11/30/2012, 3:45pm PST

More than 15,000 participants ready to celebrate race’s 30th anniversary

Nov. 30, 2012
For immediate release

The California International Marathon celebrates its 30th anniversary on Sunday with the largest field in race history, a group that includes an abundance of elite runners who could push for course records.

A record 9,300 marathon entrants, 4,400 relay runners and 2,000 Kaiser maraFUNrun participants are expected for the 26.2-mile run from Folsom to the state Capitol, giving the event more than 15,000 participants.

The race begins at 7 a.m.

Race favorites on the men’s side include Ethiopians Tesfaye Alemayehu and Teklu Deneke and Americans Nick Arciniaga, Jeffrey Eggleston, Sean Houseworth and Ian Burrell. Alemayehu (2-hours, 11-minutes and 18-seconds personal best) and Arciniaga (2:11:30) have gone under 2:12 and could make a run at Jerry’s Lawson course record of 2:10:27 set in 1993.

The women’s field includes Ethiopian Yihunilish Delelecha (2:30:38), Russian Natalia Sergeeva (2:33:01) and American Atalelech Asfaw (2:33:56), an Ethiopia native. Several other U.S. runners hope to push those three as they chase Nickey Carroll’s women’s course record of 2:29:21 set in 1999.

The CIM offers $50,000 in prize money, with the men’s and women’s winners taking home $10,000 each.

A field of 30 runners is expected for the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes National Championships, with about half of the visually impaired runners competing in the marathon and the other half in the CIM’s Relay Challenge.

The visually-impaired field includes Seattle’s Aaron Scheidies, a seven-time World Triathlon champion who won last year’s title in 2:48:19, and New Zealand’s Rob Matthews, a 22-time world record holder who has won eight Paralympic gold medals for Great Britain.

More than 50,000 spectators are expected. The race provides an economic impact to the Sacramento community of close to $8 million.

There are 17 aid stations on the course, which goes through Folsom, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, East Sacramento and midtown before finishing downtown a block from the state Capitol.

More than 30 musical acts are scheduled to provide entertainment on the route. Coldwell Banker is sponsoring a special party at ‘The Wall’ near mile 20 in the Loehmann’s Plaza area, with musical entertainment, food trucks and children’s activities part of the festivities.

The CIM Relay Challenge, which also begins at 7 a.m., offers runners a chance to take part in the race without running the full distance. Relay legs are 5.9, 7.6, 7.0 and 5.7 miles.

The Kaiser maraFUNrun is a 2.62-mile event open to all ages. The event begins at 8 a.m. at 9th Street and Capitol Mall and crosses the same finish line as the marathon. All finishers will receive a ribbon.

This event is the grand finale of the CIM Youth Fitness Program, a free program offered to Sacramento-area youths.

The Kaiser Permanente Health and Fitness Expo is scheduled for today from noon-6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m at the Sacramento Convention Center at 1400 J Street. Medical and running experts will speak on marathon-related topics. The event is free to the public.

The CIM is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, 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 recently concluded Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 3 and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.