Several records broken, many legs shaken and few bodies unbruised by the end of this year’s California International Marathon. About 15,000 participants ran a grueling 26.2 miles in the Sacramento Running Association’s CIM. Over 50,000 spectators cheered runners on along the downhill course last Sunday.
At 9 a.m. two groups of runners lined up to push through the fog at the sound of the gun: the relay racers and the marathoners. While Volha Mazuronak broke the women’s fastest time on the course to date with her finish of 2:27:30, another story developed further back in the pack.
For Kathy Schieno, a Rocklin, Calif. resident, this was her first marathon. As Ally, her daughter, felt the weight of the the participant medal, Schieno had a quick conversation with me. Training started six months ago, shortly after completing the Shamrock’n Half earlier this year. Using the Nike+ plan to increase mileage and endurance, Schieno was able to keep her pace near eight-and-a-half minutes per mile to finish the race in three hours and 45 minutes.
Scheino’s parents and cheerleaders, Bonnie and Larry O’Donnell, initially waited at the 14 mile marker with Lays potato chips and a Gatorade to fuel their daughter on, then hurried to the finish line. While they waited along the fence at the finish line, Bonnie mentioned, “She was right on every single time, I’m proud of her.”
Looking up from her daughter as she shivered under a Mylar emergency blanket in the finish area, Schieno stated, “It was a rough year, I wanted to finish it off strong.”
Schieno is now waiting to see if her official time qualifies her for the Boston Marathon. Entry into the Boston Marathon is dependent on age bracket and finish time.