cheetahWe love to see records off. So much so that we are offering a cash prize to any runner who can set a new SAMM course record.

Imagine running the race of your life and receiving an extra $500 for the effort.

Even if you don’t have a record setting marathon in you, having elite athletes competing for the record will make for an exciting finish to watch.

Current Marathon Records

  • Male course record set in 2012 is Clyde Behunin 2:32:46
  • Female course record set in 2011 is Michelle Meyer  2:52:25

We’re not just  talking about the marathon. If you have what it takes to set the half marathon or 5K record, a cash prize is waiting for you.

Course Record Awards

  • Course record award of $500 will be offered to any male and female who sets a new course record for the full marathon.
  • Course record award of $250 will be offered to any male and female who sets a new course record for the half marathon.
  • Course record award of $100 will be offered to any male and female who sets a new course record for the 5k.

Time to lace up your running shoes and hit the road. With plenty of time to train, you may be the next SAMM course record holder.


That’s right, free food at Fuzio in downtown Modesto. All you need to do is register early for the Spirit of Giving Run.

Come down this Saturday to Fuzio, register for the race and enjoy free appetizers and a coupon for a future meal.

Heard Our Radio Spot?

This event is going to be so much fun that it is being spotlighted on local radio. Check it out:


Spirit of Giving Registration Drive Radio Spot


Registration Drive for 3rd annual Spirit of Giving Jingle Bell Run & Walk


Saturday October, 27th from 1 – 4 pm


Fuzio’s at 1020 10th Street, Modesto

[mappress mapid=”24″]


Fuzio’s will provide free appetizers for those who come down to register and a dining coupon.

Bring a can food item (for Modesto Gospel Mission) or a Dollar Donation to spin the prize wheel.

This is a family-fun spirited event with a free kids run to chase the Grinch out of Modesto

Proceeds from the race go towards Youth Recreation Programs and Meals on Wheels

For more information go to

2012 Spirit of Giving Run


  • Prevent dehydration, and get acclimated to heat;
  • Adequate electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium);
  • Anti-acids: Zantac or Pepcid (before and during run; I even start the night before);
  • No diet sodas (before or during run); limit fructose (fruit – sugar drinks);
  • Stomach – soothers during run: Tum’s, ginger (e.g., gel candy), peppermint candy, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), L-glutamine (this may be better as prevention);
  • Caffeine: increases gastric emptying (i.e., good if you tend to get bloated), and keeps kidneys working (but can increase stomach acid, therefore take Zantac/Pepcid);
  • Add ice to fluid for easier absorption (ideal is 50° F);
  • Minimal fat intake, and protein only in powdered vegetable form (especially soy);
  • Ensure is too concentrated and too much fat; HealthShakes from Costco have less fat, but would still need to dilute it significantly; Mountain Dew works well for me;
  • Empty bowels a few days before, i.e., Metamucil &/or Dulcolax tablets (e.g., 3 days before race, while carbo-depleting/high protein and fat intake before the 2 days of carbo- loading);
  • Decrease solids and increased liquid carbs towards end of run/race;
  • Solids that work well for me: rice crispy bars (digest and raise blood sugar almost as fast as sugar but last longer; light and easy to carry, not messy), boiled potatoes, bananas, oatmeal cookies or breakfast/granola bars.

My Homemade Carbo-Gel Recipe:

Water, complex carb. powder (maltodextrin), Perpetuem (from or soy protein powder (approx. 4:1 carbo:Perpetuem/soy powders), Chia seeds (soak in water for a while before drinking), Lite Salt (sodium + potassium), glycerol/glycerin (small amount, ~1 tsp/5 oz. flask; helps cells absorb water better/fast), chocolate or maple syrup. Mix all together in large water bottle and pour into 5 ounce flasks, shake well after water + dry ingredients, then add the syrup.


Have you ever WONDERED??

People often wonder why we gain weight as we get older, but it’s especially because we forget to play like children, becoming much more sedentary, with the excuse that we can’t be as active because we are getting old, but actually people are getting old because they are less active: cause and effect are reversed.

Humans are also experiencing some of the effects similar to other mammals that hibernate.

When an animal hibernates it significantly decreases its activity level to almost zero, and, especially in cold climates, its body temperature and therefore metabolism significantly decrease, and they are able to survive often for several months with little or no food.

Many humans significantly limit their activity level so that their metabolism slows down and their caloric needs are much less, but they keep eating as if they were active with normal metabolism, and therefore they keep gaining weight like a feasting bear just before hibernation, except humans continue in this feasting mode year-round.

If they would fully wake up and have to forage around the forest for their food for survival like bears, then they would lose the stored weight every year, but such is not the case.

So, exercise and eat small amounts often, and remember to play like children (or active foraging bears), in order to raise your metabolism and lower your age.


Halloween is fast approaching and so is our Halloween Fun Run.

This informal 5K and 10K event is a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday and support a great cause. Proceeds of the day will sponsor Modesto youth in the Teens Run Modesto program.

No need to pre-register, just show up on race day. Only $10 to participate.

giantpumpkinGet creative with your costume and you could win a prize.  There will also be drawings and a silent auction for giant pumpkins.

Saturday October 27, 2012
East La Loma Park
8:30 AM

Do you love frozen yogurt? Of course you do.

Why not enjoy this guilty pleasure while helping a great cause?

Enjoy any tempting treat at the Yogurt Mill this Tuesday, October 16th. 20% of your purchase will be donated to Teens Run Modesto.

The offer is good all day (10:00AM-10:00pm) at either of the Yogurt Mill’s 2 locations.


So treat yourself to a tasty frozen yogurt and help keep Modesto youth on the right track.


Tuesday, October 16


Roseburg Square
801 West Roseburg Avenue

Oakdale Road
2509 Oakdale Road

Unlike past years, the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon will be offering different incentives in the coming months to encourage early registration for the race.

This week is one amazing incentive.

ontherun-300x155Every person who comes down to OnTheRun to register for the race this Saturday afternoon will reason a huge discount from OnTheRun!

This goes for all 3 races, the marathon, half marathon or 5K

The Discount

  • $15 off any purchase of $50 or more
  • spend $100 you get $30 off your purchase and so on

Use your discount for running shoes, apparel or accessories.


  • Saturday, October 6
  • 12:00PM to 5:00PM


  • OnTheRun
  • McHenry Village
  • 1700 McHenry Avenue, Suite A13
  • Modesto, CA 95350

We recently received this letter from a Modesto Marathon 5K participant. It was such a touching story that we had to share it with you.

“You RUN? Why would you want to do that??” “You should take up something that’s not so hard on you, like biking.” “You know, roller blading is way easier on your knees and back.”

These are all statements that friends (friends, mind you…not strangers) have made to me when they found out I’m a runner.

Let me say that again; I’m a runner.

First of all, it took me a long time to allow myself to call myself a runner. A runner was something I always wanted to be, but I never thought I was good enough to claim the title. I ran everywhere I went as a kid, but that was just being a kid. After reaching adulthood, I gave up the dream of running to follow more “normal” paths. Wife, mother, grandmother, working woman, friend…all noble things, and all of which I am proud and happy to be, and none of which I regret being for an instant.

I had friends in high school that went on to run with state and college teams. I was in awe of them. But I put away my dreams of being a runner and moved forward with the life I had chosen, and it’s been a good life. I’m surrounded by a loving family, and I will always consider that to be the most important thing in my life. I earn a decent living and I have a decent home. But a funny thing happened on my way to middle age; I got a little heavy. No, let’s be honest…I got fat. And then I got unhappy with who I was and what I was becoming. And that, surprisingly, led me down the path of fulfilling my dream.

After about 10 years of waiting for the weight loss fairy to appear and magically make me young and thin again, I figured out she wasn’t coming. Since it had become an effort for me to even climb the stairs to my office at work, I finally decided to do something about my situation. And, really, we truly are the only ones responsible for whom and what we are. So the first thing I did was join a weight loss organization, similar to the Houston weight loss organization. Over the next 14 months I lost nearly 80 pounds. And like any good weight loss organization, they not only taught me about proper nutrition and portion size, the encouraged activity. Any sort of activity, just so I actually got up a few minutes a day and engaged in something purposeful.

Since I had this really nice clothes rack that doubles as a treadmill, I figured I could clean it off and spend a few minutes a day walking on it. I started with 10 minutes a day, and I must admit that I did NOT do it every day. But every few days I would think, “Gee, I really should get on that treadmill again…”, and over the next several months I worked up from a 10-minute walk to a 45-minute jog…a really BORING 45-minute jog. I hated it. Not everyone is going to go on a treadmill every day so they may think that it is not worth getting one, I understand that, but there are ways you can work around that issue! You can always see if there are any places where you are that let you hire a treadmill, just do a quick Google search of phrases like “hire a treadmill Glasgow“, for example, and go from there. I may have hated my jog but you may not.

I remembered loving to run when I was a kid. I remembered how it made me feel…alive, strong, powerful, confident, independent, free. Was it possible to ever feel that again? It had been at least 35 years since I had run like that. But a crazy idea formed itself in my head. I didn’t put a time frame or deadline to it, but I decided to set a goal for myself to run in a 5k. Not knowing how to even begin working toward that goal, and not realizing I had already begun working toward it when I spent my first 10 minutes walking on the treadmill, I went online and Googled running clubs for my area, found Shadowchase, and sent in my application and registration fee.

So, one day shortly after that, I dug out my old spandex shorts from years prior, back when I was thin and thought I wanted to work out in a gym, (ho hum…boring…), and since I was still in the process of shedding those extra pounds, a very loose fitting shirt to wear over them. After a few minutes of almost standing on my head, I also found some old running shoes in the back of the closet, (purchased to make a fashion statement, not to actually run in…), and I put everything in a back pack to take with me to work the next day. My plan was to stop at the park and to see how far I could get on the 5k course the club had marked out on the running path.

To my astonishment, I ran the entire 5k without stopping. Granted, a lot of folks could have walked it faster than I ran it, but that had very little impact on how surprised and proud I was. And, miracle of miracles, I wasn’t bored for a single one of the 45 minutes it took me to do it! About twice a week, every week, for the next 6 months, I would either go to the park or run 3 miles through my neighborhood. Then, nearly a year after the idea first entered my head, I found myself at the starting line for my very first 5k; Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k.

The horn sounded, the runners took off, (all 900 or so of us!), and I was actually racing. It was an amazing feeling! The air was crisp and clear, the streets were wet from the rains we had the night before, and running through the streets of the city with so many others for the very first time is an experience I’ll never forget. I could hear each foot fall, each breath. I watched the line of runner extend further and further into the distance in front of me, and yet I passed many runners too. An old man. A small child. A teenager who wasn’t as all powerful as he thought he was when he started out. I was one of many taking part in a wonderful experience that was both group activity and independent effort; trying to be the best while hoping the same for everyone else.

Then, in what seemed like forever and yet no time at all, I was coming around the final turn heading for the finish line. Everyone was trying to give it their all as they sprinted to the finish. People I had been pacing myself with suddenly ran away from me like I was standing still. I ran as hard as I could, sucking air and feeling like the earth’s atmosphere did not hold enough oxygen to fuel my screaming lungs. And then I was across the finish; 33 minutes and 41 seconds; my fastest time at that point in my running.

My goal for that first race was just to not finish last. I did more than not finish last; I finished 7th out of 36 women for my age group, 148th out of 620 females, and 342nd out of 990 finishers, both male and female. And that’s not counting the 160 entrants that didn’t finish. Considering where I started from a year before, I didn’t think that was bad at all. I’ve now run 6 races so far this year, and I’ve finished in the medals in 3 of those races.

And why do I want to do this? I love to run. I’ve come to believe THAT, if nothing else, makes you a runner; the simple of love of running. I think about running all day. I dream about running when I sleep. I read about form and nutrition and training methods. I talk about running to anyone who will listen. I believe that runners will run through pain, will run in the rain or the heat or the cold, will run when the rest of the household is sleeping, simply because they love to run. For me at least, it’s not about achieving the runner’s high. I’m not even sure you can get a runner’s high in 3.1 miles. For me, it’s about the feeling I get with the very first stride. Alive. Strong. Powerful. Confident. Independent. Free.

I was a running club member for over a year before I started becoming active with the group, so not many people in the club know who I am and whether I’m with the walkers or the runners. At a club BBQ last night, several people asked me if I was a walker or a runner.

I am a runner.

– Julie A. Stanley

marathonhatThe Modesto Marathon hats were such a hit last year that we brought them back for the 2013 race.

Let everyone know you are training for the Modesto Marathon by wearing the official hat on your runs.

For only $12.00, this hat is a real bargain.

Where Can I Get My Hat?

There are several opportunities this month to purchase your new running hat. There are even ways to get a hat for FREE.

Hats will be available for purchase at all 3 of the training program meetings.

If you register for the marathon or half marathon at a training program meeting, you will receive a hat for free.

ShadowChase members can also purchase hats at our monthly club meetings.

Don’t wait. Last year’s running hats sold out quickly.


Clear Channel Radio is airing a public service announcement for the Modesto Marathon.

Click the link below to listen to it.

2013 MM PSA Training

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sonyaanderson-300x199Sonya Decker

2012 SAMM Winner

You are from Minneapolis, MN. What brought you to Modesto to run the 2012 Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon? How did you hear about our race?

I came to Modesto because a friend of mine moved out to Los Gatos and she told me that she was planning to run Modesto. Helen Lavin (who finished 2nd female!) invited me out for a visit at that time, as we both were looking for an early spring marathon and there isn’t anything here in Minnesota at that time of year.  So we realized we both found a marathon that would fit our training/racing schedules and also get a chance to visit.  I’m not able to travel much due to family and work, so it was a rare treat to be able to make a trip to California.  I also really appreciated getting the chance to spend time with one of my favorite training partners whom I really miss.

Did you think you’d have a chance of winning the race when you decided to run here?

I was not thinking that I would be in a position to win the race, but did feel I could run the kind of time I was hoping for there. In my thinking, winning is about who shows up, which there is no control over. What is within control is working toward being able to run the kind of time I am hoping for, and then seeing where that puts me competitively and doing my best at that point.  It was helpful to run the first half with Sarah, but after that I ended up on my own trying to push for a sub-3 hour time.

Can you give us a brief running history? How long have you been running? What is your marathon PR, etc.

My competitive running started in my early 30s after my daughter was born.  I enjoyed running for fitness and stress relief since high school, but never raced until then. I kind of accidentally discovered that I was running faster after having my first child, then followed up on someone’s suggestion that I try a race, found that there weren’t a lot of other women around me where I was finishing, and it all started from there. I started seriously training with the marathon as my focus, and eventually was working toward trying to run a time that would qualify me for the Marathon Trials, which back at that time was 2:50.  My PR ended up being 2:51 at Chicago in 2003.

Is the marathon your primary race distance or do you prefer ultras, or shorter races? Trails or road races?

In more recent years, I have started doing ultras and really enjoy those also.  Running ultras has made me a better road runner and vice versa. There is much to learn from each world and the different runners you come across.  Ultras give me a chance to do what I love, which is to go on really long runs – with company!  I feel that same way about roads and trails – I love them both and go back and forth as needed physically and emotionally. Trail running has helped me survive all the training miles, while road running has helped keep some speed. My body usually only gets comfortable with distances of 15K and above. I do the shorter races on our team circuit locally, but they are pretty painful and non-rewarding for me, as I just never have enough time to get in a good groove.  In some ways, I still think the marathon is the perfect distance, since it can truly be raced, yet is so challenging.  Even after trying quite a few ultras and trying to run qualifying times at the 100K distance, I still have serious appreciation and respect for how hard it is to really race a marathon.

What was your favorite part of the 2012 Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon race?

I loved the cool weather – ironically it was unseasonably hot back in Minnesota that weekend and I heard many complaints from friends who were at an 8K team race that same day.  I felt I made the right choice missing that traditional race, as I got a chance to run a distance I prefer in conditions that I prefer!  Who would have thought it would work to go from Minnesota to California to get a cooler race day?  I also enjoyed the chance to run a flat course in a well-organized event.

Was there something you’d like to see us improve upon?

The only suggestion I have is to spread your volunteers out a bit more at the water stations – I was concerned that I might have some issues getting enough fluids on the course as that is sometimes the case in smaller marathons.  But there were definitely enough aid stations; the only challenge was that I needed to grab a few cups at some and could usually only get one.

What are your goals for the coming year?


I would love to still get in under 3 hours for the marathon – it annoys me to be just over that mark after running many sub 3 times in the past.  (I ran 3:01 at both Modesto and Chicago last fall).  So when I finished at Modesto, I was disappointed with narrowly missing again, but had the follow-up reaction of being happy to win it and still be running competitive times. Many of my past training partners are not able to race anymore due to injuries – there is not a day that I head out for a run or race where I don’t appreciate how fortunate I am to still be doing what I love!

Do you have any advice for new runners?

My advice is to be as consistent as possible with your training in terms of getting out for runs and go with the hard/easy philosophy as far as pushing very hard for some runs and then truly recovering on others. My opinion is that watches that tell you everything about pace have messed some runners up about going easy enough on their easy days – I don’t look and instead go by feel – if I feel like it’s not easy enough then it’s not no matter how slow the watch says I’m going.  Also mix things up with roads/trails and different distances. I attribute these factors as keeping me at least somewhat within the ballpark of my old times as a masters runner.

What’s the best running advice anyone has given you?

The best advice I received is to appreciate current PRs and standout performances in the moment instead of jumping ahead to what they could be, as we never know when we have run our lifetime PR at a specific distance and it is a shame not to enjoy it.

Will you be coming back to defend your crown?

I would love to come back – if it fits into my training schedule and Helen invites me again.  Hopefully she will read this and take the hint!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lastly, I have run a lot of marathons and was impressed with how well this one was organized and how friendly/helpful the volunteers were, so thank you to everyone involved!!  You all helped us work to get as close to our goals as possible. I was a little nervous the night before Modesto, as the last marathon I ran in California was back in 2004 when I was trying to qualify for the Trials, and I got blocked by a train at mile 2!  Helen was laughing when I saw the train tracks near the course as we were driving it the day before and I wanted to know if we were going to have to cross during the race (some train paranoia).  We also were intrigued about what we were supposed to do at the part of the course that was flooded out by all the water, but magically it had been taken care of the next morning.  It’s thinking about those kind of things that helps your racers be successful and then recommend the race to others and come back themselves.