Monday, October 30, 2006

Monterey Herald Article

October 30, 2006

Records tumble at Big Sur Half-Marathon
Herald Staff Writer

Course records tumbled, quite predictably, at the fleet feet of the world-class cast of runners populating the pack Sunday in the fourth running of the Big Sur Half-Marathon, a 13.1-mile gallop through downtown Monterey, along Cannery Row, down the scenic coast and back.

A star-studded field included former Olympians, numerous NCAA All-Americans, a U.S. champion, and, of course, a couple of Kenyans, a combination that resulted in the fastest pace ever in both the men's and women's divisions.

The overall champion, former Stanford star Ian Dobson, broke the tape in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 32 seconds in the first half-marathon he's ever run. That time was the fastest ever recorded on the Big Sur course, besting the 1:05.12 set in 2004 by Michael Aish of Gunnison, Colo.

"A 10K was as far as I'd ever gone. I'm more of a track runner," said Dobson, a nine-time All-American in college and an NCAA runner-up at 5,000 meters. "I knew I wasn't going to run away from these guys early, so my strategy was to sit behind the lead as long as I could and hope I could last. I knew I'd probably be faster than the other guys for a mile, so I figured I'd be all right if I could stay close until the end."

Dobson was pushed to the finish line by Fernando Cabada, a U.S. champion at 25K, who finished in 1:02.45. McDonald Ondara, a Kenyan now living in Santa Fe, N.M., was third overall in 1:03.12.

"We've run against each other many times. I ran against him a lot in college, mostly in cross country, so I know a lot about him," Dobson said. "In fact, we're really good friends."

The women's race, equally loaded, featured a one-two finish by U.S. Olympians Jennifer Rhines and Kate O'Neill, pro teammates who, like Dobson, are training at 8,000 feet in Mammoth Lakes.

Rhines loped to a course-record time of 1:12.18, and placed 16th overall, finishing with a solid lead on O'Neill, who was clocked at 1:16.33. The previous women's best at the Big Sur Half was a 1:15.13, set two years ago by Nicole Aish, of Gunnison, Colo.

Brooke Wells, a 2002 Carmel High graduate, now living in San Francisco, placed fourth among the women with a time of 1:17.58. She was 25th in the field. Piedmont's Heather Gibson finished third in 1:16.56.

"The women's pack broke up pretty early, actually. I was running with a man during the first part of the race, but basically ended up running by myself the rest of the way," said Rhines, a Team USA marathoner. "I pulled away from the other women during the first mile or two. I knew where I stood because I saw Kate (going the opposite direction) when I was coming back (toward the finish line) after the turn-around."

O'Neill, an Olympic 10K runner, was competing at the longer half-marathon distance for the first time in her career, and wasn't necessarily focused on winning the event.

"I tried to be conservative today to make sure I'd have some energy left at the end," she said. "I've been a 10K specialist until now, but I'd love to move up in distance, so this was a good place to start. But once you get to six miles, you're usually done. And at that point (in a half-marathon), you're only halfway. So, for me, it was mostly about getting past that, mentally."

Monterey's Alexis Waddel, a world-class triathlete and former runner-up in this event, said she ran her own race, avoiding the temptation to keep pace with the nation's elite distance runners.

"I'm a triathlete first, and I just can't compete right now with Olympians. It's two different types of training, so I really didn't attempt to hang with them today," said Waddel, who said she's also been fighting mysterious respiratory problems recently. "I figured if I could hold a six-minute pace, that would be good, and I came within 45 seconds of my (personal record), which is very satisfying."

Her time, 1:22.05, was good for eighth in the women's division, 37th overall.

The first Monterey Peninsula runner across the finish line was Jeff Magallanes of Seaside, who was second in masters, in 1:15.11. He was 21st overall.

"I ran with my solo coach, Dwight Smith. We were working together today, but he did almost all of the work," said Magallanes, who was 19th overall in the 2005 race. "Dwight was willing to sacrifice himself today for some of the rest of us, which is the kind of guy he is, and the result was that I ran the fastest I've ever run. I did a 1:15.12 three or four years ago, and never thought I'd run that fast again, so I'm really ecstatic."

Smith crossed the line right behind Magallanes at 1:16.45.

Local runners who won their age division included Kevin Magallanes of Seaside, (male 12-15, 1:42.59), Ashley Madison of Monterey (female 12-15, 2:04), Daniel Tapia of Castroville (male 16-19, 1:16.19), James Migletz of Seaside (male 35-39, 1:17.36), Lisa Miller of Pacific Grove (female 40-44, 1:30.06), Dan Zulaica of Carmel (male 45-49, 1:19.39), Stella Gibbs of Pacific Grove (female 45-49, 1:31.26), Don King of Salinas (male 60-64, 1:36.48), Nelly Wright of Pacific Grove (female 60-64, 1:44.18), Ignacio Perez of Soledad (male 50-54, 1:26.44), Rod MacKinley of Pebble Beach (male 65-69, 1:37.53), Hansi Rigney of Carmel (female 65-69, 1:44.07), Frances Sackerman of Carmel (female 75-79, 2:26.00).

Dobson and Rhines each won $2,000 as overall male and female champions, and each also got a $1,000 bonus for setting course records.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Article about BS half in Salinas Californian

Runners take to the coast
Half marathon is Sunday
The Salinas Californian
October 27, 2006

This Sunday's Big Sur Half Marathon is expected to attract 4,500 participants, the most since it began in 2003.

The event calls on entrants to run, jog or walk along a 13.1-mile stretch of the Monterey Peninsula.

Participants take part in the 7 am. contest for a variety of reasons. Some will use the race to help get ready for next month's New York City Marathon. Others will use it as a measuring stick to prepare for April's Big Sur International Marathon. And some will just enjoy the peninsula as they walk.

"We're expecting the usual enthusiastic crowd," said Franca Gargiulo, director of media relations with the marathon.

Coordinators with the Big Sur International Marathon created the half marathon event four years ago because the full marathon event, a 26.2-mile run along with various other running and walking events, continued to sell out at a rapid pace. Sunday's half-marathon also has sold out.

"The numbers have grown every year," Gargiulo said. "There are a lot more walkers, a lot of baby boomers that are injured but still want to be in it. And more people are getting into fitness."

Some of Sunday's competitors took part in last weekend's Chicago Marathon or the Baltimore Half Marathon earlier this month, although Gargiulo said she doesn't know how many.

Steve Sundell of Redwood City is last year's men's champion, winning the race in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 20 seconds. Marina's Heather Hanscom won the women's title with a run of 1:17:24.

Among this year's female challengers is Pacific Grove professional triathlete Alexis Waddell, a runner-up in 2004. Former Olympians Jen Rhines and Katie O'Neill are also slated to participate.

Ibrahim Limo, a Kenyan who trains in Cary, N.C., and who won the men's division last year, is a scheduled participant. In 2004, Limo won the Big Sur International Marathon . Another participant originally from Kenya, Richard Kimeli of Albuquerque, N.M., has a personal half-marathon record time of 1:03:15, which would have bested Sundell's time last year by two minutes.

With a mostly flat course, runners won't have to worry about steep hills. It begins at Del Monte and Tyler streets in Monterey and goes toward Lake El Estero. The course continues along the coast toward Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. The course then runs through parts of downtown Pacific Grove before going back to Monterey. The finish line is the Custom House Plaza on Fisherman's Wharf.

Weather won not be a problem (although Gargiulo said runners would come even if it was raining, as it did two years ago); temperatures are expected to be in the mid 50s at the start of the race. No rain is expected.

"Runners should be aware of exhaustion," Garguilo said. "Slow down and enjoy the course. Take it easy and have a good time."

Along with the half marathon, there's a 10-mile walk and 5-kilometer run that takes place at the same time.

The men's and women's winners earn $2,000; the top eight men and women all receive money. An extra $1,000 is awarded to the runner that breaks the course record in his or her gender.

Contact Glenn Cravens at

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Big Sur Half Marathon --Monterey Bay

For Immediate Release
Franca Gargiulo
Director Media Relations

Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay Announces Elite Field

(October 24, 2006 – Carmel, CA) The Fourth Presentation of the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay once more embraces a sold-out field that includes a world-class group of elite runners from around the country. On October 29 over 4,500 runners and walkers will participate in the Half Marathon and 10-Mile Walk on a scenic course that winds through historic downtown Monterey, along world-famous Cannery Row, and continues along the Pacific Grove coastline. The race will end at Custom House Plaza, adjacent to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

A revamped prize purse for the 2006 race has drawn interest from world-class runners around the United States. A strong women’s field is headlined by Jen Rhines, a 2004 Olympian competitor in the marathon event who owns a marathon PR of 2:29. She will be joined by another Olympian, Kate O’Neill, who represented the U.S. in the 10,000 meter event in 2004 and has a PR at that distance of 31:34.

These two female runners will be challenged by Hannah Mitei, a Kenyan training in Albuquerque, NM whose half marathon PR is 1:16 along with Heather Gibson of Oakland, CA who claims 5K/10K PRs of 16:34 and 33:59. Rounding out the women’s field are Camille Herron of Corvallis, OR, 2005’s third place finisher at the Big Sur Half; Angela Strange, a triathlete from Palo Alto, CA and winner of the 2003 Detroit Marathon in a time of 2:43; local professional triathlete Alexis Waddell who placed second here in 2004; and the 2005 female masters winner, Christine Kennedy of Los Gatos, CA.

The men’s race is equally impressive with two Americans headlining the field. Fernando Cabada out of Tennessee is the U.S. 20km record holder, while Ian Dobson, also of Tennessee, holds a fast PR of 13:12 in the 5000m. They will be joined by Ibrahim Limo of Albuquerque, NM, a former Big Sur Marathon winner and 2nd place finisher at the 2005 Big Sur Half. Kenyan Richard Kimeli, also of Albuquerque, has a 2004 half marathon PR of 1:03:15 and has run 10 miles in 49:07 this year. His training partner McDonald Ondara placed fifth in the recent Baltimore Half Marathon and hopes to improve his time at the Big Sur Half. The field is completed by Christian Hesch, Sergio Reyes, Jeff Gardina, and Miguel Nuci, four fast Central Coast runners with PRs in the 1:06 range. Vying for the master’s title are local runners Jeff Magallanes and Dwight Smith, both of Seaside, CA.

In addition to the Half Marathon and 10-Mile Walk, the Run Forrest Run 5K will take place on Sunday, October 29 as well. There will be a Health & Fitness Expo on the Friday and Saturday preceding the races, held at the Monterey Conference Center. Race participants as well as the general public are invited to this fun and informative event with a focus on health screening checks and demonstrations, sports medicine and fitness programs, the latest in fitness clothing, shoes and training aids and a variety of other run and walk related products and services.

To learn more about the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, visit

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Big News

October 21, 2006

In August Jay and I went on holiday to Canada. This trip was originally meant for Jay to compete in IM Canada, but unfortunately he had to pull out about two months before the race. We deicided to go up to Canada anyway and have a nice holiday.
Our first full day there after getting coffee, we walked along the Okanagan Lake in City Park. We decided to take some pictures of us, so Jay put the timer on the camera and we got positioned infront of the lake. After this first picture, Jay decided to take another one and the picture says a thousand words:

Yes, he proposed! I couldn't believe it, but of course I said yes!! We have yet to set a date but it will be sometime in 2007.
Oh, and this is the original re-enactments here!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

San Jose Rock N' Roll 1/2 Marathon

October 8, 2006

Erin at dinner the night before the race

In April my younger sister Erin decided that she wanted to run in a 1/2 marathon, her first. She saw a flyer for the Innaugral San Jose Rock N' Roll 1/2 Marathon and signed up for it...then she thought, "I guess I should quit smoking now." And that's just what she did. It's been about 5 months on non-smoking and I'm happy to report that she completed her first 1/2 in 2 hrs. 5 min.

Erin at our hotel

After volunteering at the Big Sur Trail Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and 5 miler on Saturday (event organizer Dave Horning, Erin and I drove up to San Jose and while she checked in, I decided that I would run also. A last minute decision on my part, but I thought it would be a good training day.

Our huge tub in the hotel

Erin and I stayed at a hotel a little over a mile away from the start. We woke up early (Erin wanted to make sure that she was up and awake)...5:15am!!

Erin, race morning

The race was to start at 8am and Erin would start in corral 7 and me in corral 1, just behind the elite runners...and let me tell you, there is a huge difference in body type of elite runners and elite triathletes! The course was mostly flat with local bands playing approximately every mile or so, which helps keep you motivated! I can't believe people were actually wearing iPods during the race???

Andrew and Erin and the Train concert

From what Erin told me about her race, she had a great time and was able to negative split her entire race! As for me, I took it out way too fast!! It felt comfortable and so I ran with it, but eventually I felt my legs begin to get heavier and heavier and even felt the soreness setting in. I had a feeling I might be the first "amatuer" female and I was until I got passed at about mile 10! I ended up 2nd overall "amatuer" female and 1st in the 30-34 age group with a time of 1:22:21 (about a minute slower than my PR).

Me and Erin at the Train concert

Both Erin and I were so pleased with how we did and mom and dad were there to see us compete. We hung out in SJ after the race...went to eat, check out of the hotel, visit the Tech Musuem and then went to the HP Pavilion to see Train in concert (free entry with 1/2 marathon registration!). I was very impressed with their performance and we had a great time! We drove home afterwards...actually I drove while Erin snored in the passenger seat!!


Erin is so excited that she signed up for the Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay in 3 weeks!

Tinley's Triathlon

September 30, 2006

Tinley's is the only other race besides Wildflower that we get to camp. And as far as I know I am one of very few pro athletes who take on the challenges of camping the night before a race.

I got a ride with the Brigantino's because Jay had to work a bit late and I wanted to get down to Lake Lopez in the daylight hours to pick up my packet and get my gear together for the 8am race the next day.

I didn't get the greatest of sleep that night due to the fact that skunks had invaded our campsite and were rummaging through the trash that was left by the table. Our dog, Sprocket, kept barking at the skunks all night long. Oh well, at least non of us got sprayed!

I woke up early, around 5:45am to make sure that I'd get some coffee and have enough time to eat some oatmeal before I headed on down to the transition area. There was a small group of professional women most of whom I know. I got a short swim in...I should have swam longer in retrospect.
The air temp was cold while the water temp was a bit warmer which usually happens at this particular race. Here the men and women pros start together and it was a bit of a mess. I started out okay but then got bumped quite a bit and eventually found myself spit out the back just after the first buoy. I need to work on my skills within the first 400 am I going to do that you ask??? I haven't figured it out yet, but when I do, I'll let you know!! I tried to catch the pack that was just in front, but I felt so sloppy in the water that I wasn't able to and swam the rest of the 1 1/2 loops by myself. Upon exiting the water after the first loop, the ramp was covered in algae that I almost slipped a few times. Coming around the second and final loop I encountered some of the back-of-the-packers of age group athletes. I exited the swim in 22:34 and quickly was on my bike to catch as many girls as I could...sounds familiar doesn't it??

The bike course reminds me of Wildflower in that it's a two lane road in the country, undulating hills and a semi-looped course.

As soon as I left the park, I saw two women ahead of me and decided to go after them. I couldn't tell who it was, but I found my immediate goals. There was something else going on this weekend because there were more cars on the roads than in previous years...suv's towing trailers and boats. Matter of fact, I was almost run off the road by a suv towing a boat...he came so close that I had about another foot before I was in the dirt. Of course this made me angry and so I pushed the pace a bit harder and eventually caught and passed Karen L.

Now, I raced this course 5 years (this year makes 6) and I've never gotten lost or mis-directed. The volunteers have been great, but as Karen and I rode past the first left hand turn, which looked familiar, I saw a police man standing there holding up traffice and watching us ride by. In the nick of time I yelled if that was where we were supposed to turn and he non-chalontley said I yelled at Karen to turn around, that we missed the turn. We flipped and headed back (thank goodness it wasn't that far, maybe 30 sec. off our time)and I yelled at the officer again that there should be someone here directing the athletes. So, again I pushed the pace looking for my next competitor to pass. I was in 6th place after the bike turn around and Kelly C. was just ahead. I wasn't sure how fast I was going because the computer on my bike decided it wasn't going to work today!

I unfortunately didn't catch anyone else on the bike (1:09:31), but once in T2, Shozgood said that I was about :45 down from Kelly. I knew she was a fast runner and that Malaika and Linda were in front of me and that maybe I could at least catch them which would put me in 4th place. Within less than a minute I saw and passed Linda and was on my way to see who was left in front of me.
The run course is challenging because of not only the two loops but because of the rolling hills that you must go up twice! I figured if I can stay strong on the uphills I'd be better able to catch the next person, Malaika, which I eventually did. In the past, I've been able to catch up to Malaika on the bike, but she has been working extremely hard and as I found out after the race while talking with her, it was her goal to not have me catch her on the bike, and it worked.

I kept going thinking that maybe I could see Kelly once I rounded one of the corners or got to the top of a hill, but no such luck, she finished :39 ahead of me to take 3rd place while I finished in 2:11:59 for 4th. It's now a battle between me and Kelly for 2nd place in the Tri Cal Pro Series.

At the Awards

I've stepped up my training...actually, I will be consistent and have a plan for the next few weeks until Treasure Island and hope that this last minute training will pay off!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yosemite Trip

Jay and I on our way to Yosemite

September 22-24, 2006

Sometimes you just need a break from training and racing. That's why I opted to go to Yosemite with a group of friends and forego training for a weekend. I know, sounds funny, but I was so glad to be where I was and not off in some far away country.

Mark in the Cabin

Jay and I drove up friday afternoon and got into Curry Village a little after 8pm. It was dark and we didn't know which cabins were ours. Jay thought that it'd be a good idea to wonder around in the dark listening for voices that we might recognize but after walking around and noticing that there were more cabins that he though, we decided to walk towards the parking lot when in the distance I noticed Mark T. I yelled his name and he turned around! Whew. No moe wondering around in the dark looking for our party...we had found them!

Jay in bed at the cabin

After setting into our cabin, we made our way to Brandee's cabin where we proceeding to have wine, bread and cheese and great conversation for the next hour or two before calling it quits and going to bed. It was going to be an early morning for sure.

Getting ready to hike Saturday morning

There was a knock at our cabin door at 5:34am...Shozgood was frantically looking for her stove so that she could make her morning coffee! We slowly got up ourselves and we too made coffee and breakfast and sandwhiches for the rest of the day. There were a total of 16 of us on the trip and the plan was to hike up Half Dome. We all left at about 7:15am and proceeded to the beginning of the trail where we took a "before" picture!

Scenic Waterfall

It was a great morning; a bit cool, but you could tell that it would get warmer as the day progressed. I'm not sure how many hours it took us to reach the saddle of half dome...but we stopped quite a bit to take photos, rest, wait for the rest of our group and have lunch.

Climbing to Vernal Falls

Jay on top of Vernal Falls

It was so crowded though when we reached the saddle that there was a line to climb the last 400meters or so up the side of Half Dome. Some wanted to wait in line and others, like Jay, Mark, Laurie, Macy, Brandee and myself decided to hike back down and go to the river!

Shozgood and I on top of Vernal Falls

We made it back to our camp at close to 5pm or shortly there after and all of us were in need of a good shower and some hot food!

Scenic Lake near Vernal Falls

Those that stayed to climb up the last bit of Half Dome followed home shortly after and when they were clean, we all headed to the pizza pub for dinner. 5 pizzas later we were full to the gills and ready to relax back at our cabins.

The Beauty of Yosemite

Sunday we slept in til about 7am and after having coffee and breakfast we took the shuttle to Yosemite Falls which was dry! We walked around and at the visitors center hiding in a tree was a relatively small black bear!! I tried to get some photos, but it was hard to see.

The line to Half Dome
We then went to find some spider caves of which we crawled though! It was eventually getting late, so Jay and I said goodbye to everyone and we headed home.

This is just what I needed...a little break from routine training; oh, my legs were still sore though after that 18 mile hike!