Expo Update



A bit over 2 hours into the Expo and things are hopping. So much energy in the building.

Expo Day is Here!


See everyone at the SAMM Expo!

Goody Bags are Stuffed

The great thing about ShadowChase is that when help is needed, members really come through. Such was the case as last night’s Modesto Marathon bag stuffing night.

With 3500 runner bags needing to be filled, we needed an army of volunteers. Over 80 club members took part over 2 working shifts.

4 days until the race and we’re ready!

Your Competition at the 2014 Modesto Marathon

competitionWondering who some of your competition is for Sunday’s 2014 Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon?

You might notice a lot of youngsters: there are 91 registered minors under the age of 18. The youngest are a pair of 12-year-olds, Gerardo Avalos of Ceres and Coby McCaig of Modesto. The youngest female competitors are 13 years old — Maria Diaz and Dana Miranda, both of Ceres.

But marathoning knows no boundaries: Larry Lieb of Carmichael is the oldest competitor at 80 years young. Ricardo Guidolin, a local speedster who is a mainstay of area races, and Philo Short of Martinez, both 76, are included in a field of four males in their 70s. The oldest female competitor in the full marathon is Barbara Brady, 70, of Livermore.

One of the fastest women we know in the race is defending champion 29-year-old Anna Bretan of Berkeley, the 2013 SAMM winner and course record holder at 2:43:33. She was third overall last year. The men’s field could be anyone’s guess as no past winners have as of yet registered. Two-time winner Jon Olsen of Modesto won’t be competing as he’s nursing an injury. He will, however, be on the speaking panel at the Expo on Saturday at the CrossPoint Family Life Pavilion, corner of 12th and Needham streets. The Expo will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Olsen will speak at noon, followed by “Marathon Goddess” Julie Weiss of Santa Monica, who was featured in the movie Spirit of the Marathon II. Weiss was in Modesto in February during a screening of the film at the Modesto Marathon Movie & Wine Night fund-raiser. Weiss will also be running the full marathon, encouraging others to complete the run while raising awareness of pancreatic cancer.

Also at the Expo will be Arlene Pieper Stine, who is the first recorded woman to have completed an organized marathon. Stine ran the tough Pike’s Peak Marathon in 1959 to promote her women’s health club.  Her daughter Kathy, age 9 at the time, tagged along for the half-marathon up the mountain, and she will be in Modesto with her mother as well. They will be at the Expo, speaking at 3 p.m., and at the marathon finish line on Sunday offering autographed photos from her historic accomplishment.

While the vast majority of marathon runners are from California, we have someone entered with an Armed Forces Asia Pacific address. Of those traveling from out-of-state, eight are from Oregon, four from Nevada, three each from Texas, Florida, Missouri and Montana; with North and South Carolina, Delaware and Illinois also represented.

One of our largest family contingents comes from SAMM’s “Number 1 fan,” Dee Cajiuat of Yacaipa in Southern California. Many here know of Dee through her Facebook posts or her free K-T Tapings and promoting at our Expo. Dee started running to honor her nephew Josh, who suffered life-threatening injuries in an automobile accident. SAMM was her first full marathon and she has since run many, many full and half marathons and even a 100-miler. This year Josh will be making the trip to California to run his first half marathon since the accident, with his Aunt Dee by his side. A total of six Cajiuats will be here running the full or half marathon. Josh’s father and brother will be attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon here.

SAMM is offering a few perks for any runners qualifying for the Boston Marathon here. First, they’ll have their choice of a tech shirt or a license plate frame that proclaims: I BQ’d at the Modesto Marathon. BQ runners will also automatically be entered into a contest for two $500 cash prizes – one to a male and one to a female — which may be used toward their trip to run in Boston.

Other featured runners in the 2014 SAMM are members of the Teens Run Modesto program, who comprise most of our youngest runners, as well as members of the ShadowChase Running Club Adult Training group. Both groups have been training the past 6 months, many for their very first races.

One competitor will be setting SAMM history by being our first official wheelchair athlete. A.J. Mitchell, who helps coach and encourage our adult trainees, will attempt to complete the course in his regular, daily wheelchair. Mitchell recently completed his first marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon, on March 9. The 2014 SAMM also has an “assisted team” entry with one athlete scheduled to run while pushing another.

Setting a Running Record

prescottmedalIt was May 24th, 2013, my first day of summer vacation after graduating 8th grade, when my alarm rang at five thirty in the morning. I got up, got dressed, and I laced up my brand new shoes and prepared for my one shot at history. I had decided that I could attempt to break the Prescott Junior High School distance record and endurance time record which could not include any stopping or even walking at all and had to be done all on a quarter mile track. I was the first girl to even attempt to break the boy’s record of 21 miles and three and a half hours that had been set many years before. Having run my first marathon, the Modesto Marathon, with the amazing support of Teens Run Modesto and two months earlier and two half marathons since then, I was pretty sure I could break the record.

I got to Prescott just after six and started setting up the aid station. I was joined by the boys that were attempting the record with me and many of my Teens Run Modesto coaches: Miss Pingree, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Kern, Mr. Olsen, Mr. Coxford, and my mom. By six thirty we had lined up at our starting line and we were off! They cheered and clapped for us even though we were only running around a ten minute pace and we were all running together; we didn’t have a reason to make it a race. Around mile three the precautionary of drinking more water than a fish to avoid dehydration on a hot day started to set in a little and I think that was about the time I realized how difficult this would truly be. Every thirty minutes we switched the direction we ran on the track to keep the stress on our legs equal. By mile six(right around one hour) my legs were starting to cramp up so I took a shot block and stared thinking about how soon it would all be over. It wasn’t over soon; the sun felt like it was going to bake me alive, even with the amazing efforts of our support team spraying us with water and running through the parts of the track that were getting hit by the sprinklers. By mile fourteen we had already lost one runner, leaving me wondering how long my body could keep me going. Around mile fifteen I was temporarily re-energized when a visiting teacher brought me Fritos. After the wonderfulness of Fritos wore off I was getting really close to stopping, I not only ached but my IT band was defiantly not appreciating the surprise sixteen miles. From then until around mile twenty I don’t remember a whole lot because I spent all of my concentration on pretending I was running anywhere but a track where it was blazing hot on my first day of summer vacation. At mile twenty I snapped out of “my zone” long enough to hear that I only needed to run another mile to tie the distance record; the time record was already mine. I made every painful step of that mile before I realized that I didn’t want to tie a record. I wanted to break it. I went another lap swearing I would stop once I came back around, but for some reason I don’t understand my legs forgot to stop moving. I ran two more laps before notifying the coaches I was on my last lap, for real this time. They pulled caution tape left over from graduation and made us a finish line, which was the second best part of the run. The best part was when Miss Pingree gave us the medals she decorated for us. I can now say that I am the only Prescott girl that holds the same record that a boy does at twenty-two miles and four and a half hours.

By Emily Kleinfelder

Twelve Days

juliestanleyTwelve days.  Twelve days to the big event.  I’ve been working toward this event for six months now.  Or a year.  Or a couple of years.  Or a lifetime.  It all depends on where you want to start counting, on what you want to mark as the starting point.

If you use the logic that all past events in your life make you who you are today, then March 23rd will be just another point to where the events of my life have led me.  If you consider the starting point to an event as the moment where, if you had not taken a particular fork in the road, you would not be arriving at a given destination, then my path to the marathon started about two and a half years ago when I first decided to take up running.

But, if you want to consider the starting point as where you decided to do something specific, then my marathon quest began last October when I registered for the Modesto Marathon.  I had joined the training group in 2012, (for the 2013 SAMM), although never with the intention of running the marathon, or even the half.  I just wanted to get faster and stronger for the 5k.  But somewhere between March and October of 2013, I got this crazy idea that I could run a marathon.  I started out by running some 10k distances, then trained for and ran a half at the Peace Officers Memorial.  Encouraged by my performance there, I made the decision to run the full marathon at the 2014 SAMM.  Just to keep myself from backing out, I registered very early on.

Then, shortly after registering, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture to my right tibia for the second time in a year.  First I cried, then I got angry, then I finally started to think about my options.  I could still walk, and it was early in the training program.  At the distances we were doing, I could continue to train at a walk.  If I was careful and didn’t injure myself further, by sometime in January when the distances starting getting longer, I should be able to start running a little.  I realized that as long as I could complete 26.2 miles in less than seven hours, I could still complete this marathon.

And so, I walked…and walked…and walked.  And sometimes I cheated and jogged a little, but then I would get scared that I would set myself back by re-injuring my healing tibia, and I would walk again.  And finally, January came.  It had been two and a half months.  I had developed a power walking gate that allowed me to cover distance quickly without the impact I got from actually running, and it allowed me to get my heart rate up higher than I could get it walking with a normal gate.  But I had to be careful because it was so easy for that power walk to turn into a jog…and I so wanted to run.

By February I was running all my training miles again, and every time I finished I waited nervously to see if there was any lingering pain in my shin.  The long runs scared me the most.  What if I hurt myself again?  The marathon was so close… My right shin seemed to be fine, but I nearly panicked when my left shin started to hurt.  It took me a couple weeks to realize that what I was feeling there was shin splints, not a stress fracture.  Ice packs on a regular basis, along with some massage, and the shin splints have become negligible.

Then, finally, it was time for our longest training run of the season, the longest training run ever for me; 22 miles.  There were moments that I didn’t think I would ever finish.  In the back of my mind was recurring thought; and the marathon is 4 more miles than this!  I began to doubt that I could do it.  My time was disappointingly slow…I had been averaging the same pace when I was power walking.

As I drove home I had to remind myself that this marathon was not about going fast, it was about persevering.  It was about doing something hard, but doing it none-the-less.  It was not about finishing first or finishing fast, it was about finishing something I set out to do, and not because it was easy but because it wasn’t.  It was about crossing the finish line, even if I had crawl across it.  It was about accepting no excuses.  So, when I got home, I went straight out to the pool, sat on the edged wrapped in a towel to keep the cool air from penetrating my wet shirt, and stuck my legs in the cold water up to my knees. Why it had never occurred to me before now that I had a giant ice bath in my own back yard, I don’t know, but once the shock of the cold water subsided, I could almost feel the inflammation leaving my lower legs.  It felt wonderful.  The sun had come out after the drizzly, cloudy morning had passed and it was warm on my face.  A calm peacefulness washed over me.  Yes, it had been hard for me, and yes I ran much slower than I had hoped to, but I did it.  And I would do it again, plus that extra 4.2 miles, in three weeks.  No excuses.

The next day I expected to wake up with the usual stiffness I experience after a long run, but I felt fine.  Well, the second day after a long run is always the worst for me, so I figured by the next morning everything would be hurting and stiff, but Monday morning came and I still felt fine.  I had run the longest, hardest training run ever, and I felt fine!  Nothing hurt!  Not my muscles, not my shins, nothing.  And then I thought, well of course nothing hurts.  That was the point of training, wasn’t it?  Not just to be able to do the distance, but to condition your body so that you can do it and not hurt.  Imagine that…it worked.

So, now it’s taper time.  Saturday was an easy 12 miles.  Someone once posted on Facebook about how funny it was that we go from “OMG, I have to run 12 miles today!!!” to “Gee, I only have to run 12 miles today…”  Eight months ago I had never run further than 6 miles in one run and that seemed hard.  Now 12 miles seems like no big deal.  I actually plan social activities in the afternoon or evening after a 12 mile run now, whereas six months ago my plan for the rest of the day after a 12 mile run was to sleep.

Taper time…a couple of months ago I was looking forward to this time where the demanding training schedule eased off a little, where the distances began to get shorter instead of continually getting longer.  Now that it’s here I feel a little lost.  Maybe I’ll have some time to prune all the dead growth from my garden, or spring clean the house.  For sure, I need to find something to do beside obsess over the marathon.  Whereas before I thought the training might kill me, now it’s the waiting; the mind games I play with myself; the self doubt trying to creep in.

Through all the ups and downs during the months of training, there have been a couple of things that have kept me going, kept me focused on my goal.  One was the idea of running my first marathon with my ShadowChase friends, some of who will also be running their first marathon.  One of the people I was looking forward to celebrating with at the finish line left us on January 2nd of this year.  Sweet, sweet Wendell…I miss you man, and this marathon is for you.  The times I wanted to quit or drop back to the half, I thought to myself, no…I’m going to run this for Wendell because we were going to run it together.

The other thing that has kept me going when I wanted to just say forget it was the mental image I have of finishing.  I see myself coming toward the finish line, sometimes I’m flying, sometimes I can barely put one foot in front of the other, but always there is the feeling of triumph and accomplishment that comes from doing something hard, something you weren’t sure you could do.  As I cross the finish line, I see myself accepting my finishers medal, bowing my head so that the volunteer can place it around my neck.  And then finally, best of all, my husband Tom waiting for me, wrapping me in his arms, hugging me tight, holding me up.  My biggest fan.  My strongest supporter.  I love you.  I want that moment in my memory forever.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling that this goal to run a marathon is such an overwhelming thing, I think about the folks who make it look so easy, the ones who run multiple marathons a year, or the ultra runners who use a marathon as a training run for a much longer distance, and I feel like I must be making this into a bigger deal than it really is.  But then I look at me.  Just me.  I think about where I was a few years ago, and where I am now.  For me, this IS a big deal.  I remind myself that everyone had to start somewhere.  Even the ultra runners started life unable to walk.  I’ll never be an elite runner.  I’ll never be the fastest or run the farthest or hold any records.  But, I’ll have challenged myself to do something beyond what I thought I might be capable of doing.

In twelve days…


Julie Stanley


Taking Pride in the Course


Nearly 60 volunteers came out this morning to spruce up part of the Modesto Marathon course. Trash was picked up and graffiti was painted over along the 2 mile stretch down 9th street.

Thank you to our volunteers. Your efforts will make a huge difference for thousands of race participants.

Hot Showers After The Race

inshapeComing in from out of town to run the race? Like to shower before heading home but you couldn’t get a late check out or you just drove in for the race?

No worries. Go to any of the In-Shape Health Clubs. They’ll let you use their awesome facilities if you show them your race bib!

Check out the In-Shape website for locations in the Modesto area.

Thank you In-Shape Health Clubs for taking such good care of our runners.


Sneak Peak at SAMM Swag

You probably are already super excited about this year’s Modesto Marathon. In case you need something to take that excitement to the next level, here is a sneak peak at the medals, shirts, jackets and vests.