SACRAMENTO — Running in cloudy, damp conditions on their way to a finish in California’s state capital, Kenyan Elisha Barno and Kenyan Jane Kibii claimed the top men’s and women’s at the 37th annual California International Marathon.
The winners were joined by an estimated 13,000 marathon and marathon relay registered runners who started in Folsom and ran the downhill course to finish in front of the State Capitol in Downtown Sacramento.
Rain was not falling, but clouds were forming as runners took their places in corrals at the starting line. Cool, but mostly dry weather is one of the hallmarks of the annual race.
Barno, of Kenya, finished with the day’s top time of 2:23:36 to take the men’s race, in which the three top finishers pushed one another. When one felt good, he brought the others along.
At the 24th mile, the three were running strong together at a 5:01 per mile pace.
“At 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) I tried to move and I saw, like, these guys, they are very strong,” Barno said. He made his final move in the penultimate mile, he said.
“I’m very happy,” Barno said, after finishing. “I say, ‘thanks, God.’”
The second finisher among men was American CJ Albertson, who clocked a finish just four seconds behind Barno, at 2:13:40.
Third place went to American Patrick Smyth at 2:13:48.
Kibii, a Kenyan who lives in Auburn, Calif. took first with a personal record time of 2:29:31 on the course, which was drenched by overnight rains and intermittent sprinkles during the marathon.
Not eager to run in a storm, Kibii said she was pleased by the dry start. “I told myself, there’s no rain. Yay!” she said, after her finish.
She said she surprised herself with her pace. “I didn’t believe I was running under 2:30,” Kibii said.
Kibii is a member of the Sacramento Running Association team, making her CIM win doubly special, she said. “I’ve been looking for that for a long time.”
Second place women’s finisher, Obsie Birru, said Kibii’s pacing helped her race. “She carried me through the dark patches. Birru had a time of 2:30:25. She currently lives in Phoenix.
Third place for women was taken by Meriah Earle whose finish made her the Masters Race winner, with a time of 2:34: 35.
Both race winners, Kibii and Barno, take home $12,000 in prize money, plus performance bonuses.
Prize money is divided equally between the men’s and women’s fields, with monetary prizes going to the top 10 finishers for each.
In addition to the top finishers, more than 100 runners had times below U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifying cutoffs.
Those runners included 37 men running faster than 2:19:00 and 72 women running faster than 2:45:00. Not all of those runners were Americans, so the number of actual qualifiers is somewhat lower.
Scores of additional runners had Boston Marathon qualifying times, as the race continued to prove itself as one of the top venues for athletes seeking to qualify for elite events.
Patty Prevo was winner among push rim wheelchair athletes with a time of 2:40:58.
The California International Marathon is organized by the Sacramento Running Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.
The event appeals to people just trying to get healthy and to professional athletes, SRA Executive Director Scott Abbott told reporters as runners continued to cross the finish line in sunshine.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Abbott said. “It’s a great celebration of spirit.”
Fun Facts for the California International Marathon:
Economic Impact: $11 million
Men’s Course Record: Jerry Lawson, USA, 1993, 2:10:27
Women’s CR: Volha Mazuronal, BEL, 2014, 2:27:34
- 160,000 servings of water
- 3,500 gallons of nuun
- 7,000 Sierra Nevada beers
- 17,000 CLIF Shots
- 9,000 CLIF Minis
- 15,000 bananas
- 280,000 cups
- 17 aid stations
- 10,000 marathon shirts
- 3,000 relay tech shirts
- 2,500 maraFUNrun 5k shirts
- 2,500 Capitol 5k shirts
- 25 bands on course
- 4,000 rubber medical gloves
- 5,000 band aids
- 64 tubs of Vaseline
- 10,000 “painter” recovery jackets
- 75,000 safety pins
- 1 ton of discarded clothes donated to local charities
- Over 13,000 pounds of waste diverted from landfill
- $500,000 raised for local charities
- Over $150,000 paid to local municipal and county service providers
- 6 different municipalities and over 50 neighborhoods covered on course
- 12 streakers (run every CIM)
- 1,500 members of the CIM Loyal Runner Club
- 2,000 cones
- 1,000 barricades
- 650 portalets
- 180 medical volunteers
- 75,000 spectators
- 4,000 race volunteers
- $70,000 prize purse
- 25,000 Expo attendees
- 1.5 million website visitors annually
- Over 25,000 social media followers
- 160 radios
- 40 pace team leaders
- 30 race sponsors
- Over 132,000 finishers since 1983
- Runners from 44 countries
- Nearly 10,000 hotel room nights
- $11 million boost to local economy
- 138,336 feet of Sacramento County roadway covered
- 3 miles of fencing