Sunday, March 25, 2012

Honda LA Marathon presented by Asics - Marathon Championships

Justin Patananan, 2:31:16 Open Marathon Champion
The 26th Honda LA Marathon presented by Asics hosted the 2012 USATF Southern California Association Marathon Championships on March 18. The weather report forecasted a reprise of the previous year’s edition as a bitter wind and a torrential downpour greeted runners at the Expo a day ahead of the race. Fortunately, the inclement weather receded in the early morning on race day to give way to near perfect conditions. Almost 23,000 participants ran the stadium to sea course. The scenic trek started at Dodger Stadium and passed many iconic landmarks along the way through Chinatown, Downtown, Hollywood, and Brentwood before finishing at the ocean shores of Santa Monica.

2008 US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Justin Patananan (31) took the men’s Open Marathon Championship in 2:31:16. The Nike Team Run LA member used the race as a tune up for this year’s Boston Marathon where he hopes to improve on his 2:20 personal best time. Timur Crone (25) (2:45:13) was second and Alexander Garabedian (20) of the Santa Monica Track Club was third in 2:56:02. 
Sara Raschiator, 2:50:04, Women's Open Champion
 Brooks ID athlete Sara Raschiatore (31) was the women’s Open Marathon Champion with a time of 2:50:04. She PR’ed by almost two minutes even though it was her first time running the hilly stadium to sea course.  Formerly a 3000m specialist now with 5 marathons under her belt, Raschiatore says she owes her improved time to the mental adjustments that come with experience. “I think I may be finally learning how to run the marathon. This was the first marathon that I actually ran my own race.” Ginna Ladd (36) of Track Club LA came in second place with a personal best time of 3:02:49. Kate Freeman (30) was third in 3:04:26.

Nicholas Bowden, 2:38:19
 Nicholas Bowden (40) of Track Club LA was the men’s Masters Marathon Champion while making his marathon debut. Interestingly enough, he almost didn’t make it to the starting line. “I was so sick during the week before the race that I told a friend that I couldn’t envision a scenario where I would be running.” After deciding the night before to go for it, Bowden went out and clocked a 2:38:19. “Going into the race with diminished expectations prevented me from making the classic beginner mistake of running too fast in the first half. However, the nature of the distance and the hilly course made the last 6 miles feel like a war of attrition.” Rit Tun (40) of Track Club LA was second in 2:59:31 and Miguel Magana came in third in 3:03:15.

Ingrid Walters, 3:07:34
 The women’s Masters Marathon Champion was Ingrid Walters (40) of The Janes Elite Racing.  Running in her 4th Honda LA Marathon, but for the first time on the stadium to sea course Walters crossed the tape in 3:07:34. She credits the combination of hill training in the Santa Monica Mountains and short distance training with her Janes teammates, many of whom are 5K and 10K specialists, with helping her achieve a personal best by 10 minutes. After attacking the hills in the first half, Walters recovered on the downhills and flats between miles 14 and 20. The recovery time “gave me the energy to blast through the final 5 miles.” Elanor Keare (43) (3:20:21) and Romney Resney (43) (3:27:55), both of the Cal Coast Track Club were second and third, respectively.
Both long and short distance runners will have their next opportunities to score points in the USATF Southern California Association Grand Prix at the Magic Shoe 5K in Newport Beach and Pasadena Marathon/Half Marathon on May 19th and 20th, respectively.