Sunshine, pleasantly cool temperatures, a mild breeze, and a 20-minute delay greeted runners at the start of the Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon. The first six or so miles of the course follow the shore of the Pacific, making for excellent terrain to set an even pace, and many of the TCLA'ers were able to do just that.
The middle part of the race, though not much hillier than the beginning, presented some hidden challenges. First, the dry air and constant breeze would lead many a runner to dehydrate without realizing it. Drinking often was possible, as many aid stations existed, and most runners would have benefited by drinking more (though not more of the Ultima, which tasted suspiciously like cough medicine). Second, because the course was fairly flat, some runners were tempted to break from their planned pace early and pick it up because they were feeling good. This, as those runners will tell you, is a big mistake in a 26-mile race. After wending and winding their way through El Dorado Park, many runners realized the needle was a lot closer to empty than they wished.
At the 18-mile mark, Clarence Smith and Tyrone Black provided some support to lead TCLA runners Tim Petersen and Brian Panosian in the form of Endurox and running partners, but Tim and Brian were soon hoping for something more along the lines of a shuttle bus to the finish. Nevertheless, the two bravely pushed themselves and each other to sub 3:21:00 finishes. This was good enough to give Brian a p.r. and to send Tim to Boston. Less than 20 minutes later, Brad Lusk crossed the line after a good effort, but has faster races in him. Similarly, Sharon Yamato, who had a tough day, can certainly run faster should she decide to return to this potentially miserable distance.
A half marathon was also run. Congratulations to all who finished.
Average Finishing Time: 3:44:33
Averge Per Mile Pace: 8:33.9
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