Monday, April 5, 2010

SCA Marathon Championships - Los Angeles Marathon

SCA Road Running Championships
Los Angeles Marathon
Sunday - March 21, 2010
Awards - Overall Open Winners
Cheryl Smith, Laguna Beach, 02:45:19 (F-29)
Mark Batres, Rowland Heights, 02:28:36 (M-25)

Awards - Overall Masters Winners
Lydia Salinas, Los Angeles, 03:15:23 (F-49)
James Maynard, Whittier, 02:41:06 (M-42)


A sell-out crowd of nearly 25,000 runners readied themselves in the pre-dawn light at historic Dodger Stadium for the marathon of a lifetime: the 25th anniversary Honda Los Angeles Marathon, presented by K-Swiss. In just seven months, the team of Peter Abraham and Russ Pillar had re-imagined and re-worked the LA Marathon into the course runners had been dreaming about for decades. The new “Stadium to the Sea” route takes runners past favorite Los Angeles landmarks like Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the famous Sunset Strip and down Rodeo Drive, finishing in Santa Monica, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The redesigned course offers a net downhill grade, with runners dropping 3.11 meters for every kilometer run, just squeezing in under the limit of 3.25 meters for an Olympic trials qualifying course. However, from the beginning in Dodger Stadium, it was clear that the 2010 LA Marathon was going to offer runners some difficult terrain before they could breath the cool ocean breezes at the Santa Monica Pier.

2010 USA Track & Field Southern California Association Marathon Champion, Mark Batres (M25 2:28:36) remarked, “It was just a really challenging course…after the third mile, the next hill was really challenging. After that I recovered, I had a couple of 5, 10 miles, and I started feeling better.” Batres continued, “ I knew the last three miles were going to be really fast, so I told myself as long as I am in a good position at mile 23, all I have to do is hang on.” And hang on Batres did, outpacing fellow USATF runners Mike Davies (M33 02:35:30) and Brian Livingston (M32 2:37:16) to win the Championship title. The 2010 Men’s Master Marathon Champion is James Maynard (M42) comfortably running a sub 3:00 marathon with a finishing time of 2:41:06.

In the women’s division, Cheryl Smith (F29) can claim back-to-back Championship titles, winning the 2009 Marathon Championship at the OC Marathon, and now the 2010 Marathon Championship at LA. Impressively, Smith’s 2:45:19 finish at Los Angeles was around 22 minutes faster than her 3:07:04 finish at the OC Marathon. Like Batres, Smith described the redesigned marathon course as “Challenging at parts, but that is just how a marathon goes.” Smith credited her renewed strength and speed as a marathon runner to consistency in her training regimen. Smith’s next big event is the New York Marathon in November, but her 2:45:19 also qualifies Smith to compete in the 2012 Olympic trials as well. Following Smith to the finish line was Erika Aklufi (F33 2:54:30), and Lydia Salinas (F49 3:15:23) who also claims the title of 2010 Masters Women’s Marathon Champion.

Perhaps the most surprising finisher of the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon was Constantine Yap. The 10-year old phenon finished in 3:03:40, running barely over a 7:00 per mile pace for 26.2 miles. This put Yap in the top 10 USA Track & Field finishers for the LA Marathon. Yap trains as a runner with the Equalizers Track Club, coached by Jerry Palazzo, but Yap is also coached by Chuck Hurley as a race walker, and has a number one National Elite Youth ranking in Bantam Boy’s 1500-meter race walk!

With six weeks of rest for weary legs, members of USA Track & Field, Southern California Association can relive the glory of finishing at the Santa Monica Pier, without the tribulations of running 26.2 miles to get there! The next Association championship race is the Santa Monica Classic 5000, on Sunday May 16. This race starts on the beach, on Barnard Way, and finishes near the Santa Monica Pier. This, fast, popular local race is a great way to get some speed back after long marathon training runs!


Finish Line Highlights & Interviews

USATF Women's Champion - Cheryl Smith

USATF Men's Champion - Mark Batres

LA Marathon - Men's Start

LA Marathon - Women's Start

More Information: SCA Road Running Championships & Grand Prix

Wayne Joness
Chair, Open Athletics Long Distance Running Committee
Southern California Association / USA Track & Field
Cell: (310) 600-5332