluin Fullove from San Francisco seem to be the class of the field. Brooke is a Carmel High and Cal Berkeley grad now living in San Francisco and has run 1:18 for the half marathon. Shalluin, a friend of Brooke’s was the woman’s winner of the Napa to Sonoma half a few weeks ago in 1:22.

Also coming out of running semi-retirement for this race is another previous Olympic trials marathon competitor, Laura Sanchez, from Salinas. Laura turned 48 this year.

Some of the best master’s (over 40) runners in the United States live in our area and it seems they are all coming out to run this exciting half marathon.

Carmella Cuva, who just turned 40 is making her master’s debut, and has been the fastest Monterey County woman a record 4 times in the Big Sur Marathon. Other fast master’s women locally who are competing and should do well in their age groups are Sophia Robinson (47) from Monterey, Christina Price (50) from Carmel, Stella Gibbs (51) from Pacific Grove, Jan Holloway (74) from Monterey, and Gloria Dake (75) from Salinas.

Top age groupers on the men’s side are Keith Hedlund (47) from Salinas, Brian Robinson (49) from Monterey, Rosalio Campos (50) from Salinas, Dwight Smith (51) from Seaside, Dan Zulaica (52) from Carmel Valley, Jefferson Seay (56) from Salinas, Steve Marshall (56) from Seaside, Gerry Reynolds (61) from Salinas, Bill Garwood (65) from Salinas, and Dave Cortez (65) from Salinas.

The race also has an interesting array of young and future stars who are running their first half marathon to get ready for their high school or college cross country seasons. Nina Anderson, age 17, from Notre Dame high school, and State qualifier in the 2 mile during the track season, will be making her first try at the substantially longer distance. Sumeet Mudahar, who just graduated Notre Dame, and won the local Wednesday Night Laundry Runner scholarship as best graduating senior runner, will also be racing her first half marathon.

It promises to be a great race, and we can’t wait to see how everyone does.


Running Obsession

So you call yourself a runner? Think you’re obsessed with your running life? Let’s find out.

We had some fun a few months ago when we created a test to rate your running partners – so we’re doing it again, but this time you’re rating yourself! Get yourself a piece of paper, and let’s see how dedicated a runner you really are.

MILES: Give yourself 1 point for each mile that you run in the average week. If you don’t keep track of your miles then give yourself 5 points for each day of the week that you run 30 minutes or more.

RUNNING SHOES: How many types of shoes do you have? If you own regular running shoes, add 5 points for each pair. Add 7 points for each pair of trail shoes. Add 10 for each pair of racing flats, 15 for each pair of running spikes or Vibram FiveFingers, and 20 if you’re brave enough to go barefoot!

PERIODICALS: Award 5 points if you subscribe to Runner’s World magazine, 10 Points for Running Times, and 15 points for Marathon and Beyond. Score 20 Points if you regularly get Running Research News.

BOOKS: Add 5 points for the number of times you have read each of these books: Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr., Running and Being by Dr. George Sheehan, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, Galloway’s Book on Running by Jeff Galloway, and Running with the Buffalos by Chris Lear.

WORKOUTS: Give yourself 5 points for each type of workout you’ve done in the last 3 months. Fartlek. Hill repeats. Form drills including butt kicks, high knees, and karaoke. Tempo. Planned marathon pace. Yasso 800’s.

RUNNING HEROES: If your role model is Dean Karnazes give yourself 1 point. If you are motivated by Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall give yourself 5 points. If you admire Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi, score 10. Likewise with Bill Rogers or Frank Shorter (for you older folks) – still 10. If you are inspired by Terry Fox or Sarah Reinertsen, score 15. If Scott Jurek or Anton Krupicka are more your style give yourself 20. If no one impresses you but Quenton Cassidy, score 25. If you don’t recognize any of these names, minus 50.

TRAVEL TO RACES: Score 25 points for each trip you’ve made to a race in the last six months that required a passport. Score 20 for each race that required air travel. Give yourself 15 for races that required at least one night in a hotel. Add 5 for each race you did that you slept at home.

THURSDAY MORNINGS: If your first thought on Thursday morning is about reading The Running Life, give yourself 20 points.

Yes, that last category was self serving … but we’re just trying to fluff up your score a bit. And now it’s time for the results! Check your total score and place it in one of the following groups:

OVER 300: Dude … wow. You’re totally obsessed. Have you seen your spouse or kids lately?
200 to 299: You’ve always got running on the brain … and your friends probably consider you absent-minded.
100 to 199: This seems about average – we’ll call this “running balanced”.
60 to 99: So you have a running life … but not very much of one.
Under 60: You want to learn about this strange lifestyle, but haven’t quite jumped in yet; we’ll call you “run-curious.”


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