Each year the CIM gives special recognition to the local male and female runner with the fastest times. “Local” is defined by Sacramento and its suburbs, with the towns of Woodland, Davis, Elk Grove, Placerville, Auburn and Lincoln included on its fringes.
A list of these runners is updated each year, then it is posted at runcim.org. Since this list is limited to the top local male and female runner each year, it does not tell the full story of all the fast times achieved by local runners over the years. Below are two brand new lists, one for men and one for women, with the fastest times EVER by local runners at the CIM. The lists’ cut-off times are based on the slowest times that were achieved by the first local men’s and women’s finishers: sub 2:49 for the men and sub 3:05 for the women.
In researching these lists, some interesting trends have surfaced. The men’s cut-off time of 2:49 is, relatively speaking, more generous than the one for the women, so there are 334 men listed, versus 84 on the women’s list. Also, early in the CIM’s history and at the height of the running boom, the number of runners achieving the men’s 2:49 standard ranged from 30 to 45. During the mid- to late-90s the number of local fast men runners dwindled to just a few. More recently, perhaps because our region, the popularity of running and the CIM itself are all experiencing growth, the numbers are increasing once again.
Deserving mention in this article are several local runners who might not be listed in the overall best local times, but who are are top CIM age division finishers. The marathon world record holder for women 80 and over, Helen Klein (along with many other single-year records) is from Rancho Cordova, and many-time American women’s age division record holder Myra Rhodes lived in Sacramento during the years she set her CIM top times. Other local women who are top age division finishers include Joan Reiss and Po Adams. Just last year (2006) masters runner Midori Sperandeo landed 6th on the all-time top local finisher’s list with her 2:45:56. Another masters runner, Kathy Ward, is ranked 11th with her 1995 time of 2:46:21. More about these women will appear in CIM Story #15, Women’s Running and the CIM. Top local age division men finishers include Jim Milton, Jon Shelgren, Don Spickelmeier, George Billingsley and Paul Reese.
Top Local Men
Top Local Women
Local Women’s Course Record – 2:33:37
Linda arrived in the Sacramento area from Indio, Calif. to attend U.C. Davis (class of ’83), where she received a B.A. in Economics followed by a J.D. from U.C. Davis Law School. Tennis was her sport in high school, and she joined the UC Davis tennis team, but took up jogging to stay in shape when practices and matches were cancelled due to rain. Encouraged by a PE teacher, she went out for cross country in her junior year, made All American that year and barely a year later she ran 34:36.3 for 10,000 meters on the track! Here she established a life-long coaching relationship with UC Davis Coaching Hall of Fame’s Sue Williams.
1983 Linda ran her first marathon at San Francisco, finishing in 2:42:00, because she “just wanted to try one.” Then law school kept her busy, although in 1988 with minimal training she decided to run the CIM, finishing fourth in 2:44:43 (also the Top Local Women’s time). Knowing that with proper training she could improve on this time, she set her sights on the 1989 CIM, the National Women’s Championship and a qualifier for the marathon at the 1990 Goodwill Games. She finished 26 seconds behind Nan Doaks-Davis in her Local Woman’s Time Course Record 2:33:37. When asked about whether or not she could have won this race she replied that it simply wasn’t her goal – she was happy with her overall improvement and had not expected to be in contention with someone like Nan Doaks-Davis (ranked one of the top women’s distance runners in the U.S.). And… she had to stop and tie a shoelace at mile 22!
Linda went on to an illustrious running career. She won the 1992 Chicago Marathon (2:37:41), and returned to win the 1993 CIM (2:34:11) after a placing second (2:34:25) at a grueling, snowy Chicago Marathon the month before. In 1995 Linda finished seventh at the World Games Marathon. She qualified for the Olympic Marathon trials in 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996, where she placed second (2:30:06, PR) and was in top form to represent her country at the Games in Atlanta. Here tragedy struck in the form of a mid-race torn Achilles tendon, but she still finished an amazing 31st. In 1997 she ran a 2:31:49 at the London Marathon for 14th place, and in 1998 was 9th at Chicago in 2:34:21.
In 1997 Linda married triathlete Steve Smith, and after 1998 she took a break from running for a few years, getting settled in the San Luis Obispo area, adopting her niece Monica, and practicing law. By early 2002 she was ready to go for a fifth Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, which she did handily at the Twin Cities Marathon (2:39:26); she went on to finish 10th at the Trials, in 2:37:28.
Since then, Linda has competed well at shorter distances. Her most recent highlight is her masters win at the 2006 National Cross Country Championships last December in Golden Gate park, anchoring a winning “reunion team” of Aggies coached by Sue Williams. She currently has her sights set on qualifying for her 6th Olympic Marathon Trials at the Chicago Marathon.
Will she return to the CIM? She could return as soon as this December for the CIM’s 25th, but only if the weather at Chicago takes a turn for the worse. Local Linda Somers-Smith fans are hoping this will be the case!
Profile: Dennis Rinde
Local Men’s Course Record – 2:14:13
Dennis Rinde and his brother Dean, another elite local distance runner, grew up in Orangevale and graduated from Casa Robles High School (near the CIM’s 2-mile mark). He received a B.A. in Economics at California State University Sacramento, where he competed in track and cross-country. He went on to become one of the top U.S. distance runners in the early 1980s, at a time when U.S. men’s marathoning was at its most competitive. His 2:12:01 earned him a seventh place finish at the 1981 Boston Marathon, he won the Manitoba Marathon seven times, setting the still-standing course record of 2:13:53 in 1981. He also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 1980, 1984 and 1988.
Dennis decided to run the 1984 CIM because he was making a comeback from injuries and illness. Pleased with his 2:14 time and quick recovery, he ran the Houston Marathon a month and a half later in 2:12:50. Although he qualified for the 1988 Trials, Dean continued to struggle with injuries in the mid- to late- 1980s. By 1989 he decided try for another comeback and ran CIM, finishing in 2:19:20, again the top local finisher. Competing for the Aggies Running Club, Dennis went on to run six more CIMs and in 2002 won the masters division in 2:31:32. Dennis says he has always liked the CIM because “it is a downhill course with moderate hills. and it is the best route one could take a marathon through Sacramento County.”
In 1992, Mike Callen introduced Dennis to competitive endurance horseback riding, specifically the event of Ride and Tie (two runners and one horse cover a set distance alternating riding and running). Dennis and his partners have since won the World Ride and Tie Championships three times and Dennis was the lead runner on the only team to have finished the Swanton Pacific 100-mile Ride & Tie for five consecutive years. In 1994 he met his future wife Ellen and her horse Scotty, and they competed in 100-Mile Ride and Tie events from 1996-2000. Of this sport Dennis says “I enjoy the team aspects of R&T and the strategy involved in trying to get two people and a horse to race in the most efficient manner without too many runner or rider mistakes. I also enjoy the challenge of riding a horse and managing a horse through the race.”
Will Dennis return to run the CIM once again? His answer, “I hope to if I can find the time to train for a marathon.”