The Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon recently selected two winners in its Win a Trip to Boston drawing from those who ran Boston qualifying times in the March 2014 SAMM. One male and one female winner – Esther White of Waterford and Miguel Reyes of Fresno — each take home $500, which they may use toward a trip to the 2015 Boston Marathon.
While one was aware of the SAMM contest, but thought it was out of her reach, the other didn’t even know he qualified for Boston or that there was a check for $500 in his future.
Esther White, of Waterford, said she had heard about the contest, but she’s “never, ever won anything. I really didn’t think about the contest” while running,” she said, but she’s thrilled to have won.
“I wasn’t sure I could afford to go to Boston (next year), to tell you the truth. I have been spending on airfare for graduations, weddings and grandbabies! But I thought I should try to go as I am getting ‘older’ and would like to experience Boston before I can’t go,” she said.
Reyes, on the other hand, said (through an interpreter), that he didn’t even know there was a contest in Modesto or that he qualified to run Boston – he was “running for the win.” The 37-year-old ran a 2:55:24 in Modesto, good enough for a fifth place men’s finish and sixth place overall.
Reyes, who was running his third SAMM, says he “loves the Modesto course,” and hopes to make Boston one of his 2015 goals as he has not run Boston before. Reyes began running in 2002 in his hometown in Mexico. He is sponsored by his employer, Tarlton & Son, Inc., a construction firm in Fresno, and has a goal of someday running a sub-2:30 marathon.
“Thank you to the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon team for making this possible,” said Reyes. “I look forward to many more races.”
White, 55, qualified for Boston with a 4:02:14 in Modesto. She has been running since 2000. Her PR is a 3:51:58 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento six years ago, but she couldn’t afford to go to Boston then. She also re-qualified in 2009. But this year is really special, she said.
“This year is about 5s. I turned 55, I have five kids, we had our fifth grandchild, I’ve been running 15 years, been married 35 years and will go to Boston in 2015! Cool, huh?” she said.
This year was White’s second SAMM. She ran last year as a Teens Run Modesto coach. She mentored the Central Valley Christian Academy team in 2013, which included her daughter.
“Honestly, not because I won, but our local marathon is run so great compared to others I have been to,” raved White. “From the expo to the finish. The last time I ran LA the finish was horrible, no bathrooms nearby and once you left the finish area you couldn’t get back. For a small local marathon, ours is easy, efficient and a lot of fun at the end. I only wish we had the ocean to jump into when we’re done!”