July 21, 2015
For immediate release

John Schumacher

SRA selects 50 runners from 1,000 applicants

Steve Mellish is one of the chosen ones. And he plans to make the most of the opportunity.

Mellish, a 49-year-old producer for KCRA TV, was one of 50 runners selected from more than 1,000 applicants for a free 17-week training program for the California International Marathon offered by the Sacramento Running Association and Fleet Feet Sports.

He plans to complete his first marathon at the CIM on Dec. 6. His goal of finishing a marathon before turning 50 took on new meaning in July when his 56-year-old brother Mark collapsed and died at work one morning.

“He never really exercised much,” Mellish said of his brother. “He never had a warning … It was just sudden and unexpected.

“He’s certainly my inspiration to stay healthy, for me to keep running. It’s been a rough year. I’ve got to go out strong.”

Mellish has participated in the Bank of the West CIM Relay Challenge before and watched the race go by his neighborhood near Hollister Ave. and Fair Oaks Blvd. After completing several half marathons, he’s ready to take on the 26.2-mile challenge.

“It’s an awesome event,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking to finish and looking to improve.”

The Sacramento Running Association, which puts on the CIM, teamed with Fleet Feet Sports to offer the free training program to first-time marathoners. The response was off the charts. Winners were selected based on their reasons for wanting to run CIM.

“The SRA and Fleet Feet Sacramento were excited but not totally surprised by the overwhelming response to this unprecedented opportunity,” SRA Executive Director Scott Abbott said. “The CIM is a hallmark community event that is a goal for so many Sacramentans, and it was an amazing offer to be able to participate in SRA and Fleet Feet’s Official CIM Training Program for free for any first-time marathoner.

“This training program is the best possible preparation to make the dream become a reality of running your first marathon at CIM.  We are excited to work with Fleet Feet Sacramento to share this first-time journey with these 50 people and hopeful that we can still help the other 1,000 people that were not selected still fulfill their goal of completing CIM in 2015.”

West Sacramento’s Elisabeth Rothfuss, 38, ran a lot when she was younger. After having three children, she got the running bug again two years ago while doing the UC Davis Children’s Hospital maraFUNrun with her daughter, who is now 10.

“I came back and did a 5k with her,” said Rothfuss, a stay-at-home mom who was selected for the free CIM training program. “I realized how much I missed running.

“I’m kind of a little bit nervous. I never did a full marathon.”

But Rothfuss has done a handful of half marathons, the most recent one in Davis less than two weeks ago, putting her in good position to take advantage of the training program.

Why CIM?

“Because everybody keeps on saying that’s the perfect place for first-time marathoners,” she said. “CIM brought me back to running.”

The CIM training group begins on Aug. 9.  While the free spots have been filled, interested runners can still join the training program by registering at runcim.org/cim-training-program. The cost is $179.

Experienced coaches, ability-based training and marathon specific seminars, plus a private bus to the starting line, are among the benefits of joining the CIM’s Official Training Program.

Runners can experience the camaraderie of sharing a passion and working with others to reach a common goal. The training program includes group workouts twice a week.

The CIM course starts near Folsom Dam and winds through Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Carmichael and Sacramento before heading to a glorious finish at the state Capitol.

Thanks to a slightly downhill course, cool temperatures and abundant support from event staff and the 50,000 spectators who typically line the course each year, the CIM has a reputation as a great race for first-timers or veteran runners seeking a personal best or a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

The 2015 CIM is also expected to attract many of the nation’s top runners seeking a qualifying time for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit 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.

Other SRA events include the Super Sunday Run on Feb. 7, the Credit Union SACTOWN Five- and Ten-Mile Run on April 3 and the Gold Rush 50k.

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