Interview with 2012 SAMM Winner


Clyde Behunin

2012 SAMM Winner
(course record)

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

I found the race online… had planned on doing LA that same weekend but just didn’t feel good about it for some reason. Then saw this race and we (my wife and I) had lived out in Modesto for a summer selling home security systems about 10 years ago. So I was semi-familiar with the area and decided on Modesto.

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

Yes, although nothing is guaranteed. I looked up the previous winning times and decided that with a decent race and barring no really fast guys showed I’d have a chance.

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

I ran in high school and college but nothing amazing. I started running marathons with the St. George marathon in 2005 and have been running them ever since. It took a few years of playing with training and figuring out what it was going to take to run a good race but I got really serious in 2007 and ran a PR of 2:25 at STG. I’ve won 3 marathons, and have high finishes in several others; 18 full marathons. I finished 97th overall in the 2007 Boston Marathon.

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

I’m a marathoner, but will run other races to “train” for the marathon. Halfs, 10ks, and I’ve even done a few 50ks, 40 mile runs and every year on my birthday I run my age. 🙂

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

It was a picture perfect day! Cool, calm and crisp. I loved running through the cool morning air out in the blooming orchards. I could run marathons the rest of my life and maybe not have better conditions than we had that morning. Plus it’s an awesome spectator course so I was able to see my wife at about 6 different places.

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

I think you guys did a great job! Honestly we really enjoyed this one. With the solid foundation you’ve already built and super flat, awesome course, I think this race will only grow.

What are your goals for the coming year?

Short term is to get healthy. I ran the Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon in Ventura around the first part of June and took second. Then shortly after that I was out on my boat and wrecked on the wake board really bad — messed my ankle up … bad! So I’d like to run STG in October and maybe CIM in December but training is slow going with an ankle injury… .

Do you have any advice for new runners?

Be consistent. If you’re going to run you need to get out at least 6 days a week and just run. There’s no other secret.

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

That when in a big race and running against tough competition the other competitors are “lions” (at the time I felt like a monkey) and they own the jungle (race). But as my training improved someone told me I was at least a baby lion and was growing into a tougher competitor and would — if I believed and worked hard enough, become a lion someday.”

Will you be coming back to defend your crown?

I want to. We had a great time. It just depends on my ankle and how fast it heals up and if I decide to go run Boston this year or not.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m glad I came. Not just because I won, but because it is a great course and that day turned out to be a great one. Here is my blog write up of the race.

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