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Meb wins Boston for the U.S.

Meb KeflezighiMeb Keflezighi, who is probably better known as just Meb, became the first U.S. winner of the Boston Marathon since Greg Myers won in 1983.

Within the last 2 miles of the race, second-place Wilson Chebet of Kenya was as close as 8 seconds behind. But Keflezighi managed to gut it out and win the race in 2:08:37, April 21. Chebet finished 11 seconds back.

Several Central Valley runners also completed Boston. To search for runner results by name, hometown or bib number, visit www.baa.org.


Marathon participation continues to grow

Despite bad weather that forced the cancellation of several large marathons, participation in the 26.2-mile distance set a record in 2013.

That's according to the latest annual marathon report from Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Running USA. 

Last year, 541,000 runners finished one of more than 1,100 marathons nationwide, breaking the 518,000-finisher record set in 2011.

During 2012, only 487,000 people finished, mostly because of the cancellation of the New York Marathon due to Super Storm Sandy.

Breaking down the 2013 figures, 57 percent of finishers were men and 43 percent were women. Masters, those 40 years old and older, accounted for 47 percent of finishers.

Since 1990, there's been a 140 percent increase in the number of marathon finishers. During the past decade alone, the number of finishes has increased 40 percent.

Median times, however, have soared since 1990, probably due to the influx of walkers and charity walker/runners. In 1990, the median finisher's time for men was 3:32:17 and for women, 4:03:39. By 2013, it was 4:16:34 for men and 4:41:38 for women.

Read the full report at Running USA.


Miguel Nuci

Miguel Nuci, half-marathon winner

Woman takes overall Modesto Marathon
title, sets course record

In somewhat of a rarity, a woman has bested all of her male counterparts in a marathon. 

In this case, Anna Bretan was the overall winner of this year's Modesto Marathon. Last year, she was the overall female winner.

The 29-year-old from Berkeley won with a time of  2:41:52. She also broke her own course record from last year and clocked an Olympic marathon trials qualifying time.

Bretan's nearest competitor was Matthnew Klundt, a 27-year-old male runner from Fresno, who finished in 2:44:22. He won the men's overall title.

In the half-marathon, Miguel Nuci from Turlock won with 1:11:07, breaking his own course record he set last year. And that was despite being led astray by the lead bike, an error that he said probably cost him about two minutes.

The lead cyclist wanted Nuci to make a turn, but Nuci said that wasn't correct and that he knew the course, since he ran it last year. The cyclist insisted, so Nuci followed, only to have the cyclist admit a bit farther on that Nuci was right. So Nuci had to backtrack.

Winning the women's half-marathon was 45-year-old Kristi Rossi from Hillsborough, who set a course record with 1:21:57.

Read more about the Modesto Marathon in the Modesto Bee or view additional photos on the CVRunning Facebook page (you don't need to have a Facebook account to view the images).


Virginia Corridor construction

Construction of next
Virginia Corridor segment begins

There's activity on the dirt part of the Virginia Corridor between Bowen and Woodrow avenues, and we're not talking about city street sweepers dumping sweepiings, either.

The half-mile stretch is now cordoned off with portable chain link fencing, and it appears construction on a new paved portion will begin shortly.

The Modesto Bee in July 2013 reported that the city was expected inAaugust to put out bids for construction of the next extension.

Construction was expected to start in October 2013, according to the Bee, but it's quite apparent that didn't happen.

The cost was reported to be about $3 million for pavement, landscaping, lighting and benches. That comes out to about $6 million per mile.

The $3 million comes from grants the city received. Eventually the city hopes to extend the corridor north to Bangs Avenue, which the Bee reported would cost about $6 million and include a bridge over Standiford.

But based on the $3 million for just one-half mile without a bridge, that $6 million may be overly optimistic. There is no timetable for completion of the trail. Even if there were, the city doesn't seem to adhere to any timetable.

When competed, the Virginia Corridor will span 4.2 miles from College Avnue south of Stoddard Avenue to Bangs.

Let's hope that the same contractor that built the new arm of the Leaking Lena Bay Bridge isn't working on the corridor extension.


Ultra Running names Modesto's
Jon Olsen #2 ultra runner of 2013

Jon Olsen capped off a stellar year by being named Ultra Running magazine's #2 runner of the year.

Olsen led the U.S. ultra-running team to a gold medal in the World 24-hour Champions in Netherlands earlier this year. At the same time, he took individual gold in the event with a distance of 167.568 miles.

Later on he set an American record for 100 miles on a track, becoming the first American to crack the 12-hour barrier. Olsen ran 11:59:28.

The record stood only a few months before it was broken by Zach Bitter..

Olsen capped off 2013 by running the 48-hour Aravaipa Running Across the Years, placing second with 200.51 miles. That was after taking 13 hours off to collect himself.

Congratulations to Jon Olsen for recognition well deserved.


 

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